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TRAVELS AND OBSERVATIONS
HASTY FLIGHT IN THE COUNTRIES OF EUROPE
EX-GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
I might have given this volume a broader title: but, in my travels abroad, The Orient was my objective point; all else was incidental. My trip through the countries of Europe, both in going out and coming back, was simply a hasty flight. I would not have crossed the ocean at my time of life, nor at any time, had there been no Egypt, no Palestine, no Calvary. And yet at Rome, Vesuvius, and Athens; in the mountain passes of Switzerland, at the birthplace of the Plymouth Colony, and among the Highlands of Scotland, — I was deeply interested.
In my early youth some of the geographers divided the earth's surface into four grand divisions, or continents, — Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. I little dreamed, at that time, of ever traveling in any continent except my own; but it has now been my privilege to step foot in all four of these grand geographical divisions.
For a number of recent years my desire grew stronger and stronger to visit certain of the Oriental countries, especially Palestine, — the land of the Sa
cred Writings, the land of Abraham and his descendants, the land of the Prophets, of the Man of Nazareth, of Paul and Peter. I wanted to look upon the rocks and plains that had greeted their eyes, and to tread the paths which they had trodden. I longed to go down by the shores of Gennesaret and the Jordan and the Dead Sea; to stand within the gates of Jerusalem, and to be seated at eventide on the green slopes of Olivet.
My wishes have been gratified. In the spring and summer of 1882 (after sad disappointments) I was favored with the opportunity of fulfilling this longcherished purpose. I traveled to observe and to learn, and this unpretending volume is one of the results. Possibly it may be found worth reading by some, though not embellished by poetic imagery or high-sounding phrase.
This work, it will be seen, partakes somewhat of a biographical character. I trust it will not be the less valuable on that account. It might easily have been made much larger than it is, but a book should no more be long and tedious than a speech or sermon.
Believing that plain, simple language, which even the unlettered can readily understand, is always to be preferred in speech or writing, I have carefully excluded such outlandish words as sheikh, waddy, backshish, and so forth, from the body of this book.
Nor do I believe that minute and elaborate descriptions of towers, temples, tombs, cathedrals, castles,