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fabled to be the monstrous barrow of those slain in a battle between the Danes and Saxons, but it need not be just that to "tease us out of thought" of our times; for wars are still as rife as in its own century, and dead men's bones can still be heaped skyward on the bloody fields. Some sixty or seventy years ago a publicspirited citizen of Canterbury planned and planted the pleasaunce one may now enjoy there, if one will leave one's carriage at the gate and stroll through it. Half of our little party preferred resting in the fly, seeing which a public-spirited citizeness came and protested against the self-denial with much entreaty. This unknown lady, hospitable and kindly soul, we afterwards fancied tardily fulfilling a duty to the giver of the garden which other ladies earlier spurned, if we may trust a local writer to whose monograph I owe more than I should like to own. "The gentry-for here in Canterbury, as elsewhere, we have our jarring spheresconsider the place unfashionable, and frequent it very little, because it is much frequented by the tradespeople, the industrious classes, and the soldiery; who, one and all, behave with exemplary propriety."
Another day of May, not quite so elect as our Canterbury fourth, we went to the village of Eelham, nearer Folkestone, and there found ourselves in a most alluring little square with an inn at one corner and divers shops, and certain casual, wide-windowed, brick cottages enclosing it, and a windmill topping the low height above it. Windmills are so characteristic of Eelham Valley that we might not forbear visiting this, and I found the miller of as friendly and conversible a leisure as I could ask. Perhaps it was because he had a brother in Manitoba that we felt our worlds akin; perhaps because the varied experience of my own youth
had confessedly included a year of milling. He said that he ground all kinds of grain, except wheat, for which the stones were too coarse, and he took toll of every third bushel, which did not seem too little. I should have liked to spend the day in his company, where I perceived I might be acceptably and comfortably silent when I would.
There must have been a church at Eelham, but there was a more noted church at Lyminge, two miles away, whither we decided to walk. The main object of interest at Eelham was an old Tudor manor-house, which we had not quite the courage, or perhaps the desire, to ask to see except from the outside. The perspective from the sidewalk through the open doorway included a lady on a step-ladder papering the entry wall, and presently another lady, her elder, going in-doors from the garden, who was not averse to saying that there was plenty of room in the house, but it was much out of repair. We inferred that we were not conversing with the manorial family; when we asked how far it was to Lyminge, this old lady made it a half-mile more than the miller; and probably the disrepair of the mansion was partly subjective.
The road to Lyminge was longer than it was broad, though its measure was in keeping with an island where the roads cannot be of our continental width. It opened to a sky smaller than ours, but from which there fell a pleasant sunshine with bird-singing in it; and there was room enough on the borders of the lane for more wild flowers than often grow by our waysides. When the envious hedges suffered us a glimpse of them we saw gentle fields on either hand, and men at work in their furrows. From time to time we met bicyclers of both sexes, and from time to time people in dog
carts. Once we met a man with a farm-cart, who seemed willing, though dull, when we asked our way. "Turn to left just inside the windmill," he directed us; and by keeping outside of the mill, on a height beyond, we got to Lyminge.
I am sorry to report of the pastry-shop there that we had with our tea the only rancid butter offered us in England, and that in a country where the bread is always heavy and damp, it was here a little heavier and damper than elsewhere. But we were at Lyminge not for the pastry-shop, but the church, and that did not disappoint us, even to the foundation of the Roman edifice which is kept partly exposed beside it. The actual church is very Norman, and it is of that chilly charm which all Norman churches are of when the English spring afternoon begins to wane. From the tower down through the dim air dangled long bell-ropes bound with red stuff where the ringers seized them, and we heard, or seem now to have heard, that there had lately been a bell-ringing contest among them which must have stirred Lyminge to its centre. The day of our visit was market-day, and there had been cattle sales which left traces of unwonted excitement in the quiet streets, and almost thronged the bleak little station with the frequenters of the fair. One of these was of a type which I imagine is alien to the elder country life. The young man who embodied it was so full of himself, and of his day's affairs, for which he was appropriately costumed in high boots and riding-breeches, that he overflowed in confidences to the American stranger. He told what cattle he had bought and what sold, and he estimated his gains at a figure which I hope was not too handsome. In return he invited the experience of the stranger whom he brevetted a
cattle-dealer of perhaps a more old-fashioned kind, but whose errand at Lyminge on market-day was doubtless the same as his own. It was mortifying not to be able to comply, but my thoughts were still busy with the somewhat ghostly personage whom we had found deciphering an inscription on a stone in the church-yard, and whose weirdness was heightened by an impediment in his speech. He was very kind in helping us out in our mild curiosity, and I hope he has felt that brace in the change of air to Lyminge from Folkestone which he offered as a reason for his being where we met him. But he liked Lyminge, he said, and if one does not care much for the movements of great cities there may be worse places than the church-yard of Lyminge, where we left him in the waning light, gently pushing, not scraping, the moss from
-the lay Graved on a stone beneath the aged thorn.
If the reader thinks we were too easily satisfied with the events of our excursion, he can hardly deny that the children and their mothers or aunts or governesses getting into the trains at the little country stations, with their hands full of wild flowers, and eyes bluer than their violets, were more than we had a right to. When at one of these stations a young man, with countyfamily writ large upon his face and person and raiment, escaped from a lady who talked him into the train, and then almost talked him out of it before it could start, we felt blessed beyond our desert. We dramatized, out of our superabundant English fiction, the familiar situation of the pushing and the pushed which is always repeating itself; and in the lady's fawning persistence, and his solid, stolid resistance we had a moment of the
sort of social comedy which should provoke tears rather than smiles. But the pushed always yield to the pusher in the end. This adamantine aristocrat, if such he was, was utimately to be as putty between the fingers of the parvenue, if such she was, and since she was middleaged enough to be the mother of a marriageable daughter we foresaw her ultimately giving him her child with tears of triumph.
Travel is obliged to make up these little romances, or else it is apt to feel that it has had no genteel experiences, since it necessarily moves on the surfaces and edges of life. I was glad of any chance of the sort, and even of the humbler sort of thing which offered itself more explicitly, such as the acquaintance of a milkman and a retired exciseman, with whom I found myself walking outside of the pretty town of Rye on a May morning of sunny rain. At the entrance of a hop-field, where there was a foot-path inviting our steps across lots, the milkman eliminated himself with his cans and left us with the fact that hop-raising was not everything to the farmer that could be wished, and that if, after all his expenses, he could clear up a pound an acre at the end of the season, he was lucky. Up to that moment our discourse had been commonplace and business-like, but now it became sociological, it became metaphysical, it became spiritual, as befitted the conversation of a Scotchman and an American. The Englishman had been civil and been kind; he was intelligent enough in the range of his experiences; but he was not so vividly all there as the Scotch body, who eagerly inquired of the state of Presbyterianism among us. He did not push the question as to my own religious persuasion, but I met nowhere any Briton so generally interested in us. In the feeling promoted by this interest of his,