The village inn

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  • Eleven years ago my little book on the antiquities of English villages was published. Its object was to interest our rustic neighbours in their surroundings, to record the social life of the people at various times--their feasts and fairs, sports and pastimes, faiths and superstitions--and to describe the scenes which once took the fields and lanes they know so well.

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  • In a faded and patched blue coat, turned up with red, the bellman of Kinver appeared in the one long street of that small place--if we call it a town we flatter it, if we speak of it as a village we insult it--and began to ring outside the New Inn. A crowd rapidly assembled and before the crier had unfolded the paper from which he proposed reading, an ape of a boy threw himself before him, swinging a turnip by the stalk, assumed an air of pomposity and ingenious caricature of the bellman, and shouted: "O yes! O yes! O yes! Ladies and gents all,...

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  • We arrived at Rye, a small English seaport. Here, as soon as we came on shore, we gave in our names to the notary of the place, but not till he had demanded our business; and being answered, that we had none but to see England, we were conducted to an inn, where we were very well entertained; as one generally is in this country. We took post-horses for London: it is surprising how swiftly they run; their bridles are very light, and their saddles little more than a span over. Flimwell, a village: here we returned our first horses, and mounted fresh ones. We passed through...

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  • About the end of the year 1639, a troop of horsemen arrived, towards midday, in a little village at the northern extremity of the province of Auvergne, from the direction of Paris. The country folk assembled at the noise, and found it to proceed from the provost of the mounted police and his men. The heat was excessive, the horses were bathed in sweat, the horsemen covered with dust, and the party seemed on its return from an important expedition. A man left the escort, and asked an old woman who was spinning at her door if there was not an inn in the place. The woman and...

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