Зображення сторінки


It is an axiom better known than that men will lay bare their breasts followed among the classes who to one, when the presence of a have opportunities of leisure and third would hopelessly arrest conluxury, that it is only the really fidences ? hard-working man who can truly I think that the most celebrated appreciate the beauty of a holiday. jaunts of history have been solitary; To none among the highly-placed witness the classic tour of Oliver ten thousand is given the magical Goldsmith, the “Rural Rides” of charm of leaving all labour behind Cobbett, and the walks of Elihu and starting with a light heart and Burritt — most accomplished of wallet, “on the tramp," through blacksmiths. One glowing July some lovely tracts of our beautiful afternoon, weary of work, I sud. though much neglected country. denly determined to set out for a

I think it is “ Patricius Walker” stroll through Surrey and Hamp(what a thousand pities that his shire; and, feeling the force of what charming “Rambles” are not is represented in the preceding collected in some convenient form*), paragraphs, I settled to start the prince of pedestrians, who says alone. that the very first essential of a Leaving R- , my first stage walking tour is that it must be was Guildford, which I reached undertaken alone ; else it at once that evening without adventure. and infallibly degenerates into a Not being a practical entomologist, mere protracted pic-nic. This I I sedulously shunned the attraccan, from personal experience, tions of a rather pretentious hosentirely endorse.

telry, where I remembered having I have had some very enjoyable once passed a night, not untincexpeditions in company with one tured with regret that the natural or more men, but I can always say investment of our species is en. that I have enjoyed the society of dowed with so much sensibility, the men rather than the scenery or. One of the Guildford inns, by the surroundings.

the way, had a narrow escape of Alone, one loiters at the wayside, entertaining that greatest of all one observes the flowers, one gossips, Mr. Pepys. He says, in watches the habits of insects, of the celebrated Diary: “Aug. 7, birds, and of that even more in- 1688.—Came at night to Guildford, teresting and complex organ where the Red Lion was so full of ism - MAN. When alone, one people, and a wedding, that the talks to the farmer concerning his master of the house did get us a | crops, to the labourer about his lodging over the way, at a private

grievances, domestic, personal, and house, his landlord's, mighty neat pecuniary. Who has not found and fine."


* Is not a rambling form the convenient one for the essays of a rambler ? To collect them from the stray places where they lie in periodicals would be to lose their desultory Essence. Happy disconnected rambles would become serious business if prolonged into one extended round, and the book containing the combined holidays of a lifetime might prove rather heavy.-[ED.]

I was fortunate enough to pass well with the rich ochre and Indian. a most enjoyable evening with red of the sand rock. Dr. S. and his family. Mine host Through the doorless Gothic was a graduate of Oxford, and archway we may see a view worth a happily had not forgotten some weary pilgrimage indeed. legendary lore which served to Far below us winds the Wey beguile the hours, whose only fault between thick and varied foliage; was their brevity. This gentle- at the end the vista, command. man's tastes were decidedly æsthetic, ing the reach of the river, towers running much to “old blue," to the great square keep of Guildford bric-a-brac and high-art furniture ; Castle; “ beyond it rises the swell. himself no mean artist, he had a ing line of the verdurous downs. capital collection of engravings and The sparkle of the river through oil-paintings.

the deep shadows of the city, and Early next morning found me in the background the broad waves enjoying a sunny ramble along the of sunlight rolling over fair right bank of beauteous Wey; meadows and lighting up sombre past the picturesque weir, past the masses of foliage, lend a life, a little landing-stage for pleasure glory, and a splendour to the pic. parties, where are moored some very ture." So says Davenport Adams, respectable gigs. On the extreme and I found no difficulty in agreeedge of the miniature wharf, the ing with him. waterman stands, with mallet in In a niche of the rock, under the hand, and lazily drives a post into Priory, there has, I see, since my the bed of the river.

last visit to Guildford, sprung into Then I saunter along the charm. existence a new house, having, I ing reach under the limestone rock, am pleased to record, few of the looking black in the early morn faults of a new house. One miswith thick foliage; past such a tempt. fortune it cannot evade, namely, ing seat under two sentinel pop- that it is new; but it realises what lars, whence you could revel in the Ruskin says about the association reproduced hill lying on the clear between gables and the sense of river surface framed with a fringe hospitality ; it is a red-roofed, of alders. Then on to the ferry many-gabled pile, with overhangunder the red sandstone rock, from ing storeys, with rich weather the foot of which bubbles a little tiling, and all sorts of unexpected crystal well. Here, whilst I waited galleries and verandahs. for Charon, a man came sauntering Leaving the iron-stained rocks down the lane, with cup in hand, behind, we strike over the level to take his morning draught. He meadows, dotted with marsh-maritold me that the waters “had gold, in a course at right angles to virtue," but he could not say what the river, through a pretty avenue were their specific properties; I of old Scotch firs, then down into saw from the rusty stains under the beaten road. Turning to the the rich green lichen that they were left, we retrace our steps to Guild. rich, at least, in chalybeate. Then ford, passing this time under the came the old ferryman, saying, shadow of the castle with its “Want to cross the river, sir ?" quaint herring-bone work of sucSo I stepped on board, and was cessive courses of ragstone, flint, soon on the other shore, standing and sandstone. to admire what is left of St. What changes has this same Catherine's Priory, beautifully keep witnessed since Odo of Bayeux placed, its sober greys contrasting laid its first stone 800 years ago! In the time of the barons, a a very quaint Guildhall, with its stronghold of tyranny and in- projecting upper storey supported famous oppression ; afterwards, by four wondrous hermaphrodite under the Tudors, turned into a caryatides. A gorgeous clock dial common gaol for Surrey and (1683) of curious construction is Sussex, till a county prison was suspended above them nearly in built at Lewes by Henry VII. the centre of the road. Then our way leads us through The Council Hall is quite worth Friary Place, so called from the looking at, if only for the sake of convent that stood there, which the portraits of the two Jameses, Henry VIII., in his burning zeal of Charles I., of William and Mary, . for religious reform, replaced by a and of two celebrated Onslows, one house for his own accommodation! well-known formerly as Speaker in In olden days Guildford knew the House, and the other in conmany a regal visit. It was visited nection with the battle of Camper- . by Henry III., Queen Eleanor, down. The first three are by Sir Edward II., Edward IV., Henry Peter Lely. VIII., and Edward VI. There A little farther is Archbishop Henry II., King John, and Ed. Abbot's Hospital, a stately Elizaward III. elected to keep Christ- bethan building. Age has softened mas. This favoured town re its outlines, rounded its angles, mained a Royal demesne until the and stained and honeycombed its reign of James I., when all the surface. The fine archway adorned Crown lands became vested in by the arms of the See of CanterMurray, Earl of Annandale, and, bury, and a curious sundial, give after many other changes, passed to the street-front a picturesque to their present proprietors, the and rather imposing effect. Here Earls of Onslow. Does not this live, or rather vegetate, a master family name, in connection with presiding over “ brethren and Guildford, revive pleasant memories sisters," whose qualifications are of "an unhappy nobleman” now that they must be natives or resilanguishing in Portland Prison ? dents of Guildford, unmarried,

Then up the broad and hand. sixty years old, and of good cha. some High-street with its gabled racter. Here the Duke of Monronts, quaint lattices, and curious mouth was confined, when pausing doorways, giving it a peculiar old at Guildford on his way to London, world aspect. It certainly deserves after the memorable defeat of the adjective “high," if ever street Sedgmoor, 1685. lid, for it seems to rise at an angle Nobody should neglect to turn of at least forty-five degrees, and, into Quarry-street, for a peep at being paved, one is reminded irre that most interesting of buildings, istibly, whilst watching the horses St. Mary's Church, with its two himbing up, of cats clambering apsed chapels, and its frescoed er the roof of a house.

roof, circ. Henry III. The As I mounted the hill, a carriage chapel is chiefly Norman and rew up at one of the shops, which early English, but there is a fine re really excellent-out rushed an perpendicular east window. At pprentice with something like a its upper end, High-street becomes poquet-mallet, the thick end of Spital-street, where you cannot hich he dexterously adjusted help noticing a weather-beaten ehind a wheel of the vehicle to building, the Free Grammar School, Tevent its backing.

founded in 1509 by Robert Beck. Near the top of the hill, there is ingham, a London grocer.

Here my morning ramble came huge gnarled roots and pretty to an end at the house of my hos- ferns. Here I captured a fine stag pitable entertainer. I found his beetle. family just assembling round the The house at Grayshott is an breakfast table. When that serious example of what decorative art, meal and my matutinal wanderings controlled by good taste, can achieve. had been both discussed, I bade I never was so much pleased with them a temporary farewell, and anything in my life as with the took train to Liphook, through the quiet grace of the sitting-roomspretty broken country, rendered most artistic, without sacrificing more picturesque than sanatory by comfort and ease, and without the many tiny lakes of stagnant water feeling that comes over one in so and with luxuriant vegetation. many modern drawing-rooms, that

There is a capital inn at Liphook, one is sitting in a kind of museum. the Anchor, kept by a very civil The eldest son of this gentleman and accommodating landlord, Mr. is a Cambridge graduate-a most Peake. I had received a good ac- agreeable and well-informed man. eount of this hostelry, so determined He became my cicerone and took to make it my temporary head me to Lynchmere. The view from quarters.

the churchyard, every reader of this My next point was Grayshott paper should see once in his life at Park, where Mr. — , the well. least. known architect, has built himself a Standing on the side of the most tasteful habitation, and I must church, near the road, you look say, too, he has shown singular art through iwo opposite doors, and in his selection of site. A charming you become speechless with delight. irregular house, of the type only The ground suddenly falls away seen in these south-eastern coun. from the kirkyard, and you look ties, is planted at the head of a over a deep valley, whose base is long steep valley clad thickly with invisible, to hill upon hill rising trees; down the ravine, runs a with every variety of form and stream, which widens at the base colour. Outside the lich-gate was into a chain of the most lovely a long row of benches to accommominiature lakes, half hid by their date fifty persons or more. The nearly tropical foliage.

use of these puzzled me very To reach this I had a very beau- much. tiful walk; crossing the Wey-now My companion suggested that a mere brook-a mile from the they were for the people who had town, I turned aside from the road come too early and did not like to into a long strip of fir plantation, go in! then by Bramshott Church, once I returned to Liphook in the evidently Decorated, now restored cool evening, and retired to rest in a very painful way. The beau. about three hours before my cus tiful old florid windows serve tomary time. to adorn a neighbouring cottage, Next day was cloudless-bril near which are two wonderful ash liant sun, slight breeze, but no trees, the trunks over twenty-five dust—a fine day for walking pur feet in girth, and the branches poses. covering a ring nearly four hundred I breakfasted early, addressed feet round. Hard by is a Devon- my limited luggage to Petersfield shire lane, running between high and asked mine host to dispatch i sandbanks — gratefully cool and there by rail. shady—the walls ornamented with Looking, of course, at the nam

[ocr errors]

he returned to the room, saying, pounds an acre was asked for free“ Beg your pardon, Sir, but are hold frontage ; that the water you Dr. BV, the M.P.?” I supply was good, but that it reexplained that, though I was quite quired deep boring—two to four proud to admit that I was a phy- hundred feet. He used stored sician, I felt equally proud at the rain himself, and had never run present time to say that I was not a out till that very week. member! But why did he ask? I was quite sorry when the Oh! he had a child in the house branch road to Liss deprived me that had been in fits ever since its of the society of this pleasant birth three months before! Would camarade. We parted with mutual I see it?

regrets, which I believe were How could I refuse? I found sincere on his side. I know they nothing the matter with the little were on mine. one but inanition; the child had I had tried to get lunch at a what are now known as anæmic wayside beerhouse, about a mile convulsions. I explained that, as behind ; but everything was so the maternal fount had run dry, extremely dirty and unpalatable the only hope was to find a foster that, hungry as I was, I could not mother. This they did, and I have bring myself to partake. since had the satisfaction to hear Here, at the corner where I lost that the babe is better.

my old, yet recent, friend, was a As for myself I felt how difficult country inn, the pink of perfection, it is to drop a profession like mine. clean as a new pin, with a civil and My sensations were those of a most obliging landlady - every. truant schoolboy brought back thing good of its kind. · What a perforce to his hated task!

contrast! I learned that there was actually Here I had my bread and cheese, no doctor at Liphook. Now there and then pushed on towards Petersare many persons who entertain field. the most cordial feelings of detes. I soon came up with a gentleman tation for our body. Such people in a Bath-chair, drawn by an old would do well to contemplate the man, and pushed by a young possibility of a removal to lovely serving-maid. The occupant of Liphook?

the chair appeared, from his vacant Making my escape at last from stare, his unkempt hair and beard, anxious mother and solicitous and protruding chin, at first sight father, I set out for Petersfield ; to be idiotic. But, as an example and a more pleasant walk of eight of how fallible first impressions are, miles, through heather and over on entering into conversation, I breezy downs, has rarely fallen to found him to be a good micromy lot to enjoy.

scopist and quite an accomplished Near Liss lives Mr. George Cole, naturalist in the way of entomology the father of the well-known artist or the study of insects. His sight Vicat Cole. As I passed, there had been much injured by too deep issued from the adjoining house an devotion to the lens, and, to his old gentleman driving a pony. sorrow, he had had to abandon his carriage. He very politely prof. favourite pursuit. This had made fered a seat beside him, which I him low and depressed. I did my took with pleasure, as I wished to best to cheer and encourage him, learn something of the nature of and when we came to a little villa, the soil and its water-supply, &c. and a lady came out to receive him,

He told me that one hundred he was certainly many degrees

« НазадПродовжити »