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bear. But in all cases of prosperity, the wants, as Malthus said of population, increase in a geometrical ratio, while the gratifications observe a more lingering rate of advance; the supply may be very fair, but the demands far exceed it; as we see that wayfarers, who formerly thought nothing of the delay of a few hours in stages, are ready to put the conductor of the railway train to death if the cars are ten minutes behind their time. The wayfarer on foot takes all these things as matters of course; he is glad when he escapes troubles, but he is not astonished when they come; being in that condition to which much in the way of comfort and pleasure can be added, while not much can be taken away from it, he is really best situated for enjoying every thing as he goes. And so, no doubt, he does; he is not oppressed with the weight of splendid chains; and whether his cares are light or not, he makes light of them, and so finds them easy to bear.
But after all, the thing most to be regarded in relation to travelling is the personal improvement which it will bring. It is not necessary to observe for the sake of others; and when one has the prospect of writing a book before his eyes, as we may see in the case of English tourists in this country, he is more apt to ask what is merchantable than what is just or true; and surely the customers of Peter Pindar's razorseller were as much beholden to that person, as readers are to those ladies and gentlemen who have undertaken to tell them what America is, and is to be. Neither is it necessary that a traveller should enjoy his peregrinations; if he is happy in the prospect and the recollection, both of which joys he is sure of, let his experience be what it may, he secures the chief happiness which this strange world affords, though, while he is on the way, he may sometimes "distrusting ask, Can this be joy?" While these things are of less importance, it is essential that he should find improvement, if nothing else, in his expedition; and this purpose can be most effectually answered by encountering difficulties and hardships, the more the better. The great object is, to call out the energies of mind and heart. Prosperity lets them snore life away to their own lazy satisfaction; adversity applies its rough voice, not to speak of its hands, to the sleeper's ears, and lets him know that there is something for him to suffer, and to do. It is true, it is but a pale sort of gratitude we feel to 42 No. 135.
those who wake us in the morning from any sort of slumber; still, though rather thankless, the office is severely kind. And nothing renders more effectual service of this sort to the faculties, than travelling with resources at their last gasp, shoes that have almost finished their mortal pilgrimage, with wits which the fear of want sharpens like a whetstone, and a heart which, having nothing else to lean upon, grows brave and strong from the feeling that it depends on itself alone. There are times when years of life seem condensed and crowded into one, and when the effect of a gigantic struggle on the moral nature does more to strengthen it than the patient labor of years.
We hear of instances in which a single night of agony has whitened the hair upon the head ; but this, if true, is only an outward presentment of the manner in which difficulties and dangers supply at short notice that experience and maturity which were before entirely wanting.
Let any one who is particularly desirous to secure this advantage set forth, as Mr. Taylor did before him, with a preparation as sparing as that of the first apostles. Let him meet the troubles of wayfaring as manfully, and take the same intelligent pleasure in all that he sees. Let him as cheerfully postpone the wants and wishes of the body in favor of the higher interests of the mind; and if he is not a wiser and happier man after thus buffeting the waves of the world, it must be, not because the effort is not improving, but because there is nothing in him to improve ; a radical deficiency which sometimes exists in those who travel, as well as in those who stay at home. We think that the community is under great obligation to Mr. Taylor, not only for the pleasant story of his wanderings, but for proving to others that it is not necessary to be rich, in order to secure the benefit of travel ; and, lest they should be unwilling to take his word for it, showing them by his own example how the thing is done. It is not every one whose natural taste and temperament are so well suited to such an enterprise. There are many who, like Lord Anson, might go round the world without ever being in it. But we have many whose natural inclination turns to the Peripapetic school, and who, if they cannot meet the expense of a college education, will be glad to take their degree in the university of the world, where the student must at least be active, and where he will meet
with a tolerable proportion of that discipline and training which other institutions find it hard to supply.
Mr. Taylor tells us, that he had, from his earliest recollection, this enthusiastic desire to visit foreign lands; but his condition, as a printer's apprentice, was far from affording facilities for the enterprise. There are some cases, however, in which difficulties answer just as well, if not better; and in the beginning of 1844, when his time of service was within two years of expiring, finding that a relative was soon to embark for Europe, he determined to realize his youthful dreams. But while the whereunto was settled, the wherewith was not so easy to be found. To raise the means, he published a small volume of poems, which is in general the way to sink the means that one happens to have, instead of gathering more. But he succeeded in giving an impression of his talent which made some editors of periodical works desirous to engage him as a writer of letters by the way; and the sum thus in possession and in prospect, though necessarily small, was his chief reliance to meet the expense of his travels.
Several of his poetical writings appear in this work; but in the early effusions of poets it is not easy to determine whether the inspiration is that of talent or of taste. The mechanical structure of verse is now carried to an artist-like perfection of finish, never known before. Magazines, and other works of the kind, abound in pieces which, fugitive as they are, run away to oblivion with a graceful flow, compared with which the elegies of Cotton Mather, for example, move like a stage-coach without wheels. Nor can we always judge, till after considerable examination, whether the power comes from ambitious effort and sympathy, or whether there is really a spark within which may be kindled into a high and glorious flame. We are not sure that it is not the best way, instead of taking pains to fan it into a fire, to leave it to find its own most appropriate manifestation. Supposing that the young writer should never "write a poem after the manner of John Milton," his imagination may give him a power of painting in language, and a glowing richness of description, of which we see traces here, and which will make a man eloquent as an orator, earnest and inspiring as a writer. If he should never find a voice or a pen, these will throw a living charm over all his intellectual nature, which will prevent his ever walking in darkness, even should he journey to the grave alone.
Mr. Taylor sailed in a packet-ship for Liverpool, in the summer of 1844 ; taking passage in the second cabin, which is not, like the Hebrew fancy of the second and third heaven, a decided improvement on the first ; but where he made himself as comfortable as the absence of light, air, repose, and sundry other blessings, would allow. Just after landing, he took a run into Ireland, to take a glance at that land of mirth and misery, and to get a hasty view of the Giant's Causeway, concerning which he tells us that the highest part is but fifty feet above the water. This goes to confirm Johnson's gracious remark, that it might be worth seeing, but not worth going to see, a remark which the traveller finds to his sorrow will apply to many other things in this world. He appears to have left the Green Isle after a visit of a single day, and almost immediately we find bim on Loch Lomond, in those scenes wbere human genius has lighted up the beauty of nature with an attraction that will never wear away. He shoots like an arrow to the top of Ben Lomond, to enjoy for an hour the glorious prospect, and then dashes over to Loch Katrine with equal expedition, laking the boat upon the waters, but on shore trusting to that conveyance which nature has so liberally supplied. At times, famished, drenched, and benumbed with cold, as he went through the tangled forest and mountain paths, he must have been agreeably reminded of Fitz James's tour in the same region, though he was better secured against outlaws by his lack of gold and silver, than the monarch by his trusty steel.
He was fortunate enough to have a bright, fine morning for his view of Loch Katrine ; and he then hurried on to attend the Burns festival on the banks of Doon, where a whole people were to pour out their enthusiasm for him who, without the charms of fiction, without the enchantment of romance, without the old glories of the past to aid the effect of his inspiration, but simply by his own mind and heart, brought a nation into sympathy with him, and established a fame which every generation is building up nearer to the skies. With all Burns's infirmities and errors, none could deny that he was a man. It is more as a man than a poet, that he enchains the general confidence and regard ; or rather, his poetry was only the lantern which the bright light of his spirit shone through. The management of this celebra
tion did not exactly suit Mr. Taylor's republican ideas. A stage was erected in a field, with an inclosure round it; on the stage were the sons and sister of the poet, and those who were to make addresses. But none were admitted within the privileged circle, save those who paid fifteen shillings for a ticket to the dinner ; so that the Scottish peasantry could not enjoy the commemoration of one of their number, and the poet himself, had he come to life for the purpose, could not have been admitted to his own celebration. But there was little, too little, time to speculate on these things ; after a hasty view of Edinburgh and Abbotsford, the traveller took passage for London. We regret the necessity for this haste; these were the very scenes for his painting, and
; there was no fear of being too minute in his narratives and descriptions. We do not care so much to know what he thought, or how he felt, in cities and crowded ways, as to know how these places, with their intellectual and romantic associations, affected his thoughtful and observing mind.
His account of London, as might be expected, has nothing peculiar in it; writing it, as we suppose he did, for some newspaper or journal, not much was required save exact description of those sights of which readers are never weary, though they come to them by almost every steamer, and with little variety of form. But when he reaches the Continent, he is more himself; there is a growing life and spirit in his narrative, and he gives us an animated interest in all that he • describes. Probably he was himself more deeply excited ; for he says, that surrounded with old buildings and their associations, “the fancy is busy reconciling ihe actual scene with the ideal ; but the wani of a communication with the living world without walls up one with a sense of loneliness which he could not before have conceived.” Landing at Ostend, he passed hastily through Bruges, only remaining long enough to see the belfry, and hear its chimes, which will henceforth ring to American ears with pleasant associations. Neither Ghent nor Liege detained bim, though he was dripping like a Naiad from the rain which showered upon him in the open car. At Cologne, he saw for a moment the cathedral which all Germany is now boiling over with enthusiasm to complete according to the original design. But Heidelberg was his aim, and he rested not till he reached that place, the name of which is now so familiar, where