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“ Truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.”—Much Ado about Nothing.
, a tour on the Continent with a small family party. We went at first to Brighton, intending to cross over to Dieppe, but owing to the boisterous weather we were obliged to retrace our steps, and go to Folkestone : whence, after some little delay, owing to the state of the weather, we crossed the Channel to Boulogne, and proceeded, by Rouen, to Paris, where we arrived on the 16th. On the 25th, we went by Fontainebleau and Auxerre to Châlons sur Saone, and thence, down the Saone, to Lyons, and down the Rhone, to Avignon, and Nismes. Thence we went to Nice and Genoa ; and thence, by Spezzia, Carrara, Lucca, and Pisa, to Florence; where we arrived on the 18th of November. We remained in Florence until the 29th of January; and then proceeded to Siena, and so to Rome. From Rome, after the Carnival, on the 22nd of February, we went on to Naples ; whence, on the 6th of April, I embarked for Palermo, and made the tour of Sicily ; returning to Naples on the 7th of May. On the 19th, we left Naples, by sea, for Leghorn ; whence we revisited Pisa, and Florence, where we arrived on the 22nd. From Florence I made an excursion to the convents of Vallombrosa, Camaldoli, and Laverna ; and on the 17th of June, we left Florence for Bologna, Padua, and Venice, where we arrived on the 27th. From Venice we went by Padua, Verona, and Brescia, to Milan, where we arrived on the 5th of July. We left Milan on the 10th, and having crossed the Alps by the Simplon pass, we arrived at Martigny on the 13th ; and after visiting the great St. Bernard, and making some little stay at Chamonix, we arrived at Geneva on the 27th. On the 30th, I returned to Chamonix ; and on the 5th of August, passed, by the Col du Geant, to Courmayeur, and returned to Geneva on the 9th. On the 15th, we left Geneva for Paris, where we arrived on the 19th. On the 5th of September, we left Paris ; and on the 7th, arrived in London.
During this period of eleven months we kept a very regular journal in humble prose of all that occurred; but in these days of uneventful and easy locomotion, thrilling adventures, and hair-breadth-'scapes, are quite out of date. Hence, however, a state of things ensues by no means unfavourable to mental sketching ; and, if the tourist be so disposed, he has ample opportunities of directing his attention to the poetical imagery that unceasingly presents itself, as he moves from place to place. Accordingly, side by side with the original journal, another one, in metre, grew up; and it makes its appearance in its present dress with some extracts from its more methodical companion incorporated with it. It is manifest, in justice to the interesting route that was taken, that much more might have been done; that many opportunities have been let slip; that many chasms might have been filled up. But whoever has undertaken to keep a journal of a tour, must have become aware of the amount of resolution required to preserve the continuity of even the most matter-of-fact register; and with respect to the following trifles, the author merely hopes that they may appear to wind amidst the interruptions which they could not but experience, with their thread, like that of a running brook, now in sight, and now hidden, but in reality always free and unbroken.
New realms their theme, new cities, manners, men,
Like self-sown plants my random sketches grew : Now 'tis a joy these trifles of my pen,
Dear fellow-travellers, to collect for you.
For in your loves and memories I confide:
And as though still companions on the way, We, in retrospect, by our own fire-side
Will journey far, on many a future day.
ON A VIEW FROM THE BRIGHTON RAILWAY.
COW the fierce engine with outrageous speed,
Swifter tenfold than hoof of Arab steed, Flings object after object out of sight! Let me a little longer view yon height Crowned with its clump of beech-trees, widely kenned ; A landmark set for stranger and for friend. This settled purpose almost seems a folly; 0, wherefore hurry thus to foreign lands? Yes! under other suns, on southern strands, Responsive to a soothing melancholy My thoughts shall thither turn, as to a haven; For I have sported there both boy and man; And hope survives that I again may scan Dear names which there on living bark are graven.
Brighton, October, 1843.