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he undertakes to draw!— for are there not the
Zoological Gardens and Kew, and what more
can a man want?

Tom Corryat, in his Crudities, is about as
truthful and unexaggerative as most travellers
can be expected to be. Of course he tells a few
lies, and accepts all the fables of the countries
through which he passes as so many gospel
truths; but he does not romance very
excessively, and gives us a few queer and accurate
glimpses of manners and customs, which are
very valuable now because so genuine. As,
when he commends the Italians for their delicacy
in using table forks; and has actually the
moral courage to adopt the habit here in finger-
forking England, whereby he gets well laughed
at by his friends. Then he sees mountebanks
and rope-dancers, exactly like what we have at
this very present day; and he is charmed at the
ingenuity of the Venetians, who carry " little
shades," or umbrellas of leather, stretched over
elastic wooden ribs,— the great-grandfathers and
great-grandmothers of the whole present
generation of umbrellas, parasols, and sunshades.
"They are vsed especially by horsemen, who
carry them in their hands when they ride,
fastening the end of the handle vpon one of their
thighes, and they impart so long a shadow vnto
them, that it keepeth the heate of the sunne
from the upper parts of their bodies." At
Venice, Master Tom saw for the first time in
his life women acting in public on the stage:
"For I saw women acte, a thing that I never
saw before, though I have heard that it hath
beene vsed in London, and they performed it
with as good a grace, action, gesture, and
whatsoeuer conueuient for a player, as euer I saw
any masculine actor."

Many customs and costumes special to
certain localities, and in use at this time, are spoken
of as things to be noted in those early years of
sixteen hundred. There is the eider-down quilt,
as a general German convenience, for one thing;
and the long hair plaits of the Swiss women;
and the little Swiss hat, so jauntily arranged
and so becomingly placed; and the baths of
Baden; and the cock of the clock at Strasbourg;
but nothing of the pâtés de foie gras, also peculiar
to that place, though much of the rude,
rough, lengthy bridge of planks and boards
which stretched across the Rhine where now
the magnificent bridge of Kehl spans over the
turbid rolling waves. In spite of their pedantry
and coarsenesstwo necessary ingredients in
all works of Tom Corryat's datethose Crudities
of his are strangely reliable and lifelike,
if we except the legends and the self-glorifying
exaggerations. But who would have supposed
that the Rhine had once the same qualifications
for the registrar-general's office as had
the serpents of Sir John's Tracoda? For if the
babes, whose mothers had forgotten their wifely
duty, were laid upon the stream, presently the
angry waters would swallow them up, as might
naturally be expected; but if those whose
mothers were suspected wrongfully, and about
whose birth hung no dark clouds of doubt, were
also laid upon the stream, "hethe river
would gently and quietly conueigh them vpon
the toppe of the water, and restore them into
the trembling handes of the wofull mother,
yeelding safety vnto the silly babe as a most
true testimony of the mother's impolluted
chastity." It is scarcely advisable, though, for the
honestest wife in the world to make the experiment
with any poor silly babe of the present
day, if she does not wish to commit murder and
fall into the hands of the German police. But
"times change, and we change with them," and
the Rhine is no more conservative of old
customs than aught else.

When we think of what the world swallowed
then without a murmurcamels with three
humps, and as big as elephantsand see what
an onslaught takes place, what a straining and
a difficulty if only the leg of a gnat is inaccurately
described, we may; congratulate ourselves
on our progress in critical exactness at all
events; but, as there is no hill without a hollow,
so is there no gain without a loss. What we
have gained in accuracy we have lost in colour,
and the cold douches of critical reason have put
out all the fires of romance. What a pity that
chemistry and the sublime ravings of alchemy
should not both be true togetherthat ethnology
should have knocked all our elves and fairies on
the headthat the cold-blooded Geographical
Society should have dried up the rivers of Paradise,
and destroyed the green glories of Eden
and that the Zoological Gardens should have
entombed for ever, all the dragons, and
cockatrices, and griffins, and rocs, and unicorns, and
basilisks, and phoenixes, and mermaids, which
charmed the listening world when it was young!
Now we have railroads and steam-vessels, but
never an enchanted horse nor a magic carpet,
and alas! alas! never a friendly gnome nor a
gracious fairy to turn our dead leaves to gold,
and to carry us with a thought to the dear
arms of love and home. Ah me! The world
has lost even while it has gained, and there
are worse tales than the tales of travellers to
be told!

___________________________________
At the completion, in March, of
SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON'S NEW WORK,
A STRANGE STORY,
Will be commenced
A NEW NOVEL, BY MR. WILKIE COLLINS.
___________________________________

Now Ready, price Fourpence,
TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND,
FORMING THE
EXTRA DOUBLE NUMBER
FOR CHRISTMAS.
_________________________________


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