THERE is not much more to be said about this county:
farming is the chief business of the people, and famous
farmers the Lincoln folk are. The towns, such as
Spilsby, Louth, Grantham, and Market Rasen, are
generally market-towns, where the wheat and flour, peas
and beans, potatoes, turnips, and carrots produced in
the county are brought by the farmers upon certain days
of the week to be sold to traders from a distance.
Flax is brought to market too, for there are large
fields of flax to be seen in Lincoln. The flax is
grown, not for the sake of its pretty blue flower, but
for the fibres of the stalk, which, when properly
prepared, make the threads of which linen is woven. In
most of the market-towns fairs are held for the sale of
horses and cattle, sheep and pigs; for all of which
Lincolnshire is famous. Some of the farm-produce is
taken to the ports to be sent away by sea.
Lincoln county has a long, low coast, and but few
ports, because there are few safe shelters for ships.:
There is the long, flat coast on the Humber, so filled
with shifting sandbanks that only skilful pilots can
bring ships into it with safety. Grimsby stands at the
mouth of the Humber, and may become a great port one
day, because good docks have been built there.
There is no important port on the low North Sea shore,
but on the Wash are Boston, near the mouth of the
Witham, and Spalding, on the Welland. There is
 another Boston across the Atlantic, one of the most
famous towns in the United States. In the early days of
his reign, before the Civil War began, Charles I. tried
to make all the English people belong to the Church of
England. The men of the Fens loved liberty too well to
submit to any rule about such things, and many of them
took ship for free America. Many of these went from
Boston, and in honour of them the Boston of the States
Spalding was a favourite landing-place for the black
boats of the North-men, as it is the port for Stamford,
one of the five great burghs of Danelagh. Stamford is
an important and busy town, with an iron-foundry and
machine works. Near it is "Burleigh House, by Stamford
town," which belonged to Queen Elizabeth's famous
minister, Lord Burleigh. It is a very splendid house,
with 145 rooms, and containing many precious pictures
and carvings and statues. Beautiful gardens surround
the house, and in them may be seen -a labyrinth, and a
wilderness, and smooth terraces, and musical fountains,
and every sort of rare and beautiful flower and tree.
There is a story about a Lord of Burleigh, which is
told by Mr. Tennyson, the poet, who is a Lincolnshire
man, and so knows all about it, and who knows, too, how
to tell stories in the most delightful way.
This story is about a Lord of Burleigh who married a
farmer's daughter, she thinking all the time that he
was poor like herself:—
"And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such,
That she grew a noble lady,
And the people loved her much.
"But a trouble weighed upon her,
And perplex'd her night and morn,
With the burthen of an honour
Unto which she was not born.
"So she droop'd and droop'd before him,
Fading slowly from his side;
Three fair children first she bore him,
Then before her time she died."
Lincolnshire is not without its uplands; there are
round, swelling chalk Wolds, which reach from the
Humber to Spilsby. Farther west, running in a straight
line through the county, are the Lincoln Heights, upon
which the Romans made their Ermine Street, which is a
good road still.
Lincoln city, with its castle and glorious cathedral,
stands upon one of these hills; and the cathedral, one
of the finest in England, can be seen from all the flat
country round. It has a famous bell, called "Great
Tom," which measures more than two yards across at the
mouth. This ancient city was once a great Roman town;
and a single Roman gate still remains. There are engine
works here, where steam ploughs, and thrashing and
other machines used in farming, are made.
The little piece of Lincolnshire to the west of the
Trent is called the Isle of Axholme; it is low and
marshy like the isles of the Fens.