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Nov 03, '21





LeaveLondon. RoadtoDover.—Reflections.— ThePassage.- Calais.— RickettyCarriage.— AirPillows.—Liege.—Prussian Civility.— The Rhine.--Frankfort.– Wurtzburgh.— Gleam ofSunshine.- Ratisbon.— Aspect ofUpper Bavaria— and of itsPeasantry— andRoads— ContrastedwiththoseofPrussia. - First peep of Austria.- Custom -house.— The Danube. Möelk .- Reach Vienna.

Vienna,December 1833.

DEAR .......

You know how long and anxiously I had waited for the “laissez aller!” — how many times in vain I had to “plod my weary way” between the “Club” latitudes of Pall-Mall and the official regions of Downing Street. But at length You see that I lose no time in complying with your injunctions, for this is the first halting-place from whence I could easily have addressed you.


/ˌlɛseɪˈaleɪ,French leseale/


1. absence of restraint; unconstrained freedom."no laissez-aller exploration of these rocks should be undertaken"


French, literally ‘allow to go’.

Travellers Club

The Travellers Club is a private gentlemen's club situated at 106 Pall Mall in London, United Kingdom. It is the oldest of the surviving Pall Mall clubs and one of the most exclusive, having been established in 1819.

Athenaeum Club, London

The Athenaeum is a private members' club in London, founded in 1824. It is primarily a club for men and women with intellectual interests, and particularly (but not exclusively) for those who have attained some distinction in science, engineering, literature or the arts. Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday were the first chairman and secretary and 51 Nobel Laureates have been members.,_London

Carlton Club

The Carlton Club is a private members' club in St James's, London. It was the original home of the Conservative Party before the creation of Conservative Central Office. Membership of the club is by nomination and election only.


But at length “ all was accomplished: "my final instructions were delivered me, (my private arrangements had long since been completed,) and at ten o'clock on the night of the 10th instant I quitted the cheerful club - room for the last time , and took my way to the Foreign Office, where I had still to receive despatches.

It is a strange thing,that mixture of gladness and disturbance with which, at the moment of departure, we view the in animated objects with which long acquaintance has made us familiar, yet which along involuntary detention has occasioned us to regard with weariness, if not disgust. It is then that the comforts to which these very objects may have contributed rise-up in judgment against us,and we feel a twinge of remorse, as if we had been guilty of ingratitude to a friend.

Truly our life is of a mingled yarn, when even the attainment of our most earnest desire is not unattended by a shade of gloom! The truth is, there is always something in the word “ farewell !" which unstrings the nerves however powerfully excited; and I should have little respect for the man who could leave the dumb and lifeless things by I know that as I cast my eyes for the last around the neat little room with its snug French bed that had so often received my weary limbs as I threaded the street and alleys I had trodden so often, and as I saw the great folding-doors of the Club-house close behind me upon its gorgeous apartments and delightful library, my most seducing retreat for so many months,- something very like a sigh rose in my throat in spite of joy at the accomplishment of my wishes.

Truly our life is of a mingled yarn, when even the attainment of our most earnest desire is not unattended by a shade of gloom! The truth is, there is always something in the word “ farewell !" which unstrings the nerves however powerfully excited; and I should have little respect for the man who could leave the dumb and lifeless things by which he has been long surrounded,perhaps ever,"— that little heart-breaking sentence,—without a pang of the kind I have been describing. What then must be our feelings towards animated beings, - towards the objects of our friendship and our affection ?

But it will not do to think of such things at such a time; we should never get on. Therefore, suppose all these matters duly got over, hands heartily shaken, warm adieus and kind wishes exchanged, and myself wrapped in my travelling cloak,striding away with firm step and resolved brow to Downing Street,— rain falling and wind blowing hard,- a long bustling hour or two of sealing and directing papers, and packing of white sheepskin bags, during which time I warm myself at the last good sea-coalfire I may see for some time, and chat over the impending journey with the gentlemen of the office.

At one in the morning all was ready. The sharp rattle of the post-chaise coming up to the door announced that the moment of action was come. I threw my bags into one corner of it, and myself into the other;- bang went the door;- “All-right?” briskly demanded the postilion ; - “All right,- go on,” responded the porter in a tone of more importance ; and in another minute we were tearing away over Westminster Bridge at the rate of twelve miles an hour,through a perfect tempest. It was a strong contrast to the calm tenor of the few preceding months,- a violent transition from the quiescent state I had so long endured.


I could not help wondering if all were real, as the carriage rattled along that great thoroughfare of exit and entrance to England. “ And what,” says a deservedly popular author, speaking of another of these great vomitories,“ what can be fuller of interest to the minds of our fellow -subjects than this important thoroughfare ? It is one of the great paths of our nation,that leads the anxious merchant to his foreign store, the seaman to his fearful trade ; on which the devoted lover journeys from his anxious mistress, the faithful husband from his constant

wife. Along that road, how many a noble soldier has travelled to where there is no return !- how many British sailors have sped to death or victory!

How little does it strike the ordinary admirers of well-appointed public carriages, who stand and praise the 'neat turn-out 'and the 'well-bred cattle' of these coaches,what varied interestoften hangs upon their wheels! - nor, as they roll along the level ground, does the casual observer often think what feelings, what hopes, what doubts, what fears, what anticipations, and what regrets, are pent within their panels.”

Who that has travelled much, and reflected at all, does not feel the force and truth of these remarks? – and though the road to Dover may possibly yield to that of Portsmouth in point of variety, it will scarcely be thought to do so in intensity of interest. Along it do the youth of our English aristocracy, at length escaped from more rigid tuition, hurry to scour the Continent in their travelling chariots, or to spend their time, and money, and health, in the gay debaucheries of foreign capitals.

Along it, too, proceeds with painful slowness the wasted invalid, who, worn out with sickness and suffering at home, sacrifices feelings and comfort to die far from friends and family in a distant land. Along it dash at speed those couriers who are charged with the counsels of the wise and the great- on whose farthels are borne the destinies of Europe and the world! -But if we stay to describe al who travel on this well-known road,we shall never get on ourselves; so suppose the well-paid postilions vying in rapidity of motion with each other, the hours and the carriage rolling on, and the latter entering the town of Dover and stopping at Wright's at eight o'clock, (just seven hours from London,) and in time to get a bit of breakfast and whip into the foreign mail packet, having passed the coach itself on the road.

The packet-boat was crowded. It blew fresh, with a short, jobbling sea, so that every soul was sick; and had it not been for my own discomfort, I could have laughed heartily to see the cabin-boys preparing the piles of basins for the use of future invalids. But it was very tragical mirth to me as well as others ; so I got possession of a tolerable spot to lie down on,and lifted my head no more.

A passage of two hours and a half, rough and stormy, and sick — sick, took us to Calais, where all the little boys speak such surprisingly good French. Two hours more severed to settle all matters with the Custom-house, to change my money into five-franc pieces,and to purchase and dispose my baggage in a very neat, purpose-like britchka, furnished by the obliging M. Quillac, who guaranteed its carrying me with accident to Vienna; and the second hour after noon saw me rolling along the level French road towards Brussels.


(A britzka (also spelled brichka or britska) is a type of horse-drawn carriage. It was a long, spacious carriage with four wheels, as well as a folding top over the rear seat and a rear-facing front seat. Pulled by two horses, it had a place in the front for a driver. It was constructed as to give space for reclining at night when used on a journey. Its size made it suitable for use as a 19th-century equivalent to a motorhome, as it could be adapted with all manner of conveniences (beds, dressing tables etc.) for the traveler. The great railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel used a britzka, the "Flying Coffin", as his traveling office whilst surveying the route of the Great Western Railway. He carried with him a drawing board, outline plans, engineering instruments, fifty of his favorite Lopez cigars and a pull-out bed.

The term is a variant of the Polish term bryczka, a "little cart", from bryka, "cart", possibly coming into English via several ways, including German britschka and Russian brichka.)

5 Francs - Louis-Philippe I

Update from my past life brother

Dated: October 9th 2021

NB. I caught up on the recent Raven Echo posts. You mention the Travellers and Carlton Club. I attended the Travellers with BJ in ‘04, and was the guest of the youngest female member of the Carlton Club on a handful of memorable occasions. The first person I ever met there, while waiting in a drawing room, was an Opera buff. When I asked who first introduced him to it he told me that he grew up in Tuscany in Puccini’s former house. I can’t remember his name but connected with him on fb when I still used it. What was even more remarkable was that he looked just like Giacomo Puccini.

D aka William Fraser


Nov 03, '21
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