« ПретходнаНастави »
rending in this border land. In New England and New York men's minds at any rate were bent all in the same direction-as doubtless they were also in Georgia and Alabama. But here fathers were divided from sons, and mothers from daughters. Terrible tales were told of threats uttered by one member of a family against another. Old ties of friendship were broken up. Society had so divided itself that one side could hold no terms of courtesy with the other. "When this is over," one gentleman said to me, "every man in Baltimore will have a quarrel to the death on his hands with some friend whom he used to love." The complaints made on both sides were eager and open-mouthed against the other.
Late in the autumn an election for a new legislature of the State had taken place, and the members returned were all supposed to be Unionists. That they were prepared to support the government is certain. But no known or presumed secessionist was allowed to vote without first taking the oath of allegiance. The election, therefore, even if the numbers were true, cannot be looked upon as a free election. Voters were stopped at the poll and not allowed to vote unless they would take an oath which would, on their parts, undoubtedly have been false. It was also declared in Balti more that men engaged to promote the Northern party were permitted to vote five or six times over, and the enormous number of votes polled on the government side gave some coloring to the statement. At any rate, an election carried under General Dix's guns cannot be regarded as an open election. It was out of the question that any election taken under such circumstances should be worth anything as expressing the minds of the people. Red and white had been declared to be the colors of the Confederates, and red and white had of course become the favorite colors of the Baltimore ladies. Then it was given out that red and white would not be allowed in the streets. Ladies wearing red and white were requested to return home. Children decorated with red and white ribbons were stripped of their bits of finery-much to their infantile disgust and dismay. Ladies would put red and white ornaments in their windows, and the police would insist on the withdrawal of the colors. Such was the condition of Baltimore during the past winter. Nevertheless cakes and ale abounded; and though there was deep grief in the city, and wailing in the recesses of many
houses, and a feeling that the good times were gone, never to return within the days of many of them, still there existed an excitement and a consciousness of the importance of the crisis which was not altogether unsatisfactory. Men and women can endure to be ruined, to be torn from their friends, to be overwhelmed with avalanches of misfortune, better than they can endure to be dull.
Baltimore is, or at any rate was, an aspiring city, proud of its commerce and proud of its society. It has regarded itself as the New York of the South, and to some extent has forced others so to regard it also. In many respects it is more like an English town than most of its Transatlantic brethren, and the ways of its inhabitants are English. In old days a pack of fox hounds was kept here-or indeed in days that are not yet very old, for I was told of their doings by a gentleman who had long been a member of the hunt. The country looks as a hunting country should look, whereas no man that ever crossed a field after a pack of hounds would feel the slightest wish to attempt that process in New England or New York. There is in Baltimore an old inn with an old sign, standing at the corner of Eutaw and Franklin Streets, just such as may still be seen in the towns of Somersetshire, and before it there are to be seen old wagons, covered and soiled and battered, about to return from the city to the country, just as the wagons do in our own agricultural counties. I have seen nothing so thoroughly English in any other part of the Union.
But canvas-back ducks and terrapins are the great glories of Baltimore. Of the nature of the former bird I believe all the world knows something. It is a wild duck which obtains the peculiarity of its flavor from the wild celery on which it feeds. This celery grows on the Chesapeake Bay, and I believe on the Chesapeake Bay only. At any rate, Baltimore is the headquarters of the canvas-backs, and it is on the Chesapeake Bay that they are shot. I was kindly invited to go down on a shooting-party; but when I learned that I should have to ensconce myself alone for hours in a wet wooden box on the water's edge, waiting there for the chance of a duck to come to me, I declined. The fact of my never having as yet been successful in shooting a bird of any kind conduced somewhat, perhaps, to my decision. I must acknowledge that the canvas-back duck fully deserves all the reputation it has acquired. As to the terrapin, I
have not so much to say. The terrapin is a small turtle, found on the shores of Maryland and Virginia, out of which a very rich soup is made. It is cooked with wines and spices, and is served in the shape of a hash, with heaps of little bones mixed through it. It is held in great repute, and the guest is expected as a matter of course to be helped twice. The man who did not eat twice of terrapin would be held in small repute, as the Londoner is held who at a city banquet does not partake of both thick and thin turtle. I must, however, confess that the terrapin for me had no surpassing charms.
Maryland was so called from Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles I., by which king, in 1632, the territory was conceded to the Roman Catholic Lord Baltimore. It was chiefly peopled by Roman Catholics, but I do not think that there is now any such specialty attaching to the State. There are in it two or three old Roman Catholic families, but the people have come down from the North, and have no peculiar religious tendencies. Some of Lord Baltimore's descendants remained in the State up to the time of the Revolution. From Baltimore I went on to Washington.
END OF VOL. I.