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even among the snowy ranges of the never be without a gipsy encampJura or the Pyrenees; and in the soft- ment, its clear gravelly springs, its ness and luxuriance of its sylvan land. one rustic mill, graceful in its simpliscapes, Provence, renowned in song, city as Rembrandt's, and its broad will not bear an instant's comparison daisied meadowe, through which winds with it. Let Št John—as he has done the sleepy Loddon, bere in the open in his delightful tale of Margaret sunshine, and there under the shade of Ravenscroft-speak in raptures of trees which turn an untrained arch the " wooded Apennines,” I, being a above its head? How well I know man of moderate expectations, am every spot of ground in this neighquite satisfied with the shades and bourhood! Here I spent the only six
green retreats" of Windsor Forest, weeks (far too brief) of a chequered even though they be but twenty miles life I would ever desire to spend over distant from Cockaigne. Talk of again. Happy moments such as these Tempe and Arcadia! I care not for are like the refreshing springs that the the prose of Elian or the verse of wearied traveller meets with in the Theocritus; give me the view from desert, and that give him strength to the summit of the Long Walk, whence resume his journey. But if " our vilthe eye ranges over a rich and appa. lage" be deemed too tame and homely, rently an endless variety of all that pass on, pursuing the high-road, to the constitutes the perfection of home adjacent town of Reading, and an scenery-hill and dale, wood and wa. easy two-hours' walk shall bring you ter; flowery knolls, alive with the hum to the retired out-of-the-way hamlet of bees; far-stretching glades and of Caversham, whose many scenic atthick groves, from whose shady depths tractions have been eloquently insisted comes the distinct, mellow note of on by Sergeant Talfourd in a sonnet that “wandering voice," the cuckoo; worthy of his theme. sloping lawns, whereon the quiet sheep It was a painting of this pretty little feed, and the sun lies like a smile from village which hung near the bow. heaven ; majestic avenues of oaks, window in the Picture Gallery, that elms, and beeches; and, in the remote suggested the foregoing remarks. The distance, the Royal castle-worthy of artist, I suspect, was Havell
, and there England's monarchs-rearing up its was much in his sketch that reminded nobie head as though it were the me of Gainsborough, whose freshness, guardian spirit of the scene !
vigour, and rare truth of delineation, Landscapes superior to this are not, had been imitated with happy effect. I am persuaded, to be found in any The perspective, in particular, was part of Europe, let our enthusiasts for managed with consummate tact; and all that lies on the other side the Chan- the disposition of the cattle in the forenel say what they will to the contrary ground, together with the rich warm How would the refined Claude, or the colouring of the clouds, and of the vigorous Ruysdael, with his greater autumn-tinted foliage of Caversham truth and exactitude of details, have park, showed that the artist bad been exulted in the contemplation of such a a close observer of nature, even while prospect! But, exquisite as it is, it is he availed himself of hints furnished by no means peculiar to the Forest, for by the great masters of English land. the whole country is picturesque in an scape-painting. The subjoined tale is eminent degree. What, for instance, in illustration of this sketch ; and, if it can be lovelier of its kind, than Miss possess no other recommendation, it Mitford's village of Three-mile-cross, has at least the merit of being correct with its wild common, which should in its local descriptions.
THE PEDESTRIAN IN SPITE OF HIMSELF;
OR, THE MISHAPS OF A NIGHT.
“ More exercise, my dear sir-you « Just so, doctor, and that's the should really take much more exer- reason why I always make a point of cise ; for, with a constitution such as walking five or six times up and down yours, I know no other way of pre. my study before breakfast, and the serving health."
same number of times before dinner; to say nothing of an occasional stroll building, with two clipped yews in down the lane, and a ten minutes' turn front, which stood halfway down a in my garden before lunch. If this shady lane that terminated in the Lon. be not exercise, I know not what the don road, on the outskirts of the town word means ; unless, indeed, you of Reading. In person, Waddilove would have me jump over the chairs was of the middle height; he had a and tables, or play at leap.frog or goodly, though not a preposterous hop-scotch with my housekeeper!" paunch; and legs as sturdy as those
My dear Mr Waddilove, when I which we so often see in the possestalk of exercise, I mean that you sion of a drayman. His face was a should take a good long walk every dead white, like plaster of Paris ; he day-say, three or four miles-so that was bald as a turnip, and wore a wig ; you may feel something like a whole. and had a thick under-lip, which droopsome, moderate fatigue."
ed over an expansive chin, one-half of “ Three or four miles! You're jok, which was always imbedded in a pading-why, such an exertion would be ded neckcloth. my death! No, Thompson, prescribe All men have their peculiarities, and any remedy but that. It is the very the one prominent feature in Miles's worst form in which martyrdom can idiosyncrasy was his abhorrence of develope itself.”
pedestrian exercise. For days together “ Well, if you will not be advised he never stirred outside his gates. by me in this respect, at least go out Even to talk of walking roused his more into society than you are in the spleen, for it brought to mind a rash habit of doing, which is in itself a sort peripatetic experiment which he had of exercise, by the stimulus it gives been prevailed on to make in the year to"
1814, when he crawled upwards of four • Right, doctor, so it is; and it is miles along the dusty high-road, under this conviction which has induced me a blistering sun, in order to get a peep to accept our mutual friend, Captain at the Allied Sovereigns on their way Capulet's invitation for tomorrow. back to London from Oxford ; and He is going to leave Caversham in a returned home with a face scorching day or two for the sea-side, and has hot, fingers swollen to the size of asked me to a farewell dinner. I sausages, the stitch in his side, and doubt, however, whether I shall be the cramp in both legs! When, in able to go, so very indifferent is my addition to this peculiarity, I observe health. The dyspeptic symptoms that that Waddilove was a bit of an epiI spoke to you of last week, have”- cure, and addicted at times to absence
- Like all your other maladies, real of mind, I have said all that is neces. or imaginary, their origin in want of sary to prove that he was one of those exercise."
quiet homespun characters, whom “ Pshaw, doctor, you're a man of young ladies are apt to look on as od. one idea-always harping on the same dities, and quiz as such. string!"
Immediately on the apothecaryquitFinding further remonstrance use- ting him, Miles rang the bell for his less, at least for the present, the apo. housekeeper, and told her to hasten thecary, who was a shrewd man of the instantly into the town, and desire world, contented himself with giving Toulmin's coach to be ready at the his patient a few commonplace direc. door next day at five o'clock, in order tions with regard to regimen, in order to convey him to Caversham, where to keep up the appearance of paying his friend Capulet resided. As this attention to his case, and then took his vehicle was something of a curio. leave, with a promise that he would sity, a passing mention of it may not look in again in a day or two.
be amiss. It was a sort of cross beMr Miles Waddilove, as may be tween a carriage and a hackney-coach inferred from the above conversation, of the olden time ; its box was low and was a gentleman of lethargic, and spacious ; its ill.conditioned wheels somewhat hypochondriacal, tempera- stood out afar from its sides, like the ment, and of studious and secluded red ears of a Yorkshire ostler; and habits. He was a bachelor, about its two ends, back and front, came forty-five years of age; was tolerably down with a gradual slant inwards independent in circumstances; and re- from the roof, which, instead of being șided in an old-fashioned red brick flat, bellied out like the top crust of a
gooseberry pie. Being the only coach After plodding straight on for in Reading that was let out on hire on nearly half-an-hour, he reached that the principle of the London hackney. long, irregular, picturesque bridge coach, it was generally known by the which spans the Thames, there of name of the “ town-tub;" and in its imposing breadth, and leads direct in. rickety motion, and, above all, in its to the village of Caversham. Arrived extraordinary genius for upsetting, it at this spot, he might have admiredhad the rare merit of rivalling even an for few can behold it without admira. Irish post-chaise !
tion-the singular sylvan beauty of Punctual to the hour appointed, this the landscape about him; the flowery eccentric vehicle drew up at Waddi- meadows stretching for miles along love's door, who in a few minutes made the nearest bank of the river; the
appearance, attired in all the finery wooded uplands of the distant Mapleof black shorts and silks, with his best durham; and the rich autumn-tinted bob-wig newly frizzed and powdered. foliage of Caversham park, which He was in high glee at the idea of shone with a thousand gorgeous colhaving escaped a hot dusty walk ; and ours in the setting sun; the broad as the “ town-tub” went clattering reaches of the lake-like Thames, with down Friar Street on its way to the the numerous cottage lawns and neighbouring little village of Cavers. flower-gardens sloping down its edge; ham, he kept humming the tune of the straggling village at the foot of “Old King Cole," which he always did the bridge, and the high chalk cliffs when in good humour, and glancing immediately beyond it, planting their every now and then, with visible satis- white feet in the stream, and redeem. faction, at the magnificent clocks which ing, by their bold precipitous charan halfway up his silk stockings. racter, what might otherwise bave
He was thus pleasantly occupied, seemed too tame in the landscape ;when suddenly, just as he had accom- all this, Miles, had he been so disposed, plished about a third of bis journey, a might have regarded with just admiraloud crash was heard-off flew one of tion : but his thoughts were otherwise the wheels, and down came the coach occupied, dwelling with more comon its side, right in the middle of the placency on the rich soups, juicy road! Fortunately Mr Waddilove, meats, and luscious wines that awaited though not a little alarmed, sustained him at his journey's end, and alone no injury from the catastrophe, and reconciled him to his unforeseen walk. was promptly extricated by the cool The clock struck six as he turned off and collected coachman, whom long the bridge into the village. He halted. experience had taught to look on an The last stroke rung like a knell in upset quite as a matter of course. On
At that very moment the examining into the nature of the in- servants were bringing in the first juries sustained by the town-tub, it
He should then be too late was found that it would take upwards for the soup and fish! Horrid antici. of an hour to remedy them; and, as pation! Nevertheless, there was still such a delay was not to be thought of a faint chance; and, buoyed up by this under the circumstances, poor Miles, eflection, he quickened his pace al. groaning bitterly, as a recollection of most to a trot, but had yet to toil his walk in 1814 flashed across bis through the village and up the hill mind, proceeded on his road on foot, that rises beyond it, ere he could reach this being the only chance he had left the desired haven. of reaching Caversham in time for At length he arrived at his friend's dinner.
house, and the first agreeable moIt was a dry, warm, autumn evening, ment he had known since his ejection with just enough wind to put the dust from the town-tub was, when he rang into a state of brisk activity-a special the garden-bell, and saw an old female annoyance when one happens to be servant hurrying down the gravelwalking in full dress, and is anxious walk to answer the summons. to wear a becoming aspect, as was 66 Is dinner on table ?” he enquired just now the case with Waddilove, in tremulous accents, that betrayed the who lost much time in his various great interest he took in the question, tackings and maneuvrings to avoid “ Dinner!" replied the old dame, the whirling clouds that beset him at who was rather hard of hearing_"did certain tuins and angles of the road.
you say dinner, sir?"
XO. CCLXXXV. VOL, XLVI.
" Why, how the woman stares ! To he lost his dinner, but his bed also, on be sure I did. I'm one of your which he always reckoned when inmaster's guests; so, let me in-quick; vited to a party at the captain's. His I'm quite late enough as it is. Do you first impulse was to return home imhear, woman ?-_let me in, I say!” mediately; but as this involved the
“ Bless your heart, I daren't do no necessity of a walk of upwards of such a thing, for it's directly against four miles—there being no suitable orders. Says my master to me, no later conveyance to be procured at Caversago than yesterday— Betty, says he"- ham-he shrunk with dismay from the
“ I tell you again, woman, I'm one idea. Next he thought of taking his of the party engaged to dine here to chance of a meal and a bed at the vilday!" exclaimed Miles, in a loud tone lage alehouse; but as he passed it, the of voice intended to bear down all fumes of mingled gin, beer, and toopposition.
bacco, issuing from the open window « I know nothing about that,” re- of the low-roofed parlour, assailed him plied Betty ; "all I know is that master so powerfully, that hot, jaded, and had a large dinner-party yesterday, hungry as he was, he had not the and that this morning all the family heart to venture in. At last he recol. set out for Southampton, where they lected that, about a mile or two furmean to spend the autumn."
ther on, past Caversham Park, there Poor Waddilove looked the very dwelt a rich, elderly, single lady, picture of despair as he heard these whom he had occasionally met at words; and, hastily fumbling about in Captain Capulet's, and who had shown his pockets, drew forth, after a close no unwillingness to cultivate his acsearch, his friend's note of invitation, quaintance. He had not seen this read it, and found his worst suspicions ancient dame for two years, nor would confirmed. True, he had been in- he have remembered her addressvited to a dinner-party at Captain perhaps not even her name—had not Capulet's; but he had mistaken the his memory just now been quickened day, and arrived just twenty-four by his necessities. Hoping that here hours too late!
at length he might get a dinner and a When he had somewhat recovered ride home in the lady's carriage, Wadthe shock of this discovery, he en- dilove trudged on with renewed spirit, treated, in most moving terms, that just halting for a few minutes when he Betty would at least let him in, and reached the great gates of the park, in allow him to rest for a few minutes order to brush the dust from his shoes while he collected his scattered and stockings with some large dockthoughts. But the old woman would leaves that grew under the palings. not hear of such a proposal ; she had By this time the sun had set ;-a received strict orders, she said, to silver mist began to steam up from the “ let no strangers in whatsomever," broad valley of the Thames, the gnats and it was as much as her place was rose by thousands, forming a sort of worth to act “contrarywise.”
cloud just above the hedges, and the “ But I am no stranger, but, on the humming cockchafer “made wing" contrary, one of your master's oldest for the elms and horse-chestnut trees friends," insisted Miles.
that flung their shadows far beyond “ That's not my look-out,” rejoined the footpath, imparting a refreshing the unmoved Betty; “my orders is coolness to Miles's fevered frame, who, positive, to let no strangers in while considering his sedentary habits, held the family's away; and you're a up with remarkable perseverance, in stranger to me, sir- -uncommon the hope that he might reach his fair strange, to be sure!" she added in an friend's house before nightfall. But under-tone, at the same time casting he toiled on in vain ; for not a single a sly suspicious glance at Waddilove's habitation of any sort was visible, the sullen visage and dust-soiled habili- road-which, so far as he could see, ments ; after which she gave a brisk. ran straight as an arrow-being bortug at the garden-gate, to assure her.' dered on one side by hedges, and on self that it was fast locked, and then the other by the long range of the made the best of her way back into park palings. Here was a dilemma ! the house.
How should he act? Ask his way? Miles was now in a state of very There was not a human being in sight grievous perplexity; for not only had to whom he could apply for information. Go back? In that case he letters in the unfurnished front parwould lose his last chance of procuring lour, " This House to LET!". refreshment and a ride home. Go Heart-stricken by this last calamity, forward ? Yes, this was his sole re- Miles slowly and abstractedly set out maining alternative, to which he was on his return to Caversham, determinthe more disposed from the incessant ed no longer to give in to the prejupromptings of the gastric juice, whose dices of his fastidious olfactories, but hints became every moment more sig. halt at the public-house, which he now nificant, till at last he was compelled, regretted having passed with such disas his only means of satisfying hun- dain, make the most of whatever fare ger, to halt and pluck the blackberries might be placed before him, and even that grew thickly in the hedge, and pass the night there-so effectually those well-known Berkshire sloes, from had fatigue and hunger subdued his which so much of our " old crusted sense of gentility. But even this last port wine" is manufactured. Striking sorry resource was denied him; for, on illustration of the caprice of fortune ! turning again into the high-road, abA middle-aged epicure standing on sorbed in painful reverie, he took the tiptoe, like a schoolboy, to snatch an wrong direction, so that, instead of reimpromptu meal from some dusty tracing his course back to Caversham, shrubs in a high-road! When Miles he was momently placing himself at a had gathered a handful or more of greater distance from it. He did not this unsophisticated fruit, he sat down discover his error-his notions of locaon a hillock that jutted out on the lity being of a very confused, parsonpathway, to eat, and if possible digest, Adams-like, character-till he found it; but had scarcely finished his meal, himself advanced upwards of a hunwhen he was annoyed by an intoler- dred yards upon a large tract of moorable itching in his legs, and hastily land. He instantly hurried back, but jumping up, found—unhappy wretch! was again doomed to disappointment; —that he had been sitting down upon for, just at the commencement of the an ant's nest !
common, three roads met, and for the While he was brushing off these life of him he could not make out pestilent insects, who evinced a keen which was the one he had just left. sense of injury by stinging him in a As well, however, as he could judge hundred places, a man came jogging by the faint glimmer that still lingered along the road on a cart-horse, and in the west, the three ran in nearly humming the plaintive air of “ Bob parallel lines; so, concluding that each and Joan." On enquiring of this warb- would lead to Caversham with but ling clodhopper the nearest way to little difference in point of distance, he Myrtle Lodge—the name of the an- took the central road, and followed its cient spinster's residence- Miles was course for nearly a mile, when, darktold that he must go straight on for ness coming on, he soon got off the about a quarter of a mile, and then track, and stumbled upon some marshy take the first turning on the right, ground which sucked in his pumps at which was a bypath leading up to the every third or fourth step he took, lodge. Having walked what he con- occasioning him as much annoyance ceived to be this distance, he came, as if he had been walking in damp not to the path in question, but to an weather over a ploughed field. isolated cottage; and, on making a Waddilove was now quite desperate; second enquiry of a young woman and as he went floundering on, cursing who was standing in the doorway, the inexorable destiny that thus forced received for answer that he had still him, like M. Von Wodenblock in the half a mile further to go! Delightful tale, to “ keep moving" whether he intelligence to a man whose tight shoes would or not, the cramp, brought on are constantly impressing his nervous by fatigue, began to tie double-knots system with an acute consciousness of in the calf of each leg, while his sto. corns! Perseverance, however, be mach rumbled so exceedingly, from the the difficulties what they may, never joint effects of hunger and the tart fruit fails to carry its point; and, in the which he had swallowed, as to impress fulness of time, Waddilove reached him with the humiliating conviction the lodge; but what words shall ex. that he was just becoming a-rourer ! press his consternation and disgust Miserable man! His walk to see the when he saw, posted in large printed allied sovereigos was a mere lounge