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WALKING TO THE MAIL.
John. I'm glad I walk’d. How fresh the country looks! Is yonder planting where this byway joins The turnpike? James. Yes.
John. And when does this come by? James. The mail ? At one o'clock.
John. What is it now? James. A quarter to.
John. Whose house is that I see Beyond the watermills ?
James. Sir Edward Head's: But he's abroad : the place is to be sold.
John. Oh, his. He was not broken.
James. No, sir, he,
James. Nay, who knows? he's here and there.
James. You saw the man but yesterday:
“Oh well,” says he, “ you flitting with us to — Jack, turn the horses' heads and home again.”
John. He left his wife behind: for so I heard.
James. He left her, yes. I met my lady once :
John. Oh yet but I remember, ten years back —
James. Ay, ay, the blossom fades, and they that loved,
John. But I had heard it was this bill that past, And fear of change at home, that drove him hence.
James. That was the last drop in the cup of gall. I once was near him, when his bailiff brought A Chartist pike. You should have seen him wince As from a venomous thing: he thought himself A mark for all, and shudder'd, lest a cry Should break his sleep by night, and his nice eyes Should see the raw mechanic's bloody thumbs Sweat on his blazon'd chairs ; but, sir, you know That these two parties still divide the world — Of those that want, and those that have: and still The same old sore breaks out from age to age With much the same result. Now I, that am A Tory to the quick, was as a boy Destructive, when I had not what I would. I was at school — a college in the South : There lived a flayflint near; we stole his fruit, His hens, his eggs ; but there was law for us ; We paid in person, scored upon the part Which cherubs want. He had a sow, sir. She, With meditative grunts of much content, Lay great with pig, wallowing in sun and mud.
By night we dragg’d her to the college tower
As one by one we took them — but for this —
James. Not they
John. Well — after all — What know we of the secret of a man? His nerves were wrong. What ails us, who are sound, That we should mimic this raw fool the world, Which charts us all in its coarse blacks or whites, As ruthless as a baby with a worm, As cruel as a schoolboy ere he grows To Pity — more from ignorance than will.