Fragrance in Travel Literature-England



A drive through England : or A thousand miles of road travel
Hissey, James John

I wonder is there anything in the world more
beautiful to drive along than an English country
lane ? I can hardly imagine there can be. In what
a delightfully delightfully manner it turns and twists
about, revealing at each bend some fresh and un-
expected loveliness to charm the eye ! And then
the glorious but unappreciated hedgerows that are
always there to be found in perfection, how beautiful
they are ! What endless varieties of plants, flowers,
and trees go to compose them ; how the birds build
and sing and rejoice in their tangled recesses ! The
bramble, with its blossoms of tiny white petals and
delicious fruit which children so love to gather, the
sweet-scented honeysuckle, the fragrant hawthorn,
all snow-white in summer and red with berries in
winter, the dog-rose, the sweet briar, besides wild
hops, teazles, ground ivy, gorse, privet, and count-
less other plants, abound in them. And of flowers
and grasses to be found, the number is simply
legion. Surely there is much to admire in an
ordinary English hedge. It must be remembered I
have onl)- mentioned but a very few of the wonder-
ful variety of plants, flowers, and shrubs, which, with
various kinds of trees, go to make up that most
beautiful and thoroughly English feature in the
landscape, a common every-day hedgerow.

We had hardly made five miles of our stage
before the darkness, which had been creeping on
slowly but surely the while, overtook us, and with
the darkness came a strange solemn silence. By
degrees all rural sounds had ceased ; the bellowing
of distant cattle, the tinkling of far-off sheep bells,
the shouting of the labourer returning from his toil,
were heard no more. The last load of hay had
gone home, the shepherd had left his fold, the birds
had sought their nests, and no traveller, belated or
otherwise, made his appearance on our lonely way.
Lonely, but on that very account enjoyable beyond
expression. The world was still — our world, at any
rate — and at rest, but the silence was not for long ;
from out of the fragrant hawthorn hedges presently
the nightingale poured forth his unequalled song.
We stopped long to listen to his enchanting strain.
I wonder would the bird be considered as great a
marvel were he to sing in the daylight instead of
the witching night time ? Certainly the calm even-
ing hour and silence serve to emphasize his notes ;
there is nothinf^- to distract the listener's attention.
The nightingale has no competitor. There is an in-
describable charm in the fierce yet easeful harmony
of his singing — the piercing, passionate strains he
pours forth, with their long drawn dying cadences,
together with a certain plaintiveness and amount of
pathos.

Many an old-
world hostel oS. this sort has it been our good fortune
during our journeys in various parts of the country
to come across. One especially rises up now before
me — a long, low, rambling, two-storied, ivy-covered
building, with grey stone mullioned windows, and
a hospitable-looking porch covered with fragrant
honeysuckle that speaks as it were a welcome. It
is a building: such as an artist would have designed —
it is both a poem and a picture, with its high-pitched
gables, its red-tiled, lichen-laden roof, its wreathing,
ample chimneys, its irregular sky-line, and general
old-world look and flavour. A glamour of romance
seems inseparable from such places. It is an
hostelrie Chaucer's pilgrims might well have rested at —
a building hoary with age, and full of past memories.
How delightfully and lovingly one can look upon
and enjoy such a gem of old-time work !

As we proceeded on our way the country became
each mile, if possible, more beautiful. Everything
around us was suggestive of human occupancy : the
soil was well tilled, the trees were carefully shrouded,
cattle stood lazily looking at us over the gates, sheep
were in their folds busily feeding", men and women
were in the fields tossing the hay ; above us the lark
was singing his loudest, his most entrancing song, and
all about was joyous life ; and from afar we heard
the rattle, rattle, of a mowing machine — a sound be-
coming common now in the country ; and on the soft
summer's air came wafted to us various sweet odours
of the honeysuckle, the sweetbriar, the lime, and
countless other wild and unseen flowers and shrubs ;
but above all the most frequent and the most delightful
was the unequalled fragrance of the new-
mown hay. It was a scene thoroughly, intensely
English, and to us at least exceedingly attractive —
a scene I have said ; I should more correctly state
a succession of scenes, and each one in its way a
perfect picture of mellow home like beauty — beauty
of a sort no other country can show.

From afar off came, in a melodious blending, the
bleating of sheep upon the distant moors, together
with the dreamy tinkling of their bells from the low-
land pasturages. Also came to us every now and
again the lowing of the kine and the shoutinf of the
shepherd to his dog, and close at hand a little burn,
half hidden by ferns, babbled and chattered in a
never-ending manner,
"Making sweet music with th' enamelled stones,"
as it prattled along its pebbly bed, threading its way
among a mass of mossy rocks. It came down
straight from the heathery moorlands, channelling
its way down the hill-side till it joined the river in
the vale beneath and was lost in the golden flood
below. It was a coy and shy streamlet, one that
had to be sought after ; its beauties were not for
the vulgar crowd. But we knew where to look ; it
could not hide itself from us, and we caught here
and there the silvery gleam of its waters through an
intricacy of leaves and of bracken and of tangled
briars. So reposeful was the scene, so opposed to
the dinsome city's turmoil, that we could not resist
the temptation to dismount, and, sitting upon an old
grey lichen-stained rock by the side of the little
stream, we were almost hushed to sleep by its
lullaby. Is there anything in nature, I wonder, so
restful as the music of falling water ? Around us
were flowers and ferns, and gaudy dragon and gay
butterflies passed and repassed us. On the banks
above some wild thyme made the air fragrant with
its refreshing perfume, and through the woods we
caught glimpses of the distant sunlit country ; the
hillsides were all loathed in soft sunshine, the Golden
Light playing about their russet-green slopes, the
passing clouds causing shadows to chase each other
across them. Beyond these, stretching far away,
were the grey and purple moorlands, a moment
dark and sombre as a trail of shadow passed over
them, and anon they were all a purple glory as
a gleam of sunshine traversed their heather-clad
tops.

The woods beyond were all
aglow in the golden sunshine ; yellow and green and
grey changing inconstantly as the summer breezes
touched them as they passed by ; and further, again,
the purple hills stretched dreamily away, till all but
lost in the tender blue of the sky above. A drowsy
wind, a warm, soft air came to us now and again
laden with the fragrance of the woods and fields ;
and as it toyed with the leaves overhead, setting
them for the time dancing and quivering without
swaying the branches, it caused a twinkling of sun
spots on the ground below. Soft and full of repose
was the scene, the sunlight sleeping on all around ;
it was pleasant to look out from our shady retreat
upon such a fair prospect, the hazy, ascending wave-
lines of heat making us doubly appreciate our cool,
green resting-place. We felt in no mood to hurry
away ; why should we ? So we amused ourselves by
making a bouquet of wild flowers that, with many
sorts of ferns, grew in profusion around.

Great is the enjoyment, when travelling through a fresh
country, of coming suddenly upon some wild, rock-bound, tree-
girt nook, some lonely fell or tarn, some grey old-
world home, some ancient ruin (to you unknown by
fame), to arrive all unexpectedly at some picturesque
village or somnolent rural town, or to drive up to
some quaint, old-fashioned country hostelrie, whose
porch perchance is covered with the fragrant honey-
suckle ; to find yourself — it may be when least ex-
pecting it — in the midst of a scene of great natural
beauty, where every object comes as a surprise to
you and calls forth fresh admiration. The enjoy-
ment of the unknown and unexpected is far greater
than is the pleasure (much though that may be)
derived from viewing scenery, however fine, that is
familiar, or has been over and over again described.
One of the great delights of driving along a
winding country lane for the first time is the un-
certainty of what will present itself to your gaze at
each fresh turn ; you feel as if you could drive on
for ever, as though the next bend in the road will
surely reveal to you something quite new, ex-
ceeding even in loveliness what you have already
seen.

How soft, aerial, and tender everything looked !
How peacefully the placid waters and wooded hills
lay before us, asleep in the golden, mellow light !
What bewildering combinations of rock and tree,
flood and fell, were all around us — combinations
changing ever as we sped along, colour as well as
form ! Down from heathery moors came numerous
streams, crossing our road from time to time, chant-
ing to each other as they hurried along to join the
lake below, making numberless cascades and falls on
their way. Through dark but fragrant pine groves,
where the gentle wind made mysterious murmurings
among the trees, our way led us ; and then we left
this wild wooded solitude for a more open country,
with extensive prospects on every hand.


It is not often one gets perfection in this world, but
the next morning was as perfect as it could possibly
be ; it was simply a superb day ; large white clouds
were gaily sailing overhead in a sky of deep pure
blue, causing a play of light and shadow across the
hills and dales. Fantastic wreaths of snow-white
mists were wooing lovingly the lower slopes of the
mountains, now rising and falling as though they
soared on wings, revealing ever and again as they
rose sunlit slopes of greenery, wooded knolls, stony
crags and wastes, and pine-clad heights. The air,
too, was deliciously cool and invigorating, and as we
opened our casement window fragrant odours came
wafted to us.

The wind now began to blow raw and chill, the
clouds in front of us careered along at a wild pace ;
dark grey clouds were they, bulging with rain, and
ever and anon a stray gull, uttering his peevish weird
cry, flew past us, so close, indeed, one came, that it
almost touched our faces ; the air from off the ocean
was laden with that peculiar well-known fragrance
that comes alone from the sea. Everything fore-
boded a storm, and we slackened not our pace. The
famed Black or Scotch Dyke was soon passed, and
quickly the merry city of Carlisle came into view.
However, just then it did not look very merry, for
the heavy weather kept the smoke down, and this
hung over the place quite a la Sheffield, and we
hurried on to escape, if possible, the approaching
downpour. To our surprise on entering the town
we found our hurrying had nearly brought us into
the full of it, for the streets were running down with
water, the gutters being converted into miniature
torrents, and muddy ones too. and a policeman of
whom we inquired as to the best hotel with stabling,
told us it had only just left off raining ' cats and
dogs.'


On awakening next day to a glorious morning;-,
we found the sun was shining brightly, and the air
was clear and fragrant after the rain of the pre-
vious night. A pleasant drive of some dozen miles
brought us to the picturesque little cathedral town
of Ripon. Baiting the horses here, and not forgetting
our own requirements, we afterwards strolled out to
inspect the ancient minster, a fine old building which
must be of great interest to archaeologists, on account
of the many different styles of architecture contained
in it, ranging from the sturdy Norman, and even
earlier Saxon, to the light and graceful decorated
Gothic.

Now after a tedious two miles of stiffish collar-
work we emerged right on the top of the moors,
and a goodly prospect was before us. It was a
glorious bit of moorland — a glowing expanse of
purple heather, bestrewn with weather-scarred rocks,
all grey and lichen-stained ; and here and there we
noticed a brilliant yellow flower, whose name was
unknown to us, and many a bright bit of gorse,
whose ' deathless bloom ' told out well amongst the
green, and grey, and purple around. The peculiar
odour of the gorse, too ; how fragrant it seemed !
wafted to us on the open air (though so sickly in a
room) — an odour I can only liken to a mixed scent
of coconut and pineapple. As we drove along we
noticed many bilberry wires, with their wax-like
leaves and wine-stained fruit — a fruit in tarts not to
be despised.

How fresh and balmy was the air! A hundred
various and blending- odours came, wafted to us from
the fields and woods around. The resinous fragrance
of pine trees and the peculiar scent of the bean flower
wer amongst the most noticeable and assertive, be-
sides being fresh to us this journey. What gentle
music, too, the wandering winds made playing- with
the quivering- leaves of the trees that in places made
an avenue of our road, the indescribable harmonious
sur, sur, sur of which reminded us of the distant
ocean when at rest, as it lazily washes on the shore.
The birds also did not neglect their part, and were
singing right merrily from thicket and brake.

The town of Keswick is not upon the lake shore,
it Is some little way inland. It was so busy that
afternoon with coming and departing tourists,
coaches leaving and arriving, that we concluded
to drive right through the place, on the chance of
finding quieter and more countrified quarters at
Portinscale, a pleasant litde village just beyond
Keswick, a sort of west-end to the town. Keswick
is a homely-looking place, not picturesque, certainly,
but one can forgive its plainness on account of the
beauty of its surroundings. There are several pencil
manufacturers here, which make up the blacklead or
plumbago from the Borrowdale mines into those
useful articles ; and as we passed through a pleasant
odour of cedar-wood came to us now and again ; in
fact, one writer has called it 'the cedar-scented
town.'


Just before reaching Clapham, a most romantic
little village, in that and every other respect very dif-
ferent from its namesake near London, we came across
a most delightful spot, a glen by the roadside with
waving pines about, and grey, weather-stained rocks
at their feet. How delicious is the aromatic fra-
grance of a pine forest ! Such woods differ strikingly
from all others. The ground around is dry and
healthy, there is no entangled undergrowth, no de-
caying vegetation or rotting leaves : the fir-needles
are there certainly, but they seem to last well, and
dry up rather than decay. The resinous products
of these woods tend to preserve rather than permit
of decomposition. These beautiful trees are really
indigenous to Great Britain. Their forms are stately,
and their rich red stems and branches contrast most
delightfully and effectively with the dark, cool blue-
green of their somewhat gloomy foliage, and to the
landscape painter they are invaluable.

Just as we were reasoning to ourselves which
would be the most probable event, a small house
came into view, standing solitary and darkly out
against the waste of grey sky at the edge of the
moor; it looked as though it verily stood at the end
of the world. We 'eagerly scanned it as we drew
nearer and nearer, but we could not see any signs of
life, and with doubting hearts we pulled up at the
door. I descended and knocked, and in my haste
to know the result turned the handle and opened
the door, and a welcome and unexpected sight met
my delighted gaze. A large old-fashioned Yorkshire
kitchen, with a roaring fire in the ample grate, a
woman bending over the same cooking something
evidently savoury by the odour, and, seated on an old
brown oak settle, a hearty- looking man, presumably
watching his dinner cooking. And oh! the contrast
from the grey cold without to the ruddy glow within.
The surprise of the inmates appeared equal to mine,
and it was a minute or two before I could make
them comprehend we were travellers requiring food
and shelter, and not over particular as to the quality
of either. But soon the landlord took it in — and us
as well, and we were soon before that glorious fire
with its welcome warmth. Shortly before our spirits
were at zero, now they were correspondingly high.


Wild England of Today

By C. J Cornish
Of its million acres,
a hundred thousand are covered by permanent and
ancient wood, not sprinkled in scattered patches, but
deep and connected areas of trees and copse, in which
timber, large and small, is regarded as the staple crop,
with stated times for cutting and harvest, equally with
the produce of the meadow or the field. Trees are
native to the soil. On the uplands between the deep
and fertile valleys of the Itchen and the Test, the
transition from natural woodland to the spreading
forests, which owe their present form to human care,
may yet be traced. The down stands thick with
ancient and self-sown hawthorns, fragrant with the
heavy perfume of the May-blossom, and interspersed
with tall patches of gorse and feathery birch, among
which the partridges nest, and the young plovers,
driven by the drought from the open downs, seek food
and shelter.

In the low lanes beneath,
cloistered by this natural canopy, stretches in endless
lines the flower-garden of the forest. Every foot of
ground between the tree-stems and coppice-clusters is
set thick with dark-blue hyacinths ; and if we stoop
and look up the long corridors between the thickets,
with roofs so low that nothing larger than a fox could
thread them, the distance merges into a level sheet of
purple. Over hills and valleys, banks and glens, the
hyacinths spread, with no difference in number or size,
except that in the open spaces where the copse was
felled last winter the spikes are taller and richer in
scent and colour. Where the clay crops up, the
hyacinths are mixed with primroses, small, but strongly
perfumed, set as in a garden, in cushioned beds of moss.
Standing on the hill-side at the margin of the wood,
and facing the wind which blows over miles of similar
forest- ground, the air sweeps by us fresh and clear, yet
loaded with the perfume from hundreds of acres of this
hyacinth-garden, like the scent of asphodels from the
Elysian fields.


Next year came the
turn of the river and the land. The latter had drunk
seven months of sun, and the summer rains of the next
season brought the vegetation into life with almost
tropical swiftness. The result was a crop not only of
leaf, but of flowers, of the richest and most luxuriant
growth. In the river-side gardens, the stems of the
white lilies were six and seven feet high, the clustered
roses almost broke their branches, the honeysuckle tore
itself from the walls by its weight of blossom, and the
second crop of grass was smothered with field-flowers.
For the moment the gardens eclipsed the fields both in
scent and colour, though the sense was almost oppressed
by the heavy odour of the drying hay-ricks. But in
the gardens there was a blending of delicate scents such
as has not been known for years. There has grown up
a fashion of preferring mere odours to perfumes, perhaps
because the aesthetic perception, which has learnt to
appreciate many things which it did not, is forgetting
the value of what needed no teaching. The taste for
wild-flowers is almost losing its sense of proportion,
when ox-eyed field-daisies are bought in the streets by
preference to roses, and at an equal price. But what-
ever the canons of beauty, that of scent can hardly
change. The rose has still the purest perfume in
Nature. Let those who are forgetting it, go down to
the country, and walk among the rose-gardens in the
morning, as the sun is drying the dew on their petals
in mid-July.

Every flower, every stalk of grass was painted,
the white daisies filling the top of the canvas. Not
only sight but scent is needed to judge the maturity of
the crop. In a walk through the " mowing grass," to
determine the condition of the blossom, the fragrance
of the odours from the almost invisible flowers of the
grasses, and of the tiny clovers, crowfoot, and trefoil,
that " blush unseen " in the thick growth at the
bottom, is almost stupefying, and is certain, in some
cases, to bring on a violent attack of hay-fever at night.
If the flower is out, then the hay must be cut, no
matter how threatening the weather, and no crop lies
so completely at the mercy of the skies as does the hay.
If the crop be short, it cannot therefore be left to
grow. The grass must fall while the blossom is upon
it, or the cattle will refuse it. " Better let it spoil on
the ground than spoil as it grows," is a country maxim.
For the latter is a certain loss, and a day's bright sun
and wind may always dry a fallen crop.


Hay must fall
when the grasses are in flower. Walk into a hay-field,
in the second week in June, and you will see the pollen
dropping from the fescue and timothy, and the yellow
from the buttercups lodges on your boots. Then the
beauty of a good meadow can be seen and understood.
The trefoil and yellow suckling are ankle deep, and a
little above rises the perennial red clover the white
being not yet in full bloom. The true grasses reach
to the knee, the growth becoming less dense as it rises
higher, and the crowning glory of beauty is the wide,
ox-eyed daisies more dear, however, to the artist than
the farmer. Dotted among the grasses are carmine
meadow vetchling, and a dozen other small leguminoste,
golden weasel-snout, buttercups, and wild blue gera-
nium. In a picture of Albrecht Diirer's, which we once
saw, the artist had evidently painted the section of a
hayfield. One seemed to be lying on the cut grass,
and looking at the wall left after the last sweep of the
scythe. Every flower, every stalk of grass was painted,
the white daisies filling the top of the canvas. Not
only sight but scent is needed to judge the maturity of
the crop. In a walk through the " mowing grass," to
determine the condition of the blossom, the fragrance
of the odours from the almost invisible flowers of the
grasses, and of the tiny clovers, crowfoot, and trefoil,
that " blush unseen " in the thick growth at the
bottom, is almost stupefying, and is certain, in some
cases, to bring on a violent attack of hay-fever at night.

DAYS of promise " are a common feature of the
English spring, when the rough winds sink and shift
into the west, and the cold rain draws odours from the
earth, and song from the birds, that remind us that
winter is left behind. Even then the response of
Nature is as hesitating and uncertain as the shifting
moods of the March sky ; and the influences which
appeal to man seem too subtle or too transient to
change the winter habits of birds or beasts.


"Untravelled England"

Hissey, James John


Now and then, as we journeyed on, there came
to us, wafted on the wandering wind, the sweet and
refreshing scents of the country-side : the gathered
fragrance of countless wild -flowers, the cool fresh
odours of the woods and hawthorn hedges, and
above all the delicious aroma of new-mown hay
perfumes 1 finer far than any that mere money can
buy. How crude seem the best productions of
Bond Street compared to the rare fragrance of a
bean - field in blossom, or that of gorse, or of
flowering clover to enumerate only a few of the
scents which Nature in such lavishness sweetens
the country air in the fair summer-time.

A gentle breeze was blowing from the west.
Direct from off the mountains and the moors it came,
laden with the scent of the hills and the gathered
odours of bracken, of heather, and of pine woods.
Each waft of wind brought the fresh fragrance of
the morning with it. To inhale that air was in itself
a joy so pure, so light, so balmy, yet so bracing
was it. There is a peculiar tonic in the air shortly
after the sun has risen, that only lasts for an hour
or so : a tonic that invigorates both body and mind
and wipes the cobwebs from the brain, and there is
gladness in it. The world exults in the new-born
light.


Our first leisurely drive through the country about
Broadway took us along a very land of flowers,
whose air was laden with their rich perfume a land
gay and beautiful with bright and varied colour.
Were it only somewhere abroad, Englishmen would
be quick to discover and bepraise its peculiar
charms, but being merely a portion of their own
country it remains unheeded and unknown. Indeed,
it was a discovery to us to find a corner of England
given over to extensive farms (not mere market
gardens) devoted to fruit and flower growing
surely the very poetry of farming. Of fruit farms
we had certainly heard, but flower farms in England
were a revelation to us. Yet on either hand of a
goodly portion of our road were fields of flowers
spreading far away lovely, sweet-scented flowers,
acres beyond acres of colour aglow in the soft
sunshine :
All the land in flowery squares,
Beneath a broad and equal-blowing wind,
Smells of the summer.


In truth there is no fire like a wood fire; so at
least I felt as, left alone, and late, I sat and smoked
my last contemplative pipe before the blazing logs
that crackled in a companionable way in our quaint
old-world chamber, listening to the quiet, slow,
subdued tic, tic, tic of the ancient brass Cromwell
clock supported on a bracket hung against the wall.
It was as though I had caught Father Time himself
napping there. The rare incense of burning wood,
too, suffused the room with a faint and pleasant
fragrance suggestive of the country. The rough -
hewn stone of the big ingle-nook, still showing the
marks of the mason's chisel, the great black oak
beam above, still bearing the signs of the craftsman's
tool, called to mind the quarry and the forest from
whence they came, and struck a note of genuine
homeliness in strange contrast with the over-refine-
ment and finish, with the character taken out of
everything, of our luxurious modern houses. That
fireplace was a picture to look upon and to admire,
there was food for thought in it ; the old crane of
hammered ironwork had done its duty in days of
old, whilst on the ledge above the round platters of
copper and pewter glowed and gleamed cheerfully
in the reflected light, even the almost forgotten
warming-pan was there ready for use, and at one
end of the ingle-nook hung a pair of bellows :
These bellows belong to Dash,
Whoever steals them be blowed.


The whole of the way we had on our right the
river, tumbling and splashing along, mingling its
wild music with that of the melodious sur sur
surring of the wind-rustled foliage sounds "that
have the power to quiet the restless pulse of care."
The air came to us laden with the fragrance of the
woods and the freshness of the hills ; for the scent
of the mountain air is unmistakable, and it greets
the true mountain-lover whilst he is still a long way
off. At a shady dip on the road, close by a spot
where a fern - clad stream wandered through the
woods to join the river, we stopped awhile to make
a sketch and to photograph, even at the risk of
being benighted ; for the west was already growing
golden, and there were still many miles between us
and our hoped-for destination. But what mattered
it if we were belated? Indeed, I almost think that
we desired to be, for there are few more enjoyable
experiences in the world than to drive through a
beautiful country on a summer night ; even the
city-loving Charles Lamb acknowledged this. The
only fly in our ointment was the uncertainty as to
whether the inn at Llanwrtyd Wells would be full
(as we were not prepared to camp out), but we
determined to risk this a little uncertainty, with
the possibility of mild adventure, after all is the
salt that lends zest to a tour. If things in this
world went ever smooth and sure, I venture to
assert it would be a monotonously uninteresting
one, and that life in it would be hardly worth
living besides, what would become of the
novelist !

The land
was purely agricultural and pastoral; old-time,
rambling farmsteads with their colony of outbuild-
ings abounded ; hop-gardens varied the prospect
with tilled fields and verdant meadows ; the hedges
were tangled masses of greenery ; the ground was
not cultivated to the last yard, so there were pleasant
grassy margins by the wayside ; wild -flowers were
scattered around in gay profusion ; the cottage
homes were picturesque ; and here and there were
many -
Old swallow-haunted barns,
Brown-gabled, long, and full of seams,
Through which the moted sunlight streams,
And winds blow freshly in to shake
The red plumes of the roosted cocks,
And the loose hay-mow's scented locks
Are filled with summer's ripened stores,
Its odorous grass and barley sheaves,
From their low scaffolds to the eaves.

It was a purely agricultural country we passed
through, with no special signs of prosperity on the
one hand or of poverty on the other : a land of no
sharp contrasts, not objectionable on account of
ugliness, nor yet admirable on account of its beauty.
If it had been really ugly, or really beautiful, it
would have been more interesting ; as it was, it was
featureless. But, scenery apart, the exhilarating
freshness of the air that came to us unchecked from
over the downs and the sea, with a savour of salt
mingled with a scent of the land in it, was a thing
to be enjoyed. It was both balmy and bracing, and
I think it must have been the breeze that made us
feel so hungry ; then, beyond a lonely little inn the
road dipped down to a sheltered dell, and there,
beneath some branching trees, we stopped a while,
when it struck us that possibly we had not appreci-
ated the scenery because we were hungry.

There, for no special reason,
we halted for a while beneath the shade of some
trees close to the church and opposite to an inn.
The landlord of the latter was in his garden facing
the road, and, though we did not patronise his house,
he bid us good -day and made some remark about
the weather, and from that we got a-chatting about
things in general. Then he kindly offered me some
sweet-scented roses " for madam, if she would care
to accept them "-a little act of courtesy that pleased
us greatly. And when I got down from the car to
get the roses and to thank him for his kindness to
us as perfect strangers, he merely remarked that it
was a very great pleasure to give them. " I knew
you were one of the right sort," he added, " because
you were so civil-spoken when I first addressed
you." And again I would remark, civility costs
nothing. It is a good thing to travel by road, if
only to experience the friendly feeling it engenders
between wayfarers and those they happen to meet
on the journey. But, as Seneca says, "he that
would make his travels delightful must first make
himself delightful."

We were in a country where the land was poor
and not over well cultivated, and where big
tangled hedges, which Ruskin says " are the glory
of the English country and the shame of English
husbandry," flourished in their full beauty of ragged
thorn, overgrown with dog-roses, festooned with
wild clematis and sweet - scented honeysuckle,
abounding, besides, in the familiar and fruitful
bramble, to say nothing of the profusion of wild-
flowers at their feet.

As Sir
Arthur Helps remarks : " In travel it is remarkable
how much more pleasure we obtain from unex-
pected incidents than from deliberate sight-seeing."
We drove moodily on in the pouring rain, when
suddenly we remembered that we were out on a
pleasure tour, so, to rise to the occasion, we tried to
make believe that we really liked the wet : it was so
refreshing we agreed, there was no glaring sunshine,
it brought out the scent of the earth and the woods,
it put down the dust, and I do not now remember
the sundry other blessings we discovered that the
rain brought with it.

Owing to the dip in the ground, we were fairly
secluded from the observation of passers-by on the
highway not that that mattered much, for during
the hour we spent daydreaming there the only
passers-by were a speedy motor car and a slow-
going farmer's cart so deserted, at least at times,
are many of the old highways. Looking southward,
our eyes ranged over a fair landscape, green and
golden in the sunshine, and the soft wind blew over
it towards us fresh, free, and fragrant with the scent
of the woods, of the good tilled earth, and of the
countless wild- flowers growing wild and uncon-
sidered. It was good to rest there in the green
shade listening to the wind murmuring amongst the
multitudinous leaves of the trees, and to the birds
chanting in their branches.