Page images

SALISBURY Wednesday, June 1. We went by train to Salisbury, stopping at the White Hart Hotel. We found it hard to get accommodations, the house being full of officers of the English army, as maneuvers had been going on for some time on Salisbury Plains. They were just over and the officers were beginning to leave. We were promised good rooms as soon as vacated. Our room was a large one at the back of the house, with two beds. We could not find anything more comfortable, and, as we were only remaining over night, decided to keep it. After locating, we walked over to the cathedral, which stands in a beautiful close. Grand old elms dot the green, velvety lawn, and this magnificent tall cathedral and spire rise from their midst. This is the most beautiful Gothic cathedral in England, outside, but inside it is very cold and plain, having very little stained glass to enliven it. After lunch we drove out to Stonehenge through a beautiful country along the River Avon. On the way we met mounted soldiers and artillery, with wagons of camp equipment following. The government has large grounds just out of Salisbury, which they use for maneuvers. Stonehenge is supposed to be the ruins of a Druid temple. They seem to have been a circle within a circle. The stones are enormous, the upright ones being about fifteen feet in height. Where they came from, or how brought there, is not known, as nothing like them has been found in England. We saw near here grove after grove of close-foliage trees that had been planted in circles and are also supposed to have belonged to the Druid period, and to mark their burial grounds, as the trees are planted on large mounds. The returning drive was most lovely. We saw quite a number of officers at dinner that evening, but all wore citizens' clothes.


Thursday, June 2. We left by train for Exeter, had luncheon served in our compartment on the train, and it was very good. Reaching Exeter about i o'clock, we stopped at the Hotel Royal Clarance. After locating, we drove for an hour through the suburbs of the town to see the quaint houses. Returning, we went to the cathedral in time for afternoon services, and afterward visited the choir. The organ is a fine one. This is not a large cathedral, as you can see all of its beauties at once. The vaulting is particularly fine, the stained glass exquisite in rich coloring, the tracery being almost as fine as the glass.

We went from here to look at Honoton lace. The shop is not far from the hotel, the entrance being a little alley, as we would call it, but it is called the court. The house has two bells. One is marked business; the other, house. We rang the business bell, and after a little delay were admitted to the shop. The owner, who waited on us, was a middle-aged Englishwoman, with a complexion like peaches and cream. She showed us the loveliest lace, and my resolutions that I had formed before leaving home not to purchase any, were immediately forgotten, and I became the happy possessor of a lovely set of Honoton lace.

From here we went to see one of the oldest mansions of the Elizabethan period, still in use, and called Mols Coffee House, as it was used in former days as a coffee house, but at the present time it is an art and curio shop. It is small and quaint; the outside is of timber and plaster. The curios are downstairs. The upper story, which is one room, is the show place of Exeter. This is a paneled room, with oak beam ceiling. The windows are diamond pane and latticed.

We took a carriage from here and drove to see a funny old clock. It is a memorial to a miller whose name was Mathew, and was given by his friends because his life was like a clock; he was so punctual, being always on time. He opened and closed his mill on the stroke of the clock daily, never missing. Hence his name—the punctual miller. There are three figures in the group above the clock, the central one being Mathew, the two on either side of him, his sons. They all hold hammers. The sons strike their hammers on bells beside them every quarter of an hour, old Mathew himself striking his bell on the hour.

Down in the town is the old Guild House. The upper story extends out over an arcade on the sidewalk. This is one of the few buildings of this kind still standing in England. The ruins of Rougemont

Castle stands in a park on a hill. Carriages are not admitted, and not caring to walk uphill, we did not visit it. Gusty went in a little way to see the tower, which is about all there is remaining of the old castle. And from here we returned to our hotel. All English hotels are quiet and orderly, this one being particularly so. The dining room is very large every way. Immense high ceilings and great tall windows and doors. The furniture is handsome old mahogany. It was so quiet while we were dining that a pin dropped could have been heard had the floor been bare.


Friday, June 3. We left Exeter this morning by train for Bideford, arriving there about ii o'clock, where we took a coach for a drive out to Cloveley on the Devonshire coast. This was a beautiful ride. We saw the English hedgerows in all their beauty. The greater number of them are well kept, while others grow wild with ivy, ferns and wild flowers running over and peeping through them. The roads are narrow and hedges high, so only coaching parties can see over them. High stone walls surround city residences as well as country homes. Most of these are ivycovered also. Daisies and buttercups grow in wild profusion everywhere. We saw English primroses, violets, ragged robbin, rhododendron and many beautiful wild flowers new to us. Cloveley is a quaint little fishing village, built on a hillside, its one long street sloping down from the top to the sea.

It is so steep that short flights of steps are required at intervals all the way to help in the long climb up and down. The houses are extremely small, often having but one room. Nearly all have small stoops, and, I think, all have tiny back or side yards filled with old-fashioned flowers. The houses are built very close together. There are several small hotels and boarding houses, but only one that they call large, it having three or four small rooms down-stairs and about the same number above. This is called the “New Inn," and this is where we lunched. The rooms

on the lower floor are filled literally from floor to ceiling with curios from all parts of the world, china, pewter, silver, brass, shells, baskets of all sizes and every description, all making one of the most complete and curious collections I have

Our lunch for that out-of-the-way place was very good, fresh fish and generous portions of cold meats and vegetables. Dessert was the favorite gooseberry tart. Gusty always has a smile on her face when this is on the menu, as she is extravagantly fond of it. It is particularly appetizing here in Devonshire, as their celebrated cream is served with it. We were waited on by a much painted, powdered and dyed young woman, whom we saw was attracting considerable attention. Upon inquiry, we were told she was the waitress who had sued Marie Corelli for describing her in one of her novels. She had won her suit and gained $2,000. Consequently she was considered a very wealthy woman in her little town. There is a

ever seen.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »