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London & Toronto
J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.

Paris : J. M. Dent et Fils
New York: E. P. Dutton & Company

First published October 1917 Revised and reprinted 1922

919 R479

obit 1 922

FOREWORDS

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.

M311775

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,
Whose charms all other maids surpass,-

A rose without a thorn.

This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet,

Has won my right good-will ;
I'd crowns resign to call her mine,

Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Or the Suffolk Yeoman's song :

Good neighbours, since you've knock’d me down,
I'll sing you a song of songs the crown,
For it shall be to the fair renown

Of a race that yields to no man.
When order first on earth began,
Each king was then a husbandman;

He honour'd the plough

And the marley-mow,
Maintain’d his court from off his farm,
And kept all round him tight and warm,

Like a right-down Suffolk yeoman.

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