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IN a month of cycling in Ireland I had grown

accustomed to low, thatched cottages, surrounded by bare ground with rarely a flower or vine to beautify. Even ragged hedges cease to look untidy if one sees no trimmed ones. But once on an English country road, bordered by rows of stately trees and roadsides neat as any lawn, with vine-hung, thatched cottages, set back in gardens crowded with gay, old-fashioned posies, the poverty of Ireland comes over one as it never does in the face of that poverty itself.

The beauty of Ireland is nature unadorned ; the beauty of the English midland counties is nature trimmed, trained, and shaped by man. Weedless fields, trim walks and hedges, splendid herds, and clusters of well-built granaries, barns, and sheds, everywhere bespeak careful husbandry. Eveu the grass in the fields grows evenly, lawn-like, and the trees left to afford grateful shade are graceful, symmetrical, and, like their owner's houses, carefully fenced about. There is a sense of comfort, of satisfaction with life, in all that greets the eye.

The contrast is as strong between the villages of the two countries. Irish villages are bare and squalid. There is seldom an enclosed

“lot" about the humbler homes. An Englishman's first care is to secure privacy of the home. This idea, carried to an extreme, gives the English village an air of exclusiveness. High walls, with jagged, broken glass set in the coping, separate neighbors from each other. Wall and gate and intervening garden space guard against the intrusion of the passing stranger.

In Ireland the cyclist feels free to ask at the open door of any cottage for water or milk. Usually there is some one in sight smilingly to grant the request and chat a while as well. At the English farm cottage, still more at the larger farmhouse, the gate is closed and the door is locked; and though the welcome may be genial, there is a knocker, and perhaps a servant must be called from within if modest refreshments be asked.

The exclusiveness expressed in architecture and domiciliary arrangements is also apparent in the people. English country folk are not so interested in strangers. It therefore requires more assurance and more effort to get on friendly terms with the average Englishman, casually met, than with the Irishman similarly accosted. But the cycle tourist, fresh

mon use.

from the bare, rugged austerity of the north the cycles used in Europe are made at Covcoast of Ireland, where man and his petty entry and Birmingham, there are usually a creations seem intrusive insignificance, is too few in sight in Warwickshire. Unlike the much absorbed in admiration of the rich rural prophet, they are honored in their own counbeauty, dominated, refined, and formalized by try. They are all sizes, shapes, and descripman, to care if the said man and his female tions, and the riders vary from the roughest juvenile relatives are not so spontaneously dressed workman to the daintily costumed friendly.

bicyclienne who drives her machine up hill If the people sometimes look askance, the like a veteran. There are some curious adapfrequent roadside inns are altogether cosily tions of the cycle to practical purposes. In inviting. After a little experience with them the cities the tricycles with a large box behind one feels the truth of Shenstone's lines: - for the delivery of bread, meat, newspapers, “Whoe'er has traveled life's dull round,

and small parcels of every kind, are in comWhere'er his stages may have been,

I saw one with a four-foot milk can May sigh to think he still has found

slung on the hind axle, and it looked like a The warmest welcome at an inn."

caricature of a fire-engine. Sometimes a tri

cycle will have a large wicker chair in front The storied fame of the typical old English of the seat, and there m’lady rides at ease, hostelries has something to do with the feel- while some perspiring man, either for love or ings they inspire. The vine-clad walls, the money, does the pedaling for both. Rural cunning gables and dormer-windows, the postmen naturally take to the cycle, and there dainty white curtains, the suggestive way that are even government cycle posts in some rethe road sweeps up to the door, the inviting gions where railroads are infrequent. Telehorse-block, the

grams are every. waiting hostlers,

where delivered - all deepen the

by cycle, and in i'm.pression of

London the press solid comfort

associations disand genial wel

tribute the descome. But the

patches by the quaint names on

aid of the same the swinging

speedy and consigns are enough

venient vehicle. to interest and

Every regiment attract. These

of English miliinn names have

tia has cyclists, possibly already

specially armed been the subject

and equipped. of learned anti

Of course, with quarian research

this almost uni(little that is an

versal use of cycient escapes

cles, the cyclist nowadays), but

has acquired a if so, I have n't

recognized right the

to existence, and treatises. How

in the towns and ever, from curANN HATHAWAY's Cortage.

along country sory or cyclical

roads the signs observation, I may say that here is a chance “Cyclists' Rest,” and “ Accommodations for for some literary grubber with plenty of time. Cyclists,” are grateful evidences that cycle

Perhaps half of the names could be classi- tourists are appreciated in England. fied under " zoological," which would include With all the other uses of the pedaled the “Lions" of many hues; “Horses' of all wheels, the family use is, of course, not negknown and several unknown colors; the lected. As I passed through Henley (not “ Blue Boars," “White Harts, “Dun Cows,'' Henley-on-Thames), I saw a family excursion “Green Dragons," “Black Bulls," and per- both pretty and amusing. The head of the haps even the “ Craven Heifer.” The “White family was at the head of the procession; in Swan" and the “Black Swan" “ Falcon, fact, he was towing the rest of it. He rode a “Stork,' Peacock,' and • Cocks" of all bicycle to which was tied a long rope. The Rues and combinations, would fit under “or- other end of the rope was attached to the nithological." A small subdivision could be front of a quadricycle containing the rest of called the “fractional zoological,” for the the family. A sturdy lad worked the front "Nag's Head,” “ Boar's Head," and perhaps pair of pedals and his mother, in straw hat, even the Saracen's Head." Under * eccle- light waist, and plain skirt, pedaled behind. siastical” could be ranged the “Miter," the In the middle, strapped to a little seat, was a “Abbey,” the "Grey Friars," and possibly chubby two-year-old in sunbonnet, and a lunch the “Angel.

basket. They were “out for a cruise," they But our objective point is “ Bicycle Land," said, and they certainly appeared to be gaining and not heraldry, and as a large percentage of health and pleasure.






The above observations apply in a general theater and the more distant church that way and with the usual exceptions to a con- Irving says seems but the poet's mausoleum ; siderable part of England. They apply par- or sits on the river bank in the churchyard, ticularly to the roads from Birmingham and watches the boats and the cricketers and to Stratford-on-Avon and from Stratford to the Medusa-headed willows ; or lies a wake, and Warwick, about which a worthy yeoman of for a quarter of an hour listens to the sucWarwick told me a good story :

cessive striking of the clocks, the one on the “Once upon a time,'

," said he, “a dozen G. W. Child's fountain waiting until after all men, dining at an inn, got to disputing, as the rest, as befits a modern interloper; whether you know men will, over what was (in Eng- one does these things or any of the others that land) the most beautiful road for a walk or a all Stratford visitors do, there is a satisfying drive. Well, sir, all of them but one agreed of poetic associations, a realization of what that the most beautiful road was from Strat- was vaguely apocryphal, that repays one's ford to Warwick."

visit to the quaint town dedicated to one * And where did the other one say?"

man's memory. “From Warwick to Stratford,"


I took the lower road by the erstwhile seat the yeoman of Stratford, with a chuckle. of Justice Shallow. The prodigality with

He had just been describing the road that which historic places are scattered over Engwe two Yankees wished to follow to Warwick, land is startling to a Yankee, accustomed at the one on foot and the other by cycle. That home to traveling a few hundred miles besuperlatively beautiful road is the one north tween places of interest. To spend half a day of the Avon, and

in classic Stratthe most direct.

ford, see stately My pedestrian

Charlecote, go acquaintance

through palatial chose it. The

Warwick castle longer way is

and its splendid south of the river

grounds, visit for some dis

ancient Leicestance, following

ter Hospital, the it more closely.

tombs and crypt It goes through

of St. Mary's, go old-fashioned

on to fashionTiddington and

able Leamington past Charlecote

Spa and the Park, where the

Jephson gardens, spirit of Nimrod

ramble over came near caus

mantic Keniling the strangu

worth and get lation of the liter

into “toll-free" ary career of the

Coventry for supgreat dramatist.

per, seems rather Time and re

rushing sightpetition have auWARWICK CASTLE, FROM THE Avon.

seeing. As a thenticated the

matter of fact, story of the Stratford man who remarked : all these famous places, the beautiful rural “I'm sure we ought to be very much obliged region between, and half a score of delightto Mr. Shakespeare for being born here, for ful villages, mean very little time on the I don't know what we should have done with- road, and rather leisurely sight-seeing, as out him.' Of the fourteen thousand annual leisurely, usually, as the care-takers allow. visitors to Stratford, the majority are Ameri- This list by no means exhausts the attraccans. The past season having been an “off tions of the region traversed. The direct one" for American tourists, Stratford has road from Warwick to Kenilworth allows suffered even more than other resorts. Odd a visit to Guy's Cliff, the ancient mansion though it seems, this town of eight thousand where the more or less legendary Guy of inhabitants is almost entirely supported by Warwick lived as warrior, and later as anvisitors attracted by the Shakespearian as- chorite, unknown to his own wife, his alsociations. One must admire the ingenuity moner. The shorter road from Leamington displayed in converting almost every article to Coventry passes Stoneleigh Abbey, seat of of merchandise into a Stratford or Shake- Lord Leigh, with abbey remains. There are spearian relic. In spite of all this, Stratford many minor points of interest if one stops to is one of the most satisfying show-places in hunt them up. England. Whether one stands within the Along that grove-bordered road from Stratquaint, half-timbered birth-house; or walks ford there is ever a slender church spire in across the fields to Shottery to be shown over view, piercing through the branches that hide Ann Hathaway's cottage by a relative of the the little churches, and giving sign of another bard's sweetheart; or stands on the “great center of rural life before one is done looking and sumptuous Clopton Bridge, and gazes at the luxuriant gardens and quaint houses of over the biscuit-like islands to the memorial the last village. A few dwellings cluster



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The ancient, half-timbered building above, called the Leicester Hospital, has sheltered successive sets of “twelve poor brothers,'' recipients of Lord Dudley's bounty, since 1571.

closer, the hedgerows for a few yards give place to shop fronts, and then to lower hedges with flowers behind, and to houses so overgrown with vines and roses that the walls seem of graceful, growing things, and not of insensate masonry. On each side, and close up to the rear of the well-hedged plots full of fruittrees, hollyhocks, zinnias, cabbages, poppies, and beets, are the green fields and beautiful clumps of trees.

As one passes the splendidly timbered park surrounding Charlecote, the present and ancestral home of the Lucy family, a large herd of deer is browsing there, as they were when a hankering after venison got roystering Will Shakespeare into trouble. The nearer view of the rambling, red brick mansion, gained after turning, just before reaching Wellsbourne, is masked by a high brick wall, with old-fashioned arched gateway, some distance back of the wall enclosing the park. When the family is absent, one may visit the house.

More low, rounded hills, thick set with great trees; more green meadows, sloping down to the willow-bordered river; more church spires; and then rusticity at last gives place to a larger pile of brick and stone and mortar, heaped up by many generations of men for their shelter ; for Warwick was a town before Roman legions conquered the Britons. It is a “town" still, though its twelve thousand inhabitants would give it claim to be called a city if out on our western prairies. Antiquity meets one on the very threshold of Warwick. Just past the pretty places that are neither rural nor urban, one is confronted by a tiny chapel that has perched above the old town



KENILWORTH CASTLE. The ivy-hung walls about its fine quadrangle; the curious garden ornaments, reminiscent of more courtly days; the massive kitchen furniture, eloquent of the bountiful table at which even royalty feasted according to an blazoned wall tablet; the embroidery wrought by the fair fingers of the ill-fated Amy Robsart, heroine of “Kenilworth;” and all things else about the place, are full of quaint sug. gestiveness. But these and the sculptured tombs of the Beauchamps and Dudleys in St. Mary's cannot compete in interest with the magnificent, world-famous Warwick Castle. Sir Walter Scott called it “The fairest monument of ancient and chivalric splendor which yet remains uninjured by the ruthless hand of time,” and Sir Walter knew something about


There was a Celtic fort on the round knoll, close by the present splendid structure, eight hundred years before Windsor is known to have existed. The Romans took this rude fort while yet the personal memory of Christ was fresh in the minds of men, 50 A. D. In the days when Warwickshire was part of the kingdom of Mercia, another castle was built there by Warremund and called after himself, Warrewyke. Since that day there have been many Warwick castles, for so often was the fortress razed that an old historian in recounting its capture merely says the besiegers “went through the usual formula." But ever grander did the castle rise from

its ruins till civil war was known only in history. Then, as late as 1871, an accident proved as destructive as war, and fire ravaged much of the old mansion. But again it was restored. However, not all of

fortress was battered down at any siege. Could Cæsar's tower speak, it could recount vivid tales of the most stirring events of


WARWICK Castle, FROM THE MOUND. gate for three hundred years and more. The modern road now sweeps by one side, but the footway goes under the curious structure, through what seems a short, rock-hewn tunnel, for the foundations have been worn out of all semblance of masonry by the clambering feet of children.

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eight hundred years that have taken place beneath its shadow, — tales of warfare, murder, siege, and conflagration; tales which would be full of the names of the Beauchamps, the Nevilles, the Plantagenets, the Dudleys, the Riches, and the Grevilles that have dwelt in the castle ; of Queen Elizabeth, James I, Charles I, and Cromwell, who have been guests within its walls. The companion, Guy's tower, could corroborate the tales for the past five hundred years.

When two hours and more had been spent in gazing on the treasures of art and the evidences of wealth, and on the beautiful grounds and the charming views of the winding river, including that last famous glimpse of the battlements from the bridge, I sped on to Leamington with another cyclist, and for a time looked about that center of wealthy idleness and fashionable invalidism.

As the light grew wan; and the chill of eveping succeeded the heat of the day, I was amidst the mournful ruins of Kenilworth. Hard indeed is it for the imagination to people the decayed vestiges of architectural magnificence with the gorgeous pageantry that welcomed England's virgin queen to the home of her favorite, Leicester.

Scarce anything but the Norman keep and the modern stables remains in the form of buildings. Single walls, fragments of towers, bases of pillars, speak with painful bluntness of the iconoclastic destruction wrought by Cromwell's men. The contrast between des

olate Kenilworth and restored and habitable Warwick, is striking, but perhaps, after all, these crumbling walls are more in keeping with the decay of the system of which both are monuments. After traversing the stately boulevard that leads from Kenilworth to Coventry, I found in the shadow of the third of the three tall spires," and close by the pilloried statue of “Peeping Tom," a cosy inn and a delightful tea.

Coventry is interesting, not from what men have done in the way of fighting or killing or dying or being born, but from what they have not done in tearing down the curious buildings of former days, which mingle everywhere with new shops and factories, where thousands work at watches, cycles, metal work, and ribbon weaving. Perhaps the best specimens of the past are the Bablake and the Ford or Greyfriars hospitals. A grim-looking house with a black cross on its front, is a relic of the great plague, a dead house. The next street was, in that dread time, sealed at both ends, and the unfortunate inhabitants were left face to face with the pestilence.

Thus it is all over the older portions of the town. Here, it is an odd gable that catches the eye; there, a queer pattern formed by the stained timbers. Ancient rookeries lean over the street almost ready to fall. Then the old guild hall is one of the finest specimens of its class of architecture – great carved oaken beams and panels, massive staircases, and ovens that would roast an ox whole. — Outing.

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IF the beauty of England were only superfi,

cial, it would produce only a superficial effect. It would cause a passing pleasure, and would be forgotten. It certainly would not, as now, in fact, it does, inspire a deep, joyous, serene, and grateful contentment, and linger in the mind, a gracious and beneficent remembrance. The conquering and lasting potency of it resides not alone in loveliness of expression but in loveliness of character. Having first greatly blessed the British Islands with the natural advantages of position, climate, soil, and products, nature has wrought

their development and adornment as a necessary consequence of the spirit of their inhabitants. The picturesque variety and pastoral repose of the English landscape, spring, in a considerable measure, from the imaginative taste and the affectionate gentleness of the English people. The state of the country, like its social constitution, flows from principles within, which are constantly suggested, and it steadily comforts and nourishes the mind with a sense of kindly feeling, moral rectitude, solidity, and permanence. Thus in the peculiar beauty of England the ideal is

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