Page:Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home (Volume 1).djvu/24

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21
THE ISLE OF WIGHT.
ISLE OF WIGHT.


Isle of Wight, June 6. Our transit from Portsmouth in the admiral's yacht was delightful. At the little town of Ryde we engaged two vehicles called flies, small covered carriages, each holding comfortably three persons, with two "intilligent lads" (as the proprietor of the equipages assured us) for drivers. François has a seat on the box, and we have sent our luggage to London, so that we are as unencumhered as if we were out for an afternoon's drive.

And here I am tempted to throw away my pen. It is in vain to' attempt to convey to you our impressions of this lovely island, or to return them myself by this poor record. Call it Eden; call it paradise; and, after all, what conceptions have we of those Terræ Incognitæ? The Isle of Wight, they tell us, is a miniature of England. It has the exquisite delicacy and perfection of a miniature by a master band. I am resolved to be as virtuously abstemious as possible on the subject of scenery; but you must be patient, and bethink yourself, my dear C., that it is not possible to be silent on what makes up so large a portion of a traveller's existence and happiness. When we had ascended the hill from Ryde and turned off into a green lane, we might have been mistaken for maniacs escaped from Bedlam, or rather, I think, for children going home for a holyday. We were thrusting our heads out of our little carriages, shouting from one to the other,