In the last century -- and many centuries before the last; but it is about the eighteenth that I am specially speaking -- long before steamers and railways, or even frigate-built ships and flying coaches were dreamt of, when an Englishman went abroad, he stopped there. When he came back, if at all, it was, as a rule, grizzled and sunburned, his native habits all unlearnt, and his native tongue more than half forgotten. Even the Grand Tour, with all that money could purchase in the way of couriers and post-horses, to expedite matters for my Lord, his chaplain, his courier, and his dancing master, took as many years as it w does months to accomplish. There were young velists in those days to make a flying-trip to the Gaboon country, to ascertain whether the stories told by former tourists about shooting gorillas were fibs or t. There were English engineers, fresh from Great George Street, Westminster, writing home to the Athenaeum to say that they had just opened a branch railway up to Ephesus, and that (by the way) they had discovered a prae-Imperial temple of Ju the day before yesterday. Unprotected females didn't venture in unwhisperables into the depths of Norwegian forests; or, if they hazarded such undertakings their unprotectedness led them often to fall into cruel hands, and they never returned. This is a tale from before these things -- it is the tale of the Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. I of III. He was a sailor, a soldier, a merchant, a spy, a slave among the moors . . .