she rolled and rolled and rolled. She could never roll too much for me. I have always been a splendid sailor, and I feel jolly at sea. The sudden leap from home into the wilderness of waves does not give me any sensation of melancholy.
What I thought I was going to see when I arrived in America, I hardly remember. I had a vague idea that all American women wore red flannel shirts and bowie knives and that I might be sandbagged in the street! From somewhere or other I had derived an impression that New York was an ugly, noisy place.
Ugly! When I first saw that marvellous harbour I nearly cried—it was so beautiful. Whenever I come now to the unequalled approach to New York I wonder what Americans must think of the approach from the sea to London. How different are the mean, flat, marshy banks of the Thames, and the wooden toy light-house at Dungeness, to the vast, spreading harbour, with its busy multitude of steam boats and ferry boats, its wharf upon wharf, and its tall statue of Liberty dominating all the racket and bustle of the sea traffic of the world!
That was one of the few times in America when I did not miss the poetry of the past. The poetry of the present, gigantic, colossal, and enormous, made me forget it. The "sky-scrapers," so splendid in the landscape now, did not exist in 1883; but I find it difficult to divide my early impressions from my later ones. There was Brooklyn Bridge, though, hung up high in the air like a vast spider's web. Between 1883 and 1893 I noticed a great change in New York and other cities. In ten years they seemed to have grown with the energy of tropical plants. But between 1893 and 1907 I saw no evidence of such feverish increase. It is possible that the Americans are arriving at a stage when they can no longer beat the record! There is a vast difference between one of the old New York brownstone houses and one of the fourteen-storied buildings near the river, but between this and the Times Square Building or the still more amazing Flatiron Building, which is said to oscillate at the top—it is so far from the ground—there is very little difference. I hear that they are now beginning to build downwards into the earth, but this will not change the appearance of New York for a long time.
From the collection of Miss Evelyn Smalley
HENRY IRVING AS MATHIAS IN "THE BELLS"
THE PART IN WHICH IRVING MADE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE IN AMERICA
I had not to endure the wooden shed in which
most people landing in America have to struggle with the custom-house officials—a struggle as brutal as a "round in the ring" as Paul Bourget describes it. We were taken off the "Britannic" in a tug, and Mr. Abbey, Lawrence Barrett, and many other friends met us—including the much-dreaded reporters.
Lent by The Century Co.
THE REJECTED DESIGN FOR A COLUMBIAN MEDAL MADE BY AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS
When we landed, I drove to the Hotel Dam, Henry to the Brevoort House. There was no Diana on the top of the Madison Square Building then—the building did not exist, to cheer the heart of a new arrival as the first evidence of beauty in the city. There were horse trams instead of cable cars; but a quarter of a century has not altered the peculiarly dilapidated carriages in which one drives from the dock, the muddy sidewalks, and the cavernous holes in the cobble-paved streets. Had the elevated railway, the first sign of power that one notices after leaving the boat, begun to thunder through the streets? I cannot remember New York without it.
Lent by The Century Co.
THE BAS-RELIEF PORTRAIT OF BASTIEN-LEPAGE MODELED BY AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS. SAINT-GAUDENS GAVE A CAST OF THE PORTRAIT TO MISS TERRY
I missed then, as I miss now, the numberless hansoms of London plying in the streets for hire. People in New York get about in the cars, unless they have their own carriages. The hired carriage has no reason for existing, and when it does, it celebrates its unique position by charging two dollars for a journey which in London would not cost fifty cents!
THE BAS-RELIEF PORTRAIT OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON MODELED BY AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS FOR THE ST. GILES CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH. SAINT-GAUDENS GAVE A CAST OF THIS PORTRAIT TO MISS TERRY'S DAUGHTER, EDITH CRAIG
Irving Brings Shakespeare to America
There were very few theatres in New York when we first went there. All that part of the city which is now "up town" did not exist, and what was then "up" is now more than "down" town. The American stage has changed almost as much. Even then there was a liking for local plays which showed the peculiarities of the different States, but they were more violent and crude than now. The original American genius and the true dramatic pleasure of the people is, I believe, in such plays, where very complete observation of certain phases of American life and very real pictures of manners are combined with comedy almost childlike in its
naïveté. The sovereignty of the young girl which is such a marked feature in social life is reflected in American plays. This is by the way. What I want to make clear is that in 1883 there was no living American drama as there is now, that such productions of romantic plays and Shakespeare as Henry Irving brought over from England, were unknown, and that the extraordinary success of our first tours would be impossible now. We were the first, and we were pioneers and we were new. To be new is everything in America. Such palaces as the Hudson Theatre, New York, were not dreamed of when we were at the Star, which was, however, quite equal to any theatre in London, in front of the footlights. The
stage itself, the lighting appliances, and the dressing-rooms were inferior.
HENRY IRVING AS HAMLET
FROM THE STATUE BY E. ONSLOW FORD, R. A., IN THE GUILDHALL OF THE CITY OF LONDON