William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By Olive Risley Seward; William Henry Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.
GERMANY, ENGLAND, AND HOME.

Belgium.--Berlin.--Mr. Bancroft.--Humboldt.--The German Empire.--Its Rise and Grandeur.--Its Policy.--Hamburg.--A Free City.--A Handsome City.--On the Thames.--Activity of its Commerce.--Greatness of London.--Government Machinery in Great Britain.--Its Slow Working.--Rural Beauty of England.--On Board the Java.--Her Passengers.--Montrose-on-Hudson.--Return to Auburn.--Mr. Seward's Speech to his Neighbors.

Cologne, September 6th.--Out of France--across Belgium--and on the Rhine, all in twelve hours!

Belgium realizes to the traveller its well-known character for density of population, and active, inventive industry. It is wonderful how arts, and even freedom, flourish within this little state, which for two thousand years has almost continually been the battleground of the ambitions of the great European nations. If we remember rightly, there are few Belgian immigrants in America. As we passed through to Liege and its rural districts, so full of busy activity, contentment, and even gayety, we wondered that there should be any.

Berlin, September 8th.--We arrived here last evening. We have seen of Germany enough to show that its climate is neither so genial, nor its soil so fertile, nor its resources of forest and mines so rich as those of Southern Alaska; nevertheless, it is rich and prosperous through the perseverance of its people.

It is a political and social vacation at Berlin. The emperorking and the empress, the princes and Bismarck, are absent. Baron

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