Mary Mister.

Mungo, the little traveller : a work compiled for the instruction and amusement of youth online

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Printed by Darton, Harvey, and Co.
Gracechurch-Street, London.


AN presenting the following little
production to the public, the writer
makes not the smallest claim to merit
or to praise. For the short account
of different countries, with the anec-
dotes of natural history, which it
contains, she has been principally
indebted to the very superior works
of Coxe, Barrow, and Bingley. The
fanciful writings of La Vaillant, with
those of many other lively travellers
which presented themselves to her
Remembrance, she has rejected, from



the desire of impressing on the minds
of her young readers none but facts,
well authenticated by writers of ve-

This little work was not intended,
originally, for the public eye: it
was the evening employment of a
mother, for the amusement of her
child ; and as it fully answered that
design, she flatters herself it may
prove to other children not an un-
acceptable present.




AT was the joyous festival of Christmas,
when little Mungo entertained his friends
and neighbours. At his right sat Bob
the spotted terrier, celebrated for his vir-
tues and his genius. On his left was
Caesar, the true old English mastiff; who,
content with the inheritance of usefulness
and integrity, spent his days in domestic
life, the vigilant guardian of his master's
property. Next to him was the Shepherd
Dog, whose meagre countenance and rough
coat showed him an unfit companion for
the present company; but he had been
introduced by Caesar, who was himself a
dogof respectability, and, with true British;
a spirit.

spirit, would have resented any slight to
his friend; Mungo therefore smiled a
welcome on the plebeian visitor. Then
came the Bull Dog, of coarse, unsocial
manners; but whose well-known courage,
and fighting disposition, kept his com-
panions in awe. Next sat the obedient
Spaniel the accommodating friend of
man; equally the companion of his field-
sports or his fire-side. A party of sporting
dogs concluded the assembly : the Hound,
with his long, pendulous ears ; the sensible
and well-educated Pointer ; the lank Grey-
hound ; and the brisk little Terrier.

A plentiful meal of old English fare
was before them. Mopsey, the turnspit,
was their cook ; and little Snap, the tink-
er's cur, waited on the company.

The cold blast howled through the an-
cient mansion, and the hail rattled against
the windows ; but a large fire blazed cheer-
fully within, and the dogs, feeling the
comforts of their situation, drew sociably
around. "My friends and. neighbours,"



cried Mungo, " how heartily do I rejoice,
that after so marry perils and dangers, my
master has permitted me to return to the-
seat of his ancestors and mine. From this
entertainment I have excluded all but
English friends; yet I am ready to con-
fess that I was treated with hospitality by
many foreigners, and had a very pleasant
travelling companion in our neighbour
the Dane's cousin." Mungo was himself
of royal race. His figure was small, but
his black, curling coat, and his brilliant
eye, rendered him a dog of unrivalled
beauty. When a puppy, he had been
vain and trifling; but age and the hard-
ships of travelling had worn it off. He
had still much family pride; but, with all
the address of a courtier, he made his
visitors speak of themselves before he re-
lated his own adventures. As a brother
traveller, he first complimented Master
Bob, on the just celebrity he had so honour-
ably acquired. Honest Caesar joined in
the tribute of praise; and at the same time
B 2 thanked

thanked him for the honourable mention
he had made of his ancestor, the Ditchley
J3og, in his memoirs. As some of the
company had not heard it, Caesar was
requested to repeat it. He arose with
real pleasure to comply with their wishes,
and again reposed himself with increased

Mungo next addressed the Shepherd's
Dog, condoling with him on his being
reduced to a peasant's life, as he had
heard it positively asserted, in his travels,
that his family was so extremely ancient,
as to leave liitle doubt of their being the
parent stock from which the whole race
had sprung. Old Keeper thanked him
for his attention, but confessed himself sa-
tisfied with his station. The labour and
cold to which he was exposed, had made
him hardy, and rendered the coarse fare of
his master palatable. His life of toil was
not without its comforts. True, he had
no leisure for amusement, like the hound,
the pointer, and the spaniel; but his mas-


ter, feeling the value of his service, was
much attached to him ; and lie had also a
family, hardy and useful as himself, and
when a holiday occurred, he visited his
honest neighbour Ca3sar, on whose invita-
tion he had presumed to enter the present

Mungo next chatted with the Pointer,
on the advantages of education; arid re-
minded him of the circumstance mention-
ed in classical history, so much to the
honour of their race. To the conn'ry
dogs, he explained the anecdote of the dog
of Ulysses recollecting his master after an
absence of twenty years. He next spoke
of some Pointers of fashion, to whom he
had Ixx-n introduced in Spain, and whose
sports he had had the honour to share.
Ponto, who remembered the effeminacy
of his early days, cast a look of much
meaning towards his friend the Grey hound;
who, in his turn, was complimented by
his host, on his great superiority over those
of bis race, to whom he had been known
it 3 in


in Italy. To the Bull Dog, be spoke of
the public figh.s in Spain ; and regretted
that men, instead of dogs, were HOW so
often invited to subdue that powerful ani-
mal. He, whose brutish manners could
never be civilized, only replied by ex
pressing his indignation that the amuse*
ment of bull-baiting, the only one worthy
of an Englishman, should thus be lost, and
substituted by those paltry sports, degrad-
ing to a manly spirit ; and he cast a look
of great contempt towards the party of hun-
ters, who, in their nature partaking of all
the cheerful and frank hospitality of their
masters, defended their cause with spirit.
Their ferocious companion replied, and
much growling and snarling ensued.
Mungo ? s address could alone disperse it.
He desired them to look back to that
period when, as puppies, they had all
sported together: age was now creeping
on, and troubles and hardships had been,
in some degree, the lot of all. Of those,
he ako had had his share, but his gene*



rous master, who extended his hospitality
even to dogs, had permitted him to cull
his friends together. He had hoped to
afford them some amusement by the recital
of his travels, he therefore prayed that
peace and good humour might prevail.
They all grinned approbation at the pro-
posal, arid the spaniel wagged his tail with
additional complacency. A silence pre-
vailed, which met with no interruption,
except from a young terrier, who frisked
after the mice, which he heard behind the
wainscot, and seemed disposed to flirt with
Mopsey ; but his cousin Bob soon reduced
him to order, and Mungo, the little tra-
veller, began his adventures.

" It is not for me, my friends, to boast
of the advantages which attended my
youth, nor of the illustrious race from
which I sprung: it was enough for me
that my master felt their value. Yet this
master, so deservedly loved by me, was
not happy. I was then young; but I
found that men, as well as puppies, had



their attachments and their disappoint-
ments. I could never discover the exact
truth, although I constantly accompanied
him in his visits to the object of his affec-
tions, for I scorned to listen to the gossip-
ing stories of her French attendant, Flirt,
who talked of intrigues and jealousies.
Whatever might be the cause of his me-
lancholy, it was fortunate for me, and for
the world also, which I hope will be bene-
fited by my memoirs, that he resolved to
rub it off by travel. The usua.l route
was planned, and we proceeded to France.
As I mean to describe dogs and their man-
ners, rather than the countries which they
inhabit, I shall speak no more of them than
is necessary to elucidate my story. The
motion of the ship was intolerable, and I
became so sick, that I heartily wished my-
self back at our ov/n fire-side again. It
was some days after we landed before I
recovered myself, when I was put into a
carriage and hurried away to Paris.




Was then the resort of the gay, the idle,
and the fashionable. I was immediately
introduced to several of our own species,
and was constantly engaged in large parties.
At that time, Louis XVI. was seated on
the throne of his ancestors the idol of
his people. The very name of royalty
curried such attractions with it, that my
master had only to name my descent, and
I was every where received with that re-
spect due to a dog of dignity. I was
caressed. I frisked in the Thuilleries and
at Versailles, and strutted with puppies
of distinction. To my untra veiled friends
it may be necessary to explain, that the
latter was then a royal residence, the other
a place of public resort.

So many English at this time visited
France, that I might have been always
with parties from our own country, I not
only avoided, but I also blushed to ac
knowledge them, when chance threw them



in my way. Nay, do not growl at the
declaration, neighbour Caesar ; but I was
ashamed to remark that contempt of po-
liteness, which they thought so expressive
of British courage and sincerity. To such
lengths was this coarseness carried, that I
have seen them snarl with a female for a
bone, and drive a poor invalid from the
repose of his own cushion.

In this scene of gaiety and pleasure, I
confess I saw no heroic action performed
nothing that could raise our race in my
eyes; and I began to think that we were
formed for higher things than to run
races on terraces, sport among parterres of
flowers, fetch a lady's glove, and sit on
our hind legs for a saucer of cream. Still
I could not fly those fascinating scenes.
As my apology, I can only say that I was
young and vain, and that youth and
vanity love to be flatlered and caressed.
But 1 began at length to suspect their
sincerity, and even to doubt their taste,
when I heard a lady declare in a whisper,



her preference of a long, shaggy coat of
dingy white, to mine of jet black. Nor
did Paris suit my master's turn of mind ;
and we left it, as he chose to go with a
friend to a southern province. They went
in a carriage, whilst I, for the benefit of
my health, was ordered to keep with their
Danish attendant on foot. As we trotted
on together, he amused and interested me
with the various incidents he had encoun-
tered in his travels. But the life of indo-
lence I had led at Paris, rendered my pre-
sent fatigue almost insupportable; how-
ever, I was too proud to complain, and
therefore soon became used to it, and
from the exercise of the day, I gained
nights of the soundest repose.

The tour was one calculated to give
pleasure to all who had sense to feel it.
It was the season of the vintage ; that is,
the time of year when the inhabitants of
these southern regions gather the grapes,
and prepare from them that liquor* of
which mt-n are so fond. All was joy and
merriment ;


merriment : (he song, the laugh, was every
where heard ; and when the labours of the
day were ended, the pipe was the signal for
the dance, whieb was often begun by the
father of the family, for a Frenchman
never seems old. Before the door of the
cabin, the table was spread with home-
made bread, and cheese, and delicious
fruits. With a manner as unlike rustic
shyness, as it was distant from bold fami-
liarity, our masters were invited to par-
take ; and to us also, their hospitality was
extended. At length we reached


so beneficial to the health of raaiij so
destructive to the happiness of dogs; for I
here beheld filth and misery, such as I
had never seen before. The looks of the
people were so meagre, and bespoke them
so destitute of the common comforts of
life, that I rarely left my master's side,
lest I should be devoured by tkem. Jkre,



also 1 , I was pestered with fleas, flies,
and every kind of vermin. Naturally
of a social turn, I love to make ac-
quaintance wherever they are to be found,
and the intimacy I now commenced^ was
with the friend and companion of a noted
criminal. Start not, my friends, at the
declaration ; remember, fidelity is always
a virtue; and as we do not understand
human laws, we have nothing- to do with
those that break them . The master of my
fricud was an Italian count, and had been
guilty of a ciimc which men call forgery ;
*&at is, defrauding a fellow-creature of
that which was to form part of his sup*
port, o,;id for this he was sentenced to the
jralipys for life. They are large ships be-
longing- to a certain king, where criminals,
chained together, have no covering but
the sfcy ; no place of rest but the hard
boards : and with so much filth about
them,, that the poorest of our race may
think li is bed of straw a luxury, which is
fieri it'd to these- unfortunate wretches,

G The


The master of my friend was permitted
to live on shore, where he gained a sub-
sistence by selling stockings, and other
things manufactured by the slaves. Exiled
from all society, he found in his dog the
faithful follower of his fortunes.

I need not say how rejoiced I was to
leave the place, and we traversed some
beautiful scenes previously to our entering
on that vast chain ot heights called the
Alps. The way before us was now both
frightful and dangerous ; and the road so
narrow, as only to be pursued on the backs
of mules, or in chairs carried on the shoul-
ders of men. This mode of travelling is
seldom used but by ladies ; but mortified
am I to confess, that I was obliged to pro-
ceed in this unmanly way. The com-
panion of my master was in such ill health,
that he could not support the agitation of
mind, as the mules, which is their custom,
approached with him to the very edge of
the precipice. He was therefore conveyed
in a chair, and I was compelled to be his


companion. I made an attempt to escape
from the confinement, and to pursue my
way on foot, but was at length reconciled
to my situation by the following anecdote,
related by my master. It appears that an
ancestor of my own, was once travelling
on this very road, with two English gen-
tlemen, and was suffered to run by their
side, when a most ferocious wolf suddenly-
rushed down, and carried off my unfor-
tunate relation before any help could be

After travelling through this terrific
country, we at length reached that happy
part of the world, called


As I have heard that a traveller of much
greater eminence than myself, has describ-
ed, in language Ihe most fascinating, the
majestic and beautiful scenery of this
country the simple inhabitants thfrir
wise laws and customs I shall not pre-
c 2 sume


same to expatiate on the subject. It wn$
enough to gratify me, that my master here
Jbund the repose he had iong been seek-
ing. Jt was impossible for a heart .like
his, not to be penetrated by the hospitality
and courteous .kindness of the inhabitants.
My own reception was less fluttering. To
gain the friendship of this mountain race,,
it was necessary to be useful and amiable.
Rank was entirely disregarded, and even
looked on with contempt, if ima( tended
by virtue: but, kind and humane, they
never treated me with harshness.

Still, cities and the busy hum of men,
suited not my master; and, taking leave
of his friend, he quitted the agreeable
society to which he had been introduced^
to wander through a country so grand.,
yet so terrific, that nothing but the love I
bore him, could tempt m-e to hazard my ex-
istence by following him. V\ e sometimes
lodged in the cabin of the peasant: and often
in the cell of the hermit, or within the ab-
Iwjy's walls. Those are the dwellings of re-
jig ions


ligious men, who have quitted tbepleasures
and employments of the world. The first
retires to a solitary abode ; the latter form
themselves into societies, and their do-
mains are generally the richest in the
country. Some of them enjoy within
their walls, not merely the necessaries,
but many of ihe luxuries of life. To a
priory of this sort, we now went on a
visit of some days.

I found here several dogs, who, not-
withstanding the supposed abstinence of
their masters, were fat and well-looking.
Such kind of acquaintance I had never
wished, not expecting to find liberal no-
tions among ;hose whose existence was
rendered so useless by seclusion from
society. My ideas were verified, for petty
jealousies and disputes marked the whole
tenour of their lazy lives; and yet, of the
hospitality arid kindness of their masters,
mine spoke warmly. His long stay with
the good fathers surprised me: at length,
I understood that he was waiting for a
c 3 favourable


favourable day to ascend Mont Blanc,
said to be the highest mountain in Eu-
rope. This cost me a sleepless night
He was with strangers : nobody Jo veil hint
ns I did, and I determined to follow him.
His commands for me to remain at the
priory, and the sneers of my companions
when they heard my intention, only
strengthened my resolution ; so much will
love conquer natural timidity. On the
eventful morning, I followed their steps at
a distance; and had ascended, unobserved,
a considerable, way, until I came to a
frightful chasm rent in the icy mountain.
My master and his corapan}^ must have
passed it by means of those leaping poles,
which they fix in the ice by the iron spikes
at the end of them. To attempt it, was
to me instant death ; to return, was to lose
sight of my master in the hour of danger,
1 howled in despair: my cries were livzni
by them, and one of the guides had the
humanity to return and convey rife over.
After many hours of perilous travelling.


we reacted a hut, where it was proposed
to leave me ; but 1 soon found means to
bieak from my confinement, and bounded
after thorn, over the most frightful heights
and crags, encouraged now by the -ca-
resses of rny master, \yho was astonished
at my perseverance. A tent had been
carried with us, which was erected on the
congealed snow, and there, huddled toge-
ther, we spent the night. At the dawn
we resumed a journey too terrific for de-
scription. Our purpose was accomplish-
ed, arid we reached the top, calculated to
be fifteen thousand, six hundred and sixty-
two feet above the surface of the sea.
Here, on the highest pinnacle, I stood
triumphant, where never dog had stood
before. Faint, and nearly exhausted,
after such an exertion, I am not ashamed
to confess that I was glad to accept the
assistance of the guides. We -descended
in safety to the priory, whefe compliments
and congratulations, on our courage and
perseverance j were poured upon us. Alter



some days of rest, we took leave of the
good fathers, for so the inhabitants of the
priory were called, and pursued our jour-

The winter was now approaching, and
travellers ceased to wander through this
wild country ; but my master, as I have
before shown, was not a common traveller.
As a proof of it, he determined to spend
the winter in those icy regions, where
scarcely the hardy native dares to dwell.
We took up our abode for some weeks on
the mountain of Uri, on which a few huts
are scattered ; and where the winter, which
lasts eight months, is so severe, that there
can be but little intercourse with each other.
Their winter store consists of cheese, hard
bread, potatoes, and the flesh of one cou.
What a prospect for us both !

The people who spend their time
through this dreary season, in making
cloth and linen, could be no company for
my master; but to me, still more attached
to the charms of society, it was even



worse. There was only one dog in the
fKrase, a genuine Swiss, who thought his
QWH country the finest in the world ; and y
wever wishing to stray beyond his native
jnotrntains, was not likely to take any
interest in the adventures of a traveller
Ir&e myself. Nor clkl I feel much inclined
*c> associate with this gmit-licrd, whose
talents were confined to the guarding of a
peasant's flock. But a gentleman, whose
services m this in-ian-ce I shall ever re-
member, advised ray master to quit this
place, and if still resolved to winter in
is so desolate, to go to (be valley of
M. Gotlmrd, as wild and solitary as the
present ; and even still more des-titnte of
inhabitants, as there was only the house of
good friar, who had taken up his abode
there merely to shelter any poor wanderer
T-ho might reach his lone y habitation.
We met with a reception courteous and
0- pit able.

Father Francis, so well known to my
! Mr. Coxc, foregoing all the com-



forts of society with the most benevolent
heart and the kindest intention, exposed
to the severity of winter the most incle-
ment, has lived here for twenty years ; and
having collected a sum, not exceeding
three hundred pounds, from his country-
men, and from the generosity of strangers,
has erected a commodious house, consist-
ing of several apartments.

To display the singular merit of this
good man, I must say something of the
valley where he dwells. It does not pro-
duce a single blade of corn, or contain a
single shed; and the sides of the moun-
tains are barely sprinkled with short grass.
It is closed in by rude and naked rocks,
whose hollows are filled with masses of
snow. Beyond, rise the glaciers, or vast
mountains of ice, which the summer suns
cannot melt. Such was our winter abode;
but the internal comforts were many.

The lakes supplied excellent fish, which
were preserved for the winter store; and
good butter and cheese, even this dreary



spot could produce. The simple fare of
the master was confined to fish and the
produce of his little dairy; but a cow
had been slaughtered for the more sub-
stantial food of his guests. Father Francis
was not only content, but he was happy ;
and to be so in such a situation, he must
possess both a benevolent heart, and a
cultivated understanding: he was, there-
fore, bolh a pleasant and an instructive
companion to my master. I also felt the
charms of society; for the good friar had
two dogs, kind and gentle as himself.
There were also other visitors, more hum-
ble than myself ; but I must at the same
time confess, far more useful. They
were the attendants of a chasseur, who
was spending the winter with the friar.
Chasseur is the name given to men who
hunt the chamois, and other animals which
inhabit these fearful heights; feeding their
families with the flesh, and selling their
skins ; and those of the chamois are so
valuable, that it is thought a good year



when a dozen of them are taken. Tins
animal is about the size of a goat, o a
du sky- yellow brown: the throat and belh',
white, The horns are slender, upright,
about eight inches long, and hooked back-
wards at their tips: their colour is black.
The hair is rather long, and the tail short
The eyes are round, sparkling, and bcm-
tlfiil. These animals are found in {locks,
from four to eighty, and even a hundred,
dispersed upon the mountain crags, where
they select the mast delicate herbage tltef
can find. Their siglit is very penetrating^
and their sense of smelling and hearing,
remarkably acute. When the wind blows
in a proper direction, they are said to be
able to scent a man at the distance of a
mile and upwards- They scramble will*
astonishing agility among the inaccessible
rocks; and when they descend, they will
throw tlKMnscives clown across a reck which
is nearly perpendicular, and of thirty feet

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Online LibraryMary MisterMungo, the little traveller : a work compiled for the instruction and amusement of youth → online text (page 1 of 5)