« EelmineJätka »
park at that time being quite open, and we hardly ever met any one. After we got out of the town there was a wide grassy lane that led to it, which itself was a delightful walk and was a good collecting ground for both plants and insects. For variety we had the meadows along the course of the little river Soar, which were very pleasant in spring and summer. Twice during the summer the whole of the boarders were taken for a long day's excursion. The first time we went to Kenilworth Castle, about thirty miles distant, driving in coaches by pleasant country roads, and passing through Coventry. Towards the autumn we had a much longer excursion, partly by coach and partly by canal boat, to a very picturesque country with wooded hills and limestone cliffs, rural villages, and an isolated hill, from the top of which we had a very fine and extensive view. I think it must have been in Derbyshire, near Wirksworth, as there is a long canal tunnel on the way there. One of the rough out-of-door sketches made on this occasion is reproduced here on a reduced scale, as well as a more finished drawing of some village, perhaps near Leicester, as they may possibly enable some reader to recognize the localities, and also serve to show the limits of my power as an artist.
At midsummer there was the usual prize-giving, accompanied by recitation; and to introduce a little variety I wrote a prologue, in somewhat boyish style, to be spoken by a chubby boy about twelve years old; and it took me a good deal of trouble to drill him into appropriate emphasis and action. It went off very well, and as it was to some extent a programme as well as a prologue, I give here as much of it as I can recollect.