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a sad memorial the next day, as I drove out two or three miles to a solitary place in the woods, where a heavy cannon, set upright, stands as a monument to the gallant General McPherson on the very spot where he fell.
It was a little after dark when we rolled into the station, and found shelter in that spacious caravanserai, the Kimball House, where with bath and bed the fatigues of travel were soon forgotten.
Atlanta is a place in which I feel very much at home. Not that I have been here often, only two or three times; but we have a representative of Atlanta in Stockbridge, in the person of Mr. John H. Inman, who has his Summer home on our hill-top. There I have become acquainted with his relatives, who came to visit him, so that when I come here, they receive me almost as one of the familya relation in which I am very glad to be recognized. This cordial welcome, with perhaps something in this Southern climate, soon warms even my cold Northern blood.
Atlanta has another attraction for me in Henry W. Grady, whom I place alongside of another Summer neighbor of mine in the Berkshire Hills, Joseph H. Choate, as two of the most delightful men that ever charmed an audience, moving them at will to laughter or to tears. Mr. Grady is not a man you would make a hero of at first sight. He has not the tall figure of Mr. Choate (he is short and thick-set), nor the keen eye that looks through and through an ugly witness, and by a kind of fascination draws the truth out of him in spite of himself. I found him in his den (for being an editor myself, I know what dens they inhabit) amid piles of newspaper rubbish, which have such an ancient look that they might be mummy cloths unwrapped from the bodies of Egyptians that have been dead thousands of years. He was sitting in one of those convenient office chairs, which are mounted on
HENRY W. GRADY.
springs, so that the sitter can turn in any direction (for an editor has sometimes to shift his position very quickly), leaning back, with his feet on the table in front, and hugging to his breast a pad on which he was writing a letter. Thus doubled up, he dashes off letters or newspaper articles right and left. The versatility of the man amazes me ; no amount of work disconcerts him ; he sees everybody, talks with chance visitors, while he keeps on writing; and then can jump up at a minute's notice, and go to any sort of gathering, and make a speech on any subject! He has in him the elements of a successful politician : for he is as nimble as a cat, and like a cat, always falls on his feet. I do believe, if you should toss him into the air or throw him out of the fourth-story window, he would light on the ground all right, and be ready to start off on the instant to speak at any public gathering, political or religious, whether it were to address a camp-meeting, or make a rousing speech at a Democratic Convention.
Though he has been for some years known at the South, he was little known at the North until two years ago, when he appeared at the New England dinner in New York. I was at that time abroad; but one day in Palermo, in Sicily, a lady just from Naples handed me an American paper which contained his speech, and I read it, not once but many times, and each time with a new appreciation of its wonderful pathos and power. That speech made his reputation at the North. When I came home I got the pamphlet that contained the proceedings of the New England Society, in which it was reported in full, and it is often read in my family, though I confess to a little spite against it, for there is a person whom I cannot bear to see shed a tear, who, when she tries to read it, always finds something in her throat.
ROUND THE HEARTHSTONE.
Busy as he was, Mr. Grady must needs have me to dinner, and, to tell the truth, “Barkis was willin'," for, like Mr. Choate, he is nowhere so delightful as in his own home, where all preoccupation is gone, and he can give himself up to his friends. Here his wit and humor are infinite. Few men can tell a story so well. To hear him give the outlines of a recent work of fiction, as he did of “The Two Little Confederates," was next to reading the story. Out of respect to my clerical character, he invited three of the city pastors to meet me, a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Baptist, of whom I can only say that, if they are fair representatives of their respective denominations, the pulpit of Atlanta will rank with the pulpit of New York.
[The above was written some months ago-in May, 1889-and now as these pages are going to press, it is with inexpressible pain that I Lave to add, that he who was the life of that happy home, the centre of all that brightness, has gone to the grave. Mr. Grady was of a compact frame, capable of any amount of labor and endurance. Subject to no disease, he had the promise of a long life, with ever growing influence and power.
But late in the Autumn he took a cold, which, though severe, would have yielded to treatment, if he could have remained under his own roof. But he was continually pressed to go away, to speak on public occasions. Yielding to this importunity, he had accepted an invitation to address the Merchants Club of Boston, for which he had prepared himself, and as the time approached, though unit to leave home, he could not bear to disappoint his friends. He went and made a speech on the Race Problem, which was considered by those who heard both, as even more able, if not more eloquent, than that at the New England dinner. But it was at his peril that he came out of that crowded and heated room into the wintry air. The exposure was increased by an excursion to Plymouth Rock: so that he returned to New York, not better but worse. But still those about him were not alarmed: and as he was with a party of friends, he yielded to his urgent desire to return home. At Atlanta a crowd was waiting for him to cheer him for his success at the North, but he was too weak to receive their congratulations, and was driven directly to his home, where all that medical skill could do, with the fondest love and care, was done for him, but without avail, and on the 23d of December, in the early morning, his brave heart ceased to beat. So passed away, at the age of thirty-eight years, in the very prime of life, the most brilliant young man of the South. One of the last things he said, was, “If I die, I die serving the South, the land I love so well. My father died fighting for it: I am proud to die speaking for it,” words that might well be graven on his tomb.)
FLORIDA-ST. AUGUSTINE-THE PONCE DE LEON.
It was a long night-ride from Atlanta across Georgia. The State is imperial in extent, and like a good many other grand things, if you have too much of it, becomes a trifle wearisome. “Jordan is a hard road to travel," and in this respect, if in no other, Georgia is like Jordan, as indeed any other State would be, if you had to travel over it in the dark, seeing nothing, and with every bone in your body in pain from fatigue. I do not find much poetry in travelling at night, though sometimes, as I listen to the incessant rolling in the long dark watches, I try to comfort myself with the inspiring negro melody, “Roll, Jordan, roll!” and to imagine that these ever-rolling wheels and fire-drawn cars are the mighty chariots of civilization. But all this poetry and philosophy I would give for a good sound sleep. The real necessity for these night-journeyings is that the days are not long enough, the distances are so great. Thus it was Georgia when we went to bed, and when we rose it was Georgia still, and it was full noon before we crossed the border into Florida.
At last we are in the Peninsula State, and siop at Jacksonville, which but a few months ago was desolated by the
yellow fever. But of this not a trace remains, either of the fever or the panic it inspired. It was hard to realize, as we walked along the quiet streets, that this was the place from which, even so late as the Autumn, the inhabitants were fleeing in terror. Now every precaution has been taken against its recurrence, and there is once more a feeling of perfect security; and the broad and beautiful river that sweeps past the town does not flow more tranquilly than the lives of the easy-going population.
A couple of hours more brought us to St. Augustine. It was dark when we arrived, but a few minutes took us from the station into such a centre of stately halls and blazing lights and music and gay society, that we might have been in the very heart of Paris.
St. Augustine is the oldest town in the United States, having been settled by the Spaniards in 1565, forty-two years before Captain John Smith landed at Jamestown, fifty-five years before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock, and only seventy-three years after Columbus first saw the shores of the New World! Hardily was it settled before it was fortified, for even in those early days enemies were abroad. The story of the riches of Mexico and Peru had filled all Europe, and the ships that bore the treasure to Spain tempted the sea-rovers of all nations, and the Buccaneers another name for pirates-kept watch along this coast for the gold that was being carried across the sea to fill the treasuries of the successors of Ferdinand and Isabella. This kind of robbery, pleasantly disguised under the name of war, was continued for the better part of a century, and even distinguished English navigators did not disdain to enrich themselves with the treasure of Spanish galleons. Sir Francis Drake, sailing up the coast, and descrying across the low sandy shore some sign of human habitation, landed here and burnt the town. This disaster