Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson


In the course of a ramble on foot in a remote district I came
to a small ancient town, set - Page 6
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In The Course Of A Ramble On Foot In A Remote District I Came To A Small Ancient Town, Set In A Cuplike Depression Amidst High Wood-Grown Hills.

The woods were of oak in spring foliage, and against that vivid green I saw the many-gabled tiled

Roofs and tall chimneys of the old timbered houses, glowing red and warm brown in the brilliant sunshine - a scene of rare beauty, and yet it produced no shock of pleasure; never, in fact, had I looked on a lovely scene for the first time so unemotionally. It seemed to be no new scene, but an old familiar one; and that it had certain degrading associations which took away all delight.

The reason of this was that a great railway company had long been "booming" this romantic spot, and large photographs, plain and coloured, of the town and its quaint buildings had for years been staring at me in every station and every railway carriage which I had entered on that line. Photography degrades most things, especially open-air things; and in this case, not only had its poor presentments made the scene too familiar, but something of the degradation in the advertising pictures seemed to attach itself to the very scene. Yet even here, after some pleasureless days spent in vain endeavours to shake off these vulgar associations, I was to experience one of the sweetest surprises and delights of my life.

The church of this village-like town is one of its chief attractions; it is a very old and stately building, and its perpendicular tower, nearly a hundred feet high, is one of the noblest in England.

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