Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb









































































 - Europe Revised

by Irvin S. Cobb

To My Small Daughter

Who bade me shed a tear at the tomb of - Page 1
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Europe Revised

By Irvin S. Cobb

To My Small Daughter

Who bade me shed a tear at the tomb of Napoleon, which I was very glad to do, because when I got there my feet certainly were hurting me.

Chapter I

We Are Going Away From Here

Foreword. - It has always seemed to me that the principal drawback about the average guidebook is that it is over-freighted with facts. Guidebooks heretofore have made a specialty of facts - have abounded in them; facts to be found on every page and in every paragraph. Reading such a work, you imagine that the besotted author said to himself, "I will just naturally fill this thing chock-full of facts" - and then went and did so to the extent of a prolonged debauch.

Now personally I would be the last one in the world to decry facts as such. In the abstract I have the highest opinion of them. But facts, as someone has said, are stubborn things; and stubborn things, like stubborn people, are frequently tiresome. So it occurred to me that possibly there might be room for a guidebook on foreign travel which would not have a single indubitable fact concealed anywhere about its person. I have even dared to hope there might be an actual demand on the part of the general public for such a guidebook. I shall endeavor to meet that desire - if it exists.

While we are on the subject I wish to say there is probably not a statement made by me here or hereafter which cannot readily be controverted. Communications from parties desiring to controvert this or that assertion will be considered in the order received. The line forms on the left and parties will kindly avoid crowding. Triflers and professional controverters save stamps.

With these few introductory remarks we now proceed to the first subject, which is The Sea: Its Habits and Peculiarities, and the Quaint Creatures Found upon Its Bosom.

From the very start of this expedition to Europe I labored under a misapprehension. Everybody told me that as soon as I had got my sea legs I would begin to love the sea with a vast and passionate love. As a matter of fact I experienced no trouble whatever in getting my sea legs. They were my regular legs, the same ones I use on land. It was my sea stomach that caused all the bother. First I was afraid I should not get it, and that worried me no little. Then I got it and was regretful. However, that detail will come up later in a more suitable place. I am concerned now with the departure.

Somewhere forward a bugle blares; somewhere rearward a bell jangles. On the deck overhead is a scurry of feet. In the mysterious bowels of the ship a mighty mechanism opens its metal mouth and speaks out briskly. Later it will talk on steadily, with a measured and a regular voice; but now it is heard frequently, yet intermittently, like the click of a blind man's cane.

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