List Of Contents | Contents of Their Pilgrimage, by Charles Dudley Warner
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"Well, now!  I suppose they have to there."

"Yes; the older nations grow, the more self-conscious they become."

"I don't believe, for all you say, Mr. King, the French have any more
conscience than we have."

"Nor do I, Mrs. Benson.  I was only trying to say that they pay more
attention to appearances."

"Well, I was brought up to think it's one thing to appear, and another
thing to be," said Mrs. Benson, as dismissing the subject.  "So your
friend's an artist?  Does he paint?  Does he take portraits?  There was
an artist at Cyrusville last winter who painted portraits, but Irene
wouldn't let him do hers.  I'm glad we've met Mr. Forbes.  I've always
wanted to have--"

"Oh, mother," exclaimed Irene, who always appeared to keep one ear for
her mother's conversation, "I was just saying to Mr. Forbes that he ought
to see the art exhibitions down at the other end of the promenade, and
the pictures of the people who come here in August.  Are you rested?"

The party moved along, and Mr. King, by a movement that seemed to him
more natural than it did to Mr. Forbes, walked with Irene, and the two
fell to talking about the last spring's trip in the South.

"Yes, we enjoyed the exhibition, but I am not sure but I should have
enjoyed New Orleans more without the exhibition.  That took so much time.
There is nothing so wearisome as an exhibition.  But New Orleans was
charming.  I don't know why, for it's the flattest, dirtiest, dampest
city in the world; but it is charming.  Perhaps it's the people, or the
Frenchiness of it, or the tumble-down, picturesque old creole quarter,
or the roses; I didn't suppose there were in the world so many roses;
the town was just wreathed and smothered with them.  And you did not see

"No; I have been to exhibitions, and I thought I should prefer to take
New Orleans by itself some other time.  You found the people hospitable?"

"Well, they were not simply hospitable; they were that, to be sure, for
father had letters to some of the leading men; but it was the general air
of friendliness and good-nature everywhere, of agreeableness--it went
along with the roses and the easy-going life.  You didn't feel all the
time on a strain.  I don't suppose they are any better than our people,
and I've no doubt I should miss a good deal there after a while--
a certain tonic and purpose in life.  But, do you know, it is pleasant
sometimes to be with people who haven't so many corners as our people
have.  But you went south from Fortress Monroe?"

"Yes; I went to Florida."

"Oh, that must be a delightful country!"

"Yes, it's a very delightful land, or will be when it is finished.
It needs advertising now.  It needs somebody to call attention to it.
The modest Northerners who have got hold of it, and staked it all out
into city lots, seem to want to keep it all to themselves."

"How do you mean 'finished'?"

"Why, the State is big enough, and a considerable portion of it has a
good foundation.  What it wants is building up.  There's plenty of water
and sand, and palmetto roots and palmetto trees, and swamps, and a
perfectly wonderful vegetation of vines and plants and flowers.  What it
needs is land--at least what the Yankees call land.  But it is coming on.
A good deal of the State below Jacksonville is already ten to fifteen
feet above the ocean."

"But it's such a place for invalids!"

"Yes, it is a place for invalids.  There are two kinds of people there--
invalids and speculators.  Thousands of people in the bleak North, and
especially in the Northwest, cannot live in the winter anywhere else than
in Florida.  It's a great blessing to this country to have such a
sanitarium.  As I said, all it needs is building up, and then it wouldn't
be so monotonous and malarious."

"But I had such a different idea of it!"

"Well, your idea is probably right.  You cannot do justice to a place by
describing it literally.  Most people are fascinated by Florida: the fact
is that anything is preferable to our Northern climate from February to

"And you didn't buy an orange plantation, or a town?"

"No; I was discouraged.  Almost any one can have a town who will take a
boat and go off somewhere with a surveyor, and make a map."

The truth is--the present writer had it from Major Blifill, who runs a
little steamboat upon one of the inland creeks where the alligator is
still numerous enough to be an entertainment--that Mr. King was no doubt
malarious himself when he sailed over Florida.  Blifill says he offended
a whole boatful one day when they were sailing up the St.  John's.
Probably he was tired of water, and swamp and water, and scraggy trees
and water.  The captain was on the bow, expatiating to a crowd of
listeners on the fertility of the soil and the salubrity of the climate.
He had himself bought a piece of ground away up there somewhere for two
hundred dollars, cleared it up, and put in orange-trees, and thousands
wouldn't buy it now.  And Mr. King, who listened attentively, finally
joined in with the questioners, and said, "Captain, what is the average
price of land down in this part of Florida by the--gallon?"

They had come down to the booths, and Mrs. Benson was showing the artist
the shells, piles of conchs, and other outlandish sea-fabrications in
which it is said the roar of the ocean can be heard when they are
hundreds of miles away from the sea.  It was a pretty thought, Mr. Forbes
said, and he admired the open shells that were painted on the inside-
painted in bright blues and greens, with dabs of white sails and a
lighthouse, or a boat with a bare-armed, resolute young woman in it,
sending her bark spinning over waves mountain-high.

Yes," said the artist, "what cheerfulness those works of art will give to
the little parlors up in the country, when they are set up with other
shells on the what-not in the corner!  These shells always used to remind
me of missionaries and the cause of the heathen; but when I see them now
I shall think of Atlantic City."

"But the representative things here," interrupted Irene, "are the
photographs, the tintypes.  To see them is just as good as staying here
to see the people when they come."

"Yes," responded Mr. King, "I think art cannot go much further in this

If there were not miles of these show-cases of tintypes, there were at
least acres of them.  Occasionally an instantaneous photograph gave a
lively picture of the beach, when the water was full of bathers-men,
women, children, in the most extraordinary costumes for revealing or
deforming the human figure--all tossing about in the surf.  But most of
the pictures were taken on dry land, of single persons, couples, and
groups in their bathing suits.  Perhaps such an extraordinary collection
of humanity cannot be seen elsewhere in the world, such a uniformity of
one depressing type reduced to its last analysis by the sea-toilet.
Sometimes it was a young man and a maiden, handed down to posterity in
dresses that would have caused their arrest in the street, sentimentally
reclining on a canvas rock.  Again it was a maiden with flowing hair,
raised hands clasped, eyes upturned, on top of a crag, at the base of
which the waves were breaking in foam.  Or it was the same stalwart
maiden, or another as good, in a boat which stood on end, pulling through
the surf with one oar, and dragging a drowning man (in a bathing suit
also) into the boat with her free hand.  The legend was, "Saved."
There never was such heroism exhibited by young women before, with such
raiment, as was shown in these rare works of art.

As they walked back to the hotel through a sandy avenue lined with jig-
saw architecture, Miss Benson pointed out to them some things that she
said had touched her a good deal.  In the patches of sand before each
house there was generally an oblong little mound set about with a rim of
stones, or, when something more artistic could be afforded, with shells.
On each of these little graves was a flower, a sickly geranium, or a
humble marigold, or some other floral token of affection.

Mr. Forbes said he never was at a watering-place before where they buried
the summer boarders in the front yard.  Mrs. Benson didn't like joking on
such subjects, and Mr. King turned the direction of the conversation by
remarking that these seeming trifles were really of much account in these
days, and he took from his pocket a copy of the city newspaper, 'The
Summer Sea-Song,' and read some of the leading items: "S., our eye is on
you."  "The Slopers have come to their cottage on Q Street, and come to
stay."  "Mr. E. P. Borum has painted his front steps."
"Mr. Diffendorfer's marigold is on the blow."  And so on, and so on.
This was probably the marigold mentioned that they were looking at.

The most vivid impression, however, made upon the visitor in this walk
was that of paint.  It seemed unreal that there could be so much paint in
the world and so many swearing colors.  But it ceased to be a dream, and
they were taken back into the hard, practical world, when, as they turned
the corner, Irene pointed out her favorite sign:

                    Silas Lapham, mineral paint.
                         Branch Office.

The artist said, a couple of days after this morning, that he had enough
of it.  "Of course," he added, "it is a great pleasure to me to sit and
talk with Mrs. Benson, while you and that pretty girl walk up and down
the piazza all the evening; but I'm easily satisfied, and two evenings
did for me."

So that, much as Mr. King was charmed with Atlantic City, and much as he
regretted not awaiting the arrival of the originals of the tintypes, he
gave in to the restlessness of the artist for other scenes; but not
before he had impressed Mrs. Benson with a notion of the delights of
Newport in July.



The view of the Catskills from a certain hospitable mansion on the east
side of the Hudson is better than any mew from those delectable hills.
The artist said so one morning late in June, and Mr. King agreed with
him, as a matter of fact, but would have no philosophizing about it, as

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