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and still more those of the succeeding centuries of village goths and visitant 'Arrys, have bashed the nose of the effigy, shorn off at the elbow his once devoutly clasped arms, and scored him about with their quite uninteresting initials. Another such effigy, not so ill-treated, is that supposed to represent Jordanus de Scapeia, whose clasped hands still hold between their fingers a mystic oval sculptured with a little effigy thought to symbolise the soul. This monument was found buried in the churchyard, in the soul, room a nose. 1833, five feet deep. MENT IN MINSTER-in From this hilltop churchyard ** one may glimpse a view whose like is not often seen. Sheerness to one side, the narrow ribbon of the Swale, the broad channels of the Medway and the Thames, and the great expanse of slimy marshes, gleam under the summer sun like burnished steel. When evening comes and the sunbeams slant downwards from dun-coloured clouds, the scene is one to make an artist despair of ever adequately rendering the beauty of it. The dust of countless generations lies mingled here, in this swelling God's Acre, raised so high above the road. Abbesses and nuns and the good folks of Minster for many hundreds of years have all found rest at last, and most of their names are forgotten, save by the casual antiquary who turns over the yellow pages of the parish registers. Most of the gravestones date from periods ranging from a hundred to sixty years ago, and their inscriptions tell eloquently of a seafaring population near at hand —at Sheerness, of course; for the ship's carpenters, rope-makers, boatswains, master-mariners, and the many others of the seafaring profession generally have their occupation duly set forth on their memorials. The rope-maker's is embellished with ropes, curiously carved and fashioned, representing knots whose name sailormen alone may know. Others bear terrific attempts at picturing the Judgment Day, intended to make the casual sinner quail. Unfortunately, the puffy, overfed angels blowing the Last Trump on trumpets many sizes too large for them make the sinful smile, and they go away quite undisturbed in their old iniquitous ways. So greatly has the soil of the churchyard been raised by the countless years of interments, that the church itself lies, as it were, in a little hollow, and the entrances to it by the south door, and from the western portal in the tower, are flanked by walls of grassy earth, the whole immediately overlooking and abutting upon the houses of the homely village. There are exquisitely beautiful glimpses on the road from Minster to Warden, beginning immediately on leaving the place. To the left, a lovely valley that in Devonshire would be called a “coombe,” and in the Isle of Wight a “chine,” shelves down to the sea at the farm of Scrapsgate. There from the road you see the valley, notched out like a V, with myriads of wild-flowers, and in the distance on the right hand the farm-buildings, nestling among orchards and a dense clump of trees, and in that wedge of the V the sparkling waters of a sea that is always alive and companionable with the great steamers coming in or out of the mouth of




the Thames, with the brick-lighters and sailingbarges creeping round the island, or with the swallow-like flight of the graceful yachts of the Royal Thames Yacht Squadron. Turning in the other direction, the mazy creeks and many islands and saltings of the Medway are stretched out, silvergrey and opalescent, over beyond the shoulder of the hill—mystic, wonderful, sanctified by distance to the likeness of a Promised Land. In two miles from Minster we come to Eastchurch, a populous and pretty village whose beautiful church warms the enthusiasm of the pilgrim. Across the meadows rises the imposing frontage of Shurland House, now, as we have said, a farmhouse, but a Gothic battlemented structure built by Sir Thomas Cheyney, when Warden of the Cinque Ports, about 1550, and the not undignified successor of the Shurland Castle inhabited by that Sir Robert who was the hero of the legend of “Grey Dolphin.” Sir Thomas, the builder of this great place, was succeeded by his son, “the extravagant Lord Cheyney” of Toddington, Bedfordshire, after whose fall Shurland House reverted to the Crown. James I. granted it to Philip Herbert, a son of the Earl of Pembroke, and now, after many vicissitudes, it belongs to the Holfords. By turning to the left in the village street of Eastchurch, and bearing to the right at the next turning, all that is left of Warden is reached in two miles. The little that remains of the village is known by the inelegant name of “Mud Row,” whose few decrepit houses lead direct to what would be destruction for the speedy cyclist, were it not for the rough bar thrown across the rutty lane.

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