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JOURNAL OF A TOUR FROM DAMASCUS COUNTRIES OF THE LIBANUS, AND ANTI-LIBANUS. September 22, 1810.—I Left Damascus at four o'clock P.M. with a small caravan destined for Tripoli; passed Salehíe, and beyond it a Kubbe,[Kubbe, a cupola supported by columns or walls; the sepulchre of a reputed saint.] from whence I had, near sun-set, a most beautiful view of the city of Damascus and its surrounding country. From the Kubbe, the road passes... more...

CHAPTER I. Embarkation at Havre—​The Voyage—​Arrival at the Island of Chiloe—​Landing—​The Gyr-Falcon—​Punta Arena—​The Island of Chiloe described—​Climate and Cultivation—​Cattle—​The Bay—​San Carlos—​The Governor's House—​Poverty and Wretchedness of the Inhabitants of the... more...

NORTH AMERICA. This division of the great western continent is more than five thousand miles in length; and, in some latitudes, is four thousand miles wide. It was originally discovered by Europeans, about the conclusion of the fifteenth century; and, a few years afterwards, a party of Spanish adventurers obtained possession of some of the southern districts. The inhabitants of these they treated like wild animals, who had no property in the... more...

It is hardly necessary to observe that, after the able and interesting account of the proceedings and result of the British Embassy to the court of China, by the late Sir George Staunton (who was no less amiable for liberality of sentiment, than remarkable for vigour of intellect) it would be an idle, and, indeed, a superfluous undertaking, in any other person who accompanied the embassy, to dwell on those subjects which have been treated by him... 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...