The Innocents Abroad: Original Text (Paperback)
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For months the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land was chatted aboutin the newspapers everywhere in America and discussed at countless firesides. It was anovelty in the way of excursions-its like had not been thought of before, and it compelledthat interest which attractive novelties always command. It was to be a picnic on a giganticscale. The participants in it, instead of freighting an ungainly steam ferry-boat with youthand beauty and pies and doughnuts, and paddling up some obscure creek to disembarkupon a grassy lawn and wear themselves out with a long summer day's laborious frolickingunder the impression that it was fun, were to sail away in a great steamship with flagsflying and cannon pealing, and take a royal holiday beyond the broad ocean in many astrange clime and in many a land renowned in history They were to sail for months overthe breezy Atlantic and the sunny Mediterranean; they were to scamper about the decks byday, filling the ship with shouts and laughter-or read novels and poetry in the shade of thesmokestacks, or watch for the jelly-fish and the nautilus over the side, and the shark, thewhale, and other strange monsters of the deep; and at night they were to dance in the openair, on the upper deck, in the midst of a ballroom that stretched from horizon to horizon, and was domed by the bending heavens and lighted by no meaner lamps than the stars andthe magnificent moon-dance, and promenade, and smoke, and sing, and make love, andsearch the skies for constellations that never associate with the "Big Dipper" they were sotired of; and they were to see the ships of twenty navies-the customs and costumes oftwenty curious peoples-the great cities of half a world-they were to hob-nob withnobility and hold friendly converse with kings and princes, grand moguls, and the anointedlords of mighty empires It was a brave conception; it was the offspring of a most ingeniousbrain. It was well advertised, but it hardly needed it: the bold originality, the extraordinarycharacter, the seductive nature, and the vastness of the enterprise provoked commenteverywhere and advertised it in every household in the land. Who could read the programof the excursion without longing to make one of the party?