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she could approach their spotless thresholds without wetting her feet or staining her skirts. It is gratuitous, of course, to suppose the inhabitants all dependent upon hydropathy for their prosperity, but it was certainly upon hydropathy that Malvern increased to her fifteen thousand; and the agreeable anomaly remains.
If ever the tide of sickness sets back there-and somehow I wish it might-the cultivated sufferer will find an environment so beautiful that it will console him even for not getting well. Nothing can surpass the picturesqueness of those up and down hill streets of Malvern, or the easy variety of the walks and drives about it, up the hills, and down the valleys, and over the plains. If the sufferer is too delicate for much exercise, there is the prettiest public garden in which to smoke or sew, with a peaceful pond in it, and land and water growths which I did interrogate too closely for their botanical names, but which looked friendly if not familiar. Above all, if the sufferer is cultivated and of a taste for antique beauty, there is the Priory Church, which to a cultivated sufferer from our Priory Churchless land will have an endless charm.
At least, I found myself, who am not a great sufferer, nor so very cultivated, and with a passion for antiquity much sated by various travel in many lands, going again and again to the Priory Church in Malvern, and spending hours of pensive pleasure among the forgetting graves without, and the vaguely remembering monuments within. But not among these alone, for some of the most modern of the sculptures are the most beautiful and touching. In a church which dates easily from Early Norman times and not difficultly from Saxon days, a tomb of the Elizabethan century may be called modern, and I specially commend to the visitor that of
the Knotesford family to which the Priory passed after the dissolution of the monasteries. The good "Esquire, servant to King Henry the Eight," lies beside his wife, and at their sides kneel four of their daughters, with the fifth, who raised the monument to them, at her father's head. Nothing can mark the simple piety and filial sweetness of the whole group, which is of portraits in the realistic spirit of the time; but there is a softer, a sublimer exaltation in that ideal woman's figure, on a monument of our day, rising from her couch to hail her Saviour with "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." This work, in the spirit of Chantry, is in the spirit of all ages; and yet has my reader heard of Robert Hollins of Birmingham? If he has not, it will have for him the pathos which attaches to so much art bearing to the beholder no claim of the mind that conceived or the hand that wrought; and the Priory Church of Malvern is rich in such work of every older date. If the reader has a great deal of leisure, he will wish to study the fifteenthcentury tiles which record so many sacred and profane histories, and the quaintly carven stalls with the grotesques of their underseats, and doubtless to do what he can with the stained-windows which survive, in almost unrivalled beauty, the devastation through malice and conscience, of so many others in England. A hundred, or for all I know, a thousand reverend and imperative details will keep him and recall him, day after day, and doubtless he will begin to feel a veneration for the zeal and piety which has restored at immense cost this and so many other temples in every part of the country. You cannot have beauty and the cleanliness next to holiness, you cannot even have antiquity, without paying for it, and the English have been willing to pay. That is why Malvern is still so fair and neat, and why
if her Hydropathy should fail at last to attract a single sufferer, her Priory Church may continue to entreat the foot of the Pilgrim in good health. If the monastery, of which the Priory Gateway is a sole relic, was, as seems probable, really once the home of Langland, the author of "Piers Ploughman's Vision," he could visit no shrine more worthy the reverence of any lover of his kind, any friend of the poor.
SHREWSBURY BY WAY OF WORCESTER AND HEREFORD
E made Worcester what amends we could for refusing to stop the night in her picturesque old inn, so powerfully smelling of stable, by going an afternoon from Malvern to see her fabric of the Royal Worcester ware which some people may think she is named for. Really, however, she was called Wygraster, Wyrcester Wearcester, Wureter, and Hooster, long before porcelain was heard of. In times quite prehistoric the Cornuvíí dwelt there in dug-outs, or huts, of "wottle-and-dab,' the dab being probably the clay now used in the Royal Worcester ware. In a more advanced period, she was plundered and burned by the Danes, and had a mint of her own nearly a thousand years before we paid her our second visit. But this detail, of which, with many others, we were ignorant, could not keep us from going to the works, and spending a long, exhausting, and edifying afternoon amidst the potteries, ateliers and ovens. The worst of such things is you are so genuinely interested that you think you ought to be much more so, and you put on such an intensity of curiosity and express such a transport of gratitude for each new fact that you come away gasping. I for my part, was prostrated at the very outset by something that I dare say everybody else knows—namely, that to have a
small teacup of china you must put into the oven a hulking bowl of clay, which will shrink in baking to the proper dimensions, and that the reduction through the loss of moisture must be calculated with mathematical precision. With difficulty I then followed our intelligent guide through every part of the wonderful establishment: from the places where the clays were being mixed and kneaded; where the forms were being turned and moulded; where the dried pieces were being painted and decorated in the colors which were to come to life in the furnaces wholly different colors from those laid on by the artists; from the delicate smoothing and polishing, to the final display by sample, in the pretty show-room where one might satisfy the most economical thankfulness by the purchase of a souvenir. The museum of the works, where the history of the local keramics is told in the gradual perfectioning of the product through more than a hundred and fifty years, and where copies of its chefs-d'œuvre are assembled in dazzling variety, is most worthy to be seen; but I would counsel greater leisure than ours to make it the occasion of a second visit. By the time you reach it after going through the other departments, you feel like the huge earthen shape which has come out, after the different processes, a tiny demi-tasse. You are very finished, but you are desiccated to the last attenuation, and a touch would shiver you to atoms.
It could not have been after we visited the Royal Porcelain Works that we saw the noble Cathedral of Worcester; it must have been before, for otherwise there would not have been enough left of us for the joy in it of which my mind bears record still. The riches of the place can scarcely be intimated, much less catalogued, and perhaps it was fortunate for us that