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Upon the midlands now the industrious muse doth fall, The shires which we the heart of England well may call.
My native country thou, which so brave spirits hast bred,
DRAYTON : Polyolbion.
F E L I X
H O L T,
FIVE-AND-THIRTY years ago the glory had not yet departed from the old coach-roads: the great roadside inns were still brilliant with well-polished tankards, the smiling glances of pretty barmaids, and the repartees of jocose ostlers; the mail still announced itself by the merry notes of the horn; the hedge-cutter or the rick-thatcher might still know the exact hour by the unfailing yet otherwise meteoric apparition of the pea-green Tally-ho or the yellow Independent; and elderly gentlemen in pony-chaises, quartering nervously to make way for the rolling swinging swiftness, had not ceased