I trust I have now satisfied all the legitimate demands of curiosity.
I will only further remark that in some of my observations upon, the United States, such as travelling and tables-d’hote, the reader must bear in mind that in a land of so-called equality, whenever that principle is carried out, no comparison can be drawn accurately between similar subjects in the Republic and in England.
The society conveyed in one carriage in the States embraces the first, second, and third-class passengers of Great Britain; and the society fed at their tables-d’hote contains all the varieties found in this country, from the pavilion to the pot-house. If we strike a mean between the extremes as the measure of comfort thus obtained, it is obvious, that in proportion as the traveller is accustomed to superior comforts in this country, so will he write disparagingly of their want in the States, whereas people of the opposite extreme will with equal truth laud their superior comforts. The middle man is never found, for every traveller either praises or censures. However unreasonable it might be to expect the same refinements in a Republic of “Equal rights,” as those which exist in some of the countries of the Old World under a system more favourable to their development, it is not the less a traveller’s duty to record his impressions faithfully, leaving it to the reader to draw his own conclusions.
It was suggested to me to read several works lately published, and treating of the United States; but as I was most anxious to avoid any of that bias which such reading would most probably have produced, I have strictly avoiding so doing, even at the risk of repeating what others may have said before.
I have nothing further to add in explanation.—The horses are to.—The coach is at the door.—Chapter one is getting in.—To all who are disposed to accompany me in my journey, I say—Welcome!
D 4, ALBANY, LONDON,
1st June, 1855.
[Footnote B: Perhaps “human instinct” might be a more modest expression.]
"Make ready ... Fire!” The Departure.
The preparations for the start of a traveller on a long journey are doubtless of every variety in quality and quantity, from the poor Arab, whose wife carries his house as well as all his goods—or perhaps I should rather say, from Sir Charles Napier of Scinde with his one flannel waistcoat and his piece of brown soap—up to the owners of the Dover waggon-looking “fourgon” who carry with them for a week’s trip enough to last a century. My weakness, reader, is, I believe, a very common one, i.e., a desire to have everything, and yet carry scarce anything.