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The rural Pastorate-Sober Truth-Home-Fields-Painful Reflec-
Condemned to be a Gentleman-Turning Schoolmaster-Tricks of
STRUGGLES FOR LIFE.
BIRTH AND INFANCY.
"This is the place. Stand still, my steed,
And summon from the shadowy past
HE water in the bay is famous for its clearness; even where the largest ships can ride at anchor, you can see the bright pebbles and the sea-weed at the bottom. As you enter the harbour, there is a green terraced mound on your left hand, evidently the quiet relic of what was once a fortifiChurchbank, cation or castle. The only mep. 2. morial of war remaining on the spot is a venerable piece of artillery, which probably, in some forgotten age, did service, as the oldest inhabitant has certain traditions on the subject, derived from his grandfathers, which he will circumstantially relate to you for the small consideration of a pinch of snuff. The mound is the favourite resort of children, and you may see them in scores at this moment running around its green base, leaping from its terrace, riding on the old gun, and gambolling at pleasure, as children in all ages
have loved to do, whilst their shouts and laughter come ringing across the smooth surface of the water, and enter your ear as you stand upon the deck of the vessel viewing the dream-like scene. On your right stretches a green shore, with here and there a patch of land well. cultivated, while about a mile and a-half inland, a lofty conical hill rises and bounds the view. Right before you lies the venerable old town, stone-built, sea-washed, evidently enjoying repose, and looking as if it had been accustomed to nestle in the bosom of that bay for at least half a dozen centuries. In the centre of the town, like a giant monarch standing among his subjects, the parish church lifts its lofty dome, which sends forth sweet sounds daily to the inhabitants from a set of the finest toned bells in the Queen's dominions. The unusual size of this building, for the purposes of a parish church to a small population, is accounted for by the fact that it was at one time a cathedral. It was built in the early part of the twelfth century. Many a legend, curious and wild, hovers around the history of this noble structure. Beyond, and a little to the right, sleep the ruins of the bishop's palace. Sparrows, starlings, and ivy flourish in the remains of the upper storeys, and rats and kindred vermin enjoy themselves in what were once wine cellars and kitchens, well replenished for ecclesiastical appetites by a people devoted to the ancient Church of Rome. The town itself consists of one long street, as irregular as the stem of a gnarled oak, which shoots out at irregular intervals short lanes, that, like the street itself, at the time of which I write, were odorous with heaps of ashes, rotten fish, and all kinds of abomination, which were allowed to accumulate from month to month, much to the benefit of disease and the doctors.* This is the ancient town of Churchbank.
* I understand things are wonderfully improved now, so that "Churchbank" is not to be discovered by the description in the text.