chapter  XXI
RURAL RIDES
Pages 31

Advice to Young Men appeared in parts during r829 and r83o. It was followed in October, r83o, by Rural Rides. This fascinating record of Cobbett's journeyings and lecturing tours through the country had already been published from time to time in the Register, from the first Ride of r82r onwards. Whenever he could escape from business or political concerns in" the Wen," or from the claims of his farm at Kensington, Cobbett loved to ride off, usually accompanied by one of his sons, into the countryside. Mingling business with pleasure, he rode through the land, observing everywhere both men and things, surveying the condition of the country and the people; stopping frequently to make " Rustic Harangues " to the farmers and labourers, putting up for the night at some village inn or at the house of some friend, whose experiments with "Cobbett's Corn," or "Cobbett's American Trees," he was eager to observe. After a long day's ride, and perhaps a speech, he would sit down to record his impressions and comments for the benefit of his readers of the Register. Written thus in snatches, as a daybook of his travels, Rural Rides is astonishingly fresh and vigorous. It brings out what is best alike in Cobbett's mind and in his style of writing. It was when Cobbett was mounted that he rode into his kingdom.