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Full text of "A thousand miles in the Rob Roy canoe on rivers and lakes of Europe"

i_ 



A 

THOUSAND MILES 



IN THE 



ROB EOT CANOE 

ON RIVERS AND LAKES OF 
EUROPE. 

BY J. .MACGREOOR, M.A., 

^ TBINITY COLLEQE, CAMBBIDGE ; 
BABBISTEB AT LAW: 



Numerous Blustrattons antit a 



THOUSAND. 



LONDON : 
SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MAESTON 

MILTON HOUSE, LUDGATE-HILL. 
1866. 

(The Right of Translation reserved.) 



D 
<U< 

M3 



PREFACE. 



THE voyage about to be described was made 
last Autumn in a small Canoe, with a double 
paddle and sails, which the writer managed 
alone. 

The route led sometimes over mountains aud 
through forests and plains, where the boat had 
to be carried or dragged. 

The waters navigated were as follows : 

The Rivers Thames, Sambre, Meuse, Rhine, 
Main, Danube, Reuss, Aar, 111, Moselle, Meurthe, 
Marne, and Seine. 

The Lakes Titisee, Constance, Unter See, 
Zurich, Zug, and Lucerne, together with six 
canals in Belgium and France, and two expe- 
ditions in the open sea of the British Channel. 

TEMPLE, LONDON, 

April 25, 1866. 



IV 



THE AUTHOR'S PROFITS FROM THE FIRST AND 
SECOND EDITIONS, WERE GIVEN TO THE 
ROYAL NATIONAL LIFE-BOAT INSTITUTION 

AND TO 
SOCIETY. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, 



Page 
EAPIDS OF THE EEUSS (Frontispiece). 

SEA EOLLEES IN THE CHANNEL ... ... ... 19 

SWIMMING HEED ON THE METTSE ... ... ... 28 

SINGEES' WAGGON ON THE DANUBE ... ... ... 49 

A CEOWD IN THE MOENING ... ... ... ... 65 

HAYMAKEES AMAZED ... ... ... ... 80 

NIGHT SUBPEISE AT GEGGLINGEN ... ... ... 93 

THE Eos EOT IN A BUSTLE ... ... ... 110 

SAILING UPON LAKE ZUG ... ... ... ... 134 

SHIRKING A WATEEFALL ... ... ... ... 152 

A CEITICAL MOMENT ... ... ... ... 168 

ASTEIDE THE STEBN ... ... ... ... 186 

THE EOB EOT AND THE Cow ... ... ... 213 

POLITE TO THE LADIES ... ... ... ... 230 

G-EOUP OP FEENCH FISHEBS... ... ... ... 246 

PASSING A DANGEEOUS BAEEIEE ... : .. ... 263 

A CHOKED CANAL ... ... ... ... ... 281 

ElGGING ASHOEE ... ... ... ... ... 290 

EOUTE OP THE CANOE (Map) ... ... ... 291 

CHAET OP CUEEENTS AND EOCKS .. 302 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEE I. page 

Canoe Travelling- Other Modes The Eob Roy Hints- 
Tourists The Eivers The Dress I and We ... 1 

CHAPTEE II. 

The Start The Nore Porpoises A Gale The Channel 
Ostend Canal Eiver Meuse Earl of Aberdeen 
Holland The Ehine The Premier's Son Eiver Main 
Heron Stalking The Prince of Wales ... ... 12 

CHAPTEE III. 

Hollenthal Pass Ladies Black Forest Night Music- 
Beds Lake Titisee Pontius Pilate Storm Starers 
Banket Four in hand Source of the Danube ... 38 

CHAPTEE IV. 

Eiver Donau Singers Shady nooks Greisingen Mill 
Weirs Eapids Morning Crowd Donkey's Stable 
Islands Monks Spiders Concert Fish A race ... 55 

CHAPTEE V. 

Sigmaringen Treacherous trees Congress of herons 
Flying Dutchman Tub and shovel Bottle race 
Snags Bridge Perils Ya Yol Ferry Eope Be- 
nighted Ten eggs ... ... ... ... 75 

CHAPTEE VI. 

Day-dream Eiver Iller Ulm A stiff king Lake Con- 
stance Seeing in the dark Switzerland Coloured 
Canvas Sign talk Synagogue Amelia Gibberish 96 

CHAPTEE VII. 

Fog Fancy pictures Boy soldiers Boat's billet Eating 
Lake Zurich Crinoline Hot walk Staring Lake 
Zug Swiss shots Fishing Britons Talk-book ... 118 

CHAPTEE VIII. 

Sailing on Lucerne Seeburg Eiver scenes Night and 
snow The Eeuss A dear dinner Seeing a rope 
Passing a fall Sullen roar Bremgarten rapids ... 142 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

Hunger Music at the mill Sentiment and chops River 
Limmat Fixed on a fall River Aar Rhine again 
Douaniers Falls of Lauffenburg The cow cart ... 159 

CHAPTER X. 

Field of Foam Precipice Puzzled Philosophy Rhein- 
felden Rapids Dazzled Lower Rapids Astride 
Fate of the Four-oar Yery Salt Ladies Whirlpool 
Funny English Insulting a baby Bride ... ] 77 

CHAPTER XI. 

Private concert Thunderer La Hardt Forest Mulhouse 
Canal River 111 Reading Stories Madame Nico 
Night Noises Pets Ducking The Yosges mountains 
Admirers Boat on wheels New wine ... ... 196 

CHAPTER XII. 

Bonfire My wife Matthews Tunnel picture Imposture 
Fancy Moselle Cocher Saturday Review Tracts 
G-ymnastics The paddle A spell Overhead 
Feminine forum Public breakfast ... ... 216 

CHAPTER XIII. 

River Moselle The Tramp Halcyon Painted woman 
Beating to quarters Boat in a hedge River Meurthe 
Moving House Tears of a mother Five francs . . . 234 

CHAPTER XIY. 

Ladies in muslin Chalons Camp Officers shouting 
Volunteers' umbrella Reims Leaks Madame 
Clicquot Heavy blow The Elephant First Cloud... 255 

CHAPTER XY. 

Meaux on the Marne Hammering Popish forms Wise 
dogs Blocked in a Tunnel A dry voyage Arbour 
and Garret Odd fellows Dream on the Seine 
Almost over No admittance Charing-cross ... 276 

APPENDIX. 

Hints for Canoists The Rob Roy's Stores Chart of rocks 
and currents The Kent Danger Exercise Sun 
Walking machine Odds and ends Future voyages ... 291 



CHAPTER I. 



Canoe Travelling Other Modes The Eob Roy Hints 
Tourists The Rivers The Dress I and We The 
Election. 

THE object of this book is to describe a new mode 
of travelling on the Continent, by which, new 
people and things are met with, while healthy 
exercise is enjoyed, and an interest ever varied 
with excitement keeps fully alert the energies of 
the mind. 

Some years ago the Water Lily was rowed by 
four men on the Rhine and on the Danube, and 
its " log " delighted all readers. Afterwards, the 
boat Water Witch laboured up French rivers, and 
through a hundred tedious locks on the Bale 
canal. But these and other voyages of three or 
five men in an open boat were necessarily very 
limited. In the wildest parts of the best rivers 
the channel is too narrow for oars, or, if wide, it 
B 



2 THE CANOIST. 

is too shallow for a row-boat ; and the tortuous 
passages, the rocks and banks, the weeds and 
snags, the milldams, barriers, fallen trees, rapids, 
whirlpools, and waterfalls that constantly occur 
on a river winding among hills, make those very 
parts where the scenery is wildest and best to be 
quite unapproachable in an open boat, for it would 
be swamped by the sharp waves, or upset over 
the sunken rocks which it is utterly impossible 
for a steersman to see. 

But these very things, which are obstacles or 
dangers to the " pair oar," become interesting 
features to the voyager in a covered canoe. For 
now, as he sits in his little bark, he looks forward, 
and not backward. He sees all his course, and 
the scenery besides. With one powerful sweep of 
his paddle he can instantly turn the canoe, when 
only a foot distant from fatal destruction. He 
can steer within an inch in a narrow place, or 
pass through reeds and weeds, branches and 
grass ; can hoist and lower his sail without 
changing his seat ; can shove with his paddle when 
aground, or jump out in good time to prevent a 
decided smash. He can wade and haul the 
light craft over shallows, or drag it on dry ground, 
through fields and hedges, over dykes, barriers, 
and walls ; can carry it by hand up ladders and 
stairs, and can transport his boat over high 



CANOE TRAVELLING. 3 

mountains and broad plains in a cart drawn by 
a horse, a bullock, or a cow. 

Nay, more than this, the covered canoe is 
far stronger than an open boat, and may be 
fearlessly dropped headforemost into a deep pool, 
a lock, or a millrace, and yet, when the breakers 
are high, in the open sea or in fresh water rapids, 
they can only wash over the covered deck, while 
it is always dry within. 

Again, the canoe is safer than a rowing-boat, 
because you sit so low in it, and never require to 
shift your place or lose hold of the paddle ; while 
for comfort during long hours, for days and weeks 
of hard work, it is evidently the best, because you 
lean all the time against a backboard, and the 
moment you rest the paddle on your lap you are 
as much at ease as in an arm-chair ; so that, 
while drifting along with the current or the wind, 
you can gaze around, and eat or read or chat with 
the starers on the bank, and yet, in a moment of 
sudden danger, the hands are at once on the 
faithful paddle ready for action. 

Finally, you can lie at full length in the canoe, 
with the sail as an awning for the sun, or a shelter 
for rain, and you can sleep in it thus at night, 
under cover, with an opening for air to leeward, 
and at least as much room for turning in 
your bed as sufficed for the great Duke of 
B 2 



4 OTHER MODES. 

"Wellington; or, if you are tired of the water 
for a time, you can leave your boat at an inn 
it will not be " eating its head off," like a horse ; 
or you can send it home or sell it, amj. take to the 
road yourself, or sink into the dull old cushions 
of the " Premiere Classe," and dream you are 
seeing the world. 

With such advantages, then, and with good 
weather and good health, the canoe voyage about, 
to be described was truly delightful, and I never 
enjoyed so much continuous pleasure in any other 
tour. 

But, before this deliberate assertion has weight 
with intending " canoists," it may well be asked 
from one who thus praises the paddle, " Has he 
travelled in other ways, so as to know their 
several pleasures ? Has he climbed glaciers and 
volcanoes, dived into caves and catacombs, trotted 
in the Norway carriole, ambled on an Arab, and 
galloped on the Russian steppes ? Does he know 
the charms of a Nile boat, or a Trinity Eight, 
or a sail in the -ZEgean, or a mule in Spain? 
Has he swung upon a camel, or glided in a 
sleigh, or trundled in a Rantoone ? " 

Yes, he has most thoroughly enjoyed these and 
other modes of locomotion in the four corners of 
the world ; but the pleasure in the canoe was far 
better than all. 



THE ROB ROY. 

The weather last summer was, indeed, ex- 
ceptionally good; but then rain would have 
diminished some of the difficulties, though it 
might have been a bore to paddle ten hours in a 
downpour. Two inches more of water in the 
rivers would have saved many a grounding and 
wading, while, at worst, the rain could have wetted 
only the upper man, which a cape can cover ; so, 
even in bad weather, give me the canoe. 

Messrs. Searle and Sons, of Lambeth, soon built 
for me the very boat I wanted. 

The Rob Roy is built of oak, and covered fore 
and aft with cedar. She is made just short 
enough to go into the German railway waggons ; 
that is to say, fifteen feet in length, twenty-eight 
inches broad, nine inches deep, weighs eighty 
pounds, and draws three inches of water, with 
an inch of keel. A paddle seven feet long, with 
a blade at each end, and a lug sail and jib, are the 
means of propulsion ; and a pretty blue silk 
Union Jack is the only ornament. 

The elliptic hole in which I sit is fifty-four inches 
long and twenty broad, and has a macintosh cover 
fastened round the combing and to a button on 
my breast; while between my knees is my 
baggage for three months, in a black bag one 
foot square and five inches deep. 

But, having got this little boat, the difficulty was 



6 HINTS. 

to find where she could go to, or what rivers were 
at once feasible to paddle on, and pretty to see. 

Inquiries in London as to this had no result. 
Even the Paris Boat Club knew nothing of 
French rivers. The best German and Austrian 
maps were frequently wrong. They made villages 
on the banks which I found were a mile away .in 
a wood, and so were useless to one who had made 
up his mind (a good resolve) never to leave his 
boat. 

It was soon, therefore, evident that, after 
quitting the Rhine, this was to be a voyage of 
discovery. And as I would most gladly have 
accepted any hints on the matter myself, so I 
venture to hope that this narrative will lessen 
the trouble, while it stimulates the desire of the 
numerous travellers who will spend their vacation 
in a canoe.* 

Not that I shall attempt to make a " handbook" 
to any of the streams. The man who has a spark 
of enterprise would turn from a river of which 
every reach was mapped and its channels all 
lettered. Fancy the free traveller, equipped for 
a delicious summer of savage life, quietly sub- 
mitting to be cramped and tutored by a " Chart 

* See Appendix. Special hints for those who intend 
to " canoe it " will usually be given in the footnotes, or 
in the Appendix. 



TOURISTS. 7 

of the Upper Mosel," in the style of the following 
extracts copied literally from two Guide-books ; 

(1) " Turn to the r. (right), cross the brook, and 
ascend by a broad and steep forest track (in 40 
min.) to the hamlet of Albersbach, situate in the 
midst of verdant meadows. In five min. more a 
cross is reached, where the path to the 1. must be 
taken; in 10 min. to the r., in the hollow, to the saw 
mill ; in 10 min. more through the gate to the r. ; 
in 3 min. the least trodden path to the 1. leading 
to the Gaschpels Hof ; after J hr. the stony track 
iito the wood must be ascended," &c., &c. From 
B 's Rhine, p. 94. 

(2) " To the ridge of the Riffelberg 8,000 ft. 
Hotel on top very good. 2 hrs. up. Guide 4 fr. 
Horse and man 10 fr. Path past the Church : 
then 1. over fields ; then up through a wood 1 hr. 

Past chalets : then r. across a stream." 9 s 

Handbook. 

This sort of guide-book is not to be ridiculed. 
It is useful for some travellers as a ruled copy- 
book is of use to some writers. For first tours it 
may be needful and pleasant to have all made 
easy, to be carried in steamers or railways like a 
parcel, to stop at hotels Anglified by the crowd of 
English guests, and to ride, walk, or drive among 
people who know already just what you will want 
to eat, and see, and do. 



8 THE RIVERS. 

Year after year it is enough of excitement to 
some tourists to be shifted in squads from town 
to town, according to the routine of an excursion 
ticket. Those who are a little more advanced 
will venture to devise a tour from the mazy 
pages of Bradshaw, and with portmanteau and 
bag, and hat-box and sticks, they find more than 
enough of judgment and tact is needed when 
they arrive in a night train, and must fix on an 
omnibus in a strange town. Safe at last in the 
bedroom of the hotel, they cannot but exclaim 
with satisfaction " Well, here we are all right at 
last!" 

But after mountains and caves, churches and 
galleries, ruins and battle-fields have been pretty 
well seen, and after tact and fortitude have been 
educated by experience, the tourist is ready for 
new lines of travel which might have given him 
at first more anxiety than pleasure, and these he 
will find in deeper searches among the natural 
scenery and national character of the very countries 
he has only skimmed before. 

The rivers and streams on the Continent are 
scarcely known to the English tourist, and the 
beauty and life upon them no one has well 
seen. 

In his guide-book route, indeed, from town to 
town, the tourist has crossed this and that stream 



THE DRESS. 9 

has admired a few yards of the water, and has 
then left it for ever. He is carried again on a 
noble river by night in a steamboat, or is whisked 
along its banks in a railway, and, between two 
tunnels, gets a moment's glimpse at the lovely 
water, and lo ! it is gone. 

But a mine of rich beauty remains there to be 
explored, and fresh gems of life and character are 
waiting there to be gathered. These are not 
mapped and labelled and ticketed in any handbook 
yet ; and far better so, for the enjoyment of such 
treasures is enhanced to the best traveller by the 
energy and pluck required to get at them. 

On this new world of waters we are to launch 
the boat, the man, and his baggage, for we must 
describe all three, 

" Anna virumque canoe." 

So what sort of dress did he wear ? 

The clothes I took for this tour consisted of a 
complete suit of grey flannel for use in the boat, 
and another suit of light but ordinary dress for 
shore work and Sundays. 

The " Norfolk jacket " is a loose frock-coat, like 
a blouse, with shoulder-straps, and belted at the 
waist, and garnished by six pockets. With this 
excellent new-fashioned coat, a something in each 
of its pockets, and a Cambridge straw hat, canvas 



10 " I " AND " ME." 

wading shoes, blue spectacles, a waterproof over- 
coat, and my spare jib for a sun shawl, there was 
sure to be a full day's enjoyment in defiance of 
rain or sun, deeps or shallows, hunger or ennui. 

Four hours' work to begin, and then three of 
rest or floating, reading or sailing, and again, a 
three hours' heavy pull, and then with a swim in 
the river or a bath at the inn, a change of gar- 
ments and a pleasant walk, all was made quite 
fresh again for a lively evening, a hearty dinner, 
talk, books, pictures, letters, and bed. 

Now I foresee that in the description of this 
tour I shall have to write " I," and the word 
" me " must be used by me very often indeed ; 
but having the misfortune to be neither an 
Emperor, an editor, nor a married man, who 
can speak in the plural, I cannot help it if I am 
put down as a bachelor egotist, reserving the 
" we " for myself and my boat. 

The manner of working the double-bladed 
paddle was easily learned by a few days' practice 
on the Thames, and so excellent is the exercise 
for the muscles of the limbs and body that I have 
continued it at intervals, even during the winter, 
when a pretty sharp " look out " must be kept to 
pilot safely among the red and yellow lights of 
steamers, barges, embankments, and bridges in an 
evening's voyage from Putney to Westminster. 



THE ELECTION. 11 

All being ready and the weather very hot at 
the end of July, when the country had caught the 
election fever, and M.P.'s had run off to scramble 
for seats, and the lawyers had run after them 
to thicken the bustle, and the last bullet at 
Wimbledon had come " thud " on the target, it 
was time for the Rob Eoy to start. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE STAET. 

The Thames The Cornwall Porpoises A Gale The 
Channel Ostend Canal The Meuse Earl of Aber- 
deen Holland The Khine The Premier's Son The 
Kiver Main Heron stalking The Prince of Wales. 

THE Rob Roy bounded away joyously on the top 
of the tide through "Westminster Bridge, and 
swiftly shooting the narrow piles at Blackfriars, 
danced along the waves of the Pool, which looked 
all golden in the morning sun, but were in fact of 
veritable pea-soup hue. 

A fine breeze at Greenwich enabled me to set 
the new white sail, and we skimmed along with 
a cheery hissing sound. At such times the river 
is a lively scene with steamers and sea-bound 
ships, bluff little tugs, and big looming barges. 
I had many a chat with the passing sailors, for it 
was well to begin this at once, seeing that every 
day afterwards I was to have talk with the river 
folk in English, French, Dutch, German, or else 
some hotchpotch patois. 



BARGEES. 13 

The bargee is not a bad fellow if you begin 
with good humour, but he will not stand banter. 
Often they began the colloquy with, " Holloah 
you two !" or " Any room inside?" or " Got 
your life insured, Gov'nor?" but I smiled and 
nodded to every one, and every one on every river 
and lake was friendly to me. 

Gravesend was to be the port for the night, 
but Purfleet looked so pretty that I took a tack 
or two to reconnoitre, and resolved to stop at 
the very nice hotel on the river, which I beg to 
recommend. 

While lolling about in my boat at anchor in 
the hot sun a fly stung my hand ; and although 
it was not remarked at once, .the arm speedily 
swelled, and I had to poultice the hand at night 
and to go to church next day with a sling, which 
appendage excited a great deal of comment in 
the village Sunday-school. This little incident 
is mentioned because it was the only occasion on 
which any insect troubled me on the voyage, 
though several croakers had predicted that in 
rivers and marshes there would be hundreds of 
wasps, venomous flies, and gnats, not to mention 
other residents within doors. 

Just as I entered the door of the quiet little 
church, an only gentleman about to go in fell 
down dead in the path. It was impossible not 



14 H.M.S. CORNWALL. 

to be much impressed with this sudden death as 
a solemn warning, especially to one in vigorous 
health. 

The " Cornwall " Reformat ory School-ship is 
moored at Pur fleet. Some of the boys came 
ashore for a walk, neatly clad and very well 
behaved. Captain Burton, who commands this 
interesting vessel, received me on board very 
kindly, and the evening service between decks 
was a sight to remember for ever. 

About 100 boys sat in rows along the old 
frigate's main-deck, with the open ports looking 
on the river, now reddened by a setting sun, and 
the cool air pleasantly fanning us. The lads 
chanted the Psalms to the music of a harmonium, 
played with excellent feeling and good taste, and 
the Captain read a suitable portion from some 
selected book, and then prayer was offered ; and 
all this was by and for poor vagrant boys, whose 
claim on society is great indeed if measured by 
the wrong it has done them in neglect if not in 
precept, nay, even in example. 

Next morning the canoe was lowered down a 
ladder from the hay-loft, where it had been kept 
(it had to go up into many far more strange 
places in subsequent days), and the Cornwall 
boys bid me a pleasant voyage a wish most 
fully realized indeed. 



UNDER SAIL. 15 

After taking in supplies at Gravesend, I shoved 
off into the tide, and lit a cigar, and now I felt 
I had fairly started. Then there began a strange 
feeling of freedom and novelty which lasted to the 
end of the tour. 

Something like it is felt when you first march 
off with a knapsack ready to walk anywhere, or 
when you start alone in a sailing-boat for a long 
cruise. 

But then in walking you are bounded by every 
sea and river, and in a common sailing-boat you 
are bounded by every shallow and shore; whereas, 
I was in a canoe, which could be paddled or sailed, 
hauled, or carried over land or water to Rome, if 
I liked, or to Hong-Kong. 

The wind was fair again, and up went my sail. 
The reaches got wider and the water more salt, 
but I knew every part of the course, for I had 
once spent a fortnight about the mouth of the 
Thames in my pretty little sailing-boat, the Kent, 
alone, with only a dog, a chart, a compass, and a 
bachelor's kettle. 

The new steamer Alexandra, which plies 
from London daily, passed me here, its high- 
terraced American decks covered with people, 
and the crowd gave a fine loud cheer to the 
Rob Roy, for the newspapers had mentioned its 
departure. Presently the land seemed to fade 



16 PORPOISES. 

away at each, side in pale distance, and the 
water was more sea than river, till near the 
Nore we entered a great shoal of porpoises. 
Often as I have seen these harmless and agile 
playfellows I had never been so close to them 
before, and in a boat so small as to be almost 
disregarded by them, wily though they be. I 
allowed the canoe to rock on the waves, and the 
porpoises frequently came near enough to be 
struck by my paddle, but I did not wage war, 
for a flap of a tail would have soon turned me 
upside down. 

After a pleasant sail to Southend and along the 
beach, the wind changed, and a storm of heavy 
rain had to be met in its teeth by taking to the 
paddle, until near Shoeburyness, where I meant 
to stop a day or two in the camp of the National 
Artillery Association, which was assembled here 
for its first Prize shooting. 

The Royal Artillery received us Yolunteers on 
this occasion with the greatest kindness, and as 
they had appropriated quarters of officers absent 
on leave for the use of members of the Council of 
the Association, I was soon comfortably ensconced. 
The camp, however, in a wet field was moist 
enough ; but the fine tall fellows who had come 
from Yorkshire, Somerset, or Aberdeen to handle 
the 68-pounders, trudged about in the mud with 



A NOREASTER. 17 

good humour and thick boots, and sang round 
the camp-fire in a drizzle of rain, and then 
pounded away at the targets next day, for these 
were volunteers of the right sort. 

As the wind had then risen to a gale it seemed 
a good opportunity for a thorough trial of the 
canoe in rough water, so I paddled her to a 
corner where she would be least injured by being 
thrown ashore after an upset, and where she 
would be safe while I might run to change clothes 
after a swim. 

The buoyancy of the boat astonished me, and 
her stability was in every way satisfactory. In 
the midst of the waves I even managed to rig up 
the mast and sail, and as I had no baggage on 
board and so did not mind being perfectly wet 
through in the experiments, there was nothing 
left untried, and the confidence then gained for 
after times was invaluable. 

Early next morning I started directly in the 
teeth of the wind, and paddled against a very 
heavy sea \o Southend, where a nice warm bath 
was enjoyed while my clothes were getting dried, 
and then the Rob Roy had its first railway 
journey in one of the little cars on the Southend 
pier to the steamboat. 

It was amusing to see how much interest and 
curiosity the canoe excited even on the Thames, 
c 



18 ON A TENDER. 

where all kinds of new and old and wonderful 
boats may be seen. The reasons for this I never 
exactly made out. Some wondered to see so 
small a boat at sea, others had never seen a canoe 
before, the manner of rowing was new to most, 
and the sail made many smile. The graceful 
shape of the boat pleased others, the cedar cover- 
ing and the jaunty flag, and a good many stared 
at the captain's uniform, and they stared more 
after they had asked, " Where are you going to? " 
and were often told, " I really do not know." 

From Sheerness to Dover was the route, and 
on the branch line train the Rob Roy had to be 
carried on the coals in the engine-tender, with 
torrents of rain and plenty of hot sparks driven 
into her by the gale; but after some delay at 
a junction the canoe was formally introduced to 
a baggage-waggon and ticketed like a portman- 
teau, the first of a series of transits in this way. 

The London Chatham and Dover Railway Com- 
pany took this new kind of " box " as passengers' 
luggage, so I had nothing to pay, and {he steamer 
to Ostend was equally large-hearted, so I say, 
" Canoemen, choose this channel." 

But before crossing to Belgium I had a day 
at Dover, where I bought some stuff and 
had a jib made for the boat by deft and fair 
fingers, had paddled the Rob Roy on the green 



SAILING ON THE SEA. 



19 




Rollers off the Digue. 

waves which toss about off the pier-head most 
delectably. The same performance was repeated on 
the top of the swell, tumbling and breaking on 
the " digue "* at Ostend, where, even with little 

* At Ostend I found an English gentleman preparing 
for a voyage on the Danube, for which he was to build a 
"centre board" boat. Although no doubt a sailing boat 
could reach the Danube by the Bamberg canal, yet, after 
four tours on that river from its source as far as Pest, 
I am convinced that to trust to sailing upon it would 
entail much tedious delay, useless trouble, and constant 
anxiety. If the wind is ahead you have all the labour of 
tacking, and are frequently in slack water near the banks, 

c 2 



20 ON THE MEUSE. 

wind, the rollers ran high on a strong ebb tide. 
Fat bathers wallowed in the shallows, and fair 
ones, dressed most bizarre, were swimming like 
ducks. All of these, and the babies squalling 
hysterically at each dip, were duly admired ; and 
then I had a quieter run under sail on their wide 
and straight canal. 

With just a little persuasion the railway people 
consented to put the canoe in the baggage-van, 
and to charge a franc or two for " extra luggage " 
to Brussels. Here she was carried on a cart 
through the town to another station, and in the 
evening we were at Namur, where the Rob Roy 
was housed for the night in the landlord's private 
parlour, resting gracefully upon two chairs. 

Two porters carried her through the streets 
next morning, and I took a paddle on the Sambre, 
but very soon turned down stream and smoothly 
glided to the Meuse. 

Glancing water, brilliant sun, a light boat, and 
a light heart, all your baggage on board, and on a 
fast current, who would exchange this for any 

and often in channels where the only course would be 
dead to windward. If the wind is aft the danger of 
" running " is extreme where you have to " broach to " and 
stop suddenly near a shallow or a barrier. With a strong 
side wind, indeed, you can sail safely, but this must come 
from north or south, and the high banks vastly reduce its 
effect. 



BARRIERS AND SHALLOWS. 21 

diligence or railway, or steamboat, or horse? 
A pleasant stream was enough to satisfy at this 
early period of the voyage, for the excitement of 
rocks and rapids had not yet become a charm. 

It is good policy, too, that a quiet, easy, re- 
spectable sort of river like the Meuse should be 
taken in the earlier stage of a water tour, when 
there is novelty enough in being on a river at all. 
The river-banks one would call tame if seen from 
shore are altogether new when you open up the 
vista from the middle of the stream. The picture 
that is rolled sideways to the common traveller 
now pours out from before you, ever enlarging 
from a centre, and in the gentle sway of the 
stream the landscape seems to swell on this side 
and on that with new things ever advancing to 
meet you in succession. 

How careful I was at the first shallow ! getting 
out and wading as I lowered the boat. A month 
afterwards I would dash over them with a shove here 
and a stroke there in answer to a hoarse croak of the 
stones at the bottom grinding against my keel. 

And the first barrier how anxious it made 
me, to think by what means shall I get over. 
A man appeared just in time (N.B. They always 
do), and twopence made him happy for his share 
of carrying the boat round by land, and I jumped 
in again as before. 



22 HUT. 

Sailing was easy, too, in a fine wide river, 
strong and deep, and with a favouring breeze, 
and when the little steamer passed I drew along- 
side and got my penny roll and penny glass of 
beer, while the wondering passengers (the first 
of many amazed foreigners) smiled, chattered, 
and then looked grave for was it not indecorous 
to laugh at an Englishman evidently mad, poor 
fellow ? 

The voyage was chequered by innumerable 
little events, all perfectly different from those 
one meets on shore, and when I came to the 
forts at Huy and knew the first day's work was 
done, the persuasion was complete that quite a 
new order of sensations had been set going. 

Next morning I found the boat safe in the 
coach-house and the sails still drying on the 
harness-pegs, where we had left them, but the 
ostler and all his folks were nowhere to be seen. 
Everybody had gone to join the long funeral 
procession of a great musician, who lived fifty 
years at Huy, though we never heard of him 
before, or of Huy either ; yet you see it is in our 
Map at page 291. 

The pleasure of meandering with a new river 
is very peculiar and fascinating. Each few yards 
brings a novelty, or starts an excitement. A 
crane jumps up here, a duck flutters there, splash 



AWAKE. 23 

leaps a gleaming trout by your side, the rushing 
sound of rocks warns you round that corner, or 
anon you come suddenly upon a millrace. All 
these, in addition to the scenery and the people 
and the weather, and the determination that you 
must get on, over, through, or under every diffi- 
culty, and cannot leave your boat in a desolate 
wold, and ought to arrive at a house before dark, 
and that your luncheon bag is long since empty ; 
all these, I say, keep the mind awake, which 
would perchance dose away for 100 miles in a 
first-class carriage. 

It is, as in the voyage of life, that our cares 
and hardships are our very Mentors of living. 
Our minds would only vegetate if all life were 
like a straight canal, and we in a boat being towed 
along it. The afflictions that agitate the soul are 
as its shallows, rocks, and whirlpools, and the 
bark that has not been tossed on billows knows 
not half the sweetness of the harbour of rest. 

The river soon got fast and lively, and hour 
after hour of vigorous work prepared me well 
for breakfast. Trees seemed to spring up in 
front and grow tall, but it was only because I 
came rapidly towards them. Pleasant villages 
floated as it were to meet me, gently moving. 
All life got to be a smooth and gliding thing, 
of dreamy pictures and far-off sounds, without 



24 GUN-BARRELS. 

fuss and without dust or anything sudden or 
loud, till at length the bustle and hammers of 
Liege neared the Rob Eoy for it was always 
the objects and not myself that seemed to move. 
Here I saw a fast steamer, the Seraing, propelled 
by water forced from its sides, and as my boat 
hopped and bobbed in the steamer's waves we 
entered a dock together, and the canoe was soon 
hoisted into a garden for the night. 

Gun-barrels are the rage in Liege. Everybody 
there makes or carries or sells gun-barrels. Even 
women walk about with twenty stocked rifles on 
their backs, and each rifle, remember, weighs 
10 Ibs. They sell plenty of fruit in the market, 
and there are churches well worth a visit here, 
but gun-barrels, after all, are the prevailing idea 
of the place. 

However, it is not my purpose to describe the 
towns seen on this tour. I had seen Liege well, 
years before, and indeed almost every town men- 
tioned in these pages. The charm then of the 
voyage was not in going to strange lands, but in 
seeing old places in a new way. 

Here at length the Earl of Aberdeen met 
me, according to our plans arranged long before. 
He had got a canoe built for the trip, but a foot 
longer and two inches narrower than the Rob 
Roy, and, moreover, made of fir instead of strong 



EARL OF ABERDEEN. 25 

oak. It was sent from London to Liege, and 
the "combing " round the edge of the deck was 
broken in the journey, so we spent some hours at 
a cabinet-maker's, where it was neatly mended. 

Launching our boats unobserved on the river, 
we soon left Liege in the distance and braved the 
hot sun. 

The pleasant companionship of two travellers, 
each quite free in his own boat, was very enjoy- 
able. Sometimes we sailed, then paddled a mile 
or two, or joined to help the boats over a weir, 
or towed them along while we walked on the 
bank for a change.* 

Each of us took whichever side of the river 
pleased him best, and we talked across long acres 
of water between, to the evident surprise of sedate 
people on the banks, who often could see only 
one of the strange elocutionists, the other being 
hidden by bushes or tall sedge. When talking 

* Frequent trials afterwards convinced me that towing 
is only useful if you feel very cramped from sitting. And 
this constraint is felt less and less as you get accustomed 
to sit ten or twelve hours at a time. Experience enables 
you to make the seat perfectly comfortable, and on the 
better rivers you have so frequently to get out that any 
additional change is quite needless. Towing is slower 
progress than paddling, even when your arms are tired, 
though my canoe was so light to tow that for miles 1 
have drawn it by my little finger on a canal. 



26 A DROWNING BOY. 

thus aloud had amplified into somewhat uproarious 
singing, the chorus was far more energetic than 
harmonious, but then the Briton is at once the 
most timid and shy of mortal travellers, and the 
most outre and singular when he chooses to be free. 

The midday beams on a river in August are 
sure to conquer your fresh energies at last, and 
so we had to pull up at a village for bread and 
wine. 

The moment I got into my boat again a shrill 
whining cry in the river attracted my attention, 
and it came from a poor little boy, who had 
somehow fallen into the water, and was now 
making his last faint efforts to cling to a great 
barge in the stream. Naturally I rushed over to 
save him, and my boat went so fast and so straight 
that its sharp prow caught the hapless urchin in 
the rear, and with such a pointed reminder too 
that he screamed and struggled and thus got 
safely on the barge, which was beyond his reach, 
until thus roughly but fortunately aided. 

On most of the Belgian, German, and French 
rivers there are excellent floating baths, an ob- 
vious convenience which I do not recollect ob- 
serving on a single river in Britain, though in 
summer we have quite as many bathers as there 
are abroad. 

The floating baths consist of a wooden frame- 



SWIMMERS. 27 

work, say 100 feet long, moored in the stream, 
and through which the water runs freely, while a 
set of strong bars and chains and iron network 
forms a false bottom, shallow at one end and 
deeper at the other, so that the bather cannot be 
carried away by the current. 

Round the sides there are bathing boxes and 
steps, ladders, and spring boards for the various 
degree of aquatic proficiency. 

The youths and even the little boys on the 
Ehine are very good swimmers, and many of them 
dive well. Sometimes there is a ladies' bath of 
similar construction, from which a good deal of 
very lively noise may be heard when the fair 
bathers are in a talkative mood. 

The soldiers at military stations near the rivers 
are marched down regularly to bathe, and one 
day we found a large number of young recruits 
assembled for their general dip. 

While some were in the water others were 
firing at the targets for ball practice. There were 
three targets, each made of cardboard sheets, 
fastened upon wooden uprights. A marker safely 
protected in a ball-proof mantelet was placed so 
close to these targets that he could see all three 
at once. One man of the firing party opposite 
each target having fired, his bullet passed through 
the pasteboard and left a clear round hole in it, 



28 BALL PRACTICE. 

while the ball itself was buried in the earth be- 
hind, and so could be recovered again, instead of 
being dashed into fragments as on our iron 
targets, and then spattered about on all sides, 
to the great danger of the marker and everybody 
else. 

When three men had thus fired, signals were 
made by drum, flag, and bugle, and the firing 
ceased. The marker then came out and pointed 
to the bullet-mark on each target, and having 
patched up the holes he returned within his 
mantelet, and the firing was resumed. This very 
safe and simple method of ball practice is much 
better than that used in our military shooting. 

Once as we rounded a point there was a large 
herd of cattle swimming across the stream in 
close column, and I went rjght into the middle of 
them to observe how they would welcome a 
stranger. In the Nile you see the black oxen 
swim over the stream night and morning, re- 
minding you of Pharaoh's dream about the 
"kine" coming up out of the river, a notion 
that used to puzzle in boyhood days, but which 
is by no means incongruous when thus explained. 
The Bible is a book that bears full light to be 
cast upon it, for truth looks more true under 
more light. 

We had been delayed this morning in our start, 



A NIGHT CLIMB. 29 

and so the evening fell sombre ere we came near 
the resting-place. This was the town of Maas- 
tricht, in Holland, and it is stated to be one of 
the most strongly fortified places in Europe ; 
that is, of the old fashion, with straight high 
walls quite impervious to the Armstrong and 
Whitworth guns of a century gone by. 

But all we knew as we came near it at night 
was, that the stream was good and strong, and 
that no lights appeared. Emerging from trees 
we were right in the middle of the town, but 
where were the houses ? had they no windows, 
no lamps, not even a candle ? 

Two great high walls bounded the river, but not 
a gate or port could we find, though one of us care- 
fully scanned the right and the other cautiously 
scraped along the left of this very strange place. 

It appears that the commerce and boats all turn 
into a canal above the old tumble-down fortress, 
and so the blank brick sides bounded us thus 
inhospitably. Soon we came to a bridge, looming 
overhead in the blackness, and our arrival there 
was greeted by a shower of stones from some 
Dutch lads upon it, pattering pitilessly upon the 
delicate cedar-covered canoes. 

Turning up stream, and after a closer scrutiny, 
we found a place where we could cling to the 
wall, which here sloped a little with debris, and 



30 

now there was nothing for it but to haul the 
boats up bodily over the impregnable fortification, 
and thus carry them into the sleepy town. 
No wonder the octroi guard stared as his lamp- 
light fell on two gaunt men in grey, carrying 
what seemed to him a pair of long coffins, but 
he was a sensible though surprised individual, 
and he guided us well, stamping through the 
dark deserted streets to an hotel. 

Though the canoes in a cart made a decided 
impression at the railway-station next day, and 
arguments logically proved that the-boats must 
go as baggage, the porters were dense to con- 
viction, and obdurate to persuasion, until all at 
once a sudden change took place ; they rushed 
at us, caught up the two neglected "batteaux," 
ran with them to the luggage-van, pushed them 
in, and banged the door, piped the whistle, and 
as the train went off " Do you know why they 
have yielded so suddenly ? " said a Dutchman, 
who could speak English. " Not at all," said we. 
" Because I told them one of you was the son of the 
Prime Minister, and the other Lord Russell's son." 

But a change of railway had to be made at 
Aix-la-Chapelle, and after a hard struggle we 
had nearly surrendered the boats to the " mer- 
chandise train," to limp along the line at night 
and to arrive " perhaps to-morrow." Indeed the 



NOTHING TO PAY. 31 

Superintendent of that department seemed to 
clutch the boats as his prize, but as he gloried 
a little too loudly, the " Chef" of the passengers' 
baggage came, listened, and with calm mien 
ordered for us a special covered truck, and on 
arriving at Cologne there was "nothing to pay."* 
To be quiet we went to the Belle Yue, at Deutz, 
which is opposite Cologne, but a great Singing 
Society had its gala there, and sang and drank 
prodigiously. Next day (Sunday too) this same 
quiet Deutz had a " Schutzen Fest," where the 

* This is an exceptional case, and I wrote from England 
to thank the officer. It would be unreasonable again to 
expect any baggage to be thus favoured. A canoe is at best 
a clumsy inconvenience in the luggage-van, and no one can 
wonder that it is objected to. In France the railway 
fourgons are shorter than in other countries, and the officials 
there insisted on treating my canoe as merchandise. The in- 
stances given above show what occurred in Belgium and 
Holland. In Germany little difficulty was made about 
the boat as luggage. In Switzerland there was no objec- 
tion raised, for was not I an English traveller ? As for 
the English railway guards, they have the good sense to 
see that a long light article like a canoe can be readily 
carried on the top of a passenger carriage. Probably 
some distinct rules will be instituted by the railways in 
each country, when they are found to be liable to a 
nautical incursion, but after all one can very well arrange 
to walk or see sights now and then, while the boat travels 
slower by a goods-train. 



32 FIRE AND SONG. 

man who had hit the target best was dragged 
about in an open carriage with his wife, both 
wearing brass crowns, and bowing royally to 
a screaming crowd, while blue lights glared and 
rockets shot up in the serene darkness. 

At Cologne, while Lord A. went to take our 
tickets at the steamer, the boats were put in 
a handcart, which I shoved from behind as a 
man pulled it in front. In our way to the river 
I was assailed by a poor vagrant sort of fellow, 
who insisted on being employed as a porter, and 
being enraged at a refusal he actually took up 
a large stone and ran after the cart in a threaten- 
ing passion. I could not take my hands from the 
boats, though in fear that his missile would smash 
them if he threw it, but I kicked up my legs 
behind as we trotted along. One of the sentries 
saw the man's conduct, and soon a policeman 
brought him to me as a prisoner, but as he 
trembled now with fear more than before with 
anger, I declined to make any charge, though the 
police pressed this course, saying, " Travellers 
are sacred here." This incident is mentioned be- 
cause it was the sole occasion when any discourtesy 
happened to me during this tour. 

We took the canoes by steamer to a wide part 
of the Rhine at Bin gen. Here the scenery is 
good, and we spent an active day on the river, 



A DAY'S SAIL. 33 

sailing in a splendid breeze, landing on islands, 
scudding about in steamers' waves, and, in fact, 
enjoying a combination of yacht voyage, pic-nic, 
and boat race. 

This was a fine long day of pleasure, though in 
one of the sudden squalls my canoe happened to 
ground on a bank just at the most critical time, 
and the bamboo mast broke short. The uncouth 
and ridiculous appearance of a sail falling over- 
board is like that of an umbrella turned inside out 
in a gust of wind. But I got another stronger 
mast, and made the broken one into a boom. 

Lord Aberdeen went by train to inspect the 
river Nahe, but reported unfavourably; and I 
paddled up from its mouth, but the water was 
very low. 

Few arguments were needed to stop me from 
going against stream; for I have a profound 
respect for the universal principle of gravitation, 
and quite allow that in rowing it is well to have 
it with you by always going down stream, and 
so the good rule was to make steam, horse, or 
man take the canoe against the current, and to 
let gravity help the boat to carry me down. 

Time pressed for my fellow-paddler to return 
to England, so we went on to Mayence, and 
thence by rail to Asschaffenburg on the Main. 
The canoes again travelled in grand state, having 

D 



34 CANOES AND CANNONS. 

a truck to themselves ; but instead of the stately 
philosopher superintendent of Aix-la-Chapelle, 
who managed this gratuitously, we had a fussy 
little person to deal with, and to pay accordingly, 
the only case of decided cheating I can 
recollect during the voyage. 

A fellow-passenger in the railway was deeply 
interested about our tour ; and we had spoken of 
its various details for some time to him before we 
found that he supposed we were travelling with 
" two small cannons," mistaking the word 
" canots " for " canons." He had even asked 
about their length and weight, and had heard with 
perfect placidity that our " canons " were fif- 
teen feet long, and weighed eighty pounds, and 
that we took them only for " plaisir," not to sell. 
Had we carried two pet cameleopards, he probably 
would not have been astonished. 

The guests at the German inn of this long- 
named town amused us much by their respectful 
curiosity. Our dress in perfect unison, both alike 
in grey flannel, puzzled them exceedingly ; but 
this sort of perplexity about costume and whence 
why and whither was an everyday occurrence for 
months afterwards with me. 

A fine breeze enabled us to start on the river 
Main under sail, though we lost much time in 
forcing the boats to do yachts' work ; and I am 



HERON STALKING. 35 

inclined to believe that sailing on rivers is 
rather a mistake unless with a favourable wind. 
The Main is an easy stream to follow, and the 
scenery only so-so. A storm of rain at length 
made it lunch-time, so we sheltered ourselves in a 
bleak sort of arbour attached to an inn, where 
they could give us only sour black bread and raw 
bacon. Eating this poor cheer in a wet, rustling 
breeze and pattering rain, half-chilled in our 
macintoshes, was the only time I fared badly, 
so little of " roughing it " was there in this 
luxurious tour. 

Fine weather came soon again and pleasure, 
nay, positive sporting ; for there were wild 
ducks quite impudent in their familiarity, and 
herons wading about with that look of injured 
innocence they put on when you dare to disturb 
them. So my friend capped his revolver-pistol, 
and I acted as a pointer dog, stealing along the 
other side of the river, and indicating the position 
of the game with my paddle. 

Vast trouble was taken. Lord A. went ashore, 
and crawled on the bank a long way to a wily 
bird, but, though the sportsman had shown him- 
self at Wimbledon to be one of the best shots in 
the world, it was evidently not easy to shoot a 
heron with a pocket revolver. 

As the darker shades fell, even this rather 
D 2 



36 ON THE MAIN. 

stupid river became beautiful; and our evening 
bath was in a quiet pool, with pure yellow sand to 
rest on if you tired in swimming. At Hanau 
we stopped for the night. 

The wanderings and turnings of the Main next 
day have really left no impression on my memory, 
except that we had a pleasant time, and at last 
came to a large Schloss, where we observed on 
the river a boat evidently English. While we 
examined this craft, a man told us it belonged to 
the Prince of Wales, " and he is looking at you 
now from the balcony." 

For this was the Duchess of Cambridge's 
Schloss at Rumpenheim, and presently a four-in- 
hand crossed the ferry, and the Prince and 
Princess of Wales drove in it by the river-side, 
while we plied a vigorous paddle against the 
powerful west wind until we reached Frankfort, 
where our wet jackets were soon dried at the 
Russie, one of the best hotels in Europe. 

The Frankfort boatmen were much interested 
next day to see the two English canoes flitting 
about so lightly on their river ; sometimes 
skimming the surface with the wind, and despising 
the contrary stream; then wheeling about, and 
paddling hither and thither in shallows where it 
seemed as if the banks were only moist. 

On one occasion we both got into my canoe, 



THE PRINCE OF WALES. 37 

and it supported the additional weight perfectly 
well, which seemed to prove that the dimensions 
of it were unnecessarily large for the displace- 
ment required. However, there was not room 
for both of us to use our paddles comfortably in 
the same canoe. 

On the Sunday, the Royal personages came to 
the English church at Frankfort, and, with that 
quiet behaviour of good taste which wins more 
admiration that any pageantry, they walked from 
the place of worship like the rest of the hearers. 

There is a true grandeur in simplicity when the 
occasion is one of solemn things. 

Next day my active and pleasant companion 
had to leave me on his return to England. Not 
satisfied with a fortnight's rifle practice at Wim- 
bledon, where the best prize of the year was won 
by his skill, he must return to the moors and 
coverts for more deadly sport; and the calls of 
more important business, besides, required his 
presence at home. He paddled down the Rhine 
to Cologne, and on the way several times 
performed the difficult feat of hooking on his 
canoe to a steamer going at full speed. 

Meantime, my boat went along with me by 
railway to Freyburg, from whence the new 
voyage was really to begin, for as yet the Rob 
Roy had not paddled in parts unknown. 



CHAPTER III. 



Hollenthal Pass Ladies Black Forest Night Music 
Beds Lake Titisee Pontius Pilate Storm Starers 
> Singers Source of the Danube. 

PLANNING your summer tour is one of the most 
agreeable of occupations. It is in June or July 
that the Foreign Bradshaw becomes suddenly of 
intense interest, and the well-known pages of 
" Steamers and Railways " why, it is worth 
while being a bachelor to be able to read each of 
these as part of your sketch ed-out plan, and (oh, 
selfish thought !) to have only one mind to 
consult as to whither away. 

All this pleasure is a good deal influenced, how- 
ever, by true answers to these questions, Have 
you worked hard in working time, so as to be 
entitled to play in these playhours ? Is this to 
be a vacation of refreshment, or an idle lounge 
and killing of time ? Are you going off to rest, 
and to recruit delicate health, or with vigour to 
enjoy a summer of active exertion ? 

But now the infallible Bradshaw could not 
help me with the canoe one iota, and Baedeker was 



LADY FRIEXDS. 39 

not written for a boat ; so at Freyburg my plans 
resolved themselves into the simple direction, 
" Go at once to the source of the Danube." 

Next morning, therefore, found the Rob Roy 
in a cart, and the grey-clothed traveller walking 
beside it on the dusty Hollenthal road. The gay, 
light-hearted exultation of being strong and well, 
and on a right errand, and with unknown things 
to do and places to see and people to meet, who 
can describe this ? How easy it is at such 
times to be glad, and to think this is being 
" thankful." 

After moralizing for a few miles, a carriage full 
of English people overtook me, and soon we 
became companions. " The English are so dis- 
tant, so silent, such, hauteur, and gloomy distrust," 
forsooth ! A false verdict, say I. The ladies 
carried me off through the very pretty glen, and 
the canoe on its cart trundled slowly after us 
behind, through the Hollenthal Pass, which is too 
seldom visited by travellers, who so often admire 
the spire of Freyburg (from the railway perhaps), 
passing it on their route to Switzerland. 

This entrance to the Schwartzwald, or Black 
Forest, is a woody, rocky, and grim defile, with 
an excellent road, and good inns. 

The villages are of wood, and there is a 
saw-mill in every other house, giving a busy, 
wholesome sound, mellowed by the patter of the 



40 HOLLENTHAL PASS. 

water-wheel. Further on, where tourists' scenery 
stops, it is a grand, dark-coloured ocean of hills. 
The houses get larger and larger, and fewer and 
fewer, and nearly every one has a little chapel 
built alongside, with a wooden saint's image of 
life-size nailed on the gable end. One night I 
was in one of these huge domiciles, when all the 
servants and ploughboys came in, and half said, 
half sung, their prayers, in a whining but yet 
musical tone, and then retired for a hearty 
supper. 

Our carriage mounted still among crags, that 
bowed from each side to meet across the narrow 
gorge, and were crested on high by the grand 
trees that will be felled and floated down the 
Rhine on one of those huge rafts you meet at 
Strasbourg. But everybody must have seen a 
Rhine raft, so I need not describe it, with its 
acres of wood and its street of cabin dwellings, 
and its gay bannerets. A large raft needs 500 
men to navigate it, and the timber will sell for 
30,000/. 

At the top of this pass was the watershed of 
this first chain of hills, where my English friends 
took leave of me. The Rob Roy was safely housed 
in the Baar Inn, and I set off for a long walk to 
find if the tiny stream there would possibly be 
navigable. 

Alone on a hillside in a foreign land, and with 



NIGHT MUSIC. 41 

an evening sun on the wild mountains, the play- 
ful breeze and the bleating sheep around you 
there is a certain sense of independent delight that 
possesses the mind then with a buoyant gladness ; 
but how can I explain it in words, unless you 
have felt this sort of pleasure ? 

However, the rivulet was found to be eminently 
unsuited for a canoe; so now let me go to bed 
in my wooden room, where the washingbasin is 
oval, and the partitions are so thin that one 
hears all the noises of the place at midnight. 
Now, the long-drawn snore of the landlord ; then, 
the tittle-tattle of the servants not asleep yet, a 
pussy's plaintive mew, and the scraping of a 
mouse ; the cows breathing in soft slumber ; and, 
again, the sharp rattle of a horse's chain. 

The elaborate construction of that edifice of 
housewifery called a " bett " here, and which we 
are expected to sleep upon, can only be understood 
when you have to undermine and dismantle it 
night after night to arrive at a reasonable flat 
surface on which to recline. 

First you take off a great fluff bag, at least two 
feet thick, then a counterpane, and then a brilliant 
scarlet blanket; next you extract one enormous 
pillow, another enormous pillow, and a huge 
wedge-shaped bolster, all, it appears, requisite 
for the Teutonic race, who yet could surely put 



42 FOREST MANNERS. 

themselves to sleep at an angle of forty-five 
degrees, without all this trouble, by merely tilting 
up the end of a flat bedstead. 

Simple but real courtesy have I found through- 
out. Every one says " Gut tag ; " and, even in 
a hotel, on getting up from breakfast a guest who 
has not spoken a word will wish " Gut morgen " 
as he departs, and perhaps " Bon appetit " to 
those not satisfied like himself. About eight 
o'clock the light repast of tea or coffee, bread, 
butter, and honey begins the day; at noon is 
" mittagessen," the mid-day meal, leaving all 
proper excuse for another dining operation in 
the shape of a supper at seven. 

No fine manners here ! My driver sat down 
to dinner with me, and the waiter along with 
him, smoking a cigar between whiles, as he 
waited on us both. But all this is just as one 
sees in Canada and in Norway, and wherever 
there are mountains, woods, and torrent streams, 
with a sparse population; and, as in Norway 
too, you see at once that all can read, and they do 
read. There is more reading in one day in a 
common house in Germany than in a month in 
the same sort of place in France. 

I had hired the cart and driver by the day, but 
he by no means admired my first directions next 
morning namely, to take the boat off the main 



PONTIUS PILATE. . 43 

road, so as to get to the Titisee, a pretty 
mountain lake about four miles long, and sur- 
rounded by wooded knolls. His arguments and 
objections were evidently superficial, and some- 
thing deeper than he said was in his mind. In 
fact, it appears that, by a superstition long 
cherished there, Pontius Pilate is supposed to be 
in that deep, still lake, and dark rumours were 
told that he would surely drag me down if I 
ventured upon it.* 

Of course, this decided the matter, and when I 
launched the Rob Roy from the pebbly shore in a 
fine foggy morning, and in full view of the inhabi- 
tants of the region (eight in number at last census), 
we had a most pleasant paddle for several miles. 

At a distance the boat was invisible being so 
low in the water, and they said that " only a man 
was seen, whirling a paddle about his head." 

There is nothing interesting about this lake, 
except that it is 3,000 feet above the sea and very 
lonely, in the middle of the Black Forest. Cer- 
tainly no English boat has been there before, and 
probably no other will visit the deserted water. 

After this, the Rob Roy is carted again still 

* The legend about Pilate extends over Germany and 
Italy. Even on the flanks of Stromboli there is a talus of 
the volcano which the people dare not approach, " because 
of Pontius Pilate." 



44 A SCHWARTZWALD STORM. 

further into the forests. Lumbering vehicles 
meet us, all carrying wood. Some have joined 
three carts together, and have eight horses. 
Others have a bullock or two besides, and all the 
men are intelligent enough, for they stop and 
stare, and my driver deigns to tell them, in a 
patois wholly beyond me, as to what a strange 
fare he has got with a boat and no other luggage. 
However, they invariably conclude that the canoe 
is being carried about for sale, and it could ha\e 
been well sold frequently already. 

About mid-day my sage driver began to mutter 
something at intervals, but I could only make out 
from his gestures and glances that it had to do 
with a storm overhead. The mixture of English, 
French, and German on the borders of the Rhine 
accustoms one to hear odd words. " Shall have 
you pottyto ? " says a waiter, and he is asking 
if you will have potatoes. Another hands you 
a dish, saying, it is " sweetbone," and you must 
know it is " sweetbread." 

Yes, the storm came, and as it seldom does 
come except in such places. I once heard a 
thunder peal while standing on the crater of 
Mount Vesuvius, and I have seen the bright 
lightning, in cold and grand beauty, playing on 
the Falls of Niagara in a sombre night, but the 
vividness of the flashes to-day in the Black 



STARERS. 45 

Forest, and the crashing, rolling, and booming of 
the terrible and majestic battery of heaven was 
astounding. Once a bolt fell so near and with 
such a blaze that the horse albeit tired enough 
started off down a hill and made me quite nervous 
lest he should overturn the cart and injure my 
precious boat, which naturally was more and more 
dear to me as it was longer my sole companion. 

As we toiled up the Rothenhaus Pass, down 
came the rain, whistling and rushing through the 
cold, dark forests of larch, and blackening the top 
of great Feldberg, the highest mountain here, and 
then pouring heavy and fast on the cart and horse, 
the man, the canoe, and myself. This was the 
last rain my boat got in the tour. All other days 
I spent in her were perfectly dry. 

People stared out of their windows to see 
a cart and a boat in this heavy shower what ! 
a boat, up here in the hills ? Where can it be 
going, and whose is it ? Then they ran out to 
us, and forced the driver to harangue, and he 
tried to satisfy their curiosity, but his explanation 
never seemed to be quite exhaustive, for they 
turned homeward shaking their heads and looking 
grave, even though I nodded and laughed at them 
through the bars of the cart, lifting up my head 
among the wet straw. 

The weather dried up its tears at last, and the 



46 KTRCHWASSER. 

sun glittered on the road, still sparkling with its 
rivulets of rain, but the boat was soon dried by a 
sponge, while a smart walk warmed its well-soaked 
captain. 

The horse too had got into a cheerful vein and 
actually trotted with excitement, for now it was 
down hill, and bright sun a welcome change in 
ten minutes from our labouring up a steep forest 
road in a thunder-storm. 

The most rigid teetotaller (I am only a tem- 
perance man) would probably allow that just a 
very small glass of kirchwasser might be pre- 
scribed at this moment with advantage, and as 
there was no "faculty" there but myself, I 
administered the dose medicinally to the driver 
and to his employer, and gave a bran-mash and 
a rub down to the horse, which made all three 
of us better satisfied with ourselves and each 
other, and so we jogged on again. 

By dusk I marched into Donaueschingen, and 
on crossing the little bridge, saw at once I could 
begin the Danube from its very source, for there 
was at least three inches of water in the middle 
of the stream. 

In five minutes a crowd assembled round the 
boat, evenbeforeit could be loosened from the cart.* 

* After trying various modes of securing the canoe in 
a springless cart for long journeys on rough and hilly 



THE SINGERS. 47 

The ordinary idlers came first, then the more 
shy townspeople, and then a number of strange 
folk, whose exact position I could not make out, 
until it was explained that the great singing 
meeting for that part of Germany was to be held 
next day in the town, and so there were 600 
visitors, all men of some means and intelligence, 
who were collected from a wide country round 
about. 

The town was in gala for this meeting of song. 
The inns were full, but still the good landlord of 
the "Poste" by the bridge gave me an excellent 
room, and the canoe was duly borne aloft in pro- 
cession to the coachhouse. 

What a din these tenors and basses did make 
at the table d'hote ! Everything about the boat 
had to be told a dozen times over to them, while 
my driver had a separate lecture-room on the 
subject below. 

The town was well worth inspection next 
day, for it was in a violent fit of decoration. 

roads, I am convinced that the best way is to fasten two 
ropes across the top of a long cart and let the boat lie on 
these, which will bear it like springs and so modify the 
jolts. The painter is then made fast fore and aft, so as to 
keep the boat from moving back and forward. All plans 
for using trusses of straw, &c., fail after a few miles of 
rolling gravel and coarse ruts. 



48 DONAUESCHINGEN. 

Every house was tidied up, and all the streets 
were swept clean. From the humbler windows 
hung green boughs and garlands, rugs, quilts, 
and blankets ; while banners, Venetian streamers, 
arches, mottoes, and wreaths of flowers announced 
the wealthier houses. Crowds of gaping peasants 
paraded the streets and jostled against bands 
drumming and tromboning (if there be such a 
word), and marching in a somewhat ricketty 
manner over the undoubtedly rough pavement. 
Every now and then the bustle had a fresh 
paroxysm when four horses rattled along, bring- 
ing in new visitors from some distant choir. They 
are coming you see in a long four-wheeled cart, 
covered with evergreens and bearing four pine 
trees in it erect among sacks which are used as 
seats only the inmates do not sit but stand up in 
the cart, and shout, and sing, and wave banners 
aloft, while the hundreds of on-lookers roar out 
the "Hoch," the German Hurrah ! with only one 
note. 

As every window had its ornament or device, I 
made one for mine also, and my sails were fes- 
tooned (rather tastefully, I flatter myself ) to 
support the little blue silk English jack of the 
canoe. This complimentary display was speedily 
recognized by the Germans, who greeted it with 
cheers, and sung glees below, and improvised 



ALLEGRO. 49 




Singers' Waggon. 

verses about England, and then sang round the 
boat itself, laughing, shouting, and hurraing 
boisterously with the vigour of youthful lungs. 
Never tell me again that the Germans are 
phlegmatic ! 

They had a " banket " in the evening at the 
Museum. It was " free for all," and so 400 came 
on these cheap terms, and all drank beer 
E 



50 A BANKET. 

from long glass cylinders at a penny a glass, all 
smoked cigars at a farthing a piece, and all talked 
and all sang, though a splendid brass band was 
playing beside them, and whenever it stopped a 
glee or chorus commenced. 

The whole affair was a scene of bewildering 
excitement, very curious to contemplate for one 
sitting in the midst. Next me I found a young 
bookseller who had sold me a French book in the 
morning. He said I must take a ticket for the 
Sunday concert; but I told him I was an 
Englishman, and had learned in my country that 
it was God's will and for man's good to keep 
Sunday for far better things, which are too much 
forgotten when one day in seven is not saved 
from the business, excitement, and giddiness of 
every-day life. 

And is there not a feeling of dull sameness 
about time in those countries and places where 
the week is not steadied and centred round a 
solid day on which lofty and deep things, pure 
and lasting things may have at least some hours 
of our attention ? 

So I left the merry singers to bang their drums 
and hoch ! at each other in the great hall provided 
for their use by the Prince of Furstemburg. He 
had reared this near his stables, in which are 
many good horses, some of the best being Eng- 



51 

lish, and named on their stalls "Miss," "Pet," 
" Lady," or " Tom," &c. 

An English, gentleman whom I met afterwards 
had been travelling through Germany with a four- 
in-hand drag, and he came to Donaueschingen, 
where the Prince soon heard of his arrival. Next 
day His Serene Highness was at his stables, and 
seeing an English visitor there, he politely con- 
ducted the stranger over the whole establishment, 
explaining every item with minute care. He 
found out afterwards that this visitor was not the 
English gentleman, but only his groom ! 

The intelligence, activity, and good temper of 
most of the German waiters in hotels will surely 
be observed by travellers whose daily enjoyment 
depends so much on that class. Here, for instance, 
is a little waiter at the Poste Inn. He is the size 
of a boy, but looks twenty years older. His face 
is flat, and broad, and brown, and so is his jacket. 
His shoulders are high, and he reminds you of 
those four everlasting German juveniles, with 
thick comforters about their necks, who stand in 
London streets blowing brass music, with their 
cheeks puffed out, and their cold grey eyes 
turning on all the passing objects while the music, 
or at any rate a noise, blurts out as if mechanically 
from the big, unpolished instruments held by red 
benumbed fingers. 

E 2 



52 A WAITER. 

This waiter lad then is all the day at the beck 
of all, and never gets a night undisturbed, yet 
he is as obliging at ten o'clock in the dark as 
for the early coffee at sunrise, and he quite 
agrees with each guest, in the belief that his 
particular cutlet or cognac is the most important 
feature of the hour. 

I honour this sort of man. He fills a hard 
place well, and Bismarck or Mussurus cannot do 
more. 

Then again, there is Ulric, the other waiter, 
hired only for to-day as an " extra," to meet the 
crush of hungry vocalists who will soon fill the 
saal. He is timid yet, being young, and only used 
to a village inn where "The Poste at Donaues- 
chingen" is looked up to with solemn admiration 
as the pink of fashion. He was learning French 
too, and was sentimental, so I gave him a very 
matter-of-fact book, and then he asked me to let 
him sit in the canoe while I was to paddle it down 
the river to his home ! The naive simplicity of 
this request was truly refreshing, and if we had 
been sure of shallow water all the way, and 
yet not too shallow, it would perhaps have been 
amusing to admit such a passenger. 

The actual source of the Danube is by no means 
agreed upon any more than the source of the Nile. 
I had a day's exploration of the country, after 



SOURCE OF THE DANUBE. 53 

seeking exact information on this point from the 
townspeople in vain. The land round Donaues- 
chingen is a spongy soil, with numerous rivulets 
and a few large streams. I went along one of 
these, the Brege, which rises twenty miles away, 
near St. Martin, and investigated about ten miles 
of another, the Brigach, a brook rising near St. 
Georgen, about a mile from the source of the 
Neckar, which river runs to the Rhine. These 
streams join near Donaueschingen, but in the 
town there bubbles up a clear spring of water in 
the gardens of the Prince near the church, and 
this, the infant Danube, runs into the other 
water already wide enough for a boat, but which 
then for the first time has the name of Donau. 

The name, it is said, is never given to either of 
the two larger rivulets, because sometimes both 
have been known to fail in dry summers, while 
the bubbling spring has been perennial for ages. 

The Brege and another confluent are caused to 
fill an artificial pond close by the Brigach. This 
lake is wooded round, and has a pretty island, and 
swans, and gold fish. A waterwheel (in vain 
covered for concealment) pumps up water to flow 
from an inverted horn amid a group of statuary 
in this romantic pond, and the stream flowing 
from it also joins the others, now the Danube.* 

* The old Roman Ister. The name Donau is pronounced 



54 HOCH ! HOCH ! 

That there might be no mistake however in 
this matter about the various rivulets, I went up 
each stream until it would not float a canoe. 
Then from near the little bridge, on August 28, 
while the singers sol-faed excessively at the boat, 
and shouted "hocks" and farewells to the English 
"flagge," and the landlord bowed (his bill of 
thirteen francs for three full days being duly 
paid), and the populace stared, the Rob Roy shot 
off like an arrow on a river delightfully new. 



"Doanou." Hilpert says, "Donau allied to D6n and 
Duna (a river)." In Celtic Dune means " river," and Don 
means "brown," while " au" in German is "island" 
(like the English " eyot "). 

The other three rivers mentioned above, and depicted 
in the plan on the map with this book, seem to 
preserve traces of their Roman names. Thus the 
" Brigach" is the stream coming from the north where 
" Alt Breisach " now represents the Roman " Mons 
Brisiacus," while the " Brege " may be referred to 
" Brigantii," the people about the " Brigantinus Lacus," 
now the " Boden See" (Lake Constance), where also Bre- 
gentz now represents the Roman " Brigantius." The 
river Neckar was " Nicer " of old, and the Black Forest 
was " Hercynia Silva." 

The reader being now sufficiently confused about the 
source of the Danube and its name, let us leave the Latin 
in the quagmire and jump nimbly into our canoe. 



CHAPTER IV. 



The Danube Singers Shady nooks Geisingen Mill 
weirs Rapids Morning Crowd Donkey's stable 
Islands Monks Spiders Concert Fish A race. 

AT first the river is a few feet broad, but it soon 
enlarges, and the streams of a great plain 
quickly bring its volume to that of the Thames 
at Kingston. The quiet, dark Donau winds 
about then in slow serpentine smoothness for 
hours in a level mead, with waving sedge on the 
banks and silken sleepy weeds in the water. 
Here the long-necked, long-winged, long-legged 
heron, that seems to have forgotten to get a body, 
flocks by scores with ducks of the various wild 
breeds, while pretty painted butterflies and fierce- 
looking dragon-flies float, as it were, on the 
summer sunbeams, and simmer in the air. The 
haymakers are at work; and half their work is 
hammering the soft edges of their very miserable 
scythes, which they then dip in the water. 
Now they have a chat ; and as I whiz by round 
a corner, there is a row of open mouths and 



56 

wondering eyes, but an immediate return to 
courtesy with a touch of the hat, and "Gut 
tag " when presence of mind is restored. Then 
they call to their mates, and laugh with rustic 
satisfaction a laugh that is real and true, not 
cynical, but the recognition of a strange incon- 
gruity, that of a reasonable being pent up in a 
boat and hundreds of miles from home, yet 
whistling most cheerfully all the time. 

Soon the hills on either side have houses and 
old castles, and then wood, and, lastly, rock; 
and with these, mingling the bold, the wild, and 
the sylvan, there begins a grand panorama of river 
beauties to be unrolled for days and days. No 
river I have seen equals this Upper Danube, and 
I have visited many pretty streams. The wood 
is so thick, the rocks so quaint and high and 
varied, the water so clear, and the grass so green. 
Winding here and turning there, and rushing 
fast down this reach and paddling slow along 
that, with each minute a fresh view, and of 
new things, the mind is ever on the gui vive, or 
the boat will go bump on a bank, crash on a rock, 
or plunge into a tree full of gnats and spiders. 
This is veritable travelling, where skill and tact 
are needed to bear you along, and where each 
exertion of either is rewarded at once. I think, 
also, it promotes decision of character, for you must 



CANOE PLEASURES. 57 

choose, and that promptly, too, between, say, five 
channels opened suddenly before you. Three are 
probably safe, but which of these three is the 
shortest, deepest, and most practicable ? In an 
instant, if you hesitate, the boat is on a bank ; 
and it is remarkable how speedily the exercise of 
this resolution becomes experienced into habit, 
but of course only after some severe lessons. 

It is exciting to direct a camel over the sandy 
desert when you have lost your fellow-travellers, 
and to guide a horse in trackless wilds alone; 
but the pleasure of paddling a canoe down a 
rapid, high-banked, and unknown river, is far 
more than these. 

Part of this pleasure flows from the mere sense 
of rapid motion. In going down a swift reach of 
the river there is the same sensation about one's 
diaphragm which is felt when one goes forward 
smoothly on a lofty rope swing. Now the first 
few days of the Danube are upon very fast 
waters. Between its source and Ulm the descent 
of the river is about 1,500 feet.^ This would 
give 300 feet of fall for each of a five days' 
journey; and it will be seen from this that the 
prospect for the day's voyage is most cheering 

* The best geographical books give different estimates 
of this, some above and others below the amount here 
stated. 



58 ALL R-R-R-R-IGHT. 

when you launch, in the morning and know you 
will have to descend about the height of St. 
Paul's Cathedral before halting for the night. 

Another part of the pleasure it is not to be 
denied consists in the satisfaction of overcoming 
difficulties. When you have followed a channel 
chosen from several, and, after half-a-mile of it, 
you see one and another of the rejected channels 
emerging from its island to join that you are in, 
there is a natural pride in observing that any 
other streamlet but the one you had chosen 
would certainly have been a mistake. 

These reflections are by the way ; and we have 
been winding the while through a rich grassy 
plain till a bridge over the river made it seem 
quite a civilized spot, and, just as I passed under, 
there drove along one of the green-boughed 
waggons of jovial singers returning from Donau- 
eschingen. Of course they recognised the canoe, 
and stopped to give her a hearty cheer, ending 
with a general chorus made up of the few English 
words of their vocabulary, " All r-r-r-r-ight, 
Englishmann ! " "All r-r-r-r-ight, English- 
mann ! " * 

The coincidence of these noisy but good- 
humoured people having been assembled in the 
morning, when the canoe had started from the 
* See sketch, ante, page 49. 



FUEL WANTED. 59 

source of the Danube, caused the news of its 
adventure to be rapidly carried to all the neigh- 
bouring towns, so that the Rob Roy was wel- 
comed at once, and the newspapers recorded its 
progress not only in Germany and France, 
but in England, and even in Sweden and in 
America. 

At the village of Geisingen it was discovered 
that the boiler of my engine needed some fuel, or, 
in plain terms, I must breakfast. The houses of 
the town were not close to the river, but some 
workmen were near at hand, and I had to leave 
the canoe in the centre of the stream moored to 
a plank, with very strict injunctions (in most 
distinct English!) to an intelligent boy to take 
charge of her until my return; and then I walked 
to the principal street, and to the best-looking 
house, and knocked, entered, asked for breakfast, 
and sat down, and was speedily supplied with an 
excellent meal. One after another the people 
came in to look at the queer stranger who was 
clad so oddly, and had come aye, how had he 
come? that was what they argued about in 
whispers till he paid his bill, and then they 
followed to see where he would go, and thus was 
there always a congregation of inquisitive bu^, 
respectful observers as we started anew. 

Off again, though the August sun is hot. 



60 SHADY TIMES. 

But we cannot stop now. The shade will be 
better enjoyed when resting in the boat under 
a high rock, or in a cool water cave, or beneath a 
wooden bridge, or within the longer shadow of 
a pine-clad cliff. 

Often I tried to rest those midday hours (for 
one cannot always work) on shore, in a house, or 
on a grassy bank ; but it was never so pleasant as 
at full length in the canoe, under a thick grown 
oak-tree, with a book to read dreamily, and a 
mild cigar at six for a penny, grown in the 
fields we passed, and made up at yesterday's 



* Two stimulants well known in England are much 
used in Germany, tea and tobacco. 

(1) The tobacco plant (sometimes styled a weed, because 
it also grows wild) produces leaves, which are dried and 
rolled, and then treated with fire, using an appropriate 
instrument, by which the fumes are inhaled. The effect 
upon many persons is to soothe ; but it impairs the 
appetite of others. The use is carried to excess in Turkey. 
The leaves contain a deadly poison. 

(2) The tea weed (sometimes styled a plant, because it 
also grows under cultivation) produces leaves, which are 
dried and rolled, and then treated with fire, using an 
appropriate instrument, by which the infusion is imbibed. 
The effect upon many persons is to cheer ; but it impairs 
the sleep of others. The use is carried to excess in 
Russia. The leaves contain a deadly poison. 

Both these luxuries are cheap and portable, and are 



MILL WEIRS. 61 

Let it be well understood that this picture only 
describes the resting time, and not the active 
hours of progress in the cooler part of the day 
before and after the bright meridian sun. 

In working hours there was no lazy lolling, 
the enjoyment was that of delightful exertion, 
varied at every reach of the river. 
. You start, indeed, quietly enough, but are sure 
soon to hear the well-known rushing sound of a 
milldam, and this almost every day, five or six 
times. On coming to it I usually went straight 
along the top edge of the weir, looking over for 
a good place to descend by, and surveying the 
innumerable little streams below to see my best 
course afterwards. By this time the miller and 
his family and his men, and all the neighbours, 
would run down to see the new sight, but I 
always lifted out my little black knapsack and 
put my paddle on shore, and then stepped out 
and pulled my boat over or round the obstruc- 
tion, sometimes through a hayfield or two, or by 
a lane, or along a wall, and then launched her 
again in deep water. Dams less than four feet 

daily enjoyed by millions of persons in all climates. Both 
require care and moderation in their use. Both have 
advocates and enemies ; and it cannot be settled by 
argument whether the plant or the weed is the more 
useful or hurtful to mankind. 



62 RAPIDS. 

high one can " shoot " with a headlong plunge 
into the little billows at the foot, but this 
wrenches the boot if it strikes against a stone, 
and it is better to get out and ease her through, 
lift her over, or drag her round. 

In other' places I had to sit astride on the 
stern of the conoe, with both legs in the water, 
fending her off from big stones on either side, 
and cautiously steering.* 

But with these amusements, and a little 
wading, you sit quite dry, and, leaning against 
the backboard, smoothly glide past every danger, 
lolling at ease where the current is excessive, and 
where it would not be safe to add impetus, for the 
shock of a collision there would break the 
strongest boat. 

If incidents like these, and the scenery and the 
people ashore, were not enough to satisfy the ever 
greedy mind, some louder plashing, with a deeper 
roar, would announce the rapids. This sound 
was sure to waken up any sleepiness, and once 
in the middle of rough water all had to be 
energy and life. 

I never had a positive upset, but of course I 

* The invention of this method was made here, but its 
invaluable advantages were more apparent in passing the 
second rapid of Rheinfelden. See post, page 186, where 
described, with a sketch. 



THE BOYS. 03 

had to jump out frequently to save the boat, for 
the first care was the canoe, and the second was 
my luggage, to keep it all dry, the sketch-book 
in particular, while the third object was to get on 
comfortably and fast. 

After hours of these pleasures of work and rest, 
and a vast deal seen and heard and felt that would 
take too long to tell, the waning sun, and the 
cravings within for dinner, warned me truly that 
I had come near the stopping-place for the night. 

The town of Tuttlingen is built on both sides 
of the river, and almost every house is a dyer's 
shop or a tannery, with men beating, scraping, 
and washing hides in the water. As I allowed 
the boat to drift among these the boys soon found 
her out a new object and therefore to boys 
(and may it always be so) well worth a shout 
and a run ; so a whole posse of little Germans 
scampered along beside me, but I could not see 
any feasible-looking inn. 

It is one of the privileges of this water tour 
that you can survey calmly all the where- 
abouts; and being out of reach of the touters 
and porters who harass the' wretched traveller 
delivered to their grasp from an omnibus or a 
steamboat, you can philosophize on the whole 
morale of a town, and if so inclined can pass it, 
and simply go on. In fact, on several occasions 



64 WHERE SHALL WE STOP. 

I did not fancy a town, so we went on to another. 
However, I was fairly nonplussed now. It would 
not do to go further, for it was not a thickly- 
peopled country; but I went nearly to the end 
of the place in search of a good landing, till I 
turned into a millrace and stepped ashore. 

The crowd pressed so closely that I had to fix 
on a boy who had a toy barrow with four little 
wheels, and amid much laughter I persuaded the 
boy to lend it (of course as a great honour to him), 
and so I pulled the boat on this to the hotel. 
The boy's sixpence of reward was a fact that 
brought all the juvenile population together, and 
though we hoisted the canoe into a hayloft and 
gave very positive injunction to the ostler to keep 
her safe, there was soon a string of older sight- 
seers admitted one by one; and even at night they 
were mounting the ladder with lanterns, women as 
well as men, to examine the " schiff." 

A total change of garments usually enabled me 
to stroll through the villages in the evening 
without being recognised, but here I was instantly 
known as I emerged for a walk, and it was evident 
that an unusual attendance must be expected in 
the morning. 

Tuttlingen is a very curious old town, with a 
good inn and bad pavement, tall houses, all 
leaning here and there, and big, clumsy, honest- 



TUTTLINGEN. 65 

looking men lounging after their work, and 
wonderfully satisfied to chat in groups amid the 
signal darkness of unlighted streets; very fat 
horses and pleasant-looking women, a bridge, 
and numerous schoolboys ; these are my impres- 
sions of Tuttlingen. 

Even at six o'clock next morning these boys 
had begun to assemble for the sight they ex- 
pected, and those of them who had satchels on 
their backs seemed grievously disappointed to 
find the start would not come off before their 
hour for early school. 

However, the grown-up people came instead, 
and flocked to the bridge and its approaches. 
While I was endeavouring to answer all the 
usual questions as to the boat, a man respectfully 
asked me to delay the start five minutes, as his 
aged father, who was bedridden, wished exceed- 
ingly just to see the canoe. In all such cases it 
is a pleasure to give pleasure, and to sympathize 
with the boundless delight of the boys, remem- 
bering how as a boy a boat delighted me; and 
then, again, these worthy, mother-like, whole- 
some-faced dames, how could one object to their 
prying gaze, mingled as it was with friendly 
smile and genuine interest ? 

The stream on which I started here was not the 
main channel of the Danube, but a narrow arm 



66 THE MORNING CROWD. 

of the river conducted through the town, while 
the other part fell over the mill-weir. The wood- 
cut shows the scene at starting, and there were 
crowds as large as this at other towns ; but a 
picture never can repeat the shouts and bustle, 
or the sound of guns firing and bells ringing, 
which on more than one occasion celebrated the 
Rob Roy's morning paddle. 

The lovely scenery of this day's voyage often 
reminded me of that upon the Wye,* in its best 
parts between Ross and Chepstow. There were 
the white rocks and dark trees, and caverns, 
crags, and jutting peaks you meet near Tintern ; 
but then the Wye has no islands, and its muddy 
water at full tide has a worse substitute in 
muddier banks when the sea has ebbed. 

The islands on beauteous Donau were of all 
sizes and shapes. Some low and flat, and 
thickly covered with shrubs ; others of stal- 
wart rock, stretching up at a sharp angle, under 
which the glassy water bubbled all fresh and 
clear. 

Almost each minute there was a new scene, 



* Murray says : "The Meuse has been compared to the 
Wye ; but is even more romantic than the English river." 
I would rank the Wye as much above the Meuse as below 
the Danube for romance in scenery. 



A DONKEY'S STABLE. 67 

and often I backed against the current to hold 
my post in the best view of some grand picture. 
Magnificent crags reached high up on both sides, 
and impenetrable forests rung with echoes when 
I shouted in the glee of health, freedom, and 
exquisite enjoyment. 

But scenes and sentiments will not feed the 
hungry paddler, so I decided to stop at Fried- 
ingen, a village on the bank. There was a 
difficulty now as to where the canoe could be left, 
for no inn seemed near enough to let me guard 
her while I breakfasted. At length a mason 
helped me to carry the Rob Roy into a donkey's 
stable, and a boy volunteered to guide the stranger 
to the best inn. The first, and the second, and 
the third he led me to were all beerhouses, where 
only drink could be had; and as the crowd 
augmented at every stage, I dismissed the ragged 
cicerone, and trusted myself instead to the sure 
leading of that unnamed instinct which guides a 
hungry man to food. Even the place found at 
last, was soon filled with wondering spectators. 
A piece of a German and English dictionary from 
my baggage excited universal attention, and was 
several times carried outside to those who had not 
secured reserved seats within. 

The magnificent scenery culminated at Beuron, 
where a great convent on a rich mound of grass is 
F 2 



68 WITH THE MONKS. 

nearly surrounded by the Danube, amid a spacious 
amphitheatre of magnificent white cliffs perfectly 
upright, and clad with the heaviest wood. 

The place looks so lonely, though fair, that you 
could scarcely believe you might stop there for 
the night, and so I had nearly swept by it again 
into perfect solitude, but at last pulled up 
under a tree, and walked through well ploughed 
fields to the little hamlet in this sequestered 
spot. 

The field labourers were of course surprised at 
the apparition of a man in flannel, who must have 
come out of the river; but the people at the 
Kloster had already heard of the " schiff," and 
the Rob Roy was soon mounted on two men's 
shoulders, and borne in triumph to the excellent 
hotel. The Prince who founded the monastery is, 
I believe, himself a monk. 

Now tolls the bell for " even song," while my 
dinner is spread in an arbour looking out on this 
grand scene, made grander still by dark clouds 
gathering on the mountains, and a loud and long 
thunder peal, with torrents of rain. 

This deluge of wet came opportunely when I 
had such good shelter, as it cooled the air, and 
would strengthen the stream of the river ; so I 
admired the venerable monks with complacent 
satisfaction, a feeling never so complete as when 



CONCERT AT BETJRON. 69 

you are inside, and you look at people who are 
out in the rain. 

A young girl on a visit to her friends here 
could talk bad French rapidly, so she was sent to 
gossip with me as I dined ; and then the whole 
family inspected my sketch-.book, a proceeding 
which happened at least twice every day for many 
weeks of the voyage. This emboldened me to 
ask for some music, and we adjourned to a 
great hall, where a concert was soon in progress 
with a guitar, a piano, and a violin, all well 
played ; and the Germans are never at a loss for 
a song. 

My young visitor, Melanie, then became the 
interpreter in a curious conversation with the 
others, who could speak only German ; and I 
ventured to turn our thoughts on some of the 
nobler things which ought not to be long absent 
from the mind I mean, what is lov^d, and feared, 
enjoyed, and derided, as " religion." 

In my very limited baggage I had brought 
some selected pieces and Scripture anecdotes 
and other papers in French and German, and 
these were used on appropriate occasions, and 
were always well received, often with exceed- 
ingly great interest and sincere gratitude. 

Some people are shy about giving tracts, or are 
even afraid of them. But then some people are shy 



70 GIVING TRACTS. 

of speaking at all, or even dislike to ride, or 
skate, or row. One need not laugh at another 
for this. 

The practice of carrying a few printed pages to 
convey in clear language what one cannot accu- 
rately speak in a foreign tongue is surely allow- 
able, to say the least. But I invariably find it 
to be very useful and interesting to myself and 
to others ; and, as it hurts nobody, and has 
nothing in it of which to be proud or ashamed, 
and as hundreds of men do it, and as I have done 
it for years, and will do it again, I am far too 
old a traveller to be laughed out of it now. 

The Kloster at Beuron is a favourite place for 
excursionists from the towns in the neighbour- 
hood, and no doubt some day soon it will be a 
regular "place to see" for English travellers 
rowing down the Danube ; for it is thus, and 
only thus, you can approach it with full effect. 
The moon had come forth as I leaned out of my 
bedroom window, and it whitened the ample circus 
of beetling crags, and darkened the trees, while a 
fainter and redder light glimmered from the 
monks' chapel, as the low tones of midnight 
chanting now and then reached the ear. Perhaps 
it is better to wear a monk's cowl than to wear 
consistently a layman's common coat in the work- 
day throng of life ; and it may be better to fast 



REVERIE AMONG SPIDERS. 71 

and chant and kneel at shrines than to be tempe- 
rate and thankful and prayerful in the busy 
world. But I doubt. 

After leaving Beuron, with the firing of guns 
and the usual pleasant good wishes from the shore, 
the Danube carried us between two lofty rocks, 
and down calm reaches for hours. The water was 
unspeakably clear ; you could see right into deep 
caverns far below. I used to gaze downwards for 
so long a time at the fish moving about, and to 
strike at them with my long paddle (never once 
hitting any), that I forgot the boat was swinging 
along all the time, till bump she went on a bank, 
or crash against a rocky isle, or rumbling into 
some thick trees, when a shower of leaves, spiders, 
and rubbish wakened up my reverie. Then, 
warned by the shock, I return to the plain duty 
of looking ahead, until, perhaps, after an hour's 
active rushing through narrow " guts," and over 
little falls, and getting out and hauling the boat 
down larger ones, my eyes are wandering again, 
gazing at the peaks overhead, and at the eagles 
soaring above them, and at the clear blue sky 
above all; till again the Rob Roy heels over 
on a sunken stone, and I have to jump out nimbly 
to save her from utter destruction. For days 
together I had my feet bare, and my trousers 
tucked up, ready to wade at any moment, and 



72 MILES PADDLED. 

perfectly comfortable all the time, for a fiery 
sun dried every thing in a few minutes. 

The physical enjoyment of such a life to one in 
good health and good spirits, with a good boat 
and good scenery, is only to be appreciated after 
experience ; for these little reminders that one 
must not actually sleep on a rushing river 
never resulted in any disaster, and I came home 
without a cold or a scratch, or a hole in the boat, 
or one single day regretted. May this be so for 
many a John Bull let loose on the Continent to 
" paddle his own canoe." 

On the rivers where there is no navigation and 
no towing paths it was impossible to estimate the 
distances traversed each day, except by the num- 
ber of hours I was at work, the average speed, 
the strength of the wind and current, and the 
number of stoppages for food or rest, or mill- 
weirs, waterfalls, or barriers. Thirty miles was 
reckoned to be a good day's work, and I have 
sometimes gone forty miles in a day ; but twenty 
was quite enough when the scenery and incidents 
on the way filled up every moment of time with 
varied sensations of new pleasures. 

It will generally be found, I think, that for 
walking in a pleasant country twenty miles a day 
is enough for mind and body to be active and 
observant all the time. But the events that 



BOAT versus RIVER. 73 

occur in river work are far more frequent and 
interesting than those on the road, for you have 
all the circumstances of your boat in addition to 
what fills the pedestrian's journal, and after a little 
time your canoe becomes so much a companion 
(friend, shall I say ?) that every turn it takes and 
every knock and grate on its side is felt as if it 
were your own. The boat gets to be individualized, 
and so does the river, till at last there is a pleasant 
rivalry set up, for it is " man and boat " versus 
the river and all it can place in your way. 

After a few tours on the Continent your first 
hour in a railway or diligence may be new and en- 
joyable, but you soon begin to wish for the end of 
the road, and after a short stay in the town you 
have come to you begin to talk (or think) of 
when you are to leave. Now a feature of the 
boating tour is that quiet progress can be enjoyed 
all the time, because you have personal exertion 
or engagement for every moment, and your ob- 
servation of the scenery around is now most 
minute and interesting, because every bend and 
slope of it tells at once what you have to do. 

Certainly the pleasure of a day is not to be 
measured by the number of miles you have gone 
over. The voyage yesterday, for instance, was 
one of the very best for enjoyment of scenery, 
incident, and exercise, yet it was the shortest 



74 BOAT versus RIVER. 

day I had. The guide-book says, " Tuttlingen is 
twelve miles" by river, say eighteen "from 
Kloster Beuron, where the fine scenery begins. 
This part of the Danube is not navigable." 

I will not say that on some occasions I did not 
wish for the end of the day's work, when arms 
were weary, and the sun was low, and yearnings 
of the inner man grumbling for dinner, especially 
when no one could tell how far it was to any 
house, or whether you could stop there all night 
if you reached it. 



CHAPTER V. 

Sigmaringen Treacherous trees Congress of herons 
Flying Dutchman Tub and shovel Bottle race 
Snags Bridge perils Ya Vol Ferry rope Be- 
nighted. 

THE sides of the river were now less precipitous, 
and the road came within a field or two of the 
water, and made it seem quite homely for a time. 
I had heard a loud jingling sound on this road 
for at least half-an-hour, and observed a long cart 
with two horses trotting fast, and evidently 
daring to race with the Bob Hoy. But at length 
such earnest signals were made from it that I 
stopped, and the cart at once pulled up, and from 
it there ran across the field a man breathless and hot, 
without his hat, and followed by two young ladies, 
equally hurried. He was a German, resident for 
a short time in London, and now at home for a 
month's holiday, and he was prodigal of thanks 
for my " great courtesy " in having stopped that 
the ladies might see the canoe which they had 
followed thus for some miles, having heard of its 
Fame at their village. On another occasion three 



76 RUNNING TO SEE. 

youths voluntarily ran alongside the boat and 
panted in the sun, and tumbled over stocks and 
stones at such a rate, that after a mile of the 
supererogatory exercise, I asked what it was all 
about. Excellent villagers ! they had taken all 
this trouble to arrive at a point further down the 
stream where they knew there was a hard place, 
and they thought they might help me in passing it. 

Such exertions on behalf of a stranger were 
really most kind, and when I allowed them to 
give a nominal help, where in reality it was easy 
enough to get on unaided, they were much de- 
lighted and more than rewarded, and went back 
prattling their purest Suabian in a highly satisfied 
frame of mind. 

Many are the bends and currents, but at last 
we arrive at the town of Sigmaringen. It has 
certainly an aristocratic air, though there are only 
3,000 inhabitants ; but then it has a Principality, 
though the whole population of this is only 
52,000. Fancy a parish in London with a 
Prince all to themselves, and bearing such a fine 
grand name too " His Royal Serene Highness 
the Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern Sigmarin- 
gen." But though I have often laughed at this 
petty kingdom in the Geography books, I shall 
never do so again, for it contains some of the 
most beautiful river scenery in the world, and I 



IN THE WOOD. 77 

never had more unalloyed pleasure in passing 
through a foreign dominion. 

There are pretty gardens here, and a handsome 
Protestant church, and a few good shops, schlosses 
on the hills, and older castles perched on high rocks 
in the usual picturesque and uncomfortable places 
where our ancestors built their nests. 

The Deutscher Hof is the hotel just opened 
three weeks ago, and all its inmates are in a flutter 
when their first English guest marches up to the 
door with a boat and a great company of gazers. 
The waiter too, all fresh from a year in London 
at the Palace Hotel, Buckingham Gate, how glad 
he is that his English is now in requisition, sitting 
by me at dinner and talking most sensibly all the 
time. 

The weather still continued superb as we 
paddled away. Deep green woods dipped their 
lower branches in the water, but I found that the 
stream had sometimes a fashion of carrying the 
boat under these, and it is especially needful to 
guard against this when a sharp bend with a 
fast current hurries you into a wooded corner. 
Indeed, strange as it may seem, there was more 
danger to the boat from these trees than from 
rocks or banks, and far more trouble. For 
when the boat gets under their low branches your 
paddle is quite powerless, because you cannot 



78 CONGRESS OF HERONS. 

lower one end to hold the water without raising 
the other and so catching it in the trees. Then 
if you put your head down forward you cannot 
see, and the boughs are generally as hard as an 
ordinary skull when the two are in collision. 
Finally, if you lean backwards the twigs scrape 
your face and catch upon a nose even of ordinary 
length, and if you take your hand from the paddle 
to protect the face away goes the paddle into the 
river. Therefore, although my hat was never 
knocked off, and my skull was always the hardest, 
and my paddle was never lost, and my nose was 
never de-Romanized by the branches, I set it down 
as a maxim, to keep clear of trees in a stream. 

Still it was tempting to go under shady groves 
when I tried to surprise a flock of herons or a 
family of wild ducks. 

Once we came upon twenty-four herons all 
together. As my boat advanced silently, steadily 
gliding, it was curious to watch these birds, who 
had certainly never been disturbed before by any 
boat in such a place. 

They stared eagerly at me and then looked at 
each other, and evidently took a vote of the 
assembly as to what all this could mean. If 
birds' faces can give any expression of their 
opinions, it is certain that one of these herons 
was saying then to the others " Did you ever ? " 



FLYING DUTCHMAN. 79 

and an indignant sneer was on another's beak 
that plainly answered, " Such impudence indeed! " 
while a third added, with a sarcastic chirp, " And 
a foreigner too ! " But, after consultation, they 
always got up and circled round, flew down 
stream, and then settled all again together in an 
adjourned meeting. A few minutes brought me 
to their new retreat, and so we went on for miles, 
they always flying down stream, and always 
assembling, though over and over again dis- 
turbed, until an amendment on the plan was 
moved and they bent their way aside. 

A pleasant and favourable breeze springing up, 
which soon freshened into a gale, I now set my 
sails, and the boat went with very great speed ; 
dashing over rocks and bounding past the hay- 
makers so fast that when one who caught sight 
of her had shouted to the rest of his "mates," 
the sight was departed for ever before they came, 
and I heard them behind me arguing, probably 
about the ghost. 

But it was a shame to be a phantom ship too 
often, and it was far more amusing to go right 
into the middle of these people, who knew nothing 
about the canoe, who had never seen a boat, and 
never met a foreigner in their lives. Thus, when 
a waterfall was found too high to " shoot/' or a 
wide barrier made it advisable to take the boat 



80 



MOWERS AMAZED. 




" In the Hayfields.'- 

by land, I used to walk straight into the hayfields, 
pushing the boat point foremost through a hedge, 
or dragging her steadily over the wet newly- 
mown grass in literal imitation of the American 
craft which could go " wherever there was a heavy 
dew." On such occasions the amazement of the 
untaught clowns, beholding suddenly such an 
apparition, was beyond all description. Some 
even ran away, very often children cried outright, 
and when I looked gravely on the ground as I 
marched and dragged the boat, and then suddenly 
stopped in their midst with a hearty laugh and an 



TUB AND SHOVEL. 81 

address in English, the whole proceeding may 
have appeared to them at least as strange as it 
did to me. 

The water of the river all at once became here 
of a pale white colour, and I was mourning that 
my pretty scenes below were clouded ; but in about 
thirty miles the pebbly deeps appeared again, and 
the stream resumed its charming limpid clearness. 
This matter of dark or bright water is of some 
importance, because, when it is clear you can 
easily estimate after a little experience the general 
depth, even at some distance, by the shades and 
hues of the water, while the sunk rocks, b*g stones, 
and other particular obstacles are of course more 
visible then. 

Usually I got well enough fed at some village, 
or at least at a house, but in this lonely part of 
the river it seemed wise to take provender with 
me in the boat, and to picnic in some quiet pool, 
with a shady tree above. One of the very few 
boats I saw on the river appeared as I was thus 
engaged, and a little boy was in it. His specimen 
of naval architecture (no doubt the only one he 
had ever seen) was an odd contrast to the beauti- 
fully finished canoe made by Searle. He had a 
pole and a shovel ; the latter article he used as a 
paddle, and his boat was of enormous thickness 
and clumsiness, made of three planks, abundantly 



82 KINGFISHER. 

clamped with iron. I gave him some bread, and 
we had a chat ; then some butter, and then some 
cheese. He would not take wine, but he produced 
a cigar from his wet jacket, and also two matches, 
which he lighted with great skill. We soon got to 
be friends, as people do who are together alone, and 
in the same mode of travelling, riding, or sailing, 
or on camels* backs. So we smiled in sympathy, 
and I asked him if he could read, and gave him a 
neat little page prettily printed in German, with 
a red border. This he read very nicely and was 
glad to put in his ragged pocket; but he could 
scarcely part from me, and struggled vainly to 
urge his tub along with the shovel till we came to 
a run of dashing waves, and then of course I had 
to leave him behind, looking and yearning, with a 
low, murmuring sound, and a sorrowful, earnest 
gaze I shall never forget. ' 

Shoals of large and small fish are in this river, 
and very few fishermen. I did not see ten men 
fishing in ten days. But the pretty little King- 
fisher does not neglect his proper duties, and 
ever and anon his round blue back shines in the 
sun as he hurries away with a note of protest 
against the stranger who has invaded his pre- 
serves. Bees are buzzing while the sun is hot, 
and when it sinks, out gush the endless mazes of 
gnats to hop and flit their tangled dances, the 



ROCKS AND FALLS. 83 

creatures of a day born since the morning, and 
to die at night. 

Before the Danube parted with the rocks that 
had been on each side for days together, it played 
some strange pranks among them, and they 
with it. 

Often they rose at each side a hundred feet 
without a bend, and then behind these were 
broken cliifs heaved this way and that, or tossed 
upside down, or as bridges hanging over chasms. 

Here and there a huge splinted tooth-like spire 
of stone stuck out of the water, leaning at an 
angle. Sometimes in front there was a veritable 
upright wall, as smooth as if it were chiselled, 
and entirely cutting off the middle of the stream. 
In advancing steadily to such a place it was really 
impossible to determine on which side the stream 
could by any means find an exit, and once indeed 
I was persuaded that it must descend below. 

In other cases the river, which had splayed out 
its width to that of the Thames at Hungerford, 
would suddenly narrow its size to a six-foot 
passage, and rush down that with a " whishhh ! " 
The Rob Boy cheerily sped through these, but 
I landed to scan the course before attempting 
the most difficult cuts. Oh how lonely it was ! 
A more difficult vagary to cope with was when 
in a dozen petty streams the water tumbled over 
G 2 



84 BOTTLE RACE. 

as many little cascades, and only one was passable 
sometimes not one. The interest of finding 
these, examining, trying, failing, and succeeding, 
was a continuous delight, and filled up every mile 
with a series of exciting incidents, till at length 
the rocks were done. 

And now we enter a vast plain, with the stream 
bending round on itself, and hurrying swiftly 
on through the innumerable islands, eddies, and 
" snags," or trees uprooted, sticking in the water. 
At the most critical part of this labyrinth we were 
going a tremendous pace, when suddenly we came 
to a fork in the river, with the volumes of water 
going down both channels nearly equal. "We 
could not descend by one of these because a tree 
would catch the mast, so I instantly turned 
into the other, when up started a man and 
shouted impetuously that no boat could pass by 
that course. It was a moment of danger, but 
I lowered the sails in that moment, took down 
my mast, and, despite stream and gale, I managed 
to paddle back to the proper channel. As no man 
had been seen for hours before, the arrival 
of this warning note was opportune. 

A new amusement was invented to-day it was 
to pitch out my empty wine-bottle and to watch 
its curious bobbings and whirlings as the current 
carried it along, while I floated near and com- 



INVISIBLE SONG. 85 

pared the natural course taken by the bottle with 
the selected route which intelligence gave to the 
Rob Roy. Soon the bottle became impersonated, 
and we were racing together, and then a sym- 
pathy began for its well-known cork as it plumped 
down when its bottom struck a stone for the 
bottle drew more water than my canoe and 
every time it grounded there came a loud and 
melancholy clink of the glass, and down it went. 

The thick bushes near the river skirted it now 
for miles, and at one place I could see above 
me, through the upper branches, about 20 hay- 
makers, men and women, who were honestly 
working away, and therefore had not observed 
my approach. 

I resolved to have a bit of fun here, so we closed 
in to the bank, but still so as to see the indus- 
trious group. Then suddenly I began in a very 
loud voice with 

11 Rule, Britannia, 
Britannia rules the waves." 

Long before I got to the word "slaves" the 
whole party were like statues, silent and fixed 
in amazement. Then they looked right, left, 
before, behind, and upwards in all directions, 
except, of course, into the river, for why should 
they look there ? nothing had ever come up from 



86 BRIDGE PERILS. 

the river to disturb their quiet mead. I next 
whistled a lively air, and then dashing out of 
my hiding-place stood up in my boat, and made 
a brief (but, we trust, brilliant) speech to them 
in the best English I could muster, and in a 
moment afterwards we had vanished from their 
sight. 

A little further on there was some road-making 
in progress, and I pulled up my boat under a 
tree and walked up to the " barraque," or work- 
man's canteen, and entered among 30 or 40 
German " navvies," who were sitting at their 
midday beer. I ordered a glass and drank their 
health standing, paid, bowed, and departed, but 
a general rush ensued to see where on earth this 
flannel-clad being had come from, and they stood 
on the bank in a row as I waded, shoved, hauled, 
paddled, and carried my boat through a trouble- 
some labyrinth of channels and embankments, 
with which their engineering had begun to spoil 
the river. 

But the bridges one had now more frequently 
to meet were far worse encroachments of civiliza- 
tion, for most of them were so low that my mast 
would not pass under without heeling the boat 
over to one side, so as to make the mast lean down 
obliquely. In one case of this kind she was very 
nearly shipwrecked, for the wind was so good that 



FERRY ROPE. 87 

I would not lower the sail, and this and a swift 
current took us (me and my boat she is now, 
you see, installed as a " person ") rapidly to the 
centre arch, when just as we entered I noticed a 
fierce-looking snag with a sharp point exactly in 
my course. To swerve to the side would be to strike 
the wooden pier, but even this would be better 
(for I might ward off the violence of a blow near 
my hands) than to run on the snag, which would 
be certain to cut a hole. 

With a heavy thump on the pier the canoe 
began to capsize, and only by the nearest escape 
was she saved from foundering. What I thought 
was a snag turned out to be the point of an iron 
stake or railing, carelessly thrown into the water 
from the bridge above. 

It may be here remarked that many hidden 
dangers occur near bridges, for there are wooden 
or iron bars fixed under water, or rough sharp 
stones lying about, which, being left there when 
the bridge was building, are never removed from 
a river not navigable or used by boats. 

Another kind of obstruction is the thin wire 
rope suspended across the rivers, where a ferry 
is established by running a flat boat over the 
stream with cords attached to the wire rope. 
The rope is black in colour, and therefore is not 
noticed till you approach it too near to lower the 



88 A STORM. 

mast, but this sort of danger is easily avoided by 
the somewhat sharp " look-out " which a week 
or two on the water makes quite instinctive and 
habitual. Perhaps one of the many advantages 
of a river tour is the increased acuteness of ob- 
servation which it requires and fosters. 

I stopped next at a clumsy sort of town called 
Riedlingen, where an Englishman is a very rare 
visitor. The excitement here about the boat 
became almost ridiculous, and one German, who 
had been in America and could jabber a little 
in English, was deputed to ask questions, while 
the rest heard the answers interpreted. 

Next morning at eight o'clock at least a thou- 
sand people gathered on the bridge and its ap- 
proaches to see the boat start, and shoals of 
schoolboys ran in, each with his little knapsack 
of books.* 

The scenery after this became of only ordinary 
interest compared with what I had passed through, 
but there would have been little spare time to look 
at it had it been ever so picturesque, for the wind 

* Knapsack, from " schnap," " sach," provision bag, 
for ll bits and bats," as we should say ; havresack is from 
" hafer," " forage Dag." Query. Does this youthful car- 
riage of the knapsack adapt boys for military service, 
and does it account for the high shoulders of many 
Germans ? 



NO FOOD. 89 

was quite a gale,* and right in my favour, and 
the stream was fast and tortuous with banks, 
eddies, and innumerable islands and cross channels, 
so that the navigation occupied all one's energy, 
especially as it was a point of honour not to haul 
down the sail in a fair wind. 

Midday came, and yet I could find no place 
to breakfast, though the excitement and exertion 
of thus sailing was really hard work. But still 
we hurried on, for dark clouds were gathering 
behind, and thunder and rain seemed very near. 

" Ah," said I inwardly, " had I only listened 
to that worthy dame's entreaties this morning 
to take good provision for the day ! " She had 
smiled like the best of mothers, and timidly 
asked to be allowed to touch my watch-chain, " it 
was so schon" so beautiful to see. But, oddly 
enough, we had taken no solid food on board to- 
day, being so impatient to get off when the wind 
was strong and fair. The rapid pace then brought 
us to Ehingen, the village I had marked on the 
map for this night's rest. But now we came there 
it was found to be too soon I could not stop for 
the day with such a splendid breeze inviting pro- 
gress ; nor would it do to leave the boat on the 

* In the newspaper accounts of the weather it was 
stated that at this time a storm swept over Central 
Europe. 



90 CHASING A CHURCH. 

bank and go to the village to eat, for it was too 
far from the river, and so the current and sails 
must hurry us on as before. 

Now and then I asked some gazing agriculturist 
on the bank where the nearest houses were, but 
he never could understand that I meant nearest, 
and also close to the river ; so the end of every 
discussion was that he said, " Ya vol," which 
means in Yankee tongue, " That's so " ; in 
Scottish, " Hoot, aye " ; in Irish, " Troth, an' 
it is " ; and in French, " C'est vrai " ; but 
then none of this helps one a bit. 

I therefore got first ravenous and then faint, 
and after mounting the bank to see the turns of 
the river in advance, I actually fell asleep under 
a tree. The wind had quite subsided when I 
awoke, and then quaffed deep draughts of water and 
paddled on. 

The banks were now of yellow mud, and 
about eight or ten feet high, quite straight up 
from the water, just like those on the Nile, and 
several affluent streams ran from the plain to join 
the river. Often, indeed, I saw a church tower 
right ahead, and laboured along to get there, but 
after half-a-mile the stream would turn sharp 
round to one side, and still more and more round, 
and at last the tower once in front was directly 
behind us. The explanation of this tormenting 



SNAGS. 91 

peculiarity was simply this, that the villages were 
carefully built away from the river bank because 
it is a bad foundation, and is washed away as new 
channels are formed by the flood. 

When the light began to fail I took a good 
look at the map, and serpentine bends were marked 
on it plain enough indeed, but only in one-half 
of their actual number ; and, moreover, I saw that 
in the forest we had now entered there would be no 
suitable villages at all. The overhanging trees 
made a short twilight soon deepen into night; 
and to add to the interest the snags suddenly 
became numerous, and some of them waved 
about in the current, as they do on the Upper 
Mississippi, when the tenacious mud holds 
down the roots merely by its weight. All this 
made it necessary to paddle slowly and with great 
caution, and to cross always to the slack side of 
the stream instead of by one's usual course, which, 
in descending, is to keep with the rapid current. 

Sometimes I had to back out of shallows which 
were invisible in the dark, and often I stopped a 
long time before a glance of some ripple obscurely 
told me the probable course. The necessity for 
this caution will be evident when it is remembered 
that in case of an upset here both sets of clothes 
would have been wet together, and without any 
house at hand to dry them. 



92 GROPING TO BED. 

All at once I heard a bell toll quite near me in 
the thick wood, and I came to the bank, but it 
was impossible to get ashore on it, so I passed 
that place too, and finally made up my mind to 
sleep in the boat, and soon had all sorts of plans 
in course of devising. 

Just then two drops of rain came on my nose, 
and I resolved at once to stop, for if my clothes 
got wet before I was snug in the canoe there 
would be little comfort all night, without any- 
thing solid to eat since morning, and all my cigars 
already puffed away. 

As I now cautiously searched for some root pro- 
jecting from the bank to make fast to, a light 
appeared straight in front, and I dashed forward 
with the boat to reach it, and speedily ran her 
into a strange sort of lake or pond, where the 
stream ceased, and a noise on the boat's side told 
of weeds, which proved to be large round leaves 
on the surface, like those of the Victoria Regia 
lily. 

I drew up the boat on shore, and mounted the 
high bank through a thicket, carrying my long 
paddle as a protection against the large dogs 
which farmhouses sport here, and which might 
be troublesome to quarrel with in the dark. The 
house I came to on the top of the precipice had 
its window lighted, and several people were talk- 



BRITISH CASUAL. 



93 



ing inside, so I knocked 
loudly, and all was silence. 
Then I knocked again, and 
whined out that I was a poor 
benighted "Englander," and 
hoped they would let me in, 
at which melancholy tale they 
burst out laughing, and so 





didl! After an argument be- 
tween us, which was equally 
intelligible on both sides, a 
fat farmer cautiously took 
the light upstairs, and, open- 
ing a window, thrust the 
candle forward, and gazed 
out upon me standing erect 
as a true Briton, and with 
my paddle, too, but in reality 
a humiliated vagrant begging 
for a night's lodging. 



94 ROUGHING IT EASY. 

After due scrutiny he pulled in his head and 
his candle, shut the window, and fell to laughing 
immoderately. At this I was glad, for I never 
found it difficult to get on with a man who 
begins in good humour. 

Presently the others went up, and I stood 
their gaze unflinchingly, and, besides, made an 
eloquent appeal in the vernacular mine, not 
theirs, be it clearly understood. 

Finally they were satisfied that I was alone, 
and, though probably mad, yet not quite a match 
for all of them, so they came down gallantly; 
but then there was the difficulty of persuading 
the man to grope down to the river on this dark 
night to carry up a boat. 

With some exertion we got it up by a better 
way, and safely locked it in the cowhouse of 
another establishment, and there I was made 
thoroughly comfortable. They said they had 
nothing to eat but kirchwasser, bread, and eggs, 
and how many eggs would I like ? so I said, 
"To begin with, ten," and I ate them every one. 
By this time the priest had come; they often 
used to send for the prester to do the talk. The 
large room soon got full, and the sketch-book 
was passed round, and an India-rubber band made 
endless merriment for the smaller fry, all in the 
old routine, the very mention of which it may be 



BILLS. 95 

tedious to hear of so often, as indeed it was to me 
to perform. 

But then in each case it was their first time of 
going through the performance, and they were so 
kind and courteous one could not refuse to please 
such people. The 'priest was very communicative, 
and we tried to converse in Latin, for my German 
was not good enough for him nor his French for 
me. But we soon agreed that it was a long time 
since our schoolboy Latin days, though I recollect 
having had long conversations in Latin with a 
monk at Nazareth, but there we had ten days 
together, and so had time to practise. 

Thus ended the 1st of September, the only 
occasion on which I had to "rough it" at all 
during the voyage; and even then, it may be 
seen, the very small discomforts were all the 
results of gross want of prudence on my own 
part, and ended merely by a hard day's work with 
breakfast and dinner merged into a late supper. 
My bill here was 3s. 6^., the day before, 4s. 6d., 
including always wine and luxuries. 



CHAPTER VI. 



Day-dream Kiver Iller Ulm A stiff king Lake Con- 
stance Seeing in the dark Switzerland Coloured 
Canvas Sign talk Synagogue Amelia Gibberish. 

THE threatening rain had not come during the 
night, and it was a lovely morning next day, like 
all the rest before and after it ; and as we were 
leaving this place I found it was called Gegglin- 
gen,* and was only nine miles from Ulm. 

The lofty tower of the Cathedral of this town 
soon came in view, but I noticed it without any 
pleasure, for this was to end my week on the 
Danube ; and in my ship's log it is entered 
as " one of the most pleasant weeks of my life 
for scenery, health, weather, exercise, and varied 
adventure." 

In a pensive mood, therefore, I landed at a 

* It will be noticed how the termination "ing en" is 
common here. Thus in our water route we have passed 
Donaueschingen, Geisingen, Mehringen, Tuttliugen, 
Friedingen, Sigmaringen, Kiedlingen, Ehingen, Dischingen, 
and Gegglingen, the least and last. In England we have 
the " ing" in Dorking, Kettering, &c. 



DAY-DREAM. 97 

garden, and reclined on a warm mossy bank 
to have a rest and a day-dream, but very soon 
the loud booming of artillery aroused the hill 
echoes, and then sharp rattling of infantry firing. 
The heights around were crested with fringes 
of blue-coated soldiers and glistening bayonets, 
amid the soft round, cotton-like volumes of smoke 
from the great guns spurting out fire long before 
the sound comes. It was a review of troops and 
a sham attack on a fort surmounting the hill, 
near the battlefield of long years ago at Ulm. 
If they fought in heat and fury, let them now rest 
in peace. 

Come back, my thoughts, to the river at my 
feet. 

I had been' with this river from its infancy, 
nay, even from its birth in the Schwartzwald. I 
had followed it right and left, as it seemed to 
toddle in zigzag turnings like a child ; and I had 
wound with it hither and thither as it roamed 
away further like free boyhood. Then it giew in 
size by feeding on the oozy plain, and was still 
my companion when it got the strength of youth, 
dashing over the rocks, and bounding through the 
forests ; and I had come at last to feel its powerful 
stream stronger than my strength, and compelling 
my respect. And now, at Ulm, I found it a noble 
river, steady and swift, as if in the flower of age ; 

H 



98 RIVER ILLER. 

but its romance was gone. It had boats on it, 
and navigation, and bridges, and railways, like 
other great waters ; and so I would let it go on 
alone, tumbling, rushing, swelling, till its broad 
bosom bears whole fleets at Ofen, and at length 
as a great water giant it leaps down headlong into 
the Black Sea. 

Having seen Ulm in a former tour, I was in no 
mood to "go over" the sights again, nor need 
they be related here, for it is only river travel 
and lake sailing that we are concerned with ; 
while reference may be made to the Guide-books 
if you wish to hear this sort of thing : " Ulm, 
lat. 97, an old Cathedral (a) town, on two () 
hills (see Appx.). Pop. '9763; situated ff on the 
Danube." At that I stop, and look into the 
water once more. 

The river is discoloured here, what is called 
in Scotland "drumly;" and this seems partly 
owing to the tributary liter, which rises in the 
Tyrol, and falls into the Danube, a little way 
above the town. The Iller has a peculiar air of 
wild, forlorn bleakness, with its wide channel 
half occupied by cold white gravel, and its banks 
scored and torn, with weird, broken roots, gnarled 
trees, barkless and fallen, all lying dishevelled; 
surely in flood times, and of dark wintry nights, a 
very deluge boils and seethes along there. 



STEAMERS AND RAFTS. 99 

Then, at last, there are the barges on the 
Danube, and very rudimental they are ; huge in 
size, with flat bottoms, and bows and stems 
cocked up, and a roofed house in the middle of 
their sprawling length. The German boys must 
have these models before them when they make 
the Noah's Arks for English nurseries ; and 
Murray well says of these barges, they are 
"nothing better than wooden sheds floating in 
flat trays." 

In 1839 a steamer was tried here, but it got on 
a bank, and the effort was abandoned ; so you 
have to go on to Donauwerth before this mode of 
travelling is reached, but from thence you can 
steam down to the Black Sea, and the passage 
boats below Yienna are very fast and well 
appointed. 

Rafts there are at Ulm, but we suppose the 
timber for them comes by the Hler, for I did not 
notice any logs descending the upper part of the 
Danube. 

Again, there are the public washhouses in the 
river, each of them a large floating establishment, 
with overhanging eaves, under which you can see, 
say, fifty women all in a row, half kneeling or 
leaning over the low bulwarks, and all slapping 
your best shirts mercilessly. 
H 2 



100 A STIFF KING. 

I made straight over to these ladies, and asked 
how the Rob Hoy could get up so steep a bank, 
and how far it was to the railway ; and so their 
senior matron kindly got a man and a hand-cart 
for the boat, and, as the company of women 
heard it was from England, they all talked 
louder and more together, and pounded and 
smacked the unfortunate linen with additional 
emphasis. 

The bustle at the railway-station was only half 
about the canoe ; the other half was for the King 
of Wurtemburg, who was getting into his special 
train to go to his palace at Fredrickshafen. 

Behold me, then, fresh from Gegglingen and 
snags, in the immediate presence of Royalty ! 
But this King was not at all kingly, though 
decidedly stiff. He is, however, rather amusing 
sometimes ; as when by his order, issued lately, 
he compels sentries to salute even empty Royal 
carriages. 

I got a newspaper here, and had twelve days to 
overtake of the world's doings while we had roamed 
in hill, forest, and waves. Yet I had been always 
asked there to " give the news," and chiefly on 
two points, the Great Eastern, with its electric 
cable, and the catastrophe on the Matterhorn 
glacier, the two being at times vaguely associated, 



A REST. 101 

as if the breaking of the cable in the one had 
something to do with the loss of mountaineers in 
the other. 

So, while I read, the train bore us southwards to 
Fredrickshafen, the canoe being charged as baggage 
three shillings, and patiently submitting to have a 
numbered label pasted on its pretty brown face. 

This lively port, on the north side of the Lake 
of Constance, has a charming view in front of it 
well worth stopping to enjoy. It is not fair to 
treat it as only a half-hour's town, to be seen 
while you are waiting for the lake steamer to take 
you across to Switzerland. 

But now I come to it for a Sunday's rest (if 
you wish to travel fast and far, rest every 
Sunday), and, as the hotel faced the station, 
and the lake faced the hotel, this is the very 
place to stop in with a canoe. 

So we took the boat upstairs into a loft, where 
the washerwoman not only gave room for the 
well worked timbers of the Rob Roy to be safe 
and still, but kindly mended my sails, and sundry 
other odds and ends of a wardrobe, somewhat 
disorganized by rough times. 

Next day there was service in the Protestant 
church, a fine building, well filled, and duly 
guarded by a beadle in bright array. 

The service began by a woman singing " Com- 



102 GERMAN SERVICE. 

fort ye" from Handel, in exquisite taste and 
simple style, with a voice that made one forget 
that this solemn melody is usually sung by a 
man. Then a large number of school children 
were ranged in the chancel, round a crucifix, and 
sang a very beautiful hymn, and next the whole 
congregation joined in chanting the psalms in 
unison, with tasteful feeling and devoutness. 
A young German preacher gave us an eloquent 
sermon, and then the people were dismissed. 

The afternoon was drummed away by two noisy 
bands, evidently rivals, and each determined to 
excel the other in loudness, while both combined 
to persecute the poor visitors who do wish for 
quietness, at any rate once a week. I could 
scarcely escape from this din in a long walk 
by the lake, and on coming back found a man 
bathing by moonlight, while rockets, squibs, and 
Catherine wheels were let off in his boat. Better 
indeed was it to look with entranced eyes on the 
far off snowy range, now lit up by the full harvest 
moon, and on the sheen of "each particular star," 
bright above, and bright again below, in the 
mirror of the lake. 

The Lake of Constance is forty-four miles long, 
and about nine miles wide. I could not see a 
ripple there when the Bob Roy Avas launched at 
early morn, with my mind, and body, and soul 



ON LAKE CONSTANCE. 103 

refreshed, and an eager longing to begin the 
tour of Switzerland once more, but now in so 
new a fashion. Soon we were far from the shore, 
and in that middle distance of the lake where all 
sides seem equally near, and where the " other 
side" appears never to get any nearer as you go 
on. Here, in the middle, I rested for a while, 
and the sensation then was certainly new. Beauty 
was everywhere around, and there was full 
freedom to see it. There was no cut-and-dry 
route to be followed, no road, not even a track on 
the water, no hours, or time to constrain. I 
could go right or left by a stroke of the paddle, 
and I was utterly my own master of whither to 
steer, and where to stop. 

The "pat-a-pat" of a steamer's wheels was the 
only sound, and that was very distant, and when 
the boat came near, the passengers cheered the 
canoe, and smiles of (was it not ?) envy told of how 
pleasant and pretty she looked. After a little 
wavering in my plans, I settled it was best to go 
to the Swiss side, and, after coasting by the villages, 
I selected a little inn in a retired bay, and moored 
my boat, and ordered breakfast. Here was an old 
man of eighty-six, landlord and waiter in one, a 
venerable man, and I respect age more while 
growing older. 

He talked with me for five hours while I ate, 



104 CARPENTERING. 

read, and sketched, and feasted my eyes on moun- 
tain views, and answered vaguely to his remarks, 
said in a sleepy way, and in a hot, quiet, basking 
sun. There are peaceful and almost dreamy hours 
of rest in this water tour, and they are sweet too 
after hard toil. It is not all rapids and struggles 
when you journey with a canoe. 

Close to the inn was the idiot asylum, an old 
castle with poor demented women in it. The 
little flag of my boat attracted their attention, 
and all the inmates were allowed to come out 
and see it, with many smiles of pleasure, and 
many odd remarks and gestures. 

Disentangling myself from this strange group, 
I landed again further down, and, under a splendid 
tree, spent an hour or two in carpenter's work 
(for I had a few tools on board), to repair the 
boat's damages and to brighten her up a bit 
for the English eyes I must expect in the next 
part of the voyage. 

Not a wave had energy to rise on the lake in 
the hot sun. A sheep-bell tinkled now and then, 
but in a tired, listless, and irregular way. A 
gossamer spider had spun his web from my mast 
to the tree above, and wagtails hopped near me 
on the stones, and turned an inquiring little 
eye to the boat half in the water, and its master 
reclining on the grass. It was an easy paddle 



SEEING IN THE DARK. 105 

from this to the town of Constance, at the end of 
the lake. 

Here a douanier made a descent upon me and 
was inexorable. "You must have the boat ex- 
amined." " Very well, pray examine it." His 
Chief was absent, and I must put the canoe in 
the Custom-house till to-morrow morning. An 
hour was wasted in palaver about -this, and at 
first I protested vigorously against such absurdity 
in " free Switzerland." But Constance is not in 
Switzerland, it is in the Grand Duchy of Baden, 
and so to keep it "grand," they must do very 
little things, and at any rate can trouble tra- 
vellers. At length an obliging native, ashamed 
of the proceeding, remonstrated with the douanier, 
and persuaded him at least to search the boat 
and let it pass. 

He took as much time to inspect as if she were 
a brig of 300 tons, and, when he came to look at 
the stern, I gravely pointed to a round hole cut in 
the partition for this very purpose ! Into this 
hole he peered, while the crowd was hushed in 
silence, and as he saw nothing but darkness, ex- 
tremely dark, for (nothing else was there), he 
solemnly pronounced the canoe "free," and she 
was duly borne to the hotel. 

But Constance once had a man in it who was 
really " grand," John Huss, the noble martyr 
for the truth. In the Council Hall you see the 



106 THE RHINE AGAIN. 

veritable cell in which he was imprisoned some 
hundreds of years ago, and on a former visit I 
had seen, from the tower, through a telescope, 
the field where the faggots burned him, and from 
whence his great soul leaped up to heaven out of 
the blazing pile. 

" Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones 
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold ; 
E'en them who kept thy truth so pure of old 
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones." 

Milton. 

Does not a thought or two on such great things 
make other common things look small ? 

True and good but we may not stop always in 
the lake to ponder thus, for the current is moving 
again, so let us launch the Rob Roy on our old 
friend, the Rhine. 

It is a change to cross a quiet lake after being 
hurried on a rapid stream like the Danube, and 
now it is another change to paddle from the lake 
into a wide river like the Rhine, which speeds fast 
and steady among lively scenes. The water is 
deep, and of a faint blue, but clear enough to show 
what is below. The pebbly bottom seems to roll 
towards you from underneath, and village churches 
appear to spin quietly round on the banks, for the 
land and its things seem to move, not the water, 
so glassy its surface steadily flowing. 

Here are the fishers again, slowly paying out 



COLOURED CANVAS. 107 

their fine-spun nets, and there is a target-hut 
built on four piles in the river. 

The target itself is a great cube of wood, say 
six feet on each side. It is fired at from another 
hut perched also on post in the water, and a 
"marker" safely placed behind the great block of 
wood turns it round on a vertical pivot, and so 
patches up the bullet-hole, and indicates its posi- 
tion to those who have fired. 

The Rhine suddenly narrows soon after leaving 
the Boden See, or Lake Constance as we call it, 
but the banks again open out till it is a mile or 
two in breadth. Here and there are grassy islands, 
and you may notice, by long stakes stuck on the 
shallows, which tremble as the water presses them, 
that the channel for steamers is very roundabout, 
though the canoe will skim over any part of it 
comfortably. Behind each islet of tall reeds there 
is a fishing-boat held fast by two poles stuck in the 
bottom of the river ; or it is noiselessly moving to a 
more lucky pool, sculled by the boatman, with his 
oar at only one side, rather a novel plan, while 
he pays out the net with his other hand. Rudely- 
made barges are afloat, and seem to turn round 
helplessly in the current of the deeper parts, or 
hoist their great square sails in the dead calm 
perhaps for the appearance of the thing a very 
picturesque appearance, as the sail has two broad 



108 SIGN TALK. 

bands of dark blue cloth for its centre stripes. 
But the pointed lateen sail of Geneva is certainly 
a more graceful rig than the lug, especially when 
there are two masts, and the white sails swell to- 
wards you, goosewinged, before a flowing breeze. 

The river has probably a very uneven bottom 
in this part, for the water sometimes rushes 
round in great whirlpools, and strange overturn- 
ings of itself, as if it were boiling from below in 
exuberant volume with a gushing upwards ; and 
then again, it wheels about in a circle with a 
sweep far around, before it settles to go onward.* 

On the borders of Switzerland the German and 
French tongues are both generally known at the 
hotels, and by the people accustomed to do busi- 
ness with foreigners travelling among them. 

But in your course along a river these con- 
venient waiters and polyglot commissionaires are 
not found exactly in attendance at every village, 

* These maelstroms seem at first to demand extra caution 
as you approach, but they are harmless enough, for the 
water is deep, and it only twists the boat round ; and you 
need not mind this except when the sail is up, but have a 
care then that you are not taken aback. In crossing one 
of these whirlpools at full speed it will be found needless 
to try to counteract the sudden action on your bow by 
paddling against it, for it is better to hold on as if there 
were no interference, and presently the action in the 
reverse direction puts all quite straight. 



LANDING. 109 

and it is, therefore, to the bystanders or casual 
loungers your observations must be addressed. 

Frequent intercourse with natives of strange 
countries, where there is no common language 
between them and the tourist, will gradually 
teach him a "sign language" which suits all 
people alike. 

Thus, in any place, no matter what was their 
dialect, it was always easy to induce one or two 
men to aid in carrying the canoe. The formula 
for this was something in the following style. 

I first got the boat on shore, and a crowd 
of course soon collected, while I arranged its 
interior, and sponged out the splashed water, 
and fastened the cover down. Then, tightening 
my belt for a walk, I looked round with a kind 
smile, and selecting a likely man, would address 
him in English deliberately as follows suiting 
each action to the word, for I have always found 
that sign language is made more natural when 
you speak your own tongue all the time you 
are acting : " Well now, I think as you have 
looked on enough and have seen all you want, 
it's about time to go to an hotel, a gasthaus. 
Here ! you yes, you ! just take that end of the 
boat up, so, gently, i langsam ! ' ' langsatu ! '- 
all right, yes, under your arm, like this, now 
march off to the best hotel, gasthaus." 



110 



PROCESSION. 




"Langsam." 

Then the procession naturally formed itself. 
The most humorous boys of course took pre- 
cedence, because of services or mischief willing 
to be performed ; and, meanwhile, they gra- 
tuitously danced about and under the canoe like 
Fauns around Silenus. Women only came near 
and waited modestly till the throng had passed. 
The seniors of the place kept on the safer confines 
of the movement, where dignity of gait might 
comport with close observation. 

In a case of sign talking like the foregoing 
you can be helped by one substantive and one 



ARABS AND SIGNS. Ill 

adverb ; and if you pronounce these clearly, and 
use them correctly, while all the other expressions 
are evidently your language and not theirs, they 
will understand it much better than if you try 
signs in dumb show or say the whole in bad 
German, and so give rise to all possible mis- 
takes of your meaning. 

But it is quite another matter when you have 
forgotten (or have never acquired) the foreign 
word for the noun you wish to name, though, even 
then, by well chosen signs, and among an intelli- 
gent people, a good deal can be conveyed, as may 
be shown in the following cases. 

Once I was riding among the Arabs along 
the Algerian coast, on my way from Carthage, and 
my guide, a dense Kabyle, was evidently taking me 
past a place I wished to visit, and which had been 
duly entered in the list when he was engaged. 

I could not make him understand this, for my 
limited Arabic had been acquired under a different 
pronunciation in Syria ; but one night, it hap- 
pened that a clever chief had me in a tent, or 
rather a hut, just like the top of a gipsy cart. I 
explained to him by signs (and talking English) 
that the muleteer was taking me past the place it 
was desired to see. Then I tried to pronounce 
the name of that place, but was always wrong, or 
he could not make it out ; it was Maskutayn, or 



112 TALKING TO CHINESE. 

" bewitched waters," a wonderful volcanic valley, 
full of boiling streams and little volcanoes of salt. 

At length, sitting in the moonlight, signs were 
tried even for this difficult occasion. I put my 
chibouque (pipe) under the sand and took water 
in my hand, and as he looked on intently for 
the Arabs love this speaking action I put water 
on the fire in the pipe-bowl, and blew it up 
through the sand, talking English all the time. 
This was done again, and suddenly the black 
lustrous eyes of the Ishmaelite glistened brighter. 
He slapped his forehead. He jumped up. You 
could almost be sure he said " I know it now ; " 
and then he roused the unfortunate muleteer 
from his snorings to give him an energetic 
lecture, by means of which we were directed next 
day straight to the very place I desired to find. 

In a few cases of this international talking 
it becomes necessary to sketch pictures, which are 
even better than signs, but not among Arabs. 
During a visit to the fair of Nijni Novgorod, in the 
middle of Russia, I passed many hours in the 
"Chinese street" there, and found it was very 
difficult to communicate with Ching Loo, and 
even signs were useless. But they had some red 
wax about the tea-chests, and there was a white 
wall beside us, so upon this I put the whole 
story in large pictures, with an explanatory lecture 



EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 113 

in English, all the time, which proceeding attracted 
an audience of several scores of Chinamen and 
Kalmuks and other outlandish people, and the 
particular group I meant to enlighten seemed 
perfectly to understand all that was desired. 

And so we suppose that if you can work your 
paddle well, and learn the general sign language, 
and a little of the pencil tongue, you can go very 
far in a canoe without being starved or homeless ; 
while you are sure to have a wide field in which 
to study the various degrees of intelligence among 
those you meet. 

To come back, however, from the Volga to the 
Rhine. 

The current flows more and more gently as we 
enter the Zeller See, or Unter See, a lake which 
would be called pretty if our taste has not been 
sated for a while by having a snowy range for the 
background to the views on Constance. 

But the Lake of Constance sadly wants islands, 
and here in the Zeller See are several, one of them 
being of great size. The Emperor of the French 
had passed two days at his chateau on this lake, 
just before we arrived. No doubt he would have 
waited a week had he known the Rob Roy was 
coming. 1 * 

However, as we were too late to breakfast with 

* His Majesty has not forgotten the canoe, as will be 
I 



114 LUXURIOUS. 

his Majesty, I pulled in at the village of Steck- 
born, where an inn is built on the actual edge of 
the water, a state of things most convenient for 
the aquatic tourist, and which you find often 
along this part of the Rhine. In a case of this 
sort you can tap at the door with the paddle, 
and order a repast before you debark, so that it 
is boiling and fizzing, and the table is all ready, 
while you put things to rights on board, and come 
leisurely ashore, and then tie the boat to the 
window balcony, or, at any rate, in some place 
where it can be seen all the time you breakfast 
or dine, and rest, and read, and draw. 

Experience proved that very few boys, even of 
the most mischievous species, will meddle with a 

seen by the following extract from the Paris intelligence 
in the "Globe" of April 20 (His Majesty's birthday) : 

" By an edict, dated April 6, 1866, issued this morning, the 
Ministre d'Etat institutes a special committee for the organisation 
of a special exhibition, at the Exposition TJniverselle of 1867, of 
all objects connected with the arts and industry attached to 
pleasure boats and river navigation. This measure is thought 
to display the importance which amateur navigation has assumed 
during the last few years to display the honour in which is 
held this sport nouveau, as it is denominated in the report, and to 
be successful in abolishing the old and absurd prejudices which 
have so long prevented its development in France. The Emperor, 
whose fancy for imitating everything English leads him to 
patronise with alacrity all imitation of English sports in par- 
ticular, is said to have suggested the present exhibition after 
reading MacGregor's 'Cruise of the Rob Roy,' which developes 
many new ideas of the purposes besides mere pleasure to which 
pleasure boats may be applied, and would be glad to encourage 
a taste for the exploration of solitary streams and lonely currents 
amongst the youth of France." 



A STRANGE SAIL. 115 

boat which is floating, but that very few men, even 
of the most amiable order, will refrain from pulling 
it about when the little craft is left on shore. 

To have your boat not only moored afloat but in 
your sight too, that is perfection, and it is worth 
additional trouble to arrange this, because then 
and for hours of the midday stoppage, you will 
be wholly at ease, or at any rate, you will have 
one care the less, the weary resting traveller 
will not then be anxious about his absent boat, 
as if it were a valuable horse in a strange stable. 

The landlord was much interested in the story 
of my voyage as depicted in the sketch-book, so 
he brought a friend to see me who could speak 
French, and who had himself constructed a boat 
of two tin tubes,* on which a stage or frame is 
supported, with a seat and rowlocks, the oddest 
looking thing in nautical existence. I persuaded 
him to put this institution into the water, and we 
started for a cruise ; the double-tube metal boat, 
with its spider-like gear aloft, and the oak canoe, 
so low and rakish, with its varnished cedar deck, 
and jaunty flag, now racing side by side, each of 
them a rare sight, but the two together quite 
unprecedented. 

* Each of these was in shape like the cigar ship which 
I had sailed past on the Thames, and which has since been 
launched. 

i 2 



116 PARTING WITH AMELIA. 

The river here is like parts of the Clyde and 
the Kyles of Bute, with French villages let in, 
and an Italian sky stretched overhead. "We rowed 
across to a village where a number of Jews live, 
for I wished to visit their Synagogue ; but, lo ! 
this was the Grand Duchy of Baden land, and a 
heavily-armed sentry found us invading the 
dominion, so he deployed and formed square to 
force us to land somewhere else. The man was 
civil, but his orders were unreasonable, so we 
merely embarked again and went over to Switzer- 
land, and ran our little fleet into a bramble bush, 
to hide it while we mounted to an auberge on 
the hill for a sixpenny bottle of wine. 

The pretty Swiss lass in charge said she once 
knew an Englishman but " it was a pity they were 
all so proud." He had sent her a letter in Eng- 
lish, which I asked her to let me read for her. It 
began, " My dear little girl, I love you ; " and 
this did not sound so very proud for a beginning. 
My boating friend promised to make her a tin 
cqfetiere, and so it may be divined that he was 
the tinman of the village, and a most agreeable 
tinman too. 

She came to see us on board, and her father 
arrived just in time to witness a triangular 
parting, which must have puzzled him a good 
deal, Amelia waving farewell to a " proud" Eng- 



GIBBERISH. 117 

lishman and a nautical whitesmith, who both took 
leave also of each other, the last sailing away 
with huge square yards and coloured canvas, and 
the Rob Roy drifting with the stream in the 
opposite direction. 

Every day for weeks past had been as a pic- 
nic to me, but I prolonged this one into night, 
the air was so balmy and the red sun setting was 
so soon replaced by the white moon rising, and 
besides, the navigation here had no dangers, and 
there were villages every few miles. 

When I had enough of it, cruising here and 
there by moonlight, I drew up to the town of Stein, 
but all was now lonely by the water-side. This 
is -to be expected when you arrive late ; however, 
a slap or two on the water with the paddle, and 
a loud verse of a song, Italian, Dutch, a pibroch, 
any noise in fact, soon draws the idlers to you, 
and it is precisely the idlers you want. 

One of them readily helped me with the boat 
to an inn, where an excellent landlady greeted 
the strange guest. From this moment all was 
bustle there, and very much it was increased by 
a German guest, who insisted on talking to me 
in English, which I am sure I did not understand 
a bit better than the Germans who came- to listen 
and look on. 



CHAPTER VII. 



Fog Fancy pictures Boy soldiers Boat's billet 
Eating Lake Zurich Crinoline Hot walk Staring 
Lake Zug Swiss shots Fishing Britons Talk- 
book. 

IN the morning there was a most curious change 
of air ; all around was in a dense white fog. ' Truly 
it was now to be "sensation rowing;" so we 
hastened to get off into this milky atmosphere. I 
have an idea that we passed under a bridge ; at least 
the usual cheers sounded this time as if they 
were above me, but the mist was as thick as our 
best November Cheshire-cheese fogs, and quite 
as interesting. On several occasions I positively 
could not see the bow of my boat, only a few 
feet from my nose. The whole arrangement was 
so unexpected and entirely novel, paddling on a 
fast invisible stream that I had the liveliest 
emotions of pleasure without seeing anything 
at all. 

But then fancy had free play all the time, and 
the pictures it drew were vivid and full of colour, 



FANCY PICTURES. 119 

and, after all, our impressions of external objects are 
only pictures, so say the philosophers; and why 
not then enjoy a tour in a fog, with a good album 
of pictures making the while in the brain ? 

Sounds too there were, but like those of witches 
and fairies though perhaps it was only the 
cackling of some antique washerwomen on the 
banks. However, I addressed the unseen com- 
pany in both prose and poetry, and was full of 
emphasis, which now and again was increased by 
my boat running straight into the shore. 

The clearing away of the fog was one of the most 
interesting evolutions of nature to be seen. In 
one sort or other every traveller has enjoyed the 
quick or gradual tearing up of a fog curtain on 
mountain or moor, but here it was on a beauteous 
river. 

I wish to describe this process, but I cannot. 
It was a series of " Turner pictures," with glimpses 
right and left, and far overhead, of trees, sky, 
castles, each lightened and shown for a moment, 
and then gauzed over again and completely hidden ; 
while the mind had to imagine all the context 
of the scenery, and it was sure to be quite wrong 
when another gleam of sun disclosed what was 
there in reality. For it cleared away at last, 
and Father Sol avenged himself by an extra 
hot ray, for thus trifling with his beams. 



120 A NEW CLAN. 

The Rhine banks here were sloping but steep, 
with pleasant meadows, vineyards, and woods, 
mingled with tolerable fairness to all three. In 
short, though I appreciate scenery with an eager 
admiration, any scenery seemed good when the 
genial exercise of the canoe was the medium for 
enjoying it. 

Soon afterwards the woods thickened, the moun- 
tains rose behind them, the current got faster and 
faster, the houses, at first dotted on the knolls, 
got closer and more suburb like, and at last a 
grand sweep of the stream opened up Schaff hausen 
to the eye, while a sullen sound on the water 
warned of " rapids ahead." As I intended to 
keep them always in front, some caution was 
needed in steering, though there is no difficulty 
here, for steamboats navigate thus far, and of 
course it is easy for a canoe. 

But when I glided down to the bridge there 
was the " Goldenen Schiff " hotel, and I resolved 
to patronise it on account of its name, and because 
there was a gigantic picture of a Briton on the 
adjoining wall. He was in full Highland costume, 
though the peculiar tartan of his kilt showed that 
there is still one clan we have not yet recognised. 

Here began a novel kind of astonishment among 
the people ; for when, on my arrival, they asked, 
" Where have you come from ? " and were told, 



BOY SOLDIERS. 121 

" From England," they could not understand 
how my course seemed as if in reality from 
Germany. 

The short morning's work being soon over, 
there was all the day before me to wander about. 

Drums and a band presently led me to a corps 
of little boys in full uniform, about 200 of them, 
all with real guns and with boy officers, most 
martial to behold, albeit they were munching 
apples between the words of command, and pulling 
wry faces at urchins of eight years old, who strove 
in vain to take long steps with short legs. 

They had some skirmishing drill, and used 
small goats' horns to give the orders instead 
of bugles. These horns are used on the railways 
too, and the note is very clear, and may be heard 
well a long way off. Indeed I think much might 
be done in our drill at home by something of 
this sort. 

It is a short three miles to the Belle Yue, built 
above the falls of Schaffhausen, and in full view 
of this noble scene. These great falls of the 
Rhine looked much finer than I had recollected 
them some twelve years before ; it is pleasant, 
but unusual, for one's second visit to such sights 
to be more striking than the first. At night the 
river was splendidly illuminated by Bengal lights 
of different colours, and the effect of this on the 



122 BOAT'S BILLET. 

tossing foam and rich, full body of ever pouring 
water or fire as it then seemed to be was 
to present a spectacle of magical beauty and 
grandeur, well seen from the balcony of the hotel, 
by many travellers from various lands. On one 
side of me was a Russian, and a Brazilian on the 
other. 

Next day, at the railway-station, I put the 
sharp bow of the Rob Roy in at the window of 
the " baggages " office, and asked for the " boat's 
ticket." The clerk did not seem at all surprised, 
for he knew I was an Englishman, and nothing 
is too odd, queer, mad in short, for Englishmen 
to do. 

But the porters, guards, and engine-drivers 
made a good deal of talk before the canoe was 
safely stowed among the trunks in the van ; and 
I now and then visited her there, just for com- 
pany's sake, and to see that the sharp-cornered, 
iron-bound boxes of the American tourists had 
not broken holes in her oaken skin. One could not 
but survey, with some anxiety, the lumbering 
casks on the platform, waiting to be rolled in 
beside the canoe ; and the fish baskets, iron bars, 
crates, and clumsy gear of all sorts, which at 
every stoppage is tumbled in or roughly shovelled 
out of the luggage- van of a train. 

This care and sympathy for a mere boat may 



EATING. 123 

be called enthusiasm by those who have not felt 
the like towards inanimate objects linked to our 
pleasures or pains by hourly ties of interest ; but 
others will understand how a friendship for the 
boat was felt more every day I journeyed with 
her : her strong points were better known as they 
were more tried, but the weak points, too, of the 
frail traveller became now more apparent, and 
the desire to bring her safely to England was 
rapidly increased when we had made the home- 
ward turn. 

The mere cost of the railway ticket for the 
boat's carriage to Zurich was two or three shillings, 
not so much as the expense of taking it be- 
tween the stations and the hotels. 

Submitting, then, to be borne again on wheels 
and through tunnels in the good old railway style, 
we soon arrive among the regular Swiss moun- 
tains, and where gather the Swiss tourists, for 
whom arise the Swiss hotels, those huge estab- 
lishments founded and managed so as best to 
fatten on the wandering Englishman, and to give 
him homoeopathic feeding while his purse is bled. 

For suffer me again to have a little gossip 
about eating. Yes, it is a mundane subject, and 
undoubtedly physical ; but when the traveller has 
to move his body and baggage along a route by 
his own muscles, by climbing or by rowing, or 



124 BACHELOR'S FARE. 

by whipping a mule, it is a matter of high 
moment, to him at least, that fibrine should be 
easily procurable. 

If you wish, then, to live well in Switzerland 
and Germany go to German hotels, and avoid the 
grand barracks reared on every view-point for 
the English tourist. 

See how the omnibus, from the train or the 
steamer, pours down its victims into the land- 
lords' arms. Papa and Mamma, and three 
daughters and a maid : well, of course they 
will be attended to. Here is another timid lady 
with an alpenstock, a long white cane people 
get when they arrive in Switzerland, and which 
they never know what on earth to do with. 
Next there will issue from the same vehicle a 
dozen newly-fledged Londoners ; and the whole 
party, men and women, are so demure, so afraid 
of themselves, that the hotel-keeper does just 
what he likes with them, every one. 

Without a courier, a wife, heavy baggage, or 
young ladies, I enter too, and dare to order a 
cutlet and potatoes. After half-an-hour two 
chops come and spinach, each just one bite, and 
cold. I ask for fruit, and some pears are presented 
that grate on the knife, with a minute bunch of 
grapes, good ones let us acknowledge. For this 
we pay 2s. 



LAKE OF ZURICH. 125 

Next day I row three miles down the lake, and 
order, just as before, a cutlet, potatoes, and fruit, 
but this time at a second-rate German inn. Pre- 
sently behold two luscious veal cutlets, with 
splendid potatoes, and famous hot plates; and 
a fruit-basket teeming gracefully with large 
clusters of magnificent grapes, peaches, pears all 
gushing with juice, and mellow apples, and rosy 
plums. For this I pay Is. Qd. The secret is 
that the Germans won't pay the prices which the 
English fear to grumble at, and won't put up 
with the articles the English fear to refuse. 

Nor may we blame the hotel-keepers for their 
part in this business. They try to make as 
much money as they can, and most people who 
are making money try to do the same. 

In the twilight the Rob Roy launched on the 
Lake of Zurich, so lovely by evening, cool and 
calm, with its pretty villages painted again on the 
water below, and soft voices singing, and slow 
music floating in the air, as the moon looked 
down, and the crests of snow were silvered on 
far-off hills. 

The canoe was now put up in a boathouse 
where all seemed to be secure. It was the only 
time I had found a boathouse for my boat, 
and the only time when she was badly treated ; 
for, next morning, though the man in charge 
appeared to be a solid, honest fellow, I saw at 



126 FREE. 

once that the canoe had been sadly tumbled 
about and filled with water, the seat cast off 
and floating outside, the covering deranged, the 
sails untied, and the sacred paddle defiled by 
clumsy hands. 

The man who suffered this to be perpetrated 
will not soon forget the Anglo-German-French 
set-down he received (with a half- franc), and I 
shall not forget in future to observe the time- 
honoured practice of carrying the canoe invariably 
into the hotel. 

Another piece of experience gained here was 
this, that to send your luggage on by a steamer, 
intending to regain it on your arrival, adds far 
less of convenience than it does of anxiety and 
trouble^ seeing that in this sort of travel you 
can readily take the baggage with you always 
and everywhere in your boat. 

Much of the charm of next day's paddle on 
the lake consisted in its perfect independence of 
all previous arrangements, and in the absence 
of such thraldom as, " You must be here by 
ten o'clock;" or, "You have to sleep there at 
night." So now, let the wind blow as it likes, 
I could run before it, and breakfast at this 
village ; or cross to that point to bathe ; or row 
round that bay, and lunch on the other side of 
the lake, or anywhere else on the shore, or in the 
boat itself, as I pleased. I felt as a dog must 



HAPPY FACES. 127 

feel on Ms travels who lias no luggage and no 
collar, and has only one coat, which, always fits 
him, and is always getting new. 

When quite sated with the water, I fixed on 
Horgen to stop at for a rest, to the intense delight 
of all the Horgen boys. How they did jump and 
caper about the canoe, and scream with the glee 
of young hearts stirred by a new sight ! 

It was one of the great treats of this voyage to 
find it gave such hours of pleasure to the juve- 
nile population in each place. Along the vista of 
my recollection as I think over the past days 
of this excursion, many thousand childish faces 
brimming with happiness range their chubby or 
not chubby cheeks. 

These young friends were still more joyous 
when the boat was put into a cart, and the driver 
got up beside it, and the captain of the canoe 
began his hot walk behind. 

A number of their mammas came out to smile 
on the performance, and some asked to have a 
passage to England in the boat, to which there 
was the stock reply, given day by day, " Not much 
room for the crinoline." Only once was there 
the rejoinder, that the lady would willingly leave 
her expansion at home ; though on another occa- 
sion (and that in France, too) they answered, 
" We poor folks don't wear crinoline." 



128 HOT WALK. 

In every group there were various forms of 
inquisitiveness about the canoe. First, those who 
examined it without putting questions ; and then 
those who questioned about it without examining. 
Some lifted it to feel the weight; others passed 
their hands along its smooth deck to feel the 
polished cedar; others looked underneath to see 
if there was a keel, or bent the rope to feel how 
flexible it was, or poised the paddle (when I let 
them), and said, "How light!" and then more 
critical inquirers measured the boat's dimensions, 
tapped its sides with their knuckles, and looked 
wise ; sketched its form, scrutinized its copper nails, 
or gently touched the silken flag, with its frayed 
hem and colour fading now; in all places this 
last item, as an object of interest, was always the 
first exclaimed about by the lady portion of the 
crowd. 

It is with such little but pleasant trivialities 
that a traveller's day may be filled in this en- 
chanting atmosphere where simply to exist, to 
breathe, to gaze, and to listen, are enough to pass 
the sunny hours, if not to engage the nobler 
powers of the mind. 

The Lakes of Zurich and Zug are not far sepa- 
rate. About three hours of steady road walking 
takes you from one to the other, over a high neck 
of forest land, and a hot walk this was from 



STARING. 129 

twelve to three o'clock, in the brightest hours of 
the day. The heat and the dust made me eager 
again to be afloat. By the map, indeed, it seemed 
as if one could row part of this way on a river 
which runs into Zug, but maps are no guidance as 
to the fitness of streams for a boat. They make a 
black line wriggling about on the paper do for 
all rivers alike, and this tells you nothing as to the 
depth or force of the current, nor can the drivers 
or innkeepers tell much more, since they have 
no particular reason for observing how a river 
comports itself; their business is on the road. 

The driver was proud of his unusual fare, a 
boat with an English flag, and he gave a short 
account of it to every friend he met,- an account 
no doubt frightfully exaggerated, but always 
accepted as sufficient by the gratified listener. The 
worthy carter, however, was quite annoyed that 
I stopped him outside the town of Zug (paying 
thirteen francs for the cart), for I wished to 
get the canoe into the water unobserved, as the 
morning's work had left me yet no rest, and 
sweet repose could best be had by floating in my 
boat. However, there was no evading the towns- 
people's desire to see "the schiff in a cart from 
England." We took her behind a clump of stones, 
but they climbed upon the stones and stood. I 
sat down in a moody silence, but they sat down 
K 



130 LAKE OF ZUG. 

too in respectful patience. I tried then another 
plan, turned the canoe bottom upward, and began 
lining a seam of the planks with red putty. They 
looked on till it was done, and I began the same 
seam again, and told them that all the other se"ams 
must be thus lined. This, at last, was too much 
for some of the wiser ones, who turned away and 
murmured about my slowness, but others at once 
took their places in the front row. It seemed 
unfriendly to go on thus any longer, and as it 
was cooler now, I pushed the boat into the lake, 
shipped my luggage on board, and after the usual 
English speech to them all from the water, bid 
every one "adieu."* 

New vigour came when once the paddle was 
grasped again, and the soft yielding water and 
gentle heaving on its bosom had fresh pleasure now 
after the dusty road. It seems as if one must 
be for ever spoiled for land travel by this smooth 
liquid journeying. 

Zug is a little lake, and the mountains are over 
it only at one end, but then there are glorious 
hills, the Rigi and a hundred more, each behind 
another, or raising a peak in the gaps between. 
I must resolutely abstain from describing these 
here. The sight of them is well known to the 

* This word, like other expressive French words, is 
commonly used in Germany and Switzerland. 



SWISS SHOTS. 131 

traveller. The painted pictures of them in every 
shop window are faithful enough for those who 
have not been nearer, and words can tell very little 
to others of what is seen and felt when you fill the 
delighted eye by looking on the snowy range. 

Near one end of the lake I visited the line of 
targets where the Switzers were popping away 
their little bullets at their short ranges, with 
all sorts of gimcrack instruments to aid them, 
lenses, crooks, and straps for the arms, hair-trig- 
gers, and everything done under cover too. Very 
skilful indeed are they in the use of these con- 
trivances ; but the weapons look like toy-guns 
after all, and are only one step removed from the 
crossbows you see in Belgium and France, where 
men meet to shoot at stuffed cockrobins fixed on a 
pole, and do not hit them, and then adjourn for 
beer. 

The Swiss are good shots and brave men, and 
woe be to their invaders. Still, in this matter of 
rifle shooting their dilettanti practice through a 
window, at the short range of 200 yards, seems 
really childish when compared with that of the 
manly groups at Wimbledon, where, on the open 
heath, in sun or drifting hail, the burly York- 
shireman meets with the hardy Scot, and sends 
his heavier deadly bullet on its swift errand right 
away for a thousand yards in the storm. 
K 2 



132 ADVANCE OF THE SQUADRON. 

Leaving the shooters to their bulls' eyes, I 
paddled in front of the town to scan the hotels, 
and to judge of the best by appearances. Out 
came the boats of Zug to examine the floating 
stranger. They went round and round, in a 
criticising mood, just as local dogs strut slowly 
in circles about a new-come cur who is not known 
to their street, and besides is of ambiguous breed. 
These boats were all larger than mine, and most 
of them were brighter with plenty of paint, and 
universally they were encumbered with most 
awkward oars. 

A courteous Frenchman in one of the boats 
told me all the Zug news in a breath, besides 
asking numerous questions, and giving a hasty 
commentary on the fishing in the lake. Finally, 
he pointed out the best hotel, and so the naval 
squadron advanced to the pier, led by the canoe. 
A gracious landlady here put my boat safe in the 
hotel coachhouse, and offered to give me the key 
of the padlock, to make sure. In the salle a 
manger were some English friends from London, 
so now I felt that here was an end of lone wan- 
derings among foreigners, for the summer stream 
of tourists from England was encountered at this 
point. 

An early start next morning found the mists 
on the mountains, but they were quickly furled 



SAILING ON ZUG. 133 

up out of the way in festoons like muslin 
curtains. 

We skirted the pretty villas on the verge of the 
lake, and hauled in by some apple-trees to rig up 
the sails. This could be done more easily when 
the boat was drawn ashore than when it was 
afloat; though, after practice, I could not only 
set the mast and hoist the sails " at sea," but 
could even stand up and change my coat, or 
tie the flag on the masthead, or survey a difficult 
channel, while the boat was rocking on the waves 
of a rapid.* 

Sailing on a lake in Switzerland is a full reward 
for carrying your mast and sails unused for many 
a long mile. Sometimes, indeed, the sails seemed 
to be after all an encumbrance, but this was when 
they were not available. Every time they came 
into use again the satisfaction of having brought 
them was reassured. 

In sailing while the wind is light you need not 
always sit, as must be done for paddling. Wafted 
by the breeze you can now recline, lie down, or lie 
up, put your legs anyhow and anywhere, in the 
water if you like, and the peak of the sail is a shade 

* This is so very useful ill extending the horizon of 
view, and in enabling you to examine a whole ledge of 
sunken rocks at once, that it is well worth the trouble of 
a week or two's practice. 



134 



IMYN. 




"Sailing on Lake Zug." ' 

between the sun and your eyes, while the ripples 
seem to tinkle cheerfully against the bow, and the 
wavelets seethe by smoothly near the stern. When 
you are under sail the hill tops look higher than 
before, for now you see how far they are above 
your "lofty" masthead, and the black rocks on 



THREE TROUT. 135 

the shore look blacker when seen in contrast with 
a sail like cream. 

After a cruise that left nothing more to see of 
Zug, we put into port at Imyn, and though it is a 
little place, only a few houses, the boys there 
were as troublesome as gnats buzzing about ; so 
the canoe had to be locked in the stable out of 
sight. 

Three Britons were waiting here for the steamer. 
They had come to fish in Switzerland. Now fish- 
ing and travelling kill each other, so far as my 
experience goes, unless one of them is used as a 
passetemps because you cannot go on with the 
other. Thus I recollect once at the town of 
Yossevangen, in Norway, when we had to wait 
some hours for horses, it was capital fun to catch 
three trout with a pin for a hook fastened on the 
lash of a gig- whip, while a fellow-traveller shot 
with a pistol at my Glengarry cap on a stone. 

The true fisherman fishes for the fishing, not 
for the fishes. He himself is pleased even if he 
catches nothing, though he is more pleased to 
bring back a full basket, for that will justify him 
to his friends. 

Now when you stop your travelling that you 
may angle, if you catch nothing you grudge the 
day spent, and keep thinking how much you 



136 FISHING BRITONS. 

might have seen in it on the road. On the other 
hand, if you do happen to catch one or two fish, 
you don't like to leave the place where more 
might be taken, and your first ten miles after 
departure from it is a stage of reflection about 
pools, stones, bites, and rises, instead of what 
is going on all around. "Worst of all, if you 
have hooked a fish and lost him, it is a sad 
confession of defeat then to give up the sport and 
moodily resume the tour. 

As for the three visitors at Imyn, they had just 
twenty minutes sure, so they breakfasted in five 
minutes, and in the next three minutes had got 
their rods ready, and were out in the garden 
casting as fast as possible, and flogging the water 
as if the fish also ought to be in a hurry to get 
taken. The hot sun blazed upon the bald head 
of one of these excited anglers, for he had not 
time to put on his hat. The other had got his 
line entangled in a bush, and of course was hors 
de combat. The third was a sort of light skir- 
misher, rushing about with advice, and pointing 
out shoals of minnows everywhere else but where 
his companions were engaged. However, they 
managed to capture a few monsters of the deep, 
that is to say, a couple of misguided gudgeons, 
probably dissipated members of their tribe, and 



ODD QUESTIONS. 137 

late risers, who had missed their proper break- 
fasts. Ardent as I am with the rod I could not 
enjoy fishing after this sort. 

To be in this tide of wandering Britons, and 
yet to look at them and listen to them as if you 
were distinct this is a post full of interest and 
amusement ; and if you can, even for one day, 
try to be (at least in thought) a Swiss resident or 
a Parisian, and so to regard the English around 
you from the point they are seen from by the 
foreigners whom they visit, the examination 
becomes far more curious. But this has been 
done by many clever tourists, who have written 
their notes with more or less humour, and 
with more rather than less severity; so I shall 
not attempt to analyse the strange atoms of 
the flood from our islands which overflows the 
Continent every year. 

It is the fashion to decry three-fourths of this 
motley company as " snobs," " spendthrifts," or 
" greenhorns." With humble but firm voice I 
protest against this unfairness ; nor can I help 
thinking that much of the hard criticism pub- 
lished by travellers against their fellows is a 
crooked way of saying, what it does not do to 
assert directly, that the writer has at any rate 
met some travellers inferior to himself. 

Of course, among the Englishmen whom I met 



138 TALK-BOOKS. 

now and then in the course of this voyage there 
were some strange specimens, and their remarks 
were odd enough, when alluding to the canoe. 
One said, for example, " Don't you think it would 
have been more commodious to have had an 
attendant with you to look after your luggage 
and things ? " The most obvious answer to this 
was probably that which I gave, " Not for me, if 
he was to be in the boat ; and not for him, if he 
had to run on the bank." 

Another Englishman at home asked me in all 
seriousness about the canoe voyage, " Was it not 
a great waste of time ? " And when I inquired 
how he had spent his vacation, he said, " Oh, I 
was all the time at Brighton I " 

In returning once more to English conversa- 
tion, one is reminded how very useless and un- 
practical are all the "Talk-books" published to 
facilitate the traveller's conversation in foreign 
languages. Whether they are meant to help you 
in French, German, Italian, or Spanish, these 
little books, with their well-known double columns 
of words and phrases, and their " Polite Letter- 
writer " at %e end, all seem to be equally deter- 
mined to force words upon you which you never 
will need to use ; while the things you are always 
wanting to say in the new tongue are either care- 
fully buried among colloquies on botany or pre- 



TALK-BOOKS. 139 

cious stones, or among philosophical discussions 
about metaphysics, or else the desirable phrases 
are not in the book at all. 

This need of a brief and good " Talk-book " 
struck me particularly when I had carefully 
marked in my German one all the pages which 
would never be required in the tour, so that I 
could cut them out as an unnecessary addition to 
the weight of my ship's library. Why, the little 
book, when thus expurgated, got so lamentably 
thin that the few pages left of it, as just possible 
to be useful, formed only a wretched skeleton of 
the original volume. 

Another fault of these books is that half the 
matter in them is made up of what the imaginary 
chatting foreigner says to you, the unhappy 
Englishman, and this often in long phrases, or 
even in set speeches. 

But when, in actual life, the real foreigner 
speaks to you, he somehow says quite a different 
set of words from any particular phrases you see 
in the book, and you cannot make out his mean- 
ing, because it does not correspond with anything 
you have learned. 

It is evident that a dictionary is required to get 
at the English meaning of what is said to you 
by another ; while a talk-book will suffice for 
what you wish to say to him; because you 



140 MODEL PHRASE 'BOOK. 

select in it and compose from it before you utter 
any particular phrase. 

The Danish phrase-book for Norway and Sweden 
is a tolerably good one, and it holds in a short 
compass all the traveller wants; but I think a 
book of this kind for each of the other principal 
languages might well be constructed on the follow- 
ing basis. 

First, let us have the expression " I want," and 
then the English substantives most used in travel 
talk, arranged in alphabetical order, and with 
their foreign equivalents. Next, put the request 
"Will you," and after it place each of the verbs 
of action generally required by travellers. Then 
set forth the question, "Does the," with a 
column of events formed by a noun, verb, and 
preposition in each, such as "coach stop at," 
" road lead to," " steamer start from," &c. ; 
and, lastly, give us the comprehensive " Is 
it," with a long alphabetical list of adjectives 
likely to be employed. Under these four heads, 
with two pages of adverbs and numerals, I think 
that the primary communications with a foreigner 
can be comprised ; and as for conversations with 
him on special subjects, such as politics, or art, 
or scenery, these are practically not likely to be 
attempted unless you learn his language, and not 
merely some of its most necessary words ; but this 



MODEL PHRASE BOOK. 141 

study of language is not the purpose for which 
you get a talk-book. 

Having now delivered a homily on international 
talking, it is time to be on the move again. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Sailing on Lucerne Seeburg River scenes Night and 
snow The Reuss A dear dinner Seeing a rope 
Passing a fall Bremgarten rapids. 

WHEN the steamer at Imyn had embarked the 
three sportsmen, and the little pier was quiet, we 
got a cart out for the Rob Roy, and bargained to 
have it rumbled over the hill to the Lake of Lucerne 
for the sum of five francs it is only half-an- 
hour's walk. The landlord himself came as driver, 
for he was fully interested about the canoe, and 
he did not omit to let people know his sentiments 
on the subject all along the way, even calling out 
to the men plucking fruit in the apple-trees, 
who had perhaps failed to notice the phenomenon 
which was passing on the road beneath them. 
There was a permanent joke on such occasions, 
and, oddly enough, it was used by the drivers in 
Germany as well as in Switzerland, and was of 
course original and spontaneous with each of 
them as they called out, " Going to America ! " 
and then chuckled at the brilliant remark. 

The village we came to on Lucerne was the 



ON LAKE LUCERNE. 143 

well-known Kussnacht, that is, one of the well- 
known Kussnachts, for there are plenty of these 
honeymoon towns in Central Europe ; and with 
the customary assembly of quidnuncs, eloquently 
addressed this time by the landlord-driver, the 
canoe was launched on another lake, perhaps the 
prettiest lake in the world. 

Like other people, and at other times, I had 
traversed this beautiful water of the Four Cantons, 
but those only who have seen it well by steamer 
and by walking, so as to know how it juts in and 
winds round in intricate geography, can imagine 
how much better you may follow and grasp its 
beauties by searching them out alone and in a canoe. 

For thus I could penetrate all the wooded 
nooks, and dwell on each view-point, and visit the 
rocky islets, and wait long, longer as long as I 
pleased before some lofty berg, while the ground- 
swell gently undulated, and the passing cloud 
shaded the hill with grey, and the red flag of a 
steamer fluttered in a distant sunbeam, and the 
plash of a barge's oar broke on the boatman's 
song; everything around changing just a little, 
and the stream of inward thought and admiration 
changing too as it flowed, but, all the time, and 
when the eye came back to it again, there was the 
grand mountain still the same, 

" Like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved." 



144 STEAMER'S SWELL. 

How cool the snow looked up there aloft even in 
the heat of summer ! and, to come down again to 
one's level on the water, how lively the steamer 
was with the music of its band and the quick 
beat of its wheels curling up white foam. Let us 
speed to meet it and to get a tossing in the swell, 
while Jones and Smith, under the awning, cry 
out, "Why, to be sure, that's the Rob Roy 
canoe/' and Mrs. Jones and the three Miss 
Smiths all lift up their heads from their " Mur- 
ray s," where they have been diligently reading 
the history of Switzerland from A.D. 1682, and 
then the description in words of all the scenery 
around, although they have suffered its speaking 
realities in mountain, wood, and lake to pass 
unnoticed. 

As I was quite fresh (having worked chiefly the 
sails on Zug) and now in good " training," so as 
to get on very comfortably with ten or twelve 
hours' rowing in the day, I spent it all in seeing 
this inexhaustible Lake of Lucerne, and yet felt 
that at least a dozen new pictures had been left 
unseen in this rich volume of the book of 
nature. 

But as this book had no page in it about quarters 
for the night it was time to consider these 
homely affairs, and to look out for an hotel; 
not one of the big barracks for Englishmen 



BATH AND MUSIC. 145 

spoken of before, but some quiet place where 
one could stop for Sunday. Coming suddenly 
then round a shady point, behold the very 
place ! But can it be an hotel ? Yes, there is the 
name, " Seeburg." Is it quiet ? Observe the 
shady walks. Bathing ? Why, there is a bath 
in the lake at the end of the garden. Fishing 
At least four rods are stretched over the reeds by 
hopeful hands, and with earnest looks behind, 
watching for the faintest nibble. 

Let us run boldly in. Ten minutes, and the 
boat is safely in a shed, and its captain well 
housed in an excellent room ; and, having ordered 
dinner, it was delicious to jump into the lake for 
a swim, all hot with the hot day's work, and to 
stretch away out to the deep, and circle round 
and round in these limpid waters, with a nice 
little bath-room to come back to, and fresh dry 
clothes to put on. In the evening we had very 
pretty English music, a family party improvised 
in an hour, and broken up for a moonlight walk, 
while, all this time (one fancied), in the big hotel 
of the town the guests were in stiflp coteries, or 
each set retired to its sitting-room, and lamenting 
how unsociable everybody else had become. 

I never was more comfortable than here, with 
a few English families " en pension/' luxuriating 
for the sum of six francs per day, and an old 
L 



146 RIVER REUSS. 

Russian General, most warlike and courteous, 
who would chat with you by the hour, on the seat 
under the shady chestnut, and smiled at the four 
persevering fishermen whose bag consisted, I 
believe, of three bites, one of them allowed on all 
hands to have been bond fide. 

Then on Sunday we went to Lucerne, to church, 
where a large congregation listened to a very 
good sermon from the well-known Secretary of the 
Society for Colonial and Continental Churches. 
At least every traveller, if not every home-stayed 
Englishman, ought to support this Association, 
because it many times supplies just that food and 
rest which the soul needs s6 much on a Sunday 
abroad, when the pleasures of foreign travel are 
apt to make only the mind and body constitute the 
man. 

I determined to paddle from Lucerne by the 
river Reuss, which flows out of the lake and 
through the town. This river is one of four the 
Rhine, Rhone, Reuss, and Ticino, which all rise 
near together in the neighbourhood of the St. 
Gothard ; and yet, while one flows into the German 
ocean, another falls into the Mediterranean, both 
between them having first made nearly the compass 
of Switzerland. 

The walking tourist comes often upon .the rapid 
Reuss as it staggers and tumbles among the Swiss 



NIGHT AND SNOW. 147 

mountains. To me it had a special interest, for I 
once ascended the Galenhorn over the glaciers it 
starts from, and with only a useless guide, who lost 
his head and then lost his way, and then lost his 
temper and began to cry. We groped about 
in a fog until snow began to fall, and the 
snowstorm lasted for six hours a weary time 
spent by us wandering in the dark and without 
food. At length we were discovered by some 
people sent out with lights to search for the 
benighted pleasure-seeker. 

The Reuss has many cascades and torrent gorges 
as it runs among the rough crags, and it falls 
nearly 6,000 feet before it reaches the Lake of 
Lucerne, this lake itself being still 1,400 feet 
above the sea. 

A gradual current towards the end of the lake 
entices you under the bridge where the river starts 
again on its course, at first gently enough, and 
as if it never could get fierce and hoarse-voiced 
when it has taken you miles away into the woods 
and can deal with you all alone. 

The map showed the Heuss flowing into the 
Aar, but I could learn nothing more about either 
of these rivers, except that an intelligent man 
said, "The Reuss is a mere torrent," while 
another recounted how a man some years ago 
went on the Aar in a boat, and was taken up 
L 2 



148 SINGING WATER. 

by the police and punished for thus perilling 
his life. 

Deducting from these statements the usual 50 
per cent, for exaggeration, everything appeared 
satisfactory, so I yielded my boat to the current, 
and, at parting, waved my yellow paddle to certain 
fair friends who had honoured me with their 
countenance, and who were now assembled on 
the bridge. After this a few judicious strokes 
took the Rob Hoy through the town and past the 
pleasant environs, and we were now again upon 
running water. 

The current, after a quiet beginning, soon put 
on a sort of " business air," as if it did not mean to 
dally, and rapidly got into quick time, threading 
a devious course among the woods, hayfields, and 
vineyards, and it seemed not to murmur (as 
streams always do), but to sing with buoyant 
exhilaration in the fresh brightness of the morn. 

It certainly was a change, from the sluggish 
feeling of dead water in the lakes to the lively 
tremulous thrilling of a rapid river like the Reuss, 
which, in many places, is as wide as the Rhine 
at Schaffhausen. It is a wild stream, too fast 
for navigation, and therefore the villages are not 
built on the banks, and there are no boats, and 
the lonely, pathless, forest-covered banks are some- 
times bleak enough when seen from the water. 



AM I RIGHT ? 149 

For some miles it was easy travelling, the 
water being seldom less than two feet deep, and 
with rocks readily visible by the eddy bubbling 
about them, because they were sharp and jagged. 
It is the long smooth and round-topped rock 
which is most treacherous in a fast river, for the 
spray which the current throws round such a rock 
is often not different from an ordinary wave. 

Now and then the stream was so swift that 
I was afraid of losing my straw hat, simply from 
the breeze created by great speed for it was 
a day without wind. 

It cannot be concealed that continuous physical 
enjoyment such as this tour presented is a danger- 
ous luxury if it be not properly used. When 
I thought of the hospitals of London, of the herds 
of squalid poor in foetid alleys, of the pale-faced 
ragged boys, and the vice, sadness, pain, and 
poverty we are sent to do battle with if we be 
Christian soldiers, I could not help asking, " Am 
I right in thus enjoying such comfort, such 
scenery, such health?" Certainly not right, 
unless to get vigour of thought and hand, and 
freshened energy of mind, and larger thankfulness 
and wider love, and so, with all the powers re- 
cruited, to enter the field again more eager and 
able to be useful. 

In the more lonely parts of the Eeuss the trees 



150 A DEAR DINNER. 

were in dense thickets to the water's edge, and 
the wild ducks fluttered out from them with a 
splash, and some larger birds like bustards often 
hovered over the canoe. I think among the flying 
companions I noticed also the bunting, or "ammer " 
(from which German word comes our English 
" yellow hammer "), wood-pigeons, and very beau- 
tiful hawks. The herons and kingfishers were 
here as well, but not so many of them as on the 
Danube. 

Nothing particular occurred, although it was 
a pleasant morning's work, until we got through 
the bridge at Imyl, where an inn was high up 
on the bank. The ostler helped me to carry the 
boat into the stable, and the landlady audaciously 
charged me 4s. 6d. for my first dinner (I always 
had two dinners on full working days), being 
pretty sure that she need not expect her customer 
to stop there again. 

The navigation after this began to be more 
interesting, with gravel banks and big stones to 
avoid, and a channel to be chosen from among 
several, and the wire ropes of the ferries stretched 
tightly across the river requiring to be noticed 
with proper respect. 

You may have observed how difficult it is, some- 
times, to see a rope when it is stretched and quite 
horizontal, or at any rate how hard it is to 



INVISIBLE ROPE. 151 

judge correctly of its distance from your eye. 
This can be well noticed in walking by the sea- 
shore among fishing-boats moored on the beach, 
when you will sometimes even knock your nose 
against a taut hawser before you are aware that 
it is so close. 

This is caused by the fact that the mind 
estimates the distance of an object partly by 
comparing the two views of its surface obtained 
by the two eyes respectively, and which views 
are not quite the same, but differ, just as the two 
pictures prepared for the stereoscope. Each eye 
sees a little round one side of the object, and the 
solid look of the object and its distance are 
thus before the mind. 

Now when the rope is horizontal the eyes do 
not see round the two sides in this manner, though 
if the head is leant sideways it will be found that 
the illusion referred to no longer appears. 

Nor is it out of place to inquire thus at length 
into this matter, for I can assure you that one 
or two blunt slaps on the head from these ropes 
across a river make it at least interesting if not 
pleasant to examine " the reason why." And 
now we have got the philosophy of the thing, let 
us leave the ropes behind. 

The actual number of miles in a day's work is 
much influenced by the number of waterfalls or 



152 



SHIRKING A FALL. 




Shirking a Fall." 



artificial barriers which are too dry or too high 
to allow the canoe to float over them. 

In all such cases, of course, I had to get out 
and to drag the boat round by the fields, as has 
been already described (p. 80) ; or to lower her 
carefully among the rocks, as is shown in the 
accompanying sketch, which represents the usual 
appearance of this part of the day's proceedings. 



STEEPS. 153 

Although this sort of work was a change of 
posture, and brought into play new muscular 
action, yet the strain sometimes put on the limbs 
by the weight of the boat, and the great caution 
required where there was only slippery footing, 
made these barriers to be regarded on the whole 
as bores. 

Full soon however we were to forget such 
trifling troubles, for more serious work impended. 

The river banks suddenly assumed a new cha- 
racter. They were steep and high, and their 
height increased as we advanced between the two 
upright walls of stratified gravel and boulders. 

A full body of water ran here, the current being 
of only ordinary force at its edges, where it was 
interrupted by rocks, stones, and shingle, and 
was thus twisted into eddies innumerable. 

To avoid these entanglements at the sides, it 
seemed best, on the whole, to keep the boat 
in mid-channel, though the breakers were far 
more dangerous there, in the full force of the 
stream. 

I began to think that this must be the " hard 
place coming/' which a wise man farther up 
the river had warned me was quite too much for 
so small a boat, unless in flood times, when fewer 
rocks would be in the way. In reply, I had told 
him that when we got near such a place I would 



154 GRIM NOISES. 

pull out my boat and drag it along the bank, if 
requisite. To this he said, " Ah ! but the banks 
are a hundred feet high." So I had mentally 
resolved (but entirely forgot) to stop in good 
time and to climb up the rocks and investigate 
matters ahead before going into an unknown run 
of broken water. 

Such plans are very well in theory, but some- 
how the approach to these rapids was so gradual, 
and the mind was so much occupied in overcoming 
the particular difficulty of each moment, that 
no opportunity occurred for* rest or reflection. 
The dull heavy roar round the corner got louder 
as the Rob Roy neared the great bend. For 
here the river makes a turn round the whole 
of a letter S, in fact very nearly in a complete 
figure of 8, and in wheeling thus it glides 
over a sloping ledge of flat rocks, spread 
obliquely athwart the stream for a hundred feet 
on either hand, and just a few inches below the 
surface. 

The canoe was swept over this singular place 
by the current, its keel and sides grinding and 
bumping on the stones, and sliding on the soft 
moss which here made the rock so slippery and 
black. 

The progress was aided by sundry pushes and 
jerks at proper times, but we advanced altogether 



RAPIDS OF THE REUSS. 155 

in a clumsy, helpless style, until at length there 
came in sight the great white ridge of tossing 
foam where the din was great, and a sense of 
excitement and confusion filled the mind. 

I was quite conscious that the sight before me 
was made to look worse because of the noise 
around, and by the feeling of the loneliness and 
powerlessness of a puny man struggling in a 
waste of breakers, where to strike a single one 
was sure to upset the boat. 

From the nature of the place, too, it was 
evident that it would be difficult to save the 
canoe by swimming alongside it when capsized 
or foundered, and yet it was utterly impossible 
now to stop. 

Right in front, and in the middle, I saw the 
well-known wave which is always raised when a 
main stream converges, as it rushes down a 
narrow neck. The depression or trough of this 
was about two feet below, and the crest four 
feet above the level, so the height of the wave 
was about six feet. 

Though rather tall it was very thin and sharp- 
featured, and always stationary in position, though 
the water composing it was going at a tremen- 
dous pace. After this wave there was another 
smaller one, as frequently happens. 

It was not the height of the wave that gave 



156 THE CENTRAL WAVE. 

any concern ; had it been at sea the boat would 
rise over any lofty billow, but here the wave 
stood still, and the canoe was to be impelled 
against it with all the force of a mighty stream, 
and so it must go through the body of water, 
for it could not have time to rise. 

And so the question remained, " What is behind 
that wave ?" for if it is a rock then this is the 
last hour of the Rob Roy.* 

The boat plunged headlong into the shining 
mound of water as I clenched my teeth and 
clutched my paddle. We saw her sharp prow 
deeply buried, and then (I confess) my eyes 
were shut involuntarily, and before she could rise 
the mass of solid water struck me with a heavy 
blow full in the breast, closing round my neck as 
if cold hands gripped me, and quite taking away 
my breath. f 

Vivid thoughts coursed through the brain in 

* I had not then acquired the knowledge of a valuable 
fact, that a sharp wave of this kind never has a rock 
behind it. A sharp wave requires free water at its rear, 
and it is therefore in the safest part of the river so far as 
concealed dangers are concerned. This at least was the 
conclusion come to after frequent observation afterwards 
of many such places. 

+ See a faithful representation of this incident, so far 
as relates to the water, in the Frontispiece. 



DRENCHED. 157 

this exciting moment, but another slap from the 
lesser wave, and a whirl round in the eddy below, 
told that the battle was over soon, and the little 
boat slowly rose from under a load of water, 
which still covered my arms, and then, trembling, 
and as if stunned by the heavy shock, she staggered 
to the shore. The river too had done its worst, 
and it seemed now to draw off from hindering us, 
and so I clung to a rock to rest for some minutes, 
panting with a tired thrilling of nervousness and 
gladness strangely mingled. 

Although the weight of water had been so 
heavy on my body and legs, very little of it had 
got inside under the waterproof covering, for the 
whole affair was done in a few seconds, and 
though everything in front was completely 
drenched up to my necktie, the back of my coat 
was scarcely wet. Most fortunately I had re- 
moved the flag from its usual place about an hour 
before, and thus it was preserved from being 
swept away. 

Well, now it is over, and we are rested, and 
begin with a fresh start ; for there is still some 
work to do in threading a way among the breakers. 
The main point, however, has been passed, and 
the difficulties after it look small, though at other 
times they might receive attention. 

Here is our resting-place, the old Roman town 



158 BREMGARTEN. 

of Bremgarten, which is built in a hollow of this 
very remarkable serpent bend of the rapid Reuss. 
The houses are stuck on the rocks, and abut on 
the river itself, and as the stream bore me past 
these I clung to the doorstep of a washerwoman's 
house, and pulled my boat out of the water into 
her very kitchen, to the great amusement and 
surprise of the worthy lady, who wondered still 
more when I hauled the canoe again through the 
other side of her room until it fairly came out to 
the street behind ! 

It must have astonished the people to see a 
canoe thus suddenly appearing on their quiet 
pavement. They soon crowded round and bore 
her to the hotel, which was a moderately bad one. 
Next morning the bill was twelve francs, nearly 
double its proper amount ; and thus we en- 
countered in one day the only two extortionate 
innkeepers met with at all.* 

This quaint old place, with high walls and a 
foss, and several antiquities, was well worth the 
inspection of my early morning walk next day, 
and then the Eob Eoy was ordered to the door. 

* However, I made the landlord here take eight francs 
as a compromise. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Hunger Music at the mill Sentiment and chops Eiver 
Limmat Fixed on a fall On the river Aar The 
Ehine again Douaniers Falls of Lauffenburg The 
cow cart. 

THE wetting and excitement of yesterday made 
me rather stiff in beginning again; and anon, 
when a rushing sound was heard in front I was 
aware of a new anxiety as to whether this might 
not mean the same sort of rough work as yester- 
day's over again, whereas hitherto this sound 
of breakers to come had always promised nothing 
but pleasure. However, things very soon came 
back to their old way, a continuous and varied 
enjoyment from morning to night. 

The river was rapid again, but with no really 
difficult places. I saw one raft in course of pre- 
paration, though there were not many boats, for 
as the men there said, " How could we get boats 
up that stream ? " 

The villages near the river were often so high 
up on lofty cliffs, or otherwise unsuitable, that I 
went on for some miles trying in vain to fix on 



160 HUNGER. 

one for my (No. 1) dinner. Each bend of the 
winding water held out hopes that down there at 
last, or round that bluff cape at farthest, there 
must be a proper place to breakfast. But when it 
was now long past the usual hour, and the shores 
got less inhabited and hunger more imperative, 
we determined to land at a mill which overhung 
the stream in a picturesque spot. 

I landed unobserved. This was a blunder in 
diplomacy, for the canoe was always good as 
credentials ; but I climbed up the bank and 
through the garden, and found the hall door 
open ; so I walked timidly into a large, comfort- 
able house, leaving my paddle outside lest it 
might be regarded as a bludgeon. I had come as 
a beggar, not a burglar. 

The chords of a piano, well struck and by firm 
fingers, led me towards the drawing-room ; for 
to hear music is almost to make sure of welcome 
in a house, and it was so now. 

My bows and reverences scarcely softened the 
exceedingly strange appearance I must have made 
as an intruder, clothed in universal flannel, and 
offering ten thousand apologies in French, Ger- 
man, and English for thus dropping down from 
the clouds, that is to say, climbing up from the 
water. 

The young miller rose from the piano, and 



MAIDS OF THE MILL. 161 

bowed. His fair sister stopped her sweet song, and 
blushed. For my part, being only a sort of 
" casual," I modestly asked for bread and wine, 
and got hopelessly involved in an effort to ex- 
plain how I had come by the river unperceived. 
The excessive courtesy of my new friends was 
embarrassing, and was further complicated by the 
arrival of another young lady, even more sur- 
prised and hospitable. 

Quickly the refreshments were set on the table, 
and the miller sealed the intimacy by lighting his 
ample pipe. Our conversation was of the most 
lively and unintelligible character, and soon 
lapsed into music, when Beethoven and Goss 
told all we had to say in chants and symphonies. 

The inevitable sketch-book whiled away a good 
hour, till the ladies were joined by a third damsel, 
and the adventures of Ulysses had to be told to 
three Penelopes at once. The miller's party 
became humorous to a degree, and they resisted 
all my efforts to get away, even when the family 
dinner was set on the board, and the domestic 
servants and farm-labourers came in to seat them- 
selves at a lower table. This was a picture of 
rural life not soon to be forgotten. 

The stately grandmamma of the mansion now 
advanced, prim and stiff, and with dignity and 
matronly grace entreated the stranger to join their 
M 



162 GRANDMAMMA. 

company. The old oak furniture was lightened 
by a hundred little trifles worked by the women, 
or collected by the tasteful diligence of their 
brother ; and the sun shone, and the mill went 
round, and the river rolled by, and all was kind- 
ness, "because you are an Englishman." 

The power of the Cims Romamis is far better 
shown when it draws forth kindness, than when 
it compels fear. But as respects the formal in- 
vitation it would not do to stop and eat, and it 
would not do to stop and not eat, or to make the 
potatoes get cold, or the granddames' dinner too 
late ; so I must go, even though the girls had 
playfully hidden my luggage to keep the guest 
among them. 

The whole party, therefore, adjourned to the 
little nook where my boat had been left concealed ; 
and when they caught sight of its tiny form, and 
its little fluttering flag, the young ladies screamed 
with delight and surprise, clapping their hands 
and waving adieux as we paddled away. 

I left this happy, pleasant scene with mingled 
feelings, and tried to think out what was the 
daily life in this sequestered mill; and if my 
paddling did for a time become a little sentimental, 
it may be pardoned by travellers who have come 
among kind friends where they expected perhaps 
a cold rebuif. 



SENTIMENTAL. 163 

The romantic effect of all this was to make me 
desperately hungry, for be it known that bread 
and wine and Beethoven will not do to dine upon 
if you are rowing forty miles in the sun. So it 
must be confessed that when an hour afterwards 
I saw an auberge by the water's edge it became 
necessary to stifle my feelings by ordering an 
omelette and two chops. 

The table was soon spread under a shady pear- 
tree just by the water, and the Rob Roy rested 
gently on the ripples at my feet. 

The pleasures of this sunny hour of well-earned 
repose, freshened by a bunch of grapes and a pear 
plucked from above my head, were just a little 
troubled by a slight apprehension that some day 
the miller's sister might come by and hear how 
had been comforted my lacerated heart. 

Again " to boat," and down by the shady trees, 
under the towering rocks, over the nimble rapids, 
and winding among orchards, vineyards, and 
wholesome scented hay, the same old story of 
constant varied pleasure. 

The hills were in front now, and their contour 
showed that some rivers were to join company 
with the Reuss, which here rolled on a fine broad 
stream, like the Thames at Putney. Presently 
the Limmat flowed in at one side, and at the 
other the river Aar, which last then gives the 
M 2 



164 THE LIMMAT AND THE AAR. 

name to all the three, though it did not appear to 
be the largest. 

This is not the only Aar among the rivers, but 
it is the "old original Aar," which Swiss travellers 
regard as an acquaintance after they have seen it 
dash headlong over the rocks at Handek. 

It takes its rise from two glaciers, one of them 
the Finster Aar glacier, not far from Grimsel; 
and to me this gave it a special interest, for I had 
been hard pushed once in the wilds near that 
homely Hospice. 

It was on an afternoon some years ago, when I 
came from the Furca, by the Rhone glacier to 
the foot of the valley,- walking with two Germans ; 
and as they were rather "muffs," and meant to 
stop there, I thoughtlessly set off alone to climb 
the rocks and to get to the Grimsel by myself. 

This is easy enough in daylight, but it was nearly 
six o'clock when I started, and late in September ; 
so after a short half-hour of mounting, the snow 
began to fall, and the darkness was not made less 
by the white flakes drifting across it. By some 
happy conjuncture I managed to scale the path- 
less mountain, and struck on a little stream which 
had often to be forded in the dark, but was 
always leading to the desired valley. 

At length the light of the Hospice shone wel- 
come as a haven to steer for, and I soon joined 



HARD QUESTIONS. 165 

the pleasant English guests inside, .and bought 
a pair of trousers from, the waiter at 3s. 6d. for 
a change in the wet. 

But paddling on the Aar had no great danger 
where we met it now, for the noisy, brawling tor- 
rent was sobered by age, and after much knocking 
about in the world it had settled into a steady and 
respectable river. 

A few of my friends, the snags, were however 
lodged in the water hereabouts, and as they 
bobbed their heads in uneasy beds, and the river 
was much discoloured, it became worth while to 
keep a sharp lookout for them. 

The " river tongue," explained already as 
consisting of sign language with a parallel -com- 
ment in loud English, was put to a severe test on 
a wide stream like this. Consider, for example, 
how you could best ask the following question 
(speaking by signs and English only) from a man 
who is on the bank over there a hundred yards 
distant. 

" Is it better for me to go over to those rocks, 
and keep on the left of that island, or to pull my 
boat out at these stumps, and drag her on land 
into this channel ? " 

One comfort is the man made out my meaning, 
for did he not answer, " Ya vol"? He could not 
have done more had we both learned the same 



166 MILL WEIRS. 

language, unless indeed lie had heard what I 
said. 

Mills occurred here and there. Some of 
these had the waterwheel simply built on the 
river; others had it so arranged as to allow 
the shaft to be raised or lowered to suit the 
varying height of water in floods and droughts. 
Others had it floating on barges. Others, again, 
had a half weir built diagonally across part of the 
river ; and it was important to look carefully at 
this wall so as to see on which side it ought to be 
kept in selecting the best course. In a few cases 
there was another construction ; two half weirs, 
converged gradually towards the middle of the 
river, forming a letter Y, with its sharp end 
turned up the stream, and leaving a narrow 
opening there, through which a torrent flowed, 
with rough waves dancing merrily in the pool 
below. 9 

I had to " shoot" several of these, and at other 
times to get out and lower the boat down them, 
in the manner explained before. 

On one occasion I was in an unaccountably 
careless fit, and instead of first examining the 
depth of the water on the edge of the little fall, I 
resolved to go straight at it and take my chance. 

It must be stated that while a depth of three 
inches is enough for the canoe to float in when all 



FIXED FOR FIVE MINUTES. 167 

its length is in the water, the same depth will by 
no means suffice at the upper edge of a fall. For 
when the boat arrives there the fore part, say 
six or seven feet of it, projects for a time over the 
fall and out of the water, and is merely in the air, 
without support, so that the centre of the keel 
will sink at least six or seven inches ; and if there 
be not more water than this the keel catches the 
crest of the weir, and the boat will then stop, and 
perhaps swing round, after which it must fall over 
sideways, unless considerable dexterity is used in 
the management. 

Although a case of this sort had occurred to me 
before, I got again into the same predicament, 
which was made far more puzzling as the fore 
end of the boat went under a rock at thr * ttom 
of the fall, and thus the canoe hung upon the t^ge, 
and would go neither one way nor another.*" It 
would also have been very difficult to get out of 
the boat in this position ; for to jump feet fore- 
most would have broken the boat to plunge in 
head first might have broken my head on the 
rocks below. 

* This ad venture was the result of temporary carelessness, 
while that at the rapids was the result of impatience, for the 
passage of these latter could probably have been effected 
without encountering the central wave had an hour or two 
been spent in examining the place. Let not any tourist, 
then, be deterred from a paddle on the Beuss, which is a 
perfectly suitable river, with no unavoidable dangers. 



168 



RIVEft AAR. 




" Pixed on the fall." 

The canoe was much wrenched in my struggles, 
which ended, however, by man and boat tumbling 
down sideways, and, marvellous to say, quite 
safely to the bottom. 

This performance was not one to be proud of. 
Surely it was like ingratitude to treat the Rob 
Roy thus, exposing it to needless risk when it 
had carried me so far and so well. 

The Aar soon flows into the Rhine, and here is 
our canoe on old Rhenus once more, with the 
town of Waldshut (" end of the forest ") leaning 
over the high bank to welcome us near. 

There is a lower path and a row of little houses 



DOUANIERS. 169 

at the bottom of the cliff, past which the Rhine 
courses with rapid eddies deep and strong. Here 
an old fisherman soon spied me, and roared out his 
biography at the top of his voice; how he had 
been a courier in Lord Somebody's family ; how 
he had journeyed seven years in Italy, and could 
fish with artificial flies, and was seventy years 
old, with various other reasons why I should put 
my boat into his house. 

He was just the man for the moment ; but first 
those two uniformed douaniers must be dealt with, 
and I had to satisfy their dignity by paddling up 
the strong current to their lair ; for the fly had 
touched the spiders' web and the spiders were too 
grand to come out and seize it. Good humour, 
and smiles, and a little judicious irony as to the 
absurd notion of overhauling a canoe which could 
be carried on your back, soon made them release 
me, if only to uphold their own dignity, and I 
left the boat in the best drawing-room of the 
ex-courier, and ascended the hill to the hotel 
aloft. 

But the man came too, and he had found time 
to prepare an amended report of the boat's journey 
for the worthy landlord, so, as usual, there was 
soon everything ready for comfort and good 
cheer. 

"Walclshut is made up of one wide street almost 



170 A POCKET CANOE. 

closed at the end, and with, pretty gardens about 
it, and a fine prospect from its high position; 
but an hour's walk appeared to exhaust all the 
town could show, though the scenery round such 
a place is not to be done with in this brief 
manner. 

The visitors soon came to hear and see more 
nearly what the newspapers had told them of the 
canoe. One gentleman, indeed, seemed to expect 
me to unfold the boat frosn my pocket, for a 
French paper had spoken about a man going over 
the country "with a canoe under his arm." The 
evening was enlivened by some signals, burned 
at my bedroom-window to lighten up the street, 
which little entertainment was evidently entirely 
new to the "Waldshutians at least. 

Before we start homewards on the Hhine with 
our faces due West, it may be well very briefly 
to give the log bearings and direction of the 
canoe's voyage up to this point. 

First, by the Thames, July 29, E. (East), to 
Shoeburyness, thence to Sheerness, S. From 
that by rail to Dover^ and by steamer to Ostend, 
and rail again, Aug.:7, to the Meuse, along which 
the course was nearly E., until its turn into 
Holland, N.E. Then, Aug. 11, to the Rhine, 
S.E., and ascending it nearly S., until at Frank- 
fort, Aug. 17, we go N.E. by rail to Asschafien- 



DANGERS AHEAD. 171 

burg, and by the river wind back again to Frank- 
fort in wide curves. Farther up the Rhine, 
Aug. 24, our course is due S., till from Frey- 
burg the boat is carted E. to the Titisee, and 
to Donaueschingen, and, Aug. 28, descends the 
Danube, which there flows nearly E., but with 
great bends to ]$". and S. until, Sept. 2, we are at 
Ulm. The rail next carries us S. to the Lake 
of Constance, which is sailed along in a course 
S.W., and through the Zeller See to Schaffhausen, 
Sept. 7, about due "W. Thence turning S. to 
Zurich, and over the lake and the neck of land, 
and veering to the W. by Zug, we arrive on 
Lucerne, Sept. 10, where the southernmost point 
of the voyage is reached, and then our prow 
points to N., till, Sept. 12, we land at Waldshut. 

This devious course had taken the boat to 
several diiferent kingdoms and states Holland, 
Belgium, France, Wurtemburg, Bavaria, and 
the Grand Duchy of Baden, Rhenish Prussia, 
the Palatinate, Switzerland, and the pretty Hollen- 
zollern Sigmaringen. Now we had come back 
again to the very Grand Duchy again, a land 
where all travellers must mind their p's and q's. 

The ex-courier took the canoe from his wife's 
washing-tubs and put her on the Rhine, and then 
he spirited my start by recounting the lively things 
we must expect soon to meet. I must take care to 



172 LITLLE HURRICANE. 

" keep to the right," near the falls of Lauffenburg, 
for an English lord had been carried over them 
and drowned ; * and I must beware of Rheinfelden 
rapids, because an Englishman had tried to de- 
scend them in a boat with a fisherman, and their 
craft was capsized and the fisherman was drowned ; 
and I must do this here, and that there, and so 
many other things everywhere else, that all the 
directions were jumbled up together. But it 
seemed to relieve the man to tell his tale, and 
doubtless he sat down to his breakfast comfort- 
able in mind and body, and cut his meat into little 
bits, and then changed the fork to the right hand 
to eat them every one, as they all do hereabouts, 
with every appearance of content. 

Up with the sails ! for the East wind freshens, 
and the fair wide river hurries along. This was a 
splendid scene to sail in, with lofty banks of rock, 
and rich meads, or terraces laden with grapes. 
After a good morning's pleasure here the wind 
suddenly rose to a gale, and I took in my jib just 
in time, for a sort of minor hurricane came on, 
raising tall columns of dust on the road along- 
side, blowing oif men's hats, and whisking up 
the hay and leaves and branches high into the air. 

* This was Lord Montague, the last of his line, and on 
the same day his family mansion of Cowdray, in Sussex, 
was burned to the ground. 



THE FALLS. 173 

Still I kept the lug-sail set; and with wind and 
current in the same direction I scudded faster 
than I ever sailed before in my life. Great exer- 
tion was required to manage a light skiif safely 
with such a whirlwind above and a whirlwater 
below ; one's nerves were kept in extreme tension, 
and it was a half-hour of pleasant excitement. 

For this reason it was that I did not for some 
time notice a youth who had been running after 
the boat, yelling and shrieking, and waving his 
coat in the air. 

We drew nearer to him, and "luffed up," hailing 
him with, " What's the matter ? " and he could 
only pant out "Wasserfall, Wasserfall, funf 
minuten ! " the breeze had brought me within 
a hundred yards of the falls of Lauffenburg, 
the whistle of the wind had drowned the roar of 
the water. 

I crossed to the right bank (as the ex-courier 
had directed), but the youth's loud cries to come 
to the "links," or left side, at last prevailed, and 
he was right in this. The sail was soon lowered, 
and the boat was hauled on a raft, and then this 
fine young fellow explained that five minutes 
more would have turned the corner and drawn me 
into the horrid current sweeping over the falls. 

While he set off in search of a cart to convey 
the boat, I had time to pull her up the high bank 
and make all snug for a drive, and anon he re- 



174 COW CART. 

turned with a very grotesque carter and a most 
crazy vehicle, actually drawn by a milch cow ! 
All three of us laughed as we hoisted the Rob 
Roy on this cart, and the cow kicked vehe- 
mently, either at the cart, or the boat, or the 
laughing. 

Our procession soon entered the little town, 
but it was difficult to be dignified. As the cart 
with a screeching wheel rattled slowly over the 
big round stones of the street, vacant at midday, 
the windows were soon full of heads, and after 
one peep at us, down they rushed to see the fun.* 
A cow drawing a boat to the door of a great 
hotel is certainly a quaint proceeding; although 
in justice to the worthy quadruped I should men- 
tion that she now behaved in a proper and lady- 
like manner. 

Here the public hit upon every possible way 
but the right one to pronounce the boat's name, 
painted in blue letters on its bow. Sometimes it 
was "Roab Ro," at others " Rubree," but at 
length a man in spectacles called out, " Ah ! ah ! 
Valtarescote ! " The mild Sir Walter's novels 
had not been written in vain. 

The falls of Lauffenburg f can be seen well from 

* A sketch of this cow-cart will be found, post, page 213. 

+ " Lauffenburg" means the " town of the falls," from 
" laufen," to run ; and the Yankee term " loafer " may 
come from this "herurn laufer," one running about. 



SMASHED. 175 

the bridge which spans the river, much narrowed 
at this spot. 

A raft is coming down as we look at the 
thundering foam of course without the men upon 
it ; see the great solid frame that seems to resent 
the quickening of its quiet pace, and to hold back 
with a presentiment of evil as every moment 
draws it nearer to the plunge. 

Crash go all the bindings, and the huge, sturdy 
logs are hurled topsy-turvy into the gorge, boun- 
cing about like chips of firewood, and rattling 
among the foam. Nor was it easy to look calmly 
on this without thinking how the frail canoe 
would "have fared in such a cauldron of cold water 
boiling. 

The salmon drawn into this place get terribly 
puzzled by it, and so are caught by hundreds in 
great iron cages lowered from the rocks for this 
purpose. Fishing stations of the same kind are 
found at several points on the river, where a stage 
is built on piles, and a beam supports a strong 
net below. In a little house, like a sentry-box, 
you notice a man seated, silent and lonely, while 
he holds tenderly in his hand a dozen strings, 
which are fastened to the edges of the net. When 
a fish is beguiled into the snare, or is borne in by 
the swift current bewildering, the slightest vibra- 
tions of the net are thrilled along the cords to the 



176 ENGLISH FOUR-OAR. 

watcher's hand, and then he raises the great beam 
and secures the prize. 

My young friend, who had so kindly warned 
me, and hired the cow, and shown the salmon, I 
now invited to breakfast, and he became the hero 
of the hour, being repeatedly addressed by the 
other inquirers in an unpronouncable German 
title, which signifies, in short, "Man preserver." 

Here we heard again of a certain four-oared boat, 
with five Englishmen in it, which had been sent 
out from London overland to Schaffhausen, and 
then descended the Rhine rowing swiftly. This, 
the people said, had come to Lauffenburg about 
six weeks before, and I fully sympathised with 
the crew in their charming pull, especially if the 
weather was such as we had enjoyed; that is to 
say, not one shower in the boat from the source 
of the Danube to the Palace of Westminster. 



CHAPTER X. 



Field of Foam Precipice Puzzled Philosophy Rhein- 
felden Rapids Dazzled Astride Fate of the Four- 
oar Very Salt The Ladies Whirlpool Funny 
English A baby- The bride. 

THE canoe was now fixed on a hand-cart and 
dragged once more through the streets to a 
point below the falls, and the Rob Roy became 
very lively on the water after its few hours of 
rest. All was brilliant around, and deep under- 
neath, and azure above, and happy within, till 
the dull distant sound of breakers began and got 
louder, and at last could not be ignored ; we have 
come to the rapids of Rheinfelden. 

The exaggeration with which judicious friends 
at each place describe the dangers to be encoun- 
tered is so general in these latitudes, that one 
learns to receive it calmly, but the scene itself 
when I came to the place was certainly puzzling 
and grand. 

Imagine some hundreds of acres all of water in 
white crested waves, varied only by black rocks 
resisting a struggling torrent, and a loud, thun- 
dering roar, mingled with a strange hissing, as 
N 



178 A FIELD OF FOAM. 

the spray from ten thousand sharp-pointed billows 
is tossed into the air. 

And then you are alone, too, and the banks are 
high, and you have a precious boat to guard. 

While there was time to do it I stood up in my 
boat to survey, but it was a mere horizon of 
waves, and nothing could be learned from looking. 
Then I coasted towards one side where the shrubs 
and trees hanging in the water brushed the paddle, 
and seemed so safe because they were on shore. 

The rapids of Bremgarten could probably be 
passed most easily by keeping to the edge, though 
with much delay and numerous "getting outs," 
but an attempt now to go along the side in this way 
was soon shown to be useless, for presently I came 
to a lofty rock jutting out into the stream, and the 
very loud roar behind it fortunately attracted so 
much attention that I pulled into the bank, made 
the boat fast, and mounted through the thicket 
to the top of the cliff. 

I saw at once that to try to pass by this rock 
in any boat would be madness, for the swiftest 
part of the current ran right under the projecting 
crag, and then wheeled round and plunged over 
a height of some feet into a pool of foam, broken 
fragments, and powerful waves. 

Next, would it be just possible to float the 
boat past the rock while I might hold the painter 



PUZZLED BY A PRECIPICE. 179 

from above ? The rock on careful measurement 
was found too high for this. 

To see well over the cliff I had to lie down on 
my face, and the pleasant curiosity felt at first, 
as to how I should have to act, now gradually 
sickened into the sad conviction, " Impossible ! " 
Then was the time to turn with earnest eyes to 
the wide expanse of the river, and see if haply, 
somewhere at least, even in the middle, a channel 
might be traced. Yes, there certainly was a 
channel, only one, very far out, and very difficult 
to hit upon when you sit in a boat quite near the 
level of the water ; but the attempt must be made, 
or stay, might I not get the boat carried round 
by land ? Under the trees far off were men who 
might be called to help, labourers quietly working, 
and never minding me. I was tempted, but did 
not yield. 

For a philosophical thought had come upmost, 
that, after all, the boat had not to meet every wave 
and rock now visible, and the thousand breakers 
dashing around, but only a certain few which would 
be on each side in my crooked and untried way ; 
of the rocks in any one line say fifty of them be- 
tween me and any point only two would become 
a new danger in crossing that line. 

Then again, rapids look worse from the shore 
than they really are, because you see all their 
N 2 



180 PHILOSOPHIZING. 

difficulties at once, and you hear the general din. 
On the other hand, waves look much smaller from 
the bank (being half hidden by others) than you 
find them to be when the boat is in the trough 
between two. The hidden rocks may make a 
channel which looks good enough from the land, 
to be quite impractiable when you attempt it in 
the water. 

Lastly, the current is seen to be swifter from 
the shore where you can observe its speed from 
a fixed point, than it seems when you are in the 
water where you notice only its velocity in re- 
lation to the stream on each side, which is itself 
all the time running at four or five miles an hour. 
But it is the positive speed of the current that 
ought really to be considered, for it is by this the 
boat will be urged against a breaker stationary 
in the river. 

To get to this middle channel at once from 
the place where I had left my boat was not 
possible. We must enter it higher up the river, 
so I had to pull the canoe up stream, over shal- 
lows, and along the bristly margin, wading, tow- 
ing, and struggling, for about half a mile, till 
at length it seemed we must be high enough up 
stream to let me paddle out swiftly across, while 
the current would take the boat sideways to the 
rough water, 



INTO THE WAVES. 181 

And now in a little quiet bay I rested half an 
hour to recover strength after this exertion, and to 
prepare fully for a " spurt/' which might indeed 
be delayed in starting, but which, once begun, 
must be vigorous and all watchful to the end. 

Here various thoughts blended and tumbled 
about in the mind most disorderly. To leave 
this quiet bank and willingly rush out, in cold 
blood, into a field of white breakers ; to tarnish 
the fair journey with a foolhardy prank; to risk 
the Rob Hoy where the touch of one rock was 
utter destruction. Will it be pleasant ? Can it 
be wise ? Is it right ? 

The answer was, to sponge out every drop of 
water from the boat, to fasten the luggage inside, 
that it might not fall out in an upset, to brace the 
waterproof cover all tight around, and to get its edge 
in my teeth ready to let go in capsizing, and then 
to pull one gentle stroke which put the boat's 
nose out of the quiet water into the fast stream, 
and hurrah ! we are off at a swinging pace. 

The sun, now shining exactly up stream, was 
an exceedingly uncomfortable addition to the 
difficulties ; for its glancing beams confounded 
all the horizon in one general band of light, so 
that rocks, waves, solid water, and the most 
flimsy foam were all the same at a little distance. 
This, the sole disadvantage of a cloudless sky, 



182 DAZZLED. 

was so much felt in my homeward route that I 
sometimes prolonged the morning's work by three 
or four hours (with sun behind or on one side), 
so as to shorten the evening's quota where it was 
dead in the eye of the sun. On the present occa- 
sion, when it was of great moment to hit the 
channel exactly, I could not see it at all, even 
with my blue spectacles on. They seemed to be 
utterly powerless against such a fiery blaze ; and, 
what was almost worse, my eyes were thereby so 
dazzled that on looking to nearer objects I could 
scarcely see them either. 

This unexpected difficulty was so serious that I 
thought for a moment of keeping on in my 
present course (directed straight across the river), 
so as to attain the opposite side, and there to wait 
for the sun to go down. 

But it was already too late to adopt this plan, 
for the current had been swiftly bearing me 
down stream, and an instant decision must be 
made. "Now," thought I, "judging by the 
number of paddle-strokes, we must surely be 
opposite the channel in the middle, and now 
I must turn to it." 

By a happy hit, the speed and the direction of 
the canoe were both well fitted, so that when the 
current had borne us to the breakers the boat's 
bow was just turned exactly down stream, and I 



THE UPPER RAPIDS. 183 

entered the channel whistling for very loneliness, 
like a boy in the dark. 

But it was soon seen to be " all right, English- 
man ; " so in ten minutes more the canoe had 
passed the rapids, and we floated along pleasantly 
on that confused "bobbery" of little billows 
always found below broken water, a sort of mob 
of waves, which for a time seem to be elbowing 
and jostling in all directions to find their proper 
places. 

I saw here two fishermen by one of the salmon 
traps described above, and at once pulled over to 
them, to land on a little white bank of sand, that 
I might rest, and bale out, and hear the news. 

The men asked if I had come down the rapids 
in that boat. "Yes." " By the middle channel ?" 
"Yes." They smiled to each other, and then 
both at once commenced a most voluble and loud- 
spoken address in the vilest of patois. Their 
eagerness and energy rose to such a pitch that I 
began to suppose they were angry ; but the 
upshot of all this eloquence (always louder when 
you are seen not to understand one word of it) 
was this, " There are other rapids to come. You 
will get there in half an hour. They are far 
worse than what you have passed. Your boat 
must be carried round them on land." 

To see if this was said to induce me to employ 



184 CONFUSION WORSE CONFOUNDED. 

them as porters, I asked the men to come along 
in their boat, so as to be ready to help me ; but 
they consulted together, and did not by any 
means agree in admiring this proposal. Then I 
asked them to explain the best route through 
the next rapids, when they drew such confused 
diagrams on the sand, and gave such complicated 
directions, that it was impossible to make head or 
tail of their atrocious jargon ; so I quietly bowed, 
wiped out the sand pictures with my foot, and 
started again happy and free ; for it is really the 
case that in these things "ignorance is bliss." 
The excitement of finding your way, and the 
satisfaction when you have found it yourself, is 
well worth all the trouble. Just so in mountain 
travel. If you go merely to work the muscles, 
and to see the view, it will do to be tied by a rope 
to three guides, and to follow behind them ; but 
then theirs is all the mental exertion, and tact, 
and judgment, while yours is only the merit of 
keeping up with the leaders, treading in their 
steps. And therefore I have observed that there 
is less of this particular pleasure of the discoverer 
when one is ascending Mont Blanc, where by 
traditional rule one must be tied to the guides, 
than in making out a path over a mountain 
pass undirected, though the heights thus climbed 
up are not so great. 



SCANNING THE LOWER RAPIDS. 185 

When the boat got near the lower rapids, I 
went ashore and walked for half a mile down the 
bank, and so was able to examine the bearings 
well. It appeared practicable to get along by the 
shallower parts of one side, so this was resolved 
upon as my course. 

It is surely quite fair to go by the easiest way, 
provided there is no carrying overland adopted, 
or other plan for shirking the water. The 
method accordingly used in this case was rather 
a novel mode of locomotion, and it was quite 
successful, as well as highly amusing. 

In the wide plain of breakers here, the central 
district seemed radically bad, so we cautiously kept 
out of the main current, and went where the 
stream ran fast enough nevertheless. I sat 
stridelegs on the deck of the boat near its stern, 
and was thus floated down until the bow, pro- 
jecting out of the water, went above a ridge of 
rocks, and the boat grounded. Thus I received 
the shock against my legs (hanging in the water), 
so that the violence of its blow was eased off from 
the boat. 

Then I immediately fixed both feet on the 
rock, and stood up, and -the canoe went free from 
between my knees, and could be lowered down or 
pushed forward until the water got deeper, and 
when it got too deep to wade after her I pulled 



186 



AMPHIBIOUS PLAX. 




"Astride the Stern." 

the boat back between my knees, and sat down 
again on it as before. 

The chief difficulty in this proceeding was to be 
equally attentive at once to keep hold of the boat, 
to guide it between rocks, to keep hold of the 
paddle, and to manage not to tumble on loose 
stones, or to get into the water above the 
waist. 

Thus by successive riding and ferrying over 
the deep pools, and walking and wading in the 
shallows, by pushing the boat here, and by being 



HOW THE FOUR-OAR PASSED. 187 

carried upon it there, the lower rapids of Rhein- 
felden were most successfully passed without any 
damage. 

It will be seen from the description already 
given of the rapids at Bremgarten, and now of 
these two rapids on the Rhine, that the main 
difficulties are only for him who goes there un- 
informed, and that these can be avoided by 
examining them on the spot at the cost of a walk 
and a short delay. But the pleasure is so much 
enhanced by the whole thing being novel, that, 
unless for a man who wishes simply to get past, 
it is better to seek a channel for oneself, even if 
a much easier one has been found out by other 
people. 

The town of Rheinfelden was now in view, and 
I began to wonder how the English four-oar boat 
we had traced as far as Lauifenburg could have 
managed to descend the rapids just now passed. 
But I learned afterwards that the four-oar had 
come there in a time of flood, when rocks would 
be covered, and probably with only such eddies 
as I have already noticed higher up the river 
where it was deep. So they pulled on bravely 
to Bale, where the hotel folks mentioned that 
when the five moist Britons arrived their clothes 
and baggage were all drenched, and the waiter 
said, with a malicious grin, that thereby his friend 



188 VERY SALT. 

the washerwoman had earned twenty-seven francs 
in one night. 

On the left bank of the river was a large 
building with a smooth gravel shore in front, 
to which I steered at once. This was the great 
salt-water baths of Rheinfelden a favourite resort 
for crippled invalids. The salt rock in the earth 
beneath impregnates the springs with such an 
intensity of brine that eighty per cent, of fresh 
water has to be added before the saline mixture 
can be medicinally employed as a bath. If you 
take a glass of the water as it proceeds from the 
spring, and put a little salt in it, the salt will not 
dissolve, the water is already saturated. A drop 
of it put on your coat speedily dries up and leaves 
a white stain of minute crystals. In fact, this 
water seemed to me to be far more saline than 
even the water of the Dead Sea, which is in all 
conscience salt enough, as every one knows who 
has rubbed it on his face in that reeking-hot 
death-stricken valley of Jericho. 

Though the shore was pleasant here and the 
water was calm, I found no one to welcome me 
now, and yet this was the only time I had reason 
to expect somebody to greet the arrival of the 
canoe. For in the morning a worthy German 
had told me he was going by train to Rheinfelden, 
and he would keep a look out for the canoe, and 



WAITING IN VAIN. 189 

would surely meet me on the beach if I " ever got 
through the rapids." But I found afterwards 
that he had come there, and with his friends, too, 
and they had waited and waited till at last they 
gave up the E/ob Roy as a "missing ship." 
Excellent man, he must have had some novel 
excuses to comfort his friends with as they retired, 
disappointed, after waiting in vain ! 

There was however, not far off, a poor woman 
washing clothes by the river, and thumping and 
bullying them with a wooden bludgeon as if her 
sole object was to smash up the bachelor's shirt- 
buttons. A fine boy of eight years old was with 
her, a most intelligent little fellow, whose quick 
eye at once caught sight of the Hob Roy as it 
dashed round the point into the smooth water of 
the bay, and landed me there a tired, tanned 
traveller, wet and warm. 

This juvenile helped me more than any man 
ever did, and with such alacrity, too, and intelli- 
gence, and good humour, that I felt grateful to 
the boy. We spread out the sails to dry, and my 
socks and shoes in the siin, and sponged out the 
boat, and then dragged her up the high bank. 
Here, by good luck, we found two wheels on an 
axle left alone, for what purpose I cannot imagine ; 
but we got a stick and fastened it to them as a pole, 
and then put the boat on this extemporized vehicle, 



190 A NEW CARRIAGE. 

and with the boy (having duly got permission 
from his mamma) soon pulled the canoe to the 
gates of the old town, and then rattling through 
the streets, even to the door of the hotel. A 
bright franc in the lad's hand made him start 
with amaze, but he instantly rose to the dignity 
of the occasion, and some dozens of other urchins 
formed an attentive audience as he narrated over 
and over the events of the last half-hour, and 
ended always by showing the treasure in his hand, 
" and the Herr gave me this ! " 

The Krone hotel here is very prettily situated. 
It is a large house, with balconies overlooking the 
water, and a babbling jet d'eau in its garden, 
which is close by the river. 

The stream flows fast in front, and retains 
evidence of having passed through troublous times 
higher up ; therefore it makes no small noise as it 
rushes under the arches of the covered wooden 
bridge, but though there are rocks and a few eddies 
the passage is easy enough if you look at it for five 
minutes to form a mental chart of your course. 
My German friend having found out that the 
canoe had arrived after all, his excitement and 
pleasure abounded. Now he was proved right. 
Now his promises, broken as it seemed all day, 
were all fulfilled. 

He was a very short, very fat, and very hilarious 



OX THE ISLAND. 191 

personage, with, a minute smattering of English, 
which he had to speak loudly, so as to magnify its 
value among his Allemand friends, envious of his 
accomplishment. 

His explanations of the contents of my sketch- 
book were truly ludicrous as he dilated on it page 
by page, but he well deserved all gratitude for 
ordering my hotel bedroom and its comforts, which 
were never more acceptable than now after a hard 
day's work. Music finished the evening, and then 
the hum of the distant rapids sung me a lullaby 
breathing soft slumber. 

Next morning, as there was but a short row to 
Bale, I took a good long rest in bed, and then 
carried the canoe half way across the bridge where 
a picturesque island is formed into a terraced 
garden, and here we launched the boat on the 
water. Although, the knocks and strains of the 
last few days were very numerous, and many of 
them of portentous force, judging by the sounds 
they made, the Rob Roy was still hale and hearty, 
and the carpenter's mate had no damages to 
report to the captain. It was not until harder 
times came, in the remainder of the voyage, that 
her timbers suffered and her planks were tortured 
by rough usage. 

A number of ladies patronized the start on this 
occasion, and as they waved their parasols and the 



192 WHIRLPOOL. 

men shouted Hoch ! and Bravo ! we glided down 
stream, the yellow paddle being waved round my 
head in an original mode of "salute," which I 
invented specially for returning friendly gratula- 
tions of this kind. 

Speaking about Hheinfelden, Baedeker says, 
"Below the town another rapid of the Rhine 
forms a sort of whirlpool called the Hollenhaken," 
a formidable announcement, and a terrible name; 
but what is called here a " whirlpool " is not 
worth notice. 

The sound of a railway train beside the river 
reminds you that this is not quite a strange, wild, 
unseen country. Reminds you I say, because 
really when you are -in the river bed, you easily 
forget al>that is beyond it on each side. 

Let a landscape be ever so well known from the 
road, it becomes new again when you view it from 
the level of the water. For before the scene was 
bounded by a semicircle with the diameter on the 
horizon, and the arch of sky for its circumference. 
But when you are seated in the canoe, the picture 
changes to the form of a great sector, with its 
point on the clear water, and each radius inclining 
aloft through rocks, trees, and mossy banks, on 
this side and on that. And this holds good even 
on a well worn river like the Thames. The land- 
scenes between Oxford and London get pretty 



FUNNY ENGLISH. 193 

well known and admired by travellers, but the 
views will seem both fresh and fair if you row down 
the river through them. Nay, there are few 
rivers which have such lovely scenery as the 
Thames can show in its windings along that route. 

But our canoe is now getting back to civiliza- 
tion, and away from that pleasant simplicity where 
everything done in the streets or the hotel is 
strange to a stranger. Here we have composite 
candles and therefore no snuffers ; here the waiter 
insists on speaking English, and sitting down by 
me, and clutching my arm, he confidentially in- 
forms me that there are no " bean green," trans- 
lating " haricots verts," but that perhaps I might 
like a " flower caul," so we assent to a cauliflower. 

This is funny enough, but far more amusing is 
it when the woman waiter of some inland German 
village shouts louder German to you, because that 
she rattles out at first is not understood. She 
gazes with a new sensation at a guest who actually 
cannot comprehend her voluble words, and then 
guest and waiter burst into laughter. 

Here too I saw a boat towed along the Rhine 
a painful evidence of being near commerce, even 
though it was in a primitive style ; not that there 
was any towing-path, but men walked among the 
bushes, pulling the boat with a rope, and often 
wading to do so. This sight told me at once that 
o 



194 A BABY AT BALE. 

I had left the fine free forests where you might 
land anywhere, and it was sure to be lonely and 
charming. 

After a few bends westward we come in sight 
of the two towers of Bale, but the setting sun 
makes it almost impossible to see anything in its 
brightness, so we must only paddle on. 

The bridge at Bale was speedily covered by the 
idle and the curious as the canoe pulled up at an 
hotel a few yards from the water on Sept. 14th. 

It was here that the four-oared boat had arrived 
some weeks ago with its moist crew. The pro- 
prietor of the house was therefore much pleased 
to see another English boat come in, so little and 
so lonely, but still so comfortable and so dry. I 
walked about the town and entered a church (Pro- 
testant here of course), where a number of people 
had assembled at a baptism. The baby was fixed 
on a sort of frame, so as to be easily handed about 
from mother to father, and from clerk to minister ; 
I hereby protest against this mechanical arrange- 
ment as a flagrant indignity to the little darling. 
I have a great respect for babies, sometimes a 
certain awe. 

The instant the christening was done, a happy 
couple came forward to be married, an exceed- 
ingly clumsy dolt of a bridegroom and a fair 
bride, not very young, that is to say, about fifty- 






ODD MARRIAGE. 195 

five years old. There were no bridesmaids or 
other perplexing appurtenances, and after the 
simple ceremony the couple just walked away, 
amid the titters of a numerous crowd of women. 
The bridegroom did not seem to know exactly 
what to do next. He walked before his wife, then 
behind her, and then on one side, but it did not 
somehow feel quite comfortable, so he assumed a 
sort of diagonal position, and kept nudging her on 
till they disappeared in some house. Altogether, 
I never eaw a more unromantic commencement 
of married life, but there was this redeeming point, 
that they were not bored by that dread infliction 
a marriage breakfast the first meeting of two 
jealous sets of new relations, who are all expected 
to be made friends at once by eating when they 
are not hungry, and listening when there is no- 
thing to say. But, come, it is not proper for 
me to criticise these mysteries, so let us go back 
to the inn. 

In the coffee-room a Frenchman, who had been 
in London, has just been instructing two Mexicans, 
who are going there, as to hotels, and it is exces- 
sively amusing to hear his description of the 
London "Caffy Hous," and the hotels in "Lyces- 
ter-squar." " It is pronounced squar," he said, 
" in England." 



CHAPTER XI. 



Private concert Thunderer La Hardt Forest Mul- 
house Canal Eiver 111 Beading stories Madame 
Nico Night noises Pets Ducking Vosges Ad- 
mirers Boat on wheels New wine. 

BALE is, in every sense, a turning-point on the 
Rhine. The course of the river here bends 
abruptly from west to north, and the character of 
the scenery beside it alters at once from high 
sloping banks to a widespread network of streams, 
all entangled in countless islands, and yet ever 
tending forward, northward, seaward through the 
great rich valley of the Rhine with mountain chains 
reared on each side like two everlasting barriers. 

Here then we could start anew almost in any 
direction, and I had not settled yet what route to 
take, whether by the Saone and Doubs to paddle 
to the Rhone, and so descend to Marseilles, and 
coast by the Cornici road, and sell the boat at 
Genoa ; or and this second plan must be surely 
a better alternative, if by it we can avoid a 



A LADY IN THE BUSH. 197 

sale of the Rob Roy I could not part with her 
now so let us at once decide to go back through 
France. 

We were yet on the river slowly paddling when 
this decision was arrived at, and the river carried 
me still, for I determined not to leave its pleasant 
easy current for a slow canal, until the last possible 
opportunity. A diligent study of new maps 
procured at Bale, showed that a canal ran north- 
ward nearly parallel to the Rhine, and approached 
very near to the river at one particular spot, 
which indeed looked hard enough to find even on 
the map, but was far more dubious when we got 
into a maze of streamlets and little rivers circling 
among high osiers, so thick and close that even 
on shore it was impossible to see a few yards. 

But the line of tall poplars along the canal 
was visible now and then, so I made a guesswork 
turn, and it was not far wrong, or at any rate 
we got so near the canal that by winding about 
for a little in a pretty limpid stream, I brought 
the Rob Roy at last within carrying distance. 

A song or two (without words) and a variation 
of the music by whistling on the fingers would 
be sure to bring anybody out of the osiers who 
was within reach of the outlandish concert, and 
so it proved, for a woman's head soon peered over 
a break in the dense cover. She wished to help 



198 BYRON AND THE RHINE. 

to carry the boat herself, but the skipper's gal- 
lantry had scruples as to this proposal, so she 
disappeared and soon fetched a man, and we bore 
the canoe with some trouble through hedges and 
bushes, and over dykes and ditches, and at last 
through deep grassy fields, till she was safely 
placed on the canal. 

The man was delighted by a two-franc piece. 
He had been well paid for listening to bad music. 
As for the boat she lay still and resigned, awaiting 
my next move, and as for me I sighed to give a 
last look backward, and to say with Byron 

<( Adieu to thee, fair Rhine ! How long delighted 
The stranger fain would linger on his way ! 
Thine is a scene alike where souls united 
Or lonely contemplation thus might stray ; 
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey 
On self -condemning bosoms, it were here, 
Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay, 
Wild but not rude, awful yet not austere, 

Is to the mellow earth as autumn to the year. 

Adieu to thee again ! a vain adieu ! 
There can be no farewell to scene like thine ; 
The mind is colour'd by thy every hue ; 
And if reluctantly the eyes resign 
Their cherish' d gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine ! 
'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise ; 
More mighty spots may rise, more glaring shine, 
But none unite in one attaching maze 
The brilliant, fair, and soft- -the glories of old days. 



CURIOUS BRIDGES. 199 

The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom 
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen, 
The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom, 
The forest's growth, and gothic walls between, 
The wild rocks shaped as they had turrets been 
In mockery of man's art ; and these withal 
A race of faces happy as the scene, 
Whose fertile bounties here extend to all, 
Still springing o'er thy banks, though empires near them fall. 

But these recede. Above me are the Alps, 
The palaces of nature, whose vast walls 
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps, 
And throned eternity in icy halls 
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls 
The avalanche the thunderbolt of snow ! 
All that expands the spirit, yet appals, 
Gather around these summits, as to show 
How earth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below." 
Ckilde Harold, Canto III. 

To my surprise and satisfaction the canal had 
a decided current in it, and in the right direction 
too. It is true that this current was only about 
two miles an hour, but even that is something ; and 
though the little channel was hardly twelve feet 
wide, yet it was clear and deep, and by no means 
stupid to travel on. 

After a few miles I came to a drawbridge, which 
rested within a foot of the water. A man came 
to raise the bridge by machinery, and he was 
surprised to see my way of passing it instead, 



200 OMELETTE. 

that is, to shove my boat under it, while I quietly 
walked over the top and got into the boat at the 
other side. This was, without doubt, the first boat 
which had traversed the canal without the bridge 
being raised, but I had passed several very low 
bridges on the Danube, some of them not two 
inches above the surface of the water. The very 
existence of these proves that no boats pass there, 
and mine only passed by pulling it over the bridge 
itself. It may be asked, how such a low bridge 
fares in flood times ? and the answer is, that the 
water simply flows all over it. In some cases 
the planks which form the roadway are removed 
when the water rises, and then the wayfaring 
man who comes to the river must manage in some 
other mode. His bridge is removed at the very 
time when the high water makes it most neces- 
sary. 

The bridge man was so intelligent in his re- 
marks that we determined to stop there and break- 
fast, so I left the canoe in his charge and found 
my way to a little publichouse at the hamlet of 
Gros Kembs, and helped the wizened old lady 
who ruled there to make me an omelette my help, 
by the bye, consisted in ordering, eating, and 
paying for the omelette, for the rest she was sure 
to do well enough, as all French women can, and 
no English ones. 



GROS KEMBS THUNDERER. 201 

The village gossips soon arrived, and each 
person who saw the boat came on to the inn to 
see the foreigner who could sail in such a batteau. 

The courteous and respectful behaviour of Con- 
tinental people is so uniform that the stranger 
among them is bound, I think, to amuse and interest 
these folk in return. This was most easily done 
by showing all my articles of luggage,* and of 
course the drawings. A Testament with gilt 
leaves was, however, the chief object of curiosity, 
and all the savants of the party tried in turn to 
read it. 

One of these as spokesman, and with commen- 
dable gravity, told me he had read in their district 
newspaper about the canoe, but he little expected 
to have the honour of meeting its owner. 

Fancy the local organ of such a place ! Is it 
called the "News of the Wold," or the "Gros 
Kembs Thunderer "? Well, whatever was the 
title of the Gazette, it had an article about Pontius 
Pilate and my visit to the Titisee in the Black 
Forest, and this it was no doubt which made these 
canal people so very inquisitive on the occasion. 

The route now lay through the great forest of 
La Hardt, with dense thickets on each side of the 
canal, and not a sound anywhere to be heard but 

* See an inventory of these in the Appendix. 



202 LA HARDT FOREST. 

the hum now and then of a dragon fly. One or 
two woodmen met me as they trudged silently 
home from work, but there was a lonely feeling 
about the place without any of the romance of 
wild country. 

In the most brilliant day the scenery of a canal 
has at best but scant liveliness, the whole thing is 
so prosaic and artificial, and in fact stupid, if one 
can ever say that of any place where there is 
fresh air and clear water, and blue sky and green 
trees. 

Still I had to push on, and sometimes, for a 
change, to tow the boat while I walked. The dif- 
ference between a glorious river encircling you 
with lofty rocks and this canal with its earthen 
walls was something like that between walking 
among high mountains and being shut up by 
mistake in Bloomsbury-square. 

No birds chirped or sung, or even flew past, 
only the buzzing of flies was mingled with 
the distant shriek of a train on the railway. 
It is this railway which has killed the canal, for I 
saw no boats moving upon it. The long continued 
want of rain had also reduced its powers of accom- 
modation for traffic, and the traffic is so little at 
the best that it would not pay to buy water for 
the supply. For in times of drought canal water 
is very expensive. It was said that the Regent's 



MULHOUSE. 203 

Canal, in London, had to pay 5,000/. for what 
they required last summer, in consequence of the 
dryness of the season. 

At length we came to a great fork of the canal 
in a wide basin, and I went along the branch to 
the town of Mulhouse, a place of great wealth, 
the largest French cotton town the Manchester 
of France. 

The street boys here were very troublesome, 
partly because they were intelligent, and therefore 
inquisitive, and partly because manufacturing 
towns make little urchins precocious and forward 
in their manners. 

I hired a truck from a woman and hired a man 
to drag if, and so took the boat to the best hotel, 
a fine large house, where they at once recognized 
the canoe, and seemed to know all about it from 
report. 

The hotel porter delayed so long next morning 
to wheel the boat to the railway, that when we took 
her into the luggage office as usual and placed the 
boat on the counter with the trunks and band- 
boxes, the officials declined to put it in the train. 

This was the first time it had been refused on a 
railroad, and I used every kind of persuasion, but 
in vain, and this being the first application of 
the kind on French soil we felt that difficulties 
were ahead, if this precedent was to hold good. 



204 REJECTED ON A KAILROAD. 

Subsequent experience showed that the French 
railways will not take a canoe as baggage ; while 
the other seven or eight countries we had brought 
the boat through were all amenable to pressure 
on this point. 

We had desired to go by the railway only a few 
miles, but it would have enabled me to avoid about 
fifty locks on the canal and thus have saved two 
tedious days. As, however, they would not take 
the boat in a passenger train we carried her back to 
the canal, and I determined to face the locks 
boldly, and to regard them as an exercise of 
patience and of the flexor muscles, as it happens 
sometimes one's walk is only " a constitutional." 

The Superintendent of the Rhine and Rhone 
Canal was very civil, and endeavoured to give me 
the desirable information I required, but which he 
had not got, that is to say, the length, depth, and 
general character of the several rivers we proposed 
to navigate in connexion with streams less 
" canalize," so I had to begin again as usual, 
without any knowledge of the way. 

With rather an ill-tempered " adieu" to Mul- 
house, the Rob Roy set off again on its voyage. 
The water assumed quite a new aspect, now that 
one must go by it, but it was not so much the 
water as the locks which were objectionable. 
For at each of these there is a certain form of 






LOCK CEREMONIES. 205 

operations to be gone through all very trifling 
and without variety, yet requiring to be carefully 
performed, or you may have the boat injured, or 
a ducking for yourself. 

When we get to a lock I have to draw to the 
bank, open my waterproof covering, put my 
package and paddle ashore, then step out and 
haul the boat out of the water. By this time 
two or three persons usually congregate. I select 
the most likely one, and ask him to help in such 
a persuasive but dignified manner that he feels it 
an honour to carry one end of the boat while 
I take the other, and so we put her in again 
above the barrier, and, if the man looks poor, 
I give him a few sous. At some of the locks 
they asked me for a "carte de permission," or 
pass for travelling on their canal, but I laughed 
the matter off, and when they pressed it with 
a " mais monsieur," I kept treating the proposal 
as a good joke, until the officials were fairly 
baffled and gave in. The fact is, we had got into 
the canal as one gets over the hedge on to a public 
road, and as I did not use any of the water in locks 
or any of the lock-keepers' time, and the " pass " 
was a mere form, price 5d., it was but reason- 
able to go unquestioned; and besides, this "carte" 
could not be obtained except at the beginning. 
Having set off late, we went on until about sunset, 



206 THE ILL AND THE WHITE HORSE. 

when the route suddenly passed into the river 
111, a long dull stream, which flows through the 
Yosges into the Rhine. 

This stream was now quite stagnant, and a mere 
collection of pools covered by thick scum. It was 
therefore a great comfort to have only a short 
voyage upon it. 

When the Rob Roy again entered the canal, an 
acquaintance was formed with a fine young lad, 
who was reading as he sauntered along. He was 
reading of canoe adventures in America, and so 
I got him to walk some miles beside me, and 
to help the boat over some locks, telling him 
he could thus see how different actual canoeing 
was from the book stories about it made up of 
romance ! He was pining for some expansion 
of his sphere, and specially for foreign travel, and 
above all to see England. 

We went to an auberge, w^here I ordered a 
bottle of wine, the cost of which was twopence 
halfpenny. After he left, and as it was now 
dark, I halted, put my boat in a lock-keeper's 
house, and made his son conduct me to the little 
village of Illfurth, a most unsophisticated place 
indeed, with a few vineyards on a hill behind it, 
though the railway has a road station near. It 
was not easy to mistake which was the best 
house here even in the dark, so I inquired of 



TAPROOM CHARACTERS. 207 

Madame at " The White Horse" if she could give 
me a bed. " Not in a room for one alone ; three 
others will be sleeping in the same chamber." 

This she had answered after glancing at my 
puny package and travel-worn dress, but her 
ideas about the guest were enlarged when she 
heard of how he had come, and so she managed 
(they always do if you give time and smiles and 
show sketches) to allot me a nice little room 
to myself, with two beds of the hugest size, a 
water-jug of the most minute dimensions, and 
sheets very coarse and very clean. Another 
omelette was consumed while the customary 
visitors surrounded the benighted traveller; 
carters, porters, all of them with courteous 
manners, and behaving so well to me and to 
one another, and talking such good sense, as 
to make me feel how different from this is the 
noisy taproom of a roadside English " public." 

Presently two fine fellows of the Gendarmerie 
came in for their half bottle of wine, at one 
penny, and as both of them had been in the 
Crimea there was soon ample subject for most 
interesting conversation. This was conducted 
in French, but the people here usually speak 
a patois utterly impossible for one to comprehend. 
I found they were discussing me under various 
conjectures, and they settled at last that I must 



208 NIGHT NOISES. 

be rather an odd fish, but certainly " a gentleman/' 
and probably " noble." They were most sur- 
prised to hear I meant to stop all the next day 
at Illfurth, simply because it was Sunday, but 
they did not fail to ask for my passport, which 
until this had been carried all the way without 
a single inquiry on the subject. 

The sudden change from a first-rate hotel this 
morning to the roadside inn at Illfurth, was 
more entertaining on account of its variety than 
for its agreeables ; but in good health and good 
weather one can put up with anything. 

The utter silence of peaceful and cool night 
in a place like this reigns undisturbed until about 
four o'clock in early morn, when the first sound 
is some matutinal cock, who crows first because 
he is proud of being first awake. After he has 
asserted his priority thus once or twice, another 
deeper toned rooster replies, and presently a dozen 
cocks are all in full ^ong, and in different keys. 
In half an hour you hear a man's voice; next, 
some feminine voluble remarks ; then a latch 
is moved and clicks, the dog gives a morning 
bark, and a horse stamps his foot in the stable 
because the flies have aroused to breakfast on his 
tender skin. At length a pig grunts, his gastric 
juice is fairly awake, the day is begun. And so 
the stream of life, thawed from its sleep, flows 



DUCKING IN A POND. 209 

gently on again, and at length the full tide of 
village business is soon in agitation, with men's 
faces and women's quite as full of import as if 
this French Stoke Pogis were the capital of the 
world. 

While the inmates prepare for early mass, and 
my bowl of coffee is set before me, there are four 
dogs, eight cats, and seven canaries (I counted 
them) all looking on, moving, twittering, mewing, 
each evidently sensible that a being from some 
other land is present among them ; and as these 
little pets look with doubtful inquiring eyes on 
the stranger, there is felt more strongly by him 
too, " Yes, I am in a foreign country." 

On Sunday I had a quiet rest, and walk, and 
reading, and an Englishman, who had come out 
for a day from Mulhouse to fish, dined in the 
pleasant arbour of the inn with his family. One 
of his girls managed to fall into a deep pond and 
was nearly drowned, but I heard her cries, and 
we soon put her to rights. This Briton spoke 
with quite a foreign accent, having been six years 
in France ; but his Lancashire dialect reappeared 
in conversation, and he said he had just been 
reading about the canoe in a Manchester paper. 
His children had gone that morning to a Sunday- 
school before they came out by railway to 
fish in the river here; but I could not help 
p 



210 STRANDED GEESE. 

contrasting their rude manners with the good 
behaviour of the little "lady and gentleman" 
children of my host. One of these, Philibert, 
was very intelligent, and spent an hour or two 
with me, so we became great friends. He asked 
all kinds of questions about England and America, 
far more than I was able to answer. I gave him 
a little book with a picture in it, that he might 
read it to his father, for it contained the remark- 
able conversation between Napoleon and his 
Marshal at St. Helena concerning the Christian 
religion, a paper well worth reading, whoever 
spoke the words. 

This Sunday being an annual village fete a 
band played, and some very uncouth couples 
waltzed the whole day. Large flocks of sheep, 
following their shepherds, wandered over the 
arid soil. The poor geese, too, were flapping their 
wings in vain as they tried to swim in water an 
inch deep, where usually there had been pleasant 
pools in the river. I sympathized with the geese, 
for I missed my river sadly too. 

My bill here for the two nights, with plenty to 
eat and drink, amounted to five shillings in all, 
and I left good Madame Mco with some regret, 
starting again on the canal, which looked more 
dully and dirty than before. 

After one or two locks this sort of travelling 



HUMILIATED. 211 

became so insufferable that I suddenly determined 
to change my plans entirely for is not one free ? 
By the present route several days would be con- 
sumed in going over the hills by a series of 
tedious locks ; besides, this very canal had been 
already traversed by the four-oar boat Waterwitch 
some years ago. 

A few moments of thought, and I got on the 
bank to look for a way of deliverance. Far off 
could be seen the vine-clad hills of the Yosges, 
and I decided at once to leave the canal, cross 
the country to those hills, cart the canoe over 
the range, and so reach the source of the Moselle, 
and thus begin to paddle on quite another set 
of rivers. We therefore turned the prow back, 
went down the canal, and again entered the river 
111, but soon found it was now too shallow to 
float even my canoe. Once more I retraced my 
way, ascending the locks, and, passing by 111- 
furth, went on to reach a village where a cart 
could be had. Desperation made me paddle hard 
even in the fierce sun, but it was not that this 
so much troubled me as the humiliation of thus 
rowing back and forward for miles on a dirty, 
stagnant canal, and passing by the same locks 
two or three times, with the full conviction that 
the people who gazed at the procedure must be- 
lieve me not only to be mad (this much one can 
p 2 



212 METAPHYSICS. 

put up with.), but furiously insane, and dangerous 
to be at large. 

Whether we confess it or not we all like to be 
admired. The right or wrong of this depends on 
for what and from whom we covet admiration. 
But when the deed you attract attention by is 
neither a great one, nor a deed which others 
have not done or cannot do, but is one that 
all other people could but would not do, then 
you are not admired as remarkable but only stared 
at as singular. 

The shade of a suspicion that this is so in any 
act done before lookers-on is enough to make it 
hateful. Nay, you have then the sufferings of a 
martyr, without his cause or his glory. But I 
fear that instead of getting a cart for the canoe I 
am getting out of depth in metaphysics, which 
means, you know, "When ane maun explains 
till anither what he disna under staun himsel, that's 
metapheesics." 

Well, when we came to the prescribed village, 
named Haidwiller, we found they had plenty of 
carts, but not one would come to help me even 
for a good round sum. It was their first day 
with the grapes, and " ancient customs must be 
observed"; so we went on still further to 
another village, where they were letting out the 
water from the canal to repair a lock. 



BOAT CART 



213 







"The Rob Roy on wheels." 

Here was a position of unenviable repose for 
the poor Rob Roy! No water to float in, and 
no cart to carry her. 

To aid deliberation I attacked a large cake of 
hot flour baked by the lock-keeper's dirty wife, 
and we stuck plums in it to make it go down, 
while the man hied off to the fields to get some 
animal that could drag a clumsy vehicle cart 
is too fine a name for it which I had impressed 
from a ploughman near. 



214 BOAT CART. 

The man came back leading a gloomy-looking 
bullock, and we started with the boat now tra- 
velling on wheels, but at a most dignified 
pace.* 

This was the arrangement till we reached 
another village, which had no vineyards, and 
where therefore we soon found a horse, instead 
of the gruff bullock ; while the natives were lost 
in amazement to see a boat in a cart, and a big 
foreigner gabbling beside it. 

The sun was exceedingly hot, and the road 
dusty ; but I felt the walk would be a pleasant 
change, though my driver kept muttering to him- 
self about my preference of pedestrianism to the 
fearful jolts of his cart. 

We passed thus through several villages on a 
fine fruitful plain, and at some of them the horse 
had to bait, or the driver to lunch, or his em- 
ployer to refresh the inner man, in every case the 
population being favoured with an.account by the 
driver of all he knew about the boat, and a great 
deal more. 

At one of the inns on the road some new wine 
was produced on the table. It had been made 
only the day before, and its colour was exactly 

* The sketch represents the lady cow which dragged 
the cart at Lauffenburg, but it will do almost equally well 
for the present equipage. 



NEW WINE. 215 

like that of cold tea, with milk and sugar in it, 
while its taste was very luscious and sweet. 
This new wine is sometimes in request, but 
especially among the women. " Corn shall make 
the young men cheerful, and new wine the 
maids." (Zech. ix. 17.) 



CHAPTER XII. 



Bonfire My wife Matthews Tunnel picture Im- 
posture Fancy Moselle Cocher " Saturday Re- 
view" Tracts Gymnastics The paddle A spell 
Overhead Feminine forum Public breakfast. 

As evening came on the little flag of the Rob 
Roy, which was always hoisted, even in a cart, 
showed signs of animation, being now revived 
by a fresh breeze from the beautiful Yosges 
mountains when we gradually brought their 
outline more distinctly near. 

Then we had to cross the river Thur, but that 
was an easy matter in these scorching days of 
drought. So the cavalcade went on till, the high 
road being reached, we drove the cart into the 
pretty town of Thann. The driver insisted on 
going to his hotel, but when there I saw it could 
not be the best in a town of this size (experience 
quickens perception in these matters), and I 
simply took the reins, backed out of the yard, 
and drove to a better one. 

Here the hotel-keeper had read of the Rob 
Roy, so it was received with all the honours, and 
the best of his good things was at my disposal. 



BONFIRE. 217 

In the evening I burned some magnesium-wire 
signals to amuse the rustics, who came in great 
crowds along the roads, drawing home their 
bullock-carts, well loaded with large vats full of 
the new grapes, and singing hoarsely as they 
waved aloft flowers and garlands and danced 
around them, the rude rejoicings for a bounteous 
vine harvest. It is remarkable how soon the 
good singing of Germany is lost trace of when 
you cross into France, though the language of 
the peasant here was German enough. 

At night we went to see an experiment in put- 
ting out fires. A large bonfire was lighted in the 
market-place, and the inventor of the new apparatus 
came forward, carrying on his back a vessel full of 
water, under the pressure of " six atmospheres " 
of carbonic acid gas. He directed this on the fire 
from a small squirt at the end of a tube, and it 
was certainly most successful in immediately ex- 
tinguishing the flames.* This gentleman and 
other savants of the town then visited the boat, 
and the usual entertainment of the sketch-book 
closed a pleasant day, which had begun with 
every appearance of being the reverse. 

Although this is a busy place, I found only one 

* This invention, 1'Extincteur, has since been exhibited 
in London, and it seems to be a valuable one. 



*218 MY WIFE. 

book-shop in it, and that a very bad one. A 
priest and two nuns were making purchases there, 
and I noticed that more images and pictures than 
printed books were kept for sale. 

Next morning a new railroad enabled me to 
take the boat a little further into the hills ; but 
they fought hard to make her go separate, that is, 
in a "merchandise " train, though I said the boat 
was " my wife," and could not travel alone. At 
last they put their wise heads together, filled up 
five separate printed forms, charged double fare, 
and the whole thing cost me just ninepence. 
Yerily, the French are still overloaded with forms, 
and are still in the straitwaistcoat of systeme. 
The railway winds among green hills, while here 
and there a " fabrik," or factory, nestles in a 
valley, or illumines a hill-side at night with its 
numerous windows all lighted up. These are the 
chief depots of that wonderful industry of taste 
which spreads the shawls and scarfs of France 
before the eyes of an admiring world, for ladies 
to covet, and for their husbands to buy. I was 
informed that the designs for patterns here cost 
large sums, as if they were the oil paintings of 
the first masters, and that three times as much is 
paid in France for cutting one in wood as will be 
given by an English manufacturer. 

At Wesserling we managed to mount the Rob 



219 

Roy on a spring vehicle, and we set off gaily up 
the winding road that passes the watershed of the 
Yosges mountains. I never had a more charming 
drive. For six hours we were among woods, 
vineyards, bright rivulets, and rich pastures. 
Walking up a hill, we overtook a carriage, and 
found one of the occupants was an Englishman. 
But he had resided in France for more than 
twenty years, and really I could scarcely under- 
stand his English. He spoke of " dis ting," and 
" ve vill go/' and frequently mingled French and 
German words with his native tongue. In a 
newspaper article here we noticed after the name 
" Matthews," the editor had considerately added, 
"pronounced, in English, Massious." This is 
well enough for a Frenchman, but it certainly 
is difficult to conceive how a man can fail in pro- 
nouncing our " th," if he is a real live English- 
man. When he found out my name, he grasped 
my hand, and said how deeply interested he had 
been in a pamphlet written by one of the same 
name.* 

The spring carriage had been chartered as an 
expensive luxury in this cheap tour, that is to say, 
my boat and myself were to be carried about 

* The Loss of the Kent East Indiaman by Fire in the 
Bay of Biscay, by General Sir D. Macgregor, K.C.B. 
(Religious Tract Society, Paternoster-row.) See a further 
note on this in the Appendix. 



220 TUNNEL ON THE VOSGES. 

thirty-five miles in a comfortable four-wheeled 
vehicle for twenty-six francs not very dear when 
you consider that it saved a whole day's time to 
me and a whole day's jolting to the canoe, which 
seemed to enjoy its soft bed on the top of the 
cushion, and to appreciate very well the conveni- 
ence of springs. After a good hard pull up a 
winding road we got to the top of the pass of this 
" little Switzerland," as it is called, and here was 
a tunnel on the very crest of the watershed. 

The arch of this dark tunnel made an excellent 
frame to a magnificent picture ; for before me was 
stretched out broad France. All streams at our 
back went down to the all-absorbing Rhine, but 
those in front would wend their various ways, 
some to the Mediterranean, others into the Bay of 
Biscay, and the rest into the British Channel. 

A thousand peaks and wooded knolls were on 
this side and that, while a dim panorama of five 
or six villages and sunny plains extended before 
us. This was the chain of the Yosges mountains 
and their pleasant vales, where many valorous 
men have been reared. The most noted crusaders 
came from this district, and from here too the first 
of the two great Napoleons drew the best soldiers 
of his army.* Most of the community are 
Protestants. 

* The giant called " Anak," who has been exhibiting 
in London, is from the Vosges mountains. 



IMPOSTURES. 221 

High up on one side of us was a pilgrim station, 
where thousands of people come year by year, and 
probably they get fine fresh air and useful exer- 
cise. The French seem to walk farther for 
superstitious purposes than for mere pedestrian 
amusement.* 

My English friend now got into my carriage, 
and we drove a little way from the road to the vil- 
lage of Bussang to see the source of the Moselle. 

This river rises under the " Ballon d' Alsace," 
a lofty mountain with a rounded top, and the 
stream consists at first of four or five very tiny 

* Among other celebrated French " stations " there is 
the mountain of La Salette, near Grenoble, where, even in 
one day, 16,000 pilgrims have ascended to visit the spot 
where the Virgin Mary was said to have spoken to some 
shepherds. On the occasion of my pilgrimage there I met 
some donkeys with panniers bringing down holy water (in 
lemonade bottles) which was sold throughout Europe for a 
shilling a bottle, until a priest at the bottom of the mountain 
started a private pump of his own. The woman who had 
been hired to personate the Holy Saint confessed the de- 
ception, and it was exploded before the courts of law in a 
report which I read on the spot ; but the Roman Catholic 
papers, even in England, published attractive articles to 
support this flagrant imposture, and its truth and goodness 
were vehemently proclaimed in a book by the Romish 
Bishop of Birmingham, with the assent of the Pope. Me- 
thinks it is easier to march barefoot 100 miles over sharp 
stones than to plod your honest walk of life on common 
pavement and with strong soled boots. 



222 SOURCE OF THE MOSELLE. 

trickling rivulets which unite and come forth in a 
little spring well about the size of a washing- 
tub, from which the water flows across the road 
in a channel that you can bridge with your 
fingers. 

But this bubbling brook had great interest for 
me, as I meant to follow its growth until it would 
be strong enough to bear me on its cool, clear 
water, now only like feathers strewed among the 
grass, and singing its first music very pretty and 
low. 

We like to see the source of a great river ; a 
romantic man must have much piquant thought at 
the sight, and a poetic man must be stirred by its 
sentiment. Every great thought must also have 
had a source or germ, and it would be interesting 
to know how and when some of the grand ideas 
that have afterwards aroused nations first thrilled 
in the brain of a genius, a warrior, a philosopher, 
or a statesman. And besides having a source, 
each stream of thought has a current too, with 
ripples and deep pools, and scenery as it were 
around. Some thoughts are lofty, others broad ; 
some are straight, and others round about ; some 
are rushing, while others glide peacefully ; only a 
few are clear and deep. 

But this is not the place' to launch upon fancy's 
dreams, or even to describe the real, pretty valleys 
around us in the Yosges. We go through these 



LAGOONS AND STARS. 223 

merely to find water for the Rob Hoy, and in this 
search we keep descending every hour. 

When the bright stars came out they glittered 
below thick trees in pools of the water now so 
quickly become a veritable river, and I scanned 
each lagoon in the darkness to know if still it was 
too small for the boat. 

We came to the town of Remiremont and to a 
bad sort of inn, where all was disorder and dirt. 
The driver sat down with me to a late supper and 
behaved with true French politeness, which always 
shows better in company than in private, or when 
real self-denial or firm friendship is to be tested. 
So he ate of his five different courses, and had his 
wine, fruit, and neat little etceteras, and my bill 
next day for our united entertainment and lodging 
was just 3s. 4d. 

This cocker was an intelligent man, and con- 
versed on his own range of subjects with consider- 
able tact, and when our conversation was turned 
upon the greater things of another world he said, 
" They must be happy there, for none of them 
have ever come back" a strange thought, oddly 
phrased. As he became interested in the subject 
I gave him a paper upon it, which he at once 
commenced to read aloud.* 

* Some days previously a stranger gave me a bundle of 
papers to read, for which I thanked him much. After- 



224 LAUGHING CROWD. 

Next morning, the 20th of September, the Rob 
Hoy was brought to the door in a handcart, and 
was soon attended by its usual levee. 

As we had come into the town late at night the 
gazers were ignorant of any claims this boat 
might have upon their respect, and some of them 
derided the idea of its being able to float on the 
river here, or at any rate to go more than a mile 
or two. 

But having previously taken a long walk before 
breakfast to examine the Moselle, I was convinced 
it could be begun even here and in this dry season. 
The porter was therefore directed to go forward, 
and the boat moved towards the river amid 
plaudits rather ambiguous, until a curious old 
gentleman, with green spectacles and a white hat, 
kindly brought the sceptical mob to their senses 
by telling them he had read often about the boat, 
and they must not make fun of it now. 

wards at leisure I examined the packet, which consisted of 
about thirty large pages sewn together, and comprising 
tracts upon politics, science, literature, and religion. The 
last subject was prominent, and was dealt with in a 
style clever, caustic, and censorious, which' interested me 
much. These tracts were printed in England and with 
good paper and type. They are a weekly series, dis- 
tributed everywhere at six shillings a dozen, and each 
page is entitled " The Saturday Keview." 



ON THE MOSELLE. 225 

Then they all chopped round and changed their 
minds in a moment the fickle French and they 
helped me with a will, and carried the Rob Hoy 
about a mile to the spot fixed upon for the start, 
which was speedily executed, with a loud and warm 
"Adieu!" and " Bon . voyage !" from all the 
spectators. 

It was pleasant again to grasp the paddle and to 
find pure clear water below, which I had not seen 
since the Danube, and to have a steady current 
alongside that was so much missed on the sluggish 
river 111 and the Basel Canal. 

Pretty water flowers quivered in the ripples 
round the mossy stones, and park-like meadows 
sloped to the river with fruit trees heavy laden. 
After half an hour of congratulation that we had 
come to the Moselle rather than the Saone and the 
Doubs, I settled down to my day's work with 
cheerfulness. 

The water of this river was very clear and cool, 
meandering through long deep pools, and then 
over gurgling shallows ; and the fish, waterfowl, 
woods, and lovely green fields were a most wel- 
come change from the canal we had left. The sun 
was intensely hot, but the spare "jib," as a shawl 
on my shoulders, defied its fierce rays, and so I 
glided along in solitary enjoyment. The numerous 
shallows required much activity with the paddle, 
Q 



226 GYMNASTICS. 

and my boat got more bumped and thumped to- 
day than in any other seven days of the tour. Of 
course I had often to get out and to tow her 
through the water ; sometimes through the fields, 
or over rocks, but this was easily done with canvas 
shoes on, and flannel trousers that are made for 
constant ducking. 

The aspect of the river was rather of a singular 
character for some miles, with low banks sloping 
backwards, and richly carpeted with grass, so that 
the view on either side was ample ; while in front 
was a spacious picture of successive levels, seen 
to great advantage as the Rob Eoy glided smoothly 
on crystal waters lipped with green. Again the 
playful river descends by sudden leaps and deep 
falls, chiefly artificial, and some trouble is caused 
in getting down each of these, for the boat had to 
be lowered by hand, with a good deal of gymnastic 
exercise among the slippery rocks ; the mosses 
and lichens were studied in anything but botanical 
order. 

At this period of the voyage the paddle felt so 
natural in my hands from long use of it every 
day, that it was held unconsciously. In the 
beginning of my practice I had invented various 
tethers and ties to secure this all-important piece 
of furniture from being lost if it should fall over- 
board, and I had practised what ought to be done 



THE PADDLE. 227 

if the paddle should ever be beaten out of my hand 
by a wave, or dropped into the water in a moment 
of carelessness. 

But none of these plans were satisfactory in 
actual service. The strings got entangled when 
I jumped out suddenly, or I forgot the thing was 
tied when it had to be thrown out on the shore, 
so it was better to have the paddle perfectly 
loose ; and thus free, it never was dropped or lost 
hold of even in those times of difficulty or con- 
fusion which made twenty things to be done, and 
each to be done first, when an upset was imminent, 
and a jump out had to be managed instead.* 

The movement of the paddle, then, got to be 
almost involuntary, just as the legs are moved in 
walking, and the ordinary difficulties of a river 
seemed to be understood by the mind without 
special observation, and to be dealt with naturally, 
without hesitation or reasoning as to what ought 

* The bamboo mast was meant originally to serve also 
as a boat-hook or hitcher, and had a ferrule and a fishing 
gaff neatly fastened on the end, which fitted also into the 
mast step. I recollect having used the boat-hook once at 
Gravesend, but it was instantly seen to be a mistake. You 
don't want a boat-hook when your canoe can come close 
alongside where it is deep, and will ground when it is 
shallow. Besides, to use a boat-hook you must drop the 
paddle. 

Q 2 



228 A SPELL. 

to be done. This faculty increased until long 
gazes upwards to the higher grounds or to the 
clouds were fully indulged without apparently 
interrupting the steady and proper navigation of 
the boat, even when it was moving with speed. 
On one of these occasions I had got into a train 
of thought on this subject, and was regretting 
that the course of the stream made me turn my 
back on the best scenery. I had spun round two 
or three times to feast my eyes once more and 
again upon some glowing peaks, lit up by the 
setting sun, until a sort of fascination seized the 
mind, and a quiet lethargy crept over the system ; 
and, moreover, a most illogical persuasion then 
settled that the boat always did go right, and that 
one need not be so much on the alert to steer 
well. This still held me as we came into a cluster 
of about a dozen rocks all dotted about, and with 
the stream welling over this one and rushing over 
that, and yet I was spellbound and doggedly did 
nothing to guide the boat's course. 

But the water was avenged on this foolish 
defiance of its power, for in a moment I was 
driven straight on a great rock, only two inches 
below the surface, and the boat at once swung 
round, broadside on to the current, and then 
slowly but determinedly began to turn over. As 
it canted more and more my lax muscles were 



OVERHEAD AT LAST. 229 

rudely aroused to action, for the plain fact stared 
out baldly that I was about to get a regular 
ducking, and all from a stupid, lazy fit. 

The worst of it was I was not sitting erect, 
but stretched almost at full length in the boat, 
and one leg was entangled inside by the strap of 
my bag. In the moments following (that seem 
minutes in such a case) a gush of thoughts 
went through the mind while the poor little 
boat was still turning over, until at last I gave a 
spring from my awkward position to jump into 
the water. 

The jerk released the canoe from the rock, but 
only the head and arms of its captain fell into the 
river though in a most undignified pose, which 
was soon laughed off, when my seat was recovered, 
with a wet head and dripping sleeves ! 

However, this little faux pas quite wakened and 
sobered me, and I looked in half shame to the 
bank to see if any person had witnessed the 
absurd performance. And it was well to have 
done with sentiment and reveries, for the river 
had now got quite in earnest about going along. 

Permit me again to invite attention to the 
washerwomen on the river ; for this institution, 
which one does not find thus floating on our 
streams in England, becomes a very frequent object 
of interest if you canoe it on the Continent. 



230 



FEMININE FORUM. 




Washing_Barge." 



As the well in Eastern countries ie the recog- 
nised place for gossiping, and in colder climes a 
good deal of politics is settled in the barber's 
shop, so here in fluvial districts the washing 
barge is the forum of feminine eloquence. 

The respectability of a town as you approach 
it is shadowed forth by the size and ornaments of 
the blanchisseuses 9 float ; and as there are often 
fifty faces seen at once, the, type of female loveli- 
ness may be studied for a district at a time. While 
they wash they talk, and while they talk they 
thump and belabour the clothes ; but there is 



' 



POLITE TO THE LADIES. 231 

always some idle eye wandering which speedily 
will catch sight of the Rob Roy canoe. 

In smaller villages, and where there is no barge 
for them to use, the women have to do without 
one, and kneel on the ground, so that even in 
far-off parts of the river we shall find them there. 

A flat sounding whack ! whack ! tells me that 
round the corner we shall come upon at least a 
couple of washerwomen, homely dames, with 
brown faces and tall caps, who are wringing, 
slapping, and scrubbing the "linge." Though 
this may encourage the French cotton trade, I 
rejoice that my own shirts are of strong woollen 
stuff, which defies their buffeting. 

I always fraternized with these ladies, doffing 
my hat, and drawing back my left foot for a bow 
(though the graceful action is not observed under 
the macintosh). Other travellers, also, may find 
there is something to be seen and heard if 
they pass five minutes at the washing-barge. 
But even if it were not instructive and amusing 
thus to study character when a whole group is 
met with at once, surely it is to be remembered 
that the pleasure of seeing a new sight and of 
hearing a foreigner speak cheerful and kind 
words, is to many of these hard-working, honest 
mothers a bright interlude in a life of toil. To 
give pleasure is one of the best pleasures of a 






232 PUBLIC BREAKFAST. 

tourist ; and it is in acting thus, too, that the lone 
traveller feels no loneliness, while he pleases and 
is pleased. Two Englishmen may travel together 
agreeably among foreigners for a week without 
learning so much of the life, and mind, and 
manners of the people as would be learned in 
one day if each of the tourists went alone, pro- 
vided he was not too shy or too proud to open 
his eyes, and ears, and mouth among strangers, 
and had sense enough to be an exception to the 
rule that " Every Englishman is an island." 

Merely for a change, I ran the Rob Hoy into a 
long millrace in search of breakfast. This stream 
having secured hold of the boat stealthily ran 
away with us in a winding course among the 
hayfields, and quite out of reach of the river, 
until it seemed that after all we were only in a 
streamlet for irrigation, which would vanish into 
rills an inch deep in a water meadow. However, 
I put a bold face on it, and gravely and swiftly 
sped through the fields, and bestowed a nod now 
and then on the rural gazers. A fine boy of 
twelve years old soon trotted alongside, and I 
asked him if he was an honest lad, which he 
answered by a blush, and " Yes." " Here is a 
franc, then. Go and buy me bread and wine, and 
meet me at the mill." A few of the "hands" 
soon found out the canoe, moored, as it was 



POLICE BOYS. 233 

thought, in quiet retirement, with its captain 
resting under a tree, and presently a whole crowd 
of them swarmed out, and shouted with delight as 
they pressed round to see. 

The boy brought a very large bottle of wine, 
and a loaf big enough to dine four men ; and I 
set to work with an oarsman's appetite, and that 
happy sang froid which no multitude of gazers 
now could disturb. 

However, one of the party invited me into her 
house, and soon set delicate viands before the new 
guest, while the others filled the room in an 
instant, and were replaced by sets of fifty at a 
time, all very good-humoured and respectful. 

But it was so hot and bustling here that I 
resolved to go away and have a more pleasant and 
sulky meal by myself on some inaccessible island. 
The retreat through. the crowd had to be regularly 
prepared for by military tactics ; so I appointed 
four of the most troublesome boys as "police- 
men " to guard the boat in its transit across the 
fields, but they discharged their new duties with 
such vigour that two little fellows were soon 
knocked over into the canoe, and so we launched 
off, while the Manager of the factory called in 
vain to his cottonspinners, who were all now in 
full cry after the boat, and were making holiday 
without leave. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



Eiver Moselle Epinal The Tramp Halcyon Painted 
woman Beating to quarters Boat in a hedge The 
Meurthe Moving House Tears of a mother Five 
francs. 

UNDER a dark arbour-like arch of foliage, where 
the water was deep and still, I made fast to the 
long grass, cast my tired limbs into the fantastic 
folds of ease, and, while the bottle lasted and 
the bread, I watched the bees and butterflies, and 
the beetles and rats, and the coloured tribes of 
airy and watery life that one can see so well in a 
quiet half hour like this. 

How little we are taught at school about these 
wondrous communities of real life, each with its 
laws and instincts, its beauties of form, and mar- 
vellous ingenuities ! 

How little of flowers and insects, not to say of 
trees and animals, a boy learns as school-lessons, 
while he has beaten into him at one end and 
crammed in at the other the complicated politics 
of heathen gods, and their loves and faction fights, 
which are neither real nor possible. 

The Moselle rapidly enlarged in volume, though 



EPINAL. 235 

one could easily see that it had seldom been so low 
before. It is a very beautiful river to row on, 
especially where we began. Then it winds to the 
west and north, and again, turning a little east- 
wards, traverses a lovely country between Treves 
and Coblentz, where it joins the ancient Rhine. 

My resting-place for this evening was Epinal, 
a town with little to interest ; and so we could turn 
to books and pencils until it was time for bed. 

Next day the scenery was by no means so 
attractive, but I had plenty of hard work, which 
was enjoyed very much, my shoes and socks being 
off all day, for it was useless to put them on when 
so many occasions required me to jump out. 

Here it was a plain country, with a gravel soil, 
and fast rushings of current ; and then long pools 
like the Serpentine, and winding turns leading 
entirely round some central hill which the river 
insisted upon circumventing. 

At noon we came upon a large number of 
labourers at work on a milldam, and as this sort 
of crowd generally betokens something to eat 
(always, at any rate, some drinkable fluid), I left 
my boat boldly in mid-stream, and knocked 
at a cottage, when an old woman came out. 
"Madame, I am hungry, and you are precisely 
the lady who can make me an omelette." 

" Sir, I have nothing to give you." 



236 ROB ROY THE TRAMP. 

" Why," said I, " look at these hens ; I am 
sure they have laid six eggs this morning, they 
seem so conceited." 

She evidently thought I was a tramp demanding 
alms, and when told to look at the boat which 
had come from England, she said she was too 
old and too blind to see. However, we managed 
to make an omelette together, and she stood by 
(with an eye, perhaps, to her only fork) and 
chatted pleasantly, asking, " What have you got 
to sell ? " I told her I had come there only for 
pleasure. " What sort of pleasure, Monsieur, can 
you possibly hope to find in this place?" But I 
was far too gallant to say bluntly that her par- 
ticular mansion was not the ultimate object of the 
tour. After receiving a franc for the rough break- 
fast, she kept up a battery of blessings till the 
Rob Roy started, and she ended by shrieking out 
to a navvy looking on, " I tell you every English- 
man is rich ! " 

Next day was bright and blue-skyed as before, 
and an early start got the fine fresh morning air 
on the water. 

The name of this river is sometimes pronounced 
"Moselle," and at other times " Mosel," what 
we should call " Mozle." When a Frenchman 
speaks of " la Moselle," he puts an equal emphasis 
on each of the three syllables he is pronouncing ; 



HALCYON. 237 

whereas generally we Englishmen call this river 
Moselle. 

The name of a long river often indeed goes 
through changes as it traverses various districts 
and dialects; for instance, the Missouri, which 
you hear the travellers in Kansas call " Mzoory," 
while they wend along the Californian road. 

When the scenery is tame to the canoist, and 
the channel of the river is not made interesting 
by dangers to be avoided, then one can always 
turn again to the animals and birds, and five 
minutes of watching will be sure to see much that 
is curious. 

Here, for instance, we have the little kingfisher 
again, who had met us on the Danube and the 
Reuss, and whom we knew well in England be- 
fore; but now we are on a visit to his domain, 
and we see him in his private character alone. 
There are several varieties of this bird, and they 
differ in form and colour of plumage. This 
" Royal bird," the Halcyon of antiquity, the 
Alcedo in classic tongue, is called in German 
" Eis fogl," or " Ice bird," perhaps because he 
fishes even in winter's frost, or because his nest 
is like a bundle of icicles, being made of ruin 
nows' bones most curiously wrought together. 

But now it is on a summer day, and he is 
perched on a twig within two inches of the water, 



238 PRETTY BIRD ! 

and under the shade of a briar leaf, his little 
parasol. He is looking for fish, and is so steady 
that you may easily pass him without observing 
that brilliant back of azure, or the breast of blush- 
ing red. 

When I desired to see these birds, I quietly 
moved my boat till it grounded on a bank, and, 
after it was stationary thus for a few minutes, the 
Halcyon fisher got quite unconcerned, and plied 
his task as if unseen. 

He peers with knowing eye into the shallow 
below him, and now and then he dips his head a 
bit to make quite sure he has marked a fish 
worth seizing; then suddenly he darts down 
with , a spluttering splash, and flies off with a 
little white minnow, or a struggling sticklebat 
nipped in his beak. 

If it is caught thus crosswise, the winged 
fisherman tosses his prey into the air, and nimbly 
catches it in his mouth, so that it may be gulped 
down properly. Then he quivers and shakes with 
satisfaction, and quickly speeds to another perch, 
flitting by you with wonderful swiftness, as if a 
sapphire had been flung athwart the sunbeam, 
flashing beauteous colours in its flight. 

Or, if bed-time has come, or he is fetching 
home the family dinner, he flutters on and on, 
and then with a little sharp note of " good-b}^e," 



PAINT. 239 

pops into a hole, the dark staircase to his tiny 
nest, and there he finds Mrs. Halcyon sitting 
in state, and thirteen baby Kingfishers gaping 
for the dainty fish. 

This pretty bird has an air of quiet mystery, 
beauty, and vivid motion, all combined, which 
has made him a favourite with the Rob Roy. 

Strangely enough, the river in this part of its 
course actually gets less and less as you descend 
it. Every few miles some of the water is drawn 
off by a small canal to irrigate the neighbouring 
land, and in a season of drought like this, very 
little of the abstracted part returns. They told 
me that the Moselle river never has been so 
"basse" for 30 years, and I was therefore an 
unlucky voyageur in having to do for the first 
time what could have been done more easily in 
any other season. 

As evening fell we reached the town of Chatel, 
and the Rob Roy was sent to bed in the wash- 
house of the hotel. But five minutes had not 
elapsed before a string of visitors came for the 
daily inspection of the boat. 

As I sauntered along the bridge a sprightly 
youth came up, who had not seen the canoe, but 
who knew I was " one of her crew." He was 
most enthusiastic on the subject, and took me 
to see his boat, a deadly-looking flat-bottomed 



240 THE WAITER FRIEND. 

open cot, painted all manner of patterns ; and 
as he was extremely proud of her I did not tell 
him that a boat is like a woman, too good to 
paint : a pretty one is spoiled by paint, and a 
plain one is made hideous. 

Then he came for a look at the Rob Hoy, and, 
poor fellow, it was amusing to observe how in- 
stantly his countenance fell from pride to intense 
envy. He had a "boating mind," but had never 
seen a really pretty boat till now. However, 
to console himself he invited me to another hotel 
to drink success to the canoe in Bavarian beer, 
and to see my drawings, and then I found that my 
intelligent, eager, and, we may add, gentlemanly 
friend was the waiter there ! 

A melancholy sensation pervaded the Rob Roy 
to-day, in consequence of a. sad event, the loss 
of the captain's knife. We had three knives 
on board in starting from England ; one had been 
given away .in reward for some signal service, 
and this which was now lost was one with a metal 
haft and a curious hook at the end, a special 
description made in Berlin, and very useful to 
the tourist. It is not to be wondered that in so 
many leaps and somersaults, and with such con- 
stant requirements for the knife to mend pencils, 
&c., &c., the trusty blade should at last have dis- 
appeared, but the event suggests to the next 



EXTRAORDINARY CHANNEL. 241 

canoeman that his boat-knife should be secured 
to a lanyard. 

One singular conformation of the river-bed 
occurred in my short tour upon this part of the 
Moselle. Without much warning the banks of 
rock became quite vertical and narrowed close 
together. They reminded me of the rock-cutting 
near Liverpool, on the old railway to Manchester. 
The stream was very deep here, but its bed was 
full of enormous stones and crags, very sharp 
and jagged, which, however, could be easily 
avoided, because the current was gentle. 

A man I found fishing told me that a little 
further on there was an "impossible" place, so 
when after half a mile the well-known sound 
of rushing waters came (the ear got marvellous 
quick for this), we beat to quarters and prepared 
for action. 

The ribbon to keep my hat was tied down. 
Sleeves and trousers were tucked up. The cover- 
ing was braced tight and the baggage secured 
below; and then came the eager pleasures of 
anticipating, wishing, hoping, fearing, that are 
mixed up in the word excitement. 

The sound was quite near now, but the river 
took the strangest of all the forms I had yet 
seen. 

If you suppose a trench cut along Oxford-street 



242 CHURLS. 

to get at the gas-pipes, and if all the water of 
a river which had filled the street before suddenly 
disappeared in the trench, that would be exactly 
what the Moselle had now become. 

The plateau of rook on each side was perfectly 
dry, though in flood times, no doubt, the river 
covers that too. The water boiled and foamed 
through this channel from 3 to 20 feet deep, 
but only in the trench, which was not five feet 
wide. 

An intelligent man came near to see me enter 
this curious passage, but when we had got a little 
way in I had to stop the boat, and this too by 
putting my hands on both sides of the river ! 

Then I got out and carefully let the boat drive 
along the current, but still held by the painter. 
Soon it got too narrow and fast even for this 
process, so I pulled the canoe upon the dry rock, 
and sat down to breathe and to cool my panting 
frame. 

Two other gentlemen had come near me by 
this time, and on a bridge above were several 
more with two ladies. 

I had to drag the boat some hundred yards 
over most awkward rocks, and these men hovered 
round and admired, and even talked to me, and 
actually praised my perseverance, yet not one 
offer of any help did any one of them give ! 



BOAT IN A HEDGE. 243 

In deep water again, and now exactly under 
the bridge I looked up and found the whole party 
regarding the Rob Roy with curiosity and smiles. 
Within a few yards was a large house these people 
had come from, and I thought their smiles were 
surely to preface, " Would you not like a glass 
of wine, Sir, after your hour of hard work ? " 
But as it meant nothing of the sort I could not 
help answering their united adieux ! by these 
words, " Adieu, ladies and gentlemen. Many to 
look, but none to help. The exhibition is gra- 
tuitous ! " Was it wrong to say this ? It was 
utterly impossible not to think as much. 

One or two other places gave trouble without 
interest, such as when I had to push the boat 
into a hedge point foremost, and to pull it through 
by main force from the other side, and then found, 
after all, it was pushed into the wrong field, so 
the operation had to be done over again in a 
reverse direction. 

But never mind, all this counted in the day's 
work, and all the trouble of it was forgotten after 
a good night's sleep, or was entirely recompensed 
by some interesting adventure. 

The water of the Moselle is so clear that the 
scenery under the surface continually occupied 
my attention. In one long reach, unusually deep 
and quiet, I happened to be gazing down at some 



244 RIVER MEURTHE. 

huge trout, and accidentally observed a large 
stone, the upper part of a fine column, at the very 
bottom of the water, at least ten feet below me. 
The capital showed it to be Ionic, and near it was 
another, a broken pediment of large dimensions, 
and a little further on a pedestal of white marble. 
I carefully examined both banks, to see if a Roman 
villa or bridge, or other ruin, indicated how these 
subaqueous reliques had come into this strange 
position, and I inquired diligently at Charmes, 
the next town ; but although much curiosity was 
shown on the subject, no information was obtained, 
except that the Romans had built a fort some- 
where on the river (but plainly not at that spot), 
so we may consider that the casual glance at the 
fish revealed a curious fragment of the past hitherto 
probably unnoticed. 

After pulling along the Moselle, from as near 
to its source as my canoe could find water, until 
the scenery became dull at Charmes, we went 
by railway from thence to Blainville, on the river 
Meurthe, which is a tributary of the Moselle, for 
I thought some new scenery might be found 
in this direction. The Rob Roy was therefore 
sent by itself in a goods-train, the very first sepa- 
ration between us for three months. It seemed 
as if the little boat, leaning on its side in the 
truck, turned from me reproachfully, and we fore- 



MOSSY WEEDS. 245 

boded all sorts of accidents to its delicate frame, 
but the only thing lost was a sponge, a necessary 
appendage to a boat's outfit when you desire 
to keep it perfectly dry and clean. 

Two railway porters, with much good-humoured 
laughing, carried the Rob Boy from the station 
to the river's edge, and again we paddled cheerily 
along, and on a new river, too, with scenery and 
character quite different from that of the Moselle. 

The Meurthe winds through rich plains of soft 
earth, with few rocks and little gravel. But then 
in its shallows it has long thick mossy weeds, all 
under the surface. These were found to be rather 
troublesome, because they got entangled with my 
paddle, and since they could not be seen before- 
hand the best channel was not discernible, as where 
rocks or gravel give those various forms of ripples 
which the captain of a canoe soon gets to know 
as if they were a chart telling the number of 
inches of depth. Moreover, when you get grounded 
among these long weeds, all pointed down stream, 
it is very difficult to "back out," for it is like 
combing hair against the grain. 

The larger rivers in France are all thoroughly 
fished. In every nook you find a fisherman. 
They are just as numerous here as in Germany 
they are rare. And yet one would think that 
fishing is surely more adapted to the contemplative 



246 



FISHERS. 




"French Fishers." 

German than to the vivacious French. Yet, here 
they are by hundreds, both men and women, and 
every day, each staring intently on a tiny float, 
or at the grasshopper bait, and quite satisfied if 
now and then he can pull up a gudgeon the size 
of your thumb. 

Generally, these people are alone, and when 
they asked me at hotels if I did not feel lonely 
in the canoe, the answer was, "Look at your 



PRAWNS AND PIKES. 247 

fishermen, for hours by choice alone. They have 
something to occupy attention every moment, and 
so have I." Sometimes, however, there is a 
whole party in one clumsy boat. 

The pater familias sits content, and recks not 
if all his time is spent in baiting his line and 
lighting his pipe. The lazy "hopeful" lies at 
full length on the grass, while a younger brother 
strains every nerve to hook a knowing fish that 
is laughing at him under water, and winking its 
pale eye to see the fisher just toppling over. 
Mademoiselle chatters whether there are bites or 
not, and another, the fair cousin, has got on shore, 
where she can bait her hook and set her cap and 
simper to the bold admirer by her side. 

Not one of these that I have spoken to had 
ever seen an artificial fly. 

Then besides, we have the fishers with nets. 
These are generally three men in a boat, with its 
stem and its stern both cocked up, and the whole 
affair looking as if it must upset or sink. Such 
boats were painted by Raphael in the great 
Cartoons, where all of us must have observed how 
small the boat is compared with the men it 
carries. 

Again, there are some young lads searching 
under the stones for ecremsses, the freshwater 
prawns, much in request, but giving very little 



248 MOVING HOUSE. 

food for a great deal of trouble. Near these 
fishers the pike plies his busy sportsman's life 
below the surface, and I have sometimes seen 
a poor little trout leap high into the air to escape 
from the long-nosed pursuer, who followed him 
even out of the water, and snapped his jaws 
on the sweet morsel impudently. This sound, 
added to the very suspicious appearance of the 
Rob Hoy gliding among the islands, decides the 
doubtful point with a duck, the leader of a flock 
of wild ducks that have been swimming down 
stream in front of me with a quick glance on each 
side, every one of them seemingly indignant 
at this intrusion on their haunts ; at last they 
find it really will not do, so with a scream and a 
spring they flap the water and rise in a body to. 
seek if there be not elsewhere at least some one 
nook to nestle in where John Bull does not come. 

That bell you hear tinkling is at the ferry, to 
call the ferryman who lives at the other side, and 
he will jump into his clumsy boat, which is tied 
to a pulley running on a rope stretched tight 
across the river. He has only to put his oar 
obliquely on the gunwale, and the transverse 
pressure of the current brings the boat rapidly 
to the other bank. 

Paddling on, after a chat with the ferryman 
(and he is sure to be ready for that), a wonderful 



249 

phenomenon appears. We see a house, large, new, 
and of two stories high, it has actually moved. 
We noticed it a few minutes ago, and now it has 
changed its position. I gaze in astonishment, 
and while we ponder, lo ! the whole house entirely 
disappears. Now, the true explanation of this is 
soon found when we get round the next corner of 
the reach ; the house is a great wooden bathing 
" etablissement," built on a barge, and it is being 
slowly dragged up the stream. 

After wonder comes sentiment. Three women 
are seen on the river-bank evidently in great 
alarm: a mother, a daughter, and a servant 
maid, who searched in vain for two boys, sup- 
posed to have gone away to fish, but now missing 
for many hours. They eagerly inquired if I had 
seen the lads, and implored me with tears to give 
them advice. 

I tried all I could to recollect, but no ! I had 
not seen the boys, and so the women went away 
distracted, and left me sorrowful who would not 
be so at a woman's tears, a mother's too ? But 
suddenly, when toiling in the middle of a very 
difficult piece of rock-work, lowering the boat, I 
remembered having seen those boys, so I ran over 
the fields after the anxious mamma and soon 
assured her the children had been safe an hour 
ago, and their faithful servant with them, but 
that he had become the fisherman, and they, like 



250 FRENCH ROWING. 

boys, had got tired of the rod, and were playing 
with a goat. 

When the poor mother heard we had seen the 
little fellows and they were safe, her tears of joy 
were quite affecting, and they vividly recalled 
one's schoolboy days, when the thoughtless play- 
time of childhood so often entails anxiety on a 
loving mother's heart. 

Such, then, are the river sights and river 
wonders, ever new, though trifling perhaps when 
told, but far more lively and entertaining than 
the common incidents of a dusty road, or a 
whirring, shrieking train. 

With a few wadings and bumpings, and one or 
two " vannes," or weirs, we slipped along plea- 
santly until evening came. Still it was only 
a slow stream, and the towers of St. Nicho- 
las, long visible on the horizon, seemed ever 
to move from side to side without being any 
nearer, so much does this river wind in its course. 
I paddled at my best pace, but the evening rapidly 
grew darker, until we overtook two French youths 
in a boat, the first occasion on which we had 
noticed Frenchmen rowing for exercise. They 
could not keep up with the canoe, so we had to 
leave them ingloriously aground on a bank, and 
yet too lazy to get out and help their boat over 
the difficulty. 

Soon after I came to a great weir about fifteen 



A TIRESOME TUG. 251 

feet in height, the deepest we had yet encountered, 
and half a sigh was heaved when it was evident 
that there was no escape from all the bother of 
getting out and gymnasticizing here after a long 
day's work. It was a matter of some time and 
trouble to get the boat over this weir in the dark ; 
but what was far worse immediately followed, as 
I found myself in a maze of shallows, without 
light to see how to get through them. Whenever 
we stopped, too, for rest, there was only darkness, 
silence, and no motion not even the excitement 
of a current to arouse. Finally, I had to wade 
and haul the boat along, and jump in and ferry 
myself over the pools, for nearly half a mile, 
until at length the "look-out" man of our star- 
board watch shouted, " A bridge and a house on 
the lee bow!" and a joyous cheer burst forth 
from the crew. 

All this, which may be told in a few sentences, 
took a full hour of very tiresome work, though, 
as there was no current, there was no danger, and 
it was merely tedious, wet, unlighted, and uncom- 
fortable. Nevertheless I sang and whistled all 
the time. 

When the bridge was arrived at, I was sure it 
must be a town, and then there happened a scene 
almost an exact counterpart of that which took 
place at Gegglingen, on the Danube. 



- 



252 FIVE FRANCS. 

I pulled up my boat on the dark shore, and, 
all dripping wet, I mounted to the house above, 
and speedily aroused the inmates. A window 
opened, and a worthy couple appeared in their 
night-dresses, holding a candle to examine the 
intruder. The tableau was most comical. The 
man asked, " Is it a farce ? " He could scarcely 
expect a traveller from England to arrive there 
at such an hour. But he soon helped me to carry 
the boat to a little Restaurant, where a dozen 
men were drinking, who rushed out with lamps to 
look at the boat, but entirely omitted to help the 
forlorn captain. 

Nor was there any room in this Restaurant, so 
we had to carry the boat through the dark streets 
to another house, where another lot of topers 
received me in like style. We put the Rob Roy 
into a garden here, and her sails flapped next 
morning while a crowd gazed over the walls with 
anxious curiosity. The worthy husband who had 
thus left his spouse that he might carry my wet 
boat, all slippery with mud, was highly pleased 
with a five-franc piece, which was the least I 
thought him to deserve, though it was like 
a five-pound note to him in such a cheap 
country. 

Next morning in the light of day we had a 
survey of the scene of last night's adventure. It 



SALT. 253 

was very amusing to trace the various channels 
we had groped about in the darkness. 

Here I met a French gentleman, of gay and 
pleasant manner, but who bemoaned his lot as 
Secretary of a great factory in this outlandish 
place, instead of being in joyous, thoughtless, 
brilliant Paris, where, he said, often for days 
together he did not sleep in bed, but ran one 
night into the next by balls, theatres, and supper 
parties. 

He kindly took me to see the great salt works, 
that send refined salt all over Europe. This 
rock salt is hoisted out of a deep mine, in blocks 
like those of coal, having been hewn from the 
strata below, which are pierced by long and lofty 
galleries. Then it is covered in tanks by water, 
which becomes saturated, and is conducted to flat 
evaporating pans, when the water is expelled by 
the heat of great furnaces, and the salt appears in 
masses like snow-drift. Salt that is sold by 
weight they judiciously wet again, and other 
qualities sold by measure they cleverly deposit in 
crooked crystals, so as to take up as much space 
as possible ! 

We found a canal here, and as the river was so 
shallow I mounted to the artificial channel, and 
with a strong and fair wind was soon sailing along 
rapidly. This canal has plenty of traffic upon it, 



254 PORTRAIT. 

and only a few locks; so it was by no means 
tedious. They asked for my card of permission, 
but I smiled the matter off as before. However, 
an officer of the canal who was walking alongside 
looked much more seriously at the infringement 
of rules, and when we came to a lock he insisted 
we must produce the " carte." As a last resort, I 
showed him the well-worn sketch-book, and then 
he at once gave in. In fact, after he had laughed 
at the culprit's caricatures, how could he gravely 
sentence him to penalties ? 

It is wonderful how a few lines of drawing will 
please these outlying country people. Sometimes 
we gave a small sketch to a man when it was 
desirable to get rid of him : he was sure to take 
it away to show outside, and when he returned I 
had departed. Once we gave a little girl a portrait 
of her brother, and next morning she brought it 
again all crumpled up. Her mother said the 
child had held it all night in her hand. 






CHAPTER XIV. 



Ladies in muslin Officers shouting Volunteers' umbrella 
Eeims Leaks Wet Madame Clicquot Heavy 
blow Dinner talk The Elephant Cloud. 

THE canal brought me to Nancy, a fine old 
town, with an archbishop, a field-marshal, a good 
hotel, large washhand basins, drums, bugles, ices, 
and all the other luxuries of life. In the cathe- 
dral there was more tawdry show about the Mass 
than I ever remarked before, even in Italy. At 
least thirty celebrants acted in the performance, 
and the bowings and turnings and grimaces of 
sedate old men clad in gorgeous, dirty needle- 
work, fumbling with trifles and muttering Latin, 
really passed all bounds : they were an insult to 
the population, who are required to attend this 
vicarious worship, and to accept such absurdities 
as the true interpretation of " This do in remem- 
brance of Me." 

A large and attentive congregation, nearly all 
women, listened first to an eloquent sermon from 
a young priest who glorified an old saint. It is 
possible that the ancient worthy was a most 



256 LADIES IN MUSLIN. 

respectable monk, but probably he was, when he 
lived, a good deal like the monks one meets in the 
monasteries, and now that I have lived pretty 
frequently with these gentlemen I must say it 
makes one smile to think of canonizing such 
people, as if any one of them had unapproachable 
excellence ; but perhaps this monk distinguished 
himself by proper daily ablutions, and so earned 
the rare reputation of being reasonably clean. 

In the afternoon the relics of the monk were 
borne through the streets by a procession of 
some thousand women and a few men. These 
ladies, some hundreds of whom were dressed in 
white muslin, and in two single ranks, chanted 
as they slowly marched, and all the bystanders 
took off their hats, but I really could not see 
what adoration was due to the mouldering bones 
of a withered friar, so my excellent straw hat was 
kept on my head. 

But the French, who live in public, must have 
a public religion, a gregarious worship, with 
demonstrative action and colours and sounds. 
Deep devotion, silent in its depth, is for the 
north and not for this radiant sun, though you 
will find that quiet worship again in lower lati- 
tudes where the very heat precludes activity. 

Some twenty years ago, one of the ablest men 
of the University of Cambridge read a paper on 



CLIMATE. 257 

the influence which the insular position and the 
climate of Britain has upon our national character, 
and it appeared to be proved clearly that this 
influence pervades every feature of our life. 

In a third-rate French town like Nancy, nearly 
all the pleasant agrements depend on the climate, 
and would be sadly curtailed by rain or snow. 
So, again, when a Frenchman visits England and 
gets laughed at for mistakes in our difficult 
language, and has to eat only two dishes for 
dinner, and drinks bad coffee, and has no even- 
ing lounge in the open air, and is then told to 
look at our domestic life, and finds he cannot get 
an entrance there (for how very few French do 
enter there), his miseries are directly caused by 
our climate, and no wonder his impression of 
Albion is that we are all fog and cotton and 
smoke, and everything triste. 

From Nancy we sent the canoe by rail to meet 
me on the river Marne, and while the slow 
luggage-train lumbered along I took the oppor- 
tunity of visiting the celebrated Camp of Chalons, 
the Aldershot of France. An omnibus takes you 
from the railway station, and you soon enter a 
long straggling street of very little houses, built 
badly, and looking as if one and all could be 
pushed down by your hand. These are not the 
military quarters, but the self-grown parasite 
s 



258 CAMP OF CHALONS. 

sutlers' town, which springs up near every camp. 
Here is "Place Solferino," and there "Rue 
Malakhoff," where the sign of the inn is a 
Chinaman having his pigtail lopped off by a 
Francais. The camp is in the middle of a very 
large plain, with plenty of dust and white earth, 
which " glared " on my eyes intensely, this being 
the hottest day I have experienced during the 
vacation. But there are trees for shade, and a 
good deal of grass on these extensive downs 
where great armies can manoeuvre and march past 
the Emperor as he sits enthroned under a bower 
on that hill-crest overlooking all. 

The permanent buildings for the troops consist 
of about 500 separate houses, substantial, airy, 
and well lighted, all built of brick, and slated, 
and kept in good repair ; each of these is about 
seventy feet long, twenty broad, and of one story 
high. A million and a-half pounds sterling have 
already been expended on this camp. Behind 
the quarters are the soldiers' gardens, a feature 
added lately to the camps in England. There 
were only a few thousand soldiers at the place, 
so we soon saw all that was interesting, and then 
adjourned to a Restaurant, where I observed about 
twenty officers go in a body to breakfast. This 
they did in a separate room, but their loud, 
coarse, and outrageously violent conversation 



TEMPLE UMBRELLA. 259 

really amazed me. The din was monstrous and 
without intermission. We had never before fallen 
in with so very bad a specimen of French manners, 
and I cannot help thinking there may have been 
special reasons for these men bellowing for half 
an hour as they ate their breakfast. 

The "mess system" has been tried in the 
French army several times, but it seems to fail 
always, as the French Clubs do, on the whole. 
It is not wise, however, for a traveller to gene- 
ralize too rapidly upon the character of any 
portion of a great people if he has not lived long 
among them. A hasty glance may discern that a 
stranger has a long nose, but you must have 
better acquaintance with him before you can truly 
describe the character of your friend. In a little 
book just published in France about the English 
Bar two facts are noted, that Barristers put the 
name of their " Inn " on their visiting cards, 
and that the Temple Volunteers are drilled 
admirably by a Serjeant-at-Law, who wields " an 
umbrella with a varnished cover, which glances 
in the sun like a sword " ! 

Another interesting town in this department of 
France is Rheims (spelt Heims, and pronounced 
very nearly Hens). Having still an hour or two 
free, I went there, and enjoyed the visit to the 
very splendid cathedral. It is one of the finest 
s 2 



260 REIMS. 

in Europe, very old, very large, very rich, and 
celebrated as the place of coronation for the 
French sovereigns. Besides all this it is kept in 
good order, and is remarkably clean. The outside 
is covered with stone figures, most of them rude 
in art, but giving at a distance an appearance of 
prodigal richness of material. A little periodical 
called France Illustrated is published at fourpence 
each number, with a map of , the Department, 
several woodcuts of notable places or events, and 
a brief history of the principal towns, concluding 
with a resume of the statistics of the Depart- 
ment. A publication of this kind would, I 
think, be very useful in England ; and for 
travellers especially, who could purchase at the 
County town the particular number or part then 
required. 

In one of the adjoining Departments, accord- 
ing to this publication, it appears that there are 
about a hundred suicides in the year among a 
population of half a million. Surely this is an 
alarming proportion ; and what should we say if 
Manchester had to report 100 men and women in 
one year who put themselves to death ? 

But we are subsiding, you see, into the ordinary 
tales of a traveller, because I am waiting now for 
the train and the Rob Roy, and certainly this my 
only experience of widowerhood made me long 



LEAKS AND CANDLES. 261 

again for the well-known yellow oaken side of the 
boat and her pink-brown cedar varnished top. 

Well, next morning here is the canoe at 
Epernay, arrived all safe at a cost of 2s. 6d. 
All safe we thought at first, but we soon found 
it had been sadly bruised, and would surely 
leak. I turned it upside down on the railway 
platform in the hot sun, and bought two candles 
and occupied three good hours in making re- 
pairs and greasing all the seams. But after all 
this trouble, when we put the boat into the 
Marne, the water oozed in all round. 

It is humiliating to sit in a leaky boat it is 
like a lame horse or a crooked gun; of all the 
needful qualities of a boat the first is to keep out 
the water. So I stopped at the first village, and 
got a man to mix white lead and other things, 
and we carefully worked this into all the seams, 
leaving it to harden while I had my breakfast in 
the little auberge close by the shore, where they 
are making the long rafts to go down to Paris, 
and where hot farmers come to sip their two- 
penny bottle of wine. 

The raft man was wonderfully proud of his per- 
formance with the canoe, and he called out to each 
of his friends as they walked past, to give them 
its long history in short words. When I paid 
him at last, he said he hoped I would never forget 



262 NOVEL BARRIER. 

that the canoe had been thoroughly mended in 

the middle of France, at the village of , but 

I really do not remember the name. 

However, there were not wanting tests of his 
workmanship, for the Rob Roy had to be pulled 
over many dykes and barriers on the Marne. 
Some of these were of a peculiar construction, 
and were evidently novel in design. 

A "barrage" reached across the stream, and 
there were three steps or falls on it, with a 
plateau between each. The water ran over these 
steps, and was sometimes only a few inches in 
depth on the crest of each fall, where it had to 
descend some eight or ten inches at most. 

This, of course, would have been easy enough 
for the canoe to pass, but then a line of iron posts 
was ranged along each plateau, and chains were 
tied from the top of one post to the bottom of 
another, diagonally, and it will be understood that 
this was a very puzzling arrangement to steer 
through in a fast current. 

In cases of this sort I usually got ashore to 
reconnoitre, and having calculated the angle at 
which we must enter the passage obliquely (down 
a fall, and across its stream), I managed to get 
successfully through several of these strange 
barriers. We came at length to one which, on 
examination, I had to acknowledge was " impass- 



THE VANNE. 



263 




'The Chain Barrier." 



able," for the chains were slack, and there was 
only an inch or two of " law " on either side of 
the difficult course through them. 

However, a man happened to see my move- 
ments and the canoe, and soon he called some 
dozen of his fellow navvies from their work to 
look at the navigator. 

The captain was therefore incited by these 
spectators to try the passage, and I mentally 
resolved at any rate to be cool and placid, how- 
ever much discomfiture was to be endured. The 
boat was steered to the very best of my power, 



264 WET. 

but the bow of the canoe swerved an inch in the 
swift oblique descent, and instantly it got locked 
in the chains, while I quietly got out (whistling 
an air in slow time), and then, in the water 
with all my clothes on, I steadily lifted the boat 
through the iron network and got into her, dripping 
wet, but trying to behave as if it were only the 
usual thing. The navvies cheered a long and 
loud bravo! but I felt somewhat ashamed of 
having yielded to the desire for ignorant applause, 
and when finally round the next corner I got out 
and changed my wet things, a wiser and a sadder 
man, but dry. 

This part of the river is in the heart of the 
champagne country, and all the softly swelling 
hills about are thickly covered by vineyards. The 
vine for champagne is exceedingly small, and 
grows round one stick, and the hillside looks just 
like a carding-brush, from the millions of these 
little sharp-pointed rods upright in the ground 
and close together, without any fence whatever 
between the innumerable lots. The grape for 
champagne is always red, and never white, so 
they said, though " white grapes are grown for 
eating." During the last two months few people 
have consumed more grapes in this manner than 
the chief mate of the Rob Roy canoe. 

On one of these hills we noticed the house of 



MADAME CLICQUOT. 265 

Madame Clicquot, whose name has graced many 
a cork of champagne bottles and of bottles not 
champagne. 

The vineyards of Ai, near Epernay, are the 
most celebrated for their wine. After the bottles 
are filled, they are placed neck downwards, and 
the sediment collects near the cork. Each bottle 
is then uncorked in this position, and the confined 
gas forces out a little of the wine with the sedi- 
ment, while a skilful man dexterously replaces 
the cork when this sediment has been expelled. 
One would think that only a very skilful man 
can perform such a feat. When the bottles are 
stored in " caves," or vast cellars, the least change 
of temperature causes them to burst by hundreds. 
Sometimes one-fourth of the bottles explode in 
this manner, and it is said that the renowned 
Madame Clicquot lost 400,000 in the hot autumn 
of 1843, before sufficient ice could be fetched from 
Paris to cool her spacious cellars. Every year 
about fifty million bottles of genuine champagne 
are made in France, and no one can say how 
many more millions of bottles of " French cham- 
pagne" are imbibed every year by a confiding 
world. 

The Marne is a large and deep river, and its 
waters are kept up by barriers every few miles. 
It is rather troublesome to pass these by taking 



266 BOAT'S NAMES. 

the boat out and letting it down on the other 
side, and in crossing one of them I gave a serious 
blow to the stern of the canoe against an iron bar. 
This blow started four planks from the sternpost, 
and revealed to me also that the whole frame 
had suffered from the journey at night on an open 
truck. However, as my own ship's carpenter 
was on board, and had nails and screws, we soon 
managed to make all tight again, and by moon- 
light came to Dormans, where I got two men to 
carry the boat as usual to an hotel, and had the 
invariable run of visitors from that time until 
everybody went to bed. 

It is curious to remark the different names by 
which the canoe has been called, and among these 
the following : " Batteau," " schiff," " lot," 
" barca" " canot" " caique " (the soldiers who 
have been in the Crimea call it thus), " chaloupe" 
" navire," " schipp" (Low German), "yacht" 
("jacht" Danish, "jaht," from "jagen," to 
ride quickly properly a boat drawn by horses). 
Several people have spoken of it as " batteau a 
vapeur" for in the centre of France they have 
never seen a steamboat, but the usual name with 
the common people is "petit latteau" and among 
the educated people "nacelle" or " perissoir ; 
this last as we call a dangerous boat a " coffin" or 
" sudden death." 



GENTLEMEN. 267 

An early start next morning found me slipping 
along with a tolerable current and under sail 
before a fine fresh breeze, but with the same un- 
alterable blue sky. I had several interesting 
conversations with farmers and others riding to 
market along the road which here skirts the 
river. What most surprises the Frenchman is 
that a traveller can possibly be happy alone ! 
Not one hour have I had of ennui, and, however 
selfish it may seem, it is true that for this sort of 
journey I prefer to travel entirely seul. 

Pleasant trees and pretty gardens are here 
on every side in plenty, but where are the 
houses of the gentlemen of France, and where 
are the French gentlemen themselves? This is 
a difference between France and England which 
cannot fail to "knock" the observant traveller 
(as Artemus Ward would say) the notable ab- 
sence of country seats during hours and hours 
of passage along the best routes; whereas in 
England the prospect from almost every hill of 
woodland would have a great house at the end of 
its vista, and the environs of every town would 
stretch into outworks of villas smiling in the sun. 
The French have ways and fashions which are not 
ours, but their nation is large enough to entitle 
them to a standard of their own, just as the 
Americans, with so great a people agreed on the 



268 DINNER TALK. 

matter, may surely claim liberty to speak with a 
twang, and to write of a " plow." 

I am convinced that it is a mistake to say we 
Britons are a silent people compared with the 
French or Americans. At some hundred sittings 
of the table d'hote in both these countries I have 
found more of dull, dead silence than in England 
at our inns. An Englishman accustomed only 
to the pleasant chat of a domestic dinner feels ill 
at ease when dining with strangers, and so he 
notices their silence all the more ; but the French 
table d'hote (not in the big barrack hotels, for 
English tourists, we have before remarked upon) 
has as little general conversation, and an American 
one has far less than in England. 

Here in France come six or seven middle-class 
men to dine. They put the napkin kept for each 
from yesterday, and recognized by the knots they 
tied on it, up to their chins like the pinafore of a 
baby, and wipe plate, fork, and spoons with the 
other end, and eat bits and scraps of many dishes, 
and scrape their plates almost clean, and then 
depart, and not one word has been uttered. 

Then, again, there is the vaunted French 
climate. Bright sun, no doubt, but forget not 
that it is so very bright as to compel all rooms to 
be darkened from ten to four each day. At noon 
the town is like a cemetery ; no one thinks of 



SUNLIGHT. 269 

walking, riding, or looking out of his window in 
the heat. From seven to nine in the morning, 
and from an hour before sunset to any time you 
please at night, the open air is delicious. But I 
venture to say that in a week of common summer 
weather we see more of the sun in England than 
in France, for we seldom have so much of it at 
once as to compel us to close our eyes against its 
fierce rays. In fact, the sensation of life in the 
South, after eleven o'clock in the morning, is that 
of waiting for the cool hours, and so day after day 
is a continual reaching forward to something about 
to come ; whereas, an English day of sunshine 
is an enjoyable present from beginning to end. 
Once more, let it be remembered that twilight 
lasts only for half an hour in the sunny South ; 
that delicious season of musing and long shadows 
is a characteristic of the northern latitudes which 
very few Southerners have ever experienced at all. 
The run down the Marne for about 200 miles 
was a pleasant part of the voyage, but seldom so 
exciting in adventure as the paddling on unknown 
waters. Long days of work could therefore be 
now well endured, for constant exercise had 
trained the body, and a sort of instinct was 
enough, when thus educated by experience, to 
direct the mind. Therefore the Bob Roy's 
paddle was in my hands for ten hours at a time 



270 THE ELEPHANT ON THE MARNE. 

without weariness, and sometimes even for twelve 
hours at a stretch. 

After a comfortable night at Chateau Thierry 
in the Elephant Hotel, which is close to the water, 
I took my canoe down from the hayloft to which 
it had been hoisted, and once more launched her 
on the river. The current gradually increased, 
and the vineyards gave place to forest trees. 
See, there are the rafts, some of casks, lashed 
together with osiers, some of planks, others of 
hewn logs, and others of great rough trees. 
There is a straw hut on them for the captain's 
cabin, and the crew will have a stiff fortnight's 
work to drag, push, and steer this congeries of 
wood on its way to the Seine. The labour spent 
merely in adjusting and securing the parts is 
enormous, but labour of that kind costs little here. 

Further on there is a large flock of sheep 
conducted to the river to drink, in the orthodox 
pastoral manner of picture-books. But (let us 
confess it) they were also driven by the sagacious 
shepherd's dogs, who seem to know perfectly that 
the woolly multitude has come precisely to drink, 
and, therefore, the dogs cleverly press forward 
each particular sheep, until it has got a place by 
the cool brink of the water. 

In the next quiet bay a village maid drives her 
cow to the river, and chats across the water with 



FIRST CLOUD. 271 

another, also leading in a cow to wade knee deep, 
and to dip its broad nose, and lift it gently again 
from the cool stream. On the road alongside is a 
funny little waggon, and a whole family are within. 
This concern is actually drawn along by a goat. 
Its little kid skips about, for the time of toil 
has not yet come to the youngling, and it may 
gambol now. 

But here is the bridge of Nogent, so I leave my 
boat in charge of an old man, and give positive 
pleasure to the cook at the auberge by ordering a 
breakfast. Saints' portraits adorn the walls, and 
a "sampler" worked by some little girl, with 
only twenty-five letters in the alphabet, for the 
"w" is as yet ignored in classic grammars, 
though it has now to be constantly used in the 
common books and newspapers. Why, they even 
adopt our sporting terms, and you see in a paper 
that such a race was only " un Walkover/' and 
that another was likely to be " un dead heat." 

Suddenly in my quiet paddling here the sky 
was shaded, and on looking up amazed I found 
a cloud ; at last, after six weeks of brilliant blue 
and scorching glare, one fold of the fleecy curtain 
has been drawn over the sun. 

The immediate effect of this cooler sky was 
very invigorating, though, after weeks of hot 
glare (reflected upwards again into the face from 



272 CLOUD AT LAST. 

the water), it seemed the most natural thing to 
be always in a blaze of light, for much of the 
inconvenience of it was avoided by a plan which 
will be found explained in the Appendix, with 
some other hints to " Boating Men." 

The day went pleasantly now, and with only 
the events of ordinary times, which need not be 
recounted. The stream was steady, the banks 
were peopled, and many a blue-bloused country- 
man stopped to looked at the canoe as she glided 
past, with the captain's socks and canvas shoes 
on the deck behind him, for this was his drying- 
place for wet clothes. 

Now and then a pleasure-boat was seen, and 
there were several canoes at some of the towns, 
but all of them flat-bottomed and open, and des- 
perately unsafe well named " perissoirs." Some 
of these were made of metal. The use of this is 
well-known to be a great mistake for any boat 
under ten tons ; in all such cases it is much 
heavier than wood of the same strength, consider- 
ing the strains which a boat must expect to 
undergo. 

"La Ferte sous Jouarre" is the long name of 
the next stopping-place. There are several towns 
called by the name La Ferte (La Fortifie), which 
in some measure corresponds with the termination 
"caster" or "cester" of English names. Mill- 



RIVAL GOSSIPS. 273 

stones are the great specialty of this La Ferte. 
A good millstone costs 50/., and there is a 
large exportation of them. The material has 
the very convenient property of not requiring to 
be chipped into holes, as these exist in this stone 
naturally. 

At La Ferte I put the boat into a hayloft ; 
how often it has occupied this elevated lodgings 
amongst its various adventures ; and at dinner 
with me there is an intelligent and hungry bour- 
geois from Paris, with his vulgar and hearty wife, 
and opposite to them the gossip of the town, who 
kept rattling on the stupid, endless fiddle-faddle 
of everybody's doings, sayings, failings, and 
earnings. Some amusement, however, resulted 
from the collision of two gossips at our table of 
four guests, for while the one always harped upon 
family tales of La Ferte, its local statistics, and 
the minute sayings of its people, the other kept 
struggling to turn our thoughts to shoes and 
slippers, for he was a commercial traveller with 
a cartful of boots to sell. But, after all, how 
much of our conversation in better life is only of 
the same kind, though about larger, or at any 
rate different things ; what might sound trifles 
to our British Cabinet would be the loftiest politics 
of Honolulu. 

When we started at eight o'clock next day I 
T 



274 CUTTING ACROSS. 

felt an unaccountable languor ; my arms were 
tired, and my energy seemed, for the first time, 
deficient. This was the result of a week's hard 
exercise, and of a sudden change of wind to the 
south. Give me our English climate for real 
hard work to prosper in. 

One generally associates the north wind with 
cool and bracing air, and certainly in the Mediter- 
ranean it is the change of wind to the south, the 
hated sirocce, that enervates the traveller at 
once. But this north wind on the Marne came 
over a vast plain of arid land heated by two 
months of scorching sun, whereas the breezes 
of last week, though from the east, had been 
tempered in passing over the mountains of the 
Vosges. 

Forty-two miles lay before me to be accom- 
plished before arriving to-night at my resting- 
place for Sunday, and it was not a pleasant 
prospect to contemplate with stiff muscles in the 
shoulders. However, after twelve miles I found 
that about twenty miles in turnings of the river 
could be cut off by putting the boat on a cart, and 
thus a league of walking and 3s. 4d. of payment 
solved the difficulty. The old man with his cart 
was interesting to talk to, and we spoke about 
those deep subjects which are of common interest 
to all. 



WINE SPILLED. 275 

At a turn in the road we came upon a cart 
overturned and with a little crowd round it, while 
the earth was covered with a great pool of what 
seemed to be blood, but was only wine. The cart 
had struck a tree, and the wine-cask on it in- 
stantly burst, which so frightened the horse 
that he overset the cart. 

The Rob Roy was soon in the water again, and 
the scenery had now become much more enjoyable. 

I found an old soldier at a ferry who fetched 
me a bottle of wine, and then he and his wife sat 
in their leaky, flat, green-painted boat, and became 
very great friends with the Englishman. He 
had been at the taking of Constantine in Algeria, 
a place which really does look quite impossible to 
be taken by storm. But the appearance of a 
fortress is deceptive except to the learned in such 
matters. Who would think that Comorn, in 
Hungary, is stronger than Constantine ? When 
you get near Comorn there is nothing to see, and 
it is precisely because of this that it was able to 
resist so long. 

The breeze soon freshened till I hoisted my 
sails and was fairly wafted on to Meaux, so that, 
after all, the day, begun with forebodings, became 
as easy and as pleasant as the rest. 



T 2 



CHAPTER XV. 



Meaux on the Marne Hammering -Popish forms Wise 
dogs Blocked in a tunnel A dry voyage Arbour 
and garret Odd fellows Dream on the Seine Almost 
over No admittance Charing-cross. 

THERE are three hemispheres of scenery visible to 
the traveller who voyages thus in a boat on the 
rivers. First, the great arch of sky, and land, 
and trees, and flowers down to the water's brink ; 
then the whole of this reflected beautifully in the 
surface of the river ; and then the wondrous depths 
in the water itself, with its animal life, its rocks 
and glades below, and its flowers and mosses. 
Now rises the moon so clear, and with the sky 
around it so black that no "man in the moon" 
can be seen. 

At the hotel we find a whole party of guests 
for the marriage-dinner of a newly-wedded pair. 
The younger portion of the company adjourn to 
the garden and let off squibs and crackers, so it 
seems to be a good time to exhibit some of my 
signal lights from my bedroom-window, and there 
is much cheering as the Englishman illumines the 



HAMMER. 277 

whole neighbourhood. Next day the same people 
all assembled for the marriage breakfast, and 
sherry, madeira, and champagne flowed from the 
well-squeezed purse of the bride's happy father. 

I have noticed that the last sound to give 
way to the stillness of the night in a village is 
that of the blacksmith's hammer, which is much 
more heard abroad than at home. Perhaps this is 
because much of their execrable French ironwork 
is made in each town ; whereas in England it is 
manufactured by machinery in great quantities and 
at special places. At any rate, after travelling on 
the Continent long enough to become calm and 
observant, seeing, hearing, and, we may add, 
scenting all around, the picture in the mind is full 
of blue dresses, white stones, jingling of bells, and 
the "cling, cling" of the never idle blacksmith. 

This town of Meaux has a bridge with houses 
on it, and great mill-wheels filling up the arches 
as. they used to do in old London-bridge. Plea- 
sant gardens front the river, and cafes glitter 
there at night. These are not luxuries but posi- 
tive necessaries of life for the Frenchman, and it 
is their absence abroad which we believe is one 
chief cause of his being so bad a colonist, for the 
Frenchman has only the expression "with me" for 
"home," and no word for "wife" but "woman." 

The cathedral of Meaux is* grand and old, and 



278 FORM AND CEREMONY. 

see how they masquerade the service in it ! Look 
at the gaunt " Suisse," with his cocked-hat kept 
on in church, with his sword and spear. The 
twenty priests and twelve red-surpliced boys intone 
to about as many hearers. A monk escorted 
through the church makes believe to sprinkle 
holy water on all sides from that dirty plasterer's 
brush, and then two boys carry on their shoulders 
a huge round loaf, the " pain benit," which, after 
fifty bowings, is blessed, and escorted back to be 
cut up, and is then given in morsels to the con- 
gregation. These endless ceremonies are the 
meshes of the net of Popery, and they are well 
woven to catch many Frenchmen, who must have 
action, show, the visible tangible outside, whatever 
may be meant by it. 

This service sets one a-thinking. Some form 
there must be in worship. One may suppose, 
indeed, that perfect spirit can adore God without 
attitude, or even any sequence or change. Yet in 
the Bible we hear of Seraphs veiling their bodies 
with their wings, and of elders prostrate at cer- 
tain times, and saints that have a litany even in 
heaven. Mortals must have some form of adora- 
tion, but there is the question, How much ? and 
on this great point how many wise and foolish 
men have written books without end, or scarcely 
any effect ! 



WISE DOGS. 279 

The riverside was a good place for a quiet 
Sunday walk. Here a flock of 300 sheep had 
come to drink, and nibble at the flowers hanging 
over the water, and the simple-hearted shepherd 
stood looking on while his dogs rushed backward 
and forward, yearning for some sheep to do 
wrong, that their dog service might be required to 
prevent or to punish naughty conduct. This 
" Berger " inquires whether England is near 
Africa, and how large our legs of mutton are, 
and if we have sheep-dogs, and are there any 
rivers in our island on the sea. Meanwhile at the 
hotel the marriage party kept on " breakfasting," 
even until four o'clock, and non-melodious songs 
were sung. The French, as a people, do not excel 
in vocal music, either in tone or in harmony, but 
then they are precise in time. 

Afloat again next morning, and quite refreshed, 
we prepared for a long day's work. The stream 
was now clear, and the waving tresses of dark 
green weeds gracefully curved under water, while 
islands amid deep shady bays varied the landscape 
above. 

I saw a canal lock open, and paddled in merely 
for variety, passing soon into a tunnel, in the 
middle of which there was a huge boat fixed, 
and nobody with it. The boat exactly filled the 
tunnel, and the men had gone to their dinner, so I 



280 BLOCKED IN A TUNNEL. 

had first to drag their huge boat out, and then 
the canoe proudly glided into daylight, having 
a whole tunnel to itself. 

At Lagny, where we were to breakfast, I left 
my boat with a nice old gentleman, who was 
fishing in a nightcap and spectacles, and he 
assured me he would stop there two hours. But 
when I scrambled back to it through the mill 
(the miller's men amazed among their wholesome 
dusty sacks), the disconsolate Rob Hoy was found 
to be all alone, the first time she had been left in 
a town an " unprotected female." 

To escape a long serpent wind of the river, we 
entered another canal and found it about a foot 
deep, with clear water flowing pleasantly. This 
seemed to be very fortunate, and it was enjoyed 
most thoroughly for a few miles, little knowing 
what was to come. Presently weeds began, then 
clumps of great rushes, then large bushes and 
trees, all growing with thick grass in the water, 
and at length this got so dense that the prospect 
before me was precisely like a very large hayfield, 
with grass four feet high, all ready to be mowed, 
but which had to be mercilessly rowed through. 

This on a hot day without wind, and in a long 
vista, unbroken by a man or a house, or anything 
lively, was rather daunting, but we had gone too 
far to recede with honour, and so by dint of push- 



NO WATER. 



281 










Canal Miseries." 



ing and working I actually got the boat through 
some miles of this novel obstruction (known only 
this summer), and brought her safe and sound 
again to the river. At one place there was a 
bridge over this wet marsh, and two men hap- 
pened to be going over it as the canoe came near. 
They soon called to some neighbours, and the 
row of spectators exhibited the faculty so notable 
in French people and so rarely found with us, 
that of being able to keep from laughing right 
out at a foreigner in an awkward case. The 
absurd sight of a man paddling a boat amid miles 



282 ARBOUR AND GARRET. 

of thick rushes was indeed a severe test of 
courteous gravity. However, I must say that the 
labour required to penetrate this marsh was far 
less than one would suppose from the appearance 
of the place. The sharp point of the boat 
entered, and its smooth sides followed through 
hedges, as it were, of aquatic plants, and, on the 
whole (and after all was done !), I preferred the 
trouble and muscular effort required then to that 
of the monotonous calm of usual canal sailing. 

Fairly in the broad river again the Rob Roy 
came to Neuilly, and it was plain that my Sunday 
rest had enabled over thirty miles to be accom- 
plished without any fatigue at the end. With 
some hesitation we selected an inn on the water- 
side. The canoe was taken up to it and put on a 
table in a summer-house, while my own bed was 
in a garret where one could not stand upright 
the only occasion where I have been badly 
housed ; and pray let no one be misled by the 
name of this abode " The Jolly Rowers." 

Next day the river flowed fast again, and 
numerous islands made the channels difficult to 
find. The worst of these difficulties is that you 
cannot prepare for them. No map gives any just 
idea of your route the people on the river itself 
are profoundly ignorant of its navigation. For 
instance, in starting, my landlord told me that in 



IGNORANCE AND INGENUITY. 283 

two hours we should reach Paris. After ten miles 
an intelligent man said, " Distance from Paris ? 
it is six hours from here; " while a third informed 
me a little further on, " It is just three leagues 
and a half from this spot." 

The banks were now dotted with villas, and 
numerous pleasure-boats were moored at neat 
little stairs. The vast number of these boats 
quite astonished me, and the more so as very 
few of them were ever to be seen in actual use. 

The French are certainly ingenious in their 
boat-making, but more of ingenuity than of 
practical exercise is seen on the water. On several 
rivers we remarked the " walking machine," in 
which a man can walk on the water by fixing 
two small boats on his feet. A curious mode of 
rowing with your face to the bows has lately 
been invented by a Frenchman, and it is described 
in the Appendix. 

We stopped to breakfast at a new canal 
cutting, and as there were many gamins about, I 
fastened a stone to my painter and took the 
boat out into the middle of the river, and so 
left her moored within sight of the arbour, 
where I sat, and also within sight of the ardent- 
eyed boys who gazed for hours with wistful 
looks on the tiny craft and its fluttering 
flag. Their desire to handle as well as to see is 



284 ODD FELLOWS. 

only natural for these little fellows, and, there- 
fore, if the lads behave well, I always make a 
point of showing them the whole affair quite near, 
after they have had to abstain from it so long 
as a forbidden pleasure. 

Strange that this quick curiosity of French 
boys does not ripen more of them into travellers, 
but it soon gets expended in trifling details of a 
narrow circle, while the sober, sedate, nay, the 
triste, Anglian is found scurrying over the world 
with a carpet-bag, and pushing his way in foreign 
crowds without one word of their language, and 
all the while as merry as a lark. Among the odd 
modes of locomotion adopted by Englishmen, we 
have already mentioned that of the gentleman 
travelling in Germany with a four-in-hand and 
two spare horses. We met another Briton who 
had made a tour in a road locomotive which he 
bought for TOO/., and sold again at the same 
price. One more John Bull, who regarded the 
canoe as a "queer conveyance," went himself 
abroad on a velocipede. None of these, however, 
could cross seas, lakes, and rivers like the canoe, 
which might be taken wherever a man could walk 
or a plank could swim. 

It seemed contrary to nature that, after thus 
nearing pretty Paris, one's back was now to be 
turned upon it for hours in order to have a wide, 



ROUND AND ROUND. 285 

vague, purposeless voyage into country parts. But 
the river willed it so ; for here a great curve began 
and led off to the left, while the traffic of the 
Marne went straight through a canal to the right, 
through a canal, and therefore I would not 
follow it there. 

The river got less and less in volume ; its water 
was used for the canal, and it could scarcely 
trickle, with its maimed strength, through a 
spacious sweep of real country life. Here we often 
got grounded, got entangled in long mossy weeds, 
got fastened in overhanging trees, and, in fact, 
suffered all the evils which the smallest brook 
had ever entailed, though this was a mighty 
river. 

The bend was more and more inexplicable, as it 
turned more round and round, till my face was 
full in the sunlight at noon, and I saw that the 
course was now due south. 

Rustics were there to look at me, and wonder- 
ing herdsmen too, as if the boat was in mid 
Germany, instead of being close to Paris. Evi- 
dently boating men in that quarter never came 
here by the river, and the Rob Roy was a rara 
avis floating on a stream unused. 

But the circle was rounded at last, as all circles 
are, however large they be ; and we got back to 
the common route, to civilization, fishing men 



286 DREAM ON A BANK. 

and fishing women, and on the broad Marne once 
more. So here I stopped a bit for a ponder. 

And now we unmoor for the last time, and 
enter the Rob Roy for its final trip the last few 
miles of the Marne, and of more than a thousand 
miles rowed and sailed since we started from 
England. I will not disguise my feeling of 
sadness then, and I wished that Paris was still 
another day distant. 

For this journey in a canoe has been interest- 
ing, agreeable, and useful, though its incidents 
may not be realized by reading what has now 
been described. The sensation of novelty, free- 
dom, health, and variety all day and every day 
was what cannot be recited. The close acquaint- 
ance with the people of strange lands, and the 
constant observation of nature around, and the 
unremitting attention necessary for progress, all 
combine to make a voyage of this sort improving 
to the mind thus kept alert, while the body 
thoroughly enjoys life when regular hard exercise 
in the open air dissipates the lethargy of these 
warmer climes. 

These were my thoughts as I came to the Seine 
and found a cool bank to lie upon under the trees, 
with my boat gently rocking in the ripples of the 
stream below, and the nearer sound of a great 
city telling that Paris was at hand. " Here/' 



ON THE SEINE. 287 

said I, " and now is my last hour of life savage 
and free. Sunny days ; alone, but not solitary ; 
worked, but not weary " as in a dream the 
things, places, and men I had seen floated before 
my eyes half closed. The panorama was wide, 
and fair to the mind's eye ; but it had a tale 
always the same as it went quickly past that 
vacation was over, and work must begin. 

Up, then, for this is not a life of mere enjoy- 
ment. Again into the harness of " polite society," 
the hat, the collar, the braces, the gloves, the 
waistcoat, the latch-key perhaps, the razor 
certainly the umbrella. How every joint and 
limb will rebel against these manacles, but they 
must be endured ! 

The gradual approach to Paris by gliding down 
the Seine was altogether a new sensation. By 
diligence, railway, or steamer, you have nothing 
like it not certainly by walking into Paris along 
a dusty road. 

For now we are smoothly carried on a wide and 
winding river, with nothing to do but to look and 
to listen while the splendid panorama majestically 
unfolds. Villas thicken, gardens get smaller as 
houses are closer, trees get fewer as walls in- 
crease. Barges line the banks, commerce and its 
movement, luxury and its adornments, spires and 
cupolas grow out of the dim horizon, and then 



288 ALMOST OVER. 

bridges seem to float towards me, and the hum 
of life gets deeper and busier, while the pretty 
little prattling of the river stream yields to the 
roar of traffic, and to that indescribable thrill 
which throbs in the air around this the capital of 
the Continent, the centre of the politics, the focus 
of the pleasure and the splendour of the world. 

In passing the island at Notre Dame I for- 
tunately took the proper side, but even then we 
found a very awkward rush of water under the 
bridges. This was caused by the extreme low- 
ness of the river, which on this very day was 
three feet lower than in the memory of man. 
The fall over each barrier, though wide enough, 
was so shallow that I saw at the last bridge the 
crowd above me evidently calculated upon my 
being upset ; and they were nearly right too. 
The absence of other boats showed me (now 
experienced in such omens) that some great 
difficulty was at hand, but I also remarked that 
by far the greater number of observers had col- 
lected over one particular arch, where at first 
there seemed to be the very worst chance for 
getting through. By logical deduction I argued, 
" that must be the best arch, after all, for they 
evidently expect I will try it," and, with a horrid 
presentiment that my first upset was to be at my 
last bridge, I boldly dashed forward whirl, whirl 



NO ADMITTANCE. 289 

the waves, and grate grate my iron keel ; but 
the Rob Hoy rises to the occasion, and a rewarding 
Bravo ! from the Frenchmen above is answered 
by a British "All right " from the boat below. 

~No town was so hard to find a place for the 
canoe in as the bright, gay Paris. I went to the 
floating baths ; they would not have me. We 
paddled to the funny old ship ; they shook their 
heads. We tried a coal wharf; but they were only 
civil there. Even the worthy washerwomen, 
my quondam friends, were altogether callous now 
about a harbour for the canoe. 

In desperation we paddled to a bath that was 
being repaired, but when my boat rounded the 
corner it was met by a volley of abuse from the 
proprietor for disturbing his fishing ; he was just 
in the act of expecting the final bite of a goitjon. 

Relenting as we apologized and told the Rob 
Roy's tale, he housed her there for the night ; and 
I shouldered my luggage and wended my way to 
an hotel. 

Here is Meurice's, with the homeward tide of 
Britons from every Alp and cave of Europe flow- 
ing through its salons. Here are the gay streets, 
too white to be looked at in the sun, and the 
poupee theatres under the trees, and the dandies 
driving so stiff in hired carriages, and the dapper, 
little soldiers, and the gilded cafes. 



290 SAFE HOME. 

Yes, it is Paris and more brilliant than ever ! 

I faintly tried to hope, but pray pardon me 
I utterly failed to believe that any person there 
had enjoyed his summer months with such exces- 
sive delight as the captain, the purser, the ship's 
cook, and cabin boy of the Rob Roy canoe. 

Eight francs take the boat by rail to Calais. 
Two shillings take her thence to Dover. The 
railway takes her free to Charing Cross, and 
there two porters put her in the Thames again. 

A flowing tide, on a sunny evening, bears her 
fast and cheerily straight to Searle's, there to 
debark the Bob Roy's cargo safe and sound and 
thankful, and to plant once more upon the shore 
of old England 

The flag that braved a thousand miles, 
The rapid and the snag. 




APPENDIX, 



GOSSIP ASHORE ABOUT THINGS AFLOAT. 

THOSE who intend to make a river voyage on the 
Continent and several canoes are preparing for this 
purpose will probably feel interested in some of the 
following information, while other readers of these 
pages may be indulgent enough to excuse the relation 
of a few particulars and technical details. 

It is proposed, then, to give, first, a description of 
the canoe considered to be most suitable for a voyage 
of this sort after experience has aided in modifying 
the dimensions of the boat already used ; second, an 
inventory of the cargo or luggage of the Rob Roy, 
with remarks on the subject, for the guidance of 
future passengers. 

Next there will be found some notes upon rocks 
and currents in broken water ; and lastly, some 
further remarks on the "Kent," and a few miscel- 
laneous observations upon various points. 

Although the Rob Roy and its luggage were not 
prepared until after much cogitation, it is well that 
intending canoists should have the benefit of what 
v 2 



292 APPENDIX. 

experience has since proved as to the faults and 
virtues of the arrangements devised for a first trip, 
after these have been thoroughly tasted in so pleasant 
a tour. 

The best dimensions for the canoe appear to be 
length, 14 feet [15]*; beam, 26 inches [28], six 
inches abaft the midship ; depth outside, from keel 
to deck, 9 inches ; camber, 1 inch [2] ; keel, 1 inch, 
with a strip of iron, half an inch broad, carefully 
secured all the way below, and a copper strip up the 
stem and stern posts, and round the top of each of 
them. 

The new canoe now building will have the beam 
at the water's edge, and the upper plank will " topple 
in," so that the cedar deck will be only 20 inches 
wide. 

The "well" or opening in the deck should be 
4 feet long [4 feet 6 inches] and 20 inches wide, 
with a strong combing all round, sloping forward, 
but not more than 1 inch [2] high at the bow end. 
This opening should be semicircular at the ends, both 
for appearance sake and strength and convenience, 
so as to avoid corners. The macintosh sheet to cover 
this must be strong, to resist constant wear, light 
coloured, for the sun's heat, and so attached as to 
be readily loosened and made fast again, say 20 
times a day, and by cords which will instantly break 
if you have to jump out. In the new canoe this 
macintosh (the most difficult part of the equipment 

* The figures in [ ] are the dimensions of the old Kob Boy. 



APPENDIX. 293 

to arrange) is 18 inches long, and a light wooden 
hatch covers the fore part, an arrangement found 
to be most successful. 

A water-tight compartment in the hull is a mis- 
take. Its partition prevents access to breakages 
within, and arrests the circulation of air, and it cannot 
be kept long perfectly staunch. There should be extra 
timbers near the seat. 

The canoe must be so constructed as to endure 
without injury, (1) to be lifted by any part whatever ; 
(2) to be rested on any part \ (3) to be sat upon while 
aground, on any part of the deck, the combing, and 
the interior. 

Wheels for transport have been often suggested, 
but they would be useless. On plain ground or grass 
you can readily do without them. On rocks and 
rough ground, or over ditches and through hedges, 
wheels could not be employed, and at all times they 
would be in the way. Bilge pieces are not required. 
Strength must be had without them, and their pro- 
jections seriously complicate the difficulties of pushing 
the boat over a pointed rock, both when afloat and 
when ashore ; besides, as they are not parallel to the 
keel they very much retard the boat's speed. 

The paddle should be 7 feet long (not more), 
weight, 2 Ibs. 9 oz., strong, with blades 6 inches 
broad, ends rounded, thick, and banded with copper. 
There should be conical cups of vulcanised India 
rubber to catch the dribbling water, and, if possible, 
some plan (not yet devised) for preventing or arresting 
the drops from the paddle ends, which fall on the 



294 APPENDIX. 

deck when you paddle slowly, and when there is not 
cenough entrifugal force to throw this water away 
from the boat. 

The painter ought to be of the best flexible rope, 
not tarred, well able to bear 2001b. weight; more 
than 20 feet of rope is a constant encumbrance. The 
ends should be silk- whipped and secured through a 
hole in the stem post and another in the stern post 
(so that either or both ends can be readily cast off); 
the slack may be coiled on deck behind you. 

There should be a back support of two wooden 
slips, each 15 inches by 3 inches, placed like the side 
strokes of the letter H, and an inch apart, but laced 
together with cord, or joined by a strip of cloth. 
Rest them against the edge of the combing, and so 
as to be free to yield to the motion of the back at each 
stroke, without hurting the spine. If made fast so as 
always to project, they are much in the way of the 
painter in critical times. They may be hinged below 
so as to fold down as you get out, but in this case they 
are in the way when you are getting in and wish to 
sit down in an instant ready for work. 

The mast should be 5 feet long, strong enough to 
stand gales without stays, stepped just forward of the 
stretcher, in a tube an inch above deck, and so as to 
be struck without difficulty in a squall, or when 
Hearing trees, or a bridge, barrier, ferry-rope, bank, 
or waterfall, or when going aground. 

The sail, if a lug, should have a fore leach of 3 feet 
10 inches, a head of 3 feet 6 inches, and a foot of 4 feet 
6 inches ; yard and boom of bamboo. 



APPENDIX. 295 

The boat can well stand more sail than this at sea, 
or in lakes and broad channels, but the foregoing size 
for a lug is quite large enough to manage in stiff 
breezes and in narrow rocky tortuous rivers. 

A spritsail would be better in some respects, but 
no plan has, as yet, been suggested to me for instantly 
striking the sprit without endangering the deck, so 
I mean to use a lug still. 

The material of the sail should be strong cotton, 
in one piece, without any eyelet or hole whatever, but 
with a broad hem, enclosing well- stretched cord all 
round. A jib is of little use as a saiL It is apt to get 
aback in sudden turns. Besides, you must land either 
to set it or to take in its outhaul, so as to be quite snug. 
But the jib does well to tie on the shoulders when 
they are turned to a fierce sun. The boom should be 
attached by a brass shackle, so that when "topped" 
or folded its end closes on the top of the mast. The 
sails (with the boom and yard) should be rolled up 
round the mast compactly, to be stowed away for- 
ward, so that the end of the mast resting on the 
stretcher will keep the roll of sails out of the wet. 
The flag and its staff when not fast at the mast-head 
(by two metal loops) should fit into the mast-step, 
and the flag-staff, 24 inches long, should be light, 
so as not to sink if it falls overboard, as one of 
mine did. 

The floor-boards should be strong, and easily de- 
tachable, so that one of them can be at once used as 
a paddle if that falls overboard. They should come 
six inches short of the stern end of a light seat, which 



296 APPENDIX. 

can thus rest on the timbers, so as to be as low as 
possible, and its top should be of strong cane open- 
work. 

The stretcher should have only one length, and let 
this be carefully determined after trial before starting. 
The two sides of its foot-board should be high and 
broad, while the middle may be cut down to let the 
hand get to the mast. The stretcher should, of course, 
be moveable, in order that you may lie down with the 
legs at full length for repose. 

One brass cleat for belaying the halyard should be 
on deck, about the middle, and on the right-hand side; 
A stud on the other side, and this cleat will do to 
make the sheet fast to by one turn on either tack. 



LIST OF STORES ON BOARD THE ROB ROY. 

1. Useful Stores. Paddle, painter (31 feet at first, 
but cut down to 20 feet), sponge, waterproof cover, 
5 feet by 2 feet 3 inches, silk blue union jack, 10 inches 
by 8 inches, on a staff 2 feet long. Mast, boom, and 
yard. Lug sail, jib, and spare jib (used as a sun shawl). 
Stretcher, two back boards, floor boards, basket to sit on 
(12 inches by 6 inches, by 1 inch deep), and holding a 
macintosh coat. For repairs iron and brass screws, 
sheet copper and copper nails, putty and whitelead, a 
gimlet, cord, string, and thread, one spare button, 
needle, pins, canvas wading shoes (wooden clogs would 



APPENDIX. 297 

be better) ; all the above should be left with the boat. 
Black bag for 3 months' luggage, size, 12 inches by 12 
inches, by 5 inches deep (just right), closed by three 
buttons, and with shoulder-strap. Flannel Norfolk 
jacket (flaps not too long, else they dip in the water, 
or the pockets are inverted in getting out and in); 
wide flannel trousers, gathered by a broad back buckle 
belt, second trousers for shore should have braces, but 
in the boat the back buttons are in the way. Flannel 
shirt on, and another for shore. A straw hat is the 
very best for use while writing this there are 16 
various head covers before me used in different tours, 
but the straw hat is best of all for boating. Thin 
alpaca black Sunday coat, thick waistcoat, black leather 
light-soled spring-sided shoes (should be strong for 
rocks and village pavements), cloth cap (only used as 
a bag), 2 collars, 3 pocket handkerchiefs, ribbon tie, 
2 pair of cotton socks (easily got off for sudden wading, 
and drying quickly when put on deck in the sun). 
Brush, comb, and tooth-brush. Testament, passport 
(will be scarcely needed this season), leather purse, large 
(and full), circular notes, small change in silver and 
copper for frequent use, blue spectacles in strong case, 
book for journal and sketches, black, blue, and red 
chalk, and steel pen. Maps, cutting off a six inch 
square at a time for pocket reference. Pipe, tobacco- 
case, and light-box (metal, to resist moisture from 
without and within), Guide books and pleasant evening 
reading book. You should cut off covers and all use- 
less pages of books, and every page as read ; no 
needless weight should be earned hundreds of miles j 



298 APPENDIX. 

even a fly settling on the boat must be refused a free 
passage. Illustrated papers, tracts, and anecdotes in 
French and German for Sunday reading and daily 
distribution (far too few had been taken, they were 
always well received). Medicine (rhubarb and court 
plaister), small knife, and pencil. Messrs. Silver's, 
in Bishopsgate, is the place for stores. 

2. Useless Articles. Boathook, undervest, water- 
proof helmet ventilated cap, foreign Conversation books, 
glass seltzer bottle and patent cork (for a drinking 
flask), tweezers for thorns. 

3. Lost or Stolen Articles. Bag for back cushion, 
waterproof bag for sitting cushion, long knife, necktie, 
woven waistcoat, box of quinine, steel-hafted knife. 
These, except the last of them, were not missed. I 
bought another thick waistcoat from a Jew. 



ROCKS AND CURRENTS. 

A few remarks may now be made upon the princi- 
pal cases in which rocks and currents have to be dealt 
with by the canoist. 

Even if a set of rules could be laid down for the 
management of a boat in the difficult parts of a river, 
it would not be made easier until practice has given 
the boatman that quick judgment as to their applica- 
tion which has to be patiently acquired in this and 
other athletic exercises, such as riding or skating, 
and even in walking. 

The canoist, who passes many hours every day for 



APPENDIX. 299 

months together in the earnest consideration of the 
river problems always set before him for solution, 
will probably feel some interest in this attempt to 
classify those that occur most frequently. 

Steering a boat in a current among rocks is not 
unlike walking on a crowded pavement, where the 
other passengers are going in various directions, and at 
various speeds ; and this operation of threading your 
way in the streets requires a great deal of practice, 
and not a few lessons enforced by collisions, to make 
a pedestrian thoroughly au fait as a good man in a 
crowd. After years of walking through crowds, there 
is produced by this education of the mind and training 
of the body a certain power not possessed by a novice 
which insensibly directs a man in his course and his 
speed, but still his judgment has had insensibly to take 
cognizance of many varying data in the movements of 
other people which must have their effect upon each 
step he takes. 

After this capacity becomes, as it were, instinctive, 
or, at any rate, acts almost involuntarily, a man can 
walk briskly along Fleet-street at 4 p.m., and, without 
any distinct thought about other people, or about his 
own progress, he can safely get to his journey's end. 
Indeed, if he does begin to think of rules or how to 
apply them systematically, he is then almost sure to 
knock up against somebody else. Nay, if two men 
meet as they walk through a crowd, and each of them 
" catches the eye " of the other, they will probably 
cease to move instinctively, and, with uncertain data 
to reason from, a collision is often the result. 

As the descent of a current among rocks resembles 



300 APPENDIX. 

a walk along the pavement through a crowd, so the 
passage across a rapid is even more strictly in resem- 
blance with the course of a man who has to cross a 
street where vehicles are passing at uncertain intervals 
and at various speeds, though all in the same direction. 
For it is plain that the thing to be done is nearly the 
same, whether the obstacles (as breakers) are fixed and 
the current carries you towards them, or the obstacles 
(as cabs and carts) are moving, while you have to walk 
through them on terra firma. 

To cross Park-lane in the afternoon requires the 
very same sort of calculation as the passage across the 
stream in a rapid on the Rhine. 

The importance of this subject of "boating instinct" 
will be considered sufficient to justify these remarks 
when the canoist has by much practice at last attained 
to that desirable proficiency which enables him to 
steer without thinking about it, and therefore to enjoy 
the conversation of other people on the bank or the 
scenery, while he is rapidly speeding through rocks, 
eddies, and currents. 

We may divide the rocks thus encountered in fast 
water into two classes (1) Those that are sunk, so 
that the boat can float over them, and which do not 
deflect the direction of the surface current. (2) Those 
that are breakers, and so deflect the current, and do 
not allow the boat to float over them. 

The currents may be divided into (1) Those that 
are equable in force, and in the same direction through 
the course to be steered. (2) Those that alter their 
direction in a part of that course. 
, In the problems before the canoist will be found the 



302 



APPENDIX. 





FIG. 2, 



FIG. 5 





FIG. 3., 





APPENDIX. 303 

combinations of every degree and variety of these 
rocks and currents, but the actual circumstances he 
has to deal with at any specified moment may it is 
believed be generally ranged under one or other of 
the six cases depicted in the accompanying woodcut. 

In each of the figures in the diagram the current is 
supposed to run towards the top of the page, and the 
general course of the canoe is supposed to be with the 
current. The particular direction of the current is 
indicated by the dotted lines. The rocks when 
shaded are supposed to be sunk, and when not 
shaded they are breakers. Thus the current is uniform 
in figs. 1, 2, 3 ; and it is otherwise in figs. 4, 5, 6. 
The rocks are all sunk in figs. 1, 2, 3, and 5 ; whereas 
in figs. 4 and 6 there are breakers. The black line in 
these figures, and in all the others, shows the proper 
course of the centre of the boat, and it is well to 
habituate oneself to make the course such as that this 
line shall never be nearer to the rock than one-half 
of the boat's length. 

The simplest case that can occur is when the 
canoe is merely floating without "way" through a 
current, and the current bears it near a rock. If this 
be a breaker, the current, being deflected, will gene- 
rally carry the boat to one side. The steering in 
such cases is so easy, and its frequent occurrence 
gives so much practice, that no more need be said 
about it. 

But if the rock be a sunk rock, and if it be not quite 
plain from the appearance of the water that there is 
depth enough over the rock to float the boat, then it is 



304 APPENDIX. 

necessary to pass either above the rock, as in fig. 1, or 
below it, as in fig. 2. 

A few days' practice is not thrown away if the 
canoist seizes every opportunity of performing under 
easy circumstances feats which may at other times 
have to be done under necessity, and which would 
not be so well done if attempted then for the first 
time. 

Let him, therefore, as soon as possible, become adept 
in crossing above or below a single sunk rock with 
his boat's bow pointed to any angle of the semicircle 
before him. 

Next we have to consider the cases in which more 
than one rock will have to be avoided. Now, however 
great the number of the rocks may be, they can be 
divided into sets of three, and in each of the figures 
3, 4, 5, 6 it is supposed that (for reasons which may be 
different in each case, but always sufficient) the canoe 
has to pass between rocks A and .5, and then between 
B and C, but must not pass otherwise between A 
and G. 

In fig. 3 the course is below .#, and above (7, being 
a combination of the instance in fig. 2 with that in 
fig. 1. 

The precise angle to the line of the course which 
the boat's longer axis ought to have will depend upon 
what is to be done next after passing between B 
and (7, and hence the importance of being able to 
effect the passages in fig. 1 and fig. 2 with the axis at 
any required angle. 

We may next suppose that one of the three rocks, 



APPENDIX. 305 

say J3, as in fig. 4, is a breaker which will deflect 
the current (as indicated by the dotted stream lines), 
and it will then be necessary to modify the angle of 
the boat's axis, though the boat's centre has to be 
kept in the same course as before. 

It will be seen at once that if A were a breaker the 
angle would be influenced in another manner, and 
that if C were a breaker the angle at which the boat 
should emerge from the group of rocks would be 
influenced by the stream from C also ; but it is only 
necessary to remind the reader that all the combina- 
tions and permutations of breakers and sunk rocks 
need not be separately discussed, they may be met 
by the experience obtained in one case of each class of 
circu mstances. 

Fig. 5 represents a circular current over the group 
of three rocks. This is a very deceptive case, for it 
looks so easy that at first it is likely to be treated care- 
lessly. If the boat were supposed to be a substance 
floating, but without weight, it would have its direction 
of motion instantly altered by that of the current. But 
the boat has weight, and as it has velocity (that 
of the current even if the boat is not urged also by the 
paddle so as to have "way" through the water), there- 
fore it will have momentum, and the tendency will be 
to continue the motion in a straight line, instead of a 
curve guided solely by the current. In all these cases, 
therefore, it will be found (sometimes inexplicably 
unless with these considerations) that the boat insists 
upon passing between A and (7, where it must not 
be allowed to go on the hypothesis we have started 
x 



306 APPENDIX. 

with ; and if it effects a compromise by running upon 
(7, this is by no means satisfactory. 

This class of cases includes all those in which the river 
makes a quick turn round a rock or a tongue , where 
the boundary formed by the rock A on the outer 
bend of the stream is a solid bank, or a fringe of 
growing trees, or of faggots artificially built as a pro- 
tection against the erosion of the water. This case 
occurs, therefore, very frequently in some fast rivers, 
say, at least, a hundred times in a day's work,, and 
perhaps no test of a man's experience and capacity as 
a canoist is more decisive than his manner of steering 
round a fast, sharp bend. 

The tendency of the canoist in such cases is always 
to bring the boat round by paddling forward with the 
outer hand, thereby adding to the " way," and making 
the force of the current in its circular turn less 
powerful relatively. Whereas, the proper plan is to 
back \vith the inner hand, and so to stop all way in 
the direction of the boat's length, and to give the cur- 
rent its full force on the boat. Repeated lessons are 
needed before this is learned thoroughly. 

The case we have last remarked upon is made easier 
if either A or G is a breaker, but it is very much in- 
creased in difficulty if the rock B is a breaker or is a 
strong tongue of bank, ancl so deflects the current out- 
wards at this critical point. 

The difficulty is often increased by the fact that the 
water inside of the curve of the stream may be shoal, 
and so the paddle on that side strikes the bottom or 
grinds along it in backing. 






APPENDIX. 307 

When the curve is all in deep water, and there is a 
pool after 12, the boat ought not to be turned too 
quickly in endeavouring to avoid the rock (?, else it 
will sometimes then enter the eddy below B, which 
runs up stream sometimes for fifty yards. In such a 
case the absurd position you are thereby thrown into 
naturally causes you to struggle to resist or stem this 
current; but I have found, after repeated trials of 
every plan I could think of, that if once the back 
current has taken the canoe it is best to let the boat 
swing with the eddy so as to make an entire circuit, 
until the bow can come back towards E (and below 
it), when the nose of the boat may be again thrust into 
the main stream, which will now turn the boat round 
again to its proper course. Much time and labour 
may be spent uselessly in a wrong and obstinate contest 
with an eddy. 

In fig. 6, where the three rocks are in a straight 
line, and the middle one is a breaker, an instance is 
given when the proper course must be kept by 
bacldng during the first part of it. 

We must suppose for this that the canoist has attained 
the power of backing with perfect ease, for it will be 
quite necessary if he intends to take his boat safely 
through several hundred combinations of sunk rocks 
and breakers. Presuming this, the ease in fig. 6 will 
be easy enough, though a little reflection will show 
that it might be very difficult, or almost impossible, 
if the canoist could give only a forward motion to 
the boat. 

To pass most artistically, then, through the group 
x 2 



308 APPENDIX. 

of rocks in fig. 6 the stern should be turned towards 
A, as shown in the diagram, and the passage across 
the current, between A and B, is to be effected solely 
by backing water (and chiefly in this case with the 
left hand) until the furthest point of the right of the 
curve is reached, with the boat's length still as before 
in the position represented in the figure. Then the 
forward action of both hands will take the canoe 
speedily through the passage between B and C. 

Cases of this sort are rendered more difficult by the 
distance of C from the point above J., where you are 
situated when the decision has to be made (and in 
three instants of time) as to what must be done ; also, it 
would usually be imprudent to rise in the boat in such 
a place to survey the rock C from a better position. 

If it is evident that the plan described above will 
not be applicable, because other and future circum- 
stances will require the boat's bow to emerge in the 
opposite direction (pointing to the right), then you must 
enter forwards, and must back between and (7, so as 
to be ready, after passing (7, to drive forward, and to 
the right. It is plain that this is very much more 
difficult than the former case, for your backing now 
has to be done against the full stream from the 
breaker B. 

In all these instances the action of the wind has been 
entirely omitted from consideration, but it must not 
be forgotten that a strong breeze materially complicates 
the problem before the canoist. This is especially so 
when the wind is aft ; when it is ahead you are not 
likely to forget its presence. A strong fair wind (that 



APPENDIX. 309 

has scarcely been felt with your back to it) and the 
swift stream and the boat's speed from paddling being 
all in one direction, the breeze will suddenly become 
a new element in the case when you try to cross 
above a rock as in fig. 1, and find the wind carries 
you broadside on against all your calculations. 

Nor have I any observations to make as to sailing 
among rocks in a current. The canoe must be directed 
solely by the paddle in a long rapid, and in the other 
places the course to be steered by a boat sailing is 
the same as if it were being merely paddled, though 
the action of the wind has to be carefully taken into 
consideration. 

In all these things boldness and skill come only 
after lessons of experience, and the canoist will find 
himself ready and able, at the end of his voyage, to 
sail down a rapid which he would have approached 
timidly, even with the paddle, at the beginning. 

But perhaps enough has been said for the expe- 
rienced oarsman, while surely more than enough has 
been said to shew the tyro aspirant what varied work 
he has to do, and how interesting are the circum- 
stances that will occupy his attention on a delightful 
river tour. 



NOTE ON THE " KENT." The narrative of a ship- 
wreck referred to at page 219 has been published 40 
years ago, and in many foreign languages, but its circu- 
lation is very large at the present time. The following 



310 APPENDIX. 

letter about one of the incidents related in the little 
book, appeared in the "Times" of March 22, 1866 : 

" LETTERS FROM THE DEEP. 
" To the Editor of the ' Times: 

" Sir, As attention has been drawn to the letters 
written on board the ship London, and washed ashore, 
it may be interesting to notice the following remark- 
able incident respecting a letter from another ship 
wrecked in the Bay of Biscay. In March, 1825, the 
Kent, East Indiaman, took tire in the Bay of Biscay 
during a storm while 641 persons were on board, 
most of them soldiers of the 31st Regiment. When all 
hope was gone, and before a little vessel was seen 
which ultimately saved more than 500 people from the 

Kent, Major wrote a few lines and enclosed the 

paper in a bottle, which was left in the cabin. Nine- 
teen months after this the writer of the paper arrived 
in the island of Barbadoes, in command of another 
Regiment, and he was amazed to find that the bottle 
(cast into the sea by the explosion that destroyed the 
Kent) had been washed ashore on that very island. 
The paper, with its faint pencil lines expressing Chris- 
tian faith, is still preserved ; and this account of it 
can be authenticated by those who were saved. 
" I am, your obedient servant, 

"ONE OF THEM." 

The bottle, after its long immersion, was thickly 
covered with weeds and barnacles. The following 
are the words of the " Letter from the Deep," which 
it contained : 



APPENDIX. 311 

" The ship the Kent, Indiaman, is on fire 
Elizabeth Joanna and myself commit our spirits 
into the hands of our blessed Redeemer His 
grace enables us to be quite composed in the 
awful prospect of entering eternity. 

"D. M'GREGOR. 

" 1st March, 1825, Bay of Biscay." 

The writer of that letter lives now with blessings on 
his venerable head, while he who records -it anew is 
humbly grateful to God for his own preservation. 
And may we not say of every one who reads such 
words, written in such an hour, that his life would be 
unspeakably happy if he could lay hold now of so firm 
a Surety, and be certain to keep fast hold to the end ? 



The following notes are on miscellaneous points : 

(a) We are sometimes asked about such a canoe 
voyage as this, "Is it not very dangerous?" 

There seems to me to be no necessary danger in the 
descent of a river in a canoe ; but if you desire to 
make it as safe as possible you must get out at each 
difficult place and examine the course, and if the 
course is too difficult you may take the boat past the 
danger by land. 

On the other hand, if the excitement and novelty 
of finding out a course on the spur of the moment 
is to be enjoyed, then, no doubt, there is more danger 
to the boat. 

As for danger to the canoist, it is supposed, 
imprimis, that he is well able to swim, not only in 



312 APPENDIX. 

a bath when stripped, but when unexpectedly thrown 
into the water with his clothes on, and that he knows 
he can rely on this capacity. 

If this be so, the chief danger to him occurs when 
he meets a steamer on rough water (rare enough on such 
a tour) ; for if his boat is upset by that, and his head 
is broken by the paddle floats, the swimming powers 
are futile for safety. 

The danger incurred by the boat is certainly both 
considerable and frequent, but nothing short of the 
persuasion that the- boat would.be smashed if a great 
exertion is not made will incite the canoist to those 
very exertions which are the charm of travelling, 
when spirit, strength, and skill are to be proved. 
Men have their various lines of exercise as they have 
of duty. The huntsman may not understand the 
pleasures of a rapid, nor the boatman care for the 
delights of a "bullfinch." Certainly, however, the 
waterman can say that a good horse may carry a bad 
rider well, but that the best boat will not take a bad 
boatman through a mile of broken water. In each 
case there is, perhaps, a little of populus me sibilat, 
and it may possibly be made up for by a good deal of 
at mihi plaudo. 

(6) It has been said that the constant use of a canoe 
paddle must contract the chest, but this is certainly a 
mistake. If, indeed, you merely dabble each blade of 
the paddle in the water without taking the full length 
of the stroke the shoulders are not thrown back, and the 
effect will be injurious ; but exactly the same is true if 
you scull or row with a short jerky stroke. 



APPENDIX. 313 

In a proper use of the paddle the arms ought to be 
in turn fully extended, and then brought well back, so 
that the hand touches the side, and the chest is then 
well plied in both directions. 

In using the single-bladed paddle, of which I have 
had experience in Canada and New Brunswick with 
the Indians in bark canoes and log canoes, there seems 
to be a less beneficial action on the pectoral muscles, 
but after three months' use of the double paddle I 
found the arms much strengthened, while clothes that 
fitted before were all too narrow round the chest 
when put on after this exercise. 

(c) In shallow water the paddle should be clasped 
lightly, so that if it strikes the bottom or a rock the 
hand will yield and not the blade be broken. 

Great caution should be used when placing the blade 
in advance to meet a rock, or even a gravel bank, 
otherwise it gets jammed in the rock or gravel, or the 
boat overrides it. 

It is better in such a case to retard the speed rather 
by dragging the paddle (tenderly), and always with its 
flat side downwards, so that the edge does not get 
nipped. 

(d) M. Farcot, a French engineer, has lately exhibited 
on the Thames a boat which is rowed by the oarsman 
sitting with his face to the bow, who by this means 
secures one of the advantages of the canoe that of 
seeing where you are going. 

To effect this, a short prop or mast about three feet 
high is fixed in the boat, and the two sculls are jointed 
to it by their handles, while their weight is partly 



314 APPENDIX. 

sustained by a strong spiral spring acting near the 
joint, and in 'such a manner as to keep the blade of the 
scull a few inches from the surface of the water when 
it is not pressed down purposely. 

The sculler then sits with his face towards the mast 
and the bow, and he holds in each hand a rod jointed 
to the loom .of the corresponding scull. By this means 
each scull is moved on the mast as a fulcrum with the 
power applied between that and the water. The 
operation of feathering is partially performed, and 
to facilitate this there is an ingeniously contrived 
guide. 

This invention appears to be new, but it is evident 
that the plan retains many of the disadvantages of 
common sculls, and it leaves the double paddle quite 
alone as a simple means for propelling a canoe in 
narrow or tortuous channels, or where it has to meet 
waves, weeds, rocks, or trees, and moreover has to 
sail. 

However, the muscular power of the arms can be 
applied with good eifect in this new manner, and I 
found it not very difficult to learn the use of this 
French rowing apparatus, which is undoubtedly very 
ingenious, and deserves a full trial before a verdict is 
pronounced. 

(e) In a difficult place where the boat is evidently 
going too near a rock, the disposition of the canoist is to 
change the direction by a forward stroke on one side, 
but this adds to the force with which a collision may be 
invested. It is often better to back a stroke on the other 
side, and thus to lessen this force j and this is nearly 



APPENDIX. 315 

always possible to be done even when the boat appears 
to be simply drifting on the stream. In fact, as a 
maxim, there is always steerage way sufficient to en- 
able the paddle to be used exactly as a rudder. 

(f) When there is a brilliant glare of the sun, and it 
is low, and directly in front, and it is impossible to bear 
its reflection on the water, a good plan is to direct the 
bow to some point you are to steer for, and then ob- 
serve the reflection of the sun on the cedar deck of the 
boat. Having done this you may lower the peak of 
your hat so as to cut off the direct rays of the sun, and 
its reflected rays on the water, while you steer simply 
by the light on the deck. 

(g) When a great current moves across a river to a 
point where it seems very unlikely to have an exit, you 
may be certain that some unusual conformation of the 
banks or of the river bed will be found there, and 
caution should be used in approaching the place. This, 
however, is less necessary when the river is deep. 
Such cross currents are frequent on the Rhine, but 
they result merely from un evenness in the bottom far 
below, and thus we see how the rapids, most dangerous 
when the river is low, become quite agreeable and 
safe in high flood time. 

(h) The ripple and bubbles among weeds are so totally 
different from those on free water that their appearance 
at a distance as a criterion of the depth, current, and 
direction of the channel must be learned separately. 
In general, where weeds are under water, and can 
sway or wave about, there will be water enough to 
pass the requisite 3 inches. Backing up stream 



316 APPENDIX. 

against long weeds is so troublesome, and so sure 
to sway the stern round athwart stream, that it is 
best to force the boat forward instead, even if you 
have to get out and pull her through. 

(i) Paddling through rushes, or flags, or other plants 
above the water, so as to cut off a corner, is a mistake. 
Much more " way " is lost then by the friction than 
might be supposed. 

(J) I noticed a very curious boat-bridge across the 
Rhine below Basle. It seemed to open wide without 
swinging, and on coming close to it the plan was found 
to be this. The boats of one half of the bridge were 
drawn towards the shore, and a stage connecting them 
ran on wheels along rails inwards from the river, and 
up an incline on the bank. This system is ingenious, 
convenient, and philosophical. 

(k) Double-hulled boats have often been tried for 
sailing, but their disadvantages are manifest when the 
craft is on a large scale, though for toy-boats they 
answer admirably, and they are now quite fashion- 
able on the Serpentine. 

The double boat of the nautical tinman on the 
Rhine, before described, was a " fond conceit." But 
there are many double-hulled boats on French rivers, 
and they have this sole recommendation, that you sit 
high up, and so can fish without fearing you may 
" turn the turtle." 

When the two hulls are reduced as much as pos- 
sible, this sort of boat becomes an aquatic " walk- 
ing machine," for one foot then .rests on each hull. 
Propulsion is obtained either by linking the hulls 



APPENDIX. 317 

together with parallel bars moving on studs, while vanes 
are on each side, so as to act like fins, and to collapse 
for the alternate forward stroke of each foot bound to 
its hull or a square paddle, or a pole works on the 
water or on the bottom. I have always noticed that 
the proprietors of such craft are ingenious, obstinate 
men, proud of their peculiar mode, and very touchy 
when it is criticised. However, it is usually best, 
and it is fortunately always easy, to paddle away from 
them. 

(I) The hard exercise of canoe paddling, the open-air 
motion, constant working of the muscles about the 
stomach, and free perspiration result in good appetite 
and pleasant sleepiness at night. But at the end of 
the voyage the change of diet and cessation of exercise 
will be apt to cause derangement in the whole system, 
and especially in the digestion, if the high condition or 
" training " be not cautiously lowered into the hum- 
drum " constitutionals " of more ordinary life. Still I 
have found it very agreeable to take a paddle in the 
Rob Roy up to Hammersmith and back even in 
December and March. 

The last public occasion on which she appeared 
was on April 17, when the captain offered her aid 
to the Chief Constructor of the Navy in the effort 
of the Admiralty to launch the ironclad Northumber- 
land. The offer was eagerly accepted, and the launch 
was accordingly successful. 

The Rob Roy has since departed for a voyage to 
Norway and Iceland in the schooner yacht Sappho, 
whose young owner, Mr. W. F. Lawton, has promised 



318 APPENDIX. 

" to be kind to her." It is intended that a new Rob 
Roy should make a voyage next summer with another 
canoe called the "Robin Hood." 

(ra) Other pleasant voyages may be suggested for the 
holiday of the canoist. One of these might begin with 
the Thames, and then down the Severn, along the 
north coast of Devon, and so by the river Dart to 
Plymouth. Another on the Solent, and round the 
Isle of Wight. The Dee might be descended by the 
canoe, and then to the left through the Menai Straits. 
Or a longer trip may be made through the Cumber- 
land lakes by Windermere and the Derwent, or from 
Edinburgh by the Forth, into the Clyde, and through 
the Kyles of Bute to Oban ; then along the Caledonian 
Canal, until the voyager can get into the Tay for a 
swift run eastward. 

But why not begin at Gothenburg and pass through 
the pretty lakes of Sweden to Stockholm, and then 
skirt the lovely archipelago of green isles in the Gulf 
of Bothnia, until you get to Petersburg ? 

For one or other of such tours a fishing-rod and an 
air rifle, and for all of them a little dog, would be a 
great addition to the outfit. 

In some breezy lake of these perhaps, or on some 
rushing river, the little Rob Roy may hope to meet 
the reader's canoe ; and when the sun is setting, and 
the wavelets ripple sleepily, the pleasures of the paddle 
will be known far better than they have been told by 
the pen. 



C. A. Macintosh, Printer, Great New-street, London. 



House, Ludgate 
April, 1866. 



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[February 1, 1866. 

NEW ILLUSTRATED WORKS. 
'HE GEE AT SCHOOLS OF ENGLAND. A 

History of the Foundation, Endowments, and Discipline of 
the chief Seminaries of Learning in England; including 
Eton, Winchester, Westminster, St. Paul's, Charterhouse, 
Merchant Taylors', Harrow, Rugby, Shrewsbury, &c ; with 
notices of distinguished Scholars. By Howard Staunton, 
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The Pleasures of Memory. By Samuel Rogers. Illustrated 
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Latin-English Lexicon, by Dr. Andrews. 7th Edition. 8vo. 18s. 

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His Highness Fuad Pasha. 8vo. [Shortly. 

Letters on England. By Louis Blanc. 2 vols. post 8vo. [Shortly. 

House and Home in Belgium. By Blanchard Jerrold. Author 
of " At Home in Paris." Post 8vo. [Shortly. 

The Story of the Great March : a Diary of General Sherman's 
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Nichols, Aide-de-Camp to General Sherman. With a coloured Map and 
numerous Illustrations. 12mo. cloth, price 7s. 6d. 

Cape Cod. By Henry D. Thoreau. 12mo. cloth, 7s. Gd. 

Arabian Days and Nights; or, Rays from the East: a Narra- 
tive. By Marguerite A. Power. 1 vol. Post 8vo. 10s. 6d. 

" Miss Power's book is thoroughly interesting and does much credit to 
her talent for observation and description." London lievieiu, 

Wild Scenes in South America ; or, Life in the Llanos of Vene- 
zuela. By Don Ramon Paez. Numerous Illustrations. Post 8vo. cloth, 
10s. Qd. 




10 Sampson Low and Co's 

After Icebergs with a Painter ; a Summer's Voyage to Labrador. 

By the Rev. Louis L. Noble. Post 8vo. with coloured plates, cloth, 10s. Qd. 
The Prairie and Overland Traveller ; a Companion for Emigrants, 

Traders, Travellers, Hunters, and Soldiers, traversing great Plains and 

Prairies. By Capt. R. B. Marcey. Illustrated. Fcap. 8vo. cloth, 4s. Qd. 
The States of Central America, by E. G. Squier. Cloth. 18s. 
Home and Abroad (Second Series). A Sketch-book of Life, Men, 

and Travel, by Bayard Taylor. With Illustrations, post 8vo. cloth, 

8s. Qd. 

Northern Travel. Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, 
Lapland, and Norway, by Bayard Taylor. 1 vol. post 8vo., cloth, 8s. <bd. 

Also by the same Author, each complete in 1 vol., with Illustrations. 
Central Africa ; Egypt and the White Nile. Is. &d. 
India, China, and Japan. 7s. 6d. 
Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain. 7s. Qd. 
Travels in Greece and Russia. With an Excursion to Crete. 7s. Gd. 

INDIA, AMERICA, AND THE COLONIES. 

HISTORY of the Discovery and Exploration of 
Australia; or an Account of the Progress of Geographical 
Discovery in that Continent, from the Earliest Period to the 
Present Day. By the Rev. Julian E. Tenison Woods, F.R.G.S., 
&c., &c. 2 vols. demy 8vo. cloth, 28s. 
The Con federation of the British North American Provinces; their 
past History and future Prospects ; with a map, &c. By Thomas Rawlings. 
8vo. cloth, 5s. 
Canada in 1864; a Hand-book for Settlers. By Henry T. N. 

Chesshyre. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

The Colony of Victoria : its History, Commerce, and Gold 
Mining : its Social and Political Institutions, down to the End of 1863. 
With Remarks, Incidental and Comparative, upon the other Australian 
Colonies. By William Westgarth, Author of " Victoria and the Gold 
Mines," &c. 8vo. with a Map, cloth, 16s. 

Tracks of McKinlay and Party across Australia. By John Davis, 
one of the Expedition. Edited from the MS. Journal of Mr. Davis, 
with an Introductory View of the recent Explorations of Stuart, Burke, 
Wills, Landsborough and others. By Wm. Westgarth. With numerous 
Illustrations in chromo-lithography, and Map. 8vo. cloth, 16s. 

The Ordeal of Free Labour in the British West Indies. By Wil- 
liam G. Sewell. Post 8vo. cloth, 7s. Qd. 

The Progress and Present State of British India ; a Manual of 
Indian History, Geography, and Finance, for general use ; based upon 
Official Documents, furnished under the authority of Her Majesty's 
Secretary of State for India. By Montgomery Martin, Esq., Author 
of a " History of the British Colonies," &c. In one volume, post 8vo. 
cloth, 10s. 6d. 

Colonial Essays. Translated from the Dutch, post 8vo. cloth, 6s. 

The Cotton Kingdom : a Traveller's Observations on Cotton and 
Slavery in America, based upon three former volumes of Travels and 
Explorations. By Frederick Law Olmsted. With a Map. 2 vols. post 
8vo. II. Is. 



" Mr. Olmsted gives his renders a wealth of facts conveyed in a long 
stream of anecdotes, the exquisite humour of many of them making parts 
of his book as pleasant to read as a novel of the first class." Athenaeum. 



List of Publications. 1 1 

A History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Con- 
stitution of the United States of America, with Notices of its Principal 
Framers. By George Ticknor Curtis, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. Cloth, I/. 4s. 

" Mr. Curtis writes with dignity and vigour, and his work will be one 
of permanent interest." Athenser m. 

The Principles of Political Economy applied to the Condition, 
the Resources, and Institutions of the American People. By Francis 
Bowen. 8vo. Cloth, 14s. 

A History of New South Wales from the Discovery of New 
Holland in 1616 to the present time. By the late Roderick Flanagan, 
Esq., Member of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales. 2 
vols. 8vo. 24s. 

Canada and its Resources. Two Prize Essays, by Hogan and 
Morris. Is., or separately, Is. 6d. each, and Map, 3s. 

SCIENCE AND DISCOVERY. 

DICTIONARY of Photography, on the Basis of 

Button's Dictionary. Rewritten by Professor Dawson, of King's 
College, Editor of the " Journal of Photography ;" and Thomas 
Sutton, B.A., Editor of "Photograph Notes." 8vo. with 
numerous Illustrations. [Shortly. 

The Physical Geography of the Sea and its Meteorology ; or, the 
Economy of the Sea and its Adaptations, its Salts, its Waters, its Climates, 
its Inhabitants, and whatever there may be of general interest in its Com- 
mercial Uses or Industrial Pursuits. By Commander M. F. Maury, LL.D. 
Tenth Edition, being the Second Edition of the Author's revised and 
enlarged Work. Post 8vo. cloth extra, 8s. 6d. ; cheap edition, small post 
8vo. 5s. 
This edition, as well as its immediate predecessor, includes all the researches 

and observations of the last three years, and is copyright in England and on 

the Continent. 




" We err greatly if Lieut. Maury's 
book will not hereafter be classed with 
the works of the great men who have 
taken the lead in extending and im- 
proving knowledge and art ; his book 



displays in a remarkable degree, like 
the ' Advancement of Learning,' and 
the ' Natural History 5 of Buffon, pro- 
found research and magnificent ima- 
gination." Illustrated London News. 



The Structure of Animal Life. By Louis Agassiz. With 46 

Diagrams. 8vo. cloth, 10s. (id. 
The Kedge Anchor ; or, Young Sailor's Assistant, by William 

Brady. Seventy Illustrations. 8vo. 16s. 
Theory of the Winds, by Capt. Charles Wilkes. 8vo. cl. 8s. 6rf. 

Archaia ; or, Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural History of 
the Hebrew Scriptures. By Professor Dawson, Principal of McGill 
College, Canada. Post 8vo. cloth, cheaper edition, 6s. 

Ichnographs, from the Sandstone of the Connecticut River, 
Massachusetts, U. S. A. By James Dean, M.D. One volume, 4to. with 
Forty-six Plates, cloth, 27s. 

The Recent Progress of Astronomy, by Elias Loomis, LL.D. 
3rd Edition. Post 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

An Introduction to Practical Astronomy, by the Same. 8vo. 

cloth. 8s. 
Manual of Mineralogy, including Observations on Mines, Rocks, 



Reduction of Ores, and the Application of the Science to the Arts, with 

for the Use of Schools and Colleg 
James D. Dana, A.M., Author of a " System of Mineralogy." New Edi- 



260 Illustrations. Designed for the Use of Schools and Colleges. By 
James D. Dana, A.M., Author of a " System of Mineral 
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12 Sampson Low and Co.'s 

The Ocean Telegraph Cable ; its Construction, &c. and Submer- 
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Cyclopaedia of Mathematical Science, by Davies and Peck. 8vo. 
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TRADE, AGRICULTURE, DOMESTIC 
ECONOMY, ETC. 

, AIL WAY PRACTICE, European and American ; 

comprising the economical generation of Steam, the adapta- 
tion of Wood and Coke-burning Engines to Coal Burning, 
and in Permanent Way, including Road-bed. Sleepers, Rails, 
Joint-fastenings, Street Railways, &c. By Alexander L. 
Holley, Joint Author of Colburn and Holley's " Permanent Way," &c. 
Demy folio, with 77 Engravings, half-morocco. 31. 3s. 
Hunt's Merchants' Magazine (Monthly). 2s. 6d. 
The Book of Farm Implements, and their Construction ; by John 

L. Thomas. With 200 Illustrations. 12mo. 6s. 6d. 
The Practical Surveyor's Guide; by A. Duncan. Fcp.Svo. 4s. 6d. 

Villas and Cottages; by Calvert Vaux, Architect. 300 Illustra- 
tions. 8vo. cloth. 12s. 

Bee-Keeping. By " The Times " Bee-master. Small post 8vo. 
numerous Illustrations, cloth, 5s. 

The See-master has done a good work, which outweighs a cartload of 
mistakes, in giving an impetus to bee-keeping throughout the country. 
Here is a simple and graceful amusement, which is also a profitable one. 
The keeping of bees needs no great skill and but a small outlay. The 
result, however, besides the amusement which it affords is a store of honey 
that in the present state of the market may make a considerable addition 
to the income of a poor cotter, and may even be worthy the ambition of an 
underpaid curate or a lieutenant on half-pay." Times, Jan. 11, 1865. 

The English and Australian Cookery Book. Small post 8vo. 
Coloured Illustrations, cloth extra, 4s. 6rf. 

The Bubbles of Finance : the Revelations of a City Man. Fcap. 
8vo. fancy boards, price 2s. 6d. 

The Times of May 2lst in a leading article referring to the above icork, 
says: " We advise our young friends to read some amusing chapters on 
' accommodation' and ' borrowing' 1 which have appeared within the last two 
months in Mr-. Charles Dickens's All the Year Round." 

Coffee : A Treatise on its Nature and Cultivation. With some 
remarks on the management and purchase of Coffee Estates. By Arthur 
R. W. Lascelles. Post 8vo. cloth, 2s. Qd. 

The Railway Freighter's Guide. Denning mutual liabilities of 
Carriers and Freighters, and explaining system of rates, accounts, 
invoices, checks, booking, and permits, and all other details pertaining 
to traffic management, as sanctioned by Acts of Parliament, Bye-laws, 
and General Usage. By J. S. Martin. 12mo. Cloth, 2s. 6d. 

THEOLOGY. 

'HE Land and the Book, or Biblical Illustrations drawn 
from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and the Scenery 
of the Holy Land, by W. M. Thomson, M.D., twenty-five 
years a Missionary in Syria and Palestine. With 3 Maps and 
several hundred Illustrations. 2 vols. Post 8vo. cloth. II. Is. 
Missionary Geography for the use of Teachers and Missionary 

Collectors. Fcap. 8vo. with numerous maps and illustrations, 3s. 6d. 
A Topographical Picture of Ancient Jerusalem ; beautifully co- 
loured. Nine feet by six feet, on rollers, varnished. 3?. 3s. 




List of Publications. 13 

Nature and the Supernatural. By Horace Bushnell,D.D. One 
vol. New Edition. Post 8vo. cloth, 3s. 6d. Also by the same Author. 

Dr. BushnelPs Christian Nurture. Is. 6d. 

Dr. Bushnell's Character of Jesus. 6d. 

Dr. Bushnell's New Life. Is. 6d. 

Dr. Bushnell's Work and Play. 2s. 6d. 

Five Years' Prayer, with the Answers : comprising recent Nar- 
ratives and Incidents in America, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, 
&c. By D. Samuel Irenaeus Prime. 12mo. cloth, 2s. Gd. ; and a Cheap 
Edition, price Is. Also by the same Author. 

The Power of Prayer. 12mo. cloth, Is. 6d. 

The Light of the World : a most True Relation of a Pilgrimess 
travelling towards Eternity. Divided into Three Parts ; which deserve 
to be read, understood, and considered by all who desire to be saved. 
Reprinted from the edition of 1696. Beautifully printed by Clay on 
toned paper. Crown 8vo. pp. 593, bevelled boards, 10s. 6d. 

A Short Method of Prayer; an Analysis of a Work so entitled 
by Madame de la Mothe-Gruyon ; by Thomas C. Upham, Professor of 
Mental and Moral Philosophy in Bowdoin College,U.S. America. Printed 
by Whittingham. 12mo. cloth. Is. 

Christian Believing and Living. By F. D. Huntington, D.D. 
Crown 8vo. cloth, 3s. 6d. 

" For freshness of thought, power of illustration, and evangelical ear- 
nestness, these writers [Dr. Huntington and Dr. Bushnell] are not sur- 
passed by the ablest theologians in the palmiest days of the Church." 

Caledonian Mercury. 

Life Thoughts. By the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Two Series, 
complete in one volume, well printed and well bound. 2s. 6d. Superior 
edition, illustrated with ornamented borders. Sm. 4to. cloth extra. 7s. 6d. 

Dr. Beecher's Life and Correspondence : an Autobiography. 
Edited by his Son. 2 vols. post 8vo. with Illustrations, price 21s. 

" One of the most real, interesting, and instructive pieces of religious 
biography of the present day." Nonconformist. 

" Wehave ivaited for the publication of the second and last volume of 
; this interesting, we may well say entertaining, biography, before intro- 
ducing it to our readers. It is now complete, and furnishes one of the most 
various and delightful portraits of a fine, sturdy, old representative of 
antient theology and earnest piety, relieved by very sweet and engaging 
pictures of Netu England society in its religious circles, and the ways ana 
usages of the men and women who lived, and loved, and married, and had 
families, nearly a century since. . . . And now we must lay down these 
very ddightful volumes. We trust we have sufficiently characterized them, 
while there are, of course, reminiscences, pictures of places and of persons, 
we have been unable even to mention. It was an extraordinary family 
altogether ; a glow of bright, affectionate interest suffuses all in charming 
sunshine. It was a life of singular purpose, usefulness, and determination ; 
and we think ministers especially, and of ministers young students espe- 
cially, might read it, and read it more than once, to advantage. . . . Without 
attempting anymore words, we hope we have sufficiently indicated our very 
high appreciation of, and gratitude for, this charming and many-sided 
biography of a most robust and healthy life." The Eclectic. 

" All that the old man writes is clever and sagacious." Athenaeum. 

" If the reader can imagine the Vicar of Wahrficld in America, this 
memoir will give a very good idea of what he would be among Yankee sur- 
roundings. There is the same purity, sincerity, and goodness of heart, the 
same simplicity of manners and directness of purpose in Dr. Primrose and 
Dr. Beecher, though the go-ahead society in which the latter divine lived 
failed not to impress its character upon him. This is as instructive and 
charming a book for family reading as can be taken up for that purpose." 
Daily News. 

"v4 hundred pleasant things we must pass by; but readers of these 
charming volumes will not do so." Wesleyan Times. 




14 Sampson Low and Co.'s 

Life and Experience of Madame de la Mothe Guyon. By Pro- 
fessor Upham. Edited by an English Clergyman. Crown 8vo. cloth, with 
Portrait. Third Edition, Is. 6d. 

By the same Author. 

Life of Madame Catherine Adorna; 12mo. cloth. 4s. 6d. 
The Life of Faith, and Interior Life. 2 vols. 5s. 6d. each. 
The Divine Union. 7s. 6d. 

LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE. 

HEATON'S Elements of International Law ; with a 

New Supplement to May 1863 : comprising Important De- 
cisions of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, 
settling authoritatively the character of the hostilities in 
which they are involved, and the legal consequences to be 
deduced from them. Royal 8vo. cloth extra, 35s. 

History of the Law of Nations ; by Henry Wheaton. LL.D. 

author of the " Elements of International Law." Roy. 8vo. cloth, 31s. Qd. 

Commentaries on American Law; by Chancellor Kent. Ninth 
and entirely New Edition. 4 vols. 8vo. calf. 51. 5s. ; cloth, 4/. 10s. 

Treatise on the Law of Evidence ; by Simon Greenleaf, LL.D. 

3 vols. 8vo. calf. 42. 4s. 
A Treatise on the Measure of Damages ; or, An Enquiry into 

the Principles which govern the Amount of Compensation in Courts of 

Justice. By Theodore Sedgwick. Third revised Edition, enlarged 

Imperial 8vo. cloth. 31s. 6d. 

Justice Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United 
States. 2 vols. 36s. 

Justice Story's Commentaries on the Laws, viz. Bailments 
Agency Bills of Exchange Promissory Notes Partnership and Con- 
flict of Laws. 6 vols. 8vo. cloth, each 28s. 

Justice Story's Equity Jurisprudence. 2 vols. 8vo. 63s.; and 
Equity Pleadings. 1 vol. 8vo. 31s. 6d. 

W. W. Story's Treatise on the Law of Contracts. Fourth Edi- 
tion, greatly enlarged and revised. 2 vols. 8vo. cloth, 63s. 

MEDICAL. 

TJMAN Physiology, Statical and Dynamical; by Dr. 
Draper. 300 Illustrations. 8vo. 25s. 

^A Treatise on the Practice of Medicine ; by Dr. George 

B. Wood. Fourth Edition. 2 vols. 36s. 
A Treatise on Fractures, by J. F. Malgaigne, Chirurgien de 
1'Hopital Saint Louis, Translated, with Notes and Additions, by John H. 
Packard, M.D. With 106 Illustrations. 8vo. sheep. 11. Is. 
The History of Prostitution; its Extent, Causes, and Effects 
throughout the World : by William Sanger, M.D. 8vo. cloth. 16s. 

Elements of Chemical Physics ; with numerous Illustrations. 
By Josiah P. Cooke. 8vo. cloth. 16s. 

" As an introduction to Chemical Physics, this is by far the most com- 
prehensive work in our language." Athenaeum, Nov. 17. 

A History of Medicine, from its Origin to the Nineteenth Century. 
By Dr. P. V. Renouard. 8vo. 18s. 

Letters to a Young Physician just entering upon Practice; by 
James Jackson, M.D. Fcp. 8vo. 5s. 





List of Publications. 15 

Lectures on the Diseases of Women and Children. By Dr. G. S. 

Bedford. 4th Edition. 8vo. 18s. 

The Principles and Practice of Obstetrics. By Gunning S. 
Bedford, A.M., M.D. With Engravings. 8vo. Cloth, 11. Is. 

Principles and Practice of Dental Surgery ; by C. A. Harris. 6th 

Edition. 8vo. 24s. 

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Manipulations ; by C. and C. Morfit. 

Royal 8vo. Second Edition enlarged. 21s. 

FICTION AND MISCELLANEOUS. 
R. Charles Reade's celebrated Romance, Hard Cash. 
A new and cheap Standard Edition. Price 6s. handsomely 
bound in cloth. 

" There is a freshness and reality about his young people, and 
a degree of warmth and zest in the love-making of these impe- 
tuosities, which make the first chapter of his book most enjoyable reading. 
The description of the boat-race at Henley is beyond anything of the kind 
we have ever seen in print, and the repulse of the two pirates by the old 
Agra is a perfect masterpiece of nautical painting." Saturday Review. 

New Popular Novels, to be obtained at all Libraries. 
Passing the Time. By Blanchard Jerrold. 2 vols. post 8vo. 16s. 
Marian Rooke. By Henry Sedley. 3 vols. 24s. 
The Gayworthys. 2nd edition, 2 vols. crown 8vo. 16s. 
Sir Felix Foy, Bart. By Dutton Cook. 3 vols. post 8vo. 24s. 

The Trials of the Tredgolds. By the same. 3 vols. 24s. 
A Mere Story. By the Author of " Twice Lost." 3 vols. 24s. 
Selvaggio. By the Author of "Mary Powell." One vol. 8s. 
Miss Biddy Frobisher. By the Author of " Selvaggio. One vol. 

8s. 
John Godfrey's Fortunes. By Bayard Taylor. 3 vols. 24s. 

Hannah Thurston. By the same Author. 3 vols. 24s. 
A Splendid Fortune. By J. Hain Friswell. 3 vols. post 8vo. 24s. 
Lion-Hearted ; a Novel. By Mrs. Grey. 2 vols. post 8vo. 16s. 
A Dangerous Secret. By Annie Thomas. 2 vols. 16s. 
Lynn of the Craggs. By Charlotte Smith. 3 vols. post 8vo. 24s. 
St. Agnes Bay ; or, Love at First Sight. Post 8vo. cloth, 7s. 
The White Favour. By H. Holl. 3 vols. 24s. 
The Old House in Crosby Square. By Henry Holl. 2 vols. 16s. 

More Secrets than One. By the same Author. 3 vols. 24s. 
Footsteps Behind Him. Third Edition. By William J. Stewart. 5s. 

Picked Up at Sea. By the same Author. 3 vols. 24s. 
Strathcairn. By Charles Allston Collins. 2 vols. post 8vo. 16s. 

A Good Fight in the Battle of Life : a Prize Story founded on 

Facts. Reprinted by permission from " CasselPs Family Paper." 

Crown 8vo. cloth, 7s. 6rf. 
Abel Drake's Wife : a Novel. By John Saunders. An entirely 

New Edition. With Steel Engraving, from a Water-Colour Drawing by 

John Tenniel. 5s. 

Female Life in Prison. By a Prison Matron. Fourth and 
cheaper edition ; with a Photograph, by permission, from the engraving 
of Mrs. Fry reading to the Prisoners in 1816. 1 vol. crown 8vo., 5s. 



16 Sampson Low and Co.'s List of Publications. 

Myself and My Relatives. Second Thousand. With Frontis- 
piece on Steel from a Drawing by John E. Millais, A.R.A. Cr. 8vo. 5s. 

Tales for the Marines. By Walter Thornbury. 2 vols. post 
8vo. 16s. 

" Who icouldnot wish to be a Marine, if that would secure a succession 
of tales like these ?" Athenaeum. 

Helen Felton's Question : a Book for Girls By Agnes Wylde. 
Cheaper Edition, with Frontispiece. Crown 8vo. 3s, 6d. 

Faith Gartney's Girlhood. By the Author of " The Gay- 
worthys." Fcap. 8vo. with coloured Frontispiece, cloth, price 3s. 6d. ; 
or, Railway Edition, boards, Is. 6d. 

The Professor at the Breakfast Table. By Oliver W. Holmes, 
Author of the " Autocrat of the Breakfast T.ible." Fcap. 3s. 6d, 

The Rooks' Garden, and other Papers. By Cuthbert Bede, 
Author of " The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green." Choicely printed 
by Constable. Tost 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

The White Wife ; with other stories, Supernatural, Romantic 
and Legendary. Collected and Illustrated by Cuthbert Bede. Post 8vo. 
cloth, 6s. 

Wayside Warbles. By Edward Capern, Rural Postman, Bide- 
ford, Devon. Fcap. 8vo. cloth, 5s. 

Last Gleanings. By the late Frank Fowler. Post 8vo. cloth, 
7s. 6d. 

House and Home Papers. By Mrs. H. B. Stowe. 12mo. boards, 
Is. ; cloth extra, 2s. 6rf. 

Little Foxes. By Mrs, H. B. Stowe. Cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 
Popular Edition, fancy boards, Is. 

The Pearl of Orrs Island. A Story of the Coast of Maine. By 
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Author of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," " Minis- 
ter's Wooing." In popular form, Part I. Is. Qd. ; Part II. 2s. ; or, 
complete iu one volume, with engraving on steel from water-colour by 
John Gilbert. Handsomely bound in cloth, 5s. 

The Minister's Wooing : a Tale of New England. By the Author 
of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." Two Editions : 1. In post 8vo. cloth, with 
Thirteen Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne. 5s. 2. Popular Edition, 
crown 8vo. cloth, with a Design by the same Artist. 2s. 6rf. 

Nothing to Wear, and Two Millions, by William Allen Butler. 1 .. 

Railway Editions of Popular Fiction. On good paper, well- 
printed and bound, fancy boards. 



Paul Foster's Daughter. 



2s. 6d. 

The Lost Sir Massingberd. 
2s. 6rf. 

The Bubbles of Finance. 
2s. &d. 

The Gayworthys. Is. 6d. 

The Autocrat of the Break- 
fast Table. Is. 



Faith Gartney's Girlhood. 



Is. 6d. 



The King's Mail. 2s. 6rf. 
My Lady Ludlow. 2s. 6rf. 
Mrs. Stowe's Little Foxes. Is. 
House and Home. 



U. 



LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MARSTON. 

MILTON HOUSE, LUDGATE HILL. 
English, American, and Colonial Booksellers and Publishers. 

Chiswick Press : Whittingham and Wilkins, Tooks Cairt, Chancery Lnne. 



Macgregor, John 

A thousand miles in the 
M3 Rob Roy canoe 3d ed, 

1866 

PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 



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