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London & Toronto
Paris : J. M. Dent et Fils
obit 1 922
This book of the Old Country was first designed and issued during the war, as a reminder for those who, being abroad, were bound to be visited by home-thoughts. As then completed, it contained many items that were of occasional and passing interest, bearing upon the brave services rendered to our men in France and elsewhere by the Red
Triangle. These fugitive pages have now given way to more permanent ones, bearing upon the memories, treasured scenes, and old associations, that make England dear to her sons and daughters. For although it is true, as John of Gaunt says in the history-play,
All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens ; yet is England's ground “sweet soil,” mother and nurse in one, to English men and women, which holds them with a powerful charm, never more than when they are far away.
1 Richard II.
There is in English Literature an immemorial cult of the praise and honour of the Old Country, and attached to it there is a special dialect too. Many of its allusions and its famous passages are gathered in this anthology ; but to give them all would require not one volume, but many. For every shire, every countryside, every village, has its store of fragrant recollections and familiar instances of local colour and humour.. Sometimes it is a simple old song that is the remembrancer, like the Lass of Richmond Hill :
On Richmond Hill there lives a lass
More bright than May-day morn,
A rose without a thorn.
This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet,
Has won my right good-will ;
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.
Or the Suffolk Yeoman's song :
Good neighbours, since you've knock’d me down,
Of a race that yields to no man.
He honour'd the plough
And the marley-mow,
Like a right-down Suffolk yeoman.