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The first conflict between man and man was the mere exertion of physical force unaided by auxiliary weapons—his arm was his buckler, his fist was his mace, and a broken head the catastrophe of his encounters. The battle of unassisted strength was succeeded by the more rugged one of stones and clubs, and war assumed a sanguinary aspect. As man advanced in refinement, as his faculties expanded, and his sensibilities became more exquisite, he grew rapidly more ingenious and experienced in the art of murdering his fellow beings. He invented a thousand devices to defend and to assault—the helmet, the cuirass, and the buckler, the sword, the dart, and the javelin, prepared him to elude the wound, as well as to launch the blow. Still urging on, in the brilliant and philanthropic career of invention, he enlarges and heightens his powers of defence and inj y.The aries, the scorpio, the balista, and the catapulta, give a horror and sublimity to war; and magnify its glory by increasing its desolation. Still insatiable, though armed with machinery that seemed to reach the limits of destructive in. vention, and to yield a power of injury, commensurate even with the desire of revenge still deeper researches must be made in the diabolical
With furious zeal he dives into the bowels of the earth; he toils midst poisonous minerals and deadly salts—the sublime discovery of gunpowder blazes upon the world—and, finally,
the dreadful art of fighting by proclamation seems to endow the demon of war with ubiquity and omnipotence.
This, indeed, is grand !-this, indeed, marks the powers of mind, and bespeaks thať divine endowment of reason which distinguishes us from the animals, our inferiors. The unenlightened brutes content themselves with the native force which providence has assigned them. The angry bull butts with his horns, as did his progenitors before him—the lion, the leopard, and the tiger, seek only with their talons and their fangs to gratify their sanguinary fury; and even the subtle serpent darts the same venom, and uses the same wiles, as did his sire before the flood. Man alone, blessed with the inventive mind, goes on from discovery to discovery-enlarges and multiplies his powers of destruction; arrogates the tremendous weapons of Deity itself, and tasks creation to assist him in murdering his brother worm !
ENGLISH STAGE COACHMEN.
And here, perhaps, it may not be unacceptable to my untravelled readers, to have a sketch that may serve as a general representation of this very numerous and important class of functionaries, who have a dress, a manner, a language, an air, peculiar to themselves, and prevalent throughout the fraternity; so that, wherever an English
stage coachman may be seen, he cannot be mistaken for one of any other craft or mystery.
He has commonly a broad, full face, curiously mottled with red, as if the blood had been forced by hard feeding into every vessel of the skin; he is swelled into jolly dimensions by frequent potations of malt liquors, and his bulk is still further increased by a multiplicity of coats, in which he is buried like a cauliflower, the upper one reaching to his heels. He wears a broad-brimmed lowcrowned hat; a huge roll of coloured handkerchief about his neck, knowingly knotted and tucked in at the bosom; and has in summer time a large bouquet of flowers in his button-hole; the present, most probably, of some enamoured country lass. His waistcoat is commonly of some bright colour, striped, and his small-clothes extend far below the knees, to meet a pair of jockey-boots which reach about half way up his legs. All this costume is maintained with much pre
on; he has a pride in having his clothes of excellent materials; and, notwithstanding the seeming grossness of his appearance, there is still discernible that neatness and propriety of person, which is almost inherent in an Englishman. He enjoys great consequence and consideration along the road; has frequent conferences with the village housewives, who look upon him as a man of great trust and dependence; and he seems to have a good understanding with every bright-eyed country lass. The moment he arrives where the horses are to be changed, he throws down the reins with something of an air, and abandons the cattle to
the care of the hostler; his duty being merely to drive from one stage to another. When off the box, his hands are thrust into the pockets of his great coat, and he rolls about the inn yard with an air of the most absolute lordliness. Here he is generally surrounded by an admiring throng of hostlers, stable-boys, shoeblacks, and those nameless hangers-on that infest inns and taverns, and run errands, and do all kinds of odd jobs, for the privilege of battening on the drippings of the kitchen, and the leakage of the tap-room. These all look up to him as to an oracle; treasure up his cant phrases ; echo his opinions about horses and other topics of jockey lore; and, above all, endeavour to imitate his air and carriage. Every ragamuffin that has a coat to his back, thrusts his hands in the pockets, rolls in his gait, talks slang, and is an embryo Coachey.
As many of the retired matrons of this city, unskilled in gestic lore," are doubtless ignorant of the movements and figures of this modest exhibition, I will endeavour to give some account of it, in order that they may learn what odd capers their daughters sometimes cut when from under their guardian wings.-On a signal being given by the music, the gentleman seizes the lady round her waist; the lady, scorning to be outdone in courtesy, very politely takes the gentleman round