+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

power of the warm and enthusiastic
interest with which we followed him through
his melodious evolutions. Every note had a
softening influence over us. I felt that tears
were forming in my eyes, and presently was
startled by the sound of subdued sobs from
the innkeeper's wife; who was weeping, with
her breast leaning on the sill of the opening
in the partition. Jachka gave her a rapid
glance, and his song became more sonorous,
more warm and impassioned than ever.
Jachka's rival held his fist energetically
clenched against his forehead, and did not
make the slightest movement.

Jachka suddenly concluded with a sharp
note of extraordinary delicacy, boldness,
and purity. No one stirred: they all
seemed to wait vaguely for the return from
the skies of the note which Jachka has sent
up into them. But Jachka had opened his
eyes again: he seemed surprised at our
ecstatic silence. His looks inquired the cause
of it. His rival rose, and went up to
him. " You have won; " he said, with a
degree of agitation that was painful to
witness, and then hastily rushed out of the

Jachka was as pleased as a child with his
victory; which I will allow others to call a
vulgar one, but which is by no means such
in my eyes. His countenance reflected a high
degree of happiness. They seized him by the
arms and round the waist, to lead him to the
counter. I was pleased to see him call the
innkeeper's son, and entreat him to fetch
his competitor. But The Speculator was
unfortunately nowhere to be found.


I AM of an adventurous dispositiona
restless one, my friends say. I love travel
for its own sake, in any region, and by any
form of locomotion. I have an impartial
appetite for the backs of horse, mule, elephant,
or camel; for railway, coach, steam-boat, sailing
boat, rowing-boat, sleigh, diving-bell, and
balloon. My pet hobby for the future is an
aërial-ship with a working-rudder and the
establishment of a " through route " from the
Earth to Uranus, with branch-lines to the
remaining planets; while my chief regret for
the past is, that I came too late for that great
voyage of Ulysses, when he left Ithaca

          To sail beyond the sunset and the baths
          Of all the western stars.

After such an avowal, the reader will not
be surprised to hear, that the phrase Setting
Out is to me amongst the most musical in the
vocabulary. I admit, however, that there is
one phrase still more suggestive of delight,
it isGoing Home.

This is no rash admission. I know well
what it means, if, bound for a distant goal, to
trudge stoutly to the City, on some bright
July or August morning, for passport or visé.
Of course, you walk all the way, if only to
bring down to the level of a calm and
reasonable joy that wild tide of energy which
rushes in at the mere thought of travel.
At such a time, too, all the thoroughfares of
London seem to be in league with you.
They know your purpose, and are bent to
further it. Window after window reveals
the solicitude of its owner for your
wellbeing. " Smith is going abroad," or " Smith
is going to the sea-side. What will Smith
want? " has clearly been a momentous
question with many a citizen. " He will
want a head-piece," soliloquises the benevolent
hatter, " that dust, rain, and brine will
not spoil, that shall be his shade on the
steamboat, and his night-cap in the railwaya
head-piece that shall transcend the usual
laws of matter, and rise triumphant over
shock and concussion." And, as by magic,
wide-awakes, tourists, and cavaliers, of
pliant and invulnerable felt, throng his
windowall for Smith. "It will never do
for Smith to be hampered with a wilderness
of trunks," says the maker of those articles.
"Even if married, he won't take the children
up Mont Blanc. But he may like a
fortnight's run in Switzerland with Mrs. Smith.
Let me see if I can't bring the necessities of
both within the compass of the multiple
portmanteau and a carpet-bag." " Smith may
be drenched through by mountain rains,"
cries the foreman of vulcanised waterproof,
"let him have a dreadnought! " " Smith may
be washed overboard in the Channel,"
responds the employer, " let him have a life-
belt! " " It will never do for him to shave
with a French razor! " exclaims the cutler.
"It will be convenient for him to change his
money before he starts," muses the bullion-
merchant. And accordingly I, who am
Smith for the nonce, make my way through
a city which has lavished such resources upon
my comfort, that my longing to quit it seems,
for the moment, heinous ingratitude. I am
not reinstated in my own good opinion until
I reach the Consulates of France, Belgium, or
Prussia, and receive my passport. There,
indeed, I read words that touch me to the
quick, and prove that I have still moral
sensibilities. What, I am to be suffered to pass
freely through lands where by law I am an
alien! I am to receive aid and protection in.
case of needto be enfeoffed, so to speak, by
foreign beneficence, of Champagne lands and
mountains,—of grey fortress, and broad river,,
and southern skies! I may range through
capitals where the sun makes every day a
festival, and where, as the rosy evening dies,
into the intense blue, life's ever vocal tide,
pours by brilliant shop, café or theatre, as by
winding banks of light!

I know what it is to get the start of the
sun next morning, to rouse Mrs. Smith, whose
rest is as sound as her conscience, to a
participation in my ardour, to find the contagion
of movement gradually spread along the