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is always so. Whenever we wished to take a view of an old building, if there happened to be any one about to observe what we were doing, he, she, or they, as the case might be, most assuredly would come and take position right in front of the camera, and more or less spoil the composition as a picture; it was only a matter of degree. Poor amateur photographer, he has much to put up with! The landlord told us that the little inn had often been taken, and that the parties who took it generally sent him a copy, which remark we presumed to be a hint to ourselves to do likewise. He moreover informed us that the house was the property of a certain popular preacher, of whom you may have heard tell.' Yes, certainly we had, but we had no idea till then that the preacher in question owned a public house, and we uttered a remark to that effect, which elicited the reply, 'Well, sir, you see as how folks driving about country learns a good many things;' and we could not deny the fact.
Descending now a steep hill, upon which was a cyclist notice board labelled 'Dangerous' (of which hill and board mention has already been made), we crossed the pretty river Stour (at least it was exceedingly pretty just there; I cannot answer for the rest of its course) and entered Suffolk. Here in the valley was a level stretch of land of several acres literally golden with buttercups, a sight to behold. Then a mile or so of pleasant country lane led us to the charming little hamlet of Higham. The church here is close by the roadside, so we dismounted to inspect it. We found that the old
A CURIOUS COINCIDENCE.
building had been restored; it is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and possesses two fairly well carved figures in oak of these saints; otherwise it contains nothing to attract the wanderer-at least if it does we failed to discover it after careful scrutiny. I make this reservation, for upon one occasion after inspecting an ancient church we left it in a somewhat disappointed mood, deeming that there was nothing in it worth seeing, and feeling that we had made a considerable détour for little profit; but we afterwards learnt that we had overlooked a most curious brass, an excusable oversight on our part, as upon further inquiry we discovered that it was covered by a piece of carpet, upon which in its turn stood the harmonium. We now, when inspecting churches where harmoniums have place, are careful to look under the instruments, and always make it a point to lift up any matting or carpeting that there may be in such places of worship. Should there be a quaint inscription, there is a very fair chance of its being thus hidden. Indeed, as a curious coincidence
may remark that in the very next church that we entered after our experience just given, there was an harmonium, and upon moving this we discovered a very interesting inscribed tablet, of which more as we proceed.
The village of Higham appeared to us to be so pretty as almost to come up to our ideal of what an English country hamlet should be. So abounding in picturesque simplicity, in homeliness, in pleasing prosperity did it seem to us that soft sunny afternoon, as it lay asleep in the golden sunshine, with
its neat cottages and their gay flower-filled gardens, its old homes, mellowed by age, the very poetry rural civilisation-pictures of contentment and peaceful abiding! One of these especially charmed usan old half-timbered building standing back from the village street with clipped yew trees in front, so in harmony with the ancient house. Nor must I forget the most delightful old-fashioned inn that, from the glance we had of it in passing, struck us as being as cosy and picturesque a village hostelry as we had ever come upon.
Higham is well away from the improving influences of the railway, and that fact may in some measure account for its restful, mellow, old-time, unspoilt look. It may be, too, that the quiet loveliness of that fair English summer noon, with its golden lights and its long contrasting shadows of pearly grey (only to be rendered by the delicate tints of a water-colour), gave an added grace to the sweet beauty of the spot. Truly it may have enhanced its charm, but it did not make the rural homes and gay gardens, nor their pleasant setting of green fields and waving woods.
The road on from Higham to Hadleigh (where we arranged to spend the night) took us through country of great sylvan loveliness. Our road, with many windings, led us along in a delightfully enticing manner; it was hilly, too, as well as winding, and full of scenic surprises. It was in this part of Suffolk that Constable painted some of his best picHe loved the Suffolk scenery, and declared this to be the most beautiful district in England;