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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...

         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...

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...

EASTWARD HO! I left Charing Cross on the 15th October, 1903, by the 10 a.m. boat-train for Dover. As we glided on I mentally said good-bye to familiar scenes, for I was outward bound, to put in another five years’ service under the dragon flag. At Dover we went aboard the Belgian rapide “Ville de Douvres” and in ten minutes were streaming at twenty miles an hour through the shipping on our way across Channel. It was... more...

INTRODUCTION "Through Five Republics on Horseback" has all the elements of a great missionary book. It is written by an author who is an eye-witness of practically all that he records, and one who by his explorations and travels has won for himself the title of the "Livingstone of South America." The scenes depicted by the writer and the glimpses into the social, political and religious conditions prevailing in the Republics in the great... more...