affecting us, if inclined to asthma and bronchitis; and in the short, dull days of December and January our spirits wax dark amidst naked trees and when our ankles are deep in mud. There are no trees on Dartmoor to expose their naked limbs, and tell us that, vegetation is dead. The shoulders of down are draped in brown sealskin mantles—the ling and heather, as lovely in its sleep as in its waking state; the mosses, touched by frost, turn to rainbow hues. For colour effects give me Dartmoor in winter.
And then the peat fires! What fires can surpass them? They do not flame, but they glow, and diffuse an aroma that fills the lungs with balm. The turf-cutting is one of the annual labours on the moor. Every farm has its peat-bog, and in the proper season a sufficiency of fuel is cut, then carried and stacked for winter use. I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that cooking done over a peat fire surpasses cooking at the best club in London. But it may be that on the moor one relishes a meal in a manner impossible elsewhere.
Widdecombe-in-the-Moor is a village in a valley walled off from the world by high ridges on the east and on the west. The entire bed of the valley has been washed and rewashed by streamers for tin. Bag Park is a gentleman's seat laid out on this collection of refuse, and the pines and firs luxuriate in the granite rubble and grow, as if it were to them a pleasure to thrust up their leaders and expand their boughs.
I shall never forget a drive through Widdecombe one October day, when the sun was shining bright,