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This reply seemed to rejoice the which overhangs the sea, and the other heart of the inquirer, who immedi- consists of a deep ditch or water-way, ately rejoined, “Oh! - Well, I really beneath a sheer upright rock, — “when wished to know if there were any one rain and wind beat dark December"; here who could understand me. These and even after whip and whoop had fellows don't comprehend one word succeeded in prevailing on the rearers that I say; and I can't speak one word and kickers to “ take the road” again, of their jabber. Just listen to them! that road proved so unprecedentedly What a confounded row they keep up! bad as almost to render futile the Parcel of stupid brutes! If I could struggles of the poor beasts. They only have made myself understood, I did their best; they strained their could have told them how to get it out haunches, they bent their heads forin a minute. Confounded thing this, ward, they actually made leaps of moain't it? Kept last night, too, by some- tion, in trying to lug the clogged thing of the same kind of accident; wheels on through the sludge and and I could n't get those stupid fellows clammy soil ; but this was a mauvais to make out what I meant, and give pas, where the cantonniers' good offime my carpet-bag."
ces in road-mending had been lately Polite condolences from Velvet-cap. neglected, and it seemed almost an
“1 say, are these your Italian skies? impossibility to get through with our Is Nice no better than this? By tired cattle. However, the thing was George, I did n't come here for this, achieved, and the town of San Remo though!"
at length reached. Assurances of the unusually bad Here, with a change of horses, it weather this season from Velvet-cap. was now our turn to have a drunken
“No, but just hark! what a confound- postilion; whom our conductor, after ed row and jabber those fellows keep seizing him by the collar with both up.”
hands, permitted to mount to his high A simultaneous “Ee-ye-ho! ee - seat and gather up the reins, there yuch - yuch !” came from the striv- being no other driver to be had. ing men at this moment, and our Brit- Smacking his long whip with an enerish acquaintance, with a hasty “Good gy that made the night-echoes resound night!” hurried off to see the result. far and wide, galloping his horses up It was this time a successful one; the hill at a rate that swayed the coach to leaning diligence was plucked out, re- and fro and threatened speedy upsetstored to an upright position, and its ting, screaming and raving like a wild passengers were reassembled. Once Indian uttering his battle-cry, our charmore on its way, our conductor re- ioteer pursued his headlong course, unturned to his own coach ; and, with til brought to a stop by something that the help of our postilion, reharnessed suddenly obstructed his career. our horses. But the difficulty now was A voice before us shouted out, “We to start them. Tired with their unex- must all go back to San Remo!” pected task of having to tug at an- A silence ensued ; and then our conother and a stuck-fast diligence, - made ductor got down, running forward to startlish with having to stand in the rain see what was the matter. The three and chill night air, in the open road, in the coupé saw their alert friend of while the debates were going on as to the banquette descend; which caused the best method of attaching them to Velvet-cap to bestir himself, and let the sunken vehicle,
when once put down the window. Not obtaining any back into their own traces, they took to satisfactory information by looking out rearing and kicking instead of proceed- into the darkness and confusion, he ing. It is by no means amusing to opened the door also, and called to sit in a diligence behind five plunging some one to help him forth. Wherehorses, on a cliff-road, - one edge of upon he found himself in the arms of
VOL. XVIII. — NO. 107.
the maudlin postilion; who, taking an Englishman; but, could you oblige him doubtless for some foreign lady me with change for a napoleon? I passenger in great alarm, hugged him want it to pay my bill with. They affectionately, stuttering out, “N'ayez could get some from the next shop, if pas peur! Point de danger ! point de these jabbering fellows would but undanger !”
derstand, and go and try." “Get off with you, will you ?” was The morning-animated sister was the ejaculation from Velvet-cap, as he now also able to observe upon the more pushed away the man, and went in promising aspect of the weather, which search of his alert friend.
was evidently clearing up; for it not The latter soon came running back only did not rain, but showed streaks to the coach-side, bidding the sisters of brightness over the sea, in lines get out quickly and come and look at between the hitherto unbroken gray what was well worth seeing.
clouds. She adverted to the pleasant It was indeed! There lay a gigantic look of the cap-lifting cantonniers, as mass of earth, stones, and trees, among they stood drawn up and nodding enwhich were several large blocks of solid couragement at the diligence, near the rock, hurled across the road, showing mass of earth which had fallen overa jagged outline against the night-sky, night; and which they, by dint of sevlike an interposing mountain-barrier eral hours' hard work from long before but just recently dropped in their path. dawn, had sufficiently dug away to adThe whole had fallen not an hour ago; mit of present passage. She said how and it was matter of congratulation to comforting the sight of their honest the four, that it had not done so at weather-lined faces was, bright with the very moment their diligence passed the touch of morning and early goodbeneath.
humor. There was nothing to be done but This brought a muttered rejoinder what the voice (which proved to be from the other sister; who, huddled that of the conductor belonging to the up in one corner, still half asleep, reother diligence) had proposed, namely, marked that the faces of the cantonto go back to San Remo.
niers were surely far more comforting Here the travellers of both diligences when visible by the light of the dilisoon arrived ; the four, as they passed gence-lamp, coming to bring succor to their rooms, hearing the British ac- amid darkness and danger. cent on the landing, in disconsolate ap- “ But it is precisely because they are peal to a waiter: “Oh!- look here, never to be seen during the darkness, - sack, you know, sack, sack!” when danger is increased by there
“Oui, monsieur ; votre sac de nuit. rarely being help at hand, that I dread Il est en bas, - en bas, sur la diligence. and dislike night,” returned MorningOn le montera bientôt.”
lover. The lady whose spirits rose at night “How oppressive the scent of those was flitting about, brisk as a bee, truffles is, the first thing after breakgetting morsels of bread and dipping fast!” exclaimed Night-favorer. them into wine to revive her sister; “ I had not yet perceived it,” rewho, worn out with fatigue and ex- plied Morning-lover. “Last evening, haustion, sat in a collapsed and speech- indeed, after a whole day's haunting less state on a sofa.
with it, the smell of that hamper of Next morning, however, she was truffles which the conductor took up at herself again, and able to note the Finale was almost insupportable ; but owner of the British accent, who had now, in the fresh morning air, it is any
rinly obtained his desired carpet thing but disagreeable. I shall never
since there he was, at the coupé hereafter encounter the scent of trufow, brushed and beaming, address- files without being forcibly reminded of Velvet-cap with, “ Excuse me, as all the incidents of this journey. That
smell seems absolutely interwoven with to; but the four agreed to spend the images of torrent-crossing, cliff-falling time in walking round by the path pouring rain, and roaring waves.” above the obstruction, so as to see its
The talk fell upon associations of whole extent. sense with events and places; sounds, The wet, percolating and penetrating sights, and scents, intimately connected through the softer soil, gradually acwith and vividly recalling certain oc cumulates a weight of water behind and currences of our lives. We had missed beneath the harder and rockier porthe glimpse of the baby face and little tions, which dislodges them from their white cap from the back of the dili- places, pushes them forward, and finally gence that preceded us during the first topples them over headlong. This is portion of the day, owing to our coach generally prevented where terrace-walls having been delayed at Ventimiglia by are built up, by leaving holes here and some peculiar arrangement which re there in the structure, which allow the quired the team that had dragged us wet to drain through innocuously ; but up a steep ascent to stop and bait, - if, as in the present instance, this caumerely resting instead of changing, be- tion be neglected, many days' succesfore we went on again.
sive rain is almost sure to produce the The Pont St. Louis, with the pictur- disaster in question. It had a woful esque ravine it crosses, had been passed, look, — all those garden elegances cast and the pretty town of Mentone was there, flung out upon the high-road, full in view, when we caught sight of like discarded rubbish; pots of selected the other diligence, some way on the flowers, favorite seats, well-worn paths, road before us, brought once more to a carefully-tended beds, trailing climbers, stand-still, while a crowd of persons sur torn and snapped branches, all lying to rounded it, and its passengers were to
be shovelled away as fast the roadbe seen, in the distance, descending, menders could ply their pickaxes and with the baby cap among them. At spades. this instant, an excited French official At length this task was accomplished; darted out from a doorway by the side the diligences were hauled over the of the road near us, raising his arms broken ground (their contents being also distractedly, and throwing his sentences “hauled over at the custom-house); up at the conductor, who understood the passengers (after the important cerehim to say that there was no going on; monial of handing their passports for inthat a whole garden had come tumbling spection, and having them handed back down across the road just at the en- by personages who kept their countetrance to Mentone, and prevented pass nances wonderfully) were in again and ing.
off again. We drove on to the spot, and found But one more torrent to cross, – it was indeed so; the grounds of a where the foremost coach had nearly villa, skirting the highway on a terrace been overset, and where the occupants ledge, had been loosened by the many of the hindmost one, profiting by exdays’ rain, and had fallen during the ample, got out and walked over the footforenoon, a heap of ruins, – shrubs, bridge, in time to behold the owner of plants, garden-walls, flowers, borders, the British accent wave his hat triumrailings, –
-one mass of obstruction. phantly from the coupé with a hearty With a glance at the coupé passen- (English) “Huzza !” as the vehicle regers, another French official (the newly- covered, by a violent lurch to the left, appointed frontier custom-house being from an equally violent one to the right, close at hand) stepped forward to sug- issuing scathless from the last flood gest that the "insides” could be ac that lay in the way, — and then both dilicommodated, during the interim re gences began at a leisurely pace to crawl quired for the cantonniers to do their up a long ascent of road, bordered on work, at a lately-built hotel he pointed each side by olive-grounds; - until the
view opened to a fine stretch of pros- dimensions, indicating its numberless pect, now colored and vivified by a turns and bends. glance of the afternoon sun, – the di- As the sun sank over the far western minutive peninsular kingdom of Mona- lines of the Estrelle Mountains, and the co, lying down in the very sea, bright, sky faded into grayish purple, succeedand green, and fairy-like ; the bold bar- ed by an ever-deepening suffusion of ren crag of the Turbia rock frowning black, unpierced by a single star, the sternly in front, with its antique Roman high reach of road above Villafranca tower and modern Italian church; the Bay was passed; and, on our turning the rocky heights above to the right, with corner of the last intervening upland, their foreground of olive-trees, vine-trel- full in view came the many lights of lises, and orange-groves, interspersed Nice, with its castled rock, its minarets with country - houses; while through and cupolas, its stretch of sea, its look all wound the ever-climbing road, a of sheltered repose;—all most welcome white thread in the distance, with the to sight, after our sensational journey telegraphic poles, dwindled to pin-like on the Cornice Road in a great rain.
INCIDENTS OF THE PORTLAND FIRE.
NEER hadh Portland lookedmiore shape of a fore-cracker, and lo! half the
beautiful than when the sunrise- . gun boomed across the waters, an- My youngest brother, at the first nouncing the ninetieth anniversary of sound of the bell, came and begged me our independence. The sun, which on to take him to the fire; so I went, to another day should look down on the please him. Poor child! I little thought city's desolation, rose unclouded over that by twelve o'clock at night there the houses, that stood forth from the would be no place at home to lay the foliage of the embowering elms, or nes- little head. tled in their shadow; over the quaint- We found the fire near Brown's sugarness of the old-fashioned churches and house, where there was a large crowd the beauty of the more modern temples; already assembled. But, though the over the stately public edifices, and the smoke and masses of fame were risstreets everywhere decked with flags ing only from one house, the wind and thronged with crowds of happy, was blowing a perfect gale; and a well-dressed people. Of course, the pop- foreboding of the calamity impendular satisfaction expressed itself in the ing seemed to possess the spectators. report of pistols, guns, and fire-crack. There was none of the usual noise, ers; and all through the day the usual and men appeared to look at the burnamusements went on, and in the af- ing house with a feeling of awe. We ternoon almost everybody was on the did not stop there at all ; and some street.
idea of the rapid progress of the fire A few minutes before five o'clock, may be gathered from the fact, that when the festivity was at its wildest, about four squares distant, where, on the alarm of fire rang out. Every cir- the way up, we could see one fire, on cumstance was favorable for a confia- our return we saw three, — two lighted gration, - the people scattered, the city by sparks from the first. We slowly dry and heated by a July sun, and a retraced our way, and met people on high southwesterly wind blowing. It every side quickening their steps in the needed only the exciting cause in the direction of the fire.
About seven o'clock, mother and I
But all was useless. On came thought it would be wise to pack up the fire with a steady sweep. We saw our silver and valuables; for it seemed that it was idle to combat it longer, as if we were directly in the path of the and turned all our energies to saving conflagration. Down Fore Street, and what we could. Our home was to be from Fore to Free, it was rushing on. ours no longer. The dear old roof-tree, The southwestern heavens were en- under which had assembled so many tirely shut from our view by the flames loved ones, now gone forever, — where and smoke; cinders, ashes, and blaz- the eyes of all our home circle first saw ing embers were falling like rain down the light of life, — where three of that Middle Street, and across to Congress, number closed theirs in death, — the as far as the eye could see. The scene centre of the hopes and joys of a lifetime, was terrible; but it was soon surpassed - was to be abandoned to the flames. in fearfulness, for the work of desola- It was like tearing our heart-strings to tion was not half completed. The Irish leave it so; but there was no time for population were the chief sufferers up to lingering. With streaming eyes and this hour. It was heart-rending to see aching hearts we started out, taking the women rushing hither and thither, what we could in our hands. There trying to save their few possessions. was by this time no vehicle to be obHere, a poor creature was dragging a tained in which we could ride ; and, mattress, followed by several little cry- supporting my mother, my sisters clinging children, her face the picture of ing to us in silent terror, we were borne despair ; there, another, with her family, along with the crowd down Middle Street stood over the remnants of her scanty to India. I cannot remember any incistock. A poor woman, who was in the dents of that walk. The hurrying throng Itabit of working for us, lived near the around me, the flying sparks, and the corner of Cross and Fore Streets. She roar of the engines, seem like the conhad five children and a sick husband to fusion of a dream. care for. Almost all her energies were Our sister, who met us at the door, bent in getting them to a place of safe- felt perfectly secure, and had done nothty; and the few little things which she ing towards packing. I gave her an succeeded in rescuing from the flames account of our proceedings, thinking were afterwards stolen from her by each moment of some precious thing some one of the many wretches who I might have brought away. We went gathered the spoils that awful night. to the front door, and looked out on the
It soon became evident that we must scene before us. The fire seemed to decide upon some plan of action, in come on the wings of the wind. Midcase it should come to the worst. We dle Street was ablaze; Wood's marble had two married sisters, - one living hotel was in flames, together with the in India Street, the other at the west beautiful dwelling opposite. The fire end of the city. As the former had no leaped from house to house, and, if for family, and was alone, even her husband a moment checked, it was but to rush being away, and as the latter had three on in wilder fury. Churches, one by children, and a house full of company, one, were seized by the flame, and we decided that, if we must move, it crumbled into ruin before it. No hushould be to India Street. We sent off man power could arrest its fierce proone team, and my youngest brother gress. In vain the firemen put forth a with it, before the fire was anywhere strength almost superhuman : their exnear us; and then, while my. two little ertions seemed but to add to its fury. sisters assisted mother in getting things Explosion after explosion gave greater together, I worked with my brother and terror to the scene: buildings were succousin, hanging wet blankets against cessively blown up in the useless effort the walls, pouring water on the roof, to bar its pathway; the fire leaped the and taking other precautionary meas- chasm and sped on. Fugitives of ev