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Title: Gray Days and Gold - in England and Scotland
Author: Winter, William
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Transcriber's Notes: All footnotes have been moved to the end of the
    text. Italics in the original are represented by _underscores_. The
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  [Illustration: The MM Co.]

  [Illustration: YORK CATHEDRAL]






  New Edition, Revised, with Illustrations

  New York


  _All rights reserved_

  COPYRIGHT, 1892,

  _Illustrated Edition_,

  COPYRIGHT, 1896,

Set up and electrotyped June, 1892. Reprinted November, 1892; January,
June, August, 1893; April, 1894.

Illustrated edition, revised throughout, in crown 8vo, set up and
electrotyped June, 1896.

  Norwood Press
  J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
  Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


  Augustin Daly




            "_Est animus tibi
    Rerumque prudens, et secundis
    Temporibus dubiisque rectus_"[1]



_This book, containing description of my Gray Days in England and
Scotland, has, in a miniature form, passed through several editions,
and it has been received by the public with exceptional sympathy and
abundant practical favour. Its publishers are, therefore, encouraged
to present it in a more opulent style, and with the embellishment of
pictorial illustrations. Its success,--and indeed the success which
has attended all my books,--is deeply gratifying to me, the more so
that I did not expect it. My sketches of travel were the unpremeditated
creations of genial impulse, and I did not suppose that they would
endure beyond the hour. If I had anticipated the remarkably cordial
approbation which has been accorded to my humble studies of British
scenery and life, I should have tried to make them better, and,
especially, I should have taken scrupulous care to verify every date
and every historic statement set forth in my text. That precaution,
at first, I did not invariably take, but as my mood was that of
contemplation and reverie, so my method was that of the dreamer, who
drifts carelessly from one beautiful thing to another, uttering
simply whatever comes into his thoughts. In preparing the text for
this edition of _Gray Days_, however, and also in preparing the text
of _Shakespeare's England_ for the pictorial edition, I have carefully
revised my sketches, and have made a studious and conscientious
endeavour to correct every mistake and to remove every defect. The
chapters on Clopton and Devizes have been considerably augmented,
and the record of Shakespearean affairs at Stratford-upon-Avon has
been continued to the present time. A heedless error in my chapter
on Worcester, respecting the Shakespeare marriage bond, has been
rectified, and in various ways the narrative has been made more
authentic, the historical embellishment more complete, and, perhaps,
the style more flexible and more concise._

_Eight of the papers in this volume relate to Scotland. My first
visit to that romantic country was made in 1888, and was limited to
the lowlands, but since that time I have had the privilege of making
several highland rambles, and, in particular, of passing thoughtful
days in the lovely island of Iona,--one of the most interesting places
in Europe,--and those readers who may care to keep me company beyond
the limits of this work will find memorials of those wanderings and
that experience in my later books, called _Old Shrines and Ivy_ and
_Brown Heath and Blue Bells_._

  _W. W._

JULY 15, 1896.


_This book, a companion to _Shakespeare's England_, relates to the
gray days of an American wanderer in the British islands, and to the
gold of thought and fancy that can be found there. In _Shakespeare's
England_ an attempt was made to depict, in an unconventional manner,
those lovely scenes that are intertwined with the name and the memory
of Shakespeare, and also to reflect the spirit of that English scenery
in general which, to an imaginative mind, must always be venerable
with historic antiquity and tenderly hallowed with poetic and romantic
association. The present book continues the same treatment of kindred
themes, referring not only to the land of Shakespeare, but to the land
of Burns and Scott._

_After so much had been done, and superbly done, by Washington Irving
and by other authors, to celebrate the beauties of our ancestral
home, it was perhaps an act of presumption on the part of the present
writer to touch those subjects. He can only plead, in extenuation
of his boldness, an irresistible impulse of reverence and affection
for them. His presentment of them can give no offence, and perhaps it
may be found sufficiently sympathetic and diversified to awaken and
sustain at least a momentary interest in the minds of those readers who
love to muse and dream over the relics of a storied past. If by happy
fortune it should do more than that,--if it should help to impress his
countrymen, so many of whom annually travel in Great Britain, with the
superlative importance of adorning the physical aspect and of refining
the material civilisation of America by a reproduction within its
borders of whatever is valuable in the long experience and whatever is
noble and beautiful in the domestic and religious spirit of the British
islands,--his labour will not have been in vain. The supreme need of
this age in America is a practical conviction that progress does not
consist in material prosperity but in spiritual advancement. Utility
has long been exclusively worshipped. The welfare of the future lies in
the worship of beauty. To that worship these pages are devoted, with
all that it implies of sympathy with the higher instincts and faith in
the divine destiny of the human race._

_Many of the sketches here assembled were originally printed in the New
York Tribune, with which journal their author has been continuously
associated, as dramatic reviewer and as an editorial contributor,
since August, 1865. They have been revised for publication in this
form. Part of the paper on Sir Walter Scott first appeared in Harper's
Weekly, for which periodical the author has occasionally written.
The paper on the Wordsworth country was contributed to the New York
Mirror. The alluring field of Scottish antiquity and romance, which
the author has ventured but slightly to touch, may perhaps be explored
hereafter, for treasures of contemplation that earlier seekers have
left ungathered. [This implied promise has since been fulfilled, in
_Brown Heath and Blue Bells_, 1895.]_

_The fact is recorded that an important recent book, 1890, called
_Shakespeare's True Life_, written by James Walter, incorporates into
its text, without credit, several passages of original description and
reflection taken from the present writer's sketches of the Shakespeare
country, published in _Shakespeare's England_, and also quotes, as his
work, an elaborate narrative of a nocturnal visit to Anne Hathaway's
cottage, which he never wrote and never claimed to have written. This
statement is made as a safeguard against future injustice._

  _W. W._





  PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION              11




  HAUNTED GLENS AND HOUSES              36


  OLD YORK                              53


  THE HAUNTS OF MOORE                   66




  THE LAND OF WORDSWORTH                94








  SHAKESPEARE'S TOWN                   150


  UP AND DOWN THE AVON                 172


  RAMBLES IN ARDEN                     181


  THE STRATFORD FOUNTAIN               188


  BOSWORTH FIELD                       198


  THE HOME OF DR. JOHNSON              209


  FROM LONDON TO EDINBURGH             223


  INTO THE HIGHLANDS                   230


  HIGHLAND BEAUTIES                    238


  THE HEART OF SCOTLAND                248


  SIR WALTER SCOTT                     265




  SCOTTISH PICTURES                    297


  IMPERIAL RUINS                       305


  THE LAND OF MARMION                  314



  York Cathedral                     _Photogravure_ _Frontispiece_

  Edinburgh Castle                       _Vignette_   _Title-page_

  Stoke-Pogis Churchyard                                        26

  Gray's Monument                                               28

  Portrait of Thomas Gray                                       29

  All Saints' Church, Laleham                                   31

  Arnold's Grave                     _Photogravure_        face 33

  Portrait of Matthew Arnold                                    34

  Hampton Lucy                                                  37

  Old Porch of Clopton                                          39

  Clopton House                      _Photogravure_        face 44

  Warwick Castle, from the Mound                                46

  Warwick Castle, from the River                                48

  Leicester's Hospital                                          51

  From the Warwick Shield               _Tailpiece_             52

  Bootham Bar                                                   54

  York Cathedral--West Front                                    57

  York Cathedral--South Side                                    60

  York Cathedral--East Front                                    62

  Portrait of Thomas Moore                                      67

  The Bear--Devizes                                             70

  St. John's Church--Devizes                                    73

  Hungerford Chapel--Devizes                                    75

  The Avon and Bridge--Bath                                     85

  Portrait of Beau Nash                                         86

  Bath Abbey                                                    88

  High Street--Bath                                             91

  A Fragment from an Old Roman Bath                             92

  Remains of the Old Roman Bath         _Tailpiece_             93

  Penrith Castle                     _Photogravure_        face 94

  Ullswater                                                     95

  Lyulph's Tower--Ullswater                                    101

  Portrait of William Wordsworth                               103

  Approach to Ambleside                                        104

  Grasmere Church                                              106

  Rydal Mount--Wordsworth's Seat                               108

  An Old Lich Gate                      _Tailpiece_            111

  Worcester Cathedral, from the Edgar Tower                    113

  The Edgar Tower                                              117

  Portrait of Lord Byron                                       123

  Hucknall-Torkard Church            _Photogravure_       face 128

  Hucknall-Torkard Church                                      131

  Hucknall-Torkard Church--Interior                            135

  The Red Horse Hotel                                          142

  The Grammar School, Stratford                                146

  Interior of the Grammar School                               147

  Trinity Church                                               152

  The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre                             154

  An Old Stratford Character: George Robbins                   158

  Anne Hathaway's Cottage                                      165

  The Gower Statue                   _Photogravure_       face 168

  Tailpiece                                                    171

  Evesham                                                      173

  Clopton Bridge                                               174

  Charlecote, from the Terrace                                 176

  The Abbey Mills, Tewkesbury                                  179

  Wootton-Wawen Church               _Photogravure_       face 183

  Beaudesert Cross                                             186

  Tailpiece                                                    187

  Portrait of Henry Irving, 1888                               191

  The Stratford Fountain             _Photogravure_       face 193

  Mary Arden's Cottage                                         196

  Tailpiece                                                    197

  Bosworth Field                     _Photogravure_       face 200

  Higham-on-the-Hill                                           207

  Tailpiece                                                    208

  Dr. Johnson                                                  210

  Lichfield Cathedral--West Front                              211

  Lichfield Cathedral--West Front, Central Doorway             213

  House in which Johnson was born                              217

  The Spires of Lichfield                                      220

  Peterborough Cathedral             _Photogravure_       face 224

  Berwick Castle                                               228

  Stirling Castle                                              231

  Loch Achray                                                  234

  Loch Katrine                                                 235

  Tailpiece                                                    237

  Oban                                                         240

  Loch Awe                           _Photogravure_       face 246

  Corbel from St. Giles                 _Tailpiece_            247

  The Crown of St. Giles's                                     249

  Scott's House in Edinburgh                                   252

  The Maiden                                                   255

  Grayfriars Church                                            256

  High Street--Allan Ramsay's Shop                             257

  The Canongate                                                260

  Holyrood Castle, and Arthur's Seat _Photogravure_       face 262

  St. Giles's, from the Lawn Market                            263

  Portrait of Sir Walter Scott                                 266

  Edinburgh Castle                                             271

  The Canongate Tolbooth                                       277

  Grayfriars Churchyard                                        292

  The Forth Bridge                                             298

  Dunfermline Abbey                                            300

  Northwest Corner of Dunfermline Abbey                        303

  The Nave--Looking West--Dunfermline Abbey                    304

  Loch Lomond                                                  306

  Loch Lomond                                                  308

  Dunstaffnage                                                 312

  Tantallon Castle                                             316

  Norham Castle, in the Time of Marmion                        321

 "_Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses, whatever makes
 the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present,
 advances us in the dignity of thinking beings.... All travel has its
 advantages. If the passenger visits better countries he may learn to
 improve his own, and if fortune carries him to worse he may learn to
 enjoy it._"

                                                         DR. JOHNSON.

                                "_There is given,
    Unto the things of earth which time hath bent,
    A spirit's feeling; and where he hath leant
    His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power
    And magic in the ruined battlement,
    For which the palace of the present hour
    Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower._"


 "_The charming, friendly English landscape! Is there any in the world
 like it? To a traveller returning home it looks so kind,--it seems to
 shake hands with you as you pass through it._"





London, June 29, 1888.--The poet Emerson's injunction, "Set not thy
foot on graves," is wise and right; and being in merry England in the
month of June it certainly is your own fault if you do not fulfil the
rest of the philosophical commandment and "Hear what wine and roses
say." Yet the history of England is largely written in her ancient
churches and crumbling ruins, and the pilgrim to historic and literary
shrines in this country will find it difficult to avoid setting his
foot on graves. It is possible here, as elsewhere, to live entirely
in the present; but to certain temperaments and in certain moods the
temptation is irresistible to live mostly in the past. I write these
words in a house which, according to local tradition, was once occupied
by Nell Gwynn, and as I glance into the garden I see a venerable acacia
that was planted by her fair hands, in the far-off time of the Merry
Monarch. Within a few days I have stood in the dungeon of Guy Fawkes,
in the Tower, and sat at luncheon in a manor-house of Warwickshire
wherein were once convened the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot. The
newspapers of this morning announce that a monument will be dedicated
on July 19 to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada, three
hundred years ago. It is not unnatural that the wanderer should live in
the past, and often should find himself musing over its legacies.

[Illustration: _Stoke-Pogis Churchyard._]

One of the most sacred spots in England is the churchyard of
Stoke-Pogis. I revisited that place on June 13 and once again
rambled and meditated in that hallowed haunt. Not many months ago it
seemed likely that Stoke Park would pass into the possession of a
sporting club, and be turned into a race-course and kennel. A track
had already been laid there. Fate was kind, however, and averted the
final disaster. Only a few changes are to be noted in that part of the
park which to the reverent pilgrim must always be dear. The churchyard
has been extended in front, and a solid wall of flint, pierced with a
lych-gate, richly carved, has replaced the plain fence, with its simple
turnstile, that formerly enclosed that rural cemetery. The additional
land was given by the new proprietor of Stoke Park, who wished that
his tomb might be made in it; and this has been built, beneath a large
tree not far from the entrance. The avenue from the gate to the church
has been widened, and it is now fringed with thin lines of twisted
stone; and where once stood only two or three rose-trees there are now
sixty-two,--set in lines on either side of the path. But the older part
of the graveyard remains unchanged. The yew-trees cast their dense
shade, as of old. The quaint porch of the sacred building has not
suffered under the hand of restoration. The ancient wooden memorials of
the dead continue to moulder above their ashes. And still the abundant
ivy gleams and trembles in the sunshine and in the summer wind that
plays so sweetly over the spired tower and dusky walls of this lovely

    "All green and wildly fresh without,
        but worn and gray beneath."

[Illustration: _Gray's Monument._]

[Illustration: _Thomas Gray._]

It would still be a lovely church, even if it were not associated with
the immortal Elegy. I stood for a long time beside the tomb of the
noble and tender poet and looked with deep emotion on the surrounding
scene of pensive, dream-like beauty,--the great elms, so dense of
foliage, so stately and graceful; the fields of deep, waving grass,
golden with buttercups and white with daisies; the many unmarked
mounds; the many mouldering tombstones; the rooks sailing and cawing
around the tree-tops; and over all the blue sky flecked with floating
fleece. Within the church nothing has been changed. The memorial window
to Gray, for which contributions have been taken during several years,
has not yet been placed. As I cast a farewell look at Gray's tomb,
on turning to leave the churchyard, it rejoiced my heart to see that
two American girls, who had then just come in, were placing fresh
flowers over the poet's dust. He has been buried more than a hundred
years,--but his memory is as bright and green as the ivy on the tower
within whose shadow he sleeps, and as fragrant as the roses that
bloom at its base. Many Americans visit Stoke-Pogis churchyard, and
no visitor to the old world, who knows how to value what is best in
its treasures, will omit that act of reverence. The journey is easy. A
brief run by railway from Paddington takes you to Slough, which is near
to Windsor, and thence it is a charming drive, or a still more charming
walk, mostly through green, embowered lanes, to the "ivy-mantled
tower," the "yew-trees' shade," and the simple tomb of Gray. What a gap
there would be in the poetry of our language if the _Elegy in a Country
Churchyard_ were absent from it! By that sublime and tender reverie
upon the most important of all subjects that can engage the attention
of the human mind Thomas Gray became one of the chief benefactors of
his race. Those lines have been murmured by the lips of sorrowing
affection beside many a shrine of buried love and hope, in many a
churchyard, all round the world. The sick have remembered them with
comfort. The great soldier, going into battle, has said them for his
solace and cheer. The dying statesman, closing his weary eyes upon
this empty world, has spoken them with his last faltering accents,
and fallen asleep with their heavenly music in his heart. Well may we
pause and ponder at the grave of that divine poet! Every noble mind is
made nobler, every good heart is made better, for the experience of
such a pilgrimage. In such places as these pride is rebuked, vanity is
dispelled, and the revolt of the passionate human heart is humbled into
meekness and submission.

[Illustration: _All Saints' Church, Laleham._]

There is a place kindred with Stoke-Pogis churchyard, a place destined
to become, after a few years, as famous and as dear to the heart of the
reverent pilgrim in the footsteps of genius and pure renown. On Sunday
afternoon, June 17, I sat for a long time beside the grave of Matthew
Arnold. It is in a little churchyard at Laleham, in Surrey, where he
was born. The day was chill, sombre, and, except for an occasional low
twitter of birds and the melancholy cawing of distant rooks, soundless
and sadly calm. So dark a sky might mean November rather than June;
but it fitted well with the scene and with the pensive thoughts and
feelings of the hour. Laleham is a village on the south bank of the
Thames, about thirty miles from London and nearly midway between
Staines and Chertsey. It consists of a few devious lanes and a cluster
of houses, shaded with large trees and everywhere made beautiful with
flowers, and it is one of those fortunate and happy places to which
access cannot be obtained by railway. There is a manor-house in
the centre of it, secluded in a walled garden, fronting the square
immediately opposite to the village church. The rest of the houses
are mostly cottages, made of red brick and roofed with red tiles. Ivy
flourishes, and many of the cottages are overrun with climbing roses.
Roman relics are found in the neighbourhood,--a camp near the ford,
and other indications of the military activity of Cæsar. The church,
All Saints', is of great antiquity. It has been in part restored, but
its venerable aspect is not impaired. The large low tower is of brick,
and this and the church walls are thickly covered with glistening ivy.
A double-peaked roof of red tiles, sunken here and there, contributes
to the picturesque beauty of this building, and its charm is further
heightened by the contiguity of trees, in which the old church seems
to nestle. Within there are low, massive pillars and plain, symmetrical
arches,--the remains of Norman architecture. Great rafters of dark oak
augment, in this quaint structure, the air of solidity and of an age at
once venerable and romantic, while a bold, spirited, beautiful painting
of Christ and Peter upon the sea imparts to it an additional sentiment
of sanctity and solemn pomp. That remarkable work is by George Henry
Harlow, and it is placed back of the altar, where once there would have
been, in the Gothic days, a stained window. The explorer does not often
come upon such a gem of a church, even in England,--so rich in remains
of the old Catholic zeal and devotion; remains now mostly converted to
the use of Protestant worship.

[Illustration: ARNOLD'S GRAVE]

The churchyard of All Saints' is worthy of the church,--a little
enclosure, irregular in shape, surface, shrubbery, and tombstones,
bordered on two sides by the village square and on one by a farmyard,
and shaded by many trees, some of them yews, and some of great size
and age. Almost every house that is visible near by is bowered with
trees and adorned with flowers. No person was anywhere to be seen,
and it was only after inquiry at various dwellings that the sexton's
abode could be discovered and access to the church obtained. The poet's
grave is not within the church, but in a secluded spot at the side of
it, a little removed from the highway, and screened from immediate
view by an ancient, dusky yew-tree. I readily found it, perceiving a
large wreath of roses and a bunch of white flowers that were lying
upon it,--recent offerings of tender remembrance and sorrowing love,
but already beginning to wither. A small square of turf, bordered
with white marble, covers the vaulted tomb of the poet and of three
of his children.[2] At the head are three crosses of white marble,
alike in shape and equal in size, except that the first is set upon a
pedestal a little lower than those of the others. On the first cross is
written: "Basil Francis Arnold, youngest child of Matthew and Frances
Lucy Arnold. Born August 19, 1866. Died January 4, 1868. Suffer little
children to come unto me." On the second: "Thomas Arnold, eldest child
of Matthew and Frances Lucy Arnold. Born July 6, 1852. Died November
23, 1868. Awake, thou, Lute and Harp! I will awake right early." On the
third: "Trevenen William Arnold, second child of Matthew and Frances
Lucy Arnold. Born October 15, 1853. Died February 16, 1872. In the
morning it is green and groweth up." Near by are other tombstones,
bearing the name of Arnold,--the dates inscribed on them referring to
about the beginning of this century. These mark the resting-place of
some of the poet's kindred. His father, the famous Dr. Arnold of Rugby,
rests in Rugby chapel,--that noble father, that true friend and servant
of humanity, of whom the son wrote those words of imperishable nobility
and meaning, "Thou, my father, wouldst not be saved alone." Matthew
Arnold is buried in the same grave with his eldest son and side by side
with his little children. He who was himself as a little child, in his
innocence, goodness, and truth,--where else and how else could he so
fitly rest? "Awake, thou, Lute and Harp! I will awake right early."

[Illustration: _Matthew Arnold._]

Every man will have his own thoughts in such a place as this; will
reflect upon his own afflictions, and from knowledge of the manner
and spirit in which kindred griefs have been borne by the great heart
of intellect and genius will seek to gather strength and patience to
endure them well. Matthew Arnold taught many lessons of great value to
those who are able to think. He did not believe that happiness is the
destiny of the human race on earth, or that there is a visible ground
for assuming that happiness in this mortal condition is one of the
inherent rights of humanity. He did not think that this world is made
an abode of delight by the mere jocular affirmation that everything
in it is well and lovely. He knew better than that. But his message,
delivered in poetic strains that will endure as long as our language
exists, is the message, not of gloom and despair, but of spiritual
purity and sweet and gentle patience. The man who heeds Matthew
Arnold's teaching will put no trust in creeds and superstitions, will
place no reliance upon the transient structures of theology, will take
no guidance from the animal and unthinking multitude; but he will "keep
the whiteness of his soul"; he will be simple, unselfish, and sweet; he
will live for the spirit; and in that spirit, pure, tender, fearless,
strong to bear and patient to suffer, he will find composure to meet
the inevitable disasters of life and the awful mystery of death. Such
was the burden of my thought, sitting there, in the gloaming, beside
the lifeless dust of him whose hand had once, with kindly greeting,
been clasped in mine. And such will be the thought of many and many a
pilgrim who will stand in that sacred place, on many a summer evening
of the long future--

    "While the stars come out and the night wind
    Brings, up the stream,
    Murmurs and scents of the infinite sea."



Warwick, July 6, 1888.--One night, many years ago[3] a brutal murder
was done, at a lonely place on the highroad between Charlecote Park
and Stratford-upon-Avon. The next morning the murdered man was found
lying by the roadside, his mangled head resting in a small hole. The
assassins were shortly afterward discovered, and they were hanged at
Warwick. From that day to this the hole wherein the dead man's head
reposed remains unchanged. No matter how often it may be filled,
whether by the wash of heavy rains or by stones and leaves that
wayfarers may happen to cast into it as they pass, it is soon found to
be again empty. No one takes care of it. No one knows whether or by
whom it is guarded. Fill it at nightfall and you will find it empty
in the morning. That is the local belief and affirmation. This spot is
two miles and a half north of Stratford and three-quarters of a mile
from the gates of Charlecote Park. I looked at this hole one bright day
in June and saw that it was empty. Nature, it is thought by the poets,
abhors complicity with the concealment of crime, and brands with her
curse the places that are linked with the shedding of blood. Hence the
strong lines in Hood's poem of _Eugene Aram_:

    "And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,
    And still the corse was bare."

[Illustration: _Hampton Lucy._]

There are many haunted spots in Warwickshire. The benighted peasant
never lingers on Ganerslie Heath,--for there, at midnight, dismal bells
have been heard to toll, from Blacklow Hill, the place where Sir Piers
Gaveston, the corrupt, handsome, foreign favourite of King Edward the
Second, was beheaded, by order of the grim barons whom he had insulted
and opposed. The Earl of Warwick led them, whom Gaveston had called the
Black Dog of Arden. This was long ago. Everybody knows the historic
incident, but no one can so completely realise it as when standing on
the place. The scene of the execution is marked by a cross, erected
by Mr. Bertie Greathead, bearing this inscription: "In the hollow
of this rock was beheaded, on the first day of July 1312, by Barons
lawless as himself, Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall. In life and death
a memorable instance of misrule." [Hollinshed says that the execution
occurred on Tuesday, June 20.] No doubt the birds were singing and the
green branches of the trees were waving in the summer wind, on that
fatal day, just as they are at this moment. Gaveston was a man of much
personal beauty and some talent, and only twenty-nine years old. It was
a melancholy sacrifice and horrible in the circumstances that attended
it. No wonder that doleful thoughts and blood-curdling sounds should
come to such as walk on Ganerslie Heath in the lonely hours of the

Another haunted place is Clopton--haunted certainly with memories if
not with ghosts. In the reign of Henry the Seventh this was the manor
of Sir Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, in 1492, he who built the
bridge over the Avon,--across which, many a time, William Shakespeare
must have ridden, on his way to Oxford and the capital. The dust of Sir
Hugh rests in Stratford church and his mansion has passed through many
hands. In our time, it is the residence of Sir Arthur Hodgson,[4] by
whom it was purchased in July, 1873. It was my privilege to see Clopton
under the guidance of its lord, and a charming and impressive old house
it is,--full of quaint objects and fraught with singular associations.
They show to you there, among many interesting paintings, the portrait
of a lady, with thin figure, delicate features, long light hair, and
sensitive countenance, said to be that of Lady Margaret Clopton, who,
in the Stuart time, drowned herself, in a dismal well, behind the
mansion,--being crazed with grief at the death of her lover, killed
in the Civil War. And they show to you the portrait of still another
Clopton girl, Lady Charlotte, who is thought to have been accidentally
buried alive,--because when it chanced that the family tomb was opened,
a few days after her interment, the corse was found to be turned over
in its coffin and to present indications that the wretched victim of
premature burial had, in her agonized frenzy, gnawed her flesh. Her
death was attributed to the plague, and it occurred on the eve of her
prospective marriage.

[Illustration: _Old Porch of Clopton._]

It is the blood-stained corridor of Clopton, however, that most
impresses imagination. This is at the top of the house, and access
to it is gained by a winding stair of oak boards, uncarpeted, solid,
simple, and consonant with the times and manners that it represents.
Many years ago a squire of Clopton murdered his butler, in a little
bedroom near the top of that staircase, and dragged the body along
the corridor, to secrete it. A thin dark stain, seemingly a streak of
blood, runs from the door of that bedroom, in the direction of the
stairhead, and this is so deeply imprinted in the wood that it cannot
be removed. Opening from this corridor, opposite to the room of the
murder, is an angular apartment, which in the remote days of Catholic
occupancy was used as an oratory.[5] In the early part of the reign of
Henry the Sixth, John Carpenter obtained from the Bishop of Worcester
permission to establish a chapel at Clopton. In 1885 the walls of that
attic chamber were committed to the tender mercies of a paper-hanger,
who presently discovered on them several inscriptions, in black
letter, but who fortunately mentioned his discoveries before they were
obliterated. Richard Savage, the antiquary, was called to examine them,
and by him they were restored. The effect of those little patches of
letters,--isles of significance in a barren sea of wall-paper,--is
that of extreme singularity. Most of them are sentences from the
Bible. All of them are devout. One imparts the solemn injunction:
"Whether you rise yearlye or goe to bed late, Remember Christ Jesus
who died for your sake." [This may be found in John Weever's _Funeral
Monuments: 1631_.] Clopton has a long and various history. One of the
most significant facts in its record is that, for about three months,
in the year 1605, it was occupied by Ambrose Rokewood, of Coldham Hall,
Suffolk, a breeder of race-horses, whom Robert Catesby brought into
the ghastly Gunpowder Plot, which so startled the reign of James the
First. Hither came Sir Everard Digby, and Thomas and Robert Winter, and
the specious Jesuit, Father Garnet, chief hatcher of the conspiracy,
with his vile train of sentimental fanatics, on that pilgrimage of
sanctification with which he formally prepared for an act of such
hideous treachery and wholesale murder as only a religious zealot
could ever have conceived. That may have been a time when the little
oratory of Clopton was in active use. Things belonging to Rokewood,
who was captured at Hewel Grange, and was executed on January 31,
1606, were found in that room, and were seized by the government. Mr.
Fisher Tomes, resident proprietor of Clopton from 1825 to 1830, well
remembered the inscriptions in the oratory, which in his time were
still uncovered. Not many years since it was a bedroom; but one of Sir
Arthur Hodgson's guests, who undertook to sleep in it, was, it is said,
afterward heard to declare that he wished not ever again to experience
the hospitality of that chamber, because the sounds that he had heard,
all around the place, throughout that night, were of a most startling
description. A house containing many rooms and staircases, a house
full of long corridors and winding ways, a house so large that you may
get lost in it,--such is Clopton; and it stands in its own large park,
removed from other buildings and bowered in trees. To sit in the great
hall of that mansion, on a winter midnight, when the snow-laden wind is
howling around it, and then to think of the bleak, sinister oratory,
and the stealthy, gliding shapes upstairs, invisible to mortal eye, but
felt, with a shuddering sense of some unseen presence watching in the
dark,--this would be to have quite a sufficient experience of a haunted
house. Sir Arthur Hodgson talked of the legends of Clopton with that
merry twinkle of the eye which suits well with kindly incredulity. All
the same, I thought of Milton's lines--

    "Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
    Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep."

The manor of Clopton was granted to John de Clopton by Peter de
Montfort, in 1236, while Henry the Third was king, and the family of
Clopton dwelt there for more than five hundred years. The Cloptons of
Warwickshire and those of Suffolk are of the same family, and at Long
Melford, in Suffolk, may be found many memorials of it. The famous Sir
Hugh,--who built New Place in 1490, restored the Guild chapel, glazed
the chancel of Stratford church, reared much of Clopton House, where he
was visited by Henry the Seventh, and placed the bridge across the Avon
at Stratford, where it still stands,--died in London, in 1496, and was
buried at St. Margaret's, Lothbury. Joyce, or Jocasa, Clopton, born
in 1558, became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards
to Queen Anne, wife of James the First, and ultimately married George
Carew, created Earl of Totnes and Baron of Clopton. Carew, born in
1557, was the son of a Dean of Exeter, and he became the English
commander-in-chief in Ireland, in the time of Elizabeth. King James
ennobled him, with the title of Baron Clopton, in 1605, and Charles
the First made him Earl of Totnes, in 1625. The Earl and his Countess
are buried in Stratford church, where their marble effigies, recumbent
in the Clopton pew, are among the finest monuments of that hallowed
place. The Countess died in 1636, leaving no children, and the Earl
thereupon caused all the estates that he had acquired by marriage with
her to be restored to the Clopton family. Sir John Clopton, born in
1638, married the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edward Walker, owner
of Clopton in the time of Charles the Second, and it is interesting
to remember that by him was built the well-known house at Stratford,
formerly called the Shoulder of Mutton,[6] but more recently designated
the Swan's Nest. Mention is made of a Sir John Clopton by whom the well
in which Lady Margaret drowned herself was enclosed; it is still called
Lady Margaret's Well; a stone, at the back of it, is inscribed "S. J.
C. 1686." Sir John died in 1692, leaving a son, Sir Hugh, who died in
1751, aged eighty. The last Clopton in the direct line was Frances,
born in 1718, who married Mr. Parthenwicke, and died in 1792.

[Illustration: CLOPTON HOUSE]

Clopton House is of much antiquity, but it has undergone many changes.
The north and west sides of the present edifice were built in the time
of Henry the Seventh. The building was originally surrounded with a
moat.[7] A part of the original structure remains at the back,--a
porchway entrance, once accessible across the moat, and an oriel window
at the right of that entrance. Over the front window are displayed
the arms of Clopton,--an eagle, perched upon a tun, bearing a shield;
and in the gable appear the arms of Walker, with the motto, Loyauté
mon honneur. Sir Edward Walker was Lord of Clopton soon after the
Restoration, and by him the entrance to the house, which used to be
where the dining-room now is, was transferred to its present position.
It was Walker who carried to Charles the Second, in Holland, in 1649,
the news of the execution of his father. A portrait of the knight, by
Dobson, hangs on the staircase wall at Clopton, where he died in 1677,
aged sixty-five. He was Garter-king-at-arms. His remains are buried in
Stratford church, with an epitaph over them by Dugdale. Mr. Ward owned
the estate about 1840, and under his direction many changes were made
in the old building,--sixty workmen having been employed upon it for
six months. The present drawing-room and conservatory were built by
Mr. Ward, and by him the whole structure was "modernised." There
are wild stories that autographs and other relics of Shakespeare once
existed at Clopton, and were consumed there, in a bon-fire. A stone
in the grounds marks the grave of a silver eagle, that was starved to
death, through the negligence of a gamekeeper, November 25, 1795. There
are twenty-six notable portraits in the main hall of Clopton, one of
them being that of Oliver Cromwell's mother, and another probably that
of the unfortunate and unhappy Arabella Stuart,--only child of the
fifth Earl of Lennox,--who died, at the Tower of London, in 1615.

Warwickshire swarmed with conspirators while the Gunpowder Plot was in
progress. The Lion Inn at Dunchurch was the chief tryst of the captains
who were to lead their forces and capture the Princess Elizabeth and
seize the throne and the country, after the expected explosion,--which
never came. And when the game was up and Fawkes in captivity, it was
through Warwickshire that the "racing and chasing" were fleetest and
wildest, till the desperate scramble for life and safety went down in
blood at Hewel Grange. Various houses associated with that plot are
still extant in this neighbourhood, and when the scene shifts to London
and to Garnet's Tyburn gallows, it is easily possible for the patient
antiquarian to tread in almost every footprint of that great conspiracy.

[Illustration: _Warwick Castle, from the Mound._]

Since Irish ruffians began to toss dynamite about in public buildings
it has been deemed essential to take especial precaution against
the danger of explosion in such places as the Houses of Parliament,
Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London. Much more damage than the
newspapers recorded was done by the explosions that occurred some time
ago in the Tower and the Palace. At present you cannot enter even into
Palace Yard unless connected with the public business or authorised
by an order; and if you visit the Tower without a special permit you
will be restricted to a few sights and places. I was fortunately the
bearer of the card of the Lord Chamberlain, on a recent prowl through
the Tower, and therefore was favoured by the beef-eaters who pervade
that structure. Those damp and gloomy dungeons were displayed wherein
so many Jews perished miserably in the reign of Edward the First; and
Little Ease was shown,--the cell in which for several months Guy Fawkes
was incarcerated, during Cecil's wily investigation of the Gunpowder
Plot. A part of the rear wall has been removed, affording access to the
adjacent dungeon; but originally the cell did not give room for a man
to lie down in it, and scarce gave room for him to stand upright. The
massive door, of ribbed and iron-bound oak, still solid, though worn,
would make an impressive picture. A poor, stealthy cat was crawling
about in those subterranean dens of darkness and horror, and was left
locked in there when we emerged. In St. Peter's, on the green,--that
little cemetery so eloquently described by Macaulay,--they came, some
time ago, upon the coffins of Lovat, Kilmarnock, and Balmerino, the
Scotch lords who perished upon the block for their complicity with the
rising for the Pretender, in 1745-47. The coffins were much decayed.
The plates were removed, and these may now be viewed, in a glass case
on the church wall, over against the spot where those unfortunate
gentlemen were buried.[8] One is of lead and is in the form of a
large open scroll. The other two are oval in shape, large, and made
of pewter. Much royal and noble dust is heaped together beneath the
stones of the chancel,--Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey,
Margaret, Duchess of Salisbury, the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of
Northumberland, Essex, Overbury, Thomas Cromwell, and many more. The
body of the infamous and execrable Jeffreys was once buried there, but
it has been removed.

[Illustration: _Warwick Castle, from the River._]

St. Mary's church at Warwick has been restored since 1885, and now it
is made a show place. The pilgrim may see the Beauchamp chapel, in
which are entombed Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, the founder of
the church; Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in whose Latin epitaph
it is stated that "his sorrowful wife, Lætitia, daughter of Francis
Knolles, through a sense of conjugal love and fidelity, hath put up
this monument to the best and dearest of husbands";[9] Ambrose Dudley,
elder brother to Elizabeth's favourite, and known as the Good Earl
[he relinquished his title and possessions to Robert]; and that Fulke
Greville, Lord Brooke, who lives in fame as "the friend of Sir Philip
Sidney." There are other notable sleepers in that chapel, but these
perhaps are the most famous and considerable. One odd epitaph records
of William Viner, steward to Lord Brooke, that "he was a man entirely
of ancient manners, and to whom you will scarcely find an equal,
particularly in point of liberality.... He was added to the number of
the heavenly inhabitants maturely for himself, but prematurely for his
friends, in his 70th year, on the 28th of April, A.D. 1639." Another,
placed for himself by Thomas Hewett during his lifetime, modestly
describes him as "a most miserable sinner." Sin is always miserable
when it knows itself. Still another, and this in good verse, by Gervas
Clifton, gives a tender tribute to Lætitia, "the excellent and pious
Lady Lettice," Countess of Leicester, who died on Christmas morning,

    "She that in her younger years
    Matched with two great English peers;
    She that did supply the wars
    With thunder, and the Court with stars;
    She that in her youth had been
    Darling to the maiden Queene,
    Till she was content to quit
    Her favour for her favourite....
    While she lived she livéd thus,
    Till that God, displeased with us,
    Suffered her at last to fall,
    Not from Him but from us all."

[Illustration: _Leicester's Hospital._]

A noble bust of that fine thinker and exquisite poet Walter Savage
Landor has been placed on the west wall of St. Mary's church. He was
a native of Warwick and he is fitly commemorated in that place. The
bust is of alabaster and is set in an alabaster arch with carved
environment, and with the family arms displayed above. The head of
Landor shows great intellectual power, rugged yet gentle. Coming
suddenly upon the bust, in this church, the pilgrim is forcibly and
pleasantly reminded of the attribute of sweet and gentle reverence
in the English character, which so invariably expresses itself, all
over this land, in honourable memorials to the honourable dead. No
rambler in Warwick omits to explore Leicester's hospital, or to see as
much as he can of the Castle. That glorious old place has long been
kept closed, for fear of the dynamite fiend; but now it is once more
accessible. I walked again beneath the stately cedars[10] and along the
bloom-bordered avenues where once Joseph Addison used to wander and
meditate, and traversed again those opulent state apartments wherein
so many royal, noble, and beautiful faces look forth from the radiant
canvas of Holbein and Vandyke. There is a wonderful picture, in one
of those rooms, of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, when a young
man,--a face prophetic of stormy life, baleful struggles, and a hard
and miserable fate. You may see the helmet that was worn by Oliver
Cromwell, and also a striking death-mask of his face; and some of the
finest portraits of Charles the First that exist in this kingdom are
shown at Warwick Castle.

[Illustration: _From the Warwick Shield._]



York, August 12, 1888.--All summer long the sorrowful skies have been
weeping over England, and my first prospect of this ancient city was
a prospect through drizzle and mist. Yet even so it was impressive.
York is one of the quaintest cities in the kingdom. Many of the
streets are narrow and crooked. Most of the buildings are of low
stature, built of brick, and roofed with red tiles. Here and there you
find a house of Queen Elizabeth's time, picturesque with overhanging
timber-crossed fronts and peaked gables. One such house, in Stonegate,
is conspicuously marked with its date, 1574. Another, in College
street, enclosing a quadrangular court and lovely with old timber and
carved gateway, was built by the Neville family in 1460. There is a
wide area in the centre of the town called Parliament street, where
the market is opened, by torchlight, on certain evenings of every
week. It was market-time last evening, and, wandering through the
motley and merry crowd that filled the square, about nine o'clock, I
bought, at a flower-stall, the white rose of York and the red rose of
Lancaster,--twining them together as an emblem of the settled peace
that here broods so sweetly over the venerable relics of a wild and
stormy past.

[Illustration: _Bootham Bar._]

Four sections of the old wall of York are still extant and the
observer is amused to perceive the ingenuity with which those gray and
mouldering remnants of the feudal age are blended into the structures
of the democratic present. From Bootham to Monk Gate,--so named in
honour of General Monk, at the Restoration,--a distance of about half
a mile, the wall is absorbed by the adjacent buildings. But you may
walk upon it from Monk Gate to Jewbury, about a quarter of a mile, and
afterward, crossing the Foss, you may find it again on the southeast
of the city, and walk upon it from Red Tower to old Fishergate,
descending near York Castle. There are houses both within the walls and
without. The walk is about eight feet wide, protected on one hand by a
fretted battlement and on the other by an occasional bit of iron fence.
The base of the wall, for a considerable part of its extent, is fringed
with market gardens or with grassy banks. In one of its towers there is
a gate-house, still occupied as a dwelling; and a comfortable dwelling
no doubt it is. In another, of which nothing now remains but the walls,
four large trees are rooted; and, as they are already tall enough to
wave their leafy tops above the battlement, they must have been growing
there for at least twenty years. At one point the Great Northern
Railway enters through an arch in the ancient wall, and as you look
down from the battlements your gaze rests upon long lines of rail and
a spacious station, together with its adjacent hotel,--objects which
consort but strangely with what your fancy knows of York; a city of
donjons and barbicans, the moat, the draw-bridge, the portcullis, the
citadel, the man-at-arms, and the knight in armour, with the banners of
William the Norman flowing over all.

The river Ouse divides the city of York, which lies mostly upon its
east bank, and in order to reach the longest and most attractive
portion of the wall that is now available to the pedestrian you must
cross the Ouse, either at Skeldergate or Lendal, paying a half-penny
as toll, both when you go and when you return. The walk here is
three-quarters of a mile long, and from an angle of this wall, just
above the railway arch, may be obtained the best view of the mighty
cathedral,--one of the most stupendous and sublime works that ever
were erected by the inspired brain and loving labour of man. While I
walked there last night, and mused upon the story of the Wars of the
Roses, and strove to conjure up the pageants and the horrors that
must have been presented, all about this region, in that remote and
turbulent past, the glorious bells of the minster were chiming from its
towers, while the fresh evening breeze, sweet with the fragrance of wet
flowers and foliage, seemed to flood this ancient, venerable city with
the golden music of a celestial benediction.

[Illustration: _York Cathedral--West Front._]

The pilgrim to York stands in the centre of the largest shire
in England and is surrounded with castles and monasteries, now
mostly in ruins but teeming with those associations of history and
literature that are the glory of this delightful land. From the
summit of the great central tower of the cathedral, which is reached
by two hundred and thirty-seven steps, I gazed out over the vale of
York and beheld one of the loveliest spectacles that ever blessed
the eyes of man. The wind was fierce, the sun brilliant, and the
vanquished storm-clouds were streaming away before the northern
blast. Far beneath lay the red-roofed city, its devious lanes and
its many gray churches,--crumbling relics of ancient ecclesiastical
power,--distinctly visible. Through the plain, and far away toward the
south and east, ran the silver thread of the Ouse, while all around,
as far as the eye could reach, stretched forth a smiling landscape of
emerald meadow and cultivated field; here a patch of woodland, and
there a silver gleam of wave; here a manor-house nestled amid stately
trees, and there an ivy-covered fragment of ruined masonry; and
everywhere the green lines of the flowering hedge. The prospect is even
finer here than it is from the splendid summit of Strasburg cathedral;
and indeed, when all is said that can be said about natural scenery
and architectural sublimities, it seems amazing that any lover of the
beautiful should deem it necessary to quit the infinite variety of the
British islands. Earth cannot show you anything more softly fair than
the lakes and mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland. No city can
excel Edinburgh in stately solidity of character, or tranquil grandeur,
or magnificence of position. The most exquisitely beautiful of churches
is Roslin chapel. And though you search the wide world through you will
never find such cathedrals,--so fraught with majesty, sublimity, the
loveliness of human art, and the ecstatic sense of a divine element in
human destiny,--as those of York, Canterbury, Gloucester, and Lincoln.
While thus I lingered in wondering meditation upon the crag-like summit
of York minster, the muffled thunder of its vast, sonorous organ rose,
rolling and throbbing, from the mysterious depth below, and seemed
to shake the great tower as with a mighty blast of jubilation and
worship. At such moments, if ever, when the tones of human adoration
are floating up to heaven, a man is lifted out of himself and made to
forget his puny mortal existence and all the petty nothings that weary
his spirit, darken his vision, and weigh him down to the level of the
sordid, trivial world. Well did they know this,--those old monks who
built the abbeys of Britain, laying their foundations not alone deeply
in the earth but deeply in the human soul!

All the ground that you survey from the top of York minster is classic
ground,--at least to those persons whose imaginations are kindled
by associations with the stately and storied past. In the city that
lies at your feet once stood the potent Constantine, to be proclaimed
emperor [A.D. 306] and to be vested with the imperial purple of Rome.
In the original York minster,--for the present is the fourth church
that has been erected upon this site,--was buried that valiant soldier
"old Siward," whom "gracious England" lent to the Scottish cause,
under Malcolm and Macduff, when time at length was ripe for the ruin
of Glamis and Cawdor. Close by is the field of Stamford, where Harold
defeated the Norwegians, with terrible slaughter, only nine days before
he was himself defeated and slain at Hastings. Southward, following
the line of the Ouse, you look down upon the ruins of Clifford's Tower,
built by William the Conqueror, in 1068, and destroyed by the explosion
of its powder magazine in 1684. Not far away is the battlefield of
Towton, where the great Warwick slew his horse, that he might fight on
foot and possess no advantage over the common soldiers of his force.
Henry the Sixth and Margaret were waiting in York for news of the event
of that fatal battle,--which, in its effect, made them exiles and bore
to an assured supremacy the rightful standard of the White Rose. In
this church Edward the Fourth was crowned [1464], and Richard the Third
was proclaimed king and had his second coronation. Southward you may
see the open space called the Pavement, connecting with Parliament
street, and the red brick church of St. Crux. In the Pavement the Earl
of Northumberland was beheaded, for treason against Queen Elizabeth, in
1572, and in St. Crux [one of Wren's churches] his remains lie buried,
beneath a dark blue slab, still shown to visitors. A few miles away,
but easily within reach of your vision, is the field of Marston Moor,
where the impetuous Prince Rupert imperilled and well-nigh lost the
cause of Charles the First, in 1644; and as you look toward that fatal
spot you can almost hear, in the chamber of your fancy, the pæans of
thanksgiving for the victory that were uttered in the church beneath.
Cromwell, then a subordinate officer in the Parliamentary army, was one
of the worshippers. Charles also has knelt at this altar. Indeed, of
the fifteen kings, from William of Normandy to Henry of Windsor, whose
sculptured effigies appear upon the chancel screen in York minster,
there is scarcely one who has not worshipped in this cathedral.

[Illustration: _York Cathedral--South Side._]

York minster has often been described, but no description can convey
an adequate impression of its grandeur. Canterbury is the lovelier
cathedral of the two, though not the grander, and Canterbury possesses
the inestimable advantage of a spacious close. It must be said also,
for the city of Canterbury, that the presence and influence of a great
church are more distinctly and delightfully felt in that place than
they are in York. There is a more spiritual tone at Canterbury, a tone
of superior delicacy and refinement, a certain aristocratic coldness
and repose. In York you perceive the coarse spirit of a democratic era.
The walls, that ought to be cherished with scrupulous care, are found
in many places to be ill-used. At intervals along the walks upon the
banks of the Ouse you behold placards requesting the co-operation of
the public in protecting from harm the swans that navigate the river.
Even in the cathedral itself there is displayed a printed notice that
the Dean and Chapter are amazed at disturbances which occur in the
nave while divine service is proceeding in the choir. These things
imply a rough element in the population, and in such a place as York
such an element is exceptionally offensive and deplorable.

It was said by the wise Lord Beaconsfield that progress in the
nineteenth century is found to consist chiefly in a return to ancient
ideas. There may be places to which the characteristic spirit of the
present day contributes an element of beauty; but if so I have not seen
them. Wherever there is beauty there is the living force of tradition
to account for it. The most that a conservative force in society can
accomplish, for the preservation of an instinct in favour of whatever
is beautiful and impressive, is to protect what remains from the
past. Modern Edinburgh, for example, has contributed no building that
is comparable with its glorious old castle, or with Roslin, or with
what we know to have been Melrose or Dryburgh; but its castle and its
chapels are protected and preserved. York, in the present day, erects a
commodious railway-station and a sumptuous hotel, and spans its ample
river with two splendid bridges; but its modern architecture is puerile
beside that of its ancient minster; and so its best work, after all, is
the preservation of its cathedral. The observer finds it difficult to
understand how anybody, however lowly born or poorly endowed or meanly
nurtured, can live within the presence of that heavenly building, and
not be purified and exalted by the contemplation of so much majesty,
and by its constantly irradiative force of religious sentiment and
power. But the spirit which in the past created objects of beauty
and adorned common life with visible manifestations of the celestial
aspiration in human nature had constantly to struggle against
insensibility or violence; and just so the few who have inherited that
spirit in the present day are compelled steadily to combat the hard
materialism and gross animal proclivities of the new age.

[Illustration: _York Cathedral--East Front._]

What a comfort their souls must find in such an edifice as York
minster! What a solace and what an inspiration! There it stands, dark
and lonely to-night, but symbolising, as no other object upon earth
can ever do, except one of its own great kindred, God's promise of
immortal life to man, and man's unquenchable faith in the promise
of God. Dark and lonely now, but during many hours of its daily and
nightly life sentient, eloquent, vital, participating in all the
thought, conduct, and experience of those who dwell around it. The
beautiful peal of its bells that I heard last night was for Canon
Baillie, one of the oldest and most beloved and venerated of its
clergy. This morning, sitting in its choir, I heard the tender,
thoughtful eulogy so simply and sweetly spoken by the aged Dean, and
once again learned the essential lesson that an old age of grace,
patience, and benignity means a pure heart, an unselfish spirit, and a
good life passed in the service of others. This afternoon I had a place
among the worshippers that thronged the nave to hear the special anthem
chanted for the deceased Canon; and, as the organ pealed forth its
mellow thunder, and the rich tones of the choristers swelled and rose
and broke in golden waves of melody upon the groined arches and vaulted
roof, my soul seemed borne away to a peace and rest that are not of
this world. To-night the rising moon as she gleams through drifting
clouds, will pour her silver rays upon that great east window,--at once
the largest and the most beautiful in existence,--and all the Bible
stories told there in such exquisite hues and forms will glow with
heavenly lustre on the dark vista of chancel and nave. And when the
morning comes the first beams of the rising sun will stream through
the great casement and illumine the figures of saints and archbishops,
and gild the old tattered battle-flags in the chancel aisle, and touch
with blessing the marble effigies of the dead; and we who walk there,
refreshed and comforted, shall feel that the vast cathedral is indeed
the gateway to heaven.

York minster is the loftiest of all the English cathedrals, and the
third in length,[11]--both St. Albans and Winchester being longer.
The present structure is six hundred years old, and more than two
hundred years were occupied in the building of it. They show you, in
the crypt, some fine remains of the Norman church that preceded it
upon the same site, together with traces of the still older Saxon
church that preceded the Norman. The first one was of wood and was
totally destroyed. The Saxon remains are a fragment of stone staircase
and a piece of wall built in the ancient herring-bone fashion. The
Norman remains are four clustered columns, embellished in the zigzag
style. There is not much of commemorative statuary at York minster,
and what there is of it was placed chiefly in the chancel. Archbishop
Richard Scrope, who figures in Shakespeare's historical play of _Henry
the Fourth_, and who was beheaded for treason in 1405, was buried in
the lady chapel. Laurence Sterne's grandfather, who was chaplain to
Laud, is represented there, in his ecclesiastical dress, reclining
upon a couch and supporting his mitred head upon his hand,--a squat
figure uncomfortably posed, but sculptured with delicate skill. Many
historic names occur in the inscriptions,--Wentworth, Finch, Fenwick,
Carlisle, and Heneage,--and in the north aisle of the chancel is the
tomb of William of Hatfield, second son of Edward the Third, who died
in 1343-44, in the eighth year of his age. An alabaster statue of
the royal boy reclines upon his tomb. In the cathedral library, which
contains eight thousand volumes and is kept at the Deanery, is the
Princess Elizabeth's prayer-book, containing her autograph. In one of
the chapels is the original throne-chair of Edward the Third.

In St. Leonard's Place still stands the York theatre, erected by
Tate Wilkinson in 1765. In York Castle Eugene Aram was imprisoned
and suffered death. The poet and bishop Beilby Porteus, the sculptor
Flaxman, the grammarian Lindley Murray, and the fanatic Guy Fawkes
were natives of York, and have often walked its streets. Standing on
Skeldergate bridge, few readers of English fiction could fail to recall
that exquisite description of the place, in the novel of _No Name_. In
his artistic use of weather, atmosphere, and colour Wilkie Collins is
always remarkable equally for his fidelity to nature and fact, and for
the felicity and beauty of his language. His portrayal of York seems
more than ever a gem of literary art, when you have seen the veritable
spot of poor Magdalen's meeting with Captain Wragge. The name of Wragge
is on one of the signboards in the city. The river, on which I did not
omit to take a boat, was picturesque, with its many quaint barges,
bearing masts and sails and embellished with touches of green and
crimson and blue. There is no end to the associations and suggestions
of the storied city. But lest my readers weary of them, let me respect
the admonition of the midnight bell, and seek repose beneath the
hospitable wing of the old Black Swan in Coney street, whence I send
this humble memorial of ancient York.



Devizes, Wiltshire, August 20, 1888.--The scarlet discs of the poppies
and the red and white blooms of the clover, together with wild-flowers
of many hues, bespangle now the emerald sod of England, while the air
is rich with fragrance of lime-trees and of new-mown hay. The busy and
sagacious rooks, fat and bold, wing their way in great clusters, bent
on forage and mischief. There is almost a frosty chill in the autumnal
air, and the brimming rivers, dark and deep and smoothly flowing
through the opulent, cultivated, and park-like region of Wiltshire,
look cold and bright. In many fields the hay is cut and stacked. In
others the men, and often the women, armed with rakes, are tossing it
to dry in the reluctant, intermittent, bleak sunshine of this rigorous
August. Overhead the sky is now as blue as the deep sea and now grim
and ominous with great drifting masses of slate-coloured cloud. There
are moments of beautiful sunshine by day, and in some hours of the
night the moon shines forth in all her pensive and melancholy glory. It
is a time of exquisite loveliness, and it has seemed a fitting time for
a visit to the last English home and the last resting-place of the poet
of loveliness and love, the great Irish poet Thomas Moore.

[Illustration: _Thomas Moore._]

When Moore first went up to London, a young author seeking to launch
his earliest writings upon the stream of contemporary literature, he
crossed from Dublin to Bristol and then travelled to the capital by
way of Bath and Devizes; and as he crossed several times he must soon
have gained familiarity with this part of the country. He did not,
however, settle in Wiltshire until some years afterward. His first
lodging in London was a front room, up two pair of stairs, at No. 44
George street, Portman square. He subsequently lived at No. 46 Wigmore
street, Cavendish square, and at No. 27 Bury street, St. James's. This
was in 1805. In 1810 he resided for a time at No. 22 Molesworth street,
Dublin, but he soon returned to England. One of his homes, shortly
after his marriage with Elizabeth Dyke ["Bessie," the sister of the
great actress Mary Duff, 1794-1857] was in Brompton. In the spring of
1812 he settled at Kegworth, but a year later he is found at Mayfield
Cottage, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. "I am now as you wished," he wrote
to Mr. Power, the music-publisher, July 1, 1813, "within twenty-four
hours' drive of town." In 1817 he occupied a cottage near the foot of
Muswell Hill, at Hornsey, Middlesex, but after he lost his daughter
Barbara, who died there, the place became distressful to him and he
left it. In the latter part of September that year, the time of their
affliction, Moore and his Bessie were the guests of Lady Donegal, at
No. 56 Davies street, Berkeley square, London. Then [November 19, 1817]
they removed to Sloperton Cottage, at Bromham, near Devizes, and their
permanent residence was established in that place. Lord Landsdowne, one
of the poet's earliest and best friends, was the owner of that estate,
and doubtless he was the impulse of Moore's resort to it. The present
Lord Landsdowne still owns Bowood Park, about four miles away.

[Illustration: _The Bear--Devizes._]

Devizes impresses a stranger with a singular and pleasant sense of
suspended animation,--as of beauty fallen asleep,--the sense of
something about to happen, which never occurs. More peaceful it could
not be, unless it were dead,--and that is its most alluring charm.
Two of its many streets are remarkably wide and spacious, while the
others are narrow and often crooked. Most of its habitations are
low houses, built of brick, and only a few of them, such as the old
Town Hall and the Corn Exchange, are pretentious as architecture.
The principal street runs nearly northwest and southeast. There is
a north gate at one end of it, and a south gate at the other, but
no remnant of the ancient town gates is left. The Kennet and Avon
Canal, built in 1794-1805, skirts the northern side of the town, and
thereafter descends the western slope, passing through twenty-seven
magnificent locks, within a distance of about two miles,--one of
the longest consecutive ranges of locks in England. The stateliest
building in Devizes is its noble Castle, which, reared upon a massive
hill, at once dominates the surrounding landscape and dignifies it.
That splendid edifice, built about 1830, stands upon the site of
the ancient Castle of Devizes, which was built by Roger, Bishop of
Salisbury, in the reign of Henry the First, and it resembles that
famous original,--long esteemed one of the most complete and admirable
works of its kind in Europe. The old Castle was included in the dowry
settled upon successive queens of England. Queen Margaret possessed
it in the reign of Henry the Sixth, and Queen Katharine in that of
Henry the Eighth. It figured in the Civil Wars, and it was deemed the
strongest citadel in England. The poet-soldier, Edmund Waller, when
in the service of the Parliament, bombarded it, in 1643, and finally
it was destroyed by order of the Roundheads. Toward the close of the
eighteenth century its ruins were, it is said, surmounted with a couple
of snuff-mills. No part of the ancient fortress now survives, except
the moat; but in its pleasant grounds fragmentary remnants may still be
seen of its foundations and of the dungeons of a remote age. During the
rebuilding of the Castle many relics were unearthed,--such as human
bones and implements of war,--the significant tokens of dark days and
fatal doings long since past and gone. In the centre of the town is a
commodious public square, known as the Market-place,--a wide domain of
repose, as I saw it, uninvaded by either vehicle or human being, but
on each Thursday the scene of the weekly market for cattle and corn,
and of the loquacious industry of the cheap-jack and the quack. On one
side of it is the old Bear Hotel, an exceptionally comfortable house,
memorable as the birthplace of Sir Thomas Lawrence, the famous artist
[1769-1830]. In the centre are two works of art,--one a fountain,
the other a cross. The latter, a fine fabric of Gothic architecture,
is embellished with thirteen pinnacles, which rise above an arched
canopy, the covering of a statue. One face of the cross bears this
legend: "This Market Cross was erected by Henry Viscount Sidmouth,
as a memorial of his grateful attachment to the Borough of Devizes,
of which he has been Recorder thirty years, and of which he was six
times unanimously chosen a representative in Parliament. Anno Domini
1814." Upon the other face appears a record more significant,--being
indicative equally of credulity and a frugal mind, and being freighted
with tragic import unmatched since the Bible narrative of Ananias and
Sapphira. It reads thus:

 "The Mayor and Corporation of Devizes avail themselves of the
 stability of this building to transmit to future times the record of
 an awful event which occurred in this market-place in the year 1753,
 hoping that such a record may serve as a salutary warning against the
 danger of impiously invoking the Divine vengeance, or of calling on
 the holy name of God to conceal the devices of falsehood and fraud.

 "On Thursday, the 25th January 1753, Ruth Pierce, of Potterne, in this
 county, agreed, with three other women, to buy a sack of wheat in the
 market, each paying her due proportion toward the same.

 "One of these women, in collecting the several quotas of money,
 discovered a deficiency, and demanded of Ruth Pierce the sum which was
 wanted to make good the amount.

 "Ruth Pierce protested that she had paid her share, and said, 'She
 wished she might drop down dead if she had not.'

 "She rashly repeated this awful wish, when, to the consternation of
 the surrounding multitude, she instantly fell down and expired, having
 the money concealed in her hand."

That is not the only grim incident in the history of the Market-place
of Devizes; for in 1533 a poor tailor, named John Bent, of the
neighbouring village of Urchfont was burnt at the stake, in that
square, for his avowed disbelief of the doctrine of transubstantiation.

An important and deeply interesting institution of Devizes is the
Wilts County Museum, in Long street, devoted to the natural history
and the archæology of Wiltshire. The library contains a priceless
collection of Wiltshire books, and the museum is rich in geological
specimens,--richer even than the excellent museum of Salisbury; for,
in addition to other treasures, it includes the famous Stourhead
collection, made by Sir Richard Colt Hoare,--being relics from the
ancient British and Saxon barrows on the Wiltshire downs. The Stourhead
collection is described by Sir Richard, in his book on "Antient Wilts."
Its cinerary and culinary urns are fine and numerous. The Wilts County
Museum is fortunate in its curator, B. Howard Cunnington, Esq., of
Rowde--an indefatigable student, devoted to Wiltshire, and a thorough

[Illustration: _St. John's Church--Devizes._]

An interesting church in Devizes is that of St. John, the Norman tower
of which is a relic of the days of Henry the Second, a vast, grim
structure with a circular turret on one corner of it. Eastward of this
church is a long and lovely avenue of trees, and around it lies a
large burial-place, remarkable for the excellence of the sod and for
the number visible of those heavy, gray, oblong masses of tombstone
which appear to have obtained great public favour about the time of
Cromwell. In the centre of the churchyard stands a monolith, inscribed
with these words:

 "Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.--This monument, as a solemn
 monitor to Young People to remember their Creator in the days of their
 youth, was erected by subscription.--In memory of the sudden and awful
 end of Robert Merrit and his wife, Eliz. Tiley, her sister, Martha
 Carter, and Josiah Denham, who were drowned, in the flower of their
 youth, in a pond, near this town, called Drews, on Sunday evening, the
 30th of June, 1751, and are together underneath entombed."

In one corner of the churchyard I came upon a cross, bearing a simple
legend far more solemn, touching, and admonitory: "In Memoriam--Robert
Samuel Thornley. Died August 5, 1871. Aged 48 years. For fourteen years
surgeon to the poor of Devizes. There shall be no more pain." And
over still another sleeper was written, upon a flat stone, low in the

    "Loving, beloved, in all relations true,
    Exposed to follies, but subdued by few:
    Reader, reflect, and copy if you can
    The simple virtues of this honest man."

[Illustration: _Hungerford Chapel--Devizes._]

Nobody is in haste in Devizes, and the pilgrim who seeks for
peace could not do better than to tarry here. The city bell which
officially strikes the hours is subdued and pensive, and although
reinforced with chimes, it seems ever to speak under its breath. The
church-bell, however, rings long and vigorously and with much melodious
clangour,--as though the local sinners were more than commonly hard of
hearing. Near to the church of St. John, are some quaint almshouses,
but not much seems to be known of their history. One of them was
founded as a hospital for lepers, before A.D. 1207, and it is thought
that one of them was built of stone which remained after the erection
of the church. Those almshouses are now governed by the Mayor and
Corporation of Devizes, but perhaps formerly they were under the direct
control of the Crown. [See Tanner's _Nolitia_.] There are seven
endowments, one dating back to 1641, and the houses are to this day
occupied by widows, recommended by the churchwardens of St. Mary's
and St. John's. An old inhabitant of Devizes, named Bancroft, left a
sum of money to insure for himself a singular memorial service,--that
the bells of St. John's church should be solemnly tolled on the day
of his birth, and rung merrily on that of his death; and that service
is duly performed every year. Devizes is a fit place for the survival
of ancient customs, and these serve very pleasantly to mark its
peculiar and interesting character. The Town Crier, who is a member
of the Corporation, walks abroad arrayed in a helmet and a uniform of
brilliant scarlet,--glories that are worn by no other Crier in the
kingdom, excepting that of York.

As I was gazing at the old church, surrounded with many ponderous
tombstones and gray and cheerless in the gloaming, an old man
approached me and civilly began a conversation about the antiquity
of the building and the eloquence of its rector. When I told him
that I had walked to Bromham to attend the service there, and to see
the cottage and grave of Moore, he presently furnished to me that
little touch of personal testimony which is always so interesting and
significant in such circumstances. "I remember Tom Moore," he said;
"I saw him when he was alive. I worked for him once in his house, and
I did some work once on his tomb. He was a little man. He spoke to us
very pleasantly. I don't think he was a preacher. He never preached
that I heard tell of. He was a poet, I believe. He was very much liked
here. I never heard a word against him. I am seventy-nine years old
the thirteenth of December, and that'll soon be here. I've had three
wives in my time, and my third is still living. It's a fine old church,
and there's figures in it of bishops, and kings, and queens."

Most observers have remarked the odd way, garrulous, and sometimes
unconsciously humorous, in which senile persons prattle their
incongruous and sporadic recollections. But--"How pregnant sometimes
his replies are!" Another resident of Devizes, with whom I conversed,
likewise remembered the poet, and spoke of him with affectionate
respect. "My sister, when she was a child," he said, "was often
at Moore's house, and he was fond of her. Yes, his name is widely
remembered and honoured here. But I think that many of the people
hereabout, the farmers, admired him chiefly because they thought that
he wrote Moore's Almanac. They used to say to him: 'Mister Moore,
please tell us what the weather's going to be.'"

From Devizes to the village of Bromham, a distance of about four miles,
the walk is delightful. Much of the path is between green hedges and is
embowered by elms. The exit from the town is by Northgate and along the
Chippenham road--which, like all the roads in this neighbourhood, is
smooth, hard, and white. A little way out of Devizes, going northwest,
this road makes a deep cut in the chalk-stone and so winds downhill
into the level plain. At intervals you come upon sweetly pretty
specimens of the English thatch-roof cottage. Hay-fields, pastures, and
market-gardens extend on every hand. Eastward, far off, are visible the
hills of Westbury, upon which, here and there, the copses are lovely,
and upon one of which, cut in the turf, is the figure of a colossal
white horse, said to have been put there by the Saxons, to commemorate
a victory by King Alfred.[12] Soon the road winds over a hill and you
pass through the little red village of Rowde, with its gray church
tower. The walk may be shortened by a cut across the fields, and this
indeed is found the prettiest part of the journey,--for now the path
lies through gardens, and through the centre or along the margin of
the wheat, which waves in the strong wind and sparkles in the bright
sunshine and is everywhere tenderly touched with the scarlet of
the poppy and with hues of other wild-flowers, making you think of

    "Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow weeds,
    With hemlock, harlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
    Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
    In our sustaining corn."

There is one field through which I passed, just as the spire of Bromham
church came into view, in which a surface more than three hundred yards
square was blazing with wild-flowers, white and gold and crimson and
purple and blue, upon a plain of vivid green, so that to look upon
it was almost to be dazzled, while the air that floated over it was
scented as if with honeysuckle. You may see the delicate spire and the
low gray tower of Moore's church some time before you come to it,
and in some respects the prospect is not unlike that of Shakespeare's
church at Stratford. A sweeter spot for a poet's sepulchre it would be
hard to find. No spot could be more harmonious than this one is with
the gentle, romantic spirit of Moore's poetry, and with the purity,
refinement, and serenity of his life. Bromham village consists of a
few red brick buildings, scattered along a few irregular little lanes,
on a ridge overlooking a valley. Amid those humble homes stands the
gray church, like a shepherd keeping his flock. A part of it is very
old, and all of it, richly weather-stained and delicately browned with
fading moss, is beautiful. Upon the tower and along the south side
the fantastic gargoyles are much decayed. The building is a cross.
The chancel window faces eastward, and the window at the end of the
nave looks toward the west,--the latter being a memorial to Moore. At
the southeast corner of the building is the lady chapel, belonging to
the Bayntun family, in which are suspended various fragments of old
armour, and in the centre of which, recumbent on a great dark tomb, is
a grim-visaged knight, clad from top to toe in his mail, beautifully
sculptured in marble that looks like yellow ivory. Vandal visitors
have disgracefully marred this superb work, by cutting and scratching
their names upon it. Other tombs are adjacent, with inscriptions
that implicate the names of Sir Edward Bayntun, 1679, and Lady Anne
Wilmot, elder daughter and co-heiress of John, Earl of Rochester, who
successively was the wife of Henry Bayntun and Francis Greville, and
who died in 1703. The window at the end of the nave is a simple but
striking composition, in stained glass, richer and nobler than is
commonly seen in a country church. It consists of twenty-one lights,
of which five are lancet shafts, side by side, these being surmounted
with smaller lancets, forming a cluster at the top of the arch. In
the centre is the figure of Jesus and around Him are the Apostles.
The colouring is soft, true, and beautiful. Across the base of the
window appear the words, in the glass: "This window is placed in this
church by the combined subscriptions of two hundred persons who honour
the memory of the poet of all circles and the idol of his own, Thomas
Moore." It was beneath this window, in a little pew in the corner
of the church, that the present writer joined in the service, and
meditated, throughout a long sermon, on the lovely life and character
and the gentle, noble, and abiding influence of the poet whose hallowed
grave and beloved memory make this place a perpetual shrine.

Moore was buried in the churchyard. An iron fence encloses his tomb,
which is at the base of the church tower, in an angle formed by the
tower and the chancel, on the north side of the building. Not more than
twenty tombs are visible on this side of the church, and these appear
upon a level lawn, as green and sparkling as an emerald and as soft as
velvet. On three sides the churchyard is enclosed by a low wall, and on
the fourth by a dense hedge of glistening holly. Great trees are all
around the church, but not too near. A massive yew stands darkly at one
corner. Chestnuts and elms blend their branches in fraternal embrace.
Close by the poet's grave a vast beech uprears its dome of fruited
boughs and rustling foliage. The sky was blue, except for a few
straggling masses of fleecy, slate-coloured cloud. Not a human creature
was anywhere to be seen while I stood in this sacred spot, and no sound
disturbed the Sabbath stillness, save the faint whisper of the wind
in the lofty tree-tops and the low twitter of birds in their hidden
nests. I thought of his long life, unblemished by personal fault or
public error; of his sweet devotion to parents and wife and children;
of his pure patriotism, which scorned equally the blatant fustian of
the demagogue and the frenzy of the revolutionist; of his unsurpassed
fidelity in friendship; of his simplicity and purity in a corrupt
time and amid many temptations; of his meekness in affliction; of the
devout spirit that prompted his earnest exhortation to his wife, "Lean
upon God, Bessie"; of the many beautiful songs that he added to our
literature,--every one of which is the melodious and final expression
of one or another of the elemental feelings of human nature; and of the
obligation of endless gratitude that the world owes to his fine, high,
and beneficent genius. And thus it seemed good to be in this place and
to lay with reverent hands the white roses of honour and affection upon
his tomb.

On the long, low, flat stone that covers the poet's dust are inscribed
the following words: "Anastatia Mary Moore. Born March 16, 1813. Died
March 8, 1829. Also her brother, John Russell Moore, who died November
23, 1842, aged 19 years. Also their father, Thomas Moore, tenderly
beloved by all who knew the goodness of his heart. The Poet and Patriot
of his Country, Ireland. Born May 28, 1779. Sank to rest February 26,
1852. Aged 72. God is Love. Also his wife, Bessie Moore, who died 4th
September 1865. And to the memory of their dear son, Thomas Lansdowne
Parr Moore. Born 24th October 1818. Died in Africa, January 1846."
Moore's daughter, Barbara, is buried at Hornsey, near London, in the
same churchyard where rests the poet Samuel Rogers. On the stone that
marks that spot is written, "Anne Jane Barbara Moore. Born January the
4th, 1812. Died September the 18th, 1817."

Northwest from Bromham church[13] and about one mile away stands
Sloperton Cottage,[14] the last home of the poet and the house in which
he died. A deep valley intervenes between the church and the cottage,
but, as each is built upon a ridge, you may readily see the one from
the other. There is a road across the valley, but the more pleasant
walk is along a pathway through the meadows and over several stiles,
ending almost in front of the storied house. It is an ideal home for a
poet. The building is made of brick, but it is so completely enwrapped
in ivy that scarcely a particle of its surface can be seen. It is a
low building, with three gables on its main front and with a wing; it
stands in the middle of a garden enclosed by walls and by hedges of
ivy; and it is embowered by great trees, yet not so closely embowered
as to be shorn of the prospect from its windows. Flowers and flowering
vines were blooming around it. The hard, white road, flowing past its
gateway, looked like a thread of silver between the green hedgerows
which here for many miles are rooted in high, grassy banks, and at
intervals are diversified with large trees. Sloperton Cottage is almost
alone, but there are a few neighbours, and there is the little rustic
village of Westbrook, about half a mile westward. Westward was the
poet's favourite prospect. He loved the sunset, and from a terrace
in his garden he habitually watched the pageant of the dying day.
Here, for thirty-five years, was his peaceful and happy home. Here
he meditated many of those gems of lyrical poetry that will live in
the hearts of men as long as anything lives that ever was written by
mortal hand. And here he "sank to rest," worn out at last by incessant
labour and by many sorrows,--the bitter fruit of domestic bereavement
and of disappointment. The sun was sinking as I turned away from this
hallowed haunt of genius and virtue, and, through green pastures and
flower-spangled fields of waving grain, set forth upon my homeward
walk. Soon there was a lovely peal of chimes from Bromham church tower,
answered far off by the bells of Rowde, and while I descended into the
darkening valley, Moore's tender words came singing through my thought:

    "And so 'twill be when I am gone--
    That tuneful peal will still ring on,
    While other bards shall walk these dells
    And sing your praise, sweet evening bells!"



[Illustration: _The Avon and Bridge--Bath._]

August 21, 1888.--From Devizes the traveller naturally turns toward
Bath, which is only a few miles distant. A beautiful city, marred
somewhat by the feverish, disturbing spirit of the present day,
this old place [so old that in it the Saxon King Edgar was crowned,
A.D. 973] nevertheless retains many interesting characteristics of
its former glory. More than a century has passed since the wigged,
powdered, and jewelled days of Beau Nash. The Avon,--for there is
another Avon here, distinct from that of Warwickshire and also from
that of Yorkshire,--is spanned by bridges that Smollett never dreamt
of and Sheridan never saw. The town has crept upward, along both
the valley slopes, nearer and nearer to the hill-tops that used to
look down upon it. Along the margins of the river many gray, stone
structures are mouldering in neglect and decay; but a tramcar rattles
through the principal street; the boot-black and the newsvender are
active and vociferous; the causeways are crowded with a bustling
throng, and carts and carriages dash and scramble over the pavement,
while, where of old the horn used to sound a gay flourish and the
coach to come spinning in from London, now is heard the shriek and
clangour of the steam-engine dashing down the vale, with morning papers
and with passengers, three hours from the town. This, indeed, is not
"the season" and of late it has rained with zealous persistence, so
that Bath is not in her splendour. Much however can be seen, and the
essential fact that she is no longer the Gainsborough belle that she
used to be is distinctly evident. You must yield your mind to fancy if
you would conjure up, while walking in these modern streets, the gay
and quaint things described in _Humphrey Clinker_ or indicated in _The
Rivals_. The Bath chairs, sometimes pulled by donkeys, and sometimes
trundled by men, are among the most representative relics now to be
seen. Next to the theatre [where it was my privilege to enjoy and
admire Mr. John L. Toole's quaint and richly humorous performance of
_The Don_], stands a building, at the foot of Gascoigne place, before
which the traveller pauses with interest, because upon its front he
may read the legend, neatly engraved on a white marble slab, that "In
this house lived the celebrated Beau Nash, and here he died, February
1761." It is an odd structure, consisting of two stories and an attic,
the front being of the monotonous stucco that came in with the Regent.
Earlier no doubt the building was timbered. There are eleven windows in
the front, four of them being painted on the wall. The house is used
now by an auctioneer. In the historic Pump Room, dating back to 1797,
raised aloft in an alcove at the east end, still stands the effigy
of the Beau, even as it stood in the days when he set the fashions,
regulated the customs, and gave the laws, and was the King of Bath; but
the busts of Newton and Pope that formerly stood on either side of this
statue stand there no more, save in the fancy of those who recall the
epigram which was suggested by that singular group:

    "This statue placed these busts between
      Gives satire all its strength;
    Wisdom and Wit are little seen,
      But Folly at full length."

[Illustration: _Beau Nash._]

Folly, though, is a word that carries a different meaning to different
ears. Douglas Jerrold made a play on the subject of Beau Nash, an
ingenious, effective, brilliantly written play, in which he is depicted
as anything but foolish. Much always depends on the point of view.

[Illustration: _Bath Abbey._]

Quin [1693-1766] was buried in Bath Abbey, and Bath is the scene of
_The Rivals_. It would be pleasant to fancy the trim figure of the
elegant Sir Lucius O'Trigger strolling along the parade; or bluff and
choleric Sir Anthony Absolute gazing with imperious condescension
upon the galaxy of the Pump Room; Acres in his absurd finery; Lydia
with her sentimental novels; and Mrs. Malaprop, rigid with decorum, in
her Bath chair. The Abbey, begun in 1405 and completed in 1606, has a
noble west front and a magnificent door of carved oak, and certainly it
is a superb church; but the eyes that have rested upon such cathedrals
as those of Lincoln, Durham, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, such a heavenly
jewel as Roslin, and such an astounding and overwhelming edifice as
York minster, can dwell calmly on Bath Abbey. A surprising feature
in it is its mural record of the dead that are entombed beneath or
around it. Sir Lucius might well declare that "There is snug lying in
the Abbey." Almost every foot of the walls is covered with monumental
slabs, and like Captain Cuttle, after the wedding of Mr. Dombey and
Edith Granger, I "pervaded the body of the church" and read the
epitaphs,--solicitous to discover that of the renowned actor James
Quin. His tablet was formerly to be found in the chancel, but now it
is obscurely placed in a porch, on the north corner of the building,
on what may be termed the outer wall of the sanctuary. It presents the
face of the famous comedian, carved in white marble and set against
a black slab. Beneath is the date of his death, "Ob. MDCCLXVI. Ætat.
LXXIII.," and his epitaph, written by David Garrick. At the base
are dramatic emblems,--the mask and the dagger. As a portrait this
medallion of Quin gives convincing evidence of scrupulous fidelity to
nature, and certainly it is a fine work of art. The head is dressed
as it was in life, with the full wig of the period. The features are
delicately cut and are indicative of austere beauty of countenance,
impressive if not attractive. The mouth is especially handsome, the
upper lip being a perfect Cupid's bow. The face is serious, expressive,
and fraught with intellect and power. This was the last great declaimer
of the old school of acting, discomfited and almost obliterated by
Garrick; and here are the words that Garrick wrote upon his tomb:

    "That tongue which set the table on a roar
    And charmed the public ear is heard no more;
    Closed are those eyes, the harbingers of wit,
    Which spoke, before the tongue, what Shakespeare writ;
    Cold is that hand which, living, was stretched forth,
    At friendship's call, to succour modest worth.
    Here lies JAMES QUIN. Deign, reader, to be taught
    Whate'er thy strength of body, force of thought,
    In nature's happiest mould however cast,
    To this complexion thou must come at last."

[Illustration: _High Street--Bath._]

A printed reminder of mortality is superfluous in Bath, for you
almost continually behold afflicted and deformed persons who have
come here to "take the waters." For rheumatic sufferers this place
is a paradise,--as, indeed, it is for all wealthy persons who love
luxury. Walter Savage Landor said that the only two cities of Europe
in which he could live were Bath and Florence; but that was long ago.
When you have walked in Milsom street and Lansdowne Crescent, sailed
upon the Avon, observed the Abbey, without and within,--for its dusky,
weather-stained walls are extremely picturesque,--attended the theatre,
climbed the hills for the view of the city and the Avon valley, and
taken the baths, you will have had a satisfying experience of Bath.
The greatest luxury in the place is a swimming-tank of mineral water,
about forty feet long, by twenty broad, and five feet deep,--a tepid
pool of most refreshing potency. And the chief curiosity is the ruin of
a Roman bath which was discovered and laid bare in 1885. This is built
in the form of a rectangular basin of stone, with steps around it,
and originally it was environed with stone chambers that were used as
dressing-rooms. The basin is nearly perfect. The work of restoration of
this ancient bath is in progress, but the relic will be preserved only
as an emblem of the past.

[Illustration: _A Fragment from an Old Roman Bath._]

Thomas Haynes Bayly, the song-writer, 1797-1839, was born in Bath,
and there he melodiously recorded that "She wore a wreath of roses,"
and there he dreamed of dwelling "in marble halls." But Bath is not
nearly as rich in literary associations as its neighbour city of
Bristol. Chatterton, Southey, Hannah More, and Mary Robinson,--the
actress, the lovely and unfortunate "Perdita,"--were born in Bristol.
Richard Savage, the poet, died there [1743], and so did John Hippesley,
the comedian, manager, and farce-writer [1748]. St. Mary Redclyffe
church, built in 1292, is still standing there, of which Chatterton's
father was the sexton, and in the tower of which "the marvellous boy"
discovered, according to his ingenious plan of literary imposture, the
original Canynge and Rowley manuscripts. The ancient chests, which
once were filled with black-letter parchments, remain in a loft in
the church tower, but they are empty now. That famous preacher, the
Rev. Robert Hall [1764-1831], had a church in Bristol. Southey and
Coleridge married sisters, of the name of Fricker, who resided there,
and a house called Myrtle Cottage, once occupied by Coleridge is still
extant, in the contiguous village of Clevedon,--one of the loveliest
places on the English coast. Jane Porter and Anna Maria Porter lived
in Bristol, and Maria died at Montpelier, near by. These references
indicate but a tithe of what may be seen, studied, and enjoyed in and
about Bristol,--the city to which Chatterton left his curse; the region
hallowed by the dust of Arthur Hallam,--inspiration of Tennyson's _In
Memoriam_, the loftiest poem that has been created in the English
language since the pen that wrote _Childe Harold_ fell from the magical
hand of Byron.

[Illustration: _Remains of The Old Roman Bath._]



A good way by which to enter the Lake District of England is to travel
to Penrith and thence to drive along the shore of Ullswater, or sail
upon its crystal bosom, to the blooming solitude of Patterdale. Penrith
lies at the eastern slope of the mountains of Westmoreland, and you may
see the ruins of Penrith Castle, once the property and the abode of
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, before he became King of England. Penrith
Castle was one of the estates that were forfeited by the great Earl of
Warwick, and King Edward the Fourth gave it to his brother Richard, in
1471. It is recorded that Richard had lived there for five years, from
1452 to 1457, when he was Sheriff of Cumberland. Not much remains of
that ancient structure, and the remnant is now occupied by a florist.
I saw it, as I saw almost everything else in Great Britain during the
summer of 1888, under a tempest of rain; for it rained there, with a
continuity almost ruinous, from the time of the lilac and apple-blossom
till when the clematis began to show the splendour of its purple
shield and the acacia to drop its milky blossoms on the autumnal grass.
But travellers must not heed the weather. If there are dark days there
are also bright ones,--and one bright day in such a paradise as the
English Lakes atones for the dreariness of a month of rain. Besides,
even the darkest days may be brightened by gentle companionship.
Henry Irving[15] and Ernest Bendall, two of the most intellectual and
genial men in England, were my associates, in that expedition. We went
from London into Westmoreland on a mild, sweet day in July, and we
rambled for several days in that enchanted region. It was a delicious
experience, and I often close my eyes and dream of it--as I am dreaming

[Illustration: PENRITH CASTLE]

[Illustration: _Ullswater._]

In the drive between Penrith and Patterdale you see many things that
are worthy of regard. Among these are the parish church of Penrith, a
building made of red stone, remarkable for a massive square tower of
great age and formidable aspect. In the adjacent churchyard are The
Giant's Grave and The Giant's Thumb, relics of a distant past that
strongly and strangely affect the imagination. The grave is said to
be that of Ewain Cæsarius,[16] a gigantic individual who reigned over
Cumberland in remote Saxon times. The Thumb is a rough stone, about
seven feet high, presenting a clumsy cross, and doubtless commemorative
of another mighty warrior. Sir Walter Scott, who traversed Penrith
on his journeys between Edinburgh and London, seldom omitted to pause
for a view of those singular memorials, and Scott, like Wordsworth,
has left upon this region the abiding impress of his splendid genius.
Ulfo's Lake is Scott's name for Ullswater, and thereabout is laid
the scene of his poem of _The Bridal of Triermain_. In Scott's day
the traveller went by coach or on horseback, but now, "By lonely
Threlkeld's waste and wood," at the foot of craggy Blencathara, you
pause at a railway station having Threlkeld in large letters on its
official signboard. Another strange thing that is passed on the
road between Penrith and Patterdale is "Arthur's Round Table,"--a
circular terrace of turf slightly raised above the surrounding
level, and certainly remarkable, whatever may be its historic or
antiquarian merit, for fine texture, symmetrical form, and lovely,
luxuriant colour. Scholars think it was used for tournaments in the
days of chivalry, but no one rightly knows anything about it, save
that it is old. Not far from this bit of mysterious antiquity the
road winds through a quaint village called Tirril, where, in the
Quaker burial-ground, is the grave of an unfortunate young man,
Charles Gough, who lost his life by falling from the Striding Edge
of Helvellyn in 1805, and whose memory is hallowed by Wordsworth and
Scott, in poems that almost every schoolboy has read, and could never
forget,--associated as they are with the story of the faithful dog, for
three months in that lonesome wilderness vigilant beside the dead body
of his master,

    "A lofty precipice in front,
    A silent tarn below."

Patterdale possesses this advantage over certain other towns and
hamlets of the lake region, that it is not much frequented by tourists.
The coach does indeed roll through it at intervals, laden with those
miscellaneous, desultory visitors whose pleasure it is to rush wildly
over the land. And those objects serve to remind you that now, even
as in Wordsworth's time, and in a double sense, "the world is too
much with us." But an old-fashioned inn, Kidd's Hotel, still exists,
at the head of Ullswater, to which fashion has not resorted and where
kindness presides over the traveller's comfort. Close by also is a cosy
nook called Glenridding, where, if you are a lover of solitude and
peace, you may find an ideal abode. One house wherein lodging may be
obtained was literally embowered in roses on that summer evening when
first I strolled by the fragrant hay-fields on the Patterdale shore of
Ullswater. The rose flourishes in wonderful luxuriance and profusion
throughout Westmoreland and Cumberland. As you drive along the lonely
roads your way will sometimes be, for many miles, between hedges that
are bespangled with wild roses and with the silver globes of the laurel
blossom, while around you the lonely mountains, bare of foliage save
for matted grass and a dense growth of low ferns, tower to meet the
clouds. It is a wild place, and yet there is a pervading spirit of
refinement over it all,--as if Nature had here wrought her wonders
in the mood of the finest art. And at the same time it is a place
of infinite variety. The whole territory occupied by the lakes and
mountains of this famous district is scarcely more than thirty miles
square; yet within this limit, comparatively narrow, are comprised
all possible beauties of land and water that the most passionate
worshipper of natural loveliness could desire.

My first night in Patterdale was one of such tempest as sometimes rages
in America about the time of the fall equinox. The wind shook the
building. It was long after midnight when I went to rest, and the storm
seemed to increase in fury as the night wore on. Torrents of rain were
dashed against the windows. Great trees near by creaked and groaned
beneath the strength of the gale. The cold was so severe that blankets
were welcome. It was my first night in Wordsworth's country, and I
thought of Wordsworth's lines:

    "There was a roaring in the wind all night;
    The rain came heavily and fell in floods."

The next morning was sweet with sunshine and gay with birds and
flowers, and all semblance of storm and trouble seemed banished forever.

    "But now the sun is shining calm and bright,
    And birds are singing in the distant woods."

Wordsworth's poetry expresses the inmost soul of those lovely lakes and
mighty hills, and no writer can hope to tread, save remotely and with
reverent humility, in the footsteps of that magician. You understand
Wordsworth better, however, and you love him more dearly, for having
rambled over his consecrated ground. There was not a day when I did
not, in some shape or another, meet with his presence. Whenever I was
alone his influence came upon me as something unspeakably majestic and
solemn. Once, on a Sunday, I climbed to the top of Place Fell[17]
[which is 2154 feet above the sea-level, while Scawfell Pike is 3210,
and Helvellyn is 3118], and there, in the short space of two hours, I
was thrice cut off by rainstorms from all view of the world beneath.
Not a tree could I find on that mountain-top, nor any place of shelter
from the blast and the rain, except when crouching beside the mound
of rock at its summit, which in that country they call a "man." Not
a living creature was visible, save now and then a lonely sheep, who
stared at me for a moment and then scurried away. But when the skies
cleared and the cloudy squadrons of the storm went careering over
Helvellyn, I looked down into no less than fifteen valleys beautifully
coloured by the foliage and the patches of cultivated land, each vale
being sparsely fringed with little gray stone dwellings that seemed
no more than card-houses, in those appalling depths. You think of
Wordsworth, in such a place as that,--if you know his poetry. You
cannot choose but think of him.

    "Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
    How beautiful the world below."

Yet somehow it happened that whenever friends joined in those rambles
the great poet was sure to dawn upon us in a comic way. When we were
resting on the bridge at the foot of Brothers Water, which is a little
lake, scarcely more than a mountain tarn, lying between Ullswater and
the Kirkstone Pass, some one recalled that Wordsworth had once rested
there and written a poem about it. We were not all as devout admirers
of the bard as I am, and certainly it is not every one of the great
author's compositions that a lover of his genius would wish to hear
quoted, under such circumstances. The Brothers Water poem is the one
that begins "The cock is crowing, the stream is flowing," and I do
not think that its insipidity is much relieved by its famous picture
of the grazing cattle, "forty feeding like one." Henry Irving, not
much given to enthusiasm about Wordsworth, heard those lines with
undisguised merriment, and made a capital travesty of them on the
spot. It is significant to remember, with reference to the inequality
of Wordsworth, that on the day before he wrote "The cock is crowing,"
and at a place but a short distance from the Brothers Water bridge,
he had written that peerless lyric about the daffodils,--"I wandered
lonely as a cloud." Gowbarrow Park is the scene of that poem,--a place
of ferns and hawthorns, notable for containing Lyulph's Tower, a
romantic, ivy-clad lodge owned by the Duke of Norfolk, and Aira Force,
a waterfall much finer than Lodore. Upon the lake shore in Gowbarrow
Park you may still see the daffodils as Wordsworth saw them, a golden
host, "glittering and dancing in the breeze." No one but a true poet
could have made that perfect lyric, with its delicious close:

    "For oft, when on my couch I lie
      In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
      Which is the bliss of solitude:
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils."

[Illustration: _Lyulph's Tower--Ullswater._]

The third and fourth lines were written by the poet's wife, and they
show that she was not a poet's wife in vain. It must have been in his
"vacant mood" that he rested and wrote, on the bridge at Brothers
Water. "I saw Wordsworth often when I was a child," said Frank
Marshall[18] [who had joined us at Penrith]; "he used to come to my
father's house, Patterdale Hall, and once I was sent to the garden by
Mrs. Wordsworth to call him to supper. He was musing there, I suppose.
He had a long, horse-like face. I don't think I liked him. I said,
'Your wife wants you.' He looked down at me and he answered, 'My
boy, you should say Mrs. Wordsworth, and not "your wife."' I looked
up at him and I replied, 'She _is_ your wife, isn't she?' Whereupon
he said no more. I don't think he liked me either." We were going up
Kirkstone Pass when Marshall told this story,--which seemed to bring
the pensive and homely poet plainly before us. An hour later, at the
top of the pass, while waiting in the old inn called the Traveller's
Rest, which incorrectly proclaims itself the highest inhabited house
in England,[19] I spoke with an ancient, weather-beaten hostler, not
wholly unfamiliar with the medicinal virtue of ardent spirits, and
asked for his opinion of the great lake poet. "Well," he said, "people
are always talking about Wordsworth, but I don't see much in it. I've
read it, but I don't care for it. It's dry stuff--it don't chime."
Truly there are all sorts of views, just as there are all sorts of

[Illustration: _William Wordsworth._]

Mementos of Wordsworth are frequently encountered by the traveller
among these lakes and fells. One of them, situated at the foot of
Place Fell, is a rustic cottage that the poet once selected for his
residence: it was purchased for him by Lord Lonsdale, as a partial
indemnity for losses caused by an ancestor of his to Wordsworth's
father. The poet liked the place, but he never lived there. The
house somewhat resembles the Shakespeare cottage at Stratford,--the
living-room being floored with stone slabs, irregular in size and
shape and mostly broken by hard use. In a corner of the kitchen stands
a fine carved oak cupboard, dark with age, inscribed with the date of
the Merry Monarch, 1660.

[Illustration: _Approach to Ambleside._]

What were the sights of those sweet days that linger still, and will
always linger, in my remembrance? A ramble in the park of Patterdale
Hall [the old name of the estate is Halsteads], which is full of
American trees; a golden morning in Dovedale, with Irving, much like
Jaques, reclined upon a shaded rock, half-way up the mountain, musing
and moralising in his sweet, kind way, beside the brawling stream; the
first prospect of Windermere, from above Ambleside,--a vision of heaven
upon earth; the drive by Rydal Water, which has all the loveliness of
celestial pictures seen in dreams; the glimpse of stately Rydal Hall
and of the sequestered Rydal Mount, where Wordsworth so long lived and
where he died; the Wishing Gate, where one of us, I know, wished in his
heart that he could be young again and be wiser than to waste his youth
in self-willed folly; the restful hours of observation and thought at
delicious Grasmere, where we stood in silence at Wordsworth's grave
and heard the murmur of Rotha singing at his feet; the lovely drive
past Matterdale, across the moorlands, with only clouds and rooks for
our chance companions, and mountains for sentinels along our way; the
ramble through Keswick, all golden and glowing in the afternoon sun,
till we stood by Crosthwaite church and read the words of commemoration
that grace the tomb of Robert Southey; the divine circuit of
Derwent,--surely the loveliest sheet of water in England; the descent
into the vale of Keswick, with sunset on the rippling crystal of the
lake and the perfume of countless wild roses on the evening wind. These
things, and the midnight talk about these things,--Irving, so tranquil,
so gentle, so full of keen and sweet appreciation of them,--Bendall, so
bright and thoughtful,--Marshall, so quaint and jolly, and so full of
knowledge equally of nature and of books!--can never be forgotten. In
one heart they are cherished forever.

[Illustration: _Grasmere Church._]

Wordsworth is buried in Grasmere churchyard, close by the wall, on
the bank of the little river Rotha. "Sing him thy best," said Matthew
Arnold, in his lovely dirge for the great poet--

    "Sing him thy best! for few or none
    Hears thy voice right, now he is gone."

In the same grave with Wordsworth sleeps his devoted wife. Beside them
rest the poet's no less devoted sister Dorothy, who died at Rydal Mount
in 1855, aged 83, and his daughter, Dora, together with her husband
Edward Quillinan, of whom Arnold wrote so tenderly:

    "Alive, we would have changed his lot,
      We would not change it now."

On the low gravestone that marks the sepulchre of Wordsworth are
written these words: "William Wordsworth, 1850. Mary Wordsworth, 1859."
In the neighbouring church a mural tablet presents this inscription:

 "To the memory of William Wordsworth. A true poet and philosopher,
 who by the special gift and calling of Almighty God, whether he
 discoursed on man or nature, failed not to lift up the heart to holy
 things, tired not of maintaining the cause of the poor and simple,
 and so in perilous times was raised up to be a chief minister, not
 only of noblest poetry, but of high and sacred truth. The memorial is
 raised here by his friends and neighbours, in testimony of respect,
 affection, and gratitude. Anno MDCCCLI."

[Illustration: _Rydal Mount--Wordsworth's Seat._]

A few steps from that memorable group will bring you to the marble
cross that marks the resting-place of Hartley Coleridge, son of the
great author of _The Ancient Mariner_, himself a poet of exquisite
genius; and close by is a touching memorial to the gifted man who
inspired Matthew Arnold's poems of _The Scholar-Gipsy_ and _Thyrsis_.
This is a slab laid upon his mother's grave, at the foot of her
tombstone, inscribed with these words:

 "In memory of Arthur Hugh Clough, some time Fellow of Oriel College,
 Oxford, the beloved son of James Butler and Anne Clough. This
 remembrance in his own country is placed on his mother's grave by
 those to whom life was made happy by his presence and his love. He is
 buried in the Swiss cemetery at Florence, where he died, November 13,
 1861, aged 42.

    "'So, dearest, now thy brows are cold
      I see thee what thou art, and know
      Thy likeness to the wise below,
    Thy kindred with the great of old.'"

Southey rests in Crosthwaite churchyard, about half a mile north of
Keswick, where he died. They show you Greta Hall, a fine mansion, on a
little hill, enclosed in tall trees, which for forty years, ending in
1843, was the poet's home. In the church is a marble figure of Southey,
recumbent on a large stone sarcophagus. His grave is in the ground, a
little way from the church, marked by a low flat tomb, on the end of
which appears an inscription commemorative of a servant who had lived
fifty years in his family and is buried near him. There was a pretty
scene at this grave. When I came to it Irving was already there, and
was speaking to a little girl who had guided him to the spot. "If any
one were to give you a shilling, my dear," he said, "what would you
do with it?" The child was confused and she murmured softly, "I don't
know, sir." "Well," he continued, "if any one were to give you two
shillings, what would you do?" She said she would save it. "But what if
it were three shillings?" he asked, and each time he spoke he dropped
a silver coin into her hand, till he must have given her more than a
dozen of them. "Four--five--six--seven--what would you do with the
money?" "I would give it to my mother, sir," she answered at last, her
little face all smiles, gazing up at the stately, sombre stranger,
whose noble countenance never looked more radiant than it did then,
with gentle kindness and pleasure. It is a trifle to mention, but it
was touching in its simplicity; and that amused group, around the grave
of Southey, in the blaze of the golden sun of a July afternoon, with
Skiddaw looming vast and majestic over all, will linger with me as
long as anything lovely and of good report is treasured in my memory.
Long after we had left the place I chanced to speak of its peculiar
interest. "The most interesting thing I saw there," said Irving,
"was that sweet child." I do not think the great actor was ever much
impressed with the beauties of the lake poets.

Another picture glimmers across my dream,--a picture of peace and
happiness which may close this rambling reminiscence of gentle days. We
had driven up the pass between Glencoin and Gowbarrow, and had reached
Matterdale, on our way toward Troutbeck station,--not the beautiful
Windermere Troutbeck, but the less famous one. The road is lonely,
but at Matterdale the traveller sees a few houses, and there our gaze
was attracted by a gray church nestled in a hollow of the hillside.
It stands sequestered in its place of graves, with bright greensward
around it and a few trees. A faint sound of organ music floated from
this sacred building and seemed to deepen the hush of the summer wind
and shed a holier calm upon the lovely solitude. We dismounted and
silently entered the church. A youth and a maiden, apparently lovers,
were sitting at the organ,--the youth playing and the girl listening,
and looking with tender trust and innocent affection into his face.
He recognised our presence with a kindly nod, but went on with the
music. I do not think she saw us at all. The place was full of soft,
warm light streaming through the stained glass of Gothic windows and
fragrant with perfume floating from the hay-fields and the dew-drenched
roses of many a neighbouring hedge. Not a word was spoken, and after
a few moments we departed, as silently as we had come. Those lovers
will never know what eyes looked upon them that day, what hearts were
comforted with the sight of their happiness, or how a careworn man,
three thousand miles away, fanning upon his hearthstone the dying
embers of hope, now thinks of them with tender sympathy, and murmurs a
blessing on the gracious scene which their presence so much endeared.

[Illustration: _An Old Lich Gate._]



Worcester, July 23, 1889.--The present wanderer came lately to The
Faithful City, and these words are written in a midnight hour at the
Unicorn Hotel. This place is redolent of the wars of the Stuarts,
and the moment you enter it your mind is filled with the presence
of Charles the Martyr, Charles the Merry, Prince Rupert, and Oliver
Cromwell. From the top of Red Hill and the margin of Perry wood,--now
sleeping in the starlight or momentarily vocal with the rustle of
leaves and the note of half-awakened birds,--Cromwell looked down over
the ancient walled city which he had beleaguered. Upon the summit of
the great tower of Worcester Cathedral Charles and Rupert held their
last council of war. Here was lost, September 3, 1651, the battle
that made the Merry Monarch a hunted fugitive and an exile. With a
stranger's interest I have rambled on those heights; traversed the
battlefield; walked in every part of the cathedral; attended divine
service there; revelled in the antiquities of the Edgar Tower; roamed
through most of the city streets; traced all that can be traced of the
old wall [there is little remaining of it now, and no part that can be
walked upon]; explored the royal porcelain works, for which Worcester
is rightly famous; viewed several of its old churches and its one
theatre, in Angel street; entered its Guildhall, where they preserve a
fine piece of artillery and nine suits of black armour that were left
by Charles the Second when he fled from Worcester; paced the dusty and
empty Trinity Hall, now abandoned and condemned to demolition, where
once Queen Elizabeth was feasted; and visited the old Commandery,--a
rare piece of antiquity, remaining from the tenth century,--wherein
the Duke of Hamilton died, of his wounds, after Cromwell's "crowning
mercy," and beneath the floor of which he was laid in a temporary
grave. The Commandery is now owned and occupied by a printer of
directories and guide-books, the genial and hospitable Mr. Littlebury,
and there, as everywhere else in storied Worcester, the arts of peace
prevail over all the scenes and all the traces of

    "Old, unhappy, far-off things
      And battles long ago."

[Illustration: _Worcester Cathedral, from the Edgar Tower._]

In the Edgar Tower at Worcester they keep the original of the
marriage-bond that was given by Fulk Sandells and John Richardson,
of Shottery, as a preliminary to the marriage of William Shakespeare
and Anne Hathaway. It is a long, narrow strip of parchment, and it
has been glazed and framed. Two seals of light-coloured wax were
originally attached to it, dependent by strings, but these have
been removed,--apparently for the convenience of the mechanic who
put the relic into its present frame. The handwriting is crabbéd and
obscure. There are but few persons who can read the handwriting in
old documents of this kind, and thousands of such documents exist in
the church-archives, and elsewhere, in England, that have never been
examined. The bond is for £40, and is a guarantee that there was no
impediment to the marriage of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway.
It is dated November 28, 1582; its text authorises the wedding after
only once calling the banns in church; and it is supposed that the
marriage took place immediately, since the first child of it, Susanna
Shakespeare, was baptized in the Church of the Holy Trinity at
Stratford on May 26, 1583. No registration of the marriage has been
found, but that is no proof that it does not exist. The law is said to
have prescribed that three parishes, within the residential diocese,
should be designated, in any one of which the marriage might be made;
but custom permitted the contracting parties, when they had complied
with this requirement, to be married in whatever parish, within the
diocese, they might prefer. The three parishes supposed to have been
named are Stratford, Bishopton, and Luddington. The registers of two
of them have been searched, and searched in vain. The register of
the third,--that of Luddington, which is near Shottery, and about
three miles southwest of Stratford,--was destroyed, long ago, in a
fire that burnt down Luddington church; and conjecture assumes that
Shakespeare was married at Luddington. It may be so, but until every
old church register in the ancient diocese of Worcester has been
examined, the quest of the registration of his marriage ought not
to be abandoned. Richard Savage, the learned and diligent librarian
of the Shakespeare Birthplace, has long been occupied with this
inquiry, and has transcribed several of the old church registers in
the vicinity of Stratford. The Rev. Thomas Procter Wadley,[20] another
local antiquary, of great learning and incessant industry, has also
taken part in this labour. The long-desired entry of the marriage
of William and Anne remains undiscovered, but one gratifying and
valuable result of these investigations is the disclosure that many
of the names used in Shakespeare's works are the names of persons who
were residents of Warwickshire in his time. It has pleased various
crazy sensation-mongers to ascribe the authorship of Shakespeare's
writings to Francis Bacon. This could only be done by ignoring positive
evidence,--the evidence, namely, of Ben Jonson, who knew Shakespeare
personally, and who has left a written description of the manner in
which Shakespeare composed his plays. Effrontery was to be expected
from the advocates of the preposterous Bacon theory; but when they
have ignored the positive evidence, and the internal evidence, and the
circumstantial evidence, and every other sort of evidence, they have
still a serious obstacle to surmount,--an obstacle that the researches
of such patient scholars as Mr. Savage and Mr. Wadley are strengthening
day by day. The man who wrote Shakespeare's plays knew Warwickshire as
it could only be known to a native of it; and there is no proof that
Francis Bacon knew it or ever was in it.[21]

[Illustration: _The Edgar Tower._]

With reference to the Shakespeare marriage-bond, and the other records
that are kept in the Edgar Tower at Worcester, it may perhaps justly
be said that they are not protected with the scrupulous care to which
such treasures are entitled. The Tower,--a gray and venerable relic,
an ancient gate of the monastery, dating back to the time of King
John,--affords an appropriate receptacle for those documents; but it
would not withstand fire, and it does not contain either a fire-proof
chamber or a safe. The Shakespeare marriage-bond,--which would be
appropriately housed in the Shakespeare Birthplace, at Stratford,--was
taken from the floor of a closet, where it had been lying, together
with a number of dusty books, and I was kindly permitted to hold it
in my hands and to examine it. The frame provided for this priceless
relic is such as may be seen on an ordinary school slate. From another
dusty closet an attendant extricated a manuscript diary kept by William
Lloyd, Bishop of Worcester [1627-1717], and by his man-servant, for
several years, about the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne; and in
this are many quaint and humorous entries, valuable to the student of
history and manners. In still another closet, having the appearance
of a rubbish-bin, I saw heaps of old parchment and paper writings,--a
mass of antique registry that it would need the labour of five or six
years to examine, decipher, and classify. Worcester is especially rich
in old records, and it is not impossible that the missing clew to
Shakespeare's marriage may yet be found in that old cathedral city.

Worcester is rich also in a superb library, which, by the kindness of
Mr. Hooper, the custodian, I was allowed to explore, high up beneath
the roof of the lovely cathedral. That collection of books, numbering
about five thousand, consists mostly of folios, many of which were
printed in France. They keep it in a long, low, oak-timbered room,
the triforium of the south aisle of the nave. The approach is by a
circular stone staircase. In an anteroom to the library I saw a part
of the ancient north door of this church,--a fragment dating back to
the time of Bishop Wakefield, 1386,--to which is still affixed a piece
of the skin of a human being. The tradition is that a Dane committed
sacrilege, by stealing the sanctus bell from the high altar, and was
thereupon flayed alive for his crime, and the skin of him was fastened
to the cathedral door. In the library are magnificent editions of
Aristotle and other classics; the works of the fathers of the church; a
beautiful illuminated manuscript of Wickliffe's New Testament, written
on vellum in 1381; and several books, in splendid preservation, from
the press of Caxton and that of Wynken de Worde. The world moves, but
printing is not better done now than it was then. This library, which
is for the use of the clergy of the diocese of Worcester, was founded
by Bishop Carpenter, in 1461, and originally it was stored in the
chapel of the charnel-house.

Reverting to the subject of old documents, a useful word may
perhaps be said here about the registers in Trinity church at
Stratford,--documents which, in a spirit of disparagement, have
sometimes been designated as "copies." That sort of levity in the
discussion of Shakespearean subjects is not unnatural in days when
"cranks" are allowed freely to besmirch the memory of Shakespeare, in
their wildly foolish advocacy of what they call "the Bacon theory" of
the authorship of Shakespeare's works. The present writer has often
held the Stratford Registers in his hands and explored their quaint
pages. Those records are contained in twenty-two volumes. They begin
with the first year of Queen Elizabeth, 1558, and they end, as to the
old parchment form, in 1812. From 1558 to 1600 the entries were made
in a paper book, of the quarto form, still occasionally to be found in
ancient parish churches of England. In 1599 an order-in-council was
made, commanding that those entries should be copied into parchment
volumes, for their better preservation. This was done. The parchment
volumes,--which were freely shown to me by William Butcher,[22] the
parish clerk of Stratford,--date back to 1600. The handwriting of the
copied portion, covering the period from 1558 to 1600, is careful and
uniform. Each page is certified, as to its accuracy, by the vicar and
the churchwardens. After 1600 the handwritings vary. In the register
of marriage a new handwriting appears on September 17 that year, and
in the registers of Baptism and Burial it appears on September 20. The
sequence of marriages is complete until 1756; that of baptisms and
burials until 1812; when, in each case, a book of printed forms comes
into use, and the expeditious march of the new age begins. The entry of
Shakespeare's baptism, April 26, 1564, from which it is inferred that
he was born on April 23, is extant as a certified copy from the earlier
paper book. The entry of Shakespeare's burial is the original entry,
made in the original register.

Some time ago an American writer suggested that Shakespeare's
widow,--seven years his senior at the start, and therefore fifty-nine
years old when he died,--subsequently contracted another marriage.
Mrs. Shakespeare survived her husband seven years, dying on August 6,
1623, at the age of sixty-seven. The entry in the Stratford register of
burial contains, against the date of August 8, 1623, the names of "Mrs.
Shakespeare" and "Anna uxor Richard James." Those two names, written
one above the other, are connected by a bracket on the left side; and
this is supposed to be evidence that Shakespeare's widow married again.
The use of the bracket could not possibly mislead anybody possessing
the faculty of clear vision. When two or more persons were either
baptized or buried on the same day, the parish clerk, in making the
requisite entry in the register, connected their names with a bracket.
Three instances of this practice occur upon a single page of the
register, in the same handwriting, close to the page that records the
burial, on the same day, of Mrs. Shakespeare, widow, and Anna the wife
of Richard James. But folly needs only a slender hook on which to hang

John Baskerville, the famous printer [1706-1775], was born in
Worcester, and his remains, the burial-place of which was long unknown,
have lately been discovered there. Incledon, the famous singer, died
there. Prince Arthur [1486-1502], eldest son of King Henry the Seventh,
was buried in Worcester Cathedral, where a beautiful chantry was built
over his remains in 1504. Bishop John Gauden [1605-1662], who wrote the
_Eikon Basiliké_, long generally attributed to Charles the First, rests
there. The Duke of Hamilton, who died of his wounds, after a Worcester
fight, was transferred to that place, from his temporary grave in the
Commandery. And in the centre of the sacrarium stands the tomb of that
tyrant King John, who died on October 19, 1216, at Newark, and whose
remains, when the tomb was opened,[23] July 17, 1797, presented a
ghastly spectacle.



January 22, 1888.--On a night in 1785, when Mrs. Siddons was acting
at Edinburgh, the play being _The Fatal Marriage_ and the character
Isabella, a young lady of Aberdeenshire, Miss Catherine Gordon, of
Gight, was among the audience. There is a point in that tragedy at
which Isabella recognises her first husband, whom she had supposed to
be dead, and in whose absence she had been married to another, and
her consternation, grief, and rapture are sudden and excessive. Mrs.
Siddons, at that point, always made a great effect. The words are, "O
my Biron, my Biron!" On this night, at the moment when the wonderful
actress sent forth her wailing, heart-piercing cry, as she uttered
those words, Miss Gordon gave a frantic scream, fell into violent
hysterics, and was borne out of the theatre, repeating "O my Biron, my
Biron!" At the time of that incident she had not met the man by whom
she was afterward wedded,--the Hon. John Byron, whose wife she became,
about a year later. Their first-born and only child was George Gordon,
afterward Lord Byron, the poet; and among the many aspects of his life
which impress the thoughtful reader of its strange and melancholy story
none is more striking than the dramatic aspect of it,--so strangely
prefigured in this event.

[Illustration: _Lord Byron._]

Censure of Byron, whether as a man or as a writer, may be considered
to have spent its force. It is a hundred years since he was born,
and almost as many since he died.[24] Everybody who wished to say
a word against him has had ample opportunity for saying it, and
there is evidence that this opportunity has not been neglected. The
record was long ago made up. Everybody knows that Byron's conduct
was sometimes deformed with frenzy and stained with vice. Everybody
knows that Byron's writings are occasionally marred with profanity and
licentiousness, and that they contain a quantity of crude verse. If
he had never been married, or if, being married, his domestic life had
not ended in disaster and scandal, his personal reputation would stand
higher than it does at present, in the esteem of virtuous society.
If about one-third of what he wrote had never been published, his
reputation as a man of letters would stand higher than it now does
in the esteem of stern judges of literary art. After an exhaustive
discussion of the subject in every aspect of it, after every variety of
hostile assault, and after praise sounded in every key of enthusiasm
and in every language of the world, these truths remain. It is a pity
that Byron was not a virtuous man and a good husband. It is a pity
that he was not invariably a scrupulous literary artist, that he wrote
so much, and that almost everything he wrote was published. But, when
all this has been said, it remains a solid and immovable truth that
Byron was a great poet and that he continues to be a great power in the
literature and life of the world. Nobody who pretends to read anything
omits to read _Childe Harold_.

To touch this complex and delicate subject in only a superficial
manner it may not be amiss to say that the world is under obligation
to Byron, if for nothing else, for the spectacle of a romantic,
impressive, and instructive life. His agency in that spectacle no
doubt was involuntary, but all the same he presented it. He was a
great poet; a man of genius; his faculty of expression was colossal,
and his conduct was absolutely genuine. No man in literature ever
lived who lived himself more fully. His assumptions of disguise only
made him more obvious and transparent. He kept nothing back. His heart
was laid absolutely bare. We know even more about him than we know
about Dr. Johnson,--and still his personality endures the test of our
knowledge and remains unique, romantic, fascinating, prolific of moral
admonition, and infinitely pathetic. Byron in poetry, like Edmund
Kean in acting, is a figure that completely fills the imagination,
profoundly stirs the heart, and never ceases to impress and charm, even
while it afflicts, the sensitive mind. This consideration alone, viewed
apart from the obligation that the world owes to the better part of his
writings, is vastly significant of the great personal force that is
inherent in the name and memory of Byron.

It has been considered necessary to account for the sadness and gloom
of Byron's poetry by representing him to have been a criminal afflicted
with remorse for his many and hideous crimes. His widow, apparently a
monomaniac, after long brooding over the remembrance of a calamitous
married life,--brief, unhappy, and terminated in separation,--whispered
against him, and against his half-sister, a vile and hideous charge;
and this, to the disgrace of American literature, was subsequently
brought forward by a distinguished female writer of America, much noted
for her works of fiction and especially memorable for that one. The
explanation of the mental distress exhibited in the poet's writings
was thought to be effectually provided in that disclosure. But, as
this revolting and inhuman story,--desecrating graves, insulting a
wonderful genius, and casting infamy upon the name of an affectionate,
faithful, virtuous woman,--fell to pieces the moment it was examined,
the student of Byron's grief-stricken nature remained no wiser than
before this figment of a diseased imagination had been divulged.
Surely, however, it ought not to be considered mysterious that Byron's
poetry is often sad. The best poetry of the best poets is touched with
sadness. _Hamlet_ has never been mistaken for a merry production.
_Macbeth_ and _King Lear_ do not commonly produce laughter. Shelley and
Keats sing as near to heaven's gate as anybody, and both of them are
essentially sad. Scott was as brave, hopeful, and cheerful as any poet
that ever lived, and Scott's poetry is at its best in his dirges and
in his ballads of love and loss. The _Elegy_ and _The Ancient Mariner_
certainly are great poems, but neither of them is festive. Byron often
wrote sadly because he was a man of melancholy temperament, and because
he deeply felt the pathos of mortal life, the awful mystery with which
it is surrounded, the pain with which it is usually attended, the
tragedy with which it commonly is accompanied, the frail tenure with
which its loves and hopes are held, and the inexorable death with
which it is continually environed and at last extinguished. And Byron
was an unhappy man for the reason that, possessing every elemental
natural quality in excess, his goodness was constantly tortured by his
evil. The tempest, the clangour, and the agony of his writings are
denotements of the struggle between good and evil that was perpetually
afflicting his soul. Had he been the wicked man depicted by his
detractors, he would have lived a life of comfortable depravity and
never would have written at all. Monsters do not suffer.

The true appreciation of Byron is not that of youth but that of
manhood. Youth is captured by his pictorial and sentimental attributes.
Youth beholds him as a nautical Adonis, standing lonely upon a barren
cliff and gazing at a stormy sunset over the Ægean sea. Everybody
knows that familiar picture,--with the wide and open collar, the great
eyes, the wild hair, and the ample neckcloth flowing in the breeze.
It is pretty but it is not like the real man. If ever at any time he
was that sentimental image he speedily outgrew that condition, just as
those observers of him who truly understand Byron have long outgrown
their juvenile sympathy with that frail and puny ideal of a great poet.
Manhood perceives a different individual and is captured by a different
attraction. It is only when the first extravagant and effusive
enthusiasm has run its course, and perhaps ended in revulsion, that we
come to know Byron for what he actually is, and to feel the tremendous
power of his genius. Sentimental folly has commemorated him, in the
margin of Hyde Park, as in the fancy of many a callow youth and green
girl, with the statue of a sailor-lad waiting for a spark from heaven,
while a Newfoundland dog dozes at his feet. It is a caricature. Byron
was a man, and terribly in earnest; and it is only by earnest persons
that his mind and works are understood. At this distance of time the
scandals of a corrupt age, equally with the frailties of its most
brilliant and most illustrious poetical genius, may well be left to
rest in the oblivion of the grave. The generation that is living at the
close of the nineteenth century will remember of Byron only that he was
the uncompromising friend of liberty; that he did much to emancipate
the human mind from every form of bigotry and tyranny; that he
augmented, as no man had done since Dryden, the power and flexibility
of the noble English tongue; and that he enriched literature with
passages of poetry which, for sublimity, beauty, tenderness, and
eloquence, have seldom been equalled and have never been excelled.


It was near the close of a fragrant, golden summer day [August 8,
1884], when, having driven out from Nottingham, I alighted in the
market-place of the little town of Hucknall-Torkard, on a pilgrimage
to the grave of Byron. The town is modern and commonplace in
appearance,--a straggling collection of low brick dwellings, mostly
occupied by colliers. On that day it appeared at its worst; for the
widest part of its main street was filled with stalls, benches, wagons,
and canvas-covered structures for the display of vegetables and other
commodities, which were thus offered for sale; and it was thronged
with rough, noisy, and dirty persons, intent on barter and traffic,
and not indisposed to boisterous pranks and mirth, as they pushed and
jostled each other, among the crowded booths. This main street ends
at the wall of the graveyard in which stands the little gray church
where Byron was buried. There is an iron gate in the centre of the
wall, and in order to reach this it was necessary to thread the mazes
of the market-place, and to push aside the canvas flaps of a peddler's
stall which had been placed close against it. Next to the churchyard
wall is a little cottage,[25] with its bit of garden, devoted in this
instance to potatoes; and there, while waiting for the sexton, I talked
with an aged man, who said that he remembered, as an eye-witness,
the funeral of Byron. "The oldest man he seemed that ever wore gray
hairs." He stated that he was eighty-two and that his name was William
Callandyne. Pointing to the church, he indicated the place of the
Byron vault. "I was the last man," he said, "that went down into it,
before he was buried there. I was a young fellow then, and curious to
see what was going on. The place was full of skulls and bones. I wish
you could see my son; he's a clever lad, only he ought to have more of
the _suaviter in modo_." Thus, with the garrulity of wandering age,
he prattled on; but his mind was clear and his memory tenacious and
positive. There is a good prospect from the region of Hucknall-Torkard
church, and pointing into the distance, when his mind had been brought
back to the subject of Byron, my venerable acquaintance now described,
with minute specification of road and lane,--seeming to assume that
the names and the turnings were familiar to his auditor,--the course
of the funeral train from Nottingham to the church. "There were
eleven carriages," he said. "They didn't go to the Abbey" (meaning
Newstead), "but came directly here. There were many people to look
at them. I remember all about it, and I'm an old man--eighty-two.
You're an Italian, I should say," he added. By this time the sexton
had come and unlocked the gate, and parting from Mr. Callandyne we
presently made our way into the church of St. James, locking the
churchyard gate behind us, to exclude rough and possibly mischievous
followers. A strange and sad contrast, I thought, between this coarse
and turbulent place, by a malign destiny ordained for the grave of
Byron, and that peaceful, lovely, majestic church and precinct, at
Stratford-upon-Avon, which enshrine the dust of Shakespeare!

[Illustration: _Hucknall-Torkard Church._]

The sexton of the church of St. James and the parish clerk of
Hucknall-Torkard was Mr. John Brown, and a man of sympathetic
intelligence, kind heart, and interesting character I found him to
be,--large, dark, stalwart, but gentle alike in manner and feeling,
and considerate of his visitor. The pilgrim to the literary shrines
of England does not always find the neighbouring inhabitants either
sympathetic with his reverence or conscious of especial sanctity or
interest appertaining to the relics which they possess; but honest and
manly John Brown of Hucknall-Torkard understood both the hallowing
charm of the place and the sentiment, not to say the profound emotion,
of the traveller who now beheld for the first time the tomb of Byron.
This church has been restored and altered since Byron was buried in
it, in 1824, yet it retains its fundamental structure and its ancient
peculiarities. The tower, a fine specimen of Norman architecture,
strongly built, dark and grim, gives indication of great age. It is
of a kind often met with in ancient English towns: you may see its
brothers at York, Shrewsbury, Canterbury, Worcester, Warwick, and in
many places sprinkled over the northern heights of London: but amid
its tame surroundings in this little colliery settlement it looms with
a peculiar frowning majesty, a certain bleak loneliness, both unique
and impressive. The church is of the customary crucial form,--a low
stone structure, peak-roofed outside, but arched within, the roof being
supported by four great pillars on either side of the centre aisle, and
the ceiling being fashioned of heavy timbers forming almost a true
arch above the nave. There are four large windows on each side of the
church, and two on each side of the chancel, which is beneath a roof
somewhat lower than that of the main building. Under the pavement of
the chancel and back of the altar rail,--at which it was my privilege
to kneel, while gazing upon this sacred spot,--is the grave of
Byron.[26] Nothing is written on the stone that covers his sepulchre
except the name of BYRON, with the dates of his birth and death, in
brass letters, surrounded by a wreath of leaves, in brass, the gift
of the King of Greece; and never did a name seem more stately or a
place more hallowed. The dust of the poet reposes between that of his
mother, on his right hand, and that of his Ada,--"sole daughter of my
house and heart,"--on his left. The mother died on August 1, 1811; the
daughter, who had by marriage become the Countess of Lovelace, in 1852.
"I buried her with my own hands," said the sexton, John Brown, when,
after a little time, he rejoined me at the altar rail. "I told them
exactly where he was laid, when they wanted to put that brass on the
stone; I remembered it well, for I lowered the coffin of the Countess
of Lovelace into this vault, and laid her by her father's side." And
when presently we went into a little vestry he produced the Register of
Burials and displayed the record of that interment, in the following
words: "1852. Died at 69 Cumberland Place, London. Buried December
3. Aged thirty-six.--Curtis Jackson." The Byrons were a short-lived
race. The poet himself had just turned thirty-six; his mother was
only forty-six when she passed away. This name of Curtis Jackson in
the register was that of the rector or curate then incumbent but now
departed. The register is a long narrow book made of parchment and full
of various crabbéd handwritings,--a record similar to those which are
so carefully treasured at the church of the Holy Trinity at Stratford;
but it is more dilapidated.

Another relic shown by John Brown was a bit of embroidery, presenting
the arms of the Byron family. It had been used at Byron's funeral, and
thereafter was long kept in the church, though latterly with but little
care. When the Rev. Curtis Jackson came there he beheld this frail
memorial with pious disapprobation. "He told me," said the sexton, "to
take it home and burn it. I did take it home, but I didn't burn it; and
when the new rector came he heard of it and asked me to bring it back,
and a lady gave the frame to put it in." Framed it is, and likely now
to be always preserved in this interesting church; and earnestly do I
wish that I could remember, in order that I might speak it with honour,
the name of the clergyman who could thus rebuke bigotry, and welcome
and treasure in his church that shred of silk which once rested on the
coffin of Byron. Still another relic preserved by John Brown is a large
piece of cardboard bearing the inscription which is upon the coffin of
the poet's mother, and which bore some part in the obsequies of that
singular woman,--a creature full of faults, but the parent of a mighty
genius, and capable of inspiring deep love. On the night after Byron
arrived at Newstead, whither he repaired from London, on receiving news
of her illness, only to find her dead, he was found sitting in the dark
and sobbing beside the corse. "I had but one friend in the world," he
said, "and she is gone." He was soon to publish _Childe Harold_, and to
gain hosts of friends and have the world at his feet; but he spoke what
he felt, and he spoke the truth, in that dark room on that desolate
night. Thoughts of these things, and of many other strange passages and
incidents in his brief, checkered, glorious, lamentable life, thronged
into my mind as I stood there, in presence of those relics and so near
his dust, while the church grew dark and the silence seemed to deepen
in the dusk of the gathering night.

[Illustration: _Hucknall-Torkard Church--Interior._]

They have for many years kept a book at the church of Hucknall-Torkard
[the first one, an album given by Sir John Bowring, containing the
record of visitations from 1825 to 1834, disappeared[27] in the latter
year, or soon after], in which the visitors write their names; but the
catalogue of pilgrims during the last fifty years is not a long one.
The votaries of Byron are far less numerous than those of Shakespeare.
Custom has made the visit to Stratford "a property of easiness," and
Shakespeare is a safe no less than a rightful object of worship. The
visit to Hucknall-Torkard is neither so easy nor so agreeable, and it
requires some courage to be a votary of Byron,--and to own it. No day
passes without bringing its visitor to the Shakespeare cottage and the
Shakespeare tomb; many days pass without bringing a stranger to the
church of St. James. On the capital of a column near Byron's tomb I
saw two mouldering wreaths of laurel, which had hung there for several
years; one brought by the Bishop of Norwich, the other by the American
poet Joaquin Miller. It was good to see them, and especially to see
them close by the tablet of white marble which was placed on that
church wall to commemorate the poet, and to be her witness in death, by
his loving and beloved sister Augusta Mary Leigh,--a name that is the
synonym of noble fidelity, a name that in our day cruel detraction and
hideous calumny have done their worst to tarnish. That tablet names
him "The Author of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"; and if the conviction
of thoughtful men and women throughout the world can be accepted as an
authority, no name in the long annals of English literature is more
certain of immortality than the name of Byron. People mention the
poetry of Spenser and Cowley and Dryden and Cowper, but the poetry of
Byron they read. His reputation can afford the absence of all memorial
to him in Westminster Abbey, and it can endure the neglect and censure
of the precinct of Nottingham. That city rejoices in a stately castle
throned upon a rock, and persons who admire the Stuarts may exult in
the recollection that there the standard of Charles the First was
unfurled, in his fatal war with the Parliament of England; but all that
really hallows it for the stranger of to-day and for posterity is its
association with the name of Byron. The stranger will look in vain,
however, for any adequate sign of his former association with that
place. It is difficult even to find prints or photographs of the Byron
shrines, in the shops of Nottingham. One dealer, from whom I bought
all the Byron pictures that he possessed, was kind enough to explain
the situation, in one expressive sentence: "Much more ought to be done
here as to Lord Byron's memory, that is the truth; but the fact is, the
first families of the county don't approve of him."

When we came again into the churchyard, with its many scattered graves
and its quaint stones and crosses leaning every way, and huddled in a
strange kind of orderly confusion, the great dark tower stood out bold
and solitary in the gloaming, and a chill wind of evening had begun to
moan around its pinnacles, and through its mysterious belfry windows,
and in the few trees near by, which gave forth a mournful whisper.
It was hard to leave the place, and for a long time I stood near the
chapel, just above the outer wall of the Byron vault. And there the
sexton told me the story of the White Lady,--pointing, as he spoke, to
a cottage abutting on the churchyard, one window in which commands a
clear view of the place of Byron's grave. [That house has since been
removed.] "There she lived," he said, "and there she died, and there,"
pointing to an unmarked grave near the pathway, about thirty feet from
the Byron vault, "I buried her." It is impossible to give his words
or to indicate his earnest manner. In brief, this lady, whose past no
one knew, had taken up her residence in this cottage long subsequent
to the burial of Byron, and had remained there until she died. She was
pale, thin, handsome, and she wore white garments. Her face was often
to be seen at that window, whether by night or day, and she seemed to
be watching the tomb. Once, when masons were repairing the church wall,
she was enabled to descend into that vault, and therefrom she obtained
a skull, which she declared to be Byron's, and which she scraped,
polished, and made perfectly white, and kept always beneath her pillow.
It was her request, often made to the sexton, that she might be buried
in the churchyard, close to the wall of the poet's tomb. "When at last
she died," said John Brown, "they brought that skull to me, and I
buried it there in the ground. It was one of the loose skulls from the
old vault. She thought it was Byron's, and it pleased her to think so.
I might have laid her close to this wall. I don't know why I didn't."

In those words the sexton's story ended. It was only one more of the
myriad hints of that romance which the life and poetry of Byron have
so widely created and diffused. I glanced around for some relic of the
place that might properly be taken away: there was neither an ivy leaf
shining upon the wall nor a flower growing in all that ground; but into
a crevice of the rock, just above his tomb, the wind had at some time
blown a little earth, and in this a few blades of grass were thinly
rooted. These I gathered, and still possess, as a memento of an evening
at Byron's grave.


The Album that was given to Hucknall-Torkard church, in 1825, by Sir
John Bowring, to be used as a register of the names of visitors to
Byron's tomb, disappeared from that church in the year 1834, or soon
after, and it is supposed to have been stolen. In 1834 its contents
were printed,--from a manuscript copy of it, which had been obtained
from the sexton,--in a book of selections from Byron's prose, edited by
"J. M. L." Those initials stand for the name of Joseph Munt Langford,
who died in 1884. The dedication of the register is in the following
words: "To the immortal and illustrious fame of LORD BYRON, the first
poet of the age in which he lived, these tributes, weak and unworthy
of him, but in themselves sincere, are inscribed with the deepest
reverence.--July 1825." At that time no memorial of any kind had
been placed in the church to mark the poet's sepulchre: a fact which
prompted Sir John Bowring to begin his Album with twenty-eight lines of
verse, of which these are the best:

    "A still, resistless influence,
    Unseen but felt, binds up the sense ...
    And though the master hand is cold,
    And though the lyre it once controlled
    Rests mute in death, yet from the gloom
    Which dwells about this holy tomb
    Silence breathes out more eloquent
    Than epitaph or monument."

This register was used from 1825 till 1834. It contains eight hundred
and fifteen names, with which are intertwined twenty-eight inscriptions
in verse and thirty-six in prose. The first name is that of Count
Pietro Gamba, who visited his friend's grave on January 31, 1825: but
this must have been a reminiscent memorandum, as the book was not
opened till the following July. The next entry was made by Byron's old
servant, the date being September 23, 1825: "William Fletcher visited
his ever-to-be-lamented lord and master's tomb." On September 21, 1828,
the following singular record was written: "Joseph Carr, engraver,
Hound's Gate, Nottingham, visited this place for the first time to
witness the funeral of Lady Byron [mother of the much lamented late
Lord Byron], August 9th, 1811, whose coffin-plate I engraved, and now
I once more revisit the spot to drop a tear as a tribute of unfeigned
respect to the mortal remains of that noble British bard. 'Tho' lost to
sight, to memory dear.'" The next notable entry is that of September
3, 1829: "Lord Byron's sister, the Honourable Augusta Mary Leigh,
visited this church." Under the date of January 8, 1832, are found
the names of "M. Van Buren, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United
States; Washington Irving; John Van Buren, New York, U.S.A., and J.
Wildman." The latter was Colonel Wildman, the proprietor of Newstead
Abbey, Byron's old home, now owned by Colonel Webb. On August 5, 1832,
"Mr. Bunn, manager of Drury Lane theatre, honoured by the acquaintance
of the illustrious poet, visited Lord Byron's tomb, with a party."
Edward F. Flower and Selina Flower, of Stratford-upon-Avon, record
their presence, on September 15, 1832,--the parents of Charles Edward
Flower and Edgar Flower, of Stratford, the former being the founder of
the Shakespeare Memorial. There are several eccentric tributes in the
register, but the most of them are feeble. One of the better kind is

    "Not in that palace where the dead repose
    In splendid holiness, where Time has spread
    His sombre shadows, and a halo glows
    Around the ashes of the mighty dead,
    Life's weary pilgrim rests his aching head.
    This is his resting-place, and save his own
    No light, no glory round his grave is shed:
    But memory journeys to his shrine alone
    To mark how sound he sleeps, beneath yon simple stone.

    "Ah, say, art thou ambitious? thy young breast--
    Oh, does it pant for honours? dost thou chase
    The phantom Fame, in fairy colours drest,
    Expecting all the while to win the race?
    Oh, does the flush of youth adorn thy face
    And dost thou deem it lasting? dost thou crave
    The hero's wreath, the poet's meed of praise?
    Learn that of this, these, all, not one can save
    From the chill hand of death. Behold Childe Harold's grave!"



Stratford-upon-Avon, August 20, 1889.--The traveller who hurries
through Warwickshire,--and American travellers mostly do hurry through
it,--appreciates but little the things that he sees, and does not
understand how much he loses. The customary course is to lodge at the
Red Horse, which is one of the most comfortable houses in England, and
thus to enjoy the associations that are connected with the visits of
Washington Irving. His parlour, his bedroom (number 15), his arm-chair,
his poker, and the sexton's clock, mentioned by him in the _Sketch
Book_, are all to be seen, if your lightning-express conductor will
give you time enough to see them. From the Red Horse you are taken in
a carriage, when you ought to be allowed to proceed on foot, and the
usual round includes the Shakespeare Birthplace; the Grammar School
and Guild chapel; the remains of New Place; Trinity church and the
Shakespeare graves in its chancel; Anne Hathaway's cottage at Shottery;
and, perhaps, the Shakespeare Memorial library and theatre. These are
impressive sights to the lover of Shakespeare; but when you have seen
all these you have only begun to see the riches of Stratford-upon-Avon.
It is only by living in the town, by making yourself familiar with it
in all its moods, by viewing it in storm as well as in sunshine, by
roaming through its quaint, deserted streets in the lonely hours of
the night, by sailing up and down the beautiful Avon, by driving and
walking in the green lanes that twine about it for many miles in every
direction, by becoming, in fact, a part of its actual being, that you
obtain a genuine knowledge of that delightful place. Familiarity, in
this case, does not breed contempt. The worst you will ever learn of
Stratford is that gossip thrives in it; that its intellect is, with
due exception, narrow and sleepy; and that it is heavily ridden by the
ecclesiastical establishment. You will never find anything that can
detract from the impression of beauty and repose made upon your mind by
the sweet retirement of its situation, by the majesty of its venerable
monuments, and by the opulent, diversified splendours of its natural
and historical environment. On the contrary, the more you know of those
charms the more you will love the town, and the greater will be the
benefit of high thought and spiritual exaltation that you will derive
from your knowledge of it; and hence it is important that the American
traveller should be counselled for his own sake to live a little while
in Stratford instead of treating it as an incident of his journey.

[Illustration: _The Red Horse Hotel._]

The occasion of a garden party at the rectory of a clerical friend at
Butler's Marston gave opportunity to see one of the many picturesque
and happy homes with which this region abounds. The lawns there are
ample and sumptuous. The dwelling and the church, which are close to
each other, are bowered in great trees. From the terraces a lovely
view may be obtained of the richly coloured and finely cultivated
fields, stretching away toward Edgehill, which lies southeast
from Stratford-upon-Avon about sixteen miles away, and marks the
beginning of the Vale of the Red Horse. In the churchyard are the
gray, lichen-covered remains of one of those ancient crosses from the
steps of which the monks preached, in the early days of the church.
Relics of this class are deeply interesting for what they suggest of
the people and the life of earlier times. A fine specimen of the
ancient cross may be seen at Henley-in-Arden, a few miles northwest of
Stratford, where it stands, in mouldering majesty in the centre of the
village,--strangely inharmonious with the petty shops and numerous inns
of which that long and straggling but characteristic and attractive
settlement is composed. The tower of the church at Butler's Marston,
a gray, grim structure, "four-square to opposition," was built in the
eleventh century,--a period of much ecclesiastical activity in the
British islands. Within it I found a noble pulpit, of carved oak, dark
with age, of the time of James the First. There are many commemorative
stones in the church, on one of which appears this lovely couplet,
addressed to the shade of a young girl:

    "Sleep, gentle soul, and wait thy Maker's will!
    Then rise unchanged, and be an angel still."

The present village of Butler's Marston,--a little group of cottages
clustered upon the margin of a tiny stream and almost hidden in a
wooded dell,--is comparatively new; for it has arisen since the time
of the Puritan civil war. The old village was swept away by the
Roundheads, when Essex and Hampden came down to fight King Charles at
Edgehill, in 1642. That fierce strife raged all along the country-side,
and you may still perceive there, in the inequalities of the land, the
sites on which houses formerly stood. It is a sweet and peaceful place
now, smiling with flowers and musical with the rustle of the leaves
of giant elms. The clergyman farms his own glebe, and he has expended
more than a thousand pounds in the renovation of his manse. The
church "living" is not worth much more than a hundred pounds a year,
and when he leaves the dwelling, if he should ever leave it, he loses
the value of all the improvements that he has made. This he mentioned
with a contented smile. The place, in fact, is a little paradise, and
as I looked across the green and golden fields, and saw the herds at
rest and the wheat waving in sun and shadow, and thought of the simple
life of the handful of people congregated here, the words of Gray came
murmuring into my mind:

    "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
      Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
    Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
      They kept the noiseless tenor of their way."

[Illustration: _The Grammar School, Stratford._]

"Unregarded age, in corners thrown." Was that fine line suggested to
Shakespeare by the spectacle of the almshouses of the Guild, which
stood in his time, just as they stand now, close to the spot where he
lived and died? New Place, Shakespeare's home, stood on the northeast
corner of Chapel street and Chapel lane. The Guild chapel stands on the
southeast corner of those streets, immediately opposite to what was
once the poet's home. Southward from the chapel, and adjoining to it,
extends the long, low, sombre building that contains the Free Grammar
School, founded by Thomas Jolyffe in 1482, and refounded in 1553 by
King Edward the Sixth. In that grammar school, there is reason to
believe, Shakespeare was educated; at first by Walter Roche, afterward
by Simon Hunt,--who doubtless birched the little boys then, even as the
head-master does now; it being a cardinal principle with the British
educator that learning, like other goods, should be delivered in the
rear. In those almshouses doubtless there were many forlorn inmates,
even as there are at present,--and Shakespeare must often have seen
them. On visiting one of the bedesmen I found him moving slowly, with
that mild, aimless, inert manner and that bleak aspect peculiar to such
remnants of vanishing life, among the vegetable vines and the profuse,
rambling flowers in the sunny garden behind the house; and presently I
went into his humble room and sat by his fireside. The scene was the
perfect fulfilment of Shakespeare's line. A stone floor. A low ceiling
crossed with dusky beams. Walls that had been whitewashed long ago. A
small iron kettle, with water in it, simmering over a few smouldering
coals. A rough bed, in a corner. A little table, on which were three
conch-shells ranged in a row. An old arm-chair, on which were a few
coarse wads of horsehair, as a cushion. A bench, whereon lay a torn,
tattered, soiled copy of the prayer book of the church of England,
beginning at the epiphany. This sumptuous place was lighted by a
lattice of small leaded panes. And upon one of the walls hung a framed
placard of worsted work, bearing the inscription, "Blessed be the Lord
for His Unspeakable Gift." The aged, infirm pensioner doddered about
the room, and when he was asked what had become of his wife his dull
eyes filled with tears and he said simply that she was dead. "So runs
the world away." The summons surely cannot be unwelcome that calls such
an old and lonely pilgrim as that to his rest in yonder churchyard and
to his lost wife who is waiting for him.

[Illustration: _Interior of the Grammar School._]

Warwickshire is hallowed by shining names of persons illustrious in
the annals of art. Drayton, Greene, and Heminge, who belong to the
Shakespeare period, were born there. Walter Savage Landor was a native
of Warwick,--in which quaint and charming town you may see the house of
his birth, duly marked. Croft, the composer, was born near Ettington,
hard by Stratford: there is a tiny monument, commemorative of him, in
the ruins of Ettington church, near the manor-house of Shirley. And in
our own day Warwickshire has enriched the world with "George Eliot" and
with that matchless actress,--the one Ophelia and the one Beatrice of
our age--Ellen Terry. But it is a chief characteristic of England that
whichever way you turn in it your footsteps fall on haunted ground.
Everyday life here is continually impressed by incidents of historic
association. In an old church at Greenwich I asked that I might be
directed to the tomb of General Wolfe. "He is buried just beneath where
you are now standing," the custodian said. It was an elderly woman who
showed the place, and she presently stated that when a girl she once
entered the vault beneath that church and stood beside the coffin of
General Wolfe and took a piece of laurel from it, and also took a piece
of the red velvet pall from the coffin of the old Duchess of Bolton,
close by. That Duchess was Lavinia Fenton, the first representative
of Polly Peachem, in _The Beggars' Opera_, who died in 1760, aged
fifty-two.[28] "Lord Clive," the dame added, "is buried in the same
vault with Wolfe." An impressive thought, that the ashes of the man who
established Britain's power in America should at last mingle with the
ashes of the man who gave India to England!



To traverse Stratford-upon-Avon is to return upon old tracks, but
no matter how often you visit that delightful place you will always
see new sights in it and find new incidents. After repeated visits
to Shakespeare's town the traveller begins to take more notice than
perhaps at first he did of its everyday life. In former days the
observer had no eyes except for the Shakespeare shrines. The addition
of a new wing to the ancient, storied, home-like Red Horse, the new
gardens around the Memorial theatre, the completed chime of Trinity
bells,--these, and matters like to these, attract attention now. And
now, too, I have rambled, in the gloaming, through scented fields to
Clifford church; and strolled through many a green lane to beautiful
Preston; and climbed Borden hill; and stood by the maypole on Welford
common; and journeyed along the battle-haunted crest of Edgehill; and
rested at venerable Compton-Wynyate;[29] and climbed the hills of
Welcombe to peer into the darkening valleys of the Avon and hear the
cuckoo-note echoed and re-echoed from rhododendron groves, and from the
great, mysterious elms that embower this country-side for miles and
miles around. This is the life of Stratford to-day,--the fertile farms,
the garnished meadows, the avenues of white and coral hawthorn, masses
of milky snow-ball, honeysuckle and syringa loading the soft air with
fragrance, chestnuts dropping blooms of pink and white, and laburnums
swinging their golden censers in the breeze.

[Illustration: _Trinity Church--Stratford-upon-Avon._]

The building that forms the southeast corner of High street and Bridge
street in Stratford was once occupied by Thomas Quiney, a wine-dealer,
who married the poet's youngest daughter, Judith, and an inscription
appears upon it, stating that Judith lived in it for thirty-six years.
Richard Savage, that competent, patient, diligent student of the church
registers and other documentary treasures of Warwickshire, furnished
the proof of this fact, from investigation of the town records--which
is but one of many services that he has rendered to the old home of
Shakespeare. The Quiney premises are now occupied by Edward Fox, a
journalist, a printer, and a dealer in souvenirs of Shakespeare and of
Stratford. That house, in old times, was officially styled The Cage,
because it had been used as a prison. Standing in the cellar of it
you perceive that its walls are four feet thick. There likewise are
seen traces of the grooves down which the wine-casks were rolled, in
the days of Shakespeare's son-in-law, Thomas Quiney. The business now
carried on by Edward Fox has been established in Stratford more than
a hundred years, and, as this tenant has a long lease of the building
and is of an energetic spirit in his pursuits, it bids fair to last
as much longer. An indication of Mr. Fox's sagacity was revealed to me
in the cellar, where was heaped a quantity of old oak, taken, in 1887,
from the belfry of Trinity church, in which Shakespeare is buried.
This oak, which was there when Shakespeare lived, and which had to be
removed because a stronger structure was required for sustaining an
augmented chime of heavy bells, will be converted into various carved
relics, such as must find favour with Shakespeare worshippers,--of
whom more than sixteen thousand visited Stratford in 1887, at least
one-fourth of that number [4482] being Americans. A cross made of the
belfry wood is a pleasing souvenir of the hallowed Shakespeare church.
When the poet saw that church the tower was surmounted, not as now with
a graceful stone spire, but with a spire of timber, covered with lead.
This was removed, and was replaced by the stone spire, in 1763. The oak
frame to support the bells, however, had been in the tower more than
three hundred years.

[Illustration: _The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre._]

The two sculptured groups, emblematic of Comedy and Tragedy, which have
been placed upon the front of the Shakespeare Memorial theatre, are
the gain of a benefit performance, given in that building on August
29, 1885, by Miss Mary Anderson,[30] who then, for the first time in
her life, impersonated Shakespeare's Rosalind. That actress, after her
first visit to Stratford,--a private visit made in 1883,--manifested
a deep interest in the town, and because of her services to the
Shakespeare Memorial she is now one of its life-governors. Those
services completed the exterior decorations of the building. The emblem
of History had already been put in its place,--the scene in _King John_
in which Prince Arthur melts the cruel purpose of Hubert to burn out
his eyes. Tragedy is represented by Hamlet and the Gravedigger, in
their colloquy over Yorick's skull. In the emblem of Comedy the figure
of Rosalind is that of Miss Mary Anderson, in a boy's dress,--a figure
that may be deemed inadequate to the original, but one that certainly
is expressive of the ingenuous demeanour and artless grace of that
gentle lady. The grounds south of the Memorial are diversified and
adorned with lawns, trees, flowers, and commodious pathways, and that
lovely, park-like enclosure,--thus beautified through the liberality
of Charles Edward Flower [obiit, May 3, 1892], the original promoter of
the Memorial,--is now free to the people, "to walk abroad and recreate
themselves" beside the Avon. The picture gallery of the Memorial lacks
many things that are needed. The library continues to grow, but the
American department of it needs accessions. Every American edition
of Shakespeare ought to be there, and every book of American origin,
on a Shakespeare subject. It was at one time purposed to set up a
special case, surmounted with the American ensign, for the reception of
contributions from Americans. The library contained, in March, 1890,
five thousand seven hundred and ninety volumes, in various languages.
[Now, in 1896, it comprises about eight thousand volumes.] Of English
editions of the complete works of Shakespeare it contains two hundred
and nine. A Russian translation of Shakespeare, in nine volumes,
appears in the collection, together with three complete editions in
Dutch. An elaborate and beautiful catalogue of those treasures, made
by Mr. Frederic Hawley, records them in an imperishable form. Mr.
Hawley, long the librarian of the Memorial, died at Stratford on March
13, 1889, aged sixty-two, and was buried at Kensal Green, in London,
his wish being that his ashes should rest in that place. Mr. Hawley
had been an actor, under the name of Haywell, and he was the author of
more than one tragedy, in blank verse. Mr. A. H. Wall, who succeeded
him as librarian,[31] is a learned antiquary and an admired writer.
To him the readers of the _Stratford-upon-Avon Herald_ are indebted
for instructive articles,--notably for those giving an account of the
original Shakespeare quartos acquired for the Memorial library at the
sale of the literary property of J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps. Those
quartos are the _Merchant of Venice_, the _Merry Wives of Windsor_,
and a first edition of _Pericles_. A copy of _Roger of Faversham_ was
also bought, together with two of the plays of Aphra Behn. Charles
Edward Flower purchased, at that sale, a copy of the first folio of
Shakespeare, and the four Shakespeare Folios, 1623, 1632, 1663, 1685,
stand side by side in his private library at Avonbank. Mr. Flower
intimated the intention of giving them to the Memorial library. [His
death did not defeat that purpose. Those precious books are now in the
Memorial collection.]

A large collection of old writings was found in a room of the Grammar
School, adjacent to the Guild chapel, in 1887. About five thousand
separate papers were discovered, the old commingled with the new; many
of them indentures of apprenticeship; many of them receipts for money;
no one of them especially important, as bearing on the Shakespeare
story. Several of them are in Latin. The earliest date is 1560,--four
years before the poet was born. One document is a memorandum
"presenting" a couple of the wives of Stratford for slander of certain
other women, and quoting their bad language with startling fidelity.
Another is a letter from a citizen of London, named Smart, establishing
and endowing a free school in Stratford for teaching English,--the
writer quaintly remarking that schools for the teaching of Latin are
numerous, while no school for teaching English exists, that he can
discover. Those papers have been classified and arranged by Richard
Savage, but nothing directly pertinent to Shakespeare has been found in
them. I saw a deed that bore the "mark" of Joan, sister of Mary Arden,
Shakespeare's mother, but this may not be a recent discovery. All those
papers are written in that "cramped penmanship" which baffled Tony
Lumpkin, and which baffles wiser people than he was. Richard Savage,
however, is skilful in reading this crooked and queer calligraphy; and
the materials and the duty of exploring them are in the right hands.
When the researches and conclusions of that scholar are published
they will augment the mass of evidence already extant,--much of it
well presented by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps,--that the writer of
Shakespeare's plays was a man familiar with the neighbourhood, the
names, and the everyday life of Stratford-upon-Avon; a fact which is
not without its admonitory suggestiveness to those credulous persons
who incline to heed the ignorant and idle theories and conjectures of
Mr. Ignatius Donnelly. That mistaken and somewhat mischievous writer
visited Shakespeare's town in the summer of 1888, and surveyed the
scenes that are usually viewed. "He did not address himself to me,"
said Miss Chattaway, who was then at the Birthplace, as its custodian;
"had he done so I should have informed him that, in Stratford, Bacon is
all gammon." She was right. So it is. And not alone in Stratford, but
wherever men and women have eyes to see and brains to understand.

[Illustration: _An Old Stratford Character: George Robbins. Died
September 17, 1889, aged 78._]

The spot on which Shakespeare died ought surely to be deemed as sacred
as the spot on which he was born: yet New Place is not as much visited
as the Birthplace,--perhaps because so little of it remains. Only
five hundred and thirty-seven visitors went there during the year
ending April 13, 1888.[32] In repairing the custodian's house at New
Place the crossed timbers in the one remaining fragment of the north
wall of the original structure were found, beneath plaster. Those
have been left uncovered and their dark lines add to the picturesque
effect of the place. The aspect of the old house prior to 1742 is
known but vaguely, if at all. Shakespeare bought it in 1597, when he
was thirty-three years old, and he kept it till his death, nineteen
years later. The street, Chapel lane, that separates it from the
Guild chapel was narrower than it is now, and the house stood in a
grassy enclosure, encompassed by a wall, the entrance to the garden
being at some distance eastward in the lane, toward the river. The
chief rooms in New Place were lined with square, sunken panels of
oak, which covered the walls from floor to roof and probably formed
the ceilings. Some of those panels,--obtained when the Rev. Francis
Gastrell tore down that house in 1759,--may be seen in a parlour of
the Falcon hotel, at the corner of Scholar's lane and Chapel street.
There is nothing left of New Place but the old well in the cellar,
the fragments of the foundation, the lintel, the armorial stone, and
the fragment of wall that forms part of the custodian's house. That
custodian, Mr. Bower Bulmer, a pleasant, appreciative, and genial man,
died on January 17, 1888, and his widow succeeded him in office.[33]
Another conspicuous and interesting Stratford figure, well known and
for a long time, was John Marshall, the antiquary, who died on June 26,
1887. Mr. Marshall occupied the building next but one to the original
New Place, on the north side,--the house once tenanted by Julius
Shaw, one of the five witnesses to Shakespeare's will. Mr. Marshall
sold Shakespeare souvenirs and quaint furniture. He had remarkable
skill in carving, and his mind was full of knowledge of Shakespeare
antiquities and the traditional lore of Stratford. His kindness,
his eccentric ways, his elaborate forms of speech, and his love and
faculty for art commended him to the respect and sympathy of all who
knew him. He was a character,--and in such a place as Stratford such
quaint beings are appropriate and uncommonly delightful. He will
long be kindly remembered, long missed from his accustomed round. He
rests now, in an unmarked grave, in Trinity churchyard, close to the
bank of the Avon,--just east of the stone that marks the sepulchre
of Mary Pickering; by which token the future pilgrim may know the
spot. Marshall was well known to me, and we had many a talk about
the antiquities of the town. Among my relics there was for some time
[until at last I gave it to Edwin Booth], a precious piece of wood,
bearing this inscription, written by him: "Old Oak from Shakespeare's
Birth-place, taken out of the building when it was Restored in 1858 by
Mr. William Holtom, the contractor for the restoration, who supplied
it to John Marshall, carver, Stratford-on-Avon, and presented by
him to W. Winter, August 27th, 1885, J. M." Another valued souvenir
of this quaint person, given by his widow to Richard Savage, of the
Birthplace,--a fine carved goblet, made from the wood of the renowned
mulberry-tree planted by the poet in the garden of New Place, and cut
down by the Rev. Francis Gastrell in 1756,--came into my possession, as
a birthday gift from Mr. Savage, on July 15, 1891.

At the Shakespeare Birthplace you will no longer meet with those
gentle ladies,--so quaint, so characteristic, so harmonious with the
place,--Miss Maria Chattaway and Miss Caroline Chattaway. The former
was the official custodian of the cottage, and the latter assisted
her in the work of its exposition. They retired from office in June,
1889, after seventeen years of service, the former aged seventy-six,
the latter seventy-eight; and now,--being infirm, and incapable of the
active, incessant labour that was required of them by the multitude
of visitors,--they dwell in a little house in the Warwick Road, where
their friends are welcomed, and where venerable and honoured age
may haunt the chimney-corner, and "keep the flame from wasting, by
repose."[34] The new guardian of the Shakespeare cottage is Joseph
Skipsey,[35] of Newcastle, the miner poet: for Mr. Skipsey was trained
in the mines of Northumberland, was long a labourer in them, and his
muse sings in the simple accents of nature. He is the author of an
essay on Burns, and of various other essays and miscellaneous writings.
An edition of his poems, under the title of _Carols, Songs, and
Ballads_ has been published in London, by Walter Scott, and that book
will be found interesting by those who enjoy the study of original
character and of a rhythmical expression that does not savour of any
poetical school. Mr. Skipsey is an elderly man, with grizzled hair,
a benevolent countenance, and a simple, cordial manner. He spoke to
me, with much animation, about American poets, and especially about
Richard Henry Stoddard, in whose rare and fine genius he manifested
a deep, thoughtful, and gratifying interest. The visitor no longer
hears that earnest, formal, characteristic recital, descriptive of the
house, that was given daily and repeatedly, for so many years, by Miss
Caroline Chattaway,--that delightful allusion to "the mighty dome"
that was the "fit place for the mighty brain." The Birthplace acquires
new treasures from year to year,--mainly in its library, which is kept
in perfect order by Richard Savage, that ideal antiquarian, who even
collects and retains the bits of the stone floor of the Shakespeare
room that become detached by age. In that library is preserved the
original manuscript of Wheler's _History of Stratford_, together with
his annotated and interleaved copy of the printed book, which is thus
enriched with much new material relative to the antiquities of the
storied town.

In the Washington Irving parlour of the Red Horse the American
traveller will find objects that are specially calculated to please
his fancy and to deepen his interest in the place. Among them are the
chair in which Irving sat; the sexton's clock to which he refers in
the _Sketch Book_; an autograph letter by him; another by Longfellow;
a view of Irving's house of Sunnyside; and pictures of Junius Booth,
Edwin Booth, the elder and the present Jefferson, Miss Mary Anderson,
Miss Ada Rehan, Elliston, Farren, Salvini, Henry Irving, and Miss Ellen
Terry. To invest that valued room with an atmosphere at once literary
and dramatic was the intention of its decorator, and this object has
been attained. When Washington Irving visited Stratford and lodged
at the Red Horse the "pretty chambermaid," to whom he alludes, in his
gentle and genial account of that experience, was Sally Garner,--then,
in fact, a middle-aged woman and plain rather than pretty. The head
waiter was William Webb. Both those persons lived to an advanced
age. Sally Garner was retired, on a pension, by Mr. Gardner, former
proprietor of the Red Horse, and she died at Tanworth (not Tamworth,
which is another place) and was buried there. Webb died at Stratford.
He had been a waiter at the Red Horse for sixty years, and he was
esteemed by all who knew him. His grave, in Stratford churchyard,
remained unmarked, and it is one among the many that, unfortunately,
were levelled and obliterated in 1888, under the rule of the present
vicar. A few of the older residents of the town might perhaps be able
to indicate its situation; but, practically, that relic of the past
is gone,--and with it has vanished an element of valuable interest to
the annual multitude of Shakespeare pilgrims upon whom the prosperity
of Stratford is largely dependent, and for whom, if not for the
inhabitants, every relic of its past should be perpetuated.[36] This
sentiment is not without its practical influence. Among other good
results of it is the restoration of the ancient timber front and the
quaint gables of the Shakespeare hotel, which, already hallowed by its
association with Garrick and the Jubilee of September 7, 1769, has now
become one of the most picturesque, attractive, and representative
buildings in Stratford.

There is a resolute disposition among Stratford people to save and
perpetuate everything that is associated, however remotely, with the
name of Shakespeare. Mr. Charles Frederick Loggin,[37] a chemist in the
High street, possesses a lock and key that were affixed to one of the
doors in New Place, and also a sundial that reposed upon a pedestal
in New Place garden, presumably in Shakespeare's time. The lock is
made of brass; the key of iron, with an ornamented handle, of graceful
design, but broken. On the lock appears an inscription stating that
it was "taken from New Place in the year 1759, and preserved by John
Lord, Esq." The sundial is made of copper, and upon its surface are
Roman numerals distributed around the outer edge of the circle that
encloses its rays. The corners of the plate are broken, and one side
of it is bent. This injury was done to it by thieves, who wrenched it
from its setting, on a night in 1759, and were just making away with it
when they were captured and deprived of their plunder. The sundial also
bears an inscription, certifying that it was preserved by Mr. Lord. New
Place garden was at one time owned by one of Mr. Loggin's relatives,
and from that former owner those Shakespeare relics were derived.
Shakespeare's hand may have touched that lock, and Shakespeare's eyes
may have looked upon that dial,--perhaps on the day when he made Jaques
draw the immortal picture of Touchstone in the forest, moralising on
the flight of time and the evanescence of earthly things. [_As You Like
It_ was written in 1599-1600.]

[Illustration: _Anne Hathaway's Cottage._]

Another remote relic of Shakespeare is the shape of the foundation
of Bishopton church, which remains traced, by ridges of the velvet
sod, in a green field a little to the northwest of Stratford, in
the direction of Wilmcote,--the birthplace of Shakespeare's mother,
Mary Arden. The parish of Bishopton adjoins that of Shottery, and
Bishopton is one of three places that have commonly been mentioned
in association with Shakespeare's marriage with Anne Hathaway. Many
scholars, indeed, incline to think that the wedding occurred there. The
church was destroyed about eighty years ago. The house in Wilmcote,
in which, as tradition declares, Mary Arden was born, is seen at the
entrance to the village, and is conspicuous for its quaint dormer
windows and for its mellow colours and impressive antiquity. Wilmcote
is rougher in aspect than most of the villages of Warwickshire, and
the country immediately around it is wild and bleak; but the hedges
are full of wildflowers and are haunted by many birds; and the wide,
green, lonesome fields, especially when you see them in the gloaming,
possess that air of melancholy solitude,--vague, dream-like, and poetic
rather than sad,--which always strongly sways the imaginative mind.
Inside the Mary Arden cottage I saw nothing remarkable, except the
massive old timbers. That house as well as the Anne Hathaway cottage
at Shottery, will be purchased and added to the other several Trusts,
of Shakespeare's Birthplace, the Museum, and New Place.[38] The Anne
Hathaway cottage needs care, and as an authentic relic of Shakespeare
and a charming bit of rustic antiquity its preservation is important,
as well to lovers of the poet, all the world over, as to the town of
Stratford, which thrives by his renown. The beautiful Guild chapel also
needs care. The hand of restoration should, indeed, touch it lightly
and reverently; but restored it must be, at no distant day, for every
autumn storm shakes down fragments of its fretted masonry and despoils
the venerable grandeur of that gray tower on which Shakespeare so
often gazed from the windows of his hallowed home. Whatever is done
there, fortunately for the Shakespearean world, will be done under the
direction of a man of noble spirit, rare ability, sound scholarship,
and fine taste,--the Rev. R. S. DeCourcy Laffan, head-master of the
Grammar School and therefore pastor of the Guild.[39] Liberal in
thought, manly in character, simple, sincere, and full of sensibility
and goodness, that preacher strongly impresses all who approach him,
and is one of the most imposing figures in the pulpit of his time. And
he is a reverent Shakespearean.

A modern feature of Stratford, interesting to the Shakespeare pilgrim,
is Lord Ronald Gower's statue of the poet, erected in October, 1888,
in the Memorial garden. That work is infelicitous in its site and
not fortunate in all of its details, but in some particulars it is
fine. Upon a huge pedestal appears the full-length bronze figure of
Shakespeare, seated in a chair, while at the four corners of the base
are bronze effigies of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Henry the Fifth, and
Falstaff. Hamlet is the expression of a noble ideal. The face and
figure are wasted with misery, yet full of thought and strength. The
type of man thus embodied will at once be recognised,--an imperial,
powerful, tender, gracious, but darkly introspective nature, broken
and subjugated by hopeless grief and by vain brooding over the mystery
of life and death. Lady Macbeth is depicted in her sleep-walking, and,
although the figure is treated in a conventional manner, it conveys
the idea of remorse and of physical emaciation from suffering, and
likewise the sense of being haunted and accursed. Prince Henry is
represented as he may have appeared when putting on his dying father's
kingly crown. The figure is lithe, graceful, and spirited; the pose
is true and the action is natural; but the personality is deficient of
identity and of royal distinction. Falstaff appears as a fat man who is
a type of gross, chuckling humour; so that this image might stand for
Gambrinus. The intellect and the predominant character of Falstaff are
not indicated. The figures are dwarfed, furthermore, by the size of the
stone that they surround,--a huge pillar, upon which appropriate lines
from Shakespeare have been inscribed. The statue of Shakespeare shows
a man of solid self-concentration and adamantine will; an observer,
of universal view, and incessant vigilance. The chief feature of it
is the piercing look of the eyes. This is a man who sees, ponders,
and records. Imagination and sensibility, on the other hand, are not
suggested. The face lacks modelling: it is as smooth as the face of
a child; there is not one characteristic curve or wrinkle in all its
placid expanse. Perhaps it was designed to express an idea of eternal
youth. The man who had gained Shakespeare's obvious experience must
have risen to a composure not to be ruffled by anything that this world
can do, to bless or to ban a human life. But the record of his struggle
must have been written in his face. This may be a fine statue of a
practical thinker, but it is not the image of a poet and it is not an
adequate presentment of Shakespeare. The structure stands on the south
side of the Memorial building and within a few feet of it, so that it
is almost swallowed up by what was intended for its background. It
would show to better advantage if it were placed further to the south,
looking down the long reach of the Avon toward Shakespeare's church.
The form of the poet could then be seen from the spot on which he
died, while his face would still look, as it does now, toward his tomb.

[Illustration: THE GOWER STATUE]

A constant stream of American visitors pours annually through the Red
Horse. Within three days of July, 1889, more than a hundred American
names appeared in the register. The spirit of Washington Irving is
mighty yet. Looking through a few of the old registers of this house, I
read many familiar names of distinguished Americans. Bayard Taylor came
here on July 23, 1856; James E. Murdoch, the famous Hamlet and Mirabel
of other days, on August 31, 1856; Rev. Francis Vinton on June 10,
1857; Henry Ward Beecher on June 22, 1862; Elihu Burritt, "the learned
blacksmith," on September 19, 1865; George Ripley on May 12, 1866.
Poor Artemas Ward arrived on September 18, 1866,--only a little while
before his death, which occurred in March, 1867, at Southampton. The
Rev. Charles T. Brooks, translator of _Faust_, registered his name here
on September 20, 1866. Charles Dudley Warner came on May 6, 1868; Mr.
and Mrs. W. J. Florence on May 29, 1868; and S. R. Gifford and Jervis
M'Entee on the same day. The poet Longfellow, accompanied by Thomas
Appleton, arrived on June 23, 1868. Those Red Horse registers contain
a unique and remarkable collection of autographs. Within a few pages,
I observed the curiously contrasted signatures of Cardinal Wiseman,
Sam Cowell, the Duc d'Aumale, Tom Thumb, Miss Burdett-Coutts (1861),
Blanchard Jerrold, Edmund Yates, Charles Fechter, Andrew Carnegie,
David Gray (of Buffalo), the Duchess of Coburg, Moses H. Grinnell,
Lord Leigh, of Stoneleigh Abbey, J. M. Bellew, Samuel Longfellow,
Charles and Henry Webb (the Dromios), Edna Dean Proctor, Gerald Massey,
Clarence A. Seward, Frederick Maccabe, M. D. Conway, the Prince of
Condé, and John L. Toole. That this repository of autographs is
appreciated may be inferred from the fact that special vigilance has to
be exercised to prevent the hotel registers from being carried off or
mutilated. The volume containing the signature of Washington Irving was
stolen years ago and it has been vaguely heard of as being in America.

There is a collection of autographs of visitors to the Shakespeare
Birthplace that was gathered many years since by Mary Hornby,
custodian of that cottage [it was she who whitewashed the walls, in
order to obliterate the writings upon them, when she was removed
from her office, in 1820], and this is now in the possession of
her granddaughter, Mrs. Smith,[40] a resident of Stratford; but
many valuable names have been taken from it,--among others that of
Lord Byron. The mania for obtaining relics of Stratford antiquity
is remarkable. Mention is made of an unknown lady who came to the
birth-room of Shakespeare, and after begging in vain for a piece of the
woodwork or of the stone, presently knelt and wiped the floor with her
glove, which then she carefully rolled up and secreted, declaring that
she would, at least, possess some of the dust of that sacred chamber.
It is a creditable sentiment, though not altogether a rational one,
that impels devotional persons to such conduct as that; but the entire
Shakespeare cottage would soon disappear if such a passion for relics
were practically gratified. The elemental feeling is one of reverence,
and this is perhaps indicated in the following lines with which the
present writer began a new volume of the Red Horse register, on July
21, 1889:--


    While evening waits and hearkens,
      While yet the song-bird calls,--
    Before the last light darkens,
      Before the last leaf falls,--
    Once more with reverent feeling
      This sacred shrine I seek,
    By silent awe revealing
      The love I cannot speak.




[Illustration: _Evesham._]

Stratford-upon-Avon, August 22, 1889.--The river life of Stratford is
one of the chief delights of this delightful town. The Avon, according
to law, is navigable from its mouth, at Tewkesbury, where it empties
into the Severn, as far upward as Warwick; but according to fact it is
passable only to the resolute navigator who can surmount obstacles.
From Tewkesbury up to Evesham there is plain sailing. Above Evesham
there are occasional barriers. At Stratford there is an abrupt pause
at Lucy's mill, and your boat must be taken ashore, dragged a little
way over the meadow, and launched again. Lucy's mill is just south of
the Shakespeare church, and from this point up to Clopton's bridge the
river is broad. Here the boat-races are rowed, almost every year. Here
the stream ripples against the pleasure-ground called the Bancroft,
skirts the gardens of the Shakespeare Memorial, glides past the lovely
lawns of Avonbank,--once the home of that noble public benefactor and
fine Shakespearean scholar, Charles Edward Flower,--and breaks upon
the retaining wall of the churchyard, crowned with the high and
thick-leaved elms that nod and whisper over Shakespeare's dust. The
town lies on the left or west bank of the Avon, as you ascend the river
looking northward. On the right or east bank there is a wide stretch of
meadow. To float along here in the gloaming, when the bats are winging
their "cloistered flight," when great flocks of starlings are flying
rapidly over, when "the crow makes wing to the rooky wood," when the
water is as smooth as a mirror of burnished steel, and equally the
grasses and flowers upon the banks and the stately trees and the gray,
solemn, and beautiful church are reflected deep in the lucid stream, is
an experience of thoughtful pleasure that sinks deep into the heart
and will never be forgotten. You do not know Stratford till you know
the Avon.

[Illustration: _Clopton Bridge._]

From Clopton's bridge upward the river winds capriciously between
banks that are sometimes fringed with willows and sometimes bordered
with grassy meadows or patches of woodland or cultivated lawns,
enclosing villas that seem the chosen homes of all this world can
give of loveliness and peace. The course is now entirely clear for
several miles. Not till you pass the foot of Alveston village does any
obstacle present itself; but there, as well as a little further on,
by Hatton Rock, the stream runs shallow and the current becomes very
swift, dashing over sandy banks and great masses of tangled grass and
weeds. These are "the rapids," and through these the mariner must make
his way by adroit steering and a vigorous and expert use of oars and
boat-hooks. The Avon now is bowered by tall trees, and upon the height
that it skirts you see the house of Ryon Hill,--celebrated in the novel
of _Asphodel_, by Miss Braddon. This part of the river, closed in from
the world and presenting in each direction twinkling vistas of sun and
shadow, is especially lovely. Here, in a quiet hour, the creatures that
live along these shores will freely show themselves and their busy
ways. The water-rat comes out of his hole and nibbles at the reeds or
swims sturdily across the stream. The moor-hen flutters out of her
nest, among the long, green rushes, and skims from bank to bank. The
nimble little wagtail flashes through the foliage. The squirrel leaps
among the boughs, and the rabbit scampers into the thicket. Sometimes
a kingfisher, with his shining azure shield, pauses for a moment
among the gnarled roots upon the brink. Sometimes a heron, disturbed in
her nest, rises suddenly upon her great wings and soars grandly away.
Once, rowing down this river at nearly midnight, I surprised an otter
and heard the splash of his precipitate retreat. The ghost of an old
gypsy, who died by suicide upon this wooded shore, is said to haunt the
neighbouring crag; but this, like all other ghosts that ever I came
near, eluded equally my vision and my desire. But it is a weird spot at

[Illustration: _Charlecote, from the Terrace._]

Near Alveston mill you must drag your boat over a narrow strip of land
and launch her again for Charlecote. Now once more this delicious
water-way is broad and fine. As it sweeps past a stately, secluded
home, once that of the ancient family of Peers, toward the Wellesbourne
Road, a great bed of cultivated white water-lilies [hitherto they have
all been yellow] adorns it, and soon there are glimpses of the deer
that browse or prance or slumber beneath the magnificent oaks and elms
and limes and chestnuts of Charlecote Park. No view of Charlecote can
compare with the view of it that is obtained from the river; and if its
proprietor values its reputation for beauty he ought to be glad that
lovers of the beautiful sometimes have an opportunity to see it from
this point. The older wing, with its oriel window and quaint belfry, is
of a peculiar, mellow red, relieved against bright green ivy, to which
only the brush of a painter could do justice. Nothing more delicious,
in its way, is to be found; at least, the only piece of architecture
in this region that excels it in beauty of colour is the ancient
house of Compton-Wynyate; but that is a marvel of loveliness, the gem
of Warwickshire, and, in romantic quaintness, it surpasses all its
fellows. The towers of the main building of Charlecote are octagon, and
a happy alternation of thin and slender with thick, truncated turrets
much enhances the effect of quaintness in this grave and opulent
edifice. A walled terrace, margined with urns and blazing with flowers
of gold and crimson, extends from the river front to the waterside, and
terminates in a broad flight of stone steps, at the foot of which are
moored the barges of the house of Lucy. No spectacle could suggest more
of aristocratic state and austere magnificence than this sequestered
edifice does, standing there, silent, antique, venerable, gorgeous,
surrounded by its vast, thick-wooded park, and musing, as it has done
for hundreds of years, on the silver Avon that murmurs at its base.
Close by there is a lovely waterfall, over which some little tributary
of the river descends in a fivefold wave of shimmering crystal, wafting
a music that is heard in every chamber of the house and in all the
fields and woodlands round about. It needs the sun to bring out the
rich colours of Charlecote, but once when I saw it from the river a
storm was coming on, and vast masses of black and smoke-coloured cloud
were driving over it, in shapeless blocks and jagged streamers, while
countless frightened birds were whirling above it; and presently, when
the fierce lightning flashed across the heavens and a deluge of rain
descended and beat upon it, a more romantic sight was never seen.

[Illustration: _The Abbey Mills, Tewkesbury._]

Above Charlecote the Avon grows narrow for a space, and after you pass
under Hampton Lucy bridge your boat is much entangled in river grass
and much impeded by whirls and eddies of the shallowing stream. There
is another mill at Hampton Lucy, and a little way beyond the village
your further progress upward is stopped by a waterfall,--beyond which,
however, and accessible by the usual expedient of dragging the boat
over the land, a noble reach of the river is disclosed, stretching
away toward Warwick, where the wonderful Castle, and sweet St. Mary's
tower, and Leicester's hospital, and the cosy Warwick Arms await your
coming,--with mouldering Kenilworth and majestic Stoneleigh Abbey
reserved to lure you still further afield. But the scene around Hampton
Lucy is not one to be quickly left. There the meadows are rich and
green and fragrant. There the large trees give grateful shade and make
sweet music in the summer wind. There, from the ruddy village, thin
spires of blue smoke curl upward through the leaves and seem to tell
of comfort and content beneath. At a little distance the gray tower of
the noble church,--an edifice of peculiar and distinctive majesty, and
one well worthy of the exceptional beauty enshrined within it,--rears
itself among the elms. Close by the sleek and indolent cattle are
couched upon the cool sod, looking at you with large, soft, lustrous,
indifferent eyes. The waterfall sings on, with its low melancholy
plaint, while sometimes the silver foam of it is caught up and whirled
away by the breeze. The waves sparkle on the running stream, and the
wildflowers, in gay myriads, glance and glimmer on the velvet shore.
And so, as the sun is setting and the rooks begin to fly homeward, you
breathe the fragrant air from Scarbank and look upon a veritable place
that Shakespeare may have had in mind when he wrote his line of endless

    "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows."[41]



Stratford-upon-Avon, August 27, 1889.--Among the many charming rambles
that may be enjoyed in the vicinity of Stratford, the ramble to
Wootton-Wawen and Henley-in-Arden is not least delightful. Both those
places are on the Birmingham road; the former six miles, the latter
eight miles, from Stratford. When you stand upon the bridge at Wootton
you are only one hundred miles from London, but you might be in a
wilderness a thousand miles from any city, for in all the slumberous
scene around you there is no hint of anything but solitude and peace.
Close by a cataract tumbles over the rocks and fills the air with
music. Not far distant rises the stately front of Wootton Hall, an old
manor-house, surrounded with green lawns and bowered by majestic elms,
which has always been a Roman Catholic abode, and which is never leased
to any but Roman Catholic tenants. A cosy, gabled house, standing among
trees and shrubs a little way from the roadside, is the residence of
the priest of this hamlet,--an antiquarian and a scholar, of ample
acquirements and fine talent. Across the meadows, in one direction,
peers forth a fine specimen of the timbered cottage of ancient
times,--the black beams conspicuous upon a white surface of plaster.
Among the trees, in another direction, appears the great gray tower of
Wootton-Wawen church, a venerable pile and one in which, by means of
the varying orders of its architecture, you may, perhaps, trace the
whole ecclesiastical history of England. The approach to that church
is through a green lane and a wicket-gate, and when you come near to
it you find that it is surrounded with many graves, some marked and
some unmarked, on all of which the long grass waves in rank luxuriance
and whispers softly in the summer breeze. The place seems deserted.
Not a human creature is anywhere visible, and the only sound that
breaks the stillness of this August afternoon is the cawing of a few
rooks in the lofty tops of the neighbouring elms. The actual life of
all places, when you come to know it well, proves to be, for the most
part, conventional, commonplace, and petty. Human beings, with here and
there an exception, are dull and tedious, each resembling the other,
and each needlessly laborious to increase that resemblance. In this
respect all parts of the world are alike,--and therefore the happiest
traveller is he who keeps mostly alone, and uses his eyes, and communes
with his own thoughts. The actual life of Wootton is, doubtless, much
like that of other hamlets,--a "noiseless tenor" of church squabbles,
village gossip, and discontented grumbling, diversified with feeding
and drinking, lawn tennis, matrimony, birth, and death. But as I looked
around upon this group of nestling cottages, these broad meadows,
green and cool in the shadow of the densely mantled trees, and
this ancient church, gray and faded with antiquity, slowly crumbling to
pieces amid the fresh and everlasting vitality of nature, I felt that
surely here might at last be discovered a permanent haven of refuge
from the incessant platitude and triviality of ordinary experience and
the strife and din of the world.


Wootton-Wawen church is one of the numerous Roman Catholic buildings of
about the eleventh century that still survive in this realm, devoted
now to Protestant worship. It has been partly restored, but most of it
is in a state of decay, and if this be not soon arrested the building
will become a ruin. Its present vicar, the Rev. Francis T. Bramston,
is making vigorous efforts to interest the public in the preservation
of this ancient monument, and those efforts ought to succeed. A more
valuable ecclesiastical relic it would be difficult to find, even
in this rich region of antique treasures, the heart of England. Its
sequestered situation and its sweetly rural surroundings invest it with
peculiar beauty. It is associated, furthermore, with names that are
stately in English history and honoured in English literature,--with
Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, whose sister reposes in its
ancient vaults, and with William Somerville [1692-1742], the poet who
wrote _The Chase_. It was not until I actually stood upon his tombstone
that my attention was directed to the name of that old author, and to
the presence of his relics in this remote and lonely place. Somerville
lived and died at Edston Hall, near Wootton-Wawen, and was famous in
his day as a Warwickshire squire and huntsman. His grave is in the
chancel of the church, the following excellent epitaph, written by
himself, being inscribed upon the plain blue stone that covers it:--

                  H. S. E.
            OBIIT 17. JULY. 1742.
              CHRISTO CONFIDE,
                ET MORTALEM.

Such words have a meaning that sinks deep into the heart when they are
read upon the gravestone that covers the poet's dust. They came to me
like a message from an old friend who had long been waiting for the
opportunity of this solemn greeting and wise counsel. Another epitaph
written by Somerville,--and one that shows equally the kindness of his
heart and the quaintness of his character,--appears upon a little,
low, lichen-covered stone in Wootton-Wawen churchyard, where it
commemorates his huntsman and butler, Jacob Bocter, who was hurt in the
hunting-field, and died of this accident:--

               H. S. E.
            JACOBUS BOCTER.
             28 DIE JAN.,
            ANNO DNI 1719.
               AETAT 38.

[Illustration: _Beaudesert Cross._]

The pilgrim who rambles as far as Wootton-Wawen will surely stroll
onward to Henley-in-Arden. The whole of that region was originally
covered by the Forest of Arden[42]--the woods that Shakespeare had
in mind when he was writing _As You Like It_, a comedy whereof the
atmosphere, foliage, flowers, scenery, and spirit are purely those
of his native Warwickshire. Henley, if the observer may judge by the
numerous inns that fringe its long, straggling, picturesque street,
must once have been a favourite halting-place for the coaches that
plied between London and Birmingham. They are mostly disused now, and
the little town sleeps in the sun and seems forgotten.[43] There is a
beautiful specimen of the ancient market-cross in its centre,--gray and
sombre and much frayed by the tooth of time. Close beside Henley, and
accessible in a walk of a few minutes, is the church of Beaudesert,
which is one of the most precious of the ecclesiastic gems of England.
Here you will see architecture of mingled Saxon and Norman,--the
solid Norman buttress, the castellated tower, the Saxon arch moulded
in zigzag, which is more ancient than the dog-tooth, and the round,
compact columns of the early English order. Above the church rises a
noble mound, upon which, in the middle ages, stood a castle,--probably
that of Peter de Montfort,--and from which a comprehensive and superb
view may be obtained, over many miles of verdant meadow and bosky
dell, interspersed with red-roofed villages from which the smoke of
the cottage chimneys curls up in thin blue spirals under the gray
and golden sunset sky. An old graveyard encircles the church, and
by its orderly disorder,--the quaint, graceful work of capricious
time,--enhances the charm of its venerable and storied age. There are
only one hundred and forty-six persons in the parish of Beaudesert. I
was privileged to speak with the aged rector, the Rev. John Anthony
Pearson Linskill, and to view the church under his kindly guidance. In
the ordinary course of nature it is unlikely that we shall ever meet
again, but his goodness, his benevolent mind, and the charm of his
artless talk will not be forgotten.[44] My walk that night took me
miles away,--to Claverdon, and home by Bearley; and all the time it was
my thought that the best moments of our lives are those in which we are
touched, chastened, and ennobled by parting and by regret. Nothing is
said so often as good-by. But, in the lovely words of Cowper,

    "The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
    Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown."




American interest in Stratford-upon-Avon springs out of a love for the
works of Shakespeare as profound and passionate as that of the most
sensitive and reverent of the poet's countrymen. It was the father
of American literature, Washington Irving, who in modern times made
the first pilgrimage to that holy land, and set the good example,
which since has been followed by thousands, of worship at the shrine
of Shakespeare. It was an American, the alert and expeditious P. T.
Barnum, who by suddenly proposing to buy the Shakespeare cottage
and transfer it to America startled the English into buying it for
the nation. It is, in part, to Americans that Stratford owes the
Shakespeare Memorial; for while the land on which it stands was given
by that public-spirited citizen of Stratford, Charles Edward Flower,--a
sound and reverent Shakespeare scholar, as his acting edition of the
plays may testify,--and while money to pay for the building of it was
freely contributed by wealthy residents of Warwickshire, and by men of
all ranks throughout the kingdom, the gifts and labours of Americans
were not lacking to that good cause. Edwin Booth was one of the
earliest contributors to the Memorial fund, and the names of Mr. Herman
Vezin, Mr. M. D. Conway, Mr. W. H. Reynolds, Mrs. Bateman, and Mrs.
Louise Chandler Moulton appear in the first list of its subscribers.
Miss Kate Field worked for its advancement, with remarkable energy and
practical success. Miss Mary Anderson acted for its benefit, on August
29, 1885. In the church of the Holy Trinity, where Shakespeare's dust
is buried, a beautiful stained window, illustrative, scripturally, of
that solemn epitome of human life which the poet makes in the speech
of Jaques on the seven ages of man, evinces the practical devotion of
the American pilgrim; and many a heart has been thrilled with reverent
joy to see the soft light that streams through its pictured panes fall
gently on the poet's grave.

Wherever in Stratford you come upon anything associated, even remotely,
with the name and fame of Shakespeare, there you will find the gracious
tokens of American homage. The libraries of the Birthplace and of the
Memorial alike contain gifts of American books. New Place and Anne
Hathaway's cottage are never omitted from the American traveller's
round of visitations and duty of practical tribute. The Falcon, with
its store of relics; the romantic Shakespeare Hotel, with its rambling
passages, its quaint rooms named after Shakespeare's characters, its
antique bar parlour, and the rich collection of autographs and pictures
that has been made by Mrs. Justins; the Grammar School, in which no
doubt the poet, "with shining morning face" of boyhood, was once a
pupil; John Marshall's antiquarian workshop, from which so many of
the best souvenirs of Stratford have proceeded,--a warm remembrance
of his own quaintness, kindness, and originality being perhaps the
most precious of them; the Town Hall, adorned with Gainsborough's
eloquent portrait of Garrick, to which no engraving does justice; the
Guild chapel; the Clopton bridge; Lucy's mill; the footpath across
fields and roads to Shottery, bosomed in great elms; and the ancient
picturesque building, four miles away, at Wilmcote, which was the
home of Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother,--each and every one of
those storied places receives, in turn, the tribute of the wandering
American, and each repays him a hundredfold in charming suggestiveness
of association, in high thought, and in the lasting impulse of sweet
and soothing poetic reverie. At the Red Horse, where Mr. William
Gardner Colbourne maintains the traditions of old-fashioned English
hospitality, he finds his home; well pleased to muse and dream in
Washington Irving's parlour, while the night deepens and the clock in
the distant tower murmurs drowsily in its sleep. Those who will may
mock at his enthusiasm. He would not feel it but for the spell that
Shakespeare's genius has cast upon the world. He ought to be glad and
grateful that he can feel that spell; and, since he does feel it,
nothing could be more natural than his desire to signify that he too,
though born far away from the old home of his race, and separated from
it by three thousand miles of stormy ocean, has still his part in the
divine legacy of Shakespeare, the treasure and the glory of the English

[Illustration: _Henry Irving. 1888._]

A noble token of this American sentiment, and a permanent object of
interest to the pilgrim in Stratford, is supplied by the Jubilee
gift of a drinking-fountain made to that city by George W. Childs of
Philadelphia. It never is a surprise to hear of some new instance
of that good man's constant activity and splendid generosity in
good works; it is only an accustomed pleasure.[45] With fine-art
testimonials in the old world as well as at home his name will always
be honourably associated. A few years ago he presented a superb
window of stained glass to Westminster Abbey, to commemorate, in
Poets' Corner, George Herbert and William Cowper. He has since given
to St. Margaret's church, Westminster, where John Skelton and Sir
James Harrington [1611-1677] were entombed, and where was buried the
headless body of Sir Walter Raleigh, a pictorial window commemorative
of John Milton. His fountain at Stratford was dedicated on October 17,
1887, with appropriate ceremonies conducted by Sir Arthur Hodgson, of
Clopton, then mayor, and amid general rejoicing. Henry Irving, the
leader of the English stage and the most illustrious of English actors
since the age of Garrick, delivered an address of singular felicity
and eloquence, and also read a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The
countrymen of Mr. Childs are not less interested in this structure
than the community that it was intended to honour and benefit. They
observe with satisfaction and pride that he has made this beneficent,
beautiful, and opulent offering to a town which, for all of them, is
hallowed by exalted associations, and for many of them is endeared by
delightful memories. They sympathise also with the motive and feeling
that prompted him to offer his gift as one among many memorials of the
fiftieth year of the reign of Queen Victoria. It is not every man who
knows how to give with grace, and the good deed is "done double" that
is done at the right time. Stratford had long been in need of such a
fountain as Mr. Childs has given, and therefore it satisfies a public
want, at the same time that it serves a purpose of ornamentation and
bespeaks and strengthens a bond of international sympathy. Rother
street, in which the structure stands, is the most considerable open
place in Stratford, and is situated near the centre of the town, on
the west side. There, as also at the intersection of High and Bridge
streets, which are the principal thoroughfares of the city, the
farmers, at stated intervals, range their beasts and wagons and hold
a market. It is easy to foresee that Rother, embellished with this
monument, which combines a convenient clock tower, a place of rest
and refreshment for man, and commodious drinking-troughs for horses,
cattle, dogs, and sheep, will soon become the agricultural centre
of the region.


The base of the monument is made of Peterhead granite; the
superstructure is of gray stone, from Bolton, Yorkshire. The height of
the tower is fifty feet. On the north side a stream of water, flowing
constantly from a bronze spout, falls into a polished granite basin.
On the south side a door opens into the interior. The decorations
include sculptures of the arms of Great Britain alternated with the
eagle and stripes of the American republic. In the second story of the
tower, lighted by glazed arches, is placed a clock, and on the outward
faces of the third story appear four dials. There are four turrets
surrounding a central spire, each surmounted with a gilded vane. The
inscriptions on the base were devised by Sir Arthur Hodgson, and are


  The gift of an American citizen, George W. Childs, of Philadelphia,
            to the town of Shakespeare, in the Jubilee year
                          of Queen Victoria.


    In her days every man shall eat, in safety
    Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
    The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.
    God shall be truly known: and those about her
    From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
    And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.

                             _Henry VIII._, ACT V. SCENE 4.


    Honest water, which ne'er left man i' the mire.

                         _Timon of Athens_, ACT I. SCENE 2.


 Ten thousand honours and blessings on the bard who has thus gilded the
 dull realities of life with innocent illusions.--_Washington Irving's

Stratford-upon-Avon, fortunate in many things, is especially fortunate
in being situated at a considerable distance from the main line of
any railway. Two railroads skirt the town, but both are branches, and
travel upon them has not yet become too frequent. Stratford, therefore,
still retains a measure of its ancient isolation, and consequently a
flavour of quaintness. Antique customs are still prevalent there, and
odd characters may still be encountered. The current of village gossip
flows with incessant vigour, and nothing happens in the place that is
not thoroughly discussed by its inhabitants. An event so important as
the establishment of the American Fountain would excite great interest
throughout Warwickshire. It would be pleasant to hear the talk of
those old cronies who drift into the bar parlour of the Red Horse on
a Saturday evening, as they comment on the liberal American who has
thus enriched and beautified their town. The Red Horse circle is but
one of many in which the name of Childs is spoken with esteem and
cherished with affection. The present writer has made many visits to
Stratford and has passed much time there, and he has observed on many
occasions the admiration and gratitude of the Warwickshire people for
the American philanthropist. In the library of Charles Edward Flower,
at Avonbank; in the opulent mansion of Edgar Flower, at the Hill; in
the lovely home of Alderman Bird; at the hospitable table of Sir
Arthur Hodgson, in Clopton; and in many other representative places
he has heard that name spoken, and always with delight and honour.
Time will only deepen and widen the loving respect with which it is
hallowed. In England, more than anywhere else on earth, the record of
good deeds is made permanent, not alone with imperishable symbols, but
in the hearts of the people. The inhabitants of Warwickshire, guarding
and maintaining their Stratford Fountain, will not forget by whom it
was given. Wherever you go, in the British islands, you find memorials
of the past and of individuals who have done good deeds in their time,
and you also find that those memorials are respected and preserved.
Warwickshire abounds with them. Many such emblems might be indicated.
Each one of them takes its place in the regard and gradually becomes
entwined with the experience of the whole community. So it will be
with the Childs Fountain at Stratford. The children trooping home from
school will drink of it and sport in its shadow, and, reading upon
its base the name of its founder, will think with pleasure of a good
man's gift. It stands in the track of travel between Banbury, Shipston,
Stratford, and Birmingham, and many weary men and horses will pause
beside it every day, for a moment of refreshment and rest. On festival
days it will be hung with garlands, while around it the air is glad
with music. And often in the long, sweet gloaming of the summertimes to
come the rower on the limpid Avon, that murmurs by the ancient town of
Shakespeare, will pause with suspended oar to hear its silver chimes.
If the founder of that fountain had been capable of a selfish thought
he could have taken no way better or more certain than this for the
perpetuation of his name in the affectionate esteem of one of the
loveliest places and one of the most sedate communities in the world.

[Illustration: _Mary Arden's Cottage._]

Autumn in England--and all the country ways of lovely Warwickshire are
strewn with fallen leaves. But the cool winds are sweet and bracing,
the dark waters of the Avon, shimmering in mellow sunlight and frequent
shadow, flow softly past the hallowed church, and the reaped and
gleaned and empty meadows invite to many a healthful ramble, far and
wide over the country of Shakespeare. It is a good time to be there.
Now will the robust pedestrian make his jaunt to Charlecote Park and
Hampton Lucy, to Stoneleigh Abbey, to Warwick and Kenilworth, to Guy's
Cliff, with its weird avenue of semi-blasted trees, to the Blacklow
Hill,--where sometimes at still midnight the shuddering peasant hears
the ghostly funeral bell of Sir Piers Gaveston sounding ruefully from
out the black and gloomy woods,--and to many another historic haunt and
high poetic shrine. All the country-side is full of storied resorts and
cosey nooks and comfortable inns. But neither now nor hereafter will it
be otherwise than grateful and touching to such an explorer of haunted
Warwickshire to see, among the emblems of poetry and romance which are
its chief glory, this new token of American sentiment and friendship,
the Fountain of Stratford.



Warwick, August 29, 1889.--It has long been the conviction of the
present writer that the character of King Richard the Third has been
distorted and maligned by the old historians from whose authority
the accepted view of it is derived. He was, it is certain, a superb
soldier, a wise statesman, a judicious legislator, a natural ruler of
men, and a prince most accomplished in music and the fine arts and in
the graces of social life. Some of the best laws that ever were enacted
in England were enacted during his reign. His title to the throne of
England was absolutely clear, as against the Earl of Richmond, and but
for the treachery of some among his followers he would have prevailed
in the contest upon Bosworth Field, and would have vindicated and
maintained that title over all opposition. He lost the battle, and he
was too great a man to survive the ruin of his fortunes. He threw away
his life in the last mad charge upon Richmond that day, and when once
the grave had closed over him, and his usurping cousin had seized the
English crown, it naturally must have become the easy as well as the
politic business of history to blacken his character. England was never
ruled by a more severe monarch than the austere, crafty, avaricious
Henry the Seventh, and it is certain that no word in praise of his
predecessor could have been publicly said in England during Henry's
reign: neither would it have been wholly safe for anybody to speak for
Richard and the House of York, in the time of Henry the Eighth, the
cruel Mary, or the illustrious Elizabeth. The drift, in fact, was all
the other way. The _Life of Richard the Third_, by Sir Thomas More,
is the fountain-head of the other narratives of his career, and there
can be no doubt that More, who as a youth had lived at Canterbury, in
the palace of Archbishop Morton, derived his views of Richard from
that prelate,--to whose hand indeed, the essential part of the _Life_
has been attributed. "Morton is fled to Richmond." He was Bishop of
Ely when he deserted the king, and Henry the Seventh rewarded him by
making him Archbishop of Canterbury. No man of the time was so little
likely as Morton to take an unprejudiced view of Richard the Third. It
is the Morton view that has become history. The world still looks at
Richard through the eyes of his victorious foe. Moreover, the Morton
view has been stamped indelibly upon the imagination and the credulity
of mankind by the overwhelming and irresistible genius of Shakespeare,
who wrote _Richard the Third_ in the reign of the granddaughter of
Henry the Seventh, and who, aside from the safeguard of discretion,
saw dramatic possibilities in the man of dark passions and deeds that
he could not have seen in a more human and a more virtuous monarch.
Goodness is generally monotonous. "The low sun makes the colour." It
is not to be supposed that Richard was a model man; but there are good
reasons for thinking that he was not so black as his enemies painted
him; and, good or bad, he is one of the most fascinating personalities
that history and literature have made immortal. It was with no common
emotion, therefore, that I stood upon the summit of Ambien Hill and
looked downward over the plain where Richard fought his last fight and
went gloriously to his death.

[Illustration: BOSWORTH FIELD]

The battle of Bosworth Field was fought on August 22, 1485. More
than four hundred years have passed since then: yet except for the
incursions of a canal and a railway the aspect of that plain is but
little changed from what it was when Richard surveyed it, on that gray
and sombre morning when he beheld the forces of Richmond advancing past
the marsh and knew that the crisis of his life had come. The earl was
pressing forward that day from Tamworth and Atherstone, which are in
the northern part of Warwickshire,--the latter being close upon the
Leicestershire border. His course was a little to the southeast, and
Richard's forces, facing northwesterly, confronted their enemies from
the summit of a long and gently sloping hill that extends for several
miles, about east and west, from Market Bosworth on the right, to
the vicinity of Dadlington on the left. The king's position had been
chosen with an excellent judgment that has more than once, in modern
times, elicited the admiration of accomplished soldiers. His right
wing, commanded by Lord Stanley, rested on Bosworth. His left was
protected by a marsh, impassable to the foe. Sir William Stanley
commanded the left and had his headquarters in Dadlington. Richard
rode in the centre. Far to the right he saw the clustered houses and
the graceful spire of Bosworth, and far to the left his glance rested
on the little church of Dadlington. Below and in front of him all was
open field, and all across that field waved the banners and sounded the
trumpets of rebellion and defiance. It is easy to imagine the glowing
emotions,--the implacable resentment, the passionate fury, and the
deadly purpose of slaughter and vengeance,--with which the imperious
and terrible monarch gazed on his approaching foes. They show, in a
meadow, a little way over the crest of the hill, where it is marked and
partly covered now by a pyramidal structure of gray stones, suitably
inscribed with a few commemorative lines in Latin, a spring of water
at which Richard paused to quench his thirst, before he made that last
desperate charge on Radmore heath, when at length he knew himself
betrayed and abandoned, and felt that his only hope lay in killing
the Earl of Richmond with his own hand. The fight at Bosworth was not
a long one. Both the Stanleys deserted the king's standard early in
the day. It was easy for them, posted as they were, to wheel their
forces into the rear of the rebel army, at the right and at the left.
Nothing then remained for Richard but to rush down upon the centre,
where he saw the banner of Richmond,--borne, at that moment, by Sir
John Cheyney,--and to crush the treason at its head. It must have been
a charge of tremendous impetuosity. It bore the fiery king a long way
forward on the level plain. He struck down Cheyney, a man of almost
gigantic stature. He killed Sir William Brandon. He plainly saw the
Earl of Richmond, and came almost near enough to encounter him, when
a score of swords were buried in his body, and, hacked almost into
pieces, he fell beneath heaps of the slain. The place of his death
is now the junction of three country roads, one leading northwest to
Shenton, one southwest to Dadlington, and one bearing away easterly
toward Bosworth. A little brook, called Sandy Ford, flows underneath
the road, and there is a considerable coppice in the field at the
junction. Upon the peaceful sign-board appear the names of Dadlington
and Hinckley. Not more than five hundred feet distant, to the eastward,
rises the embankment of a branch of the Midland Railway, from Nuneaton
to Leicester, while at about the same distance to the westward rises
the similar embankment of a canal. No monument has been erected to
mark the spot where Richard the Third was slain. They took up his
mangled body, threw it across a horse, and carried it into the town
of Leicester, and there it was buried, in the church of the Gray
Friars,--also the sepulchre of Cardinal Wolsey,--now a ruin. The only
commemorative mark upon the battlefield is the pyramid at the well, and
that stands at a long distance from the place of the king's fall. I
tried to picture the scene of his final charge and his frightful death,
as I stood there upon the hillside. Many little slate-coloured clouds
were drifting across a pale blue sky. A cool summer breeze was sighing
in the branches of the neighbouring trees. The bright green sod was all
alive with the sparkling yellow of the colt's-foot and the soft red of
the clover. Birds were whistling from the coppice near by, and overhead
the air was flecked with innumerable black pinions of fugitive rooks
and starlings. It did not seem possible that a sound of war or a deed
of violence could ever have intruded to break the Sabbath stillness of
that scene of peace.

The water of King Richard's Well is a shallow pool, choked now with
moss and weeds. The inscription, which was written by Dr. Samuel Parr,
of Hatton, reads as follows:

                 SITIM. SEDAVIT.
       II KAL. SEP. A.D. M.C.C.C.C.LXXXV.

There are five churches in the immediate neighbourhood of Bosworth
Field, all of which were in one way or another associated with that
memorable battle. Ratcliffe Culey church has a low square tower and
a short stone spire, and there is herbage growing upon its tower and
its roof. It is a building of the fourteenth century, one mark of this
period being its perpendicular stone font, an octagon in shape, and
much frayed by time. In three arches of its chancel, on the south side,
the sculpture shows tri-foliated forms, of exceptional beauty. In the
east window there are fragments of old glass, rich in colour and quaint
and singular. The churchyard is full of odd gravestones, various in
shape and irregular in position. An ugly slate-stone is much used in
Leicestershire for monuments to the dead. Most of those stones record
modern burials, the older graves being unmarked. The grass grows thick
and dense all over the churchyard. Upon the church walls are several
fine specimens of those mysterious ray and circle marks which have long
been a puzzle to the archæological explorer. Such marks are usually
found in the last bay but one, on the south side of the nave, toward
the west end of the church. On Ratcliffe Culey church they consist
of central points with radial lines, like a star, but these are not
enclosed, as often happens, with circle lines. Various theories have
been advanced by antiquarians to account for these designs. Probably
those marks were cut upon the churches, by the pious monks of old, as
emblems of eternity and of the Sun of Righteousness.

Shenton Hall (1629), long and still the seat of the Woollastons, stood
directly in the path of the combatants at Bosworth Field, and the
fury of the battle must have raged all around it. The Hall has been
recased, and, except for its old gatehouse and semi-octagon bays, which
are of the Tudor style, it presents a modern aspect. Its windows open
toward Radmore heath and Ambien Hill, the scene of the conflict between
the Red Rose and the White. The church has been entirely rebuilt,--a
handsome edifice, of crucial form, containing costly pews of old
oak, together with interesting brasses and busts, taken from the old
church which it has replaced. The brasses commemorate Richard Coate
and Joyce his wife, and Richard Everard and his wife, and are dated
1556, 1597, and 1616. The busts are of white marble, dated 1666, and
are commemorative of William Woollaston and his wife, once lord and
lady of the manor of Shenton. It was the rule, in building churches,
that one end should face to the east and the other to the west, but
you frequently find an old church that is set at a slightly different
angle,--that, namely, at which the sun arose on the birthday of the
saint to whom the church was dedicated. The style of large east and
west windows, with trefoil or other ornamentation in the heads of the
arches, came into vogue about the time of Edward the First.

Dadlington was Richard's extreme left on the day of the battle, and
Bosworth was his extreme right. These positions were intrusted to the
Stanleys, both of whom betrayed their king. Sir William Stanley's
headquarters were at Dadlington, and traces of the earthworks then
thrown up there, by Richard's command, are still visible. Dadlington
church has almost crumbled to pieces, and it is to be restored. It
is a diminutive structure, with a wooden tower, stuccoed walls, and
a tiled roof, and it stands in a graveyard full of scattered mounds
and slate-stone monuments. It was built in Norman times, and although
still used it has long been little better than a ruin. One of the
bells in its tower is marked "Thomas Arnold fecit, 1763,"--but this
is comparatively a modern touch. The church contains two pointed
arches, and across its roof are five massive oak beams, almost black
with age. The plaster ceiling has fallen, in several places, so that
patches of laths are visible in the roof. The pews are square, box-like
structures, made of oak and very old. The altar is a plain oak table,
supported on carved legs, covered with a cloth. On the west wall
appears a tablet, inscribed "Thomas Eames, church-warden, 1773." Many
human skeletons, arranged in regular tiers, were found in Dadlington
churchyard, when a much-beloved clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Bourne, was
buried, in 1881; and it is believed that those are remains of men who
fell at Bosworth Field. The only inn at this lonely place bears the
quaint name of The Dog and Hedgehog.

The following queer epitaph appears upon a gravestone in Dadlington
churchyard. It is Thomas Bolland, 1765, who thus expresses his mind, in
mortuary reminiscence:

    "I lov'd my Honour'd Parents dear,
    I lov'd my Wife's and Children dear,
    And hope in Heaven to meet them there.
    I lov'd my Brothers & Sisters too,
    And hope I shall them in Heaven view.
    I lov'd my Vncle's, Aunt's, & Cousin's too
    And I pray God to give my children grace the same to do."

Stoke Golding church was built in the fourteenth century. It stands
now, a gray and melancholy relic of other days, strange and forlorn yet
august and stately, in a little brick village, the streets of which
are paved, like those of a city, with blocks of stone. It is regarded
as one of the best specimens extant of the decorative style of early
English ecclesiastical architecture. It has a fine tower and spire, and
it consists of nave, chantry, and south aisle. There is a perforated
parapet on one side, but not on the other. The walls of the nave and
the chancel are continuous. The pinnacles, though decayed, show that
they must have been beautifully carved. One of the decorative pieces
upon one of them is a rabbit with his ears laid back. Lichen and grass
are growing on the tower and on the walls. The roof is of oak, the
mouldings of the arches are exceptionally graceful, and the capitals of
the five main columns present, in marked diversity, carvings of faces,
flowers, and leaves. The tomb of the founder is on the north side, and
the stone pavement is everywhere lettered with inscriptions of burial.
There is a fine mural brass, bearing the name of Brokesley, 1633,
and a superb "stocke chest," 1636; and there is a sculptured font,
of exquisite symmetry. Some of the carving upon the oak roof is more
grotesque than decorative,--but this is true of most other carving to
be found in ancient churches; such, for example, as you may see under
the miserere seats in the chancel of Trinity at Stratford-upon-Avon.
There was formerly some beautiful old stained glass in the east window
of Stoke Golding church, but this has disappeared. A picturesque stone
slab, set upon the church wall outside, arrests attention by its
pleasing shape, its venerable aspect, and its decayed lettering; the
date is 1684. Many persons slain at Bosworth Field were buried in Stoke
Golding churchyard, and over their nameless graves the long grass is
waving, in indolent luxuriance and golden light. So Nature hides waste
and forgets pain. Near to this village is Crown Hill, where the crown
of England was taken from a hawthorn bush, whereon it had been cast,
in the frenzied confusion of defeat, after the battle of Bosworth was
over and the star of King Richard had been quenched in death. Crown
Hill is a green meadow now, without distinguishing feature, except that
two large trees, each having a double trunk, are growing in the middle
of it. Not distant from this historic spot stands Higham-on-the-Hill,
where there is a fine church, remarkable for its Norman tower. From
this village the view is magnificent,--embracing all that section of
Leicestershire which is thus haunted with memories of King Richard and
of the carnage that marked the final conflict of the white and red

[Illustration: _Higham-on-the-Hill._]




Lichfield, Staffordshire, July 31, 1890.--To a man of letters there is
no name in the long annals of English literature more interesting and
significant than the name of Samuel Johnson. It has been truly said
that no other man was ever subjected to such a light as Boswell threw
upon Johnson, and that few other men could have endured it so well.
He was in many ways noble, but of all men of letters he is especially
noble as the champion of literature. He vindicated the profession of
letters. He lived by his pen, and he taught the great world, once
for all, that it is honourable so to live. That lesson was needed in
the England of his period; and from that period onward the literary
vocation has steadily been held in higher esteem than it enjoyed up to
that time. The reader will not be surprised that one of the humblest
of his followers should linger for a while in the ancient town that is
glorified by association with his illustrious name, or should write a
word of fealty and homage in the birthplace of Dr. Johnson.

[Illustration: _Dr. Johnson._]

Lichfield is a cluster of rather dingy streets and of red-brick and
stucco buildings, lying in a vale, a little northward from Birmingham,
diversified by a couple of artificial lakes and glorified by one of
the loveliest churches in Europe. Without its church the town would be
nothing. Lichfield cathedral, although an ancient structure,--dating
back, indeed, to the early part of the twelfth century,--has been so
sorely battered, and so considerably "restored," that it presents the
aspect of a building almost modern. The denotements of antiquity,
however, are not entirely absent from it, and it is not less venerable
than majestic. No one of the cathedrals of England presents a more
beautiful front. The multitudinous statues of saints and kings that are
upon it create an impression of royal opulence. The carving upon the
recesses of the great doorways on the north and west is of astonishing
variety and loveliness. The massive doors of dark oak, fretted with
ironwork of rare delicacy, are impressive and are exceptionally
suitable for such an edifice. Seven of the large gothic windows in the
chancel are filled with genuine old glass,--not, indeed, the glass they
originally contained, for that was smashed by the Puritan fanatics,
but a great quantity [no less than at least three hundred and forty
pieces, each about twenty-two inches square], made in Germany, in the
early part of the sixteenth century, when the art of staining glass was
at its summit of skill. This treasure was given to the cathedral by a
liberal friend, Sir Brooke Boothby, who had obtained it by purchase, in
1802, from the dissolved Abbey of Herckenrode. No such colour as that
old glass presents can be seen in the glass that is manufactured now.
It is imitated indeed, but it does not last. The subjects portrayed in
those sumptuous windows are mostly scriptural, but the centre window on
the north side of the chancel is devoted to portraits of noblemen, one
of them being Errard de la Marck, who was enthroned Bishop of Liège in
1505, and who, toward the end of his stormy life, adopted the old Roman
motto, comprehensive and final, which, a little garbled, appears in the
glass beneath his heraldic arms:

    "Decipimus votis; et tempore fallimur;
    Et Mors deridet curas; anxia vita nihil."

[Illustration: _Lichfield Cathedral--West Front._]

The father of the illustrious Joseph Addison was Dean of Lichfield from
1688 to 1703, and his remains are buried in the ground, near the west
door of the church. The stately Latin epitaph was written by his son.
This and several other epitaphs here attract the interested attention
of literary students. A tablet on the north wall, in the porch,
commemorates the courage and sagacity of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who
introduced into England the practice of inoculation for the small-pox.
Anna Seward, the poet, who died in 1809, aged sixty-six, and who was
one of the friends of Dr. Johnson, was buried and is commemorated
here, and the fact that she placed a tablet here, in memory of her
father, is celebrated in sixteen eloquent and felicitous lines by Sir
Walter Scott. The father was a canon of Lichfield, and died in 1790.
The reader of Boswell will not fail to remark the epitaph on Gilbert
Walmesley, once registrar of the ecclesiastical court of Lichfield,
and one of Dr. Johnson's especial friends. Of Chappel Woodhouse it is
significantly said, upon his memorial stone, that he was "lamented
most by those who knew him best." Here the pilgrim sees two of the
best works of Sir Francis Chantrey,--one called The Sleeping Children,
erected in 1817, in memory of two young daughters of the Rev. William
Robinson; the other a kneeling figure of Bishop Ryder, who died in
1836. The former was one of the earliest triumphs of Chantrey,--an
exquisite semblance of innocence and heavenly purity,[46]--and the
latter was his last. Near by is placed one of the most sumptuous
monuments in England, a recumbent statue, done by the master-hand of
Watts, the painter, representing Bishop Lonsdale, who died in 1867.
This figure, in which the modelling is very beautiful and expressive,
rests upon a bed of marble and alabaster. In Chantrey's statue of
Bishop Ryder, which seems no effigy but indeed the living man, there
is marvellous perfection of drapery,--the marble having the effect
of flowing silk. Here also, in the south transept, is the urn of
the Gastrells, formerly of Stratford-upon-Avon, to whom was due the
destruction [1759] of the house of New Place in which Shakespeare died.
No mention of the Rev. Gastrell occurs in the epitaph, but copious
eulogium is lavished on his widow, both in verse and prose, and she
must indeed have been a good woman, if the line is true which describes
her as "A friend to want when each false friend withdrew." Her chief
title to remembrance, however, like that of her husband, is an
unhallowed association with one of the most sacred of literary shrines.
In 1776 Johnson, accompanied by Boswell, visited Lichfield, and Boswell
records that they dined with Mrs. Gastrell and her sister Mrs. Aston.
The Rev. Gastrell was then dead. "I was not informed till afterward,"
says Boswell, "that Mrs. Gastrell's husband was the clergyman who,
while he lived at Stratford-upon-Avon, with Gothic barbarity cut down
Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, and as Dr. Johnson told me, did it to
vex his neighbours. His lady, I have reason to believe, on the same
authority, participated in the guilt of what the enthusiasts of our
immortal bard deem almost a species of sacrilege." The destruction
of the house followed close upon that of the tree, and to both their
deaths the lady was doubtless accessory.

[Illustration: _Lichfield Cathedral--West Front, Central Doorway._]

Upon the ledge of a casement on the east side of the chancel, separated
by the central lancet of a threefold window, stand the marble busts of
Samuel Johnson and David Garrick. Side by side they went through life;
side by side their ashes repose in the great abbey at Westminster;
and side by side they are commemorated here. Both the busts were made
by Westmacott, and obviously each is a portrait. The head of Johnson
appears without his customary wig. The colossal individuality of the
man plainly declares itself, in form and pose, in every line of the
eloquent face, and in the superb dignity of the figure and the action.
This work was based on a cast taken after death, and this undoubtedly
is Johnson's self. The head is massive yet graceful, denoting a
compact brain and great natural refinement of intellect. The brow is
indicative of uncommon sweetness. The eyes are finely shaped. The nose
is prominent, long, and slightly aquiline, with wide and sensitive
nostrils. The mouth is large, and the lips are slightly parted, as if
in speech. Prodigious perceptive faculties are shown in the sculpture
of the forehead,--a feature that is characteristic, in even a greater
degree, of the bust of Garrick. The total expression of the countenance
is benignant, yet troubled and rueful. It is a thoughtful and venerable
face, and yet it is the passionate face of a man who has passed through
many storms of self-conflict and been much ravaged by spiritual pain.
The face of Garrick, on the contrary, is eager, animated, triumphant,
happy, showing a nature of absolute simplicity, a sanguine temperament,
and a mind that tempests may have ruffled but never convulsed. Garrick
kept his "storm and stress" for his tragic performances; there was no
particle of it in his personal experience. It was good to see those
old friends thus associated in the beautiful church that they knew
and loved in the sweet days when their friendship had just begun and
their labours and their honours were all before them. I placed myself
where, during the service, I could look upon both the busts at once;
and presently, in the deathlike silence, after the last response of
evensong had died away, I could well believe that those familiar
figures were kneeling beside me, as so often they must have knelt
beneath this glorious and venerable roof: and for one worshipper the
beams of the westering sun, that made a solemn splendour through the
church, illumined visions no mortal eyes could see.

Beneath the bust of Johnson, upon a stone slab affixed to the wall,
appears this inscription:

 The friends of SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D., a native of Lichfield, erected
 this monument as a tribute of respect to the memory of a man of
 extensive learning, a distinguished moral writer and a sincere
 Christian. He died the 13th of December, 1784, aged 75 years.

A similar stone beneath the bust of Garrick is inscribed as follows:

 Eva Maria, relict of DAVID GARRICK, Esq., caused this monument to be
 erected to the memory of her beloved husband, who died the 20th of
 January 1779, aged 63 years. He had not only the amiable qualities
 of private life, but such astonishing dramatick talents as too well
 verified the observation of his friend: "His death eclipsed the gayety
 of nations and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure."

This "observation" is the well-known eulogium of Johnson, who, however
much he may have growled about Garrick, always loved him and deeply
mourned for him. These memorials of an author and an actor are not
rendered the more impressive by being surmounted, as at present they
are, in Lichfield cathedral, with old battle-flags,--commemorative
souvenirs of the 80th Regiment, Staffordshire volunteers,--honourable
and interesting relics in their place, but inappropriate to the
effigies of Johnson and Garrick.

[Illustration: _House in which Johnson was born._]

The house in which Johnson was born stands at the corner of Market
street and Breadmarket street, facing the little market-place of
Lichfield. It is an antiquated building, three stories in height,
having a long, peaked roof. The lower story is recessed, so that the
entrance is sheltered by a pent. Its two doors,--for the structure
now consists of two tenements,--are approached by low stone steps,
guarded by an iron rail. There are ten windows, five in each row, in
the front of the upper stories. The pent-roof is supported by three
sturdy pillars. The house has a front of stucco. A bill in one of
the lower windows certifies that now [1890], this house is "To Let."
Here old Michael Johnson kept his bookshop, in the days of good Queen
Anne, and from this door young Samuel Johnson went forth to his school
and his play. The whole various, pathetic, impressive story of his
long, laborious, sturdy, beneficent life drifts through your mind
as you stand at that threshold and conjure up the pictures of the
past. Opposite to the house, and facing it, is the statue of Johnson,
presented to Lichfield in 1838 by James Thomas Law, then Chancellor
of the diocese. On the sides of its massive pedestal are sculptures,
showing first the boy, borne on his father's shoulders, listening to
the preaching of Dr. Sacheverell; then the youth, victorious in school,
carried aloft in triumph by his admiring comrades; and, finally, the
renowned scholar and author, in the meridian of his greatness, standing
bareheaded in the market-place of Uttoxeter, doing penance for his
undutiful refusal, when a lad, to relieve his weary, infirm father,
in the work of tending the bookstall at that place. Every one knows
that touching story, and no one who thinks of it when standing here
will gaze with any feeling but that of reverence, commingled with the
wish to lead a true and simple life, upon the noble, thoughtful face
and figure of the great moralist, who now seems to look down with
benediction upon the scenes of his innocent and happy youth. The
statue, which is in striking contrast with the humble birthplace,
points the expressive moral of a splendid career. No tablet has yet
been placed on the house in which Johnson was born. Perhaps it is not
needed. Yet surely this place, if any place on earth, ought to be
preserved and protected as a literary shrine.[47] Johnson was not a
great creative poet; neither a Shakespeare, a Dryden, a Byron, nor a
Tennyson; but he was one of the most massive and majestic characters
in English literature. A superb example of self-conquest and moral
supremacy, a mine of extensive and diversified learning, an intellect
remarkable for deep penetration and broad and generally sure grasp of
the greatest subjects, he exerted, as few men have ever exerted, the
original, elemental force of genius; and his immortal legacy to his
fellow-men was an abiding influence for good. The world is better and
happier because of him, and because of the many earnest characters
and honest lives that his example has inspired; and this cradle of
greatness ought to be saved and marked for every succeeding generation
as long as time endures.

[Illustration: _The Spires of Lichfield._]

One of the interesting features of Lichfield is an inscription that
vividly recalls the ancient strife of Roundhead and Cavalier, two
centuries and a half ago. This is found upon a stone scutcheon, set
in the wall over the door of the house that is No. 24 Dam street, and
these are its words: "March 2d, 1643, Lord Brooke, a General of the
Parliament Forces preparing to Besiege the Close of Lichfield, then
garrisoned For King Charles the First, Received his deathwound on
the spot Beneath this Inscription, By a shot in the forehead from
Mr. Dyott, a gentleman who had placed himself on the Battlements of
the great steeple, to annoy the Besiegers." One of them he must have
"annoyed" seriously. It was "a long shot, Sir Lucius," for, standing
on the place of that catastrophe and looking up to "the battlements
of the great steeple," it seemed to have covered a distance of nearly
four hundred feet. Other relics of those Roundhead wars were shown in
the cathedral, in an ancient room now used for the bishop's consistory
court,--these being two cannon-balls (fourteen-pounders), and the
ragged and dusty fragments of a shell, that were dug out of the ground
near the church a few years ago. Many of these practical tokens of
Puritan zeal have been discovered. Lichfield cathedral close, in the
time of Bishop Walter de Langton, who died in 1321, was surrounded with
a wall and fosse, and thereafter, whenever the wars came, it was used
as a fortification. In the Stuart times it was often besieged. Sir
John Gell succeeded Lord Brooke, when the latter had been shot by Mr.
Dyott,--who is said to have been "deaf and dumb," but who certainly was
not blind. The close was surrendered on March 5, 1643, and thereupon
the Parliamentary victors, according to their ruthless and brutal
custom, straightway ravaged the church, tearing the brasses from the
tombs, breaking the effigies, and utterly despoiling beauty which it
had taken generations of pious zeal and loving devotion to create.
The great spire was battered down by those vandals, and in falling
it wrecked the chapter-house. The noble church, indeed, was made a
ruin, and so it remained till 1661, when its munificent benefactor,
Bishop Hackett, began its restoration, now happily almost complete.
Prince Rupert captured Lichfield close, for the king, in April, 1643,
and General Lothian recovered it for the Parliament, in the summer of
1646, after which time it was completely dismantled. Charles the First
came to this place after the fatal battle of Naseby, and sad enough
that picturesque, vacillating, shortsighted, beatific aristocrat must
have been, gazing over the green fields of Lichfield, to know,--as
surely even he must then have known,--that his cause was doomed, if not
entirely lost.

It will not take you long to traverse Lichfield, and you may ramble all
around it through little green lanes between hedgerows. This you will
do if you are wise, for the walk, especially at evening, is peaceful
and lovely. The wanderer never gets far away from the cathedral. Those
three superb spires steadily dominate the scene, and each new view of
them seems fairer than the last. All around this little city the fields
are richly green, and many trees diversify the prospect. Pausing to
rest awhile in the mouldering graveyard of old St. Chad's, I saw the
rooks flocking homeward to the great tree-tops not far away, and heard
their many querulous, sagacious, humorous croakings, while over the
distance, borne upon the mild and fragrant evening breeze, floated the
solemn note of a warning bell from the minster tower, as the shadows
deepened and the night came down. Scenes like this sink deep into the
heart, and memory keeps them forever.



Edinburgh, September 9, 1889.--Scotland again, and never more beautiful
than now! The harvest moon is shining upon the grim old castle, and
the bagpipes are playing under my windows to-night. It has been a
lovely day. The train rolled out of King's Cross, London, at ten this
morning, and it rolled into Waverley, Edinburgh, about seven to-night.
The trip by the Great Northern railway is one of the most interesting
journeys that can be made in England. At first indeed the scenery
is not striking; but even at first you are whirled past spots of
exceptional historic and literary interest,--among them the battlefield
of Barnet, the ancient and glorious abbey of St. Albans, and the old
church and graveyard of Hornsey where Thomas Moore buried his little
daughter Barbara, and where the venerable poet Samuel Rogers sleeps
the last sleep. Soon these are gone, and presently, dashing through a
flat country, you get a clear view of Peterborough cathedral, massive,
dark, and splendid, with its graceful cone-shaped pinnacles, its vast
square central tower, and the three great pointed and recessed arches
that adorn its west front. That church contains the dust of Queen
Catherine, the Spanish wife of Henry the Eighth, who died at Kimbolton
Castle, Huntingdonshire, in 1535; and there, in 1587, the remains of
Mary Stuart were first buried,--resting there a long time before her
son, James the First, conveyed them to Westminster Abbey. Both those
queens were buried by the same gravedigger,--that famous sexton, old
Scarlett, whose portrait is in the cathedral, and who died July 2,
1591, aged ninety-eight.


The country is so level that the receding tower of Peterborough remains
for a long time in sight, but soon,--as the train speeds through
pastures of clover and through fields of green and red and yellow
herbage, divided by glimmering hedges and diversified with red-roofed
villages and gray church towers,--the land grows hilly, and long white
roads are visible, stretching away like bands of silver over the lonely
hill-tops. Figures of gleaners are seen, now and then, scattered
through fields whence the harvest has lately been gathered. Sheep are
feeding in the pastures, and cattle are couched under fringes of wood.
The bright emerald of the sod sparkles with the golden yellow of the
colt's-foot, and sometimes the scarlet waves of the poppy come tumbling
into the plain, like a cataract of fire. Windmills spread their
whirling sails upon the summits round about, and over the nestling
ivy-clad cottages and over the stately trees there are great flights of
rooks. A gray sky broods above, faintly suffused with sunshine,
but there is no glare and no heat, and often the wind is laden with a
fragrance of wildflowers and of hay.

It is noon at Grantham, where there is just time enough to see that
this is a flourishing city of red-brick houses and fine spacious
streets, with a lofty, spired church, and far away eastward a high
line of hills. Historic Newark is presently reached and passed,--a
busy, contented town, smiling through the sunshine and mist, and as
it fades in the distance I remember that we are leaving Lincoln, with
its glorious cathedral, to the southeast, and to the west Newstead
Abbey, Annesley, Southwell, and Hucknall-Torkard,--places memorably
associated with the poet Byron and dear to the heart of every lover
of poetic literature. At Markham the country is exceedingly pretty,
with woods and hills over which multitudes of rooks and starlings are
in full career, dark, rapid, and garrulous. About Bawtry the land is
flat, and flat it continues to be until we have sped a considerable way
beyond York. But in the meantime we flash through opulent Doncaster,
famed for manufactories and for horse-races, rosy and active amid the
bright green fields. There are not many trees in this region, and as
we draw near Selby,--a large red-brick city, upon the banks of a broad
river,--its massive old church tower looms conspicuous under smoky
skies. In the outskirts of this town there are cosy houses clad with
ivy, in which the pilgrim might well be pleased to linger. But there
is no pause, and in a little while magnificent York bursts upon the
view, stately and glorious, under a black sky that is full of driving
clouds. The minster stands out like a mountain, and the giant towers
rear themselves in solemn majesty,--the grandest piece of church
architecture in England! The brimming Ouse shines as if it were a
stream of liquid ebony. The meadows around the city glow like living
emeralds, while the harvest-fields are stored and teeming with stacks
of golden grain. Great flights of startled doves people the air,--as
white as snow under the sable fleeces of the driving storm. I had seen
York under different guises, but never before under a sky at once so
sombre and so romantic.

We bear toward Thirsk now, leaving behind us, westward of
our track, old Ripon, in the distance, memorable for many
associations,--especially the contiguity of that loveliest of
ecclesiastical ruins, Fountains Abbey,--and cherished in theatrical
annals as the place of the death and burial of the distinguished
founder of the Jefferson family of actors.[48] Bleak Haworth is not
far distant, and remembrance of it prompts many sympathetic thoughts
of the strange genius of Charlotte Brontë. Darlington is the next
important place, a town of manufacture, conspicuous for its tall,
smoking chimneys and evidently prosperous. This is the land of stone
walls and stone cottages,--the grim precinct of Durham. The country
is cultivated, but rougher than the Midlands, and the essentially
diversified character of this small island is once again impressed
upon your mind. All through this region there are little white-walled
houses with red roofs. At Ferry Hill the scenery changes again and
becomes American,--a mass of rocky gorges and densely wooded ravines.
All trace of storm has vanished by this time, and when, after a brief
interval of eager expectation, the noble towers of Durham cathedral
sweep into the prospect, that superb monument of ancient devotion,
together with all the dark gray shapes of that pictorial city,--so
magnificently placed, in an abrupt precipitous gorge, on both sides
of the brimming Weir,--are seen under a sky of the softest Italian
blue, dappled with white clouds of drifting fleece. Durham is all too
quickly passed,--fading away in a landscape sweetly mellowed by a
faint blue mist. Then stately rural mansions appear, half hidden among
great trees. Wreaths of smoke curl upward from scattered dwellings
all around the circle of the hills. Each distant summit is seen to
be crowned with a tower or a town. A fine castle springs into view
just before Birtley glances by, and we see that this is a place of
woodlands, piquant with a little of the roughness of unsophisticated
nature. But the scene changes suddenly, as in a theatre, and almost in
a moment the broad and teeming Tyne blazes beneath the scorching summer
sun, and the gray houses of Gateshead and Newcastle fill the picture
with life and motion. The waves glance and sparkle,--a wide plain of
shimmering silver. The stream is alive with shipping. There is movement
everywhere, and smoke and industry and traffic,--and doubtless noise,
though we are on a height and cannot hear it. A busier scene could not
be found in all this land, nor one more strikingly representative of
the industrial character and interests of England.

[Illustration: _Berwick Castle._]

After leaving Newcastle we glide past a gentle, winding ravine, thickly
wooded on both its sides, with a bright stream glancing in its depth.
The meadows all around are green, fresh, and smiling, and soon our
road skirts beautiful Morpeth, bestriding a dark and lovely river and
crouched in a bosky dell. At Widdrington the land shelves downward, the
trees become sparse, and you catch a faint glimpse of the sea,--the
broad blue wilderness of the Northern Ocean. From this point onward
the panorama is one of perfect and unbroken loveliness. Around you are
spacious meadows of fern, diversified with clumps of fir-trees, and
the sweet wind that blows upon your face seems glad and buoyant with
its exultant vitality. At Warkworth Castle, once the home of the noble
Hotspur, the ocean view is especially magnificent,--the brown and red
sails of the ships and various craft descried at sea contributing to
the prospect a lovely element of picturesque character. Alnwick, with
its storied associations of "the Percy out of Northumberland," is left
to the westward, while on the east the romantic village of Alnmouth
woos the traveller with an irresistible charm. No one who has once seen
that exquisite place can ever be content without seeing it again,--and
yet there is no greater wisdom in the conduct of life than to avoid
forever a second sight of any spot where you have once been happy. This
village, with its little lighthouse and graceful steeple, is built upon
a promontory in the sea, and is approached over the sands by a long,
isolated road across a bridge of four fine arches. All the country-side
in this region is rich. At Long Houghton a grand church uprears its
vast square tower, lonely and solemn in its place of graves. Royal
Berwick comes next, stately and serene upon its ocean crag, with the
white-crested waves curling on its beach and the glad waters of the
Tweed kissing the fringes of its sovereign mantle, as they rush into
the sea. The sun is sinking now, and over the many-coloured meadows,
red and brown and golden and green, the long, thin shadows of the trees
slope eastward and softly hint the death of day. The sweet breeze
of evening stirs the long grasses, and on many a gray stone house
shakes the late pink and yellow roses and makes the ivy tremble. It
is Scotland now, and as we pass through the storied Border we keep
the ocean almost constantly in view,--losing it for a little while at
Dunbar, but finding it again at Drem,--till, past the battlefield of
Prestonpans, and past the quaint villages of Cockenzie and Musselburgh
and the villas of Portobello, we come slowly to a pause in the shadow
of Arthur's Seat, where the great lion crouches over the glorious city
of Edinburgh.



Loch Awe, September 14, 1889.--Under a soft gray sky and through
fields that still are slumbering in the early morning mist, the train
rolls out of Edinburgh, bound for the north. The wind blows gently;
the air is cool; strips of thin, fleecy cloud are driving over the
distant hill-tops, and the birds are flying low. The track is by
Queensferry, and in that region many little low stone cottages are
seen, surrounded with simple gardens of flowers. For a long time the
train runs through a deep ravine, with rocky banks on either hand,
but presently it emerges into pastures where the sheep are grazing,
and into fields in which the late harvest stands garnered in many
graceful sheaves. Tall chimneys, vigorously smoking, are visible here
and there in the distant landscape. The fat, black rooks are taking
their morning flight, clamouring as they go. Stone houses with red
roofs glide into the picture, and a graceful church-spire rises on a
remote hill-top. In all directions there are trees, but they seem of
recent growth, for no one of them is large. Soon the old cattle-market
town of Falkirk springs up in the prospect, girt with fine hills and
crested with masses of white and black smoke that is poured upward
from the many tall chimneys of its busy ironworks. The houses here
are made of gray stone and of red brick, and many of them are large,
square buildings, seemingly commodious and opulent. A huge cemetery,
hemmed in with trees and shrubs, is seen to skirt the city. Carron
River, with its tiny but sounding cataract, is presently passed, and
at Larbert your glance rests lovingly upon "the little gray church
on the windy hill." North of this place, beyond the Forth, the
country in the distance is mountainous, while all the intermediate
region is rich with harvest-fields. Kinnaird lies to the eastward,
while northward a little way is the famous field of Bannockburn. Two
miles more and the train pauses in "gray Stirling," glorious with
associations of historic splendour and ancient romance. The Castle
of Stirling is not as ruggedly grand as that of Edinburgh, but it is
a noble architectural pile, and it is nobly placed on a great crag
fronting the vast mountains and the gloomy heavens of the north. The
best view of it is obtained looking at it southward, and as I gazed
upon it, under a cold and frowning sky, the air was populous with many
birds that circled around its cone-shaped turrets, and hovered over the
plain below, while across the distant mountain-tops, east, west, and
north, dark and ragged masses of mist were driven, in wild, tempestuous
flight. Speeding onward now, along the southern bank of the Forth,
the traveller takes a westerly course, past Gargunnock and Kippen,
seeing little villages of gray stone cottages nestled in the hill-gaps,
distant mountain-sides, clad with furze, dark patches of woodland, and
moors of purple heather commingled with meadows of brilliant green.
The sun breaks out, for a few moments, and the sombre hue of the gray
sky is lightened with streaks of gold. At Bucklyvie there is a second
pause, and then the course is northwest, through banks and braes of
heather, to peaceful Aberfoyle and the mountains of Menteith.

[Illustration: _Stirling Castle._]

The characteristic glory of the Scottish hills is the infinite variety
and beauty of their shapes and the loveliness of their colour. The
English mountains and lakes in Westmoreland and Cumberland possess a
sweeter and softer grace, and are more calmly and wooingly beautiful;
but the Scottish mountains and lakes excel them in grandeur, majesty,
and romance. It would be presumption to undertake to describe the
solemn austerity, the lofty and lonely magnificence, the bleak, weird,
haunted isolation, and the fairy-like fantasy of this poetic realm;
but a lover of it may declare his passion and speak his sense of its
enthralling and bewitching charm. Sir Walter Scott's spirited and
trenchant lines on the emotion of the patriot sang themselves over
and over in my thought, and were wholly and grandly ratified, as the
coach rolled up the mountain road, ever climbing height after height,
while new and ever new prospects continually unrolled themselves
before delighted eyes, on the familiar but always novel journey from
Aberfoyle to the Trosachs. That mountain road, on its upward course,
and during most part of the way, winds through treeless pastureland,
and in every direction, as your vision ranges, you behold other
mountains equally bleak, save for the bracken and the heather, among
which the sheep wander, and the grouse nestle in concealment or whir
away on frightened wings. Ben Lomond, wrapt in straggling mists, was
dimly visible far to the west; Ben A'an towered conspicuous in the
foreground; and further north Ben Ledi heaved its broad mass and rugged
sides to heaven. Loch Vennacher, seen for a few moments, shone like a
diamond set in emeralds, and as we gazed we seemed to see the bannered
barges of Roderick Dhu and to hear the martial echoes of "Hail to the
Chief." Loch Achray glimmered forth for an instant under the gray sky,
as when "the small birds would not sing aloud" and the wrath equally
of tempest and of war hung silently above it, in one awful moment of
suspense. There was a sudden and dazzling vision of Loch Katrine, and
then all prospect was broken, and, rolling down among the thickly
wooded dwarf hills that give the name of Trosachs to this place, we
were lost in the masses of fragrant foliage that girdle and adorn, in
perennial verdure the hallowed scene of _The Lady of the Lake_.

[Illustration: _Loch Achray._]

[Illustration: _Loch Katrine._]

Loch Katrine is another Lake Horicon, with a grander environment,
and this, like all the Scottish lakes, has the advantage of a more
evenly sharp and vigorous air and of leaden and frowning skies [in
which, nevertheless, there is a peculiar, penetrating light,] that
darken their waters and impart to them a dangerous aspect that yet is
strangely beautiful. As we swept past Ellen's island and Fitz-James's
silver strand I was grateful to see them in the mystery of this gray
light and not in the garish sunshine. All around this sweet lake are
the sentinel mountains,--Ben Venue rising in the south, Ben A'an in
the east, and all the castellated ramparts that girdle Glen Finglas in
the north. The eye dwells enraptured upon the circle of the hills; but
by this time the imagination is so acutely stimulated, and the mind is
so filled with glorious sights and exciting and ennobling reflections,
that the sense of awe is tempered with a pensive sadness, and you feel
yourself rebuked and humbled by the final and effectual lesson of man's
insignificance that is taught by the implacable vitality of these
eternal mountains. It is a relief to be brought back for a little to
common life, and this relief you find in the landing at Stronachlachar
and the ensuing drive,--across the narrow strip of the shire of
Stirling that intervenes between Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond,--to
the port of Inversnaid. That drive is through a wild and picturesque
country, but after the mountain road from Aberfoyle to the Trosachs
it could not well seem otherwise than calm,--at least till the final
descent into the vale of Inversnaid. From Inversnaid there is a short
sail upon the northern waters of Loch Lomond,--forever haunted by the
shaggy presence of Rob Roy and the fierce and terrible image of Helen
Macgregor,--and then, landing at Ardlui, you drive past Inverarnan
and hold a northern course to Crianlarich, traversing the vale of the
Falloch and skirting along the western slope of the grim and gloomy
Grampians, on which for miles and miles no human habitation is seen,
nor any living creature save the vacant, abject sheep. The mountains
are everywhere now, brown with bracken and purple with heather, stony,
rugged, endless, desolate, and still with a stillness that is awful in
its pitiless sense of inhumanity and utter isolation. At Crianlarich
the railway is found again, and thence you whirl onward through lands
of Breadalbane and Argyle to the proud mountains of Glen Orchy and the
foot of that loveliest of all the lovely waters of Scotland,--the ebony
crystal of Loch Awe. The night is deepening over it as I write these
words. The dark and solemn mountains that guard it stretch away into
the mysterious distance and are lost in the shuddering gloom. The gray
clouds have drifted by, and the cold, clear stars of autumnal heaven
are reflected in its crystal depth, unmarred by even the faintest
ripple upon its surface. A few small boats, moored to anchored buoys,
float motionless upon it, a little way from shore. There, on its lonely
island, dimly visible in the fading light, stands the gray ruin of
Kilchurn. A faint whisper comes from the black woods that fringe the
mountain base, and floating from far across this lonely, haunted water
there is a drowsy bird-note that calls to silence and to sleep.




Oban, September 17, 1889.--Seen in the twilight, as I first saw it,
Oban is a pretty and picturesque seaside village, gay with glancing
lights and busy with the movements of rapid vehicles and expeditious
travellers. It is called the capital of the Western Highlands, and no
doubt it deserves the name, for it is the common centre of all the
trade and enterprise of this region, and all the threads of travel
radiate from it. Built in a semicircle, along the margin of a lovely
sheltered bay, it looks forth upon the wild waters of the Firth of
Lorn, visible, southwesterly, through the sable sound of Kerrera,
while behind and around it rises a bold range of rocky and sparsely
wooded hills. On these are placed a few villas, and on a point toward
the north stand the venerable, ivy-clad ruins of Dunolly Castle, in
the ancestral domain of the ancient Highland family of Macdougall. The
houses of Oban are built of gray stone and are mostly modern. There
are many hotels fronting upon the Parade, which extends for a long
distance upon the verge of the sea. The opposite shore is Kerrera, an
island about a mile distant, and beyond that island, and beyond Lorn
water, extends the beautiful island of Mull, confronting iron-ribbed
Morven. In many ways Oban is suggestive of an American seaport upon the
New England coast. Various characteristics mark it that may be seen
at Gloucester, Massachusetts [although that once romantic place has
been spoiled by the Irish peasantry], and at Mount Desert in Maine.
The surroundings, indeed, are different; for the Scottish hills have
a delicious colour and a wildness all their own; while the skies,
unlike those of blue and brilliant America, lower, gloom, threaten,
and tinge the whole world beneath them,--the moors, the mountains, the
clustered gray villages, the lonely ruins, and the tumbling plains of
the desolate sea,--with a melancholy, romantic, shadowy darkness, the
perfect twilight of poetic vision. No place could be more practical
than Oban is, in its everyday life, nor any place more sweet and
dreamlike to the pensive mood of contemplation and the roving gaze of
fancy. Viewed, as I viewed it, under the starlight and the drifting
cloud, between two and three o'clock this morning, it was a picture
of beauty, never to be forgotten. A few lights were twinkling here
and there among the dwellings, or momentarily flaring on the deserted
Parade. No sound was heard but the moaning of the night-wind and the
plash of waters softly surging on the beach. Now and then a belated
passenger came wandering along the pavement and disappeared in a turn
of the road. The air was sweet with the mingled fragrance of the
heathery hills and the salt odours of the sea. Upon the glassy bosom of
the bay, dark, clear, and gently undulating with the pressure of the
ocean tide, more than seventy small boats, each moored at a buoy and
all veered in one direction, swung careless on the water; and mingled
with them were upward of twenty schooners and little steamboats, all
idle and all at peace. Many an hour of toil and sorrow is yet to come,
before the long, strange journey of life is ended; but the memory of
that wonderful midnight moment, alone with the majesty of Nature, will
be a solace in the darkest of them.

[Illustration: _Oban._]

The Highland journey, from first to last, is an experience altogether
novel and precious, and it is remembered with gratitude and delight.
Before coming to Oban I gave two nights and days to Loch Awe,--a
place so beautiful and so fraught with the means of happiness that
time stands still in it, and even "the ceaseless vulture" of care
and regret ceases for a while to vex the spirit with remembrance of
anything that is sad. Looking down from the summit of one of the great
mountains that are the rich and rugged setting of this jewel, I saw the
crumbling ruin of Kilchurn upon its little island, gray relic first of
the Macgregors and then of the Campbells, who dispossessed them and
occupied their realm. It must have been an imperial residence once.
Its situation,--cut off from the mainland and commanding a clear view,
up the lake and down the valleys, southward and northward,--is superb.
No enemy could approach it unawares, and doubtless the followers of
the Macgregor occupied every adjacent pass and were ambushed in every
thicket on the heights. Seen from the neighbouring mountain-side the
waters of Loch Awe are of such crystal clearness that near some parts
of the shore the white sands are visible in perfect outline beneath
them, while all the glorious engirdling hills are reflected in their
still and shining depth. Sometimes the sun flashed out and changed the
waters to liquid silver, lighting up the gray ruin and flooding the
mountain slopes with gold; but more often the skies kept their sombre
hue, darkening all beneath them with a lovely gloom. All around were
the beautiful hills of Glen Orchy, and far to the eastward great waves
of white and leaden mist, slowly drifting in the upper ether, now hid
and now disclosed the Olympian head of Ben Lui and the tangled hills
of Glen Shirra and Glen Fyne. Close by, in its sweet vale of Sabbath
stillness, was couched the little town of Dalmally, sole reminder of
the presence of man in these remote solitudes, where Nature keeps
the temple of her worship, and where words are needless to utter her
glory and her praise. All day long the peaceful lake slumbered in
placid beauty under the solemn sky,--a few tiny boats and two little
steamers swinging at anchor on its bosom. All day long the shadows of
the clouds, commingled with flecks of sunshine, went drifting over
the mountain. At nightfall two great flocks of sheep, each attended
by the pensive shepherd in his plaid, and each guided and managed by
those wonderfully intelligent collies that are a never-failing delight
in these mountain lands, came slowly along the vale and presently
vanished in Glen Strae. Nothing then broke the stillness but the
sharp cry of the shepherd's dog and the sound of many cataracts, some
hidden and some seen, that lapse in music and fall in many a mass of
shattered silver and flying spray, through deep, rocky rifts down the
mountain-side. After sunset a cold wind came on to blow, and soon the
heavens were clear and "all the number of the stars" were mirrored in
beautiful Loch Awe.

They speak of the southwestern extremity of this lake as the head of
it. Loch Awe station, accordingly, is at its foot, near Kilchurn.
Nevertheless, "where Macgregor sits is the head of the table," for
the foot of the loch is lovelier than its head. And yet its head also
is lovely, although in a less positive way. From Loch Awe station to
Ford, a distance of twenty-six miles, you sail in a toy steamboat,
sitting either on the open deck or in a cabin of glass and gazing at
the panorama of the hills on either hand, some wooded and some bare,
and all magnificent. A little after passing the mouth of the river
Awe, which flows through the black Pass of Brander and unites with
Loch Etive, I saw the double crest of great Ben Cruachan towering
into the clouds and visible at intervals above them,--the higher
peak magnificently bold. It is a wild country all about this region,
but here and there you see a little hamlet or a lone farm-house, and
among the moorlands the occasional figure of a sportsman, with his
dog and gun. As the boat sped onward into the moorland district the
mountains became great shapes of snowy crystal, under the sullen sky,
and presently resolved into vast cloud-shadows, dimly outlined against
the northern heavens, and seemingly based upon a sea of rolling vapour.
The sail is past Inisdrynich, the island of the Druids, past Inishail
and Inisfraoch, and presently past the lovely ruin of Inischonnel
Castle, called also Ardchonnel, facing southward, at the end of an
island promontory, and covered thick with ivy. The landing is at Ford
Pier, and about one mile from that point you may see a little inn, a
few cottages crumbling in picturesque decay, and a diminutive kirk,
that constitute the village of Ford. My purpose here was to view an
estate close by this village, now owned by Henry Bruce, Esq., but
many years ago the domain of Alexander Campbell, Esq., an ancestor of
my children, being their mother's grandsire; and not in all Scotland
could be found a more romantic spot than the glen by the lochside that
shelters the melancholy, decaying, haunted fabric of the old house
of Ederline. Such a poet as Edgar Poe would have revelled in that
place,--and well he might! There is a new and grand mansion, on higher
ground, in the park; but the ancient house, almost abandoned now, is a
thousand times more characteristic and interesting than the new one.
Both are approached through a long, winding avenue, overhung with great
trees that interlace their branches above it and make a cathedral
aisle; but soon the pathway to the older house turns aside into a
grove of chestnuts, birches, and yews,--winding under vast dark boughs
that bend like serpents completely to the earth and then ascend once
more,--and so goes onward, through sombre glades and through groves
of rhododendron, to the levels of Loch Ederline and the front of the
mansion, now desolate and half in ruins. It was an old house a hundred
years ago. It is covered with ivy and buried among the trees, and on
its surface and on the tree-trunks around it the lichen and the yellow
moss have gathered, in rank luxuriance. The waters of the lake ripple
upon a rocky landing almost at its door. Here once lived as proud a
Campbell as ever breathed in Scotland, and here his haughty spirit
wrought out for itself the doom of a lonely age and a broken heart. His
grave is on a little island in the lake,--a family burying-ground,[49]
such as may often be found on ancient, sequestered estates in the
Highlands,--where the tall trees wave above it and the weeds are
growing thick upon its surface, while over it the rooks caw and clamour
and the idle winds career, in heedless indifference that is sadder even
than neglect. So destiny vindicates its inexorable edict and the great
law of retribution is fulfilled. A stranger sits in his seat and rules
in his hall, and of all the followers that once waited on his lightest
word there remains but a single one,--aged, infirm, and nearing the end
of the long journey,--to scrape the moss from his forgotten gravestone
and to think sometimes of his ancient greatness and splendour, forever
passed away. We rowed around Loch Ederline and looked down into its
black waters, that in some parts have never been sounded, and are
fabled to reach through to the other side of the world, and, as our
oars dipped and plashed, the timid moor-fowl scurried into the bushes
and the white swans sailed away in haughty wrath, while, warned by
gathering storm-clouds, multitudes of old rooks, that long have haunted
the place, came flying overhead, with many a querulous croak, toward
their nests in Ederline grove.

[Illustration: LOCH AWE]

Back to Loch Awe station, and presently onward past the Falls of
Cruachan and through the grim Pass of Brander,--down which the waters
of the Awe rush in a sable flood between jagged and precipitous cliffs
for miles and miles,--and soon we see the bright waves of Loch Etive
smiling under a sunset sky, and the many bleak, brown hills that fringe
Glen Lonan and range along to Oban and the verge of the sea. There
will be an hour for rest and thought. It seems wild and idle to write
about these things. Life in Scotland is deeper, richer, stronger, and
sweeter than any words could possibly be that any man could possibly
expend upon it. The place is the natural home of imagination, romance,
and poetry. Thought is grander here, and passion is wilder and more
exuberant than on the velvet plains and among the chaste and stately
elms of the South. The blood flows in a stormier torrent and the mind
takes on something of the gloomy and savage majesty of those gaunt,
barren, lonely hills. Even Sir Walter Scott, speaking of his own great
works,--which are precious beyond words, and must always be loved
and cherished by readers who know what beauty is,--said that all he
had ever done was to polish the brasses that already were made. This
is the soul of excellence in British literature, and this, likewise,
is the basis of stability in British civilisation,--that the country
is lovelier than the loveliest poetry that ever was written about
it, or ever could be written about it, and that the land and the life
possess an inherent fascination for the inhabitants, that nothing
else could supply, and that no influence can ever destroy or even
seriously disturb. Democracy is rife all over the world, but it will
as soon impede the eternal courses of the stars as it will change the
constitution or shake the social fabric of this realm. "Once more upon
the waters--yet once more!" Soon upon the stormy billows of Lorn I
shall see these lovely shores fade in the distance. Soon, merged again
in the strife and tumult of the commonplace world, I shall murmur, with
as deep a sorrow as the sad strain itself expresses, the tender words
of Scott:

    "Glenorchy's proud mountains,
      Kilchurn and her towers,
    Glenstrae and Glenlyon
      No longer are ours."

[Illustration: _Corbel from "St. Giles."_]



"_The Heart of Scotland, Britain's other eye._"--BEN JONSON

Edinburgh, August 24, 1890.--A bright blue sky, across which many
masses of thin white cloud are borne swiftly on the cool western wind,
bends over the stately city, and all her miles of gray mansions and
spacious, cleanly streets sparkle beneath it in a flood of summer
sunshine. It is the Lord's Day, and most of the highways are deserted
and quiet. From the top of the Calton Hill you look down upon hundreds
of blue smoke-wreaths curling upward from the chimneys of the resting
and restful town, and in every direction the prospect is one of
opulence and peace. A thousand years of history are here crystallised
within the circuit of a single glance, and while you gaze upon one
of the grandest emblems that the world contains of a storied and
romantic past, you behold likewise a living and resplendent pageant
of the beauty of to-day. Nowhere else are the Past and the Present so
lovingly blended. There, in the centre, towers the great crown of St.
Giles. Hard by are the quaint slopes of the Canongate,--teeming with
illustrious, or picturesque, or terrible figures of Long Ago. Yonder
the glorious Castle Crag looks steadfastly westward,--its manifold,
wonderful colours continuously changing in the changeful daylight.
Down in the valley Holyrood, haunted by a myriad of memories and by
one resplendent face and entrancing presence, nestles at the foot of
the giant Salisbury Crag; while the dark, rivened peak of Arthur's
Seat rears itself supremely over the whole stupendous scene. Southward
and westward, in the distance, extends the bleak range of the Pentland
Hills; eastward the cone of Berwick Law and the desolate Bass Rock seem
to cleave the sea; and northward, beyond the glistening crystal of the
Forth,--with the white lines of embattled Inchkeith like a diamond on
its bosom,--the lovely Lomonds, the virginal mountain breasts of Fife,
are bared to the kiss of heaven. It is such a picture as words can but
faintly suggest; but when you look upon it you readily comprehend the
pride and the passion with which a Scotsman loves his native land.

[Illustration: _The Crown of St. Giles's._]

Dr. Johnson named Edinburgh as "a city too well known to admit
description." That judgment was proclaimed more than a hundred years
ago,--before yet Caledonia had bewitched the world's heart as the
haunted land of Robert Burns and Walter Scott,--and if it were true
then it is all the more true now. But while the reverent pilgrim along
the ancient highways of history may not wisely attempt description,
which would be superfluous, he perhaps may usefully indulge in brief
chronicle and impression,--for these sometimes prove suggestive to
minds that are kindred with his own. Hundreds of travellers visit
Edinburgh, but it is one thing to visit and another thing to see; and
every suggestion, surely, is of value that helps to clarify our vision.
This capital is not learned by driving about in a cab; for Edinburgh
to be truly seen and comprehended must be seen and comprehended as an
exponent of the colossal individuality of the Scottish character; and
therefore it must be observed with thought. Here is no echo and no
imitation. Many another provincial city of Britain is a miniature copy
of London; but the quality of Edinburgh is her own. Portions of her
architecture do indeed denote a reverence for ancient Italian models,
while certain other portions reveal the influence of the semi-classical
taste that prevailed in the time of the Regent, afterwards George
the Fourth. The democratic tendency of this period,--expressing
itself here precisely as it does everywhere else, in button-making
pettiness and vulgar commonplace,--is likewise sufficiently obvious.
Nevertheless, in every important detail of Edinburgh and of its life,
the reticent, resolute, formidable, impetuous, passionate character of
the Scottish race is conspicuous and predominant. Much has been said
against the Scottish spirit,--the tide of cavil purling on from Dr.
Johnson to Sydney Smith. Dignity has been denied to it, and so has
magnanimity, and so has humour; but there is no audience more quick
than the Scottish audience to respond either to pathos or to mirth;
there is no literature in the world so musically, tenderly, and weirdly
poetical as the Scottish literature; there is no place on earth where
the imaginative instinct of the national mind has resisted, as it has
resisted in Scotland, the encroachment of utility upon the domain
of romance; there is no people whose history has excelled that of
Scotland in the display of heroic, intellectual, and moral purpose,
combined with passionate sensibility; and no city could surpass the
physical fact of Edinburgh as a manifestation of broad ideas, unstinted
opulence, and grim and rugged grandeur. Whichever way you turn, and
whatever object you behold, that consciousness is always present
to your thought,--the consciousness of a race of beings intensely
original, individual, passionate, authoritative, and magnificent.

[Illustration: _Scott's House in Edinburgh._]

The capital of Scotland is not only beautiful but eloquent. The
present writer does not assume to describe it, or to instruct the
reader concerning it, but only to declare that at every step the
sensitive mind is impressed with the splendid intellect, the individual
force, and the romantic charm of the Scottish character, as it is
commemorated and displayed in this delightful place. What a wealth of
significance it possesses may be indicated by even the most meagre
record and the most superficial commentary upon the passing events of
a traveller's ordinary day. The greatest name in the literature of
Scotland is Walter Scott. He lived and laboured for twenty-four years
in the modest three-story, gray stone house which is No. 39 Castle
street. It has been my privilege to enter that house, and to stand in
the room in which Scott began the novel of _Waverley_. Many years roll
backward under the spell of such an experience, and the gray-haired
man is a boy again, with all the delights of the Waverley Novels
before him, health shining in his eyes, and joy beating in his heart,
as he looks onward through vistas of golden light into a paradise of
fadeless flowers and of happy dreams. The room that was Scott's study
is a small one, on the first floor, at the back, and is lighted by one
large window, opening eastward, through which you look upon the rear
walls of sombre, gray buildings, and upon a small slope of green lawn,
in which is the unmarked grave of one of Sir Walter's dogs. "The misery
of keeping a dog," he once wrote, "is his dying so soon; but, to be
sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of
me?" My attention was called to a peculiar fastening on the window of
the study,--invented and placed there by Scott himself,--so arranged
that the sash can be safely kept locked when raised a few inches from
the sill. On the south side of the room is the fireplace, facing which
he would sit as he wrote, and into which, of an evening, he has often
gazed, hearing meanwhile the moan of the winter wind, and conjuring
up, in the blazing brands, those figures of brave knights and gentle
ladies that were to live forever in the amber of his magical art. Next
to the study, on the same floor, is the larger apartment that was his
dining-room, where his portrait of Claverhouse, now at Abbotsford,
once hung above the mantel, and where so many of the famous people
of the past enjoyed his hospitality and his talk. On the south wall
of this room now hang two priceless autograph letters, one of them
in the handwriting of Scott, the other in that of Burns. Both rooms
are used for business offices now,--the house being tenanted by the
agency of the New Zealand Mortgage Company,--and both are furnished
with large presses, for the custody of deeds and family archives.
Nevertheless these rooms remain much as they were when Scott lived
in them, and his spirit seems to haunt the place. I was brought very
near to him that day, for in the same hour was placed in my hands the
original manuscript of his _Journal_, and I saw, in his handwriting,
the last words that ever fell from his pen. That _Journal_ is in two
quarto volumes. One of them is filled with writing; the other half
filled; and the lines in both are of a fine, small character, crowded
closely together. Toward the last the writing manifests only too well
the growing infirmity of the broken Minstrel,--the forecast of the
hallowed deathbed of Abbotsford and the venerable and glorious tomb
of Dryburgh. These are his last words: "We slept reasonably, but on
the next morning"--and so the _Journal_ abruptly ends. I can in no way
express the emotion with which I looked upon those feebly scrawled
syllables,--the last effort of the nerveless hand that once had been
strong enough to thrill the heart of all the world. The _Journal_ has
been lovingly and carefully edited by David Douglas, whose fine taste
and great gentleness of nature, together with his ample knowledge
of Scottish literature and society, eminently qualify him for the
performance of this sacred duty; and the world will possess this
treasure and feel the charm of its beauty and pathos,--which is the
charm of a great nature expressed in its perfect simplicity; but the
spell that is cast upon the heart and the imagination by a prospect of
the actual handwriting of Sir Walter Scott, in the last words that he
wrote, cannot be conveyed in print.

[Illustration: _The Maiden._]

From the house in Castle street I went to the rooms of the Royal
Society, where there is a portrait of Scott, by John Graham Gilbert,
more lifelike,--being representative of his soul as well as his face
and person,--than any other that is known. It hangs there, in company
with other paintings of former presidents of this institution,--notably
one of Sir David Brewster and one of James Watt,--in the hall in which
Sir Walter often sat, presiding over the deliberations and literary
exercises of his comrades in scholarship and art. In another hall I
saw a pulpit in which John Knox used to preach, in the old days of
what Dr. Johnson expressively called "The ruffians of Reformation," and
hard by was "The Maiden," the terrible Scottish guillotine, with its
great square knife, set in a thick weight of lead, by which the grim
Regent Morton was slain, in 1581, the Marquis of Argyle, in 1661, and
the gallant, magnanimous, devoted Earl of Argyle, in 1685,--one more
sacrifice to the insatiate House of Stuart. This monster has drunk
the blood of many a noble gentleman, and there is a weird, sinister
suggestion of gratified ferocity and furtive malignity in its rude,
grisly, uncanny fabric of blackened timbers. You may see, in the
quaint little panelled chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, in the Cowgate,
not distant from the present abode of the sanguinary Maiden,--brooding
over her hideous consummation of slaughter and misery,--the place
where the mangled body of the heroic Argyle was laid, in secret
sanctuary, for several nights after that scene of piteous sacrifice at
the old Market Cross; and when you walk in the solemn enclosure of the
Grayfriars church,--so fitly styled, by Sir Walter, The Westminster
Abbey of Scotland,--your glance will fall upon a sunken pillar, low
down upon the northern slope of that haunted, lamentable ground, which
bears the letters "I. M.," and which marks the grave of the baleful
Morton, whom the Maiden decapitated, for his share in the murder of
Rizzio. In these old cities there is no keeping away from sepulchres.
"The paths of glory," in every sense, "lead but to the grave." George
Buchanan and Allan Ramsay, poets whom no literary pilgrim will neglect,
rest in this churchyard, though the exact places of their interment are
not positively denoted, and here, likewise, rest the elegant historian
Robertson, and "the Addison of Scotland," Henry Mackenzie. The building
in the High street in which Allan Ramsay once had his abode and his
bookshop, and in which he wrote his pastoral of _The Gentle Shepherd_,
is occupied now by a barber; but, since he is one that scorns not
to proclaim over his door, in mighty letters, the poetic lineage of
his dwelling, it seems not amiss that this haunt of the Muses should
have fallen into such lowly hands. Of such a character, hallowed with
associations that pique the fancy and touch the heart, are the places
and the names that an itinerant continually encounters in his rambles
in Edinburgh.

[Illustration: _Grayfriars Church._]

[Illustration: _High Street--Allan Ramsay's Shop._]

The pilgrim could muse for many an hour over the little Venetian
mirror[50] that hangs in the bedroom of Mary Stuart, in Holyrood
Palace. What faces and what scenes it must have reflected! How often
her own beautiful countenance and person,--the dazzling eyes, the
snowy brow, the red gold hair, the alabaster bosom,--may have blazed
in its crystal depths, now tarnished and dim, like the record of her
own calamitous and wretched days! Did those lovely eyes look into
this mirror, and was their glance scared and tremulous, or fixed and
terrible, on that dismal February night, so many years ago, when the
fatal explosion in the Kirk o' Field resounded with an echo that has
never died away? Who can tell? This glass saw the gaunt and livid face
of Ruthven, when he led his comrades of murder into that royal chamber,
and it beheld Rizzio, screaming in mortal terror, as he was torn
from the skirts of his mistress and savagely slain before her eyes.
Perhaps, also, when that hideous episode was over and done with, it
saw Queen Mary and her despicable husband the next time they met, and
were alone together, in that ghastly room. "It shall be dear blood to
some of you," the queen had said, while the murder of Rizzio was doing.
Surely, having so injured a woman, any man with eyes to see might have
divined his fate, in the perfect calm of her heavenly face and the
smooth tones of her gentle voice, at such a moment as that. "At the
fireside tragedies are acted,"--and tragic enough must have been the
scene of that meeting, apart from human gaze, in the chamber of crime
and death. No other relic of Mary Stuart stirs the imagination as that
mirror does,--unless, perhaps, it be the little ebony crucifix, once
owned and reverenced by Sir Walter Scott and now piously treasured at
Abbotsford, which she held in her hands when she went to her death, in
the hall of Fotheringay Castle.

[Illustration: _The Canongate._]

Holyrood Palace, in Mary Stuart's time, was not of its present shape.
The tower containing her rooms was standing, and from that tower the
building extended eastward to the abbey, and then it veered to the
south. Much of the building was destroyed by fire in 1544, and again in
Cromwell's time, but both church and palace were rebuilt. The entire
south side, with its tower that looks directly towards the crag, was
added in the later period of Charles the Second. The furniture in Mary
Stuart's room is partly spurious, but the rooms are genuine. Musing
thus, and much striving to reconstruct those strange scenes of the
past, in which that beautiful, dangerous woman bore so great a part,
the pilgrim strolls away into the Canongate,--once clean and elegant,
now squalid and noisome,--and still the storied figures of history walk
by his side or come to meet him at every close and wynd. John Knox,
Robert Burns, Tobias Smollett, David Hume, Dugald Stuart, John Wilson,
Hugh Miller, Gay, led onward by the blithe and gracious Duchess of
Queensberry, and Dr. Johnson, escorted by the affectionate and faithful
James Boswell, the best biographer that ever lived,--these and many
more, the lettered worthies of long ago, throng into this haunted
street and glorify it with the rekindled splendours of other days. You
cannot be lonely here. This it is that makes the place so eloquent and
so precious. For what did those men live and labour? To what were their
shining talents and wonderful forces devoted? To the dissemination of
learning; to the emancipation of the human mind from the bondage of
error; to the ministry of the beautiful,--and thus to the advancement
of the human race in material comfort, in gentleness of thought, in
charity of conduct, in refinement of manners, and in that spiritual
exaltation by which, and only by which, the true progress of mankind is
at once accomplished and proclaimed.

[Illustration: HOLYROOD CASTLE



But the dark has come, and this Edinburgh ramble shall end with the
picture that closed its own magnificent day. You are standing on the
rocky summit of Arthur's Seat. From that superb mountain peak your
gaze takes in the whole capital, together with the country in every
direction for many miles around. The evening is uncommonly clear. Only
in the west dense masses of black cloud are thickly piled upon each
other, through which the sun is sinking, red and sullen with menace of
the storm. Elsewhere and overhead the sky is crystal, and of a pale,
delicate blue. A cold wind blows briskly from the east and sweeps a
million streamers of white smoke in turbulent panic over the darkening
roofs of the city, far below. In the north the lovely Lomond Hills are
distinctly visible across the dusky level of the Forth, which stretches
away toward the ocean, one broad sheet of glimmering steel,--its margin
indented with many a graceful bay, and the little islands that adorn
it shining like stones of amethyst set in polished flint. A few brown
sails are visible, dotting the waters, and far to the east appears
the graceful outline of the Isle of May,--which was the shrine of the
martyred St. Adrian,--and the lonely, wave-beaten Bass Rock, with
its millions of seagulls and solan-geese. Busy Leith and picturesque
Newhaven and every little village on the coast is sharply defined
in the frosty light. At your feet is St. Leonards, with the tiny
cottage of Jeanie Deans. Yonder, in the south, are the gray ruins of
Craigmillar Castle, once the favourite summer home of the Queen of
Scots, now open to sun and rain, moss-grown and desolate, and swept
by every wind that blows. More eastward the eye lingers upon Carberry
Hill, where Mary surrendered herself to her nobles, just before the
romantic episode of Loch Leven Castle; and far beyond that height the
sombre fields, intersected by green hawthorn hedges and many-coloured
with the various hues of pasture and harvest, stretch away to the hills
of Lammermoor and the valleys of Tweed and Esk. Darker and darker grow
the gathering shadows of the gloaming. The lights begin to twinkle in
the city streets. The echoes of the rifles die away in the Hunter's
Bog. A piper far off is playing the plaintive music of _The Blue Bells
of Scotland_. And as your steps descend the crag, the rising moon, now
nearly at the full, shines through the gauzy mist and hangs above the
mountain like a shield of gold upon the towered citadel of night.

[Illustration: _St. Giles's, from the Lawn Market._]



More than a century has passed since Walter Scott was born--a poet
destined to exercise a profound, far-reaching, permanent influence
upon the feelings of the human race, and thus to act a conspicuous
part in its moral and spiritual development and guidance. To the
greatness of his mind, the nobility of his spirit, and the beauty of
his life there is abundant testimony in his voluminous and diversified
writings, and in his ample and honest biography. Everybody who reads
has read something from the pen of Scott, or something commemorative
of him, and in every mind to which his name is known it is known as
the synonym of great faculties and wonderful achievement. There must
have been enormous vitality of spirit, prodigious power of intellect,
irresistible charm of personality, and lovable purity of moral nature
in the man whom thousands that never saw him living,--men and women
of a later age and different countries,--know and remember and love
as Sir Walter Scott. Others have written greatly. Milton, Dryden,
Addison, Pope, Cowper, Johnson, Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge,
Landor,--these are only a few of the imperial names that cannot
die. But these names live in the world's respect. The name of Scott
lives also in its affection. What other name of the past in English
literature,--unless it be that of Shakespeare,--arouses such a deep and
sweet feeling of affectionate interest, gentle pleasure, gratitude, and
reverential love?

[Illustration: _Sir Walter Scott._]

The causes of Sir Walter Scott's ascendency are to be found in the
goodness of his heart; the integrity of his conduct; the romantic
and picturesque accessories and atmosphere of his life; the fertile
brilliancy of his literary execution; the charm that he exercises, both
as man and artist, over the imagination; the serene, tranquillising
spirit of his works; and, above all, the buoyancy, the happy freedom,
of his genius. He was not simply an intellectual power; he was also
a human and gentle comforter. He wielded an immense mental force,
but he always wielded it for good, and always with tenderness. It
is impossible to conceive of his ever having done a wrong act, or
of any contact with his influence that would not inspire the wish
to be virtuous and noble. The scope of his sympathy was as broad as
the weakness and the need are of the human race. He understood the
hardship, the dilemma, in the moral condition of mankind: he wished
people to be patient and cheerful, and he tried to make them so. His
writings are full of sweetness and cheer, and they contain nothing that
is morbid,--nothing that tends toward surrender and misery. He did not
sequester himself in mental pride, but simply and sturdily, through
years of conscientious toil, he employed the faculties of a strong,
tender, gracious genius for the good of his fellow-creatures. The
world loves him because he is worthy to be loved, and because he has
lightened the burden of its care and augmented the sum of its happiness.

Certain differences and confusions of opinion have arisen from the
consideration of his well-known views as to the literary art, together
with his equally well-known ambition to take and to maintain the rank
and estate of a country squire. As an artist he had ideals that he
was never able to fulfil. As a man, and one who was influenced by
imagination, taste, patriotism, family pride, and a profound belief
in established monarchical institutions, it was natural that he
should wish to found a grand and beautiful home for himself and his
posterity. A poet is not the less a poet because he thinks modestly of
his writings and practically knows and admits that there is something
else in the world beside literature; or because he happens to want
his dinner and a roof to cover him. In trying to comprehend a great
man, a good method is to look at his life as a whole, and not to
deduce petty inferences from the distorted interpretation of petty
details. Sir Walter Scott's conduct of life, like the character out of
which it sprang, was simple and natural. In all that he did you may
perceive the influence of imagination acting upon the finest reason;
the involuntary consciousness of reserve power; habitual deference
to the voice of duty; an aspiring and picturesque plan of artistic
achievement and personal distinction; and deep knowledge of the world.
If ever there was a man who lived to be and not to seem, that man was
Sir Walter Scott. He made no pretensions. He claimed nothing, but he
simply and earnestly earned all. His means were the oldest and the
best; self-respect, hard work, and fidelity to duty. The development
of his nature was slow, but it was thorough and it was salutary. He
was not hampered by precocity and he was not spoiled by conceit. He
acted according to himself, honouring his individuality and obeying the
inward monitor of his genius. But, combined with the delicate instinct
of a gentleman, he had the wise insight, foresight, and patience of a
philosopher; and therefore he respected the individuality of others,
the established facts of life, and the settled conventions of society.
His mind was neither embittered by revolt nor sickened by delusion.
Having had the good fortune to be born in a country in which a right
plan of government prevails,--the idea of the family, the idea of the
strong central power at the head, with all other powers subordinated to
it,--he felt no impulse toward revolution, no desire to regulate all
things anew; and he did not suffer perturbation from the feverish sense
of being surrounded with uncertainty and endangered by exposure to
popular caprice. During the period of immaturity, and notwithstanding
physical weakness and pain, his spirit was kept equable and cheerful,
not less by the calm environment of a permanent civilisation than by
the clearness of his perceptions and the sweetness of his temperament.
In childhood and youth he endeared himself to all who came near him,
winning affection by inherent goodness and charm. In riper years that
sweetness was reinforced by great sagacity, which took broad views of
individual and social life; so that both by knowledge and by impulse he
was a serene and happy man.

The quality that first impresses the student of the character and the
writings of Sir Walter Scott is truthfulness. He was genuine. Although
a poet, he suffered no torment from vague aspirations. Although once,
and miserably, a disappointed lover, he permitted no morbid repining.
Although the most successful author of his time, he displayed no
egotism. To the end of his days he was frank and simple,--not indeed
sacrificing the reticence of a dignified, self-reliant nature, but
suffering no blight from success, and wearing illustrious honours with
spontaneous, unconscious grace. This truthfulness, the consequence
and the sign of integrity and of great breadth of intellectual
vision, moulded Sir Walter Scott's ambition and stamped the practical
results of his career. A striking illustration of this is seen in
his first adventure in literature. The poems originally sprang from
the spontaneous action of the poetic impulse and faculty; but they
were put forth modestly, in order that the author might guide himself
according to the response of the public mind. He knew that he might
fail as an author, but for failure of that sort, although he was
intensely ambitious, he had no dread. There would always remain to him
the career of private duty and the life of a gentleman. This view of
him gives the key to his character and explains his conduct. Neither
amid the experimental vicissitudes of his youth, nor amid the labours,
achievements, and splendid honours of his manhood, did he ever place
the imagination above the conscience, or brilliant writing above
virtuous living, or art and fame above morality and religion. "I have
been, perhaps, the most voluminous author of the day," he said, toward
the close of his life; "and it is a comfort to me to think that I have
tried to unsettle no man's faith, to corrupt no man's principles,
and that I have written nothing which, on my deathbed, I should wish
blotted." When at last he lay upon that deathbed the same thought
animated and sustained him. "My dear," he said, to Lockhart, "be a
good man, be virtuous, be religious--be a good man. Nothing else will
give you any comfort when you come to lie here." The mind which thus
habitually dwelt upon goodness as the proper object of human ambition
and the chief merit of human life was not likely to vaunt itself on
its labours or to indulge any save a modest and chastened pride in its

[Illustration: _Edinburgh Castle._]

And this view of him explains the affectionate reverence with which the
memory of Sir Walter Scott is cherished. He was pre-eminently a type of
the greatness that is associated with virtue. But his virtue was not
decorum and it was not goodyism. He does not, with Addison, represent
elegant austerity; and he does not, with Montgomery, represent amiable
tameness. His goodness was not insipid. It does not humiliate; it
gladdens. It is ardent with heart and passion. It is brilliant with
imagination. It is fragrant with taste and grace. It is alert, active,
and triumphant with splendid mental achievements and practical good
deeds. And it is the goodness of a great poet,--the poet of natural
beauty, of romantic legend, of adventure, of chivalry, of life in
its heyday of action and its golden glow of pageantry and pleasure.
It found expression, and it wields invincible and immortal power,
through an art whereof the charm is the magic of sunrise and sunset,
the sombre, holy silence of mountains, the pensive solitude of dusky
woods, the pathos of ancient, ivy-mantled ruins, and ocean's solemn,
everlasting chant. Great powers have arisen in English literature; but
no romance has hushed the voice of the author of _Waverley_, and no
harp has drowned the music of the Minstrel of the North.

The publication of a new book by Sir Walter Scott is a literary event
of great importance. The time has been when the announcement of such
a novelty would have roused the reading public as with the sound of
a trumpet. That sensation, familiar in the early part of the present
century, is possible no more. Yet there are thousands of persons all
over the world through whose hearts the thought of it sends a thrill
of joy. The illustrious author of _Marmion_ and of _Waverley_ passed
away in 1832: and now (1890), at the distance of fifty-eight years,
his private _Journal_ is made a public possession. It is the bestowal
of a great privilege and benefit. It is like hearing the voice of a
deeply-loved and long-lamented friend, suddenly speaking from beyond
the grave.

In literary history the position of Scott is unique. A few other
authors, indeed, might be named toward whom the general feeling was
once exceedingly cordial, but in no other case has the feeling entirely
lasted. In the case of Scott it endures in undiminished fervour. There
are, of course, persons to whom his works are not interesting and to
whom his personality is not significant. Those persons are the votaries
of the photograph, who wish to see upon the printed page the same
sights that greet their vision in the streets and in the houses to
which they are accustomed. But those prosy persons constitute only a
single class of the public. People in general are impressible through
the romantic instinct that is a part of human nature. To that instinct
Scott's writings were addressed, and also to the heart that commonly
goes with it. The spirit that responds to his genius is universal and
perennial. Caprices of taste will reveal themselves and will vanish;
fashions will rise and will fall; but these mutations touch nothing
that is elemental and they will no more displace Scott than they will
displace Shakespeare.

The _Journal_ of Sir Walter Scott, valuable for its copious variety of
thought, humour, anecdote, and chronicle, is precious, most of all,
for the confirmatory light that it casts upon the character of its
writer. It has long been known that Scott's nature was exceptionally
noble, that his patience was beautiful, that his endurance was
heroic. These pages disclose to his votaries that he surpassed even
the highest ideal of him that their affectionate partiality has
formed. The period that it covers was that of his adversity and
decline. He began it on November 20, 1825, in his town house, No.
39 Castle street, Edinburgh, and he continued it, with almost daily
entries,--except for various sadly significant breaks, after July
1830,--until April 16, 1832. Five months later, on September 21, he
was dead. He opened it with the expression of a regret that he had
not kept a regular journal during the whole of his life. He had just
seen some chapters of Byron's vigorous, breezy, off-hand memoranda,
and the perusal of those inspiriting pages had revived in his mind
the long-cherished, often-deferred plan of keeping a diary. "I have
myself lost recollection," he says, "of much that was interesting, and
I have deprived my family and the public of some curious information
by not carrying this resolution into effect." Having once begun the
work he steadily persevered in it, and evidently he found a comfort
in its companionship. He wrote directly, and therefore fluently,
setting down exactly what was in his mind, from day to day; but, as
he had a well-stored and well-ordered mind, he wrote with reason and
taste, seldom about petty matters, and never in the strain of insipid
babble that egotistical scribblers mistake for the spontaneous flow
of nature. The facts that he recorded were mostly material facts,
and the reflections that he added, whether serious or humorous, were
important. Sometimes a bit of history would glide into the current
of the chronicle; sometimes a fragment of a ballad; sometimes an
analytic sketch of character, subtle, terse, clear, and obviously true;
sometimes a memory of the past; sometimes a portraiture of incidents
in the present; sometimes a glimpse of political life, a word about
painting, a reference to music or the stage, an anecdote, a tale of
travel, a trait of social manners, a precept upon conduct, or a
thought upon religion and the destiny of mankind. There was no pretence
of order and there was no consciousness of an audience; yet the
_Journal_ unconsciously assumed a symmetrical form; and largely because
of the spontaneous operation of its author's fine literary instinct
it became a composition worthy of the best readers. It is one of the
saddest and one of the strongest books ever written.

The original manuscript of this remarkable work is contained in two
volumes, bound in vellum, each volume being furnished with a steel
clasp that can be fastened. The covers are slightly tarnished by time.
The paper is yellow with age. The handwriting is fine, cramped, and
often obscure. "This hand of mine," writes Scott (vol. i. page 386),
"gets to be like a kitten's scratch, and will require much deciphering,
or, what may be as well for the writer, cannot be deciphered at all. I
am sure I cannot read it myself." The first volume is full of writing;
the second about half full. Toward the end the record is almost
illegible. Scott was then at Rome, on that melancholy, mistaken journey
whereby it had been hoped, but hoped in vain, that he would recover
his health. The last entry that he made is this unfinished sentence:
"We slept reasonably, but on the next morning----." It is not known
that he ever wrote a word after that time. Lockhart, who had access to
his papers, made some use of the _Journal_, in his _Life of Scott_,
which is one of the best biographies in our language; but the greater
part of it was withheld from publication till a more auspicious time
for its perfect candour of speech. To hold those volumes and to look
upon their pages,--so eloquent of the great author's industry, so
significant of his character, so expressive of his inmost soul,--was
almost to touch the hand of the Minstrel himself, to see his smile,
and to hear his voice. Now that they have fulfilled their purpose, and
imparted their inestimable treasure to the world, they are restored to
the ebony cabinet at Abbotsford, there to be treasured among the most
precious relics of the past. "It is the saddest house in Scotland,"
their editor, David Douglas, said to me, when we were walking together
upon the Braid Hills, "for to my fancy every stone in it is cemented
with tears." Sad or glad, it is a shrine to which reverent pilgrims
find their way from every quarter of the earth, and it will be honoured
and cherished forever.

[Illustration: _The Canongate Tolbooth._]

The great fame of Scott had been acquired by the time he began to
write his _Journal_, and it rested upon a broad foundation of solid
achievement. He was fifty-four years old, having been born August 15,
1771, the same year in which Smollett died. He had been an author for
about thirty years,--his first publication, a translation of Bürger's
_Lenore_, having appeared in 1796, the same year that was darkened
by the death of Robert Burns. His social eminence also had been
established. He had been sheriff of Selkirk for twenty-five years.
He had been for twenty years a clerk of the Court of Session. He had
been for five years a baronet, having received that rank from King
George the Fourth, who always loved and admired him, in 1820. He had
been for fourteen years the owner of Abbotsford, which he bought in
1811, occupied in 1812, and completed in 1824. He was yet to write
_Woodstock_, the six tales called _The Chronicles of the Canongate_,
_The Fair Maid of Perth_, _Anne of Geierstein_, _Count Robert of
Paris_, _Castle Dangerous_, the _Life of Napoleon_, and the lovely
_Stories from the History of Scotland_. All those works, together with
many essays and reviews, were produced by him between 1825 and 1832,
while also he was maintaining a considerable correspondence, doing his
official duties, writing his _Journal_, and carrying a suddenly imposed
load of debt,--which finally his herculean labours paid,--amounting
to £130,000. But between 1805 and 1817 he had written _The Lay of the
Last Minstrel_, _Ballads and Lyrical Pieces_, _Marmion_, _The Lady of
the Lake_, _The Vision of Don Roderick_, _Rokeby_, _The Lord of the
Isles_, _The Field of Waterloo_, and _Harold the Dauntless_,--thus
creating a great and diversified body of poetry, then in a new school
and a new style, in which, although he has often been imitated, he
never has been equalled. Between 1814 and 1825 he had likewise produced
_Waverley_, _Guy Mannering_, _The Antiquary_, _Old Mortality_, _The
Black Dwarf_, _Rob Roy_, _The Heart of Midlothian_, _A Legend of
Montrose_, _The Bride of Lammermoor_, _Ivanhoe_, _The Monastery_, _The
Abbot_, _Kenilworth_, _The Pirate_, _The Fortunes of Nigel_, _Peveril
of the Peak_, _Quentin Durward_, _St. Ronan's Well_, _Redgauntlet_,
_The Betrothed_, and _The Talisman_. This vast body of fiction was also
a new creation in literature, for the English novel prior to Scott's
time was the novel of manners, as chiefly represented by the works of
Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett. That admirable author, Miss Jane
Porter, had, indeed, written the _Scottish Chiefs_ (1809), in which the
note of imagination, as applied to the treatment of historical fact
and character, rings true and clear; and probably that excellent book
should be remembered as the beginning of English historical romance.
Scott himself said that it was the parent, in his mind, of the Waverley
Novels. But he surpassed it. Another and perhaps a deeper impulse to
the composition of those novels was the consciousness, when Lord Byron,
by the publication of _Childe Harold_ (the first and second cantos,
in 1812), suddenly checked or eclipsed his immediate popularity as a
poet, that it would be necessary for him to strike out a new path. He
had begun _Waverley_ in 1805 and thrown the fragment aside. He took it
up again in 1814, wrought upon it for three weeks and finished it, and
so began the career of "the Great Unknown." The history of literature
presents scarce a comparable example of such splendid industry
sustained upon such a high level of endeavour, animated by such
glorious genius, and resultant in such a noble and beneficent fruition.
The life of Balzac, whom his example inspired, and who may be accounted
the greatest of French writers since Voltaire, is perhaps the only life
that drifts suggestively into the scholar's memory, as he thinks of the
prodigious labours of Sir Walter Scott.

During the days of his prosperity Scott maintained his manor at
Abbotsford and his town-house in Edinburgh, and he frequently migrated
from one to the other, dispensing a liberal hospitality at both. He was
not one of those authors who think that there is nothing in the world
but pen and ink. He esteemed living to be more important than writing
about it, and the development of the soul to be a grander result
than the production of a book. "I hate an author that's all author,"
said Byron; and in this virtuous sentiment Scott participated. His
character and conduct, his unaffected modesty as to his own works, his
desire to found a great house and to maintain a stately rank among
the land-owners of his country, and as a son of chivalry, have, for
this reason, been greatly misunderstood by dull people. They never,
indeed, would have found the least fault with him if he had not become
a bankrupt; for the mouth of every dunce is stopped by practical
success. When he got into debt, though, it was discovered that he ought
to have had a higher ambition than the wish to maintain a place among
the landed gentry of Scotland; and even though he ultimately paid
his debts,--literally working himself to death to do it,--he was not
forgiven by that class of censors; and to some extent their chatter
of paltry disparagement still survives. While he was rich, however,
his halls were thronged with fashion, rank, and renown. Edinburgh,
still the stateliest city on which the sun looks down, must have been,
in the last days of George the Third, a place of peculiar beauty,
opulence, and social brilliancy. Scott, whose father was a Writer to
the Signet, and who derived his descent from a good old Border family,
the Scotts of Harden, had, from his youth, been accustomed to refined
society and elegant surroundings. He was born and reared a gentleman,
and a gentleman he never ceased to be. His father's house was No.
25 George Square, then an aristocratic quarter, now somewhat fallen
into the sere and yellow. In that house, as a boy, he saw some of the
most distinguished men of the age. In after years, when his fortunes
were ripe and his fame as a poet had been established, he drew around
himself a kindred class of associates. The record of his life blazes
with splendid names. As a lad of fifteen, in 1786, he saw Burns,
then twenty-seven, and in the heyday of fame; and he also saw Dugald
Stewart, seventeen years his senior. Lord Jeffrey was his contemporary
and friend, only two years younger than himself. With Henry Mackenzie,
"the Addison of Scotland,"--born in the first year of the last Jacobite
rebellion, and therefore twenty-six years his senior,--he lived on
terms of cordial friendship. David Hume, who died when Scott was but
five years old, was one of the great celebrities of his early days;
and doubtless Scott saw the Calton Hill when it was, as Jane Porter
remembered it, "a vast green slope, with no other buildings breaking
the line of its smooth and magnificent brow but Hume's monument on one
part and the astronomical observatory on the other." He knew John Home,
the author of _Douglas_, who was his senior by forty-seven years; and
among his miscellaneous prose writings there is an effective review of
Home's works, which was written for the _Quarterly_, in March 1827.
Among the actors his especial friends were John Philip Kemble, Mrs.
Siddons, the elder Charles Mathews, John Bannister, and Daniel Terry.
He knew Yates also, and he saw Miss Foote, Fanny Kemble, and the
Mathews of our day as "a clever, rather forward lad." Goethe was his
correspondent. Byron was his friend and fervent admirer. Wordsworth
and Moore were among his visitors and especial favourites. The aged
Dr. Adam Ferguson was one of his intimates. Hogg, when in trouble,
always sought him, and always was helped and comforted. He was the
literary sponsor for Thomas Campbell. He met Madame D'Arblay, who was
nineteen years his senior, when she was seventy-eight years old; and
the author of _Evelina_ talked with him, in the presence of old Samuel
Rogers, then sixty-three, about her father, Dr. Burney, and the days
of Dr. Johnson. He was honoured with the cordial regard of the great
Duke of Wellington, a contemporary, being only two years his senior.
He knew Croker, Haydon, Chantrey, Landseer, Sydney Smith, and Theodore
Hook. He read _Vivian Grey_ as a new publication and saw Disraeli as a
beginner. Coleridge he met and marvelled at. Mrs. Coutts, who had been
Harriet Mellon, the singer, and who became the Duchess of St. Albans,
was a favourite with him. He knew and liked that caustic critic William
Gifford. His relations with Sir Humphry Davy, seven years his senior,
were those of kindness. He had a great regard for Lord Castlereagh
and Lord Melville. He liked Robert Southey, and he cherished a deep
affection for the poet Crabbe, who was twenty-three years older than
himself, and who died in the same year. Of Sir George Beaumont, the
fond friend and wise patron of Wordsworth, who died in February 1827,
Scott wrote that he was "by far the most sensible and pleasing man I
ever knew." Amid a society such as is indicated by those names Scott
passed his life. The brilliant days of the Canongate indeed were gone,
when all those wynds and closes that fringe the historic avenue from
the Castle to Holyrood were as clean as wax, and when the loveliest
ladies of Scotland dwelt amongst them, and were borne in their chairs
from one house of festivity to another. But New street, once the home
of Lord Kames, still retained some touch of its ancient finery. St.
John street, where once lived Lord Monboddo and his beautiful daughter,
Miss Burnet (immortalised by Burns), and where (at No. 10) Ballantyne
often convoked admirers of the unknown author of _Waverley_, was still
a cleanly place. Alison Square, George Square, Buccleuch Place, and
kindred quarters were still tenanted by the polished classes of the
stately, old-time society of Edinburgh. The movement northward had
begun, but as yet it was inconsiderable. In those old drawing-rooms
Scott was an habitual visitor, as also he was in many of the contiguous
county manors,--in Seton House, Pinkie House, Blackford, Ravelstone,
Craigcrook, and Caroline Park, and wherever else the intellect, beauty,
rank, and fashion of the Scottish capital assembled; and it is certain
that after his marriage, in December 1797, with Miss Charlotte Margaret
Carpenter, the scenes of hospitality and of elegant festival were
numerous and gay, and were peopled with all that was brightest in the
ancient city, at first beneath his roof-tree in Castle street and later
beneath his turrets of Abbotsford.

There came a time, however, when the fabric of Scott's fortunes was to
be shattered and his imperial genius bowed into the dust. He had long
been a business associate with Constable, his publisher, and also with
Ballantyne, his printer. The publishing business failed and they were
ruined together. It has long been customary to place the blame for
that catastrophe on Constable alone. Mr. Douglas, who has edited the
_Journal_ with characteristic discretion and taste, records his opinion
that "the three parties, printer, publisher, and author, were equal
sharers in the imprudences that led to the disaster;" and he directs
attention to the fact that the charge that Constable ruined Scott was
not made during the lifetime of either. It matters little now in what
way the ruin was induced. Mismanagement caused it, and not misdeed.
There was a blunder, but there was no fraud. The honour of all the men
concerned stands vindicated before the world. Moreover, the loss was
retrieved and the debt was paid,--Scott's share of it in full: the
other shares in part. It is to the period of this ordeal that Scott's
_Journal_ mainly relates. Great though he had been in prosperity, he
was to show himself greater amid the storms of disaster and affliction.
The earlier pages of the diary are cheerful, vigorous, and confident.
The mind of the writer is in no alarm. Presently the sky changes and
the tempest breaks; and from that time onward the reader beholds a
spectacle, of indomitable will, calm resolution, inflexible purpose,
patient endurance, steadfast industry, and productive genius, that is
sublime. Many facts of living interest and many gems of subtle thought
and happy phrase are found in his daily record. The observations on
immortality are in a fine strain. The remarks on music, on dramatic
poetry, on the operation of the mental faculties, on painting, and on
national characteristics, are freighted with suggestive thought. But
the noble presence of the man overshadows even his best words. He lost
his fortune in December 1825. His wife died in May 1826. On the pages
that immediately follow his note of this bereavement Scott has written
occasional words that no one can read unmoved, and that no one who has
suffered can read without a pang that is deeper than tears.

But his spirit was slow to break. "Duty to God and to my children,"
he said, "must teach me patience." Once he speaks of "the loneliness
of these watches of the night." Not until his debts were paid and his
duties fulfilled would that great soul yield. "I may be bringing on
some serious disease," he remarks, "by working thus hard; if I had once
justice done to other folks, I do not much care, only I would not like
to suffer long pain." A little later the old spirit shows itself: "I
do not like to have it thought that there is any way in which I can be
beaten.... Let us use the time and faculties which God has left us, and
trust futurity to His guidance.... I want to finish my task, and then
good-night. I will never relax my labour in these affairs either for
fear of pain or love of life. I will die a free man, if hard working
will do it.... My spirits are neither low nor high--grave, I think, and
quiet--a complete twilight of the mind.... God help--but rather God
bless--man must help himself.... The best is, the long halt will arrive
at last and cure all.... It is my dogged humour to yield little to
external circumstances.... I shall never see the three-score and ten,
and shall be summed up at a discount. No help for it, and no matter
either." In the mood of mingled submission and resolve denoted by these
sentences (which occur at long intervals in the story), he wrought at
his task until it was finished. By _Woodstock_ he earned £8000; by the
_Life of Napoleon_ £18,000; by other writings still other sums. The
details of his toil appear day by day in these simple pages, tragic
through all their simplicity. He was a heart-broken man from the hour
when his wife died, but he sustained himself by force of will and
sense of honour, and he endured and worked till the last, without a
murmur; and when he had done his task he laid down his pen and so ended.

The lesson of Scott's _Journal_ is the most important lesson that
experience can teach. It is taught in two words: honour and duty.
Nothing is more obvious, from the nature and environment and the
consequent condition of the human race, than the fact that this world
is not, and was not intended to be, a place of settled happiness. All
human beings have troubles, and as the years pass away those troubles
become more numerous, more heavy, and more hard to bear. The ordeal
through which humanity is passing is an ordeal of discipline for
spiritual development. To live in honour, to labour with steadfast
industry, and to endure with cheerful patience is to be victorious.
Whatever in literature will illustrate this doctrine, and whatever in
human example will commend and enforce it, is of transcendent value;
and that value is inherent in the example of Sir Walter Scott.



One denotement, among many, of a genial change, a relaxation of the old
ecclesiastical austerity long prevalent in Scotland, is perceptible
in the lighter character of her modern sepulchral monuments. In the
old churchyard of St. Michael, at Dumfries, the burial-place of Burns,
there is a hideous, dismal mass of misshapen, weather-beaten masonry,
the mere aspect of which, before any of its gruesome inscriptions
are read, is a rebuke to hope and an alarm to despair. Thus the
religionists of old tried to make death terrible. Much of this same
order of abhorrent architecture, the ponderous exponent of immitigable
woe, may be found in the old Grayfriars churchyard in Edinburgh, and
in that of the Canongate. But the pilgrim to the Dean cemetery and
the Warriston, both comparatively modern, and beautifully situated at
different points on the north side of the Water of Leith, finds them
adorned with every grace that can hallow the repose of the dead, or
soothe the grief, or mitigate the fear, or soften the bitter resentment
of the living. Hope, and not despair, is the spirit of the new epoch
in religion, and it is hope not merely for a sect but for all mankind.

The mere physical loveliness of those cemeteries may well tempt you
to explore them, but no one will neglect them who cares for the
storied associations of the past. Walking in the Dean, on an afternoon
half-cloudy and half-bright, when the large trees that guard its
western limit and all the masses of foliage in the dark ravine of the
Leith were softly rustling in the balmy summer wind, while overhead
and far around the solemn cawing of the rooks mingled sleepily with
the twitter of the sparrows, I thought, as I paced the sunlit aisles,
that Nature could nowhere show a scene of sweeter peace. In this
gentle solitude has been laid to its everlasting rest all that could
die of some of the greatest leaders of thought in modern Scotland. It
was no common experience to muse beside the tomb of Francis Jeffrey,
the once formidable Lord Jeffrey of _The Edinburgh Review_. He lies
buried near the great wall on the west side of the Dean cemetery, with
his wife beside him. A flat, oblong stone tomb, imposed upon a large
stone pedestal and overshadowed with tall trees, marks the place,
on one side of which is written that once-famous and dreaded name,
now spoken with indifference or not spoken at all: "Francis Jeffrey.
Born Oct. 23, 1773. Died Jan. 25, 1850." On the end of the tomb is
a medallion portrait of Jeffrey, in bronze. It is a profile, and it
shows a symmetrical head, a handsome face, severe, refined, frigid, and
altogether it is the denotement of a personality remarkable for the
faculty of taste and the instinct of decorum, though not for creative
power. Close by Lord Jeffrey, a little to the south, are buried Sir
Archibald Alison, the historian of Europe, and Henry Cockburn, the
great jurist. Combe, the philosopher, rests near the south front of the
wall that bisects this cemetery from east to west. Not far from the
memorials of these famous persons is a shaft of honour to Lieutenant
John Irving, who was one of the companions of Sir John Franklin, and
who perished amid the Polar ice in King William's Land, in 1848-49.

In another part of the ground a tall cross commemorates David Scott,
the painter [1806-1849], presenting a superb effigy of his head, in
one of the most animated pieces of bronze that have copied human life.
Against the eastern wall, on the terrace overlooking the ravine and the
rapid Water of Leith, stands the tombstone of John Blackwood, "Editor
of _Blackwood's Magazine_ for thirty-three years: Died at Strathtyrum,
29th Oct. 1879. Age 60." This inscription, cut upon a broad white
marble, with scroll-work at the base, and set against the wall, is
surmounted with a coat of arms, in gray stone, bearing the motto, "Per
vias rectas." Many other eminent names may be read in this garden
of death; but most interesting of all, and those that most of all I
sought, are the names of Wilson and Aytoun. Those worthies were buried
close together, almost in the centre of the cemetery. The grave of
the great "Christopher North" is marked by a simple shaft of Aberdeen
granite, beneath a tree, and it bears only this inscription: "John
Wilson, Professor of Moral Philosophy. Born 18th of May, 1785. Died
3d April, 1854." Far more elaborate is the white marble monument,--a
square tomb, with carvings of recessed Gothic windows on its sides,
supporting a tall cross,--erected to the memory of Aytoun and of his
wife, who was Wilson's daughter. The inscriptions tell their sufficient
story: "Jane Emily Wilson, beloved wife of William Edmonstoune Aytoun.
Obiit 15 April, 1859." "Here is laid to rest William Edmonstoune
Aytoun, D.C.L., Oxon., Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature
in the University of Edinburgh. Sheriff of Orkney and Zetland. Born
at Edinburgh, 21st June, 1813. Died at Blackhills, Elgin, 4th August,
1865. 'Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' 1 Cor. i. 7."
So they sleep, the poets, wits, and scholars that were once so bright
in genius, so gay in spirit, so splendid in achievement, so vigorous in
affluent and brilliant life! It is the old story, and it teaches the
old moral.

Warriston, not more beautiful than Dean, is perhaps more beautiful
in situation; certainly it commands a more beautiful prospect.
The traveller will visit Warriston for the sake of Alexander
Smith,--remembering the _Life Drama_, the _City Poems_, _Edwin of
Deira_, _Alfred Hagart's Household_, and _A Summer in Skye_. The poet
lies in the northeast corner of the ground, at the foot of a large Iona
cross, which is bowered by a chestnut-tree. Above him the green sod
is like a carpet of satin. The cross is thickly carved with laurel,
thistle, and holly, and it bears upon its front the face of the poet,
in bronze, and the harp that betokens his art. It is a bearded face,
having small, refined features, a slightly pouted, sensitive mouth, and
being indicative more of nervous sensibility than of rugged strength.
The inscription gives simply his name and dates: "Alexander Smith,
Poet and Essayist. Born at Kilmarnock, 31st December, 1829. Died at
Wardie, 5th January, 1867. Erected by some of his personal Friends."
Standing by his grave, at the foot of this cross, you can gaze straight
away southward to Arthur's Seat, and behold the whole line of imperial
Edinburgh at a glance, from the Calton Hill to the Castle. It is such
a spot as he would have chosen for his sepulchre,--face to face with
the city that he dearly loved. Near him on the east wall appears a
large slab of Aberdeen granite, to mark the grave of still another
Scottish worthy, "James Ballantine, Poet. Born 11th June, 1808. Died
18th Dec., 1877." And midway along the slope of the northern terrace,
a little eastward of the chapel, under a freestone monument bearing
the butterfly that is Nature's symbol of immortality, you will see the
grave of "Sir James Young Simpson, Bart., M.D., D.C.L. Born 1811. Died
1870." And if you are weary of thinking about the evanescence of the
poets, you can reflect that there was no exemption from the common lot
even for one of the greatest physical benefactors of the human race.

[Illustration: _Grayfriars Churchyard._]

The oldest and the most venerable and mysterious of the cemeteries of
Edinburgh is that of the Grayfriars. Irregular in shape and uneven
in surface, it encircles its famous old church, in the haunted
neighbourhood of the West Bow, and is itself hemmed in with many
buildings. More than four centuries ago this was the garden of the
Monastery of the Grayfriars, founded by James the First, of Scotland,
and thus it gets its name. The monastery disappeared long ago: the
garden was turned into a graveyard in the time of Queen Mary Stuart,
and by her order. The building, called the Old Church, dates back to
1612, but it was burnt in 1845 and subsequently restored. Here the
National Covenant was subscribed, 1638, by the lords and by the people,
and in this doubly consecrated ground are laid the remains of many of
those heroic Covenanters who subsequently suffered death for conscience
and their creed. There is a large book of _The Epitaphs and Monumental
Inscriptions in Grayfriars Churchyard_, made by James Brown, keeper of
the grounds, and published in 1867. That record does not pretend to be
complete, and yet it mentions no less than two thousand two hundred
and seventy-one persons who are sepulchred in this place. Among those
sleepers are Duncan Forbes, of Culloden; Robert Mylne, who built a
part of Holyrood Palace; Sir George Mackenzie, the persecutor of the
Covenanters; Carstairs, the adviser of King William the Third; Sir Adam
Ferguson; Henry Mackenzie; Robertson and Tytler, the historians; Sir
Walter Scott's father; and several of the relatives of Mrs. Siddons.
Captain John Porteous, who was hanged in the Grass-market, by riotous
citizens of Edinburgh, on the night of September 7, 1736, and whose
story is so vividly told in _The Heart of Midlothian_, was buried
in the Grayfriars churchyard, "three dble. pace from the S. corner
Chalmers' tomb"--1736. James Brown's record of the churchyard contains
various particulars, quoted from the old church register. Of William
Robertson, minister of the parish, who died in 1745, we read that he
"lies near the tree next Blackwood's ground." "Mr. Allan Ramsay," says
the same quaint chronicle, "lies 5 dble. paces southwest the blew
stone: A poet: old age: Buried 9th January 1758." Christian Ross, his
wife, who preceded the aged bard by fifteen years, lies in the same
grave. Sir Walter Scott's father was laid there on April 18, 1799, and
his daughter Anne was placed beside him in 1801. In a letter addressed
to his brother Thomas, in 1819, Sir Walter wrote: "When poor Jack was
buried in the Grayfriars churchyard, where my father and Anne lie, I
thought their graves more encroached upon than I liked to witness."
The remains of the Regent Morton were, it is said, wrapped in a cloak
and secretly buried there, at night,--June 2, 1581, immediately after
his execution, on that day,--low down toward the northern wall. The
supposed grave of the scholar, historian, teacher, and superb Latin
poet George Buchanan ["the elegant Buchanan," Dr. Johnson calls him],
is not distant from this spot; and in the old church may be seen a
beautiful window, a triple lancet, in the south aisle, placed there to
commemorate that illustrious author.

Hugh Miller and Dr. Chalmers were laid in the Grange cemetery, which
is in the southern part of the city, near Morningside. Adam Smith is
commemorated by a heavy piece of masonry, over his dust, at the south
end of the Canongate churchyard, and Dugald Stewart by a ponderous tomb
at the north end of it, where he was buried, as also by the monument on
the Calton Hill. It is to see Ferguson's gravestone, however, that the
pilgrim explores the Canongate churchyard,--and a dreary place it is
for the last rest of a poet. Robert Burns placed the stone, and on the
back of it is inscribed: "By special grant of the managers to Robert
Burns, who erected this stone, this burial-place is to remain for ever
sacred to Robert Ferguson." That poet was born September 5, 1751,
and died October 16, 1774. These lines, written by Burns, with an
intentional reminiscence of Gray, whose _Elegy_ he fervently admired,
are his epitaph:

    "No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay,
      No storied urn nor animated bust--
    This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way
      To pour her sorrows o'er her Poet's dust."

One of the greatest minds of Scotland, and indeed of the world, was
David Hume, who could think more clearly and express his thoughts
more precisely and cogently upon great subjects than almost any
metaphysician of our English-speaking race. His tomb is in the old
Calton cemetery, close by the prison, a grim Roman tower, predominant
over the Waverley Vale and visible from every part of it. This
structure is open to the sky, and within it and close around its
interior edge, nine melancholy bushes are making a forlorn effort to
grow, in the stony soil that covers the great historian's dust. There
is an urn above the door of this mausoleum and surmounting the urn
is this inscription: "David Hume. Born April 26th, 1711. Died August
25th, 1776. Erected in memory of him in 1778." In another part of this
ground you may find the sepulchre of Sir Walter Scott's friend and
publisher, Archibald Constable, "born 24th February 1774, died 21st
July 1827." Several priests were roaming over the cemetery when I saw
it, making its dismal aspect still more dismal by that rook-like,
unctuous, furtive aspect which oftens marks the ecclesiastic of the
Roman Catholic church.

Another great writer, Thomas de Quincey, is buried in the old
churchyard of the West church, that lies in the valley just beneath
the west front of the crag of Edinburgh Castle. I went to that spot
on a bright and lovely autumn evening. The place was deserted, except
for the presence of a gardener, to whom I made my request that he
would guide me to the grave of De Quincey. It is an inconspicuous
place, marked by a simple slab of dark stone, set against the wall, in
an angle of the enclosure, on a slight acclivity. As you look upward
from this spot you see the grim, magnificent castle, frowning on its
precipitous height. The grave was covered thick with grass, and in a
narrow trench of earth, cut in the sod around it, many pansies and
marigolds were in bloom. Upon the gravestone is written: "Sacred to the
memory of Thomas de Quincey, who was born at Greenhay, near Manchester,
August 15th, 1785, and died in Edinburgh, December 8th, 1859. And of
Margaret, his wife, who died August 7, 1837." Just over the honoured
head of the illustrious sleeper were two white daisies peeping through
the green; one of which I thought it not a sin to take away, for it
is the symbol at once of peace and hope, and therefore a sufficient
embodiment of the best that death can teach.



Stronachlacher, Loch Katrine, September 1, 1890.--No one needs to be
told that the Forth bridge is a wonder. All the world knows it, and
knows that the art of the engineer has here achieved a masterpiece. The
bridge is not beautiful, whether viewed from afar or close at hand. The
gazer can see it, or some part of it, from every height in Edinburgh.
It is visible from the Calton Hill, from the Nelson column, from the
Scott monument, from the ramparts of the Castle, from Salisbury Crags,
from the Braid Hills, and of course from the eminence of Arthur's
Seat. Other objects of interest there are which seek the blissful
shade, but the Forth bridge is an object of interest that insists upon
being seen. The visitor to the shores of the Forth need not mount
any height in order to perceive it, for all along those shores, from
Dirleton to Leith and from Elie to Burntisland, it frequently comes
into the picture. While, however, it is not beautiful, it impresses the
observer with a sense of colossal magnificence. It is a more triumphant
structure even than the Eiffel tower, and it predominates over the
vision and the imagination by the same audacity of purpose and the
same consummate fulfilment which mark that other marvel and establish
it in universal admiration. Crossing the bridge early this morning,
I deeply felt its superb potentiality, and was charmed likewise with
its pictorial effect. That effect is no doubt due in part to its
accessories. Both ways the broad expanse of the Forth was visible for
many miles. It was a still morning, overcast and mournful. There was
a light breeze from the southeast, the air at that elevation being as
sweet as new milk. Beneath, far down, the surface of the steel-gray
water was wrinkled like the scaly back of a fish. Midway a little
island rears its spine of rock out of the stream. Westward at some
distance rises a crag, on which is a tiny lighthouse-tower, painted
red. The long, graceful stone piers that stretch into the Forth at this
point,--breakwaters to form a harbour,--and all the little gray houses
of Queensferry, Inverkeithing, and the adjacent villages looked like
the toy buildings which are the playthings of children. A steamboat
was making her way up the river, while near the shores were many small
boats swinging at their moorings, for the business of the day was not
yet begun. Over this scene the scarce risen sun, much obscured by dull
clouds, cast a faint rosy light, and even while the picture was at its
best we glided away from it into the pleasant land of Fife.

[Illustration: _The Forth Bridge._]

[Illustration: _Dunfermline Abbey._]

In former days the traveller to Stirling commonly went by the way of
Linlithgow, which is the place where Mary Stuart was born, and he was
all the more prompted to think of that enchanting woman because he
usually caught a glimpse of the ruins of Niddry Castle, one of the
houses of her faithful Lord Seton, at which she rested, on the romantic
and memorable occasion of her flight from Loch Leven. Now, since the
Forth bridge has been opened, the most direct route to Stirling is by
Dunfermline. And this is a gain, for Dunfermline is one of the most
interesting places in Scotland. That Malcolm of whom we catch a glimpse
when we see a representation of Shakespeare's tragedy of _Macbeth_
had a royal castle there nine hundred years ago, of which a fragment
still remains; and on a slope of the coast, a few miles west from
Dunfermline, the vigilant antiquarian has fixed the sight of Macduff's
castle, where Lady Macduff and her children were slaughtered by the
tyrant. Behind the ancient church at Dunfermline, the church of the
Holy Trinity,--devastated at the Reformation, but since restored,--you
may see the tomb of Malcolm and of Margaret, his queen,--an angel
among women when she lived, and worthy to be remembered now as the
saint that her church has made her. The body of Margaret, who died at
Edinburgh Castle, November 16, 1093, was secretly and hastily conveyed
to Dunfermline, and there buried,--Edinburgh Castle, The Maiden Castle
it was then called, being assailed by her husband's brother, Donald
Bane. The remains of that noble and devoted woman, however, do not rest
in that tomb, for long afterward, at the Reformation, they were taken
away, and after various wanderings were enshrined at the church of
St. Lawrence in the Escurial. I had often stood in the little chapel
that this good queen founded in Edinburgh Castle,--a place which they
desecrate now, by using it as a shop for the sale of pictures and
memorial trinkets,--and I was soon to stand in the ruins of St. Oran's
chapel, in far Iona, which also was built by her; and so it was with
many reverent thoughts of an exalted soul and a beneficent life that I
saw the great dark tower of Dunfermline church vanish in the distance.
At Stirling, the rain, which had long been lowering, came down in
floods, and after that for many hours there was genuine Scotch weather
and a copious abundance of it. This also is an experience, and,
although that superb drive over the mountain from Aberfoyle to Loch
Katrine was marred by the wet, I was well pleased to see the Trosach
country in storm, which I had before seen in sunshine. It is a land of
infinite variety, and lovely even in tempest. The majesty of the rocky
heights; the bleak and barren loneliness of the treeless hills; the
many thread-like waterfalls which, seen afar off, are like rivulets
of silver frozen into stillness on the mountain-sides; the occasional
apparition of precipitous peaks, over which presently are driven the
white streamers of the mist,--all these are striking elements of a
scene which blends into the perfection of grace the qualities of gentle
beauty and wild romance. Ben Lomond in the west and Ben Venue and Ben
Ledi in the north were indistinct, and so was Ben A'an in its nearer
cloud; but a brisk wind had swept the mists from Loch Drunkie, and
under a bleak sky the smooth surface of "lovely Loch Achray" shone like
a liquid diamond. An occasional grouse rose from the ferns and swiftly
winged its way to cover. A few cows, wet but indifferent, composed and
contented, were now and then visible, grazing in that desert; while
high upon the crags appeared many sure-footed sheep, the inevitable
inhabitants of those solitudes. So onward, breathing the sweet air that
here was perfumed by miles and miles of purple heather, I descended
through the dense coppice of birch and pine that fringes Loch Katrine,
and all in a moment came out upon the levels of the lake. It was a
long sail down Loch Katrine, for a pilgrim drenched and chilled by the
steady fall of a penetrating rain; but Ellen's isle and Fitz-James's
silver strand brought pleasant memories of one of the sweetest of
stories, and all the lonesome waters seemed haunted with a ghostly
pageant of the radiant standards of Roderick Dhu. To-night the mists
are on the mountains, and upon this little pine-clad promontory of
Stronachlacher the darkness comes down early and seems to close it in
from all the world. The waters of Loch Katrine are black and gloomy,
and no sound is heard but the rush of the rain and the sigh of the
pines. It is a night for memory and for thought, and to them let it be

    The night-wind that sobs in the trees--
    Ah, would that my spirit could tell
    What an infinite meaning it breathes,
    What a sorrow and longing it wakes!

[Illustration: _Northwest Corner of Dunfermline Abbey._]

[Illustration: _The Nave--Looking West--Dunfermline Abbey._]



[Illustration: _Loch Lomond._]

Oban, September 4, 1890.--Going westward from Stronachlacher, a drive
of several delicious miles, through the country of Rob Roy, ends at
Inversnaid and the shore of Loch Lomond. The rain had passed, but
under a dusky, lowering sky the dense white mists, driven by a fresh
morning wind, were drifting along the heath-clad hills, like a pageant
of angels trailing robes of light. Loch Arklet and the little shieling
where was born Helen, the wife of the Macgregor, were soon passed,--a
peaceful region smiling in the vale; and presently, along the northern
bank of the Arklet, whose copious, dark, and rapid waters, broken
into foam upon their rocky bed, make music all the way, I descended
that precipitous road to Loch Lomond which, through many a devious
turning and sudden peril in the fragrant coppice, reaches safety at
last, in one of the wildest of Highland glens. This drive is a chief
delight of Highland travel, and it appears to be one that "the march of
improvement,"--meaning the extension of railways,--can never abolish;
for, besides being solitary and beautiful, the way is difficult. You
easily divine what a sanctuary that region must have been to the bandit
chieftain, when no road traversed it save perhaps a sheep-track or a
path for horses, and when it was darkly covered with the thick pines of
the Caledonian forest. Scarce a living creature was anywhere visible.
A few hardy sheep, indeed, were grazing on the mountain slopes; a few
cattle were here and there couched among the tall ferns; and sometimes
a sable company of rooks flitted by, cawing drearily overhead. Once I
saw the slow-stepping, black-faced, puissant Highland bull, with his
menacing head and his dark air of suspended hostility and inevitable
predominance. All the cataracts in those mountain glens were at the
flood, because of the continuous heavy rains of an uncommonly wet
season, and at Inversnaid the magnificent waterfall,--sister to Lodore
and Aira Force,--came down in great floods of black and silver, and
with a long resounding roar that seemed to shake the forest. Soon the
welcome sun began to pierce the mists; patches of soft blue sky became
visible through rifts in the gray; and a glorious rainbow, suddenly
cast upon a mountain-side of opposite Inveruglas, spanned the whole
glittering fairy realm with its great arch of incommunicable splendour.
The place of Rob Roy's cavern was seen, as the boat glided down Loch
Lomond,--a snug nest in the wooded crag,--and, after all too brief a
sail upon those placid ebon waters, I mounted the coach that plies
between Ardlui and Crianlarich. Not much time will now elapse before
this coach is displaced,--for they are building a railroad through
Glen Falloch, which, running southerly from Crianlarich, will skirt
the western shore of Loch Lomond and reach to Balloch and Helensburgh,
and thus will make the railway communication complete, continuous, and
direct between Glasgow and Oban. At intervals all along the glen were
visible the railway embankments, the piles of "sleepers," the heaps
of steel rails, the sheds of the builders, and the red flag of the
dynamite blast. The new road will be a popular line of travel. No land
"that the eye of heaven visits" is lovelier than this one. But it may
perhaps be questioned whether the exquisite loveliness of the Scottish
Highlands will not become vulgarised by over-easiness of accessibility.
Sequestration is one of the elements of the beautiful, and numbers
of people invariably make common everything upon which they swarm.
But nothing can debase the unconquerable majesty of those encircling
mountains. I saw "the skyish head" of Ben More, at one angle, and of
Ben Lui at another, and the lonely slopes of the Grampian hills; and
over the surrounding pasture-land, for miles and miles of solitary
waste, the thick, ripe heather burnished the earth with brown and
purple bloom and filled the air with dewy fragrance.

[Illustration: _Loch Lomond._]

This day proved capricious, and by the time the railway train from
Crianlarich had sped a little way into Glen Lochy the landscape
was once more drenched with wild blasts of rain. Loch-an-Beach,
always gloomy, seemed black with desolation. Vast mists hung over
the mountain-tops and partly hid them; yet down their fern-clad and
heather-mantled sides the many snowy rivulets, seeming motionless in
the impetuosity of their motion, streamed in countless ribands of
silver lace. The mountain ash, which is in perfect bloom in September,
bearing great pendent clusters of scarlet berries, gave a frequent
touch of brilliant colour to this wild scenery. A numerous herd of
little Highland steers, mostly brown and black, swept suddenly into
the picture, as the express flashed along Glen Lochy, and at beautiful
Dalmally the sun again came out, with sudden transient gleams of
intermittent splendour; so that gray Kilchurn and the jewelled waters
of sweet Loch Awe, and even the cold and grim grandeur of the rugged
Pass of Brander, were momentarily clothed with tender, golden haze.
It was afternoon when I alighted in the seaside haven of Oban; yet
soon, beneath the solemn light of the waning day, I once more stood
amid the ruins of Dunstaffnage Castle and looked upon one of the most
representative, even as it is one of the most picturesque, relics of
the feudal times of Scottish history. You have to journey about three
miles out of the town in order to reach that place, which is upon
a promontory where Loch Etive joins Loch Linnhe. The carriage was
driven to it through a shallow water and across some sands which soon
a returning tide would deeply submerge. The castle is so placed that,
when it was fortified, it must have been well-nigh impregnable. It
stands upon a broad, high, massive, precipitous rock, looking seaward
toward Lismore island. Nothing of that old fortress now remains except
the battlemented walls, upon the top of which there is a walk, and
portions of its towers, of which originally there were but three. The
roof and the floors are gone. The courtyard is turfed, and over the
surface within its enclosure the grass grows thick and green, while
weeds and wild-flowers fringe its slowly mouldering walls, upon which
indeed several small trees have rooted themselves, in crevices stuffed
with earth. One superb ivy-tree, of great age and size, covers much
of the venerable ruin, upon its inner surface, with a wild luxuriance
of brilliant foliage. There are the usual indications in the masonry,
showing how the area of this castle was once subdivided into rooms
of various shapes and sizes, some of them large, in which were ample
fireplaces and deeply recessed embrasures, and no doubt arched
casements opening on the inner court. Here dwelt the early kings of
Scotland. Here the national story of Scotland began. Here for a long
time was treasured the Stone of Destiny, Lia Fail, before it was taken
to Scone Abbey, thence to be borne to London by Edward the First, in
1296, and placed where it has ever since remained, and is visible now,
in the old coronation chair in the chapel of Edward the Confessor,
at Westminster. Here through the slow-moving centuries many a story
of love, ambition, sorrow, and death has had its course and left its
record. Here, in the stormy romantic period that followed 1745, was
imprisoned for a while the beautiful, intrepid, constant, and noble
Flora Macdonald, who had saved the person and the life of the fugitive
Pretender, after the fatal defeat and hideous carnage of Culloden. What
pageants, what festivals, what glories, and what horrors have those
old walls beheld! Their stones seem agonised with ghastly memories
and weary with the intolerable burden of hopeless age; and as I stood
and pondered amid their gray decrepitude and arid desolation,--while
the light grew dim and the evening wind sighed in the ivy and shook
the tremulous wall-flowers and the rustling grass,--the ancient,
worn-out pile seemed to have a voice, and to plead for the merciful
death that should put an end to its long, consuming misery and dumb
decay. Often before, when standing alone among ruins, have I felt this
spirit of supplication, and seen this strange, beseechful look, in the
silent, patient stones: never before had it appealed to my heart with
such eloquence and such pathos. Truly nature passes through all the
experience and all the moods of man, even as man passes through all the
experience and all the moods of nature.

[Illustration: _Dunstaffnage._]

On the western side of the courtyard of Dunstaffnage stands a small
stone building, accessible by a low flight of steps, which bears upon
its front the sculptured date 1725, intertwined with the letters AE.
C. and LC., and the words Laus Deo. This was the residence of the
ancient family of Dunstaffnage, prior to 1810. From the battlements I
had a wonderful view of adjacent lakes and engirdling mountains,--the
jewels and their giant guardians of the lonely land of Lorn,--and saw
the red sun go down over a great inland sea of purple heather and upon
the wide waste of the desolate ocean. These and such as these are the
scenes that make this country distinctive, and that have stamped their
impress of stately thought and romantic sentiment upon its people. Amid
such scenes the Scottish national character has been developed, and
under their influence have naturally been created the exquisite poetry,
the enchanting music, the noble art and architecture, and the austere
civilisation of imperial Scotland.

After dark the rain again came on, and all night long, through light
and troubled slumber, I heard it beating on the window-panes. The
morning dawned in gloom and drizzle, and there was no prophetic voice
to speak a word of cheer. One of the expeditions that may be made from
Oban comprises a visit to Fingal's Cave, on the island of Staffa,
and to the ruined cathedral on Saint Columba's island of Iona, and,
incidentally, a voyage around the great island of Mull. It is the most
beautiful, romantic, diversified, and impressive sail that can be made
in these waters. The expeditious itinerant in Scotland waits not upon
the weather, and at an early hour this day I was speeding out of Oban,
with the course set for Lismore Light and the Sound of Mull.[51]



Berwick-upon-Tweed, September 8, 1890.--It had long been my wish to
see something of royal Berwick, and our acquaintance has at length
begun. This is a town of sombre gray houses capped with red roofs;
of elaborate, old-fashioned, disused fortifications; of dismantled
military walls; of noble stone bridges and stalwart piers; of breezy
battlement walks, fine sea-views, spacious beaches, castellated
remains, steep streets, broad squares, narrow, winding ways, many
churches, quaint customs, and ancient memories. The present, indeed,
has marred the past in this old town, dissipating the element of
romance and putting no adequate substitute in its place. Yet the
element of romance is here, for such observers as can look on Berwick
through the eyes of the imagination; and even those who can imagine
nothing must at least perceive that its aspect is regal. Viewed, as I
had often viewed it, from the great Border bridge between England and
Scotland, it rises on its graceful promontory,--bathed in sunshine and
darkly bright amid the sparkling silver of the sea,--a veritable ocean
queen. To-day I have walked upon its walls, threaded its principal
streets, crossed its ancient bridge, explored its suburbs, entered
its municipal hall, visited its parish church, and taken long drives
through the country that encircles it; and now at midnight, sitting
in a lonely chamber of the King's Arms and musing upon the past, I
hear not simply the roll of a carriage wheel or the footfall of a
late traveller dying away in the distance, but the music with which
warriors proclaimed their victories and kings and queens kept festival
and state. This has been a pensive day, for in its course I have said
farewell to many lovely and beloved scenes. Edinburgh was never more
beautiful than when she faded in the yellow mist of this autumnal
morning. On Preston battlefield the golden harvest stood in sheaves,
and the meadows glimmered green in the soft sunshine, while over them
the white clouds drifted and the peaceful rooks made wing in happy
indolence and peace. Soon the ruined church of Seton came into view,
with its singular stunted tower and its venerable gray walls couched
deep in trees, and around it the cultivated, many-coloured fields and
the breezy, emerald pastures stretching away to the verge of the sea.
A glimpse, and it is gone. But one sweet picture no sooner vanishes
than its place is filled with another. Yonder, on the hillside, is
the manor-house, with stately battlement and tower, its antique
aspect softened by great masses of clinging ivy. Here, nestled in the
sunny valley, are the little stone cottages, roofed with red tiles
and bright with the adornment of arbutus and hollyhock. All around
are harvest-fields and market-gardens,--the abundant dark green of
potato-patches being gorgeously lit with the intermingled lustre of
millions of wild-flowers, white and gold, over which drift many flights
of doves. Sometimes upon the yellow level of the hayfields a sudden
wave of brilliant poppies seems to break,--dashing itself into scarlet
foam. Timid, startled sheep scurry away into their pastures, as the
swift train flashes by them. A woman standing at her cottage door looks
at it with curious yet regardless gaze. Farms teeming with plenty are
swiftly traversed, their many circular, cone-topped hayricks standing
like towers of amber. Tall, smoking chimneys in the factory villages
flit by and disappear. Everywhere are signs of industry and thrift,
and everywhere also are denotements of the sentiment and taste that
are spontaneous in the nature of this people. Tantallon lies in the
near distance, and speeding toward ancient Dunbar I dream once more
the dreams of boyhood, and can hear the trumpets, and see the pennons,
and catch again the silver gleam of the spears of Marmion. Dunbar is
left behind, and with it the sad memory of Mary Stuart, infatuated
with barbaric Bothwell, and whirled away to shipwreck and ruin,--as so
many great natures have been before and will be again,--upon the black
reefs of human passion. The heedless train is skirting the hills of
Lammermoor now, and speeding through plains of a fertile verdure that
is brilliant and beautiful down to the margin of the ocean. Close by
Cockburnspath is the long, lonely, melancholy beach that well may have
been in Scott's remembrance when he fashioned that weird and tragic
close of the most poetical and pathetic of his novels, while, near at
hand, on its desolate headland, the grim ruin of Fast Castle,--which
is deemed the original of his Wolf's Crag,--frowns darkly on the white
breakers at its surge-beaten base. Edgar of Ravenswood is no longer an
image of fiction, when you look upon that scene of gloomy grandeur and
mystery. But do not look upon it too closely nor too long,--for of
all scenes that are conceived as distinctly weird it may truly be said
that they are more impressive in the imagination than in the actual
prospect. This coast is full of dark ravines, stretching seaward and
thickly shrouded with trees, but in them now and then a glimpse is
caught of a snugly sheltered house, overgrown with flowers, securely
protected from every blast of storm. The rest is open land, which
many dark stone walls partition, and many hawthorn hedges, and many
little white roads, winding away toward the shore: for this is Scottish
sea-side pageantry, and the sunlit ocean makes a silver setting for the
jewelled landscape, all the way to Berwick.

[Illustration: _Tantallon Castle._]

The profit of walking in the footsteps of the past is that you learn
the value of the privilege of life in the present. The men and women
of the past had their opportunity and each improved it after his kind.
These are the same plains in which Wallace and Bruce fought for the
honour, and established the supremacy, of the kingdom of Scotland. The
same sun gilds these plains to-day, the same sweet wind blows over
them, and the same sombre, majestic ocean breaks in solemn murmurs on
their shore. "Hodie mihi, cras tibi,"--as it was written on the altar
skulls in the ancient churches. Yesterday belonged to them; to-day
belongs to us; and well will it be for us if we improve it. In such an
historic town as Berwick the lesson is brought home to a thoughtful
mind with convincing force and significance. So much has happened
here,--and every actor in the great drama is long since dead and gone!
Hither came King John, and slaughtered the people as if they were
sheep, and burnt the city,--himself applying the torch to the house
in which he had slept. Hither came Edward the First, and mercilessly
butchered the inhabitants, men, women, and children, violating even the
sanctuary of the churches. Here, in his victorious days, Sir William
Wallace reigned and prospered; and here, when Menteith's treachery had
wrought his ruin, a fragment of his mutilated body was long displayed
upon the bridge. Here, in the castle, of which only a few fragments now
remain (these being adjacent to the North British railway station),
Edward the First caused to be confined in a wooden cage that intrepid
Countess of Buchan who had crowned Robert Bruce, at Scone. Hither came
Edward the Third, after the battle of Halidon Hill, which lies close
by this place, had finally established the English power in Scotland.
All the princes that fought in the wars of the Roses have been in
Berwick and have wrangled over the possession of it. Richard the Third
doomed it to isolation. Henry the Seventh declared it a neutral state.
By Elizabeth it was fortified,--in that wise sovereign's resolute and
vigorous resistance to the schemes of the Roman Catholic church for
the dominance of her kingdom. John Knox preached here, in a church on
Hide Hill, before he went to Edinburgh to shake the throne with his
tremendous eloquence. The picturesque, unhappy James the Fourth went
from this place to Ford Castle and Lady Heron, and thence to his death,
at Flodden Field. Here it was that Sir John Cope first paused in his
fugitive ride from the fatal field of Preston, and here he was greeted
as affording the only instance in which the first news of a defeat had
been brought by the vanquished General himself. And within sight of
Berwick ramparts are those perilous Farne islands, where, at the wreck
of the steamer Forfarshire, in 1838, the heroism of a woman wrote upon
the historic page of her country, in letters of imperishable glory,
the name of Grace Darling. (There is a monument to her memory, in
Bamborough churchyard.) Imagination, however, has done for this region
what history could never do. Each foot of this ground was known to Sir
Walter Scott, and for every lover of that great author each foot of it
is hallowed. It is the Border Land,--the land of chivalry and song, the
land that he has endeared to all the world,--and you come to it mainly
for his sake.

    "Day set on Norhams castled steep,
    And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,
        And Cheviot's mountains lone."

[Illustration: _Norham Castle--in the time of Marmion._]

The village of Norham lies a few miles west of Berwick, upon the south
bank of the Tweed,--a group of cottages clustered around a single long
street. The buildings are low and are mostly roofed with dark slate or
red tiles. Some of them are thatched, and grass and flowers grow wild
upon the thatch. At one end of the main highway is a market-cross,
near to which is a little inn. Beyond that and nearer to the Tweed,
which flows close beside the place, is a church of great antiquity,
set toward the western end of a long and ample churchyard, in which
many graves are marked with tall, thick, perpendicular slabs, many with
dark, oblong tombs, tumbling to ruin, and many with short, stunted
monuments. The church tower is low, square, and of enormous strength.
Upon the south side of the chancel are five windows, beautifully
arched,--the dog-toothed casements being uncommonly complete specimens
of that ancient architectural device. This church has been restored;
the south aisle in 1846, by I. Bononi; the north aisle in 1852, by E.
Gray. The western end of the churchyard is thickly masked in great
trees, and looking directly east from this point your gaze falls upon
all that is left of the stately Castle of Norham, formerly called
Ublanford,--built by Flamberg, Bishop of Durham, in 1121, and restored
by Hugh Pudsey, another Prince of that See, in 1164. It must once have
been a place of tremendous fortitude and of great extent. Now it is
wide open to the sky, and nothing of it remains but roofless walls
and crumbling arches, on which the grass is growing and the pendent
bluebells tremble in the breeze. Looking through the embrasures of
the east wall you see the tops of large trees that are rooted in the
vast trench below, where once were the dark waters of the moat. All
the courtyards are covered now with sod, and quiet sheep nibble and
lazy cattle couch where once the royal banners floated and plumed
and belted knights stood round their king. It was a day of uncommon
beauty,--golden with sunshine and fresh with a perfumed air; and
nothing was wanting to the perfection of solitude. Near at hand a thin
stream of pale blue smoke curled upward from a cottage chimney. At some
distance the sweet voices of playing children mingled with the chirp
of small birds and the occasional cawing of the rook. The long grasses
that grow upon the ruin moved faintly, but made no sound. A few doves
were seen, gliding in and out of crevices in the mouldering turret. And
over all, and calmly and coldly speaking the survival of nature when
the grandest works of man are dust, sounded the rustle of many branches
in the heedless wind.

The day was setting over Norham as I drove away,--the red sun slowly
obscured in a great bank of slate-coloured cloud,--but to the last
I bent my gaze upon it, and that picture of ruined magnificence can
never fade out of my mind. The road eastward toward Berwick is a green
lane, running between harvest-fields, which now were thickly piled with
golden sheaves, while over them swept great flocks of sable rooks.
There are but few trees in that landscape,--scattered groups of the ash
and the plane,--to break the prospect. For a long time the stately
ruin remained in view,--its huge bulk and serrated outline, relieved
against the red and gold of sunset, taking on the perfect semblance
of a colossal cathedral, like that of Iona, with vast square tower,
and chancel, and nave: only, because of its jagged lines, it seems in
this prospect as if shaken by a convulsion of nature and tottering to
its momentary fall. Never was illusion more perfect. Yet as the vision
faded I could remember only the illusion that will never fade,--the
illusion that a magical poetic genius has cast over those crumbling
battlements, rebuilding the shattered towers, and pouring through their
ancient halls the glowing tide of life and love, of power and pageant,
of beauty, light, and song.



[1] "_In thy mind thou conjoinest life's practical knowledge,
    And a temper unmoved by the changes of fortune,
        Whatsoever her smile or her frown,
        Neither bowed nor elate,--but erect_"

                          LORD LYTTON'S TRANSLATION

[2] Since these words were written a plain headstone of white marble
has been placed on this spot, bearing the following inscription:--

"Matthew Arnold, eldest son of the late Thomas Arnold, D.D., Head
Master of Rugby School. Born December 24, 1822. Died April 15, 1888.
There is sprung up a light for the righteous, and joyful gladness for
such as are true-hearted."

The _Letters of Matthew Arnold_, published in 1895, contain touching
allusions to Laleham Churchyard. At Harrow, February 27, 1869, the poet
wrote: "It is a wonderfully clear, bright day, with a cold wind, so I
went to a field on the top of the hill, whence I can see the clump of
Botleys and the misty line of the Thames, where Tommy lies at the foot
of them. I often go for this view on a clear day." At London, August
2, 1869, he wrote: "On Saturday Flu and I went together to Laleham. It
was exactly a year since we had driven there with darling Tommy and
the other two boys, to see Basil's grave; he enjoyed the drive, and
Laleham, and the river, and Matt Buckland's garden, and often talked
of them afterwards. And now we went to see _his_ grave, poor darling.
The two graves are a perfect garden, and are evidently the sight of
the churchyard, where there is nothing else like them; a path has been
trodden over the grass to them by people coming and going. It was a
soft, mild air, and we sat a long time by the graves."

[3] The crime was committed on November 4, 1820. The victim was a
farmer, named William Hirons. The assassins, four in number, named
Quiney, Sidney, Hawtrey, and Adams, were hanged, at Warwick, in April,

[4] Arthur Hodgson, born in 1818, was educated at Eton and at
Cambridge. He went to Australia in 1839, and made a fortune as a
sheep-farmer. He served the State in various public offices, and
was knighted by Queen Victoria. He has been five times Mayor of

[5] An entry in the Diocesan Register of Worcester states that in 1374
"John Clopton of Stretforde obtained letters dimissory to the order
of priest."--In 1477 Pope Sixtus the Fourth authorized John Clopton
to perform divine service in Clopton manor-house.--Mrs. Gaskell, then
Miss Byerley, saw the attic chapel at Clopton, in 1820, and wrote a
description of it at that time.

[6] The original sign of the Shoulder of Mutton, which once hung before
that house, was painted by Grubb, who also painted the remarkable
portrait of the Corporation Cook, which now hangs in the town hall of
Stratford,--given to the borough by the late Henry Graves, of London.

[7] When the moat was disused three "jack bottles" were found in its
bed, made of coarse glass, and bearing on the shoulder of each bottle
the crest of John-a-Combe. These relics are in the collection of Sir
Arthur Hodgson.

[8] It is said that the remains of Lord Lovat were, soon after his
execution, secretly removed, and buried at his home near Inverness, and
that the head was sewed to the body.

[9] Robert Dudley [1532-1588] seems not to have been an admirable
man, but certain facts of his life appear to have been considerably
misrepresented. He married Amy Robsart, daughter of Sir John Robsart,
of Siderstern, Norfolk, on June 4, 1550, publicly, and in presence of
King Edward the Sixth. Amy Robsart never became Countess of Leicester,
but died, in 1560, four years before Dudley became Earl of Leicester,
by a "mischance,"--namely, an accidental fall downstairs,--at Cumnor
Hall, near Abingdon. She was not at Kenilworth, as represented in
Scott's novel, at the time of the great festival in honour of Queen
Elizabeth, in 1575, because at that time she had been dead fifteen
years. Dudley secretly married Douglas Howard, Lady Sheffield, in
1572-73, but would never acknowledge her. His third wife was the
Lætitia whose affection deplores him, in the Beauchamp chapel.

[10] Those cedars are ranked with the most superb trees in the British
Islands. Two of the group were torn up by the roots during a terrific
gale, which swept across England, leaving ruin in its track, on Sunday,
March 24, 1895.

[11]              Length.       Height of Tower.
  Winchester      556 ft.              138 ft.
  St. Albans      548 ft. 4 in.        144 ft.
  York            524 ft. 6 in.        213 ft.

[12] The White Horse upon the side of the hill at Westbury was made by
removing the turf in such a way as to show the white chalk beneath, in
the shape of a horse. The tradition is that this was done by command
of Alfred, in Easter week, A.D. 878, to signalise his victory over the
Danes, at Oetlandune, or Eddington, at the foot of the hill. Upon the
top of that hill there is the outline of an ancient Roman camp.

[13] The curfew bell is rung at Bromham church, at eight o'clock in the
evening, on week days, from Michaelmas to Lady Day, and at the same
hour on every Sunday throughout the year; and on Shrove Tuesday the
bell is rung at one o'clock in the day.

[14] Sloperton Cottage is now, 1896, the property of H. H. Ludlow
Burgess, of Seend.

[15] The famous actor was knighted, by Queen Victoria, in 1895, and
became Sir Henry Irving.

[16] "In our stage to Penrith I introduced Anne to the ancient
Petreia, called Old Penrith, and also to the grave of Sir Ewain
Cæsarius, that knight with the puzzling name, which has got more
indistinct."--_Journal of Sir Walter Scott_, Vol. II., p. 151.

[17] The poet Gray, who visited these mountains in 1769, wrote, in
his Journal, October 1: "Place Fell, one of the bravest among them,
pushes its bold broad breast into the midst of the lake, and forces it
to alter its course, forming first a large bay to the left and then
bending to the right."

[18] F. A. Marshall, editor of _The Henry Irving Edition of
Shakespeare_ and author of _A Study of Hamlet_, the comedy of _False
Shame_, and many other works, died in London, December, 1889, much
lamented. His widow,--the once distinguished actress, Miss Ada
Cavendish,--died, at 34 Thurloe square, London, October 6, 1895.

[19] The Traveller's Rest is 1481 feet above the sea-level, whereas
the inn called The Cat and Fiddle,--a corruption of Caton le Fidèle,
governor of Calais,--on Axe Edge, near Buxton, is 1700 feet above the
level of the sea.

[20] Mr. Wadley died at Pershore, April 4, 1895, and was buried in
Bidford churchyard on April 10.

[21] See in the _London Athenæum_, February 9, 1889, a valuable
article, by Mr. John Taylor, on "Local Shakesperean Names" based upon,
and incorporative of, some of the researches of Mr. Wadley.

[22] William Butcher died on February 20, 1895, aged sixty-six, and was
buried in the Stratford Cemetery.

[23] See _An Account of the Discovery of the Body of King John, in the
Cathedral Church of Worcester_. By Valentine Green, F.S.A., 1797.

[24] Byron was born on January 22, 1788, and he died on April 19, 1824.

[25] Since this paper was written the buildings that flanked the church
wall have been removed, the street in front of it has been widened, and
the church has been "restored" and considerably altered.

[26] Revisiting this place on September 10, 1890, I found that the
chancel has been lengthened, that the altar and the mural tablets have
been moved back from the Byron vault, and that his gravestone is now
outside of the rail.

[27] It is now, 1896, said to be in the possession of a resident of one
of our Southern cities, who says that he obtained it from one of his
relatives, to whom it was given by the parish clerk, in 1834.

[28] Dr. Joseph Wharton, in a letter to the poet Gay, described Lavinia
Fenton as follows: "She was a very accomplished and most agreeable
companion; had much wit, good strong sense, and a just taste in
polite literature. Her person was agreeable and well made; though I
think she could never be called a beauty. I have had the pleasure of
being at table with her when her conversation was much admired by the
first characters of the age, particularly old Lord Bathurst and Lord

General James Wolfe, killed in battle, at the famous storming of
Quebec, was born in 1726, and he died in 1759.

Robert Clive, the famous soldier and the first Lord Clive, was born in
1725, and he died, a suicide,--haunted, it was superstitiously said, by
ghosts of slaughtered East Indians,--in 1774.

[29] The romantic house of Compton Wynyate was built of material taken
from a ruined castle at Fulbrooke, by Sir William Compton, in the reign
of Henry the Eighth. Wynyate signifies a vineyard.

[30] Miss Mary Anderson, the distinguished American actress, was
married, on June 17, 1890, at Hampstead, to Mr. Antonio De Navarro. Her
Autobiography, called _A Few Memories of My Life_, was published, in
London, in March, 1896.

[31] Mr. Wall retired from the office of librarian of the Shakespeare
Memorial in June, 1895, and was succeeded by Mr. William Salt

[32] In 1894 the number of visitors to New Place was 809; in 1895 it
was 716, while 13,028 visited the Memorial.

[33] Mrs. Bulmer served as custodian of New Place until her death, on
March 14, 1896. The office was then assigned to Richard Savage, in
addition to his other offices.

[34] Miss Maria Chattaway died on January 31, 1891. Miss Caroline
Chattaway removed from Stratford on October 7, 1895, to Haslor.

[35] Mr. Skipsey resigned his office, in October, 1891, and returned to

[36] The grave of Charles Frederick Green, author of an account of
Shakespeare and the Crab Tree,--an idle tradition set afloat by Samuel
Ireland,--was made in the angle near the west door of Trinity church,
but it has been covered, tombstone and all, with gravel.

[37] Mr. Loggin was Mayor of Stratford in 1866 and 1867, and under
his administration, in the latter year, was built the Mill Bridge,
across the Avon, near Lucy's Mill, to replace an old and dilapidated
structure. Mr. Loggin died on February 3, 1885, aged sixty-nine, and
was buried at Long Marston.

[38] The Anne Hathaway cottage was purchased for the nation, in April,

[39] Mr. Laffan resigned his office in June, 1895, and became President
of Cheltenham College. Rev. E. J. W. Houghton is now head-master.

[40] Mrs. Eliza Smith died at No. 56 Ely street, Stratford, on February
24, 1893, aged 68, and the relics that she possessed passed to a
relative, at Northampton. They were sold, in London, in June, 1896.

[41] Modern editions, following Pope's alteration, say "whereon"
instead of "where"; but "where" is the reading in the Folio of 1623.
Mr. Savage contends that the bank that Shakespeare had in mind is
Borden Hill, near Shottery, where the wild thyme is still abundant.

[42] That learned antiquarian W. G. Fretton, Esq., of Coventry, has
shown that the Forest of Arden covered a large tract of land extending
many miles west and north of the bank of the Avon, around Stratford.

[43] It has been awakened. A railway to Henley was opened in 1894.

[44] The venerable Mr. Linskill died in the rectory of Beaudesert in
February, 1890, and was buried within the shadow of the church that he
loved. That picturesque rectory of Beaudesert was the birthplace of
Richard Jago [1715-1781], the poet who wrote _Edgehill_.

[45] Like many other pleasures it has now become only a memory. Mr.
Childs died, in Philadelphia, February 3, 1894.

[46] Chantrey had seen the beautiful sculpture of little Penelope
Boothby, in Ashbourne church, Derbyshire, made by Thomas Banks, and he
may have been inspired by that spectacle.

[47] 1896. The building is, if possible, to be made a museum of relics
of Johnson. It is now a lodging-house. Its exterior has recently been
repaired. Johnson is the name of its present owner.

[48] Thomas Jefferson, 1728-1807, was a contemporary and friend of
Garrick, and a member of his company, at various times, at Drury Lane.
He was the great-grandfather of Joseph Jefferson, famous in Rip Van

[49] On the stone that marks this sepulchre are inscriptions, which may
suitably be preserved in this chronicle:

"Alexander Campbell Esquire, of Ederline. Died 2^d October, 1841. In
his 76^{th} year.

Matilda Campbell. Second daughter of William Campbell Esq., of
Ederline. Died on the 21^{st} Nov^r 1842. In her 6^{th} year.

William Campbell Esq., of Ederline. Died 15^{th} January 1855, in his
42^{nd} year.

Lachlan Aderson Campbell. His son. Died January 27^{th}, 1859. In his
5^{th} year."

[John Campbell, the eldest son of Alexander, died February 26, 1855,
aged 45, and was buried in the Necropolis, at Toronto, Canada. His
widow, Janet Tulloch Campbell, a native of Wick, Caithness, died at
Toronto, August 24, 1878, aged 65, and was buried beside him.]

[50] It is a small oval glass, of which the rim is fashioned with
crescents, twenty-two of them on each side.

[51] Chapters on Iona, Staffa, Glencoe, and other beauties of Scotland
may be found in my books, which are companions to this one, called _Old
Shrines and Ivy_ and _Brown Heath and Blue Bells_.


Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained.

"Corse" is an archaic form of "corpse". "Oftens" is an archaic adverb.

  Page 121, added "a" (after a Worcester fight)
  Page 311, changed "along" to "alone" (standing alone among ruins)

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