dear’ and ‘honey’; and when he was bad she sometimes shook him. Did he attempt to speak when MacTurk was there, she lifted her hand and bade him ‘Hush!’ like a nurse checking a forward child. If she had not smoked, if she had not taken gin, it would have been better, he thought, but she did both. Once, in her absence, he intimated to MacTurk that ‘that woman was a dram-drinker.’

‘Pooh! my dear sir, they are all so,’ was the reply he got for his pains. ‘But Horsfall has this virtue,’ added the surgeon: ‘drink or sober, she always remembers to obey me.’

At length the latter autumn passed: its fogs, its rains withdrew from England their mourning and their tears; its winds swept on to sigh over lands far away. Behind November came deep winter: clearness, stillness, frost-accompanying.

A calm day had settled into a crystalline evening. The world wore a North Pole colouring—all its lights and tints looked like the ‘reflets’* of white, or violet, or pale green gems; the hills wore a lilac blue; the setting sun had purple in its red; the sky was ice, all silvered azure; when the stars rose they were of white crystal, not gold. Gray, or cerulean, or faint emerald hues—cool, pure, and transparent—tinged the mass of the landscape.

What is this by itself in a wood no longer green—no longer even russet, a wood neutral tint—this darkblue, moving object? Why, it is a schoolboy—a Briarfield Grammar School boy—who has left his companions, now trudging home by the high-road, and is seeking a certain tree with a certain mossy mound at its, root, convenient as a seat. Why is he lingering here—the air is cold, and the time wears late. He its down; what is he thinking about? Does he feel the chaste charm Nature wears to-night? A pearl-white moon smiles through the green trees; does he care for her smile?

Impossible to say; for he is silent, and his countenance does not speak. As yet, it is no mirror to reflect sensation, but rather a mask to conceal it. This boy is a stripling of fifteen, slight, and tall of his years; in his face there is as little of amenity as of servility; his eye seems prepared to note any incipient attempt to control or overreach him, and the rest of his features indicate faculties alert for resistance. Wise ushers avoid unnecessary interference with that lad. To break him in by severity would be a useless attempt; to win him by flattery would be an effort worse than useless. He is best left alone. Time will educate, and experience train him.

* Find me an English word as good, reacher, and I will gladly dispense with the French word. Reflections won’t do.

Professedly, Martin Yorke (it is a young Yorke, of course) tramples on the name of poetry; talk sentiment to him, and you would be answered by sarcasm. Here he is, wandering alone, waiting duteously on Nature, while she unfolds a page of stern, of silent, and of solemn poetry beneath his attentive gaze.

Being seated, he takes from his satchel a book—not the Latin grammar, but a contraband volume of fairy tales; there will be light enough yet for an hour to serve his keen young vision; besides, the moon waits on him, her beam, dim and vague as yet, fills the glade where he sits.

He reads; he is led into a solitary mountain region; all round him is rude and desolate, shapeless, and almost colourless. He hears bells tinkle on the wind; forth-riding from the formless folds of the mist dawns on him the brightest vision—a green-robed lady, on a snow-white palfrey; he sees her dress, her gems, and her steed; she arrests him with some mysterious question; he is spellbound, and must follow her into Fairyland.

A second legend bears him to the seashore; there tumbles in a strong tide, boiling at the base of dizzy cliffs; it rains and blows. A reef of rocks, black and rough, stretches far into the sea; all along, and among, and above these crags, dash and flash, sweep and leap, swells, wreaths, drifts of snowy spray. Some lone wanderer is out on these rocks, treading, with cautious step, the wet, wild seaweed, glancing down into hollows where the brine lies fathoms deep and emerald-clear, and seeing there wilder and stranger,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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