Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

BOSTON:
JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY.

1871.
KES

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

J. F. HUNNEWELL,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

CAMBRIDGE :

PRESS OF JOHN WILSON AND SON.

?

PREFACE.

SOME
OME reason should, at least, be alleged for preparing

another book about travel in Europe ; and to show a reason for this one the writer may be pardoned the rather simple statement that he has, as a reader or traveller, found assistance or interest in records made by persons who have visited places he has endeavored to know by sight or by description; and that he has ventured to think he may, similarly, be of some service to others, by collecting scattered items of information that have enabled him to explore certain Old-World places where he has spent many pleasant days, and by adding to these items some account of what he has thus found.

These places are united by associations in which the writer, during earlier life, became strongly interested. Like thousands of persons, he then read, enjoyed, and admired the compositions of Walter Scott; and, like some such readers, he desired to see the objects and places with which those compositions are identified, or that once knew or influenced or inspired that great author. The writer has since been able to see, possibly, more of them than are usually seen by travellers. At various times he has visited - disconnectedly indeed — nearly all the objects and places that he proposes to describe. In order, however, to arrange and complete a plan for a single tour through a large and somewhat ideal division of earth containing them, he has added to his own account quoted remarks about several places, some of which he has not seen.

Experience shows that travel-books with mistakes may be found, consequently the writer of this one does not flatter himself that he may not be among those who have failed to attain absolute truth, a characteristic of travellers not always acknowledged by critics and sceptics. One who passes through a strange country, sometimes rapidly, receiving statements from various persons, and liable to disadvantageous positions for observations, is quite likely to develop some of the imperfection attributed to human nature. And yet, however inadequately this book may present its subject, the writer believes that it contains an amount of relevant matter not hitherto gathered within a single volume. In addition to accounts of his own observations, are illustrative extracts from more than fifty works beside those of Scott, — some of the works scarce, and all in some degree serviceable, and forming a library of reference not commonly portable, or indeed accessible.

The writer feels that he may, not improperly, allude to his spelling of several geographical names,-chiefly Scottish. He has, in many instances, found the same word spelled in three or four ways by as many “ authorities.” A rule propounded by a certain eminent master of composition appears to have prevailed in these instances; and the writer, yielding to Welleristic example, may possibly be pardoned, if, in this important particular, he has depended too much on taste and fancy.”

The Lands of Scott, with their variety of scenery and antiquities, their history and romance, certainly present attractions enough to reward a long tour, as annual crowds of travellers on many routes in them demonstrate. While some of the places that are visited on these routes may be thought so generally familiar that nothing novel or useful can now be said about them, there are not a few to which such an estimate cannot properly apply; for visits to every portion of his Lands lead to nearly all the shires of Scotland, through much of England, a part of Wales, the Isle of Man, France, Spain, Belgium, the valley of the upper Rhine, Switzerland, and even the far East.

The writer, without attempting a general essay upon so great a subject as that expressed by the name of Sir Walter Scott, but feeling affection and gratitude for the pleasure and the profit he has conferred, proposes that this book shall contain sketches of the long and wonderfully varied series of his works ; of the not less remarkable story of his life, and of the places with which both works and life are associated. These sketches are necessarily so numerous that almost constant abridgment of extremely abundant and diversified materials has been found to be required, in order that this book should not become undesirably large.

If in thus following this one (and rather personal) general subject

, there appears to be any thing of what has, for want of another name, been called “ Boswellism,” this quality may explain and assert itself by suggesting an application

the old anecdote relating George II.'s reply to a remark charging General Wolfe with madness, – a reply that may be recalled though not expressed here; and this application may signify that there is, at least, not only no harm in personalities similar to those chiefly occupying these pages, but, also, no harm if they affect more than the writer and his subject. He simply hopes that he may furnish some help to others, enabling them to enjoy many pleasant things that he has enjoyed, and to do so without the trouble of collecting much, and quite scattered, information needed for the tour proposed; that, indeed, he may be of some use to

« AnteriorContinuar »