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most primitive sort of place. There were two or three delicious villages, with trees of orange and lemon blossoming in the gardens. Only in one single place did I see the placard of lodgings to let. I heard that Lord W. had a rooted aversion to making a fashionable watering-place of Moulton, and always steadily refused to let or sell any land for building. I went to the inn and called for lunch. They brought up a lobster, for which the charge was ninepence, and capital beer from the cellar, cool as if iced, at least as much iced as is safe and advisable. They showed me a pretty bedroom, which, with the use of the parlour, I could have for half a guinea a week. There was only one other resident at the inn, an artist-fellow, who took in a lot of London periodicals, and had books from Mudie's. Unfortunately he had just finished his work, and went away saying he hardly expected to be so comfortable again. For once I was at a seaside place where there was neither pier nor parade. A few homely fishermen were about, mending their nets; and though they had a long talk with me, they never asked for beer. When the fishing-boats came in, I would go down to the beach. The place was rather famous for fish, and some of the Billingsgate salesmen had regular agents. The sale was conducted on the method of the Dutch auction, when the vendor names his own price, and each bid, instead of rising, falls, according to a fixed graduated
proportion. As a rule, the large salesmen carry all before them. The fish are rapidly carried off in a tax-cart to the nearest station, and so on to London. If Lord W. wants fish he has to telegraph to London, and they will probably send him down some that have been caught just off his own estate. Still fish was cheap ; a certain amount being caught irrespective of the market on the beach, and sold about the villages.
And here let me suggest, as essentially bearing on the subject of cheapness, why in these days of co-operation something should not be attempted in the nature of the buying of fish. It was a favourite idea of Agassiz—I do not profess to say it is a correct one —that the phosphorus in fish makes brain; and in these fierce days of competition, we all want to be as clever dogs as we can. Why, then, when we go to the seaside, should not a few families combine to buy their fish at the Dutch auction ? A wholesale quantity is, of course, large ; but it would not be a bad thing to live on fish altogether for a few days, now and then, on a stretch. This is not difficult when you have a choice of John Dories, red mullet, turbot, soles, lobsters, whiting. If you want to send presents to your friends, they can have fish for their presents. Sometimes the fish auction is rather early. At Hastings it is about seven, on the beach nearly opposite the old castle. At Brixham it is about four in the afternoon ; a very convenient time for visitors from Torquay or Dartmouth, An early market will cause an early rising, a capital thing to give you an appetite for the fish at breakfast; and fish never eat so well as when broiled an hour or two after they have come out of deep water. And while on the subject of fish, and still adhering to our motto of economy, why are the old days past in which every gentleman had a pond as a preserve full of fresh lusty fish?
Some men would be able to go and get a carp of several pounds; and what is more delicious than a carp ? You would be independent of the caprices either of the fishmonger or of the fish, not to mention winds and
Let me tell, however, how I got on at Moulton. I found the population affable and unsuspicious. They did not present a serried phalanx against me, as is sometimes done by residents against visitants. In fact, they looked upon me in a benignant point of view, regarding me as a benighted foreigner who had had the misfortune of having been born away from Moulton, but who was doing his best to retrieve that calamity. There was a little reading-room in the place, to which the vicar presented his Times on the third day after publication; and on depositing a penny in a sort of missionary box, I was free of the room for that day. The vicar did me the honour of a call; the vicar's church warden, the benevolent medicus of the district, fraternised with me. Moreover, I endeavoured to make my tastes aquatic. I went out fishing and laid lobster-pots; I studied the natural aquaria of the rock-pools at low water; I gathered, cooked, and ultimately devoured sea-laver, which is an excellent dish. It will have been perceived how, by these hardy rustic tastes, I had saved very much in billiards, cigars, and brandy-and-soda. I had left the inn for cheap lodgings, which cost me exactly the same rental and gave me more quietude. The common room was more exposed to invasion than I had calculated on, and on Saturday and Sunday evenings it was a great deal too noisy. The bucolics drank beer by pailfuls. After church-time the wretched agriculturist made a beginning at his six gallons, and by and by he did not know whether he had had his dinner or not. He might make sure that his wife and children had not. By and by, too, thanks to the vicar, I was taken into that lovely villa, with the orange and lemon trees adjoining; and as all roads lead to Rome, so I am now never able to take a holiday without journeying in the direction of Moulton.
I ought to say something about cheap foreign travelling during the holidays.
In the country districts of France, Italy, Norway, there is very pleasant and cheap travelling, so long as you keep to tolerably fresh unhackneyed grounds. Tourists raise prices wherever they go ; and so if you want cheapness, you should keep out of the way of tourists. If you are a bachelor, with a knapsack and a fishing-rod, you can do very well in Norway. But there is no European country where you may not do cheaply if you keep to the old towns and the quiet valleys and mountains. You will do all the better if you will talk the talks and drink the drinks of the country. Even if you are not a bachelor, as soon as you have established your nest, go upon the excursion system with the hardier members of your family. The chief financial consideration in either case is the case of transit to and fro. You have to see whether the lighter living expenses do not make up for the heavier travelling expenses.
A friend has been telling me that he finds it cheaper to take his wife, sons, daughters, maids and man, tutor and governess, to spend the afternoon of the year in Switzerland or Germany, than to keep up his expensive establishment at home. Then, of course, there are all the advantages of travel, change, education, society, the increased mental and bodily activity. Even when you have allowed for a little imposition, it may be wise and cheap policy to go.
you do not care to go from England to the Continent, go from one part of England to another. In these days, when there is a great congestion of society into various centres, when our great cities and fashionable places, and, most of all, London itself, is rapidly absorbing more and more of the population, it is easy to get into snug country