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CHAPTER 1.

A PRELIMINARY SAUNTER.

IN these days of express trains and rapid locomotion, it is almost surprising that walking still continues so fashionable an amusement. But even walking has altered, we were about to say, degenerated. It has become, like everything else, fast. During spring and summer hundreds of young men, armed with knapsacks and guide-books, disperse themselves over the country, walking frantically for four or five weeks, and return home with their boots worn out, their purses exhausted, and their heads full of old abbeys, ruined castles, peasant girls, and thirty miles a day. This is technically called taking a walking tour. Now we propose to gain all the advantages, without the discomforts of a pedestrian excursion. To admire scenery, to visit old buildings, full of historical memories, to peep into out-of-the-way corners,

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