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Rambles in an Old City comprising antiquarian, historical, biographical and political associations   By:

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Rambles in an Old City;




By S. S. Madders.




It has been very aptly remarked by a recent writer, that “to send forth a work without a preface, is like thrusting a friend into the society of a room full of strangers, without the benefit of an introduction;” a custom that no fashion can redeem from the charge of incivility. A book, however insignificant, grows beneath the author’s pen, to occupy a place in his regard, not unworthy the title of friendship; and as that sacred bond of social union is not dependent upon individual perfection, so the companion of many a solitary hour is not to be cast out upon the “wide, wide world,” without one word to secure it at least a gentle reception, be its faults as manifold and manifest as they may, even to the most partial eye.

The design of this little book of “Rambles,” has been to concentrate into the form of a light and amusing volume, some few of the many subjects of interest suggested by the leading features of an “Old City.” It makes no pretensions to any profound learning or deep research. It is little more than a compilation of facts, interwoven with the history of one of the oldest cathedral and manufacturing cities of our country; but inasmuch as the general features are common to most other ancient cities, and many of the subjects are national and universal in their character, the outlines are by no means strictly local in their application or interest.

Whether the design has been carried out, in a way at all worthy of the hale old city of Norwich, that has served as “the text of the discourse,” remains to be proved; but the attempt to contribute to the light literature of the day a few simple gleanings of fact, as gathered by a stranger, during a ten years’ residence in a “strange land,” will, it is to be hoped, secure a lenient judgment for the inexperience that has attempted the task.

The sources of information from which the historical parts of the work have been derived, are such as are open to every ordinary student; its light character has precluded the introduction of notes of reference, but it would amount to downright robbery to refrain from acknowledging the copious extracts that have been made from the valuable papers of the Norfolk Archæological Society.

For the kind assistance of the few individuals from whom information has been sought, many thanks are due; and it is but just to state, that all deficiences of matter or details, that may probably be felt by many, more familiar than the writer herself with the persons, places, and things, that make the sum and substance of her work, are referable alone to the difficulty she has experienced in selecting suitable materials to carry out her design, from the abundance placed at her disposal; a tithe of which might have converted her “rambles” into a heavy, weary “march,” along which few might have had patience to accompany her.

To these few observations must be subjoined an expression of earnest and heartfelt thanks to the many liberal minded individuals who have extended encouragement to this feeble effort of a perfect stranger. That some portion or other of the contents of her little volume may be found worthy their acceptance, is the fervent desire of


NORWICH, January 1, 1853.


CHAP. I. INTRODUCTION PAGE 1 CHAP... Continue reading book >>

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