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and the wheels revolved over the broad gravel road, and they were off !
The De Bohun Arms was, to the Elleringaytonians, a kind of grand-junction, in modern railway phraseology. There, letters, parcels, and people, were dropped; there, not only the stage-coach, but other conveyances of less speedy transit were met, and whenever any of the peaceful dwellers of that retired hamlet did move from home, they generally took the coach or stage-waggon there. It was there that the villagers reached the arterial trunks of road by which they could be carried into the heart and centre of the civilised world.
As the two travellers passed along their journey, many were the objects of attraction to the younger. He took his seat by the guard, and Godfrey, with greater reference to self-preservation and comfort, occupied the one vacant place within.
Arrived at Canterbury, they took up their abode at the chief hotel, and after they had ordered dinner and dressed, the father proposed that they should take a stroll into the town, and also have a peep at the Dean John -the cathedral, and the garrison in which he had been quartered thirty years before. Scarcely had they proceeded a hundred yards down the pavement, when two or three dashing officers, with their gold lace, dangling swords, and flowing sashes, passed by, laughing heartily as they went, apparently the jolliest, most thoughtless, happiest fellows in Christendom. Moreton fixed his eyes upon them in gaze of consternation, and evidently they had made a first and favourable impression-and first impressions are more than a dozen afterwards.
The father and son returned to the hotel to discuss the merits of a comfortable dinner. A bright fire blazed cheerfully in the little sitting-room; the table was set out with more than common neatness; the obsequious waiter was expeditious in his movements, and in a few minutes the smoking edibles were before the travellers, who were both in a condition to do good service to a good dinner. Godfrey was no great reader, but he remembered the saying of the renowned lexicographer, Johnson, who deemed a tavern chair the throne of human felicity; and he might have cited Shenstone's opinion, that a man nowhere meets with such a hearty welcome as beneath the roof of an inn. The dinner hour being late, they dined with candles. Godfrey had no wish to stir out any more that night, and therefore resolved that he and Moreton would, over a bottle of crusted port, endeavour to make the evening pass as pleasantly as laid in their power. The captain, amid all his follies (and they were many), had never been addicted to drinking; and though he would on special occasions take his pint of wine, yet he was a temperate man.
“By the way, Moreton, ring the bell and inquire if the hamper have safely reached its destination."
An answer in the affirmative settled uneasy doubts. Coffee and slippers were ordered, and in no long time each repaired to his dormitory. The morning came; as all mornings will
The captain had slept but moderately. What with cogitating on his projectswhat with the tiresome jolting of the stagecoach and the unusual circumstance of sleeping in a strange bed, he declared on rising that he had counted every clock. Not so with regard to Moreton. He slept soundly; he was fatigued, and could have “snored on a flint.” His brain was busied with no schemes to give rise to night-watching. He slept uninterruptedly, and dreamt of gold lace, flowing sashes, and dangling swords; nay more, the airy visions had carried him at one bound over a long lapse of time. The few hours had to him been years—long, eventful years; he had braved danger; passed unscathed through fiery showers of death's red bolts ; had been amid scenes of carnage, dread, and glory; had climbed his way to fame over many a lifeless corpse; had been a soldier and a hero! Honours had fallen thick upon him, and a life full of events, of dangers, of wonders, had been curdled into those few short hours ! He awoke. The martial plume, the hosts of foemen, all the pomp and pageantry of war had melted into thin air, and it was time to rise !
Having descended into that little sittingroom to which they had been allocated, the breakfast was ready. The meal being despatched, they then proceeded to make an early call on Colonel Sommerton.
Reaching the garrison, the guards were marching like perpetual motions; and handsome fellows were strolling about the courtyard. A servant presented the captain's card, and they were speedily ushered into thé colonel's private room.
There is a feeling of inexplicable pleasure, when two friends, once dear to each otheronce bound by the ties of friendship and esteem—are after years of absence, and an infinitude of changes, by some lucky chance thrown together. The recollections of past times; the reassemblage of vanished scenes; the tender associations awakened after a long period of forgetfulness; the resuscitations of a host of feelings mingled with pleasure, tenderness, and regret, give rise to a crowd of emotions' that completely fill the heart, and which it were vain to attempt to describe. Colonel Sommerton had known Captain De