A Child’s Memories of Tennyson
In his daily walks on the Downs Tennyson was in the habit of chatting with the coastguards whom he met marching along the path that skirted the edge of the cliffs, and many a tale they told him of the fierce contests they used to have with the smugglers; but it was difficult to get the latter to tell of their own daring deeds, though my uncle had quite the knack of drawing out the villagers to talk of the auld lang syne. He would smile at their yarns of how one morning the tidings flew through Freshwater that Bonaparte’s fleet was in sight, and forthwith most of the able-bodied men, women, and children hied them up to the top of the Beacon Down and ranged themselves in a long line which they still further lengthened by sheep-pens set up on end, hoping that Napoleon would take the whole lot for soldiers, and be thus scared from his purpose of invasion. With the fishermen and their love for a seafaring life my uncle, who was a splendid sailor, had the fullest sympathy, and he quite agreed with them that it was infinitely preferable to ‘wyverning about atop of dry land’, as they expressed the act of travelling by rail.
KeywordsDepression Assured Verse Smite
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