"Rue de Paris, temps de pluie," by Gustave Caillebotte (1877)

Paris in the Nineteenth Century

“On the inclined plane of immorality, France is descending with an ever-accelerated speed, till it seems to have almost reached the lowest point of depravity.” Such is the witness of a faithful Frenchman. On such principles we cease to wonder that Paris is the centre of intrigues, the patroness of vice, the asylum of all infamy.
John Smith_Virginia_map_1606

Captain John Smith

It was only the other day, then--that is to say, in the month of June, 1603--that one Martin Pring, in the ship Speedwell, an enormous ship of nearly fifty tons burden, from Bristol, England, sailed up the Piscataqua River.

As Far as Palermo

Here in Sicily it is so pleasant: the sunny Ionian sea, the changing jewel of Calabria, like a fire-opal moved in the light; Italy and the panorama of Christmas clouds, night with the dog-star laying a long, luminous gleam across the sea, as if baying at us, Orion marching above

Towers and Portals

For a first visit to Chartres, choose some pleasant morning when the lights are soft, for one wants to be welcome, and the cathedral has moods, at times severe. At best, the Beauce is a country none too gay.

Shakespeare on Scenery

[T]he stage was to represent the deck of a ship in a storm, or the interior of a Greek temple, or the streets of a certain town, to all of which inartistic devices Shakespeare is reduced, and for which he always amply apologizes.

In the American Country

Thus I had heard a great deal, before I saw them, about the tall and dominant buildings of New York. I agree that they have an instant effect on the imagination; which I think is increased by the situation in which they stand, and out of which they arose.
HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego

The Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. I)

The second voyage of the HMS Beagle (December 27, 1831-October 2, 1836) was carried out under the command of Captain Robert Fitzroy. On board was also the young graduate, Charles Darwin, whose journals during the voyage...
HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego

Banda Oriental and Patagonia

Our passage was a very long and tedious one. The Plata looks like a noble estuary on the map; but is in truth a poor affair. A wide expanse of muddy water has neither grandeur nor beauty. At one time of the day, the two shores, both of which are extremely low, could just be distinguished from the deck.
HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego

Buenos Ayres and St. Fe

In the evening I set out on an excursion to St. Fe, which is situated nearly three hundred English miles from Buenos Ayres, on the banks of the Parana. The roads in the neighbourhood of the city after the rainy weather, were extraordinarily bad. I should never have thought it possible for a bullock waggon to have crawled along: as it was, they scarcely went at the rate of a mile an hour, and a man was kept ahead, to survey the best line for making the attempt.
HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego

Bahia Blanca to Buenos Ayres

I hired a Gaucho to accompany me on my ride to Buenos Ayres, though with some difficulty, as the father of one man was afraid to let him go, and another, who seemed willing, was described to me as so fearful, that I was afraid to take him, for I was told that even if he saw an ostrich at a distance, he would mistake it for an Indian, and would fly like the wind away.

Some American Cities

There is one point, almost to be called a paradox, to be noted about New York; and that is that in one sense it is really new. The term very seldom has any relevance to the reality.

The Knighted Knave of Bergen

One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Europe on foot.

A Meditation in Broadway

When I had looked at the lights of Broadway by night, I made to my American friends an innocent remark that seemed for some reason to amuse them. I had looked, not without joy, at that long kaleidoscope...

A Glimpse of the British Army

It is not an easy matter to write from the front. You know that there are several courteous but inexorable gentlemen who may have a word in the matter, and their presence 'imparts but small ease to the style.'

A Cab Ride Across the Country

Sown somewhere far off in the shallow dales of Hertfordshire there lies a village of great beauty, and I doubt not of admirable virtue, but of eccentric and unbalanced literary taste...

The Churches of Ronda

The churches, coated with whitewash, are squalid, cold and depressing; and at first sight the row of images looks nothing more than a somewhat vulgar exhibition of wax-work...

A Meditation in a New York Hotel

Broadly speaking, there is only one hotel in America. The pattern of it, which is a very rational pattern, is repeated in cities as remote from each other as the capitals of European empires.
La_sevilla_del_sigloXVI_The Spirit of Andalusia_Maugham

The Spirit of Andalusia

In London now, as I write, the rain of an English April pours down; the sky is leaden and cold, the houses in front of me are almost terrible in their monotonous greyness...
Remington_The_Right_of_the_Road_What is America_Chesterton

What is America?

I have never managed to lose my old conviction that travel narrows the mind. At least a man must make a double effort of moral humility and imaginative energy to prevent it from narrowing his mind.
Bernardo_Strozzi_-_Banquet_at_the_House_of_Simon_Dinner, Real and Reputed

Dinner, Real and Reputed

  Great misconceptions have always prevailed about the Roman dinner. Dinner was the only meal which the Romans as a nation took. It was no accident, but arose out of their whole social economy....

The English Mail Coach

  Or, The Glory of Motion   Some twenty or more years before I matriculated at Oxford, Mr. Palmer, M.P. for Bath, had accomplished two things, very hard to do on our little planet, the Earth,...
Keats and Severn Graves in Rome, Oscar Wilde's The Tomb of Keats

The Tomb of Keats

  As published in the Irish Monthly, July, 1877   As one enters Rome from the Via Ostiensis by the Porta San Paolo, the first object that meets the eye is a marble pyramid which stands close at...