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Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes Part 5

On City Road, London, near Liverpool Street Station, is located the house, chapel, burial-grounds, and tomb of John Wesley. Across the street, in an old Nonconformist cemetery, are the graves of James Watt, Daniel Defoe, and John Bunyan. Across the narrow street to the north is the tabernacle of Whitefield. We learned that Friday, July 7th, was reopening day for Wesley's Chapel. What a distinguished body of persons we found at this meeting! Dr. Joseph Parker was the speaker of the day.

The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, president of the Conference, presided at the memorial services. Rev. Westerdale, present pastor, successfully managed the program of the day, especially the collections, for he met the expense of the rebuilding and past indebtedness with the sum of over fifteen thousand dollars. He told those discouraged ministers with big audiences to go and take courage from what the mother-church, with her small number of poor parishioners, had done. In the evening, Bishop Warren, on his return to America, called in and gave an interesting talk. He was followed by Fletcher Moulton, member of Parliament. You may not realize the feeling of gratitude with which we took part in this eventful service of praise, prayer, and rededication! On the next day we returned to see the books, furniture, and apartments of Wesley, himself.

We sat at his writing desk, stood in his death-chamber, and lingered in the little room where he used to retire at four in the morning for secret prayer. From here he would go directly to his preaching service at five. Wesley put God first in his life, this is why men honor him so much now that he is gone. We took a farewell view of the audience-room from the very pulpit into which Wesley ascended to preach his Good News of Christ. From the several inscriptions on Wesley's tomb, we copied the following one: "After having languished a few days, he at length finished his course and life together. Gloriously triumphing over death, March the 2nd, Anno Domine, 1791, in the eighty-eight year of his age."

In Liverpool, on the day of our arrival, July 1st, an old, gray-haired man was shining my shoes. He observed that I was from across the water, and that an Englishman can readily tell a Yankee. He began to praise America. He said that Uncle Sam was only a child yet, that America was destined to be the greatest country in the world; that her trouble with Spain was only a bickering; that the present engagement was only his maiden warfare, and that he "walked along like a streak of lightning."

Saturday evening, July 8th, witnessed the greatest military parade in London for thirty years. The Prince of Wales reviewed twenty-seven thousand London volunteers. Early in the morning citizens from all over England began to gather in front of the English barracks, and at the east end of Hyde Park. By two o'clock in the afternoon hundreds of thousands had packed the streets and dotted the parks and lawns, until, in every direction one could witness a sea of faces. After the royal and military procession began, the patient Johnnies, with their sisters, sweethearts, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and great-grand-mothers, stood for five hours to see it go by. The Englishman does not tire when he is honoring his country. At the close of this parade we dropped into a barbershop for a shave. The gentleman seemed to understand that I was a long ways from home. "You fellows," I said, "can tell us as far as you can see us." "Yes," said he, "by your shoes, your hat, your coat, your tongue, and even by your face. We can tell you by the way you spit. A spittoon here, pointing about ten feet away, give a Yankee two trials, he will hit it every time."

Travel is a study of the genius of man as shown in architecture, in sculpture, and in painting. Ninety-seven plans were submitted for the Houses of Parliament, including Westminster Hall. That of Sir Charles Barry was selected, and the present imposing structure was built, covering eight acres, at a cost of $15,000,000. The style is perpendicular (Gothic), with carvings, intricate in detail and highly picturesque. The building faces the river with a 940 feet front, but her three magnificent square-shaped towers rise over her street front. The clock tower at the northwest corner is 318 feet high, the middle tower is 300 feet, and the southwest, or Victorian tower, is 340 feet high.

The large clock with its four dials, each twenty-three feet in diameter, requires five hours for winding the striking parts. The striking bell of the clock tower is one of the largest known; it weighs thirteen tons, and can be heard, in favorable weather, over the greater portion of London. One never tires in looking at this noble building. It is appropriately adorned inside and out with elaborate carvings, statuary, and paintings. Here are located the Chamber of Peers, the House of Commons, and numerous royal apartments, lavishly fitted up to be in keeping with the office and dignity of the building.

Crystal Palace, situated about eight miles southeast of St. Paul's, consists entirely of glass and iron. Its main hall, or nave, is 1,608 feet long, with great cross sections, two aisles, and numerous lateral sections. The two water towers at the ends are each 282 feet high. If you were at the World's Fair in Chicago, and visited the Transportation Building, you may imagine something of the magnitude and beauty of Crystal Palace, with her orchestra, concert hall, and opera-house; with her fountains, library, and school of art; with her museums, gardens, and arenas; with her parks, panoramas, and her numerous exhibits of nature and art. Near the center of the palace "is the great Handel Orchestra, which can accommodate 4,000 persons, and has a diameter twice as great as the dome of St. Paul's. In the middle is the powerful organ with 4,384 pipes, built at a cost of $30,000, and worked by hydraulic machinery. An excellent orchestra plays here daily." The concert-hall on the south side of the stage can accommodate an audience of 4,000. An excellent orchestra plays here daily. "On each side of the great nave are rows of courts, containing in chronological order, copies of the architecture and sculpture of the most highly civilized nations, from the earliest period to the present day." The gardens of Crystal Palace cover two hundred acres, and are beautifully laid out "with flowerbeds, shrubberies, fountains, cascades, and statuary." "Two of the fountain basins have been converted into sport arenas, each about eight and one-half acres in extent." Nine other fountains, with electric light illuminations, play on fireworks nights and on other special occasions.

It is common for 15,000 visitors to attend these Thursday night firework exhibits. Colored electric light jets deck the fountains, flower-beds, and halls. Crystal Palace was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, and cost seven and a half million of dollars. Well may it be called London's Paradise.

Shall we say that the greatest piece of constructive architecture of any country is that of Eiffel Tower! Situated on the left bank of the Seine River, it overlooks Paris and the country for fifty miles around.

In its construction, iron caissons were sunk to a depth of forty-six feet on the river side, and twenty-nine and one-half on the other side.

When the water was forced out of these caissons by means of compressed air, "concrete was poured in to form a bed for four massive foundation piers of masonry, eighty-five feet thick, arranged in a square of 112 yards. Upon this base which covers about two and a half acres rises the extraordinary, yet graceful structure of interlaced ironwork" to a height of 984 feet. Eight hundred persons may be accommodated on the top platform at once. It was completed within two years' time, and is the highest monument in the world. Washington monument ranks second, being 555 feet high. From the summit of Eiffel Tower one may secure a good view of Paris, her public buildings, chief hills, parks, and boulevards, monuments, and embankments. An imitation of Trajan's column in Rome, is 142 feet in height, and thirteen feet in diameter. It is constructed of masonry, encrusted with plates of bronze, forming a spiral band nearly 300 yards in length, on which are represented the "battle scenes of Napoleon during his campaign of 1805, and down to the battle of Austerlitz. The figures are three feet in height and many of them are portraits. The metal was obtained by melting down 1,200 Russian and Austrian cannons. At the top is a statue of Napoleon in his Imperial robes. This column reflects the political history of France." The design sculptor is Bergeret. For their antiquity the mummies and statues in the Egyptian galleries of the British Museum are very interesting. They embrace the period from 3600 years before Christ to 350 A.D. "The tomb of Napoleon by Visconte," and "the twelve colossal victories surrounding the sarcophagus by Pradier," are among the finest works of Parisian sculpture. The sarcophagus, thirteen feet long, six and one-half feet high, consists of a single huge block of reddish-brown granite, weighing upwards of sixty-seven tons, brought as a gift from Finland at a cost of $700,000. The Louvre, Paris, contains one of the finest art galleries in Europe, and with the Tuilleries, covers about eight acres, "forming one of the most magnificent places in the world."

In our limited experience at travel we have yet to find a single object of beauty or utility that is not the product of skill, of genius, of great labor. Every monument bears testimony of struggle, of bloodshed, of hard-earned victory; beneath every tomb that honor has erected rests the body of incarnate intelligence, fidelity, and courage. In the shadow of every great cathedral lies collected the moth and rust from the coppers of myriad-handed toilers of five and ten centuries. The towers and domes of London, and Paris, and Amsterdam, and Dublin are monuments to the genius of the architect and to the faithfulness of the common toiler. The parks and gardens tell of centuries of wise and faithful application of the laws of growth, of symmetry, of design in form and color. The historic chapels of worship and learning breathe the very incense of devotion and reverence for truth; while the conservatories of sculpture and painting preserve what is divinest in human experience.

Age alone can produce a great man or a great nation. Decades for the man and centuries for the nation; these are the measuring periods for real achievement. But all this is on the human side. Correggio and Titian in painting; Bacon and Bailey in sculpture; Raphael and Michael Angelo in sculpture and painting; and Sir Christopher Wren in architecture,--the works of art of such as these elevate and purify one's thought and feeling. But the profoundest impressions that come to one from travel, come alone from the works of nature. The Crystal Palace in London can not compare in glory with the crystal ripples of a mid-ocean scene. The botannical gardens of the Tuilleries in Paris do not stir the soul as does the splendor of the Welsh mountains. The rockery plants of Phoenix Park, Dublin, are insignificant compared with growths of ferns and moss On the rock ledges of Bray's Head, south of Dublin. No panorama that man has painted can equal the scene of Waterloo battle-field, observed from the earthen mound near the fatal ravine. So, we shall always find it true, that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so the thoughts of God are higher than the thoughts of man, and his ways than man's ways.

X. HOME AND THE HOME-MAKER.

WHAT IS HOME?

"RECENTLY a London magazine sent out 1,000 inquiries on the question, 'What is home?' In selecting the classes to respond to the question it was particular to see that every one was represented. The poorest and the richest were given an equal opportunity to express their sentiment.

Out of eight hundred replies received, seven gems were selected as follows:

"Home--A world of strife shut out, a world of love shut in.

"Home--The place where the small are great and the great are small.

"Home--The father's kingdom, the mother's world, and the child's paradise.

"Home--The place where we grumble the most and are treated the best.

"Home--The center of our affection, round which our heart's best wishes twine.

"Home--The place where our stomachs get three square meals daily and our hearts a thousand.

"Home--The only place on earth where the faults and failings of humanity are hidden under the sweet mantle of charity."

Dr. Talmage defines home, as "a church within a church, a republic within a republic, a world within a world." Dr. Banks writes, "It is not granite walls, or gaudy furniture, or splendid books, or soft carpets, or delicious viands that can make a home. All of these may be present, and yet it be only a dungeon, if the great simplicities are not there."

Sings one:

"Home's not merely roof and room, Needs it something to endear it.

Home is where the heart can bloom, Where there's some kind heart to cheer it.

Home's not merely four square walls, Though with pictures hung and gilded, Home is where affection calls, Filled with charms the heart hath builded.

Home! Go watch the faithful dove Sailing 'neath the heavens above us, Home is where there's one to love, Home is where there's one to love us."

We believe the five sweetest words in the English language to the largest number of persons--words which carry with them intrinsic meaning and blessing are these: "Jesus," "Mother," "Music," "Heaven," "Home."

"Twenty thousand people gathered in the old Castle Garden, New York, to hear Jennie Lind sing. After singing some of the old masters, she began to pour forth 'Home, Sweet Home.' The audience could not stand it. An uproar of applause stopped the music. Tears gushed from thousands like rain. The word 'home' touched the fiber of every soul in that immense throng." In an early spring day, when the warm sun began to invite one to bask in his rays, my wife, delicate in health, lay drowsing on some boards near the house. The large garden spot spread out to the rear of her; a beautiful grassy lawn carpeted round a deserted house, granary, and shop-building in front of her. She was living over her girlhood days. She thought she was in the old home orchard, where she used to doze, dream, and play. The songs of the birds seemed the same; the same gentle breezes played with her hair; the same passers-by jogged along the roadside; the same family horse nibbled the tender grass in the barnyard. How sad, and yet how sweet are the memories of early days! The tender associations of home never leave one, however roughly the coarse hand of time would tear them away. It is because home means love that its associations and lessons remain.

ESSENTIALS TO A HAPPY HOME.

Although home means love, yet love alone may not insure happiness. In addition to love, without which a true home can not exist, we select four essential requisites to make home life useful and happy. These are intelligence, unselfishness, attractiveness, and religion.

First, Intelligence. Much of the misery of the world in individual and family life is due to gross ignorance. Once the father of a family said to me, "We did not get our mail to-day, I miss my reading." Knowing the man we were surprised at such a remark, and ventured to ask him what papers he took. A list of ten or a dozen papers was named. All of them were newspapers. One was a general daily, two were local dailies, and the rest were local weekly papers. No intelligent person would have carried over three of those papers from the post-office. This man spent hours upon a class of reading that should be finished with a few minutes each day. In this same family the mother told me that she had never rode on a railway train, and that she had never been outside of her own county. This is an exceptional case, but it illustrates how that ignorance makes thrift and happiness impossible in a home, neither of which belong to this family. Here every law of health is violated, foresight in providing for the physical comforts of the home is wanting; little attention is given to the education of the children; no sacrifices to-day enrich to-morrow; life is a humdrum, a routine, a dread, with no exuberance, joy, or hope. In time, such a life leads to failure and gloom, to secret, then to open vice, and to a final shipwreck of the home and of the individual. In a similar yet in a less marked way, the career of many a home is ended. No one may be directly to blame, but want of common knowledge and common wit have set a limit beyond which such a family may not go. The intelligent family has some sort of a history which it is their privilege and duty to perpetuate.

Members of the intelligent family are moral sponsors for one another, the mother for the daughters, the father for the sons, the brothers and sisters for one another. They find their own best interests in the interests of one another. The intelligent family is not superstitious.

They act upon the wisdom of the ancient poet, "every one is the architect of his own fortune." They look to cause and condition for results. They spell "luck" with a "p" before it. The intelligent farmer plants his crop in the ground, rather than in the moon, and looks for his harvest to the seed and the toil. The intelligent merchant locates his business on the street of largest travel and makes the buying of his goods his best salesman. The intelligent man of letters thrives at first by making friends of poverty and want, until one day his genius places his name in the temple of honor. So it is with the artist, the musician, the inventor, the architect. To be happy and useful in one's lot, one must know something of the sphere in which he lives and works, of its practical wisdom, and must be prepared to live, or glad to die for the cause he serves. No indolent, superstitious, or ignorant family need look for abiding happiness nor expect to be permanently useful.

Then unselfishness is essential to happy home life. It is a serious matter for two persons, even when they are naturally mated, to undertake to live together in peace and harmony. It is a more serious matter when they are not naturally mated. It is more serious still when children enter the home, for they bring with them conflicting tendencies, dispositions, and wills. Often have we wondered how it is that families get on as well together as they do when we have considered, what natural differences exist between them, and what little teaching and discipline have been used to harmonize these differences. An harmonious home is truly begun in the parental homes of the husband and wife. Two persons may be perfectly suited to one another, and yet they may be selfish in wanting their own way. As one grows up, if he is allowed to have his own way regardless of the rights and privileges of others, he becomes a selfish person, and his parents are to blame. A selfish person in the home plans for his own comfort, decides and acts as he wishes, and seeks to satisfy his own desires. He does not take into consideration the plans, wishes, and desires of other members of the family. It is understood that his authority is supreme. Not one member of the family dreams of expressing dissent to his dominion. A so-called peace of this sort is not uncommon among families. This supreme authority may be vested in husband, or wife, or in one or all of the children. A forced peace of this kind is worse than rebellion and is as bad as open war.

How can any persons be so presumptuous as to think that any person, or a number of persons, exist solely for his comfort and advantage! Let two such selfish persons get together, a permanent riot is assured.

Unselfishness in the home means thoughtfulness, discipline, self-control. Each child is taught the rights and privileges of others as well as his own. When two unselfish persons join their lives there begins a holy and beautiful rivalry in seeking the rights and privileges of one another. The very atmosphere of such a home is deference, respect, and love. As the stranger, the neighbor, the friend, comes and goes, he catches the spirit of it and carries it with him into his own and other homes. Children born into such a home early imbibe its spirit, and, O, the inspiration one receives from going into that family circle!

No home-life can be an inspiration and a blessing where selfishness is allowed to reign. Nor can it be useful and happy.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox describes a selfish, though a kind and loving husband:

THEIR HOLIDAY.

THE WIFE:

Our house is like a garden-- The children are the flowers, The gardener should come, methinks, And walk among his bowers.

So lock the door of worry, And shut your cares away, Not time of year, but love and cheer, Will make a holiday.

THE HUSBAND:

Impossible! You women do not know, The toil it takes to make a business grow: I can not join you until very late, So hurry home, nor let the dinner wait.

THE WIFE:

The feast will be like Hamlet, Without the Hamlet part; The home is but a house, dear, Till you supply the heart.

The Christmas gift I long for You need not toil to buy; O, give me back one thing I lack: The love-light in your eye.

THE HUSBAND:

Of course I love you, and the children, too.

Be sensible, my dear. It is for you I work so had to make my business pay; There, now, run home, enjoy your holiday.

THE WIFE, TURNING AWAY:

He does not mean to wound me, I know his heart is kind, Alas, that men can love us, And be so blind--so blind!

A little time for pleasure, A little time for play, A word to prove the life of love And frighten care away-- Though poor my lot, in some small cot, That were a holiday.

To preserve the family circle, the home must be made attractive.

No amount of practical wisdom, of Puritanic piety, nor mere kindly treatment will hold a family of children together until they are strong enough to resist the temptations of the world. The home must be made more attractive than the street or places of amusement. The average boy or girl who loses interest in home and uses it chiefly as an eating and sleeping place, does so with good reasons. Home has lost its charm. No provision is made for his pastime and pleasure. Not finding this at home he will go elsewhere in search of it. "An unattractive home," says one, "is like the frame of a harp that stands without strings. In form and outline, it suggests music, but no melody arises from the empty spaces; and thus it is an unattractive home, is dreary and dull." How may home be made attractive? We have presupposed a certain amount of education and culture in the home by maintaining for it intelligence and unselfishness. Any home that is intelligent and unselfish is capable of being made attractive. In the first place, in as far as it is practicable, each member of the family should have a room of his own and be taught how to make it attractive. Here, one will hang his first pictures, start his own library, provide a writing desk, and learn to spend his spare moments. Recently we visited a home in Chicago. The rooms are few in number and hired. The family consists of father, mother, and three children, now grown. During our short stay in the home I was invited into the boys' room. The walls are literally covered with original pencil designs, queer calendars, odd pictures; the dresser and stand are lined with books and magazines, with worn-out musical instruments, art gifts from other members of the family, and ball-team pictures, while two lines of gorgeous decorations stretch from wall to wall. This is still these young men's little world, their interests have centered here. No less than five kinds of musical instruments were visible in this home. The walls of the living room and parlor are made beautiful with simple tasteful pictures made by the daughter, whose natural gift in art was early cultivated. The table, shelves, and mantelpiece are decorated with china bowls, plates, and vases, simply, yet elegantly adorned. This work was done by the daughter and mother.

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