SHORT TOUR TO THE EAST
was unwilling that my balance should ever run low besides, he was always cautious in making ample provision for unexpected contingencies. So to Giessen I went, but soon finding that my chemical knowledge, and indeed my knowledge of German, was by no means sufficiently advanced for me to profit from Liebig's teaching, I determined to throw that plan over, to make a dash and go as far as my money allowed, consistent with returning to England early in October in time for my first term at Cambridge. I had saturated myself since the age of nine with Byron's poetry, which gave me a longing to see the East ; besides, a new route Eastwards had been opened, between Czernavoda and Kustendji, the former lying on that long reach of the Lower Danube where it most nearly approaches the Black Sea, and Kustendji situated on the Black Sea itself. A calculation of the cost showed that my finances would suffice for this and more, so away I went.- A steamer ran twice or thrice a week from Linz to Vienna, and once (I think) in a fortnight from Vienna down the Danube, and the times fitted nicely. But on arrival at Linz it proved that the steamer bound for Vienna was disabled and would not run for some days. This serious contretemps threatened to ruin my whole scheme, which required that I should reach Vienna in time for a particular steamer.
I had made friends with an elderly British officer at the hotel, who was in much the same plight as
yself, for it was as important to him as to me, though for other reasrmaa1i, to reach Vienna without delay, He told me that he had found a boatman who would take us all the way, some seventy miles down stream, for a