A Walk from London to John O'Groat's eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about A Walk from London to John O'Groat's.
such another man, with one slight difference, which is to his advantage, as a gift of grace.  He has all of Deacon Grant’s self-diffusing life of love for his kind, generous and tender dispositions towards the poor and needy, and more than the Deacon’s means of doing good; and, with all this, the indomitable energy and will and even the look of Cromwell.  During my stay in the neighborhood, I was present at two large gatherings at his House of Canvas, with which he supplements his family mansion when the latter lacks the capacity of his heart in the way of accommodation.  This tent, which he erects on his lawn, will hold a large congregation; and, on both the occasions to which I refer, was well filled with men, women, and children from afar and near.  The first was a re-union of the Sunday-school teachers and pupils of the county, to whom he gave a sumptuous dinner; after which followed addresses and some business transactions of the association.  The second was the examination of the British School of the village, founded and supported, I believe, by himself.  At the conclusion of the exercises, which were exceedingly interesting, the whole company, young and old, adjourned to the lawn, where the visitors and elder people of the place were served with tea and coffee under the tent.

Then came “The Children’s Hour.”  They were called in from their games and romping on the lawn, and formed into a circle fifty feet in diameter.  And here and now commenced an entertainment which would make a more interesting picture than the old Apsley House Dinner.  The good deacon of the county, with several assistants, entered this charmed circle of boys and girls, all with eyes dilated and eager with expectation, and overlooked by a circular wall of elder people radiant with the spirit of the moment.  The host, in his white hat and grey beard, led the way with a basket on his arm, filled with little cakes, called with us gingernuts.  He was followed by a file of other men with baskets of nuts, apples, etc.  It was a most hilarious scene, exhilarating to all the senses to look upon, either for young or old.  He walked around the ring with a grand, Cromwellian step, sowing a pattering rain of the little cakes on the clean-shaven lawn, as a farmer would sow wheat in his field, broadcast, in liberal handfuls.  Then followed in their order the nut-sowers, apple-sowers, and the sowers of other goodies.  When the baskets were emptied, the circular space enclosed was covered with as tempting a spread of dainties as ever fascinated the eyes of a crowd of little people.  For a whole minute, longer than a full hour of ordinary schoolboy enjoyments, they had to stand facing that sight, involuntarily attitudinising for the plunge.  At the end of that long minute, the signal sounded, and, in an instant, there was a scene in the ring that would have made the soberest octogenarian shake his sides with the laughter of his youth.  The encircling multitude

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A Walk from London to John O'Groat's from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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