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INTRODUCTION Early in the year 1894 I was a candidate for one of two vacancies in the Consular Service for Turkey, Persia, and the Levant, but failed to gain the necessary place in the competitive examination. I was in despair. All my hopes for months had been turned towards sunny countries and old civilisations, away from the drab monotone of London fog, which seemed a nightmare when the prospect of escape eluded me. I was eighteen years old,... more...

INTRODUCTION The letters of Lady Duff Gordon are an introduction to her in person.  She wrote as she talked, and that is not always the note of private correspondence, the pen being such an official instrument.  Readers growing familiar with her voice will soon have assurance that, addressing the public, she would not have blotted a passage or affected a tone for the applause of all Europe.  Yet she could own to a liking for... more...

Introduction—The African Association—Ledyard—Lucas—First information respecting the Niger, or Quorra, and the Gambia—Timbuctoo heard of—Thompson and Jobson’s voyage up the Gambia—Major Haughton’s expedition and death. When the fathers of the present generation were young men, and George the Third ruled the land, they imagined that the whole interior of Africa was one howling wilderness of... more...

BANDORA, BY THE SEA, October 1885. The unsheltered sea heaves and heaves and blanches into foam. It sets me thinking of some tied-up monster straining at its bonds, in front of whose gaping jaws we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail. What immense strength, with waves swelling like the muscles of a giant! From the beginning of creation there has been this feud between land and water: the dry earth slowly and silently... more...

In Bombay Late in the evening of the sixteenth of February, 1879, after a rough voyage which lasted thirty-two days, joyful exclamations were heard everywhere on deck. "Have you seen the lighthouse?" "There it is at last, the Bombay lighthouse." Cards, books, music, everything was forgotten. Everyone rushed on deck. The moon had not risen as yet, and, in spite of the starry tropical sky, it was quite dark. The stars were so bright that, at... more...


PREFACE Said a friend of mine to me some months ago: “Well now, why don’t you write a sensible book?  I should like to see you make people think.” “Do you believe it can be done, then?” I asked. “Well, try,” he replied. Accordingly, I have tried.  This is a sensible book.  I want you to understand that.  This is a book to improve your mind.  In this book I tell you all about... more...

PREFACE. These papers on “Byeways in Palestine” are compiled from notes of certain journeys made during many years’ residence in that country; omitting the journeys made upon beaten roads, and through the principal towns, for the mere reason that they were such. Just what met the eye and ear was jotted down and is now revised after a lapse of time, without indulging much in meditation or reflection; these are rather suggested... more...

INTRODUCTION. This Account, which is intended to describe the country as it stood previously to the war with the British, commencing in the end of the year 1814, is derived chiefly from the following sources. In the first place, during the years 1802 and 1803, I passed fourteen months in the country, mostly in the vicinity of Kathmandu, the capital; and I was accompanied by Ramajai Batacharji, an intelligent Brahman, from Calcutta, whom I... more...

CHAPTER I The Voyage Begins I Find the Transport Ship Buford and My Stateroom—Old Maids and Young Maids Bound for the Orient—The Deceitful Sea—Making New Friends and Acquaintances. On a hot July day the army transport Buford lay at the Folsom Dock, San Francisco, the Stars and Stripes drooping from her stern, her Blue Peter and a cloud of smoke announcing a speedy departure, and a larger United States flag at her fore-mast... more...

A DREAM OF ANTICIPATION (The spirit of the cruise) The King of Cork was a funny shipAs ever ploughed the maine:She kep' no log, she went whar she liked;So her Cap'n warn't to blaime. The Management was funnier still.We always thought it dandy—Till it wrecked us on the Golden Horn,When we meant to land at Kandy. The Cap'n ran the boat ashoreIn aerated waters;The Purser died by swallowin' gas,Thus windin' up these matters. L'Envoi... more...