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WE were three Englishmen travelling by
the mail-train from London to Dover, on our
way to Paris, one evening in this present
month of December, 1851. The extensive
horse-dealer in the multiplicity of thick great
coatsthe quiet Cambridge man reading a
shilling reprint of Macaulayand the present
writerdid not find the eighty miles or so,
lying between London Bridge and the Custom
House Quay at Dover, hang at all heavy on
their hands. There was a thick white fog
outside, and a trifle of drizzling rain, and enough
frost to make the rails slippery; but we were
as jovial, notwithstanding, as old travellers
ought to be. The horse-dealer talked
voluminously of divers "parties" having a
knowledge of "little mares;" and told us, quite
confidentially, that he intended to put the brown
horse in harness next week. The Cantab
discoursed of "men" who were going "up" to
the University; of Brown of "Maudlin" wineing
somewhat too copiously with Jones of
Trinity; of how Muffle beat the Bargee, and
how Snaffle of Trinity had been chased four
miles through ploughed fields by a determined
proctor, anxious to ascertain his name and
college. As to the scribe, he passed no
inconsiderable portion of the time in endeavouring
to pull a pair of worsted stockings over his
boots  in talking a little, sleeping a little, and
reading a little for a change.

Now, on the Tuesday immediately preceding
the eve of our journey, there had been an
intricate political evolution performed in Paris,
called a coup-d'├ętat. People have grown so
accustomed to revolutions, that they took
this last revolution very quietly; expecting,
doubtless, reciprocal tranquillity on the other
side of the Channel. There was a harvest of the
evening papers, a run of luck for the gossips,
an ill wind blowing some considerable good
to the "patterers" who pervaded the fashionable
squares until a late hour, proclaiming,
with sonorous solemnity, Paris in flames,
the red flag waving, and the President

We went about our business, however, very
comfortably and quietly, crossed the Channel,
and started from Boulogne with the mail-bags
and a locomotive post-office, at two in the
morning of Thursday, seeing nothing of
revolution, and nothing of arms or an army,
save one very imposing gendarmea prize
gendarme, with a wonderful cocked hat, a
beard and moustache most martial, a sword
prodigiously long, and calculated, generally,
to strike terror into the disaffected, and
to awe the malcontents. But, as I had seen
him in the same marvellous costume several
times before, (I even think I can remember
him before they changed the uniform, and
when he wore jack-boots and leathers), and
as I know him to be a peaceful warrior, willing,
when off duty, to partake of a verre d'anisette
or Cassis with you, I did not argue, even from
his grande tenue, any very alarming state of

The stations, as in the grey dawn we were
whirled past them, were all filled with soldiers.
This had an ugly look. My co-occupants of the
carriage made various manifestations. The
pretty traveller from America began to get
frightened;—a pretty girl in a pretty bonnet;
showing, as subsequent events disclosed, a
prettier face. She had a large fur mantle,
and a soft voice with a slight lisp, had come
straight from New Orleans to New York,
from New York to Liverpool, from Liverpool
to London, and so, by this mail, to Paris,
alone. Come! The world is not so bad as some
would accuse it of being, when a timid girl,
not twenty years of age, can travel so
many thousands of miles, and talk with a
smile of travelling back again, when she has
seen her friends in Paris!

The horse-dealer, the Cantab, the writer,
and, I grieve to say, the disagreeable gentleman
with the seal-skin cap, made divers
futile attempts to sleep, and many more
successful to converse from Paris to Lille. In
the carriage, likewise, was a very large cloak,
which, partially disclosing a despatch box,
and a button with a crown on it, I conjectured
to form a portion of a sleeping Queen's

So, in the cold foggy morning, past Beauvais,
Clermont, Creil, St. Denis; and, by nine
o'clock, into the Paris terminus.

The look of things in general assumed
an uglier appearance. The dwarfish little
soldiers, with their shabby great coats and
bright muskets, swarmed in waiting-rooms,
refreshment-rooms, and offices. The gallant