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LONDON : Printed by 8. & J. BENTLEY, Wilson, and Fler,

Bangor Elouse, Shoe Lane


On the 21st of August, 1843, Mr. Loudon, my little daughter Agnes, and myself, set out, from Bayswater, to make the tour through the Isle of Wight which is recorded in the following pages. The principal object I have had in view, in writing down all we saw and heard during this excursion, is, to show how much may be observed and learnt while travelling, even through a well-known country and under ordinary circumstances ; as, though I have added some little to what actually occurred, and omitted the annoyance we twice suffered from rain, I have related nothing but what might happen to any travellers in the island. I think it of the utmost importance to cultivate habits of observation in childhood ; as a great deal of the happiness of life depends upon having our attention excited by what passes around us. I remember, when I was a child, reading a tale called “Eyes and No Eyes,” which made a deep impression on my mind; and which has been the means of procuring me many sources of enjoyment during my passage through life.

That little tale related to two boys, both of whom had been allowed half a day's holiday. The first boy went out to take a walk, and he saw a variety of objects that interested him ; and from which he afterwards derived considerable instruction, when he talked about them with his tutor.

The second, a little later, took the same walk; but, when his tutor questioned him as to how he liked it, he said he had thought it very dull, for he had seen nothing : though the same objects were still there that had delighted his companion.

I was so much struck with the contrast between the two boys, that I determined to imitate the first ; and I have found so much advantage from this determination, that I can earnestly recommend my young readers to follow my example. The use of travelling, is, that it affords us more opportunities of observation than we could have at home; but, if we do not avail ourselves of these opportunities, we may travel over the whole globe without reaping any advantage. I trust the young people who may read these pages will so far profit by them as to notice all they see, and, particularly, to look for objects of natural history, in their walks, whether at home or by the sea-side ; and, in return, I promise them that they will find a thousand sources of amusement that before they had no idea of.

J. W. L.


Nov. 20, 1843.

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