An American tourist, who was stopping in Tokio had visited every point of interest and had seen everything to be seen except a Shinto funeral. Finally she appealed to the Japanese clerk of the hotel, asking him to instruct her guide to take her to one. The clerk was politeness itself. He bowed gravely and replied: "I am very sorry, Madam, but this is not the season for funerals."
A gentleman whose travel-talks are known throughout the world tells the following on himself:
"I was booked for a lecture one night at a little place in Scotland four miles from a railway station.
"The 'chairman' of the occasion, after introducing me as 'the mon wha's coom here tae broaden oor intellects,' said that he felt a wee bit of prayer would not be out of place.
"'O Lord,' he continued, 'put it intae the heart of this mon tae speak the truth, the hale truth, and naething but the truth, and gie us grace tae understan' him.'
"Then, with a glance at me, the chairman said, 'I've been a traveler meself!'"—Fenimore Marlin.
Two young Americans touring Italy for the first time stopped off one night at Pisa, where they fell in with a convivial party at a cafe. Going hilariously home one pushed the other against a building and held him there.
"Great heavens!" cried the man next the wall, suddenly glancing up at the structure above him. "See what we're doing!" Both roisterers fled.
They left town on an early morning train, not thinking it safe to stay over and see the famous leaning tower.
Mr. Hiram Jones had just returned from a personally conducted tour of Europe.
"I suppose," commented a friend, "that when you were in England you did as the English do and dropped your H's."
"No," moodily responded the returned traveller; "I didn't. I did as the Americans do. I dropped my V's and X's."
Then he slowly meandered down to the bank to see if he couldn't get the mortgage extended.—W. Hanny.
A number of tourists were recently looking down the crater of Vesuvius. An American gentleman said to his companion.
"That looks a good deal like the infernal regions."
An English lady, overhearing the remark, said to another:
"Good gracious! How these Americans do travel."
An American tourist hailing from the west was out sight-seeing in London. They took him aboard the old battle-ship Victory, which was Lord Nelson's flagship in several of his most famous naval triumphs. An English sailor escorted the American over the vessel, and coming to a raised brass tablet on the deck he said, as he reverently removed his hat:
"'Ere, sir, is the spot where Lord Nelson fell."
"Oh, is it?" replied the American, blankly. "Well, that ain't nothin'. I nearly tripped on the blame thing myself."
On one of the famous scenic routes of the west there is a brakeman who has lost the forefinger of his right hand.
His present assignment as rear-end brakeman on a passenger train places him in the observation car, where he is the target for an almost unceasing fusillade of questions from tourists who insist upon having the name, and, if possible, the history, of all the mountain cañons and points of interest along the route.
One especially enthusiastic lady tourist had kept up her Gattling fire of questions until she had thoroughly mastered the geography of the country. Then she ventured to ask the brakeman how he had lost his finger:
"Cut off in making a coupling between cars, I suppose?"
"No, madam; I wore that finger off pointing out scenery to tourists."
Know most of the rooms of thy native country before thou goest over the threshold thereof.—Fuller.
When I was at home, I was in a better place; but travelers must be content.—Shakespeare.
As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in traveling: a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.—Samuel Johnson.