we espy The Gravel Diggers' Arms," and are reminded of The Colliers' Arms in many a Gwentian valley town. On the high gravel plains to the north and north-west of London, nourish pines and birches, gorse and reeds, until displaced by the ever expanding suburbs of the metropolis. London-the colossus-knit round the ancient city built on its twin hills just where navigable and fordable waters meet, is justly one of the wonders of the world. The houses of the great wen are of yellow brick dug from the London clay on which they stand. In this same London clay-matrix of a metropolis-are bored the tubes which carries its teeming m;llions, and in which are dug the docks of the Port of London. We cannot tarry at the bright lights of Pic- cadilly, but hurry on south-eastwards along the Old Kent Road. Soon we begin to rise again. Pebbly Woolwich beds lie on chalk plateaus and, unbuilt upon, form the typical heaths south and east of London, and built upon, form health- giving sites to great suburbs. THE frequenters of the Birmingham Theatre Royal during the years 1800-1802 knew nothing about what went on behind the scenes, and cared less. Had they known that a youngster who assisted in painting some of the scenery was to achieve world-wide fame, they might have taken notice. That youngster was David Cox, who in 1805 made his first visit to Wales, when he was twenty- two years of age, and whose artistic career was ever afterwards bound up with the beautiful scenery which he found existed across the border. Quite fittingly Birmingham honours her greatest artist son by preserving in the Art Gallery hun- dreds of Cox's pictures, many of which are of Welsh subjects. It is impossible to pick out for mention all the Welsh pictures, partly because they are so numer- ous and partly because many of them bear some such title as "A Lake with Cattle" (No. 1093) or "Driving Sheep" (No. 239), which are quite probably Welsh scenes, but which may, of course, equally well be English. Mention of the picture of the lake is a reminder that Cox had little love for placid stretches of water. He loved the vast stretches of unbroken sand such as he could see at Rhyl, but lakes as lakes had little attraction for him. Then the open country again-the chalk of the North Downs, sheep farms, market gardens, ploughland, flint-built houses, beech trees in the copses, just like the Somme country of poignant memory. We cross on the southern slopes of the North Downs the romantic Pilgrims' Way and its ancient yew trees and traveller's joy cast a fragrant memory of the Canterbury Tales. Then comes the Weald-a smaller upturned basin of sandstones and clays set in the larger chalk saucer of the North and South Downs. The Lower greensand, from which London's water is tapped and Wealden Clays lie beneath our wheels. Timbered houses show we are in a tree country, bricked walls tell us of clays, as do also the heavy soils for the plough. Hopfields (flanked above by the rounded gorse studded knolls of the Downs to the north) and cider and cherry or- chards-sheets of "living snow" in April and May-pass our eye. We are in the Garden of England, the Land of Far Distances. We have come from Gwent to Kent. DAVID COX AND WALES by C. H. Lea Cox sold many of his drawings and pictures of North Wales scenes from 1805 onwards, but the earliest dated Welsh picture in the Birmingham Art Gallery is that of "Chirk Aqueduct" (No. 1115 (, which bears the date 1833. This is a water colour measuring seven and a quarter inches by nine and three quarters. The viaducts had not then been erected, but the aqueducts were ob- jects of general admiration. Had Cox taken the advice of a guide book of 1851 which said "the aqueducts are now surpassed in massive grandeur and importance by the works of the railway," Cox would probably have painted a companion picture of Chirk Viaduct. The picture shows a sunny day with a blue summer sky and white fleecy clouds, and as the foliage of the large trees which occupy nearly half of the picture are turning brown, we can assume the picture was done in the late summer. The next date is 1837, which appears on "Cader Idris Sunset" (No. 1174), a water colour, which shows the crest of Cader and other peaks standing out clear against the yellow and pink evening sky. A companion picture, probably painted at about the same date, although unsigned and unfinished, is No. 1175, "Distant View of Cader Idris from above Tall-y-llyn." This also is a water colour showing the mountains against a pale grey sky.