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ing joy. And so the popular craving for information and entertainment of this sort seems never to abate, and the “ transitory interest," as it is called, has to be repeated every year, in every variety of way. Witness the amount of space given up to the literature of travel in the great magazines of the day, and the enormous expenditure in securing for these articles the best illustrations the pictorial art can supply. Witness, too, the recently revived passion for diaries of times long past, private inventories, so to speak, of incidents and places rendered foreign almost by the long lapse of intervening years. These dusty manuscripts are raked out from the garrets and rubbish corners of old libraries and lumber-rooms, and when published are greedily solicited over seas and all round the world, because of the ceaseless delight we have in anything distant from us either in time or space. We want to traverse these strange spots, hallowed by the stirring events and illustrious deeds of other days, in imagination if not in reality, and momentarily drop out of ourselves into the hearts and homes, the market places, the Senate halls, the busy thoroughfares, the surging tides of human life booming under other skies.
So far books of travel must share their interest with works of history, dramatic compositions, and the engulfing flood of romance, that pours ever.y year upon the world. They keep our “enthusiasm of humanity” aglow when otherwise it might die out. But there is a special sense in which works of this kind may serve a distinctive use of their own. Dr. Johnson was wont to say: “The use of travelling is to regulate the imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are." That is, it broadens the mind, and enlarges the views, of him whose happiness it is to travel. There is no one who has settled down, as every one ought, into the routine of some way of honorable and beneficent toil, that will not by and by betray the narrowing influence of his surroundings, and even be painfully conscious of the fact. We have no word of encouragement for the spirit of unrest and discontent which is the prevailing malady of the age. One needs only to look in upon the
passengers of the next train that halts for a moment at the village depot, to see the unmistakable signs of a restless, fidgety, longing, nervous habit exactly the opposite of the devout sighing of the Psalmist for the wings of a dove—an eager multitude wanting the iron wings of steam to carry them into the uttermost parts of the earth. It is abnormal no doubt. But on the supposition that to the hard-working, painfully.drudging, religiously-faithful man or woman, the time for recreation has fairly come, travel will bring with it not only the recuperating advantages of a change, but the special broadening discipline of which Dr. Johnson speaks. The cosmopolitan spirit he must measurably have. He must know things as they actually are, and not as he might imagine them to be. We are so likely, as Tennyson
_" Take the rustic murmur of our bourg For the great wave that echoes round the world,”
and so fall short of that broad ample sympathy with the race, which is not only the height of liberal culture, but the sweetest essence of the religion we profess. Travel is an antidote to this.
But what if one is so situated that the hard ligaments of routine will never relax? He cannot go abroad. He must rise and retire, and go through the monotonous round of duties all the working days of the year.
Then a vacation by proxy may be furnished to his hand in a book of this kind. He may look upon the strange scenes of other climes through the eyes of some more fortunate one, who has seen not only, but put his choicest impressions into print. What is required to make a book of this kind of substitutional value is, that it be predominantly realistic in its style ; that the art of the writer be such, that the reader will follow along easily and buoyantly in the track of the descriptions, and not have his imagination embarrassed by minutiæ of detail nor by a dry, lumbering stiffness of style. Equally fatal is it, if the descriptions of noted places and circumstances are overweighted with comment, or set off with excessive ornamentation from the writer's overflow of rhetorical zeal. Many otherwise valuable works of travel are harmed in this way.
Now of the little, unpretentious book, whose commission to the reading world we are now executing, it may be said by way of cordial unreserved commendation that it may claim exemption from the above-mentioned faults. There is a certain rapidity of narrative, free-flowing, conversational, elegantly easy way of telling what was experienced, resembling very much what might be familiarly communicated by a cultured lady to a circle of parlor friends chatting leisurely the social hour away. Only it is not gossip. You see at once that every point visited, every noted locality upon which this woman's eyes have fallen, has received just that kind of attention that has made conspicuous the objects and aspects of things that, out of the multiplicity of details, are most likely to answer the spontaneous prompting of the reader's mind. Here, for example, is the city of Paris, or the Alps, or Florence, or Rome,—the details of daily observation are infinite, and the woman's art consists in instantaneously catching at the events and sights which out of the great throng of impressions, will best secure for herself, and convey to others a vivid realization of the time and place. It is noticeable how this trait runs throughout the entire narrative, giving it a unique charm of its own. We do certainly go with this delightful companion every step of the way. We see what she sees; we share her pleasures, and even her weariness, when by times that is noted, climbing great flights of steps, or clambering along the mountain side, or battling with the dizziness of the ocean
In order to make things real, so that the mind can walk round the object described, or peer into it, or lay hands upon it, or scale its utmost limits, the writer has wisely deemed that the actual dimensions of things so far as such data are accessible to her, are indispensable to the successful limning of her pictures. In general this narrative is to be commended for so attaching us to the society of this cultured woman during all the varied experiences of a European tour, that we regretfully part company when the narrative is at an end.
This, possibly, is the special charm of seeing Europe through a woman's eyes.
It is what the penetrating, quick-minded,
sympathetic woman sees and enjoys, what the grosser, less nimble vision of man would fail to note, or noting would miss widely from its deeper significance in the sum of things—this that pleases us, this that lures us from page to page to the end. And so we have another proof that the great poet did not fall one whit below that high philosophic standard which everywhere has guided him in his interpretation of human nature, when he makes one of his characters say:
“ From women's eyes this doctrine I derive;
W. H. IVYNN. Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.