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supplied at the cost of the owners of the ship. “Your first

supper you pay for," my informant told me, “because you eat that on your own account. What you consume after that comes of their doing, because they don't start; and if it's three meals a day for a week, it's their look out.” It occurred to me that under such circumstances a captain would be very apt to sail either in foul weather or in fair.

It was a bright moonlight night, moonlight such as we rarely have in England, and I started off by myself for a walk, that I might see of what nature were the environs, of Grand Haven. A more melancholy place I never beheld. The town of Grand Haven itself is placed on the opposite side of a creek, and was to be reached by a ferry. On our side, to which the railway came and from which the boat was to sail, there was nothing to be seen but sandhills which stretched away for miles along the shore of the lake. There were great sand mountains, and sand valleys, on the surface of which were scattered debris of dead trees, scattered logs white with age, and boughs half buried beneath the sand. Grand Haven itself is but a poor place, not having succeeded in catching much of the commerce which comes across the lake from Wisconsin, and which takes itself on eastwards by the railway. Altogether it is a dreary place, such as might break a man's heart, should he find that inexorable fate required him there to pitch his tent.

On my return I went down into the bar-room of the steamer, put my

feet

upon the counter, lit my cigar, and struck into the debate then proceeding on the subject of the war. I was getting West, and General Fremont was the hero of the hour. “He's a frontier man, and that's what we want. I guess

he'll about

go through. Yes, sir.” “As for relieving General Fremont,”—with the accent always strongly on the “mont,”—“I guess you may as well talk of relieving the whole West. They won't meddle with Fre-mont. They are beginning to know in Washington what stuff he's made of.” “Why, sir; there are 50,000 men in these States who will follow Fre-mont, who would not stir a foot after any other man.” From which, and the like of it in many other places, I began to understand how difficult was the task which the statesmen in Washington bad in hand.

I received no pecuniary advantage whatever from that law as to the steam-boat meals which my new friend bad revealed to me.

For my one supper of course I paid, looking forward to any amount of subsequent gratuitous provisions. But in the course of the night the ship sailed, and we found our

a

selves at Milwaukee in time for breakfast on the following morning.

Milwaukee is a pleasant town, a very pleasant town, containing 45,000 inhabitants. How many of my readers can boast that they know anything of Milwaukee, or even have heard of it? To me its name was unknown until I saw it on huge railway placards stuck up in the smoking-rooms and lounging halls of all American hotels. It is the big town of Wisconsin, whereas Madison is the capital. It stands immediately on the western shore of Lake Michigan, and is very pleasant. Why it should be so, and why Detroit should be the contrary, I can hardly tell; only I think that the same verdict would be given by any English tourist. It must be always borne in mind that 10,000 or 40,000 inhabitants in an American town, and especially in any new western town, is a number which means much more than would be implied by any similar number as to an old town in Europe. Such a population in America consumes double the amount of beef which it would in England, wears double the amount of clothes, and demands double as much of the comforts of life. If a census could be taken of the watches it would be found, I take it, that the American population possessed

among them nearly double as many as would the English; and I fear also that it would be found that many more of the Americans were readers and writers by habit. In any large town in England it is probable that a higher excellence of education would be found than in Milwaukee, and also a style of life into which more of refinement and more of luxury had found its way. But the general level of these things, of material and intellectual well being—of beef, that is, and book learning-is no doubt infinitely higher in a new American than in an old European town. Such an animal as a beggar is as much unknown as a mastodon. Men out of work and in want are almost unknown. I do not say that there are none of the hardships of life,--and to them I will come by-and-by; but want is not known as a hardship in these towns, nor is that dense ignorance in which so large a proportion of our town populations is still steeped. And then the town of 40,000 inhabitants is spread over a surface which would suffice in England for a city of four times the size. Our towns in England, -and the towns, indeed,

of Europe generally,-have been built as they have been wanted. No aspiring ambition as to hundreds of thousands of people warmed the bosoms of their first founders. Two or three dozen men required habitations in the same locality, and clustered them together closely. Many such have failed and died out of the world's notice. Others have thriven, and houses have been packed on to houses till London and Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow have been produced. Poor men have built, or have had built for them, wretched lanes; and rich men have erected grand palaces. From the nature of their beginnings such has, of necessity, been the manner of their creation. But in America, and especially in Western America, there has been no such necessity and there is no such result. The fourrders of cities have had the experience of the world before them. They have known of sanitary laws as they began. That sewerage, and water, and gas, and good air would be needed for a thriving community has been to them as much a matter of fact as are the well understood combinations between timber and nails, and bricks and mortar. They have known that water carriage is almost a necessity for commercial success, and have chosen their sites accordingly. Broad streets cost as little, wbile land by the foot is not as yet of value to be regarded, as those which are narrow; and therefore the sites of towns have been prepared with noble avenues, and imposing streets. A city at its commencement is laid out with an intention that it shall be populous. The houses are not all built at once, but there are the places allocated for them. The streets are not made, but there are the spaces. Many an abortive attempt at municipal greatness has so been made and then all but abandoned. There are wretched villages with huge straggling parallel ways which will never grow into towns. They are the failures,-failures in which the pioneers of civilization, frontier men as they call themselves, have lost their tens of thousands of dollars. But when the success comes; when the happy hit has been made, and the ways of commerce have been truly foreseen with a cunning eye, then a great and prosperous city springs up, ready made, as it were, from the earth. Such a town is Milwaukee, now containing 45,000 inhabitants, but with room apparently for double that number; with room for four times that number, were men packed as closely there as they are with us.

In the principal business streets of all these towns one sees vast buildings. They are usually called blocks, and are often so denominated in large letters on their front, as Portland Block, Devereux Block, Buel's Block. Such a block may face to two, three, or even four streets, and, as I presume, has generally been a matter of one special speculation. It may be divided into separate houses, or kept for a single purpose, such as that of an botel, or grouped into shops below, and into various sets of

chambers above. I have had occasion in various towns to mount the stairs within these blocks, and have generally found some portion of them vacant;-have sometimes found the greater portion of them vacant. Men build on an enormous scale, three times, ten times as much as is wanted. The only measure of size is an increase on what men have built before. Monroe P. Jones, the speculator, is very probably ruined, and then begins the world again, nothing daunted. But Jones' block remains, and gives to the city in its aggregate a certain amount of wealth. Or the block becomes at once of service and finds tenants. In which case Jones probably sells it and immediately builds two others twice as big. That Monroe P. Jones will encounter ruin is almost a matter of course; but then he is none the worse for being ruined. It hardly makes him unhappy. He is greedy of dollars with a terrible covetousness; but he is greedy in order that he may speculate more widely. He would sooner have built Jones' tenth block, with a prospect of completing a twentieth, than settle himself down at rest for life as the owner of a Chatsworth or a Woburn. As for his children he has no desire of leaving them money. Let the girls marry. And for the boys,—for them it will be good to begin as he begun. If they cannot build blocks for themselves, let them earn their bread in the blocks of other men. So Monroe P. Jones, with his million of dollars accomplished, advances on to a new frontier, goes to work again on a new city, and loses it all. As an individual I differ very much from Monroe P. Jones. The first block accomplished, with an adequate rent accruing to me as the builder, I fancy that I should never try a second. But Jones is undoubtedly the man for the West. It is that love of money to come, joined to a strong disregard for money made, which constitutes the vigorous frontier mind, the true pioneering organization. Monroe P. Jones would be a great man to all posterity, if only he had a poet to sing of his valour.

It may be imagined how large in proportion to its inhabitants will be a town which spreads itself in this way. There are great houses left untenanted, and great gaps left unfilled. But if the place be successful,--if it promise success, it will be seen at once that there is life all through it. Omnibuses, or street cars working on rails run hither and thither. The shops that have been opened are well filled. The great hotels are thronged. The quays are crowded with vessels, and a general feeling of progress pervades the place. It is easy to perceive whether or no an American town is going ahead. The days of my visit to Milwaukee were days of civil war and national

go

trouble, but in spite of civil war and national trouble Milwaukee looked healthy.

I have said that there was but little poverty,-little to be seen of real want in these thriving towns, but that they who laboured in them had nevertheless their own hardships. This is so. I would not have any man believe that he can take himself to the Western States of America,—to those States of which I am now speaking, -Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, or Illinois, and there by industry escape the ills to which flesh is heir. The labouring Irish in these towns eat meat seven days a week, but I have met many a labouring Irishman among them who has wished himself back in his old cabin. Industry is a good thing, and there is no bread so sweet as that which is eaten in the sweat of a man's brow; but labour car

a ried to excess wearies the mind as well as body, and the sweat that is ever running makes the bread bitter. There is, I think, no task-master over free labour so exacting as an American. He knows nothing of hours, and seems to have that idea of a man which a lady always has of a horse. He thinks that he will for ever.

I wish those masons in London who strike for nine hours' work with ten hours' pay could be driven to the labour market of Western America for a spell. And moreover, which astonished me, I have seen men driven and hurried,--as it were forced forward at their work, in a manner which to an English workman would be intolerable. This surprised me much, as it was at variance with our,—or perhaps I should say with my,--preconceived ideas as to American freedom. I had fancied that an American citizen would not submit to be driv. en ;-that the spirit of the country if not the spirit of the individual would have made it impossible. I thought that the shoe would have pinched quite on the other foot. But I found that such driving did exist; and American masters in the West with whom I had an opportunity of discussing the subject all admitted it. “Those men 'll never half move unless they're driven, a foreman said to me once as we stood together over some twenty men who were at their work. “They kinder look for it, and don't well know how to get along when they miss it.” It was not his business at this moment to drive ;-nor was he driving. He was standing at some little distance from the scene with me, and speculating on the sight before him. I thought the men were working at their best; but their movements did not satisfy his practised eye, and he saw at a glance that there was no one immediately over them.

But there is worse even than this. Wages in these regions

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