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THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
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oo. New York. MIFFLIN & Boston and CO. THE DAY OF HIS YOUTH. Novel. .^oofes bp aiicc ^rotoiu BY OAK AND THORN Snglish Days. f i.25. A i6mo. HOUGHTON. I1. : A Record of i6mo.
€ambx\\i%t 1897 . MIFFLIN AND COMPANY ^te iiiitetjntie ^ttii./p Z^SB^^y BY OAK AND THORN HecorD of (l].ngU0li Da^sf ALICE BROWN y- }i>'-i9 BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON.
O. 18(36. Cambridge. Mass. Houston & Co- .Copyright. S.. By ALICE BROWN.A. Electrotyped and Printed by The Riverside Press. Ali rigJUs reserved. U. H.
TO MY GOOD COMRADES WHO SHARED THE FOOTPATH WAY .
. . . • .21. 29 72 loi 132 144 173 187 ... . . . .CONTENTS PAGE In Praise of Gypsying i The Food of FAncy A Still Hunt The Pilgrim in Devon The Haunt of the Doones The Land of Arthur The Bronte Country The Quest of a Cup An Unresisted Temptation Latter-day Cranford Under the Great Blue Tent lo 23 .
: " Then follow you. Or let the streams in civil mode Direct your choice upon a road. . Will lead you where you wish to go And one and all go night and day Over the hills and far away . wherever hie The traveling mountains of the sky. " For one and all. or high or low.' " Robert Louis Stevenson.
with the youth of the year. hath come a strange longing upon the hearts and within the veins of tures living. is speak. Conscience is dead within us. and over-sea the may is whitening well her fairy smock. and the lips fit themselves easily to snatches of old song. that is it is to fret us. For there works a sweet languor and at the same time a quickening within the blood the spirit given over to melancholy. if it ." we cry. and while columbines nod bravely.BY OAK AND THORN IN PRAISE OF GYPSYING And now. we stay indoors while the apple forming within the green of the bud. though listlessly. or. and alternately to joyance. " that we labored all winter within the . " What avails it. spread lavishly upon green hedges. all crea- and one born to a climate of unchanging peace would scarcely know what it might portend.
while without us the ever-mutable yet ever-living makes unto itself red sunsets." but we who be gypsies will toss this tiresome tag into the next thicket. not." (They that know not spring may finish the line. . lies . our songs are sung yet what living soul is the better for our travail ? Children are we that play at shaping a creation of our own. and if we have but one drop of our canvas . ? Our books wet. " to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. do we turn the hearing inward and listen to the throbbing of swift-pulsing currents and their measure is that of a jocund march drawWhere. we care not for. and all moralizing have we forsworn." And therefore. that. blessed gypsy blood. moving doth inform the whole. It smacks of the school-room. to the effect that "the true success is to labor.) And ever at this season.BY OAK AND THORN prisoning of four dull walls are written. we know ing us ever onward. when one has tuned 2 . like quicksilver. as one great among wizards truly declares. sick with the vanity of our seriousness. and with one spring-attired birchtree set against a background of pine puts to shame all the conceptions of art.
air . and let Whittier equalize the wanderer's lot with that of him is. to the wild : free life. the voice of bird and tree "Come!" and the saiHng clouds Follow " Memories don brave attire." IN PRAISE OF GYPSYING his ear to listen. " Come and follow " What loving sympathy — have we now for that happy band who. we courteous from the moment when the tassel droops first on th'e alder to that when the last crimsoned maple leaf flutters down the wind. full lib- erty 3 . cry." and make their rallying note. in one guise or another. and step gayly forward to the tune of " Summer Let Emerson assure us is icumen in. ** house by the hedge. home hath as great a share of the universe as he that travels abroad.discerning eye. " To the wood ! thfen. Nayet ture herself contradicts it. " ! " who from his doorway sees The miracle of flowers and trees. masquerading as hopes. but never that 3f conformity to the world ." — give their words are empty acquiescence. gile vial of man's being " Come " she cries to us." that he who stays at. as to the young ! ! — contained within — the fra- birds on the rim of the nest.
books shall be forsworn but if. Glorious and historic precedent have we for our vagrom became aweary desires. or suddenly alive to the divine JEneas was message 4 . we long for the old vice of print. and like joyous pioneers cleft the way to his desires. he followed his star to the greenwood. whereof one line conambition. pick up the crumbs of their festival. and there out-gypsied the gypsies. may if we be worthy." BY OAK AND THORN Among us who can seize upon such her. their holiday is eternal while the sun shines and the grass grows. He joined the gypsies he received the crown of ! A . and we. in some moment of weakness. itage of delight. the life of Bampfylde-Moore Carew. and became their Lustily rang the inauguration ode at his crowning. taineth the whole philosophy of " This is summer : Maunders' holiday ! Maunders (beggars). Born respectably. the son of a rector (alas good youth. virtuous king. When of philandering. love and longing not to be withstood marched ever before him. commonly called the King of the Beggars. he would fain have had it otherwise). let it be that excellent work.
Misprang . that he showed so clean a pair of heels. what did he do ? Marry. he kicked down the altar. Possibly. and their bribes of gilded ease ? Rather had he tired of island life he was ready to be up and away. in the case of any mortal man. dear pilgrim. deserter of Ariadne and the Isle of Naxos it was never in obedience to the gods. smoking with the sacrifice of her queenly devotion. yet only after he had been 5 . a jolly breeze and . Stay . when this same paste- board hero was minded to leave the pedestal whereon poor Dido had set him.at .homes were ever deputed to do the weeping be warned.^neas was safe on waves no Salter than Dido's tears. the sea sparkled. and buckle on your shoon Ulysses of wily memory was he animated solely by a virtuous desire for home-made cakes and ale. Theseus. scattered the ashes of her hopes. reads the tale. after.IN PRAISE OF GYPSYING (and who can tell. in quitting Circe and Calypso. and set sail I Potent The mariners pulled with lusty phrase ! will. whether he be moved by gods or ennui?). ! nerva appeared to him. — ! . say I. yet under a sun more beguiling than her smiles.
a more adventurous way than that of him who has newly enslaved himself to love. of the true At such movalues of ancient tales. . and spring airs blow soft doubts. or to cool the ? fever of his youth Strange suspicions awaken in us when the distance wooes. were symbols not only of a yearning faith and abiding constancy. for his gray and broken age. " Bind me with no fetters. To run the finger further down the margin of the past is to find 6 . a casket of golden memories. a hardy adventurer. but of a natural delight such as those hemmed in by " four gray walls " can never know. . Jason was a shrewd merchant. though spendthrift of time and strength.BY OAK AND THORN moved by dreams of a swifter flight. as a wanderer moved by vague desire of foreign lands and sweetly new experience one who. all unwonted. — . not even in the prisoning of rosy arms " sang his Viking soul. ments even the Crusader seems not so much enkindled with the passion for rescuing earth's holy spot. yet sought he ! chiefly the Golden Fleece. his staff and ful time sandals. He was the bird of passage of a prayerhis scallop shell. would yet store up.
and drinking deep of the desire of life. They fought for crown and faith (and booty. And for us ? There are no sacred tombs to deliver. what wild advenElizabeth queened it in England when she would fain have taken sword in hand. . This moment of the opening bud is that for which we have endured our months Chivalry . killing the Spaniard. and their own stout hearts their best companioning. and sailed the sea with the best of her merry men. lived on the wing. and Fortune was with them. no Hesperides in imagined view." not the less did they pursue continual change for pure love and for the quieting of their per- turbed spirits. and live the life of niderings and them that be easily content.IN PRAISE OF GYPSYING what burning names. This was the Watiderjahr of their time. but not for that will we fold our hands at home. counterpart of the Age of they who would truly live. ! but as " a pin's fee. and perhaps not even one soul to be rescued and deserted in the light-hearted fashion of our mythic forbears . let not that be forgot ) but though the peace of Christendom was the laurel leaf for which they held life ture ! — .
but to seek that beauty which the hand of man hath not made. cradled heroes. not — : — " My 8 purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset.. and soar will go or flutter as his nature bids. and now the creature hath his wings to fly away. filled its destined use. we are blest indeed but whatever be our station. or in a New England pasture. We perchance like a wiser race. and the baths . BY OAK AND THORN The chrysalis hath fulof servitude. like the solemn prophecy of a greater hope and a more splendid journey forth. somehow. To lie beneath the open sky. tippling on fragrance and lulled by the foolish bees. Somewhere. and ringing in our ears shall be one or another majestic chant. in that our lives have grown serene and natural as hers. to mark the rhythm of murmuring treetops. whether to sit among the limes and yews of Stratford churchyard. and face the wild rose unshamed. look and listen. and the secret of which no cunning can divine. that shall be our desire and our deIf we may sail the seas that have light. we will wander. let us go out. to hang odes on the blossoming cherry. and walk the shores of golden memories.
" 9 . until I die.: IN PRAISE OF GYPSYING Of It all the western stars. whom we knew. And see the great Achilles. may be that the gulfs will wash us down It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles.
especially when we have set . On such a topic impossible to speak lO . far from the mahoganywe left behind us. forth on pilgrimage to inherit the earth. On exact science. even in the happy world of verse. so to merge it into a contemplative and poetic delight. for he was born to see and sing but ours shall be the joyous deed. every homely act gains a new significance and unfamiliar food fits itself. — and nitrogen. it fell to Aldrich to link the praise of "dreamy words" and "very pleasant eating." His was the good word. a good-fortune not always regnant. to him who only it is eats to live. tree such days. and only such may fitly couple the etheSo by real with the grossly utilitaria». — so much many units unknown of energy. So that it becomes the wise to refrain from considering eating as an . not only to the nourishment of corporeal particles. but to that spiritual life wherewith we draw our only vital breath.THE FOOD OF FANCY Few are the pens of perfect technique.
wraith-pictures from the land of dreams the first English gooseberry tart stood forth a more substantial but no less joyous herald of welcome to a soil whose heroes have ever held tankard and trencher in honorable What fruit this side the land repute. And though. then. alas no purveyor shall henceforth bring us tribute from the garden of " my lord of Ely. be simply yea. the first English daisy.THE FOOD OF FANCY impersonally. . as a unit whose yea would fain. or chewed the cud of a foreign flavor. save to his own self-limited delight ? To speak straitly. ! . I frankly avow that my shallop of joy in English travel was upborne upon an ever ." so also nothing short of an irresponsive palate can deprive us of that flavor underlying the rosy . of pure delight can rival the English strawberry ? the only sort of immortal joy you can buy by the pound. individually to the small go-cart of the for who ever ate altruisfirst person tically. quivered in white before my seeking eyes. The earliest May-blossom. in this matter. or to shield one's self be- hind the egotistical bulwark of the ediIt is necessary to betake us torial we.buoyant wave of tabledelight.
at Exeter. corpulent was the all reason. more strawberries. that a matron. gave us the recipe for the clotted cream." You shall have Devon cattle. even the specific milk : .BY OAK AND THORN even in the days of Tyrant RichI ate my first strawberry from a little basket (you know the shape. But you cannot "bring home the river and sky. later in this progress of delight. so grown beyond though lacking nothing of tenderness and fragrance. and set off by cloying junket. pink of cheek and gown. that we measured its bulk with a wisp of grass. In Devon. and learn the tricks of the dairy from a thousand years' inheritance. on the banks of Itchen. some eaten in an exquisite dairyshop off the cathedral close. and sent the boastful girth home to one who would have been with us. dear pilgrim !) in a field bordering the Nun's Walk. had the gods dealt tenderly. fruit. else your cream will turn out a plain and wholesome compound of the taste of scalded and no charm. most delectable product of the red-soiled south. And so flesh ard. It was at Ilfracombe. as a country lass by her hot-house sister. their nectarous juices enriched and softened with clotted cream.
without a premonitory shudder.' But the verdict of the American palate was altogether favorable. from his time forth. " Solid and satisfying. ' 13 . We would fain have duplicated John Fry's order. was pie. zame as I hardered " but there was no time last Tuesday for the cooking. Weller. that concoction duced by Sam ' ' pie. immortal of halting-place John Ridd as he rode home from school across the moors. too." says retrospect. as he arranged the eatables on " Wery good thing is a weal the grass. and is quite sure it ain't kittens. "'Hot mootton pasty. a culinary disappoint- ment lay coldly in wait. "Much like the British character.' " said Mr. and shouting prophetic defiance to the returning Doones. and to think * pleasant. soliloquizing. first little Warwick shop that I made one with weal and 'am so cunningly traWeller that no one may eat it. " Weal pie. when you know the lady as made " it. on the occasion of his standing up like a pixy in the dark. was in a shall avail you.THE FOOD OF FANCY furnished the guileless sellor It Annie by Coun- Doone. and we went away with — . on ! ' " At Dulverton.
! BY OAK AND THORN the sacred rite undone. though he invent a thousand modern trifles. no tickling of the palate under new combinations can compensate for the starving as were approved and all else that of the soul. do more than rouse a wondering look on the face of the mythBut. or a For sauce to outrival Worcestershire. did you ever eat English buns without a jingling mental accompaniment to the tune of the old nursery rhyme ? And though you consumed them luxuriously in the London ABC 14 shops. You who have trodden English bypaths and fallen in with ancient ways. have asked. to what end should Devon kitchens exist. the love whereof first led little John into the Doone Valley. or made your touring staff that other variety to . not in all Devon did mention of pickled loaches. such by its tutelary giant. one viand embalmed in story Let his name be anathema. went to the nourishing Shame on him who of his mightiness ? would remove one guidepost of the culinary past. save for the perpetuating of sacred lore and setting before the reverent palate hot collops of venison. Moreover. we might ignoring inhabitants.
you shall eat Bakewell pudding. that. when absence shall have softened every harsh detail of that English journey. to your own enlarge- ment of vision. you may purchase the unholy Banbury cake. of the genus tart. it will linger. which is no less than a superlatively rich mince turnover. doubt it will trouble your dreams. having. you pass it not by. but compensating for all conventional Without lack by fruits and spices.THE FOOD OF FANCY be found. custard. for no Banbury cake ever did its spiriting gently but in the end. toffy. You shall eat haggis and scones in Scotland. "a. . or possibly farther afield among the Shakespeare haunts. yellow with saffron. pineapple. as one greater than the world of realists hath said." At Banbury. sort of mixed flavor of cherry-tart. a spicy savor. and hot buttered toast. in your happy memory. 15 . beside the Cornish sea. O seekers of inward joy. For in Derbyshire. by all the past eating you have ever done. when you come upon a classic dish. were they not soul-satisfying and plummy ? I charge you. roast tur- key. And north and south the traditionary riches of the kitchen shall be yours. evidently without the meat.
You shall eat chad from Lake Windermere. . and so hold historic lien upon it by courtesy only. All this may you have for the paltry exchange of shillings but. star-gazing pie in Cornwall (filled with pilchards.BY OAK AND THORN roast goose and apple-sauce wherever you can get them. Her chops. i6 Such . shall tell their own story of growth in fields fat with yellow mustard blooms. as for the salmi put together by the weaving fingers of Becky Sharp for her bamboozled brother-in-law. their innocent heads protruding above the crust). unconscious that such sunny joy is decreed but for the flavoring of tissue. tion shall fail to resuscitate that. to dine at the Star and Garter. to Richmond. like all your generation and the fathers of the English-speaking race. and go. in memory of the Roman legions who carried that royal family thither and everywhere shall you bow down before old England's roast beef. of a thickness and succulence unknown in the golden West. though she import it from Australia or America. upon whitebait and Richmond maids-ofhonor. even the prince of the power of imagina. where the innocent sheep hourly nibble and munch.
too. where the river dreams of gentle things and the breath of cattle scents the air. There. 17 .THE FOOD OF FANCY salmis are dead and gone with Becky and the snows of yester-year. and asked the brother whose art was gardening what name he gave the ladies' -delights cosily settled there. awed with peace and " soft as bees by Catherine Hill. it keeps the memory of that day when I first bent over the opulent. a magic draught. but a heartening food. in tantalizing nearness to the custodian's blue china within the lodge (china which is not for you !) and neighbored by the green quadrangle where the gowned brethren go pottering about in serene relinquishment of care. when. you linger at will (so you come but once a day !) sipping your horn cup as it were elixir." you cross the meadow from Winchester by ways parcel .gilt with golden mimulus. holding all the flavor of that idyllic walk. This is no bread and beer alone. and served to any wayfarer at the open hatch. homely flower-beds. For me. No bread and beer in England mingle such savor of lovely past and present as the bit and sup making up the dole of Saint Cross Hospital.
" Mussels." he returned. cockles and mussels in the window } are the nicest. and mentally repelling the simile of ossified spiders The waiter stood by. whereupon tuppence each turned i8 the loiterers into mussel-eating monarchs.BY OAK AND THORN " Lublidles. What memories are ours of the first crab essayed at Seaton. and read the longing on the faces of three children standing there without. fraternal over a maiden effort and solicitous for the fame of Devon. in some courteous interest that one could call them otherwise. where we attacked him gingerly. His self-forgetful joy when the venture was made and we vowed our fealty then and there to the worthy crustacean some — ! — ! ! — that was something to see ! What shall despoil us of the day when we halted before a mediaeval-seeming shop near old Bristol's Christmas Steps.?" asked we with the humility of the non-elect. not knowing his kind. staring hard at the winkles.idleness In spots be thankful the world does not move.in . meantime. miss " rang the concerted ! "Which shout. . Shakespeare's love .
THE FOOD OF FANCY
of US will never set eyes
London barrows loaded with
on the marine
delicacies without choking reminiscence
of a certain expedition planned, gloated over in the night-watches and never accomplished. For we had invited a lady of social high degree, who knows only poetic and fashionable London, and for whom the City is a myth, to vouchsafe us one day wherein to show her the World and the joys thereof. She should ride on the tops of 'buses, she should be presented to the Duke of Suffolk's head,
Gog and Magog, and pause before the tree " at the corner of Wood Street." But alas in
resident in the Minories, salute
a moment of ill-judged prophecy we referred to the mussels of Shoreditch to be purchased from a barrow and dipped and being daintily in the public vinegar nurtured, thenceforth she would none of
our unholy pranks.
Milk is no uncommon beverage, yet sometimes it has a taste of all Arcadia. One June day when we were on the march brought us to the Welsh paradise of Montgomery, where Magdalen Herbert's castle heights are standing, crownless, wonderful. We were entering the
BY OAK AND THORN
weary (and with no time for food, for there were many miles to tramp, that night, before we got home to our den, O) and there, providentially meeting us, came a clean woman driving a clean cow into a tidy Never was bargain more swiftly yard. sealed. She disappeared to bring two bright glasses and a quart measure. She milked and we, throned on a strip of turf, drank, while round about us thronged the village children, solemnly
village foot-sore but never
classifying two gaitered, short-skirted and apparently hollow monsters. That was milk such as they drink on Olympus when Hebe serves, though possibly only a cut above the draughts permanently on tap, for a penny or for love, at farm-house
go gypsying. to find mushrooms on the Stratford Road and to smell them, one strange Dorset day, through a choking mist through which the trees seemed walking toward us as we went. How good must elf-men be, we said, to set a banquet there for such as are born with eyes and nose We have learned the soul-satisfying quality of raw turnips,
We are wise, we who We have known what is
THE FOOD OF FANCY
for we fed thereon, one hungry, happy have lived. afternoon in Kent. Certain harmless fictions dominate the English mind regarding the national
"victuals." Smile over them, and enjoy the more. You may long for apples, and " seek all day ere you find them " for the English apple, as it appears in the
market, is prone to show a degree of hardness known to us in no article of " I like a food save sugar gooseberries. good tasty apple meself," said an English wench, setting white teeth into a knurly " something to bite on " She pippin had it a baby foreordained to gums You might have cut molars upon it.
ask plaintively for vegetables, in
ordering your dinner, to be answered daily, with a naive air of delighted disAnd should you covery, " Potatoes " hint at a larger ambition, a nobler quest,
you may count yourself proud and happy if the omnipresent pea is an available There candidate, albeit the only one. may be set before you a loathsome and
greasy compound with the encouraging dictum, "This is an American doughnut " (An historic introduction " PudRepudding. ding Alice Alice
BY OAK AND THORN
move the pudding
honor's sake, you deny the fallacy, you
shall eschew its ocular proof. Everywhere seek out the native and historic dish and some happy day, if Fortune fawn upon you, roasted crabs may hiss for you in the bowl, and you shall have saffron in the warden pies.
was failure a handful of the summer's At Warwick. gold irretrievably wasted. miss You can't mistake a nightingale " Like lord ' * ! all who love their gloriously mediaeval and frankly dirty Warwick as she may be loved. sure of place "and time agreeing. : . indeed. the woods were full of nightingales I remember writing home. but. we had not the certainty of making literary capiFor us failure tal out of our ill-success. at nine o'clock. KnOw one sing there most beautiful. that the tongues thereof daily served the castle and lordlings for breakfast.! A STILL HUNT We would hear the nightingale. According to the popular voice. in a fit of emulous extravagance." " They do said the optimistic landlady. more slenderly equipped than John Burroughs in the same fine quest. miss." we made careful inquiry where the bird of wonder might be sought. " Go down on the bridge. we were accustomed to make a worshipful pilgrimage down past the 33 . when you hear him ? Yes.
That rose held strange emphasis in those Warwick days it played a part as real and castle at twilight. and no sister So we dreamed until the dusk enfolded us. BY OAK AND THORN dreams from one pink rose hanging high on the castle wall and so it came about that our observance appropriately ended with the bridge and the greater quest. We imagined much about her. She suggested to us her who seemed to us then the Fairest of Women. . as one may about a rose. and we made our lady Countess of Warwick (Cophetua's immortal maid !) hung there in her sweet deserving upon the antiquity of the house like that rose upon the stabile wall. And though I have been there since and the dirty white peacock flaunts himself with the same ill-judged vanity. Warwick Castle is never the same to me for that one rose is gone. stoutflower could ever take her place. Little rosy breaths came from her petals. and then went happily on to the bridge. 24 . and not one bourgeoning spray is less on the ruined bridge without the gates. Our minds walked dimly in a morning haze. grew into clouds of fantasy and enveloped us. wonderful as the role of princess in tales of fairydom. chiefly to steal ..
and they were a-singing away like everything. Then it was that we bethought us of confiding in an allknowing cab-driver. I ingales. it wise. and faded into dusk. know exactly where they sing. how much more to be desired than great statecraft. and always the same.A STILL HUNT hearted in desire and belief. miss } " quoth he. We need not have striven. mile A or so out of road. and his hopefulness skies paled. put discouragement to shame. went by last night. I Warwick is a lonely bit of and they hold regular concerts there. We knew how vital it was. When that liquid note was once entrapped. that The long summer twilights passed : the Defeated seekers of a wealth more to be desired than El Dorado. to know whether her lamenting did so run. to bed. There we paced and leaned and lingered. should we too find and remember '^tjugtjug? We were summer. " Night" Yes. there was nothing for us but to creep home. The question was of mighty import. chilled and vanquished. miss. I could 25 . dallying with dampness and grave in discussion. or whether it must melt into some strange wild note too untamable for even poets' paraphrasing.
They may have had some exalted idea of a practical joke they may have been afraid of the damp. We drew up the horse. save me " but I remembered the nightingale. if there were not frequent murders in America. "O. save me. Whether the nightingale was also mindful of us I know not. and had guised. bit of road. I have not yet been able to decide why these two beguilers of the American purse came thus dis- offered We They had pulled their hats low over their eyes. drove up in state. and held my peace. chilled. rattled away. yet with meaning. " This is the very place " I had nearly shrieked. sepulchrally. John. miss. and that night at ten o'clock. on a lonely and announced. for 'arf a crown ever tempting bait more cunningly ! ? were caught. ! ! 26 . and John asked us respectfully. with a friend on the box (both faithfully dressed to represent Rogue Riderhood villains). at the moment when my spinal marrow was properly . For one hour we but he was silent. turned up their collars at a murderous angle. they had tied flaring handkerchiefs about their necks. he told us folktales of horror. and then." BY OAK AND THORN Was take you out. too. Hubert.
had they heard of such a circumstance. I cannot remember what they said only that they were very frank and very courteous (grown-up and bookish. and there would they lead us. and then drove slowly homeward. by the way. 27 . too. talking until the way grew lonely (and so provocative of hope). sitting in the coffee-room of the Red Horse Inn. and learning something. our base guides assuring each other. even in that short space.A STILL HUNT sat there. if we chose to go. They knew well where Philomel lamented on the Warwick Road. Instantly we were afoot with them in the moqnlit dusk. at Stratford. They were knightly souls and ready. but one night. in all their lives. that never. as compared with our American children. we mentioned our forlorn pursuit before two young English boys. using fine-spun words and phrasing with an absolute lack of pre. With saddened hearts. I am persuaded. cold and depressed. still did they insist that nightingales were always makthat particular ing musical clamor at spot. we relinquished the quest. of the finely tempered fibre in little English lads. where the hedgerows smelled of bloom.
They had rowed with him on the Avon he had evidently passed the silent . I Had been should here assert that they had neighbored and played with the boys and girls of " The Golden Age. A sound inharmonious. fitted to the darkness and the hour. And listen then — lonely corn-crake cried in — "How thick the bursts come crowding throngh the leaves Again thou hearest ? I — Eternal passion Eternal pain ! 28 . this year of grace. pectant. We talked less and less we listened. 1896. yet the distance. William Winter." One passport to their consideration seemed to be the fact that.! " ! BY OAK AND THORN tense) and that they breathed the essence of all that it is rarest in their nationality. fields on either side. and sweetness of summer all about. as Americans. and terrible scrutiny of a boy's ideals and been approved. we were indubitably the countrywomen of Mr. On and on we walked. ex.
. . then are the paragraphs hedged between telltale quotation marks. as poetic guidebooks. Unlike many a memo. her charms or her story then was his pen dipped in illuminating colors. When guide-books wax eloquent over this fair county. ! 29 . and a footnote points to Kingsley as the His symsource of such just laudation." THE PILGRIM No blest with historian IN DEVON region short of Arcadia was ever more enthusiastic than Charles Kingsley whenever he touched upon Devonshire. pathy was perfect the light of his genius seems to brighten every golden thread in the fabric of her story and the traveler who loves such an unfailing lover can scarcely do better than to visit these happy haunts with " Westward Ho and the " Prose Idylls " in hand. and dry historic mention broadens into a sweep of verbal imagery. and he traced the outline of her beauties on a page that must endure until the memory of Devon lads no longer thrills the romance-loving heart.
heath. with fine and almost depreciatory inflection. holding a peculiar power over the human spirit. like Salisbury Plain. clothed only by coarse but its clefts grass. spread out into a fair garden. rolling waste. A broad expanse. beautified by the hand of man.BY OAK AND THORN rable spot. Not only do the pages of its history rouse the heart to quicker pulsations by their review of the days when there were giants. spread on and on. but nevertheless every breath within its borders inevitably exhilarates all who The English Midlands love a hero. waste lies like and wonderful. this has a beauty that its is all own. and furze and chasms are enriched by a marvelous fern growth. within their limpid shallows. Devonshire may be "relaxing. to be approached with rever- ence and dread." as the neighbors of Bow Bells declare. but even the face of nature seems here significant. and gaining grace from all his necessities. Devonshire is and moorland wastes tain streams holding a multitude of fish Dartmoor. it in commotion and a sea caught fixed in everlasting re- 30 . is one of nature's high altars. warm luxuriance. and cooled by clear moun. Its stormy breaker.
IN DEVON is it The touch its of cultivation has never disturbed bosom. chased at its sunniest. Over its tors sweep the shadows.THE PILGRIM pose. yet a store- house of varied wealth. the fisherman fill his creel from its waters. and countless sheep nibble the unfenced pasturage but he whom it most delights . the pilgrim who fares along its ways. over its gigantic mounds and rocky remains. One ! 31 . to a hollow lies scowling in darkness and lo beside it a hill smiles. unsatisfied. . What treasure-house of form is and color can match the English sky. nevertheless. and then laughs outright under a golden shaft of sun. My own course over the moor led from warm yellow. but — by a light that turns the heather to and transforms the coarse grass fabric of rose. here arches Taken crystal vault of blue.? no one diversified by an ever-changeful pageant made from sunlit feather-down and clouds the color of a dove's gray wing. mindless of aught save shifting cloud beauties and the outline of the billowing hills. by sapphire intervales. The antiquary may ponder long. glorified. Such a procession of airy loveliness awakens a wondrous sympathy in Dartmoor below.
the 'O. " read and remember Plymouth is a town born for the per! petual flaunting of England's glory. of Chagford to Tavithence to seek Plymouth and . and keep reverent silence. on arriving there. " here was set the tiny stage to say whereon great parts were played. you must go to the 'O " Half a mile from the station brings one to this Hoe." he seemed . I upon the tightening of Kingsley's grasp my hand. Come. and saying in every line of wall "Behold my impregnable Should you. looking calmly over the waves which are Britannia's own. or highest part of the esplanade and pleasure-grounds bordering the water. my lady. " Oh. binding the 3« . as if only Olympus were to be auditor and judge. he will say substantially although not perhaps in the eccentric diction of one kindly woman. confide to some inhabitant your desire for a pleasant walk. when felt I set foot in that historic town. ! strength " — ! south runs the breakwater.BY OAK AND THORN the little village stock. Straight across the sound to the and fortress. "Come. sits in It well-defended pride. and themselves locked in a wonder of stone outwork and coping.
The tale of the Eddystone Light has been one of varied tragedy. Smeaton's stood the shock of wind and water for over a century. stands. brings a parlous creeping along the spine even in 33 . that they the hero of the deep. having been removed on account of its insecure base. miles out stands the Eddystone Lighthouse. Companioned by it. to exult as he found the tower still piercing the sunrise mist. as morning after morning he clhnbed the Hoe. The first lighthouse erected there was washed away. and the second burned. Sir Francis Drake. counterfeited in bronze. on the site of an earlier triumph of engineering. and overlooking fortress and wave. about whose memory clings to-day a legendary glory. which. and then. at whose firmness even its great projector. was set up on the green-carpeted Hoe. may have wondered. the scourge of Spain. and replaced by the present structure. Smeaton.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON waves in such beneficent yet stony fetters lie tranquil and hospitable beFourteen fore the incoming mariner. recited by old Devon dames at the hour when the thoughts of kid and old woman turn homeward. a perpetually honored pensioner.
by force of his magic arts. after reading Drake's exploits. that Spain held him to be no man. His actual doings read like fairy tales but better than them all do I love the folk-lore indicating his place in the common mind. pier days. might be anywhere at a moment's notice. that afterglow sure to depict a vanished sunset more faithfully than painter's brush or poet's pen." Who can wonder.. but devil ? He had a soul perpetually drunken with belief in self and a passionate love of action he was one of those who do. because she feared "El Draque. BY OAK AND THORN such as are able to expression summon also that known in the older novels as "a skeptical smile. like Napoleon in his hap. he had a star. and the good-will 34 . — now in Europe. not the things they can. even at the risk of offending her sovereign. Was she not a prudent dame. the Spanish favorite who refused to join a water-party with Philip of Spain." that water dragon who. but what they will and more than all. . by the simple process of obtaining a grant from the queen. ? now in Prester John's dominions It was he who brought water down into Plymouth from clear mountain sources.
in their Formalities." says a worthy chronicler. he is never forgotten in his capacity of One Plymouth's cup-bearer. and. "when the Water was brought somewhere near the Town. where it has continued to do ever since. amply . it followed. and the Stream followed after into the Town. a docile Jill. which had been previously planned by others. and rode up into Dartmoor. and bid it welcome hither. He beckoned. to have seen how the Mayor and his Brethren. But did such commonplace means suffice for the popular imagination ? Not in the least." Though some give Sir Francis the mere credit of taking the contract for the waterworks. " And fine would have been the Diversion. There he found a spring by Sheep's Tor. they all returned together.THE PILGRIM of certain influential IN DEVON persons through whose ground it must run. walked before. came tumbling after. Sir Francis mounted his great black horse. and that being thus met. went out to meet it. the stream. the Gentlemen of the Corporation accompanied with Sir Francis Drake. loving custom of the town is its 35 annual survey of the watercourse. as he galloped down into Plymouth town.
" the party be- — ing assembled. the programme. and water committee. the mayor. Another Goblet. " Ye Lovynge Cuppe 36 * — ' ' ' . who presents the same to the Mayor.' and passing the Cup from one to the other each drinks and repeats the same words." Then followed " Ye Fyshinge Feast. " At the Head Weir." provided with trout taken from the stream. to set one to dreaming of that heroic past with which it forms a solid link. a bit of paper calculated.' Passing the Cup as before. being filled with Wine. who drinks to the Toast May the Descendants of him who brought us Water never want Wine. 1891. and concluded by toasts to the royal family. To the pious memory of Sir Francis Drake." says custom." says this quaint and delightful memorial. dated July. and requests him to drink thereof.BY OAK AND THORN described in a programme of the ceremony. is then presented by the Chamberlain to the Mayor. a Goblet filled with pure Water taken from the Weir by the Sur- veyor is handed by him to the Chairman of the Water Committee. as it lies in the hand. and topped by one imperishable For "before separating.
and the lady. he threatened her with dire consequences should her fealty waver. Somerset and before leaving her in the temporary widowhood entailed by one of his voyages. But just as they were set." Nor did she. rolled between the astonished As the impartial student of tory will at once believe. in the midst of a violent thunder-storm. a ball of iron a foot in diameter fell hot on the pavehis- ment and pair.! THE PILGRIM will IN DEVON * be passed in pledge of Uftity and Prosperity' to the Town of Plymouth. the wronged husband had taken aim from the antipo" It is des. of Combe Sydenham. not go to church. believing him to be dead. His second wife was Elizabeth Sydenham. Months stretched on in a weary chain. ting forth to church." living United may if it stand. and Drake himself soon appeared to requite ! ! 37 . and prosperous as reigned. its Sir Francis yet dictator The is story of Drake's marital influence well suited to his reputed tempera- ment and generalship. the token from Drake " exclaimed the " He is alive I will unwilling bride. reluctantly accepted another suitor. and as usual hit his mark.
head of an elder branch of the name.BY OAK AND THORN her readiness in taking a hint. and one day. jealous for her favorite as only a woman can be. from whose line his own descent could Sir Bernard naturally not be traced." It seems that. Some. One bit of gossip the Sir Francis would fain consign lists of fiction. within the verge of the court he gave Sir Francis a box on the ear. bestowed 38 . when the feud had waxed fiery hot. but I tell the tale as 't was told to me within the Devonshire borders. say that the incident occurred while the two were merely plighted lovers. a coat of arms belonging to Sir Bernard Drake. Historians may be cheerfully allowed to have it otherwise. resented the perching of this uninvited guest on his family tree. but even their dictum is less to be desired than the warm if distorted memories of an auld wife's brain. and borrowed. to speak in mildness. worshipers of to the set though it is down by sober John Prince in his " Worthies of Devon. Thereupon Elizabeth. indeed. like many a lesser soul. the admiral was at one time bitten by the fever of ancestry.
" Kingsley's vivid description of Plyas it was in 1588. so that you can see the bullet head of crisp. 39 . but ignominiously hung by the heels. is well mouth rounded. the short square face. and hands behind his back.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON upon Sir Francis a vainglorious coat of arms all his own. His cap is in his hands. copied from the crest of Sir Bernard. brown hair and the wrinkled forehead. Nevertheless. as well as the high cheek bones. looking up with keen gray eyes into the face of each speaker. by the picture of " a short. indicating symbolically his dominion over the world of waters. plainly dressed man. she could not give Majesty could give Sir Francis a nobler him an antienter one. when the Invincible Armada undertook the demolition of Protestant Christendom. and at the same time cunningly flouting the elder line for in the rigging of the ship adorning the crest was a wyvern. who stands with legs a little apart. one is inclined to think Sir Bernard had the best of the matter in his neat retort that " though her coat than his. in his portraiture of the men who were gathered in the town to await the arch enemy. sturdy. .
common sailor. wherein the winds of heaven and the heroism of earth played told so well 40 . for his name is Francis Drake.BY OAK AND THORN the broad temples. since there would afterwards be time enough and to spare for beating the Spaniard. energy and when at last he speaks a few blunt words. the thick lips. were They had grown unadvance and withthe of that easy over conflicting rumors and Elizabeth's weathercock drawal. upon the ear of Drake. and even leaders sorely match on the Yet when the great word broke green. beian stamp of man. The English. which coarse. from lord high admiral to tired of waiting. But who would attempt repeating the after-story which many have needed the solace ? Suflfice it for us to recall the folk-version of the first scene in the grand drama." And there on Plymouth Hoe was he playing at bowls when a sailor hurriedly put in shore. pleare yet firm as granite. A . self-possession. yet the whole figure and attitude are that of boundless determination. what did he reply } That he would play out his game. all eyes are turned respectfully upon him. to say that the enemy had been sighted.
speedily became men-of-war." It is easy to picture the delight with which the sea-wearied eyes of the Spanish mariners must have rested 41 . and straightway destroyed him. When the Spanish fleet appeared. and even at this late day. lies Mount Edgcumbe. and Medina Sidonia might have catched a great cold. say Plymouth dames. . over old Fuller's ironical remark that "the bear was not yet killed. perforce. wisely selected by the leader of the Armada for his own share of the spoils. had he no other clothes to wear than the on the winning it feel " the pity of " that skin thereof. Sir Francis quietly called for a billet of axe. and these Devonian dragon's teeth (fraternal and benefi- wood and an cent. as he threw them into the water. unlike the crop of old !) fell upon the enemy of Gloriana the Great. which. The stick he proceeded to chop into small pieces. a wilderness greenery overlooking the sea. He had an eye for beauty. with all our sympathies we can but even so insolent an invader should thus have "loved a dream." though we smile.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON antiphonal parts. this enlisted Medina Sidonia side. At the of right of the Hoe.
Sheer above the dimpling water rise mountainous cliffs. Laurel and holly reflect the day in their shining leaves. but to the errant will on of some wanderer . Mount Edgcumbe Park. more alive than ever down 42 . And if the sky. crowned by a noble growth of trees. Tracts of woodland alternate with garden beds rich in color. such of it as you can see through the treetops. you will take the little boat again for Plymouth quay. and carpeted with sweet under-verdure.BY OAK AND THORN this royal spot. where you may order delectable tea and plum-cake for sixpence. after a dreamy half-day in the park. again. and a wondrous giant hypericum stars the ground with bloom. over the greenly wooded Drake's Island in the harbor. and the typical sight-seer be not omnipresent. where the public is permitted to wander on specified days. is a miracle of beauty. apparently due not to design. At happy intervals are lodge and cottage. or ham and eggs (the bulwark of England's greatness) for another silver trifle. in skirting the cliff. and now and you may look into the summer sea. The great estate is traversed by broad walks and winding paths. smile upon you.
THE PILGRIM to England's beauty taste in real estate. fit associates for the mariners whose names do so burn and 43 . those pilgrims who had left Holland for a bleaker but more desired haven. Sir Humphrey Gilbert went thence to Newfoundland. an " infinite swarm of expeditions. a voyage destined to stretch on into that other. denoting a race of tough fibre." Drake put forth from its harbor to circumnavigate the globe." From Plymouth. infinite journey. IN DEVON and Medina Sidonia's Were one to attempt a summary of Plymouth's notable days and names. also. in its golden days. and hither he returned. from his last fatal expedition in quest of the golden city of Manoa. Sir Walter Raleigh's fleet set sail thence for the settlement of Virginia. illumined by the burning words. broken-hearted. From that port set sail. " We are as near heaven by sea as by land. he would find an American tourist's stay within its gates all too short for dwelling fitly upon associations of such magnitude. in 1620. embarked. Sir John Hawkins made it the initial point of his dark but masterful career. Quaint and dry are the early chronicles of the town.
perhaps even with the concurrence of their toughhided fathers. who was blamed for belittling his office by bearing his meat home from market." ! 44 . returned with sturdy good wit." and who could give and take such missiles of dry humor as might well be considered both dangerous and deadly in their effect on friendly intercourse." struck the town clerk for not calling him "your Worship. in 1455. These were men who stood no more upon ceremony than old " Frankie Drake. who would have the world know that he was ** gentleman born. Some of the stories con- nected with the early mayors recall the candor once prevailing in the pit of the English theatres. in church "on his opening day. Farcy. being meek by nature and deportment. was popularly called " Sheepley. " It's a poor horse that won't carry its own provender " But of all the legends connected with these robust city fathers. Yogge. Shipley.BY OAK AND THORN flash upon the page." and so was dubbed thereafter " Worshipful Farcy " by all the Plymouth gamins." and evidently took no offense thereat. who. none better shows us the stuff of which they were made than a true tale of Mayor Dirnford.
however. at least. 45 . enticingly open to such foreigners as are favored by the gods and the admiralty. and you shall find men-of-war and humble merchant vessels. and at dinner ate Michaelmas goose. Of the beauty and strength of Plymouth at the present day. it would be difficult to say too much. It includes within of its jurisdiction the sister all towns three bearing the patent marks of military design and occupation. Go to Devonport. and there you may seek the dockyards. the Barbican. twin rivers of Plymouth. as from a recognized part of the services. Plymouth will disclose many a quaint corner to such as are patient as well as curious witness. Look into the Catwater and Hamoaze. estuaries of the Plym and Tamar. saying grimly that the fit had given him an appetite.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON had a fit of apoplexy. could really disturb his Worship. where one who fears not sea slime and good-natured chaff may meet the fishing population at dawn. and also that eccentric auction : Stonehouse and Devonport. He came out of it with dignity. Though the days have long passed when seafaring heroes trod the streets. No such slight in- cident.
Another bit of earth where the loyal heart beats at thought of Kingsley and olden days is Clovelly. ignoring their carven fresh- Andrew's Church. gives no hint of the beauties on which the eye The coach stops. What lover of the past could be misled by a garnished exterior? Yet if there be one thus " fond and foolish." let him in Plymouth seek out that square where so many stately buildings are congre- gated. where all tour- . enter old Saint the victorious hero." and drew forth men. is presently to feed. and children to meet ness. three hundred years ago. happy human nest The approach builded close by the sea. apparently in a gentleman's park devoted and leaving care beto utilitarian ends .BY OAK AND THORN distinguished by the falling of every bid. to this oddest corner of creation. when a salute told the news that Sir Francis Drake had returned from the seas which " were a prison for so large a spirit. past vestiges of a Roman encampment. hind. jewel dropped in a cleft of the rock. rock-paved road. and. the traveler must thereupon take to his feet down a steep. For there were the people at service. in the shape of baggage. women.
at a turn of the way. way runs. . and adorned by fuchsia shrubs and geraniums. who come by boat and coach to flood the tiny village with admiring tages.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON be they clad in frieze or Suddenly. whose name here is legion. No carriage has ever profaned this stony Only the tiny hoofs of donstaircase. a little old-fashioned house. meanwhile. too. drous beauty and delight. a row of cot- immaculate in whitewash. descending sharply in low. Halfway down stands the New Inn. that of a won. appears Ciovelly Street. and kept in perpetual commotion by the influx of hungry excursionists. Flanking this declivitous ists fare alike. The its charm quaintness of Ciovelly is not all it wears. to " scrunch " the unwary traveler against the neighboring wall). on either side. broad stairs laid with cobblestones. keys go clattering up and down for it is Neddy who patiently toils under sacks of coal (trying. gold. or drags about sledges piled high with trunk and portmanteau. its sign swinging across the street. — exclamations. with gentle insistence. resplendent in old china. Lying as it does in an earth-cleft stretching down to 47 .
in the season of herring fishing so many boats set forth with song and prayer. he tells us. would come upon him again and again of " the old bay darkened with the gray coldness of the waterspouts stalking across the waves before the northern gales and the tiny herring boats fleeing from their nets right for the breakers. as Kingsley says. The little street wanders. it is fostered and overlooked by towering wooded cliffs. 48 . One scene. secure in humble contentment and sweetness of life. that harbor where. casting themselves on the . . hoping more mercy even from those iron walls of rock than from the pitiless howling wastes of spray behind them and that merry beach beside the town covered with shrieking women and old men. — : . it boldly marches through the walls of a house (itself spanned by an archway above). seems nowise inferior in merit to such natural pomp and magnificence. *)me never to return.BY OAK AND THORN the sea. perhaps twice. ends at the little harbor. where fishy smells mingle with the smoke which is Clovelly's natural breath. and. in its progress to the water once. and then after threading strange nooks and corners.
THE PILGRIM IN DEVON pebbles in fruitless agonies of prayer. . was born his fiery sympathy with that heroic race who peopled the deep three hundred years " Now. "Did you know Mr." said he to his wife. her first visit to Clovelly." meates the place his name is there a household word. rather than Hakluyt's Chronicles. her sunshine. waves. and rocks. Kingsley. on ago. as corpse after corpse swept up at the feet of wife and child. From Devon air.?" I Under the mysterious cliff." Kingsley's father was rector of Clovelly during six of those years when the sensitive lad must have been very delicately responsive to new impressions. till in one case alone the dawn saw upwards of sixty widows and orphans weeping over those who had gone out the night before in the fullness and courage. you know what was the inspiration of my life His very spirit perbefore I met you. learning it through the heart rather than the mind for here did he catch the spirit of those men whomade it glow and burn. of strength spell of sea and he conned the pages of England's naval history. " now that you have seen the dear old paradise. 49 . .
" to whom a humble stone was Evi- erected in dently. or wherever a fisherman's lot might lead him. " I cannot believe my eyes. we loved lads got home from sea !" Mr. and had the Ah. the dear old smells. manner of speech was too familiar as concerning a beneficent houseall saw him very often. the dear old hand- some faces again ! The people who fill the picturesque SO . "The same place. and how was that. " As soon as he he was in and out of every house. and bearing the dignity of a sturdy character. as welcome as a bit of sunon a wet day. the wife of a "master mariner. sometimes as a guest at Clovelly Court. delighting his keen eyes and reverent soul with God's wonders dredged up from the deep. Thence . that Clovelly churchyard.? he sailed to Lundy. came on light his visits. the pavement." hold deity." BY OAK AND THORN asked a woman. and again in lodgings in a fuchsiadecked house on Clovelly Street." was his homesatisfied cry. " We she said with gravity. on settling into a welcoming nest. and asking how was this one. beautiful with health. Kingsley His happiest vacations were spent here.
IN DEVON are and dignitall and shapely. strange and pregnant. Such men were their dead-and-gone ancestors. and the desire of eternal life becomes to them all in all. in endurance and rigid purpose. in living lineaments. where his "father exercised the mystery of a barber surgeon and a preacher of the people since ! called Anabaptists. more or less than a year-long struggle with the treacherous sea. "grim or jocund. was Salvation Yeo. With such simplicity and directness does the body here express the soul that you may read daily. 51 . So constantly are they brought face to face with danger that minor griefs are no longer present to remembrance. is that They are Clovelly has no young men. in the year 1 526. serving their apprenticeship. who fought .THE PILGRIM fied type." One noticeable cir- cumstance. and the children are marvels of village houses are of a noble Clovelly women dark-eyed beauty. and went. all at sea. the Armada." in quest of the "golden South Americas " such. the men bear in face and carriage unmistakable marks of thought and feeling. the story of a fine and Life to these men is little striving race. of "Westward Ho " who was born in Clovelly Street.
where in the sixteenth century lived the Carys. severely simple.. seek out Lundy's outline. and in the distance the shadowy coast of Wales and finally shall he receive the crowning vision of Clovelly herself. throbbing for the wanderer who may the not return. From time to time in his course. guarded by towering trees. BY OAK AND THORN come home for the innocent kisses of a dozen joyous women waiting on the quay. when their branch of the family died out. This road. and drowsily indifferent to sea or wind. nestling in her flowery gorge. a way of marvelous beauty skirting the top of the cliff. an airy space. whence he may overlook the blue sea. or to furnish new cause for the old to ache. They held it till the eighteenth century. one of whom figures so prominently among Kingsley's giants of action. a veritable fairy progress. belongs Hobby — to Clovelly Court. the traveler will come upon a natural window in the leafy walls. And where now shall we seek a trace of the gallant Will who was one of that noble Brotherhood 52 . and bordered with a lush undergrowth of ferns. far below his eyrie. Clovelly may be approached through Drive.
though." Gallantry Bower. is so named when one is on land. — ! looked To go into lodgings at Clovelly 53 is to . founded by Frank Leigh. Morte Point. in a lonely tower. which of all places on earth " God made last. a steep cliff rising four hundred feet out of the sea. She had a fine vantage point for surveying the world around. this victim of soft durance Peace to her dust. Bideford Bay. the traveller little may climb the height to the church. peace equal in measure to the skyful of beauty whereon she daily It . though you ** always call it White Cliff when you see it from the seaboard. and the devil will take first. lived the fair lady of a Norman lord. Another point of pilis grimage on the estate Gallantry Bower. worthy favorite of the Virgin Queen ? Only Kingsley can rehearse his mimic history. and commanding Hartland Point. and. — Amyas says. barren and dreadful Morte. to find a Gary's name in enduring brass. stretching ever outward like a weird finger. if the trace of one of his forbears be cheering to the eye.! THE PILGRIM IN DEVON of the Rose." as has its appropriate legend for here. where so many ships have gone down.
In an angle of the stairlike street. " human nature 's looking up — a bit." said one of these weatherworn sea-dogs. almost overhanging the quay. more familiar with the deep than with human countenance. sits a row of grizzled mariners discussing the state of the world. stands a bench serving as council ground for the village fathers. In the village is sold a photograph of Clovelly mariners. to sweeten many a tough morsel of experience. ence or statistics. droll physiognomy. that's the only comfort. and is unpolluted by the grime of great cities } for out of the lips of men It may be so unspotted from the world come often truths more crystalline than those of sci. when the boats have come in and nets are drying. One bit of quaint philosophy. There. S4 . think you ? Nay. Clovelly sailor. in the tone of those who have drawn their own conclusions from the inexplicable drama called Life. " Well. usually at twilight. overheard during such a twilight symposium. and one face.BY OAK AND THORN invite a possibility of becoming soon in- terknit with the life of its kindly people." And human nature looking up even a bit. of the universe itself. a humorous. has lingered in my ears.
Folly.. " He died the other day. that is poor old Captain dealer. Midway down the stood man. whose race is not soon to be run. You must have been here. beneath the flag spread reverently upon his coffin. not during the one hour when it disturbs them at their avocations. when Captain Folly was borne past by his brother mariners in their Sunday best wearing also the becoming gravity of at who those who think gently and seriously of death. with a tear in her voice. and up the street to the little church was carried the old man whose journey was finished. but as children recognize the night as the inevitable foil of day. A solemn hymn was sung. judging from his apparent ability to keep feebleness and sorrow at bay. wrapped in honor and full of days. strong voices sustaining the burden. THE PILGRIM IN DEVON once strikes the attention. and readier still to dispose. "And is this ? " I asked the sympathetic *' Oh. ready to retail village gossip. and who slept. we were there in our lodgings at the head of the street. and waits at the — another old street stands — or domestic receipt of custom. in a very self-respecting man- 55 ." said she. He is crippled." Yes.
the whose you please.sense. reflective it is traveler to Sunday. But in order to find himself actually near the heart of the part of the attend chapel on Such a church. What lover of human expression would not study reverently the faces in that lowly Every eye fixed upon the chapel a man who had somewhat preacher. earnestness bespoke sheep worthy the guidance of not such as feed a faithful shepherd 56 ." yet he is. and not the service. of the forthcoming shilling or six- pence. is never to be forgotten. — their . this simple folk. is filled with worshipers. and whose heart of religious love raises their hymn-singing to a resounding if strident chorus.'' — ing common . "A penny.BY OAK AND THORN ner. to say. this daily implication of if man. who at entrance and departure make a mighty clattering on the uncarpeted floor. once sought out and followed. He is a trifle more cynical than aged life many of his brother mariners. a sermon full of hard and lov- A . furnishes savor and spice in a godly community. bare and uninteresting as the old country schoolhouse. rough hall in an obscure corner jutting from the street.
What traveler so painstaking as to seek out Lundy will not remember at the south that cliff overhanging the shoreless cove and deep. emphasized the prayers. but of the waters of life. at the end of Amyas Leigh's sixteen days' chase of the Spaniard. 57 . but and drank his wine. this Shutter Rock." His soul drank in grassy vales. Don Guzman's ship was cast upon the rocks. from point to point. Eleven miles from Clovelly lies Lundy. wind a destroying and lightnings and thunder the messengers of an avenging heaven. Then he and I took a locket from his bosom . dark sea. with sonorous " amens. One old man. from whose southeast edge rises the response .THE PILGRIM IN DEVON accustomed to stony ways and mountain fastnesses. the angel. said the recurrent was his thanksgiving. where blind Amyas sat and drank in his vision of the Spanish galleon. to storm and night. and her men "all lying round her. whose every look and gesture was of the sea. terrible dramatic centre of the tragedy so marvelously described in " Westward Ho ! " when. asleep until the judg- ment day " " sat still ? Don Guzman he never heeded.
" was so inaccessible as to provoke the relady * . — forced season of retirement which. and true Then he mark that the difficulty of getting there was exceeded only by the difficulty of getting away. to the exceeding dismay of an entheir waiting congregations. and fair Here 's the . the reverend gentlemen employed . *We are friends. 58 it is hoped. and I have sinned. Gary. Indeed. it is said that the clergymen of five or six coast parishes once made an excursion thither. Senor.' spoke to me. Senors all. and were detained on the island over two Sundays. and My it is time to be friends once more. Senor.' And I said. Will. And I so your honor takes no stain. and I woke." Lundy.' Then he held out his hand to me. and called me right up through the oar-weed and the sea We have had a fair quarrel. Don Guzman God has judged our quarrel. not we.: BY OAK AND THORN heard him * speak. wife and your brother have forgiven me. ' he said. 'And.' Then he said. and I am punished. in the days before steam had rendered traveling "as easy as lying. Will.' answered. and I stooped to take it. picture of my drink to her. so am I.
recorded lord. and surging currents rage about it with a strength and fury to be surpassed only at Land's End. the royal foxglove stands.THE PILGRIM for the is IN DEVON good of their souls. Lundy has had a checkered history. The island one of that brood of earth pigmies born to mightiness of garb and history. II. when William of that name was seized and 59 . lived life. but few will care to trace its history further than the its earliest day of Sir Jordan de Moresco. and the sedum blesses the earth with bloom. Here heather and furze glow in rose and gold. though was declared forfeit to the crown. But once within its rocky gates. It can boast remains of a primeval population in flint and pottery. Of good old stuff were the Morescos. and they fought a valiant fight against law and order until 1242. more smiling beauties greet the eye. who in the reign of Henry there a turbulent and piratical his bit of land undaunted by king or peer. ever painted in gloomy and glaring hues. Its granite and slate defenses present an impregnable front to the Atlantic. for its vegetation is is rich in that coloring which the benison of sea air.
mon. all the " But ! Stukely was to learn that treachery to a friend and defection from a royal master 60 . : . blot of having sheltered a dastardly refu- Lewis Stukely. he ran gee. By this Judas-like deed. Vice-Admiral of Devonshire. broken only by the turmoil of nature. who through that craven means came to the headsman's block. and being vigorously insulted by old Lord Howard of Effingham. " What should I do with him ? " queried James. Spanish. Stukely earned the royal favor.BY OAK AND THORN hanged in London town. and even Turkish privateers. " Hang him ? On my sawl. and you will read the tamer sequel to so bold a story a few houses cluster at the landing-cove. Sir whining to James and made complaint. resort for and was captured in turn by French. On the upper plain lie also the ruins of an ancient fortress known as Moresco's Castle. if I hung all that spoke ill trees in the island were too few of thee. and kinsman of Sir Walter Raleigh. Seek its pages to-day. but irretrievably lost that of his peers . forever tainted by the pirates. Lundy became a favorite Thereafter. a lighthouse crowns the plateau above the scene is one of quietude.
seeking refuge in the old Moresco Castle. died there. for when. with shire her on her Dowry in those Parts. Henry VIII^ . but flight before the winds of Into Devonshire hot-foot he hurried." and his pre- sents a pretty bit of incident scarcely to be told more vividly than in Prince's own diction. This Sir William Coffin married.. and the it common fire people would give him " neither Again was he swept nor water. he was chosen Knight of that Shire in the Parliment which began A. and. 6i ." on by fate and furies to Lundy. there was nothing for wrath. quaint and clear. his own denied him.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON are two different offenses . he was caught debasing the coin of the realm. and there was he resolutely boycotted. 21 K. as is likely. Lady Mannors of Derby" and residing. "cursing God and man." Not far from Clovelly lies Portledge. prominent member of the old Coffin family figures boldly among Prince's life "Worthies of Devon. now the seat of the Pine-Coffins. within a year. in the reign of Henry VIII. and in Amyas Leigh's time the residence of that Will Coffin who made one among The most the lovers of Rose Salterne.
there was still more earth thrown in.. until the obstinate Priest was either altogether or This little drama well-nigh suffocated. and specifying the place of payment. Sir William sent for the Priest. and required him to do his : . and Earth to be thrown in upon him and he still persisting in his Refusal. not unworthy the relating. so that no poor man was thereafter likely to be denied his last rites and resting-place. ** All which. They had brought a Corse thither to be buried but the Priest refused to do his office unless they first delivered him the Poor Man's Cow. unless he had his Mortuary Whereupon he caused the Priest to be put into the Poor Man's Grave. : Office to the Dead : Who peremptorily refused first. BY OAK AND THORN 1529: In his way to which. he saw a multitude of People standing Idle he enquired into the cause thereof Who reply'd." led to an act of Parliament absolutely fixing the amount of mortuaries." as Prince begs us to "make a note of. . the only quick goods he left. it. for a Mortuary. especially for the good Law it occasioned Passing by a Church-yard. there happened a remarkable Accident. 62 ." " Confirms the Observation.
" It were a pert and presumptuous pen which would attempt a description of Bideford after Kingsley has ticketed it with missal script. and the everlasting thunder of the long Atlantic swell. and many-arched old bridge where salmon wait for autumn floods. and both together flow quietly toward the broad surges of the bar. open more and more in softly-rounded knolls and fertile squares of red and green.THE PILGRIM IN DEVON That Evil Manners are often the Parent of Good Laws. and rolling sand-hills." But the traveler who arrives there with the beginning of " Westward Ho " warm in the memory will recall that. . till they sink into the wide expanse of hazy flats. wandering home from 63 . through which juts here and there a crag of fernfringed slate below they lower. . and . toward the pleasant upland on the west. cush- with deep oak woods. rich salt-marshes. . where Torridge joins her sister Taw. ! Amyas Leigh. and laid it away for all time. as " the little which slopes upwards white town from its broad tide-river paved with yellow sands. in the year 1575. in library records. Above the town the ioned hills close in.
met there two men telling strange tales of the gold and gems of the New World. dating . and Bideford bridge stands proud and firm in the very outlines it wore when the lad Amyas begged of Salvation Yeo his carven horn. on a prosaic and humble signboard. day to testify " for in Bideford town I saw it. These were Mr. where Amyas and his brother mariners gave thanks after their wonderful voyage with Drake. The most 64 ancient ex- isting seal of Bideford borough. Only the muddy Torridge flows daily in and out. John Oxenham. has made place for a new one. and the High marvelous adventures attendant on their quest. of whose family Devonshire traditions contain curious mention. and the Street is High a busy course of trade. by the taverns Street. and Salvation Yeo. Even the old church. not many months ago. the ancient taverns are gone. But though syllables may defy the lapse of time. That the latter was a true Devonshire name " the bricks are alive to this . So old is this historic bridge that no man knoweth the date of its building. alternating in yellow flats and dimpling water.BY OAK AND THORN school along the that lined the quay.
some for a week. however. THE PILGRIM IN DEVON from the fourteenth century. therefore must it have been alive and in good and honorable standing at that day. for a month. 6S . more prosperous That the or more zealous. revealed his vision to the bishop. and there should the bridge be built. the parish priest was told in a dream that a stone had been moved to a desirable spot in the stream. like that of all truly self-respecting structures in Great Britain. who was pleased to "send forth indulgences and licenses" in order to enlist the good of his flock. It is recorded that the river was long ago crossed by a ford so dangerous that no stones could be laid there with any hope of permanence. Finally. and others. succeeding bishops had the bridge's welfare in mind is indicated by the fact that to his means. obedient offices souls. Its origin. gave abundantly. They.. each according Many contributed money the rich gave lands and the labor of their workmen. is supernatural. bears its portrait. Sir Richard Gomard. and the poor cheerfully offered the work of their hands. or Gurney. So this holy medium of communication 'twixt Heaven and Bideford.
and who departed this life in a swiftly-traced but ever-during track of glory. But when. " an inspired bridge. with a hundred and twenty men. in that fury of battle. a dinner-giving bridge. For in the Revenge. but not least. a sentient bridge. whose prowess is sung by every chanter of Devon's fame." It was to the Grenviles that Bideford owed its early prosperity. from three in the afternoon till daybreak next morning. The first Grenvile of Bideford was a cousin of the Conqueror . and last. becoming. a soul-saving bridge. he fought the Spanish fleet of fifty sail and ten thousand men. an alms-giving bridge. off Flores. more than a thousand of the enemy were 66 . but throughout the diocese of Devonshire and Cornwall. that those who would promote and encourage this work " should participate in ever. but the bright star of that heroic family remains Sir Richard. and bear with the dignity of a landed proprietor. first and last." all spiritual blessings for- No wonder itself that the bridge beits came so rich as to hold head high. an educational bridge.BY OAK AND THORN announcement was made not only from the cathedral church of Exeter.
his boat was riddled through and through. awful in whose presence none to all bad men dare say or do a mean or a ribald thing ! : brave men left." Well is he remembered as " the great Sir Richard. lovely to all good men. Three days after. Richard Grenvile.. " Here die I. and he himself was wounded. while cowards slipped away. THE PILGRIM slain. and was forced to surrender only through want of ammunition. saying in Spanish. for that I have ended my life as a good soldier ought to do. he died of his wounds. when he would fain have blown up the vessel. that his captors might understand and know themselves defied to the last." Kingsley's authority has been questioned for making Bideford one of England's chief ports in the sixteenth cen- whom 67 . with a joyful and quiet mind. feeling themselves nerved to do their duty better. IN DEVON while the Revenge lost but forty. the pride of North Devon. who walks through " Westward Ho " and the pages of less poetic history " a wise and gallant gentleman." Such was Richard Grenvile. for honor and religion. as bats and owls before the sun. who has fought for his country and his queen.
beginning under Elizabeth. has been for centuries the seat of a family of the name of Leigh. French and Spanish privateers found Bideford ships such rich booty that they tury. in Elizabeth's time. the region of perpetual mystery. rapidly brightened. most undaunted of pioneers. until its commerce with America and NcAArtfoundland became exceeding great. where Kingsley fixed the home of Amyas Leigh." But such flourishing of commerce is a thing of the past. 68 . On he sailed into the north. even though a companion ship was separated from him by wind and weather. for now the shipping trade of the Torridge is conducted mainly at the neigh- boring town of Appledore. Again. and ironically named the spot " Golden Bay. he daringly continued his voyage. and one. Burrough in Northam. and. entered the White Sea.BY OAK AND THORN though its halcyon days. naming the North Cape by the way. " Chief Pilot of England. seized them in the very offing of the Taw and Torridge. two of whom were seafaring men. in an insignificant vessel with a tiny crew." member A of a luckless expedition to the Arctic seas in the sixteenth century.
tions and one whose bound him to heroic deeds. " no navigator went until our own day. Near the mouth of the Torridge tradi- lies a delightfully clean little town." says Prince. even amazingly so among such surroundings." Truly Amy as the giant came of a goodly race. and that her boy. whose moaning told poor Mrs. that the sea and winds were rapidly rising. its near neighbor is as old as what ? Let geology tell us. in the ignorant enthusiasm — of the unscientific pilgrim. This is Westward Ho." This neighbor is the Pebble Ridge. " as old as Adam. I had almost said. " beyond which. born of the great book to which the region is yearly indebted for crowding visitors. Though the town is modern. the smallest larger than the fist. three miles away in Bideford town.THE PILGRIM he IN DEVON sailed triumphantly to a point within the Kara Sea. a seaside resort of some pretension. The Ridge is simply a wide beach heaped with pebbles. on his way to Ireland. But it is easily to be guessed that when the demons of ai^ and 69 . would not sleep that night. and on the day of my pilgrimage lying at rest beside a calm sea and under a smiling sky. Leigh.
Armada in our captains played at Is it on the Hoe.-' some game own " empty may be historic When and where shall the pilgrim content himself Shall he follow the uttermost traces of those he would fain have known.'' ." . lived Lucy Passmore. every-day contentment or he may 70 . wet with ocean spume. who there amuses himself religiously. of golf beyond posday. despoiled by giant Amyas yet here he will find but slender trickling of the stream of clear water. knowing. so peaceful is the scene. witch.BY OAK AND THORN water strive together. Behind them smiling grass. these missiles of the deep. clothed expanses with coarse and delightful to the British golfer. quite as the skittles sibility that. lie Northam Burrows. are cast mightily upon one another. until they rattle like the fetters of giants captive. . offered reverence. then may he seek Freshwater at Clovelly." to find it a Devonshire combe. the "white . and slight reminder of such shy quarry." to lose his brush of self-sufficiency. and. where "Irish ffoxe came out of rocks. broad. even when the present fails to copy fair the past ? If he elect to do so. He may religiously visit where full of Marsland Mouth.
direct him. and put the finger of fancy on the very spot where Salvation Yeo slew the king of the Gubbings. warm cliffs. but he can scarcely be disappointed in any Devonian quest. and in holding her warm hand and gazing into her true eyes he may comfort himself with the certainty that even so was she in those yesterdays made for the building of great epics. Time and enthusiasm must sea .THE PILGRIM IN DEVON traverse Dartmoor. 71 . everywhere his hope will be set in the gold of trefoil or the rose of heather. and finds not one stone left upon another for always and everywhere are the changeful skies. Devonshire herself has not waxed old nor faded. and smiling or tempestuous . even where he looks for castle or hovel.
passing through the shop in search of adventure without. viewing the box as it might be a forerunner of November Fifth." To see was figuratively to pounce upon this auto- graphic trace of friend and hero. pointing a dramatic finger at the legend.-*" quoth I. I espied near the doorway a large wooden box marked distinctly " Ridd. and it goes back to him giant for more. The finger of fate was in this ." "But who is John Ridd? Is he a ? Does he dearly love coUops of ? venison Did he marry 72 " — .-' sends it in full of eggs. who is Ridd. miss shopman.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES It was during in Great Britain. at Ilfracombe. my first summer's travel hotels now sojourning in where milk was cream and the butter overlaid with gold. for. " He . and again purringly content in the humblest of lodgings. to secure a bedroom over a dairyman's shop. " Now. consciously innocent and yet alarmed. miss . " quaked the " John Ridd. that I chanced.
miss " interrupted my shopman. initial and compass would have traced the honest yeoman's career. The town is builded upon a wood-covered height. Lynfamed among the jewels of Devon. from its beginning at rule should be the the enthusiast point. locating the Dulverton pump." This was the first faint footprint of Lorna's John on Devonshire sand and : . 73 . unlimited even by the far distance and four hundred feet below. approached either by kiss). " all amort " " he 's a dairyman but he 's nowise remarkable. Lynton has been a thousand times lauded in breathless interjections. and so on to London Town but something must at times be sacrificed to the common -sense of travel. and thus it was that we made our path in a measure straight. Possibly who works by Blundell School across the moor to Plover's Barrows (even. with painstaking exactitude. . : it greatly inflamed the mind with desire of an extended pilgrimage.THE HAUNT OF ! TfiE DOONES " Bless you. . where he dodged a . thence to his meeting with Lorna. wherein ton. flanked behind by rolling tors. by sounding paragraphs but it remains the despair of word-imagery.
stretches the cliff. Below. on the very An enchanted way. At a distance of something more than a mile from Lynton is the Valley of Rocks. winding track. cherisher of the noisy Lyn stream running thereby More like and clamoring for the sea. looking Lynmouth way. gorse glows resplendent. "one entire and the lift little — . lies the harbor of Lynmouth.( 74 . Above. only by the cliff walk. roseate purple. also. guarded in friendly fashion by a quaint Rhenish tower. through almost impossible glories of color and light. leads on and on. if the traveler a is truly wise. footpath cut in the living rock and. erected solely for the delight of artistic eyes. carpeted everywhere with a wondrous Heather smiles in richness of growth. it face of the cliff. Lynmouth has chosen foothold in a cleft of mighty crags. faithfully rendered by its name. while she broods in peace at the water gate. far-famed Clovelly than any sister town. to be approached. and a certain nodding fairy bell intensifies the upper blue.BY OAK AND THORN or a steep. Majestically they tower above her. At the right. it towers inaccessible. a huge cliff or foreland sweeps into the sea. a sheer descent to the sea.
at those gala moments when the sunset glory is supreme. shim- mering splendor. At first. poised upon his meagre eyrie. and imagine himself some happy dweller in the air. remembering the . insists valley of yielding rock. nourished by light and breathFollowing this heavenly cliff. . Rich browns shade into purple and rose- red and. might almost forget the ground above and beneath. stupendous descriptions hung upon its fame. he is disappointed but gradually the true grandeur of the rocky waste A upon its own significance. some extent. and threw them back . in bits fit for a giant's 75 . the sky was as a shell. marked forever by a red letter in the missal of the year. pink-tinted. and enters the ing only color. lustrous. flanked by hills and to-day traversed by a road. the traveler suddenly turns a corner. The great cliff shone in glory and the watcher. it is green with bracken and sterile under Everywhere obtrudes the unstone. the bare rock throbs and palpitates in almost breathing beauty. way along the curving valley itself. On one late afternoon. its The sea snatched in hues.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES perfect chrysolite " in gemlike coloring.
or. BY OAK AND THORN massive and uncouth formaTwo such rocky citadels. grotesque. These are attract and hold the eye. Even the valiant John found himself depressed by the gloom of her surroundthough he had previously considered the place " nothing to frighten anybody. and not the treble but among the suppliants for her uncanny aid there must have been those who here quivered and quaked in awe of the sorcerer Nature. To extend one's walk along the valley and through the hospitable gate of Lee Abbey is to turn a page of romantic hisThis estate was some time the tory. had her abode. unless he had lived in a gallipot. or possibly her rendezvous and thither came John Ridd to seek her. according to some. as the name was corrupted. Tradition still declares that in this eerie spot the witch. ings. Mabel Durham. signifying cheese-knife or scoop). like chaotic dwellings. Wise Mother Melldrum She knew the missile. Mother Melldrum. in tion." His nerves were as the bass string. tremendous. 76 . ! full value of scene-setting and accessories.. Castle Rock and the Devil's Cheese-ring (the latter word. if not the human witch. .
Flemish refugees. The Sedgemoor followed and De its . met him him dead. happily dead. slayer in the ranks of battle of face to face. Then came Monmouth's Rebellion and De Whichehalse. whereupon 77 . and struck army. like others of the defeated. and next morning had not returned. and the royal coward declared his inability to judge between them. — Jennifred. justice against the recreant but Auberley stood high in court favor. like Ophelia. attempted flight to Holland. at the foot of the cliff where she had spair. Search waxed hot and frantic . and at length they found her. One night she wandered away from the house. and still known as Jennifred's Leap. she . a cliff overhanging the shore.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES De Whichehalse family. whose line ended in residence of the revolt against the English crown. repudiated the royal party. according was beloved and deserted by Lord Auberley and. cast herself in heroic de- Her father sought King James for lover . One spot in the grounds furnishes the initial note to this tragic history. burning for revenge. Whichehalse. to the story. could not survive the outrage of her maiden dream. and sought the woman.
the red of whortleberry. in vaive minutes " The coach road from Lynton thither is charhalse who kissed pretty door. When John Fry and his valiant little charge made their way across Exmoor. quenching his stormy life and passions forever. from Tiverton to Oare. and yet strangely individual and ling with different. Rather will he choose to smile over the memory of that Marwood de Whiche- the betray." and tenanted. barren. ! acteristic and satisfying . they halted at Dulverton and there it was that the immortal " farm-hand " demanded " Hot mootton pasty for twoo trarv'lers. and in . hills Dartmoor is broken by abrupt and gigantic rocky remains Ex: 78 . by ponies and red deer. "the green of bracken. It is like Dartmoor as one sister resembles another. for on either side lies the moor. at number vaive. Annie at the payment for his whistle was so sturdily clouted by the giant John. crack- coarse grass diversified by patches of heather.BY OAK AND THORN the winds swept down upon him and the sea rose. brown. as of old. though will scarcely waste thought upon this righteous maid-avenger. But the lover of that ideal which actual is forever satisfying.
but alas for the partisan who would fain shudder over the bones of Carver Doone bleaching below the ooze Not one. for then such mountain waters throw aside the decorum of habit. in goyals or gullies. But in the centre of the great tract. foam-fringed and vocal. In the deep glens at the foot of these enormous earth-ridges hasten clear streams all swarming with moor is the " mother of manie rivers.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES moor sweeps away in rolling billows. is dangerous. Then they drop 79 . lie its monotony and dreariness of waste moorland." Over the sides of the of varying size. to join the torrent bein winter a torrent. " It always rains on Exmoor. where sweeps some rushing streamlet. and swollen by the . cleft perhaps by a romantic fissure. It is that the great and truly suddenly hundreds of feet. a cool and unsympathetic authority. for the ridges themselves trickle swifter rills. when they approach the sea downs become majestic satisfying. — early rains leap forth. destructive and dauntless." runs a proverb and the couplet defining ! . Here and there are bogs. peopled every- where by thousands of sheep. indeed low. to meet the sea. says. but fish .
indeed. the gods go with you every step. of spiritual vainglory. waking the valley The air there is to a madness of mirth. Crossing the stream is by a foot-bridge made of one timber and a narrow hand-rail. joking. Everywhere is the beauty woven out of ferns and brawling waters. To climb this beacon hill without a guide is to suffer some diminution . over stone dark with " green things growing. utterly irresponsible water creature goes tumbling along and shallow. singing. shouting. unless. Then you begin climbing. quite out of breath and be80 . then the rain may be said to have given official warning of its approach." You can scarcely make your way for love of the thickening leaves on either hand. Homer will have a flooded stream. where that gurgling." — Clouds are the hourly attendants of an Exmoor sky but. The pleasfootway from antest Porlock leads through the valley of the Horner. slapping his sides. when they lower on Dunkery.BY OAK AND THORN Dunkery's barometric qualification. and perhaps like us find yourself. " When Dunkery's top cannot be seen. announces with the eccentric rhyming of a weather distich.
we marched down again. surprised at visitors in his sleeping world. apparently on the way to nowhere. mounted another height and knew only that Exmoor was about us and that we were plainly lost." Then. and you '11 know it by the b'acon. where the chopper. far away in a dream. and we struck into wild land where the . directed us profusely. All his conflicting testimony ended to the tune of " and that will be Dunkery. little hamlet glanced out now and then. save that it was full of hot sun and winy airs that somehow the sound of an axe led us into a wood.. Surely the beacon No path pointed thither. and scanning it for the beacon. a flaw.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES wildered. In better company than the king of France. delusive in their sameness. I have little remembrance of that day. we struck into a way across the moor. in an upland open. : A ! 8z . obedient. The sky smiled brilliantly without a cloud. my eyes looked always across a black bar where the bright horizon line had struck them. The hills were alike. The road rose and sank with the billowing hills. At length one waving outline seemed to be broken by a knot.
the few nibbling sheep. saw only the sky. husky to the ear. This is the county of the red deer. The soul must be hide-bound indeed. . He is lying somewhere 82 in covert. the rolling slopes. with her distinguishing cairn. the warm scrubby growth closed over her and the other. Vain desire bare. — on Dunkery. if in such space she will not grow. finding herself alone on this great ball. When At last we were there. waste. : BY OAK AND THORN heather was knee-deep. the earth. her vantage over purpling wastes and love-looks at the ample sky.! . From Lynton to Simonsbath (still on the way to Dulverton) the road affords you truly typical Exmoor scenery. looking back. — and desolate. and drank of wonder. and we went back again through the heather. one of us lay down to rest. But we had eaten the air and thriven mightily. de- . There were seven hours of it in all before home and rest seven hours without food. where he is yet hunted with the madness of enthusiasm described by Kingsley and Whyte-Melville and the knowing tourist will scan the far sinuous horizon for one glimpse of a delicate antlered head.
an Exmoor outlaw of some unknown period. But sufficient be it for us to remember. says one tale. from a deep pool in the Barle. when we draw up in front of the William Rufus. pilgrim. Simonsbath is dignified by the usual quota of legend. though it happens to be of a rather fragmentary and commonplace nature. and send him forth with a cruel push of resistless horns. was accustomed to Another folk tradition connects bathe. — every step a move if in the game of outwitting the hounds. a tavern in good and respectable standing to-day as it was two centuries ago. The name is taken. will slink into the lair of a young stag.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES veloping his tactics for the next meet. that this was the scene of one mar83 . to draw the sportsman's eye. and there cool him in the stream before picking his dainty way over moss and pebble. he will seek some still watercourse. where Simon. If that avail Then perchance he not. But lay it not to heart. the dragon-slayer. his enemies to the death. it with King Sigmund. dear the only four-footed beasties you find on Exmoor are ponies cropping the homely herbage the deer are meat : for our masters.
W. LI. and at Dulverton itself. Beyond Simonsbath. — only for Tom the imaginative.. for the benefit of him. the tradition that the bog known as Claren Rocks. quotes. Here was he one night revehng when the authorities suddenly pounced upon to be outwitted. As in . as he wet patch upon the side of Dunkery may. doctors disagree and the hoarder of such uncertain detail might as well look about him. entered by a street so narrow that the houses seem inhospitably to elbow the passing coach. however had but to leap on his halfhuman strawberry mare and ride away. The verdict has been given. with equal likelihood. was the instrument of justly adds. more vital matters. J. BY OAK AND THORN velous escape ascribed to Tom Faggus. . Page. the case dismissed tial circumstanevidence can do no harm. in comparison with its previous mood. receive the popular vote. and fix upon any bog even approximately answering the requirements of fancy. within the proper radius. lover of the moors of Exe and Dart. a certain Carver Doone's tragic ending but. not far from Simonsbath. the road becomes somewhat tame. tJiere is scanty interest for anti84 : .
He threatened destruction to the first living creature crossing it.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES quary and for "tripper. was built by the devil for his own exclusive use. or you may drive through the wooded luxury of Earl Carnarvon's park but it must be confessed that the chief glory of the place lies now in the memory of John Fry's " hot moot." You may climb the hill behind the church and overlook the valley of the Barle. this." Not far away are the Tor Steps. ton pasty. billingsgating the devil as he went. The dialogue on this memorable occasion must have been of the tu quoque order. inasmuch as the parson was called a "black crow. broke the spell by sending over "a harmless necessary cat." Pussy was torn piecemeal and then the parson himself crossed in safety. it seems." Shrewd in tactics. near which Mother Melldrum set up her summer residence." and avenged himself for the indignity offered his garb by retorting that he was "no blacker than the devil. it is evident that this good gentle- A — . who was amazingly clever in those days at outwitting the fiend. placed upon piers and guiltless of cement. 8S . whereupon the parson. rude bridge made of stone slabs.
skirting the very brow of sheer cliffs on one side. and 86 traveler. walker will make it a day's excursion. will point vaguely into the purple distance. however. hardly needs to be he should take a carriage at Lynmouth. and remark that the Doone Valley is " there. preferably by the Countisbury Road. to return by way of Watersmeet. at a certain stage of the trip. where the Combe Park and Farley Waters join the East Lyn with many sparkles of delight at the meeting and much pomp of fernembroidered garment. else would he have chosen some more biting " rejoinder than " You 're another Let no one contemplating the coaching trip to Dulverton be deceived by ! the announcement that the Doone Valley is among the attractions of the route. (This. thanking his luck for the chance. have no legs. and make a canny bargain for a drive to the valley itself." The greedy told that however. for this beguiling statement merely indicates that the driver. like the Queen of Spain. applies only to those who. — A .) Up and out into the clear air of heaven leads the Countisbury Road.BY OAK AND THORN man was yet a dullard at repartee.
Jan Ridd. charged with death to one and madness for her lover " but pure surprise chased such sentimental musStepping within ing from the field. reflecting. . in entering. 87 . For I. a tiny building with nave and chancel all complete. Exmoor from the inland The blue sea and the shadWales are the wayfarer's Every breath is exhil- owy coast of treasure-trove. claimant also for the parentage of the redoubtable John. it shall befall the traveler to seek out Oare church. Presently the road inclines downward and toward the right and Devonshire is left behind for the goodly county of . the previously uninstructed is amazed at certain tablets on the north . Somerset.") And before reaching the goal of his desire. sweet. instinct with beauty.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES smiled on by distance. " and Zummerzett thou shalt be. expected merely to drink from the cup of sweet memories. " Here stood John with his Lorna when Carver's shot came crashing in." said the popular voice on that side the line. like a temple of Lilliput Land and there I wish him not too exhaustive a knowledge of what he is to find. the nave. arating. ("Zummerzett thou bee'st.
you may take an Exmoor pony and ride along a sweetly sylvan path into the true valley. testify it. as by an irrevocable vow. The Snowes. for these perpetuate the memory of the Snowe family. asserting. and one of them is even adorned by the name of Farmer Nicholas himself." Beyond Oare. so saith the chronicler. to the upholding of Doone legends. a collection of two or three houses devoted. though of another generation than John's old neighbor. After Blackmore's paean. " The bricks are alive at this day to sified . to which Black- more has vouchsafed a long-lasting tenure of life. it shall seem " the boyhood of the year . so that green boughs be welcoming." for everywhere is budding or expanded growth.BY OAK AND THORN wall . since the days of Alfred and this en- during brass doth so plainly resurrect them before the eye that one is tempted to subscribe then and there to a sober belief in all Blackmore's broidery of fact. are worthy yeo- men who have held land in this region . under dappling of shadow and flickering of light. And here. the road is less diverand at Malmsmead. at whatever season you go. all that one can 88 .
a rocky incline covered by a thin streamlet. little John's stout muscles The valley itself. broken by .THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES say of the Doone Valley rings of bathos. Learn. indeed. it is as Leah to Rachel. however. We . Here are steep inclines. hundreds of feet high. amicably flowing to meet the Bagworthy Water but it is by no means a way perilous. with the summer sky above us and the whispering But the magic picture leaves at hand. slide. the more lukewarm in proportion to its For here. the desolate foundations of a few tiny hemmed in by moorland hills compared with a score of Exmoor's chasms and retreats. are in the home of the and very fair it is. when one has turned back on this disappointing spot and taken his homeward road. the sequel : Doones forget not the epilogue his ! For. save between the covers of Blackmore's book wonderful. he cannot forbear exclamation. over the actual valley his dreams. For the reality of that word-picture exists. 89 . at more points than of one. is but. huts. though not where tradition has placed it. of our search we shall by no means find. is the watertruth. have tired so sorely. and its ascent need not .
And thus will find. just without the archway. B.' myself have seen it come both ways. ground is P. Who I that has the heart of youth does not recall. Now it is the custom and the law that. and fern -clad hollow. so ever small and undoctrined. when the invading waters. John Ridd's tale of the Blundell boys' heaven-sent holiday ? For " in the very front of the where the paved most handsomely. foaming water. to rush into the great 90 . There are few places in whose records take more delight than in those of Tiverton and her Blundell School. with a responsive thrill. you may see in copy-letters done a great gate. it is in the license of any boy. either fluxing along the wall from below the road-bridge or pouring sharply across the meadows from and I a cut called Owen's ditch. Here it are inaccessible gullies. who truly seeks even though the prize be long is that he deferred.BY OAK AND THORN down which even the anguished red deer dare not hurl himself in his extremity of flight. upon the very instant when the waxing element lips though it be but a single ' — — pebble of the founder's letters. of white pebbles.
and the small boys stick up to the great ones.' THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES school-rooms. with a . Then the masters look at one another. With a spirited bang they close their books. They toss their caps to the black-beamed roof. "at first a very Poor Lad of Tiverton who. with words of scanty compliment. ! yell. One with another. Errands for the Carriers that came to that Town. to see the gain of the waters. B. and (boys being no more left to watch) in a manner they put their mouths up. the founder of the was. hard they go. . where a score of masters sit heavily. and make invitation. according to good John Prince. and haply the very books after them and the great boys vex no more the small ones." Peter Blundell. having no class to look to. . and foreign cordials. . and are prone to kick the day-boys out. and scream at the top of his voice. for a little Support. the boys leap up or break away from their standing. for pipes . went school. * P. the one to the other. and was Tractable in looking after their Horses and doing little Ser91 . " Then. recommending the chance of the time and the comfort away from cold water.
and he continued therein. He came . and bestow such large Legacies as he did. built something like the ColCupulo in the middle. he got a little Money. a very tall and spacious Structure." The school itself is painstakingly de- scribed by this ever-delightful chronicler of "This House stands at the East end the Town. at last to a vast and large Estate whereby he was enabled to do such noble Benefactions. and another 92 lege-Halls in the Universities. as they gave him Orders. he was received into good degrees. with a fair . and went up to London with it humbly Where being found very Diligent and Industrious. By Imployment by those who managed there the Kersey Trade (for which Tiverton was then very famous).: : BY OAK AND THORN vices for them. in such .. which a Carrier was so kind as to carry to London. gratis. of which he was very Provident and Careful and bought therewith a kersey. and to make him the Advantage of the Return. he at length got kersies enough to Lade an Horse. Having done so for some time. The Pile contains one School for the Master. means. making Kersies for . until he was Rich enough to set of up the Calling himself..
some . and four and twenty broad well wainscoted and Boarded. coped with yellow Purbeck-Stone. now rendered by Time and Weather almost illegible. and Out-Lots. over which is this Inscription. only them an entry between One hundred Foot long.' Outwardly. in Figure a Quadrangle. Peter Blundell of this Town. Thus it is that Tiverton is is "Loma Doone" no more. is a very large House for the Master. and another convenient one for the Usher with very good Orchards. Close adjoyning to which. "Before the School-House is a large spacious Green-Court. cut in Stone. in Continent one Acre of Ground. both." THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES for the Usher. alas! the Blundell's of In 1880 new buildings were erected. at the enterance in from the Street. nearly a mile away. sold under certain conditions. and the old ones. . All enclosed with an high and stately Wall. by his Direction. 93 . Gardens. " This Free Grammar-School was Founded at the only Cost and Charge of Mr. were converted into dwellinghouses. belonging to it. : * times Clothier. It hath a fair Gate at the Entry into it. very handsome to behold.
I fear. I might peep within at walls and velvet sward.' Such a course of action would not recommend itself to any Blundellian of 94 . according to immemorial right. and when I passed that " high and stately Wall. as pins run into cracks. " Never again. I lingered. I smiled at the " fair Gate leading therein. but somehow they slipped my mind. but the spirit of old Blundell's had fled. dispelled my fancy. and was content. knowing how securely tradition rested there and would rest. But next day's sun. B." on my way from " the station. to glare at the prosperous modern buildings of new old Blundell's and greet the transplanted P. B. and then took my dusty way up the hill. scowling at the spirit of change. These facts I knew. loyally holding place at the entrance gates. at least. "can the waters of the Lowman hope to cover these honored initials. — . crying P." writes a master of the school. in the ordinary of things and I course can hardly contemplate ' the possibility that the license of any boy' should extend to the length of 'rushing into the school-room.BY OAK AND THORN sadly disappointing to a visitor weak in the memory.
' as we had discovered to call it. terminated in the victory of the : — . but that these boys required kicking from the premises of Blundell. a former Blundell scholar at Oxford. himself a Blundellian. H. who were of the house and chambers." But at length did "the whirligig of time." For in 1846. will remember his account of the perpetual feuds between boarders and day-boys "For it had been long fixed among us. Snell. which had long been pending between the Feoffees of the school and the inhabitants of Tiverton. while we ate their victuals. " bring in his revenges. In consumption of these we would help them. This luxury is rarely granted nowadays. because they paid no groat for their schooling and brought their own commons with them. a dispute.THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES the present day as likely to obtain a holiday for the school." Readers of Blackmore. that these same day-boys were all 'caddes. when all the victuals were gone. we could not feel. we allowed them freely to talk to us. for our fare in hall fed appetite and. according to F. Nevertheless." consonant to eternal word. 95 .
96 . its privileges were eaten up by boarders. but despised and latter. Then followed a dreary period for the immediate effect of the decree had been to . Proceedings ran a long and tortuous course. said Scholarships and Exhibitions. writing. Blundell' s boasts a goodly roll of boarders and day scholars. or ought to take any boarder and that none but boys educated as Free Scholars. videlicet Scholars free of expense in the said ought to be eligible to the School. who. but the final decision given by the Vice-Chancellor was that "neither the Master nor the Usher of the said School ought to receive any payments from or in respect of any of the boys educated in the said School. . harried the native students (or " cads ! "). . .BY OAK AND THORN These worthy citizens complained whereas the Blundell benefaction had been intended primarily for Tiverton boys. ' ' . that. . . and at the present justed themselves pupils. if they do loyally continue the ancient feud. matters slowly readfactory. sweep away at least half the number of and the provisions for teaching the remainder were by no means satisHowever. who not only absorbed most of the scholarship fund.
THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES doubtless proceed in the scientific fashion observed by John Ridd and Robin Snell. Tiverton herself is all lovable in her and the assured and not too flaunting prosperity. chiefly at almshouses. It was in Tiverton that one short day gave me a round of social delights. could scarcely have found there a congenial resting-place for they have long since . Yet it is to be hoped that here the nimble shilling leaps from your purse into some eager. The White Horse Inn. 97 ." mentioned tenderly by Blackmore. the county for nowhere in England do you find truer and more unfailing courtesy than in Devon. bringing out their last treasures of china for your sake ancient teapots and copper-lustre half-pints which they lingeringly agree to sell. where dear old women potter about their tiny quar- ters in a flutter of hospitality. but inevitable joy thereat is tempered by the fact that the " souls of John and Joan Greenway. wrinkled hand for a shilling buys much tea. still exists in Gold Street. . but with such evident agony of soul — that you incontinently refuse the bargain and flee from temptation. spirit of her people is worthy of . where "girt Jan " rested after his victory over Robin.
no more pathetic record contained in those letters graven by men who would fain assure to themselves a brief immortality than that set down by John and Joan Greenway. however. are fixed round the Edges goes a Fillet of Brass.: BY OAK AND THORN disappeared. perhaps. under a large Stone. endowing them with a small weekly revenue. in . There is. though " of mean parentage. old Characters. . be heard of across the road. which are still in being." and in the early part of the sixteenth century founded an almshouse for a limited number of poor men. lieth this John Greenway and his Wife Joan on which the Figures of them both. having their Epitaph engraven on it. " in a spacious Vault. . at Greenway's Chapel or Almshouses. They may." grew "vastly Rich. . according to Prince. and have not been diverted from their original uses. now 98 partly obliterated: : what remains legible here follows — . who seemed strangely timorous as to their reception in the next world and extravagantly desirous of establishing some sort of lien on the kindly feeling of this. John Greenway. curiously done in Brass. . He added a chapel to the church and there.
" THE HAUNT OF THE DOONES " of ' Of your Charite prey .' benefit of the His wife had. the chapel. bears continually reiterated petitions for welfare. for the Souls John and Joan Greenway his Wife . and On : exterior are inscribed the mottoes " — the God sped J. . Amen. in her own name. even after sad experience of the vandalism known as restoration. and for their which Died Faders and Moders." " Of your charitie pray for the Souls of John Greenway and his wife.' " Out of the mouth of John Greenway proceeds a Label of Brass. John Greenway's heavenly that of his spouse. And. Have mercy John Greenway. on which are these Words. and for their Friends and their Lovers. G. " ' O ! then to thee of we pray. On them Jesu have Mercy." " Oh Lord all way grant to John Grenway good fotue and grace " and In heaven a place ! 99 . though these labels have long since been torn away. the same pious wish.
like a cry from " Pray for solitary land : — ! ! rest. and that its fame . who shrank from those new worlds which the poorest Is he. But what are these but the dry bones of belief? Supreme and vital walks the glowing truth that a beautiful book was bom of their ashes. or doth his immortal part still pro? test against its progress to another star Pray for his soul And in this relic-hunting of the Doones. shall be ever-living. and even Betty Muxworthy. at of us must conquer ? injunction. . poor ghost this earth and his foothold at Tiverton too goodly to be relinquished. and lived there a life of rapine and shame that John Ridd. or was he by nature a distrustful soul. are articles of local faith. indeed. what must be the conclusion of the whole matter? That a band of outlaws two hundred years ago built their huts in an isolated valley. is hotly believed in by the sons of Devon. the champion wrestler and eater of beef. 100 . to whom legend has been handed down like family jewels and that Tom Faggus and his strawberry mare.! BY OAK AND THORN Everywhere was repeated that pathetic some far and John GreenDid he find way " Alas.
His prowess is chanted by mountain streamlets. reached the land of ancient custom and romance. Cornwall wears the renown of his birth. he a delightsome morsel. spirit still. haunted by demons. and fairies. on entering its borders. Varied and seemingly inexhaustible are its antiquities. secluded spot awaiteth him many By night. of saint it and mythic has preserved more of its old-time character than any other corner in England. legendary hero and crown of chivalry. that he has To this day. cromlechs. rows. may hear the wailing of Tregeagle.THE LAND OF ARTHUR All footprints over England are scattered the of King Arthur. and the traveler need spur his imagination but slightly to feel. stone-rings. and doomed to exlOI LIBRARY UNIVERSITY Or CALIFOR RIVERSIDE . to Here are barand ruined of Dryasdust. for it is the county of giants hero. tic occupy the speculations Neither need the romanfor in this wanderer depart unfed. fortifications. and most appropriately . and lowland rushes whisper his name.
from whom it was delivered by that noble Jack. There are giants' cradles. and yet was overtaken by fate in the person of Saint Agnes. and bowls . and though one legend de- clares that the devil dare not enter Corn- wall for fear of being (for at least three made into a pie hundred I02 varieties of . builder and lord of Saint Michael's Mount. was once. impossible tasks . son of a wealthy farmer near Land's End. Cornwall. in self-defense. to entrap him into an amiable suicide. overrun with giants. In CornHe wall lived also the Giant Bolster.BY OAK AND THORN piate a wicked life by perpetual toil at he may steep his soul in that solace which is a sort of intellectual nicotine by turning the pages of legend. graves. who first earned his sobriquet of " Giant Killer " by slaying the terrible Cormoran. spoons. All over the duchy are scattered names recalling that age of wonder. made nothing of compassing six miles at a stride. pulpits. or according to the popular belief. whom he so persecuted with offers of affection that she was compelled. like most regions diversified by a huge and rocky formation. from the story of the Giant Cormoran to that of Britain's hero-king.
The subject of Cornish pies. in Indeed. however. Only a temperate mind may choose among such pretty dishes "to set before the king. to giants or the devil. as one antiquary dethe eastern part of Cornwall every phenomenon out of the common course is referred to King Arthur in the west. made of pilchards. furnishing a wealth not to be despised beside that which once . and conger-eel. The most casual consideration of it puts forever to flight certain dogmatic assertions regarding the lack of variety in English cooking. still he has served as sponsor for many a natural oddity. as hath been said. Cornwall has pies of beef." Today. pilchard fishing is the great industry of the coast. star-gazing pies. concocted of the succulent kid and. In short. their name is that of a legion alarming to the conservative foreigner. — a subject for wonder when we consider that before the Christian era they were 103 . is one which is not to be lightly dismissed. duck. scarcely mines are almost exhausted. lammy pies. clares. : lay The local tin in tin and copper.THE LAND OF ARTHUR pasty have flourished at one time or another on the west Tamar side).
a species of wandering minstrel. 104 . This was a quaint and simple people. "Ah. have been preserved the customs of a sparsely chron. when in Devonshire. went formerly from house to house. This. however." One subject.BY OAK AND THORN supplying Greek. The terms "uncle" and "aunt "were freely interchanged among them in token of respect and affection and thus did the Virgin Mary come to be tenderly spoken of as Modryb Marya." or tales of marvel and delight. — ! . "It takes Cornish cows. Droll-tellers. old civilization and here. icled time. now Saint Michael's Mount. to a very late date. Even as late as the first part of the present century two such venders of "drolls. "Aunt Mary. were still alive. therefore. to this day rouses them to wrath. and Phoenician merchants with metal loaded at the port Iktis. gladly welcomed and lads hospitably entertained. to sing folk baland repeat old tales. Roman. is an old. the comparison of their clotted cream with the cream of Devon. I ." That I firmly believe and yet. albeit somewhat chary of communicating its old-time legends to alien folk. you can't make Cornish cream anywhere else " said a wise old woman.
adorn the cottage fronts scarlet geraniums and roses clamber to their very eaves. on the south coast. and. Near the Lizard . found nowhere else but in Portugal. inland from its rocky strongholds. painting the rocks themselves. full of terrible crags. is The coast of Cornwall rock-bound. the gorse has a more golden glow. In the sweet freshness of the sea winds every petal assumes a brilliancy of tint unknown rosier. Fuchsias. Yet. roof-high. how In the earth smiles in leaf and bloom its valleys. to the very beginning of their rocky deis The heather fenses. of sounding caves. and beaten upon by mighty surges. creeps a golden lichen. farther inland. delicate and gracious sojourner from a warmer clime.— THE LAND OF ARTHUR am convinced of the paramount excellence of Devonshire cows. quite amaz! ing in a country of England's latitude. grows the pink thrift. and none like the Devon cream except in Cornwall. blossoms a tropical wealth of flowers. Over the headlands. Its domestic features have a 105 . There is no such cream as the Cornish cream save in Devonshire. foxgloves are reddened by a lustier current. grows the wonderful Cornish heath.
indeed. crouching low to avoid the winds. like Saint Ives. whitewashed and roofed with slate. tiful Saints were plenit here . and adorned by fine headlands and a quaint harbor. and whose — — name has passed into the literature of France and Italy. and. or Saint Just. A public coach furnishes conveyance from Newquay to Tintagel. to creep back from the former into his own land by means of Sir Thomas Malory's pen and Caxton's press. In seeking this land of eld. To those unfamiliar with the face of this particular 1 06 . each little hamlet with its gray stone church. and with a square tower often high enough for a beacon. Saint Sennen. by way of Boscastle. certain to delight the artistic eye.BY OAK AND THORN Tiny stone all their own. a little town rich in a store of antiquarian memories. stand in clustering sociability. saintly patronage. one authority deis clares that in the Cornish folk-lore difficult to distinguish their deeds from those of the giants. Many a village is under character cottages. my first thought was of that heroic king giant among his contemporaries who set his seal upon the sixth century.
but gay in tram carolled.THE LAND OF ARTHUR region. This is a country of ridgy. and often and bloom. Yet the whole landscape was lightened and glo. with a surface of two feet at the top. On that day when we drove to Tintagel. yet its such as one would be loath to miss. and foxglove from their crannies but chiefly are they overspread with a rich mantle of heath. — — 107 . made of earth and stone. a royal yellow trefoil. wind-swept hills. or Trissad of name. the road reads a pleasing prelude to the peculiar beauties of Cornwall. with hawk on wrist. clouds and the air passing chill. lies all its luxuriance of growth The Cornish hedges are literally banks. either planted with shrubs or left bare for a footpath. the sky was full of windy Gallic grace. I have gathered pimpernel. garnished by a scanty tree growth. It is monotonous compared with certain drives along the quiet Devon coast . and honeysuckle. and looking down into sweet valleys. especially in the is charm south. perhaps over the ground where Iseult rode. where. thyme. In this cementing earth has taken root all manner of creeping things Besides the may and blossoming life. some of them ten feet high.
Duke of Tintagel. with laid wife. by island. however. killed the duke.BY OAK AND THORN rifled by these hedges of rose -purple heather. where stood twin castles on headland and promontory. to Cornwall. bridge. like broad. rich lines of crimson on by a daring and prodigal brush. and ! wedded the of lady. until the falling of a crag had made the promontory into an It may be reached. by Uther Pendragon. where a bold promontory juts out into the deep. the fair Igraine. clasped in hand. from stone to stone. Gorlois. Past quarries and great refuse-heaps of slate the road leads down and then up again into the little town of Tintagel. and undoubtedly the place of Arthur's birth. From the little village Trevena a path winds seaward. This was once connected with the mainland by a drawbridge and twin fortiflcations stood on either side. to a steep and winding path over the very face of a little ilous 1 08 . scene of the siege of Gorlois. or Trevena. had visited the court and there King Uther turned on the lady such eyes of favor that she besought her husband to take her home his . hand thus . Vain flight for Uther Pendragon followed. and over a seemingly perway.
but helpless. flocks of sheep are peacefully feeding among the huge. or landing-place. disdainful. once firm in towered strength above the changing tide. 109 . shut up for safety while her lord occupied the castle of Terrabil. fronted by a heavy wooden door. he enters what was undoubtedly an actual British stronghold. disordered blocks of stone. caping makes its way between the two headlands and here perhaps the babe Arthur was washed up to the hands of Merlin. obedient to the key with which he is entrusted. but. Within. and the signs of a burial-place. Arthur — ! — A . when this swings back. and the sea dashes at them. the climber is conthe cliff.THE LAND OF ARTHUR Midway. into the Tintagel's coast its is grim and rough as mountain sea stride fastnesses. she heard the waves moan and the wind howl. a possible altar-stone. if not that of Tintagel's duke. and for in that childlike age such knew that destiny had things were known her in toils from which there was no eslittle cove. Or. How must Igraine have trembled when. Here are the foundations of chapel and castle. mighty. Out rocks like con- quering giants. if that tale be but idly told.
drank a potent love-philter. He had been educated in Brittany. wedded in Brittany to Iseult of the White Hands. Tristram and Iseult. until Tristram. Mark. playthings of an unswerving fate. knight and lady. and brought thence the embroidery of manner for which France has ever been a nursery. she died. and delivered into the charge of Sir Ector. to shrive him from sorrow with her kiss. feeding his eye . through the craft of Iseult's maid. Over these waves she sailed and there in Brittany. with her tristful lover. in his mortal illness. King of Cornwall. sent for her. one must linger long in it. .BY OAK AND THORN was assuredly born of Igraine in that very castle. Here did Iseult pine and suffer after their separation. according to the compact made by the king with the magician. and thenceforward loved deathlessly. Tristram was nephew of access to Igraine's favor. waiting for him outside the postern gate. To catch the spirit of this place. Mark's ambassador to bring home the fair Iseult for her crowning. and to their own undoing. when Merlin procured Uther Pendragon At Tintagel dwelt also those unhappy lovers.
with its stone slab for supporting the coffin while the bearers rest. in whose likeness Arthur tive haunts. neighbored by its quiet graveyard and approached through the solemn lychgate. and pondering on the rocky might of the unyielding shore. of a time of tragic love. flit revisits his na- unrecognized by } Skirting the headland at the left of the church. or rest an instant on the unquiet deep. and death and worship keep ward behind. To climb this height in the late afternoon and watch the sun until it sinks into the sea. calling. At such a moment. winding down by zigzagging deIII . The gulls fly. why should not the red-legged chough. On one bluff. if mistaken resolve and of that death which leads to deathless fame. while the water ceaselessly washes on the crags below. is a strangely sweet and solemn experience. stands the little church. rising sheer and steep from the water.THE LAND OF ARTHUR with the changeful beauty of the sea. It is a coast whose of iron fist of stone seems to hold se- crets of the past. from rock to rock. dip their wings and wheel back again. with all the magnificence of a changeful but silent pageant.
At twilight. to the unaccustomed eye. to offer you sea-birds' eggs for sale. they are gone.. BY OAK AND THORN grees. embow- ered in green. After the death of Uther Pendragon. and sleep. like Guinevere's little maid. Then. There they toil. ries . and the place is still and there slate. or crystals found in the quarried slate. and known as Cornish diamonds. some dark-haired. is a path leading to the slate quarall day men are splitting and sending it over into the harbor. seemingly on the face of the cliff. to be taken away in boats. stalwart miner comes striding across the height. passionate souls of an earlier day who dwelt in rock-bound castles. cutting it into squares only. when many mighty lords coveted succes- that destiny has not for of tragedy as it . perhaps murmuring. — " I thank the saints I am not great ! " — all such store brought those childlike. in safety. however. at almost the perilous height where samphire gatherers hang. turn homeward by the lowly road sunken in the valley. and challenged fate in the daily struggles of a tumultuous living. past the rectory. and yet. as the gray wings of twilight softly settle. perhaps.
The view from the circular grassy rampart takes in the placid valley of the Usk. last it . several tion . he was merely consecrated there. naked. as some say.. and afterwards crowned at Stonehenge. "3 . acres in circumference. against the high altar. of the city. Therein sword. by the point and letters of gold were written about the sword saying thus " Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise born King of England. a stone." And many knights essayed the task but none but Arthur could pull it out. Merlin counseled the Archbishop of Canterbury to send all the gentlemen of the realm to London and there they found. Caerleon but is a town of indisputable antiquity to-day all it can offer the most enthusiastic pilgrim is a grassy mound. in the great church . THE LAND OF ARTHUR sion to the throne. and midst a steel anvil. so that his corona"lightly fiercely. it was at the city of Caerleon upon Usk or. whereon stood Arthur's castle. when at was long deferred was holden. in its stuck a fair : arose the nobles whether he were a truly begotten son of Uther Pendragon." and Then much wrangling among but. depressed in the centre. .
At the latter place. he kept his royal state at tling Camelot and. perhaps. it must be remembered. It seems to mirror the still . or Guildford. who shall blame him ? look with reverent eye upon the stone coffin there displayed as Arthur's. the " Lily Maid. fleeing away to join the Severn. floated in Sur- When he had married Guinevere. Was it Winchester ? That is a goodly and ancient town and. The valley is encircled and these are flanked by others higher yet the prospect is neither bold nor vast. before when Elaine.-' an oft-proven Baedeker. in setupon the modern equivalent of . he 114 will as- . that enchanted spot. little stream. daughter of King Leodograunce. if he choose to please his fancy. the if traveler may he have not a painfully critical mind. rey. shall we pronounce him in childishly credulous Or.BY OAK AND THORN a muddy hills. his seat was fixed humble beginning acy. wander by the smooth-flowing Itchen. and can be content with what the wise may frown upon." down from Astolat. dreaming of souls more heroic than Izaak If he Walton. by of Arthur's supremhe held court at Camelot or at Westminster. with the faith of the tourist . .
presided over by Row Tor and Brown Willy. Scene of a British fight no doubt The it was. leveled at the top to form a circular plain. is in favor of Queen's Camel. square-towered church. each group with its gray. but not of Arthur's battle. and commanding a right royal view of wood. Not far from Camelford is the stone that little sume town six miles bridge called " Slaughter Bridge. stands a hill. — mild symbol of the peaceful domestic life which slept and ate below that heroic one of court and chivalry. in Somersetshire.THE LAND OF ARTHUR Camelot was Camelford. Here Guine- "5 . to be set up in better view) has nothing whatever to do with the British king. however. most reliable evidence. meadow. or South Cadbury. the two highest mountains in Cornwall." said to be the scene of Arthur's disastrous defeat. Yet no one need waste over it for antiquaries too deep a sentiment have declared that the half obliterated inscription on the slab once spanning the stream (and some years ago removed. humble cottages. and tor beyond. At its feet lie scattered ham. lets. in the midst of a fertile and diversified country. a from Trevena. There.
loneliest land-stretch Eximaginable by poet or dreamer. Let the wayfarer wind slowly up and up from spired Salisbury town. The scene of Arthur's defeat. The larks run up their ascending scale of joy from the first low-brooding ground. actly what it is which stamps the plain with eerie awesomeness it would be difficult to say. and gradually there falls is. — — " that last weird battle in the West. past Old Sarum. if upon him a certainty that not the strength of the hills. lost in the highest blue down a Danae shower. surely. here their utter loneliness.BY OAK AND THORN vere and Launcelot kissed and sighed. the sun intermittently casts yet still is the ii6 — . by the voluntary testimony of those who have compared the poetic values of the region is in favor . The few dwell- ings and dotted trees do not in the least serve to break that sweeping expanse. — — of Salisbury Plain. Here did the innocent glow of their first that of knight and sovereign bond lady — — deepen into that passion which was crime. notes to ecstatic lyrics." has not been determined with absolute certainty but the balance of evidence swelled.
says tradition. It a formless. Crowning the utmost height of the plain are those giant monoliths. was the scene of a British victory. finding the task beyond the power of mortal mechanics.THE LAND OF ARTHUR place an is like embodiment of desolation. 117 — . and. but the sphinx become blind and dumb. monstrous presence. about which clings a legend of Merlin. formed of stones stolen by giants from the coast of and possessing mystical virtues. the very spirit of the desert. under the very shadow of the triumphal pile erected by Arthur's fostering magician. but. It is the sphinx. oppressing the soul. There is a certain dramatic satisfaction in imagin- ing the battle here. the disordered order of Stonehenge. It move the stones . and sought to reAfrica. Merlin advised them to take away from a mountain in Ireland the structure called the Giant's Dance. Not far from here. Here was commemorated the Briton's triumph here was a Briton overthrown. was Uther Pendragon who finally conquered Ireland. when the Britons proposed commemorating it by a monument. he called Merlin to his aid. who speedily accomplished it by magic.
in its passionate simplicity. that all the ladies and gentlewomen had work enough for to hold the queen up. 'Through this knight and me all the wars were wrought. then she said. where Guinevere sought refuge when she " understood that her lord. cheer. she called the ladies and gentlewomen unto her Ye there.' And when Sir Launcelot was brought unto her. swooned three times.' said she. why ' I it make is is this Truly. ii8 . was form this tragic chronicle "And then was Queen Guenever aware of Sir Launcelot as he walked in and when she saw him the cloister : — . fair ladies.BY OAK AND THORN To the east of Stonehenge. and the death of the most noble knights of the world for through our love that we have loved together is my most noble lord slain. most moving. she : ' marvel. Almesbury. lies the little town of Amesbury. . or Am- brosebury. I pray you all to call him unto me. for the sight of yonder knight which yonder : wherefore. in a greenly wooded valley. of all the incidents which King Arthur. when she might speak." This was the scene of her last interview with Sir Launcelot. So. slain.
right straightly my company. " Therefore." THE LAND OF ARTHUR Therefore. go thou unto thy realm. furthermore. — for as sinful in creatures as ever was I are saints heaven. through God's . my death for to have the sight of the blessed face of Jesu Christ. and live with her in joy and bliss and I beseech you heartily pray for me unto our Lord God. : and. and keep well thy realm from war and wreck. that after to sit on his right side. . Sir Launcelot. I require thee. Therefore. for all the love that ever was between us two ' that thou never look me more I in the visage thee. command that thou forsake on God's behalf. wit thou well. I am set in such a plight to get my soul's health and yet I trust. and there take thee a wife. now mine heart will not once serve me to see thee for through me and thee are the flower of kings and knights destroyed. and beseech thee heartily. and at the dreadful day of doom grace. For as well as I have loved thee. and that unto thy kingdom shortly thou return again. Sir Launcelot. Sir Launcelot. Sir Launcelot.' Then like a true knight obedient 119 to . that I may amend my misliving. .
with prayers and fastings. I pray you kiss me once. and lay I20 years there . where a little bell was ringing to mass. day and night. be assoiled from sin and there he remained "serving God. for there was lamentation as though they had been stung with spears. and nevermore. although should last. charging him to hasten to Almesbury.' And so they departed but there was never so hardhearted a man but he would have wept to see the sorrow they made. he also must take to prayer and penance while life his lady. came to him a vision. weeping. and many times they swooned. .' said the queen. but abstain you from such things. madam. did Sir Launcelot that. since she would not have it so.BY OAK AND THORN answer her he had hoped to carry her into his own realm and country. where he would find Queen Guinevere dead thence should he carry her body. " * Wherefore. and knelt to ' . He threw away his armor. that shall I never do ." And when Sir Launcelot at length rode away through the forest." After six . he came upon a hermitage and a chapel.' " * Nay.
and noble queen. with dirge and requiem and there did he speak over her those lofty words. that sometime was so highly set in most honorable places. my Lord Arthur. and it was her prayer. the dying queen had learned. her bounty. . : — For when I remember and call to mind her beauty. its habitation. for the two days before her death. that she " might never see Sir Launcelot with her worldly eyes. so lie together in that cold grave made of earth.THE LAND OF ARTHUR it beside that of King Arthur. also in a vision. that Launcelot had been called to that dolorous task. . Then did Sir Launcelot and seven fellow-monks bear the queen's body to Glastonbury. which fitly end the tragic tale " My sorrow may never have an end. where she was buried. as with her and also when I saw the corpse of that noble king." For the mighty passion of that love had burnt on and on through hours of penance and prayer it had eaten up the mortal frame. truly mine heart would not serve me to sustain my wretched and careful body. that was as well with her king." Amesbury was one of the oldest . Mean- time. 12 X . and her nobleness.
seen under a shifting sky.BY OAK AND THORN centres of British civilization. does not cover the site of the former monastery : that is now included within private grounds. a bare backbone . and the stones once forming the walls have hopelessly lost their identity of among those at the present day. under the eternal washing of the surge sweeping between Land's End and the Scilly Isles. still solitary. bearing ever a haunting suggestion of romance and modern buildings. Past the little town winds Avon's " troutful stream. church. the British prince who so long and so successfully defended his country against the Saxons. Amesbury. An almost uninterrupted tradition declares that these islands were once joined to the mainland by a well- populated strip of land. Tennyson last fixes the scene of Arthur's great struggle in the land of Lyo- nesse." and a lonely church sits in the hamlet's midst. is a still and thoughtful place. though enThis compassed by lowly dwellings. however. remembrance. — afterwards a convent Benedictine nuns — doubtless monastery and its of flour- ished under the protection of Aurelius Ambrosius.
What their farms and gardens were. . Their churches were a hundred and forty. In Lyonesse lived a prosperous and pious people. THE LAND OF ARTHUR mountain stretching through the cenand fertile valleys edging its shores. save in imagination. when doom overtook them possibly not in haste. the sea rose and overwhelmed his home. That such a land once existed is upheld by the fact that a neighboring coast region was undoubtedly subject to the same calamity of tidal overflow for of the submerged forests off Mount's Bay there is historic witness. says the story. with un- — . it is unknown whether Lyonesse was slowly eaten away by the greedy sea or whether it sank under swift convulsion. what must have been the sweetness of the sandy reaches and the calm bays. cherisher of bloom. breath of the Gulf Stream. Since the land of Lyonesse lives no longer. for one man had time to reach the mainland before. As a matter of fact. however. can be imagined by those who have tasted the airs that are here the of tre.. But there came a day. conquerable might. one would fain fancy it to have been even a fairer and less melancholy spot than Tennyson has made 123 it.
culminates in Wearyall Hill. To my own a Isle of Ionia." At Glastonbury. it has a maiden sweetspringtime charm. belonging chiefly to those mystic regions which " eye hath not seen. Island of Avalon. familiarly known as AvalApples. rest the bones of Arthur and Guinevere. Glastonbury Tor rises to the south like a huge cone. ridgy elevation. So let . ancient nursery of the British Church. extending toward the west. from the richness of its orchards. natural monument to Saint Joseph and his blossoming staff. As you near the town. and attaching it to the west coast of Cornwall " The railway approach to Glastonbury fills the mind with a new astonishment at the wonderful diversity of English scenery. Here the flat monotony of green field is relieved by hay-ricks and stacks of black peat. This was the ness. lieve. Scarcely a spot in England has such store of memories for the antiquarian and romantic mind.us faithfully be- even though it is Professor Rhys who tells us that he feels "warranted in unmooring the magic spot.BY OAK AND THORN mind. In the year sixty! A 124 . surmounted by Saint Michael's Tower.
that they should abide in the place. The present Saint Joseph's Chapel was erected by Henry II.! THE LAND OF ARTHUR three. and to-day enriched by the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. and the great church at the east of it. succespriestly died. and built a There little church of wood. be preserved. and. lo Spirit. by the continued their journey until they reached this ridgy hill. was completed . they found that the staff had put forth miraculous sign leaf and blossom. There. connected with it by a galilee. that the old and sacred walls might — A . or wattles. but it is the actual link connecting the Church of the present day with the Christian 125 . the saint" stuck his thorn staff into the ground. and. Joseph of followers. Not only does a century after his death. landed in Britain. Then did Joseph go down into the valley. when he and his companions had rested. Arimathea and eleven some say sent by Saint Philip led of France. this spot deserve the reverence due to ancient and consecrated ground. dwelt and he sion kept the place holy and round about the little wattled church was built one of stone. and seek the island covered with brushwood. weary with wandering.
made some his fatal Then good Abbot Whiting mistake he hid from them : of the vessels and plate.BY OAK AND THORN worship of ancient Britain. and Henry's commissieners settled upon the abbey like a swarm his pupils. it was "the one great institution which bore up untouched through the storm of English conquest. often receiving five hundred guests at a time.'s vandal day. too. was too rich a field not to attract the scent of the greedy Tudor." On this soil Saint Patrick dwelt and labored. Saint Dunstan's cell. and. however. scene of his encoun- ter with the temptations of a worldly and where he valiantly seized the devil by the nose. the Abbot of Glastonbury had almost royal prerogatives in his small but wealthy domain. being discovered. tradition even declares that in Saint Joseph's Chapel. of locusts. to . One he was buried Here. was life. Up to the Tower of Lonbe afterwards haled 126 don was he sent. The universities were flooded by This. was forthwith accused of rob- bing his church. To his miniature court were sent young gentlemen to be fitted with the accomplishments suited to their station. He entertained magnificently. As Freeman states. Until Henry VHI.
and even to pave the roads across the marshes to Wells. rich in two of the magnificent columns which once separated nave from choir. have been so long fallen into dust that only their echoing names float back into our .THE LAND OF ARTHUR back. the abbey began to fall into decay its stones were used in the town buildings. Sheep are tamely feeding about the enclosure. drawn on a hurdle to the top of Glastonbury Tor. having only lapsed into that desolation which is never unlovely. with Arthur and Guinevere. sit in -the midst of a green and velvet field. but stately portion of the large church yet remains. adorned by a wilderness of bush and weed striving ever to fill its crypt meagre and smother the foundations. he was executed in sight of home. Saint Joseph's Chapel is still a thing of wonder. and there hanged. and sun and shower bless it. To-day the gray remains. with an exquisite refinement of brutality. From this time of tragic overthrow. crowned now by the wild rose and pink and yellow sedum. But. but the monks. and condemned of the Bishop's to death in the hall Palace at Wells. — A 127 . instinct with a wonderful strength and beauty.
when 128 . a coffin was found. In the lower partition lay a female figure. of such stature that his tibia reached to the middle of a tall man's thigh. an abbot determined to dig beneath two stone pyramids standing just outside Saint Joseph's Chapel. where now the soil into which they have been transmuted nourishes the daisy-starred grass. and to evidently placed there as monuments some important personages. contained the body of a man. and it fell into dust.." The bones were afterward removed to the great church. But if the king died not. occupying two thirds of the length from the head downwards.BY OAK AND THORN later day. In the reign of Richard I. which is the carpet of ruins. After de- scending sixteen feet. One of them. hollowed out of an oak-tree. At this. and placed before the high altar. and was but carried to Avalon for the healing of his wounds. " Here lies buried in the Island Avallonia the renowned King Arthur. It was in two divisions. adorned still by one tress of golden hair. says tradition. a monk snatched too At the eagerly. same time and place they came upon a leaden cross. however. bearing the inscription in Latin.
THE LAND OF ARTHUR
story " sometimes
represents Arthur and his men dozing away, surrounded by their treasures, in a cave in Snowdon, till the bell of destiny rings the hour for their sallying forth to victory over the Saxon foe
sometimes they allow themselves to be
seen of a simple shepherd, whiling away in the cavities of Cadbury and sometimes they are described lying beneath the Eildon Hills, buried in an enchanted sleep, to be broken at length by one
their time at chess
" That bids the '
charmed sleep of ages
Rolls the long sound through Eildon's caverns vast, "While each dark warrior rouses at the blast,
his falchion, grasps with mighty hand,
peals proud Arthur's inarch
In a field adjoining the abbey grounds, stands the Abbot's Kitchen, an excellent example of early domestic architecture. It is a building square without, octagonal within, furnished with huge fireplaces at the corners (wherein one can stand and look up to the sky), and a
central louvre for light and ventilation.
cruciform tithe -bam, ancient inns, historic churches also invite
the antiquarian eye.
BY OAK AND THORN
squalid dwellings, to Wearyall Hill will
only be rewarded by a small tablet set the ground where stood Joseph's miraculous thorn but all over the town he will be offered slips from that marin
velous tree, which
must have been as wide - spreading as a banyan, to have been so cut and distributed. However it came, there is no doubt that Glastonbury possesses a species of thorn which probably brought from the East blooms twice a year, once at the usual time and again in the winter, though it is only by a poetic license which none but the hypercritical will dispute, that it is said to open exactly on Christmas Day. The ascent of Glastonbury Tor, by an
approaching the breezy summit, one
for frequent inter-
vals of rest, clutching the long grass as
a safeguard against rolling down again. But once under the shadow of Saint Michael's Tower, doubtless a pilgrim shrine, such breathless effort is amply
repaid. Below lies Glastonbury, no longer an island, but surrounded by fair
THE LAND OF ARTHUR
fields in place of its once glassy streams, and dotted with greenery. Wells Cathedral marks out that little town, like a and in the far discarven finger-post tance, beyond the Mendips, a shadowy cloud on the horizon, lie the hills of Wales. On the day of my visit two little maids sat together under a shelter;
ing wall, in a field at the foot of the Tor, each with her knitting. " Is it a very hard hill to climb } "
asked I. " Oh, no, miss," said one, lifting her serious blue eyes for an instant from her work, " it is easy, quite easy." But I did not find it so and neither, I fancy, did poor Abbot Whiting, even though he had a hurdle, and had left
responsibility forever behind.
THE BRONTE COUNTRY
who would know Eng-
her moods must assuredly visit Yorkshire as well as the smiling Midland counties and if he be a literary pilgrim, and would fain understand in
lonely spirits, the Bronte sisters, let
some measure those three great and him
seek out the moors where they walked and meditated, and vainly explore the region round for one glimpse of the softer brightness that is the welcome of the
Keighley, on the direct road from Leeds and four miles from Haworth, has a comfortable inn, the Devonshire Arms, where the tourist is made hospitably welcome. It fronts on one of the principal streets and seated at its window, the
visitor is within arm's length of
of sickly mill-operatives, standing about
on the pavement during the noon hour, no doubt discussing the problem of keeping body and soul together, or hurrying past to the cheerless monotony of their
THE BRONTE COUNTRY unsmiling day. from the nervous hack of incipient disease to the convulsion destined to shake and tear the body like a destroying fiend. in various A chorus of coughing continu- ally frets the air. mosphere of the town nearest Charlotte Bronte's home and from such grim shelter she went up to London. and use alone has been The most forcible impression made on the new-comer is that the swarming herd of workmen and women deified. even of earning the daily loaf. they are pallid. Its houses are of a dark and dismal gray stone. And the faces young and old. on a rainy ! . to confess the peccadillo of having written one of the greatest novels of her time. and set in the dogged lines of endurance worn by those who have abandoned all hope. afternoon. 133 . are victims of consumption stages. Keighley is a frowning town. all You may distinguish the varied notes of that tragic scale. and the very atmosphere is overspread by that grim and unmis- takable look which is testimony that beauty is naught. should the much-blasphemed will of God afflict them by a dispensation of illThis was always the cheerful atness.
because she had not the personal strength needHer ful for sustaining an argument. insane 134 . but one swept and thrilled by every breath of nature or finger of event. The most honest and honorable of women. meant only that she could not hold the ground of dogmatic assertion. however. tacit yielding. when the invisible proclaimed itself the only real. within the gloomy parsonage walls. That all the unseen. " Something seemed near me. in speaking her opinion.BY OAK AND THORN more potent than determining the bent of sensitive souls. she and the two sharers of her vigil expected to hear that pistol-shot which would tell them that Branwell. and every jot of evidence from those who knew her best. Hers was not a soul for fear. influences are in Few "atmosphere" intangible influences of spirits of — those the imagined world — affected life airy her most keenly is evident from the selfbetrayal in her books. she yet hesitated. What must she have felt when." she once said. in reference to some moment of prescience. at times. Charlotte Bronte was a creature so fine as to have been affected by every mental and spiritual breath.
shot athwart with sun. been remodeled and though parts of the kitchen walls have been retained. and there 135 also is that bad . But the churchyard. one must actually stand in the paths where she walked. and only the old square tower is an actual memento The parsonage. and leaving the station. climbed that steep and stony street which leads to church and parsonThere is very little satisfaction in age. and darkened by sudden misty showers. that we took the train for Haworth. Anne and Emily no longer alive. and scan her heaven with a studious eye. It was on a day woven of fanciful fabric. himself repaid for invading them.THE BRONTfe COUNTRY from opium and misery. the most curious visitor would scarcely find father or himself . had killed his ? Or when. to judge her character from the inside. visiting the church and examining its shining tablets to the Bronte family. too. she paced the silent house at midnight. bleak and populous. unable to sleep. has of the past. her nerves tense with anguish and the desire to touch some comfort outside the barren present ? Certainly it is most true that. is the same . for the edifice has been rebuilt.
where Branwell caroused. the Black Bull Inn. and spoke peace to all three battling spirits." " Flowers brighter than said Charlotte. make an Eden. or the first of September. This was the way to the " mo-ors." she told us. gaunt woman. with an indescribable broadening of the vowels. wear the face with which they enchained Emily's loyal heart. 136 — . is the gala time for the heather then is it in full glory of rose-purple. " My sister Emily loved the moors. suited to the mountain-tops of lonely figure only did life. one finds a delight and exhilaration a livid hillside her mind could .BY OAK AND THORN neighbor. a tall. the rose bloomed in the blackest of the heath for her out of a sullen hollow in . and prodigal in bloom. swinging her great house-key. the one delight of Yorkshire. who. with shawl thrown over her head. A path leads by the parsonage and through a gate out upon this free moorland wilderness. had been to the churchyard where lay her husband's grave. where. on a day of sun overhead and bloom under foot. One we overtake on the afternoon of our visit." August. Still do the "purple-black " moors.
of sky too often clouded. in that region of gray villages. Ling is far more sober in its general ! J37 . and blue sky briefly smiled. and fleeting shadows chasing the light over low-lying valleys in the distance That day the ling was in full bloom. of sweeping winds and drizzling alone. but the " mo-ors " were company. lo the clouds were swept aside. for Charlotte and her sisters had been said to delight in it. still showed rosy in the sun-patches.THE BRONTE COUNTRY This path was called the Bronte Walk. It was easy to see that they might be. she confessed. . somewhat earlier in its coming. and yet to whom duty was ever that "stern law-giver" from whose decree they could never swerve. and heather. was a lonely She herself had come here from the north to be near her husband's people and now he was dead. A — been touched with the immortal fire of the ideal. What tongue can speak the sad beauty of the heather with the sun upon it. It rained as we walked along the ling-bordered path. and talked of those three women whose hearts and lips had rain. It region. As we wound about one knoll after another of ! the curving moor. and she forlorn place.
and from which you fancy yourself able to see all the countries of the earth. declares even a sister. It is no easy Traverse hill and hollow. its tones are colder. a tiny watercourse bars the way.BY OAK AND THORN effect than the common it heath lilac . It is than those of hardy the Quaker maiden of the barren hills. finer grace. and take footing in the crisp heather that crackles under foot with a husky protest. he is happier who does not seek the highest vantage-ground to over-sweep villages in distant valleys. hope of hurrying to the top of some knoll forming the horizon line. more its delicate loveliness. — — 138 . heather-covPerhaps ered. solitudes. a ringing of with the delusive whispering chimes. but goes away rich in the certainty that he has not seen the confines of the moors. Leave the path. a and gray. and that their extent is infinite. and task. and a new horizon line. close to the eye. there are still more knolls. the left. On and on sweeps the heavenly monotony of these brown-gray If you cling only to the path. the moor goes billowing on On like the fixed heavings of an amethystine sea. verging on Yet. you meet an occasional flock of feeding sheep .
THE BRONTE COUNTRY or a dismal stone house. these bleak company than none. more cheerless frowning at the be. sky. and the loved. rages across them. glow. One shudders as fancy pictures the spot. have stirred us anew with power of the marvelous sway of the few endowed with the gift we call genius. sits But what must they hillsides. and lays waste the land when the winter wind ? with his invisible sword again. for but for for they whom they uncon- sciously lived. and fire clung to patience. fanning the of im- agination until their chilled hearts were warmer from the than cold . they have yet the strength to build for themthat mighty lesson of the spirit. and shudders remembering how winter as well three tender women here imprisoned in a hermitage they Skies might be scowling. they builded a great bonfire . they were us. father's rigorous life ruin. and personal happiness dies or is still-born. that though the body faint. still Nay. happier starved and that. and their brother's Yet were they undaunted. heather a withered waste indoors they must sit beneath the shadow of their as summer found . O 139 .
remembering its fascination for Branwell. impossible to look at the Black Bull without an unjust feeling of rancor. when she became too old for work. The keeper of this little store of curiosities was a relative of that Martha who had been Tabby's helpmate in the kitchen. Martha that many obtained. and various household articles bought from the auctionsale after her death. monuments more enduring than which are as finger-posts to all other striving souls village Over a little stationer's shop in the was then a sparse collection of : Bronte relics pencil drawings.! BY OAK AND THORN selves brass. and its share in his wrong-doing. and yet could not be discharged and it was through . of the articles is were Now there : ety and a It is Museum a Bronte Socistrange antitheses to the seclusion of those shrinking lives. It is a small tavern of the gray stone so unfortunately common in the region. her little old-fashioned shawl (somehow so like her that it is more precious than the whole collection). finished with the exquisite care characterizing every work from Charlotte's fingers. and such near neighbor is it to the church- 140 .
as he was familiarly called) would be swept into those orgies." And then poor Branwell (or Patrick." THE BRONTE COUNTRY yard that one can easily fancy him leaping from its window into the yard. sir ? " a stranger would be asked at the inn. " If you do. I '11 send up for Patrick. " I am quite familiar at the Chapter Coffee-house. devote a thought to the Brontes in London. and know all the geniuses there. of which the very suspicion covered his sisters with shame and horror. roof starving Chatterton wrote his mother. doubtless through a long course of years its only women visitors. and walk through Paternoster Row with the recollection that here stood the Chapter Coffee-house where Charlotte and Anne. " Do you want some one to help you with your bottle. in that burst of deceptive pride. when he heard Charlotte's voice. on her way to seek and draw him home. The house was Under its of old and great renown. as he was said to do." 141 It . The actually " passionate pilgrim who leaves unturned no stone beneath which will lies the weed of remembrance. spent the few days of their stay in London.
so that we are to walk in the paths their feet have trod and look into the skies that sheltered them ? It is more than curiosity. and of their bewilderment the noise of " the City " surging without Yet Charlotte always declared she loved the busy City better than the West End the one existed for work. more than the satisfaction of a romantic hero-worship. had no idea that they were doing anything unusual in making and it proved a it their stopping place hospitable and kindly shelter. Do we follow 142 . to hear what might have hap. Think of the two little creatures clinging together in a window . . Brontes.seat of the dingy room. when its fame had scholar somewhat declined. country clergymen and university men occasionally sought it out.BY OAK AND THORN was once the meeting-place of wit and and later. pened in the world of of it letters. the other for luxury and fashion. Is there not heavenly significance in ! : the chord which thrills and tightens when we approach the drawn dwelling-places of great and beloved souls. The through their father's rare visits. who knew when at their publisher came to take them to the opera.
Name. and he does well who throws himself into such sympathetic understanding yet even for him "the greatest is behind. but the little nearer great Source of greatness if we learn the story of their sojourn here ? It is wisely resolved. if such a thing might be. and stop where scientist and Christian alike must pause. He can only trace the glow left by its progress." By diligent searching.THE BRONTE COUNTRY earthly footprints with such minuteness because we would "pluck out the heart of their mystery. the secret of that which made them thus ? Such influences fostered them. we say. such soil Shall we not be a gave them birth. at the one unspeakable their — — ." and learn. 143 . he shall never analyze the divine spark illuminating the soul with its own radiance of beauty. not only them.
bethought him of paying a visit to Eastat the One day tury. who dreamed there of Mrs. Washington Irvung. sought out by Goldsmith. Its successor of the same name. and may be told while the hourglass runs a measure of sand such as Queen Mab might hold upon her palm. who creep too far into a new cenUnfortunately.THE QUEST OF A CUP beginning of our cenbrowsing on the Parnassus grass of England. had also gone the way of the dead-andalive tury. and and he afterwards down. The history of that famous inn exists in little. Quickly. the old Boar stood of progress. that Falstaffian set lish. in the naifve and delightful belief that he was sitting beneath the original roof -tree. then cheap. home revelry of princely jest . in delectably humorous Eng- the story of his attendant search for the old Boar's Head Tavern. When it was built no chronicle relates. but of a certainty it was burned in the Great Fire of 1666. in the pathway and his ten- 144 .
. room where old Sir John Falstaff cracked his jokes. "at the point where King William Street. and then swept away altogether in 183 1. and Cannon Street converge on a site once occupied by Falstaffs To be thus Boar's Head Tavern. the site of his former glory is indicated in one meagre line from Baedeker. " in the very by a pleasant fire. Gracechurch Street. — not enough to make fat Jack flash out a lightning . THE QUEST OF A CUP ement was first absorbed by shops. which incidentally informs the expectant tourist that he will find the monument erected to King William IV." minimized.sharp gibe from his limbo. and send some colossal eulogy of back into our empty day ? Goldsmith's vision in the tavern rebuilt after the fire deserves remembrance as one of those performances wherein the greatness of the dramatis personcs does away with the necessity self hurtling for correct scene-setting. in the very chair which was sometimes honored by 145 . thus dragged in under the shadow is it of a mere inheritor of crowns." he says. Now. to make way for the approaches to New London Bridge. Eastcheap. " Here.
BY OAK AND THORN Prince Henry. and the best joke of all was generally begun towards I found at last. and though he said nothing. gan to alter his appearance. My companions had all stolen off. and none now remained with me but the landlord. wished to be young again. but was resolved to lasted. He continued to doze and sot. But my landlord could give me no information. and tell a tedious story. From him I could have wished to know the history of a tavern that had such a long succession of customers. . as most other landlords usually do. I sat and ruminated on the follies of youth. and his breeches swelled out into a farthingale. He insensibly beoperate by degrees. 146 . One good joke folyet was not silent. I could not help thinking that an account of this kind would be a pleasing contrast of the manners of different ages. His cravat seemed quilted into a ruff. and sometimes polluted by his immortal merry companions. The and present times together. watchman had gone twelve. lowed another good joke. the end of a bottle. . make the best of life whilst it and now and then compared past . his conversation wine and his however.
' cried I (for * I knew her perfectly well at first sight). Pistol. Quickly in being "a poor widow of Eastcheap. I . self-constituted historian of the region. Nothing suffered mutation but my host. now as my sleep tion. Quickly. who was fairly altered into a I gentlewoman whom . " My dear Mrs. I imagined my fat landlord actually converted into as fat a landlady. How have you left Falstaff. *I am heartily glad to see you. mistress of this tavern in the days of Sir John and the liquor we were drinking seemed converted into sack and sugar. although he had 147 . the apartment. and like Mrs.THE QUEST OF A CUP fancied him changing sexes and eyes began to close in slumber. knew to be Dame Quickly. However.'' There was little left for Irving. made but few changes in my situaThe tavern. the pioneer of England . and a fruitful gossip (O that some crafty and unscrupulous listener could have written us down its story !) with a worthy woman. I hope .loving Americans. but an hour of musing over past mirth." She it was who suggested that.-" — . and the rest of our friends below stairs brave '" and hearty. and the table continued as before.
however. the doughty knight. Irving betook himself there without delay. also were treasured the ashes of William Walworth. though of its useful ward. most intrepid of lord mayors. doubtless the successor of that Francis who had the immortal honor of serving Prince Hal and cold comfort all. but the inn itself had passed into the hands of the church the revenues of Bacchus thus reverting to the necessarily failed in . for Saint Michael's lived There near neighbor to Billingsgate. Now. Establishment. who smote Wat In the little graveTyler at Smithfield. perceiving Irving's ment — 148 . not only had the back window of the inn looked out upon Saint Michael's churchyard. prime jewel of East cheap was lacking. no such relic was forthcoming. Saint Michael's Church. Crooked Lane.BY OAK AND THORN looking upon the find a picture of it at might he tavern. Countless were the tombs of fishmongers therein. drawer of renown. The sexton. yard adjoining the church stood the tombstone of honest Robert Preston. when th? Falstaff. Nothing therefore could be more natural than that Saint Michael's should preserve the counterfeit presentBut.
let Irving himself relate " : — had taken the landlady aside. too. the spirit of the loving antiquary. and no bad for that paragon hostesses. formerly guarded by the trusty Boar. Dame Quickly. and reverencing. hurrying upstairs to the archives of her house. old sexton The Dame Honey ball was bustling stitute little a likely. proposed a descent upon the Mason's Arms. 12 Miles Lane. with an air of profound importance. This was the tavern where Saint Michael's vestry held its meetings. where the precious vessels of the parish club were deposited. subof woman. out of which. the vestry had smoked at their stated meetings since time immemorial and which was . as it once had held them at the Boar's Head. and. she returned. at No. plump. 149 . as English sextons will. imparted to her my errand. and. What he saw there. She seemed delighted with an opportunity to oblige . departed. Here.THE QUEST OF A CUP disappointment. smiling and courtesying. I was told. "The first she presented me was a japanned iron tobacco-box of gigantic size. were deposited its vessels. with them in her hands.
1767. for the use of the vestry meetings Head Tavern. the cunning limner had warily inscribed the names of Prince Hal and Falstaff on the bottoms of their chairs. renowned generals and comillustrated on tobacco-boxes for the benefit of posterity. however.' Such is a faithful description of this august and venerable relic. at table. but what was my delight at beholding on its cover the identical painting of which I was in quest There was dis! played the outside of the Boar's Head Tavern. recording that this box was the gift of Sir Richard Gore. Lest. or the Knights of the 150 . " On the inside of the cover was an portraits of modores are inscription. Mr. there should be any mistake.BY OAK AND THORN never suffered to be profaned by vulgar hands. and that it was * repaired and beautified by his successor. nearly obliterated. and before the door was to be seen the whole convivial group. I received it with becoming reverence. or used on common occasions. in full revel pictured with that wonderful fidelity and force with which the . John Packard. and I question whether the learned Scriblerus contemplated his at the Boar's Roman shield.
of course. so far as Irving was concerned. in exceeding great value. having been the gift of Francis Wythers. that i5« . who was highly gratified by the interest it excited. Dame Honeyball. " While I was meditating on it with enraptured gaze. at the close of his paper. she told me. being considered very 'an tyke. be treasured up with care among the regalia of her domains. and he genially remarks. put in my hands a drinking-cup. for I immediately perceived that this could be no other than the identical * parcel-gilt goblet ' on which Falstaff made his loving but faithless vow to Dame mony Quickly. and which would. THE QUEST OF A CUP Round Table the long-sought Sangreal. as a testiof that solemn contract. with more exultation.' " The great importance attached to this memento of ancient revelry by modern church-wardens at first puzzled me but there is nothing sharpens the apprehension so much as antiquarian research. knight." There the search rested. and was held. and was descended from the old It bore the inscription of Boar's Head. or goblet.. which also belonged to the vestry.
Eastcheap 152 is to-day en- . and that goblet I had long resolved to seek. intent on that meat which is less than life. and almost as fruitful of voluminous dissertations and disputes as the shield of Achilles or the far-famed Portland Vase. still decked in brave raiment of names that dazzle Though the eye and stir the blood. I have liar charm. " Came a day " (speaking elliptically after the fashion of Aurora Leigh). when. I crossed the Styx of Holborn and Cheapside to that land still peopled by illustrious ghosts." he adds. Quickly's. never for an instant doubted that the goblet which he identified. should fortune take me to England. ancient landmarks have been effaced by hurrying feet. " of seeing * the tobacco-box and the parcel-gilt gobwhich I have thus brought to light. on the top of an omnibus. with a faithful gossip. a pecuFor my own part. let the subject of future engravings. was actually Mrs." The story of his pilgrimage has. "Nor do ' I despair. in the mind imbued with romance. with the precision of genius.BY OAK AND THORN he leaves all this as a rich mine to be worked out by future commentators.
" Then I hyed me into Est-Chepe many a pye Pewter pottes they clattered on a heape There was harpe." continues now a Flesh-Market 153 of Butchers. . and V. "The Cooks dressed other's specialty.. but. it was a Lydgate's period city of cooks' shops." sold Wine and no Wine." cryes rybbs of befe. Meat and erner sold for Sale.. . as Lydgate the rhyming monk relates. and the Tavdressed no Meat he. dwelling on both sides of the Street it . according to Stow. "is "This Eastcheap. pype and mynstrebye. was that of Henrys IV. that most delightful of antiquaries. no taverns then No man interfered with anexisted. and its tavern a Mecca The very names in the of the mind. Bread Street. and Pudding Lane each stands pointing a sad finger to the merry past when. who in the face of manifold discouragements added riches untold to the treasury of English history. there .. and his London Lackpenny has the ring of good and olden cheer. and One High revelry was held in Eastcheap in the time of Henry IV. neighborhood are redolent of good cheer. THE QUEST OF A CUP chanted ground. Fish Street Hill.
. . strip of land immediately south. 154 . where they called for Meat what they liked. thus quoted by Stow " In London. Flesh. which they always found ready dressed. and were disposed to be merry. that great fish. but to the Cooks. Men might have Meat. of old time. upon the River side.BY OAK AND THORN had sometime also Cooks mixed amongst the Butchers. is a common Cookery or Cooks Row where daily. or fryed Fish. when Friends did meet. and at a reasonable rate. and such other as sold For Victuals ready dressed of all sorts. fit for Rich and Poor. they went not to dine and sup in Taverns (for they dressed not Meats to be sold). and wine were Of that brought to the bank's side. upon which flesh. a twelfthcentury folio has suggestive mention. and between Eastcheap and the river. roast. highway of London. and not willing to tarry till the Meat be bought and dressed while the Servant bringeth Water for : — . for the Season of the Year. and the Wine to be sold in Taverns. sod. Fowls." Eastcheap in fact was very near the river. " If any come suddenly to any Citizen from afar. weary. between the Wine in Ships.
and fetcheth Bread.-' 155 . And this Cooks Row is very necessary to the City And according to Plato and Gorgias. the Prince declares. " twenty casks and one pipe of red wine of Gascoigne. as may be found elsewhere. he shall have immediately (from the River side) all Viands whatsoever he desireth." What other part of London could Falstaff possibly have chosen for his haunts Even in the old play of Henry Fifth which preceded Shakespeare's. " You know the old tavern in Eastcheap : ." It was in Eastcheap. Near by stood Prince Hal's own mansion of Cold Harbour. whatsoever Hour. either of Soldiers or Strangers. may be satisfied with as delicate Dishes there. an episode which may have served as the germ in Shakespeare's brain whence blossomed such a robust tree of mirth. Next to Physick. moreover. What Multitude soever. that Prince Hal's two brothers fell out with the watch. is the Office of Cooks. Day or Night. the cellars enriched with his father's gift. as Part of a City. do come to the City. may refresh themselves.! THE QUEST OF A CUP his Master's Hands. free of duty. according to their Pleasures. And they which delight in Delicateness.
Then than solid earth. and counterfeit a moment's life. portly man. real to If.BY OAK AND THORN there is good wine. as "gunpowder Percy" should have done to fright him. it needs no bush of modern The lover of Shakespeare and of his is FalstafF of conscious of an excited de- light in threading these worshipful. He will stand lost in dreaming while traffic surges past. and smells are ancient and fishlike. 'faith. the ideal is him sweep aside the day. . tavern reckoning in pocket." Thus is this roistering region so famous in contemporary eulogy that criticism. "a goodly 156 . a pleasing eye. when he dared personate his sovereign this cushion was his crown. almost. of "the City. — murky streets mindful of memory more will alone. and here behind the arras did he ern's tusked sign. happily. and a most noble carriage. and by force of fancy reconstruct that house where "hours were cups of sack. he orderly rubbish of a modern shall we see." the very ground whereon he treads. entering beneath the tav." Let Falstaff rise." Here stood the chair which made his state. and minutes capons. and a corpulent of a cheerful look.
and this is the room telling. he proved the depth of his true wisdom. and here was his heart struck cold with pathetic reminder of his end. William Shakespeare. in the saries FalstafFs advermultiplied. a bankrupt world might well have 157 Had . and in- Ulysses formed one of a " personally conducted " expedition. must often have sought its hospitable door for his cup of sack and his merry jest with mine host. Happy is he who takes a roundabout way to Elysium. jest at Here was discussed that merry Gadshill. and so is pleasantly entertained There is no comparison upon the road for blessedness between his lot and that ! of the victim of accurate charts fallible time-tables. were so marvelously Here must he have heard the chimes at midnight. where.THE QUEST OF A CUP snore. until we " ! plump Jack and banish all the world Last and most lustrous memory of all. When Lessing confessed that for him the search after truth was to be preferred to the goddess herself. Remembrance throngs upon are fain to cry " Banish : — us. who saw the house almost daily. on his way to Blackfriars playhouse.
though the tavern had been swept away.BY OAK AND THORN bemoaned its loss . custodian of box and goblet. and thus confined themselves to the region of narrow experience reserved for those who let " I dare not wait upon * I would. . to lay a finger upon the link forged by Irving with the past to look upon the Mason's Arms. Head. King William's Monument was easily found. and to visit Saint Michael's Church. they would have wandered less widely in pursuit of their desire nay. for who by search- ing can find in Cook's circular mention of the Lotophagi.* " With the simplicity of ignorance. would have concluded that there was nothing left to attain. "who for their onlynourishment eat flowers. ' ' ." the Cyclops. Nausicaa. we expected. and near by lay Crooked Lane. forever memorable from having held its vestry meetings under the sign of the Boar's . who sought Eastcheap one golden day had devoted an hour's study to their problem in the British Museum. or Circe ? Yet the Wily One came upon them because he sacrificed not on the altar of accurate and abomIf the two Americans inable science.
Even after that certainty had settled cold upon the the dingy beseechingly about. staring . 159 . we were urged to consider the fair proportions of those newer streets born to crowd it out of street. as if perchance." though." at length whis- pered Hope " the Mason's Arms may still have such store of compensation : as it offered Irving in his quest ! Therefore we turned our steps in the There might the heart be warmed by the descendants direction of Miles Lane. we walked up and down . " But be not daunted. heart. as we generous curve had been cut short at call of traffic. An appeal to policemen and dusty looking idlers who played the r61e of oldest inhabitant bore no consoling fruit. — being. Saint Michael's Church was gone one and another declared that it had not been there in his day and when we querulously disputed the wisdom of its removal. church. tower and all might magically rise." THE QUEST OF A CUP " SO its called of the crooked windings speedily realized. Ittoment's inves- thereof. it the A tigation made also evident that Saint Michael's Church had in that lamentable doing been swept away.
who. however. his century brimmed over and his race is still unfinished. Covering its former ground stands a glaringly modern and commonplace " public. over- coming the scruples of the hesitant traveler. Irving's kindly host. there to be jostled by unsavory fish. May he not catch a glimpse of the serving-maid with trim ankles. boys. hospitably alert in the doorway. and persuading him that her wine needs no bush. if he be prudent. and cabbies were that day tending for a pot of beer. Such hardships of progress are of to one inspired little moment. by the hope that he may presently come upon Dame Honeyball.venders and bearers of burdens.BY OAK AND THORN of Master Edward Honeyball. or even a savory whiff of that years ago ? alert fancy mutton which was a-roasting so many Vain delusion of the too ! The Mason's Arms lives no longer. takes to the middle of the street. hoisted over the head of the timorous dingy traveler. 1 60 . to emerge brushing the foam from appreciative lips." whither business men. save upon Irving's rescuing page. Narrow and Bales of goods are the way. or even Master Honeyball himself.
so said his sympathetic manner. to be found } He was minutes ago.THE QUEST OF A CUP Yet though that beery seclusion might be reserved for the tippling male. what likely spot could there be for Such reasonmore eliciting fact or wildfire gossip than the common meeting-ground of a tavern ? The white-aproned "drawer" would fain have told us all we sought. refrain from penetrating therein. The traveler in that here. but he could only suggest the beadle as a probable fountain of Eastcheap lore. and would undoubtedly be kept in this parish. or in a neighboring one. able premises being assumed. as in the nothing fort is lost. Therefore. And where was the beadle in. wrapped in the armor of an idea. Anything which Saint Michael's Church had once possessed must still be church property. in whatever corner of secrecy and darkness its forgotten treasures lay hidden. to take his pint of beer. not for such reason would woman. England soon learns economy of nature. and he might come round again not five i6i . and that axiom will com- him on many a discouraging quest. they might surely be unearthed by the persistent seeker.
but ominous. over three flights of breakneck and choosing at random a chyrch stairs near by which might divulge hidden information. Pattens. is this It all depended ?) upon what he had to do. No beadle. and afar off. Some days there were a good many burials. however. The white daily - haired traffic rector service to though sister is it was finishing his empty benches for. ! 162 . They have their religiously preserved carvings. protested an inner voice. like a jeweled timepiece in the clothes of a beggar. sounds the howl of " Dis" establishment This gentleman was not the rector of Saint Margaret Pattens. named for the patten-makers who long ago flourished there. when finally he was ready to rare . was forthcoming. their precious organs. even after long lingering. churches in the heart of the City.BY OAK AND THORN (O bibulous beadle. and an ascent to his room. surges about this and its . and rich in a store of old-time memories. thine hourly custom . we went to Saint Margaret in an hour. indeed that man or woman enters one of them to seek the bread of life. they go quietly their careful service beating on.
he said first.-• ing habit of fingering your imaginary violoncello " one refrained with diffi- from asking. as it hapthe key to difficulty the Saint Michael's parish had. and doubtless took all its property with But if we were interested in the it." at the Bores Hedde i8s. if not from use. been merged in Saint Magnus's. its pages yellowed and stained by years." " Have you given up that old and lov. "//« paide for our dynners on St. should we not also like to see an entry in Saint Margaret's vestry accounts. its leather covers worn rough by time.THE QUEST OF A CUP speak with the strangers. " Has Archdeacon Grantly frowned it down. proving that it found the tavern a comfortable neighbor ? From an old oaken chest he drew a volume. lope's gentle " He was TrolWarden. He it parcel-gUt goblet was who suggested that the was not a sacramental 163 . to broach some scheme of advancement in which your cleanly soul will not conculty pily proved. and is he at this moment waiting for you at home. of the sixteenth century. at once. Andrewse Day ed. cur ? " The Warden Boar's Head. held.
He had even revived in his own church the ancient ceremony of " beating the bounds. . true were highly valued by the fortunate owners. and ornamented with silver and gold.BY OAK AND THORN by the vestry which had also a convivial character." and might be either of metal or of wood. the region become since the days when such geography lessons were of ordinary occurrence. and building had not smothered God's earth. brode and deepe. The Warden would not hear of thanks. carved. that one child had to be let down from a window into a closed court. vessel describes it as "a great cuppe. he protested. But O times and 164 . Old customs were his delight. such as great masers These vessels. whether individuals or corporations. but rather one used in its business meetings. An allusion of the sixteenth century to another cup." loving-cups. Such cups were known as " masers. and of all the phantasms of this changing world they best rewarded pursuit." The children of the parish marched out in due form and beat with wands the parish boundaries but so changed had were wont to be. to touch with his wand a separating point.
still to rehearse his fame. Thus it happened that it was only a few days before sailing for America try. its one ornament the Purbeck stone once in Saint Michael's churchyard to tell the virtues of Robert Preston. It even hung fire over the summer. for an appeal by letter to the " " fair parish church of Saint elicited the fact that repair. new plays on Bankside. with bear-baitings. lies a small patch of green. With that day and the farewell courtesies of the gentle Warden ended our quest.THE QUEST OF A CUP manners ! that ye have changed is patent in the fact that whereas such occasions served of old as pretext for reveHng. Magnus it was undergoing and was therefore in no condition for visitors. and now sojourning with Saint Magnus. hemmed in by walls. and good Where Queen Bess. that we entered the little ves- and caught at once from the window a sight more to be desired than the freedom of the city in a box of gold. 165 . are the cakes and ale whereon they feasted once from door to door? Gone. to-day but one friendly baker regaled the beaters with buns and lemonade. There. mouth-filling oaths.
and the tablet to Miles Coverdale. — 1 66 . there appeared a sexton. measure and attendance. to give the toping world surprise.BY OAK AND THORN "Bacchus. it is good to touch with reverent finger each link of a golden past to renew our fondness for the motherland by thumbing over the pages of her story The rector of Saint Magnus dallied with : ! our impatience. have the like dependence. wherein the godly and learned do much delight. . But at length returned to the vestry room. took care to Had sundry virtues that excused his You that on Bacchus Pray copy Bob in his pots. yet different Irving's quest. one of wood. O reader. Produced one sober son." Truly. daily in thy mind. We must even try his organ. fill Keep honest Preston He drew good wine. penetrated to the soul with the importance of every detail connected with the Establishment and in his hands he bore two boxes. and here he lies. We must see his church. and every one beside. he defy'd The charms of wine. and proffered many a fillip to the appetite before he would produce the nightingales' tongues and ortolans of the feast. Though reared among full hogsheads. redolent of memories ancient and wonderful. and the other the identical tobacco-box of the same. if to justice thou'rt inclined. faults.
but much of this box from which the churchwardens once filled their innocent pipes. Now be it understood that there had been throughout little talk of the goblet. the fresh glory of paint probably 1861. hoping that box and goblet had drifted down the stream of years still together. It was impossible to refer honestly to the former treasure in any way except and as a memento of Mrs. painful antithesis to the matron ? Perish the thought Rather wait. ventional British woman. for. The moment had come. elers' befitting the occasion the With a slow seriousness wooden box there. and triumphantly it crowned endeavor. lay the goblet of our dreams. and that the same incoming wave would sweep them to the travfeet. Quickly would even the daring scion of an aggressive land approach a reverend incumbent of the English Church with a mention of that amiable but never con.! THE QUEST OF A CUP in applied in relates. No one who has seen that cup can doubt for a moment that it certainly is the one illuminated by the sea-coal fire that day 167 . and seclusion. as the inscription it was then repaired anew. in a green baize was opened.
' " What is more probable than that William Shakespeare. with a standard and a generous bowl. the earliest date be assigned King Henry IV. It is of a goodly shape. the mind runs riot in conjecture. shaped somewhat like Prince Rupert drops. Wythers Armigeri. we are told. That possibility once assumed. Ex dono Fraficisci There is an actual possibility connected with this relic which is hardly to be considered without excitement. "parcel-gilt. The cup.BY OAK AND THORN when Falstaff swore his perishable oath." and the silver extedecorated with fanciful little figures in outline. what time the cup went round and beards ' wagged all ? The parcel-gilt goblet was ever held in high esteem. and almost loses its balance in a mad chase after the thistleto down of circumstantial proof. was in the first part of this century "very antyke. in his social evenings at the tavern where it was kept. whenever it was first received. 1 68 Who was . was a welcome guest of Saint Michael's vestry. and it is easy to believe it formed a part of the church property before 1597. About the foot rior is runs the inscription. It is lined with gold.
ingenious mind will suggest that there may be some mention of goblet or giver in Saint Michael's audit books. difficult un- for it is to avoid a the poetical and such a quest. that prince whose lot it is to succeed after the many fail. would surely 169 . and of whose founder mention is made in the reign of of strange mingling of " What 's become Edward II. Even so small a matter as paying for the inscription.? lem. a family adorned by George Wither. than that con- The nected with this elusive donor of a cup. to receive reference to him. or did he go to the wars with Falstaff. burials. anel'd". or where did he die ? list of tombstones and tablets from A Saint Michael's contains not his name. no blinder scent. holds no Did he belong to some other parish. Its register of christenings. waiting for a lucky finder.THE QUEST OF A CUP Sir Francis Wythers ? When was he christened. the poet.? real in — disappointed. burial and " unhousel'd. which keeps in hiding the record of his life. if that were not done until after the presentation. beginning in 1538. marriages. Waring ? " is no more crucial prob. Was he one of the Lancashire Withers. married.
who can bare his head in memory of King Arthur at each of the several places claiming the crown of Camelot. est Vain hope The earlibook is dated 1617. for one." Shakespeare dearly loved to harness every-day events to the car of poesy to fit a cart-horse out with wings. and has nothing to say on the subject. who sees in every thorn-tree at Glastonbury a scion of the olden one. and bid him godspeed in playing Pegasus. contain two references to the Boar's Head. which are of some ! parochial interest. and was even touched by his good right hand. is a happy man. He of life lie its paramount charms. It does. spot. were never more than "such stuff as dreams are made on. as the learned tell us. 170 . like every trifle touching that to wonder-breeding I. however. gifted with the truest wisdom. When . I shall never allow the true delight of literary pilgrimage to be spoiled by too close adherence to In the ideal suppositions possible fact.BY OAK AND THORN be mentioned. and people the land with brave men and fair women who. am determined met the eye assume that the cup has of Shake- speare.
" others to represent . and swears he was none of Arion. Our July hath been like to a Februour June even as an April so that the air must needs be infected. probably of Shakespeare's own time. but "a man as other men ary . since he is no lion.THE QUEST OF A CUP Titania describes a strange confusion of the seasons. there can be no doubt that the poet had in mind the year 1 594. by means of the abundance of rain that fell. a leap a custard to 171 . wherein he entreats the ladies not to tremble. : has its prototype in an incident. he tears off his disguise." : — among Harry Goldingham was Arion upon the Dolphin's backe but finding his voice to be verye hoarse and unpleasant when he came to perform it. when "the spring was very unkind. and the resulting evils to man and beast. and are. of Scots the dancing horse into celebrated wonder of the poet's fool's time). Face-painting. Mary Queen and her siren (a justly arts. but even honest Harry Goldingham. not he." That immortal speech of Bottom. which is recorded in a collection entitled Merry Passages and Jests "There was a spectacle presented to Queen Elizabeth upon the water.
fying to have found crumb left one vivifrom that high feast when every man And "put his whole wit in a jest. For to have looked upon what Shakespeare saw. pregnant with wondrous meaning. excite — porary allusions illustrate his royal and prodigal way of sweeping up the dust from the path of every-day life and using it for ornament of his pageants. the " little eyases " of Saint Paul's Cathedral. cold under the long shadows of too late a day. to be strongly and somewhat jealously censured by dozens of contemlegitimate players.BY OAK AND THORN the popular mirth. who became stage favorites." Of his 172 . but to us. though it be but the infinitely removed descendants of the daisies that bloomed at Stratford three centuries — ago. fit only to Head. to have is held what his hand once touched." cause a passing smile on such lips as had merrily touched its brim. The "parcel-gilt goblet at the Boar's a careless mention. resolved to live a fool the rest dull life.
thou 'rt naught I could have said. to after fighting that "long hour clock. though with a reverent mind. little guessgraver matters occupied my thoughts. and pointing out the head of Peeping Tom. Once begin that tattered and straggling the and you will perforce dismiss Lady Godiva." AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION The first significant point of our Warwickshire pilgrimage was Coventry (I refrain with some difficulty from the qualifying "three-spired. insisted on stopping us in the street." by Shrewsbury imagine host. unjust soldiers. " Go to." since the guide-books have made it all their own). and consider not architecture. for my mind was busy painting itself a picture of Falstaff's and here an ancient dame. but serving-men. younger . as to the battlefield it marched hereby where the immortal Jack vicariously slew Hotspur. as albeit : thirty spires insistently call — an army three or of such "were never 173 discarded. ing that ! scarecrow army.
a wandering life has many secondary joys in fee. since. from eating draff and husks. Now for my own part. . ver herself "and bleached so beautiful. an army which needed not the outfit of shirts. in me into such (The temptation came." But not always may you stay to hobnob with fat Jack.. let me whisper.. good time.. revolted tapand ostlers tradefallen the cankers of a calm world. and presently. like Autolycus of blessed memory. I do so heartily agree with her relatives and friends in their distaste for the prying tourist who would fain make his into their gardens into of the table-cloths and bedrooms — nay." and marked " so as nobody ever saw that it would take a such marking. way their very linen-chests. we engaged a carriage to take us spots of George Eliot's to the salient Warwickshire sojourn." Moreover. gals. BY OAK AND THORN sons to younger brothers. in search Tulli- woven by Mrs. and a long peace sters." — strong temptation to draw forbidden ways. . a hundred and fifty lately come from tattered prodi- swine-keeping. and I 174 . it could "find linen enough on every hedge. in sober and practical fashion.
must they not so have nourished and calmed that great spirit that it could thereafter express itself from a state of serene healthfulness only to be attained in fitful moods by one suffocated in mining damps and glooms. and was glad !) But an ever-growing delight to me to look on the same tract of earth and the very outline of tree and roof which once fed the gaze of heroes. without in the least desiring entrance. Think of the country about Stratford and its influence on the mind of Master Will Shakespeare.AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION to it. where almost a quarter . lavish of bloom. 175 . the still-flowing streams. it was enough to look at the outside of the Coventry School where she was a shy and earnest student. succumbed it is — and ever responsive leafage. and lover the fruitful earth of Anne Hathaway. the hedges. great sky-spaces and far horizon . reputed poacher. happy scene of her friendship with the Brays.century of her youth was passed. or depressed by the gray wastes of Lincolnshire? And so. or at Rosehill. in tracing the steps of this womangenius. and then to drive on to Griff House.
The earth is harder and more unyielding than at flowery Stratford. the tale of — earth- unre- mitting toil. Coal dust has here and there begrimed it and at intervals a bare and ugly chimney points upward a sooty finger in derisive challenge to the "whip of the skies. a most serious man who talked as if he might have been an intimate acquaint176 . living make themselves rudely apparent. John.. but the gracious and deceitful earth only smiles the more. BY OAK AND THORN During the progress of the road from Coventry to Nuneaton. In sweet farming regions baptized in his man may be own sweat and made drunk by his own tears. and fancies the poetic content of days spent in his picturesque (and mildewed) thatched cotBut here the harder phases of tage. and makes his home an outer paradise. one reads here the doom and history. No longer does it smile unreservedly. Warwickshire displays a thoughtful and sober face." At a glance. our driver that day. so that the thoughtless onlooker is glad for him. and who can doubt that George Eliot read from them her first gospel of the trouble of life } Now.
miss. don't go into the house Go into the house. O "All hail to thee brother of the we ejaculated mentally. " Not " for worlds would we invade thy peace " You can walk inside the grounds. " drawing He ! A 177 . said House. a very decent serving-woman. But " please. George Eliot's brother. John. we were not of that mould. this gentleman had suffered much from the settling of tourists upon his roof-tree. and it was only after repeated urgings from the box that we alighted. pies that way again. very like the plagues of ancient Egypt and we could imagine that he had threatened our conscientious John with dire vengeance. woman. took a few cautious steps into the trim door-yard in front of the comfortable brick house. And there temptation laid for our feet its first cobweb snare. should he ever bring such har. like a monster made out of Paul Pry and Peeping Tom Though American. Isaac Evans. and like cats in a cream-rich pantry." great " ! ! up before Griff won't mind that. for a sensible man. was impressed with a wholesome fear of Mr.! AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION ance of the Great Lexicographer. According to him.
" This was a blow. and memory proved but a yielding staff. moreover. though she did ence. (For. declaring that everybody knew Griff House to be the birthplace of Mary Ann Evans. 178 . he looked so like a local oracle." said this sympathetic and kindly soul. a suburb of dull. we had wept in the wrong place. and exchange of civilities we carriage and. that we knew not what to think. and. and that we could not resist looking upon the spot where George Eliot was born.BY OAK AND THORN came walking down the her path. adding that live here for many years. Baedeker had that day been left behind. taxed had wasted our and applauded after a further returned to the John with having made a mistake. destined to develop into an Oldest Inhabitant.) And thereupon he waxed so emphatic. drove on to Chilvers Coton. perplexed and depressed." Chilvers Coton. and to we weakly apologized for our pres- we were from over-sea. and. We emotions. " She was n't born here. "she was born at Arbury Farm. to our shame be it confessed. the Shepperton of the " Scenes from Clerical Life.
"The key. miss. It is easy to feel in that atmosphere as if one were within . trim. is is. was locked. wish to see Milly's grave " So in a half-dream we entered the little homely structure. invite the eye. and thereupon we besieged the comfortable..'' ! 179 . as she confesses. old-fashioned vicarage. in those years when. and took the words from our mouths." and the little commonplace church is close neighbor to a crowded yard of " the happy dead people. by smuggling bread and butter into the sacred edifice. AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION workaday Nuneaton. the galleries delightful. It . " my nurse found it necessary to provide for the reenforcement of my devotional patience. ." The improvements she once deplored as having marred the picture retained by her childish memory have yet left the church very quaint and characteristic the pews are old-fashioned. rosy maid A appeared at the door. and walked into the very pew where Mary Ann Evans used to sit." The building ugly district . depressing enough to look at even on the brightest days. "a flat. not a place to indeed. to ask for the key. miss And perhaps you Yes.
Thereupon. I think John must have suspected us of contemplating some deed of darkness. where. we had question. and we said to our Not ! driver. Then out into the churchyard again. and whose sad fortunes were mirrored in those of Milly Barton. and with the world-old result. "Back to Griff House!" set and abided the event. surrounded by a high railing and weighted with a heavy tombstone. where was she born . image-storing childhood. " Run " cried the fiend in conclusion. as one who has looked on some most sacred relic of the past." BY OAK AND THORN a very few layers of the heart of country life. came buzzing back the forgotten born. but that the spirit of investigation forbade ingloriAnd then it was that a ous defeat. for he our lips 1 80 . who died at thirty-four. touched and saddened. We left the spot. new version of Launcelot Gobbo's immortal dialogue between conscience and the fiend was again enacted. like a persistent insect. wherever Mary Ann Evans was at least read here one chapter of her thoughtful. since she once walked among us. lies the grave of Emma Gwyther.-' that it made any difference. " Marry.
But in the midst of it she stopped to listen.woman. miss. should Mr. if. leaving us in the lurch. and walking up to the teeth of the enemy. this time bearing a message. She was soon back again. would she tell us her grounds for saying that Mary Ann Evans was not born here } She smiled. fly. as one might over the vagaries of uneasy Americans." (Poor Miss Evans should we take this as the spontaneous impulse of a kindly heart. decent serving . But prudence had been quite abandoned with decorum. hastened up the stairs. we knocked for admittance at the door of Then appeared again the Griff House. inclined to spend their nervous energy in fighting windmills and hunting lions. or was it a sop thrown to un! i8i . and. if you like. to Coventry. and repeated her tale. he had made up his mind to hot-foot.AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION was as in his turn resolute of countenance. and we threw ourselves on her mercy. as if it made very little difference. and yet indulgently. '* Miss Evans says you may walk in the garden. We were tossed about by winds of doctrine. evidently to a call from within. Evans charge upon the besiegers. after a word of apology.
BY OAK AND THORN whom she expected her bed . with our gentle-mannered guide. powerful man. ("And once said a clever woman. "that he not only thought so. I confess that when I fell into talk with known barbarians. indomitable of will. and there it was that an exciting and terrible event befell. " There is Mr. yet not of wide vision and ever conscious of his — own it infallibility. Evans himself You can ask him where she was born " and fled. stanch. Now.mower. clad in gray. For she suddenly exclaimed. presently in ! ! . be it recorded that we chose the latter and ignoble course. in an undertone. quiet English land-agent. we stayed not to question motives. There was nothing for us to do but flee also. was Tom Tulliver. but betook ourselves. or brazenly advance to our everlasting discredit. in the flesh. leaving us in the presence of a tall.chamber ?) At all events. the worst of is. and pushing a lawn . it was from a mood as uplifted and delirious as that of one who should " see Shelley plain. this honest." 182 ." for it was borne in upon me that here. to a fascinating old-fashioned garden at the back of the house.
gray-bearded. Tom. in a still and happy dreaming. for present purposes. when my brother came. My doll seemed Had any reason. as Tom had ever the power of doing in his intercourse with Maggie." It was Tom who was separated from her by that awful soul-distance brought about by " the dire years " who perchance condemned where he could not understand. she caught a big fish." Here. the praised or imagined her because. was Tom Tulliver. and learned thereby how "luck is with glory wed. who could admit her to the highest heaven of happiness. lifeless.AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION but according to recognized standards Tom always was right. would poison the very This was he and no girlish toy whom " she wrote. and whose disapproval. fountain of her content. who moment of " But were another childhood-world I my share. and drew from her at length the home-sick cry. even over so small a matter as the of jam puffs. would be bom all a little sister there. .") This was the man with whose being George Eliot's own was knit during the most plastic period of her life. with keen ." real It was Tom.
for talked with Tom Tulliver. wonder with George voice. and put them into the language of every-day thought and speech ? Thus it happened when I I meant." he said. and here old. she was not born here. hopelessly Americanized. so many years agone." was evident that the George Eliot of universal fame was less to him " than the little sister whose " tiny shoe he had guide4 over the stepping-stones. or mayhap the inner world. in his waking moments." he answered. she was everywhere about the house.BY OAK AND THORN yet kindly gray eyes and a slow sad and oh." brought when she was but six months " is And which was her window ? Where " her room } " Why. — ! own Dante nose. in his ponderous " She /wed here. to recall her utterances. but I can only repeat it now. how he tried so vainly. He was half fashion. " No. my own after-delight. to remember his phrasing exactly as it left his lips. " She was born at Arbury Farm. Do you remember when sweet Mary Seraskier came Eliot's back to Peter Ibbetson from the outer. But it 184 .
he would thank the humblest soul for having loved her. and not the girl or Did she know. "And you will go to Arbury Farm. after full directions for finding it. as if. adding." We left him in his garden and wan185 . his reserve seemed to break up. "And you've been to the church. in the home of his mind. " You came from America ? " he asked. they 've altered it he asked." And when we stammeringly first tried to tell him how we had of all sought Shakespeare's home. inevitably to make this the second step in our pilgrimage of praise and worship. You may see the pew where she used to sit. "It's a long way. linger. then. half perplexed that we should be thus moved over the traces of their vanished youth." (Still dreaming over the child."*" he asked. she being dead. but in those days its walls were so high that she had to stand up on the seat to see the singers. "Tell them I sent you.! AN UNRESISTED TEMPTATION touched. she dwelt "a little sister" ?) Needless to say that we did not afraid of outstaying his tolerance. and was it an woman ! abiding joy that ever.?" " Ah.
so real ! and nothing more so than the true presentment of Tom." and had earned thereby the condemnation pronounced upon such from of old by the courteous and the gentle. possibly worse than the should re- peat our deed. and still further persecute our patient host. a bitter drop in that jeweled cup we had behaved like the traditional American whose gospel is " Push.BY OAK AND THORN dered at will for a moment. . . first. Yet there was. but we had seen him who was so responsible for a vast part of its emotional stress." It was all so faithful. One grace only was left in us we kept our . or brooded over the "bitter sorrows of childhood. own counsel. lest other intrusive spirits. But time and fate between them have taken the seal from our is lips. grown to man's estate. casting unseeing eyes at the farm buildings and populous yard. i86 . where little Maggie lightheartedly trudged about. — for the master of Griff House dead. and is to-day. This was the apex of human experience. so far as our present quest was not only could we imagine concerned the outer life of the fine spirit forever vanished.
To such." . bold in belief. if only the hunter be just credulous enough bold. offers shall seek all day ere you and when you have them.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD the eccentric dower of some to as hot-headed and tremulous over a prospective needle in a haymow as ever Midas could have been on It is grow quite receiving his in gift. find them vented in this ancient world than the pursuit of what does not absolutely exist. a perfect huntingground for that sort of plunder so humorously resembling Gratiano's reaCheshire. 187 . shall. Knutsford. yet " not too He must for his cling to his . they are not worth the search." No more satisfying occupation can be in- sons : " You . own For to reconstruct a habitation on the base of some foregone romance is to strike a balance between special disappointment and a vague general joy. recognize the probable futility of such doggedness. with a dauntless zeal at guesswork the same time he ease.
Gaskell's homely chronicle. Mrs. with her husband. a widowed aunt. literary was a gossip-mongers. and the simple facts of her life offer little temptation to the real. ters with links of similitude . is emphatically not the Cranford of Mrs. a quaintness all its own is continually stimulating the mind to comparison between the fancied and certain living perfumes summon Here. under lilies of the valley and the constant evergreen. where she remained until marriage took her to per188 . at least. Lurab. and in the green and pleasant yard of the old Unitarian Chapel she lies. memories. The prospect of figuring in biography was never quite to her taste. storing up fragmentary impressions easily retraced by one who has lived even a full day in the town here she was married. and it was after her mother's death that she was sent to live with Mrs. in toto. as forth old . but it glitmoreover. of the family repre- sented now by Lord Knutsford. Her mother Holland. Little Elizabeth was born at Chelsea in 1810. at Knutsford.BY OAK AND THORN The present Knutsford. the little Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson. Gaskell was a child.
it offers a loving welcome It is a placid. some fortunate London hour. Who could aspire to uncover its living presentment ? One might as well hope. Great herds of cows idle about. more golden yet. Both her husband and her father were Unitarian clergymen. to stumble on Queen Bess setting forth in state to bull-baiting or the play. diversified by great estates and happy in fat farmlands. the creation of Cranford. — country. a book to be loved so long as there are smiles and tears in this April world. better still. a power as moving as in literature and the practical walks It is an old story that her of trade. transmuting the riches of the 189 common . The region skirting Knutsford on every hand is rich in memories. but. shall be remembered of her.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD manent residence in Manchester. and one can guess at her own gracious influence among that slowly growing sect. and . given over to that industry which is no more than a drowsy day-dream cropping and chewing. smiling to the eye. . fiction taught the rich some of those trenchant lessons known at first-hand only by the poor but another deed.
"to be a man" "to be this delectable place. a lovable little and pleasing. some say. even in our present year of grace. It is presided over by two precise and respectable inns.'" Our course thither lay through Man- chester (Drumble). with reason). with individand passages covered by the dust of years." things could be more pleasing to us who would have time "stand still withal. the strings of trade here are held by women that it is still approximately. in 'vulgar. "in posNo state of session of the Amazons.BY OAK AND THORN sod into such milk and cheese as need Within the only naming for praise. circle of this the abounding prosperity lies town (ford of the great Canute. is." and on the strength of it we may undoubtedly assume that. and we reached Knutsford on the eve of a festival calculated to rend dear Miss Matty 190 . the old preaching-ground of the Rev- erend William Gaskell. both menspot. and dehghting in their burial. irregular ual corners tioned "by name" of many So in Cranford. as in Cranford days. where we made brief halt to glance at the Unitarian Chapel.
miss. very awkward. choosing. It had lost its head in anticipatory delirium. and Knutsford was already the scene of a wild saturnalia. And so perforce we went to an inn. I 'm : sure " . miss. I 'm very sorry. but to-morrow I shall be so busy and I could hardly give you the attention I should wish. miss. LATTER-DAY CRANFORD tered with deeper doubts than such as embither first half . but you see how it is. sway of one under the firm and affable two ladies.hour at Signor For the next Brunoni's exhibition. a and landladies who on any other day would have curtsied profoundly in Shenstonian welcome. with that ingratiating lift at the end of the sentence so commendable on an English tongue.. explaining " It 's so very. The very air was tinged with the aroma of hot cakes. or the rogues and vagabonds of a later interdict. in deference to Cranford prejudice. for It was baking and brewing probable influx of visitors by excursion train. actually held their door-stone against us as though we were marauding Scots.. At that modest 191 . afternoon had been set apart for May-day celebration.
holding to the handles with desperate grip. The company of psychologists shall henceforth be augmented by the man who classifies the soul according to the bodily contortions induced by an aerial I know not what he should railway. said we. . be called. womankind might he pronounce an for some among unerring judgment. the lassies curled their dangling feet decently beneath their skirts. were gayly sliding about in a lurid Venice. 19a ." Red-and-gold gondolas. Swings had been erected on the large open space still known as " the Heath. and Darby or Joan. went trundling through space like gibbeted criminals taking to the sky. — A . strange aerial railway consisted of one strong wire high in air little wheels with handles on either side were arranged to fit it. All that evening the delirium of hope and expectation continued. but his course of action will Especially in the case of be plain. the Honorable Mrs. Jamieson would have been the better pleased. some let — them fly amain others swayed like willow wands but the many swept on their . a magic circle.BY OAK AND THORN choice. cannily set upon springs.
one strange likeness
In all they
took their pleasure "sadly," as became No face relaxed not a true Britons. feature gave way to emotion lighter than a rigid determination to reach the With the onlookers, the same goal. seriousness prevailed, so that when the transatlantic observer gave way to hysterics of mirth, she was regarded, not frowningly, but with a solemn compassion which was in itself hopelessly And over all the din of deupsetting. corous joy amid which the Knutsford youth thus disported itself arose the voice of china -venders and toy -merchants, the cry of those who would fain cloy their countrymen with gruesome lollipop and other sweets, made only to be shunned. Miss Deborah could never have approved We tried to cloak our delight under a decent thoughtfulness, I think we and went home to bed. should even have read a counter-irritating chapter of Rasselas had that very eminent work been at hand. Next day, Knutsford dissolved in rain, and the bakeries may well have wept
crowd of excursionists to race
BY OAK AND THORN
like an invading flood, which must surely inundate the humblest eating-houses They sank beneath their sweets, like Tarpeia under her bribe, and the cardboard legend of "Tea" at every door fell into pulp and sadness. We too had hoped for a sunny May-day but, being mortal, we could not refrain from an acrid reflection that many a landlady must now be
repenting her short-sighted refusal of us. Last night we were minnows, for there were other fish in the sea. To-day we loomed as the leviathan, and we bore ourselves proudly.
Only a few optimistic
the spirit to sand the sidewalk in front of their houses, an ancient
custom once accompanying Knutsford weddings, and still employed on days of high festival. Still, no one exerted his genius to the utmost for though the sand had been applied in patterns, they were quite simple, suggesting none of that elaboration and originality of design in which Knutsford can indulge when she chooses. But though the rain could bully her into curbing her handiwork, it could not dampen her poetic ardor.
the street, from one sandless sidewalk to the other, swept a banner, and this was the proud legend there-
« All hail
All hail thee,
our universal holiday "
melancholy dryness, flecked by uncertain gleams of sun, succeeded the forenoon, and we betook ourselves, with an unadulterated joy, to the Heath,
sat, chilled and happy, on the grand stand, watching the festival, and reconstructing the play-day of Old England from the too sophisticated pleasThis was May-day ures of the New. decked out in modern fripperies for the public entertainment, but it was not impossible to spy, beneath its landings,
the simpler sports of a long-past time. The procession was an historical pageant
Here walked Sir WalLord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Dick Whittington, and Robin Hood, none of them over four
of high degree.
high. Jack-in-the-Green danced, bear -wise, under an inverted cone of the morris - dancers (lithe, hemlock bonny youths, dressed in blue velvet kneebreeches, white shirts, plaid sashes,
BY OAK AND THORN
of a vivid pink seldom seen outside a lozenge jar) wove a simple rhythm of movement entrancing to the eye, and the May queen rode in state, a pygmy lady of fashion, clad in white satin, elaborate, frosty, like a weddingcake. But one would fain have seen her in simple white muslin enriched only with posies of her own plucking, gathered with the dew on them while
myself into a ball dress and send for my wired Some bathos comes with bouquet
early," that I
winding throng one obhad power to thrill the mind, an old sedan chair, borne midway in Do you remember it in the procession. Within that the annals of Cranford very chair did Miss Matty sit, tremulous but resolved, after the social evening at
of all that
Mrs. Forrester's, when the dear ladies scared one another into panic with confession of the bogies most to their mind. From its unsafe seclusion did she cry aloud when the men " stopped just where Headingley Causeway branches off from * Darkness Lane Oh pray go on
green it given over to in flower-like little girls and pink. but the spontaneous joy of Old and Merrie England was not in them. ! precious. It proved easier to see her now 197 .LATTER-DAY CRANFORD the matter ? What is the matgive you sixpence more to " go on very fast pray don't stop here. With another day Knutsford had assumed her wonted air of quiescent decorum. dancing-master had trained them for the public eye. They tripped they braided and wove their ribbons round the pole. To watch these puppets tripping it was to give way for a moment to sadness. reprettily.' Dear relic of a time more real than our Knutsford holds nothing more to-day What ? is ter I will . A flecting that to nowadays we are ashamed be merry after we have come to man's estate. We give over our great festivals and then sit to children. looking on with a maddening tickle in the bones that ache to join them. Step and look were no longer the springing welcome to a day when lads and lassies should no more be able to hold their fervor than trees their budding strength. The Maypole dance was a set of decorous dresses.
and I thought Betty would like to hear how she was. once living content under its swinging sign of the saint militant. BY OAK AND THORN what she is. a Georgian town imbued with the spirit of elegance and precision easy. to find Cranford in her every look and word. she found herself in the passage leading from the inn to the Assembly Room. too. quite by chance. and then in the room this 198 . though doubtless when it still remained on the other side of the way) stands the Royal George. On that morning began our trial of local intelligence and belief. but now thrown into selfcontradiction by the swelling adjective assumed after the Princess Victoria and the Duchess of Kent had spent a night for under its roof.. " my Betty has a second-cousin who is chambermaid there. For. But a step from the Angel Hotel (where Lord Mauleverer very wisely took up his quarters.) Now it was same George which was sought out by Miss Pole on an idle morning." And. to weaken' a saint's pat- ronymic by courtly prefix. said Miss Pole. on benevolence intent. when nothing more importunate prevented her from strolling up the staircase. (An affectionate trait in this loyal people.
LATTER-DAY CRANFORD itself." To seek it out was like dreaming over a bit of dear Miss Matty's shawl or a print is of her turban. is and precious work in brass.. dry. where Signor Brunoni was mak- ing his preparations to juggle the wits out of Cranford the very next night. thin. — carven rich in modern antiqui- balustrades. beautiful old clocks. it School boys." and settled down to an unalloyed enjoyment of the evening only on learning that the " tall. . This was the room where. on that bewildering evening. It a living example of the actual magnificence which may be wrapped about 199 ." Memory was the AssemMiss Matty sighed a little over her departed youth. rusty rector. as if there were a numbly more endearing Room where ber of genteel observers. and walked " mincingly. sat "smiling approval. instead of two little boys with a stick of toffy between them with which to beguile the time. the ladies of Cranford were so astounded by the resources of magic that they began to debate whether they had been in the right " to have come to see such things. The George ties." insured against feminine wiles by a cohort of National still..
and that night tricked out with masonic regalia. swept away }" By no means Did we. Something stately lies in its hospitable Like the ladies themselves. though the world without may clamor for the changes falsely named improve- ment. to ! find it shabby. ancient." said . lovable. Owing to that deplorable lack of understanding which is incident to the present of any age. dull as a fading reflecting to memory.BY OAK AND THORN an inn when it has maintained itself in dignity. ! wish to see that } " A very plain room. we were conducted. her young head. miss " And thither were we led. in unhappy " Has the old hall been quite duet. and conceded nothing to the flight of time or change of ownership. my dear. with flourish of pride. through the George to the new Assembly Room. the seeing eye a hundred scenes of innocent yet decorous revelry. clings resolutely all to old possessions. Here Miss Matty took her dainty steps in the viemiets de la coiir. it repose. — its tinted walls. aggressively fresh against the background of Cranford legends. crowned with its soft thick locks (*' I had very pretty hair. "Is this all?" cried we.
stands a shop. to sow it carefully again . the George had gates of its own. poor Matty. after the downfall of her fordirectly tunes. marry. pointed out by universal acclaim as the one where. dreaming over the ponderous delight of sitting at home and writing the charges of the archdeacon she was so eminently fitted to for in . where. past the stables. Miss Pole gleaned the fruitful grain of gossip. Here she should have worn the muslin from India that came to her too late.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD Miss Matilda). too. Here. came youth as in age Miss Pole must ever have been the mouthpiece of the world which tattles and denies. Somehow I can never connect Miss Deborah with the Assembly Room. In the old days. Miss Matty sold tea and scattered 20I . and up a slope. facing the pedestrian who ascends that way. sinking in shyness superadded to decorum when young Holbrook to lead her to the dance. I fancy she was but an abstracted figure at the balls wishing herself away in a more serious atmosphere. but now a free passage leads under the building (somewhat in the fashion of Clovelly's wayward street).
202 . this Matty's shop > " we inquired incidentally. Further questioning elicited a reason strangely alluring from the very emphasis informing the chaos of its terms. Indeed. A tradition lurks in Cranford that he was once sought out by the Unitarian clergyman of the town. the while our purchase was sought. sir." was the unhesitating answer. I 'm a Unitarian. or you could see the little window she used to peep through when she heard a customer. belligerent word to have penetrated the sacred pale of Cranford We entered the tiny establishment on " I " am ! ! some " Is ostensible errand. ay. The crucial question was asked. on the supposition that he was an adherent of that faith.BY OAK AND THORN comfits." responded master chemist. almost an agnostic " Rude. miss. a man of solemn aspect and an unconscious humor. "We are repairing the back room a bit. It is presided over by an ex- cellent chemist. Oh." Miss Was reality so wedded to fiction ? Actual windows and imaginary Miss Mattys were here in droll conjunction. " Yes.
" Have you had time to think " we were always courteously but sadly answered. "Amen stuck in " his "throat. Payne knows . He looked at us wildly. The Reverend George A. we gave it. disclosing this tiny window and she from her stores For it aged . being merciful. with the query. to think. " of course you know all the places mentioned in Cranford ? " Oh yes. who chanced to enter the shop after the paper had been torn away. cheerful " Where did " ? the Honorable Mrs. and the next day also." he rejoined and. because she had seen it many a time and recognized it at once. of memory drew the assertion that this was Miss Matty's window.? But authorities are not 203 far to seek." "Give me time appealingly . " No. the only existing link between old times and new. Yet.! " LATTER-DAY CRANFORD seems that there was in town an gentlewoman. Jamieson live He hesitated. returning that afternoon." was the reply. Amorphous logic and fortunate conclusion "Now. miss." ." said we encouragingly to master chemist.
residence eminently fitting for that social place. and his guesses He sugare both satisfying and clever. and it requires no impossible stretch of fancy to see Carlo lumbering about the yard. or to catch at least a glimpse of majestic Mr. winking at the ladies whom he mulcted of cream. subject of that ever memorable controversy on the night of the panic. paragon. while the Cranford dames regard him from without in controlled and impotent wrath. not far 204 . where the old Unitarian Chapel still holds its his literary Henry Green knew It is a I am glad to think so. Jamieson occupied a prosperous-looking house near the lower end of the town. gests that the Honorable Mrs. Not far away.BY OAK AND THORN Knutsford as the Reverend its historical and archaeological aspect. Mulliner reading the Saint James's Chronicle. moreover. invulnerable walls. when Miss Matty would fain have had the sedan chair "go on very fast. At the other end of the town. inclosed by high. is Darkness Lane." and Miss Pole outbid her by six- pence and induced the men to strike into the less ominous Headingley Causeway.
a modest dwellthat yard where ing in a circling yard. — how Peter dressed himit. Gaskell's life in Cranford need no broidLooking over the Heath ery of fancy. poor Peter played his little comedy desWho does not tined to end in grief. stands the comfortable. gown and bonnet." hiding "herself in one of its many green hollows. The actual spots connected with Mrs. still sleeps the old vicarage. dignified house where she lived with Mrs. Ritchie. and how the rector came upon him as he paraded himself and his charge before the gaping townsfolk ? The rest of the story is too sad for any but sunny days for Peter remember . Lumb. finding comfort in 205 . and the g^itle house-mother died awaiting her boy's return. Hers was not an altogether untroubled childhood.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD from the gates of Tatton Park. and Deborah's self in juggled a pillow into the semblance of a baby in long clothes. and she pictures the little girl running " away from her aunt's house across the Heath. while the rector repented his angry vengeance in the ashes of old age. as every one knows. — was flogged and ran away to sea. suggests Mrs.
Sun and light are everywhere. made to please the with suggestions not to be denied is Sandlebridge Farm. approaching the farm. with great window . the Heath was less At of a trodden village common than to-day. and in the garden beds lie the richness and beauty of old-fashioned flowers. and in the company of birds and insects and natural things. . An agreeable though unexciting walk leads to it. where lived the Hollands who were Mrs. its character of homelike comfort is unchanged. more populous with birds.seats. even under full sunlight and when. But though the identical house has been enlarged and repaired. looking out over the Heath and into the garden at the back. Such far reaches of field and valley are here as to make a not unpleasing loneliness in the land." that time. you come to a smithy and 206 But of all spots stir it memory and . There are happy windows. between fields green with the wonderful grass that goes to the making of Cheshire cheese. and golden with buttercups. Gaskell's maternal ancestors.BY OAK AND THORN the silence. richer in furze and leaf.
must often have visited the farm to play with the Holland children but the spot has another distinction.nine horses stand " ever caparisoned and ready for war. to be living a life of uncompanioned yet happy activity. The from the great pillars great stone balls are gone beside the gate (the to Lord CUve used 207 jump from one . more potent still for Sandlebridge is Cranford's Woodley. sweet and dusty from the breath of grain. and from without came the plash. In the hazy distance loomed Alderley Edge.. a mammoth ridge rising above the hidden caverns where nine hundred and ninety . and the mill. heavy the illusion is wheels. plash of willing water trickle of the feeding stream. and the late. and dusty hoppers seemed. and read " my Lord Byrron. For in the smithy two or three leisurely men lean and look in the intervals of smiling talk. Great wooden beams. Gaskell. still not dispelled." and ate his peas happily without the aid of a fork." Mrs. LATTER-DAY CRANFORD mill dedicated to the uses of life. where Mr. Thomas Holbrook lived. and where Miss Matty came to him too . when a little girl. that day. goes on working quite by itself.
208 . Knutsford). with its the stone -flagged dresser of blue dishes on the wall and its flitches of bacon hanging from the hooks above. did he walk The sweet . listening to his comments on flower and leaf and how she afterwards went with him to the fields. were such as his eye must have cherished the cropping cattle over the happy slopes were of one family with those he had fostered and the trees. With us. of the rum spot manor has subsided of a well-being of a prosperous farm is full but the slumberous peace.. at when he was a schoolboy and the ancient decointo the . where he forgot her and strode on to the measure of his dearest No beauty of the growing rhymes world had lain afar from his full and lonely life. too. We in were entertained kitchen. tells the Do you remember how Mary walked about the garden with that antique lover who loved no more. and perhaps the sonsy Mary who tale. black-branched and glossy in their green. BY OAK AND THORN to the other. and we drank our milk and ate the sweet farm bread with a drowsy sense that somehow dear Miss Matty was with us. .smelling plants that day.•• .
but it may easily become a record of those fleeting impressions which make an intrinsic part of the writer's Names familiar to a tissue. not easy to fields how and meadows slept under the warm sky. and more curious still to stumble on the name in the yard of Knutsford parish mental — church. It was not only of good repute. traiture. for did not the local grandee of Turveydropsical memory figure as Sir Peter Arley. but very commonly used. garrulous suggestions. nor how lavishly they promised response to loving peacefully these tillage. remarkable for no story of their own. youth have a way of creeping into her work. of Cheshire. too. but as links in an affectionate Fiction is not porchain of inference. and was not 209 . Cranford. nooks and corners. it is curious to note the number of Peters of eminent memory. had made the tutelary It is deities of tell his land.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD ness. Slight hints. has adopted it . crop up again when her dreams demand In reading the history actual habitat. not as literal duplicates of Cranford customs. are constantly appealing to one in Knutsford.
nervous. instructive. and deliver' d with peculiar Force and Dignity. under direct inspiration from the ever admirable Doctor Johnson. erty. His Com- positions were correct. He bore his last Affliction with a Firmness and Fortitude truly Christian and died lamented . As a Husband was a Friend and a Neighbor He affectionate. improv'd with every Branch of polite and useful Learning. His Conversation was courteous.BY OAK AND THORN the rector's erring Peter named for him ? And let it be said incidentally that no one who visits that churchyard should omit reading the epitaph of the Reverend John Swinton. A zealous Assertor and an civil lib- able Defender of religious and With Talents which would have the highest adorn'd Station to in the Church For reasons himself unan- swerable He declin'd repeated Offers of Preferment from his Friends many Years before his Death. entertaining. faithful. benevolent. for it must assuredly have been written by Miss Deborah herself. of Nether Knutsford . Thus it runs : — "He ral was happy in an excellent natu- Genius. elegant. and animated with a striking Vivacity of Spirit. edifying.
! LATTER-DAY CRANFORD by the Wise. the Learned and the Good Dec. and lived there. and who made nothing of flying over the roads to commit a murder at Bristol and returning again. Mrs. she heard the common reminiscences of the highwayman Higgins ? This was the Duval of Knutsford." Surely six-footed eulogy can no further go Another suggestion of Cranford lies in the fact that an actual Arley Hall exists to this day. like an old song. to prove his alibi. within forty-eight hours. Lumb). — wave of Mrs. within easy driving distance of Knutsford. who lived at the Cann House on the Heathside (neighbor to Mrs. The Cranford scare. when an hysteria of panic prevailed. the seat of the Warburtons. and blew prudence out of the ladies' heads while it coaxed some gobwhat was that but a refluent lin in. in the 70'^ Year of his Age. memory shook them forth. Gaskell's possible shrink- ing when. living the jolly life of a prosperous gen211 . but names doubtless got into her mind. It was Higgins who. moreover. a child. Gaskell aimed at no needless portraiture or exact topography till . lo"' 1764.
bad deeds. overhear the Cranford ladies relating his bold. rode on discomfited. putting her head out of the carriage as the robber approached. Did the sensitive little child. " Good-night. and trick- ing them out with bewildering details of Did the child hertheir own device } self tremble at the spectre of Darkness pitchy night Lane huddling under the mantle of a Such emotions are the . only forty-three years before Mrs. This was not too long a period for tradition to linger. painting him ever more gloomily.BY OAK AND THORN tleman. thus thrust back into his r61e of country gentleman. she called serenely. Gaskell was bom. playing in corners. one night left the ball (held. in the old Assembly Room) to lie in wait for Lady Warburton and reap her jewels. no doubt. until he loomed large. But the lady's keen sight and innocence of mind proved her salvation . for.<• . Higgins Why did you leave the ball so early ? " And Higgins. He was executed at ! Caermarthen in 1767. like of Guy Warwick or Thor the Thunderer. What affrighting falsities might have garlanded his name in Knutsford similar legends all the world over may attest. Mr.
213 . being ironically recommended to "get her a flannel waistcoat and flannel drawers. about the year 1827. falling into a lime pit. One curiously suggestive incident belongs to Mrs." did Now. and " never was heard of more. swept down a to reach living stream. was denuded of all her hair. though "some volke miscalle it. they are bound and there bud greenly in the vesture of the vernal year. memory .-' this cherished animal. a lieutenant in the merchant service." Might such lingering tragedy have been the secret of her pathos over the heartbreak and sickness bckrn of Peter's absence Did she know by too near experience what it is to listen for the footstep that never falls ? But one last proof clinches the argument that Knutsford is Cranford." Turn to the annals of Cranford. Gaskell's own life." to dwell . though on it too definitely might serve merely to establish a false bond between the concrete and the ideal. Her only brother. and you shall read of a certain old lady who had "an Alderney cow.LATTER-DAY CRANFORD willow twigs of roothold. which she looked upon as a daughter. disappeared on his third or fourth voyage. and her adoptive mother.
never believed in any intentional literary apotheosis of his cher- ished town " woman of advanced age. is mentioned in it and our poor cow. : — A . Miss Harker. she was full of eagerness to say. and listen to the Rever- end Henry Green. She read the tale of Life in a Country Town. who. 'Why. . she did go to the field in a large flannel waistcoat because she had burned '" herself in a lime pit 214 ! . who was confined to her house through illness. ! . in spite of this one concession. her Cranford. and when I called again. asked me to lend her an I lent amusing or cheerful book.BY OAK AND THORN indeed send her thenceforth to pasture soberly clad in gray. . Return now to the chronicles of con- crete Knutsford. that Cranford is all about Knutsford My old mistress. sir. without telling her to what it was supposed to relate.
now jealously opened. and so also is the moving sea but you shall mar the spell of their spirit upon you if you creep under roofs . her treasure-box. and the consummer. but the warm languor And note well of a midday dream. Throw aside therefore the fevered craving to read books and to rouse the world's wonder over your Set the mind only upon flowing haste.UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT to Betake yourself. owning that the feast was spread and you kept a foolish fast. and you must shrink back into winter hiding. in these new days. Omar Khayyam and what he smgs . water and bountiful trees. and that in jio studious mood. that an upland pasture is good hunting for the soul. that summer stayed at your hand and you craved no guerdon. and the brown leaf-stems loosen on the trees the earth will by-and-by lock up of the fleeting joys of life soling grape. For the long hours will weave themselves into ropes of sand you may not hold. say you of . 215 .
to offend the face of heaven. Your muscles shall ache with tramping and the oars you shall be bruised from stumbling through the forest when you steal out by night to feel the dark among the pines you shall find the simplest fare ambrosial. matchless wonder the ferns and raspberry vines . while the sunset bums to gold. ! 216 . and it Form a happy com- pany of such as love the earth. oh. I would not forbid you to read Stevenson and Lanier. For that is a sickly fashion. and set up your tents by sea or lake. but the modern novel shall be held afar from your rest.BY OAK AND THORN by night. . born of fear and a crowded constrains the soul. by a chiming chorus and the hoarse logic of the legislating crows. but it shall serve as withdrawal into the sanctuary of true repose. or even on the hilly pasture slopes at home. serene floating on the lake. and deep dream-locked sleep under canvas or in the open air. And this adoption of the outer world shall make a reason. There shall be long hours spent " in a green shade " still. and you shall be called to life. life . and wake to see. . not for carousing and re- enacting the sports of winter. every morning.
comrades pledged. madmen and the farmer-folk are her leal protectors from hunger and the world. though Solo- mon had happily. These be the tamer ways of camping. eating under hedges. lord of near some England soil. Her bee drones but its world hears it very presence invests her with a all and the little certain sacredness. The camper. staff and scrip. Easy is it in England to suffer a summer change into vagrom ways. tramping the blossomy lanes. in a huckleberry pasture.. to civilized minds. UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT breathing outside your tent and painting the shadow of their trembling on the sunHt walls. or even set up their tent farmer. New . in that she loves her dripping house by the wood better than timbered roofs. but if 217 . may forswear roofs and walk abroad with . None so necessary as he for he shall be the purveyor to their comfort. and give them milk and eggs for the dirty bills born of winter's drudgery. like that of in days of old. and begging the kindly carrier for a lift in his van and even in America two women. enter- tains a bee in her bonnet. raised them. and pleasant withal . and turned now to something worthy through righteous use.
and tug mightily for to pile up the sticks Fighting thus the next day's fire. and make their summer home by lake or stream. by civilized theory. on the stars. and love it. and cling about her knees. for the potatoes for to-morrow's dinner. They They shall shall work hard. stultified The wise pupil. The life shall be enacted and they in little on their sunny stage ancient struggle for shall . and think. as through the eyes of old. is to return with gladness to our great Mother. the earth more clearly. too. nearer now in that they brood and smile. Certain pitiful fallacies shall be unlearned through the see lessoning of camp. cut a path to the strip of beach where the water is clear over sand and beguiling to the bather they shall row miles . old battle over again.BY OAK AND THORN four or more strong spirits can betake to the deeper wood where even the sound of mowing and garnering in- them vade not. warring to fill the simpler needs of life at first hand. they shall seize hold of the garment of their youth even though she were vanishing away. finds with amazement that no more secure and solemn retreat exists than the forest 218 .
what but a thrush's song could trace upon the mind's fine tablet the outline of a leaf ? This it is to be fortunate at home but he who crosses the sea earns a double blessing and if he go to tramp. of to one who has had song that rich surfeit.. all the shapes of things. and she dozes excellent well on a bed of pine needles with an arm tucked under her head. and that darkness is as little to be feared as her own cloak. A ! enthralling shadows leaf ! of leaf on it. even to joy therein. and gains an added lightness when the' sun breaks forth. pillow is no longer the mainstay of sleep. sunlit The remembrance in the heart. And. To walk is truly to live. UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT path at night. he has found out what it is to gather up the gold of the year and garner it away for winter spending. the the glorified remem- brance of his golden day. . is like a is Perhaps that what the thrush sings in forest aisles. When the morning : 219 . Who shall say no ? For after all. twilight falls : when form and color. the feasting of the eye line upon line of trembling branches. She grows into the acquiescence of animals under a summer rain nay. to gypsy. oh.
the wandering tinker and the unmistakable genus tramp. and some of them beguilingly setting forth the number of miles from London. drawing the heart out of your breast with longing. them light. sometimes pursuing his slouching way. There they wait for you. but oftener asleep on his face under a hedge. you may throw up your heels at fate. He is our cousin. no matter what your loyalty to green fields and beneficent sky. stretching straight into bliss. in lines of One such is the way out of Brecon to Llansaintfraed. where the bones of Henry Vaughan have long been crying from a neglected grave another is the Roman road out of good Shrewsbury. and the comradeship of wandering is strong between us. and a third the broad highway whereby.BY OAK AND THORN it a broad highway. conscientious in milestones. But there are roads and roads some of shines before you and with . But fear him not. relics of a conquering past. after Monmouth. Your only companioning there shall be the infrequent farmer's wain. lie in the mind forever. you go on to the beauties of Tintern and the Severn Sea. thereby. You shall learn strange things of the : 220 .
Two of us. We hope to get on to the next village. It is very day pleasant walking. one day. after manifold disappointments in such queries. arranged a set of questions which might have proved of unfailing excellence had time and the hour given a . what is the name of the next village " Thus delicately jogged. it is well established out of the mouths of many witnesses that he honestly means the left.'' 221 . while you invade his roads and It will not be long before you valleys. formulate the axiom that he knows not for when he one hand from t' other sends you to the right. thus " Good morn: ing. You must never ask him a question on a sudden.UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT English churl and what serves him for mind. " use. and he will swear he knows not Joseph. We think it may be Babine. and he would goodman. Pray you. which served only to lock up the knowledge indubitably there. For instead of Can you tell me the way to Babine. We do not know it by name. A fine ! . margin for their the crass query."*" we would invent a cunning preamble. for haste addles his wits. Master Shepherd's wits might of themselves leave their wool-gathering.
they do it by a system calculated to induce madness in the natural mind. " No. make a mental see that You woman walking } " Yes. But go straight on. " What is that village ? "Tretower. but with one last impulse varied the phrase. " There the road turns." You speak time she is hastily. You begin to see what life must have been for Alice. " You see that church ? " begins your And when informant. adrift." Naturally you note of the church." " " BY OAK AND THORN send us on equipped." He had recovered.-* " I asked a rustic one day when that heaven lay palpably before us. £^0 you by that. "Is this Tretower. denial seems his only refuge. But jarred too rudely. miss. " Is n't that Tretower ? "No. for mean- in motion." turned away. such are awakened to the point of directing you. I miss. Yours will be the next . playing croquet when the wickets would walk about the ground. " Well. "Yes." he responded.
on your left . but at the next turning of all. and his mind reposes on the happy continuance of meas- talks ured effort. He never thinks. to live under water." And so by indirection. a certain negative process. to 223 . but turn indirectly to the Jew's house. He has learned what it must be to fly like the pigeon. Save at happy moments of active good fellowship. and come. " Turn up on your right hand at the next turning. to what you may. at the very next turning. you learn what you must not do.UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT one. even while the echo of that prophecy died upon the air. He is conscious only of ecstatic being. I have grown to consider it the equivalent of the evil eye. having finished some complicated direction. he ever. it is a terrifying phrase. by slow and painful steps. they conclude in triumph " You carn't miss it " To some of us who have missed it many times." down Here have we historic precedent. marry. turn of no hand. or the richer state of an acquiescent content. His feet settle into the rhythm of the road. ! And : little. The good walker eats lightly in the middle of the day.
BY OAK AND THORN How take root in the earth and grow. like life itself. effortless Hfe may become they only know who have tasted the joys of the road. too. knee-deep in heather.cap pheasant's feather. to flee over Egdon Heath. found is by the way. Here . yet conceives a tender liking for some benignant article like a pair of ragged gaiters. What the byways of wandering may be only he can guess who searches in the corners of his mind for rich treasuretrove cast in there on fortunate days. or an old hat gloriously adorned with a mad . or — 224 . Certain walks of our own lay placidly along canals. or scour Salisbury Plain. over the Exmoor hills. but an added gift but so. are pretty paradoxes. thymescented. The feel of the no burden. pack is One loses respect for clothes in the main. a dress too impossible to be spoiled. to tramp. to lose breath in the hot fragrance of Devon lanes. pursued by thunder-clouds and Dorset tragedies. The it diversified track In one is summer you may learn what to tread the highway. is the freedom of casting it aside for the noonday rest. loud with larks. Llantisilio. Brecon.
and betake yourself to 225 . and then led us in to see his carven mantels and wainscoting that were old when the Lords of the Marches to . The world and the glory thereof are yours. Still above lay drifts of wild hyacinth. under black-boled beeches. so that you seem be moving in their good company. kept their state. " like blue smoke against the sky. on Haughmond Abbey day. making their peat own green shade. when we came on great patches of brilliant sward. and every night you swing into town or hamlet. where the clearest of streams run swiftly. Sometimes entertainment falls richly on you expecting nothing at a mansion torn by Parliamentary cannon-balls. There was one upward range.UNDER THE GREAT BLUE TENT even the water way to Iffley along the Thames. or a farmhouse like one near the Battlefield of Shrewsbury. and you dip your dusty feet therein for comfort and for benison. eat dreamily but with mighty appetite." We remember lengths of Welsh road. again azured by hyacinths and cool yellow with primroses. where nature's gentleman gave two of us to drink of milk foaming in newness.
in a foolish play. . They are walking. still walking. but two far more happy than imagination could perennial. They are children. For the muscles them- selves retain the rhythm while they is rest. and you go smiling away to 226 sleep. Sometimes. The even have shut you in again. ing. the best legacy of all after the prisoning walls guess. snapping the bags of bladder-campion. two silent figures swinging along on a summer road. always walk- and the sun shines and speedwell thrives under the hedge they smile as they go. ambitious only in that rivalry. beneath closed eyelids. rich in their changing foothold of earth and mothered by the sky. of motion. they divert themselves hours long by . wherein you seem to be walking.BY OAK AND THORN sleep. Sometimes at night you see. These are you and your good comrade. though indeed they do not seem to be you at all. They are not you yet the sight of them brims over with peace and prom: ise.
By oak and thorn.• UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY facility A llillii 000 657 304 2 DA625 B7 t)A62^ B7 Brown. Alice. . By oak and thorn DATE DUE BORROWER'S NAME Brown. Alice.
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