Canada for Gentlemen

#Travel #Canada
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Excerpt My Dearest Mother, I suppose we are both addressing our letters to you, which might at first appear an unequal distribution of our favours, but as I know they will be read aloud to the assembled breakfast table, it is a small matter who opens the envelope. To begin with, I should explain that I am writing in the saloon of the S.S. "Montreal," Sunday evening, August 30th (I believe), and it is due to the constructural defects thereof that my writing is of a somewhat shaky character, the above saloon being placed almost immediately over the propeller, whose various eccentricities in the way of jumping and shaking are more than distinctly felt. However, I do not want to begin by telling you about the end of our voyage, so I will make a commencement at the time we lost sight of the heads and hats of those who saw us off at Dawlish Station. I feel rather ashamed to say I felt at that time very little depression of spirits, perhaps the pipe to which I immediately had recourse had a comforting influence; perhaps my familiarity with all objects on the road, at least as far as Star Cross, made me feel as though I had not yet left home; or perhaps, it was the secret consciousness that all the Seymours, Lintons, and Harleys had promised to be on the Warren to see us wave our heads out of the window. Whatever the course might have been during the whole of our railway journey, our stay at the hotel, and even some hours subsequently, I felt almost jolly, but what a world of misery lies implied in that underlined "some." However, I won't anticipate, but relate from the beginning the history of my ideas and experiences up to the present time. There is little that you do not already know connected with our departure from the docks and our journey as far as the last light ship, that is concerning incidents which would appear to be worth mentioning. We were rather fortunate in seeing nearly all the most celebrated of the Atlantic steamers. The "City of Rome" was lying alongside a wharf within a stone's throw of us, the "Alaska," "Arizona," "America," and "Oregon," were all passing in or out, or lying at the wharves, these being I believe the four fastest ocean steamers afloat. The Allan boat "Peruvian" left the dock just astern of us, and as we afterwards discovered, arrived twelve hours before us. We very soon found, when dinner time came round that we were going to live like fighting cocks; there was a tremendous spread, soup, fish, entrées, joints, entrees, sweets, cheese, dessert and bills of fare. We looked forward to ten days of systematic fattening, an excellent preparation as we thought for our troubles to come in the way of struggles for bread, in the country to which we were journeying. What a mistake! That meal we fattened, also at the ensuing meal, a kind of high tea at six o'clock we continued the process. At breakfast next morning all operations were suspended, and by the time the sun shone in the zenith for the second time, the modus operandi was completely inverted, and we thinned many inches in as many minutes....
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