Puslapio vaizdai

where Mr. Leland once went gipsying. First there is Shepperton, with its little Gothic church and many anglers, on your left; and then Halliford, a quaint old street facing the river, where we found an impudent young man sailing the Shuttlecock, as if the Shuttlecock were not the special property of the lazy minstrel ; and next Cowey Stakes, where Cæsar is said to have crossed; and Walton with its relics of scolds and gallants and astrologers. For if there is a picture at every turn of the Thames, there is a story as well; and if you are not too lazy, you read it in your guidebook and are much edified thereby, but you go no further to prove it true.

The cut to Sunbury Lock, with its unpollarded willows and deep reflections, is like a bit of a French canal. At the lock there is one of the slides found only in the most crowded parts of the river. On them boats are pulled up an inclined plane over rollers and then let down another into the water above or below, as the case may be, and this in one-fifth of the time it takes to go through a lock, nor is there any long waiting for water to be let out or in.

And next came Hampton, where a large barge with red sail furled showed we were nearing London, and close by Garrick's Villa with its Temple of Shakspere, and on the opposite shore Moulsey Hurst, where the costermongers' races are run in the month when gorse is in bloom, and where I was first introduced by the great Rye Leland to Mattie Cooper, the old gipsy whose name is an authority among scholars. And here the river divides into two streams to run round islands, which stretch, one after another, almost to Moulsey, so that as you pass down on either side the river seems no wider than it was many miles away at Oxford.

At Moulsey Lock on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday you find everything that goes to make a regatta but the races. It is the headquarters of that carnival on the river which begins with June, is at its height in midsummer, and ends only with October. Not even in the July fêtes on the Grand Canal in Venice is there livelier movement, more graceful grouping, or brighter color. There may be gayer voices and louder laughter, for the English take their pleasure quietly. But I do not believe, the world over, men in their every day amusements can show a more beautiful pageant. The Venetian fêtes can be seen only once each summer. But though for that of the Thames you must go to Henley regatta, every week Boulter's or Moulsey Lock makes a no less brilliant picture. And, as Mr. Leland has said, “ It is very strange to see this tendency of the age to unfold itself in new festival forms, when those who believe that there can never be any poetry or picturing in life but in the past are wailing over the banishing of Maypoles and all English sports.”

It was still early Saturday afternoon when we reached Moulsey. At once we unloaded our boat and secured a room at the Castle Inn, close to the bridge and opposite that

Structure of majestic frame

Which from the neighboring Hampton takes its name. The rest of the day and all the next we gave to the river between Hampton and the Court. In the lock the water never rose nor fell without carrying with it as many boats as could find a place upon its surface. At the slide, where there are two rollers for the boats going up and two for those coming down, there were always parties embarking and disembarking, men in flannels pulling and pushing canoes and skiffs. Far along the long cut boats were always waiting for the lock gates to open. And on the gates, and on both banks, and above the slide, sat rows of lookers-on, as if at a play; and the beautiful rich green of the trees, the white and colored dresses, the really pretty women and the strong, athletic men, all with their

reflections in the water, made a picture ever to be remembered. On the road were ragged men and boys, with ropes and horses, offering to “tow you up to Sunbury, Shepperton, Weybridge, Windsor," and still raggeder children chattering in Romany and turning somersaults for pennies. If we pulled up to Hampton it was to see the broad reach there “overspread with shoals of laboring oars," or with a fleet of sailing boats tacking from side to side-dangerous, it seemed to us, as the much hated steam launches. Below the weir were the anglers' punts. And up the little Mole, which digs through earth the Thames to win,” the luncheon cloth




was spread and the tea-kettle sung
under the willows. Through the long
Sunday afternoon the numbers of boats
and people never lessened, though
the scene was ever varying. And when
the sun sunk below Moulsey Hurst
there was still the same crowd in the
lock, there were still the rows of fig-
ures sitting on the banks, the men and
horses on the road, the stray cycler
riding towards Thames Ditton — all
now, however, but so many silhouettes
cut out against the strong light.

Close by Moulsey Lock is Hamp-
ton Court, with its park and gardens,
its galleries and courts, its bad pictures
and fine tapestries, its fountains and terraces. What good American who has been in England
does not love this most beautiful of English palaces ? But of all those who come to it
Sunday after Sunday, there is scarcely one who knows that within a ten-minutes' walk is
another sight no less beautiful in its way - very different, but far more characteristic of the
England of to-day.

At Moulsey we felt that our journey had really come to an end; but everybody who does the Thames is sure to go as far as the last lock at Teddington, and so for Teddington we set out early on Monday morning. There is no very fine view of Hampton Court from the river. One little corner crowned with many twisted and futed chimney pots rises almost from the banks, and the wall of the park follows the towpath for a mile or more. On our left we passed Thames Ditton, where, in the Swan Inn, Theodore Hook, who to an abler bard singing of sweet Eden’s blissful bowers would “Ditto say for Ditton,” is as often quoted as is Shenstone at the Lion at Henley; and Kingston, with its pretty church tower, where the great coal barges of the lower Thames lay by the banks and a back-water we explored degenerated into a sewer; and then we were at Teddington with its group of tall poplars, where there is a large lock for the barges and steam tugs, and a smaller one and a slide as well for pleasure boats, and where the familiar smoky smell that always lingers over the Thames at Westminster or London Bridge greeted us.

The tide was going out or coming in,- it was so low we hardly knew which,—and on each side the river now were mud banks. But it was still early, and we decided to pull down and leave our boat at Richmond. After Teddington it was ho! for Twickenham Ferry, and the village of eighteenth-century memories. From the river we saw the villa where Pope patched up his constitution and his grotto, and the mansion where the princes of the house of Orleans lived in banishment. And in front of us from Richmond Hill, where Turner painted and many poets have sung, The Star and Garter, a certain dignity lent to it by the beautiful height upon which it stands and the knowledge that you will be bankrupt if you stop there, overlooked the Thames's “silver winding way." In places the shores were as pastoral as in the upper narrow reaches, but again we came

to the mud banks. From every landing-place men cried, “Keep your boat, sir?"—for Salter has agents on the river whose business it is to take care of boats left by river travelers until his van calls to carry them back to Oxford. Everybody expected us to stop; something of that great noise of London which has been likened to the roaring of the loom of Time seemed to reach us. We had left the Stream of Pleasure and were now on the river that runs through the world of work, as the big barges and the steam tugs told us. At Richmond we pulled up to shore for the last time, and intrusted the Rover, now with a good deal of its paint scratched off and bearing marks of long travels and good service, to the waiting boatman.




Elizabeth Robins Pennell.



OUSES in the West, in ac- the point of view is personal, and where one

cordance with their own- lightly scoffs in passing another may pause
ers' tendencies, are showy, and respectfully admire.
imaginative, practical, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound."
reminiscent, or shiftless; He that has never disappointed himself with
though there is a sort of results of his own planning may laugh at his

building, in transitu, which neighbor's follies in bricks, or boards, or stone. may indicate economy and good judgment. If there lives a man that, having had the

Such a dwelling stood in the midst of the license money gives to clothe his caprice, sage-brush common, on the outskirts of a finds himself entirely satisfied, let him not obfrontier town where we once lived, facing the trude the fact. There is something offensive foothills which were the seat of a military in our neighbor's complacency with the fine post. It was first a wall tent, set up a few feet shell of his own making. We will grant him from the ground on a foundation of boards. whatever God gave him as his portion in other Here, in the course of the summer, a child particulars, but he must be modest about his was born. It occurred to us that some of the house. We forgive him if his chimney smokes comforts needed at such a time might be want- — we love him as a brother if he is generous ing in this Ishmaelitish household, as we sup- enough to confess to one fundamental regret posed it to be. But we were told by the concerning the whole ! daughter of a neighbor, who knew, through Besides the houses that celebrated their her mother's good offices, more of the family owners' success, there are the modest homes than we, that they were people of means built in this far land in fond remembrance of stock-raisers looking about them, like the tribe the cherished ideals of home, wherever home of Reuben in the land of Jazer and of Gilead, may be. The white paint; the neat door-yard in search of good grazing valleys where the fence; the little fruit trees close to the house; winters were not severe.

the old-fashioned flowers, tended in beds and A few months later we saw the mother, borders and fed by foreign irrigation instead bearing her babe in her arms, walking, after of the pleasant showers of home — all have a sunset, bareheaded, along the paths of the wistful look. Yet this may be the fancy of common. She looked a woman to be the some homesick passer-by; another may see mother of pioneers — the gipsy-like tan of only the look of contented achievement. No her long journeys showing on her cheeks more than this was expected or desired. Here through the paleness of recent maternity. To ambition ceases, and the householder would have thought of her as an object of charity not exchange the new home of his own makseemed ridiculous.

ing for the soundest inheritance, of equal They continued to look about them all the value, at home. rest of the summer, driving their stock up into The imaginative builder in the West, as in the hills in the morning, and down to the ditches the East, frequently “slips up” in practice; to water at evening. In the autumn a cabin but it will be he that first catches the spirit was added to the tent, the rear of the one open- of the landscape and makes its poetry of suging into the door of the other; wagon-sheets gestion his own. The people of certain races drawn over the wagon-body, close by, enlarged build with an unconscious truth to the nature their winter accommodations. All these ar- around them which is like an instinct; or perrangements had a thoroughly competent and haps it is part of that providence which is said experienced look. In the spring we went away to attend upon the lame and the lazy. They ourselves and saw no more of our nomadic are crippled by their poverty; they have the neighbors on the common.

temperament that can wait. They cannot In every Western town which has known a afford to “haul” expensive lumber or pay for period of prosperity there will be a few houses carpenters to aid them in their experiment; built by persons who have had the means to so they scrape up the mud around them, proclaim their taste. “Oh that mine enemy make it into adobes and wait for them to dry, would build him a house!” one might reflect and pile them up in the simplest way, which looking upon some of these monuments. But proves to be the best. They build long and with regard to our neighbor's house, as well low because it is less trouble than to build as his management in most other respects, high ; for the same reason, perhaps, they do


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not cut up their wall space into windows. centrated living. Sun and wind beleaguered The result is the architecture of simplicity and fortresses, they should never look as if they cared rest; and it goes very well with a country in the least what an outsider thought of their that pauses, for miles, in a trance of sky and appearance. They should wrap themselves in mountain and plain, and forgets to put in the silence and blind-walled indifference, as a details.

bathless, breakfastless Mexican smokes his The practical builders are as successful as cigarette against a sunny wall of a morning, the lazy builders, for they build with the wrapped to the ears in his dingy serape. It is same directness. The ranch buildings of the not presumed to offer this somewhat squalid West, like the old Eastern farm-houses, are suggestion to the ranch gentry, but to their good in this way. There is no nonsense about humble neighbors of the railroad outpost, the them. If the buildings belong to a show ranch cattle-feeding station, and the engineers' camp, there will be ample opportunity for the exer- who have winters as well as summers to procise of a trained intelligence in the adaptation vide for. of historic styles that were inspired by similar It may be added that the best houses in the sites and conditions.

West, those best worth describing, like the best The houses of these great desert landscapes people, are not the ones that are typical. should convey the idea of monotonous and con



Y first encounter with a venom- making such ruthless war upon it that before
ous serpent occurred when I long a snake is likely to become as rare as the
was but a lad and had been viper is to-day in English forests.
wading the waters of the Clar- In the West, on the sage deserts, I have seen
ion, in McKean County, Penn- the ground-rattlesnake in large numbers. No

sylvania. Heavily laden with one dreads it much, and bites are rare. Deaths a noble string of trout, I set foot on a slippery from our Eastern or our North-western snakes bank to leave the stream on my homeward way are also very infrequent, nor were fatal acciwhen my guide suddenly caught me by the dents of this nature ever very common anyshoulder and jerked me back so violently that where in North America. For this there were I fell in the shallow water. As I struggled to several reasons: our poisonous snakes are not my feet in alarm, the old lumberman pointed excessively numerous, their poison is much less quietly to a “hurrah's nest ” 1 half-way up the active than that of the cobra and the Bungarus slope on it was coiled a large rattlesnake. of India or the vipers of Guadeloupe, and durBut for the man's quickness I should have been ing a large part of the year they bury themstruck in the face or the throat. We soon selves to escape cold. Our troops must in war killed the snake, and as I sat on the bank, have trampled heedlessly through countless thoughtfully examining the fangs of this skill- miles of swamp and woods, and yet there is ful apothecary that knew the use of hypoder- no return among our war statistics of a single matic injections so long before we took the case of death from snake bite. hint, I felt the awakening of an interest in the Compare this with the terrible account strange poison I had so nearly tested on my Fayrer gives us of the loss of human life from own person. Few men of my age and occupa- snake poison in India, where dislike of the hog tion have been more in the woods than I, yet and superstitious reverence for the cobra comonly once since this adventure have I seen a bine to make the management of this question crotalus in my many wanderings in the East- difficult. Very imperfect returns, excluding ern States. I found a small “rattler” dead on Central India, gave in 1869 the deaths from the road near Cape May Court House, New snake bite as 11,416 for a population of Jersey : a cynical friend settled my doubts as 120,972,263, and subsequent and fuller statisto what had killed it by suggesting that it tics place this vast mortality still higher. Little might have bitten a Jerseyman.

has been done by the Indian Government to This heroic animal, which never flees, which lessen the constantly recurrent annual loss of warns of danger all who come too near, has life. Rewards for cobra heads proved of slight nearly gone from our woods and plains. As a use, and no continuous or systematic means cause of death it hardly figures in the census; have been used to enable the able staff of army and even in Florida its mortal foe, the hog, is or civil surgeons to study the subject of snake

1 A mass of leaves left by a freshet in the crotch of bites as it should long since have been studied. the divergent branches of a bush.

Some years went by before I was able to

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