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panoply of oil, or India-rubber cloth, over head, shoulders, and body, is the only competent defence against the accidents of weather on the top of an English coach. With such a provision, a man in health, who travels principally by day, may safely go outside, if reasons of seeing the country, or of economy, are of sufficient weight. The saving made in the difference of fare, even in a few short trips, will equip him well for this purpose. The hazards of upsetting are at least some little consideration for preferring the inside; and some people, on the calculation of chances, think it prudent, and in this view more economical, always to engage that place, as it is nearer the ground, and tólerably well protected against a serious injury from a common upset. But an English stagecoach cannot go completely over, even on a level, without danger of life and limb to those on the top; and when crowded with passengers, and oppressed with luggage, they are top-heavy, and easily overturned. The only warrant against this danger are the care and skill of the coachmen and the excellence of the roads. In no other country, to my knowledge, are coaches of English fashion in general use. · They are only safe where the roads are so well made and so well kept as in Great Britain; and where coaching is conducted on a sys. tem so admirably perfect. It is impossible that roads should be better than in England ; and the expense constantly bestowed on the great thoroughfares, to keep them in the best Macadamized condition, is immense. It is all defrayed, however, by the toll authorized to be taken at the gates. Considering the great and almost incalculable amount of coaching done in England, fatal accidents from upsetting, or otherwise, are exceedingly rare. The ordinary rate of travelling in English stagecoaches on the great roads, where there is competition, is ten miles an hour, including the time occupied in changing horses and taking necessary refreshment. This, I believe, is nearly the average of the royal mail. Some coaches push their speed to twelve miles.
The driver of an English stagecoach receives the honourable appellation of coachman by courtesy, as I suppose, and thus ranks with the driver of a gentleman's or nobleman's carriage-in the same manner as the heir-apparent of a peerage is called a lord. An American in England, from force of habit, for a long time calls the coachmandriver; by which he is not only recognised as a Yankee, but he will be likely to receive an awry and partly discomposed look from the respectable personage addressed-it is possible he will not get an answer. It is remarkable that an English coachman is offended to be called a driver, and an American driver to be called a coachman.
I have been through England, Scotland, and Ireland, and
travelled in all seasons of the year, but have never yet been interrupted, or experienced any inconvenience from the badness of the roads. I must also in justice add to this, that I have never yet suffered the want of any needful comfort at an inn. It is true, my routes for the most part have been on the great thoroughfares of the country. My opinion is, that in no part of the world are the benefits of civi. lization, for facility and comfort in travelling, so apparent as in England. As to personal security, one never thinks of danger by day or by night, except from a possible accident to the coach.
English coaching, and travelling in Great Britain, appear to great advantage, compared with the same things on the Continent. A French or Dutch diligence, its horses and their tackle, the postillion and his boots, his eternal urging of the dull cattle by whip and voice, the long and ponderous machine, which rumbles reluctantly over the pavement, groaning beneath its tenants and mountainous pile of luggage, at the rate of four and five miles an hour, are indeed a striking contrast to that trim and polished vehicle, and those swift and fiery steeds, which dash along the smooth highways of England, a beauty to look at, skilfully guided and hardly kept back to eight, nine, and ten miles an hour, full of joyous spirits, which seem well to sympathize with the apparent hilarity of their flight.
In an apparatus of this description, so well accoutred, on so great a thoroughfare as that between Manchester and Birmingham, and from the latter place to London, along the whole of which every movement is as active and energetic as the business soul of the metropolis and of these two great workshops of England can inspire, it were not strange that I should find myself rolled onward with great ease and satisfaction, even to my heart's content, notwithstanding the triffing vexation of a piece of downright villany that was attempted upon me by the agents of these otherwise very convenient establishments.
The high cultivation of England is a general feature, which strikes the observation of an American as he first begins to pass over its surface. The whole country is comparatively a garden. Agriculture and horticulture in England are both done at an amazing waste of manual labour especially the former, for want of ingenuity; but they are well done—they are done to a perfection perhaps unrivalled. In gardening it is not so easy to waste labour, as all parts of its operations are contracted and minute; but in farming, it is wasted in England on a great scale, both in the use of cattle and of the hand of man. The fact is a paradox in the general character of the English. Two reasons, at least, may be assigned for it :-First, the hands employed at these
tasks, and in the common drudgery of English life, do not belong to inventive minds. They never think of doing an accustomed task in a new way-never-from generation to generation. All things in these departments of English labour are one everlasting and uniform round, and the minds of the labourers seem as mechanical in their operations as the hands employed. Another reason may perhaps be found in that vicious and ruinous political economy-at
ast far from thriving its influen on a communitywhich fails to find employment adequate to the increase of population. So long as such a system is in operation, the less invention for the saving of labour, the better for the poor. Among the labourers themselves there is no motive to improvement, but the contrary. The longer they can occupy themselves in accomplishing a specific object, by so much are the means of subsistence for themselves and their class augmented; and it may be a benevolence in their employers to allow it to be so.
England, notwithstanding, in all those parts of it which have been brought under cultivation, is a garden. All through the country the estates and farms are divided into small, unequal, and multiform patches-parks and pleasuregrounds excepted-enclosed with hedges, that peculiar and beautiful feature of English landscape scenery, many of which exhibit ranges of full-grown trees. It is not so common in England as in America for landholders and farmers to divide their attention to all the various and appropriate productions of the earth; but one district is more especially devoted to grazing, another to corn,* and another to the production of hay for large towns, &c. &c.; particularly is it necessary to appropriate considerable districts to the growth of hay, to supply the demands of the metropolis ; plains, downs, and wolds are left open in some parts of the country expressly for sheep-ranges. To be aware of these specific appropriations of the soil of England, one must have travelled somewhat extensively. To an American eye, however, a passage through England in almost any direction, for the first time, will leave the impression of a high degree of culture. This, indeed, is what he expected; but still the images which story has inscribed upon the brain
are ordinarily effaced by a vision of the reality. The towns and the country of a foreign land, and the minor parts of each and all, have a deep interest in them on a first inspection. The minutest variations from accustomed features, and the nicest shades of difference, because they are different, attract attention, and leave an impress of their hues and forms.
* Corn in England, and very properly, is generic. The synonymous term in America is grain-corn here being used to designate a species of grain which is never grown in England, viz., Indian corn, or maize.
One thing will be especially evident to a stranger in England; that the artificial lines and figures of its geographical phasis were never projected and described by an engineer; and for its greatest beauty, and for the creation of its most enchanting scenes, it is well they were not. I never travelled on a road in England that ran in a straight line for any considerable distance; I have never seen any extended district, the divisions of which might seem to have been governed by mathematical rules. All seems the creation of hazard; even the plough, if its furrow corresponds with a border-line of the field in which it is drawn, is often forced to make a track like that of the serpent; and so mechanically bent is the whole public mind of those who till the earth, to irregularities of this kind, that the open and undivided plains and fields, when brought under the culture of the plough, are often wantonly made to exhibit this devious tracery. Well, perhaps, tha: the landholders are few, as otherwise they might never be able to determine the boundaries that lie between them. Certainly they are not often to be ascertained by observations of the compass.
I have a friend London, in whose company I once visited the palace and gardens of Versailles, and who is tempted, whenever he can get a new listener in my presence, to relate an anecdote apparently at my expense, and not very much in compliment to the English, so far as my own part in the affair was concerned, in his way of telling the story. He says, that while we were going over the English garden at the Petit Trianon, I expressed the greatest impatience, and frequently exclaimed, “ Come, let us go to the Palace. This is nothing but an English garden!” The truth was, we did not go to France to see an English garden, although it is doubtless one of the most beautiful creations of the kind in the world; and although that portion of that little island which lies south of the Tweed be nothing but old England, yet there is no other spot on the globe, of equal dimensions, to be compared with its variegated scenery, as adorned by the hand of man. As much as English gardening exceeds that of any other nation in variety-so the general laying out of the country, the sinuous courses of its highways, its hedges, its parks and pleasure-grounds, its cultivated regions and wild wastes, present a scene of beautiful and enchanting disorder, which, if reduced to straight lines and right angles, would be stripped of their principal power to charm.
If this somewhat excursive excursion, from Manchester to London, should not altogether satisfy the taste of those who look for a straight-forward journal of incidents, after the good old way, of recording every thing seen, thought, felt, and done, I would offer the following, not as completely fulfilling such a design, but as an abridgment :
Left Manchester at 8, or 9, or 10 o'clock-forget which; an outside-reason, of course, to see the country ;-coach full-pleasant day_admirable road-went on smooth, at good speed ;-thought these English rather beat the Americans in changing horses ;-came to dinner at fifty or sixty miles-made quick business of it-all jumped down, and at the second jump were the table, handling the knife and fork in earnest-some with hats on, others off ; notwithstanding, very civil, each offering to help his neighbour, or any one that wanted-all which needed no apology, for, before we were half satisfied, we were summoned to leave the table, or be left behind. In the course of the day passed through the vast estates of the Duke of Sutherland, one of the wealthiest noblemen of England ;-was told that one might ride thirty miles in one direction, and not go off the estate ;-had a full view of the mausoleum, and a peep at the house. Soon after we passed the house an asylum for the insane opened upon us, between two little and sharp hills, a creation so beautiful and enchanting, that one might suppose it competent to restore the unfortunates lodged there to soundness of mind, or fill them with dreams of being in the happiest world. Fountains played fantastically in the midst of a scene of verdure and of flowers. Then came up a shower; rained hard-put up umbrellas; that of one of my neighbours turned a stream of water into my neck, and I with mine turned a current into his lap; we moved a little, and took it in another place, and then in another, till we all thought it more equal to take the shower as the clouds dropped it. It was soon over, and the sun shone bright again. By-and-by the duke's castle, on a distant eminence at the right, came in view—a fine object—the first I ever saw: experienced a revival of the romantic sentiments connected with the history of castles, particularly of Kenilworth. It was a long time in sight, and presented constantly varying aspects, as we wheeled round the hill at a distance on the plain below. Saw a grand cluster of hills on the left, approaching to the character of mountains. Passed through Wolverhampton in the twilight of evening, the best time possible to behold—as we left the scene behind us, and as night came on-those numerous and lofty chimneys, spouting smoke and fire, in dense and awful columns, towards heaven, each like the mouth of an Etna or Vesuvius. Arrived at Birmingham, took tea, and went to bed ; had first, however, taken care to secure a seat to London the next day in another line of coaches, the “Tally-ho!” not being inclined to patronise that line, the agents of which had first deceived me, and then administered such a civil rebuke for patronising the railway.