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Hints to Pilgrims   By:

Hints to Pilgrims by Charles Stephen Brooks

First Page:

Other Books of Essays by the Same Author:

"Journeys to Bagdad" Fifth printing .

"There's Pippins and Cheese to Come" Third printing .

"Chimney Pot Papers" Second printing .

Also a novel, published by The Century Co., New York City, "Luca Sarto" Second printing .

Hints to Pilgrims




With Pictures by Florence Minard



Copyright, 1921, by Yale University Press.

Publisher's Note:

The Yale University Press makes grateful acknowledgment to the Editors of The Century Magazine , The Yale Review , The Atlantic Monthly and The Literary Review for permission to include in the present volume essays of which they were the original publishers.

To Edward B. Greene, as witness of our long friendship and my high regard.


I. Hints to Pilgrims 11 II. I Plan a Vacation 27 III. At a Toy Shop Window 42 IV. Sic Transit 55 V. The Posture of Authors 59 VI. After Dinner Pleasantries 77 VII. Little Candles 86 VIII. A Visit to a Poet 92 IX. Autumn Days 103 X. On Finding a Plot 107 XI. Circus Days 122 XII. In Praise of a Lawn Mower 133 XIII. On Dropping Off to Sleep 138 XIV. Who Was Jeremy? 147 XV. A Chapter for Children 153 XVI. The Crowded Curb 171 XVII. A Corner for Echoes 178

Hints to Pilgrims.

When a man's thoughts in older time were set on pilgrimage, his neighbors came forward with suggestions. One of them saw that his boots were freshly tapped. Another was careful that his hose were darned with honest wool an oldish aunt, no doubt, with beeswax and thimble and glasses forward on her nose. A third sly creature fetched in an embroidered wallet to hold an extra shift, and hinted in return for a true nail from the holy cross. If he were a bachelor, a tender garter was offered him by a lonely maiden of the village, and was acknowledged beneath the moon. But the older folk who had made the pilgrimage took the settle and fell to argument on the merit of the inns. They scrawled maps for his guidance on the hearth, and told him the sights that must not be missed. Here he must veer off for a holy well. Here he must beware a treacherous bog. Here he must ascend a steeple for the view. They cautioned him to keep upon the highway. Was it not Christian, they urged, who was lost in By path Meadow? Again they talked of thieves and warned him to lay a chair against the door. Then a honey syllabub was drunk in clinking cups, and they made a night of it.

Or perhaps our pilgrim belonged to a guild which by an agreeable precedent voted that its members walk with him to the city's gate and present from each a half penny to support him on the journey. The greasy pockets yield their treasure. He rattles on both sides with generous copper. Here, also, is a salve for man and beast a receipt for a fever draught. We may fancy now the pilgrim's mule plowing up the lazy dust at the turn of the road as he waves his last farewell. His thoughts already have leaped the valley to the misty country beyond the hills.

And now above his dusty road the sun climbs the exultant noon. It whips its flaming chariot to the west. On the rim of twilight, like a traveler who departs, it throws a golden offering to the world.

But there are pilgrims in these later days, also, strangers to our own fair city, script in wallet and staff in hand, who come to place their heavy tribute on our shrine. And to them I offer these few suggestions.

The double stars of importance as in Baedeker mark our restaurants and theatres. Dear pilgrim, put money in thy purse! Persuade your guild to advance you to a penny! They mark the bridges, the shipping, the sharp canyons of the lower city, the parks limousines where silk and lace play nurse to lap dogs Bufo on an airing, the precious spitz upon a scarlet cushion... Continue reading book >>

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