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of his appearance, there is still discernible that neatness and propriety of person, which is almost inherent in an Englishman. He enjoys great consequence and consideration along the road; has frequent conferences with the village housewives, who look upon him as a man of great trust and dependence; and he seems to have a good understanding with every bright-eyed country lass. The moment he arrives where the horses are to be changed, he throws down the reins with something of an air, and abandons the cattle to the care of the hostler : his duty being merely to drive from one stage to another. When off the box, his hands are thrust in the pockets of his great coat, and he rolls about the inn-yard, with an air of the most absolute lordliness. Here he is generally surrounded by an admiring throng of hostlers, stableboys, shoe-blacks, and those nameless hangers-on that infest inns and taverns, and run errands, and do all kind of odd jobs, for the privilege of battening on the drippings of the kitchen and the leakage of the tap
These all look up to him as to an oracle; treasure up his cant phrases ; echo his opinions about horses, and other topics of jockey lore ; and, above all, endeavour to imitate his air and carriage. Every ragamuffin that has a coat to his back thrusts his hands in his pockets, rolls in his gait, talks slang, and is an embryo Coachey.
Perhaps it might be owing to the pleasing serenity that reigned in my own mind that I fancied I saw cheerfulness in every countenance throughout the journey. A stage-coach, however, carries animation always with it, and puts the world in motion as it whirls along. The horn, sounded at
the entrance of a village, produces a general bustle. Some hasten forth to meet friends; some with bundles and band-boxes to secure places, and in the hurry of the moment can hardly take leave of the group that accompanies them. In the meantime, the coachman has a world of small commissions to execute. Sometimes he delivers a hare or pheasant: sometimes jerks a small parcel or newspaper to the door of a public-house; and sometimes, with a knowing leer and words of sly import, hands to some halfblushing, half-laughing housemaid, an odd-shaped billet-doux from some rustic admirer. As the coach rattles through the village, every one runs to the window, and you have glances on every side, of fresh country faces, and blooming giggling girls. At the corners are assembled juntos of village idlers and wise men, who take their stations there for the important purpose of seeing company pass; but the sagest knot is generally at the blacksmith's, to whom the passing of the coach is an event fruitful of much speculation. The smith, with the horse's heel in his lap, pauses as the vehicle whirls by; the cyclops round the anvil suspend their ringing hammers, and suffer the iron to grow cool; and the sooty spectre in brown paper cap, labouring at the bellows, leans on the handle for a moment, and permits the asthmatic engine to heave a long-drawn sigh, while he glares through the murky smoke and sulphurous gleams of the smithy.
Perhaps the impending holyday might have given a more than usual animation to the country, for it seemed to me as if everybody was in good looks and good spirits. Game, poultry, and other luxuries of the table, were in brisk circulation in the villages; the grocers',
butchers', and fruiterers', shops were thronged with customers. The housewives were stirring briskly about, putting their dwellings in order; and the glossy branches of holly with their bright red berries, began to appear at the windows.
I was roused from this fit of luxurious meditation by a shout from my little travelling companions. They had been looking out of the coach windows for the last few miles, recognizing every tree and cottage as they approached home; and now there was a general burst of joy—“ There's John, and there's old Carlo; and there's Bantam !" cried the happy little rogues, clapping their hands.
At the end of a lane there was an old sober-looking servant in livery waiting for them: he was accompanied by a superannuated pointer, and by the redoubtable Bantam, a little old rat of a pony, with a shaggy mane and long rusty tail, dozing quietly by the roadside, little dreaming of the bustling times that awaited him.
I was pleased to see the fondness with which the little fellows leaped about the steady old footman, and hugged the pointer, that wriggled his whole body for joy. But Bantam was the great object of interest ; all wanted to mount at once; and it was with some difficulty that John arranged that they should ride by turns, and the eldest should ride first.
Off they set at last; one on the pony, with the dog bounding and barking before him, and the others holding John's hands; both talking at once, and overpowering him with questions about home, and with school anecdotes. I looked after them with a feeling in which I do not know whether pleasure or melancholy
predominated : for I was reminded of those days, when, like them, I had neither known care nor sorrow, and a holyday was the summit of earthly felicity. We stopped a few moments afterwards, to water the horses, and on resuming our route, a turn of the road brought us in sight of a neat country-seat. I could just distinguish the forms of a lady and two young girls in the portico, and I saw my little comrades, with Bantam, Carlo, and old John, trooping along the carriage-road. I leaned out of the window, in hopes of witnessing the happy meeting, but a grove of trees shut it from my sight.
Escape of Harvey Birch and Captain Wharton.
The road which it was necessary for the pedler and the English captain to travel, in order to reach the shelter of the hills, lay, for half a mile, in full view from the door of the building, that had so recently been the prison of the latter; running the whole distance over the rich plain, that spreads to the very foot of the mountains, which here rise in nearly a perpendicular ascent from their bases; it then turned short to the right, and was obliged to follow the windings of nature, as it won its way into the bosom of the Highlands.
To preserve the supposed difference in their stations, Harvey rode a short distance ahead of his companion,
and maintained the sober, dignified pace, that was suited to his assumed character. On their right, the regiment of foot, that we have already mentioned, lay in tents; and the sentinels, who guarded their encampment, were to be seen moving, with measured tread, under the skirts of the hills themselves. The first impulse of Henry was, certainly to urge the beast he rode to his greatest speed at once, and by a coup-demain, not only to accomplish his escape, but relieve himself from the torturing suspense of bis situation.' But the forward movement that the youth made for this purpose was instantly checked by the pedler.
“ Hold up!” he cried, dexterously reining his own horse across the path of the other; “ would you both? Fall into the place of a black following his master. Did you not see their blooded chargers, all saddled and bridled, standing in the sun before the house? How long do you think that miserable Dutch horse you are on would hold his speed, if pursued by the Virginians ? Every foot that we can gain without giving the alarm, counts us a day in our lives. Ride steadily after me, and on no account look back. They are subtle as foxes, ay, and as ravenous for blood as wolves."
Henry reluctantly restrained his impatience, and followed the direction of the pedler. His imagination, however, continually alarmed him with the fancied sounds of pursuit, though Birch, who occasionally looked back, under the pretence of addressing his companion, assured him that all continued quiet and peaceful.
“But," said Henry," it will not be possible for Cæsar to remain long undiscovered ; had we not better