Recognized HTML document

26   Art of Travel.

MEMORANDA AND LOG-BOOKS.

Best form for Memoranda.---I have remarked that almost every traveller who is distinguished for the copiousness and accuracy of his journals, has written them in a remarkably small but distinct handwriting. Hard pencil-marks (HHH pencils) on common paper, or on metallic paper, are very durable. Dr. Barth wrote his numerous observations entirely in Indian-ink. lie kept a tiny saucer in his pocket, rubbed with the ink ; when he wanted to use it, he rubbed it up with his wetted finger-tip, or resupplied it with fresh ink, and filled his pen and wrote. Captain Burton wrote very much in the dark, when lying awake at night ; he used a board with prominent lines of wood, such as is adopted by the blind. It is very important that what is written should be intelligible to a stranger after a long lapse of time. A traveller may die, and his uncompleted work perish with him ; or he may return, and years will pass by, and suddenly some observations he had made will be called in question.

Professor J. Forbes says:-" The practice which I have long adopted is this:-to carry a memorandum-book with Harwood's prepared paper " (in this point of detail I do not concur; see next paragraph) "and metallic pencil, in which notes and observations and slight sketches of every description, are made on the spot, and in the exact order in which they occur. These notes are almost ineffaceable, and are preserved for reference. They are then extended, as far as possible, every evening with pen and ink, in a suitable book, in the form of a journal ; from which, finally, they may be extracted and modified for any ultimate purpose. The speedy extension of memoranda has several great advantages : it secures a deliberate revision of observations, whether of instruments or of nature, whilst further explanation may be sought, and very often whilst ambiguities or contradictions admit of removal by a fresh appeal to facts. By this precaution, too, the risk of losing all the fruits of some weeks of labour, by the loss of a pocket-book, may be avoided."

It has occurred to me, frequently, to be consulted about the best way of keeping MSS. Captain Blakiston, who surveyed the northern part of the Rocky Mountains, and subsequently

)F - www.fastio.com