Friday, January 30, 2009

08Oct1864, A Long Tour

HARDWICK, October 8th, 1864.
—Not one glimpse of sun all day. Nevertheless, I was able to take in the beauty of the forest scenery we saw to-day, at the same time that one longed for chequered lights to fall among the trees. We drove in the open carriage and four to Narton, and there mounted, and rode through Welbeck, Clumber (where the poor Duke of Newcastle is lingering, though no one thought he could live from week to week in the spring), and Thoresby ; and I saw at last what I have always imagined as an ideal forest, enormous trees with room to spread wide their arms, and their trunks not smothered in brushwood, but springing from a carpet of bracken ; a sight which gives one a pleasure akin to that of seeing the pillars in an empty cathedral nave, clear all the way up. I took the greatest delight of all in a splendid beech avenue, in which the glorious trees overarched like a cathedral roof. We rode for more than 4 hours, then re-embarked in the carriage at Warsop (after some hitches and losings of our way), to the great delight of all the inhabitants, who almost to a man, woman, and child, assembled to see us off.

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