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TALES OF THE TRAINS ; BEING SOME CHAPTERS OF RAILROAD ROMANCE.
BY TILBURY TRAMP, QUEEN'S MESSENGER.
NO. 1. -THE WHITE LACE BONNET.
Let no enthusiast of the pastoral or conversant with the passages of history romantic school, no fair reader, with which suggested them. The battle eyes “deeply, darkly, beautifully blue,” and murder school, the raw-head and sneer at the title of my paper. I bloody-bones literature, pales before have written it after much and mature the commonest coroner's inquest in meditation.
“ The Times ;" and even Boz can It would be absurd to deny that the scarce stand competition with the great and material changes, which our « vie intime" of a union work-house. progress in civilization and the arts What, then, is to be done ! Qua effect, should not impress literature, regio terre remains to be explored ? as well as manners ; that the tone of Have we not ransacked every clime our thoughts, as inuch as the temper and country, from the Russian to the of our actions, should not sympathize Red Manfroni the domestic habits with the giant strides of inventive of Sweden, to the wild life of the genius. We have but to look abroad, Prairies ? have we not had kings and and confess the fact. The facilities of kaisers, popes, cardinals, and ministers travel, which our day confers, have to satiety? The land service and the given a new and a different impulse to sea service have furnished their quota the human mind—the man is no longer of scenes ; and I am not sure, but deemed a wonder, who has journeyed that the revenue and coast-guard may some hundred miles from home-the have been pressed into the service. miracle will soon be he, who has not Personalities have been a stock in trade been every where.
to some-and coarse satires on wellTo persist, therefore, in dwelling known characters of fashionable life, on the same features, the same fur. have made the reputation of others. tunes, and the same characters of man- From the palace to the poor-house, kind, while all around us is undergo- from the forum to the factory, all has ing a great and a formidable revolu- been searched and ransacked for a new tion, appears to me as insane an effort, view of life, or a new picture of manas though we should try to preserve Some have even gone into the our equilibrium during the shock of recesses of the earth, and investigated an earthquake.
the arcana of a coal mine, in the hope The stage lost much of its fascina- of eliciting a novelty. Yet, all this tion, when, by the diffusion of litera- time, the great reformer has been left ture, men could read at home, what to accomplish his operations without once they were obliged to go abroad note or comment; and while thunderto see. Historical novels, in the same ing along the earth, or ploughing the way, failed to produce the same excite- sea, with giant speed and giant power, ment, as the readers became more men have not endeavoured to track his
l'ol. XXV.-No. 145.
influence upon humanity, nor work old gentlemen like buffers. Here is a out any evidences of those strange vista for imagination_here is scope changes he is effecting over the whole for at least fifty years to come. I do surface of society. The steam-engine not wish to allude to the accessary is not merely a power to turn the consequences of this new literary wheels of mechanism-it beats and school, though I am certain music and throbs within the heart of a nation, the fine arts would both benefit by its and is felt in every fibre, and recog- introduction, and one of the popular nized in every sinew of civilized man. melodies of the day would be—“ We
How vain, to tell us now of the met, 'twas in a tunnel.” I hope my lover's bark skimming the midnight literary brethren will appreciate the sea, or speak of a felucca, and its candour and generosity with which pirate crew, stealing stealthily across I point out to them this new and unthe waters. A suitor would come to claimed spot in Parnassus.
No petty seek his mistress in the Iron Duke, of jealousies—no miserable self-interests, three hundred horse-power; and have weighed with me, I am willing smuggler would have no chance, if he to give them a share in my discovered had not a smoking galley, with Watts' country, well aware that there is space patent boilers!
and settlement for us all-locations What absurdity, to speak of for every fancy-allotments for every runaway couple, in vain pursued by an quality of genius ; for myself I reangry parent on the road to Gretna- serve nothing—satisfied with the fame green-an express engine, with a stoker of a Columbus, I can look forward and a driver, would make the deserted toʻa glorious future, and endure all father overtake them in no time! the neglect and indifference of present
Instead of the characters of a story ingratitude. Meanwhile, less with remaining stupidly in one place, the the hope of amusing the reader than Dovelist now can conduct his tale to illustrating my theory, I shall jot the tune of thirty miles an hour, and down some of my own experiences, start his company in the first class of and give them a short series of the the Great Western. No difficulty to • Romance of a railroad." preserve the unities ! Here he journeys But, ere I begin, let me make one with bag and baggage, and can bring explanation for the benefit of the twenty or more families along with reader and myself. him, if he like. Not limiting the de The class of literature which I am scription of scenery to one place, or now about to introduce to the public, spot, he whisks his reader through a unhappily debars me from the employdozen counties in a chapter, and gives ment of the habitual tone and the him a bird's-eye glance of half Eng- ordinary aids to interest, prescriptive land as he goes; thus, how original right has conferred on the novelist. I the breaks which would arise from an can neither commence with“ It was occasional halt, what an afflicting inter- late in the winter of 1754, as three ruption to a love story, the cry of the travellers," &c. &c.; or,“ The sun was guard, “Coventry, Coventry, Coven- setting;" or, The moon was rising;" or, try;" or any gentleman, "Tring, Tring, “ The stars were twinkling;” or, “ On Tring,” with the more agreeable inter- the 15th Feb., 1573, a figure, attired in jection of “ tea, or coffee, sir-one the costume of northern Italy, was seen brandy and soda-water- Times, Chro- to blow his nose;" or, in fact, is there a nicle, or Globe."
single limit to the mode in which I How would the great realties of life may please to open my tale; my way flash upon the reader's mind, and how lies in a country where there are no insensibly would he amalgamate fact roads, and there is no one to cry out, with fiction! And lastly, think, reflect, “ keep your own side of the way." what new catastrophe would open upon Now, then, for an author's vision ; for, while to the
" THE WHITE LACE BONNET." gentler novelist, like Mrs. Gore, an eternal separation might ensue from It is about two years since I was one starting with the wrong train—the of that strange and busy mob of some bloody-minded school would revelin ex- five hundred people, who were assemplosions and concussions—rent boilers, bled on the platform in the Eustoninsane luggage trains, flattening the square station a few minutes previous