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reigns. It was last garrisoned for Charles in the great Civil War; and it held out till near the end of the war, when it was taken by Fairfax and demolished. Only a fragment of the walls is left.
The town was once of large size and walled. It is said to have at one time contained fourteen churches. There are only three now, and there is nothing remarkable in their appearance-unless indeed it be that of St. Peter's, by the river, which has a very remarkably odd and ugly spire. This spire was not designed by any of the Gothic builders of the dark ages, but was raised in that age of enlightenment and refined taste the eighteenth century, and its designer was Sir William Blackstone, the author of the Commentaries '- at least he paid for its erection, and by its appearance we may guess that he designed it. Sir William was a considerable benefactor to the town, which he represented in Parliament.
Within the castle was a collegiate establishment, consisting of a dean and prebendaries; and connected with it was a school for the instruction of singing-boys, in which Tusser, the author of • Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry,' was educated, as he records in the curious piece entitled • The Author's Life,' prefixed to the black letter edition of his works. He was not born at Wallingford, and its singing-school was probably in great repute, from his being sent so far to it. He says:
“It came to pass, that born I was
Of linage good and gentle blood,
That Rivenhall hight:
Which village lide, by Bancktree side,
There spend did I mine infancie.” But from this he was torn, and neither his lamentations nor “the tears that fall “ From mother's eies, when child out cries,
To part hir fro,
His mind was so.” Wallingford, whither he was sent, soon showed him what he calls the “ quirasters miserie.” He thus describes his condition there :
“O painful time, for every crime
What toosed eares ! like baited beares !
What hellish toies !
Of sillie boies!”
A PLEASANT PLACE.
One of the many advantages of following the course of a river is, that we are thereby not only brought to see a continuous variety of objects, but are led into connexion and companionship with them. In the rapid whirl of modern travelling men visit many places, and learn to despise them all. Time enough is not allotted to any one to see it thoroughly, and of consequence to estimate it aright; hence a cold flippancy, a morbid acuteness of spirit is induced, which
“Makes the eye blind, and shuts the passages
Through which the ear converses with the heart.” There is seen in everything chiefly what is ludicrous, or incongruous, or absurd; and thus every thing, as much what has heretofore been regarderl as most deserving of reverence or admiration, as what is vile and despicable, has come to be alike named only with a scoff, or made the subject of heartless mockery. Our travellers have come not only to admire nothing, but to scorn everything. It appears to be the spirit of the age.
But the rambler who plods slowly along the many windings of a river is saved from much of this. He sees but few things comparatively, but those he learns to greet with a blithe welcome, and
to gather what benefit he can from the acquaintanceship; he does not despise them because they are not what he would have them to be, but cherishes them for what they are ; and, observant of all things, draws something of instruction and delight from all. His river, as he follows it from its source to the ocean, leads him through many of the gentler and the grander scenes of nature, and the solitary and the crowded abodes of man. He passes the peaceful homestead, the lonely battle-field, the weather-beaten monument of forgotten rites, the little village church, and the glo. rious cathedral whereon man appears to have lavished a sublimity of genius worthy of a more exalted race of beings. He roams unshackled by care for coach or train, and hastens or lingers as he pleases along the flowery meadows and public ways; through the populous city, with its places of pride, its men of resolute enterprise, its grandeur, its wretchedness, and its guilt; the busy manufacturing district, with its industry, its wealth, and its squalor; the quiet street of the rural village, and the dull stateliness of the country markettown : and seeing in all good and evil, -he opens his heart to the teaching of each of them, learns to love and to reverence Nature alike in her lowliness and her majesty, and to feel an honest regard for the dwellings and the occupations of man; to sympathize in his joys and his sorrows, his struggles and his fears, whether he be a denizen of the rude hamlet, the solitary hut, or the crowded capital.
Of the enjoyments of the river-side rambler not the least is that which he feels when he gets away from town or city, to wander by it along some
green secluded valley, and there hold converse with Nature and with his own heart; while for a brief space the busy working-world, with all its cares and its duties, is to him as a distant thing. Some such a scene of tranquil loveliness is now before us. Our river, though it yields many of higher fame, and many of greater grandeur, has not along its banks a more enjoyable ramble, for one who is willing to enjoy the simple charms of Nature, than that which will employ us till —
“ Ere the stars are visible, we reach
The village-inn, our evening resting-place.” On leaving Wallingford it will be best to cross the bridge, and take the path through the meadows, which, being speckled with lofty elms, have for some distance a park-like appearance. There are several little villages and hamlets about here, but none of much mark. Crowmarsh, at the foot of Wallingford bridge, has a small Norman church that is worth looking at. Newnham-Murren on the left, and Winterbrook on the right of the river, require no notice here. Mongewell, which is next reached, will attract attention from the mansion and fine grounds which adorn it. The chapel is a very plain rude edifice, with long sloping roofs, and beside it stand two noble guardian elms. The village has retained its name unaltered since the Domesday Survey, when it belonged to one Roger de Laci, and was worth 141. From Mongewell, stretching for above two miles in the direction of Nuffield, there is a remarkable raised road, or ridge-way; as it approaches Nuffield its bank is double, with a deep trench between. In books and maps it is called Grimes' Dyke, but by the country