Слике страница
PDF
ePub

house and the courtesy of its occupants, from the landlord, and maids and all, down to the boots.

We took our departure by 'bus at a quarter past eight for Bodmin Road Station, and enjoyed the run thither in the light of day, the country abounding with beautiful alternation of hill and valley, sylvan and rural scenery, with glimpses of distant mountains. Soon after we had started, on reaching the outer skirts of Bodmin, a clerical gentleman ascended our conveyance and took an outside seat. He was attended to the vehicle by the vicar, who was bareheaded, and looked the picture of health and good humour. He is a man of good muscular development, and of uncommon energy. His influence must be great in a small town, and that town the capital of the county. All the more to be regretted is the fact that he is a Ritualist, inculcating the dogma of sacramental grace in the ritualistic sense, and therefore, that of Baptismal Regeneration. But Cornwall is notorious for the number of its ritualistic clergy. They are gentlemanly men, valuing themselves as Priests of a National Church, which is said to be rapidly increasing the number of its adherents at present. No doubt its elevation into a Bishopric will have that effect for a while. All the more need is there that the Wesleyans, who are the most numerous of the religious bodies in this county, adhere with tenacity to their original simplicity and spirituality. It will not do for them to fall back upon Church forms and ceremonies. If they do, they will commit religious suicide, although retaining corporate and ecclesiastic organisation. As for conformity to Church forms in hope of laying hold of Church people and drawing them to Methodism, it is too low an object for a Christian people to have in view; and, if successful, would only be so with lovers of formality, and would have a deteriorating effect upon the religious body resorting to such methods.

At Bodmin Road Station we resumed our homeward journey, and had a very pleasant run through the wooded undulations and arable lands of part of Cornwall, and the pastures of south-western Devon, to Newton Abbot Junction; but there we were disconcerted by the miserable confusion attending the transference of ourselves and our impedimenta to a branch line, which we had to encounter in order to get to Torquay. The doors of our carriage were locked, and we were some time before we could obtain attention from anyone to liberate us. Then, as soon as that had been effected, there was a rush of female passengers to the compartment we were vacating, who, in spite of all expostulation, persisted—some of them-in thrusting themselves and their luggage into the places for such things before we could possibly get ours out. Then we had to carry our own boxes, and bags, and other things through one of the carriages of another train on other rails in order to get to the train by which we had to travel, and were perplexed by there being two trains for different places, and ourselves directed first to the wrong one and then to the right one. When that was accomplished, we had to obtain tickets for our

destination, and the booking-office was on the opposite side of the line from where we were. I went for the tickets, whilst others looked after all other matters requiring attention. The line is so much lower than the platform, that it cannot be crossed without a long round being taken to get over at a crossing-place. I had to basten thither, and then a long distance to the booking-office; and there I was stopped and required to produce my tourist ticket for the main line before being allowed to enter. At last I got return tickets, as I supposed, for Torquay, having asked for such ; and I had to run and recross the line, to reach the train. At length we got off, and when in transit, had the additional mortification to discover that our tickets were for Torre instead of Torquay, being a mile short of the latter place.

On arriving at the Torquay Station, we learned that the difference in the fare was twopence each, and that we should have to pay the same on our return as well as on our arrival, although it would have covered our return if the right tickets had been supplied at Newton Abbot Junction. The blunder was the booking clerk's, not mine, we demurred, therefore, to paying the extra twopence more than once. We appealed from the ticket collector to the station master, who made the same statement as the other. I declared my readiness to pay the extra eightpence for the four tickets, but not to pay twice; and that, siall as was the sum, I would submit to detention, or to have some of my luggage detained, rather than submit to an injustice. A good deal of altercation and explanation fol. lowed, which resulted in a promise to see us clear on our return. So much time was lost, however, that the omnibus went without us, and we had to engage a carriage to take us to the Queen's Hotel, whither we went on the station-master's recommendation. The charge for the carriage was a shilling more than the amount of the omnibus fare for four persons. We paid that, however, with more content of mind than in paying an extra eightpence unjustly.

It was about one o'clock when we reached the hotel; so we got a light luncheon, as there was to be a table d'hôte at seven o'clock. We then engaged a carriage for a drive, and started at twenty-five minutes after two. We were taken a most delightful round, along the hill southward, overlooking Tor Bay; then by Babbicombé and Watcombe, calling to see the terra cotta works, round which we were conducted by a girl, to whom we gave a shilling for her service of half or three-quarters of an hour. In the show-room were many articles for sale ; but we thought the prices too high. The whole process of the manufacture is much the same as that of ordinary pottery and china. We all enjoyed the coast scenery much more than we did seeing these works; only our driver thought they should not be passed by visitors without being seen.

All the scenery

is exceedingly romantic and wild; and it is interesting to look upon scenes in the midst of which William III. landed, when he came, as invited, in 1688, to rid England of papal deceivers and oppressors. It is a memorable epoch in British history; every recollection of which should inspire us with ardent gratitude. Carried by a man from his barge through the water, his feet touched English soil at Brixbam, at that time a fishing village, as now it is a fishing town, on the opposite side of the bay.

Our drive occupied three hours and ten minutes, for which we paid nine shillings. We found the wind very strong, and uncomfortably cold. We were glad of a long walk for the sake of gaining warmth. Two of us walked fully a mile, to a lodging-house beyond the station, where were two sisters related to us ; their father, who was a widower, having but recently died. We were glad to see them, as they were to see us.

The wind being from the east, had made the sea so powerful that the surf dashed over the wall into the road. In some parts it was necessary to run as quickly as possible in order to avoid a copious shower of salt water. In returning to the town the tide had risen higher, and part of the road was overflowed abundantly. The water was coming over the wall in sheets. A load of hay on its way to the town afforded acceptable shelter from the fury of the elements. A flood had accumulated on some parts of the road, and that had to be waded through, to the discomfort of one's feet.

At the appointed hour of seven we dined, and had a very welcome and enjoyable meal, consisting of delicious soup, turbot, roast lamb, stewed pears, and cheese. There was also roast duck upon the table, and there were added tapioca pudding and apple tart. We were surprised that no other guests besides ourselves were at the table d'hôte, but the waiter told us seventeen had left on the previous day, or in the morning of this day, I am not sure which ; and that October is usually a slack month at Torquay, but that they always begin to be busy in November. The place is more for winter resort than for summer; and mostly for invalids having affections of the chest.

Tuesday, October 16th.--I felt to need rest; so I remained within and occupied myself in writing until two o'clock. I then lunched, and after that retired to our sitting-room and rested upon a sofa until half-past four. I then rose, washed, and went out for a walk, going as far as Daddy Hole Plain, beyond the Imperial Hotel. It is an elevated plateau, commanding views of the bay and the country around, with a great variety of objects, and affording cool and invigorating sea-breezes when the heat is oppressive in the town. There are some villa residences near, and a row of houses occupied by coastguardmen. I rambled about the margin of the deep chasm called the Daddy Hole, formed centuries ago, perhaps, by the slipping away of a vast mass of rocks, through the undermining action of the sea. It is clothed with lichens, moss, ferns, grass, flowers, &c., and has trees growing in all the wildness of uncontrolled nature. Near the rocks below are caught grey mullet, conger, and several other kinds of fish.

On the southward brink of the plain were two coastguardsmen on the

a

look-out. Getting into conversation with them, one of them told me that an aged gentleman and his son a few years ago were out in a boat, and put into the little cove at the foot of the cliff, when a little water got into the boat. They landed there, and attempted to climb the cliff by a steep and rough path, which is practicable to some young men. The old gentleman took a divergent path, and was impeded by a projecting piece of rock. His son ascended by the right path, and reached the plain safely. The father became confused in mind by his perilous position. The son called to the guardsmen to render aid for his father's rescue. They let down ropes, and a blanket to be wrapped round him; and, having by these means secured his person, hauled him up to the top. Soon after they had landed him safely, he died in the arms of my informant. How uncertain is human life! We know not when, where, nor by what means we may be called away. This we know: “At such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

Wednesday, October 17th.The atmosphere was thick, concealing distant objects. We took a walk in the direction of Paignton, a minor watering place on the other side of the bay. We found a shore there thickly strewed with fragments of shells, and many whole ones, of various kinds; bivalves and univalves, but most of the former of the large cockle kind. We gathered a considerable number to take to the juniors at home. We walked forwards to the harbour, and then turning into the village, or little town, found an omnibus, by which we were conveyed to within a short distance of our hotel, which we entered, and enjoyed luncheon, for which we all were ready. After resting a while, we engaged a boat for an hour's row,

there being no wind. We had two agreeable men, who rowed well, starting at twenty minutes to four o'clock. The tide was coming in gently, yet with considerable swell. Proceeding at a short distance from the shore, we rounded the prominent rock called the Thatcher, and returned thence direct to the harbour. We had a fine view of the town and its environs, and were on the water an hour and three-quarters, within two minutes.

Thursday, October 18th.-We rose a little earlier than usual, intending to take our departure. On examining our bill we found the charges much higher than at any other place that we had visited during our tour. Our apartments were 10s. 6d., being 2s. 6d. more than anywhere else; our dinners 18s, for four persons, being 2s. more than at Bodmin, 48. than at Falmouth, 6s. more than at Penzance, and 10s. more than at the Lizard. The variety, however, was greater, and the style of service higher than at any hotel that we had visited. The most extravagant charge was for breakfast, being 3s. each, whatever we had, whether a couple of eggs and dry toast, or eggs and bacon, or ham, or cold meat, and coffee and tea. The most that we had paid elsewhere was 2s. 6d., and in some places 2s. each for breakfast, with meat or eggs, or both. At our last breakfast, too, we had coffee both cold and poor, as left by some

[ocr errors]

more

who had breakfasted earlier, or else half-warmed-up coffee left on the preceding day. In all respects but that we were as comfortable as we could wish at the Queen's Hotel ; but were I to go again to Torquay I would try to find a cheaper house. The place itself, however, is very expensive. It is dependent upon visitors and ailing people, and is the resort of those who have ample means, and can spend money freely. There are also many servants at the Queen's, and the rooms are larger and better furnished than are those of the generality of hotels, though not much superior to those of the Western at Penzance.

At nine o'clock the 'bus left the hotel for the station. I walked thither, to secure a comfortable compartment. The station-master supplied me with four tickets for Newton Junction. There we got seated in a through carriage for London, whither we had a most comfortable journey, and arrived at Paddington nearly at the time fixed, thirty-five minutes after four. The only places at which the train paused were Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon.

This terminated our seventeen days' tour in Đevon and Cornwall ; & tour, like all other tours, having as many annoyances as could be patiently borne, but attended by mercies innumerable, and enjoyments most pleasurable ; and so largely promotive of health to the whole party, and especially to the dear invalid for whose benefit chiefly it had been projected and undertaken, that we were filled with gratitude and gladness. Whatever the expense incurred, a long bill of one or two medical men might have been much more; besides which, all the enjoyment would have been foregone, and the precious treasure of increased knowledge, experience, and agreeable recollections totally unknown. Then we had the delight of joyous welcome home by those, dearly beloved, whom we had left at our respective homes, and who anticipated our return with all the warmth of domestic endearment.

My advice to my juniors is, if you would have the purest and most elevating pleasure that can be had from things natural, save the needful means, by industry and frugality, and spend what you can properly spare in suitable and well-considered touring; first in your native land, and then, if practicable, in lands beyond the British islands. And if you are really a Christian, let it be seen, unmistakably, wherever you go, that you are decidedly a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Bible.

BROTHER WILLIAM JAMESON IN AMERICA. I LEFT New York with many grateful recollections of the exteme attentions I received there, to commence a journey to the far West, as the Convention in Baltimore was not to take place before October, having travelled some 2,000 miles. Many events occurred over these vast prairies to which I will not now make further reference, as I may do so at some

« ПретходнаНастави »