Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

66

respect than he was at first disposed | was about six feet high, and of a to accord to a pedestrian traveller-correspondent girth of limb and To W—, sir ? why, you will not frame, which would have made him surely go there to night: it is more fearful odds in any encounter where than eight miles distant, and the bodily strength was the best means roads none of the best?"

of conquest. Notwithstanding the “ Now, a

curse on all rogues !” mildness of the weather, he was quoth the youth with a serious sort of closely buttoned in a rough great vivacity. “ Why, the miller, at the coat, which was well calculated to foot of the hill, assured me I should give all due effect to the athletic be at my journey's end in less than an proportions of the wearer. hour.”

There was a pause of some moments. “ He may have said right, sir," “ This is but a wild, savage sort of returned the man, “yet you will not scene for England, sir, in this day of reach W- in twice that time.” new-fashioned ploughs and farming

“How do you mean?" said the improvements,” said the tall stranger, younger stranger.

looking round at the ragged wastes, “Why that you may for once force and grim woods, which lay steeped a miller to speak truth in spite of in the shade beside and before them. himself, and make a public house, True,"answered the youth ; "and about three miles hence, the end of in a few years agricultural innovation your day's journey."

will scarcely leave, even in these “Thank you for the hint,” said the wastes, a single furze-blossom for the youth. “Does the house you speak bee, or a tuft of green-sward for of lie on the road-side ?”

the grasshopper; but, however, un. “No, sir : the lane branches off pleasant the change may be for about two miles hence, and you must us foot travellers, we must not repine then turn to the right: but till then, at what they tell us is so sure our way is the same, and if you would a witness of the prosperity of the not prefer your own company to mine, country.” we can trudge on together.”

They tell us! who tell us ? “ With all my heart,” rejoined the exclaimed the stranger, with great younger stranger; “and not the less vivacity. “Is it the puny and spiritwillingly from the brisk pace you | less artisan, or the debased and walk. I thought I had few equals in crippled slave of the counter and the pedestrianism ; but it should not be till, or the sallow speculator on morals, for a small wager that I would under- who would mete us out our libertytake to keep up with you."

our happiness-our very feelings, by "Perhaps, sir,” said the man laugh- the yard, and inch, and fraction ? ing, “I have had in the course of my No, no, let them follow what the books life, a better usage and a longer and precepts of their own wisdom experience of my heels than you teach them ; let them cultivate more have."

highly the lands they have already Somewhat startled by a speech of parcelled out by dykes and fences, so equivocal a meaning, the youth, and leave, though at scanty intervals, for the first time, turned round to some green patches of unpolluted examine as well as the increasing land for the poor man's beast, and darkness would permit, the size and the free man's foot." appearance of his companion. He “ You are an enthusiast on this was not perhaps too well satisfied subject,” said the younger traveller, with his survey. His fellow pedestrian not a little surprised at the tone and

1 66

ز

words of the last speech ; "and if I tall stranger, indifferently; "precisely were not just about to commence the so. It is to that antient body that I world with a firm persuasion that belong.” enthusiasm on any matter is a great “The devil you do?" quoth the obstacle to success, I could be as youth, in unsophisticated surprise ; warm, though not so eloquent, as “the progress of education, is indeed, yourself.”

astonishing !” “Ah, sir," said the stranger, sinking Why,” answered the stranger, into a more natural and careless tone, laughing, " to tell you the truth, sir, “I have a better right than I imagine I am a gipsy by inclination, not birth. you can claim to repine or even to The illustrious Bamfylde Moore Carew inveigh against the boundaries which is not the only example of one of are day by day, and hour by hour, gentle blood and honourable education encroaching upon what I have learned whom the fleshpots of Egypt have to look upon as my own territory. seduced.” You were, just before I joined you, “I congratulate myself,” quoth the singing an old song; I honour you youth, in a tone that might have for your taste : and no offence, sir, been in jest, "upon becoming acbut a sort of fellowship in feeling quainted with a character at once so made me take the liberty to accost respectable and so novel; and, to you. I am no very great scholar in return your quotation in the way of other things; but I owe my present a compliment, I cry out with the circumstances of life solely to my most fashionable author of Elizabeth's fondness for those old songs and daysquaint madrigals. And I believe no

for a bowl of fat Canary, person can better apply to himself

Rich Palermo-sparkling Sherry,' Will Shakspeare's invitation :

in order to drink to our better ac• Under the green wood tree Who loves to lie with me,

quaintance.” And tune his merry note

“Thank you sir,—thank you,” cried Unto the sweet bird's throat,

the strange gipsy, seemingly delighted Come hither, come hither, come hither ; with the spirit with which his young Here shall he see

acquaintance appeared to enter into No enemy But winter and rough weather.""

his character and his quotation from

a class of authors at that time much Relieved from his former fear, but less known and appreciated than at with increased curiosity at this quota- present; "and if you have seen tion, which was balf said, half sung, already enough of the world to take in a tone which seemed to evince a up with ale when neither Canary, hearty relish for the sense of the Palermo, nor Sherry are forthcoming, words, the youth replied

I will promise, at least, to pledge you “ Truly, I did not expect to meet in large draughts of that homely among the travellers of this wild beverage. What say you to passing country with so well stored a memory. a night with us? our tents are yet And, indeed, I should have imagined more at hand than the public-house that the only persons to whom your of which I spoke to you.” verses could exactly have applied The young man hesitated a moment, were those honourable vagrants from then repliedthe Nile, whom in vulgar language “I will answer you frankly, my we term gipsies."

friend, even though I may find cause Precisely so, sir," answered the to repent my confidence. I have a

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

LONDON:
CHAPMAN AND IIALL, 193, PICCADILLY.

MDCCCLII.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ПредишнаНапред »