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the same nation scan and criticise each other much more than they do natives. The English carry this further than any other people. They seem to be afraid of contamination. This often puzzles foreigners, who good-naturedly think that two Englishmen ought to be friends whenever they meet, and in every part of the world; and are quite surprised to see them sit as far asunder as possible, and as demure as virgin coyness.
As to travellers of various nations, whom one is apt to meet in the course of one's journey, there is your plodding German, either a profound erudite, a virtuoso, or an enthu. siast just come from the University; minute and punctilious, but generally equitable, honest, and inclined to render justice to the good qualities of other people. There is your 'imitative Russian, mostly a man of pleasure, whose feelings or fancy stand but little in his way; prodigal through vanity; mixing the haughtiness of a feudal lord with the assumed 'nonchalance of a French Seigneur; by no means a rigorist in principle, often a liberal in theory, though generally an ultra in practice; in short, a complete man of the world. Quick, lively, insinuating ; the Russians have been styled the Frenchmen of the North.
They are the only people that attempt to rival the English as travellers: some of their noblemen are enormously rich; they patronise artists, purchase paintings, and live really en grand Seigneur. And thus they play their part.
As for the Frenchman, the real genuine Frenchman, he is truly a delightful subject. His self-complacency, his excessive politeness;--- which is, however, seldom troublesome, for his politeness is real, although his kindness is often pretended,-his boastful exaggerations about France and its capital; his national vanity and excellent opinion of himself; his continual comparisons to the advantage of his own country, which he thrusts in the face of strangers, who take them as a matter of course, Frenchmen being privileged in this respect,--all these are peculiarly his own. It is idle for an Englishman, a German, an Italian, or Spaniard, to attempt to catch at the light and ready wit of a Frenchman, at his elasticity, and at the often real gracefulness with which he does the most trivial, and says the most unmeaning things. The attempts of foreigners to imitate him, only expose them to ridicule; the vivacity of a Frenchman is like the spirit of his champaigne, it evaporates in an instant, and almost before you can taste it. The German, who on arriving at the first French inn, thought himself inspired by the genius of the country, and exclaimed-Ch? apprends à etre fif-hé! hé! while he was only noisy, and jumped clumsily over chairs and tables, upsetting bottles and decanters, was affording a coarse but not incorrect illustration of the vanity of attempting to imitate French vivacity. But even were a foreigner to succeed in the attempt, it would probably be at the expense of more valuable qualities ;-it were like selling his birth-right for a mess of pottage:
Speaking of travellers, however, the English are all and every thing. England is a land of wonders, and its travellers are not the least of its wonders. No nation in Europe, ---no party or sect, can make out the English. The Bonapartist, the Ultra, the Liberal, all stare in amazement at them; the English are a complete riddle to the rest of the Continent. The fact is, that Continental people look to a unity of character and opinions, which the English will never submit to. Yet among the myriads of English travellers, it is easy to find men suited to every one's taste. You meet among them with philosophers, philanthropists, literati, virtuosi, men of the world, men of pleasure, scholars, politicians, men of science, and men of speculation. An Italian lady used to say, that if the English were to take half the pains to please in foreign company that the Frenchmen do, they would çertainly be preferred.
There is your grave Spaniard, most decidedly and most unpleasantly national; few of that nation, however, are to be met on the high roads; there is your Swiss, half sentimental, half blunt, aiming at wit; your Italian, apparently solid, yet internally as quick as mercury, your Dane, Swede, Norwegian; but it would be too long to enumerate all the tribes; de minimis non eurat.
Oh! that most indescribable vehicle, a French diligence! There you have the best chanee of meeting with specimens of all these different characters. The captives in the inside being eased up, and the door closed upon them, their tongues, ears, and eyes are the only parts of their bodies having full play, while the ponderous machine rolls slowly on at the rate of four knots an hour. The live luggage in it is completely separated from all the rest of the world, much more so than in an English coach; for in France you travel mostly through a solitude, having only a distant caravansera to look to, and the conducteur, an amphibious being who partakes of the policeman, soldier and guard, tells you before hand that you must not expect more than one meal a day. In this moving bastile, the unfortunate, inquisitive, splenetie, and simple travellers are all brought into close contact with each other; acquaintances are made, stories told, confessions brought out, intrigues carried on,all precious materials for novelists. Then sometimes a mixture of strange tongues and outlandish oaths forms a most delectable discord. There you see a man throughout all his phases, --in his night cap and morning deshabille, before his breakfast and ablutions, peevish before dinner, and flushed after
it, prosy and sleepy in the evening, and snoring and stretehing during the night. « Oh what a place for study a diligence is ? I don't think there were any diligences in Sterne's time; no, it must be a revolutionary invention introduced by those amiable patriots, the terrorists, to find out the real character of their countrymen, and deal with them accordingly, However, vive la diligence !
There is in our days a particular class of travellers, who, instead of writing an account of the nations they have visited, actually bring home with them the very form and spirit of those nations, and dramatize them. They are with regard to the moral features of a country, what the panoramas, dioramas, and all the rest of the ramas are to the material appearance of it. First, in this class stands the inimitable Mathews. He is a real dramatic traveller ; he personifies a whole nation, whether Irish, French, or German, with the most striking correctness. Of his American characters, I cannot well judge; yet there are many touches in them which have appeared to me as wearing the stamp of like
He has carried his delicacy to an amiable excess, in avoiding every thing that might give offence to those transatlantic republicans; and in this he seems to have followed strictly the exhortations of his own Mr. Pennington, whom I sincerely esteem, but with whom I beg leave to differ. Two such nations as England and America sprung out of the same source, and afterwards rent asunder by a violent shock, pursuing now the same career of industry and commerce; both aiming at maritime supremacy,two such nations may esteem one another, but as to affection, nationally speaking, it must be out of the question. The efforts of philanthropists ought therefore to be directed to redress misrepresentations and expose slander. Let the English and the Americans know each other thoroughly, such as they are, and they will respect each other, and avoid, as much as the complicated machinery of national interests will allow, that their respective views should clash.
Other travellers, such as the lamented Belzoni, Mr. Bullock, and several more, come nearer to the description of artists. They import the relics of distant countries ; they arrange them for your examination, and leave you the agreeable task of supplying the links which are found wanting between those mysterious memorials, and nations and empires, long since sunk into oblivion.
There are also poetical travellers, such as De Staël, Byron, Chateaubriand, Nodier, and others, who embody the whole mind of a nation and mix it with their own; you recognise in their descriptions some general characteristics, although you seldom can trace out individual ones. When Byron paints individuals, his colours are beautiful; the traits separately taken are all in nature ;
but the aggregate figure is ideal, the offspring of his fancy. Where is a Conrad, a Gulnare, or a Giaour to be found? They are of the same race as the Malek Adhels, the Atalas, and the Corinnas. Yet, when Byron, assuming the pencil of Guido, sketches out tamer and milder characters, such as a Zuleika, a Medora, or a Julia, then he paints true nature,—the nature of the countries he has visited, and where the originals of his pictures are daily to be met with.
I shall say little of the writers of prose travels and journals. They are divided in many classes ; there are still to be met in our days, as in those of Sterne, the Smelfunguses and the Mundunguses, the sentimental and the dogmatical, the grave and the satirical travellers. This branch of literature has considerably advanced within a few years, but is yet susceptible of much greater improvement.
The antiquarian, the amateur, the naturalist, the bibliomaniac, all these are useful travellers,-useful not so much to the countries they visit, but to those they belong to. The collectors of paintings, statues, and manuscripts, I look upon as a sort of lawful invaders; yet, when they come and strip the Italian palaces of their most valuable treasures in exchange for their gold lumber, I am not surprised if the natives feel an instinctive jealousy against them. But so fate has decreed ! And if the proprietors of those master-pieces of the arts stand in need of gold to prop up their falling fortunes, it is better for them to part upon fair terms with the ornaments of their galleries, than to be plundered of them by the next conqueror who may cross the Alps, or land upon
the Ausonian shores, whether in the name of social order or liberty, of religion or philosophy, but with the invariable object of making his assistance dearly purchased by his protegés.
There is a class of itinerant writers of memoranda, whom one is almost afraid of falling in with for fear they should intrude upon one's privacy, and put one's name in print with a biographical account of one's birth, adventures, and political and religious sentiments; to the no small annoyance, inconvenience, and even danger of the party principally concerned. These people have become a real nuisance in our times.
The above are some of the principal classes of travellers; but I am far from having exhausted the subject, for who can count the leaves of the forest? I shall leave to the judgment of my readers to choose amongst the various characters. I have hastily sketched those whom they will resemble in their travels.
The advantages which are to be derived from travelling in our days are of a superior nature. Men of distant countries, and of all classes of society, see each other, know each other, and acknowledge readily one common pature, and common feelings,
and sympathies. Formerly, most travellers examined, chiefly, paintings, monuments, inanimate things; now, they study man, the noblest work in the creation. We can trace, in almost every country of Europe, a gradual development of the mental qualities, which is in the end favoured even by those momentary obstacles, which short-sighted people look upon as irremediably fatal to the progress of the mind; those obstacles often serve to correct the aberrations of genius, and to chasten the works of fancy. Meantime, individuals are enabled to range through the regions of research; sciences, arts, and letters are mutually assisting each other ; many illusions and prejudices are falling to the ground in
every direction; and, even in those countries we are apt to consider as most unenlightened, the condition of society is much improved within the last twenty years.
Impressed with this persuasion, the traveller will find himself well qualified to visit new countries in such a manner as to gain the good graces of the natives, and preserve at the same time the esteem of his countrymen. Let him set out with the conviction that man is by nature every where in a state of progressive improvement, that every one of us can assist in this progress, though we cannot always expect to direct it. Then it is of little consequence to which part of the compass he turns his steps, for the world lies before him like an immense garden, in every partition of which he will find many plants to be admired, others to be used, and some to be avoided. “I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry it is all barren."
ITALY AND THE ITALIANS *.
THERE is perhaps no country upon which more has been written, and of which less has been understood, than Italy. Her magnificent scenery, her glorious works of art, are familiar to all
Our earliest associations of beauty lead us to the land of classical recollections; and whether, with the records of her military, or the proofs of her intellectual, greatness, we trace her through her phases of youthfulness, maturity, and decay,-orgo onwards to her sacred triumphs of Art and Letters, after her long sleep of barbarism, she is still the land of proud and heroic remembrances—the land in which genius and enthusiasm still delight to find a resting-place. But her people have been neglected
Italy and the Italians in the Nineteenth Century; a view of the civil, political, and moral state of that country, &c., by A. Vieusseux, 2 vols, C. Knight.