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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Rome

Rome.

Now we have reached the one-time capital and wonder of the world, the city on seven hills, always a wonder, and still the admiration and paradise of sculptors, artists, &c.

So stupendous the centre, and so varied, from which radiates in every direction, from pole to pole, from East to West, the great Catholic influence. Here the places of interest and charm, like nothing else in the world, are so numerous that there is every temptation during a short stay to do too much. Even the environs are full of beauty, and we should not omit a few rides or drives into the Campagna.

If there are now any members of the party who wish, they could be presented to His Holiness Leo XIII., as I possess the requisite introduction to secure this favour through the Bishop of the English Catholic College.

Passing further South we come to Naples (Vesuvius), and, at the end of a fourteen-mile drive, to Pompeii, the city of the dead past, of 1800 years, visiting scenes that were in full life when Christ was upon the earth.

The beautiful, very beautiful, little island of Capri ought then to be seen. This is generally missed by tourists.

Retracing our steps as far as Florence, this is the only instance of our going over the same ground. Thence to Bologna, Padua, Venice, Verona, Milan, from whence we command a beautiful view of the Alps, and through the St. Gothard Tunnel to Chamounix and Geneva. The particulars of this tunnel prove it to be the most wonderful engineering enterprise that the world has ever seen completed.

Steaming up the Lake of Geneva to Lausanne, by rail to Fribourg, we reach the capital of Switzerland, Berne.

From here to Lake Thun, to Giesback (waterfall), and Interlaken. Lake Brienz, coach to Lucerne and see the page 9 lake, Rigi, Altorf, and, in fact, all the interesting places near Lake Lucerne, including the scene of William Tell's adventure, of ancient story.

After visiting Zurich, the commercial centre of Switzerland, and Constance, we change our mode of travelling, down the well-sung Rhine by boat, as far as Schaffhausen.

Then we vary our scene by a drive through the Black Forest to Strasburg, on to Heidelburg and Frankfort.

Here we join another beautiful part of the Rhine, going to Cologne by water.

Taking the train to Aix la Chapelle, we leave Germany, and cross the Belgian frontier, passing Liege, to the beautiful town of Brussels. It's a pleasant drive from here to the field of Waterloo, the scene of the battle which decided the fate of freedom in the commencement of this century.

We then return to London via Antwerp, Ostend, or Rotterdam, as the majority wished, there being something to see in each route.

Reuben's masterpieces, the "Crucifixion," and the "Descent from the Cross," are well worth the journey to Antwerp.

Unless otherwise arranged, we should take steamer for Sydney, touching at Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Aden, Ceylon, &c. Each member of the party during our stay would be afforded opportunities for breaking his journey to visit any British friends or any special locality.

I calculate that this trip would cover a period from Nine to Ten Months, and that the whole Cost would be about £700 each. This sum would have to be guaranteed, or placed at my disposal by circular note through the Union Bank, Sydney, before we started.

I do not anticipate it would cost less; but if so, the balance would be returned.

My remuneration would be £100 from each, in the form of a promissory note, lodged with the Union Bank in Sydney, and payable to my account in nine months.

page 10

Naturally, you will ask what do I offer in exchange for this.

I offer to assume the entire personal responsibility over my charges and companions, for their welfare and enjoyment. Their interest will be studied as my own. They will have the benefit of the experience of a much travelled man of known repute (see letters), and run none of those risks so often encountered by young men travelling alone.

They would be relieved of all business arrangements; as I should organise all trips, pay all travelling, hotel, and other expenses.

There would be a reasonable amount of economy, and any reduction in fares would be for the benefit of the whole party. No commissions of any kind to go into my pocket.

My own expenses, and my experienced man servant's, would have to be paid out of the general fund.

The probable date of sailing will be the end of March next—sooner, if possible—and the approximate time it will take is, roughly, as follows:—
Sydney to New Zealand, via Melbourne 10 days.
New Zealand and Terraces 16 days.
Auckland to San Francisco 23 days.
San Francisco, Yosemite, Utah, New York, via Canada, &c. 34 days.
New York to London 8 days.
England, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Wight 65 days.
Continent of Europe (as proposed) 70 days.
Spare days 8 days.
Return trip to Sydney 45 days.
279 days.
Say 9 months.

Baggage.—Allowance only 250 lbs. for through passengers; therefore, no one must take more, as the extra charge is very high.

Clothing.—Each will require a change of cloth clothes, shirts, shoes or boots, slippers, six socks at least, great coat or travelling rug; in fact, the ordinary changes in domestic use to which he has been accustomed. But all must be page 11 packed into one medium-sized portmanteau and a hand-bag. All these things can be purchased so cheaply as we go along, that it is quite unnecessary to carry clothing for the trip right through.

The idea of extensive travel is not new, and is an education in itself. By this agency a sound practical knowledge of the world, places, and people, differing wholly one from another, is acquired, not to be obtained in any other way.

In the old country sons of gentlemen, before they come of age, or settle down to business pursuits, complete a tour in foreign countries, and now often visit these colonies.

The number is limited to seven (unless there should be brothers or friends, but certainly not over ten in any case), and all minor details can be settled by a personal interview or correspondence.

As a much greater number will apply, and berths must be secured by the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. a month before leaving, an early communication is requested, giving particulars as to age, See., and a bank or other reference in Sydney, if possible.

I have been kindly permitted to refer to the attached list of gentlemen as to my worthiness to be intrusted with the care of the undertaking, and therefore herewith give some letters and extracts out of a few of the very kind communications I have received, which I particularly request you to read. Many of them are well known to the residents of this and other colonies.

Malcolm M. Irving.

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