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latter clamorous to serve as guides, which we politely but firmly decline. For, remembering that we once read in a guide-book at an inn at the foot of Snowdon, "that ponies were kept for ladies and dandies, but men generally walked ;” and, moreover, having a great preference for trusting to our own feet; we placed the ladies on the docile quadrupeds, and began the ascent ourselves with only our good stick to help our own well-accustomed legs.
A long, broad, winding road has been specially made for the ascent of the donkeys and small carriages, which are well suited for invalids, but of which any one in health should scorn to avail himself. Nor, if he be fond of climbing hills for its own sweet sake, will he keep to the made road; but will take the side of the hill, and tread its own steep, green slope, as one who cares for health, and exercise, and the true pleasure of a hill ramble. O, it is glorious this climbing! The strong fresh breeze comes kissing one's cheeks and brow, whispering a blessing in one's ear, and then off to bless and refreshi some other struggler up the slippery side. Pause a little every now and then, and look round you. Behold what a richly cultivated champaign is spread below. Far over Worcestershire and Gloucestershire the eye extends its gaze; and if it be a clear day, the towns of Tewkesbury, Gloucester, and Worcester are easily distinguished. On again, and still up the hill, laughing, rejoicing, panting we go; sometimes scarcely upright, sometimes steadying ourselves on the stick, and sometimes grasping a tuft of grass to
restore our equilibrium, until a last pull brings us to the top, and, throwing ourselves at length on its soft and mossy sward, we find ourselves, on recovering breath, reciting the fine lines from “Balder," which we here quote :
“ The bare hill-top
How passing sweet
After a short repose, we ramble along the broad hill-top, and gaze upon the fruitful plains of Herefordshire and Shropshire, thus brought to our view. There is the ever-welcome Wrekin, and then, far beyond, the mountains of Wales; on one side, like a silver thread, stretches the Severn and the Bristol Channel. From every place and point is a glorious expanse of wooded and finely-cultivated lands; and there, at our feet, reduced to a miniature, is the pretty town of Malvern, with its noble church, its large cold water establishments, and its many gentlemen's residences. Malvern is the centre of Hydropathy; and here the various professors of that panacea have pitched their tents, and, in one of the most likely places in the world for renovation of health, offer their medicament for all the ills that flesh is heir to. There Dr. Wilson has an establishment, and here Dr. Bilburne practises, and everywhere about the hills you meet their patients. They are readily distinguished by their earnestness of purpose. On they walk, with the one desire, health, ever before them; only pausing when scantness of breath compels them; rarely attracted or moved by the beauty and magnificence of the view before them. Their hope, or fancied hope, is health ; and until they are well, or think they are well, we need not wonder that they pay small attention to the less important attractions of the place. We confess that we saw but few of them who appeared much troubled with bodily ailments; and had a strong suspicion that many of them were valetudinarians for a purpose. Malvern is not a bad place to spend a month or two at, if you can get an excuse strong enough; and illness is always effective in such matters.
We have rambled some hours about the hill, have dined upon its summit, and taken and retaken views from all available points; and the position of the sun warns us that the time for our descent is
With a full and joyous heart, and a firm foot, down the grassy slopes we tread; retracing the ground in comparatively little time, meeting, as we go, bright and sunny faces of fair pedestrians or donkey-riders still ascending the heights. We are at its base once more, and, looking up the steep acclivity, almost
wonder whether we have been to the top or no, so high it soars above us, and so short has been the time since we stood where we are now again standing. We pause a moment at St. Anne's Well, drink a glass of its cold, clear, and refreshing waters, and pass on to the coach which is to carry us to Worcester station.
Again we have the same eight miles of delightful riding; again we pass the rich and golden-appled orchards; again we gaze upon the gracefully winding hop-plant, calling up pictures of the vine-clad slopes of sunny Italy, and feeling that it is only from their richness of fruit in all its clustering glory that they can surpass the beauty of these green climbers of our own fair land; and once more turning our face to Malvern, we take one more look at the everlasting hills, so solemn in their lonely grandeur, and so sublime when gazed upon through the veil of distance, and the mild obscurity of a September night.
A PILGRIMAGE TO THE BIRTH-PLACE
AND GRAVE OF CHATTERTON.
It was a dark, rainy September morning when we left home for Bristol, to make a long-contemplated pilgrimage to the places made memorable by being associated with the name
“Of Chatterton, the marvellous boy,
The sleepless soul that perished in his pride.” It rained the whole of the journey,--thick, drenching, vehement September rain. It rattled on the roof of the railway-carriage, and dashed against the windows, vainly seeking admittance. On every embankment it had worn innumerable channels, down which it poured continually. The autumn-tinted trees looked heavy and desolate, saturated with wet. The fallen leaves lay thickly on the ground, and made frequent heaps of slushy vegetation. The meadows and fields, as we passed rapidly through them, wore a sad and woe-begone appearance, over which an occasional bird flew heavily. It was altogether a dark, dreary, and desolate look out; and the wind, in fitting unison with the temper of the day, moaned about like spirits in agony, or swept up the narrow cuttings with shrieks that rivalled the horrible cries of the engine.