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age of Pullman cars, and mail steamers that are in reality floating palaces ? Yet somehow I sometimes find myself sighing for a little less luxury and speed, and for more of the picturesqueness and goodfellowship engendered by the conditions of old-time travel, that stands out in such sharp antithesis to the ugliness and unmannerly taciturnity that has come with the railway; the ugliness is universal, but the taciturnity, for some cause I cannot fathom, is confined mostly to England.
Said a prominent citizen of Chicago to me one day, upon his arrival at St. Pancras Station, where I went to meet him as my visitor, in response to my greetings : “Well, sir, as you kindly ask me, I guess I had a mighty pleasant voyage in the steamer, and found your countrymen aboard most agreeable and entertaining; but when I got on the cars at Liverpool with four other Britishers, we had a regular Quakers' meeting-time all the way to London, and when I chanced to make a remark they really appeared utterly astonished that a stranger should venture to address them. Now that just strikes me as peculiar, and if that's your land-travelling manners I guess I don't much admire them ; surely there's no sin in one stranger politely speaking to another ; indeed, it seems sort of rude to me to get into a car and never as much as utter 'Good morning,' or 'I beg your pardon,' as you pass a party by to take your seat. Perhaps you can tell me just how it is that your countrymen are so stand-offish on the cars ? ” But we could not answer the question satisfactorily to the querist or to ourselves.
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A “PHYSIC WELL”
It may be news to many—it was to me till the other day, when quite accidentally I came across the fact in an ancient road-book—that in the days of Charles II. Barnet was a watering-place of considerable repute, even disputing supremacy with its rising rival of Tunbridge Wells. In a field near the town on the Elstree Road is the formerly famous but now almost forgotten chalybeate spring known two centuries ago as the “Physic Well," and much resorted to by the fashionable folk of the Restoration days. On glancing over the ever fresh and entertaining Diary of Samuel Pepys, that chatty old-time road-traveller, who was always getting up "betimes” and starting off somewhere or another, I noted the following entry :-"11 August 1667 (Lord's Day). -Up by four o'clock, and ready with Mrs. Turner” (why so often without your wife, good Mr. Pepys ?) “to take coach before five; and set out on our journey, and got to the Wells at Barnett by seven o'clock” (not a great rate of speed), "and there found many people a-drinking; but the morning is a very cold morning, so as we were very cold all the way in the coach. . . . So after drinking three glasses, and the women nothing” (wise women), “we back by coach to Barnett, where to the Red Lyon, where we 'light, and went up into the great room, and drank and eat ... and so to Hatfield,” where he “took coach again, and got home with great content.”
Amongst my prized possessions is a quaint and ancient map of London and the country for about twenty miles round. This interesting map I find, by an inscription enclosed in a roll at the foot, was printed, and presumably engraved, in Amsterdam, when I cannot say, for unfortunately no date is given; an antiquarian friend of mine, however (an authority on old prints), declares it to be of about the time of Charles II., though he says it might possibly be copied from an earlier production of the same kind and made up to that approximate date. It is just probable, therefore, that Mr. Pepys may have seen, and used, a similar map; and on mine I find “ Barnett Wells" duly marked at a point about a mile south-west of the town.
These ancient maps, besides being very interesting, oftentimes reveal the origin of puzzling placenames otherwise untraceable ; for instance, I never could account for the peculiar title of the little Sussex town of Uckfield until one day I found it spelt “ Oakefield ” on an old map, and as oaks still abound in the locality, I have no doubt that Uckfield was evolved therefrom; and I could enumerate many other instances of a like nature. So, on further consulting my Amsterdam chart, I find Hatfield, which we shall reach in due course, given as “ Heathfield,”—now from this to Hatfield is an easy transition ; next I observe that the country immediately north of Barnet is represented as wild and unenclosed, and is marked “Gladmore Heath.” A corner of this bears the gruesome but suggestive title “Dead-man's Bottom”: it is highly probable that the famous battle of Barnet was fought on this open waste, it being a suitable site for such a conflict, and the “Dead-man's Bottom" may mark
AN INTERESTING MAP
the spot where a number of the slain were buried. Hertfordshire is also rendered, as now generally pronounced, “ Hartfordshire,” so perhaps it is the spelling, not the pronunciation, that has changed. A wonderful production is this old map, for in the apparently sparsely populated country around the then moderate-sized city of London each church tower is pictured in miniature; even solitary houses, including numerous farmsteads, are so shown ; tiny drawings of windmills abound ; and on the rivers, wheels are marked here and there, evidently intended to point out the position of sundry water-mills; bridges over the rivers are infrequent, but fords across and ferries over them are plentiful; now and again one is reminded of other days and other ways by a dot, inscribed above or below, simply but sufficiently “The Gallows”—a familiar but gruesome spectacle, the reality of which must often have been forced on the unwelcome sight of past-time travellers, and possibly haunted the memories and dreams of the more nervous amongst them for long afterwards. Even at one lonely place the map condescends to place a solitary tree with the title “Half-way Tree.” On the little river Wandle several water-mills are shown, most of which bear merely names, but sometimes is added the kind of mill. I note on this same short stream the following kinds : “Iron mill,” “ copper mill," "pouder mill,” and one “brasile mill,” whatever that may be. On the river Lea I find a "paper mill,” but that is the only one of the sort I can discover, though “pouder” mills abound. The latter perhaps were called into requisition by the