Here bygynneth the Book of the Tales of Caunterbury. Who helped them when they were sick. Who intended to ride toward Canterbury. And we were well accommodated in the best way.
THE birds, flowers, and bees around are, doubtless, in their several ways, rejoicing with me in the balmy May morning radiant with warm sunshine. Down the unsullied emerald of the little slope yonder, carpeted with nodding cowslips, daisies, and buttercups, and faintly azured in sheltered spaces with wild hyacinths, I have descended into a rustic glade, not, at its widest, more than fifty yards across, and running, roughly reckoning, north and south.
The slope is easy, springing as it does from a verdant bottom to the foot of a low wall; this, pushing aside the glossy sycamore branches, I have leaped from the Canal path, at a gap where the village children, on their recent half-holiday, wastefully cast aside the surplus of their cowslip [Pg 2] harvest to wither and die.
But from my present standpoint the low wall is nearly hidden in undergrowth, and by a plentiful intermixture of hawthorn, holly, and ash flourishing on the bank top. The sweet-smelling grass is spangled with daisies and buttercups, though not so profusely as in the field adjacent, which is destined for a crop of hay; and the grove resounds with bird-music set in the rapturous key of the bridal season.
And there, a few paces athwart the sward, under the shadow of trembling foliage, is the spot which for centuries was said to be the birthplace of the River Thames. We are at Thames Head, in Trewsbury Mead, in the parish of Cotes, in the county of Gloucestershire, three miles south-west of Cirencester.
The mossy trunk, lying prostrate under the wall on the side of the glade opposite the sylvan slope by which entrance has been effected, invites the opportunity of a more minute observation. Seated thereupon, far from the noisy world, we may make a fair and leisurely start upon that long and interesting voyage from Source to Sea, upon which, in this and succeeding chapters, the reader is invited to embark with confidence and hope.
On the other side of me there is a charming tangle of hazel and blackberry bushes. There is also a more than commonly bushy hawthorn overspreading the wall at a portion where thick ivy covers it.
A spreading wild rose is established in the very middle of the glade, which is graced with quite an unusual quantity of large and old hawthorn trees.
A strong west wind soughs and sighs in the trees; blackbirds and thrushes, by their liquid notes, blithe and merry, seem to protest against the melancholy undertone, as does a grand humble bee, in magnificent orange-velvet smallclothes, who contributes a sympathetic bass solo as he drones by.
But the object to be chiefly noticed at this moment is the aged ash-tree yonder. It is of medium size and no particular shape, though the ivy covering its bole and lower limbs gives it an air of picturesque importance.
Ragged hawthorns and brambles surround it. The importance of the tree lies in the circumstance that it marks the spot which the old writers, and many modern authorities following in their footsteps, have pronounced to be the source of the Thames. The supposition is that in former times a perennial spring of water issued forth here, forming Thames Head.
The well, however, out of which the water might once have gushed, and miscellaneously overspread the pasturage on its way to form a brook, has in these days lost potency. For a long time past it has ceased to yield water, and, as a matter of prosaic fact, from one end of the glade to the other there is no sign of water in any shape or form.
The inhabitants of the [Pg 3] countryside say that in the winter-time the waters, provoked by long rains, still well forth in copious flood; but, even granting this, we may not conclude that a spring so uncertain as this in Trewsbury Mead is the source of the Thames.
The obvious reflection is that before the erection of the ugly pump-house which disfigures the locality, and before the neighbouring springs began to be drained for the service of the Canal, the supply of water was permanent and strong, albeit there is ground for supposing that Thames Head was never thoroughly to be relied upon.
I have thus pictured for the reader the source which appears to be favoured by topographers and antiquaries; but there are other springs besides. Half a mile lower down there is, near the Roman way, a basin—another Thames Head—which is sometimes filled by a spring, and which is pictured on the next page in the precise condition in which it appeared to our artist during the rains of early spring.
Yet another rill issues from a hill-side; and a fourth, lower still, is perhaps the most clearly defined and strongest of the group, and best entitled to the honour claimed on behalf of the dried-up well in the green glade just described.
The Thames Head district seems, indeed, to abound in springs, and in wet weather the level ground is probably freely intersected by brooklets, forming the stream which is the undoubted head of Isis, and which has been called the Thames from time immemorial.
On the very threshold of our task we are confronted, indeed, with two sometime-disputed points which it will be necessary to clear away, or come to terms with, if we would proceed upon our voyage of some two hundred miles from source to Nore with a clear conscience.
They relate, first, to the name of the river; and second, to the precise spot in the Cotswold country where it starts upon its wanderings.The Project Gutenberg EBook of Rivers of Great Britain. The Thames, from Source to Sea., by Anonymous This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
THE NEW MIDDLE AGES BONNIE WHEELER, Series Editor The New Middle Ages is a series dedicated to transdisciplinary studies of medieval cultures, with particular emphasis on recuperating women’s history and on feminist and gender analyses.
Full text of "Illustrations of the lives and writings of Gower and Chaucer. Collected from authentick documents" See other formats.
CHAUCERS MOST ATTRACTIVE CHARACTER I guess when I look at the many different characters that we have covered in chaucers Canterbury tales I feel differing emotions relations to each of the characters, such as the way I feel that I relate the best to the squire as he is young carefree and living his life to the full, yet I also feel a strong link to the monk as I too would no doubt continue my.
this charachter is from geoffry chaucers book the cantabury tales he called the knight and in the tales he is on a pilgrimige "The Manciple is not the most attractive man." "YOU ARE UG - LY!!!!
LMAO" 10 of the Most Powerful Female Characters in Literature. Log in using OpenID. Paper zz.