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By the author of “ The Children of Seeligsberg,” “Madeleine's Forgivencss,”
“ The Cathedral Organist,” &c., &c.
“Do lovely things, not dream them, all day long,
One grand, sweet song.”
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORIES :
AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
HUR VALLEY! What is it
more than any other, you
can express ? Listen, and I will try and tell you something of the valley where I was born, and which is still, thank God, my own home, that you too may understand why it is dearer to me, and not only to me, but to many others, than any other spot on the whole earth.
Our valley—it stretches down from the borders of Exmoor to the Severn sea-broad and fair with orchards and meadows, and cornfields and pleasant homesteads. On either side the great hills stand, guarding it in from the outer world; and far and wide the open moorland spreads, marked here and there with a soft shadow that tells of some wooded coombe, some ravine where the red deer makes its lair in the tangled brushwood, under giant oak and ash. From hill and moor, from coombe and wood, a hundred streams descend to meet in the valley and flow together to the sea. Watered by these rivulets, sheltered from cold winds by the surrounding hills, and fanned by mild Atlantic breezes, our valley is a favoured region, a garden of Eden, where all fair things thrive and prosper. Hollies and yews grow tall in the hedges, flowers and ferns cover every bank, myrtle and hydrangea blossom in the open air, and the fruit-trees bend under their wealth of promise. And in the early autumn days, when the soft, rich bloom of purple heather spreads over all, when the gorse is golden on the hill-side, and the mountain-ash hangs out its scarlet berries, when sun and cloud throw changing lights on the hollows where the woods are breaking into fire, and the sea has not yet lost its summer blue, there is no lovelier spot in all the West-country than our valley.