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your impressions will be stronger. I do not mean by this to supersede the employment of guides in sight-seeing, for they are very useful in saving time. b. LANGUAGE.
The Emperor Charles V. used to say, that in proportion to the number of languages a man knew, he was so many more times a man. No one should think of travelling before he has made some acquaintance with the language of the country he is about to visit. This should be the first, as it is the best, preparation for a journey. It will prove as good as a doubly-filled purse to the traveller-as two pair of eyes, and one pair of ears- -for, without it, the one pair he possesses is likely to be of little use.
The only other advice which will be here offered to the traveller is, that he should make up his mind beforehand what line of Route he proposes to follow, and gain some acquaintance with the country before setting out, by perusing the best works descriptive of it; that he should lay in such a stock of good temper and patience as is not likely soon to be exhausted, whatever mishaps may befal him; and that he should divest himself, as soon as possible, of his prejudices, and especially of the idea of the amazing superiority of England above all other countries, in all respects.
C. MONEY.- CIRCULAR NOTES.
The safest, most economical, and most convenient mode of carrying money abroad to meet the expenses of a journey, is in the shape of circular notes, which may be obtained from Messrs. Herries, Farquhar, and Co.; Coutts and Co.; Sir Claude Scott, Bt., and Co., Cavendish Square; Messrs. Twining, in the Strand, near Temple Bar, and the other chief bankers in London: to these may be added the Union Bank. These notes possess this great advantage over a common letter of credit, that the bearer may receive his money at many different places, instead of one fixed spot alone. The traveller having determined how much money he will require for his journey *, pays in that sum to the banker, and receives in exchange, without any charge except the stamp-duty, notes to the same amount, each of the value of 201. or upwards, together with a general letter of order, addressed by the house to its foreign agents, which, while it serves to identify the bearer, also gives him a claim to their good offices, in case he may need them. The letter is addressed to nearly 200 agents and correspondents in different parts of Europe, so that wherever the traveller may be, he cannot be very far removed from his supplies.
"The value of the notes is reduced into foreign money, at the current usance course of exchange on London, at the time and place
*It is difficult, if not impossible, to fix with any approach to exactness the average rate of expenses of a traveller abroad, as it depends so much on his own habits, and varies in different countries; but, unless the expenditure be very lavish, 25s. a-day for each individual ought fully to cover all the outlay, even when travelling post. On a pedestrian excursion in remote situations, the expenses can hardly exceed from 5s. to 10s. per diem. The cost of living at foreign inns is insignificant compared with that of locomotion, and the latter will of course be proportionately increased when the traveller proceeds rapidly, making long days' journeys. The above calculation will be near the mark if he travel 70 or 80 English miles a-day; if he limit himself to 40 or 50, the expense will probably not exceed 20s. for each person.
of payment, subject to no deduction for commission, or to any other charge whatever, unless the payment be required in some particular coin which bears a premium. They are drawn to order, and the traveller will naturally, for his own security, not endorse them till he receives the money; besides which, such cheques are so concerted with the agents as to render a successful forgery of his name very difficult."
Owing to the number of English who now go abroad, these circular letters can no longer be expected to serve as a private letter of introduction; but it is of no slight importance in many cases of difficulty to the stranger, in a strange place, to be able to produce a reference to some person of respectability; and the parties to whom these letters are addressed are usually ready to afford friendly advice and assistance to those who need it.
It is advisable to take a small supply of English gold to pay the expenses in the steam-boat, and on landing, as well as to guard against running short of money in places where circular notes cannot be cashed. English sovereigns bear a high premium all over Germany, and in shops and inns at all the large towns they ought to be taken at their full value. When the stranger, however, requires to change this or any other money into the current coin of the country in which he is travelling, the best plan is to take them to some authorised Moneychanger (Geld-wechsler, Changeur de mounoies), who from his profession is necessarily acquainted with the rate of exchange (such persons are to be found in almost every town); and by no means to change them at shops or inns, where, from ignorance or fraud, travellers are liable to be cheated.
Waiters, and clerks of steamboats and railway offices, are too apt to presume upon the traveller's ignorance by depreciating the value of Napoleons, Sovereigns, and 10-Guilder-pieces, unless the stranger 32 aware of the true value, and demand specifically the full amount of change.
A traveller, in changing a circular note, will of course take the money of the country, provided he intends remaining long enough in it to expend the sum taken. If, however, he is only passing through it, the best foreign gold coin he can take is Napoleons, as others bear a higher premium.
The best continental gold coins which persons bound for Germany can take with them out of England, are probably the Prussian Friedrichs d'or, current for their full value throughout the states of the Custom House League, and the Dutch pieces of 10 and 5 guilders, which are current, not only in Holland and Belgium, but also in Germany. Napoleons pass in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and on the immediate borders of the Rhine; in other parts of Germany, and in Holland, though less common, they are generally received at little or no loss. Gold coins are rare in many parts of the Continent, and must be purchased at a premium by those who require them. A few years back, travellers unwilling to pay an agio for gold were often obliged to receive in change for a circular note 201. worth of silver in crown pieces, dollars, and the like; but at present the Prussian Bank notes for 10, 5, and 1 dollar, &c., which
are current in every part of Germany where the new custom-house system prevails, and the Bavarian and Austrian paper currency, both of the same value as the metallic currency,-relieve the traveller from the necessity of thus loading himself.
The best silver coins to take are, for Northern Germany, Prussian dollars, since the coins of Prussia (except the small pieces) now pass current in all the states which are members of the New Custom-house Union (Zollverein); and for Southern Germany, Brabant dollars (écus de Brabant), which are almost universally current, from Frankfurt and Dresden, southwards, florins and half florins.
It is essential to be provided with the legal money of the country in which you are travelling, if you would avoid delay or extortion at inns, post-houses, &c. In merely passing through a country, it is expedient to take no more of its coins than are necessary to carry one through it, as almost every state has a distinct coinage; and a certain loss must be sustained by each exchange.
Of all the penalties, at the expense of which the pleasure of travelling abroad is purchased, the most disagreeable and most repugnant to English feelings is that of submitting to the strict regulations of the continental police, and especially to the annoyance of bearing a passport. It is also often a source of great inconvenience in causing unwished-for delays. As this, however, is a matter of necessity, from which there is no exemption (no one being allowed to travel on the Continent without a passport), it is better to submit with a good grace. By a little care and attention to this matter at first, the traveller may spare himself a world of vexation and inconvenience in the end.
In Germany the severity of the passport system has much diminished from what it was formerly, owing to the prevalence of peace, tranquil government, the zollverein, railroads, and steamers, and perhaps a lurking conviction of the inutility of the system.
As a general rule, the utmost care should be taken of the passport; since the loss of it will subject the stranger to much trouble, and may cause him to be placed under the surveillance of the police. It should always be carried about the person, as it is liable to be constantly called for; and, to preserve it from being worn out, which it is likely to be from friction in the pocket, and being thumbed by the horny fingers of so many police agents and gens-d'armes at each successive visé, it is convenient to have it bound up in a pocket-book*, with blank leaves to receive signatures when the vacant spaces on the passport itself are covered.
Before leaving England it is necessary to obtain a passport, which is generally procured from the minister of the country in which the traveller intends to land; and it is very advisable to have it also visé, or counter-signed, by the ministers of those countries through which he proposes afterwards to pass. For instance, if he be going up the * Such pocket-books are made by Lee, 440. West Strand, and kept in readiness by him.
Rhine to Frankfurt, and intend to land at Rotterdam, or any other Dutch port, he may obtain a passport from the Dutch consul. If he go by Calais, he may get a French passport; if by Ostend, a Belgian ; or he may obtain a British consul's passport at any of the foreign towns or seaports where our consuls reside. A Prussian passport, or one bearing a Prussian minister's or consul's signature, procures admittance for the bearer, without delay or difficulty, at any part of the Prussian frontier. The same rule of obtaining a signature of a minister should also be observed before entering the States of Austria - Russia - Bavaria -France-Holland-Belgium. With many it is indispensable; with all it is advisable. Travellers in the Low Countries, Belgium, and Germany are not much troubled about their passport, but it is not the less indispensable; the stranger who is found without one will get into trouble. Nobody can take his place in a diligence or hire post-horses without
The usual process of obtaining a passport from an ambassador or minister, is to address a written or verbal application to his secretary, stating the name of the applicant. This must be left, one day in advance, at the house or office of the embassy. The applicant must appear in person the following day, when his passport will be filled up and delivered to him, without fee, by the ambassador of Belgium. Ā shilling, properly administered to the porter at the door, will often materially shorten the time during which the applicant is generally compelled to kick his heels in the ambassador's ante-room. Persons residing in the country, or in provincial towns of England, may obtain a passport from the Foreign ministers in London, upon the application of the mayor or magistrate of their place of residence, accompanied by a statement of their age, destination, &c., as detailed above.
The different members of a family can have their names included in one passport, but friends travelling together had better provide themselves with distinct passports. Male servants should also have separate passports, distinct from their masters'. This, however, adds something to the expense of having the passports visé, especially in Italy.
N.B.The signature which the bearer of a passport must attach to it when it is delivered to him, ought to be written as clearly and distinctly as possible, that it may be easily read by the numerous functionaries through whose hands it is destined to pass, who are sometimes half an hour in deciphering an ill-written name, while the owner is wasting his patience at the length of the scrutiny. By this slight precaution the loss of many a quarter of an hour may be saved.
Much delay and inconvenience may also be avoided, by causing the full description of the person to be inserted in the passport at once; the want of it will excite suspicion in some foreign passport offices, or even subject the bearer to arrest.
Besides the ambassadors, the consuls of the different foreign powers issue or sign passports at their offices in the City, for which a charge of 5, 6, or 7 shillings is made. The consuls deliver their passports at once, without requiring that the application should be made the day before; their offices are also open earlier than the ambassador's, usually from 10 or 11 to 4; thus much time is saved, which with many will be more than an equivalent for the payment.
French and Belgian Passport.
French passports are issued immediately, for the sum of 5s., at the General Consulate office only, No. 47, King William Street, London Bridge; Belgian, at the Belg. Consul's office, King William Street, fee, 6s. Passports are issued gratuitously by the Belgian minister, 9A, Weymouth Street, Portland Place, on the day after the first application has been made for them. Application to be made between 12 and 3; the passport may be obtained next day between 11 and 2. Either of these passports ought to be countersigned by the minister of the other country, provided the traveller is about to pass through it.
The Prussian minister, residing in London, will not give passports to Englishmen, unless personally known, or especially recommended to him. According to a recent regulation, passports delivered to Englishmen, either by the English Government, or the other diplomatic missions in London, need not be visé by the Prussian legation in London. Passports are still required for travelling in Prussia. The Prussian Consul-general issues passports at his office, 106. Fenchurch Street, every day from 10 to 4, upon payment of 7s., and when 2 of a family are included, 10s. Upon the whole, the passport of the Prussian Consul is a very respectable and efficient one for the English traveller about to proceed to Germany and the Rhine, through Holland, or Belgium, or the Hanse Towns.
The Austrian Ambassador in London will neither give a passport to an Englishman, nor countersign any, except that issued by the British Secretary of State.
For the traveller bound to any part of the Austrian dominions, or to Italy, the Austrian signature is absolutely indispensable, and it is therefore a matter of necessity to obtain it, if not in London, at one of the great capitals on the Continent at Paris, Brussels, the Hague, Frankfurt, Carlsruhe, Berlin, Dresden, Berne in Switzerland, or Munich-where an Austrian minister resides. The traveller must even go out of his way to secure it, or else, when he arrives at the Austrian frontier, he will either be compelled to retrace his steps, or will be kept under the surveillance of the police, until his passport is sent to the nearest place where an English and Austrian ambassador reside, to be authenticated by the one and signed by the other.
An Englishman's passport ought also to be signed by his own minister at the first English embassy.
British Secretary of State's Passport.
Those who do not grudge the considerable expense of 21. 7s. 6d., the price of an English Secretary of State's passport, may obtain one at the Foreign Office in London, provided they be personally known at the office, or can procure a written or personal recommendation from a banker, or other person of respectability who is well known there. The chief privilege attending it is that the bearer may obtain the Austrian Ambassador's signature before leaving England, and can thus obviate delay and trouble.