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As the title-page of a book ought to convey some idea of its natureand as a Preface should do little more, the present one will be short. This little volume is the result of autumnal relaxation from the drudgery of avocation in the metropolis. The name of the author, and the species of drudgery which he undergoes can be of little or no interest to the reader; and it little matters whether he work with the head or the hand—with the pen or the brush-with the hammer or the hand-saw. It boots not whether he carries a hod of bricks or a bag of briefs-whether he is most conversant with the composition of paints, potions, or protocols. A tourist has one principal object in view—to render himself agreeable both to those who travel the same circuit, and to those who only travel round their own libraries. There are some other objects, however, of considerable importance. During the last twenty years, the tide of English tourists has annually rushed up the Rhine-winded through the valleys of Switzerland-scaled the mighty Alps--and spread over the plains of fair Italy. More of our nobility and gentry have stood on the Jura and the Rhighi, than on Skiddaw and Snowdon-on the Palatine Hill than on Salisbury Crags. More of them have ascended the Simplon and the St. Bernard, than Ben-Cruachan and Ben-Lawers. They have become more familiar with Como and Lugano, than with Loch Tay and Loch Lomond. Many more of our countrymen have visited Grindenwalde than Glencoe—the Temple of Neptune at Pæstum, than the Temple of Nature in Staffa! The snows of Mont Blanc have more frequently been pressed by the feet of Englishmen, than the summit of Ben-Nevis.
Now, one of the most important objects of travelling, is exercise not of the body merely, but of the mind also—and not the passive exercise of perception alone, but the more dignified exercise of reflection, in addition. The moral and physical phenomena which present themselves on the road, may be considered as flints--the intellect of the
traveller as the steel—and the sparks elicited by the collision, as the thoughts and observations of the tourist during the journey.
It is not so much the design of the following volume to contrast or compare the home circuit with foreign travel, as to show that, at a small expenditure of time and money, our own islands present to the contemplative traveller, or tourist in search of health, pleasure, or information, a series of scenes and circumstances, not much inferior to those which are presented on a foreign soil. If this object should be even partially attained, the Author will have done some service to his country.
In a geographical point of view, the Author has necessarily trod in the steps of his predecessors; and when it is remembered that, amongst these were, a Johnson, a Pennant, a Boswell, a MacCulloch, and many others of celebrity, it will be allowed that such footsteps are not less dangerous to follow than those on fairy ground! But the Author believes that he has lived long enough, and travelled far enough to be able to think for himself, and if his meditations and reflections prove less interesting than those of his predecessors, he ventures to hope that they will not be found less original. One word more, and he has done. He flatters himself that this little volume will prove an acceptable companion (as a prompter to thought and reflection) for those who pursue the same route.
Some few literal errors have escaped notice in the correction of the press. Among others the following:
Page 47, line 19 from top, for on, read or.
88, for Wally, read Willy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Scott and others .
Knowledge . . .
bread . . . . .
idleness . . . . .
Scotch . . . .
Trosachs . . . . 48
St. Stephen's—The State Galley;
an allegory . .
Thames and Tigris compared ..