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Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
And merrily bend the stile a';
all the day,
LET the reader conceive to himself a clear frosty November morning, the scene an open heath, having for the back-ground that huge chain of mountains in which Skiddaw and Saddleback are preeminent; let him look along that blind road, by which I mean that track so slightly “marked by the
passengers' footsteps, that it can but be traced by a slight shade of verdure from the darker heath around it, and, being only visible to the eye when at some distance, ceases to be distinguished while the foot is actually treading it-along this faintlytraced path advances the object of our present narrative. His firm step, his erect and free carriage, have a military air, which corresponds well with his well-proportioned limbs, and stature of six feet high. His dress is so plain and simple that it indicates nothing as to rank-it may be that of a gentleman who travels in this manner for his pleasure, or of an inferior person of whom it is the proper and usual garb. Nothing can be on a more reduced scale than his travelling equipment. A volume of Shakespeare in one pocket, a small bundle with a change of linen in the other, an oaken cudgel in his hand, complete our pedestrian's accommodations, and in this equipage we present him to our readers.
Brown had parted that morning from his friend Dudley, and began his solitary walk towards Scotland.
The first two or three miles were rather melancholy, from want of the society to which he had of late been accustomed. But this unusual mood of his mind soon gave way to the influence of his natural good spirits, excited by the exercise, and the bracing effects of the frosty air. He whistled as he went along, not “ from want of thought,” but to give vent to those buoyant feelings which he had no other mode of expressing. For each peasant whom he chanced to meet, he had a kind greeting or a good-humoured jest. The hardy Cumbrians
grinned as they passed, and said, “ That's a kind heart, God bless un !” and the market-girl looked more than once over her shoulder at the athletic form, which corresponded so well with the frank and blithe address of the stranger. A rough terrier dog, his constant companion, who rivalled his master in glee, scampered at large in a thousand wheels round the heath, and came back to jump up on him, and assure him that he participated in the pleasure of the journey. Dr Johnson thought life had few things better than the excitation produced by being whirled rapidly along in a postchaise ; but he who has in youth experienced the confident and independent feeling of a stout pedestrian in an interesting country, and during fine weather, will hold the taste of the great moralist cheap in comparison.
Part of Brown's view in choosing that unusual track which leads through the eastern wilds of Cumberland into Scotland, had been a desire to view the remains of the celebrated Roman Wall, which are more visible in that direction than in any other part of its extent.
of its extent. His education had been imperfect and desultory ; but neither the busy scenes in which he had been engaged, nor the pleasures of youth, nor the precarious state of his own circumstances, had diverted him from the task of mental improvement.--" And this, then, is the Roman Wall,” he said, scrambling up to a
height which commanded the course of that celebrated work of antiquity: “What a people! whose labours even at this extremity of their empire, comprehended such space, and were executed upon a scale of such grandeur ! In future ages, when the science of war shall have changed, how few traces will exist of the labours of Vauban and Coehorn, while this wonderful people's remains will even then continue to interest and astonish posterity ! Their fortifications, their aqueducts, their theatres, their fountains, all their public works, bear the grave, solid, and majestic character of their language ; and our modern labours, like our modern tongues, seem but constructed out of their fragments." Having thus moralized, he remembered that he was hungry, and pursued his walk to a small public-house, at which he proposed to get some refreshment.
The ale-house, for it was no better, was situated in the bottom of a little dell, through which trilled a small rivulet. It was shaded by a large ash tree, against which the clay-built shed, that served the purpose
of a stable, was erected, and upon which it seemed partly to recline. In this shed stood a saddled horse employed in eating his corn. The cottages in this part of Cumberland partake of the rudeness which characterizes those of Scotland. The outside of this house promised little for the interior, notwithstanding the vaunt of a