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If you should shut your eyes on this present year and some fairy would whisk you backward into the year 1809, and, still keeping your eyes shut, you should listen, it would seem to you very still. Not a sound of the electric cars would you hear; not an automobile would rumble in the distance and make you look to find if you were in its track; no whistle and rush of steam cars would you hear; no postman's whistle would sound shrill in the distance as he hurried from house to house with his bag of mail; no footsteps of the boy with the morning or the evening paper to deliver would sound on the pavement or come running over the grass, cross lots; no telegram would be handed in at your door; no telephone bell would make you rush to the receiver to find out what somebody miles away was going to talk to you about—

none of these things would you hear, for at that time they did not exist; there were no electric cars, or automobiles, or steamcars; no postmen, or paper-boys, or telegraphs or telephones; no steamers crossing and re-crossing the ocean.

Then if you could open your eyes on this country as it was in 1809, remembering how you live and travel nowadays, you would wonder more and more how people got on at all in those times.

For from somewhere far down the dusty road you would hear a rumbling slowly growing more distinct; by and by you would see a cloud of dust heavier than that raised now by an automobile, because in those times the roads were not so good; then two horses would come into view, and behind them two more, drawing a lumbering stagecoach such as you have never seen except in pictures. If you wished to take a journey, this would be the coach you would travel in-unless you were very rich and went in your own carriage with your own pair of horses.

If you were going any great distance, for instance, from New York to Boston-for that was a great distance in those days-you would have to prepare for a week's journey; for that trip used to take six days by stagecoach. Now the fast expresses do it in less than six hours.

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As you were getting ready to start, people in your neighborhood would come or send to you asking if you would do them the kindness to deliver certain letters to their friends or business correspondents in Boston, or wherever you might be going. In those days it cost so much to send a letter by post that people always asked their friends to carry it, whenever this was possible. They used to begin their letters: "I take this opportunity of Mr. So-and-So's going to such a place”—wherever this might be-"to send you a letter." Then they would tell their news. In those days letters did not have envelopes; they were folded in a peculiar way that we should find it hard to imitate and sealed with sealing wax with a monogram, or a crest, or some pretty device pressed into the wax from the stamp.

The regular mail went on these stagecoaches according to a law that Congress passed in the March of 1802. Before that time the mail was carried by men on horseback. How small the mailbags must have been! Only the great iron horse can now carry the mails that are going from city to city all over the land, not once in two or three days, or even once a day, but all the time, every few hours. And a mail bag, or perhaps two thrown across a saddle with horse and rider jogging along the heavy

roads!-why, now it takes a car fitted up for the purpose to carry the mails. It used to cost twenty-five cents and then twelve cents to send a letter. Now, as we know, one will go from Maine to California for two. So people don't ask their friends to take letters for them on journeys as they once did; they only have to ask them to drop these into the letter boxes.

If you had been traveling in 1809, you would not have gone inside the stagecoach if it had been fine weather; but would have taken a seat aloft beside the driver where you could breathe the fresh air and enjoy the country. And you would have found that the driver was expressman also and stopped at this house and that to deliver letters and packages and to receive and deliver messages. You would have found, too, that he knew all the gossip of the places he passed through on his route and could tell you the history of most of the people in them. For all the world loves to hear and tell news; and those were not the days of newspapers where people could read all the news they wanted, and sometimes more than they wanted. For in 1801 there were only two hundred weekly and seventeen daily newspapers published in all the country. So, if people had not told each other the news, how would they have heard any?

The stagecoaches stopped at taverns on the

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way for fresh horses; and if you had been one of the passengers, you would have gone in with the rest to get breakfast, or dinner, or supper. In those times dinner was in the middle of the day, unless with a few very fashionable persons who had it in the middle of the afternoon.

When you reached the end of your journey, if it happened to be winter weather and you were cold and snowy, no doubt you would have found a warm welcome from your friends, but you would not have found a warm house. They would have ushered you into the drawingroom where you would have found a great blazing fire of wood looking so comfortable and so beautiful. If you sat up close to the fire your nose would have been warm, or if you turned your back to the blaze your back would have been warm; but you would have found you would have found it difficult to keep both warm at the same time. Or if you had found a Franklin stove-for these were in use before that time, you would have been warmer so long as you kept near it. But as to having rooms and halls all over a house warmed as they are now, nobody ever dreamed of such a thing.

You might ask: "If it took so long to go between New York and Boston, how long did it take to go to California?"

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