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A collection of short stories of travel, this is a great read for anyone and considered a classic by some; it captures the magic of the open road.
That men and women should leave their homes at the end of summer and go somewhere,–though it be only to Margate,–has become a thing so fixed that incomes the most limited are made to stretch themselves to fit the rule, and habits the most domestic allow themselves to be interrupted and set at naught. That we gain much in health there can be no doubt. Our ancestors, with their wives and children, could do without their autumn tour; but our ancestors did not work so hard as we work. And we gain much also in general knowledge, though such knowledge is for the most part superficial, and our mode of acquiring it too often absurd. But the English world is the better for the practice. “Home-staying youths have ever homely wits,” and we may fairly suppose that our youths are less homely in this particular after they have been a day or two in Paris, and a week or two in Switzerland, and up and down the Rhine, than they would have been had they remained in their London lodgings through that month of September,–so weary to those who are still unable to fly away during that most rural of months.
Upon the whole we are proud of our travelling; but yet we must own that, as a nation of travellers, we have much to learn; and it always seems that the travelling English family which goes abroad because it’s the thing to do, with no clearly defined object as to the pleasure to be obtained or the delights to be expected,–with hardly a defined idea of the place to be visited, has, as a class, more to learn than any other class of tourists.