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teen days on the road. In the south of England we made more rapid strides to perfection. We have before us a very curious bill of the “Alton and Farnham Machine," dated 1750, which is headed with an engraving furnishing the best representation of the coach of a century ago that we have seen. The clumsy vehicle carries no passengers on the roof; but it has a large basket-literally a basket-swung behind, for half-price passengers.
The coachman has four horses in hand, and a postilion rides a pair of leaders. This is truly a magnificent equipage ; and it accomplished its journey in a marvellously short time, starting at six in the morning, and arriving duly the same night. This journey of forty-seven miles in one day was a feat; and well might the vehicle which accomplished it be dignified by the name of “ Machine." The name became common; and hence stage-coach horses were called “Machiners." Our eminent coadjutor, W. Harvey, has translated the “Alton Machine" into a picturesque illustration, without losing the character of the original. (Cut, 2.)
Let us turn to those great interpreters of manners, the novelists and the dramatists, to learn something more of the travelling economy of the last century.
Parson Adams, according to the immortal author of “ Joseph Andrews," had no difficulty in outwalking the coach. “The lady, having finished her story, received the thanks of the company; and now Joseph, putting his head out of the coach, cried out, “Never believe me, if yonder be not our parson Adams walking along without his horse !''On my word, and so he is,' says Slipslop: 'and as sure as twopence he hath left him behind at the inn.' Indeed, true it is, the parson had exhibited a fresh instance of his absence of mind; for he was so pleased with having got Joseph into the coach, that he never once thought of the beast in the stable; and, finding his legs as nimble as he desired, he sallied out, brandishing a crab-stick, and had kept on before the coach, mending and slackening his pace occasionally, so that he had never been much more or less than a quarter of a mile distant from it. Mrs. Slipslop desired the coachman to overtake him, which he attempted, but in vain; for the faster he drove, the faster ran the parson, often crying out, “Ay, ay, catch me if you can ;' till at length the coachman swore he would as soon attempt to drive after a greyhound, and, giving the parson two or three hearty curses, he cried,
Softly, softly, boys,' to his horses, which the civil beasts immediately obeyed."
Fielding was a close observer of the ways men, and he has left us this admirable description of the stage-coachman of his day, in his “Voyage to Lisbon :"
-“ This subjection (that of a traveller] is absolute, and consists of a perfect resignation both of body and soul to the disposal of another ; after which resignation, during a certain time, his subject retains no more power over his own will than an Asiatic slave, or an English wife, by the laws of both countries, and by the customs of one of them. If I should mention the instance of a stage-coachman, many of my readers would recognize
2. THE MACHINE : 1750.-W. HARVEY.
THE ROAD AND THE RAILWAY.
D WE LIVE IN.
teen days on the road. In the south of England we
Let us turn to those great interpreters of manners,
Parson Adams, according to the immortal author of "Joseph Andrews," had no difficulty in outwalking the coach. “The lady, having finished her story
, received the thanks of the company; and now Joseph, putting his head out of the coach, cried out, 'Never believe me, if yonder be not our parson Adams walking along without his horse!' 'On my word, and so he is," says Slipslop: ‘and as sure as twopence he hath lef him behind at the inn. Indeed, true it is, the parson had exhibited a fresh instance of his absence of mind; for he was so pleased with having got Joseph into the coach, that he never once thought of the beast in the stable; and, finding his legs as nimble as he desired, he sallied out, brandishing a crab-stick, and had kept on before the coach, mending and slackening his pace occasionally, so that he had never been much more or less than a quarter of a mile distant from it. Mrs. Slipslop desired the coachman to overtake him, which he attempted, but in vain; for the faster he drove, the faster ran the parson, often crying out, “Ay, ay, catch
me if you can ;' till at length the coachman swore
be would as soon attempt to drive after a greyhound, and, giving the parson two or three hearty curses, he cried
, Softly, softly, boys,' to his horses, which the civil beasts immediately obeyed."
Fielding was a close observer of the ways of men, and he has left us this admirable description of the stage-coachman of his day, in his “Voyage to Lisbon :"
-" This subjection (that of a traveller] is absolute, and consists of a perfect resignation both of body and soul to the disposal of another; after which resignation, during a certain time, his subject retains no more power over his own will than an Asiatic slave, or an English wife, by the laws of both countries, and by the customs of one of them. If I should mention the instance of 3 stage-coachman, many of my readers would recognise
3. THE TURNPIKE : 1663, W. HARVEY.
the truth of what I have here observed; all, indeed, Manly. Come, tell us all--Pray how do they that ever have been under the dominion of that tyrant, travel ? who, in this free country, is as absolute as a Turkish John Moody. Why, i' the auld coach, Measter, and bashaw. In two particulars only his power is defec- 'cause my Lady loves to do things handsome, to be sure, tive,-he cannot press you into his service; and if you she would have a couple of cart-horses clapt to th' four enter yourself at one place, on condition of being dis- old geldings, that neighbours might see she went up to charged at a certain time at another, he is obliged to London in her coach and six! And so Giles Joulter, perform his agreement, if God permit: but all the the ploughman, rides postilion ! intermediate time you are absolutely under his government; he carries you how he will, when he will, and Lord Townly. And when do you expect them here, whither he will, provided it be not much out of the John ? road; you have nothing to eat or to drink, but what, John Moody. Why we were in hopes to ha' come and when, and where he pleases. Nay, you cannot yesterday, an' it had no' been that th' owld wheazesleep, unless he pleases you should ; for he will order belly horse tired ; And then we were so cruelly loaden, you sometimes out of bed at midnight, and hurry you that the two fore-wheels came crash down at once in away at a moment's warning: indeed, if you can sleep Waggon-Rut Lane; and there we lost four hours 'fore in his vehicle, he cannot prevent it; nay, indeed, to we could set things to rights again,
to encourage; for the earlier he forces you to rise in the coach then ? morning, the more time he will give you in the heat John Moody. Ay, ay, and good store on't there is.-of the day, sometimes even six hours at an ale-house, Why, my lady's gear alone were as much as filled four or at their doors, where he always gives you the same portmantel trunks, besides the great deal box, that indulgence which he allows himself; and for this he is heavy Ralph and the monkey sit upon behind. generally very moderate in his demands. I have Lord Townly, Lady Grace, and Manly. Ha! ha! ha! known a whole bundle of passengers charged no more
Lady Grace. Well, Mr. Moody, and pray how many than half-a-crown for being suffered to remain quiet at are they within the coach? an ale-house door for above a whole hour, and that John Moody. Why, there's my lady and his worship; even in the hottest day in summer."
and the young squoire, and Miss Jenny, and the fat Of the travelling by private carriages in those days lap-dog, and my lady's maid, Mrs. Handy, and Doll of the most villainous cross-roads we have abundant Tripe, the cook ; that's all-Only Doll puked a little evidence. The Duke of Somerset, who died in 1748, with riding backward, so they hoisted her into the was always compelled by the badness of the roads coach-box-and then her stomach was easy. to sleep at Guildford, on his way from Petworth to Lady Grace. Oh! I see 'em. I see 'em go by me. London. A letter of one of the Duke's servants to Ah! ha! another servant, announces his master's intention John Moody. Then you mun think, measter, there to arrive at Petworth, from London; and adds direc- was some stowage for the belly, as well as th' back too ; tions, that “the keepers and others who knew the holes such cargoes of plum-cake, and baskets of tongues, and and sloughs, must come to meet his Grace, with lan- biscuits and cheese, and cold boiled beef--and then, thorns and long poles, to help him on his way." The in case of sickness, bottles of cherry-brandy, plaguegrandfather of the present Duke of Buckingham had water, sack, tent, and strong-beer, so plenty as made an inn built for his special accommodation at Winslow, th' owld coach crack again ! Mercy upon 'em! and as the journey from Stowe to London could not be send 'em all well to town, I
say, accomplished in one day. Vanbrugh, in the “ Pro- Manly. Ay! and well out on't again, John. voked Husband," has given us an amusing, and, we John Moody. Ods bud ! measter, you're a wise mon; have little doubt, faithful account of the progress of
and for that matter, so am I.-Whoam's whoam, I Yorkshire family to town in their own equipage : say: I'm sure we got but little good e'er sin' we
" Lord Townly. Mr. Moody, your servant; I am glad turned our backs on 't. Nothing but mischief! Some to see you in London. I hope all the family is well. devil's trick or other plagued us, aw th' day lung!
John Moody. Thanks be praised, your honour, they Crack goes one thing; Bawnce ! goes another. Woa, are all in pretty good heart; thof' we have had a power says Roger -Then souse! we are all set fast in a of crosses upo' the road.
slough. Whaw! cries Miss !--scream go the maids ! Lady Grace. I hope my Lady has had no hurt, Mr. and bawl! just as thof' they were stuck! And so, mercy Moody.
on us! this was the trade from morning to night. John Moody. Noa, an't please your ladyship, she From the days of the first turnpike a whole century was never in better humour: There's money enough appears to have passed before any very great improvestirring now.
ments were effected in the roads, or in the vehicles Manly. What has been the matter, John ?
travelling upon them. Mr. M'Culloch says, “It was John Moody. Why, we came up in such a hurry, not till after the peace of Paris, in 1763, that turnpikeyou mun think that our tackle was not so tight as it roads began to be extended to all parts of the kingdom; should be.
and that the means of internal communication began,
in consequence, to be signally improved.” (Account | travelling, THE MAIL. Sixty years ago was this great of the British Empire.) Mr. Porter, in an article con- engine of our civilization first set in motion. Before tributed to " The Companion to the Almanac," 1837, Mr. Palmer suggested his improvements to the Gospeaks of the condition of a road only thirty-six miles vernment, letters sent by the post, which left Bath on from London, about the same period :-"A gentleman Monday night, were not delivered in London till now living at Horsham, in Sussex, has stated, on the Wednesday afternoon. The London post of Monday authority of a person whose father carried on the busi- night did not reach Worcester, Birmingham, or Norwich, ness of a butcher, in that town, that in his time the till Wednesday morning, and Exeter on the Thursday only means of reaching London was either by going on morning. A letter from London to Glasgow, before foot or on horseback, the latter method not being prac- 1788, was five days on the road. The letter-bags ticable at all periods of the year, nor in every state were carried by boys on horseback; and the robbery of the weather; and that the roads were never at that of the mail was, of course, so common an occurrence, time in such a condition as to admit of sheep or cattle that no safety whatever could be secured in the transbeing driven upon them to the London markets; for mission of money. The highwayman was the great which reason the farmers were prevented sending hero of the travelling of that day. But on the 2nd thither the produce of their lands, the immediate neigh- of August, 1784, the first mail-coach left London for bourhood being, in fact, their only market. Under Bristol; and from that evening, till the general estabthese circumstances the quarter of a fat ox was com- lishment of the railway system, the mail was one of monly sold for about fifteen shillings, and the price the wonders and glories of “the Land we live in.” of mutton was one penny farthing per pound." Mr. And the mail was a thing of beauty,” and “a joy." Porter, in his “Progress of the Nation," also informs It is gone. Never more, as St. Paul's clock is verging us, that “when it was in contemplation to extend towards eight, shall we hurry down the narrow outlet turnpike-roads from the metropolis to more distant of the “Swan-with-two-Necks, Lad-lane," and secure points than those to which they had before been carried, the place of honour on the box of the Holyhead mail, the farmers in the metropolitan counties petitioned for a ten miles' ride on a summer evening. A short Parliament against the plan, fearing lest their market ride by the mail, --we can only say of it, as Johnson being invaded by so many competitors, who would sell said to Boswell, when they were driving rapidly along their produce more cheaply, they should be ruined." in a post-chaise, “Life has not many better things Two centuries before these wise farmers, William than this.” Cautiously the skilful coachman, in all Harrison,-in many things a shrewd observer-thought his pride of scarlet and gold, steers his impatient it would be good "if it were enacted that each one leaders through the mazes that conduct to St. Martin'sshould keep his next market with his grain, and not le-Grand. A minute's pause at the side-entrance of to run six, eight, ten, fourteen, or twenty miles from the Post-office, and the guard is then seen emerging home to sell his corn, where he doth find the highest from the lamp-lit passage into the brightness of the price.” Harrison saw clearly enough that communi- western sun, with porter after porter bearing the cation equalized prices ; although he would have kept leathern bags. They are rapidly stowed in the boot, down prices, and therefore kept down all profitable amidst perfect silence. “ All right," is the word, and employment, by narrowing the market of the pro- we are trotting briskly up Aldersgate-street. The ducers. Dr. Johnson appears to have had somewhat crowd always turns round to gaze at the mail, and we, similar notions of public advantage.
In 1784 he a humble half-crown passenger, feel an elevation of visited Mr. Windham, who made a note of his Conver- heart as if we shared the triumph. Islington, Holsations, amongst which we find the following: “Opi- loway, the Highgate Archway in the days before nion about the effect of turnpike-roads. Every place railroads a great work), Finchley, are rapidly passed. communicating with each other. Before, there were The coachman and the guard are quite at ease when cheap places and dear places. Now, all refuges are they have fairly quitted the London suburb. The destroyed for elegant or genteel poverty. Disunion professional joke that travels over the roof like a of families, by furnishing a market to each man's shuttlecock ;-the knowing and condescending upliftability, and destroying the dependence of one man ing of the coachman's whip-elbow to the honoured upon another." To have "cheap places and dear driver of the pair-horse ;—the smile and the wink upon places"—to maintain "the dependence of one man the blushing Hebe, who waits with the expected glass upon another"-has been the struggle of class interests of ale for the Jupiter of the box,-how they linger in up to this hour. Roads and railroads and steam- the memory. And then the stories of what the road boats have annihilated the one remnant of feudality, was before Mr, Telford took it in hand; and how Mr. local cheapness purchased by general dearness ;-and Macneill has laid down a mile of concrete that will the penny-a-mile trains would extinguish all that is never be rutty;-and—but we are upon the place unhealthy in “the dependence of one man upon where the quarrel between York and Lancaster was another," if the other remnant of feudality, the law fought out. England has seen strange changes between of parish settlement, were broken up.
that day and the day of mail-coaches; and so we have The extension of turnpike-roads through the country a mutual “ Good night" with our friends of the scarlet at last brought about the ultimate perfection of coach- and gold, and moralize homeward,
The stage-coaches followed the mails in the course that infest inns and taverns, and run errands, and do of improvement. We remember them when they were all kinds of odd jobs, for the privilege of battening on not very particular about the pace; and four hours the drippings of the kitchen, and the leakings of the from Windsor to London was pretty well. To be tap-room. These all look up to him as to an oracle ; sure there was a quarter of an hour for breakfast at treasure up his cant phrases; echo his opinions about Longford, and another quarter of an hour for luncheon horses and other topics of jockey lore ; and, above all, at Turnham-green; but it was a pleasant ride in endeavour to imitate his air and carriage. Every days when men were not in a hurry. The pace of our ragamuffin that has a coat to his back, thrusts his now surviving stage-coaches is, for the first half-hour hands in the pockets, rolls in his gait, talks slang, and after the railway, a sort of impertinence. You feel is an embryo Coachey.” The portrait belongs to the you are crawling when you have mounted the ten- archæology of England. A sedan, a hackney-coach, mile-an-hour tortoise that is to take you across the and a stuffed stage-coachman of the fat times, should country from the station ; but yet the driver presumes be deposited in the rooms of the Antiquarian Society, to talk of his cattle. Look at him. He has a load while a specimen can be preserved in relic, or made of responsibility put upon him which he is little able out from description. to bear. He must keep time. He dare not have a “There were twenty-nine military roads leading snack at the halfway-house; he has no messages to from Rome, some of which extended to the extreme deliver; he sticks gloomily upon the box, while the parts of the empire, their total extent being, according horses are hurriedly changed; he sleeps not at nights, to Rondelet, 52,964 Roman miles, or about 48,500 without dreaming of the whistle ; he is dependent English miles." (Tredgold on Railroads.) We were upon an absolute will; he has a cadaverous melan- beating the Romans in our own island, in comparative choly face, as if Time were beating him prematurely. miles of stone and gravel, at the time when iron said, Contrast him with Washington Irving's English coach- “ Pave no more." In 1839, the turnpike-roads of man of 1820, who may himself be contrasted with England and Wales amounted to 21,962 miles, and Fielding's stage-coachman of 1740: "He has com- in Scotland, to 3,666 miles; while, in England and monly a broad, full face, curiously mottled with red, Wales, the other highways amounted to 104,772 miles. as if the blood had been forced by hard feeding into The turnpike-roads were maintained at the cost of a every vessel of the skin ; he is swelled into jolly million pounds a year; and the parish highways at a dimensions by frequent potations of malt liquors, and cost of about twelve hundred thousand pounds. There his bulk is still further increased by a multiplicity of were at that time nearly eight thousand toll-gates in coats, in which he is buried like a cauliflower, the England and Wales. There had been two thousand upper one reaching to his heels. He wears a broad-miles of turnpike roads, and ten thousand miles of brimmed low-crowned hat; a huge roll of coloured other highways, added to the number existing in 1814. handkerchief about his neck, knowingly knotted and But the improvements of all our roads during that tucked in at the bosom; and has in summer-time a period had been enormous. Science was brought to large bouquet of flowers in his button-hole; the pre- bear upon the turnpike lines. Common sense changed sent, most probably, of some enamoured country lass. their form and re-organized their material. The most His waistcoat is commonly of some bright colour, beautiful engineering was applied to raise valleys and striped; and his small-clothes extend far below the lower hills. Mountains were crossed with ease; rivers knees, to meet a pair of jockey boots which reach were spanned over massive piers, or by bridges which about half-way up his legs. All this costume is main- hung in the air like fairy platforms. The names of tained with much precision ; he has a pride in having McAdam and Telford became “household words ;" his clothes of excellent materials; and, notwithstand- and even parish surveyors, stimulated by example, ing the seeming grossness of his appearance, there is took thought how to mend their ways. still discernible that neatness and propriety of person, The great revolution of the age was at hand. We have which is almost inherent in an Englishman. He had an enthusiast amongst us, who held that the words enjoys great consequence and consideration along the of the prophet Ezekiel, “And I looked, and behold, road; has frequent conferences with the village house- a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and wives, who look upon him as a man of great trust and a fire,” were typical of railway locomotion. We meddle dependence; and he seems to have a good understand- not with such dangerous interpretations. ing with every bright-eyed country lass. The moment with no pretensions to prophecy gave us some of the he arrives where the horses are to be changed, he poetical elements of THE RAILWAY, long before such throws down the reins with something of an air, and matters had any existence except in the fables of the abandons the cattle to the care of the ostler : his duty Hindoo mythology. In 1810, Robert Southey, in being merely to drive from one stage to another. his “Curse of Kehama,” shadowed out a dark hint When off the box, his hands are thrust in the pockets for the practical genius of Stephenson. Coleridge used of his great coat, and he rolls about the inn-yard with to say that he anticipated many of Davy's experimental an air of the most absolute lordliness. Here he is discoveries by à priori reasoning. Had Southey generally surrounded by an admiring throng of ostlers, visions of the locomotive engine when he described stable-boys, shoe-blacks, and those nameless hangers-on “The Car of Miracle," which