Puslapio vaizdai

railways the better the chance of discovering such.

A short distance from Wickham Market we noticed a five-fingered sign-post. We had never before met one with such an abundant supply of arms, and, strange to say, all the arms were in excellent condition, the inscriptions upon each being perfectly legible; would that all sign-posts were as serviceable to the traveller as this! But then in these railway days who ever dreams of going any distance by road? The local inhabitants know of course their way about without guidance, so that sign-posts are really but little required.

As we proceeded along we presently came to the Lion Inn, evidently a decayed coaching house, and looking now sadly desolate in its fallen estate, doing duty as a roadside public. We were on the main high road from London to Yarmouth, erst busy with much traffic, and musical with the sound of the frequent coach-horn. Now we had the way all to ourselves; since we left Woodbridge we had met no vehicle of any kind, and the one or two people we did see appeared to be farm labourers going to or from their work. Sadly deserted are the old high roads, amongst the most lonely places in the land.

Then on through shady woods our way led us to a very pretty little hamlet, the name of which was not given on our map; the village school here with its yellow thatched roof and quaint bell turret tempted us to pull up and make a sketch. Remounting the phaeton, we drove for a time by the side

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of a large and wide-spreading park; the mansion to this is large and ugly, but of value by acting as a foil and thereby accentuating the beauty of the sylvan scenery around. Ugliness sometimes has its uses.

We were now once more in a windmill country, and the windmills were all of wood of the oldfashioned type, aged and picturesque. These mills were mostly at work, giving by the movement of their sails, now white in sunshine, now dark in shade, quite a look of life to the landscape. To me there is a great charm about these old windmills; they give a character to a view, making oftentimes even a flat stretch of country interesting, for they are always delightful to behold. I never yet saw an ugly windmill, nor one that would not make a pretty picture. Windmills have this peculiarity, that they differ from all other buildings; firstly their necessity is to be in motion, and secondly they constantly vary in outline from the same point of view, according as the direction of the wind changes. I greatly fear that these old friends of mine are doomed to become rarer and rarer as time goes on, and some day even to disappear altogether. Now and again, more especially in Sussex, where they abound, when going over the same ground after the space of a few years, I have regretfully noted the absence of one or more of my favourite mills. Sometimes they get burnt down; 'run themselves afire,' as the millers term it, during a heavy wind, or else become so rickety with age that they are either pulled down for the sake of the materials or are allowed to go to utter ruin, the ruin being hastened by the villagers


plundering the old structure for firewood. Year after year, in different parts of the country, first one and then another of these picturesque structures vanish from the prospect—and never yet, so far, have I come upon one in the course of erection; so it is a mathematical certainty that if they continue to disappear thus, and no new ones are built, the day must come when the picturesque windmills will be a thing of the past.

We made our midday halt at Saxmundham, a quiet little market-town, pleasantly situated in the midst of a well-wooded country, one of those picturesque old-fashioned places that in a commercial age are so charmingly uncommercially unprogressive, and unspoilt by growing suburbs; looking now, doubtless, much as it did a century ago, and as in all probability it will look a century hence. A slumbrous town that wakes up into some semblance of activity one day in seven, when the market is held there, and farmers and their wives jog in from the country round to do a little business and a good deal of gossip. An uneventful existence these Saxmundhams appear to lead, but a comfortable and contented one withal, untroubled by the keen competitive spirit of the age.

The Bell Inn, with its spacious yard, seems to have changed not at all since the last coach ceased to run this way; even the legend Posting House' still remains plainly painted on its olden walls, but where are the 'jolly post-boys' and the ever ready post-horses? Here we had an excellent meal in a delightfully cool old-fashioned room, our fare cold



roast beef and freshly gathered salad, with cheese to follow, washed down by good old English ale, clear and sparkling, a repast fit for a king; at least had I been a king then, I could not have wished for better cheer. Being on the road in the fresh, bracing country air all day long, one gets a healthy hearty appetite that rejoices in good plain living. Believe me, there is no better cure for dyspepsia than a prolonged driving tour. I speak from experience. Verb. sap. For those who are overworked, or for the nervous invalid, there is not in the whole Pharmacopoeia so excellent a tonic as being out of doors all day long, driving about country. With the necessary constant change of scene and air such a journey involves, the mind too is always pleasantly occupied and the attention diverted from oneself to the evervarying surroundings, and all without fatigue or worry of any kind, for has not the driving tourist ever a comfortable conveyance at his command? Not that he need ride all the way, but when tired with rambling afoot, at once he can resume his seat and take his ease.

Leaving our hotel we took a stroll around, which, however, did not occupy us long, for though a clean, sunny, neat little town, there are no buildings of interest in Saxmundham to engage the traveller's attention; the chief attraction of the place (if I may be allowed the term) is its refreshing naturalness, its aspect of homeliness and past-time calm. Some people (most, perhaps) might consider Saxmundham dull; it impressed me rather as restful. But, after all, the impression that a place produces depends much

upon the feeling of the person at that particular time. As we look on the world, so it looks back

to us.

Eventually we found our way to the church. Ancient churches are (to those who can read their stone pages) histories in stone of the parish to which they belong; modern ones have still their history to make. Wandering about the churchyard in search of curious epitaphs or quaint inscriptions, we came upon a tombstone to a family of Dowsings, though whether they were in any way related to the famous Will Dowsing, of whose destructive doings I have more than once made mention, I cannot say. One lowly grass-grown grave (whose green covering showed that it was not of yesterday) we noticed was covered with freshly gathered wild flowers carefully arranged. This thoughtful attention of the humble poor to the memory of the remembered dead touched a chord of sympathy within us. Better thus ' to live in hearts we leave behind,' than to have the stateliest monument raised above forgotten mortality. When I die, would that some tender loving hand would strew my grave with flowers thus! But somehow churchyards are depressing, and moralising is wearisome; let us away.

Returning to our inn, whilst we were waiting in the ample yard watching our horses being put to, a commercial traveller driving by road came in, duststained but of cheerful countenance, evidently a man who did not make troubles for himself. He bade us a jovial good-day, which greeting we returned in the same spirit, on the principle of being friendly with

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