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A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe
on Rivers and Lakes of Europe

By J. MacGregor (1825-1892), 1866, 1892

Chapter 2

The Thames-- Flies-- Under Sail-- Porpoises-- A Noreaster-- Sailing on the Sea-- On the Meuse-- Barriers and Shallows-- Huy-- Gun-barrels-- Earl of Aberdeen-- A Drowning Boy-- Swimmers-- A Night Climb-- The Premier's Son-- Nothing to Pay-- A Day's Sail-- Down-hill-- Canoes and Cannons-- The Prince of Wales-- Alone again.

THE Rob Roy bounded away joyously on the top of the tide through Westminster Bridge, and swiftly shooting Blackfriars, she danced along the waves of the Pool, which looked all golden in the morning sun, but were in fact of pea-soup blue.

A fine breeze at Greenwich filled the new white sail, and we skimmed along with a cheery hissing sound. At such times the river is a lively scene with steamers and sea-bound ships, bluff little tugs, and big booming barges. I had many a chat with the passing sailors, for it was well to begin this at once, seeing that every day afterwards I was to have talk with the river folk in English, French, Dutch, German, or other hotchpotch patois.

For good humour the bargee is not a bad fellow, but he will beat you at banter. Often they began with, "Holloah, you two!" or "Any room inside?" or "Got your life insured, Gov'nor?" but I smiled and nodded to every one, and every one on every river and lake was friendly to me.

Purfleet looked so pretty that we made a tack or two to reconnoitre, and resolved to stop at its nice hotel, which I beg leave to recommend.

While lolling about in my boat a fly stung my hand; and the arm speedily swelled, until I had to poultice the hand at night and to go to church next day with a sling, which excited a great deal of comment in the village Sunday-school. This was the only occasion on which any insect troubled me on any voyage, though croakers had predicted that in rivers and marshes there would be hundreds of wasps, flies, and gnats, not to mention other more intimate companions.

As I entered the quiet little church at Purfleet, a very old gentleman fell down dead at the door. Here was a solemn warning.

The "Cornwall" Reformatory School-ship is moored at Purfleet. Some of the boys came ashore for a walk, neatly clad and very well behaved. The Captain of this interesting vessel received me on board very kindly, and the evening service there was a sight to remember for ever.

About 100 boys sat in rows along the old frigate's main-deck, with the open ports looking on the river, now reddened by a setting sun, and the cool air pleasantly fanning us. The lads chanted the Psalms to the music of a harmonium, played with excellent feeling and good taste, and the Captain read a suitable portion, and then prayer was offered. Let us both work and pray for poor vagrant boys, whose claim on society is great indeed if measured by the wrong it has done them in neglect if not in precept, nay, even in example.

Next morning the canoe was lowered down from the hay-loft, where she had been kept in safety. How many more strange places she has been housed in since!

After taking in supplies at Gravesend, we shoved off into the tide, and lit a cigar, and now I felt we had fairly started. Then there began a strange and charming freedom and novelty which lasted unbroken to the end of our cruise.

Something like this is felt when you first march off with a knapsack ready to walk to some vague anywhere, or when you start alone in a sailing-boat for a long cruise.

But then in walking you are bounded by every sea and river, and in a common sailing-boat you are bounded by every shallow and shore; whereas, here it was in a canoe, which could be paddled or sailed, or hauled, or carried over land or water to Rome, if I liked, or to Hong-Kong.

Up went my sail, and the reaches got wider and the water more salt, but every part of this course was known, for I had once spent a fortnight about the mouth of the Thames in my pretty little sailing boat, the Kent, with only a dog, a chart, a compass, and a kettle.

Here comes the steamer Alexandra, its high-terraced American decks covered with people, and the crowd give a fine loud cheer to the Rob Roy, for the newspapers had told of our start. Presently the land seemed to fade away at each side in pale distance, and the water was more sea than river, till at the Nore we entered a great shoal of porpoises. Harmless and agile playfellows, I had never been so close to them before, and in a boat so small as to be almost disregarded by them often so shy and wily. The canoe rocked on the waves, and the porpoises frequently came near enough to be struck by my paddle, but I did not wage war, for a flap of a tail would have soon capsized me.

After a pleasant sail to Southend a storm of heavy rain had to be met in its teeth by taking to the paddle, until near Shoeburyness, where I was to stop a few days in the camp of the National Artillery Association, which was assembled here for its first Prize shooting.

The Royal Artillery received us Volunteers on this occasion with the greatest kindness, and as they had appropriated the quarters of officers absent on leave for the use of members of the Council of the Association, I was soon comfortably ensconced. The camp, however, in a wet field was moist enough; but the fine tall fellows who had come from Yorkshire, Somerset, or Aberdeen to handle the 68-pounders, trudged about in the mud with good humour and thick boots, and sang round the camp-fire in a drizzle of rain, and then pounded away at the target next day, for these were volunteers of the right sort.

As the wind had then risen to a gale it seemed a good opportunity for a thorough trial of the canoe in rough water, but at a place where she would be least injured by being thrown ashore after an upset, and where I might change clothes after a swim.

The buoyancy of the Rob Roy astonished me, and no less her stability. In the midst of the waves I even managed to rig up the mast and sail, and as we had then no baggage on board and did not mind being perfectly wet through in the experiments, there was nothing left untried, and the confidence then gained for after times was invaluable.

Early next morning we started directly in the teeth of the wind, and paddled against a very heavy sea to Southend, where a nice warm bath was enjoyed while my clothes were getting dried, and then the Rob Roy had its first railway journey along the Southend pier.

It was amusing to see how much interest and curiosity the canoe excited even on the Thames, where all kinds of new and old and wonderful boats may be seen. The reasons for this I never exactly made out. Some wondered to see so small a boat at sea, others had never seen a canoe before, the manner of rowing was new to most, and the sail made many smile. The graceful shape of the boat pleased others, the cedar covering and the jaunty flag, and a good many stared at the captain's uniform, and they stared yet more after they had asked, "Where are you going to?" and were often told, "I really do not know."

From Sheerness to Dover was the route, and the Rob Roy had to be carried on the coals in the engine-tender, with torrents of rain and plenty of hot sparks driven into her by the gale. At last she was formally introduced to a baggage-waggon and ticketed like a portmanteau, the first of a very long series of transits in this way.

The London Chatham and Dover Railway Company took this new kind of "box" as passengers' luggage, so we had nothing to pay, and the steamer to Ostend was equally large-hearted, so I say, "Canoemen, choose this route."

Rollers off the Digue at Ostend

But before crossing to Belgium, we had a day at Dover, where I bought some stuff and had a jib made for the boat by deft and fair fingers, and paddled the Rob Roy on the green waves which toss about off the pier-head most delectably. The same performance was repeated on the top of the swell, tumbling and breaking on the "digue " [footnote 1] at Ostend, where, even with little wind, the rollers ran high on a strong ebb tide. Fat bathers wallowed in the shallows, and fair ones were swimming like ducks. All of these, dressed most bizarre, and the babies squalling at each dip, were duly admired; and then we had a quieter run under sail on their wide and straight canal.

With just a little persuasion the railway people consented to put the canoe in the baggage-van, and to charge a franc or two for "extra luggage" to Brussels. Here she was carried on a cart through the town to another station, and in the evening we were at Namur, where the Rob Roy was housed for the night in the landlord's private parlour, resting gracefully upon two chairs.

Two porters carried her through the streets next morning, and we tried to paddle on the Sambre, but very soon turned down stream and smoothly glided to the Meuse.

Glancing water, brilliant sun, a pretty canoe, and a light heart, all your baggage on board, and on a fast current,--who would exchange this for any diligence or railway, or steamboat, or horse?

A pleasant stream was enough to satisfy at this early period of the voyage, for the charm of rocks and rapids had not yet been known. It is good policy, too, that a quiet, easy, respectable sort of river like the Meuse should be taken in the earlier stage of a water tour, when there is novelty enough in being on a river at all. The river-banks one would call tame if seen from shore are altogether new when you open up the vista from the middle of the stream. The picture that is rolled sideways to the common traveller now pours out upon you from the front, ever enlarging from a centre, and in the gentle sway of the current the landscape seems to swell on this side and on that with new things ever advancing to meet you in succession.

How careful I was at the first shallow! getting out and wading as I lowered the boat. A month afterwards we would dash over these with a shove here and a stroke there in answer to a hoarse croak of the stones at the bottom grinding against my keel. And the first barrier--how anxious it made me, to think by what means shall we get over. A man appeared just in time (N.B.--They always do), and twopence made him happy for his share of carrying the boat round by land, so I jumped in again as before.

Sailing was easy, too, in a fine wide river, strong and deep, and with a favouring breeze, and when the little steamer passed I drew along side and got my penny roll and penny glass of beer through the porthole, while the wondering passengers smiled, chattered, and then looked grave--for was it not indecorous to laugh at an Englishman evidently mad, poor fellow?

The voyage was chequered by innumerable little events, all perfectly different from those one meets on shore, and when we came to the forts at Huy and knew the first day's work was done, the persuasion was complete that quite a new order of sensations had begun.

Next morning the boat was found safe in the coach-house and the sails still drying on the harness-pegs, where we had left them, but the ostler and all his folks were nowhere to be seen. Everybody had gone to join the long funeral procession of a great musician, who lived fifty years at Huy, though we never heard of him before, or of Huy either; yet you see it is in the map at the end of our log.

The pleasure of meandering with a new river is very peculiar and fascinating. Each few yards brings a novelty, or starts an excitement. A crane jumps up here, a duck flutters there, splash leaps a gleaming trout by your side, the rushing sound of rocks warns you round that corner, or anon you come suddenly upon a millrace. All these, in addition to the scenery and the people and the weather, and the determination that you must get on, over, through, or under every difficulty, and cannot leave your boat in a desolate wold, and ought to arrive at a house before dark, and that your luncheon bag is long since empty; all these, I say, keep the mind awake, which would doze away and snore for 100 miles in a carriage.

It is, as in the voyage of life, that each care and hardship is a very Mentor of living. Our minds would only vegetate if all life were like a straight canal, and we in a boat being towed along it. The afflictions that agitate the soul are as its shallows, rocks, and whirlpools, and the bark that has not been tossed on billows knows not half the sweetness of the harbour of rest.

The river soon got fast and lively, and hour after hour of vigorous work prepared me well for breakfast. Trees seemed to spring up in front and grow tall, but it was only because I came rapidly towards them. Pleasant villages floated as it were to meet me, gently moving. All life got to be a smooth and gliding thing, of dreamy pictures and far-off sounds, without fuss and without dust or anything sudden or loud, till at length the bustle and hammers of Liege came near the Rob Roy--for it was always the objects and not myself that seemed to move. Here I saw a fast steamer, the Seraing, propelled by water forced from its sides, and as my boat hopped and bobbed in the steamer's waves we entered a dock together, and the canoe was soon hoisted into a garden for the night.

Gun-barrels are the rage in Liege. Everybody there makes or carries or sells gun-barrels. Even women walk about with twenty stocked rifles on their backs, and each rifle, remember, weighs 10 lbs. They sell plenty of fruit in the market, and there are churches well worth a visit here. but gun-barrels, after all, are the prevailing idea of the place.

However, it is not my purpose to describe the towns seen on this tour. I had seen Liege well, years before, and indeed almost every town mentioned in these pages. The charm therefore of this voyage was not in going to strange lands, but in seeing old places in a way so new.

Here at length the Earl of Aberdeen met me, according to our plans arranged long before. He had got a canoe built for the trip, but a foot longer and two inches narrower than the Rob Roy, and, moreover, made of fir instead of strong oak. It was sent from London to Liege, and the "combing" round the edge of the deck was broken in the journey, so we spent some hours at a cabinet-maker's where it was neatly mended.

Launching our boats unobserved on the river, we soon left Liege in the distance and braved the hot sun.

The pleasant companionship of two travellers, each quite free in his own boat, was very enjoyable. Sometimes we sailed, then paddled a mile or two, or joined to help the boats over a weir, or towed them along as we walked on the bank for a change. [footnote 2]

Each of us took whichever side of the river pleased him best, and we talked across long acres of water between, to the evident surprise of sedate folks on the banks, who often could see only one of the strange elocutionists, the other being hidden by bushes or tall sedge. When talking thus aloud had amplified into somewhat uproarious singing, the chorus was far more energetic than harmonious, but then the Briton is at once the most timid and shy of travellers, and the most outré and singular when he chooses to be free.

The mid-day beams on a river in August are sure to conquer your fresh energies at last, and so we had to pull up at a village for bread and wine.

The moment I got into my boat again a shrill whining cry in the river attracted my attention, and it came from a poor little boy, who had some how fallen into the water, and was now making his last faint efforts to cling to a great barge in the stream. Naturally I rushed over to save him and my boat went so fast and so straight that its sharp prow caught the hapless urchin in the rear; and with such appointed reminder too that he screamed and struggled, and so got safely on a barge.

On most of the Belgian, German, and French rivers there are excellent floating baths, an obvious convenience which is sadly wanted in Britain, though we have quite as many bathers as there are abroad.

The floating bath consists of a wooden framework, say 100 feet long, moored in the stream, which runs freely through a set of strong bars and chains and iron network, forming a false bottom, shallow at one end and deeper at the other; so that the bather cannot be carried away. Round the sides there are bathing boxes and steps, ladders, and spring boards for the various degrees of proficiency. Now we have one in London.

The youths and even the little boys on the Rhine are very good swimmers, and many of them dive well. Sometimes there is a ladies' bath of similar construction, from which a good deal of very lively noise may be heard when the fair bathers are in a talkative mood.

The soldiers at military stations near the rivers are marched down regularly to bathe, and one day we found a large number of young recruits assembled for their general dip.

While some were in the water others were firing at the targets for ball practice. There were three targets, each made of cardboard sheets, fastened upon wooden uprights. A marker safely protected in a ball-proof mantelet was placed so close to these targets that he could see all three at once. One man of the firing party opposite each target having fired, his bullet passed through the pasteboard and left a clear round hole in it, while the ball itself was buried in the earth behind, and so could be recovered again, instead of being dashed into fragments as on our iron targets, and then spattered about on all sides, to the great danger of the marker and everybody else.

When three men had thus fired, signals were made by drum, flag, and bugle, and the firing ceased. The marker then came out and pointed to the bullet-mark on each target, and having patched up the holes he returned within his mantelet, and the firing was resumed. This safe method of ball practice is much better than that always until lately used in our own military shooting, and the French could tell us how terribly effective it was as an instruction in cool aim.

Cattle swimming the Meuse

As we rounded a point there was a large herd of cattle swimming across the stream in close column, and the Rob Roy went right into the middle of them to observe how they would welcome a stranger. When in my canoe on the Nile I have seen the black oxen swim over the stream night and morning, reminding one of Pharaoh's dream about the "kine" coming up out of the river, a notion that used to puzzle in boyhood days, but which is by no means incongruous when thus explained. The Bible is a book that bears the fullest blaze of light upon it, for truth looks more true when most clearly seen.

The evening fell sombre long ere we came near the town of Maastricht, in Holland, one of the most strongly fortified places in Europe; that is, of the old fashion, with straight high walls quite impervious to the Armstrong and Whitworth guns--of a century gone by.

But all we knew as we came near it at night was, that the stream was deep and strong, and that no lights appeared. Emerging from trees, the current took us right into the middle of the town, but where were the houses? Had they no windows, no lamps, not even a candle?--no, not a spark!

Two great high walls bounded the river, but not a gate or port could we find, though one of us carefully scanned the right and the other cautiously scraped along the left of this very strange place.

The cause of this was that the commerce and boats all turn into a canal above the old tumbledown fortress, and so the blank brick sides bounded us thus inhospitably. At last we came to a bridge, looming overhead in the blackness, and our arrival there was greeted by some Dutch lads upon it with a shower of stones pattering pitilessly upon the delicate cedar of our canoes.

At last we found a place where we could cling to the wall, which here sloped a little with debris, and now there was nothing for it but to haul the boats up bodily over the impregnable fortification, and thus carry them into the sleepy town. No wonder the octroi guard stared as his lamplight fell on two gaunt men in grey, carrying what seemed to him a pair of long coffins, but he was a sensible though surprised individual, and he guided us well, stamping through the dark deserted streets to an hotel.

Though the canoes in a cart made a decided impression at the railway-station next day, and our arguments logically proved that the boats must go as baggage, the porters were dense to conviction, and obdurate to persuasion, until all at once a sudden change took place; they rushed at us, caught up the two neglected "bateaux," ran with them to the luggage-van, pushed them in, banged the door, piped the whistle, and as the train went off.--"Do you know why they have yielded so suddenly?" said a Dutchman, who could speak English. "Not at all," said we. "Because I told them one of you was the son of the Prime Minister, and the other Lord Russell's son."

But a change of railway had to be made at Aix-la-Chapelle, and after a hard struggle we had nearly surrendered the boats to the "merchandise train," to limp along the line at night and to arrive "perhaps to-morrow." The superintendent seemed to clutch the boats as his prize, but as he gloried a little too loudly, his rival in dignity, the "Chef" of the passengers' baggage, came, listened, and with calm mien ordered for us a special covered truck, and on arriving at Cologne there was "nothing to pay." [footnote 3]

To be quiet we went to the Belle Vue, at Deutz, which is opposite Cologne, but a great Singing Society had its gala there, and sang and drank prodigiously. Next day (Sunday too) this same quiet Deutz had a "Schutzen Fest," where the man who had hit the target best was dragged about in an open carriage with his wife, both wearing brass crowns, and bowing royally to a screaming crowd, while blue lights glared and rockets shot up in the darkness.

At Cologne, while Lord A. went to take our tickets at the steamer, the boats were put in a handcart, which I shoved from behind as a man pulled it in front. In our way to the river I was assailed by a poor vagrant sort of fellow, who insisted on being employed as a porter, and being enraged at a refusal he actually took up a large stone and ran after the cart in a threatening passion. I could not take my hands from the boats, though in fear that his missile would smash them if he threw it, but I kicked up my legs behind as we trotted along. One of the sentries saw the man's conduct, and soon a policeman brought him to me as a prisoner, but as he trembled now with fear more than before with anger, I declined to give him in charge, though the police pressed this course, saying, "Travellers are sacred here." This incident is mentioned because it was the sole occasion when any discourtesy happened to me during any cruise.

We took the canoes by steamer to a wide part of the Rhine at Bingen. Here the scenery is good, and we spent an active day on the river, sailing in a splendid breeze, landing on islands, scudding about in steamers' waves, and, in fact, enjoying a combination of yacht voyage, pic-nic, and boat race.

This was a fine long day of pleasure, though in one of the sudden squalls my canoe happened to ground on a bank just at the most critical time, and the bamboo mast broke short. The uncouth and ridiculous appearance of a sail falling overboard is like that of an umbrella turned inside out in a gust of wind. Nobody gets the slightest sympathy for this, or for having the gout or the mumps. I got another stronger mast from a gardener--one of the long, green-painted sticks used as a standard for hollyhocks! This lasted all the voyage, and the broken mast was made into a boom.

Lord Aberdeen went by train to inspect the river Nahe, but reported unfavourably; and I paddled up from its mouth, but the water was very low.

Few arguments were needed to stop me from going against stream anywhere; I have a profound respect for the universal principle of gravitation, and quite allow that in boating it is well to have the earth's strong attraction with you by always going down stream, and so the good rule was to make steam, horse, or man take the canoe against the current, and to let gravity help the canoe to carry me down.

Time pressed for my fellow-paddler to return to England, so we went on to Mayence, and thence by rail to Aschaffenburg on the Main. The canoes again travelled in grand fashion, having a truck to themselves; but instead of the stately philosopher superintendent of Aix-la-Chapelle, who managed this gratuitously, we had a fussy little person to deal with, and to pay accordingly--the only case of good, honest cheating I can recollect during the voyage.

A fellow-passenger in the railway was deeply interested about our tour; and we had spoken of its various details for some time to him before we found that he supposed we were travelling with "two small cannons," mistaking the French word "canots" for "canons." He had even asked about their length and weight, and had heard with perfect placidity that our "canons" were fifteen feet long, and weighed eighty pounds, and that we took them only for "plaisir," not to sell. Had we carried two pet camelopards, he would have been just as little astonished.

The guests at the German inn of this long-named town amused us much by their respectful curiosity. Our dress in perfect unison, both alike in grey flannel, puzzled them exceedingly; but this sort of perlexity about costume and whence why and whither is an everyday occurrence for the paddler abroad.

The Main is an easy river, but the scenery is only so so. In a fine breeze upon it we lost much time by forcing the canoes to do yachts' work. Sailing on rivers is rather a mistake unless with a favourable wind. A storm of rain at length made it lunch-time, so we sheltered ourselves in a bleak sort of arbour attached to an inn, where they could give us only sour black bread and raw bacon. Eating this poor cheer in a wet, rustling breeze and pattering rain, half chilled in our macintoshes, was the only time I fared badly, so little of "roughing it," was there in this luxurious tour.

Fine weather came soon again and pleasure,--nay, positive sporting; for there were wild ducks quite impudent in their familiarity, and herons wading about with that look of injured innocence they put on when you dare to disturb them. So my friend capped his revolver pistol, and I acted as a pointer dog, stealing along the other side of the river, and "pointing" the game with my paddle.

Vast trouble was taken. Lord A. went ashore, and crawled on the bank a long way to a wily bird, but, though the sportsman had shown himself at Wimbledon to be one of the best shots in the world, it was evidently not easy to shoot a heron with a revolver.

As the darker shades fell, even this rather stupid river became beautiful; and our evening bath was in a quiet pool, with pure yellow sand to rest on if you tired in swimming. At Hanau we stopped for the night.

The wanderings and turnings of the Main next day have really left no impression on my memory, except that we had a pleasant time, and at last came to a large Schloss, where we observed on the river a boat evidently English. While we examined this craft, a man told us it belonged to the Prince of Wales, "and he is looking at you now from the balcony." For this was the Duchess of Cambridge's Schloss at Rumpenheim, and presently a four-in-hand crossed the ferry, and the Prince and Princess of Wales drove in it by the river-side, while we plied a vigorous paddle against the powerful west wind until we reached Frankfort, and dried our wet jackets at the Russie, one of the best hotels in Europe.

The Frankfort boatmen were amazed next day to see the two English canoes flitting about so lightly on their river; sometimes skimming the surface with the wind, and despising the contrary stream; then wheeling about, and paddling hither and thither, in shallows where it was "only moist." For fun we both got into my canoe, which bore the weight perfectly well. However, there was not room for both of us to use our paddles comfortable in the same canoe. [footnote 4]

On Sunday, the Royal personages came to the English church at Frankfort, and, with that quiet good taste which wins more admiration than any pageantry, they walked from the place of worship like the rest of the hearers.

There is a true grandeur in simplicity when the occasion is one of solemn things.

Next day my active and pleasant companion had to leave me on his return to England. Not satisfied with a fortnight's rifle practice at Wimbledon, where the best prize of the year was won by his skill, he must return to the moors and coverts for more deadly sport; and the calls of more important business besides required his presence at home. He paddled down the Rhine to Cologne, and on the way several times performed the difficult feat of hooking on his canoe to a steamer going at full speed. [footnote 5]

Meantime, my boat went along with me by railway to Freyburg, from whence a voyage really new was ready to begin, for as yet the Rob Roy had not paddled in parts unknown.


[footnote 1]: At Ostend I found an English gentleman preparing for a voyage on the Danube, for which he was to build a "centre board" boat. Although no doubt a sailing boat could reach the Danube by the Bamberg canal, yet, after four tours on that river from its source as far as Pest, I am convinced that to trust to sailing upon it would entail much tedious delay, useless trouble, and constant anxiety. If the wind is ahead you have all the labour of tacking, and are frequently in slack water near the banks, and often in channels where the only course would be dead to windward. If the wind is aft, the danger of "running" is extreme where you have to "broach to" and stop suddenly near a shallow or a barrier. With a strong side wind, indeed, you can sail safely, but this must come from north or south and the high banks sadly reduce its effect.

[footnote 2]: Frequent trials afterwards convinced me that towing is only useful if you feel very cramped from sitting. And this constraint is felt less and less as you got accustomed to sit ten or twelve hours at a time. Experience enables you to sit on the floor boards (never take a mat or cushion) with perfect comfort, and on the better rivers you have so frequently to get out that any additional change is quite needless. Towing is slower progress than paddling down stream, even when your arms are tired, though my canoe was so light to tow that I could always draw it by my little finger on a canal.

[footnote 3]: This is an exceptional case, and I wrote from England to thank the officer. It would be unreasonable again to expect any baggage to be thus favoured. A canoe is at best a clumsy inconvenience in the luggage-van, and no one can wonder that it is objected to. In France the railway fourgons are shorter than in other countries, and the officials there insisted on treating my canoe as merchandise. The instances given above show what occurred in Belgium and Holland. In Germany little difficulty was made about the boat as luggage. In Switzerland there was no objection raised, for was not I an English traveller? As for the English railway guards, a few of them have the good sense to see that a long light article like a canoe can be readily carried on the top of a passenger carriage, but all the Directors in England do not see that dividends would be increased by a reasonable tariff for canoes, which cause less trouble than ordinary luggage, for the canoeist will always help a porter to handle them. Probably some distinct rules will be instituted by all railways in each country, when they are found to be liable to a nautical incursion; but after all one can very well arrange to walk or see sights now and then, while the boat travels slower by a goods-train.

[footnote 4]: In the Royal Canoe Club we have several "tandem" canoes, each for two paddlers, and they are very fast boats. Each year lately the Club has had races with four men in each canoe, using double paddles. Besides canoes of oak, cedar, or pine, we have them of bark, canvas, tin, paper, and india-rubber.

[footnote 5]: The Earl of Aberdeen was afterwards drowned in a sailing vessel. His brother, the late Hon. James Gordon, was an expert canoeist, and the first to cross the British Channel in a Rob Roy. The present Earl is also a member of the Club, and so was the late Prince Imperial of France, who had four canoes. The Prince of Wales is our Commodore.

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