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AFTER having finished our work in Brecknockshire we returned to Kington for a few months, doing office-work and odd jobs of surveying in the surrounding country. Among these what most interested me was the country around Ludlow, in Shropshire, where there are beautiful valleys enclosed by steep low hills, often luxuriantly wooded, and watered by rapid streams of pure and sparkling water. I had by this time acquired some little knowledge of geology, and was interested in again being in an Old Red Sandstone country, which formation I had become well acquainted with in Brecknockshire, and which is so different from the Upper Silurian shales so prevalent in Radnorshire. In this country we were near the boundary of the two formations, and there were also occasional patches of limestone, and at every bit of rock that appeared during our work I used to stop a few moments to examine closely, and see which of the formations it belonged to. This was easily decided by the physical character of the rocks, which, though both varied considerably, had yet certain marked characteristics that distinguished them.

One day we were at work in a park near a country house named "Whittern," and my brother took a pencil sketch of it in his field-book. Just as he was finishing it the owner came out and talked with him, and seeing he was something of an artist, went to the house and brought out a portfolio of drawings in sepia, by his daughter, of views in the park and

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in the surrounding country. These seemed to me exceedingly well done and effective, and, of course, my brother praised them, but, as I thought, only moderately, and as very good work for an amateur." I reproduce his sketch on a reduced scale as showing his delicacy of touch even in hasty out-of-door work, though, owing to the old yellowish paper, the pencil marks come out very faint in the process print.

While travelling by coach or staying at country inns in Shropshire, we used to hear a good deal of talk about Jack Mytton, of Halston, who had died a few years before, and whose wild exploits were notorious all over the West of England. He was a country gentleman of very old family, and had inherited a landed estate bringing in about £10,000 a year, while having been a minor for eighteen years, there was an accumulation of £60,000 when he came of age. In a few years he spent all these savings, and continued to live at such a rate that he had frequently to raise money. All the grand oaks for which his estates were celebrated were cut down, and it is said produced £70,000. About half his property was entailed, but the other half was sold at various times, and must have realized a very large amount; while in the last years of his life, which he spent either in prison for debt or in France, all the fine collection of pictures, many by the old masters, and the whole contents of his family mansion were sold, but did not suffice to pay his debts or prevent his dying in prison. From the account given by his intimate friend and biographer the total amount thus wasted in about fifteen years could not have been much less than half a million, but from the scanty details in his "Life" it seems clear that he could not really have expended anything like this amount, but that his extreme good nature and utter recklessness as to money led to his being robbed and plundered in various ways by the numerous unscrupulous persons who always congregate about such a character.

For those who have not read the account of his wasted life one or two examples illustrative of his character may be here given. Once, before he was of age, when dining out

in the country, he had driven over in a gig with a pair of horses tandem-his favourite style. On some of the party expressing the opinion that this was a very dangerous mode of driving, Mytton at once offered to bet the whole party £25 each that he would then and there drive his tandem across country to the turnpike road half a mile off, having to cross on the way a sunk fence three yards wide, a broad deep drain, and two stiff quickset hedges with ditches on the further side. All accepted the bet. It was a moonlight night, but twelve men with lanthorns accompanied the party in case of accidents. He got into and out of the sunk fence (I suppose what we call a Ha-ha) in safety, went at the drain at such a pace that both horses and gig cleared it, the jerk throwing Mytton on to the wheeler's back, from which he climbed up to his seat, drove on, and through the next two fences with apparent ease into the turnpike road without serious injury, thus winning this extraordinary


He was as reckless of other person's lives and limbs as he was of his own, upsetting one friend purposely because he had just said that he had never been upset in his life, and jumping the leader over a turnpike gate to see whether he would take "timber," the gig being, of course, smashed, and Mytton with his friend being thrown out, but, strange to say, both uninjured.

He was a man of tremendous physical strength, and with a constitution that appeared able to withstand anything till he ruined it by excessive drinking. He was so devoted to sport of some kind or other that nothing came amiss to him, riding his horse upstairs, riding a bear into his drawing-room, crawling after wild ducks on the snow and ice stripped to his shirt, or shooting rats with a rifle. Several of these stories we heard told by the people we met, but there were many others of a nature which could not be printed, and which referred to the latter part of his life, when his wife had left him, and he had entered on that downhill course of reckless dissipation that culminated in his ruin and death.

Never was there a more glaring example of a man of

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