Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/35

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13
THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

unfortunate colliery disasters which strike terror direct to the hearts of the pitmen, and mercilessly bring sadness, loss, and sometimes ruin, to the homes around. If anything were calculated to dissipate a sorrowful impression such as that, it was a peep at the beautiful grounds of Llandaff Palace on a bright September morning. In the best sense they constitute an earthly paradise, affording ample evidence of his lordship's love for floriculture (of his particular preference for the richly-coloured dahlia), and of the gardener's genius and improving hand. And then there is recalled, with a thirst for a further taste, how much the charm of the surroundings was enhanced by the dulcet notes of the Cathedral bells, wafted from the valley away to the north, as they bore their message of invitation to worshippers to attend matins. What a contrast this happy, peaceful retreat to the roar of traffic, the smoke-bedimmed and depressing conditions of commercial London, from which the author's mission had temporarily drawn him!

About the Bishop, one has to confess to a feeling of deception. The knowledge that his lordship had attained to fourscore years—ten years beyond the Psalmist's allotted span of man's life—had built up a curious anticipatory picture of the condition in which we are accustomed to find men of that age burdened with infirmities, dulled with mental lassitude and afflicted with general de-