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SOME years have now elapsed since two distinct portions of Burckhardt’s works (his Travels in Nubia and Syria) were offered to the public, and most favourably received; their success being insured not only by instrinsic merit, but by the celebrity of their editor as a scholar and antiquary, a traveller and a geographer. It must not however be inferred, from any delay in publishing the present volume, that its contents are less worthy of... more...

Preface Forty years ago John Muir wrote to a friend; "I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer. . . . Civilization and fever, and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me, have not dimmed my glacial eyes, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness." How gloriously he fulfilled the promise of his early manhood! Fame, all unbidden, wore a path to his door, but he always remained a modest, unspoiled mountaineer.... more...

         As soon as they step into my house and see my strange collection of travel keepsakes, all visitors’ eyes are drawn to the Arabian saddle, which actually deserves credit as the inspiration and author of this story. It has Oriental-red velvet, richly decorated with gold embroidery. This Pasha saddle was fit for a tribal Turkish chieftain, having comfortable stirrups and an accompanying dreadful... more...

CHAPTER I INTO THE COOLER SOUTH You are really in Mexico before you get there. Laredo is a purely—though not pure—Mexican town with a slight American tinge. Scores of dull-skinned men wander listlessly about trying to sell sticks of candy and the like from boards carried on their heads. There are not a dozen shops where the clerks speak even good pidgin English, most signs are in Spanish, the lists of voters on the walls are chiefly... more...

THE WESTERN TRAIL “An overland highway to the Western sea” was the thought variously expressed by many men in both public and private life among the French, English, and Americans from very early times. In 1659 Pierre Radisson and a companion, by way of the Great Lakes, Fox, and “Ouisconsing” Rivers, discovered the “east fork” of the “Great River” and crossed to the “west fork,” up... more...


PREFACE. The following pages were written to beguile the tediousness of a long voyage from Hong Kong to England, during the spring and summer of 1844. When I state, that the whole was written with the paper on my knee, for want of a desk, amid continual interruptions from three young children lacking amusement during their long confinement on ship-board, and with a perpetual liability to be pitched to leeward, paper and all,—I shall have... more...

I WHY IS ARABIA TOPSY-TURVY LAND? On this big round earth there are all sorts of countries and peoples. Men walk on it on every side just like flies crawling over a watermelon and they do not fall off either. On the next page you can see how they travel all around the world; some in steamships, some in carriages or on horses, some in jinrickshaws and some in the railway coaches. In Topsy-turvy Land they have no railroads and not even... more...

CHAPTER XII. THE SÁ LEONITE AT HOME AND ABROAD. In treating this part of the subject I shall do my best to avoid bitterness and harsh judging as far as the duty of a traveller—that of telling the whole truth—permits me. It is better for both writer and reader to praise than to dispraise. Most Englishmen know negroes of pure blood as well as 'coloured persons' who, at Oxford and elsewhere, have shown themselves fully equal in... more...

FROM MANHATTAN TO EL MORRO The steamer is to sail at one P.M.; and, by half-past twelve, her decks are full, and the mud and snow of the pier are well trodden by men and horses. Coaches drive down furiously, and nervous passengers put their heads out to see if the steamer is off before her time; and on the decks, and in the gangways, inexperienced passengers run against everybody, and mistake the engineer for the steward, and come up the same... more...

PROLOGUE. The traveller who reaches those enchanted gates of the Far East which swing open at the palm-girt shores of Ceylon, enters upon a new range of thought and feeling. The first sight of tropical scenery generally awakens a passionate desire for further experiences of the vast Archipelago in the Southern Seas which girdles the Equator with an emerald zone. Lured onward by the scented breeze in that eternal search for perfection... more...