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my twenty miles project, and take a second-
class ticket for the rest of the journey. But,
self-shame (the strongest of all, for no man likes
to look ridiculous in his own eyes) comes to
my aid. The day seems louring somewhat,
and promises a cool afternoon, and I dismiss
the locomotive as a mere figmenta puffing,
drinking, smoking, superficial, inconsequential
surface-skimmer, skurrying through
the country as though, he were riding
a race, or running away from a bailiff,
or travelling for a house in the cotton
trade.

I walk resolutely on my journey from
Garstaing: the milestones altering their tone
now, and announcing so many miles and a
half to Preston. The treacherous, sun which
has been playing a game of hide and seek with
me all day, comes out again with redoubled
fury, and burns me to a white heat. Worse
than this, I am between two long stages of
beer, and a rustic in a wide-awake hat
informs me that the next house of entertainment
is at Cabus, "a bad fower mile fadder
on." Worse than all, there is no cottage,
farm-house, lodge gate, to be seen where I can
obtain a drink of water. I am parched,
swollen, carbonised. A little girl passes
me with an empty tin can in which she
has carried her father's beer with his dinner
to the hay-field. The vacuity of the vessel
drives me to frenzy. My nature abhors such
a vacuum. There are certainly pools where
geese are gabbling, rivulets whence come the
thirsty cows to drink, ditches where the
lonely donkey washes down his meal of
thistles. But l have no cup, waterproof cap,
even no egg-shell, in which I could scoop out
water enough for a draught. I have broken
my pipe, and cannot, even if I would,
drink out of its bowl. I am ashamed of
using my boot as a goblet. I might, it is
true, lie down by the side of a ditch, and
drink like a beast of the field; but I have no
fancy for eating while I drink; of the toad,
the tadpole, the water-newt, the swimming-
frog, the old rat, the ditch dog, and the green
mantle of the standing pool. Poor Tom
could do no more than that, who was whipped
from tything to tything, and whose food for
seven long years was "mice, and rats, and
such small deer."

I lean over a bridge, beneath which ripples
a little river. The channel is partially dry,
but a clear, sparkling little stream, hurries
along over the pebbles most provokingly. I
groan in bitterness of spirit as I see this
tantalising river, and am about descending to
its level, and making a desperate attempt to
drink out of the hollow of my hands, at the
risk of ruining my all-round collar, when, in
my extremity on the river's bank, I descry
Pot. Pot is of common red earthenware,
broken, decayed, full of dried mud and sand
but I hail Pot as my friend, as my
deliverer. I descend. I very nearly break
my shins over a log of timber; I incur
the peril of being indicted for poaching or
trespassing in a fishing preserve: I seize Pot.
Broken as he is, there is enough convexity in
him to hold half-a-pint of water. I carefully
clean out his incrustation of dried mud. I
wipe him, polish him tenderly, as though I
loved him. And then, oh, all ye water gods, I
drink! How often, how deeply, I know not;
but I drink till I remember that the water
swells a man, and that I should be a pretty sight
if I were swelled; whereupon with a sigh I
resign Pot, give him an extra polish, place
him in a conspicuous spot for the benefit of
some future thirsty wayfarer, and leave him,
invoking a blessing upon his broken head. This
done, I resume my way rejoicing. I catch up
the milestones that were getting on ahead, and
just as the cool of the afternoon begins, I am
at my journey's end. I have walked my
twenty miles, and am ready for the juicy
steak, the cool tankard, the long deep sleep,
and the welcome railway back to Lancaster.
I beg to state that from Lancaster, whence
I started at nine a.m. to Preston, where I
arrive about five p.m., in this long, hot walk
of twenty miles, I see no castle, tower,
gentleman's mansion, pretty cottage, bosky
thicket, or cascade. The whole walk is
eminently common-place. A high road, common
hedges, common fields, common cows and
sheep, common people and childrenthese are
all I have seen. The whole affair is as
insipid as cold boiled veal. How many
insipid things there are! A primrose by
the river's brim was a yellow primrose to
Peter Bell, and it was nothing more; but
take the primrose, the cold boiled veal, even
my tiresome walk of twenty miles in an
artistic light, and something may be gained
from each.

New Tale by the Author of MARY BARTON, publishing
weekly in HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

ON WEDNESDAY, September the Sixth, will be published,
in HOUSEHOLD WORDS, the SECOND PORTION of a New
Work of Fiction, called

NORTH AND SOUTH.

By the AUTHOR OF MARY BARTON.

The publication of this Story will be continued in HOUSEHOLD
WORDS from Week to Week, and completed in Five Months.

Price of each Weekly Number of HOUSEHOLD WORDS
(containing, besides, the usual variety of matter), Twopence; or Stamped, Threepence.

HOUSEHOLD WORDS, CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS,
is published also in Monthly Parts and in Half-yearly Volumes.

The NINTH VOLUME of HOUSEHOLD WORDS
(containing HARD TlMES), price 5s. 6d., was published on
the 16th instant.

This day is published, carefully revised and wholly
reprinted,

IN ONE VOLUME, PRICE FIVE SHILLINGS,

HARD TIMES.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.
BRADBURY and EVANS, 11, Bouverie Street.

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