On the Mediterranean
Wretchedness of the Poorer Classes
The Return Trip
Subjects treated in a general way are distinguished by being rendered in italics, in this table of contents.
[Illustration: The Keystone State Normal School.]
While engaged in making the preliminary arrangements for leaving soon after the “Commencement” of the Keystone State Normal School (coming off June 24th), information was received that the “Manhattan,” an old and well-tried steamer of the Guion Line, would sail from New York for Liverpool on the 22nd of June. She had been upon the ocean for nine years, and had acquired the reputation of being “safe but slow.” As I esteemed life more precious than time, though either of them once lost can never be recovered, I soon decided to share my fate with her—by her, to be carried safely to the “farther shore,” or with her, to seek a watery grave.
The idea of remaining for the Commencement, was at once abandoned; short visits, abrupt farewells, and a hasty preparation for the pilgrimage, were my portion for the few days still left me, and Saturday, the 19th, was determined upon as the day for leaving home. It would be evidence of gross ingratitude to forget the kind wishes, tender good-byes, and many other marks of attention, on the part of friends and acquaintances, which characterized the parting hour. Both Literary Societies had passed resolutions to turn out, and on the ringing of the bell at 6:30 a.m., all assembled in the Chapel, and addresses were delivered.
Half an hour later, we left in procession for the depot, where we arrived in time to exchange our last tokens of remembrance—cards, books, bouquets &c., and shake hands once more.
While the train was moving away, the benedictions and cheers of a hundred familiar voices rang upon the air, and waving handkerchiefs caught the echoes even from the distant cupola of the now fast receding Normal School buildings. A number of torpedoes that had been placed under the wheels of the locomotive, had already apprised us that the train was in motion, and would soon hurry us out of sight. During all this excitement of the parting hour, which seemed to affect some so deeply, I was either looking into the future, or contemplating the present, rather, from an active than from a passive standpoint; and, as a natural consequence, remained quite tranquil and composed—my feelings and emotions being at a lower ebb than they could now be, if the occasion would repeat itself. The idea of making a tour through Europe and to the Orient, had been continually revolving in my mind for many years; and now, that I saw the prospect open of once realizing the happy dreams of my childhood, and the schemes of early youth, I took no time for contemplating the dangers of sea voyages or any of the other perils of adventure.