England, My England                 
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It is twenty-five miles across the fields to Salisbury. Sheep can be seen everywhere and the great number of them is really wonderful. All around the city of Salisbury, as far as twenty-two miles to the west, and six miles south, down to the coast, farmers raise sheep. There could be as many as six hundred thousand sheep fed within six miles of Salisbury, measuring every way round and the town
in the centre.

As we travelled through this country, we saw many old relics from ancient times and ruins of the native population of this kingdom. These are interesting to a traveler who has read something of the history of the country. The cathedral is famous for the height of its tower, which is without doubt the highest and the most handsome in England, being from the ground 404 feet.

Salisbury itself is a large and fine city. It is built where two rivers come together. Neither of them is very big, but they become a large river when joined together, and yet larger when joined by a third river, about three miles below the city. Then, through a deep channel they flow through some gardens, and down to Christchurch, into the sea.

The city of Salisbury has two important kinds of produce and trade, which employ the poor of a great part of the country round – namely, making cloth and sheets, called Salisbury Whites. The people of Salisbury are happy and rich. Their business is doing well, and there is a great deal of good manners and good company among them.

I have written before that this country has high hills, whose tops out into green fields upon which great numbers of sheep are fed. But I want to tell the reader that these hills and fields are most beautiful, with many small and clear rivers, and rich fields bearing fruit and grain. All around we find nice little towns, villages and houses, and among them many of good size. So you look at the fields and think
the country wild and empty, and yet when you come down the hills you are surprised with the most beautiful and rich country in England.

(Senior English for China  Student's Book 2A  Unit 5  INTEGRATlNG SKILLS Reading)

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