The Percy Anecdotes:
'Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.' - BACON.
First Christian Travellers|
Travels to the East
Sir John Mandevile
Know Your own Country First
Indian Hieroglyphical Journals
A Young Traveller
Proof of Civilization
Dr. C. Buchanan
Adventures of M. Arago
Crossing the Alps
A Dinner Interference
Duchess of Kingston
An Example for Modern Youths
Tomb of Howard
Friendship at First Sight
Duchess of Marlborough's Eyewater|
Travelling a Century Ago
A Cure for Post-Boys
African Forest Travelling
Hot Wind of the Desert
Travelling in Persia
James IV. of Scotland
Emperor and Blacksmith
A Night in the Desert
Towns of Russia
A Journey to Mount Etna
Imperial Visit to Mount Vesuvius
Ritchie and Lyon
Crossing the Delaware
Paying Like a King
A Mad Dervish
Extraordinary Herd Boy
Seeing an Emperor
King John of England
Travelling in Scotland Two Centuries Ago
Absence of Mind
Lisbon in 1813
Stage Coach Adventure
The Persian Ambassador
The Jews' Leap
Crossing the Cordilleras
Lord Herbert of Cherbut
Personal Safety in Italy
Horace's Journey to Brundusium
The Honourable Keppel Craven
Mr. William Hutton
Sir Robert Ker Porter
First Christian Travellers.
THE first efforts of European inquiry were all directed towards the East. All Christians bowed in spirit, as well as body, towards that sacred quarter of the globe, which dwelt in their deepest and holiest affection; which offered, too, to the mercenary the brightest prospects of pecuniary advantage, so that its riches dazzled the eyes of the worldly-minded, at the same time that its connexion with the records of revealed truth enshrined it in the heart of the devotee.
In the meantime, however, Europe continued for a long period lamentably deficient in acquaintance with its own immediate geography. The chronicles of all parts are full of the most egregious and palpable blunders with regard to countries even immediately adjacent to those of the authors; and this to such an extent as to render them often completely unintelligible. We are even told of the worthy monks of Tournay seeking two years in vain for the Abbey of Ferrieres during the eleventh century; and with such a fact before us, we shall not be inclined to esteem very highly the famous maps of Charlemagne, engraved upon silver platters, which probably, if they had survived, like that of Turin, published by Passini, would be equally decisive, not of the knowledge, but of the utter ignorance of the age. It was not certainly until the commercial spirit of the free towns of Germany, the Italian republics, England, and Holland had imperceptibly arisen, and diffused itself very widely, that this ignorance was to any considerable degree removed.
Travels to the East.
The geography and statistics of Asia had made much earlier progress than those of Europe. The Arabians had been most accurate and detailed in their accounts of their own immediate domain; the Crusaders had repeatedly traversed the same quarter; the fleets of Venice, Genoa, and Florence had profited by the opportunity to engage in extensive commerce; and though prevented by the ruling destiny of Egypt from pursuing the trade to India by the Red Sea, they opened an avenue to its treasures by the Black Sea, and organised a traffic by means of caravans, to China and Hindostan, which continued more than two hundred years. In addition to the Crusades, the ravages of the Mogul Tartars, which put not only Asia, but Poland, Silesia, and Hungary, in consternation, led to an acquaintance with the remotest parts of the East. The Roman Pontiffs sought by missionaries to avert the storm, and these apostles traced the course, while the Christian merchant followed beyond the Black Sea and the Caspian. The boundaries of knowledge were extended, and the missionary long served as a channel of communication between the two continents. Even in the fourteenth century we find an European bishop at Pekin. St. Louis sought to enter into a political connexion with the Mogul Chain in 1253, and Henry, III. of Castile, with Timur, in 1394.
It is not usual to acknowledge much literary obligation to the people of Israel; yet under the liberal toleration and patronage of the Moorish dynasties of Bagdad and Spain, they attained to considerable eminence. Two of the earliest writers of travels were Jews. Moses Petachia travelled about the year 1187 through Poland to Tartary, and thence through various Asiatic countries to Jerusalem; and about the same period appeared the work ascribed to Benjamin Ben Iona, commonly called Benjamin of Tudela, who is represented to have been a native of Navarre, and a student of Cordova. Laus non ultimatum sabbatariorum.' His journeys are stated to have extended by the way of Constantinople, through Antioch, to Jerusalem; thence to Tadmor, and the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris. Bagdad was then under the government of the Abassides, to whose toleration of the Jews, our traveller bears ample testimony. His course then lay through Persia, and he returned by the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to Egypt and Sicily. The Monks.
The monks took very early a lead in foreign adventure. Bonaventura Broccardus, a West-indian monk, travelled in 1222 to Palestine; and upon his return wrote his 'Descriptio Terrae Sanctae,' which was long in high repute. Ascelin, a Dominican, wrote an account of his mission in 1254, from Innocent IV. to the Cham of Tartary, of which little remains. Carpini, an Italian, and Rubruquis (Ruisbrock), a Brabanter, went on similar expeditions in the same country; and have left, upon the whole, as accurate and faithful accounts of their observations, as could be expected from the age. Hayton, an Armenian prince, assuming the habit of a monk, arrived in France. in the year 1307, and there dictated his 'Historia Orientalis,' which is to be found in Purchas, and contains a very creditable and useful description of the principal Asiatic states, and a considerable portion of the history of the Mogul sovereigns.
Sir John Mandevile.
'John Mandevile, Knight,' says Bale, as translated by Hakluyt, 'born in the town of St. Albans, was so given to study from his childhood, that he seemed to plant a good part of his felicity in the same, for he supposed that the honour of his birth would nothing avail him, except he would render the same more honourable by his knowledge in letters.' His favourite pursuit had been the study of medicine; but in the year 1322 he left his native land, perhaps disgusted with the civil dissensions in which it was involved during the disastrous year which closed the reign of Edward the Second, and set out with the intention of travelling to the Holy Land.
Proceeding, in the first instance, to Egypt, he engaged in the service of Melek Madaron, sultan of that country, and fought in his wars against that restless but changeless people, the Bedouin Arabs. The monarch became really attached to him, and would have detained him at his court by most advantageous proposals, which his steady attachment to his religion determined him to reject. 'And he wolde (says he) have maryed me fulle highely to a gret princess' daughter, if that I would have forsaken my law and my beleve. But, I thank God, I had not wille to do it for nothing that he behighten me.'
His curiosity being excited by the accounts of the Eastern countries, which reached him through the commercial frequenters of the Mediterranean ports, he determined to pursue his journey, from the Holy Land, the next scene of his travels, to the Cham of Tartary, whom he served, with four other knights, in his wars against the King of Mance, for the sake of the opportunities which that employment afforded them of obtaining a more intimate acquaintance with the government and internal economy of that part of Asia. Thus, he remarks, from observation upon an astrolabe which he met with in his travels, he had seen that half of the firmament which is situated between the two pole stars, or 180 degrees; and of the other half, had 'seen 62 degrees upon that part (the north), and 33 upon that other part (the south); that ben 95 degrees out of the other 180.' He pursued his journey no further; averring, however, that 'gif he had companye and schipping for to go more beyonde, he trowed wel in certeyn that he scholde have seen all the roundness of the firmament alle aboute,' and declaring his belief in the spherical form of the earth.
Upon his return in 1356, after an absence of thirty-four years, he compiled his celebrated book of travels, which is not only founded on his own observations, but 'aftre informacion of men that knewen ef things that he had not seen;' and submitted it to the judgment of the Pope, who 'remytted' it 'to be examyned and preyed by the avys of his conseille; be the whiche,' he adds, 'my boke was preyed for twewe, in so moche, that thei schewed me a boke that my boke was examyned by [probably the journals of some of the missionaries] that comprehended fulle moche more be an hundred parte, be the which the Mappa Mundi was made after.'
He appears to have died and been buried in a convent at Liege in 1371; and Ortellius, in his 'Itinerarium Belgicae,' gives the epitaph on his tomb there, and adds, 'that he saw the accoutrements of his journey, which were preserved as relics. St. Albans, however, also claims the honour of his burial-place; and Weever gives the following verses, which, he says, were written upon a pillar in the abbey of that town; admitting, at the same time, that he had seen the tomb at Liege, as described by Ortellius:-
'All ye that pass by, on this pillar cast eye, This epitaph read if you can; 'Twill tell you a tombe once stood in this roome, Of a brave spirited man. 'John Mandevile by name, a knight of great fame, Born in this honoured towne Before him was none that ever was knowne For travaile of so high renowne. 'As the knights in the Temple, crosse-legged in marble, In armour, with sword and with shield, So was this knight grac't which time hath defac't, That nothing but ruines doth yeeld. 'His travailles being done, he shines like the sun, In heavenly Canaari: To which blessed place, the Lord of his grace Brings us all, man after man.'
Mandevile has been much ridiculed for the wonders which his book contains; and not without reason. His design seems to have been to commit to writing whatever he had read, or heard, or known, concerning the places which he saw or has mentioned.
Agreeably to this plan, he has described monsters from Pliny; copied miracles from legends; and repeated, without quoting, stories from authors who are now justly ranked among writers of romance. What he himself saw, however, he generally describes accurately and judiciously; his authority is then weighty, and his testimony true. Many instances might be produced of striking coincidences between Mandevile and the accounts of other writers of the age; and these confirm his assertion, that he consulted their works in the composition of his own book. Marco Polo had gone over much of the same country, nearly half a century before. His narrative of what he saw of manners and customs, as well as of his personal adventures, is simple, and bears the stamp of truth. Mandevile's account of the old man who made a 'paradyse' on a mountain, in which, by all sorts of enticements, he sought to seduce strangers, into serving his purposes of assassination; of the tomb of St. Thomas; of the general customs of the Tartars, and the court of Cham; remarkably agree with the account of Marco Polo. The fabulous parts of each also often concur. Marco Polo tells us of the men with tails; of Gog and Magog; of the tree of life, whose leaves are green above, and white beneath; and of the islands beyond Madagascar, where the wonderful bird is to be found which can carry an elephant through the air. Mandevile seems also to have been acquainted with Hayton, for his account of the origin of the Tartar monarchy perfectly agrees with that Authors; so also does his description of the Egyptian dynasty of Sultans; of the dethroning of Mango Cham; of the Calif of 'Baldak,' (Bagdad) and his death by starvation, in the midst of a sumptuous feast of 'precyous stones, ryche perles, and treasure;' and of the province of Georgia, called Hanyson, three days' journey round which 'is alle covered with darkness, and withouten any brightness or light,' though 'men witen well that men dwellen therein, but they know not what men.'
Much, however, rested upon the simple and unsupported authority of Mandevile, which later discoveries and inquiries have abundantly confirmed, although for a long time they might have ranked with Marco Polo's account of the stones used for fuel. He notices the cultivation of pepper; the burning of widows upon the funeral piles of their husbands; the trees which bear wool of which clothing is made; the carrier pigeons; the gymnosophists; the Chinese predilection for small feet; the variety of diamonds; the artificial egg-hatching in Egypt; the balsam trade; the south pole stars, and other astronomical appearances, from which he argues for the spherical form of the earth; the crocodile; the hippopotamus; the giraffe, the rattlesnake, and many other singular productions of nature, not before known by the inhabitants of Europe.
It is remarkable that nowhere in the course of his long journey, does he complain of any ill-usage on the part of the Mussulman powers, either to himself or their Christian subjects. On the contrary, though everywhere avowing his faith, and refusing all temptations to abandon it, we find him received with that honour and attention which it would certainly have been very hazardous for any paynim~ adventurer to look for in Europe. He particularly notices the many Christian sects, who, for all that appears, dwelt peaceable under Saracen dominion, and were certainly indulged in greater latitude of opinion, than was likely to have been allowed them in any country, even of their Christian brethren of the West. He is himself (though glorying on all occasions in his own belief) candid to others, and in no respect partaking of the exclusive spirit of a much later age.
Know Your own Country First.
Lord Burlington being upon his travels in Italy, was shown by a nobleman to whom he had recommendations, a church which he greatly admired for the elegance of its structure, and requested that he might be permitted to view it again the next day, in order to draw a sketch of it. The nobleman replied, that he had no occasion to put himself to that trouble, as the model from which it was taken was in London. Surprised at this information, his lordship desired to know the name of the church and was told that it was St. Stephen's, Walbrook, near the Royal Exchange. It is further added, that his lordship had no sooner arrived in London, than he went to take a view of that beautiful monument of architecture, which is esteemed Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, before he saw any of his friends, or returned to his own house.
Another instance of the necessity of knowing your own country first, occurred to a young man of good natural talents, who, in the course of his travels abroad, fell in company with some well-informed and well travelled foreigners at Naples. They were conversing about what they had seen in England; and some little difference of opinion arising about the architecture of Windsor Castle, they very naturally referred themselves for decision to the young Englishman. With much confusion and hesitation, he was compelled to confess that he had never seen the building in question. The company, with true politeness, only testified their surprise with a smile; but the reflection instantly struck the gentleman, that there may be something worth seeing at home, before persons set out on foreign travels.
Sir Robert Cary, afterwards Earl of Monmouth, relates, that when he carried the account of Queen Elizabeth's death to King James in Scotland, he rode from London to Edinburgh, a distance of four hundred miles, in about sixty hours, notwithstanding his stops at Doncaster and Witherington, for some hours, and a bad fall which he had at Norham. But even this instance of wonderful celerity, is outdone by a worthy of whom we read in Stow, who performed one hundred and forty-four miles by land, and two voyages by sea, of about twenty-two miles each, in seventeen hours: for so wonderful a story, however, we must quote the honest chronicler in his own words.
'Saturday, the 17th day of July, 1619,' says Stow, 'Bernard Calvert, of Andover, about three o'clock in the morning, took a horse at St. George's Church in Southwark, and came to Dover about seven the same morning; where a barge with eight oars, formerly sent from London thither, attended his sudden coming; he instantly took barge, and went to Calais, and in the same barge returned back to Dover about three o'clock of the same day: where, as well there as in divers other places, he had laid sundry swift horses, besides guides. He rode back from Dover to St. George's Church, Southwark, the same evening, a little after eight o'clock, fresh and lusty.'
The eccentric Thomas Coryate, who appears to have originally held the office of Fool, or Prince's Jester, in the establishment of Henry Prince of Wales, made in 1608 a tour through France, Italy, Germany, &c., which lasted five months. During this period, he travelled 1975 miles, more than the half upon one pair of shoes, which were only once mended; and upon his return, were suspended in the church of Odcombe. He published his travels under the title of 'Crudities hastily gobbled up, in Five Months' Travels in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia, Helvetia, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands, in 1611.' This work was ushered into the world by an Odcombian banquet, consisting of near sixty copies of verses, composed by the best poets of that time, which, if they did not make Coryate pass with the world for a man of great parts and learning, contributed not a little to the sale of the book. Among these poets were Ben Jonson, Sir John Harrington, Inigo Jones, Chapman, Donne, Drayton, and others. In the same year he published 'Coryate's Crambe, or his Colwort twice sodden, and now served in with other Macaronic dishes, as the second course of his Crudities.'
In 1612, after taking leave of his countrymen, by an oration spoken at the Cross of Odcombe, he left England, with the intention not to return until he had spent ten years in travelling. After visiting successively Greece, Egypt, Syria, Chaldea, and Persia, he arrived in the dominion of the Great Mogul, before whom he delivered an oration in the Persian language. In the Hindoo language also he had so great a command, that we are gravely told he silenced a laundry-woman belonging to the English ambassador of that country, who used to scold all the day long. After he had visited several places in that part of the world, he went to Surat, in the East Indies, where he died in 1617.
Coryate appears to have been an object of constant ridicule to the wits of his time; though, as has been well remarked, so great a desire to become acquainted with mankind, can scarcely be reckoned a symptom of folly. On one occasion, an agent of the Honourable East India Company at Mandoa told him, that he had been in England since he saw him, and that King James had enquired about him. 'Ah! and what said his majesty?' 'He asked if that fool was living still?' Poor Coryate was equally hurt at another time, when, upon his departure from Mandoa, Sir Thomas Roe, the English resident there, gave him a letter, and in that a bill to receive ten pounds at Aleppo. The letter was directed to Mr. Chapman, consul there; and the passage which concerned Coryate, was this. 'Mr. Chapman, when you shall hand these letters, I desire you to receive the bearer of them, Mr. Thomas Coryate, with courtesy, for you shall find him a very honest poor wretch,' &c. This coarse expression troubled Coryate extremely, and it was altered to his mind. He was very jealous of his reputation abroad, for he gave out that there were great hopes in England of the account he should give of his travels after his return home. What became of the notes and observations he made in his long peregrinations, is unknown. A few letters sent to his friends in England, were all that ever came to the light.
The travels and sufferings of Lithgow, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, seem to raise him almost to the rank of a martyr and hero. Often was he most cruelly treated, but by none more than by the Spaniards at Malaga, who, under the pretext of his being a heretic and spy, immured him for a long time in a dungeon, robbed him of all his property, and subjected him to the worst tortures of the inquisition. After his return to England, he was carried to Theobalds upon a feather-bed, that King James might be an eye-witness of his 'martyred anatomy,' as he calls his wretched body, mangled and reduced to a skeleton. The whole court crowded to see him. His majesty ordered him to be taken the tenderest care of; and he was twice taken to Bath at his expense. By the king's command, he applied to Gondemar, the Spanish ambassador, for the recovery of money and other valuable articles which the governor of Malaga had taken from him, and for a thousand pounds for his support; but although promised a full reparation for the damages he had sustained, that minister never performed his promise. When he was upon the point of again leaving England, Lithgow upbraided him with the breach of his word, in the presence-chamber, before several gentlemen of the court. From words, they even proceeded to blows on the spot, and the ambassador was rather roughly handled. The unfortunate Lithgow, although generally commended for his spirited behaviour, was sent to the Marshalsea, where he continued a prisoner nine months.
At the end of the octavo edition of his Travels, he informs us, that 'in his three voyages, his painful feet have traced over, besides passages of seas and rivers, thirty-six thousand and odd miles, which draweth near to twice the circumference of the whole earth!' Here the marvellous seems to rise to the incredible; and to place him, in point of veracity, on a level with the fabulists of an older period.
After having remained above two years in Abyssinia, Mr. Bruce became desirous of leaving it; but this he found a still more difficult matter than getting into it, for he had become of importance to the king, who therefore seemed resolved not to part with him. One day when the king was in more than ordinary good humour, he told Mr. Bruce that he would grant him anything that he should ask. Mr. Bruce seized this favourable opportunity, and told the king, that as he did not keep his health in that climate, and was anxious to return to his native country he hoped he should obtain permission to depart. The king seemed astonished at the request, and was at first in a furious rage; but recollecting himself, he, for his oath's sake, like Herod of old, determined to give up his own inclination. Mr. Bruce had by this time collected a good number of drawings, and a number of Abyssinian MSS. Having packed up his books and papers, and provided camels and servants to attend him on his journey, he departed, from the capital of Abyssinia, giving out that he was to travel back to Egypt the way he came; but being justly apprehensive that the king would change his mind after he was gone, and, indeed, having received intelligence that there was a design to seize him, and bring him back, he took quite a different course. Instead of travelling a great way in Abyssinia, he struck off directly for the deserts of Nubia; after getting to which, it was easy to escape from the King of Abyssinia's dominions. He had a dreadful journey during thirty days, through sandy deserts, &c. scorched with the intense heat of a glowing sun, and swept by winds of so pestiferous a quality, as to kill both man and beast, if their lungs are assailed by the noxious blast.
In the course of his journey, Mr. Bruce lost all his attendants, and all his camels, except one man. During the whole peregrination, they did not meet with any wandering tribe. Mr. Bruce and his remaining attendant, being unable to carry the baggage, and reduced to an almost desperate state, he left his curiosities in the desert, and with his faithful attendant walked on, they knew not whither, only keeping towards the west, and hoping that they should fall in with some inhabited place.
His shoes very soon went to pieces, and he was then obliged to struggle along upon his naked feet, through burning sands and over rocky places, until his feet were prodigiously swelled, blistered, and lacerated. At the termination of ten days they reached the city of Siana, in the dominion of the Grand Signior. There the Aga, or the officer of the Janisaries, treated them with a good deal of humanity, although he often reproached Bruce very roughly, on account of his being an infidel. Bruce begged that he might have camels and attendants to go with him into the desert, that he might recover his books and papers. 'Of what value are any books and papers that you can have, you infidel?' cried the Aga. Bruce then told him that he had several receipts for curing diseases among his papers, which it was a pity should be lost. The Aga was interested by this, and allowed him camels and attendants. With these he set off; and as fortunately no wanderers had been at the place, he found his baggage just where he left it. He went and came in the space of four days upon a camel, that journey which it had cost him eight days to come upon foot, when worn out with distress and fatigue.
In most of the inland towns and villages of Barbary and the Levant, particularly the former, there is a house set apart for the reception of travellers, with a proper officer, called maharak, to attend them, where they are lodged and entertained one night at the expense of the community; yet even here they sometimes meet with difficulties and disappointments, as when the houses are already occupied, or the maharak is either not to be found, or, as is not unfrequently the case, is surly and disobliging. Shaw, who travelled in these countries in the beginning of the last century, gives a particular account of the difficulties to be surmounted. Frequently he, with his companions, had nothing to protect them from the inclemency of the heat of the day, or the cold of the night, unless they accidentally fell in with a cave, or a grove of trees, or the shelf of a rock, or with some ancient arches that had belonged to so many cisterns. In travelling from Suez to Mount Sinai, he says, 'I was suddenly overtaken and stript by three strolling Arabs; and had not the divine Providence interposed in raising compassion in one, whilst the other two were fighting for my clothes, I must inevitably have fallen a sacrifice to their rapine and cruelty. In the Holy Land, and upon the isthmus between Egypt and the Red Sea, our conductors cannot be too numerous; whole tribes of Arabs, from fifty to five hundred, being sometimes looking out for a booty. This was the case of our caravan, in travelling from Ramah to Jerusalem in 1722, when, exclusive of three or four hundred spahees, four bands of Turkish infantry, with the general at the head of them, were not able, or durst not, protect us from the repeated insults and barbarities of the Arabs. There was scarcely a pilgrim (and we were upwards of six thousand), who did not suffer either by losing a part of his clothes or his money; and when these failed, then the barbarians took their revenge by treating us unmercifully with their pikes and javelins. It would be too tedious to relate the many instances of that day's rapine and cruelty, in which I myself had a principal share, being forcibly taken as an hostage for the payment of their unreasonable demands, where I was barbarously used and insulted all that night, and provided the Aga of Jerusalem, with a great force, had not rescued me the next morning, I should not have seen so speedy an end of my sufferings.
In our journeys between Cairo and Mount Sinai, the heavens were every night our covering; the sand, with a carpet spread over it, our bed; and a change of raiment made up into a bundle was our pillow. In this situation we were every night wet to the skin by the copious dew that dropped upon us, though without the least danger of catching cold. Our camels were made to kneel down in a circle round about us, with their faces looking from us, and their respective loads and saddles placed behind them.
Our stages, or days' journeys, were not always the same; for when any danger was apprehended, we then travelled through as many bye-paths as our conductors were acquainted with, riding in this manner without halting, sometimes twelve, sometimes fifteen hours. Our constant practice was to rise at break of day, set forward with the sun, and travel all the middle of the afternoon, at which time we began to look out for the encampments of the Arabs, who, to prevent such parties as ours from living at free charges upon them, take care to pitch in woods, valleys, or places the least conspicuous. And, indeed, unless we discovered their flocks, the smoke of their tents, or heard the barking of their dogs, it was sometimes with difficulty, if at all, that we found them. Here we were accommodated with the monnah (a meal of provisions); and if in the course of our travelling the next day,
"We chanc'd to find
A new repast, or an untainted spring,
We bless'd our stars, and thought it luxury."
'This is the method of travelling in these countries; and these are its pleasures and amusements. Few, indeed, in comparison with the many toils and fatigues; fewer still with regard to the greater perils and dangers that either continually alarm or actually beset is.'
Indian Hieroglyphical Journals.
'On quitting our encampment,' says Mr Shoolcraft, in his recent 'Narrative of the Expedition to the Sources of the Missouri, and proceeding onwards from St. Louis River to Sandy Lake', 'the Indians left a memorial of our journey inscribed upon bark, for the information of such of their tribe as should happen to fall upon our track. This we find to be a common custom among them. It is done by tracing, either with paint or with their knives, upon birch bark (Betula papyracea), a number of figures and hieroglyphics, which are understood by their nation. This sheet of bark is afterwards inserted in the end of a pole, and drove into the ground, with an inclination towards the course of travelling. In the present instance, the whole party were represented in a manner that was perfectly intelligible, with the aid of our interpreter, each one being characterized by something emblematic of his situation or employment. They distinguish the Indian from the white man, by the particular manner of drawing the figure, the former being without a hat, &C. Other distinctive symbols are employed: thus, Lieutenant Mackay was figured with a sword, to signify that he was an officer; Mr. Doty, with a book, the Indians having understood that he was an attorney; myself with a hammer, in allusion to the mineral hammer I carried in my belt, and so forth; the figure of a tortoise and prairie-hen denoted that these had been killed; three smokes, that our encampment consisted of three fires; eight muskets, that this was the number armed; three bucks upon the pole, leaning N.W., that we were going three days N.W.; the figure of a white man with a tongue near his mouth (like the Azteck hieroglyphics), that he was an Interpreter ' &c. Should an Indian hereafter visit this spot, he would therefore react upon this memorial of bark, that fourteen white men and two Indians encamped at that place, that five of the white men were Chiefs or officers, one an interpreter, and eight common soldiers; that they were going to Sandy Lake (knowing that three days journey N.W. must carry us there); that we had killed a tortoise, a prairie-hen, &c. I had no previous idea of the existence of such a medium of intelligence among the northern Indians. All the travellers of the region are silent on the subject, I had before witnessed the facility with which one of the Lake Indians had drawn a map of certain parts of the southern coast of Lake Superior; but here was an historical record of passing events, as permanent, certainly, as any written record among us, and fully as intelligible to those for whom it was intended.'
A Young Traveller.
A strange little boy was one day brought before the magistrate at the police office, New York, reported on the watch returns as being a lodger. This extraordinary child, ten years of age, was very thinly clad, and but four feet two inches high, of delicate make, and weak eyes. On being asked by the magistrate who he was, and whence he came, he gave the following account:
'My name is De Grass Griffin; I am ten years old; my father is a boatman in Killingworthy Connecticut; my mother left there last summer: she parted from my father; he don't take any care of me. About four weeks ago I started from Killingworth for Philadelphia, to see my mother; had not a cent when I started; walked part of the way, and rode part. My sister, who is a married woman, told me in what part of Philadelphia I would find my mother. When I got there, I found that she was dead; I remained there, going about the town, about a week; I then started to come back. A gentleman in Philadelphia gave me a twenty cent piece, an eleven-penny bit, and a five-penny bit; I have the twenty cent piece yet. I got into this town yesterday morning; had nothing to eat all day yesterday, till the evening, when I got some clams at a little stand near the river. I calculate to start for home this morning, and to get a stage driver to give me a ride.' Magistrate. 'I will send you to the almshouse, over the way, that you may get your breakfast, and be taken care of.' Answer. 'Very well, but I wish to start on.'
It was truly astonishing to behold such a child perform (in the depth of winter) a journey of upwards of two hundred miles, with such a trifle of money, without warm clothing, and the snow on the road nearly as high as himself. His deportment was mannerly; his answers prompt, clear, and brief; he appeared to feel no want, asked for nothing, nor made any complaint; but had perfect confidence in his own powers and ability to get to the end of his journey on his twenty cent fund. The decision and fortitude of this little destitute boy, might furnish a profitable example to many an irresolute and desponding individual of riper years.
A Mr. Rogers and a Mr. Carry both natives of Kentucky, were on their return from the Council Bluffs, on the margin of the Missouri, when the cold weather set in, accompanied with a deep fall of snow. Mr. R. being in a weak state of health, it was thought fittest to attempt to descend the stream, instead of traversing the forests. When one hundred and fifty miles from any settlement, the ice on the river prevented their descent; and no other alternative was left, than to land, and leave Mr. R. in the woods, with some necessaries, till the return of his friend, who went in quest of relief. Carry with difficulty, reached the settlement, and immediately returned to his helpless friend. After a toilsome search, and an absence of twenty one days, Carr at length discovered the apparently lifeless body of Rogers. On approaching it, the narrative states, that this faithful fellow traveller first observed a rise of snow, and many tracks of a wolf leading to it. With a palpitating heart he went up to it, and saw a piece of buffalo robe sticking out; stooping down, he discovered the glistening eyes of his friend! He was still alive; but his feet much frozen. His fire had gone out, and in attempting to make more, his powder blew up. He was afraid his friend had been frozen, and despairing of life, had rolled himself up in his buffalo robe and laid down. He was eight days without any kind of food, and was so exhausted, that when the wolf stared him in the face, he was not able to make any exertion or noise to drive him away.
Rogers was then conveyed to Hempstead, where he not only recovered his general health. but, strange to tell, the complete use of his limbs.
In Alligator county, North Carolina, there is a swamp about five miles across, called the Little Dismal. Into the interior of this desert. Mr. Janson penetrated on horseback, with a negro for his guide, who traced out the road by the notches cut on the trees. 'I; says Mr. Janson' 'carried my gun in my hand, loaded with slugs, and more ammunition slung across my shoulders. About midway, and about two hundred yards before me, I saw a large quadruped nimbly climb a tree. The negro, looking in a contrary direction, did not perceive the motion, and eager to fire, I did not inform him. We went a foot's pace, and when within gun-shot, I discovered the beast through the foliage of the wood, and immediately fired. The shot took effect, and my astonishment was great to see a monster, of the species of the tiger, suspended by his fore feet from the branch of a tree, growling in tones of dreadful discord. The negro was greatly terrified; and my horse, unused to the report of a gun fired from his back, plunged, and was entangled in mire. Losing the reins, I was precipitated into the morass, while the negro vociferated, 'Massa, massa, we are lost!' Recovering, I beheld the ferocious brute on the ground, feebly advancing towards us. By an involuntary act, I presented my empty gun; at sight of which, conscious, no doubt, that the same motion had inflicted the smart he felt, the creature made a stand, gave a hideous roar, and turned into the thickest part of the swamp; while, in haste and great agitation, I reloaded my piece. The poor slave, whose life to him was as dear as mine could be to me, held up his hands, and thanked the god he worshipped, for his deliverance. I was unconscious of the danger I had courted, till he told me that the beast I had encountered was a panther, larger than any he had ever seen despoiling his master's flocks and herds; and that, when pursued by man, these animals rally with great ferocity. Had I been apprised of this , I should have sought my safety in flight, rather than have begun an attack; but I conjectured the creature to be of no larger dimensions than a wild cat, when I fired.'
Dr. Magennis, who was born in the North of Ireland, having occasion, when a very young man, to visit Dublin, he put up, on his way, at an inn in Drogheda. The mayor of the place had enclosed a piece of common, contiguous to the town, for his own use; and in order that he might himself enjoy the full benefit of it, he gave public notice, that if any cattle should be found trespassing on it, they would be immediately impounded.
The doctor happened that evening to fall in company with some boon companions, that winged the glass with song and joke, till Morpheus weighed down his eyelids with 'soft oppression.' When our young traveller was ready the next morning to resume his journey, he called for his horse; the ostler, after a short pause or two, said, 'May be your honour's horse has not read the mayor's advertisement, and has inadvertently, no doubt, stepped into the favourite enclosure, which, sure enough, is the most verdant spot in the neighbourhood.' Such, indeed, was the fact; the horse had been found trespassing, and was committed.
Magennis immediately waited on the Praetor, who heard all that he had to say in favour of the prisoner; on which he collected all his twelvemonth's pride, and in a few words told him, that the culprit should not be enlarged, unless he paid down half a guinea; which was more, at the time, than our youthful Esculapius could conveniently spare. 'Well, then,' said the suppliant, 'if so, it must be so; but I shall have a few verses into the bargain.' On which he repeated the following lines:
'Was ever horse so well befitted?
His master drunk, himself committed!
But courage, horse, do not despair,
You'll be a horse, when he's no may'r.'
Such was the power of verse, even on a city magistrate, that he immediately ordered his Rosinante to be delivered up to him, free of all expense.
Proof of Civilization
A writer of a modern book of travels, relating the particulars of his being cast away, thus concludes: 'After having walked eleven hours without having traced the print of a human foot, to my great comfort and delight, I saw a man hanging upon a gibbet; my pleasure at the cheering prospect was inexpressible, for it convinced me that I was in a civilized country.'
In the principal cities of Italy, there are persons called Ciceroni, who, as soon as a foreigner arrives, offer themselves to conduct him to see whatever is most curious, and explain it to him. These, on account of their long speeches on the curiosities, &c. of the city, have the name of the great Latin orator given to them in jest.
The greater part of these Ciceroni are poor ecclesiastics, who, often to conceal their ignorance, give imaginary answers, as they are never at a loss for something to say. Of late years, the office of the Ciceroni has been undertaken by well-informed artists, who, in accompanying travellers, direct their attention to the most important objects, and, by their intelligent remarks, not only tend to enlighten the mind, but also to form the taste, especially in matters of the fine arts.
The inns of Poland do not afford good accommodation to the traveller. The stable is the most considerable, and very often the best part of the house. It is literally true, that frequently after proceeding a step or two within the threshold, you are obliged to turn back, to collect fresh air and resolution before you can advance. The interior is filthy and wretched beyond description; the floor is of earth, and usually covered with filth; the inhabitants are squalid and in rags; and the house is frequently half full of their wretched peasants, men and women who are getting intoxicated upon schnaaps, a sort of whisky. Even at the first hotels in Warsaw, and in other large towns, the traveller is frequently shown into a room, entirely without furniture, except perhaps a small couch in one of the corners, and on which he is to spread his own bedding. Sometimes not even a couch is found: in which case the bedding is spread on the floor. An ordinary chair and table are also brought him; and this is at once his eating and his sleeping room, and that in which he receives visitors. Even noblemen often sleep, at these places, in the same rooms which they occupy during the day.
Dr. C. Buchanan.
Dr. Claudius Buchanan, who afterwards became Vice-Provost of the college of Fort William, in Bengal, when a young man, formed the resolution of undertaking a journey through Europe on foot. This romantic project he thus describes.
'I had' said he, 'the example of Dr. Goldsmith before me, who travelled through Europe on foot, and supported himself by playing on his flute. I could play a little on the violin; and on this I relied for occasional support during my long and various travels. In August, 1787, having put on plain clothes becoming my apparent situation, I left Edinburgh on foot, with the intention of travelling to London, and thence to the Continent: that very violin which I now have, and the case which contains it, I had under my arm, and thus I travelled onward. After I had proceeded some days on my journey, and had arrived at a part of the country where I thought I could not be known, I called at gentlemen's houses, and farm-houses, where I was in general kindly lodged. They were very well pleased with my playing reels to them (for I played them better than I can now); and I sometimes received five shillings, sometimes half-a- crown, and sometimes nothing but my dinner. Wherever I went, people seemed to be struck a little by my appearance, particularly if they entered into conversation with me. They were often very inquisitive, and I was sometimes at a loss what to say. I professed to be a musician, travelling through the country for a subsistence; but this appeared very strange to some, and they wished to know where I obtained my learning; for sometimes pride, and sometimes accident, would call forth expressions in the course of conversation, which excited their surprise. I was often invited to stay some time at a particular place; but this I was afraid of, lest I might be discovered. It was near a month, I believe, before I arrived on the borders of England, and in that time many singular occurrences befel me. I once or twice met persons whom I had known, and narrowly escaped discovery. Sometimes I had nothing to eat, and had nowhere to rest at night; but, notwithstanding, I kept steady to my purpose, and pursued my journey. Before, however, I reached the borders of England, I would gladly have returned; but I could not - the die was cast: my pride would have impelled me to suffer death, I think, rather than to have exposed my folly, and I pressed forward. When I arrived at Newcastle, I felt tired at my long journey, and found it was hard indeed to live on the benevolence of others. I, therefore, resolved to proceed to London by water; for I did not want to travel in my own country, but on the Continent; I accordingly embarked in a collier at North Shields, and sailed for London. On the third night of the voyage, we were in danger of being cast away during a gale of wind; and then, for the first time, I began to reflect seriously on my situation.'
Adventures of M. Arago.
During the last war, the two French mathematicians, Biot and Arago, travelled, with the permission of England and Spain, to make experiments for the purpose of measuring an arc of the meridian. Biot happily returned to France without any difficulty; but Arago, before he got home, encountered some singular adventures.
While concluding his labours on the mountain De Galazzo, in Majorca, there suddenly arose a disturbance among the people of the island. They fancied that Arago's instruments, particularly the fire signals which he gave to other observers employed at Ivica, were intended to invite their enemy, the French, to the island, and to show them the way. Arago suddenly heard the dreadful cry all round, 'Treason! Death!' The assault upon Mount Galazzo instantly commenced; but its cause fortunately perceived the imminent danger. He quickly changed his dress for that of a peasant of the island, and escaped to Palma. Here he found the ship which had brought him to the island, and concealed himself in it. He at the same time succeeded, through some brave men of the crew, in regaining his mathematical instruments which he had been obliged to leave on the mountain. But new terrors awaited him in this disguise. Either through fear or treachery, the Spanish captain of the ship quite unexpectedly refused to protect Arago any farther, though he had always shown himself his friend; he also refused to take him back to France; entreaties, promises, reproaches - nothing would avail. In this great emergency, the chief commander of the island fortunately took the part of Arago; but could not save him at that time, but by confining him as a prisoner in the fortress. While Arago was obliged to remain here several months, his life was sometimes in the greatest danger. The fanatical monks attempted several times to bribe the guards and murder the prisoner. But the Spanish mathematician Rodriguez, his fellow labourer and faithful friend, who never quitted his side, was his deliverer. This worthy man would not rest till he had obtained, by his representations against the injustice of the unaccountable mal-treatment of an innocent person, the liberty of his friend, and at the same time permission for him to go over to Algiers in a small vessel of his own.
In Algiers, Du Bois Tainville, at that time French Consul, kindly received him, and took means to put him on board an Algerine merchantman, that he might return to France. At first, everything went according to his wishes. The ship approached Marseilles, and Arago, with the fairest hopes, already found himself in the harbour. But, at the same moment, a Spanish privateer attacked the ship, took it, and brought it to Rosas, on the Spanish coast. Arago might still have been liberated, as he was entered on the ship's books as a German merchant; but unfortunately, he was recognised to be a Frenchman by one of the sailors, who had previously been in the French service, and was, with his companions, thrown into the most dreadful imprisonment. But when the Dey of Algiers heard of the insult to his flag, he immediately demanded the ship, its cargo, and crew, to be instantly returned, and in case of refusal, he threatened to declare war against the King of Spain. This had the desired effect. The ship and the crew were liberated, and Arago sailed for the second time to Marseilles, without in the least doubting his safe arrival. He already saw the town, the ship once more steered towards the harbour, when suddenly a furious north-west storm arose, and drove it with irresistible violence towards Sardinia. How hard a fate! The Sardinians were at war with the Algerines. A new imprisonment awaited them. The commander, therefore, resolved to seek refuge on the coasts of Africa. Though they were so distant, he succeeded. He ran into the harbour of Bougie, three days' voyage from Algiers. But here another very unfortunate piece of news awaited poor Arago. The former Dey of Algiers, his friend, had been killed in a commotion, and another ruler chosen. For this reason, the party of the new Dey examined the ship with suspicious rigour; and the heavy trunks of Arago, which contained his mathematical instruments, were immediately seized; for what else could they contain but gold? Why else should they have been so carefully secured, if they were not filled with sequins? He was obliged to leave his instruments in the hands of the Algerines. A new misfortune was added to this. How could he make a three days' journey to Algiers by land, among a savage and highly irritated people? Courage and presence if mind, however, saved him. He disguised himself in the Turkish costume, and went under the protection of a greatly esteemed priest of those parts, who conducted him, with some others, through inhospitable mountains and dreary deserts; and after overcoming many threatening dangers, he arrived in safety at Algiers. How was Du Bois Tainville astonished to see his countryman again, in a Turkish dress, whom he had long supposed to be dead.
He took up his cause with the Algerines, and used means to have the chests restored, which no longer interested the Algerines of Bougie, as they had found brass instead of gold, and kept the 'Adventurer against his will,' as the opportunities of sailing to France were at that time as rare as dangerous. Thus six months passed. At last, Du Bois was recalled by Bonaparte to France. He began his voyage, accompanied by Arago, for the third time, to France. But they scarcely saw Marseilles, when an English fleet appeared, which ordered them to return to Minorca, as all the French harbours were at that time in a state of blockade. The ships accompanying Du Bois obeyed; the one on board of which Arago was, however, embraced a favourable fresh breeze, and ran into the harbour with all sails spread.
Crossing the Alps.
Mr. Sharpe, who travelled in Italy in 1766, gives the following account of the manner of passing the Alps, at that time. 'At Lyons or Geneva,' he says, 'the Voiturins, men who furnish horses for the journey over the Alps, make their demands according to the number of travellers who are on the spot, or who they hear are on the road. If there are but few, they are sometimes very reasonable; if there are many, they rise in their demands, and even confederate not to take less than a certain extortionate sum which they stipulate among themselves. When there are but few travellers going that way, he who takes a passenger, has a very good chance upon his arrival at Turin, to find customers back again, and therefore will agree on moderate terms.
'The voiturins, for the sum stipulated, defray your charges on the road; they pay for your dinner, supper, and lodging, so that the seven days' journey from Geneva or Lyons to Turin, costs little more than what you contract for with them, the extraordinaries being only the small presents made to the servants, and the expense of breakfasting. The voiturins are generally obliging and busy in providing the best eatables the country affords, because they pay the same ordinary whether the innkeepers give you good or bad provisions; besides, they are all ambitious of character, which procures them recommendations from one traveller to another. The voiturin is likewise at the whole expense of carrying you and your equipage over Mount Cenis, except a little gratuity, which every gentleman gives to the poor chairmen, perhaps sixpence to each, and a little drink at the resting place, or halfway house. As the vulturins are obliged to hire a number of mules, in proportion to the quantity of luggage, and weight of the chaise or coach, this consideration, besides the draught for their horses, makes them raise their demands when the equipage is heavy.
'Every person who is carried over Mount Cenis in a chair, is obliged to employ six chairmen; or, if he be lusty, eight: or extremely corpulent, ten; of which, and, indeed, of all disputable matters, the syndics are appointed by his majesty absolute judges. The syndics are magistrates, living the one at Lanneburg, on this side of the mountain, and the other at Novaleze, which is situated at the other foot of the mountain, on the side towards Turin; they are poor men, and not above accepting a small present for drink; but are invested with sufficient power to compel both the muleteers and the chairmen to attend, when any traveller arrives. I had an opportunity, when I went into Italy, of seeing this power exerted; for the chairmen were in the midst of their harvest, gathering in the produce of their own little farms, and would gladly have been excused. The syndic, therefore, rang the alarum-bell; which summons was immediately obeyed, and a sufficient number of them were selected to transport me and my company the next morning.'
Since Mr. Sharpe crossed the Alps, considerable facilities have been afforded to travellers, for which they are solely indebted to Bonaparte.
After passing Lans-le-bourg, the traveller begins to ascend Mount Cenis, and enters upon the road formed by the late emperor. The genius of Napoleon seems to have inspired and produced superhuman efforts. Wherever his hand is seen, or his mind is concerned, we are astonished at the grandeur and the magnitude of his ideas. The Alps, whose terrific images excited the dread of man, have fallen before his power. He has cut through some mountains, overturned others, filled up precipices, turned the course of torrents, formed bridges, and made roads of the most gentle ascent, which avoid all former dangers and inconveniences. Upon these the traveller moves with ease and delight, and hospitality everywhere prevails. Although he has been the enemy of many, every one in passing the Alps must have a grateful feeling towards him, for in these wonderful works, as well as in many others, he has been a friend to the human race.
In ascending Mount Cenis, every traveller is left in admiration at beholding this grand road, winding up the side of the mountain in a serpentine line of a most easy ascent, flanked with stones, and defended by posts and parapets. This great work, this royal road, was completed in five years, and remains an imperishable record of Napoleon's contempt of all impediments. Twenty-eight houses are placed at certain distances, by order of Bonaparte, to succour the distressed in case of need. Fires, beds, and every necessary, are provided. The old route is still seen, and miserable it must have been to those who were obliged to pass by it. Upon the top of Mount Cenis, is a plain six miles long, covered with verdure, and affording pasturage for goats, sheep, and cows. In the centre is a lake, two miles in diameter, which produces excellent trout; the post- house, and an auberge, are situated about the centre, as likewise a barrack; and a little higher an hospice, built by order of the late Emperor of the French. From the highest of these mountains, the plains of Piedmont are seen; and from this spot, it is said, Hannibal showed his soldiers the fine country they were going to conquer.
Dr. Franklin, in the early part of his life, and when following the business of a printer, had occasion to travel from Philadelphia to Boston. In his journey he stopped at one of the inns, the landlord of which possessed all the inquisitive impertinence of his countrymen. Franklin had scarcely sat himself down to supper, when his landlord began to torment him with questions. He well knowing the disposition of these people, and knowing that answering one question, would only pave the way for twenty more, determined to stop the landlord at once by requesting to see his wife, children, and servants; in short, the whole of his household. When they were summoned, Franklin, with an arch solemnity, said, 'My good friends, I sent for you here to give you an account of myself: my name is Benjamin Franklin; I am a printer, of nineteen years of age: reside at Philadelphia, and am now going to Boston. I sent for you all, that if you wish for any further particulars, you may ask, and I will inform you: which done, I hope that you will permit me to eat my supper in peace.'
A Dinner Interference.
When the late General Bligh was a captain in a marching regiment, he and his lady were travelling in Yorkshire, and put up at an inn where there happened to be only just as much in the larder as would serve them for dinner, which was immediately ordered. In the meantime, some sporting gentlemen of the country came in, and finding there was nothing in the house, but what was getting ready for another company, asked who they were? The landlord told them he did not directly know, but he believed the gentleman an Irish officer. '0h well, if he's Irish,' said one of the company, 'a Potato will serve him. Here, waiter, take this watch (pulling out an elegant gold watch) carry it upstairs, and ask this gentleman what's o'clock?' Mr. Bligh, as may be well imagined, was not pleased at such an impudent message; but recollecting himself a moment, took the watch from the waiter, and desired him to present his compliments to the company, and he would tell them before he parted. This message, however, produced his dinner to be sent up to him in quiet; after eating which, he clapt a couple of large horse pistols under his arm, and going downstairs. introduced himself into the company, by telling them he was come to let them know what o'clock it was: but first begged to be informed to which of the gentlemen the watch belonged. Here a dead silence ensued. Mr. Bligh then began on his right hand, by asking them severally the question; each of them denied knowing anything of the circumstance. '0, then, gentlemen, (says he) I find I have mistaken the company; the waiter a while ago brought me an impudent message from some people in this house, which I came, as you see, (pointing to his pistols) properly to resent; but I find I have mistaken the room.' Saying this, he wished them a good evening, which they as politely returned. He paid his bill, stepped into his carriage, and drove off with the watch in his pocket, which he kept to his death, and left it by will, with a large fortune, to his brother, the Dean of Elphin.
Shenstone, in one of his poems, says,
'Whoe'er has travell'd life's dull round,
Where'er his stages may have been.
Must sigh to think he still has found
The warmest welcome at an inn.'
Had the poet lived to visit the United States of America in the nineteenth century, he would have retracted his eulogium on inns, or at least have acknowledged that his rule was not without an exception. Mr. Janson, who travelled in the United States in 1806, gives the following description of a traveller's accommodations.
Arrived, says he, 'at your inn, let me suppose, like myself, you had fallen in with a landlord, who at the moment would condescend to take the trouble to procure you refreshment after the family hour; and that if no trifling circumstance called off his attention, he will sit by your side, and enter in the most familiar manner into conversation, which is of course prefaced with a demand of your business, and so forth. He will then start a political question (for here every individual is a politician), force your answer, contradict, deny, and finally be ripe for a quarrel, should you not acquiesce in all his opinions. When the homely meal is served up, he will often place himself opposite to you at the table, at the same time declaring, that "though no doubt he had eaten a hearty dinner, yet he will pick a bit with you." Thus will he drink out of your own glass, and of the liquor for which you must pay, and commit other excesses still more indelicate and disgusting. Perfectly inattentive to your accommodation, and regardless of your appetite, he will dart his fork into the best of the dish, and leave you to take the next cut. If you arrive at the dinner hour, you are seated with "mine hostess" and her dirty children, and even the servants of the inn, with whom you have often to scramble for a plate; for liberty and equality level all ranks upon the road, from the host to the ostler. The children, imitative of their free and polite father, will also seize your liquor, slobber in it, and often snatch a dainty bit from your plate. This is considered as a joke, and, consequently provokes a laugh; no check must be given to these demonstrations of unsophisticated nature: for the smallest rebuke will bring down a severe animadversion from the parent.'
A still more recent traveller, who writes with a strong bias in favour of the United States, says, that 'on arriving at a tavern in this country, you excite no kind of sensation whatever, come how you will. The master of the house bids you good day, and you walk in; breakfast, dinner, and supper, are prepared at stated times, to which you must generally contrive to accommodate. The servant is not yours, but the innkeeper's; and she always assumes with you the manners of an equal. Even at the City Hotel in New York, the best and most fashionable inn in the United States, a traveller neither has it in his power to dine alone, nor to have private apartments, but must take his seat at the ordinary, where upwards of eighty persons dine every day, at the established hours. Travelling parties, consisting of ladies and gentlemen, cannot even obtain separate sitting apartments, but must either remain in the bedchambers, or mingle together in a drawingroom allotted for their reception.'
When Tippahee, the King of New Zealand, was conveyed from the British settlement at Port Jackson, which he had visited, back to his own country, he became dangerously ill; a British sailor, of the name of George Bruce, who had been employed for several years under Lieutenants Robins, Flinders, and others, in exploring the coasts, &c. of Port Jackson, was appointed to attend him, and acquitted himself so much to the king's satisfaction, that he was honoured with his special favour; and on their arrival, the king requested that he should be allowed to remain with him at New Zealand; to which the captain consenting, Bruce was received into the family of Tippahee. He spent the first few months in New Zealand in exploring the country, and acquiring a knowledge of the language, manners, and customs of the people. He found the country healthy and pleasant, full of romantic scenery, agreeably diversified with hills and dales, and covered with wood. The people, though rude and ignorant, were hospitable, frank, and open.
As the king proposed to place the young Englishman at the head of his army, it was a previously necessary step that he should be tattooed, as without having undergone that ceremony, he could not be regarded as a warrior. The case was urgent, and admitted of no alternative. He. therefore, submitted resolutely to this painful ceremony; and his countenance presents a master specimen of the art of tattooing. Being now tattooed in due form, Bruce was recognised as a warrior of the first rank, naturalized as a New Zealander, received into the bosom of the king's family, and honoured with the hand of the Princess Aetockoe, the youngest daughter of Tippahee, a maiden of fifteen or sixteen years of age, whose native beauty had probably been great, but which was so much improved by the fashionable embellishments of art, that all the softer charms of nature, all the sweetness of expression, were lost in the bolder expressions of tattooing.
Bruce now became the chief member of the king's family, and was vested with the government of the island. Six or eight months after his marriage, several English ships touched at New Zealand for supplies, and all of them found the beneficial influence of having a countryman and friend at the head of affairs in that island.
Bruce and his wife were now contented and happy in the full enjoyment of domestic comfort, with no wants that were ungratified, blessed with health and perfect independence. Bruce looked forward with satisfaction to the progress of civilization, which he expected to introduce among the people with whom, by a singular destiny, he seemed doomed to remain during his life. While enjoying these hopes, the ship General Wellesley touched at a point of New Zealand where Bruce and his wife then chanced to be. This was at some distance from the king's place of residence. Captain Dalrymple applied to Mr. Bruce to assist him in procuring a cargo of spars and Benjamin, and requested specimens of the principal articles of produce of the island; all which was cheerfully done. He then proposed to Bruce to accompany him to North Cape, distant about twenty-five or thirty leagues, where it was reported gold dust could be procured, and the captain conceived that Bruce might prove useful to him in search for the gold dust. With great reluctance, and after many entreaties, Bruce consented to accompany Captain Dalrymple, under the most solemn assurances of being safely brought back and landed at the Bay of Islands. He accordingly embarked with his wife on board the General Wellesley, representing, at the h fo ~bl. same time, to Captain Dalrymple, the dangerous consequences of taking the king's daughter from the island; but that fear was quieted by his solemn and repeated assurances that he would, at every hazard, reland them at the Bay of Islands, the place from which they embarked. Being at length all on board, the Wellesley sailed for the North Cape, as to where they soon arrived and landed. Finding that they had been entirely misinformed the gold dust, the Wellesley made sail, in order to return to New Zealand; but the wind becoming foul, and continuing so for forty eight hours, they were driven from the island. On the third day the wind became more favourable; but Captain Dalrymple did not attempt to regain the island, but stood on for India. On reaching the Feegee or Sandalwood Islands, the captain asked Bruce if he chose to go on shore and remain there; but he declined on account of the barbarous and sanguinary disposition of the islanders. Leaving the Feegee islands, they sailed for Malacca; the captain and Bruce went on shore, where the latter, in hopes of seeing the governor or commanding officer, to whom he might state his grievances, remained all night; but next morning found that the ship had sailed, carrying his wife to Penang.
Bruce, after remaining at Malacca some weeks, obtained a passage for Penang; where, upon his arrival, he found that his wife had been bartered away to another officer. On waiting upon the Governor of Penang, he was asked what satisfaction he required for the ill treatment he had experienced? Bruce answered that all he wanted was to have his wife restored, and to get a passage to New Zealand. Through the interference of the governor his wife was restored to him. With her he returned to Malacca, in hope of the promised passage to New South Wales; but this opportunity he missed. He afterwards returned to Penang, and thence to Bengal, where he and his wife were hospitably received; and an opportunity having occurred in the course of a few months of a passage to New South Wales, they found no difficulty in regaining New Zealand.
Mr. Vaughan in his travels through Sicily, having stopped to take some refreshment at an inn in Caltagirone, as he sat down to his chicken the landlady very coolly took a chair within a yard of the table, and on the opposite side sat a sleek- looking priest, such as you see familiar in every house throughout the country, who had taken up that position by way of asking a few questions of the 'Cavaliere Inglese.' 'After many apologies for the liberty he was taking, the latter,' says Mr. Vaughan, 'begged to converse with me on the subject of England, which the people of these parts were very anxious to to hear about, and the opportunity of enquiring so seldom occurred; and by the time I had dined, I observed half a dozen people collected round the door, with their eyes and mouths open, to hear the examination. "And pray, signor, is it true what we are told, that you have no olives in England?" "Yes, perfectly true." "Cospetto! how so?" "Cospettone!" said the landlady. "Our climate is not propitious to the growth of the olive." "But then, signor, for oranges?" "We have no oranges neither." "Poveretto!" said the landlady, with a tone of compunction, which is a sort of fondling diminutive of "Povero," "poor creature;" as you would say to your child. "Poor little manikin!" "But how is that possible, signor?" said the priest; "have you no fruit in but our country?" "We have very fine fruit: our winters are severe, and not genial enough for the orange tree." "That is just what they told me " said the lady, "at Palermo, that England is all snow, and a great many stones." "But then, signor, we have heard what we can scarcely believe, that you have not any wine?" "It is perfectly true; we have vines that bear fruit; but the sun in our climate is not sufficiently strong, which must be broiling, as it is here, to produce any wine."
'"Then, Jesu Maria, how the deuce do you do?" I told them that, notwithstanding, we got on pretty well; that we had some decent sort of mutton, and very tolerable looking beef; that our poultry was thought eatable, and our bread pretty good; that, instead of the wine, we had a thing they call ale, which our people here and there seem to relish exceedingly; and that by the help of these articles, a good constitution, and the blessing of God, our men were as hardy and as loyal and brave, and our women as accomplished and virtuous and handsome, as any other people, I believed, under heaven. "Besides, Mr. Abbate, I beg leave to ask you, what cloth is your coat of?" "Cospetto! it is English" (with an air of importance). "And your hat?" "Why, that's English." "And this lady's gown, and her bonnet and ribbons?" "Why they are English!" "All English. Then you see how it is; we send you, in exchange for what we don't grow, half the comforts and conveniences you enjoy in your island; besides, padrona mia gentile! (my agreeable landlady) we can never regret that we don't grow these articles, since it ensures us an intercourse with a nation we esteem!" "Viva!" said the landlady; and "Bravo!" said the priest; and between bravo and viva, the best friends in the world, I escaped to my lettiga!'
A recent traveller gives the following description of the mode of camping out, when travelling in the less populous parts of the United States of America; and uninviting as it is, he says he prefers it to the American taverns.
'Our rear party,' says Mr. Birkbeck, 'consisting of a lady, a servant boy, and myself, were benighted, in consequence of accidental detentions, at the foot of one of these rugged hills; and without being well provided, were compelled to make our first experiment of camping out.
'Our party having separated, the important articles of tinder and matches were in the baggage of the division which had proceeded: and as the night was rainy and excessively dark, we were, for some time, under anxiety, lest we should have been deprived of the comfort and security of a fire. Fortunately, my powder-flask was in my saddlebags, and we succeeded in supplying the place of tinder, by moistening a piece of paper, and rubbing it with gunpowder. We placed our touch paper on an old cambric handkerchief, as the most readily combustible article in our stores. On this we scattered gunpowder pretty copiously, and our flint and steel soon enabled us to raise a flame, and collecting dry wood, we made a noble fire. There was a mattress for the lady, a bear-skin for myself, and the load of the packhorse as a pallet for the boy. Thus, by means of great-coats and blankets, and our umbrellas spread over our heads, we made our quarters comfortable; and placing ourselves to the leeward of the fire with our feet towards it, we lay more at ease than in the generality of taverns.'
Duchess of Kingston.
When the trial of the Duchess of Kingston in the House of Peers had terminated in her conviction, she determined on a visit to St. Petersburg. A ship had been built for her, containing every splendid accommodation. The magnificence of this vessel attracted general observation, and the Russian ambassador understanding that it had been prepared for conveying the duchess on a visit to his imperial mistress, declared that the compliment would be graciously received. The duchess's suite was remarkable for the whimsical assemblage which it presented, having a French crew, in order to protect her from the pirates of America, with which the English were then at war; she was obliged to have a French Roman Catholic chaplain, and the Abbe Sechand was accordingly recommended to her. On his arrival she was much disappointed by his shabby appearance, as it happened that he was no better clothed than a common beggar. She ordered him, however to be put into more decent attire.
In addition to this ecclesiastic, the duchess still retained in her service her Protestant chaplain. Two female attendants, a coachman, and a footman, completed her retinue. A fair wind wafted her from Calais to Elsineur in twelve days; where, after refreshing herself for a short time' she proceeded on her route, and arrived safe in the capital of Russia.
The arrival of an English lady at Petersburg upon a visit, was a scene unusual to the Muscovites, and excited a general curiosity in the capital. The empress assigned her a mansion for her residence; her ship was ordered to be taken under the care of the Admiralty; and having suffered considerable damage from a hurricane, it was repaired by an express order from the empress. Such distinguished marks of attention could not fail to gratify her vanity in the highest degree, but her insatiable mind still panted after variety; and a single circumstance sullied, in her opinion, all the splendour of her present situation. The English ambassador, Sir James Harris, afterwards Lord Malmsbury, could only be complaisant to her in private, and would not admit of her assumed title of duchess, as inconsistent with the decision of the House of Peers, upon the trial concerning her marriage. Mortified at this conduct, she began to inquire whether possessions in the country might not procure her that universal respect, which, as an alien, she could not effectually enjoy. In Russia, there is an order of ladies distinguished by insignia, the principal ornament of which is a picture of the empress. The duchess was made to believe, that landed property only was wanting to introduce her as one of this order. She, therefore, purchased an estate near Petersburg, for about twelve thousand pounds, to which she gave the name of Chudleigh, and exerted all her interest to be invested with the order. But the answer to her application, for ever blasted her hopes.
Thus disappointed, the duchess determined on quitting Russia. She returned to France, where she resided some time. She afterwards resolved on making a second visit to Petersburg; and proposing to travel by land, she intimated her intention to Prince Radzivil, an illustrious Pole, who had pretensions to the crown of Poland, and who had been her friend and admirer twenty years before, when on a visit to the Count of Saxony.
The prince, whose affection had not been diminished by time, received the intimation that the duchess would take his dominions in her route, with the utmost pleasure; and the place where he was to meet her was fixed at Berge, a village in a duchy within the territories of the prince, and about forty miles distant from Riga. On the duchess's arrival, she was waited on by an officer in the retinue of the prince, who was commissioned to inform her Grace, that his master proposed to dispense with the ceremonials of rank, and visit her as a friend. The next morning was the time appointed for this visit, and in the interval, it was requested that the duchess would permit herself to be escorted to an hotel, ten miles distant, whither the prince had sent his own cooks, and other attendants, to wait on her Grace. Accordingly next morning the visit took place, and was conducted in the following manner.
Prince Radzivil came with forty carriages, each drawn by six horses. In the different vehicles were his nieces, the ladies of his principality, and other illustrious characters.
Besides these, there were six hundred horses led in a train, a thousand dogs, and several boars. A guard of hussars completed the suite. So extraordinary an assemblage, in a country surrounded by wood, gave an air of romance to the interview, which was still more heightened by the manner in which the prince contrived to amuse his female visitor. He made two feasts, and they were ordered in the following style. The prince had previously caused a village to be erected, consisting of forty houses, all of wood, and fancifully decorated with leaves and branches. The houses were disposed in the form of a circle, in the middle of which were erected three spacious rooms, one for the prince, a second for his suite, and the third for the repast. Entering the village, in the way to the rooms, all the houses were shut, and the inhabitants appeared to have retired to rest. The entertainment began with splendid fireworks on an adjoining piece of water, and two vessels encountered each other in a mock engagement. This was succeeded by the feast, at which everything was served on plate, and the dishes were extremely sumptuous. The duchess, delighted with so superb a reception, entered with great exhilaration of spirits into the festivity of the evening, and amused the company with a French song.
When the feast was ended, Prince Radzivil conducted the duchess to the village, the houses of which were before shut. On a sudden they were converted into forty open shops, brilliantly decorated, and containing the richest commodities of different kinds. From these shops the prince selected a variety of articles, and presented them to the duchess. They consisted of a magnificent topaz, rings, boxes, and trinkets of all descriptions. The company then returned to the rooms, which were thrown into one, and a ball was opened by Prince Radzivil and the Duchess. The dance being concluded, the company quitted the ball-room, and in an instant it was in a blaze. combustible matter having been previously placed for the purpose. The people of the village were seen dancing round the fire. This entertainment must have cost Prince Radzivil at a moderate computation, a very large sum.
The prince's gallantry, however, did not terminate with this scene. At a country seat ten miles from Nicciffuis, his favourite town, he gave the duchess a second feast, followed by a boar hunt, for which purpose the animals had been brought. The hunt was in a wood, at night: A regiment of hussars, with lighted torches in their hands, formed a circle, within which were huntsmen, also with torches. The boar thus surrounded by fire, was frightened; and after the usual sport, he fell a victim to his pursuers. A great number of the Polish nobility attended at this hunt. During fourteen days that the duchess remained with Prince Radzivil, she dined and slept in different houses belonging to the prince. As the retinue moved from place to place, they, on every third or fourth day, met a camp formed of the prince's own guard. On the journey from Nicciffuis, at night, the roads were illumined; guards accompanied as escorts; and on the arrival of the duchess at the different towns belonging to the prince, the magistrates waited on her with congratulations, and the cannon were fired.
But notwithstanding this profusion of compliment, the heart of the duchess remained insensible to the gallantry of the prince.
During her residence in Poland, the duchess had also the honour to be entertained by Count Oginski, a nobleman who was held in the highest esteem by the late King of Prussia. At a concert which he gave the duchess, he performed on six different instruments. His establishment for musical entertainments cost him every year about twentyfive thousand pounds of our money. He had a theatre, in which plays in the French, German, and Polish languages were acted. He purchased horses from the remotest countries. One which he showed to the duchess, was brought to him from Jerusalem.
The duchess continued a few days at this nobleman's house, and Prince Radzivil accompanying her thither, an emulation seemed to prevail, who should show her the greatest attention. But the utmost civilities could make no lasting impression on a mind so destitute of sensibility as was that of the Duchess of Kingston, whose only object in travelling abroad, was to receive that homage which in her own country was denied to her.
The eccentric Dean Swift, in the course of one of those journeys to Holyhead, which it is well known he several times performed on foot, was travelling through Church Stretton, Shropshire, when he put up at the sign of the Crown, and finding the host to be a communicative good- humoured man, enquired if there was any agreeable person in town, with whom he might partake of a dinner (as he had desired him to provide one), and that such a person should have nothing to pay. The landlord immediately replied, that the curate, Mr. Jones, was a very agreeable, companionable man, and would not, he supposed, have any objections to spend a few hours with a gentleman of his appearance. The Dean directed him to wait on Mr. Jones, with his compliments, and to say that a traveller would be glad to be favoured with his company at the Crown, if it was agreeable. When Mr. Jones and the Dean had dined, and the glass began to circulate, the former made an apology for an occasional absence, saying that at three o'clock he was to read prayers and preach at the church. Upon this intimation, the Dean replied, that he also should attend prayers. Service being ended, and the two gentlemen having resumed their station at the Crown, the Dean began to compliment Mr. Jones upon his delivery of a very appropriate sermon; and remarked, that it must have cost him (Mr. Jones) some time and attention to compose such a one.
Mr. Jones observed, that his duty was rather laborious, as he served another parish church at a distance, which, with the Sunday and weekly service at Church Stretton, straitened him much with respect to the time necessary for the composition of sermons; so that when the subjects pressed, he could only devote a few days and nights to that purpose.
'Well,' says the Dean, 'it is well for you to have such a talent; for my part, the very sermon you preached this afternoon, cost me some months in the composing.' On this observation, Mr. Jones began to look very gloomy, and to recognise his companion. 'However,' rejoined the Dean, 'don't you be alarmed; you have so good a talent at delivery, that I hereby declare, you have done more honour to my sermon this day, than I could do myself; and by way of compromising the matter, you must accept of this halfguinea for the justice you have done in the delivery of it.'
An Example for Modern Youths.
Cicero, when he set out upon his travels to Greece and Asia, the usual tour for men of fashion among the Romans, was in the twenty-eighth year of his age. He did not think of quitting his native country, until he had finished his education in it; he then went abroad, that he might, by repairing to those places in which the arts and sciences had arrived at the greatest perfection, give a high polish to all his literary acquisitions.
To Athens, which was at that time particularly distinguished a the seat of the arts and sciences, he first directed his course; there he resided in the house of Antiochus, the chief philosopher of the old academy; and with the assistance of his admirable instructions, renewed those studies for which he had ever felt from his earliest youth, the strongest predilection. At Athens, too, he found his fellow student, T. Pomponius, who, from his uncommon attachment to that city, and from his long residence in it, was surnamed Atticus. By this meeting between them, the memorable friendship which had subsisted from their boyish days, with an unremitting constancy, and unwavering affection, was revived and consolidated. Cicero, however, though he had often friendly debates with Atticus upon philosophical subjects, did not give himself wholly up to them; his rhetorical exercises engaged a proper share of his attention, and he performed them punctually every day with Demetrius, the Syrian, much celebrated for his oratorical knowledge.
From thence, Cicero proceeded to Asia, where he found himself attended by all the most celebrated orators of the country; they accompanied him during the remainder of his voyage, and he regularly performed his exercises with them, wherever he took up his temporary quarters. As Cicero, while he resided at Athens, did not suffer his philosophical pursuits to make him negligent of his rhetorical studies, neither did he at Rhodes permit the latter to render him neglectful of the former. He dedicated part of his time to philosophy, with Posidonius, the most accomplished and respected Stoic of that age; and often names him in terms greatly to his honour, calling him not only his master, but his friend.
Wherever he stopped, his stay was not determined by the mere pleasures which presented themselves; in a place from which he could draw no profit, there was no induced merit for him to remain. Previously and intimately acquainted with the laws of Rome, he was enabled to make comparisons between them and the laws of other cities, and to bring with him, at his return, whatever he thought beneficial to his country, or advantageous to himself. In every town through which he passed, he was hospitably entertained by men eminent for their virtues, knowledge, and learning; by men honoured and rewarded as the principal patriots, orators, and philosophers of the age. Constantly attended by these, he had opportunities, even while travelling from one city to another, to gain new lights from their experience and admonitions. From such a tour, it is not at all surprising that he came back to Rome adorned with every accomplishment which taste and learning could bestow, to make him shine the first figure in the Forum. 'He was changed,' says the ingenious historian of his life, Dr. Middleton, 'as it were into a new man; the vehemence of his voice and action was moderated, the redundancy of his style and fancy corrected, his lungs strengthened, and his whole constitution confirmed.'
Tomb of Howard.
At Kherson, the tomb of the philanthropist Howard, is dear to the heart and eye of every English traveller. 'The evening,' says Sir R. Ker Porter in his Travels, 'was drawing to a close, when I approached the hill, in the bosom of which the dust of my revered countryman reposes so far from his native land. No one that has not experienced "the heart of a stranger" in a distant country, can imagine the feelings which sadden a man while standing on such a spot. It is well known, that Howard fell a sacrifice to his humanity; having caught a contagious fever from some wretched prisoners at Kherson, to whose extreme need he was administering his charity and his consolations. Admiral Priestman, a worthy Briton in the Russian service, who was his intimate friend, attended him in his last moments, and erected over his remains the monument which is now a sort of shrine to all travellers, whether from Britain or foreign countries. It is an obelisk of whitish stone, sufficiently high to be conspicuous at several miles' distance. The hill on which it stands, may be about three wersts out of the direct road, and has a little village and piece of water at its base. The whole is six wersts from Kherson, and forms a picturesque as well as interesting object. The evening having closed when I arrived at the tomb, I could not distinguish its inscription, but the name of Howard would be sufficient eulogy. At Kherson, I learnt that the present emperor has adopted the plans which the great philanthropist formerly gave in to the then existing government, for ameliorating the state of the prisoners. Such is the only monument he would have desired; and it will commemorate his name for ever, while that of the founder of the pyramids is forgotten; so much more imperishable is the greatness of goodness, than the greatness of power!
Monsieur de Conange, on a wandering excursion which he was making with a friend through one of the French provinces, found it necessary one night to take refuge from a storm, in an inn which had little else to recommend it, but that the host was well known to Monsieur de Conange. This man had all the inclination in the world to accommodate the travellers to their satisfaction, but unfortunately he possessed not the power. The situation was desolate, and the few chambers the house contained were already occupied by other travellers. There remained unengaged only a single parlour on the ground floor, with a closet adjoining, with which, inconvenient as they were, Monsieur de Conange and his friend were obliged to content themselves. The closet was prepared with a very uninviting bed for the latter, while they supped together in the parlour, where it was decided Monsieur de Conange was to sleep. As they purposed departing very early in the morning, they soon retired to their separate beds, and ere long fell into a profound sleep. Short, however, had been Monsieur de Conange's repose, when he was disturbed by the voice of his fellow traveller, crying out that something was strangling him. Though he heard his friend speak to him, he could not for some time sufficiently rouse himself from his drowsiness, to awaken to a full sense of the words his friend had uttered. That it was in a voice of distress, he now perfectly understood, and he called anxiously to inquire what was the matter; no answer was returned, no sound was heard, all was as still as death. Now Seriously alarmed, Monsieur de Conange threw himself out of bed, and taking up his candle, proceeded to the closet. What was his horror and astonishment, when he beheld his friend lying senseless beneath the strangling grasp of a dead man, loaded with chains!
The cries of distress which this dreadful sight called forth, soon brought the host to his assistance, whose fear and astonishment acquitted him of being in any way an actor in the tragic scene before them. It was, however, a more pressing duty to endeavour at recovering the senseless traveller, than to unravel the mysterious event which had reduced him to that state. The barber of the village was therefore immediately sent for, and in the meantime, they extricated the traveller from the grasp of the man, whose hand had in death fastened on his throat with a force which rendered it difficult to unclench. While performing this, they happily ascertained that the spark of life still faintly glowed in the heart of the traveller, although wholly fled from that of his assaulter. The operation of bleeding, which the barber now arrived to perform, gave that spark new vigour, and he was shortly put to bed out of danger, and left to all that could now be of service to him repose.
Monsieur de Conange then felt himself at liberty to satisfy his curiosity, in developing the cause of this strange adventure, which was quickly effected by his host. This man informed him that the deceased was his groom, who had, within a few days, exhibited such strong proofs of mental derangement as to render it absolutely necessary to use coercive measures to prevent his either doing mischief to himself or others, and that he had, in consequence, been confined and chained in the stables; but that it was evident his fetters had proved too weak to resist the strength of frenzy; and that, in liberating himself, he had passed through a little door, imprudently left unlocked, which led from the saddle-room into the closet in which the traveller slept, and had entered it to die with such frightful effects on his bed.
When, in the course of a few days, Monsieur de Conange's friend was able to converse, he acknowledged that never in his life had he suffered so much, and that he was confident had he not fainted, madness must have been the consequence of a prolonged state of terror.
Friendship at First Sight.
The forest of Ancennis is celebrated in many old French ballads, as being the haunt of fairies, and the scene of the ancient .archery of the provinces of Bretagne and Anjou. When Mr. Pinkney travelled through it, in company with a family of persons of fashion, 'we were,' he says 'walking merrily on, when the well-known sound of the French horn arrested our steps and attention. Mademoiselle Sillery immediately guessed it to proceed from a company of archers, and in a few moments her conjecture was verified by the appearance of two ladies and a gentleman who issued from one of the narrow paths. The ladies, who were merely running from the gentleman, were very tastily habited in the favourite French dress, after the Dian of David; whilst the blue silk jacket and hunting cap of the gentleman gave him the appearance of a groom about to ride a race. Our appearance necessarily took their attention, and after an exchange of salutes, but in which no names were mentioned on either side, they invited us to accompany them to their party, who were refreshing themselves in an adjoining dell. 'We have had a party at archery,' said one of them, 'and Madame St. Amande has won the silver bugle and bow; the party is now at supper, after which we go to the chateau to dance. Perhaps you will not suffer us to repent having met you, by refusing to accompany us. Mademoiselle Sillery was very eager to accept this invitation, and looked rather blank when Mrs. Younge declined it, as she wished to proceed on her road as quickly as possible. 'You will at least accompany us merely to see the party?' 'By all means,' said Mademoiselle Sillery. 'I must really regret that I cannot,' said Mrs. Younge. 'If it must be so,' resumed the lady who was inviting us, 'let us exchange tokens and we may meet again.' This proposal, so perfectly new to me, was accepted; the fair archers gave our ladies their pearl crescents, which had the appearance of being of considerable value. Madame Younge returned something which I did not see. Mademoiselle Sillery gave a silver Cupid, which had served her for an essence bottle. The gentleman then shaking hands with us, and the ladies embracing each other, we parted mutually satisfied. "Who are these ladies?" demanded I. "You know them as well as we do," replied Mademoiselle Sillery. "And is it thus," said I, "that you receive all strangers indiscriminately?" "Yes," replied she, "all strangers of a certain condition. Where they are evidently of our own rank, we know of no reserve. Indeed, why should we? it is to general advantage to be pleased, and to please each other." "But you embraced them, as if you really felt an affection for them." "And I did feel that affection for them," said she, "as long as I was with them. I would have done them every service in my power, and would even have made sacrifices to serve them." "And yet if you were to see them again, you would perhaps not know them." "Very possibly," replied she, "but I can see no reason why every affection should be necessarily permanent. We never pretend to permanence. We are certainly transient, but not insincere."'
Duchess of Marlborough's Eyewater.
Soon after the battle of Oudenarde, the Duchess of Marlborough made a tour into Flanders, under the pretence of complimenting the duke on his victory, but, in fact, to inform him of the cabals of his enemies, which it was not safe to entrust in writing. Her grace landed at Dunkirk, where she slept the first night. In the morning she proceeded on her journey, but her thoughts being intent on more important concerns, she omitted giving the chambermaid the usual present. The girl, who attributed this neglect to a want of generosity, thought of an expedient to compensate herself, and with this view she purchased a number of phials, and then filling them carefully with some coloured water, corked and scaled them up close. This done, she reported that she had a quantity of the Duchess of Marlborough's eye-water, which her grace on leaving Dunkirk had put into her hands to sell. The stratagem took; the eye-water was in great demand, both by rich and poor, and the cures it performed were so wonderful that the fame of its virtues reached the duchess at the English camp. Her grace immediately recollected her neglect of the girl, and felt mortified at the girl's mode of resenting it, without knowing how to help it. In her return home, however, she slept again at the same inn, and as the girl was putting her to bed at night, 'Child,' says she, 'I hear you have a famous eye-water to sell; I have a mind to be a purchaser.' The girl, quite confounded and ready to sink, faintly said, it was all disposed of. 'What quantity might you have of it?' said the duchess. 'Only a few dozens,.' replied the girl. 'Well,' said the duchess, 'cannot you provide more?' The girl was miserably perplexed, and could not tell what to say, but fell into tears, and dropping upon her knees, confessed her indiscretion, and humbly implored her grace's forgiveness, promising never to offend again in the like manner. 'Nay, but indeed, child,' said her grace, 'you must make up some for me, for I have heard an excellent character of its sovereign virtues.' Being assured her grace was in earnest, the girl replied, 'she should be obeyed.' The girl thus compelled to produce some, brought the bottles sealed up, when the duchess discovered that the girl had actually procured her grace's arms to her new nostrum, a circumstance she had not before dreamt of. 'Well, my dear,' said the duchess, 'I find you're a mistress of your trade; you make no scruple to counterfeit a seal.' 'Madam,' said the girl, 'you dropt the seal in the room, and that put the idea into my head.' 'And what might you gain,' said her grace, 'by your last supply?' 'Fifty livres' replied the girl. 'Very well,' said the duchess: 'please to restore the seal, and there is double that sum for you,' putting five louis d'ors in her hand; adding, with a stern look, and a severe tone of voice, 'Beware of counterfeits.'
Travelling a Century Ago.
The following copy of a handbill, published in 1706, forms an interesting contrast to modern celerity in travelling:-
YORK FOUR DAYS' STAGE COACH.
'All that are desirous to pass from London to York, or from York to London, or any other place on that road, let them repair to the Black Swann, in Holbourne, in London, and to the Black Swann, in Coney Street, in York; at both places they may be received in a stage-coach every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which performs the whole journey in four days (if God permits), and sets forth at five in the morning, and returns from York to Stamford in two days, and from Stamford by Huntingdon to London in two days more, and the like stages on their return, allowing each passenger fourteen pounds weight, and all above threepence a pound.'
A Cure for Post-Boys.
The philanthropist, Howard, finding in travelling, that the coachmen would seldom comply with his wishes, hit upon an expedient to cure them. At the end of a stage, when the driver had been perverse, he desired the landlord to send for some poor industrious widow, or other proper object of charity, and to introduce such person and the driver together. He then paid the latter his fare. and told him that as he had not thought proper to attend to his repeated requests as to the manner of being driven, he should not make him any present; but, to show him that he did not withhold it out of a principle of parsimony, he would give the poor person present double the sum usually given to a postilion. This he did, and dismissed the parties. He had not long practised this mode, he said, before he experienced the good effects of it on all the roads where he was known.
African Forest Travelling.
In the year 1772, Mr. Robert Norris, then governor of one of the English forts, made a journey to the Court of Bossa Abadee, King of Dahomy, in Africa. He was accompanied by a linguist, six hammock-men, ten porters, and a captain of the gang. The most fatiguing part of the journey was from Whydah to Appoy. 'Here,' says Mr. Norris, 'the great wood commences, through which the path is so narrow, crooked, and bad, that it is impossible to be carried in a hammock, even at the present, which is the best and driest time of the year. During the rains, it is almost impassable. We entered the wood at three o'clock in the morning, February 3rd, with the advantage of a bright moon and serene sky. The captain of the guard disposed his men, some in front, some in the rear, with loaded muskets, to defend us from the attack of wild beasts, with which this dreary wood abounds. On each side of me, two of the hammock-men carried lanterns, with lighted candles in them, on which the natives have great reliance for terrifying the beasts of prey; the whole party singing and shouting as loud as they could bellow; blowing trumpets, and firing muskets occasionally; which, with the chattering of monkeys alarmed at our approach, the squalling of parrots, roaring of wild beasts, and the crashing and rustling of elephants through the underwood, formed the most horrid, discord that can be conceived.'
After having executed the object of his mission, Mr. Norris set out on his return. At Ardra, an occurrence took place which might have terminated seriously. 'One night,' continues Mr. Norris, 'I had my hammock slung in the white men's apartments adjoining to the Mayhou's house; and the weather being very warm, the hammock-men, porters, &c., chose to spread their mats, and lie in the piazza, and in the little court before it in the open air. When we were all asleep, except the captain of the gang, who, after having taken a nap, was regaling himself with a pipe, a leopard leaped over the wall, walked over those who were sleeping in the court, and without waking them, seized upon the fat sheep which the king had given me, that was tied in a corner of the yard, and carried it off in an instant, over a wall eight feet high, before the man that saw him had time to get a shot at him.
Hot Wind of the Desert.
The Semoum, or hot wind of the Arabian desert, is, perhaps, the most dreadful enemy encountered by travellers. It is fabled often to reach, but never to cross the gates of Bagdad. Some years this wind does not blow at all, and in others it appears six, eight, or ten times, but seldom continues more than a few minutes. It often advances with the rapidity of lightning. When the Arabians and Persians discern its approach, they immediately throw themselves with their faces upon the ground, and continue in that position until the wind has passed, which frequently happens in an instant; but if, on the contrary, they are not careful enough or sufficiently quick to take this precaution, and they are subjected to the full violence of the wind, it is immediate death. When the fatal blast is over, they start up and look around for their companions, and if they see anyone lying motionless, they seize an arm or a leg, and pull and jerk it with some force; and if the limbs separate from the body, it is a certain sign that the wind has had its full effect upon it; but if, on the contrary, the arm or the leg does not come away, it is a sure sign that there is life remaining, although to every appearance the person is dead; and in that case, they immediately cover him with clothes, and administer some warm diluting liquor, to cause a perspiration, which is certainly but slowly effected.
The Arabs themselves say little, or nothing, about this wind, only that it leaves behind it a strong sulphurous smell, and that the atmosphere at these times is quite clear, except about the horizon in the northwest quarter, which gives warning of its approach.
Such are the accounts given of the Semoum, by some of our oldest travellers; Mr. Burckhardt, however, one of the latest travellers in Egypt and Nubia, says, that the Semoum is nothing more than a violent southeast wind. He says, the stories of its effects are much exaggerated, and that he never heard of one well authenticated instance of its having proved mortal to either man or beast. The fact is, that the Bedouins, when questioned on the subject, often frighten travellers with tales of men, and even whole caravans, having perished by the effects of the wind; when upon closer inquiry made by some persons whom they find acquainted with the desert, they will state the plain truth.'
The most disagreeable effect of the Semoum on man, is, that it stops perspiration, dries up the palate, and produces great restlessness. In June, 1813, when Mr. Burckhardt was travelling from Esne to Siout, a violent Semoum overtook him; his mule took fright and threw him, when he lay quiet until the wind abated.
The impossibility of reaching the extreme summit of Mount Ararat, even on the side where it is most easy of access, was decided by the Pacha of Bayazid some years ago.
He departed from that city with a large party of horsemen, at the most favourable season, and ascended the mountain on the Bayazid side as high as he could on horseback. He caused three stations to be marked out on the ascent, where he built huts and collected provisions. The third station was the snow. He had no difficulty in crossing the region of snow, but when he came to the great cap of ice that covers the top of the cone, he could proceed no farther, because several of his men were there seized with violent oppression of the chest, from the great rarefaction of the air. He had before offered large rewards to any one who should reach the top, but although many Kurds who live at its base have attempted it, all have been equally unsuccessful. Besides the great rarefaction of the air, his men had to contend with dangers of the falling ice, large pieces of which were constantly detaching themselves from the main body, and rolling down. During the summer, the cap of ice on its summit is seen to shine with a glow quite distinct from snow; and if the old inhabitants may be believed, this great congealed mass has visibly increased since they first knew it.
In the year 1817, Lieutenant Heude travelled overland from India to England. His route embraced Arabia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, and Armenia, in the course of which he witnessed the deposing and death of a Bashaw, and travelled from Bagdad with the messenger who was carrying his head, and the heads of a few others, who had been punished in a similar manner, to Constantinople.
At Bussora, he engaged a Turkish guide to conduct him through the desert; but such was his outrageous conduct, that he often endangered their lives. On quitting Shatra, they proceeded about two hours, when suddenly they entered a flat and dreary tract, overgrown with furze and brushwood, and came to the banks of the river Shatra. They had scarcely descended the steep declivity that leads to this hidden stream by a rugged path, when the dreadful battle shout of the Bedouin Arabs assailed their ears, and they found themselves in a moment surrounded by the most uncouth and savage race they had hitherto encountered.
The guide behaved with the utmost coolness and intrepidity on this trying occasion. Urging his courser forward, without the slightest hesitation, he sprang off his back in the midst of them, and throwing himself on the ground in the prostrate attitude of devotion, placed a small brass amulet, inscribed with sentences from the Koran, under his head. On the instant, every voice was hushed, the dreadful yell that had spread far and wide around the travellers, now subsided in the solemn sound; and as the prayer was continued, the arm which had raised the sword to strike, became unnerved; the hand which had reached the fatal key of destruction, was withdrawn; and all was peace. The spears of the Arabs dropped to the ground, and they joined with fervent zeal in the sacred devotions of the guide. Not a man arose from the supplicating posture which they had all gradually assumed, until the guide set them the example; when the travellers exchanging compliments of gratulation with their late dreaded enemies, the travellers joined in the extensive circle, and improved the friendly understanding which the presiding spirit of religion had inspired, by presenting the Arabs with their pipes, and replenishing their chubooks.
Travelling in Persia.
'It would,' says Mr. Morier, who, in the year 1809. accompanied the British embassy to Persia, 'perhaps be impossible to give to an inhabitant of London a correct idea of the first impressions made upon the European traveller on his landing in Persia. Accustomed, as his eye has been, to neatness, cleanliness, and a general appearance of convenience in the exteriors of life, he feels a depression of spirits in beholding the very contrary. In vain he looks for what his idea of a street may be; he makes his way through the narrowest lanes, encumbered with filth, dead animals, and mangy dogs. He sees no active people walking about with an appearance of something to do, but here and there he meets a native crawling along in slipshod shoes. When he seeks the markets and shops, a new and original scene opens upon him. Little open sheds in rows, between which is a passage serving for a street, of about eight feet in breadth, are to be seen, instead of our closely shut shops with windows gaily decked. Comparisons might be made without end; but however distressing the transition from great civilization to comparative barbarity may be, yet it is certain that first impressions soon wear off, and that the mind receives a new accession of feelings, adapted precisely to the situation in which it is placed.'
The gates of all towns and cities in Persia, are shut a little after sun-set, and reopened at sunrise. Strict adherence to this injunction, and carelessness or unavoidable delays on the part of travellers, often subject them to the inconvenience of reaching the gates when they are closed. Hence they must stay without till morning. And, 'during the inclement season, at opening the gates, very often a terrible scene of death unfolds itself close to the threshold; old and young, animals and children, lying one lifeless heap.'
Some years ago, a solitary traveller, who had performed a long journey on his own horse, a member of their families, to which these people are eminently attached, arrived at Tabreez when the ingress was already barred. The night was one of the severest which had been known; and the poor man, to save himself from the fatal effects he too surely anticipated, pierced his faithful horse with his dagger, and ripping up its body, thrust himself into it, in the vain hope of the warmth which might remain preserving his own vital heat until the morning. But at next dawn, when the gates were opened, he was found frozen to death in this horrible shroud.
The celebrated Erasmus lost his whole substance (quae tum erat exigua, sed mihi maxima quum nihil superesset) from a seizure by the custom-house officers at Dover, under one of those laws. Previous to his leaving England he had consulted his friend, Sir T. More, who informed him he might carry any money out of the kingdom, which was not English coin. Erasmus protests, that what he had with him, was neither coined in England, nor paid him by any one here on English account. The money was, however, taken from him, and on his landing in France, he made a hasty collection of proverbs, which he printed for subsistence.
William George Browne was one of the many enterprising individuals who have perished in the attempt to make rude and distant countries known to us. Mr. Browne, though of a feeble constitution, when only twenty-three years of age, was so stimulated with the desire to travel, by reading Bruce's Abyssinia, that he relinquished his profession of the law, and resolved to lose no further time in carrying his exploratory plans into effect.
Having determined on proceeding to the interior of Africa, by the Egyptian route, Mr. Browne left England in 1791, and in the January following arrived at Alexandria. After a two months residence, he took a journey westward into the desert, to discover the unknown site of the temple of Jupiter Ammon. He followed a circuitous route along the sea coast, to the Oasis of Sicovah; then penetrating, amid considerable dangers, three days farther into the desert, vainly searching for his object, he returned to Alexandria. He next visited Rosetta, Damietta, and Cairo, where he remained eleven months, diligently studying the Arabic language. The Mamluk war prevented his penetrating into Nubia, but he made a journey towards the Red Sea and Cossir to the immense stone quarries described by ~sBecrutce. To avoid the perils of this road, he assumed the oriental dress and character; and his enterprise was amply rewarded. He passed through immense excavations, which appeared to have been formed in the earliest ages; from which many of the great Egyptian monuments were obtained, and which furnished statues, columns, and obelisks, without number, to the Roman empire, at its utmost elevation of luxury and power.
In May, 1793, Mr. Browne set out with the great Soudan caravan, for the purpose of penetrating into Africa by Dar-Fur, on the west of Abyssinia, and so on through the latter country to the source of the grand western branch of the Nile, the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White River. During this journey, the thermometer was sometimes at 116 degrees in the shade; but notwithstanding the almost incredible hardships which our persevering countryman had to encounter, he reached Dar-Fur about the end of July.
It appeared immediately on Mr. Browne's arrival, that he had been entirely misinformed as to the character of the government, which he understood to be mild and tolerant. On the contrary, he found himself treated with the utmost harshness and severity; which, together with the fatigues of his journey and the effect of the rainy season, produced a very dangerous and almost fatal illness. As soon as he was a little recovered, he endeavoured to obtain permission to quit the country, but without effect. Nearly three years elapsed before he was suffered to depart. During the time that he was kept at Dar-Fur, he purchased two lions, which he tamed and rendered familiar. One of them having been purchased at four months old, acquired most of the habits of the dog. Mr. Browne took great pleasure in feeding them, and observing their actions and manners; and he acknowledges, that many moments of languor were soothed by the company of these domesticated kings of the forest. Having, at length, obtained leave to depart, he set forward, and reached the banks of the Nile in the spring of 1796, spent with suftering, and not having tasted animal food for four months.
In 1797, he travelled in Syria and Palestine; visited Acre, Tripoli, and Damascus, the ruins of Balbec, and Aleppo, and journeyed thence 'through Asia Minor to Constantinople. On the 16th of September, 1798, he arrived in London, after an absence of nearly seven years. Although Mr. Browne had lost some of his most valuable journals, yet he gave an account of his travels to the public in 1800. No sooner was this work completed, than the author resumed his rambling life; taking Berlin and Vienna in his way, successively visited Athens, Smyrna, Constantinople, passed across Asia Minor to Antioch, Cyprus, &c., returning to London in 1803. After passing some years in Europe, his ruling passion returned; and on considering of a variety of projects, he at length fixed upon the Tartar city of Samarcand, and the central region of Asia around it, as the objects towards which his attention should now be directed.
Having made the necessary arrangements, he left England, for the last time, in the summer of 1812; proceeded to Constantinople, and afterwards to Smyrna. In the spring of 1813, he set forward in a north-easterly direction, along the Persian road, through Asia Minor, and Armenia, to Erzerum, and reached Tabreez on the 1st of June. Having perfected himself in the Turkish language, and assumed the Turkish dress, he left Tabreez, accompanied with two servants, with the intention of penetrating through Khorassan to Teheran, the present capital of Persia, and thence to Tartary. On the second day he passed on through a part of the Persian army, which was encamped at the distance of thirty six miles from Tabreez. During the early part of this journey, he had a conference with Sir Gore Ouseley, and was admitted to an audience of the Persian King. So little was the danger from attacks of any kind apprehended by the persons best acquainted with the state of the country, that no difficulties whatever were suggested as likely to meet him, and accordingly he proceeded in full confidence. Having reached the pass of Irak Ajem, he stopped at the Caravansary to take a little refreshment. That over, he remounted his horse; and leaving his servant to pack up the articles he had been using, and then follow him, he rode gently forward along the mountains. Mr. Browne had scarcely proceeded half a mile, when suddenly two men on foot came up behind him: one of whom, with a blow from a club, before he was aware, struck him senseless from his horse. Several other villains, at the same instant, sprang from hollows in the hills, and bound him hand and foot. At this moment they offered him no further personal violence; but as soon as he had recovered from the stupor occasioned by the first mode of attack, he looked round and saw the robbers plundering both his baggage and his servant, the man having come forward on the road in obedience to the command of his master. When the depredators found their victim restored to observation, they told him it was their intention to put an end to his life, but that was not the place where the final stroke should be made. Mr. Browne, incapable of resistance, calmly listened to his own sentence, but entreated them to spare his poor servant, and allow him to depart with his papers, which could be of no use to them. All this they granted; and what may appear still more extraordinary, these ferocious brigands, to whom the acquisition of arms must be as the staff of life, made the man a present of his master's pistols and double-barrelled gun; but they were English, and the marks might have betrayed the new possessors. These singular robbers then permitted Mr. Browne to see his servant safe out of sight, before they laid further hands on himself; after which they carried him, and the property they had reserved for themselves, into a valley on the opposite side of the Kizzilouzan, and, without parley, terminated his existence, it is suposed, by strangulation. They stripped his corpse of every part of his raiment, and then left it on the open ground, a prey to wolves and other wild animals. The servant, meanwhile, made the best of his way towards Tabreez, where he related the account of the death of his master.
Thus perished a very enterprising, and altogether extraordinary man, at a period when much was to be expected from his labours, and when it may truly be said, the eyes of three quarters of the ancient world were fixed upon his adventurous career.
James IV. of Scotland.
King James the Fourth of Scotland, who used often to amuse himself in wandering about the country in different disguises, was once overtaken by a violent storm in a dark night, and obliged to take shelter in a cavern near Wemys, which is one of the most remarkable of the antiquities of Scotland. Having advanced some way in it, the king discovered a number of men and women ready to begin to roast a sheep, by way of supper. From their appearance, he began to suspect that he had not fallen into the best company; but, as it was too late to retreat, he asked hospitality from them till the tempest was over. They granted it, and invited the king, whom they did not know, to sit down, and take part with them. They were a band of robbers and cutthroats. As soon as they had finished their supper, one of them presented a plate, upon which two daggers were laid in form of a St. Andrew's cross, telling the king, at the same time, that this was the dessert which they always served to strangers; that he must choose one of the daggers, and fight him whom the company should appoint to attack him. The king did not lose his presence of mind, but instantly seized the two daggers, one in each hand, and plunged them into the hearts of the two robbers who were next him; and running full speed to the mouth of the cavern, he escaped from their pursuit, through the obscurity of the night. The king ordered the whole of this band of cutthroats to be seized next morning, and hanged.
Emperor and Blacksmith.
During the journey of the Emperor Joseph II. to Italy, one of the wheels of his coach broke down on the road, so that it was with difficulty he reached a small village at a short distance. On his arrival there, his majesty got out at the door of the only blacksmith's shop the town afforded, and desired him to repair the wheel without delay. 'That I would do willingly,' replied the smith, 'but it being holiday, all my men are at church, the very boy who blows the bellows is not at home.' 'An excellent method then presents of warming oneself,' replied the emperor, preserving his incognito; and he immediately set about blowing the bellows, while the blacksmith forged the iron. The wheel being repaired, six sols were demanded for the job; but the emperor gave six ducats. The blacksmith returned them to the traveller, saying, 'Sir, you have made a mistake, and instead of six sols, have given me six pieces of gold which no one in the village can change.' 'Change them when you can,' said the emperor, stepping into the carriage; 'an emperor should pay for such a pleasure as that of blowing the bellows.'
In the British Museum, there is a curious old tract, entitled the 'English Romayne Life, which has been printed in the Harleian Miscellany,' and contains an account of a journey from London to Rome, by the author Anthony Munday. This journey was undertaken in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and the narrative of it is quite in the style of the Elizabethan age. He says:
'When a desire to see strange countries, as also affection to learn the languages, had persuaded me to leave my native country, and not any other intent or cause, God is my record, I committed the small wealth I had into my purse, a traveller's weed on my back, the whole state and condition of my journey to God's appointment, and being accompanied with one Thomas Nowel, crossed the seas from England to Boulogne in France.
'From thence we travelled to Amiens in no small danger, standing to the mercy of despoiling soldiers, who went robbing and killing through the country, the camp being by occasion broken up at that time. Little they left us, and less would have done, by the value of our lives, had not a better booty come, than we, at the time. The soldiers preparing towards them whom they saw better provided for their necessity, offered us the leisure to escape; which we refused not, being left bare enough, both of coin and of clothes; but as then we stood not to account on our loss, it sufficed us that we had our lives; whereof being not a little glad, we set the better leg before, lest they should come back again, and rob us of them too.'
A Night in the Desert.
In the year 1805, Mr. Salame, an Egyptian, resolving on becoming a traveller, accompanied the caravan from Cairo to Suez, and after visiting several places, and suffering shipwreck in the Red Sea, he got to Assiutt, whence he crossed the east bank of the Nile, to return to Cairo by the caravan. He dressed himself as a Bedouin Arab, for the sake of protection from the Turks. In the course of his progress, he was accidentally left alone in the desert, and gives a very amusing account of his night's adventures. He was informed that the caravan had been plundered by the Turks, and that the Arabs had scarcely time to escape to the mountains.
'At last,' says he, 'thinking that every soul in the caravan was in want of water and provisions, and that they could not proceed on to a far distance, without halting at some place, I thought the best way was to lift up my provisions on my shoulders, and proceed through the desert, following the footsteps of the camels. I walked till the moon was set, when it became dark, and I could not see the footsteps at all. Now being alarmed, fatigued, and hungry, I resolved to stop where I was, until the morning; yet I was sadly afraid of being seized by some animal during the night. However, after I had lain down on the ground, and eat very heartily of that uneatable bread and cheese, and drank bumperly of that unpleasant water, I thought I saw or heard the creeping of some animals at a distance; whereupon my fear increased, and I considered my body as a prey to the wild beasts, because I had no arms whatever, and there was no tree or place to take refuge. My only consolation in this distressing situation, was, that I knew in that district of desert there were no ferocious animals, as lions, tigers, &C., but a great number of gazels (a kind of deer), wolves, some wild sheep, and a few hyenas; and as for the latter, I had heard the Arabs say that if you should strike fire, they would run away directly. I took two round pieces of flint (which was in great abundance on the ground) and began to strike one upon the other as fast as I could; but the more fire and noise I made, the nearer I saw the animals coming towards me. I then left everything, and began to run away towards a hill, whereupon I heard the voice of a man calling, "Whose shade is there? If a friend, do not fear, and if an enemy, thou shalt have a shot." On hearing this, I was of course relieved, and answered with great cheerfulness, "Friend, friend. Of which tribe art thou? I am of the Arabs Maazee." His answer was, "Who are of the same tribe as our Arabs." I then went to him, and found that he was kept back to drive twelve or fifteen cows and oxen, belonging to our caravan, which were overcome with fatigue, and could scarcely move.'
The Arab offered Mr. Salame his dromedary, which was of a particular breed, called 'Eshany,' and which goes (as the Arabs say) as far in one hour, as a horse will go in ten. The rider of this kind of dromedary does not eat, and drinks but very little; he must fasten himself with a rope round it, and fill up his ears and nose with some cotton, to prevent the effect of the air produced by the velocity of this animal.
'When I mounted it, continues Salame', 'the Arabs told me not to guide nor to touch her with the whip, but let her alone; and that I might be sure she would carry me in a very short time to the spot where the caravan was; and that I had only to keep myself steady on her back, and to fear nothing. I had started with her about twelve o'clock at night; and when she was heated and began to gallop, I thought myself as if I was flying in the air. At about two o'clock in the morning, I saw at a distance some fires; and in a quarter of an hour after, I found myself in a camp of Arabs, where she kneeled down by a black tent, and began to make a terrible noise. I immediately knew that it was not our caravan. However, on the dromedary's voice, I saw an old woman coming out of the tent, exclaiming, 'Welcome, my dear son!' but when she approached to kiss me, and found that I was not her son she began to howl. 'Murder! murder! here is a Turkman who has killed my son and seized his dromedary!' and she made a horrible rout through the camp, when every one got up and came to her assistance. I then told them that I was neither Turk nor Mamluk; and stated the circumstance of the caravan, and how the dromedary had brought me to their camp. The woman would not believe my account, and insisted on revenging her son's blood, by smothering me under the camel's belly. On hearing this, I of course began to think seriously of my unhappy luck, and how to get over it. I asked for the chief of the tribe, to whom I gave the name of the chief of our Arabs. and of the man with whom I was a passenger; and told him to arrest me at his tent till he sent to inquire where the caravan was, and to have a full information of the facts. Understanding that I was a harmless person, and possessed nothing but my life, he took me to his tent, and immediately dispatched one of his people to ascertain the fact. I staid in the family of this good man six days, when the messenger returned with the confirmation of all the circumstances. I then requested him to send me to Cairo: upon which he said, that he could not send me with any of his men publicly, but he would convey me with some of the countrymen who were going to sell straw; and that I was to disguise myself like one of them, and to drive before me a camel, loaded with straw. In short, I did all he told me, and at last succeeded in entering Cairo as a straw seller.'
Towns of Russia.
The travelling part of our countrymen never fail to observe the striking contrast which the cleanliness and comfort of England presents to almost every other city or town in the world; but the meanest towns of France and Germany are entitled to the epithets of magnificent, in comparison with the cities of the interior of Russia. Charkow, a town to the south of Moscow, the seat of an University and of a provincial government, is so encumbered with mud and filth, that a carriage drawn by two strong horses often sticks fast in the streets. 'It would not be possible,' says M. Klaproth, 'to walk through the dirt on stilts: but, fortunately, the weather was dry during part of my stay, and the mud became so fixed and compact, that we could walk over it without sinking.' He found it necessary, however, to follow the established practice of wearing very wide fur boots, fastened over the knee with straps and buckles. The etiquette is to take off these leg covers when entering a house; but it may happen, in this receptacle of wet and filth, as was the case with Mr. Klaproth, that the boot will stick so fast in the mud, as to oblige the wearer to break the strap at the knee, and leave the whole behind.
The most disagreeable part of the Neapolitan climate, is the Sirocco, or south-east wind, which is very common in May and June. It is infinitely more relaxing, and gives the vapours in a much stronger degree, than the worst of our rainy Novembers. It produces a degree of lasssitude both in mind and body, that renders them absolutely incapable of performing their usual functions. It is not very surprising, that it should produce these effects on a phlegmatic English constitution, but there have been instances that all the mercury of France must sink under the load of this horrid leaden atmosphere. A smart Parisian marquess, who arrived at Naples, was so full of animal spirits, that the people thought him mad. He never remained a moment in the same place, but at their grave conversations he used to skip about from room to room with such amazing elasticity, that the Italians swore he had got springs in his shoes. In ten days after, a friend met him walking with the step of a philosopher, a smelling-bottle in his hand, and all his vivacity extinguished. He asked what was the matter. 'Ah! mon ami,' said he, 'je m'ennui a la mort - moi qui n'ai jamais scu l'ennui. Mais cet execrable vent m'accable, et deux jours de plus et je me pend.' 'Ah, my friend,' said he, 'I am like to die with ennui; I, who never knew what it was to have ennui before. But that execrable wind so oppresses me, that if I remain here two more days, I shall certainly hang myself!' The natives themselves do not suffer less than strangers, and all nature seems to languish during this pestilential wind. A Neapolitan lover avoids his mistress with the utmost care in the time of the Sirocco; and the indolence it inspires is almost sufficient to extinguish every passion. All works of genius are suspended during its continuance; and when anything very flattering is produced, the strongest phrase of disapprobation they can bestow is, 'Era scrillo in tempo del Sirocco,' that it was written in the time of the Sirocco.
In the summer of 1644, the amiable John Evelyn visited France and Italy, and the account of his tour is not the least interesting part of his diary. After residing some time in Paris, he set forward to Orleans, and his account of his journey affords an excellent specimen of the state of France at that time.
'The way, as indeed most of the roads in France, is paved with a small square freestone, so that there is little dirt and bad roads as in England, only 'tis somewhat hard to the poor horses' feet, which causes them to ride more temperately, seldom going out of the trot, or grand pas, as they call it.
April 20, we had an excellent road, but had like to come short home, for no sooner were we entered two or three leagues into the forest of Orleans, (which extends itself many miles) but the company behind us were set on by rogues, who shooting from the hedges and frequent covert, slew four upon the spot. This disaster made such an alarm in Orleans, at our arrival, that the provost-marshal, with his assistants, going in pursuit, brought in two, whom they had shot, and exposed them in the great market-place, to see if any would take cognizance of them. I had great cause to thank God for this escape. I lay at the White Lion, where I found Mr. John Nicholas, eldest son to Mr. Secretary. In the night, a cat kittened on my bed. and left on it a young one, having six ears, eight legs, two bodies, and two tails. I found it dead, but warm, in the morning when I awaked.'
From France, Mr. Evelyn proceeded to Italy. At Vienne, in Dauphine, he says, 'We supped and lay, having, among other dainties, a dish of truffles, an earth-nut found out by a hog trained to it, and for which these animals are sold at a great price.'
At Marseilles, Mr. Evelyn bought umbrellas to keep off the heat, and travelled to Cannes by land, for fear of the Picaroon Turks. From Cannes he had a stormy voyage coastways to Genoa, where, on landing, he was strictly examined by the Syndics, and conducted to an inn kept by an Englishman of the name of Zacharias, who seems to have made an extensive use of one of the privileges to which travellers are said to be entitled. 'I shall never forget,' says Mr. Evelyn, 'a story of our host, Zachary, who, on the relation of our peril, told us another of his own: being shipwrecked, as he affirmed solemnly, in the middle of a great sea, somewhere in the West Indies, that he swam no less than twenty-two leagues to another island, with a tinderbox wrapped up in his hair, which was not so much as wet all the way; that picking up the carpenter's tools, with other provisions, in a chest, he and the carpenter, who accompanied him, (good swimmers it seems both) floated the chest before them, and arriving, at last, in a place full of wood, they built another vessel, and so escaped. After this story, we no more talked of our danger; Zachary put us quite down.'
At Genoa, Mr. Evelyn met with a characteristic trait.
'The first palace we went to visit, was that of Hieronymo del Negros, to which we passed by a boat across the harbour. Here I could not but observe the sudden passion of a seaman, who plying us, was intercepted by another, who interposed his boat before him and took us in; for the tears gushing out of his eyes, he put his finger in his mouth, and almost bit it off by the joint, showing it to his antagonist as an assurance to him of some desperate revenge if ever he came near that part of the harbour again. Indeed, this beautiful city is more stained with such horrid acts of revenge and murder, than any one place in Europe, or happily in the world, where there is a political government, which makes it unsafe to strangers. It is made a galley matter to carry a knife whose point is not broken off.'
When Denon was travelling in Egypt, in 1798, with the troops across the desert, from Alexandria, they met a young woman whose face was smeared with blood. In one hand she held a young infant, while the other was vacantly stretched out to the object that might strike or guide it. The curiosity of Denon and his companions was excited. They called their guide, who was also their interpreter. They approached; and they heard the sighs of a being from whom the organs of tears had been torn away! Astonished, and desirous of an explanation, they questioned her. They learned that the dreadful spectacle before their eyes, had been produced by a fit of jealousy. Its victim presumed to utter no murmurs, but only prayers in behalf of the innocent who partook her misfortune, and which was on the point of perishing with misery and hunger. The soldiers, struck with compassion, and forgetting their own wants in the presence of the more pressing ones of others, immediately gave her a part of their rations. They were bestowing part of the precious water which they were threatened soon wholly to be without themselves, when they beheld the furious husband approach, who, feasting his eyes at a distance with the fruits of his vengeance, had kept his victims in sight. He sprang forward, snatched from the woman's hand the bread, the water, (that last necessary of life!) which pity had given to misfortune. 'Stop!' cried he, 'she has lost her honour, she has wounded mine; this child is my shame - it is the son of guilt!' The soldiers resisted the attempt to deprive the woman of the food they had given her. His jealousy was irritated at seeing the object of his fury become that of the kindness of others. He drew a dagger, and gave the woman a mortal blow; then seized the child, threw it into the air, and destroyed it by its fall; afterwards, with a stupid ferocity, he stood motionless, looking steadfastly at those who surrounded him, and defying their vengeance. M. Denon enquired if there were no prohibitory laws against so atrocious an abuse of authority? He was answered, that the man had done wrong to stab the woman, because, at the end of forty days, she might have been received into a house, and fed by charity.
A Greenlander was driving a merchant in a sledge across the sea upon the ice, when a sudden storm arose and broke the ice to pieces. In such cases the Greenlanders abandon the sledge, and save themselves by leaping from one piece of ice to another; but as the Europeans are not able to leap in this manner, the driver said very coolly to the merchant, 'You are not to be saved, but you have pencil and paper in your book; tear a piece off, and (saying this he stooped down) write here upon my back that you are drowned, otherwise your people might think I had killed you.' The merchant had of course no mind either to write or to be drowned, and begged him for God's sake, not to forsake him. 'Very well,' said the Greenlander, 'if you die, I can die likewise,' and he staid with him and saved him. In the sequel, he often joked on this adventure, saying 'You would not write; you were afraid; that was droll.'
The Japanese cross the Straits of Sangar from Matsmai to a well-sheltered bay near the city of Mimaya. As they never undertake it except with a favourable wind, they are in general only a few hours at sea. Mimaya is about two hundred rees, or eight hundred wersts, from Yeddo. Persons of distinction travel in litters or sedan chairs, and the common people on horseback. A great number of men are, therefore, always kept at the post stations. The Japanese say, that the litter-bearers, from long experience, proceed with so much steadiness, that if a glass of water was placed in the litter, not a drop would be spilt.
A Journey to Mount Etna.
On the 31st of May, three Germans and one Englishman, Mr. George Russell, made a journey from Catania to Mount Etna. The day was fine on which they set out, but the sun burnt hotly, and their mules carried them slowly up the mountain, on the difficult, slippery, and sandy way. Their Catanian landlord, with a sumpter horse, followed the travellers with their provisions. Towards evening, they arrived at Nicolosi, and found a most kind and hospitable reception from Don Mario Gemmellaro, the intendant and physician of the place. The further description of the journey is from the narrative of Professor Kephalides, one of the travellers.
'After a short repose, we set out at near ten o'clock at night, accompanied by one riding on a mule, and a second on foot.
We stumbled over the very fatiguing way through the woody region, in a dark night, upon our mules, without meeting any accident; thanks to our sagacious animals that we did not break our necks in these intricate narrow paths among the lava rocks. At length the moon emerged from the clouds, and her pale light displayed at an immeasurable depth below us, the bright mirror of the sea.
'We now arrived in the snowy region, when suddenly the sky was covered with black tempestuous clouds, and the bleak air benumbed us. We could not now hope to see the sun rise, for the sake of which we had pushed so briskly forward; for this reason, and from having suffered much from the inclemency of the weather, we resolved to rest ourselves in the lava cavern, called Grotto del Castelluccio. After we had taken a cheerful breakfast, though with chattering teeth, we continued to wade through the immense field of volcanic ashes, the Grotto del Castelluccio, lying two hours below the crater. At length, the sun rising from the sea, amidst the stormy clouds, illumined the frightful wilderness, which we had not yet perfectly seen. All vegetation, except green tufts of moss, had long been passed: surrounded with clouds and smoke, we proceeded, sometimes over white fields of snow, sometimes through a black sea of ashes, towards the summit, unable to see above fifty steps before us. In this way we had advanced about a thousand paces from Gernmellaro's house, when suddenly our English companion began to groan terribly, and fell from his mule into the arms of the guide. This unlucky event, in the gloomy solitude, and amidst the clouds of smoke, embarrassed us not a little, and of course put an end to our Etna journey for the present; for what were we to do with our sick companion? Our little stock of wine, which might, perhaps, have refreshed him, we had left in the cavern Del Castelluccio; and as the chief cause of his illness was the rarefied air, and the extraordinary change of temperature from 27 degrees of heat to freezing, it would have been folly to proceed further up to Gemmellaro's empty house. After he had recovered himself a little, therefore, we covered him with mantles, and carried him, as he was not able to ride on his mule, down to the Grotto del Castellticcio. Here he was again taken so ill, and fainted so often, that we thought him dying. However, an hour's sleep, and the warm and denser air, braced him so much, that he was able to proceed with us to Nicolosi.
'The following day, at seven in the morning, we were awaked by the bright beams of the sun, and in an hour we were mounted for the third time, to try our fortune against the volcano, which had hitherto been so inaccessible to us. Accompanied by the friendly, sensible, and bold guide, Antonino Barbagallo, we left Nicolosi, and rode, without stopping, past the lava beds, to the Goat's Cavern, at the end of the woody region. Here, under the agreeable shade of the oaks, we took a slight breakfast; the lovely green of the forest blended with the purest azure of the heavens, and a shepherd played romantic airs on his flute, while his nimble goats grazed on a little spot in the middle of the once fluid ocean of fire; the dark blue sea mingled in the distance with the placid sky. The faithful mules carried us again through the intricate lava paths into the desert regions; but this time we passed without visiting the fatal Grotto del Castelluccio, to the house of Gemmellaro, sometimes full of apprehension, as the clouds began again to cross one another rapidly; but yet there were moments when the sky was quite clear and serene.
"Here, at Gemmellaro's house, we already enjoyed a part of the heavenly prospect which awaited us, over the sea and the whole island. The clouds floated rapidly in large masses, as if to a battle; everything was in commotion, and most of all, our souls. Our excellent Antonino contrived to prepare for us, in haste, a little dinner. We soon had the snow and lava fields, at the foot of the immense ash cone, behind us, and now actually ascended it; a troublesome way, as at every step we sunk in the loose volcanic sand, losing almost as much back as we gained forwards; but joy gave us wings. Already we had passed over the beds of yellow sulphur; already the ground under us began to feel hot in places, and to smoke out of many hundred little craters; while round the summit itself the clouds sometimes collected in thick masses, and sometimes allowed us to see clearly the grand object of our wishes. At last the guide, who was some steps before us, called out, "Behold here the highest crater;" these words gave us new speed, and in a few minutes we stood at the brink of this smoking caldron, the mouth of which has vomited forth mountains, some of which are larger than Vesuvius, or the Brochen in Germany.
'We instantly determined to descend into the crater, and though our resolute guide assured us, beforehand, that it would now be impossible, as the smoke did not rise perpendicularly, but filled the crater, he was willing to make a trial. We followed him a little way, but the thick, almost palpable, sulphureous vapour, soon involved us in a thick night, and would have burst the strongest lungs.
'We then went up to the southern horn, and here lay astonished on the hot sulphur, amidst smoke, vapours, and thunder. The hot ashes burned us, the sulphureous vapours stifled us, the storm threatened to hurl us into the abyss; our souls were scarcely equal to the irresistible force of the sublimest impressions. In the valleys beneath, full of black lava and white snow, and over the bright surface of the sea, which looked like a plane of polished steel, and seemed to lean obliquely to the sky, immense hosts of clouds sailed slowly along; but when they came near to the volcano, the furious hurricane, in which we could scarcely keep our feet, seized them, and precipitated them with gigantic force ten thousand feet down on the plains and seas of Sicily and Italy. We then proceeded round the edge of the crater to the northern horn; and here, onjoyed a prospect, which, in sublimity and grandeur, doubtless exceeds anything that the faculties of man can conceive. The clouds of smoke rose from the crater, where the raging storm, which, like artillery, or innumerable bells, drowned every other sound, rent them asunder, and, with the rapidity of lightning, threw them into the abyss below. The pointed cone on which we stood was covered with a yellow sulphur, white salt, and black ashes. The sun appeared very strange through the yellow sulphur, and gave to this singular picture such a terrible and savage tone, that in looking only at the objects immediately surrounding us, we could not help fancying ourselves in the horrid dominion of the prince of the infernal hosts. Everywhere we beheld the war of the elements, desolation, and conflagration; nowhere a living creature, or even a blade of grass, which these contending elements had spared. What a scene must it be, when the volcano throws the column of smoke and fire, which it perhaps raises from the bottom of the sea, twenty thousand feet towards the heavens!
'But if we turn our eyes to the distance, it really seems as if we beheld here all the magnificence of the earth at our feet. We overlook the vast mountain, which has itself risen out of the earth, and has produced around itself many hundred smaller ones, clothed in dark brown; the purest azure sky reposes over the land and sea; the triangle of Sicily stretches its points towards Italy and Africa; and we saw the sea flow round Cape Trapani. At our feet lay the bold rocks of the Eolian Islands, and from Stromboli a vast column of smoke rose above the waves. The Neptunian and Heraean mountains, covered with the thickest forests, extended before cur eyes, in all their branches, over the whole island. To the east we saw, as on a large map, the whole of Calabria, the Gulf of Tarento, and the Straits of Messina. But how is it possible to excite, in the mind of a person at a distance, even a faint conception of the innumerable brilliant colours of the sky, the earth, and the sea, which here almost dazzle the eye?
'After we had contemplated this astonishing scene for about two hours, we quickly descended the cone to Gemmellaro's house, where we made the happiest triumphal repast that was anywhere celebrated at that moment, at least at so great an elevation. Antonino then sent the sumpter horses down to the Grotto del Castellucci by the other guide; but we ourselves took the direction to the East, all with closed eyes, led by our guide, to the brink of the Val del Bue. This most horrid abyss that ever our eyes beheld, was caused by a subterraneous torrent of lava, which undermined all the mountains that stood above it; hence the infernal brown-red colours of this precipice, which is many miles in length; and though we could not see any trace of vegetation, yet the diversity of tints was infinite. We rolled down large blocks of lava, but they broke into dust before they had fallen one-half of the dreadful way, and we did not hear them strike in their descent. Compared with this horrid cleft of the lava, even the abyss of the Rhine at the Viamala, in the Grisons, is pleasant and agreeable. Here we look, as it were, into the heart of desolation. While we were still contemplating this extraordinary valley, Etna itself prepared for us a new and wonderful sight. As the sun was descending into the western sea, the gigantic shadow of the volcano projected for many miles over the blue sea, towards Italy, and then rose, like an enormous pyramid, high in the air, on the edge of the horizon, so that the stars seemed to sparkle upon its summit.
'So ended this richest and happiest day of our journey, and perhaps of our lives. We then mounted our mules, which brought us in safety over the rugged fields of lava, in profound darkness, about midnight, to Nicolosi, where the worthy Gemmellaro waited for us with impatience. Transported with our success, we filled him also with the greatest pleasure, and it was not possible for us to go to sleep. We spent the greater part of the night rejoicing with him and our brave Antonino Barbagallo.'
Whoever ascends Mount Etna on the side of Catania, must either stop at the convent Of San Nicolosi d'Arena, near Nicolosi, or apply in the village itself, to the hospitality of M. Gemmellaro, who has always the kindness to lend a room to travellers. It is better to adopt the latter course, because the advice of this gentleman, who for these fifteen years has observed the volcano with remarkable interest and zeal, will be of the greatest service to every sensible person. Before the year 1804, he had built a small house near the Philosopher's Tower (about three quarters of a league below the high crater), to protect travellers from snow, hail and storms; when an English officer, Lord Forbes, having experienced the advantage of such a shelter, induced Don Mario, by promising to open a subscription among his countrymen on the island, to build a convenient house for travellers, as well as a stable for sumpter horses and mules. This little building, which was finished the same year, Will be appreciated at its full value by every one who, after suffering from the wind, ice, and cold, arrives at the cone of the volcano. The English call this asylum. 'The House of the English;' but the inhabitants of Etna give it the name of 'The house of Gemmellaro,' as he was at the chief expense and trouble in erecting it. Every traveller receives the keys gratis. Gemmellaro's house lies close to the lava eruption of the year 1787, and at the mouth of the crater of the year 1669, which swallowed up the cone of the volcano.
Imperial Visit to Mount Vesuvius.
On the 20th of May, 1819, at eleven o 'clock at night, the Emperor and Empress of Austria, 'accompanied by the Prince of Salerno, and the Princess Amelia of Saxony, ascended Mount Vesuvius. They remained at a short distance from the crater, until five o'clock in the morning, in order to observe the brilliant spectacle of the volcanic eruptions, and to enjoy at the same time the magnificent picture which the Bay of Naples presents at sun-rise.
The Duke de Torre, well known for his learned observations on Vesuvius, and Chevalier de Gimbernat, Counsellor of Legation to the King of Bavaria, had the honour of acting as guides to the illustrious party. Both the emperor and the empress observed with the greatest attention, all that was remarkable in the volcanic phenomena, and wished to see the fountain which Chevalier de Gimbernat had formed on the very crater of Vesuvius, by means of an apparatus which condenses the vapours into a potable water, as clear a crystal; but some burning stones ejected violently from the crater, having fallen around the fountain, rendered the access to it to dangerous. In order, however, to satisfy the curiosity of their majesties as far as possible, a resolute individual volunteered to try an bring some water out of the region of fire and actually succeeded in obtaining a pitch full. The Emperor drank of it, and remarked that it had the taste of being boiled. It is not a little singular, that this water contains neither salts nor sulphur, nor any other mineral principle.
During the two hours which their majesties passed on the summit of the mountain in front of the crater, Vesuvius, as if in emulation, displayed all its magnificence. Immense jets of flame, volumes of burning stones ejected to a considerable height, and occasional violent explosions, continued in succession, impressed the minds of the imperial visitors with the most sublime ideas of this wonderful spectacle.
Ritchie and Lyon.
In 1819, Mr. Ritchie, accompanied by Captain Lyon, undertook a journey for the purpose of exploring Northern Africa. They penetrated as far as Morzouk, the capital of Fezzan, which is thirty-nine days' journey from Tripoli. Here Mr. Ritchie, who had scarcely enjoyed a day's good health during the whole journey, was taken so violently ill, as to be unable to proceed farther, and on the 20th of November, 1819, he died, and was interred at Morzouk.
Captain Lyon now determined to penetrate to the southward of Morzouk, and succeeded in reaching Teggery, the southern limit of Fezzan. After remaining a short time here, collecting all the information he could obtain, he returned to Tripoli. In the journey to Morzouk, Mr. Ritchie and Captain Lyon travelled with the sultan.
'Our travelling pace,' he says' 'was a walk of the horses, which generally got considerably in advance of the camels. At noon, or about that time, if we could find a tree, we stopped under it; if not, we sat under the shadow of our horses. The sultan was grand victualler, and generally produced a bag of bread or dates, or the remains of his dinner of the day before. Each one then had a portion, not sufficient to be called a dinner, but to break his fast; and after eating, and drinking a few mouthfuls of water, stretched himself out, and slept until the camels came up; the party then mounted, and rode on. These rests were very refreshing to the men and horses; but the loaded camels never made any stop, neither did the poor negroes, who, with their wives, and even little children, plodded on the whole day over a burning soil, sometimes for twelve, and often for sixteen hours, whenever want of water made a forced march necessary. Several of the smallest of the black children, though probably not more than four or five years of age, walked for many hours with great strength in the early part of the day, having but a few rags to cover them; and when unable to proceed further, were put on the camels for the remainder of the day. One of our party, a poor old man totally blind, arrived safe at Morzouk from Tripoli. He had walked all the way over the rocks and plains, led by his wife, and was kept alive by the hope of once more hearing the voices of his countrymen.
'When we stopped for the night, it was generally so contrived that we should lie in some spot where bushes might be found for the camels to browse upon; but even though there might be no wood or herbage, a wadey was always preferred, as more sheltered. Our tents were pitched, if the ground was sufficiently soft to admit the pegs, and our bales and chests so placed as to form a shelter for those who had no tents, affording a bulwark against the wind and sand. The little resistance offered by any intervening objects to the winds of the desert renders them very powerful, and the stillness of the night in blowing weather is particularly awful. The tents are no sooner pitched than the camels are turned out to feed on the thin and scattered bushes, and parties go to collect wood; the horses are hobbled, watered from the skin, and then fed. We usually managed in an evening to make a little coffee, of which Mukni always came and partook; and, as soon as he left the tent, his slaves and people generally succeeded him, wishing also to taste some.
Crossing the Delaware.
There being a constant intercourse between the two shores of the Delaware, it is curious to observe the various means which the owners of the ferry-boats use to counteract the effects of the frost on its first setting in, so as to preserve the communication open. On these occasions they make use of a boat that has two sliders, one on each side of the keel, shod with iron, and as the shallow parts of the river are first frozen, they sail as usual over the deep parts; and on coming to those that are frozen, they drag the boat out of the water, and push it along the ice until they come to the deep places, when the boat is again plunged into the water. Thus they go on until they reach the opposite shore; and as it will in course sometimes happen, in the early part of the frost, that between the deep and the shallow water the ice is not sufficiently strong to support the boat, in this case it is common for one of the ferrymen to sit at the head of the boat, with his feet hanging out, loaded with a pair of heavy iron-bound shoes, and with a long pole in his hands. With these he labours with all his might to break the ice, and make way for the boat.
Near the top of Mount Cenis, there is a spot where adventurous travellers sometimes descend to the Town of Lans le Bourg upon a sledge, in the short space of seven minutes; whereas it takes two hours and a half to ascend in a carriage or on a mule. The precipice is really frightful, yet the English travellers frequently adopt this mode of conveyance during the winter.
When Mr. Bowditch had executed his mission to Ashantee in 1817, he had considerable difficulty in obtaining leave to return. At length he was allowed to return under an Ashantee escort. The road he travelled, for the first few days, was almost a continued bog, owing to the rainy season having set in violently. When they travelled in the night, they were obliged to have torches to keep off the wild beasts; and such was the state of the road, that they lost their shoes, and had nearly the whole of their clothes torn from their backs. 'One day,' says Mr. Bowditch in his narrative. 'Mr. Tedlie, myself, a soldier, and the Ashantee next in authority to the the captain, outwalked the rest of the party, and found ourselves out of their hearing when it grew dark. A violent tornado ushered in the night; we could not hear each other halloo, and were soon separated; luckily I found I had one person left with me (the Ashantee), who, after groping me out, and tying his cloth tight round his middle, gave me the other end, and thus plunged along, pulling me after him through bogs and rivers, exactly like an old rook to a duck in a pond. The thunder, the darkness, and the howling of the wild beasts were awful. The Ashantee had dragged me along, or rather through the bog in this manner until midnight, when quite exhausted, with the remnants of my clothes scarcely hanging together, I let go his cloth, and falling on the ground, was asleep before I could call out to him. I was awoke by this faithful guide, who groped me out, and told me that I should die if I halted, and so we pursued the duck and owl method once more. In an hour after we forded the last river, which had swollen considerably above my chin, and spread to a great width. Again falling asleep, my humane guide carried me from the bank of the river to a drier corner of the forest, and when I awoke I was surprised to see him with a companion and a torch; he took me on his back, and in about three quarters of an hour we reached Akrofroom.
It was about two o'clock in the morning, and the inhabitants of Akrofroom were nearly all asleep, for it was too rude a night for negro revelry. However, I was directly carried to a dry and clean apartment, furnished with a brass panful of water to wash in, and some fruit and palm wine, an excellent bed of mats and cushions, and an abundance of clothes to wrap round me, for I was all but naked. A soldier came up about mid-day, and gave me some hopes of seeing Mr. Tedlie again, who arrived soon afterwards, having left his companions in a bog, waiting until he sent them assistance from the town. Another party arrived at Akrofroom about four o'clock, and the last, with the Cape Coast linguist and the corporal, not until sunset. They had lost the track altogether, and spent the whole day, as well as the previous night, in the woods. We made an excellent duck soup, our grace to which was, "What a luxury to poor Mungo Park;" the name recalled sufferings which made us laugh at our own as mere adventures.'
In Holland there is a pleasant mode of travelling in the treckschuyt. It resembles a barge of one of the companies of the city of London, but is smaller, and less ornamented. It is drawn by one horse, and goes at the rate of four miles an hour.
One advantage attending travelling in Holland, is, that the treckschuyts and diligences start at the time appointed during the striking of the clock. If you are told that the hour is seven, you may be sure to be on your way before the fourth of the seven has sounded. The precision at which the arrival is fixed, is equally punctual; so that you may depend upon it within a very few minutes. Thus you may always ascertain the time of finishing any journey, whether it be by water or by land.
Paying Like a King.
When George the Second was returning from his German dominions, in his way between the Brill and Helvoetsluys, he was obliged to stay at an obscure public-house on the road, while some of his servants went forward to obtain another carriage, that in which he had travelled with having broken down. The king ordered refreshment, but all he could get was a pot of coffee for himself and Lord Delawar, and four bottles of gin made into punch, for his footmen; however, when the bill was called for, the conscientious Dutchman, knowing his customer, presented it as follows: 'To refreshments for His Sacred Majesty King George the Second, and his household, £91.' Lord Delawar was so provoked at this imposition, that the king overheard his altercation with the landlord, and demanded the cause of it. His lordship immediately told him; when his majesty goodhumouredly replied, 'My lord, the fellow is a great knave, but pay him. Kings seldom pass this way.'
A similar anecdote is related of another monarch, who passing through a town in Holland, was charged thirty dollars for two eggs. On this, he said, that 'eggs were surely scarce in that town.' 'No, your majesty,' replied the landlord, 'but kings are.'
A Mad Dervish.
Captain Kinneir, who travelled through Asia, Asia Minor, Armenia, and Kurdistan in the years 1813 and 1814, relates the following adventure which occurred to him in Wallachia.
'Tired with walking, I returned to my lodgings, and had just sat down to breakfast, when I was alarmed by a loud knocking at the court gate. It was immediately burst open, and one of those Dervishes called Delhi, or madmen, entered the apartment, and in the most outrageous manner, struck me with the shaft of a long lance, which he held in his hand, at the same time abusing my people for having allowed an infidel to enter the habitation of a holy man, since (as it afterwards turned out) the house belonged to him. I was so incensed at the conduct of this intruder, that I instantly seized one of MY pistols, which were lying by my side, and should have shot him on the spot, regardless of the consequences, had I not been withheld by the Tartar and those around me. The Dervish was in a moment hurled neck and heels out of the door, and I went in person to the Aga to complain of the outrage. I found him sitting in a loft or garret, a place somewhat dangerous to approach, on account of the bad condition of the ladder which led to the only entrance. I ordered the Tartar to read the firman, and, representing the circumstance, desired that the Delhi might be punished. He said, that he would chastise him the moment I was gone; but as he was a holy man, and I an infidel, the inhabitants of the town would not at present allow him to be touched. Finding that there was no hope of redress, I returned to my lodgings, determined to depart as soon as the heat of the day would permit me; but scarcely had I arrived, when the Delhi, accompanied by three or four of his friends, again entered the room, and sat down at some distance from me on the floor. The former remained quiet, but his companions were continually urging him to take possession of my seat, which was more elevated than the others. On his declining to do this, two of them, unable to control their rage, rose up, and spitting on the ground as a mark of contempt, mounted up, and pulling my carpet from under me, sat down upon it without the smallest ceremony. My poor Tartar, afraid of interfering, advised me to quit the apartment, which fortunately I did; had I acted otherwise, the Dervish might have irritated the whole town against us, and in that case my temerity might have been fatal to us both.'
This enterprising seaman was, in the year 1815, appointed to explore the River Congo or Zaire, and, if possible, penetrate into the heart of Southern Africa. Among the persons that he took along with him, was a poor black of South Africa, who, in his youth, had been kidnapped by a slave dealer. He was taken on board the Congo with the view of restoring him to his friends and country, but neither of these proved to be in the neighhood of the Zaire, and he was brought back to England. His master was not so fortunate, for Captain Tuckey, Lieutenant Hawley, Professor Smith of Christiana, Mr. Tudor the anatomist, Mr. Branch the anatomist, Mr. Galway a volunteer, and the purser, all fell victims to their love of travel, and swelled the list of Europeans who have perished in exploring Africa.
After Captain Tuckey had proceeded up the river as far as it was navigable, he left the vessel, transports, and boats, in the charge of an inferior officer, and taking with him twenty-five men, besides the gentlemen who formed the scientific part of the expedition, the whole being well armed, and carrying with them provisions for six weeks, commenced the difficult task of exploring the river, by journeying on shore. The disembarkation took place on the 20th of August, 1816. They had not, however, proceeded far, when they became beset with calamities. As early as the second day after Tuckey's departure, the sad results began to manifest themselves. On that day, the anatomist was brought back to the boats in a dangerous state; his illness soon terminated in death. Those who remained in the river had but too frequently opportunities of hearing of their companions, from the sick, who returned to them in rapid succession. The captain, superior to fatigue, and undismayed by danger, went boldly forward, till his little party became so seriously weakened, that he felt it his duty to lose no time in retracing his steps, to save the remnant of his followers.
He had hoped to find means of prosecuting the object of the expedition by water; but disappointed in this, surrounded by suspicious natives, in a country which offered no resources, no alternative remained, and he reluctantly abandoned the design he had formed. The inhabitants of the country, who at the commencement of his journey had seemed friendly, became hostile in the day of his distress. At one time a very considerable force was opposed to him: a crowd, or as they might call it, an army, was drawn up in battle array against the adventurers. The numerical superiority was immense, but courage prevailed over number, and the British having discharged their firearms, but without destroying any of the undisciplined multitude who had put themselves in the situation of enemies, their king, on seeing Captain Tuckey and his little band about to advance to the charge in earnest, came forward to entreat that his people might not be killed. Though many of the natives were armed with muskets, and other European weapons, they were not considered formidable by the handful of men who had undertaken to explore their country.
Captain Tuckey was compelled to retrace his steps, and reached the ship on the 17th of September, 1816, in a state of extreme exhaustion, brought on by fatigue and privations. His strength gradually declined, and on the 4th of October, he expired.
Buckingham, the most recent European traveller in Palestine, gives the following account of his reception at Tiberias. 'Taking' he says, 'a southern course through the town, we were conducted to the house of the Catholic priest, and alighted there to halt for the night. We found the Abuna himself occupied in opening pods of cotton in the outer court; while about twenty children were bawling, rather than reading, Arabic, in a small dark room behind him. The mat on which the father sat being sufficiently large to contain us both, I seated myself beside him; but, whether from religious pride or any other motive, I know not, he neither rose, nor gave me any of the accustomed forms of salutation. The first question which he asked me, on my being seated, was, whether I was a Christian, and how I made the sign of the cross? I replied that I was an Englishman, on my way to Damascus, and had thought that he would be glad to entertain me for a night on that consideration alone: but added, that if he felt any scruples at harbouring an heretic, in which light the English are considered by all the Christians of the East, should most willingly withdraw to seek some other shelter. His son then hinted to him in a loose way, that though the English did not bow to the Pope, they were excellent people to deal with, for they travelled all the world over, to get the hidden treasures of ruined cities, and always paid twice as much as the people of any other nation, for any service rendered to them. This seemed to reconcile the father completely to my stay.
'The hour of supper arrived, and a bowl of boiled wheat and durra, with oil, was produced for the family. I was turning up my sleeves to wash my hands, in preparation for the meal, when the old man asked me whether we had no provisions in our sacks? I replied that we had only taken sufficient for the day, and had finished it at Sook-ed Khan, being assured, by the friars at Nazareth that we should find every thing we could desire here.
He, then said, "You must purchase supper for yourselves." I replied, we would not willingly intrude on his stock, and had, therefore, sought to purchase fish at first: but that since none could be procured, we should content ourselves with whatever might be found. Four eggs were then produced from a cupboard in the house; but before they were broken, eight paras were asked for them. Six paras were then claimed for oil to fry them in, though this was poured out of the same jar from which the lamp was filled, and they seemed to think they had laid us under great obligation to their hospitality, in merely furnishing us with bread and shelter.
'All this was so contrary to the behaviour of the Arabs in general, and so directly opposite to that of the Mahommedans, and of the Bedouins, in particular, that we were forcibly struck with it; nor could even the evident poverty of this religious chief sufficiently account for it; since, among the very poorest of the classes named, the same warm hospitality is found as amoung the richest, varying only in its extent, according to their several means. We made a hearty supper, however, and the old Abuna himself, after finishing his portion of the family bowl, came, without ceremony, to begin a new meal at our mess, of which he took at least an equal share.
A number of visits were paid in the evening by heads of Christian families, and the topic of conversation, was the heretical peculiarities of the English, and their lamentable ignorance of the true religion. Some insisted that none of them believed in the existence of a God; others thought it was still worse that they did not bow to the Pope; many seemed to know that they did not hold the Virgin Mary in esteem, and that the crucifix was not worn by them; and all believed that there were neither churches, priests, fasts, festivals, nor public prayers, throughout the country; but that every one followed the devices of his own heart, without restraint.'
Extraordinary Herd Boy.
Father Michael Angelo Selleri, a Franciscan friar, going, in the beginning of February, 1531, to preach during the Lent session at Ascoli, lost his way near Le Grotte, and coming to a point where four lanes met, could not tell which to take. As he was looking round for somebody to direct him, a little boy, who was attending a herd of swine, came running forward, and tendered his services. The friar cheerfully accepted them, and asked him the road to Ascoli? 'I'll soon show you the way thither,' replied the boy, and immediately began to run before him. As they went along, the answers the urchin gave to Father Michael's questions, were so smart and pertinent, and accompanied with so much good humour, that the friar was quite charmed with him, and could not conceive how a child, who had no higher employment than looking after hogs, should have such a share of sense and good manners.
When Father Michael had got into his road again, he thanked Felix for his trouble, and would have dismissed him with a reward; but he kept running forward without seeming to take any notice of what he said, which obliged the friar to ask him in a jocose manner whether he designed to go with him quite to the town? 'Yes,' said the boy, 'not only to Ascoli, but to the end of the world, with a great deal of pleasure;' and upon this he took occasion to tell the friar, that the poor circumstances of his parents would not allow them to sent him to school, as he desired; that he earnestly wished somebody belonging to a convent would take him as a waiting boy, and he would serve him to the utmost of his power, provided he would teach him to read.
To try the boy a little farther, Father Michael asked him 'If he would take upon him the habit of his order?' Felix, for that was the boy's name, immediately answered that he would; and though the friar set forth to him, in the most frightful colours, all the mortifications and austerities he would be obliged to undergo, he boldly replied 'He would willingly suffer anything, if he would make him a scholar.' The priest, surprised at his courage and resolution, thought that he must be under the influence of some superior inspiration, and resolved to take him along with him. He told him, however, first to conduct his hogs back to his master, and then to come to him at the convent of Ascoli. But Felix could not be persuaded to leave him on any account. 'The hogs,' said he, 'will find their way home themselves, when night comes on.' The friar yielding, they continued their journey, and arrived at Ascoli in the evening.
The fraternity received the preacher with great civility, but were surprised to see him attended by a poor ragged boy. When he told them by what accident he had picked him up and with what extraordinary zeal he had followed him thither, the warden had the curiosity to send for and ask him several questions. The replies which young Felix made were such, that he appeared even more extraordinary than Father Michael had represented him to be. Such an examination before a reverend community, might well have disconcerted a person of riper years, but Felix answered without any hesitation, and with an air of truth and simplicity that could not be suspected of any artifice or contrivance. Everything he said, tended to persuade them of his call, and of the ardent desire he had to become a preacher of the Gospel, if they would qualify him for it. The whole brotherhood, convinced that the hand of God eminently appeared in the affair, conjured the warden not to overlook so remarkable an interposition of Providence, when his attention to it might be the means of raising up a man that would, perhaps, prove an honour to their order.
The brotherhood augured rightly. The poor ragged boy, who thus accidentally obtained an introduction into their community, rose afterwards to the purple, by the title of Pope Sixtus V.
Seeing an Emperor.
The Emperor Alexander, in proceeding from Sedan to Paris, travelled in a berline de voyage. A young peasant, who had mistaken his carriage for that of his suite, climbed up behind, at some leagues from the city. The august traveller ordered his carriage to stop, and asked his travelling companion why he mounted behind? 'Sir,' said he, 'I wish to go to Sedan to see the Emperor Alexander.' 'And why do you wish to see the Emperor?' 'Because,' said he, 'my parents have told me that he loves Frenchmen; I wish, therefore, to see him for once.' 'Very well, my good fellow,' said Alexander, 'you now see him; I am the Emperor.' The child, in confusion and terror, began to cry; and after stammering out an excuse, was preparing to descend to persue his journey on foot: The Emperor desired him to remain, saying, we shall go together. When they arrived at the city, the Emperor requested him to call at his hotel. The youth did so. The Emperor asked if he wished to go to Russia? 'With pleasure,' replied the boy. 'Well,' said he, 'since, Providence has given you to me, I shall take care of your fortune.' The youth went away, on the following day, in the suite of the Emperor. A nearly similar adventure occurred to Bonaparte when passing through Eisnach, on his return from Moscow.
Frederick Hasselquist, the Swedish traveller and naturalist, having, when very young, heard Linnaeus say that we were still very ignorant of the natural history of Palestine, he felt the most ardent desire of visiting that country. The indigence which is so peculiarly the lot of learning in Sweden threw obstacles in his way, which nothing but the most persevering zeal could surmount. He went to Stockholm, and saved a little money by giving botanical lectures. He obtained a few inadequate contributions from the friends to his design, and being offered a free passage to Smyrna by the Levant Company, he commenced his voyage in August, 1749. He resided some time in Smyrna, made a tour towards the inland parts of Natolia, and then sailed to Alexandria. After a survey of the chief places in Lower Egypt, he visited the Holy land, whence he took a voyage to Cyprus, Rhodes, and Chio. In these countries he attended with unremitting assiduity to the purpose of his travels, and occasionally sent to Sweden such proofs of the value of his observations as procured him fresh subscriptions. At length, exhausted with fatigue and the unhealthiness of the climate, he fell a victim to his researches, and died at Smyrna, in 1752, before he had completed his thirty second year.
The eccentric Lord Monboddo paid frequent visits to London, to which he was attracted by the great number of literary men whose conversation he had an opportunity of engaging. For some time he made a journey to the capital once a year. A carriage, or vehicle, which was not in common use among the ancients, he considered as an instrument of effeminacy and sloth, which it was disgraceful for a man to make use of in travelling. To be dragged at the tail of a horse, instead of mounting on his back, seemed, in his eyes, to be a truly ludicrous degradation of the dignity of human nature. In all his journeys, therefore, between Edinburgh and London, he was accustomed to ride on horseback, with a single servant attending him. This practice he continued, without finding it too fatiguing for his strength, until he was between eighty and ninety years of age. On his return from a last visit which he made on purpose to take leave of all his friends in London, before he died, he became so exceedingly ill on the road that he was unable to proceed, and had he not been overtaken by a Scotch friend, who prevailed upon him to travel for the remainder of the way in a carriage, he might perhaps, have perished by the way side, or have breathed his last in some dirty or obscure inn.
In the beginning of December, 1797, the good and venerable Dr. Brocklesby set out upon a visit to Mrs. Burke, at Beaconsfield, the long-frequented seat of friendship and hospitality, where the master-spirit of the age he lived in, as well as the master of that mansion, had so often adorned, enlivened, and improved the convivial hour.
Being in a very infirm state of health when he prepared for this journey, his friends expressed their apprehensions whether such a length of way, or the lying out of his own bed, with other little circumstances, might not fatigue him too much. The Doctor instantly caught the force of this suggestion, and, with his usual placidity, replied, 'My good friend, I perfectly understand your hint, and am thankful to you for it, but where's the difference whether I die at a friend's house, at an inn, or in a post-chaise? I hope I'm every way prepared for such an event, and perhaps it would be as well not to elude the expectation of it.'
The Doctor, therefore, began his journey the next day, and arrived there the same evening, but died immediately on his return home, a few days after.
When the Duke de Chatelet travelled in Portugal (1777), all the military appointments were in the lowest state of degradation. Many of the officers in the army were the valets of the nobles, and were often seen waiting at table, even after they had obtained their commissions. When the Count de la Lippe, who was appointed to the command of the Portuguese army when the country was invaded by an army Of 40,000 Spaniards, in 1762, was one day dining with the Baron des Arcos, he observed behind his chair a valet-de-chambre of the family, who was intended to wait upon him, in the dress of an officer. He soon learned that he was a captain of cavalry, in a regiment of cuirassiers. of which the general had the command, and which, at present, bears the name Alcantara.
The Count de la Lippe, who was determined to put a stop to this proceeding, very properly rose, and declared that he would not dine unless the officer was allowed to sit at the table. He accordingly placed the commissioned valet between himself and the baron, to the no small mortification of his host. After the dismissal of the Count de la Lippe, the officers of the army were subjected to their former menial occupations. 'In the inn where I put up,' says the Duke de Chatelet, 'was a Portuguese major, whose servant was a lieutenant in his regiment. One day, as I was going out, I observed a captain give a small parcel to my servant. I asked him what was in it? It was my silk stockings, which the wife of this captain washed, and which he himself brought whenever he came for those that were dirty. From the selection of officers we may easily conceive what the soldiers must be. More than twenty times have I been assailed by sentinels, who, with much importunity, pressed me for alms. The soldiers are not restrained by discipline, nor watched in the slightest manner; lodged in poor wooden barracks, they escape in the night without difficulty, and commit all kind of excesses in the town. It is very dangerous to meet them, for it is not at all uncommon for them to ask charity with a knife in their hands.'
The agility of the Spaniards in leaping, climbing, and walking, has, with travellers, been a subject of constant admiration. Mr. Jacob, in his 'Letters from Spain,' says- We have frequently known a man on foot start from a town with us, who were well mounted, and continue his journey with such rapidity as to reach the end of the stage before us, and announce our arrival with officious civility. A servant also, whom we hired at Malaga, has kept pace with us ever since, and though no more than seventeen years of age, he seems incapable of being fatigued by walking. I have heard the agility of the Spanish peasants, and their power of enduring fatigue, attributed to a custom which, though it may probably have nothing to do with the cause, deserves notice for its singularity. A young peasant never sleeps upon a bed till he is married; before that event he rests on the floor, in his clothes. which he never takes off but for the purposes of cleanliness; and during the greater part of the year it is a matter of indifference whether he sleeps under a roof or in the open air. I have remarked that though the Spaniards rise very early they generally keep late hours, and seem most lively and alert at midnight. This may be attributed to the heat of the weather during the day, and to the custom of sleeping after their meals at noon, which is so general that the towns and villages appear quite deserted from one till four o'clock. The labours of the artificer and the attention of the shopkeeper are suspended during these hours, and the doors and windows of the latter are closely shut, as at night, or upon a holiday.'
Although the Spanish peasantry treat every man they meet with politeness, they expect an equal return of civility, and to pass them without the usual expression, 'Vaja usted con Dios,' or saluting them without bestowing on them the title of Cabaleros, would be risking an insult from people who, though civil and even polite, are not a little jealous of their claims to reciprocal attention.
King John of England.
The Queen of Castile once sent one of her knights on important business to a very solitary place, without any companion. As the knight was riding thus alone through a great forest, as fast as his palfrey would carry him, it happened, as ill-luck would have it, that in crossing a ditch, the palfrey tumbled into it so completely, that he could not get it up again, though he escaped without harm to his person. He used his best endeavours to get his palfrey out of the ditch, but to no purpose, nor could he see a single person, far or near, from whom to procure assistance. While in this state of perplexity, it happened that John, King of England, was hunting in these parts on an excellent palfrey, and had chased a noble stag so hotly, that he had left his party behind, and was quite alone when he fell in with this knight of the queen's. The latter no sooner saw the prince, than he recognised him: but conceiving the predicament he was in a sufficient excuse for pretending otherwise, he called to his majesty, when he was at some distance, saying, 'Sir Knight, for the love of God, make haste hither and be pleased to help me to get out this palfrey of mine, for I am on important business in the service of my lady.' When the king came up, he asked, 'Sir Knight, what lady dost thou serve?' He answered, 'The Queen of Castile.' The king, who was one of the most courteous princes in the world, immediately dismounted from his palfrey, and said, 'Sir Knight, I am hunting, as you see, with a party; be pleased, therefore, to take my palfrey, which is as good as your own, (it was worth three such) and I and my companions will endeavour to get yours again, and you shall go on your lady's business.' 'No,' said the knight. 'I cannot do so rude a thing, as to deprive you of your palfrey.' The king repeated his offer, and pressed him to take it for the love of knighthood, but nothing could prevail on him to accept it. He still, with much diffidence, entreated the king to assist him in getting his own again; then they both got into the ditch and the king tugged as hard as any clown. It was, however, all in vain, for get the palfrey out they could not. The king again pressed him to take his horse but he persisted in refusing. 'Well, then," said the king, 'since you will not do as I would have you, I will keep you company, till Providence send us some help.'
While they were thus talking, some of the king's attendants, who were in search of him, came up, and with their assistance, the knight's palfrey was at last dragged out of the ditch. The knight returned many thanks, and pursued his journey with his palfrey as well as he could, while the king and his party returned to the chase.
The knight having accomplished his journey, and the business on which he went, returned to his noble queen, and gave her an account of his embassy, and also of what had befallen him with his palfrey, and of the great service which John, King of England, had rendered him. The queen made him relate the adventure many times over, and never ceased extolling King John as the most courteous prince in the world, as in truth he was.
One of the last of European travellers who has fallen a victim in exploring the interior of Africa, was John Lewis Burckhardt. He was a native of Lausanne, and had studied in the Universities of Leipsic and Gottingen. In 1806, he arrived in England, and offered himself to the African Association, to undertake a journey into the interior of Africa. Finding him undismayed by the strongest representation of danger, and that he was admirably suited to the undertaking, his offer was accepted, and he received his instructions in 1809. He had diligently employed himself in the study of the Arabic language, and those branches of science which were most necessary for his task. He allowed his beard to grow, and assumed the oriental dress; he attended lectures on chemistry, astronomy, mineralogy, medicine, and surgery, and in the intervals of his studies, he exercised himself by long journeys on foot, bareheaded in the heat of the sun, sleeping upon the ground, and living upon vegetables and water.
Burckhardt left England in March, 1809, proceeded to Malta, and from thence to Aleppo. He remained two years and a half in Syria, principally at Aleppo, making daily additions to his practical knowledge of the Arabic language, and to his experience of the character of Oriental and of Mohammedan society and manners. >From Aleppo he went to Damascus and to Cairo; from the latter place, he made an excursion into the Nubian desert; and succeeded in penetrating to the banks of the Astobaros; he thence crossed the desert to Sanakin on the shore of the Red Sea. This, and a former journey along the Nile towards Dongola, were the only travels in the unexplored regions of the interior of Africa, which he was destined to accomplish; but they led to a tour in Arabia, which was productive of information not less interesting, and scarcely less original. Poor Burckhardt pursued his journeys with so much ardour, and devoted so much time to study, that his health gave way to his zeal, and he died at Cairo, in October, 1817.
When Burckhardt was in Nubia, his appearance excited universal disgust and horror among the natives, who had never before seen a white man. 'The caravan,' says he. 'halted near the village, and I walked up to the huts to look about me. My appearance on this occasion excited an universal shriek of surprise and horror, especially among the women, who were not a little terrified at seeing such an outcast of nature, as, they considered a white man to be, peeping into their huts, and asking for a little water or milk. The chief feeling which my appearance inspired, I could easily perceive to be disgust; for the Negroes are all persuaded that the whiteness of the skin is the effect of disease, and a sign of weakness; and there is not the least doubt that a white man is looked upon by them as a being greatly inferior to themselves. At Shendy, the inhabitants were more accustomed to the sight, if not of white men, at least of the light-brown natives of Arabia; and as my skin was much sunburnt, I there excited little surprise. On the market-days, however, I often terrified people by turning short upon them, when their exclamation generally was, 'Owez billahi miu es-shettan er redjim!.' i.e. God preserve us from the devil! One day, after bargaining for some onions with a country girl in the market at Shendy, she told me, that if I would take off my turban, and show her my head, she would give me five more onions; I insisted upon having eight, which she gave me. When I removed my turban, she started back at the sight of my white closely-shaven crown; and when I jocularly asked her whether she should like to have a husband with such a head, she expressed the greatest surprise and disgust, and declared that she would rather live with the ugliest Darfour slave.
When Pennant made his first tour into Scotland at no remoter period than 1769, it was, he assures us, 'a country almost as little known to its southern brethren as Kamtschatka. I brought home,' he continues, 'a favourable account of the land. Whether it will thank me or no, I cannot say; but from the report I have made, and showing that it might be visited with safely, it has ever since been inondee with southern visitants.' Scotland owes, no doubt, much to this intelligent and friendly traveller; nor is England herself less his debtor, for what he effected by his Scottish tours. His endeavours to conciliate the affections of the two nations, wickedly and studiously set at variance by designing men, were calculated to promote equally the real interest and lasting welfare of both. Of the particular good which he accomplished in Scotland, he thus speaks in the preface to his Second Tour. 'My success was equal to my hopes; I pointed out everything I thought would be of service to the country; it was roused to look into its advantages; societies had been formed for the improvement of the fisheries, and for founding towns in proper places; to all which I sincerely wish the most happy event; vast sums will be flung away, but incidentally numbers will be benefited, and the passions of patriots tickled. I confess that my own vanity was greatly gratified by the compliments paid to me in every corporated town. Edinburgh itself presented me with its freedom, and I returned rich in civil honours.'
In the course of one of his English tours, Mr. Pennant contracted an acquaintance with Mr. Hutchinson, the historian of Durham, in rather a singular manner. 'I was mounted,' says he, 'on the famous stones in the churchyard of Penrith, to take a nearer view of them, and see whether the drawings I had procured, done by the Rev. Dr. Tod, had the least foundation in truth. While thus engaged, a person of good appearance looking up at me, observed, "What fine work Mr. Pennant had made of those stones." I saw he had got into a horrible scrape; so unwilling to make bad worse, I descended, laid hold of his button, and told him, "I am the man." After his confusion was over, I made a short defence, shook him by the hand, and we became, from that moment, fast friends.'
Mr. Pennant performed all his journeys on horseback, and to that he attributed a healthy old age. He had somewhat the same opinion of a carriage as Lord Monboddo. He considered the absolute resignation of one's person to the luxury of such a vehicle, as foreboding a very short interval between that and the bier which is to convey us to our last stage.
Dr. Johnson said of Pennant, when some objections were made to his tours, that 'he had greater variety of enquiry than almost any man; and has told us more than perhaps one in ten thousand could have done in the time that he took.'
Travelling in Scotland Two Centuries Ago.
Morison, in his 'Itinerary,' published in 1596, gives an interesting account of the mode of travelling at that period in Scotland. 'A horse,' says he, 'may be hired for twopence the first day, and eightpence the day until he be brought home; and the horse-letters used to send a footman to bring back the horse. They have no such inns as are in England, but in all places some houses are known where passengers may have meat and lodging, but they have no arms or signs hung out; and for the horses, they are commonly set up in stables in some lane, not in the same house where the passenger lies; and if any one is acquainted with a townsman will go freely to his house, for most of them will entertain a stranger for his money. A horseman shall pay, of oats and straw, for hay is scarce in those parts, some eightpence, day and night; and he shall pay no less in summer for grasse, whereof they have no great store. Himself at a common table, shall pay sixpence for his supper or dinner, and shall have his bed free; and if he will eat alone in his chamber, he may have meat at a reasonable rate. Some twenty or thirty years ago, the first use of coaches came into Scotland, yet they are rare even at Edinburgh at this day. Since the kingdoms of England and Scotland are united, many Scots, by the king's favour, have been promoted both in dignities and estate, and the use of coaches became more frequent, yet nothing so common as in England. But the use of horse litters hath been very ancient in Scotland, for sick men and women of quality.'
In the year 1651, when the late Earl of Cromarty was nineteen years old, as his lordship was going from a place called Achadiscald to Gonnazd, in the parish of Lochbrun, he passed by a very high hill, which rose in a constant acclivity from the sea. At less than half a mile up from the sea, there is a plain about half a mile round, and from it the hill rises in a constant steepness for more than a mile in ascent. This little plain was at that time all covered over with a firm standing wood, which was so very old, that not only the trees had no green leaves, but the bark was quite thrown off; which the old countrymen, who were with his lordship, said was the universal manner in which fir woods terminated, and that in twenty or thirty years after the trees would commonly cast themselves up from the roots, and so lie in heaps till the people cut and carried them away. About fifteen years afterwards, his lordship had occasion to come the same way, and observed that there was not a tree, nor even a single root, of all the old wood remaining; but, instead of them, the whole bounds where the wood had stood was all over a flat green ground, covered over with a plain green moss. He was told that nobody had been at the trouble to carry away the trees; but that, being all overturned from their roots by the winds, the moisture from the high grounds stagnated among them, and they had, in consequence, been covered over by the green moss. His lordship was informed that nobody could pass over it, because the scurf of the fog would not support them; but he thought proper to make the experiment; sunk in consequence up to the arm-pits, and was drawn out by his attendants. Before the year 1699, the whole piece of ground was turned into a common moss; and the country people were digging peats out of it in 1711, when the Earl of Cromarty, then in his eightieth year, sent an account of these remarkable changes to the Royal Society.
When Sir William Gell travelled in Greece a few years ago, he had frequent opportunities of conversing with a Greek bandit, known by the name of Captain George, who was the terror of the Morea. 'His name,' says Sir William, 'is George Kolokotione; he was at Alitouri when we passed by, and recollected perfectly well seeing us. He said that had he not been occupied at that moment, he should certainly have taken us; but being milordos (a term synonymous with that of travellers), he should not have done us any harm. He was delighted to hear how well I knew all the mountainous glens, and exclaimed to his countrymen, "This milordos knows the country as well as if he had been a thief himself; he has passed through my hands." He then danced a very active dance, like a bacchanal on a vase.'
Mr. Dodwell was, however, less fortunate, for he and his guides fell in with the banditti, and would in all probability not have been spared, because they were 'milordos,' had not a troop of Turkish horse come most opportunely to their assistance; when the banditti were put to flight, and five of them taken prisoners and sent to Tripolizza, where they were beheaded.
Absence of Mind.
The Reverend Mr. Reynolds (father to Sir Joshua Reynolds), whose moral and learned character was accompanied by so much simplicity and innocence of manners, that he was called a second Parson Adams. was remarkable for his absence of mind. Once, when he set out to pay a visit to a friend, about three miles distant from his house at Plympton, he rode in a pair of gambadoes, boots of a very peculiar make, extremely heavy, and open at the outside, so as to admit the legs of the rider, and which were attached to the saddle. When the old gentleman arrived at his friend's house, it was remarked that he had only one gambado. 'Bless me!' said he, 'it is very true, but I am sure I had them both when I set out from home.' And so it proved, as the lost gambado was afterwards found on the road, having dropt from the saddle and his leg without his perceiving the loss of it.
At the present day, the general goodness of the roads throughout Europe, the opportunities of changing horses, and the vast speed of these animals for a short time, renders swiftness in man of less consequence than it was in the days of our fathers, who kept in their service men of great ability, who were denominated running footmen, and employed upon all messages requiring despatch. The following facts evince that it is possible for men to perform journeys upon foot, with greater expedition than even by the modern and improved methods of travelling by post.
Philippides, being sent by the Athenians to Sparta, to implore their aid in the Persian wars in the space of two days, ran one thousand two hundred and sixty furlongs, that is, one hundred and seventy Roman miles and a half.
Fuchidas was sent by the same Athenians to Delphos, to desire some of the holy fire from thence. He went and returned in the same day, having walked a thousand furlongs, or one hundred and twenty-five Roman miles.
When Fonteius and Vipsanus were consuls, there was a boy called Addas, who, in one day, ran seventy-five miles.
Lisbon in 1813.
'The moment my baggage was landed from the vessel,' says an English traveller, 'crowds of boatmen pressed their services to convey it, together with the senhor Inglez, to Lisbon. Amidst these numerous and noisy applications, the words, boat, senhor, struck upon my ear, in my own vulgar tongue. They were uttered by a boy, whose whole covering consisted of a loose pair of trousers, girt round the waistband with a dirty kind of shawl; and, little as the Portuguese language permitted their resemblance to English, they went directly to the heart, and decided at once in favour of the applicant, who, seizing my teaux, bore them in triumph to his amidst the malditos and demonios of his companions.
'Amidst the whole of the buildings which are seen from the Tagus, the solitary dome of the church of Estrella is the only one which gives any anticipation of architectural beauty, but the long range of warehouses, the magnificent quays, and various conveniences for shipping, which are everywhere exhibited along the shore, proclaim the extent of that commerce which has enabled Portugal to number some of the most opulent men in Europe among the merchants of her capital.
'Surprised at the extent of some of these warehouses, my curiosity was excited as to their occupation; and, to gratify it, I mustered sufficient Portuguese to make the necessary inquiry. If I was proud, however, of exhibiting my little knowledge of the language of my young boatman, he was no less tenacious of his determination to display his proficiency in mine.
'For the moment the inquiry was uttered in bad Portuguese, it was immediately answered in broken English; and Beef for de Inglish was the reply. Another large building induced the same question on my part, and procured a repetition of Beef for de Inglish, on that of my informer. A third range of warehouses produced the same inquiry, and the same reply; and on my demanding the uses of a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth pile of buildings, Beef for de Inglish, still issued from the lips of the Portuguese; till, expressing my surprise at the quantity of this species of food, which must necessarily be contained in so large a space, he exclaimed, as with dexterous awkwardness he shot his boat between the others to the stairs of the Praco do Commercio, "Si senhor, Inglish much beef, Inglish no good widout beef, Inglish no work, no fight, widout beef!" Some deep speculators upon the animal economy of the people of different nations have drawn the same conclusion with regard to my countrymen, as the Portuguese boatman.'
'At the period when this occurred, the English army in Portugal was supplied with provisions from England, through the medium of Lisbon.
Stage Coach Adventure.
A few years ago, when highway robberies were more frequent than at present, the passengers of a stage coach, on its way to town, began to talk about robbers. One gentleman expressing much anxiety lest he should lose ten guineas, was advised by a lady who sat next to him, to take it from his pocket and slip it into his boot, which he did immediately. It was not long before the coach was stopped by a highwayman, who riding up to the window on the lady's side, demanded her money; she declared that she had none, but if he would examine the gentleman's boot, he would there find ten guineas. The gentleman submitted patiently, but when the robber departed, he loaded his female travelling companion with abuse, declaring her to be in confederacy with the highwayman. She confessed that appearances were against her, but said if the company in the stage would sup with her the following evening in town, she would explain a conduct which appeared so mysterious. After some debate, they all accepted her invitation; and the next evening, in calling on her, were ushered into a magnificent room, where a very elegant supper was prepared. When this was over she produced a pocket-book, and addressing herself to the gentleman who had been robbed, said, 'In this book, sir, are bank notes to the amount of a thousand pounds. I thought it better for you to lose ten guineas, than me this valuable property, which I had with me last night. As you have been the means of my saving it, I entreat your acceptance of this bank bill of one hundred pounds.'
The Persian Ambassador.
One of the most celebrated of Asiatic travellers, is Mirza Aboul Hassan. His family having fallen into disgrace at the Persian court, he employed the period of his misfortune in visiting remote countries. He travelled to Mecca and Deria, and embarking on board an English vessel, proceeded to Calcutta to the Marquess Wellesley, the Governer General. He spent three years in visiting various parts of India, when he was recalled by the King of Persia.
In the year 1809, Mirza Aboul Hassan was sent ambassador to England, where he attracted much attention. Mr. Morier was appointed to accompany him, in the quality of Mehmander, a kind of commissioner of the Government, appointed in the East, to provide for the maintenance and escort of ambassadors.
'His first surprise on reaching England (says Mr. Morier) was at the caravanseras, for so, though no contrast can be greater, he called our hotels. We were lodged in a gay apartment at Plymouth, richly ornamented with looking-glasses, which are so esteemed in Persia, that they are held to be fitting for royal apartments only; and our dinners were served up with such quantities of plate, and of glass ware, as brought forth repeated expressions of surprise every time he was told that they were the common appendages of our caravanseras. The good folks of the inn, who, like most people in England, look upon it as a matter of course that nothing can be too hot for Asiatics, so loaded the ambassador's bed with warm covering, that he had scarcely been in bed an hour, before he was obliged to get out of it; for having during all his life slept on nothing but a mattress on the bare ground, he found the heat insupportable, and, in this state, he walked about the greatest part of the night, with all the people of the inn following him in procession, and unable to divine what could be his wishes.
'One of the public coaches was hired to convey his servants to London; and when four of them had got inside, having seated themselves cross-legged, they would not allow that there could be room for more, although the coach was calculated to take six. They armed themselves from head to foot with pistols, swords, and each a musket in his hand, as if they were about to make a journey in their own country; and thus encumbered, notwithstanding every assurance that nothing could happen to them, they got into the coach. His excellency himself greatly enjoyed the novelty of a carriage, and was delighted at the speed with which we travelled, particularly at night, when he perceived no diminution of it, although he was surprised that all this was done without a guide. We were met at two posts from London by two gentlemen of the Foreign office, who greeted him on his arrival; but he grew very anxious as we proceeded, and seemed to be looking out for an Istakball, or a deputation headed by some man of distinction, which, after the manner of his own country, he expected would be sent to meet him. In vain we assured him that no disrespect was intended, and that our modes of doing honour to ambassadors were different to those of Persia; our excuses seemed only to grieve him the more; and although to a foreigner the interest of the road greatly increased as we approached the city, yet he requested to have both the glasses of the carriage drawn up, for he said that he did not understand the nature of such an entry, which appeared to him more like smuggling a bale of goods into a town, than the reception of a public envoy. As for three of his servants who followed us in a chaise behind, they had nearly suffocated themselves, for, by way of experiment, they had put up all the glasses, and then when they wished it, could not put them down, so that they were quite exhausted for want of fresh air.
'He who had witnessed the manner in which our ambassadors had been received in Persia, particularly the levee en masse of the inhabitants who were sent out to meet him at every place where he stopped, was surprised to see the little notice that he himself, in the same situation in England, had attracted, and the total independence of all ranks of people.
'Although he found a fine house and a splendid establishment ready to receive him in London, and although a fine collation was laid out upon the morning of his arrival, nothing could revive his spirits, so much had he been disappointed at the mode of his reception.
'On his return to Persia, the king, to requite his services, raised him to the dignity of khan, which is nearly similar to that of pasha in Turkey. During his travels he collected considerable information respecting the manners and customs of the nations he had visited, and the arts cultivated by them. He has written an extensive narrative of his travels in India, Turkey, Russia, and England, to which the King of Persia has given the pompous title of Hairetnameh, the "Book of Wonders."
The Jews' Leap.
When Captain Riley was shipwrecked on the coast of Africa, in 1815, among the dangers and difficulties he and his fellow-sufferers had to encounter in their journey from Santa Cruz to Mogadore, was a frightful pass called the Jews' Leap. The path was not more than two feet wide; in one place it broke off in a precipice of some hundred feet deep to the sea. The smallest slip of the mule or camel would have plunged it and its rider down the rocks to inevitable and instant death, as there was no bush or anything to lay hold of, by which a man might save his life. Many fatal accidents have happened there, and one in particular, which gave to this terrific pass its present name.'
A company of Jews, six in number, travelling from Santa Cruz to Morocco, came to this place with their loaded mules in the twilight after sunset. Being anxious to pass it before night, they did not take the precaution to look out, and call aloud, before they entered on it, for there is a place built at each end of this dangerous road, whence a person may see if others are upon it, not being quite a quarter of a mile in length. A person in holloaing aloud can be heard from one end to the other, and it is the practice of all who go this way to give the signal.
A company of Moors had entered at the other end, going towards Santa Cruz, at the same time, and they supposing as well as the Jews, that none but themselves would dare to pass it at that hour, proceeded without the least precaution. When about half way over, and in a place where there was no possibility of passing each other or turning back either way, the parties met each other. The Moors were mounted as well as the Jews, and neither party could retire. The Moors soon became outrageous, and threatened to throw the Jews down headlong; the Jews, although they had always been treated as slaves, and forced to submit to every insult and indignity, yet finding themselves in this perilous situation, without the possibility of retiring, and unwilling to break their necks merely to accommodate the Moors, determined to attempt to force the passage. The foremost Jew dismounted carefully over the head of his mule, with a stout stick in his hand; the Moor nearest him did the same, and came forward to attack him with his scimitar. Both were fighting for their lives, and neither could retreat from the combat: the Jew's mule was first thrown down the craggy steep, and dashed to pieces by the fall. The Jew's stick was next hacked to pieces by the scimitar, when finding that it was impossible for him to save his life, he seized the Moor in his arms, and springing off the precipice, both were instantly hurled down to destruction. Two more of the Jews and another Moor lost their lives in the same way, together with eight mules. The three Jews who succeeded in escaping were afterwards hunted down and killed by the relations of the Moors who had lost their lives in the pass, which has ever since been called the Jews' Leap.
Crossing the Cordilleras.
The passage of the Cordilleras, in the winter, is not so dangerous as that of the Alps, as avalanches are unknown, nor are there any glaciers formed in the Andes; but the traveller often suffers from the sudden gusts of wind which are both common and violent. In crossing the Cordilleras, the traveller has his legs and thighs rolled round with sheep-skins, and his feet swathed with bandages, so as to exclude the snow, armed with a long pole to sound his way, and accompanied by guides; carrying charcoal and provisions, he enters on this perilous and fatiguing journey, and must at all hazards, gain every night a casucha; all who wish to pass at that season either wait for a courier, or join some other passenger who is well accompanied. After toiling all day on foot, sometimes slipping on the hard frozen snow, and obliged to hew steps to ascend by, and at other times plunging up to the middle in loose drift, they are obliged to pack themselves into a casucha, seated, for there is seldom room enough to lie down. In this manner they pass the night, warming themselves by charcoal fires.
The American judge Provost, who some few years ago made a journey across the continent of South America, from Buenos Ayres to Santiago de Chili, gives the following account of his passage across the Cordilleras. 'The dangers and difficulties attendant on this undertaking,' he says, 'were represented to be almost insurmountable, and I armed myself at all points to encounter them.' He procured a Spanish coach with four horses, and a postilion to each. He was also accompanied by two servants and two dragoons. 'Arrived at Mendoza,' he says, 'I hired a muleteer, who engaged to transport me and my baggage to Santiago, and to furnish the necessary number of mules for eight dollars each mule. Two mules were loaded with provisions for eight days, the time usually consumed in passing these mountains; and the whole train consisted of ten mules. My servants left town early in the morning, and I followed in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. Some of the principal inhabitants of Mendoza accompanied me a few miles from the town, a mark of respect generally shown to a stranger. On leaving them, I proceeded with my guide through a barren tract of country, the soil generally covered with low shrubs. Night soon overtook us, but still the heat continued to be excessive; I felt the air which had passed over the parched plains south of us, like the blast of a furnace. After travelling eight leagues, we turned off the road to a small spring of water, the only one to be found west of Mendoza for twelve leagues. We found the whole cavalcade encamped round a large fire, which proved a useful precaution; the air towards morning became very cold and piercing, and was more sensibly felt after the heat of the day. After suffering very much from the heat, we encamped under the shelter of the rocks, and lighted our fire with the roots of the prickly shrub which spread along and near the surface of the earth; the shrub is the only sign of vegetation at this height. Our mules descended into the valley, and browsed on the moss and scanty herbage on the banks of the river. In the morning we entered the passes called Las Galeras, a narrow path along the edge of a precipice of five hundred feet, at the bottom of which rolls a torrent. The loaded mules scrape one side against the rocks, and the soil on which they tread is a loose gravel, which constantly rolls beneath their feet; a man would find it next to impossible to keep his footing. Accidents are very rare, but are faithfully recorded by the muleteers, who entertain the traveller while he is on his dangerous path with long accounts of unlucky mules missing their footing, and being precipitated into the torrent; how the rest of the drove started and stopped, and how they dreaded that some of them would have attempted to turn, which would have been the certain perdition of them all. Before entering these passages, it is necessary to ascertain whether they be entirely free from obstructions, as the consequence of meeting a troop of mules would prove the sacrifice of one party. To turn is impossible, and to pass a mule is equally so. The muleteers warn each other by shouting, or send forward one of their party to station himself at the opposite entrance.
'The mules frequently derange the equilibrium of their loads by striking against the projecting rocks: the muleteer then catches them with the lasso, and covering their eyes with the poncho, adjusts the load.'
Another traveller describes the dangers of this journey more circumstantially, particularly in the descent on the western side; he says, 'Picture to yourself a path about a foot wide, broken and disjointed by the force of descending currents, whose rapidity is such as to baffle all description, for it is impossible for the eye to look at them for a moment without being giddy. On the right hand a wall of rugged rocks, with ever and anon projecting pieces, which if the traveller should chance to strike against, both man and beast must embrace instant death, by being hurried headlong over a precipice of horrid rocks into a deep and rapid river rolling at the bottom, and rushing on with such indescribable impetuosity as to startle and confound the most resolute and determined mind.'
Lord Herbert of Cherbut.
The amiable and justly celebrated Lord Herbert of Cherbury, after serving in the Low Countries with much military honour, embraced the opportunity of a peace, to make excursions in various parts of the continent. In one of these, from Venice to France, he was accompanied by one of the Duke of Savoy's officers.
'The Count Scarnafigi and I,' says he, 'now setting forth rode post all day without eating or drinking by the way, the Count telling me still we should come to a good inn at night: it was now twilight when the Count and I came near a solitary inn on the top of a mountain; the hostess hearing the noise of horses, came out with a child new born on her left arm, and a rush candle in her hand: she presently knowing the Count de Scarnafigi, told him, "Ah, signor, you are come in a very ill time, the duke's soldiers have been here to-day, and have left me nothing:" I looked sadly upon the Count, when he coming near to me whispered me in the ear, and said, "it may be she thinks we will use her as the soldiers have done; go you into the house, and see whether you can find anything; I will go round about the house, and perhaps I shall meet with some duck, hen, or chicken." Entering thus into the house, I found, among other furniture, the end of an old form, upon which sitting down, the hostess came towards me with a rush candle, and said, "I protest before God that it is true which I told the Count, here is nothing to eat; but you are a gentleman, methinks it is a pity you should want; if you please, I will give you some milk into a wooden dish I have here." This unexpected kindness made that impression on me, that I remember I was never so tenderly sensible of anything; my answer was, "God forbid that I should take away the milk from the child I see in thy arms; howbeit, I shall take it all my life for the greatest piece of charity that I ever heard of;" and therewithal giving her a pistole, or a piece of gold of fourteen shillings. Scarnafigi and I got on horseback again and rode another post, and came to an inn where we found very coarse cheer, yet hunger made us relish it.'
'Edward Webbe, an Englishman borne,' as he styles himself in a very rare little volume, which contains an account of his adventures, was a great traveller towards the close of the sixteenth century. He made two journeys to Russia; he was carried as a slave to Kaffa by the Tartars, and to Persia by the Turks and he visited Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Grand Cairo. Near the latter city he saw seven large mountains pointed like a diamond, and built in Pharo's time, to keep his corn; and it was out of these, he says, that Joseph's brethren loaded their asses. This appropriation of the pyramids is at least novel, and is peculiar to Webbe, who also saw the place of the Red Sea, where the children of Israel passed over. But the strangest of all the strange sights that our traveller beheld was in Ethiopia. 'I have seen,' says he, 'in a place like a parke, adjoining to Prester John's Court, three score and seventeene unicornes and elephants all alive at one time, and they were so tame that I have played with them as one would playe with young lambes.' Purchas, who has no doubt of the existence of the unicorn, seems to be staggered only by the number, and calls Webbe rather unceremoniously, a 'mere fabler.'
Personal Safety in Italy.
An English traveller in Italy, thus writes to one of his friends: 'I am in one of the most populous cities of Italy. A young lady, whom I accompanied home from a party, says to me, "Go back the same way; do not cross over at the end of the street; that is a lonely place." I travel from Milan to Pavia to see the celebrated Scarpa. I fix the time of my departure at five o'clock; it is two hours before sunrise; my driver very coolly refuses to put his horses to the carriage. At first I could not comprehend this absurdity, but at last, I understand he is afraid of being plundered by the way. I arrive at Lucca; a crowd of people stopping the road, I asked the cause. A man coming from vespers had just been murdered, being stabbed with a dagger in three places: when the murderer struck his victim, he exclaimed, "at length the gens'd'armes are gone, who have stood in my way these three years;" and he went off with the bloody knife in his hand. I came to Genoa. "It is strange," said the chief magistrate to me, "two-and-thirty French gens'd'armes maintained the public security; now we have two hundred and fifty of our own people, and murders are everywhere committed." I go to the opera; as I return home, I see that everybody is on his guard. The young men have thick sticks, all walk in the middle of the street, and bound in a half circle round the corners. In the pit, people affect to say aloud, that they never carry money about them. While I was in garrison at Novarra, I observed two things; that treasures were often found in the country, which had been concealed by robbers, who had been overtaken by death, before they could discover them to their comrades: and that people, when attacked in the city by robbers, took care not to call out "thieves!" in which case nobody would have come to their help, but "fire!" on which every person hastens to the spot. Prudent people are deeply impressed with these dangers. Travellers always form caravans, or take an escort. For these three centuries assassination has descended as a profession from father to son, in the mountains of Fondi, and on the frontiers of Naples: Piedmont is full of peasants who have notoriously enriched themselves by assassination. The postmaster at B- has a similar reputation: and if you lived in the country, you would also have some respect for a scoundrel who has your life in his power half a dozen times in the year. I wished to see certain meadows in the neighbourhood of Bologna, which are stated to be mowed eighteen times in a year. I was referred to a farmer in the district; as we were walking about, I showed him four men lying in the shade of a tree near the road. "Those are robbers," said he. Perceiving my astonishment, he told me that he was regularly attacked in his farm every year. The last time, the attack had lasted three quarters of an hour, during which there was an incessant fire of musketry. Despairing of success, the robbers attempted to set fire to the stables, but in this attempt a musket ball struck the leader in the forehead, and the band retired, promising, however, to come again.'
The name of Tweddell is familiar to every scholar; and had he lived, there are, perhaps, few countries in the world that would have been strangers to his name, to his talents, and to his enterprising spirit. This accomplished scholar had scarcely finished his classical studies, in which he was greatly distinguished, than he set out on his travels with such talents, and such a spirit of research, as promised a rich harvest of discovery. He left England in 1795, and first proceeded to Hamburgh; he then visited Switzerland, the North of Europe, and various countries in the East, till his arrival in the provinces of Greece. After visiting several of the islands of the Archipelago, he resided four months in Athens, exploring, with restless ardour, and faithfully delineating the remains of art and science discoverable amidst her sacred ruins, until he was seized with a sickness, and after lingering a few days, died, on the 25th Of July, 1799 and was buried in the Temple of Theseus.
As it was known that Mr. Tweddell had amassed large materials for publication, the learned world anxiously expected the result of his labours; but although his manuscripts were left in the hands of the English ambassador at Constantinople, who despoiled the Parthenon, yet none of them came into the hands of his friends.
When Dr. Clarke was at Athens, he paid a visit to the Temple of Theseus, and, with his characteristic activity and benevolence, took considerable pains to provide a proper covering for the grave of Tweddell. Large blocks of Pentelican marble from the Parthenon, which had been sawed from the bas-relief intended for Lord Elgin, were then lying in the Acropolis; one of these was procured, and when the Doctor left Athens, everything seemed likely to succeed according to his wishes. Some difficulties, however, arose on his departure; at length, by the exertions of Lord Byron and Mr. Fiott of St. John's College, they were overcome. The Disdar offered to sell any marble in the Acropolis; but Athens could not furnish means to remove one thence, on account of the size; at last, by examining private houses, a slab was found, in the house of an Albanian, of convenient thickness; it was purchased, and after two days' labour, it was dragged up and placed in the temple. Excellent masons as these good folks were formerly, yet no instruments were to be found in modern Athens to polish or plane it; and it was hammered as smooth as they could make it. A Greek inscription, written by the Rev. Robert Walpole of Cambridge, was cut in the marble, of which the following is a translation.
Sleep'st thou among the dead? Then hast thou cull'd
In vain fair learning's flowers; the Muse in vain
Smil'd on thy youth. Yet but thy mortal mould
Hides this dark tomb; thy soul the heavens contain.
To us, who now, our friendship to record,
O'er thee, pale friend! the tears of mem'ry shed,
Sweet solace 'tis, that here thy bones are stored,
That dust Athenian strews a Briton's head.'
'Before I quitted Athens,' says Mr. Laurent, who made an interesting tour through Greece and Turkey in 1808, 'I saw enough to convince me that it is proper that the magnificent works of the Greek sculptors should be placed under the safeguard of a nation fond of art, rather than be left exposed to the senseless fury of the Turks, the depredations of private collectors, and the insults of ignorant travellers. Hardly do any travellers quit the Acropolis without clipping from its monuments some relic to carry back to their own country; indeed, this rage for destroying has been carried so far, that the elegant Ionic capitals have nearly disappeared, and not one of the Caryatides now stands entire. The last time I visited the citadel, I was much displeased at seeing an English traveller, in the uniform of a naval officer, standing upon the base of one of the Caryatides, clinging with his left arm round the column, while his right hand, provided with a hard and heavy pebble, was endeavouring to knock off the only remaining of those six beautifully sculptured statues. I exerted my eloquence in vain to preserve this monument of art.'
When M. Caillaud, the French mineralogist, was travelling in Egypt, he one day indulged his genius in sporting with the penetration and antiquarian knowledge of a contemporary traveller, then at Thebes; a gentleman well informed in matters of general observation, but not generally skilled in the finer shades, and more precise discrimination, of profound research. M. Caillaud instructed an Arab to present him with a pipe, on which had been engraven, with some art, several hieroglyphical characters. This amateur of rarities was a stranger to the bychante pipes commonly used in Abyssinia; he examined the pipe with great care, and conceiving it to be an object extremely interesting, became an eager purchaser, and gave the mysterious Bedouin thirty dollars for what was not worth accepting.
Mrs. Bendysh, the eccentric granddaughter of the Protector, was once travelling in a stage-coach, when being unknown to her fellow-travellers, a violent dispute arose respecting the merits of the Protector, in which Mrs. B. did not fail to take a prominent part. The opponent, a gentleman, was as hot and as violent as the lady; and if, towards the end of the stage, their anger subsided, it was not for want of wrath or words to keep it up, but for want of breath to give it utterance. After they went out of the coach, and had taken some refreshment, the old lady very calmly and respectfully desired to speak apart with the gentleman who had been her opponent in the dispute. When she had him alone, she told him with great composure 'he had, in the grossest manner, belied and abused the most pious man that ever lived; that Cromwell's blood, which flowed in her veins, would not allow her to pass over the indignities cast on his memory in her presence; that she could not handle a sword, but she could fire a pistol as well as he; and that she demanded immediate satisfaction to the injured honour of her family.' The gentleman was exceedingly amazed at the oddness of this address, but as he happened to carry about him good sense enough to teach him how to act on the occasion, he immediately told her, 'there were many great qualities in Oliver which he honoured as much as she could; that if he had known or suspected her relationship to him, he would not have said a word on the subject to give her offence; and that he sincerely asked her pardon.' This submission completely satisfied her, and they finished their journey with much pleasure and good humour; but St. Oliver was not again brought on the tapis.
As the whole of Mrs. B.'s personal economy was not of the common order, her hours of visiting were generally out of the common season. She would, very frequently come to visit at nine or ten at night, and sometimes later, if the doors were not shut up. On such visits she generally stayed till about one in the morning. Such late visits, in sober times, were considered by her friends as highly inconvenient, yet nobody complained of them to her. The respect she universally commanded gave her a license in this, and many other irregularities. She would, on her visits, drink wine in great plenty, and the wine used to put her tongue into very brisk motion.
There was an old mare which had been the faithful companion of Mrs. B.'s adventures and misadventures, during many years. The old mare and her manoeuvres were as well known at Yarmouth as the old lady. On this mare she generally was mounted; but towards the end of her life the mare was trained to draw a chaise in which Mrs. B. often seated herself.
Mrs. B. never would suffer a servant to attend her in these night visits; 'God,' she said, 'was her guard, and she would have no other.' Her dress on these visits, though it was in a taste of her own, was always grave and handsome. At about one in the morning (for she hardly ever finished her round of visits sooner), she used to put herself on the top of her mare, or into the chaise, and set off on her return. When the mare began to move, Mrs. B. began to sing a psalm, or one of Watts's hymns, in a very loud but not a very harmonious key. And thus the two old souls, the mare and her mistress, one gently trotting, and the other loudly singing, jogged on the length of a short mile from Yarmouth, which brought them home.
It is a well-known fact that Goldsmith travelled on foot through great part of Europe. He had left England with very little money, and, being of a philosophical turn, and at that time possessing a body capable of sustaining every fatigue, with a heart not easily terrified at danger, he became an enthusiast in the design he had formed of seeing the manners of different countries. He had some knowledge of the French language and of music, and he played tolerably well on the German flute. which, from an amusement, became at times the means of subsistence. His learning produced him an hospitable reception at most of the religious houses, and his music made him welcome to the peasants of Flanders and other parts of Germany. 'Whenever I approached,' he used to say, 'a peasant's house towards night-fall, I played one of my most merry tunes, and that procured me not only a lodging but subsistence for the next day; but, in truth, his constant expression, 'I must own, whenever I attempted to entertain persons of a higher rank, they always thought my performance odious, and never made me any return for my endeavours to please them.'
On Goldsmith's arrival at Geneva, he was recommended as a proper person for a travelling tutor to a young man who had been unexpectedly left a considerable sum of money by his uncle, formerly an eminent pawnbroker near Holborn. This youth, who had been articled to an attorney, on coming to his fortune, determined to see the world; but, on his engaging with his preceptor, made a condition that he should be permitted to govern himself; and Goldsmith soon found his pupil understood the art of directing in money concerns extremely well, as avarice was his prevailing passion. His questions were usually how money might he saved? and which was the least expensive course of travel? whether anything could be bought that would turn to account when disposed of again in London? Such curiosities on the way as could be seen for nothing he was ready enough to look at; but if the sight of them was to be paid for, he usually asserted that he had been told they were not worth seeing. He never paid a bill that he would not observe how amazingly expensive travelling was; and all this though he was not yet twenty-one. During Goldsmith's continuance in Switzerland, he assiduously cultivated his poetical talents, of which he had given some striking proofs while at the College of Edinburgh. It was hence he sent the first sketch of his delightful poem, called 'The Traveller.' to his brother, the clergyman in Ireland, who, giving up fame and fortune, had retired, with an amiable wife, to happiness and obscurity, on an income of only £40 a year. From Geneva, Goldsmith and his pupil visited the south of France; where the young man, upon some disagreement with his preceptor, paid him the small part of his salary which was due, and embarked at Marseilles for England. Our wanderer was left once more upon the world at large, and passed through a variety of difficulties in traversing the greatest part of France. At length, his curiosity being satiated, he bent his course towards England, and arrived at Dover the beginning of the winter 1758, with scarcely a shilling in his pocket.
Horace's Journey to Brundusium.
The journey to Brundusium, which gave rise to Horace's entertaining narrative, origined from a desire of effecting a reconciliation between Octavius Caesar and Mark Antony, who had long been rivals for power and empire. Mecaenas was the chief promoter of his friendly plan, and most probably persuaded Horace, the mutual friend of Octavius and himself, to join the party, and add his interest to that of their other friends. The poet quitted Rome in company with Heliodorus, a learned rhetorician, and rested the first night at Aricia (now La Ricca), where they were not very well accommodated. From thence, says Sir C. Hoare, whose elegant version of this Journey we adopt, he continued his journey to Appi Forum, which derived its name from Appius Claudius, the founder of the celebrated Via Appia, on which this place was situated. Here passengers embarked on board vessels, vhich conveyed them on a canal, called Decennovium, to the neighbourhood of Terracina; and here our travellers had doubtless good reason to complain of the badness of the water, the croaking of the frogs, and the impertinence of the boatmen. The poet has thus humorously described his adventures at this halting place.
'The night o'er earth now spread her dusky shade,
And through the heavens her starry train display'd.
What time, between the slaves and boatman rise
Quarrels of clamorous route. The boatman cries:
"Step in, step in my masters;" when, with open throat,
"Enough, you scoundrel! will you sink the boat?"
Thus, while the moon is harness'd, and we pay
Our freight, an hour ill wrangling slips away.
The fenny frogs, with croakings hoarse and deep,
And gnats, loud buzzing, drive away our sleep.
Drench'd in the lees of wine, the wat'ry swain,
And passenger, in loud alternate strain,
Chaunt forth the absent fair who warms his breast,
Till wearied passenger retires to rest.
Our clumsy bargeman sends his mule to graze,
And the tough cable to a rock belays,
Then snores supine; but when, at rising light,
Our boat stood still, up starts a hair-brain'd wight,
With sallow cudgel breaks the bargeman's pate,
And bangs the mule at a well-favour'd rate.'
Liberated, at length, from such accommodations, and from such companions, with what joy did the travellers refresh themselves at the pure streams of Feronia's fountain; and with what anxiety did they anticipate the meeting of Mecaenas and Cocceius at Anxur.
"At ten, Feronia, we thy fountain gain;
There land, and bathe; then, after dinner, creep
Three tedious miles, and climb the rocky steep,
Whence Anxur shines. Mecaenas was to meet
Cocceius here, to settle things of weight
For they had oft in embassy been join'd,
And reconciled the masters of mankind"
At Anxur, better known in modern times by the name of Terracina, Mecaenas, accompanied by Cocceius and Capito Fonteius, joined Horace and his friend Heliodorus. Fonteius Capito whom the poet describes, was a man, factus ad unguem, of the most polished and accomplished manners, and a friend to Antony.
'Here while I bath'd my eyes with cooling ointment,
They both arriv'd d, according to appointment.
Fonteius too, a man of worth approv'd,
Without a rival, by Antonius lov'd.'
Passing through the town of Fundi, where, not without ridicule, they took leave of the Praetor, Aufidius Luscus, they proceeded to the town of the Mamurrae, having Murena as their host, and Capito as their restaurateur.
'Laughing, we leave an entertainment rare,
The paltry pomp of Fundi's foolish mayor,
The scrivener Luscus; now with pride elate
With incense fum'd, and big with robes of state.
From thence our wearied troop at Formiae rests,
Murena's lodgers, and Fonteius' guests.'
The morning sun of the ensuing day shone propitiously upon the travellers at Sinuessa, and added Plotius, Varius, and Virgilius, to their party. With what natural joy, friendship, and affection, does Horace express himself on this happy meeting! with no poetical jealousy, but with the pure emanations of a feeling heart.
Next rising morn, with double joy we greet.'
When we with Plotius, Varius, Virgil, meet.
Pure spirits these; the world no purer knows;
For none my heart with such affection glows.'
From Sinuessa, the learned junto proceeded on the Appian Way, to the next station of Polls Campanus, where the officers, distinguished by the name of Oarocki, supplied them with salt and wood. Thence they continued their route to Capua, where both travellers and mules rested. Mecaenas went to play; Horace and Virgil, to sleep.
'Near the Campanian bridge that night we lay,
Where public officers our charges pay.
Early next morn to Capua we came,
Mecaenas goes to tennis, hurtful game
To a weak appetite and tender eyes;
So down to sleep with Virgil, Horace lies.'
Their next halting-place was at Caudium, where they were hospitably received at the noble villa of Cocceius situated above the Candian tavern.
The poet now takes an opportunity of relating, with some humour, a squabble that took place between Messius and Sarmentus. The party then proceeds to Beneventum, where the too attentive host set his house on fire by roasting a dish of lean thrushes.
At our next inn our host was almost burn'd,
While some lean thrushes at the fire he turn'd;
Through his old kitchen rolls the god of fire,
And to the roof the vagrant flames aspire.
But hunger all our terrors overcame,
We fly to save our meat, and quench the flame.'
Our travellers now approached the mountainous district of Apulia, and waited at the village of Trivicus, where the god of fire still persecuted them with volumes of smoke.
'Apulia now my native mountains shows,
Where the north wind with nipping sharpness blows.
Nor could we well have climb'd the steepy height,
Did we not at a neighbouring village wait,
Where from green wood the smothering flames arise,
And with a smoky sorrow fill our eyes.'
Our poet finds himself at a loss to express in verse, the name of the little town which next received them, and which he places at the distance of twenty-four miles from the Villa Trivica, and where he again had reason to complain of bad water; though the bread was of so excellent a quality, that travellers were accustomed to carry a supply of it with them to Canosa, where the bread was gritty.
'In coaches thence at a great rate we came
Eight leagues, and waited at a town whose name
Cannot in verse and manner be express'd,
But may by marks and tokens well be guess'd.
Its water, nature's cheapest element,
Is bought and sold; its bread most excellent,
Which wary travellers provide with care,
And on theirshoulders to Canusium bear;
Whose bread is sandy,and its wealthiest stream
Poor as the town of unpoetic name.'
At Canosa, the travellers had the mortification to lose Varius, who quitted the party with general regret.
'Here Varius leaves us, and with tears he goes,
With equal tenderness our sorrow flows.'.
After a tedious and wet journey, the travellers proceeded to Rubi, now Rovo, and, on the next day, reached Bari, on the sea coast; the weather more favourable, the road worse.
'Onward to Rubi wearily we toil'd,
The journey long, the road with rain was spoiled.
To Bari, famed for fish, we reach'd next day,
The weather fairer, but much worse the way.'
The following station was Egnatia, now Aguazzo, situated near the sea coast, where the relation of a miracle, equal in wonder to that annually performed at Naples (the liquefying of the blood of St. Januarius), tended to amuse the travellers.
'Then water-curs'd Egnatia gave us joke,
And laughter great, to hear the moon-struck folk
Assert, if incense on their altars lay,
Without the help of fire it melts away.
The sons of circumcision may receive
The wond'rous tale; which I shall ne'er believe.'
From Egnatia, the travellers continued their route to Brundusium, now Brundisi, having passed fifteen days on the road; how pleasantly and profitably need not be questioned, when we recollect that Mecaenas, Heliodorus, Plotius, Varius, Virgilius, and Horatius, composed the party.
The Honourable Keppel Craven.
When the Honourable Keppel Craven, in his tour through Naples, in 1818, had arrived at Brundisi, he was mistaken for the Crown Prince of Bavaria, who had been expected, and thus was treated with royal honours. He was pressed to honour the monastery with a visit, to which he consented.
'We found,' says he, 'the outward gate open, and had scarcely passed the threshold, when the Abbess and the elder portion of the community rushed from the inner court, and led, I may almost say dragged me, into the cloisters, calling upon my astonished companions to follow, as it was a day of exultation for the monastery, and all rules and regulations should be dispensed with. It was evident that the splendour of royalty once again shone on my brow, and that notwithstanding my wish to preserve the strictest incognito, the distinctions and honours due to the blood of Otho of Wittlesbach must, in this instance at least, be rendered to his descendant, in spite of his assumed humility. This determination showed itself in a variety of forms, with such prolonged perseverance, that the ludicrous effects which it at first produced, were soon succeeded by more serious sensations of impatience and annoyance. Before I could utter my first protest against the torrent of tedious distinction, which I saw impending over my devoted head, I was surrounded on all sides by the pensionaries, who, to the number of thirty, presented me with flowers, and squabbled for precedence in the honour of kissing my princely hands. This was by no means the least distressing ceremony I was to undergo, and for an instant I felt the wish of exerting the prerogatives of royalty either by prohibiting the exercise of this custom, or render it more congenial by altering the application of it. I seized the first opportunity of requesting my companions to interfere, in behalf of my veracity, when I assured them that I was only an English traveller, which my letters of recommendation, describing my name and condition, could testify. The smile of good-humoured incredulity, played on the lips of my auditors, who replied, that they would not dispute my words, but should not be deterred by them from giving way to the joy which ought to signalize a day which must ever be recorded in the annals of their establishment. They added, that it would be useless for me to contend against the ocular proofs they had obtained of my quality and birth; and when they enumerated among them the air of dignity which I in vain endeavoured to conceal, the visible emotion I experienced on beholding the arms and pictures of my ancestors in their church, and my constantly speaking Italian, though I had affirmed that I was English, I own that I was struck dumb by the contending inclinations to laugh or be serious. My host, who was brother to the Lady Abbess, begged I would exert my complaisance so far as not to resist their wishes, as it would be but to a shorter trial by compliance than opposition, and I therefore yielded, after a second solemn protestation against the distinction thus forced upon me. These consisted in a minute examination of the whole monastery, beginning with the belfry. After viewing the numerous relics in the monastery, I was allowed to depart, amidst the blessings of the community but another ordeal awaited my patience, in a visit to a convent of Benedictine nuns, who were under the special protection of the vicar, and who would, as he assured me, die of jealousy and mortification, if I denied them the same honour which I had conferred on those of the Madonna degli Angeli. Luckily, the order was poor; and as I had not the same claims on their gratitude and reverence, I escaped with fewer ceremonies, and the loss of much less time.
'On leaving this building, I found my horses in the street where they had been waiting a considerable time; and while taking leave of my companions, I began to breathe at the prospect of emancipation from all the painful honours to which I had fallen a victim, and to anticipate the pleasure of a cool evening ride, when my annoyances were renewed by a speech of the commandant, who, with a solemnity of tone and audibility of voice, calculated to produce the deepest impression on a crowd of about five hundred persons assembled around the horses, informed me, that he had hitherto spared my feelings, and controlled his own, by avoiding to intrude upon the privacy which I was desirous of assuming; but at the moment of parting, he felt justified in giving vent to a public declaration of the sentiments of veneration and respect which he entertained for my family, and those of gratitude he should ever cherish for the truly dignified condescension with which I had treated him. I was speechless, and scarcely collected enough to listen to the conclusion of his harangue; which informed me that he had communicated a telegraphic account of my arrival to the commandant of the district, and would now transmit a similar notification of my departure to the commander-in-chief, to whom he trusted I would express my satisfaction of his conduct. The last words concluded with a genuflexion, and a kiss respectfully imprinted on my hand, I hastily mounted my horse, and hurried from this scene of ludicrous torment, which, however, it was decreed, should not terminate here; for on looking about me, as I quitted the town-gate, I beheld my host and the Sotto Intendente on horseback on each side of me, and found that this singular infatuation had extended its power over their minds, and that they were determined to accompany me as far as Mesagne, and thereby leave no honour unperformed which they could bestow on my exalted rank.
'On reaching the open plain, I resolved to make one more effort to liberate my person from the continuation of this novel kind of persecution, which might, for aught I knew, extend itself over the remainder of my journey; and after another solemn protestation against the name and title thus forcibly imposed upon me, I conjured my two satellites, by all that was merciful, to give up their project of attending me, representing that the day was far advanced, that we could with difficulty reach Mesagne before dark, and that their return might consequently be attended with great inconvenience, if not danger. My host, who, I then perceived, had too liberally participated in the homage offered me by his sister in the seducing semblance of rosolio and liqueurs, was obstinately bent on noncompliance, and merely answered my earnest remonstrances by an energetic repetition of the words. A Altezza, e inutile! I concluded, therefore, that all appeals to him would be fruitless, and confined my renewal of them to his companion, whose involuntary distortions of countenance, and occasional contortions of body, induced me to suspect that the motion of a horse was very uneasy, if not unusual to him. On my observing that he looked pale since we had begun our ride, he owned that he had not been on horseback for several years, that he was, besides, in no very robust state of health, and that the paces of the animal he mounted were somewhat rough; but added, that he knew his duty too well to allow such trifling inconveniences to deter him from fulfilling it to its utmost extent, and that he, therefore, should not attend to my injunctions of returning, unless they were delivered in the form of a peremptory command, which, issuing from the lips of royalty, he could not presume to disobey. For once then I resolved to assume the dictatorial tone of princely authority, and, with as grave a countenance as I could put on, ordered him to return to Brundisi. He pulled off his hat, kissed my hand, and, after expressing his thank, for my considerate condescension, united to many pious wishes for my prosperous journey, he allowed me to continue it, without further interruption.'
One of the finest pieces of poetry in the English language was actually sketched by Mr. Addison on Mount Cenis, when returning from Italy to Switzerland. In a letter to one of his friends, dated December 9, 1701, Mr. Addison thus alluded to it. 'I am now arrived at Geneva, by a very troublesome journey over the Alps, where I have been some days together "shivering among the eternal snow." My head is still giddy with mountains and precipices, and you can imagine how much I am pleased with the sight of a plain, that is as agreeable to me at present as a shore was about a year ago, after our tempest at Genoa. During my voyage over the mountains, I made a rhyming epistle to my Lord Halifax, which, perhaps, I will trouble you with a sight of, if I do not find it to be nonsense upon a review. You will think it, I dare say, as extraordinary a thing to make a copy of verses in a voyage over the Alps, as to write an heroic poem in a hackney coach, and I believe I am the first that ever thought of Parnassus on Mount Cenis.'
Mr. William Hutton.
'Old men,' says the amiable but eccentric antiquary, Mr. William Hutton, 'are much inclined to accuse youth of their follies; but on this head silence will become me, lest I should be asked. "What can exceed the folly of that man, who at seventy-eight, walked six hundred miles to see a shattered wall."'
Yet such a journey did Mr. Hutton actually undertake and perform, in order to inspect the Roman wall in England; the wonderful and united work of Agricola, Hadrian, and Severus. Mr. Hutton had long contemplated the journey, but was dissuaded from it, until his family agreed to visit the lakes. 'I procured for myself,' says Mr. Hutton, 'the exclusive privilege of walking, which, of all modes of travelling, I prefer. My daughter rode behind her servant and we agreed not to impede each other on the way, but meet at certain inns for refreshment and rest. I was dressed in black, a kind of religious travelling warrant, but divested of assuming airs, and had a budget of the same colour and materials, much like a dragoon's cartouche box, or postman's letter pouch, in which were deposited the maps of Cumberland, Northumberland, and the wall, with its appendages, all three taken out of Gough's edition of the "Britannia". To this little pocket I fastened, with a strap, an umbrella in a green case, for I was not likely to have a six weeks' tour without wet, and slung it over that shoulder which was the least tired.'
Mr. Hutton began his journey from Birmingham, July 14, 1801, and returned to that after a lapse of thirty-five days, during which he had performed a journey of six hundred and one miles, with an expenditure of forty guineas. 'As so long and solitary a journey on foot,' says Mr. H., 'was never perhaps performed by a man of seventy-eight, it excited the curiosity of the town, which caused me frequently to be stopped in the street to ascertain the fact.'
Mr. Dodwell, whose 'Tour in Greece' forms one of the most valuable works on the subject, relates several instances of the danger to which travellers are subjected in making classical researches, from the ignorance of the degraded descendants of the most polished nation in the world. 'On arriving near the village of Kapourna,' says Mr. D., 'I stopped to copy an inscription, sending my attendants forward to procure lodging and provisions. My attention was, however, soon attracted by the screams of women and children; and, on entering the village, I found the people throwing sticks and stones at my servants, while the Papas was encouraging the assailants. At length Logotheti's man, on receiving a wound from a large stone, took the priest by the beard, and drawing his sword, would probably have endangered the lives of all our party, by some rash action, had I not arrived at that moment, and by holding the hand of the Libadiote, put an end to the fray. The Papas, sensible of the danger he had escaped, and pleased at my interference, exclaimed with a loud voice, "Let there be peace with all, and provide the strangers with house and food." All appearance of hostility immediately vanished; and after Logotheti had complained a little of the wound of his leg, and the Papas had expressed his indignation at having been pulled by the beard they sat quietly down together, and smoked their pipes.'
Sir Robert Ker Porter.
One of the most recent English travellers in Persia, Sir Robert Ker Porter, who left St. Petersburg in August, 1817, and journeyed in Persia by the route across the Cossack Steppes, and over the mountainous Caucasus, to Tiflis. His travels extended through Georgia, Persia, Armenia, and Ancient Babylonia; and few objects worthy of attention escaped his notice in those countries. The passage of the Caucasus is less dangerous, or, account of its natural difficulties, as from the depredations of the Caucasian tribes of Tartars, who infest these mountains and waylay the unprotected traveller. While Sir Robert was journeying over these mountains, under a Russian escort, General Pozzo was negociating with a party of these robbers for the recovery of an unfortunate European lady, who had become their prisoner. The circumstances of her captivity were peculiarly distressing. Her husband, who was a Cossack officer, had left Kislar for this mountain journey, accompanied by his wife and a single servant, without any escort whatever. The too probable consequences of his rashness soon followed; he was attacked by a party of these brigands. His coachman and his servant were murdered; and before the officer had time for any defence, the robbers fired into the carriage, and killed him by the side of his wife. They then plundered the equipage, leaving the dead bodies on the scene of murder; and carried the wretched lady into the mountains, where they sold her to a chief, going further into the interior.
This eccentric gentleman, who has travelled as much, and to as little purpose, as almost any European, was originally a writer in the service of the East India Company; and was employed for some time, as secretary to the Nabob of Arcot. Having acquired a moderate competence, he travelled through every part of the world, China excepted, and that principally on foot, never entering a carriage, except in cases of absolute necessity. When he first returned to this country, he appeared in the costume of an Armenian, and attracted notice by the length of his beard. As he was an intelligent man, much was hoped from the publication of his various journeys; but he disdained the usual pursuits of travellers, constantly answering inquiries as to the manners, customs, &c. of the various countries which he visited, by stating, that his were travels of the mind, in order 'to ascertain and develop the polarity of moral truth;' with which title he actually published a volume.
M. Belzoni, to whom the world is indebted for some of the most important researches among the antiquities of Egypt, was induced to visit that country with the hope of turning his knowledge of hydraulics to good account. He soon, however, relinquished that object, to prosecute his antiquarian researches, which he did with unexampled zeal and perseverance. He succeeded in opening one of the two famous pyramids of Ghizeh, as well as several of the tombs. He had the good fortune to be the discoverer of many remains of an antiquity, till then unknown, of the Kings at Thebes, tiCes, and particularly that which is said to have been the tomb of Psammuthis, at this moment the principal, the most perfect, and splendid monument in that country. Of the difficulties M. Belzoni encountered in such a pursuit, his account of penetrating some of the chambers of the burial-place of the great city of a hundred gates, will give some outline.
'I often,' says he, 'returned exhausted and fatigued, till, at last, I became inured to it, and indifferent to what I suffered, except from the dust, which never failed to choak my mouth and nose; and though, fortunately, I am destitute of the sense of smelling, I could taste that the mummies were rather unpleasant to swallow. After the exertion of entering into such a place, through a passage of fifty, a hundred, or perhaps six hundred yards, nearly overcome, I sought a resting place, found one, and contrived to sit; but when my weight bore on the body of an Egyptian, it crushed like a band-box. I, naturally, had recourse to my hands, to sustain my weight, but they found no better support; so that I sunk altogether among the broken mummies, with a crash of bones, rags, and wooden cases, which raised such a dust, as kept me motionless for a quarter of an hour, waiting till it subsided again.'
The qualifications for a traveller have rarely been so happily combined, as in the person of Edward Daniel Clarke, the gentleman to whom these Anecdotes have been inscribed. His inquisitive genius, classical attainments, and scientific knowledge, aided by an unconquerable spirit of enterprise, and a disposition so amiable as to win all hearts, enabled him to reap a richer harvest of information in traversing nearly the whole of Europe, Asia, and Africa, than any of his predecessors. No one, perhaps, ever so nearly approached his own definition of a perfect traveller, as himself. One that must possess the pencil of Norden, the pen of Volney, the learning of Pococke, the perseverance of Bruce, and the enthusiasm of Savary.'
On his return from his extensive tour, the whole of which is not yet before the public, Dr. Clarke presented to the University of Cambridge, a most valuable collection of subjects of natural history, the memorials of his travels, on which he was honoured, in full senate, with the degree of LL.D. Unlike too many travellers, Dr. Clarke trusted little to memory, but made the most ample notes of everything worthy of observation; feeling that accounts of foreign countries were only valuable in proportion to their truth; hence, the marked care and fidelity which pervades the whole of his narrative.
While this volume of Anecdotes was in the press, Dr. Clarke, who had visited almost every clime, and endured all those privations which are the inseparable lot of him who travels in distant countries, fell a victim to his generous ardour in the pursuit of science. His constitution had been much weakened by travelling; and his unabating studies, to the utter neglect of his health, at length subdued him. He died, however, in possession of the esteem and respect of the friends of science in every quarter of the globe.
The Percy Anecdotes: