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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/203

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CHAPTER IV.


ANOTHER KIND OF DESERT.


IT was Weymouth which the boy had just entered. Weymouth then was not the respectable and fine Weymouth of to-day.

Ancient Weymouth could not boast, like the present one, of an irreproachable rectangular quay, with an inn and a statue in honour of George III.,—and this owing to the fact that George III. had not then been born. For the same reason, they had not yet fashioned on the side of the green hill to the east, by cutting away the turf and leaving the chalky soil exposed to the view, the "White Horse," an acre long, bearing the king upon his back,—still another work of art in honour of George III. These honours, however, were deserved. George III., having lost in his old age the mind he had never possessed in his youth, was not responsible for the calamities of his reign. He was little better than an idiot. So why not erect statues to him?

Weymouth, a hundred and eighty years ago, was about as symmetrical as a game of spillikins in confusion. In legends it is said that Astaroth travelled about the world, carrying on her back a wallet which contained everything, even good women in their houses. A goodly number of sheds thrown pell-mell from her bag would give an idea of quaint old Weymouth,—the good women in the sheds included. The Music Hall remains as a specimen of the buildings of that day.