The Story of Cambridge

The Story of Cambridge

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The Story of Cambridge

The Story of Cambridge

Read FREE!

Excerpt

How happy is the traveller who gets his first vision of a great historic place from some other vantageground than the carriage window of a railway train, speeding along some high embankment, over the squalid or the commonplace streets of its outlying suburbs, or through the dank and murky darkness of alternate rock cutting or tunnel to a central terminus of crowded confusion, and all the distracting discomfort which too often makes disembarkation in a strange place a misery and a penance. How, on the other hand, does the emotion of a first visit remain an acute pleasure for years, notwithstanding the experience of after knowledge, if the contemplative enchantment of distance can be given to a traveller's first impressions; of a place, even though he may not have upon his memory's picture the added radiance of sunset or moonrise to sublimate it. I fear, however, that it is not possible to arrange for the visitor to Cambridge that the first impression of his approach to the city should be one of æsthetic pleasure. The modern visitor to Cambridge will almost certainly reach the place by railway along the level flats over which no distant view of dreaming spires or piled up battlements can be seen, and must perforce make his entry to the ancient town by a very modern and second-rate suburban station road. One suggestion only can I make by way of mitigating commonplace. Let any reader of the following chapters, and especially perhaps; of the topographical details in Chapter II., who is paying his first visit to the . . .

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