As this was never designed: soe not likely to fall into the hands of any but my near relations, there needs not much to
be said to Excuse or recommend it. Som. thing may be diverting and proffitable tho' not to Gentlemen that have travelled more
about England, staid longer in places, might have more acquaintance and more opportunity to be inform'd. My Journeys as they
were begun to regain my health by variety and change of aire and exercise, soe whatever promoted that Was pursued; and those
informations of things as could be obtein'd from inns en passant, or from some acquaintance, inhabitants of such places could
ffurnish me with for my diversion, I thought necessary to remark: that as my bodily health was promoted my mind should not
appear totally unoccupied, and the collecting it together remain for my after conversation (with such as might be inquisitive
after such and such places) to wch might have recourse; and as most I converse with knows both the ffreedom and
Easyness I speak and write as well as my deffect in all, so they will not expect exactness or politeness in this book, tho'
such Embellishments might. have adorned the descriptions and suited the nicer taste.
Now thus much without vanity may be asserted of the subject,. that if all persons, both Ladies, much more Gentlemen, would
spend some of their tyme in Journeys to visit their native Land, and be curious to Inform themselves and make observations
of the pleasant prospects, good buildings, different produces and manufactures of each place, with the variety of sports and
recreations they are adapt to, would be a souveraign remedy to cure or preserve ffrom these Epidemick diseases of vapours,
should I add Laziness? -it would also fform such an Idea of England, add much to its Glory and Esteem in our minds and cure
the evil Itch of overvalueing fforeign parts; at least ffurnish them with an Equivalent to entertain strangers when amongst
us, Or jnform them when abroad of their native Country, which has been often a Reproach to the English, ignorance and being
strangers to themselves. Nay the Ladies might have matter not unworthy their observation, soe subject for conversation, within
their own compass in each county to which they relate, and thence studdy now to be serviceable to their neighbours especially
the poor among whome they dwell, which would spare them the uneasye thoughts how to pass away tedious dayes, and tyme would
not be a burthen when not at a card or dice table, and the ffashions and manners of fforeign parts less minded or desired.
But much more requisite is it for Gentlemen in gl service of their country at home or abroad, in town or country, Especially
those that serve in parliament to know and jnform themselves ye nature of Land, ye Genius of the Inhabitants, so
as to promote and improve Manufacture and trade suitable to each and encourage all projects tending thereto, putting in practice
all Laws made for each particular good, maintaining their priviledges, procuring more as requisite; but to their shame it
must be own'd many if not most are Ignorant of anything but the name of the place for which they serve in parliament; how
then can they speake for or promote their good or Redress their Grievances ? But now I may be justly blamed to pretend to
give acc: of our Constitution, Customs, Laws, Lect, matters farre above my Reach or capacity, but herein I have described
what have come within my knowledge either by view and reading, or relation from others which according to my conception have
faithfully Rehearsed, but where I have mistaken in any form or subject matter I easily submitt to a correction and will enter
such Erratas in a supplement annext to ye Book of some particulars since remark'd; and shall conclude with a hearty
wish and recommendation to all, but Especially my own Sex, the studdy of those things which tends to Improve the mind and
makes our Lives pleasant and comfortable as well as proffitable in all the Stages and Stations of our Lives, and render suffering
and age supportable and Death less fformidable and a future State more happy.
Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary
(London: Field & Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888) pp.