0Saturday. 24th [August 1901]—En route to United States
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24 August 1901 — En route to United States
Saturday. 24th [August 1901]. Was called at 5, got up at once & dressed & going on deck found we were lying anchored off Long Island waiting for pratique. The tall tower like houses of New York loomed in the distance & were now & then blotted out by clouds & squalls of rain which were passing from heavy banks of clouds. One could see faintly the great Brooklyn bridge now & then & what appeared as a one armed windmill—which on approaching the city we realized to be the great statue of Liberty wh the French Govt had given the Americans. On getting near it was certainly fine but those huge effigies of a human being seem to me always to have something repulsive about them—to be a kind of monstrosity & almost impious—all of which thoughts I keep discreetly to myself. We breakfasted at 6 & at 7 the medical authorities came on board & by 8 we were at the wharf of the American Line & all proceeded to disembark. We parted with Miss Howe & Miss Fildes whose friends claimed them & carried them off. We were taken to Mr Griscom Jr.’s office & there Nellie & I sat for 2 hours while Mrs Bettle, her father’s employe’s & the maids saw our luggage through the custom house. The new laws against importation of nearly every kind which have been in force about a year are very strict & vexatious to all U.S. subjects & Mrs Bettle had hard work. At abt 10 our host Mr Griscom Sr appeared & with him we went to the Ferry wh took us across to the Pennsylvania Railroad station in a few moments. The station is the largest I ever saw & quite magnificent. We found the train made up ready & a Pullman car especially prepared for Mr Griscom as he is a director of the line. This we had to ourselves—& we had excellent coffee & bread & butter served to us as we were very hungry by 11.30 having breakfasted at 6. Little Griscom Bettle was so tired that he fell asleep on the floor of the carriage. We went through to Philadelphia & there changed into the local train into a long carriage with seats for 2 persons on each side of a center passage & in 20 minutes time we arrived at Haverford station. A storm was gathering as we went and a deluge of quite tropical rain came down. Two of Mr Griscom’s “carry all” carriages were waiting for us—light 4 wheeled carriages with a kind of waterproof covering from the sunroof. The little slits of glass admitted little light & Nellie convulsed the party by saying that on board ship she had felt as tho’ she were in prison & now she felt as if she were being conveyed in “Black Maria” the prison van. We passed through lovely towns & passed beautiful (tho’ not very old) trees—by pleasant villas till we found ourselves in abt 10 minutes at the door of “Dolobran.” Mrs Griscom was at the door & gave us a warm welcome. The house is low but the rooms large & furnished with every modern luxury & comfort & with taste & knowledge of old furniture & pictures. It was abt 12.30 when we arrived & we were glad of luncheon which was served about 2. Mr Bettle, Griscom & Aubrey Hollingworth went on to their own abode a little further on in the same grounds. The Griscom family live in patriarchal style—all round the parents house. A son named “Rod” is also living close by. After lunch I rested in my own room a large low room with 4 windows shaded by outer blinds. At 5 we had tea in the covered verandah which is practically another living room. By dinner time Mr Griscom père had come out from New York & added much to the hilarity & jollity. After dinner we all spent the evening in a large room called the Art room where there are various fine pictures by Lawrence, Sir Joshua, Van der Helot, Romney &c &c Mrs Bettle came to dinner & she worked a “pianola” for my amusement—a machine which you hook on to the common piano forte keys & which makes it play mechanically by pumping in air with the feet as one plays the harmonium. We retired to bed at 11—having had a very long day since 5 A.M. Surrounded by every thing that is like home & hearing the English language, even with a foreign accent, it is difficult to realize that one is in America 4000 miles away from the old country.

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