Fragrant Memories of Foreign Lands By William Valentine Kelley

When you visit foreign lands you will be amazed at the great variety of experiences that may be crowded into brief time. Within a few months one man paid Vienna-exhibition prices for dust, heat, and cholera—and received for nothing the hospitality of the monks at Alpine hospices; lounged in the glittering parlors of the Grand Hotel in Paris, and slept in a damp bed of musty moss on a wharf in the Zuyder Zee; lunched in the rain among the driftwood of the Dead Sea, the lowest water-level on the globe, and ate hasty omelette in the hut of the Matterjoch, the highest human habitation in Europe; roasted eggs by putting them in red-hot lava in the hissing crater of Vesuvius and breakfasted on a glacier near Monte Rosa, watching the sun come up from behind the Strahlhorn; sipped sherbets on the luxurious cushions of soft divans in Damascus, and drank milk at lone chalets in high Alpine pastures; lay flat on the top of Cheops the Great Pyramid, dreaming over the vision of Cairo, the Nile, the Sphinx, and the desert, and leaned over the icy crest of the Breithorn, nearly fourteen thousand feet high, looking down on the dazzling prospect of snowfields and around on an Alp-rimmed horizon; saw the tall aloes blooming below the Athenian Acropolis, and the Soldanella Alpina swinging its frail bluebell in the very snow at the southern base of Mont Blanc; the oleanders bright red and pink by the sea of Tiberias, and the edelweiss, white and velvety, on the almost inaccessible peaks of Switzerland.

When you travel abroad you will feel a new interest in geography. The dead old study that you learned to detest in schooldays begins to live as you journey through lands which before were but patches of color on a map. History too moves into the region of reality as you visit scenes where great events transpired, and live them out in imagination on the spot. For example, the battle of Solferino is fixed in memory when you have looked on the scene where it occurred, riding across the space of fifteen miles, where, from Lago di Garda on the north to the village of Solferino on the heights to southward, raged that obstinate fight in which the Italians, aided by the French, broke the grip of Austria and forced her to the peace of Villa Franca in 1859. Arnold of Rugby maintained that history and geography could be taught only in connection with each other; both can best be learned by travel. Goethe thought the Hydriote shipowners gave their sons the best possible education by simply taking the boys around with them in their voyages to see and to learn. Nothing so enriches and illuminates memory as travel, and it enlarges vastly the mental sky, in which, often at mention of a word, suggestions play like heat-lightning around the horizon of a summer night. In after life a thousand things will start up reminiscences like a flock of quails. A fig will make a traveler see Smyrna lying on its sloped crescent on Asia Minor's coast. Dates revive the vision of Damascus, green and well watered on the desert's edge. Pour sweet-oil on your salad and the old olive trees shimmer their gray-green leaves in the sun, while it seems like the very essence of the yellow Orient itself that you are pouring, and forthwith the Mediterranean swings its shores through your memory. An orange can put one once more under the loaded boughs and in the scented shade of the orchards of Joppa. A small fig-banana carries me again through the Nile delta, and I see the naked brown herd-boys and hear the sakias creak as they slowly lift water from the river to the trenches to irrigate the plain. The smell of grapes is enough to anchor me off Chios, where the balmy air is spicy and fruity with odors from steep vineyard slopes along which the potent sunshine of summer days is stored up in tiny wine skins that hang in clusters of purple and gold, and where the sea is rippled with fragrant winds that whisper together like lovers loitering by rose-bannered garden walls. It was T. B. Aldrich, was it not? who said: "See here, three flowers pressed in one book. This white daisy I plucked one June on Keats's grave in Rome, in the shadow of the pyramid of Caius Cestius. This blue bell-gentian I found one July day blooming heroically through the edge of the snow on the Col de Seigne, in the high Italian Alps. This scarlet poppy I gathered one blueand-gold April in the green valley of Eshcol in sight of the towers of Hebron and Abraham's oak at Mamre."