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had shone forth while we were there at it, and apostrophised it with, " Ah, was the only intermission vouchsafed you big pig! I 've passed you, for this by the rain, which afterwards poured time!” down with a steady vehemence and per- The first change of horses took place tinacity seldom seen on the Ligurian at a village close down on the sea-shore, Riviera. The effects of this rare con- where some fishermen were busily emtinuance of wet weather were soon ployed hauling up the last of a row of made impressively perceptible to the boats that lay upon the beach. Every four as they emerged upon the open available hand, not occupied in aiding road, after passing the Lighthouse of the conductor and postilion to unharGenoa and the long straggling suburbs ness the diligence horses and put to of San Pier d'Arena, Pegli, and Voltri. the fresh team, was enlisted in the serThe horses splashed through channels vice of the boat-hauling. Young gentleof water which filled the spongy ruts, men out for an evening's amusement, smoking, and toiling, and plunging on; attired in sacks or tarpaulins thrown while the whoops and yells of the pos- over their shoulders, while their nethtilion urging them forward, together er garments were rolled up tightly into with the loud smacks of his whip, a neat twist that encircled the top of made a savage din. This was farther each thigh, were frisking about a line increased as we crashed along a ledge of men with weather-beaten counteroad, cut in a cliff overhanging the sea; nances and blown hair, who tugged - the waves tearing up from beneath bare-legged at the sides of the fishingwith a whelming roar; the rocks jutting boat, half in the water and half out. forth in points, every one of which was Occasionally one of these young gena streaming water-spout; the rain pelt- try, feeling perhaps that he had aided ing, the wind rushing, the side-cur- sufficiently in the general work, betook rents pouring and dashing. These himself to a doorway near, dripping latter, ordinarily but small rills, carry- and shaking himself, and looking out ing off the drainage of the land by gen through the sheeted rain at his com. tle course, were now swollen to rough panions, who were still in the excite. cataracts, leaping with furious rapidity ment of whisking round the heaving from crag to crag in deluges of turbid and tugging fishermen, while the waves water, discolored to a cingy yellow- rose high, the spray dashed up in mist brown by the heaps of earth and stone over their grizzled heads and beards, which they dislodged and brought down and the wind whistled sharply amid with them, and hurled hither and thith- the deeper tumult of the sea and torer over the precipitous projections, and rent waters. To heighten the grim occasionally flung athwart the highway. wildness of the scene, the shades of At one spot, where a heap of such evening were closing round, and by stones - large, flat slabs — had been the time the four travellers were off tossed upon the road, and a few of again and proceeding on their way, their companions were in the very act darkness was fast setting in. of plunging down after them, our pos- Nightfall found them toiling up a tilion drew up to guide his cattle among steep ascent that diverges inland for those already fallen ; and, raising his a few miles, winding round the estate voice above the thunder of the sea- of some inflexible proprietor, upon waves, rain, wind, and waters, shouted whom nothing can prevail to permit out in broad Genoese to the falling the high - road to take its passage ones, “Halloo, you there, up above! through his land, there bordering the Stop a bit, will you? Wait a moment, sea-side. Up the ascent we labored, vou up there !” Then, driving on care- and down the descent we lunged. lly till he had steered by the largest the wheels lodging in deep mire at the fragments that lay prostrate, he every moment, and threatening
to rned back his head, shook his whip abide in the deeper holes and fur
rows which the water-courses (forced the diligence (without its horses, its from their due channels by overflowing “outsides," and its “insides ”) bodily and by obstructive fallen masses) had a high, steep, slippery mule cut and dug into the road as they bridge, which crossed a torrent near strayed swiftly over it.
at hand, now swollen to an unfordable By the time the next stage was depth and swiftness. The four bereached, the conductor consulted the held this impassable stream, boiling four on the advisability of stopping and surging and sweeping on to minto sleep, instead of proceeding on gle itself with the madly leaping seasuch a tempestuous night, the like of waves out there in the dim night-gloom which, for perilous effects, he said he to the left, as they descended from the had but once before encountered dur- diligence and prepared to go on foot ing the whole of the sixteen years he across something that looked like a had been in office on this road. The rudely-constructed imitation of the Rithree coupé passengers, consisting of alto Bridge at Venice, seen through a two ladies - sisters and a ruddy- haze of darkness, slanting rain, faintfaced, cheerful gentleman in a velvet ly-beaming coach-lamps, pushing and travelling-cap, who made it a princi- heaving men, panting led horses, pasple, like Falstaff, to take things easily, sengers muffled up and umbrellaed, and “not to sweat extraordinarily," conductor leading and directing. Then warmly approved the conductor's pro came the reharnessing of the horses, posal as a sensible one ; and even the the reassembling of the passengers, alert gentleman in the banquette agreed the remounting of the “insides," the that it would be more prudent to remain reclambering to his seat of the alert at the first good inn the diligence came banquette “outside” (after a hearty into. This, the conductor replied, was at terchange of those few brief, smilhavona, one stage farther, as the place ing words with his coupé companions they now were at was a mere boat- which, between English friends, say building hamlet, that scarcely boasted so much in so little utterance at pean inn at all, — certainly not “good riods of mutual anxiety and interest), beds.” A group of eager, bronzed the payment of the agreed-for sum by faces were visible by lamp-light, assem the conductor to the bronze-faced pushbled round the conductor, listening to ers and heavers, amid a violent renewal him as he held this conference with of the storm of Genoese jargon, termihis coach-passengers; and at its close nated by an authoritative word from the the bronze - faced crowd broke into payer as he swung himself up into his a rapid outburst of Genoese dialect, place by a leathern strap dangling from which was interrupted by our conduc the coach-side, a smart crack of the tor's making his way through them all, postilion's whip, a forward plunge of and disappearing round the corner the struggling horses, an onward jerk of the small piazza wherein the dili of the diligence, and the final procedure gence stood to have its horses changed. into the wet and dark and roar of the After some moments' pause, not in wild night. the rain, or wind, or sea - waves, for The gas and stir of Savona came as they kept pouring and rushing and welcome tokens of repose to the toilroaring on, -- but in the hurly-burly of some journey; and the four alighted rapid talk, which ceased, owing to the at one of the hotels there with an inextalkers' hurrying off in pursuit of the pressible sense of relief. His fellowvanished conductor, he returned, say- travellers were warned, however, by the ing, “Andiamo a Savona.”
alert gentleman, that they must hold proved that he had been to ascertain themselves in readiness to start bethe feasibility of what the group of fore dawn next morning, as the conbronze-faced men had proposed, name ductor wished to avail himself of the ly, that they would undertake to convey first peep of daylight in passing sev
eral torrents on the road which lay wife, who had both died suddenly and beyond Savona. Velvet-cap assented both on the same day. The old woman with a grunt; one of the sisters — all held up her brown, shrivelled hands, briskness at night, but fit for nothing and gesticulated pityingly with them in of a morning - proposed not to go to the pouring rain, as she mumbled her bed at all; while the other — quite hurried tale of sorrow; while the posused up at night, but “up to every- tilion involuntarily slackened pace, that thing” of a morning — undertook to her words might be heard where he and call the whole party in time for de- the conductor sat. parture.
The horses were suffered to creep on This she did, - ordering coffee, see- at their own snail pace, while the influing that some was swallowed by the ence of the funeral scene lasted; but sister who had been unwillingly roused soon the long lash was plied vivaciously from the sleep she had willingly offered again, and we came to another torrent, to forego overnight, collecting cloaks, more deep, more rapid, more swollen baskets, and travelling-rugs, and alto- than any previous one. Fortunately for gether looking so wakeful and ready us, a day or two before there had been a that she wellnigh drove her drowsy sis- postilion nearly drowned in attempting ter to desperation.
to drive through this impassable ford; The preannounced torrents proved as and still more fortunately for us, this swollen as were expected ; so that the postilion chanced to have a relation passengers had to unpack themselves who was a servant in the household from the heaps of wrappings stowed of Count Cavour, then prime-minister snugly round their feet and knees, and to King Victor Emanuel. “Papa Caissue forth into the keen morning air, millo's” servant's kinsman's life being armed with difficultly-put-up umbrellas, endangered, an order had come from to traverse certain wooden foot-bridges, Turin only a few hours before our diliin the midst of which they could not help gence arrived at the bank of the danhalting to watch the lightened diligence gerous stream, now swollen into a dragged splashingly through the deep swift, broad river, — decreeing that the and rapid streams, expecting, at every new road and bridge, lately in course lunge it made into the water-dug gul- of construction on this spot, should be lies, to see it turn helplessly over on its opened immediately for passage to and side in the very midst of them. Never- fro. The road was more like a stonetheless, no such accident occurred; and quarry than a carriageable public highthe four jogged on, along soaking, sop- way, so encumbered was it with granite py, drenched roads, that seemed never fragments, heaped ready for top-dressto have known dust or drought. At ing and finishing; and the bridge led one saturated village, they saw a drip- on to a raised embankment, coming to ping procession of people under crim- a sudden fissure, where the old coachson umbrellas, shouldering two rude road crossed it. Still, our conductor, coffins of deal boards, which were finding that some few carts and one dilborne to the door of a church that igence had actually passed over the stood by the wayside, — where the ground, set himself to the work of gettrain waited in a kind of moist dejec- ting ours also across. First, the intion to be admitted, and to look dis- sides and outsides were abstracted from piritedly after the passing diligence. the coach, - which they had by this The alert gentleman heard from what time come to regard as quite an extrathe conductor gathered from an old neous part of their travelling, not so woman wrapped in a many - colored much a "conveyance" as something to audy-patterned scarf of chintz, which, be conveyed, - and the four took their et through, covered her head and way over the stones, amused at this houlders clingingly, that this was the new and most unexpected obstacle to funeral of a poor peasant-man and his their progress. Hastening across the fissure, they went and placed them- the town of Oneglia. Here, while the selves (always under umbrellas) beside conductor ran into a house to make a troop of little vagabond boys, — who purchase of a loaf about half a yard in had come to see the fun, and had se- length and a corpulent bottle of wine, cured good front places on the opposite the four saw another funeral train apbank, – to view the diligence brought proaching. This time it was still more down the sharp declivity of the em- dreary, being attended by a show of bankment to the old road below. The processional pomp, inexpressibly forspectators beheld the jolting vehicle lorn and squalid. The coffin was palled come slowly and gratingly along, like with a square of rusty black velvet, a sturdy recusant, holding back, until whence all the pile had long been the straining horses had tugged it by worn, and which the soaking rain now main force to the brink of the fissure. helped age to embrown and make flabHere the animals stopped, snorted, by; a standard cross was borne by an eyed the sheer descent with twitching ecclesiastical official, who had on a ears and quivering skins, as though quadrangular cap surmounted by a they said in equine language, “We're centre tuft; two priests followed, shelsurely not required to drag it down tered by umbrellas, their sacerdotal garthis !” They were soon relieved from ments dabbled and draggled with mud, their doubt, by being taken out of the and showing thick-shod feet beneath traces, patted, and gently led down the the dingy serge and lawn that flapped embankment, leaving their burdensome above them, as they came along at a charge behind. There it stuck, help- smart pace, suggestive of anything but lessly alone, — even more thoroughly solemnity. As little of that effect was belying its own name than diligences there in the burial - hymn which they usually do, – perched on the edge of a bawled, rather than chanted, in a caredeclivity of the height of a tall house, less, off-hand style, until they reached stock still, top-heavy with piled lug- the end of the street and of the town, gage, deserted by its passengers, aban- when the bawlers suddenly ceased, doned of its friend in the velvet cap, took an abrupt leave of the coffin and a motionless and apparently objectless its bearers, fairly turned on their heels, coach. How it was to be dislodged accompanied by the official holy standand conveyed down the “vast abrupt” ard - bearer, and went back at a brisk became matter of conjecture to the trot, having, it seems, fulfilled the funcfour, when presently some men came tions required of them. Obsequies to the spot with a large coil of cable- more heartless in their manner of percord, which they proceeded to pass formance, it was never the fate of the through the two hindmost side-windows four to behold. The impression left of the diligence, threading it like a bead by this sight assorted well with the on a string; and then they gradually deep and settled murkiness that dwelt lowered the lumbering coach down the like a thick veil on all around. Even side of the descent, amid the evvivas the cheery tones of Velvet-cap's voice of the vagabond boys, led by an enthu- lost their elasticity, and the sprightlisiastic “Bravissimo!” from Velvet-cap. ness of the sister's spirits, that inva
This incident occupied much time; riably rose with the coming on of and though the travellers made some night, failed under the depressing inprogress during the afternoon, the gray fluence of that rain - hastened funeral shades of twilight were gathering over and that “set-in ” rainy evening. As and deepening the gloom of the al- for the sister whose spirits fell with the ready gray sky and gray landscape, – fall of day, she was fast lapsing into a deadened to that color from their nat- melancholy condition of silence and uturally brilliant hues by the prevail- ter“ giving-up." ing wet, — as the travellers stopped to Rattling over the pavement of the change horses again at the entrance of long, straggling town, – plashing along
a few miles of level road, -struggling from their traces and harnessed to those
Suddenly, at a turn of the road, we words of two French commis-voyageurs,
cap covered up carefully with a bandhelp them out of the scrape. It had kerchief by the young mother, while been occasioned partly by the careless the father held an umbrella over their ness of the conductor, who, unlike ours, heads, and conducted them to the coun(for the latter was a man of good sense terpart portion of our diligence, where and judgment, self-possessed, and per the family took refuge during the fresh fectly attentive to the duties of his attempts to drag theirs forth. office,) had neglected to light the dili Then there came a tap against our gence-lamp, and partly by the obstinacy coupé window, and an unmistakably of a drunken postilion, who insisted on British accent was heard to say: " Ankeeping too close to the ditch side of
glais ? Anglais ?” Tap -- tap - tap. the road, while he instinctively avoided Any English here?" the precipice side. Nearly two mortal Velvet-cap let the window down, hours was our diligence detained, dur and answered in his cheerfullest toue, ing which time our cattle were taken