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beauty, going to Rome, to Naples, to Sicily, said Mrs. Starke, must bring with him all his furniture, all his linen, all his comestibles, all his pots, pans, and appurtenances; and several columns of that valuable book were devoted to an inventory of the simple necessities for a continental tour. The book was an exhortation to take up your house and travel, if you expected to be comfortable. Those were the days of couriers, and hiring huge traveling carriages in Paris; of chasseurs and brigands, and the delightful romance of Terracina. Irving's Tales of a Traveler," so far as they treat of the incidents of traveling, belong to the Starke epoch of the grand
But John Bull soon found it easier to make the continent supply him with clean sheets, than to take such a clumsy bundle of bed clothes with him; and all succeeding travelers are his debtors. He has warmed the bed for the rest of the world. On the other hand, he has carried extravagance everywhere, and the bad effects of a taciturn, if not surly nature. He has spoiled the carnival in Rome, and put steamers upon the Nile. He has reversed Napoleon's plan, and, instead of bringing all the world to Paris, he has carried England into all the world. His sobriquet upon the continent has been, for years, Milor-the affluent, haughty, domineering lord. The word, itself, is the best history of the net English impression upon the popular mind of Europe. He learns languages with difficulty, and sneers, with that profound stupidity of prejudice which is only possible in a nation that produces Squire Westerns, at a people
"Who call their mothers mères.
And all their daughters fillies." Have we not all seen that Milor, in St. Peter's, upon Easter; in Pompeii; on the Prater; in the Cascine; on the Pyramids; on the desert; at the remotest Egyptian temples; on the plain of Marathon; in the Norway fiords, with his double-soled walking shoes, and his gaiters, and his checked trowsers and waistcoat, and sporting jacket with large buttons, his mutton-chop whiskers, and rosy, moony face? Yet that very tenacity of checked breeches is the secret of half the comfort we enjoyed in going to those places, where we met this familiar figure. It is ludicrous when you encounter it in Brown, Jones, and Robin
son, for in them it is degenerate and unmeaning, but the thoughtful traveler contemplates a nobleman's breeches with curious interest.
For the philosophy of this marked English influence upon continenta llife is undoubtedly this, that the upper classes of England, who are more educated, and of a really finer quality than the upper classes of any other country, have united in themselves the natural desire of educated men to travel, the indefeasible national characteristic, strengthened by the pride of class, and unlimited means of gratifying every whim, and of securing foot-stoves at any cost and risk. A Frenchman has none of the Bedouin spirit. It was a French instinct in Napoleon to bring the characteristic spoils of every country to Paris, for the Frenchman has a secret scepticism of everything out of Paris, and cares for the "barbarian world" only when he can see specimens of it at home. Johnny Crapeau considers it only a proper homage to the capital of the earth, that all lands should send their products thither. Paris is France_to him, but it is also the world. The bourgeois believes Leipsic is in Germany, and knows that the Pope lives at Rome; the greater pity for him! But are not Corneille and Racine the greatest of poets? is not Voltaire the king of philosophers? have we not all the illustrations du temps? is not Rachel ours? is not France favored of all the muses and graces? is not ours the social philosophy, the hope of the future? Will you step over to the Faubourg St. Germain, and be introduced to the society upon which all other human society is modeled? will you have the most exquisite boots, shoes, dresses, pantalons, dinners, dances, demoiselles? What more can a reasonable being desire?
Several Frenchmen went to London during the Great Exhibition, and wrote accounts of their tours. There is no more amusing reading anywhere. England is a world as far from France as the spiritual from the material. Monsieur Crapeau speaks of Bull in a strain of incredulity, and with pettishness at the total want of mutual comprehension. We shall never forget a sunny day in Rouen, which was actually chilled and darkened by a Frenchman's account of a recent visit to London. Had it been to Lapland or Siberia, to some remote region not yet familiar to geography, and beyond human sympa
thy, it could not have been more delightfully dismal. At intervals he drank his claret, with a kind of clinging, pensive tenderness, like a man who should never forgive himself that he had ever lost one day of France. And we, who were bound for Albion, and meant to dine to-morrow upon roast beef, and not upon rosbif, felt uneasily, as if we were doomed to desolate exile-a Juvenal banished to Syene. There is an amusing vaudeville, which is hardly a caricature of the French feeling toward England, in which one whole act consists of a man coming upon the stage, which represents a dreary storm, with his heavy box coat buttoned to his ears, shoes with soles of preternatural thickness, and a great umbrella. He strides across the scene in lugubrious silence, and, in the universal gloom mutters hoarsely, "C'est Soonday!" and vanishes. The popular French idea of England is of an eternal and hopelessly rainy Soonday.
But the French books of travel have an esprit, which is very attractive. The French genius loves to beautify details, and will serve you the most delicate dinner from the scrapings of the larder, or write you a graceful, graphic book of traveling sketches, upon the Boulevards, in Lyons, anywhere, the most familiar, or the most remote locality, and it shall be unmistakably French. It is never the material, with the French, but always the manner; hence their profound respect for the artist. The cook is an artiste; the barber is an artiste; the tailor and the shoemaker are artistes. And hence again, the details of civilization are perfected in France, and Paris becomes the most agreeable of cities to every man who can content himself with universal chique, rather than occasional taste; with society which is spirituel rather than spiritual; with the ease of Art rather than the grace of Nature; who asks of the world only well-fitting gloves, and a digestible dinner, the favor of the reigning danseuse, and an insouciance, a genial carelessness which makes him less bored in Paris than anywhere else, and enables him to slouch along toward death as little bored as possible.
lt is this essential want of moral heroism in the French character, which is the secret of the English dislike of France. It is not a political nor sectional difference or ambition, so much as the radical antipathy of a hearty and
serious nature, for one that is speculative, superficial, and sceptical.
The American is the great national eclectic, and, in the sense of adaptability, he is more cosmopolitan than the Englishman. In Paris, he is more French than the Parisian; in Rome, more Italian than the Roman; and in Britain, more English than the Englishman. He learns easily, and accommodates readily. He has a more flexible accent, a more graceful taste, than any other traveler. In Cairo, he wears the turban with edifying gravity, and in the German Eilwagen, his neighbor asks him from what part of Germany he comes. While in Paris, Mr. Bull has his shoes a little thicker in the sole, and his waistcoat a little shorter, and his checks a little more pronounced, lest he should seem to succumb to Gallic corruption, his cousin Jonathan arrives without a wardrobe, that he may appear in the very last French fashion. Jonathan follows St. Paul, and is all things to and with all men. His individuality lies in a certain rank independence and secret sense of superiority. And yet he is so complaisant that he will keep silence rather than offend, and even take sides against the essential American idea, as was so copiously proved during the European convulsions of 1848. He traverses historic lands with less scholarship, and more money, than any other traveler. It is too true that he requires every waterfall to be Niagara; every river, the Mississippi; every plain, a prairie; and every pond, a Lake Superior. It is too true, that armed with Niagara, Bunker Hill, and a surplus in the treasury, he belabors Europe, until a wise man smiles.
The American, however, has a pleasure in foreign travel, which the man of no other nation enjoys. With a nature not less romantic than others; with desires and aspirations for the reverend and historically beautiful, forever unsatisfied at home, fed for years upon the splendid literature of all time, and the pompous history of the nations that have occupied and moulded the earth, and yet separated from those nations and that history, not only by space and the total want of visible monuments, but by the essential spirit of society around him; born with poetic perception amid the stateliest natural forms-forests, mountains, rivers, and plains-that seem to foreshow a more imperial race, and results more majestic than are yet his
torical, but with none of that human association in the landscape, which gives it its subtlest beauty and profoundest influence, the American mind is solicited by Europe with unimagined fascination. The American goes out to take possession of his dreams, and hopes, and boundless aspirations. Child of all the ages, he has pined for some tangible sign that his great ancestry did, indeed, live and achieve. Of the younger branch, which is to help make the material out of which song and sweet tradition will be woven by his remote descendants, he has yet his own rearward longings, and his filial love and reverence of the past are the prophecy of his future. Hence, all American books of travel, beneath the dry crust of the record, have the quick stream of surprise and enthusiasm.
An Englishman, who remembers that his land was once a Roman province, and whose eyes have seen cathedrals and ruins hoary with centuries, finds the Coliseum and Karnac different in degree, not in kind. But the dullest American, who has never seen a house more than a hundred years old, stands silent with awe before a temple of which history gives no account, and which has survived the race and the civilization which built it. Consequently, there is a great deal of monotony of enthusiasm in our books of travel. "Is this really Rome? Can I believe that I am in Athens? Pinch me, that I may awake out of this dream of Sicily," is the refrain of the song.
General travel-writing is usually of two kinds, the imaginative and the actual. One leans to the detail, to minute description, to statistic; the other to the general spirit and impression. The one results in a commissioner's report, the other in a poem. Now we think the poet is as superior to the rest of us in traveling, and in telling his travels, as he is in all other departments of spiritual experience. Beckford's brief, aromatic book of letters from Italy, gives a better idea of Italy than Murray's Italian Hand-Book. For it is not in the shape and size of the houses, in the kind and luxuriance of foliage, in the singular habits and unusual manners of the people, that the secret of national difference is found, but in the spirit which fashions all those details. If we are told that the great pyramid is four hundred and ninety-six feet high, and covers, at the base, an
area of six or seven acres, we have an indefinite idea of size, but we have nothing of the peculiar impression produced by that size, and certainly nothing of the awe which the great pyramid inspires. The size is but one point of the mystic grandeur which makes the pyramid an object of wonder and awful interest. Its antiquity, its situation, its history; all these combine, and the combined result upon the imaginative mind is the impression which we want, and which is destroyed by the statement of details. The poets, however, are few; and we consequently find that the great majority of books of travel are soon forgotten. Those which are most excellent in both kinds remain. Careful scientific observations; decisive speculations upon disputed and interesting historical localities; accurate descriptions of manners and customs; and explorations of the flora and fauna of remote and recently discovered regions, are preserved for reference, and have a permanent value. But the great mass of records of superficial observation, however detailed, slip quietly and rapidly into oblivion. So, also, the books which, with little account of actual measurement, reveal to the reader the spirit and splendor of foreign lands, are like perfumes and strains of musicfor perfect Art reproduces the sense of Nature-and the reader breathes a foreign air, and is really transported into the country of which he has read. But sentimental common-place cannot be immortal, although, with no allusion to details, it busies itself with the
"Beauty that was Greece,
And the splendor that was Rome." It is the happy union of these two spirits that makes the permanently popular book of travels. Any spirited descriptions of countries, either newly visited or new to the mass of readers, will interest the public. This was especially the case with the books of Stephens, which were undoubtedly the most popular and most lucrative of any books of travel ever published in America. Mr. Stephens was a shrewd, active American, who visited countries with which his countrymen were then not at all familiar, who kept a copious and detailed diary, and published it. The style was simple and careless, and there was no philosophy and no poetry in the books; but they were the simple descriptions of novel scenes by an intelligent observ
er, and the sensible remarks upon those scenes, of a shrewd man. They had not the fullness and richness of poetic description, nor had they the unmistakable glow of the natural traveler. They were the traveling letters of a gentleman.
But traveling is an art, and most eminent among all writers of travels is the natural traveler; the man who does not travel from motives of business, education, health, or pleasure, but from an overpowering love of adventure. These are the travelers as distinguished from the tourists. These are the men who invest travel with a vague romance, which is not to be discovered in the countries they visit, nor in their accounts of those countries; but in that subtle sympathy which satisfies the reader that his author is not only a traveled man, but a traveler. It is the same indescribable sympathy which assures him that one man is a poet, and another only a gentleman of poetic instincts writing verses. Such men are born travelers. If they are poor, they travel at home.
John Ledyard, after four months of College at Dartmouth, wanders into the woods, and lives six months with Canadians and Indians. He reads listlessly of Pharaohs and Ptolemies sailing up and down the Nile, of the dark-rolling Danube and the storied Rhine; but he hollows a canoe and embarks upon the Connecticut; then wanders over the earth, "lonely as a cloud," sees Cook fall upon the shore of Hawaii, endeavors in vain to interest moneyed men in Philadelphia and New York, in Paris and London in a Northwest expedition, but finds that "perseverance was an effort of understanding, which twelve rich merchants were incapable of making." He penetrates northeastern Asia, passes through Siberia, and is recalled from Kamtschatka by an imperial order, just as he is coming out upon the Pacific Ocean, and finally dies upon the threshold of that mysterious African exploration which forever baffles investigation. The genuine traveler shows himself in the triumphant tone of the farewell to his mother upon his departure for Africa: "through millions of fierce savages, over parching deserts, the freezing North, the everlasting ice and stormy seas, have I passed without harm. How good is my God! What rich subjects have I for praise, love, and adoration." Religious zeal drove the old travelers about the world. They were knightly pilgriras to Palestine and the East, like George
Sandys and Sir John Mandeville,—or they were missionaries like Henry Maundrell and the Jesuits. But Mungo Park and John Ledyard were sons of Mercury. They were born with wings upon their heels. The ostensible end of their travels was discovery; but the final cause was a restless soul and a love of wild adventure.
John Ledyard is, by distinction, the American traveler. A man of temperament ardent enough to maintain his enthusiasm under the severest disappointments, he was also firm and fearless, and united to a clear and comprehensive grasp of his subject a gift of lucid and genial description, which leaves the student of his life impatient of the few published remains of his observations. His account of Captain Cook's last voyage is not only simple and accurate, without tedium, but it contains the valuable suggestions of a shrewd mind upon the ethnical and scientific questions of the South Seas. His letters from London and Paris, although few and slight, will be always valuable for their air of reality, and the Journal of his expedition across Siberia and Russia to Kamtschatka
has a singular interest. He is everywhere at home, and has no time for expletives, as he had no unpleasant or awful sense of strangeness. Nor should it be forgotten, to the eternal honor of the noble and child-like spirit of the true traveler, no less than to the immortal and universal humanity of woman, that John Ledyard in Siberia, like Mungo Park in mid-Africa, celebrates the tenderness of female sympathy and the loveliness of female character.
"I have observed," says he, "among all nations, that the women ornament themselves more than the men: that wherever found, they are the same kind, civil, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like men, to perform a hospitable or generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full of courtesy, and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous, more liable, in general, to err than man, but in general, also more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospita
ble Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the widespread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a double relish."
And in another place he writes:—
"I am now two hundred and twenty versts from Moscow, on the road to Poland. Thank Heaven, petticoats appear, and the glimmerings of other features. Women are the sure harbingers of an alteration in manners, in approaching a country where their influence is felt."
These passages, and Mungo Park's account of the tender care shown him by an African woman have a mournful interest, for the very warmth of the description implies that solitude of heart which the travelers experienced, and leaves in the mind a sense of remoteness and desolation.
All other American travelers, or Americans who have written books of travels, have been, with, perhaps, one exception, merely gentlemen and ladies of more or less cultivation and enterprise, who have visited foreign countries. The list comprises several of our most honored literary names. Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Miss Sedgwick, Miss Sigourney, and Willis, and Longfellow, by his "Outre-Mer" and "Hyperion," may fairly be included; while many of our younger authors have made their literary debut by books of travel, as Headley, Herman Melville, Tuckerman, in his "Italian Sketch-Book" and "Sicily," Mitchell, Curtis, and Bayard Taylor. Others like the authors of "Los Gringos" and "Cosas de España," have written but a single book of travels, and have made a name by that. Professor Robinson is a classical topographical authority in the local exploration of Palestine.
The exception that we make to this general classification is, Bayard Taylor, whom we regard as a traveler, in the sense that Mungo Park and John Ledyard were travelers. Mr. Taylor travels for the love of travel. His mind is stored with the history and literature which invest countries with romantic interest; but beneath his pleasure in the
association, there is always the spring of the Bedouin; the roving eye, the restless foot. Of a singularly sweet and healthy temperament, robust, yet romantic, he has the daguerreotyping glance and the simple style of description which are peculiar to the class. More imaginative than Ledyard, he is not less adventurous, nor does his imagination ever betray his good sense. Calmness with ardor, which shows itself in his descriptions in a transparent placidity of style, characterizes him in common with the famous travelers. No poet enjoys a moonlit ruin more than they, and none are prompter in repelling with equal relish the marauders who disturb them. In truth the traveler, who has been so fascinating a figure in all ages and histories, is a union of the poet and the hero. And, if we take the unresting Bedouin as his type, who is there that, when the day's march is over, sits so dreamily, with large, melancholy eyes, over the fire, or tells so sweet a story of love and peril?
Mr. Taylor's books of travel include his tour in Europe; his journey to California; his wanderings in Africa and the lands of the Saracen; and he has in preparation a third and concluding volume, containing his adventures in India, China, the Loo-Choo Islands, and Japan. Of all these books the "Journey to Central Africa" is, perhaps, the most interesting and characteristic. The style flows as calmly and placidly as the Nile, but, unlike that river, it is perfectly clear. It is a simple, graphic record of daily life and observation, rarely impassioned, but sinewy and racy, and rich with natural humor and pathos. It is a descriptive, rather than pictorial, style; but beneath its genial repose there is the glow of the true genius of travel. Nor has Mr. Taylor escaped the fascination of the great African problem. Mungo Park, Denham and Clapperton, the Landers, Bruce, and Ledyard, were all smitten by the same desire of penetrating the interior of that dumb and blind continent.
The three great geographical problems of the last century have been the Northwest Passage, the sources of the Nile, and the source and course of the Niger. To these three questions we owe some of the most remarkable and interesting works of travel. The English African Association, with Sir Joseph Banks at its head, employed at the close of the last century such men as John Ledyard, Mungo Park, Denham, Clapperton, and