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THE GRAND TOUR

After the Restoration the idea of polishing one’s parts by foreign travel received fresh impetus. The friends of Charles the Second, having spent so much of their time abroad, naturally brought back to England a renewed infusion of continental ideals. France was more than ever the arbiter for the “gentry and civiller sort of mankind.” Travellers such as Evelyn, who deplored the English gentry’s “solitary and unactive lives in the country,” the “haughty and boorish Englishman,” and the “constrained address of our sullen Nation," made an impression. It was generally acknowledged that comity and affability had to be fetched from beyond the Seas, for the “meer Englishman” was defective in those qualities. He was “rough in address, not easily acquainted, and blunt even when he obliged."

Even wise and honest Englishmen began to be ashamed of their manners and felt they must try to be not quite so English. “Put on a decent boldness,” writes Sir Thomas Browne constantly to his son in France. “Shun pudor rusticus.” “Practise an handsome garb and civil boldness which he that learneth not in France, travaileth in vain."

But there was this difference in travel to complete the gentleman during the reign of Charles the Second: that Italy and Germany were again safe and thrown open to travellers, so that Holland, Germany, Italy, and France made a magnificent round of sights; namely, the Grand Tour. It was still usual to spend some time in Paris learning exercises and accomplishments at an academy, but a large proportion of effort went to driving by post-chaise through the principal towns of Europe. Since it was a great deal easier to go sight-seeing than to study governments, write “relations,” or even to manage “The Great Horse,” the Grand Tour, as a form of education, gained upon society, especially at the end of the century, when even the academies were too much of an exertion for the beaux to attend. To dress well and to be witty superseded martial ambitions. Gentlemen could no longer endure the violence of the Great Horse, but were carried about in sedan chairs. To drive through Europe in a coach suited them very well. It was a form of travel which likewise suited country squires’ sons; for with the spread of the fashion from Court to country not only great noblemen and “utter gallants” but plain country gentlemen aspired to send their sons on a quest for the “bel air.” Their idea of how this was to be done being rather vague, the services of a governor were hired, who found that the easiest way of dealing with Tony Lumpkin was to convey him over an impressive number of miles and keep him interested with staring at buildings. The whole aim of travel was sadly degenerated from Elizabethan times. Cynical parents like Francis Osborn had not the slightest faith in its good effects, but recommended it solely because it was the fashion. “Some to starch a more serious face upon wanton, impertinent, and dear bought Vanity, cry up ‘Travel’ as ‘the best Accomplisher of Youth and Gentry,’ tho’ detected by Experience in the generality, for ‘the greatest Debaucher’ ... yet since it advanceth Opinion in the World, without which Desert is useful to none but itself (Scholars and Travellers being cried up for the highest Graduates in the most universal Judgments) I am not much unwilling to give way to Peregrine motion for a time."

In short, the object of the Grand Tour was to see and be seen. The very term seems to be an extension of usage from the word employed to describe driving in one’s coach about the principal streets of a town. The Duchess of Newcastle, in 1656, wrote from Antwerp: “I go sometimes abroad, seldom to visit, but only in my coach about the town, or about some of the streets, which we call here a tour, where all the chief of the town go to see and be seen, likewise all strangers of what quality soever." Evelyn, in 1652, contrasted “making the Tour” with the proper sort of industrious travel; “But he that (instead of making the Tour, as they call it) or, as a late Embassador of ours facetiously, but sharply reproached, (like a Goose swimms down the River) having mastered the Tongue, frequented the Court, looked into their customes, been present at their pleadings, observed their Military Discipline, contracted acquaintance with their Learned men, studied their Arts, and is familiar with their dispositions, makes this accompt of his time." And in another place he says: “It is written of Ulysses, that hee saw many Cities indeed, but withall his Remarks of mens Manners and Customs, was ever preferred to his counting Steeples, and making Tours: It is this Ethicall and Morall part of Travel, which embellisheth a Gentleman." In 1670, Richard Lassels uses the term “Grand Tour” for the first time in an English book for travellers: “The Grand Tour of France and the Giro of Italy." Of course this is only specialized usage of the idea “round” which had long been current, and which still survives in our phrase, “make the round trip.” “The Spanish ambassadors,” writes Dudley Carleton in 1610, “are at the next Spring to make a perfect round."

In the age of the Grand Tour the governor becomes an important figure. There had always been governors, to be sure, from the very beginnings of travel to become a complete person. Their arguments with fathers as to the expenses of the tour, and their laments at the disagreeable conduct of their charges echo from generation to generation. Now it is Mr Windebanke complaining to Cecil that his son “has utterly no mind nor disposition in him to apply any learning, according to the end you sent him for hither,” being carried away by an “inordinate affection towards a young gentlewoman abiding near Paris." Now it is Mr Smythe desiring to be called home unless the allowance for himself and Francis Davison can be increased. “For Mr Francis is now a man, and your son, and not so easily ruled touching expenses, about which we have had more brabblements than I will speak of." Bacon’s essay “Of Travel” in 1625 is the first to advise the use of a governor; but governors rose to their full authority only in the middle of the century, when it was the custom to send boys abroad very young, at fourteen or fifteen, because at that age they were more malleable for instruction in foreign languages. At that age they could not generally be trusted by themselves, especially after the protests of a century against the moral and religious dangers of foreign travel. How fearful parents were of the hazards of travel, and what a responsibility it was for a governor to undertake one of these precious charges, may be gathered from this letter by Lady Lowther to Joseph Williamson, he who afterwards rose to be Secretary of State: “I doubt not but you have received my son,” writes the mother, “with our letters entreating your care for improving all good in him and restraining all irregularities, as he is the hope and only stem of his father. I implore the Almighty, and labour for all means conducible thereto; I conceive your discreet government and admonition may much promote it. Tell me whether you find him tractable or disorderly: his disposition is good, and his natural parts reasonable, but his acquirements meaner than I desire: however he is young enough yet to learn, and by study may recover, if not recall, his lost time.

“In the first place, endeavour to settle him in his religion, as the basis of all our other hopes, and the more to be considered in regard of the looseness of the place where you are. I doubt not but you have well considered of the resolve to travel to Italy, yet I have this to say for my fond fears (besides the imbecility of my sex) my affections are all contracted into one head: also I know the hotness of his temper, apt to feverishness. Yet I submit him to your total management, only praying the God of Heaven to direct you for the best, and to make him tractable to you, and laborious for his own advancement."

A governor became increasingly necessary as the arbiter of what was modish for families whose connection with the fashionable world was slight. He assumed airs of authority, and took to writing books on how the Grand Tour should be made. Such is The Voyage of Italy, with Instructions concerning Travel, by Richard Lassels, Gent., who “travelled through Italy Five times, as Tutor to several of the English Nobility and Gentry." Lassels, in reciting the benefits of travel, plays upon that growing sensitiveness of the country gentleman about his innocent peculiarities: “The Country Lord that never saw anybody but his Father’s Tenants and M. Parson, and never read anything but John Stow, and Speed; thinks the Land’s-end to be the World’s-end; and that all solid greatness, next unto a great Pasty, consists in a great Fire, and a great estate;” or, “My Country gentleman that never travelled, can scarce go to London without making his Will, at least without wetting his hand-kerchief."

The Grand Tour, of course, is the remedy for these weaknesses especially under the direction of a wise governor. More care should go to choosing that governor than to any other retainer. For lacqueys and footmen “are like his Galoshooes, which he leaves at the doors of those he visits,” but his governor is like his shirt, always next him, and should therefore be of the best material. The revelation of bad governors in Lassels’ instructions are enough to make one recoil from the Grand Tour altogether. These “needy bold men” led pupils to Geneva, where the pupils lost all their true English allegiance and respect for monarchy; they kept them in dull provincial cities where the governor’s wife or mistress happened to live. “Others have been observed to sell their pupils to Masters of exercises, and to have made them believe that the worst Academies were the best, because they were the best to the cunning Governour, who had ten pound a man for every one he could draw thither: Others I have known who would have married their Pupils in France without their Parents’ knowledge"; ... and so forth, with other more lurid examples.

The difficulties of procuring the right sort of governor were hardly exaggerated by Lassels. The Duke of Ormond’s grandson had just such a dishonest tutor as described one who instead of showing the Earl of Ossory the world, carried him among his own relations, and “buried” him at Orange. It seems odd, at first sight, that the Earl of Salisbury’s son should be entrusted to Sir John Finet, who endeared himself to James the First by his remarkable skill in composing “bawdy songs." It astonishes us to read that Lord Clifford’s governor, Mr Beecher, lost his temper at play, and called Sir Walter Chute into the field, or that Sir Walter Raleigh’s son was able to exhibit his governor, Ben Jonson, dead-drunk upon a car, “which he made to be drawn by pioneers through the streets, at every corner showing his governor stretched out, and telling them that was a more lively image of a crucifix than any they had." But it took a manly man to be a governor at all. It was not safe to select a merely intelligent and virtuous tutor; witness the case of the Earl of Derby sent abroad in 1673, with Mr James Forbes, “a gentleman of parts, virtue and prudence, but of too mild a nature to manage his pupil.” The adventures of these two, as narrated by Carte in his life of Ormond, are doubtless typical.

“They had not been three months at Paris, before a misunderstanding happened between them that could not be made up, so that both wrote over to the duke (of Ormond) complaining of one another. His grace immediately dispatched over Mr Muleys to inquire into the ground of the quarrel, in order to reconcile them.... The earl had forgot the advice which the duke had given him, to make himself acquainted with the people of quality in France, and to keep as little correspondence with his own countrymen, whilst he was abroad, as was consistent with good manners; and had formed an intimate acquaintance with a lewd, debauched young fellow whom he found at Paris, and who was the son of Dr Merrit, a physician. The governor had cautioned his young nobleman against creating a friendship with so worthless a person, who would draw him into all manner of vice and expense, and lead him into numberless inconveniences. Merrit, being told of this, took Mr Forbes one day at an advantage in an house, and wounded him dangerously. The earl, instead of manifesting his resentment as he ought in such a case, seemed rather pleased with the affair, and still kept on his intimacy with Merrit. The duke finding that Merrit had as ill a character from all that knew him in London, as Mr Forbes had given him, easily suspected the earl was in the wrong, and charged Muleys to represent to him the ill fame of the man, and how unworthy he was of his lordship’s acquaintance and conversation....

“When Muleys came to Paris, he found the matters very bad on Lord Derby’s side, who had not only countenanced Merrit’s assault, but, at the instigation of some young French rakes, had consented to his governor’s being tossed in a blanket. The earl was wild, full of spirits, and impatient of restraint: Forbes was a grave, sober, mild man, and his sage remonstrances had no manner of effect on his pupil. The duke, seeing what the young gentleman would be at, resolved to send over one that should govern him. For this purpose he pitched upon Colonel Thomas Fairfax, a younger son of the first lord Fairfax, a gallant and brave man (as all the Fairfaxes were), and roughly honest. Lord Derby was restless at first: but the colonel told him sharply, that he was sent to govern him, and would govern him: that his lordship must submit, and should do it; so that the best method he had to take, was to do it with decorum and good humour. He soon discharged the vicious and scandalous part of the earl’s acquaintance, and signified to the rest, that he had the charge of the young nobleman, who was under his government: and therefore if any of them should ever have a quarrel with his pupil, who was young and inexperienced, he himself was their man, and would give them satisfaction. His courage was too well known to tempt anybody make a trial of it; the nobleness of his family, and his own personal merit, procured him respect from all the world, as well as from his pupil. No quarrel happened: the earl was reclaimed, being always very observant of his governor. He left Paris, and passing down the Loire went to the south of France, received in all places by the governors of towns and provinces with great respect and uncommon marks of honour and distinction. From thence he went into Italy, making a handsome figure in all places, and travelling with as much dignity as any nobleman whatever at little more than one thousand two hundred pounds a year expense; so easy is it to make a figure in those countries with virtue, decorum, and good management."

This concluding remark of Carte’s gives us the point of view of certain families; that it was more economical to live abroad. It certainly was for courtiers who had to pay eighty pounds for a suit of clothes without trimming and spent two thousand pounds on a supper to the king. Francis Osborn considered one of the chief benefits of travel to be the training in economy which it afforded: “Frugality being of none so perfectly learned as of the Italian and the Scot; Natural to the first, and as necessary to the latter." Notwithstanding, the cost of travel had in the extravagant days of the Stuarts much increased. The Grand Tour cost more than travel in Elizabethan days, when young men quietly settled down for hard study in some German or Italian town. Robert Sidney, for instance, had only L100 a year when he was living with Sturm. “Tearm yt as you wyll, it ys all I owe you,” said his father. “Harry Whyte ... shall have his L20 yearly, and you your L100; and so be as mery as you may." Secretary Davison expected his son, his tutor, and their servant to live on this amount at Venice. “Mr. Wo.” had said this would suffice. If “Mr Wo.” means Mr Wotton, as it probably does, since Wotton had just returned from abroad in 1594, and Francis Davison set out in 1595, he was an authority on economical travel, for he used to live in Germany at the rate of one shilling, four pence halfpenny a day for board and lodging. But he did not carry with him a governor and an English servant. Moryson, Howell, and Dallington all say that expenses for a servant amounted to L50 yearly. Therefore Davison’s tutor quite rightly protested that L200 would not suffice for three people. Although they spent “not near so much as other gentlemen of their nation at Venice, and though he went to market himself and was as frugal as could be, the expenses would mount up to forty shillings a week, not counting apparel and books.” “I protest I never endured so much slavery in my life to save money,” he laments. When learning accomplishments in France took the place of student-life in Italy, expenses naturally rose. Moryson, who travelled as a humanist, for “knowledge of State affaires, Histories, Cosmography, and the like,” found that fifty or sixty pounds were enough to “beare the charge of a Traveller’s diet, necessary apparrell, and two Journies yeerely, in the Spring and Autumne, and also to serve him for moderate expences of pleasure." But Dallington found that an education of the French sort would come to just twice as much. “If he Travell without a servant fourscore pounds sterling is a competent proportion, except he learne to ride: if he maintaine both these charges, he can be allowed no lesse than one hundred and fiftie poundes: and to allowe above two hundred, were superfluous, and to his hurte. And thus rateably, according to the number he keepeth.

“The ordinarie rate of his expence, is this: ten gold crownes a moneth his owne dyet, eight for his man, (at the most) two crownes a moneth his fencing, as much dancing, no lesse his reading, and fiftene crownes monethly his ridings: but this exercise he shall discontinue all the heate of the yeare. The remainder of his 150 pound I allow him for apparell, bookes, Travelling charges, tennis play, and other extraordinaire expences." A few years later Howell fixes annual expense at L300 (L50 extra for every servant.) These three hundred pounds are to pay for riding, dancing, fencing, tennis, clothes, and coach hire a new item of necessity. An academy would seem to have been a cheaper means of learning accomplishments. For about L110 one might have lodging and diet for himselfe and a man and be taught to ride, fence, ply mathematics, and so forth. Lassels very wisely refrains from telling those not already persuaded, what the cost will be for the magnificent Grand Tour he outlines. We calculate that it would be over L500, for the Earl of Cork paid L1000 a year for his two sons, their governor, only two servants and only saddle-horses: whereas Lassels hints that no one with much pretension to fashion could go through Paris without a coach followed by three lacqueys and a page. Evelyn, at any rate, thought the expenses of a traveller were “vast”: “And believe it Sir, if he reap some contentment extraordinary, from what he hath observed abroad, the pains, sollicitations, watchings, perills, journeys, ill entertainment, absence from friends, and innumerable like inconveniences, joyned to his vast expences, do very dearly, and by a strange kind of extortion, purchase that smal experience and reputation which he can vaunt to have acquired from abroad."

Perhaps some details from the education of Robert Boyle will serve to illustrate the manner of taking the Grand Tour. His father, the great Earl of Cork, was a devoted adherent to this form of education and launched his numerous sons, two by two, upon the Continent. He was, as Boyle says, the sort of person “who supplied what he wanted in scholarship himself, by being both a passionate affecter, and eminent patron of it." His journal for 1638 records first the return of “My sones Lewis and Roger from their travailes into foreign kingdomes,... ffor which their safe retorn, god be ever humbly and heartely thancked and praised both by me and them." In the same year he recovered the Lord Viscount of Kynalmeaky and the Lord of Broghill, with Mr Marcombes, their governor, from their foreign travels into France and Italy. Then it was the turn of Francis and Robert, just removed from Eton College. With the governor Marcombes, a French servant, and a French boy, they departed from London in October 1639, “having his Majestie’s license under his hand and privy signett for to continew abrode 3 yeares: god guide them abrod and safe back."

Robert, according to his autobiography, was well satisfied to go, but Francis, aged fifteen, had just been married to one of the Queen’s Maids of Honour, aged fourteen, and after four days of revelry was in no mood to be thrust back into the estate of childhood. High words passed between him and his father on the occasion of his enforced departure for Paris. He was so agitated that he mislaid his sword and pistols at least so we hear by the first letter Marcombes writes from Paris. “Mr Francis att his departure from London was so much troubled because of your Lordship’s anger against him that he could never tell us where he put his sword and ye kaise of pistoles that your Lordship gave them, so that I have been forced to buy them here a kaise of pistolles a peece, because of the danger that is now everywhere in France, and because it is so much ye mode now for every gentleman of fashion to ride with a kase of Pistoles, that they Laugh att those that have them not. I bought also a Sword for mr francis and when Mr Robert saw it he did so earnestly desire me to buy him one, because his was out of fashion, that I could not refuse him that small request."

Marcombes did not expose the boys long to the excitement of Paris, but at once hurried them to Geneva, and settled them to work, where Francis showed a great deal of resignation and good-humour in accepting his fate. He was not so sulky as Lord Cranborne, who in a similar situation fell ill, could not eat, and had to be taken back to England. “And as for Mr francis,” writes Marcombes to Cork, “I protest unto your Lordship that I did not thinke yt he could frame himselfe to every kind of good Learning with so great a facilitie and passion as he doth, having tasted already a little drope of ye Libertinage of ye Court, but I find him soe disciplinable, and soe desirous to répare ye time Lost, yt I make no question but your Lordship shall receive a great ioye." He had not had much of an education at Eton, as his governor takes pleasure in pointing out: “For Mr Francis I doe assure your Lordship he had need to aplay himselfe to other things till now, for except reeding and writting Inglish he was grounded in nothing of ye wordle (world); and beleeve me, for before God I spake true, when I say that never any gentleman hath donne lesse profit of his time then he had done when he went out of England: and besides yt if he had been Longer at Eatton he had Learned there to drinke with other deboice scholers, as I have beene in formed by Mr Robert."

Won over by the study of “Fortifications,” a branch of mathematics very pleasing to the seventeenth century boy, the future Viscount Shannon applied himself to work with energy; and for a time peace reigned over the process of education. “Every morning,” writes their tutor, “I teach them ye Rhetoricke in Latin, and I expound unto them Justin from Latin into french, and presently after dinner I doe reade unto them two chapters of ye old Testament with a brief exposition of those points that I think that they doe not understand; and before supper I teach them ye history of ye Romans in french out of florus and of Titus Livius, and two sections of ye Cateshisme of Caluin with ye most orthodox exposition of the points that they doe not understand; and after supper I doe reade unto them two chapters of ye new Testament, and both morning and evening we say our prayers together, and twice a weeke we goe to Church."

The boys spoke French always, and had some dancing lessons, but no riding lessons, for “their lyms are not knitt and strong enough, nor their bodys hable to endure rough exercises; and besides, although wee have here as good and skillfull teachers as in many other places, yet when they shall come to paris or some other place, their teachers will make them beleeve that they have Lost their time and shall make them beginn againe: for it is their custome so to doe to all." At tennis, however, Francis enjoyed himself, and grew apace. “I may assure your Lordship that both his Leggs and armes are by a third part bigger now then they were in England.” Robert, even at fourteen a studious person, “doth not Love tennisse play so much, but delights himselfe more to be in private with some booke of history or other, but I perswade him often both to play att tennisse and goe about. I never saw him handsomer, for although he growes much, yet he is very fatt and his cheeks are as red as vermilian. This Leter end of ye winter is mighty cold and a great quantity of snow is fallen upon ye ground, but that brings them to such a stomacke that your Lordship should take a great pleasure to see them feed. I do not give them daintys, but I assure your Lordship that they have allwayes good bred and Good wine, good beef and mouton, thrice a week good capóns and good fish, constantly two dishes of fruit and a Good piece of cheese; all kind of cleane linnen twice and thrice a week and a constant fire in their chamber wherein they have a good bed for them, and another for their men."

Indeed, Marcombes was a very good governor, as Robert several times assured the Earl of Cork, and allowed them to lack for nothing. In the spring he bought them saddle-horses so that after their studies they might take the air and see their friends. Since a governor had charge of all the funds, it was a great test of his honesty whether he resisted the temptation to economize on the clothes and spending-money of his pupils, and to pocket the part of their allowance so saved. This is why Marcombes often lets fall into his letters to the Earl of Cork items such as these: “I have made a compleat black satin sute for Mr Robert: ye cloake Lined with plush, and I allow them every moneth a peese ye value of very neare two pounds sterlings for their passe time."

The only disturbing elements in the satisfactory state of Marcombes and his pupils were the Killigrews. Thomas Killigrew, he who afterwards became one of the dramatists of the Restoration, had then only just outgrown the estate of page to Charles I., and in strolling about the Continent he paid the Boyles a visit. As the brother of the wife whom Mr Francis had left at home, and on his own account as a fascinating courtier, he cast a powerful but baleful influence upon the household in Geneva. Marcombes was at first very guarded in his remarks, writing only that “Mr Kyligry is here since Saturday Last ... but I think he will not Stay long: which perhaps will be ye better for yr sons: for although his conversation is very sweet and delectable yet they have no need of interruption, specially Mr francis, which was much abused in his Learning by his former teachers: and although he hath a great desire to rédime ye time, yet he cannot follow his younger brother, and therefore he must have time, and avoid ye company of those yt care not for their bookes." But when it appeared that Killigrew had told the Earl of Cork that Marcombes kept the brothers shabbily dressed, the governor unfolded his opinion of the rising dramatist as “one that speakes ill of his own mother and of all his friends and that plays ye foole allwayes through ye streets like a Schoole Boy, having Allwayes his mouth full of whoores and such discourses, and braging often of his getting mony from this or ye other merchant without any good intention to pay." His company fomented in Mr Francis a boastful spirit, “never speaking of any thing but what he should doe when he should once more command his state, how many dogs he shoulde keepe; how many horses; how many fine bands, sutes and rubans, and how freely he would play and keepe Company with good fellowes, etc."

Thomas Killigrew’s sister, the wife of Mr Francis, was also a very disturbing person. She would correspond with her husband and urge him to run away from his tutor, and suggested coming to the Continent herself and meeting him. These plots she made with the assistance of her brother, whom she much resembled in disposition. There is no knowing what havoc she would have made with the carefully planned education of the Boyles, for Francis at the end of two years became dangerously restive, had not their tour been decisively ended by the first rumblings of the Civil War at home.

After a winter in Italy, they were about to start for Paris to perfect themselves in dancing and to begin riding the great horse, when they received news that the Earl of Cork was ruined by the rebellion in Ireland. He could send them no more money, he told them, than the two hundred and fifty pounds he had just dispatched. By economizing, and dismissing their servants, they might reach Holland, and enlist under the Prince of Orange. They must now work out their fortune for themselves.

The two hundred and fifty pounds never came. They were embezzled by the agent; and the Boyles were left penniless in a strange country. Marcombes did not desert them, however. Robert, who was too frail for soldiering, he kept with him in Geneva for two years. Francis, free at last, took horse, was off to Ireland, and joined in the fighting beside his brothers Dungarvan, Kynalmeaky, and Broghill, who rallied around their father.

There are several other seventeenth-century books on the theory of travel besides Lassels’, which would repay reading. But we have come to the period when essays of this sort contain so many repetitions of one another, that detailed comment would be tedious. Edward Leigh’s Three Diatribes appeared in 1671, a year after Lassels’ book, and in 1678 Gailhard, another professional governor, in his “Directions for the Education of youth as to their Breeding at Home and Travelling Abroad," imitated Lassels’ attention to the particular needs of the country gentleman. “The honest country gentleman” is a synonym for one apt to be fooled, one who has neither wit nor experience. He, above all others, needs to go abroad to study the tempers of men and learn their several fashions. “As to Country breeding, which is opposed to the Courts, to the Cities, or to Travelling: when it is merely such, it is a clownish one. Before a Gentleman comes to a settlement, Hawking, Coursing and Hunting, are the dainties of it; then taking Tobacco, and going to the Alehouse and Tavern, where matches are made for Races, Cock-fighting, and the like.” As opposed to this life, Gailhard holds up the pattern of Sir Thomas Grosvenor, who did “strive after being bettered with an Outlandish Breeding” by means of close application to the French and Italian languages, to fencing, dancing, riding The Great Horse, drawing landscapes, and learning the guitar. “His Moneys he did not trifle away, but bestowed them upon good Books, Medals and other useful Rareties worth the Curiosity of a Compleat Gentleman."

On comparing these instructions with those of the sixteenth century, one is struck with the emphasis they lay upon drawing and “limning.” This is what we would expect in the seventeenth century, when an interest in pictures, statues, and architecture was a distinguishing feature of a gentleman. The Marquis de Seignelay, sent on a tour in 1617 by his father Colbert, was accompanied by a painter and an architect charged to make him understand the beauties of Italian art. Antoine Delahaute, making the Grand Tour with an Abbe for a governor, carried with him an artist as well, so that when he came upon a fine site, he ordered the chaise to be stopped, and the view to be drawn by the obedient draughtsman. Not only did gentlemen study to appreciate pictures, but they strove themselves to draw and paint. In the travels of George Sandys (edition 1615), may be seen a woodcut of travellers, in the costume of Henry of Navarre, sketching at the side of Lake Avernus. To take out one’s memorandum-book and make a sketch of a charming prospect, was the usual thing before the camera was invented. “Before I went to bed I took a landscape of this pleasant terrace,” says Evelyn in Roane. At Tournon, where he saw a very strong castle under a high precipice, “The prospect was so tempting that I could not forbear designing it with my crayon." Consequently, we find instructions for travellers reflecting the tastes of the time: Gerbier’s Subsidium Peregrinantibus, for instance, insisting on a knowledge of “Perspective, Sculpture, Architecture and Pictures,” as among the requisites of a polite education, lays great stress on the identification and survey of works of art as one of the main duties of a traveller.

Significant as are the instructions of Gerbier, Lassels, and others of this period, there are some directions for an education abroad which are more interesting than these products of professional tutors instructions written by one who was himself the perfect gentleman of his day. The Earl of Chesterfield’s letters to his son define the purpose of a foreign education with a freedom which is lacking in the book of a governor who writes for the public eye. Though the contents of the letters are familiar to everyone, their connection with travel for “cultum animi” has hitherto, I think, been overlooked.

It will be remembered that the earl sent his son abroad at the age of fourteen to study for five years on the Continent, and to acquire a better preparation for life than Oxford or Cambridge could offer. Of these universities Chesterfield had a low opinion. He could not sufficiently scorn an education which did not prevent a man from being flurried at his Presentation to the King. He remembered that he himself, when he was first introduced into good company, with all the awkwardness and rust of Cambridge about him, was frightened out of his wits. At Cambridge he “had acquired among the pedants of an illiberal seminary a turn for satire and contempt, and a strong tendency to argumentation and contradiction,” which was a hindrance to his progress in the polite world. Only after a continental education did he see the follies of Englishmen who knew nothing of modern Europe, who were always talking of the Ancients as something more than men, and of the Moderns as something less. “They are never without a classic or two in their pockets; they stick to the old good sense; they read none of modern trash; and will show you plainly that no improvement has been made, in any one art or science, these last seventeen hundred years."

His son, therefore, was to waste no time in the society of pedants, but accompanied by a travelling tutor, was to begin studying life first-hand at the Courts. His book-learning was to go side by side with the study of manners:

“Courts and Camps are the only places to learn the world in. There alone all kinds of characters resort, and human nature is seen in all the various shapes and modes ... whereas, in all other places, one local mode generally prevails."

Moreover, the earl did not think that a company wholly composed of men of learning could be called good company. “They cannot have the easy manners and tournure of the world, as they do not live in it.” And an engaging address, “an insinuating behaviour,” was to be sought for early in life, and, at the same time, with the solid parts of learning. “The Scholar, without good breeding, is a Pedant: the Philosopher, a Cynic: the Soldier, a Brute: and every man disagreeable."

The five years of young Stanhope’s travel were carefully distributed as follows: a year in Lausanne, for the rudiments of languages; a year in Leipsic, for a thorough grounding in history and jurisprudence; a year spent in visits to such cities as Berlin, Dresden, and Vienna, for a view of the different Courts; one in Italy, to get rid of the manners of Germany; and one in Paris, to give him the final polish, the supreme touch, of gentlemanly complaisance, politeness, and ease.

We may pass over the years in Germany, as the earl did, without much comment. Young Stanhope was quite satisfactory in the more solid parts of learning, and it was not until he reached Italy, there to begin his courtly training, that Chesterfield’s interest was fully aroused.

“The manners of Leipsig must be shook off,” he says emphatically. “No scramblings at your meals as at a German ordinary: no awkward overturns of glasses, plates, and salt-cellers."

He is to mind the decent mirth of the courtiers their discreet frankness, their natural, careless, but genteel air; in short, to acquire the Graces. Chesterfield sent letters of introduction to the best company in Venice, forwarded his own diamond shoe buckles for his son, and began to pour forth advice on the possible social problems confronting a young Englishman in Rome. With a contemptuous tolerance for Papists, Protestants, and all religious quarrels as obstructions to the art of pleasing, he bade Stanhope be civil to the Pope, and to kneel down while the Host was being carried through the streets. His tutor, though, had better not. With wonderful artistic insight, the earl perceives that the fitting attitude for Mr Harte is simple, ungracious honesty.

On the subject of the Pretender, then resident in Rome, his advice is; never meet a Stuart at all if you can help it; but if you must, feign ignorance of him and his grievances. If he begins to talk politics, disavow any knowledge of events in England, and escape as soon as you can.

Long before his son’s year in Italy was completed, Chesterfield began preparing him for Paris. For the first six months Stanhope was to live in an academy with young Frenchmen of fashion; after that, to have lodgings of his own. The mornings were to belong to study, or serious conversation with men of learning or figure; the afternoons, to exercise; the evenings to be free for balls, the opera, or play. These are the pleasures of a gentleman, for which his father is willing to pay generously. But he will not, he points out frequently, subscribe to the extravagance of a rake. The eighteen-year-old Stanhope is to have his coach, his two valets and a footman, the very best French clothes in fact, everything that is sensible. But he shall not be allowed money for dozens of cane-heads, or fancy snuff-boxes, or excessive gaming, or the support of opera-singers. One handsome snuff-box, one handsome sword, and gaming only when the presence of the ladies keeps down high stakes; but no tavern-suppers no low company which costs so much more than dissipations among one’s equals. There is no need for a young man of any address to make love to his laundress, as long as ladies of his own class stoop to folly.

Above all, Stanhope is not to associate with his own countrymen in Paris. On them Chesterfield is never tired of pouring the vials of scorn. He began while Stanhope was at Leipsic to point out the déficiences of English boys:

“They are commonly twenty years old before they have spoken to anybody above their schoolmaster, and the Fellows of their college. If they happen to have learning, it is only Greek and Latin; but not one word of modern history, or modern languages. Thus prepared, they go abroad as they call it; but in truth, they stay at home all that while; for being very awkward, confoundedly ashamed, and not speaking the languages, they go into no foreign company, at least none good, but dine and sup with one another only, at the tavern....

“The life of les Milords Anglais is regularly, or if you will, irregularly, this. As soon as they rise, which is very late, they breakfast together to the utter loss of two good morning hours. Then they go by coachfuls to the Palais, the Invalides, and Notre-Dame; from thence to the English coffee-house where they make up their tavern party for dinner. From dinner, where they drink quick, they adjourn in clusters to the play, where they crowd up the stage, drest up in very fine clothes, very ill made by a Scotch or Irish tailor. From the play to the tavern again, where they get very drunk, and where they either quarrel among themselves, or sally forth, commit some riot in the streets, and are taken up by the watch."

To avoid these monsters, and to cultivate the best French society, was what a wise young man must do in Paris. He must establish an intimacy with the best French families. If he became fashionable among the French, he would be fashionable in London.

Chesterfield considered it best to show no erudition at Paris before the rather illiterate society there. As the young men were all bred for and put into the army at the age of twelve or thirteen, only the women had any knowledge of letters. Stanhope would find at the academy a number of young fellows ignorant of books, and at that age hasty and petulant, so that the avoidance of quarrels must be a young Englishman’s great care. He will be as lively as these French boys, but a little wiser; he will not reproach them with their ignorance, nor allow their idlenesses to break in on the hours he has laid aside for study.

Such was the plan of a Grand Tour laid down by one of the first gentlemen of Europe. It remains one of the best expressions of the social influence of France upon England, and for that reason properly belongs to the seventeenth century more than to the Georgian era in which the letters were written. Chesterfield might be called the last of the courtiers. He believed in accomplishments and personal elegance as a means of advancing oneself in the world, long after the Court had ceased to care for such qualities, or to be of much account in the destinies of leading Englishmen. Republicanism was in the air. Chesterfield was thinking of the France of his youth; but France had changed. In 1765, Horace Walpole was depressed by the solemnity and austerity of French society. Their style of conversation was serious, pedantic, and seldom animated except by a dispute on some philosophic subject. In fact, Chesterfield was admiring the France of Louis the Fourteenth long after “Le Soleil” had set, and the country was sombre. It was the eve of the day when France was to imitate the democratic ideals of England. England, at last, instead of being on the outskirts of civilization, was coming to be the most powerful, respected, and enlightened country in Europe. When that day dawned, Englishmen no longer sought the Continent in the spirit of the Elizabethans the spirit which aimed at being “A citizen of the whole world.”