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honest in his own convictions. His work is
published by Mr. Bentley, of New Burlington-


IT was once laid down by a very eminent
writer, that "man is the least transportable
species of luggage." He cannot be tied up in
a parcel, taken down to a booking-office, and
sent wherever a carrier may choose to take him.
Unless he is a Queen's messenger, a commercial
traveller, a rural postman, or some such wandering
officer, he picks his road, and if there is no
road to pick, he stays at home. With every
disposition to travel and see the world, he will only
move from his fireside or his garden on certain
conditions. In one age he demands a pack-horse,
going at the rate of two miles an hour; in
another he asks for a " flying-coach;" and in
another he ventures his limbs in a four-horse
mail. Travelling is an art, like ground and
lofty tumbling, which can only be learnt by
degrees. It is a question of confidence. From
the handspring you go to the flip-flap, and from
the flip-flap to the summersault. The traveller
who once had his doubts about stage-coaches,
leaps from them on to the luggage train, and
from the luggage-train to the wild express.
Like the traditional beggar on horseback, he is
often a noisy upstart. He will hardly allow the
poor iron-horse five minutes to take in water,
and grumbles at the slow speed of fifty miles an

As we look back a few years into the past,
we are surprised to find how the world seems
to have shrunk up. We walk distances, three
or four times a day now, which our grand-
fathers used to regard as a long coach journey.
We never rise early to catch a Paddington
coach in these days, or are troubled about the
hours at which the Bank stages start from Chelsea.
We have come to regard Brighton as a place
lying at our doors, and Margate as a sea-side
village flourishing round the corner. Birmingham,
Bristol, Dover, Southampton, and Norwich,
all seem to have drawn nearer to town, and to
have sunk into the character of London suburbs.

The genii who have brought about these
changes in the relations of places are the hard-
working road-makers. They have bridged over
time and space, have trebled the life of man,
when measured by what it can do, and have
turned withered villages into thriving cities.
They have given us channels as good as money,
weights and measures, or any other contrivance
for facilitating commerce. They have doubled
the size of the poor man's loaf, and of the poor
man's fire, and have clothed thousands who,
but for them, would have gone naked. Every
piece of sound, open, free road is a good
Samaritan, that will not let the weary traveller perish
by the wayside.

We have all heard a good deal about Roman
roads, and some of us have felt the benefit
arising from these ancient legacies; but many
generations came and went before the great
thoroughfare-makers were copied by our
countrymen. The art of road-making in England is
not much more than a century old, and this
gives us many centuries of rough "bridle-paths"
in the dark ages. If any devout believer in the
good old times would wish to taste the pleasure
of travelling like his forefathers, let him look
about for what is called an "undedicated road"
in the neighbourhood of London. He will find
plenty in those outskirts where brick-fields and
market-gardens are ceasing to make bricks and
grow cabbages, and are turning their attention
to the cultivation of detached villas. An
undedicated road means a passage still retained by
the owner of the land, and not handed over to
the parish authorities as a public thoroughfare,
It is undedicated to the local board of works,
and defies the monthly reports of the district
surveyor, but it is dedicated to all kinds of
slush and rubbish. It is generally known as the
"back-road" amongst neighbouring schools and
families, and is the terror of all right-minded
persons who have the care of young children.
It is the place where Tommy loses one of his
boots in the sucking clay, and hops home for
nearly a mile in a fit of nervous excitement. It
is the place where Dicky gets a black eye or a
cracked head, because he will play at see-saw
across an old bar-gate put at the end of the road
to mark its private character. It is the place
where Sarah Jane breaks the perambulator while
pushing it over the uncovered hole of a new
coal-cellar; where Master Edward spoils two
suits of clothes in three weeks, to the great joy
of the local tailor; and where costermongers
play undisturbed chuck-farthing on a Sunday
morning. The road is a row of soft muddy
ridges, formed of brickdust and wet clay,
looking like a potato-field; and here and there
is a pool of thick fluid the colour of jalap.
Some of the children, wishing to make a way
into the depths of this wilderness, have planted
brickbats in the slush, at easy distances from
each other, like the stepping-stones of brooks,
and on these they hop in defiance of the
mud-billows on either side. Sometimes a
foolish traveller, allured by the promise of a
short cut, is tempted to try these stepping,
stones in the undedicated road, but he generally
sticks fast in the centre of the swamp, afraid to
go on and hardly knowing how to turn back.
Occasionally, during one or two of the dry
winter and summer months, the undedicated
road may be explored with safety, but for four-
fifths of the year it is an impassable bog
announced "to be let on building leases."

On some such roads as these, in the good old
times, the English traveller made his weary
pilgrimage. He trusted to nature, and soon
became aware that nature only provides the raw
material of roadways. The "merry greenwood,"
about which so many fancy romances have been
written, must have been often as moist and
untidy as a scavenger's yard, while outside the
magic limits of the brave old oaks, the path-
ways must havs been moats in the rainy season.

The first act of parliament in which a regular

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