Chapter II. Liverpool.
Traveling-bag in hand, which contained my entire wardrobe, I now went In search of an hotel. The "Angel Hotel" was soon pointed out to me, and on entering it, I learned that several of my fellow-passengers had already taken rooms there. It is entirely under the control of ladies, being managed by a proprietress and female clerks. The house is an excellent one, and the accommodations are first-class. It bears a very appropriate name. After partaking of a hardy supper, I walked out to "take a look at Europe!" At 6:45 p.m., I entered St. Peter's Church, and was conducted to a pew. Here, as elsewhere in Europe, the young and the old of both sexes occupy the same seat together. One of the little boys of the family occupying the same pew with me, gave me a hymn-book. A part of the exercises consisted in chanting psalms. The eagle lectant and the Bible characters represented in the stained glass of the windows, soon enlisted my attention, but the meaning of having two birds perched upon a high stand in the middle of the church, I could not unfold, nor was there any one about that could tell me. The next day I saw the same bird beside a noble female form in the museum. "What bird is that?" said I to a by-stander. "That figure," said he, "is the emblem of Liverpool, and the bird is the liver, which abounded down in the pools, and after which the place was first named."
St. Luke's was visited after service. The chorister seemed much pleased to meet an American, and showed me every mark of attention. When asked whether all the churches of Liverpool had their chancels in the east ends, he answered in the affirmative. I afterwards found this to be true all over Europe. The dead are buried everywhere so as to face the rising sun.
Around St. John's the memorial slabs lie flat upon the graves. IHS, with a cross over the H, is engraved upon the tombstones of the Catholics. These same letters IHS equivalent to JES or JESUS, are to be seen, in almost every church and chapel in all Christian Europe. Upon goblets, chrismatories and crosses in the churches they are generally written in gold; while myriads of crosses on headstones in the graveyards bear the same mystical letters. Various other interpretations are given to them by different writers, but every explanation except the one above given, seems far-fetched and of doubtful origin, to say the least.
In summer, the sun sets after 8:00 o'clock in the latitude of Liverpool. I saw some twilight after 10:00 o'clock. The early dawn becomes visible before 2:00 o'clock in the morning, and he who wants to see the sun rise, must content himself with a short night. The Exchange is one of the most elegant buildings of its class in Europe. St. George's Hall contains the largest organ in England. In front of it are the Colossal Lions and the Equestion Statue of Prince Albert. Britania (England's crest) which surmounts the dome of the Town Hall, and the Wellington Statue, both face south.
I had expected to see people dressed differently in Liverpool from what is customary in America. In this and a dozen other anticipations I was utterly disappointed. Thus I was surprised at every step, because I was not surprised.
It was a scource of great grief to me that I could not indulge in refreshments on Sunday evening. A passenger after landing, is much like a patient after the fever has left him, he is hungry all the time. I had some American silver in my pocket, which I repeatedly offered to exchange for cakes, fruits and refreshments, at the numerous stores and stands which I passed, but no one was willing to invest in my stock of change. Thus I had to suffer both from hunger and thirst, because I did not have the right kind of money. On Monday I drew my check in English currency, and bought a suitable purse; but I was very awkward for a few days at counting money. England has the oddest and most irregular money table that I found from there to Egypt, except those of Holland and Germany. Many of the coins are old and purseworn, so that it is impossible to decipher either the image or the superscription (Matt. XXII. 20), consequently the value must he guessed by their size.
I spent a great part of the day in the Museum. It contains a large and well classified collection of natural history, of objects of ancient and medieval art, of ancient manuscripts, of coins, of pictures, sculpture, &c. Saw the horns of a South African ox, each of which was about four feet long and five or six inches thick.
The Wonderful Clock of Jacob Lovelace.