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England is not a country of great rivers. No mighty Nile winds lazily across desert and fertile plains in its three and a half thousand miles course to the sea; no rushing Brahmaputra plunges headlong down its slopes, falling two or three miles as it crosses half a continent from icy mountain-tops to tropical sea-board. In comparison with such as these England’s biggest rivers are but the tiniest, trickling streams. Yet, for all that, our little waterways have always meant much to the land.