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14. CHAPTER XIV.
WARGRAVE. - WAXWORKS. - SONNING. - OUR STEW. - MONTMORENCY IS SARCASTIC. - FIGHT BETWEEN MONTMORENCY AND THE TEA-KETTLE. - GEORGE'S BANJO STUDIES. - MEET WITH DISCOURAGEMENT. - DIFFICULTIES IN THE WAY OF THE MUSICAL AMATEUR. - LEARNING TO PLAY THE BAGPIPES. - HARRIS FEELS SAD AFTER SUPPER. - GEORGE AND I GO FOR A WALK. - RETURN HUNGRY AND WET. - THERE IS A STRANGENESS ABOUT HARRIS. - HARRIS AND THE SWANS, A REMARKABLE STORY. - HARRIS HAS A TROUBLED NIGHT.
WE caught a breeze, after lunch, which took us gently up past Wargrave and Shiplake. Mellowed in the drowsy sunlight of a summer's afternoon, Wargrave, nestling where the river bends, makes a sweet old picture as you pass it, and one that lingers long upon the retina of memory.
The "George and Dragon" at Wargrave boasts a sign, painted on the one side by Leslie, R.A., and on the other by Hodgson of that ilk. Leslie has depicted the fight; Hodgson has imagined the scene, "After the Fight" - George, the work done, enjoying his pint of beer.
Day, the author of SANDFORD AND MERTON, lived and - more credit to the place still - was killed at Wargrave. In the church is a memorial to Mrs. Sarah Hill, who bequeathed 1 pound annually, to be divided at Easter, between two boys and two girls who "have never been undutiful to their parents; who have never been known to swear or to tell untruths, to steal, or to break windows." Fancy giving up all that for five shillings a year! It is not worth it.
It is rumoured in the town that once, many years ago, a boy appeared who really never had done these things - or at all events, which was all that was required or could be expected, had never been known to do them - and thus won the crown of glory. He was exhibited for three weeks afterwards in the Town Hall, under a glass case.
What has become of the money since no one knows. They say it is always handed over to the nearest wax-works show.
Shiplake is a pretty village, but it cannot be seen from the river, being upon the hill. Tennyson was married in Shiplake Church.
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