Imágenes de páginas

heat, and go far to spoil the rest. But, oh! my friend, be not lulled into a false state of security, and mar your hygienic campaign by perilous misadventures. Return before the sudden sunset strikes a chill, and close your window at least an hour earlier. Neglect not the oil furnished by the humble yet serviceable cod, nor the gentle opiate, which will be a ruinous and tyrannical master, but which also is a most salutary friend. Have a good hope for thyself, for

a the gloomiest doctors are often mistaken, and most of thy troubles may be of thine own hypochondriacal making When seeking English comforts, surround thyself with choice English books, and I pray thee keep some listless, vacant hour for the unassuming yet pleasant pages of the magazine. Above all, have a grateful mind, a quieted conscience, cheerful goodness, and serene humour. So shalt thou return to the loved region of Piccadilly, fresher in intellect and health, and not without a touch of philosophy from thy peripatetic rambles.

Society at the Winter Watering-Places.

THE belt of our southern seaboard is visited

every summer by the tourists and every winter by the invalids. Our Christmases have generally been mild, but the New Year is often ushered in with winds and storms. The invalid population, who have gone to the pretty watering-places sprinkled all along the coast from Hastings to Land's End, have received only a rude welcome and have partaken of alarming visitations. The waves have been dashing against their windows, and the boats have been plying in the streets. They have been, perhaps, regretting that they have not made the few days' railway journey that would take them to the Riviera, or the few days' sail that would bring them to Madeira. All along the coast, with a perfect unanimity, floods and storms have marked the coming of the New Year and the arrival of visitants, who in swallow-swarms flee to warmer skies on the advent of winter. But we cannot change our planet. Nowhere, perhaps, have air and ocean been more tumultuous than at Hastings

on the


and St. Leonards—the noble and united wateringplace, which has such a great, deserved, and increasing reputation. I wish other watering - places would take example by Hastings, and introduce those glass-covered resting-places with cosy seats, which are such a comfort to delicate invalids. This is the last improvement in winter watering-places, but it has not extended much beyond Sussex.

But even wildest days on the south coast, when London ways are miry and horrible, there are gleams of sunshine ; the strong winds sweep the pavement dry, and a walk, pleasant though brief, is attainable. I have mentioned Hastings almost by accident; but I think that to it belong the premier honours of watering-places. It has also the advantage of being easily accessible in every direction.

Other new ones start up in the neighbourhood, but its rapid development outstrips them all. I observe that the old habitués of the place have a constant programme.

In the morning they go to the old town, and in the afternoon to the new town; they do their shopping, they climb the heights, they potter about on the beach watching boats and boatmen, and in the afternoon they take the St. Leonards direction. The pier is almost abandoned, but there is a never-failing promenade along Eversfield Place and the Marina.

Of all our winter health resorts, the medical preeminence is justly due to Penzance. Torquay comes nearest in value through its protective screen of hills, but there are reasons for preferring Penzance to Torquay. Unlike Torquay, however, Penzance has its trade and shipping, and has failed to make itself a fashionable residence for valetudinarians. Pul. monary invalids, however, have never been slow in recognising its value. The town has not got the scenic loveliness of Torquay nor the ready access to London, with numerous resources, by which Torquay makes itself acceptable to visitants. But it. fronts the broad Atlantic. You might sail away to the Southern Pole without touching land. You get, what you do not get in Torquay, the full sweet influences of the Gulf Stream. Even in this month of January you find the wild-flowers in profusion. The ferns flourish all the year, and the tall geraniums touch your bedroom window. Opposite the beach you are on the granite. Higher up you get on the slatechalk, which is to be avoided, for the invalid cannot remeniber too carefully that the soil and subsoil are as important for health as the climate. The temperature is that of Italy. Even Italians have come from home to Penzance for the sake of the climate. But the difference between Penzance and Naples is this : at Penzance you get one fine day to ten that are rainy; at Naples you get only one wet day out of ten. At Penzance there is regularly a flood of rains and waters. At other places you may get some augury of the weather from the direction of the wind. But be the wind east, west, north, or south, you have always rain at Penzance.

The place really does not do itself justice. It knows nothing of squares and stately terraces and pleasure-gardens. It does not lay itself out for invalids; it does not advertise its attractions as nearly every other watering-place does; it knows nothing of a pier or band or établissement of any kind; it does not even make the best of its natural advantages. The harbour at Penzance is not much of a harbour; but close by, at Newlyn, is a natural harbour, which with a slight expenditure might be able to enclose the whole navy of England. An Act was procured, but the time granted has been allowed to expire without any use of it having been made. There is no sanatorium, no cottage or convalescent hospital, such as in other towns have conferred inestimable blessings on the poor, and by a happy reciprocity have obtained advantages for themselves. O fortunati nimium, bona si sua norint, is a line which might exactly suit the people of Penzance. Penzance is just now best known as giving a member to Liskeard, and a title to the judge who has to deal with excessive ritual.

Penzance is the end of the railway system in England. Very slow is this Cornwall line; the train

« AnteriorContinuar »