The Warwickshire Avon: Notes

The Warwickshire Avon: Notes

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The Warwickshire Avon: Notes

The Warwickshire Avon: Notes

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Our journey opens in Northamptonshire, and in that season when the year grows ancient,

"Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth Of trembling winter."

In the stubble the crack! crack! of a stray gun speaks, now and again, of partridge-time. Over the pastures, undulating with ridge and furrow, where the black oxen feed, patches of gloom and gleam are scurrying as the wind--westerly, with a touch of north--chases the light showers under a vivid sun. Along the drab road darts a bullfinch, his family after him; pauses a moment among the dogrose berries; is off again, and lost in the dazzle ahead.

A high gassy ridge stands up from the plain; and upon it, white and salient against a dark cloud, the spire of a village church. From its belfry, says the sexton, you may spy forty parishes: but more important are the few cottages immediately below. They seem conspicuously inglorious; yet their name is written large in the histories. It speaks of a bright June day when along this ridge--then unenclosed and scattered with broom and heath flowers--the rattle of musketry and outcries of battle rolled from morning to late afternoon, by which time was lost a king with his kingdom. For the village is Naseby. Here, by the market green, the Parliamentarians ranged their baggage. Yonder, on Mill Hill and Broad Moor, with just a hollow between, the two armies faced each other; the royalists with bean-stalks in their hats, their enemies with badges of white linen. To the left, Sulby hedges were lined with Ireton's dragoons. And the rest is an old story: Rupert, tardily returning from a headlong charge, finds no "cause" left to befriend, no foe to fight. While his men were pillaging, Cromwell has snatched the day. His Majesty is flying through Market- Harborough towards Leicester, and thither along the dusty roads his beaten regiments trail after him, with the Ironsides at their heels, hewing hip and thigh.

An obelisk, set about with thorn-bushes and shaded by . . .

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