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 Dawlish looks its very best from the railway station; not the least doubt of it, and looks best of all to passengers bound elsewhere. From the train you have on one side the blue sea, the red rocks, the yellow-brown sands; and on the other the lovely lawns and gardens in midst of the town, with the little stream called “Dawlish Water,” tamed and trimmed, and made to tumble over half a hundred little cascades1, in between. In short, like any tradesman, Dawlish displays its best goods—nay, more, its entire stock-in-trade—in the shop window.
The name of Dawlish is rather by way of being a calamity2. Antiquaries declare it derives3 from the Celtic dol isc; that is to say, “the meadow by the water”—and as we have seen, the stream and the gardens are the chief feature of the place—but the modern form of the name is fatally attractive for cheap wits. Even great minds have declined to the remark that “Dawlish is dawlicious”; and as the excursion trains in summer draw up to the platform and strangers step out from the carriages, to stretch their legs for a[81] moment before going on, the idiot jape trips off a hundred tongues.
At Dawlish, however, the traveller first realises himself fully4 in the West. The view, the colour, the speech, all proclaim it.
Ah! the old familiar cries of the West, they warm the heart with the fires of remembrance. As the traveller comes down the line, so insensibly he comes into the districts where the soft slurring5 burr of the West of England prevails. You first notice it, if you are travelling by a stopping train, at Swindon, on whose platforms the newspapers—in the speech of the bookstall imps—become “Londun pay-purr”; and when the train draws up to the seaside platforms of Dawlish, the shibboleth6 has become “Lundee pay.” Long, too, may the fishwives of Teignmouth continue their rounds, with their endearing “Any nice fresh whiting to-day, my dear?” to old and young, gentle or simple.
There are wild and beautiful valleys away behind Dawlish; in especial that vale down whose leafy gullies flows the clear stream of Dawlish Water, which, rising out of the green bosom7 of Great Haldon, up Harcombe way, comes down by Ashcombe and, reaching Dawlish, is made to perform quite a number of parlour tricks before it is allowed to straggle out over the sands and pebbles8 of the beach, and find a well-earned rest in the sea.
There are folk of primitive9 ways of thought and rugged10 speech up the valley of Dawlish Water,[82] and their characteristics are those of old Devon, of whose peasantry it has been truly said: “They work hard, live hard, hold hard, and die hard.”
“My tongue has two sides to et, like a bull’s; a rough an’ a smuthe,” said a sharp-spoken woman up at Harcombe—or I should say, “up tu Harcume”—and up tu Ashcombe they talk in a way that no mortal man coming fresh to Devon can understand. There is a picturesque11 rustic12 church high up on a knoll13 in the dwindling14 village of Ashcombe, and there is a quaint15 old smithy with an equally quaint old couple of bachelor brothers, the smiths of it, who have the simplicity16 of children, the richest brogue in all Devon, and the unaffected courtesy we associate with great nobles. “We’m plazed tu zee ’ee, ye knaw, ye bain’t a stranger tu Ashcume, they tell me”; while their housekeeper17 says, “Zittee down, do ’ee,” and with her apron18 vigorously dusts a chair which, like all else in this spotless interior, is absolutely innocent of dust. It is the rustic way of showing politeness.
As for their speech, all Devonians have that characteristic rich twist of the tongue which one cannot well convey in all its richness in paper and print, and for “stranger” say “strangurr.” Similarly, when, during a conversation with them, an insect of sorts bites you painfully, they inform you it is a “hoss-stingurr.”
There is a prized possession at the smithy, in the shape of an old bureau, which has been in the family for goodness knows how many generations, and the visitor will probably be invited to see the “sacred” drawer they discovered. Here, in the cold medium of print it is obvious enough that a “secret” drawer is meant, but I assure you it is by no means so immediately obvious on the spot, and you quite expect an introduction to some holy of holies.
Dawlish is shut in on the west by the great cliff of Lea Mount, which forms, both in colour and shape, an unforgettable feature.
Lea Mount owes its formal, straight-cut outline to the anxieties that followed the falling of a portion of the cliff on August 29th, 1885, when over fifty tons of rock buried a party of seven women and children, killing20 three of them. To prevent further accidents, all overhanging portions were cut away.
Through this vivid red mass plunges21 the main line of the Great Western Railway, in a series of five longer or shorter tunnels, emerging through Parson Tunnel upon the long sea wall that brings it into Teignmouth. From Dawlish sands the long and bold range of cliffs ending in Hole Head and the Parson and Clerk rocks is distinctly seen, but there has ever been some considerable doubt as to which of these rocks of Hole Head is the Clerk. Commonly the solitary22 wave-washed pillar standing23 out to sea has been given the name, but there are certainly the likenesses of two faces on the cliff itself, one immediately under the other; and there have always been those who have pointed24 them out as the unworthy pair.
From one of the little coves25 that notch26 the cliffs between Dawlish and Teignmouth, those giant profiles are seen with advantage. They are impressive at a distance and even in calm weather, but near at hand, and when the clouds lower and the screaming winds tear off the crests27 of the waves and dash them in clouds of flying spume over the hurrying trains, they are not a little awesome28. The Parson, with round, bullet-like head, looks sternly out, with calm, inscrutable face, and all the dignity of a colossal29 Rameses, upon the whirl of wind and water. The Clerk, beneath him, a senile, doddering countenance30, with wide-open mouth and thick, pendulous31 lips, seems to laugh and gibber maniacally32 at the racket of the elements, and is a little dreadful to behold33.
There is no way round Hole Head to Teignmouth. Sheer walls of rock and a stark34 descent into the sea forbid; but some day, when local authorities take the hints that nature and latter-day circumstances have thrown out, a road will be made under those cliffs, and the sundered35 towns made neighbours.
Meanwhile, there are two prime ways of getting to Teignmouth: the one a threepenny journey by train from Dawlish station, the loveliest threepenny railway ride in the kingdom; the other a shockingly hilly climb up by the high road that goes over Lea Mount, and so, in a series of sharp rises and falls brings you, at one mile from Teignmouth, to a breakneck descent into the town, usually ending, for cyclists some few years ago, in a pantomime-trick disappearance36 through the window of the “Dawlish Inn” and a removal, as the case might be, to the hospital or the cemetery37. But more scientific brakes have happily neutralised these dangers.
There is, however, a delightful38 variant39 of this road journey that cannot too greatly be praised. This is found when coming to the cross-lanes in the hollow at Holcombe, one mile from Lea Mount, by turning to the left down a tree-shaded way known as “Smugglers’ Lane.” A short distance brings the explorer to a sight of the sea again, glimpsed between the stone arches of a railway-bridge spanning a tiny cove19 or inlet. A walk through the arches on to the sands, if the tide be out, or the ascent40 of a dozen steps up to the sea-wall, if it be in, brings the stranger into the best and easiest, and certainly, into the most beautiful, approach to Teignmouth, by the sea the whole way and under the shadow of the tremendous red cliffs, at whose foot the railway, by the daring of Brunel, is made to run along the most massive of sea-walls. The engineer here wrought41 more picturesquely42 than he knew, and performed an inestimable service to the public by providing a ten-foot wide masonry43 pathway nearly two miles and a half long, where the contemplative visitor has the trains on one side and the sea on the other; and where he may, when it blows great guns off the sea, witness such a spouting44 and a buffeting45 of furious waves against the wall as scarce to be equalled around the coast.
The railway has here, at any rate, left the shore more picturesque than it found it, and the trains themselves give a last touch of romance. You see them, in summer, coming down from London, a wondering and expectant face thrust from every window: the faces of holiday-makers enraptured46 with the scene. You see the holiday-makers again, a little later, with a deep tan colour, but with expressions wistful and melancholy47; returning home, and taking a long lingering glance before the Parson Tunnel finally occults the view.
There is an added majesty48 to the sea-wall and the railway when night is come. The red cliffs become black and minatory49, the trees and shrubs50 against the skyline assuming weird51 shapes; and stillness reigns52; for mankind is gregarious53 and congregates54 in the town, leaving the sea-wall to shy lovers; and the contemplative crickets chirp55 in the ballast and on the sleepers56, and the wash of the waves sounds in a restful undertone until a red eye in the darkness along the line changes to green and, with a rush and a scream, the express thunders by.


1 cascades 6a84598b241e2c2051459650eb88013f     
倾泻( cascade的名词复数 ); 小瀑布(尤指一连串瀑布中的一支); 瀑布状物; 倾泻(或涌出)的东西
  • The river fell in a series of cascades down towards the lake. 河形成阶梯状瀑布泻入湖中。
  • Turning into the sun, he began the long, winding drive through the Cascades. 现在他朝着太阳驶去,开始了穿越喀斯喀特山脉的漫长而曲折的路程。 来自英汉文学 - 廊桥遗梦
2 calamity nsizM     
  • Even a greater natural calamity cannot daunt us. 再大的自然灾害也压不垮我们。
  • The attack on Pearl Harbor was a crushing calamity.偷袭珍珠港(对美军来说)是一场毁灭性的灾难。
3 derives c6c3177a6f731a3d743ccd3c53f3f460     
v.得到( derive的第三人称单数 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
  • English derives in the main from the common Germanic stock. 英语主要源于日耳曼语系。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He derives his income from freelance work. 他以自由职业获取收入。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
5 slurring 4105fd80f77da7be64f491a0a1886e15     
含糊地说出( slur的现在分词 ); 含糊地发…的声; 侮辱; 连唱
  • She was slumped in the saddle and slurring her words. 她从马鞍上掉了下去,嘴里含糊不清地说着什么。
  • Your comments are slurring your co-workers. 你的话诋毁了你的同事。
6 shibboleth Ayxwu     
  • It is time to go beyond the shibboleth that conventional forces cannot deter.是时候摆脱那些传统力量无法遏制的陈规陋习了。
  • His article is stuffed with shibboleth.他的文章中满是一些陈词滥调。
7 bosom Lt9zW     
  • She drew a little book from her bosom.她从怀里取出一本小册子。
  • A dark jealousy stirred in his bosom.他内心生出一阵恶毒的嫉妒。
8 pebbles e4aa8eab2296e27a327354cbb0b2c5d2     
[复数]鹅卵石; 沙砾; 卵石,小圆石( pebble的名词复数 )
  • The pebbles of the drive crunched under his feet. 汽车道上的小石子在他脚底下喀嚓作响。
  • Line the pots with pebbles to ensure good drainage. 在罐子里铺一层鹅卵石,以确保排水良好。
9 primitive vSwz0     
  • It is a primitive instinct to flee a place of danger.逃离危险的地方是一种原始本能。
  • His book describes the march of the civilization of a primitive society.他的著作描述了一个原始社会的开化过程。
10 rugged yXVxX     
  • Football players must be rugged.足球运动员必须健壮。
  • The Rocky Mountains have rugged mountains and roads.落基山脉有崇山峻岭和崎岖不平的道路。
11 picturesque qlSzeJ     
  • You can see the picturesque shores beside the river.在河边你可以看到景色如画的两岸。
  • That was a picturesque phrase.那是一个形象化的说法。
12 rustic mCQz9     
  • It was nearly seven months of leisurely rustic living before Michael felt real boredom.这种悠闲的乡村生活过了差不多七个月之后,迈克尔开始感到烦闷。
  • We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.我们希望新鲜的空气和乡村的氛围能帮他调整自己。
13 knoll X3nyd     
  • Silver had terrible hard work getting up the knoll.对于希尔弗来说,爬上那小山丘真不是件容易事。
  • He crawled up a small knoll and surveyed the prospect.他慢腾腾地登上一个小丘,看了看周围的地形。
14 dwindling f139f57690cdca2d2214f172b39dc0b9     
adj.逐渐减少的v.逐渐变少或变小( dwindle的现在分词 )
  • The number of wild animals on the earth is dwindling. 地球上野生动物的数量正日渐减少。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He is struggling to come to terms with his dwindling authority. 他正努力适应自己权力被削弱这一局面。 来自辞典例句
15 quaint 7tqy2     
  • There were many small lanes in the quaint village.在这古香古色的村庄里,有很多小巷。
  • They still keep some quaint old customs.他们仍然保留着一些稀奇古怪的旧风俗。
16 simplicity Vryyv     
  • She dressed with elegant simplicity.她穿着朴素高雅。
  • The beauty of this plan is its simplicity.简明扼要是这个计划的一大特点。
17 housekeeper 6q2zxl     
  • A spotless stove told us that his mother is a diligent housekeeper.炉子清洁无瑕就表明他母亲是个勤劳的主妇。
  • She is an economical housekeeper and feeds her family cheaply.她节约持家,一家人吃得很省。
18 apron Lvzzo     
  • We were waited on by a pretty girl in a pink apron.招待我们的是一位穿粉红色围裙的漂亮姑娘。
  • She stitched a pocket on the new apron.她在新围裙上缝上一只口袋。
19 cove 9Y8zA     
  • The shore line is wooded,olive-green,a pristine cove.岸边一带林木蓊郁,嫩绿一片,好一个山外的小海湾。
  • I saw two children were playing in a cove.我看到两个小孩正在一个小海湾里玩耍。
20 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
21 plunges 2f33cd11dab40d0fb535f0437bcb9bb1     
n.跳进,投入vt.使投入,使插入,使陷入vi.投入,跳进,陷入v.颠簸( plunge的第三人称单数 );暴跌;骤降;突降
  • Even before he plunges into his program, he has his audience in his pocket. 他的节目甚至还没有出场,就已控制住了观众。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • 'Monseigneur, he precipitated himself over the hill-side, head first, as a person plunges into the river.' “大人,他头冲下跳下山坡去了,像往河里跳一样。” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
22 solitary 7FUyx     
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
23 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
24 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
25 coves 21569468fef665cf5f98b05ad4bc5301     
n.小海湾( cove的名词复数 );家伙
  • Grenada's unique layout includes many finger-like coves, making the island a popular destination. 格林纳达独特的地形布局包括许多手指状的洞穴,使得这个岛屿成为一个受人欢迎的航海地。 来自互联网
26 notch P58zb     
  • The peanuts they grow are top-notch.他们种的花生是拔尖的。
  • He cut a notch in the stick with a sharp knife.他用利刃在棒上刻了一个凹痕。
27 crests 9ef5f38e01ed60489f228ef56d77c5c8     
v.到达山顶(或浪峰)( crest的第三人称单数 );到达洪峰,达到顶点
  • The surfers were riding in towards the beach on the crests of the waves. 冲浪者们顺着浪头冲向岸边。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The correspondent aroused, heard the crash of the toppled crests. 记者醒了,他听见了浪头倒塌下来的轰隆轰隆声。 来自辞典例句
28 awesome CyCzdV     
  • The church in Ireland has always exercised an awesome power.爱尔兰的教堂一直掌握着令人敬畏的权力。
  • That new white convertible is totally awesome.那辆新的白色折篷汽车简直棒极了.
29 colossal sbwyJ     
  • There has been a colossal waste of public money.一直存在巨大的公款浪费。
  • Some of the tall buildings in that city are colossal.那座城市里的一些高层建筑很庞大。
30 countenance iztxc     
  • At the sight of this photograph he changed his countenance.他一看见这张照片脸色就变了。
  • I made a fierce countenance as if I would eat him alive.我脸色恶狠狠地,仿佛要把他活生生地吞下去。
31 pendulous 83nzg     
  • The oriole builds a pendulous nest.金莺鸟筑一个悬垂的巢。
  • Her lip grew pendulous as she aged.由于老迈,她的嘴唇往下坠了。
32 maniacally maniacally     
  • He was maniacally obsessed with jealousy. 强烈的嫉妒心令他疯狂。 来自互联网
33 behold jQKy9     
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
34 stark lGszd     
  • The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
  • He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。
35 sundered 4faf3fe2431e4e168f6b1f1e44741909     
v.隔开,分开( sunder的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The city is being sundered by racial tension. 该城市因种族关系紧张正在形成分裂。 来自辞典例句
  • It is three years since the two brothers sundered. 弟兄俩分开已经三年了。 来自辞典例句
36 disappearance ouEx5     
  • He was hard put to it to explain her disappearance.他难以说明她为什么不见了。
  • Her disappearance gave rise to the wildest rumours.她失踪一事引起了各种流言蜚语。
37 cemetery ur9z7     
  • He was buried in the cemetery.他被葬在公墓。
  • His remains were interred in the cemetery.他的遗体葬在墓地。
38 delightful 6xzxT     
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
39 variant GfuzRt     
  • We give professional suggestions according to variant tanning stages for each customer.我们针对每位顾客不同的日晒阶段,提供强度适合的晒黑建议。
  • In a variant of this approach,the tests are data- driven.这个方法的一个变种,是数据驱动的测试。
40 ascent TvFzD     
  • His rapid ascent in the social scale was surprising.他的社会地位提高之迅速令人吃惊。
  • Burke pushed the button and the elevator began its slow ascent.伯克按动电钮,电梯开始缓慢上升。
41 wrought EoZyr     
  • Events in Paris wrought a change in British opinion towards France and Germany.巴黎发生的事件改变了英国对法国和德国的看法。
  • It's a walking stick with a gold head wrought in the form of a flower.那是一个金质花形包头的拐杖。
42 picturesquely 88c17247ed90cf97194689c93780136e     
  • In the building trade such a trader is picturesquely described as a "brass plate" merchant. 在建筑行业里,这样一个生意人可以被生动地描述为著名商人。
43 masonry y21yI     
  • Masonry is a careful skill.砖石工艺是一种精心的技艺。
  • The masonry of the old building began to crumble.旧楼房的砖石结构开始崩落。
44 spouting 7d5ba6391a70f183d6f0e45b0bbebb98     
n.水落管系统v.(指液体)喷出( spout的现在分词 );滔滔不绝地讲;喋喋不休地说;喷水
  • He's always spouting off about the behaviour of young people today. 他总是没完没了地数落如今年轻人的行为。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Blood was spouting from the deep cut in his arm. 血从他胳膊上深深的伤口里涌出来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
45 buffeting c681ae460087cfe7df93f4e3feaed986     
  • The flowers took quite a buffeting in the storm. 花朵在暴风雨中备受摧残。
  • He's been buffeting with misfortunes for 15 years. 15年来,他与各种不幸相博斗。
46 enraptured ee087a216bd29ae170b10f093b9bf96a     
v.使狂喜( enrapture的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He was enraptured that she had smiled at him. 她对他的微笑使他心荡神驰。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They were enraptured to meet the great singer. 他们和大名鼎鼎的歌手见面,欣喜若狂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
47 melancholy t7rz8     
  • All at once he fell into a state of profound melancholy.他立即陷入无尽的忧思之中。
  • He felt melancholy after he failed the exam.这次考试没通过,他感到很郁闷。
48 majesty MAExL     
  • The king had unspeakable majesty.国王有无法形容的威严。
  • Your Majesty must make up your mind quickly!尊贵的陛下,您必须赶快做出决定!
49 minatory sDsxa     
  • How eliminate this kind of harmful information " is content minatory "? 如何消除这种有害信息的“内容威胁”?
  • This shows, a kind of when rectum cancer will become minatory people health increasingly main cancer is swollen. 由此可见,直肠癌将日益成为威胁人民健康的一种主要癌肿。
50 shrubs b480276f8eea44e011d42320b17c3619     
灌木( shrub的名词复数 )
  • The gardener spent a complete morning in trimming those two shrubs. 园丁花了整个上午的时间修剪那两处灌木林。
  • These shrubs will need more light to produce flowering shoots. 这些灌木需要更多的光照才能抽出开花的新枝。
51 weird bghw8     
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
52 reigns 0158e1638fbbfb79c26a2ce8b24966d2     
n.君主的统治( reign的名词复数 );君主统治时期;任期;当政期
  • In these valleys night reigns. 夜色笼罩着那些山谷。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The Queen of Britain reigns, but she does not rule or govern. 英国女王是国家元首,但不治国事。 来自辞典例句
53 gregarious DfuxO     
  • These animals are highly gregarious.这些动物非常喜欢群居。
  • They are gregarious birds and feed in flocks.它们是群居鸟类,会集群觅食。
54 congregates 940d40def9783061ddeb0ad78edfb31b     
(使)集合,聚集( congregate的第三人称单数 )
  • A herd of brachiosaurus congregates on a forested coast in this artist's depiction. 侏罗纪时代图片集。一群腕龙聚集在一个森林海岸在这方面艺术家的描述。
55 chirp MrezT     
  • The birds chirp merrily at the top of tree.鸟儿在枝头欢快地啾啾鸣唱。
  • The sparrows chirp outside the window every morning.麻雀每天清晨在窗外嘁嘁喳喳地叫。
56 sleepers 1d076aa8d5bfd0daecb3ca5f5c17a425     
n.卧铺(通常以复数形式出现);卧车( sleeper的名词复数 );轨枕;睡觉(呈某种状态)的人;小耳环
  • He trod quietly so as not to disturb the sleepers. 他轻移脚步,以免吵醒睡着的人。 来自辞典例句
  • The nurse was out, and we two sleepers were alone. 保姆出去了,只剩下我们两个瞌睡虫。 来自辞典例句


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