The tavern sign, rudely painted, bore, besides a presentment of a vessel, the inscription on one side of the board: Now before the hill you climb, Come and drink good ale and wine. On the other side of the board the legend was different. It ran thus: Now the hill you re safely over, Drink, your spirits to recover. The tavern stood on the high-road side between Godalming and Portsmouth; that is to say the main artery of communication between London and Portsmouth. After rising out of the rich overshadowed weald land, the road had crossed long sandy wastes, where population was sparse, where were no enclosures, no farms, only scattered Scottish firs; and in front rose the stately ridge of sandstone that culminates in Hind Head and Leith Hill.