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The following pages contain the chronicle of a leisurely and most enjoyable driving tour through a portion of Eastern England little esteemed and almost wholly, if not quite, neglected by the average tourist, for Lincolnshire is generally deemed to be a flat land, mostly consisting of Fens, and with but small, or no scenic attractions. We, however, found Lincolnshire to be a country of hills as well as of Fens, and we were charmed with the scenery thereof, which is none the less beautiful because neither famed nor fashionable. Some day it may become both. Lincolnshire scenery awaits dis
covery! Hitherto the pleasure - traveller has not found it out, but that is his loss!
We set forth on our tour, like the renowned Dr. Syntax,“ in search of the picturesque,” combined with holiday relaxation, and in neither respect did we suffer disappointment. Our tour was an unqualified success. A more delightfully independent, a more restful, or a more remunerative way of seeing the country than by driving through it, without haste or any precisely arranged plan, it is difficult to conceive, ensuring, as such an expedition does, perfect freedom, and a happy escape from the many minor worries of ordinary travel—the only thing absolutely needful for the driving tourist to do being to find an inn for the night.
Writing of the joys of road-travel in the prerailway days George Eliot says, “ You have not the best of it in all things, O youngsters! The elderly man has his enviable memories, and not the least of them is the memory of a long journey on the outside of a stage-coach.” The railway is most excellent for speed, “but the slow old-fashioned way of getting from one end of the country to the other is the better thing to have in the memory. The happy outside coach-passenger, seated on the
box from the dawn to the gloaming, gathered enough stories of English life, enough aspects of earth and sky, to make episodes for a modern Odyssey.” And so did we seated in our own dogcart, more to be envied even than the summer-time coach-passenger, for we had full command over our conveyance, so that we could stop on the way, loiter, or make haste, as the mood inclined.
Sir Edwin Arnold says, “This world we live in is becoming sadly monotonous, as it shrinks year by year to smaller and smaller apparent dimensions under the rapid movement provided by limited passenger trains and swift ocean steamships.” Well, by driving one enlarges the apparent size of the world, for, as John Burrough puts it, “When you get into a railway carriage you want a continent, but the man in his carriage requires only a county.” Very true, moreover the man who steams round the world may see less than the man who merely drives round about an English county: the former is simply conveyed, the latter travels—a distinction with a vast difference!
In conclusion, I have only to express the hope that the illustrations herewith, engraved on wood from my sketches by Mr. George Pearson (to
whom I tender my thanks for the pains he has taken in their reproduction), may lend an added interest to this unvarnished record of a most delightful and health-giving holiday.
J. J. HISSEY.