are some excerpts from chapter 14, with pictures:
caught a breeze, after lunch, which took us gently up past Wargrave
and Shiplake. Mellowed in the drowsy sunlight of a summer's afternoon,
Wargrave, nestling where the river bends, makes a sweet old picture
as you pass it, and one that lingers long upon the retina of memory.
St George & Dragon, Wargrave
"George and Dragon" at Wargrave boasts a sign, painted on the one
side by Leslie, R.A., and on the other by Hodgson of that ilk. Leslie
has depicted the fight; Hodgson has imagined the scene, "After the
Fight"--George, the work done, enjoying his pint of beer.
the author of Sandford and Merton, lived and--more credit to the
place still--was killed at Wargrave. In the church is a memorial
to Mrs. Sarah Hill, who bequeathed £1 annually, to be divided at
Easter, between two boys and two girls who "have never been undutiful
to their parents; who have never been known to swear or to tell
untruths, to steal, or to break windows." Fancy giving up all that
for five shillings a year! It is not worth it.
is rumoured in the town that once, many years ago, a boy appeared
who really never had done these things--or at all events, which
was all that was required or could be expected, had never been known
to do them--and thus won the crown of glory.
was exhibited for three weeks afterwards in the Town Hall, under
a glass case. What has become of the money since no one knows. They
say it is always handed over to the nearest wax-works show.
church where Tennyson was married.
is a pretty village, but it cannot be seen from the river, being
upon the hill. Tennyson was married in Shiplake Church.
river up to Sonning winds in and out through many islands, and is
very placid, hushed, and lonely.
folk, except at twilight, a pair or two of rustic lovers, walk along
its banks. `Arry and Lord Fitznoodle have been left behind at Henley,
and dismal, dirty Reading is not yet reached.
It is a part of the river in which to dream of bygone days, and
vanished forms and faces, and things that might have been, but are
not, confound them.
got out at Sonning, and went for a walk round the village. It is
the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river. It is more like
a stage village than one built of bricks and mortar. Every house
is smothered in roses, and now, in early June, they were bursting
forth in clouds of dainty splendour.
Bull Inn, Sonning, praised by Jerome K Jerome
you stop at Sonning, put up at the "Bull," behind the church. It
is a veritable picture of an old country inn, with green, square
courtyard in front, where, on seats beneath the trees, the old men
group of an evening to drink their ale and gossip over village politics;
with low, quaint rooms and latticed windows, and awkward stairs
and winding passages.
roamed about sweet Sonning for an hour or so, and then, it being
too late to push on past Reading, we decided to go back to one of
the Shiplake islands, and put up there for the night.
It was still early when we got settled, and George said that, as
we had plenty of time, it would be a splendid opportunity to try
a good, slap-up supper. He said he would show us what could be done
up the river in the way of cooking, and suggested that, with the
vegetables and the remains of the cold beef and general odds and
ends, we should make an Irish stew.
does linger in the neighbourhood of Reading"
Broad Street in the town centre.
came in sight of Reading about eleven. The river is dirty and dismal
here. One does not linger in the neighbourhood of Reading. The town
itself is a famous old place, dating from the dim days of King Ethelred,
when the Danes anchored their warships in the Kennet, and started
from Reading to ravage all the land of Wessex; and here Ethelred
and his brother Alfred fought and defeated them, Ethelred doing
the praying and Alfred the fighting.
later years, Reading seems to have been regarded as a handy place
to run down to, when matters were becoming unpleasant in London.
Parliament generally rushed off to Reading whenever there was a
plague on at Westminster; and, in 1625, the Law followed suit, and
all the courts were held at Reading.
must have been worth while having a mere ordinary plague now and
then in London to get rid of both the lawyers and the Parliament.
During the Parliamentary struggle, Reading was besieged by the Earl
of Essex, and, a quarter of a century later, the Prince of Orange
routed King James's troops there.
I. lies buried at Reading, in the Benedictine abbey founded by him
there, the ruins of which may still be seen; and, in this same abbey,
great John of Gaunt was married to the Lady Blanche.
lock at Reading
Reading lock we came up with a steam launch, belonging to some friends
of mine, and they towed us up to within about a mile of Streatley.
It is very delightful being towed up by a launch.
it myself to rowing. The run would have been more delightful still,
if it had not been for a lot of wretched small boats that were continually
getting in the way of our launch, and, to avoid running down which,
we had to be continually easing and stopping.
is really most annoying, the manner in which these rowing boats
get in the way of one's launch up the river; something ought to
done to stop it. And they are so confoundedly impertinent, too,
can whistle till you nearly burst your boiler before they will trouble
themselves to hurry. I would have one or two of them run down now
and then, if I had my way, just to teach them all a lesson.
river becomes very lovely from a little above Reading. The railway
rather spoils it near Tilehurst, but from Mapledurham up to Streatley
it is glorious. A little above Mapledurham lock you pass Hardwick
House, where Charles I. played bowls.
Swan Inn, Pangbourne
neighbourhood of Pangbourne, where the quaint little Swan Inn stands,
must be as familiar to the habitués of the Art Exhibitions as it
is to its own inhabitants. My friends' launch cast us loose just
below the grotto, and then Harris wanted to make out that it was
my turn to pull. This seemed to me most unreasonable. It had been
arranged in the morning that I should bring the boat up to three
miles above Reading. Well, here we were, ten miles above Reading!
Surely it was now their turn again.