It was late in the autumn, and I was skimming along, through a rich Englishcounty, in a postchaise, among tall hedgerows gilded, like all the landscape,with the slanting beams of sunset. The road makes a long and easy descentinto the little town of Gylingden, and down this we were going at anexhilarating pace, and the jingle of the vehicle sounded like sledge-bells inmy ears, and its swaying and jerking were pleasant and life-like. I fancy Iwas in one of those moods which, under similar circumstances, I sometimesexperience still—a semi-narcotic excitement, silent but delightful.
An undulating landscape, with a homelyfarmstead here and there, and plenty of old English timber scattered grandlyover it, extended mistily to my right; on the left the road is overtopped bymasses of noble forest. The old park of Brandon lies there, more than fourmiles from end to end. These masses of solemn and discoloured verdure, thefaint but splendid lights, and long filmy shadows, the slopes and hollows—myeyes wandered over them all with that strange sense of unreality, and thatmingling of sweet and bitter fancy, with which we revisit a scene familiar invery remote and early childhood, and which has haunted a long interval ofmaturity and absence, like a romantic reverie.
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