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CONCERNING THE CLOSE OF HOLIDAY-TIME:
WITH SOME THOUGHTS ON PULPITS.

$3 OME, my friend, and let us walk back-
ğ Å; wards and forwards along this gravelled
o path, already beaten by my solitary feet
*** for an hour past. It is not a carriage-
drive, but a path intended for Saunterers on foot. It
is broad enough for two, and the more especially
if one of them, through the force of circumstances,
chances to take up no space. And to-day you are
at Constantinople, and I am here. I am not quite
sure as to the precise number of miles between us,
but there are many hundreds, I know.
You know this place well, and you would like this
walk. On one hand, there is a level plot of closely-
mown grass, of what may be esteemed considerable
extent by a man of moderate ideas. And the promi-
ment object on that side is a pretty Gothic house, built
of red sandstone, set upon a green terrace. The house
is backed by a wooded cliff: a cliff wooded from base to
summit. For in every crevice of the rock trees have
rooted themselves, that is, have been planted without man's help. And the cliff looks like a warm bank of thick foliage, now crisp and russet. That cliff is ninety feet high : no very great height; yet, let me say, rather higher than the rocks at the Land's End. But on the other hand, there is our great sight. On the other side of this little gravelled walk, which is a hundred and fifty yards in length, and nearly straight, let me tell you what there is. First, there is a border line of grass, the prettiest and least troublesome of all edgings for walks. The well-defined outline of the grass and gravel makes a simple contrast of which one never tires. Then there is a little boundary thicket made of pines of various sizes, also of laurels and yews; with here and there a staring sunflower. Beyond, there is a hedge of thorns, backed by a stone wall, five feet in height, which forms the boundary of this small domain. And though on the farther side of the wall there is a narrow public road, the sea beyond it seems (when you look from this side) to wash the foot of that fortification. You feel as though you were walking on a quarter-deck. In fact, the waves are lapping on the large stones within a dozen yards. And so, backwards and forwards along this gravelled path, is backwards and forwards by the shore of the great sea.

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Yet this is not the boundless ocean, over which you look away and away, and think that America is on its other side. This is but an arm of the Atlantic. It is the estuary of a river not especially renowned in Song. No poet has done for it what Burns did for the Doon by which he drew his first breath. Here, the estuary is four miles in breadth. On the farther side there is an island, rich in soil and genial in climate, where many worn-out sufferers have been able to breathe out in peace their last winter-time in this world. Its name was not a pleasing one to those English folk who hated an unpopular Scotch Prime Minister, many years ago. And over that island you may see a line of mountain-peaks which will bear being looked at, though you may have come straight from Chamouni. Of course, they are not so high as Mount Blanc, and they have no solitudes of everlasting snow. Yet that is a glorious outline against the western sky, at sunset or at midday; and no part of the height of those mountains is lost. For the height of mountains is reckoned in feet above the sea-level; and here are the sea-level and the mountain-tops together. This is an autumn afternoon, one of the latest of September. And the fading woods suggest to one's mind a man with gray hair, wearing down. For the autumnal tint upon our head is gray, passing into white. We do not wither in glory, like crimson maples and glowing beeches in the October sun. But to-day there is not the bright, crisp, frosty sunshine, touching declining Nature into pensive beauty; but the light is leaden, and all the sky is made up of clouds that come down very close upon the earth and sea. The Sea is dark and gloomy, and it breaks upon the

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