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were the members of the nobility whose garden he managed, together with four undergardeners. The Duke of Hamptonshire was justly proud of his garden and gardeners. The greenhouse, facing south, in the walled garden, was producing fresh and tasty vegetables every day. There were even pineapples ready to be harvested. The rest of the garden was laid out in neat rows with the soil in between the rows a dark brown with not a weed in sight. The red walls were lined with trees all neatly espaliered, their branches all burdened with ripening fruit, apples, pears, peaches and apricots. George’s speciality was the cucumber. There were plants in the green house and some outdoor one’s as well. In the big house visitors were always given cucumber sandwiches with afternoon tea besides the obligatory seed cake. All those who partook of the famous cucumber sandwiches silently thanked the Duchess of Bedford for inventing the delight of afternoon tea. Sadly, there one thing that upset the duke, in the big house, his eldest son, William, was slowly losing weight and fading away. George grew all sorts of exotic vegetables, fruits and root crops to tempt him to eat but to no avail. Eventually, the Duke took William to the family doctor. William walked in to the doctor’s consulting room. The doctor looked up and saw William who had a small cucumber in each ear and one up each nostril. ‘Ah,’ said the doctor thoughtfully, ‘I can see your problem. You are not eating properly.’

Poem Extract from the Ancient Mariner

1772-1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 'Twas sad as sad could be; And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea! All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody Sun, at noon, Right up above the mast did stand, No bigger than the Moon. Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea. About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils, Burnt green, and blue and white. And some in dreams assurèd were Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep he had followed us From the land of mist and snow. And every tongue, through utter drought, Was withered at the root; We could not speak, no more than if We had been choked with soot.

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RBW Online Issue 544  

Poetry, blogs, Dickensian Project and much more

RBW Online Issue 544  

Poetry, blogs, Dickensian Project and much more

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