+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

willingly to your washing-tub to-morrow
morningwe must confess, our friend had
very much the appearance of a laundress
for having seen your son to-day? And
will our other friend, that dreadful
shoemaker who was the first to smoke, feel more
unfitted for to-morrow's work for having
thoroughly enjoyed himself to-day ? Will
any one, of all the hundreds in that train, be
the worse for it?

Yes; one, at least, we know will. One
manwe are pleased and proud to say, the
only one who came within our own observation
the wisdom of the mighty, virtuous
Mr. Hall of Bow Street notwithstanding
one man was tipsy!


IN my first and last work of Geography,
these names occurred in the following order,
and are the only pieces of knowledge, perhaps,
which ever retain their proper position in my
memory,—Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and
Sark. Of the Channel Islands,—which
nature certainly intended to be satellites of
France, but which fortune has assigned to
Englandthe last of the four is hardly
supposed to be worth mentioning, and indeed
is the only one that has no production of
consequence of its very own. Jersey has its
pears, Guernsey its lilies, and Alderney its
cows; but Sark has nothing peculiar, unless,
perhaps, I may be allowed to say, its cockles.
Nevertheless, Sark is the most remarkable
of all.

It is, in the first place, very creditable, I
think, to any island, that it is next to
impossible to land upon itto have no visible
harbour, no beach, no sands, no pier, no
anything. You may sail round it all day long
and perceive nothing but precipitous, barren
rocks, which are themselves defended by a
cordon of foaming breakers. An inroad upon
this bit of British dominion would be a most
unprofitable and dangerous business to the
most ardent invader, unless he was of a
poetical turn of mind. In that case I cannot
fancy any spot repaying him so well: if he
sailed to the east side and sent out his boats'-
crews in the direction of a very high seawall,
they would perhaps get ashore and be very
much astonished at finding themselves then
only within a semi-circle of perpendicular
rocks; if their noses were turned up, and they
followed them, further progress would be out
of the question; but, supposing them to be
otherwise, and that they poked them into every
crevice and corner, they might hit upon a
diminutive tunnel through which, by a very steep
hill, they would reach the interior of Sark. I
assert that this is the sole method of landing
in this island to those who have not been
brought up at a gymnasium, or been
accustomed to give public entertainments on the
tight and slack ropes. A crew of three of us,
who arrived here in a little cutter from
Guernsey, were deposited on a bare rock
at the west end, and directed up an iron
ladder which terminated only too soon;
leaving us to climb fifty feet of precipice
by the aid of a single cord. To get ourselves
upfor we had not the advantage of being
acrobatswas toil and peril enough; but the
conveyance of our portmanteaus would have
been the act of determined suicides. A
young native of the place, however, without
spangles or even a fillet, brought our
valuable chattels to the summit without any
inconvenience. We carried them ourselves
from that point, through what I stlill consider,
after several days' acquaintance, to be Fairyland.
Imagine us at such a height above the
sea that the rest of the Channel Islands and
Franceboth a long way offcould be
distinctly seen from almost any stand-point; the
hues of the waves beneath us are wonderfully
diversified by sun and shadow; and, from the
multitude of currents, the white breaker
crosses the most level blue, and the calmest
pool sleeps in the swiftest eddy. Our road,
which is at first a narrow pathway, leads by
large substantial cottages, as picturesque as
those in Westmorland; then, by goodly
farmhouses (where it is exchanged for a broad,
green cart-lane), with large open court-yards.
Both these dwellings are set in garden or
shrubbery, and especially decked with
untrained, but most luxuriant, fuchsias. We were
enchanted and tricked out of our reason. Our
luggage seemed to grow lighter on our backs,
notwithstanding the noonday sun, and our
walk of a mile or so, to good Mrs. Hayelhunt's
hotel, was a mere May-day procession.
Although the island is ridiculously small, we
managed to lose our way more than once
to have (as I believe) an excuse for asking
at two pretty cottages in gems of gardens
and shaded by pleasant treeswhich arbor
or avenue would be the best to take; for the
lanes of Sark are those deep, umbrageous
ways of Devon, with the open downs of
Berkshire breaking them, here and there.
At last we arrived at a charming
farmhouse, having a thousand September scents
about it. This we thought must surely be our
haven; but the mistress, although she kept
a rival establishment, pointed across the road
with the most beaming smile, and we went a
few yards up a carriage-sweep to one of the
cleanliest and most beautifully situated inns I
ever saw. Scale Hill, on Crummock Water,
in Cumberland, is its only rival; and I am
suspended, like Mahomet's coffin (only with
iheaven on both sides), between these two. It
is so sheltered from the four quarters of the
wind that I am content to believe it snug in
the depths of winter, although there is
indeed something in the very name of Sark
to forbid that faith. But now, at all events,
the temperature is just as it should be
warmer but more bracing than in Jersey
and the grapes in the green-house on the
south-side are bearing plentifully. Before the