» » By the Way Travel Letters Written During Several Journeys Abroad

By the Way Travel Letters Written During Several Journeys Abroad

By the Way
Travel Letters Written During Several Journeys Abroad
Title: By the Way Travel Letters Written During Several Journeys Abroad
Release Date: 2018-12-06
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 19
Read book
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 17

Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Page 162


Travel Letters Written
During Several Journeys Abroad
Describing Sojourns in England, Scotland, Ireland
France, Germany, Austria-Hungary
Italy, Greece, and European
and Asiatic Turkey


Author of
"You & Some Others"
"A Royal Road"




New material has been added in this editionincluding sojourns in Turkey, Greece, Austria-Hungaryand Germany. While not intended inany way as a guide-book, this volume will befound especially helpful to those contemplating afirst journey across the Atlantic. Attention is calledto the list of pensions and to the bibliography.

Copyright, 1903
Agness Greene Foster

Copyright, 1910
Paul Elder and Company


The Author's Apology


"When at the first I took my pen in hand

Thus for to write, I did not understand

That I at all should make a little book

In such a mode; nay, I had undertook

To make another, which, when almost done,

Before I was aware I this begun.

... But yet I did not think

To show to all the world my pen and ink

In such a mode; I only thought to make—

I knew not what: nor did I undertake

Thereby to please my neighbor; no, not I,

I did it mine own self to gratify."

    *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

And thus it was, one bright September day,

Full suddenly I finished "By The Way."



Ah me, ah me, that I should be

So torn by my inconstancy;

I fain would go—I tarry so,

But see the world, I must—heigh-ho.


Indeed, and in truth, one is rarely naturalsave under deep emotions. After all myresolutions and determinations, I found I wasnot able to part from those I love with anydegree of composure.

I assure you that I did not stay composedvery long, for as the cruel train pulled out,and I saw, through a mist of tears, that dearform fade from sight, I broke down, and remained"down" all the afternoon and evening.With this morning's bright sunshine,however, I am a man (?) again.

The first sound I heard this morning was,"Here's a message for you, Miss" andstraightway that porter's name goes rattlingdown the rocky road of history as a discerningand right-minded person. What marriedwoman of, well, let's say thirty, does not enjoyxbeing called "Miss"? But to go back to mytelegram,—it served as my déjeuner à lafélicité. From that moment I was happy,and peace has taken possession of me since thecoming of that dear message.


The ship was so white and clean, and Iwas so pleased over our stateroom, thatI forgot for a moment the big lump in mythroat; but I do not understand why peopleallow those near and dear to them to come tosee them off. Nothing could have kept meon that boat had my nearest and dearestbeen standing on the dock.

Ruth and Suzanne are here at last.

I am sending these lines back with the pilot.

I wish he were to take me instead of theletter.

How I envy it!


There has been no writing on board thisship for the past four days, and very littlesleeping, and less eating. Every one seemedsick except Ruth, a few of the men and myself.Those of us who were able to crawl upon deck were lashed to our steamer chairsand the chairs lashed to the deck.xi

The pilot left at six in the evening. Everyone on board rushed to the side to see thesailors lower him into his little boat, and Iwatched him as far as the eye could see,for he carried with him my last message toyou.

We no sooner struck the breakwater thanthe ship began to roll, and the tossing hascontinued for four days without cessation, forwe are following in the wake of a storm.

You asked me to tell you every little detailof life on board ship. You little know thetask you set me; and right here I desire toput myself on record as begging the pardonof all writers on this subject for my unkindthoughts of them. I see now, after only fivedays on shipboard, why all descriptions are sounsatisfactory to those who have never experienceda voyage.

In the first place, the word "deck" is mostinadequate. One naturally thinks that a deckis an open space on the top of a ship, similarto that of a river steamboat. The decks arein reality wide piazzas—when the sea isquiet. On them the passengers congregate—whenall is well with them and with theelements. I say "up on deck," when it is only"out on the veranda." Flights of easy stairsconnect the various floors. These stairs arexiidancing continually, but one soon gets used toit if one has his "sea legs," and usually arrivessafely. This ship is similar to an ovalhouse of several stories, with galleries orverandas running completely around eachstory, and any number of basements and sub-basements;but with these we have nothingto do.

As I crossed the gangplank I landed onthe saloon deck and entered the only door onthat side. I found myself in a small hallway,out of which opened the ladies' saloon andthe writing-rooms, and from which the stairsdescend to the floor where the dining-roomand most of the berths are situated. Mystateroom is on the top story, so I have onlyto step from our hallway on to the maindeck.

I read the description which I have justwritten to the captain, and I wish you couldhave heard him shout. He begged me to permithis "tiger" to make a copy of it for him,and I did, but I was sorry the moment it leftmy hands, for I know it is most absurd, and itwas intended for you only. Nevertheless, I'llventure the assertion that those who knowwill readily see the picture, and those who donot know will get a pretty good idea of howa ship looks.xiii


Every one is out today, and as it is cold,the entire saloon deck is lined with amuch-wrapped, many-rugged assembly, whosechairs are fastened to the house-side of thedeck, while those who have their sea legs aremarching to and fro in front of the line ofchairs. The deck steward has the chairsplaced for us each morning on the side freefrom the winds. Most of the time these pastdays I have been sitting in my chair lookingat my feet, first with the sea and then withthe sky, as a background.


Oh, blessed day! We saw land for a fewmoments, and I have your dear letters—twohappy events. I ran away with myletters and have written answers to themwhich are for your eyes alone. That remindsme to say, that I think it would be better forme to write on one sheet of paper a wee bitof a letter to you, telling you a few of themany nice things I think of you, but which willinterest no one but you. On another sheet Iwill tell of the places I see and the people Imeet, and this you may send to the friends whoare self-sacrificing enough to say they wouldlike to read about this little journey of mine.xiv

I found on this ship the usual number ofwise—and otherwise—passengers, a few ofwhom are most interesting. Mr. and Mrs.P., of Philadelphia, who are well-knownphilanthropists; an Englishman, whose careand attention to an invalid wife and childforever clear his countrymen from the contumelyof indifference to their families; Mrs.F. and her son; and a most charming Canadiangentleman, who has made the voyage adelight for us.

Ruth and I are seated at the right andleft of the dear old captain. The table isserved bountifully, and the viands are delicious.We really try not to ask too many questions,but I fancy our endeavors are a failure.Were I a captain of one of these ocean liners,I'd have something like the following hungin each stateroom, along with "How to puton this life-preserver when drowning."

First. This ship is fireproof, waterproof,and mal de mer proof.

Second. We will positively land on the — dayof —, or on the next day, or surely thenext.

Third. The captain is (or is not) married,as the case may be. (I should advise thatit be written "is" in either case, to savetrouble.)xv

These liners carry much freight, and areslow, taking usually nine days for the oceanvoyage, which together with the day downthe Delaware, another up the channel, andthe delay caused by the storm, will keep uson board thirteen days. It is because of theslow speed and the limited number of passengersthat this line is patronized by such adelightful class of people who go chiefly forthe quiet obtained on the sea.


"Floating around in my ink-pot" aremany things which I intend to tell yousome day, but with the unsteady conditionof this writing-table, not now. Just a wordtoday about my fellow-travelers.

Mrs. F., of Boston, reminds me of theArabian proverb: "He who knows not, andknows not that he knows not, is a fool; shunhim. He who knows not, and knows that heknows not, is simple; teach him. He whoknows, and knows not that he knows, isasleep; wake him. He

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 17
Comments (0)
Free online library ideabooks.net