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the most portable and cheapest manner. Away: then, from the possibly fatal shelter, friends; and prefer to to flee before the storm rather than to harbour in deceptive security! When you have left that tree, the next flash may prostrate both the shelter and the sheltering cattle to the ground-monuments of the scathing fury of the thunder-storm.
With no other ill effects than a good wet jacket, our friends, after some patient putting in practice the motto that “ills which can't be cured must be endured,” at last emerge from their unpleasant drenching, having pushed along under as “ tight a reefing, and making all as snug as they can,” as the sailors would term it. Perhaps there may be one mariner in the company, who has hardily just condescended to button his coat, and declares that the shower is nothing compared with a “ sea breaking over the decks” in the midst of the tossing ocean; and so, by comparing less with greater evils, wins contentment, and practically sets forth wisdom.
Supposing that endurance wins its own reward for our heroes, the witty repartee and laughing pleasantry bear up, by their volley after volley, the spirits of the party, which otherwise would flag under the late discomfiture of pelting wet. The clouds have exhausted their “ dread artillery,” and the landscape again begins to smile, as the blue mountain ridges stand forth in their variously chiselled outlines; whilst the sun gathers after him his attendant retinue of fleecy clouds, and, as he sinks finally beneath the visible horizon, flings back his parting mantle of glory upon his earthborn, yet aerial servants. Our party, at length, reach the brown woodside, and, tracing its primrose borders, regale themselves with the fragrance of its flowery people, as it rises upward on the evening exhalations, and is quickened with the humid atmosphere around. The “beaming moon”
lights up the calm heaven as she ascends her nightly track, and the humble cot, on the skirt of the wood, sends upward its “gracefully curled” wreath of smoke from its low chimney top, to telegraph to our soaked travellers the welcome hospitalities which may await them within its walls.
65. Our slippers, a hasty change of all wet garments, a cheerful fire quickly kindled by eager hands, and a cup of tea as quickly prepared, all form a series of shifting scenes in our little drama of the “rural,” such as all lovers of the natural” must remember often to have seen enacted in the course of their devotional pilgrimage to the shrine of the “ picturesque.” If the said tea-drinking be close upon the "hours" of rest, and if the article be brewed, as frequently is the case on such occasions, into “ veritable stingo' -travellers thinking they cannot have too much of a good thingthen it probably will be found to interfere with the crown of the pedestrian's labours, “ balmy sleep.”
It is not unlikely, however, that after tea an hour may be devoted to the honour of the crackling hearth, during which the scenes of the day's changeful experience may be recounted over with sundry emendations and humorous colourings; and, whilst discussing in divers tones the varied themes of general and absorbing interest, the plans for the following day must be allowed to " go into committee of the whole house.” Whilst some, perhaps, from a notion of warding off any chances of rheumatic twinges from the late drenching, as well as conceiving that, whilst following a comparatively Indian hunting life, the pipe of peace is requisite, somehow or other, tó constitute a Council of Deliberative Proceedings, in all its unblemished integrity of forms, will dare again to light the fascinating weed of India's growth. Our friends have much endured, perhaps much
forborne, at our respectful remonstrances, it may be : they must then, who choose so to do, in order to establish their claims to some of the credit of Indian warriorship on the several grounds of that endurance, forbearance, equanimity, high-souled resolve, and, lastly, as à make-weight resemblance, be permittǝd to re-kindle even the little witchery of the social sacrifice! But we are forgetting, all this while, we mean to put in one more claim to be heard, though not until the council has broken up, and the votes been collected in the bowl of someone's exhausted pipe-head. If it is not too late, or the party not too sleepy, some of the scraps further alluding to pedestrian or valetudinarian matters, either in instructive prose or pleasing poetry, as found in the following supplementary chapter, may be read, pro bono publico, and discussed profitably, either now or at some future leisure of walking or halting. We have chosen no order in it, as it is to be a dish of fragments of all sorts to suit all.
66. Finally, then, whether our pedestrian group-of whom we are about now with regret to take our leave, and to conclude, in the regular part of the story, our labours in their behalf-chuse or not to wind up with a nightcap of negus, it is not our business to play the spy. Early rising deserves, because it earns, the grateful meed of early rest, when the day is properly filled up with work and good humour. We shall just once more play the travelling physician to our respected group, and shew them all good and faithful service to the last, before we can feel satisfied to make our parting how. It lies in the matter of an useful hint, touching that hideous region to a tired tourist, which has not for ever been to ourselves, unfortunately, a "terra incognita," viz., a damp bed. It is possible that some such mischance may await some one of our company, the bare supposition of