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unpleasantness. But the conventions of for- infallibly break down in the task of such an eign society are far more rigid than our own for abridgment. What we want for every counwomen ; and the tone of that large and idle try is the philosophical outline and the more society for which French novelists write is picturesque details — everything, in a word, painfully low. In the French provinces an that gives local coloring. A sensible man unmarried lady is a little compromised if wanting to enjoy Norway, would read the she is seen twenty yards behind her party Sagas " and one or two modern novels; for with an unmarried man; and the freedom of Russia, he would take especially the “ Lives an English country-house is regarded with of Ivan the Terrible," " Peter the Great," wonder, and, we regret to say, with a feel- and « Catherine II.," with the " History of ing very like disgust. That this feeling is the French Campaign," and Stanley’s “ Eastunhealthy and bad we do not pretend to ern Church, and Tourguénef's or Tolstoi’s deny ; but, so long as it exists, our country- novels. Conceive all this condensed under women will do well not to part with any the hydraulic press of a gentleman whose portion of their native reserve in travelling. chief business is to write about inns, roads, Nor is there any great difference between signs, and scenery. In fact, Mr. Murray's different parts of the Continent in this re- editors have wisely abstained from any simispect; the mere fact that no reputations are lar attempt for France or Germany. In these 80 safely demolished any where as those of matters every man must compile his own hisforeigners, marks the Englishwoman from tory, and the most a handbook can do is to the first as the theme of idle gossip, which point out the best sources of information in a may easily become scandal. Lastly, on few catalogue raisonné. But the history of the points are foreigners so sensitive as on any- last generation is something quite different. thing that wounds their exaggerated amour- The state of partics, the history of different propre. A German is driven wild by the ministries, the court cliques that exist or are serene superciliousness of the chance English- believed in, the biographies of the more notmen whom he meets, regards their morning- able men, the private history of the press, dress as a national outrage, and suspects are all matters on which an intelligent man that every sentence he does not understand likes to have some knowledge before he visits is a sneer at the country. A Frenchman is a country. A chapter like Mr. Kinglake's commonly too certain of himself to suspect episode on the Coup-d'Etat, but written from that he can be thought ridiculous, and the point of view of historical fidelity, would quietly shrugs his shoulders at eccentricities be inappreciable to a tourist in France. It that are not his own. But even a French- would be more difficult to give a résumé of man cannot understand irony. His own wit continental literature in such countries as is vadinage, a shuttlecock tossed between op- France and Germany. The Saturday Reposite players, who have no other thought viewer, indeed, suggests two rules which he than to keep it up skilfully. The heavy thinks would simplify the matter. First, English irony, with its under-current of ear- that our writers mentioned should be well nest, seems to him spiteful and cruel ; he known; and secondly, that they should be cannot comprehend men who hit one another typical. But this, after all, is a little like 80 hard in jest. Before all things, we would the old school discussion, whether logic was recommend a man who wishes to be under-a science or an art, and turns entirely on your stood or to succeed in foreign society, to say first definition. When the first five or the nothing that is not absolutely transparent. first ten names in the literature of any coun
Perhaps the best suggestion of the Satur- try are written down, it becomes matter of day Reviewer - as in fact it was his first - very careful weighing to decide who are and was in recommending that the recent history who are not worth writing about. Is a man of the country should be given. Some of Mr. like Jasmin, the patois poet of Gascony, to Murray's handbooks--as, for instance, those be admitted as typical, or rejected as insigon Northern Europe-give a meagre and very nificant? Again, is any mention to be made dull outline of the country's general history. of theologians like Lacordaire and DupanNow Michelet himself, wbom we take to be loap; or of men of science like Boucher de the most fascinating of précis writers, and Perthes and Milne Edwards or Quatrefages. who is certainly the most unscrupulous, would The difficulty is the greater as the traveller
may be an antiquarian or a naturalist, and it does ill. New hotels are springing up in either capacity has a fair claim on a few every day in the place of worn-out veterans ; pages in the bandbook. We incline to think we and we have painful reminiscences of searchshould solve this difficulty by treating of the ing in the small hours of the morning in a literature of natural science in connection well-known Austrian town for a non-existent with a general chapter on the physical geog- hotel, which was first on Murray's list. If raphy of the country; throwing Theirs, Bé- Mr. Murray would separate these matters alranger, and Courier into the political section, together from his handbooks, and publish and leaving Lamennais and Montalembert to once a season a general list of continental the chapter on church history. Such books hotels, with notices where new routes have as the “ Life of Madame Récamier," and the been opened, or old ones stopped, he would “ Journal and Letters of Eugénie de Guérin," be conferring a real service on the community, would go far to make a description of the while he improved his own works. The charhigher French society among women possi- acter of hotels which his editors give are the ble. So many names worth knowing would only ones thoroughly reliable ; and there is be disposed of naturally in this way, that no reason whatever that they should be pub poetry proper, history, and novels would be lished in a form which exposes them to bealmost the only topics that would require a come antiquated and inaccurate. It is a chapter to themselves.
smaller point, but we will just notice that Whatever modifications some plan of this there are limits boyond which the badness of sort might admit of, there can be little oubt, a map becomes unendurable ; and we know we think, that it ought to produce books as no exception to the badness of those of counfar superior to Mr. Murray's present hand- tries in Mr. Murray's editions. The printbooks as those were to anything that pre- ing is bad, the execution is slovenly, the ceded them. We do not wish to be unjust places marked are few, and the outlines of deto a pioneer in travelling and an old friend ; partments and kingdoms are so faintly indiand though, with one or two exceptions, we cated as to be useless. In these respects the have never thought the famous red manuals whole series contrasts markedly with the less satisfactory even for what they attempt, we ambitious and more satisfactory performances freely admit that ten years ago they were the of the “ Bibliothèque des Chemins de Fer.” best in existence. But the old order has: Another general fault in the present handchanged, and Mr. Murray's only recognition books is, that too much is said on trilling of the New World is in making his new edi- matters, or on points which the tourist is tions a little bulkier than his old. His con- certain to attend to and to have an opinion ception still is of a literary road-book, which on. It is mere book-making to transcribe is to tell the traveller on what roads he can from the catalogues of small museums; and get from point to point, what are the chief pictures had probably better be left to a speinns, what he will see on the road, and what cial catalogue raisonné. In the handbook for he is to admire. Now, as regards routes, the Norway remarks about the scenery are congreat lines of railway that at present branch stantly interspersed, the truth being that over the Continent practically determine the there is nothing else to write about; but, as routes of ninety-nine in a hundred English- the traveller has literally no choice of roads, men, and the days of posting-carriages are nine times out of ten, in that country, it gone by. Let the editor of a handbook tell would surely be sufficient to say generally us, by all means, what towns are worth see- that the road from Gjövig to Leirdalsören is ing, and what lines of country are interest- romantically beautiful, and leave details to ing; but he need not take us over the track the tourist. It is very doubtful, indeed, in leading strings. Every one, in fact, disre- whether any handbook for Norway is wanted gards these absurd itineraries, and finds a good beyond the little road-book (Bennett's) pubmap the best ductor dubitantium. Next, a lished in Christiana. Mr. Murray's, though handbook that is only published from once in well written, not unfrequently describes stathree years to once in fourteen cannot possi- tions which no longer exist, as there is great bly compete for small local knowledge with activity in road-making throughout the counminor publications such as Bradshaw's Rail- try. The five years that have elapsed since way Guide, and had better not attempt what the last edition was published have already
gone far to make it obsolete ; and, out of 1jecture and to the confused memories of rapid twenty-eight stations which the handbook travel. But faults of this kind are serious ; enumerates between Lillehamner and Dron- and as the general hints on Russian travel at theim, nine are no longer to be found. But the beginning are by this time obsolete, we the most faulty of Mr. Murray's handbooks counsel the intending traveller to consult the in this respect is the one for Russia. Con- imperishable “ Letters from the Baltic,” or sidering that the last edition dates from 1849, Mr. Spottiswoode's “ Tarantasse Journey, and was merely a revision of an older one, or Professor P. Smyth's " Three Cities in it will be understood that, for this reason Russia,” and to trust the red manual for nothalone, it has no great claims upon the trav- ing but the sights of Moscow and St. Peterseller. But the book was bad from the first. burg, and very sparingly for those, It was evidently written by some one who Of course there are good as well as bad exknew many thousand miles of post-road, but ceptions to the general cumbrous mediocrity had only stayed in three, or at most four, of the handbooks. That for Rome is the towns beyond the Baltic provinces, Odessa, best instance we know of, having been careSt. Petersburg, Moscow, and perhaps Nijni fully compiled by one who is evidently a man Novgorod. Plunder from Kohl, and hasty of taste, a scholar, and a resident. But we impressions from a drive in a diligence know none which, for antiquarian complete through the streets, make up what is com- ness and charm of style, can compare with municated about the other towns of the em- the little book on Caen by M. Trèbutien pire ; while some of the most important and which we have mentioned at the head of our interesting places, like Uglitsch, where the article. It is true, no doubt, that Caen is a young Demetrius was killed, and the beau- small town, and that it is easier to know and tiful town of the Jarosloff, with, in fact, the describe such a place than a great kingdom. whole course of the Volga, between Tver and But M. Trébutien's book is small also in proAstrakan, except Nijni Novgorod, are alto- portion to his subject, and yet contrives to gether omitted. The writer has not even exhaust it. The whole growth of the town compiled carefully. His description of Great is traced ; the names given at the Revolution Novgorod, for instance, is a triumph of inac- are recorded; the most remarkable houses curacy. He speaks of it as a desolate town, for architecture or local association are with “ mouldering walls, ruined churches, pointed out; and the art criticisms evince and grass-grown streets,” with only seven singular judgment. If such books by local thousand inhabitants, and with nothing but antiquaries were more common than, we fear, the old Kremlin and the brass gates of the they ever can be, we should recommend church to attract attention. The facts are, every tourist to travel only with a railway that, although traffic has been diverted from time-table and list of hotels, and purchase his it by the absurd whim of the late czar, who information on the spot he visits. For those made his first railway, between St. Peters- who confine their wanderings to the great burg and Moscow, as straight as the crow French lines of railway, the “ Bibliothèque flies, through morasses and uninhabited wilds, des Chemins de Fer" will be found amply instead of taking it by the old route through sufficient. Its little manuals are so cleverly towns, Novgorod is still a thriving country written as to be more a narrative than a texttown with a good corn and timber trade, and book, and the information about hotels and with at least seventeen thousand inhabitants; tradesmen is given compendiously and unobthe battlements are no more ruined than the trusively in an appendix. Otherwise, forwalls of York or Chester; the streets are eign guide-books, such as those of Ronchi open and cheerful; and the wealth of the and Baedeker, are only re-casts of Murray's old churches is talked of with astonishment handbooks, with the advantage of being even in Russia. Two of them alone, St. So- shorter and more practical, and the disadphia’s in the Kremlin and one on the other vantage of being less reliable for Englishmen. side of the river, would well repay a visit to Alinost every German town has its local the place. Probably some parts of the edi-guide-book; but these, with few exceptions, tor's description were true a hundred years are badly printed and prolix, beginning, like ago, when some book which he has consulted American oratory, from creation or a little was written, and the remainder is due to con- earlier, and travelling by slow stages--as suits
the Teutonic mind - through the succeeding appropriate idioms. With all deference to centuries.
Mr. Murray's eminent translators, the GerWe believe a few slight changes and a little man is not always reliable ; such a phrase, arrangement would remove most of the faults for instance, as "gefälligst,” for “ if you we complain of in Mr. Murray's present se- please," being unused in good society ; and ries. The manuals we spoke of at starting-the Tuscan style of address (in the third perof actual history, manners, and literature-son) ought, we think, to be more generally must of course form a perfectly distinct se- given than it is in the Italian. These, howries. Only in this way could they be well ever, are slight faults. The prolixity of the done. The hotel-guide, and the hints about book is much less pardonable. A hundred roads and conveyances, would form a separate and forty columns of conversation and vocabpamphlet of a few pages, to be corrected every ulary are proof in themselves that a wrong season, and bound up with the copies of the system bas been adopted. In fact, the edihandbooks sold during the year. The art- tors have confounded the functions of a vomanual might perfectly well be printed in the cabulary and a dictionary. What tourist can same manner, in detached parts, so that a possibly wish to commit to memory a list of traveller could either buy a guide to the col- more than seventy terms relating to railroads lections of the country, or a fairly exhaustive and steamboats, which is still so far from book for the whole Continent. It would in being exhaustive that the words “ returnevery sense be more satisfactory if this de- ticket” and “fare” are omitted, while partment were conducted by a single man guard” is transmuted into - conductor "? trained professionally, than if art criticism, Again, the vocabularies are kept distinct for one of the last achievements of education and different subjects ; the consequenze of which taste, were carelessly thrown in among the is, that there are frequent cross-divisions, and chance duties of Mr. Murray's encyclopædi- that, while the word " waiter,” for instance, cal staff. Cleared of all irrelevant matter, occurs in no list, the chief articles of dress the handbook proper would then give a de- occur in two, the toilette and the laundry scription of the country and cities travelled list. Half the number of words, in a single in, and would be reduced to a volume of half list at the end, would save endless trouble in or less than half, its present bulk, except making references. Above all, it ought to where the tourist preferred to have the art- be remembered that the indifferent linguists manual and hotel-guide bound up with it. for whom these manuals are intended are If he were of our opinion, that a big book is only puzzled by variety and confusion. It is a great nuisance in®the pocket or portman- astonishing how few words are really required teau, he would commonly not do this; and to carry on small talk of any kind. It bas we believe the mere reduction of size would been said that the vocabulary of a French largely promote the sale of the series gen- lady of fashion consists of five hundred comerally. At the same time, we are quite mon words, mostly adjectives, and of five hunaware that these alterations would add some- dred proper names. It has been said, more thing to the expense of production. Several seriously, that an English plowman in some small books are always more costly than a districts does not know more than three hunsingle large one. But Mr. Murray's profits dred words. Any one may convince himself by the whole series must have been very large, that this is an exaggeration, but it is based and success, like nobility, has its obligations. on the real fact that half the words we use Besides, any real improvement is always re- are philological superfluities, which might munerative in the long run. Anyhow, if easily be retrenched from conversation. Much some change be not speedily made, he must more does this apply to the wants of a travbe prepared to see the sceptre pass from Al, eller, who is not expected to talk politics or bemarle Street.
philosophy. The true art of language can We desire to add a few words upon hand- only be acquired from studying a learner, be books of travel-talk generally. Here, again, it child or foreigner. Twenty or thirty verbs Mr. Murray’s is the best we know of, and is expressing broad primary ideas, like necessity most imperfect. The faults common to al- or liking, without regard to little shades of most all this kind of literature are, a glut of meaning,
,-as many adjectives, adverbs, and useless phrases, scarcely-used words, and in- prepositions severally,—and the framework
is made, which only requires to be filled up by way of attaching some particular reminiswith substantives, the most easily learnt of cence to his tour. The work of six weeks or any part of speech, and the number of which three months will not be worth much for remust of course vary with occasion. Let the production, but it will leave durable traces young linguist only add to this a rigid care on the man's own mind. Perhaps one of the to avoid conditional moods and complex con- pleasantest ways in which this can be done, structions generally, and he will be aston- is by taking some favorite author, and workished himself at the ease with which he makes ing out his local allusions on the spot. A himself understood. In speaking, as in swim- scholar of that old school which is now unming, beginners are always prone to expend luckily becoming not only old but obsolete, their strength superfluously. But there is will light up all the Roman and Sabine disno excuse for their instructor in Murray if he tricts with sunny memories from Horace. confirms them in this vicious habit. A single Northern and Central Italy are thronged with example will at once show what we mean. associations of a deeper interest from the Nothing can seem more simple than to ask Divina Commedia. For those who are carefor tickets at a railway-office. The handbook less of other languages than their own, Bygives the following as its German sentence : ron, and in North Italy Shakspeare, are the “ Ich wünsche vier Billete nach M—; drei natural companions. To every educated man für die erste und eins für die zweite Classe.”' Shylock is still visible on the Rialto, and the Practically, a traveller would say, “M
-; garden of the Capulets at Verona is consedrei, erste-eins, zweite ;” and the abridged crated by a legend that it would be impiety form would not only save breath to the to doubt. speaker, but make his meaning easier to the Still, even these methods of making a tour clerk.
something more than a string of railway disWe pass from handbooks of travel to the tances and hotels, are imperfect compared subject of travel itself, on which alone a long with the serious interest that a more sysarticle might be written. It is hardly too tematic study of any kind gives. Suppose a much to assume that three tourists out of five traveller to take either a single great book set out without any very definite aim beyond like the European chapters of Gibbon, or an that of locomotion, and are guided quite as episode of national life like the story of Joan much by advertisements of easy routes as by of Arc, and to resolve to work it out. In the their own forethought or knowledge. A cer- first case, he would begin with Imperial Rome tain number of miles are to be travelled over, in the palace of Nero, the baths of Diocle80 many cities lionized, and so much time tian, and the Coliseum, and would fill his spent in change of scene. The result of this mind with the barbaric greatness that piled recherche de l'imprévu is no doubt often better masses of peperino for a lady's tomb or the than might be expected ; but the plan is none basement of a patrician's garden, compared the less a bad one, and the traveller some with which our vaunted railway-works are times returns disgusted forever with first im- flimsy and unsubstantial. He would trace pressions foolishly collected. The first wis- the growth of that new life which rose above dom is for every man to know his own tastes, the rotting Roman civilization in the myriadand to decide beforehand whether he means celled Catacombs, and in the marvellous monto see landscapes, or churches, or picture- uments of Christian hope and endurance that galleries. Of course this rule need not be have been taken out of them. In provincial pedantically carried out, and a man travelling towns like Verona and Arles he would visit towards the Saxon Switzerland may yet stop perhaps with even greater wonder the secondand admire the Madonna di San Sisto; but, rate monuments of the old world, unsurpassed generally speaking, it is wise not to aim at and unsurpassable at this day. He would too many effects. The next rule we are in- understand more vividly than from any book clined to give may sound a little inconsistent the adamantine solidity of those municipal with the first, though it is not really so. It institutions which survived the Hun and the is, that every one should take up some spe- Goth, and which gradually became the symcialty as an amusement on his tour, and col-bols of law to freemen as they had been the lect ferns or geological specimens ; study a instrument of oppression to slaves. In all patois, or visit hospitals or courts of justice, this, and in the very network of Roman names