The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57
Those engaged in pastoral, commercial, or manufacturing pursuits, will admit that in these days of financial operations of magnitude, involving an acquaintance with the manners, customs, and requirements of the different peoples of the earth, such a knowledge, and the wisdom necessary to the proper and successful use of that knowledge, is best obtained by travel.
Facts so obtained never leave the memory.
Many Australian parents have long ago made this discovery; and heads of families would gladly give their sons this advantage if the dangers inseparable from inexperience could be reduced to a minimum.
Young men in after life will reap the full benefit of a visit to Europe, in the greater enjoyment and the better grasp of the work to which education most properly bends the mind and attention.
As population increases and wealth accumulates, no one's education will be considered complete without a visit to the Old World, the hallowed cradle of modern civilisation and intellectual development. page 4 "There can be no more vivifying influence on the expanding mind of the young, no more certain means of instilling a living, active interest in life and work than the personal, if brief, sojourn of the young Australian among the people and scenes with which life and work deals."
Travel also effects a world of good in re-establishing health or restoring the balance of the nervous system.
Therefore, with this view I purpose starting from Sydney for New Zealand, via Melbourne, calling at the ports of Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Napier; from whence we should start overland to the Hot Springs and marvellous Terraces, "the Wonderland" of this hemisphere.
The extraordinary recuperative properties of these springs, both for body and mind, will shortly render them a general resort for invalids as well as pleasure-seekers, and they are far too important to be missed.
Arriving at Auckland, a beautiful little city, with its lovely harbour and hospitable inhabitants, we should remain a day. Sydney harbour is more commodious and picturesque, but Auckland harbour, seen from the top of Mount Eden, an extinct volcano, is very beautiful and striking.
Here we should take the San Francisco mail boat for Honolulu. This neat little town, including the King's palace, and the Pali, a steep, rocky defile, are soon seen.
Steaming from here, we should make San Francisco, the Golden City. The discovery of gold in 1849 commenced the development of what was then a small town, into what is now a large, increasing city, with over 350,000 inhabitants. Every nation in the world seem to have representatives here, and it is well worth spending a day or two among the most cosmopolitan surroundings, and visiting some of the places of interest in the neighbourhood.
The next place would be the charming valley of Yosemite—where Nature herself invites our admiration—which, with its towering cliffs, grand waterfalls, and sublime beauty, must page 5 be seen to be appreciated. If desirable, a little shooting could be indulged in; though, since the writer was there "with Octavius Stone, Esq., one of the Royal Geographical Society's explorers of New Guinea," game has become very scarce. This lovely valley is 4000 feet above the level of the sea. Its splendid pine vegetation and its bracing and rejuvenescent air seem to impart extra life to all, whether travelling for health or pleasure.
Those who have seen the big trees on the Black Spur, in Victoria, will not be surprised at the big trees of California, which we pass on our return through the immense Californian wheat fields, each some twenty miles in extent, or more, and continue our journey as far as Salt Lake City.
A day or two could be usefully spent in seeing the city, the lake, and the Mormons, of whom it is estimated that 70 per cent, are farmers. These very extraordinary people are the subduers of the most sterile portion of the United States, and are reclaiming thousands of acres annually from the desert.
Passing onward to Omaha, and over the immense tracts of land under maize, we reach Chicago. Here we might see some of the interesting industries of this new city. A great deal of information might be obtained which would be useful in after life to anyone in this country, especially those from the farming district of Illawarra, &c.
Going via Detroit to the wonderful Falls of Niagara, famous for its gigantic volume of water and splendour rather than for its height. The stately grandeur of such scenery, while awe-inspiring, is most useful in the education of the soul, speaking to it loudly of its divine origin, and awakening those finer emotions of our nature which unite it to the infinite. Such impressions are never lost, and tend to make us better men and better women.
We should journey direct to Quebec, and come down the majestic and world-renowned river, St. Lawrence, calling at the most noted Canadian towns, and visiting the seat of Government.page 6
We should then pass through some very lovely lake scenery. Lakes Champlain and George to Saratoga, the most fashionable inland watering-place in the States, figuratively speaking the "Rotten Row" of America.
At Albany we join the Hudson River, and among other places of interest we pass the residence of Washington Irving, the most polished author of his day, on our way to New York.
Being tolerably well-known at New York and in the States generally, I should have a Government permit to inspect and visit places of public interest and importance.
From New York we should have to take a run to Philadelphia and back, the noted Quaker city, where there is much to learn. It also has the most complete and extensive sanitary arrangements yet entered into by any municipality. These are worthy of attention.
Then we should take the most convenient and best found steam route to London, too well known to need any description.
Once in England, our plans would have to be further arranged according to the weather.
One South Coast and West trip, bringing in Brighton, the Isle of Wight, and Devonshire.
A trip to Ireland, where we should see the most beautiful lake scenery in the Emerald Isle, taking in Cork, Bandon, Drincoleague, by car to Glengariffe, Kenmare, Killarney, Mallow, and Dublin.
The next tour would take in Cambridge, the noble seat of learning, with its colleges and associations, its river Cam, boat race contests, and beautiful avenues of trees, under which many of our great and good men have walked, hoped, studied and prayed, forming noble characters, which have subsequently left their mark for good upon society.
To Ely, Peterbro', Lincoln, and York Cathedrals.page 7
Thence through the northern counties, skipping the Black Country, to Cumberland, a noble county and as noble a people, the nursing ground of many a self-made London merchant, and many pious, healthy women and poets. Windemere steamer to Ambleside, coach to Keswick, Ulswater steamer length of lake, and rail to Carlisle.
Thence to Melrose and the splendid city of Edinburgh, by far the most handsome city in Britain, through the Trossachs to Glasgow.
Returning now to London, we should on our way spend a fortnight at Grantham, in Lincolnshire, where we shall be within easy distance of three packs of hounds.
A drive would bring us, among other interesting places, to Belvoir Castle, the noted seat of the Duke of Rutland. The Dukeries, Sherwood Forest (the scene of Robin Hood's adventures), Newsted Abbey (where Byron lived), Southwell Cathedral, and the room where King Charles slept the night before he was handed over to the English. Newark Castle, where he was first imprisoned, and where King John died. Gunderby Moor, and Staunton Hall, described in the touching tale by Sir Walter Scott—"The Heart of Midlothian," &c.