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OUR VISIT TO THE ISLE OF MAN.

THE JOURNEY-ITS PLEASURES AND PAINS.

For several years past we have been in the habit of going to the sea-coast for about a fortnight in the middle of summer; and when we have returned and had time to think about it, we have sat down and written an account of what we saw and heard.

In this way we have taken our young friends along with us to the Isle of Wight, to Scarboro, to North Wales, to Burlington, and other places. During the summer of 1856, we undertook a journey and voyage to the Isle of Man.

For a fortnight, the weather had been remarkably fine; indeed, for some days towards the end of July the heat was more powerful than it had been known in England for several years. What made this hot weather more remarkable was, that the spring had been 'cold and cheerless, and the first weeks of summer vnsettled and unpromising. But now the bright rays of the sun shining in his strength through a cloudless sky, seemed to draw forth the languid life of vegetation, which shot up with more than usual rapidity beneath the cheering influence.

We left home by a special train on one of these fine unclouded mornings, and having skirted the feet of the hills of Charnwood forest, and glanced, as we passed, at Ashby of the Zouches and its feudal ruins, we were soon at Burton-onTrent, where, as usual, we had to perform the quarantine of a tedious delay. At length we moved on; but only, after a few minutes ride, to meet with a much longer detainment at Tutbury; affording us plenty of time to look up at the shattered remains of its old castle, on the thickly-wooded eminence, where for ages it has stood frowning down on the verdant valley through which the lovely little river Dove winds its devious course-and to talk of the woman, who, some forty years ago, had made the name of this small town notorious by pretending to live without food! But the tricks of Ann Moore and her daughter were found out at last, as all such impostures generally are in the end.

But at length we move again, and now we pass on without further interruption, and soon reach the smoky and dirty Pottery region, with its teeming populations, which we are glad to leave behind, and, halting for a short time at the great station at Crewe, we are soon passing beneath the shade of Beeston promontory, with its time-worn ruins, which rises high above our heads, in gloomy grandeur. More than once we have climbed to its summit; and we intend, some day, to tell you more about it. But on we go, and are soon at Chester. No, not quite. They have stopped the train about a mile from the station.

It had been a hot and dusty day, and we were all thirsty. Oh for a drink of cold water! We look out of the window and there is a stream of the pure liquid running along the foot of the embankment. We look at it longingly. Will the train go on, or stop a few minutes ? It will stop. Some are jumping out of the carriages already, and with mugs, and jugs, and glasses, and bottles, are securing the delicious refreshment. Others are stooping down and lapping a drink from the palm of their hands. We ventured out and obtained a supply.

And here I would mention that at several stations along this line we observed a large pitcher of water and a glass standing on a side table on the platforms for the use of passengers—a thoughtful and kind arrangement.

At Chester our train was divided- -one portion passing on for North Wales, and another turning off for Birkenhead. Our course was to the latter place, which we soon reached.

But not quite. For they stopped us for half an hour at two miles distance; and when at length we drew near the station, they fixed us on an embankment and left us there! The engine and a few of the carriages reached on into a coal wharf, but the greater part of the carriages were perched on the top of this high embankment.

There we were, and with hundreds more we had to scramble out as best we could. There was scarcely room for us to stand on our feet when we climbed down from the carriage, or to fix our luggage when we had dragged it out. Some slipped and rolled down the embankment, and their luggage along with them. All this time there was no help-no porters, but crowds of women and children in the houses and streets beneath, to whom our troubles seemed to afford considerable amusement. But this was not all; for when, holding by the carriages, we crept along the edge of the steep embankment, we found our way to the coal wharf impeded by a heap of coke, over which ladies, gentlemen, and children, had to climb in danger of a sprained ancle, and to the injury of their habiliments. But what, cared these redoubtable railway managers ? They had got our money, and their officials, for ought we knew, might be cracking jokes about the awkward fix in which we had been placed. But it was no joke. It was a discreditable and disgraceful affair. Many threatened what they would do. They would cxpose the managers in the Liverpool papers—that they wonld. But I never heard that they did ; and perhaps this is the first printed notice that has been taken of what was, to say the least, a shameful piece of negligence.

Vexatious and annoying as all this was, it was not without something of the ludicrous. In the absence of the usual porters and cabs—for even these officious attendants at railway stations never dreamed, it seems that hundreds of ladies and gentlemen, and their luggage, would be set down at a coal wharf half a mile from the regular place of arrivalcrowds of little ragged urchins swarmed around us offering their tiny aid. “Want anybody to carry your luggage, sir ?" screamed one of these as he presented biroself in the narrow path in front of a passenger, who, with a large box on his shoulders, could scarcely balance himself or his burden. "Stand out of the way," was the reply, “I am so mad I could carry a ton!” Presently the report of our predicament reached the ears of the cabmen, and cab after cab came bowling in through the gates of the coal-wharf. We secured the service of a strong young Irishman to fetch our luggage and carry it on his broad shoulders along the perilous way, and having at length engaged a cab we drove off to

an hotel.

We have mentioned this adventure at the Birkenhead

station not only to expose an extraordinary piece of incivility and inattention, but that our young friends may see that journeys of pleasure are not always in all things so pleasant as some would suppose.

But you may imagine how we enjoyed a good wash, and a cup of tea, and a few slices of bam, after our long, and hot, and dusty ride, and the annoyance we had met with at the end of it. Where we sat we had a view of the town of Liverpool, on the opposite banks of the Mersey. The broad stream was between us. It was a calm and beautiful evening, and the sight of the placid waters, on whose bosom numbers of vessels were resting at anchor, while others, with numerous boats, were gliding over its surface, was a novel and interesting scene to a party from a midland town, where such sights are never, and can never be seen.

Refreshed and rested, we proposed, about sunset, to cross over the water to Liverpool by one of the steam ferry-boats which are constantly passing and re-passing the stream. In five minutes or less we are over, and having walked through a few of the principal streets of this vast emporium of merchandize, we returned to our hotel, and retired to rest at an early hour.

We shall next have a more pleasant tale to tell of our voyage to the Island, a Map of which we have now furnished, and to which you will often have to refer when we mention the various places we visited during our stay there. We were much amused and gratified with what we saw and heard, and we hope you will be too, when you come to read what we have to tell you.

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