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things as far removed. They kept cold, and pitiless as that of Dante's early hours at the farm, and the lights “Inferno" itself. were all out, and Dan, “Bonny Dan," It was well on to ten o'clock when might die before the morning.
she started, and the night was dark Meanwhile they did what they could, save for the stars, and the gleam of and if the remedies were not of the the unsmirched icy snow. best, they were, at all events, numer- Such a night in the country is the ous enough, beginning with "pepper- acme of loneliness. The world itself mint waters," and ending witu a din- seemed dead and the wind alone left ner-plate heated in the oven and laid to mourn. Not a sound of bird nor where the pain was worst.
beast to break the stillness; and the Still no relief came, and the strong solitary wayfarer may travel miles young fellow turned his cheek to the without meeting another human creapillow and wept like a child.
ture.. "Eh, my man, my bonny man, dinna, Jane was prosaic enough, and yet now dinna. I'll gan to Horton mysel, weird new thoughts came to her in but ye shall hae a bottle frae the doc- that night's walk. tor," and Jane took her thin, old shawl Strange, she hardly knew what the and her woollen bonnet from the peg night was like till then, for all her behind the door and stepped out into forty years of country life, for she had the night.
been wont to go to bed at sundown, Dare she waken them at the farm and, weary and sleepy, had never and ask the master to send ? But thought of rising to look from her winthere was nobody to go, for Dan and dow at midnight storm or midnight she were the only workpeople that calm. lived near, for Jim the plough-boy had How far off the sky seemed, and how gone to his mother's “buryin'," and the big the dark, threatening clouds that farmer was getting an old man him- told of more snow yet to come. Did self, and not too kindly either, it must God live up there, and would Danbe confessed. "Sally? No. Sally her Dan-have to go all the way up might like a good-looking chap like there by himself? And would God Dan well enough to fetch and carry ken who he was, and not be hard on for her, but catch her turning out of him, for he'd never had much her warm bed to do aught for him,” schoolin'? And maybe Dan would thought Jane, comforting herself amid forget his manners, as he used to do her suffering with the thought that no when he met the parish priest, and one could love Dan as she did, and not think to pull his forelock till she maybe she wasn't far wrong. Any- minded him what the Quality looked how, she needed all her love before the for. night was over.
God was, in Jane's mind, not so very The woman was very tired to start unlike the “priest,” only bigger and with, for she had tried to do both older; and, in her heart, she thought, Dan's work and her own, “so that the kinder, for "He had heard her when poor beasts should not want their she prayed for a good crop o'taties, meat," and in her care for them had and that was good of him, seein' he'd well-nigh forgotten food for herself. such a lot o' things to mind, and sae
Her clothes were thin and worn, and many folks speakin' to him that could her shoes were heavy, yet far froni make 'grand prayers.' Eh! Would water-tight, and the roads she had to be happen to listen if she asked him travel alternated between bits that to spare Dan?" were hard and frost-bound, but com- One moment she knelt beneath the paratively passable where the wind stars in the piercing cold, and all her had swept them clear, and others soul went out in a cry for help to the inches thick of snow, where it lay in Power she knew so little, but yet felt the hollows, and the air was keen and was good.
Then, a little more hopeful, a little her intensity of love, the tired woman stronger even, as it seemed, in body, managed the last mile or two almost she went on her way.
in a state of trance. She grew unconIt was slow work at best, and the scious of all that surrounded her-of drifted
toilsome; the the cold, the darkness, and even of her woman's breath came in short, hard own body, and seemed to herself to be gasps at times, and there was a sound already present where her loved one in her
like church bells far lay. away,
and she wondered what it "He is easier now, and I'll try and meant.
come again to-morrow," said the docOnce or twice she staggered, but tor, who had remained longer than never for one moment thought of re- usual at the cottage, fighting Deat. linquishing her purpose.
with his own hands, for the old mother At last she reached the village and was far from an efficient nurse. roused the man she sought. “It's Dan Even as he spoke the latch was lifted, -wor Dan-ye maun come, for he's and Jane entered. Her eyes were set gae bad," she sobbed, and leaned –her lips drawn across her teeth, and against the door-post as she spoke; she looked tall and straight and white and the doctor, weary though he was. as one already dead, yet her pallid lips looked once into the woman's face and tried to form a question. Tried, but knew it was no light case that had tried in vain. brought her there.
“Yes, there is hope—hope assuredly,” “Poor soul-poor soul; sit down a bit the doctor said, answering that paand rest. You are not fit to walk thetic appeal; but even as he spoke he back,” he said. But Jane had done laid the woman on the low tressle bed her work and turned to go.
and tried to feel the pulseless wrist. “Ye'll ride your mare, doctor; she'll The hours passed, and the woman travel faster wantin' the gig, for the lay apparently unconscious—though snow's gae thick in places and barely the doctor was still in the little home passable," and the wisdom of her trying every means he knew to keep counsel stopped his offer of a seat by the ebbing life—for Death, great his side.
Death, was hovering near. Back into the night the woman went, Morning broke, and Dan lay sleepand the darkness was deeper, and the ing like a child, his breathing peaceful, cold more pitiless. No sound, no hu- and his hot and feverish forehead man footsteps, only by and by the doc- cool and moist; but Jane's face looked tor passed her on his borse, and spoke strangely grey in that early light of a kindly word, but did not wait her dawn. Then her eyes unclosed ani reply, and, indeed, she had no voice her lips murmured word just to answer.
audible to the doctor, as he stooped Once or twice she stumbled, and over her, “Dan!" once she fell and lay a moment or two "Dan will pull through now, my in blissful rest. Oh, the relief of giv- woman,” he answered; but his voice, ing up the struggle and the strange had a quiver in it that surprised himsense of peace; and again that far-off self. ringing-was it really bells?
A smile-a gleam of joy—“Eh, God And was it a warning? Folks did did hear then, bless him, and heaven have them whiles!
maun be nearer then I thought, the Then through all her fainting senses music is that sweet." came again the thought of Dan, and Then there was silence, and another nerved her for another effort. She soul was freed from earthly bondage must see his canny face again-must forevermore. know how he was—and upborne by
From Longman's Magazine. It wears the same face to us as it did ANOTHER ARCADY.
to Homer. “The sighing of the coming Ille terrarum mihi præter omnes
south wind," "the beating of the wilAngulus ridet. Hor, Od. 11. vi.
lows upon the shore," "streams downThat little nook of the world on each falling through the rocky glens," sound side of and among the Black Mountains, to us as they did to Virgil; the goldwhich separate Herefordshire and finches' sing the same song above the Brecknockshire, seems to those who hedge to-day as they sang to him in his know it best to be a survival from an- Italian summers so long ago. The other century; a patch of the England of a hundred years ago set down in the
daisies pied and violets blue, England of to-day. "I know not how it And lady-smocks all silver white, is, but some of us in this century find And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, ourselves possessed by an insatiable Do paint the meadows with delight yearning not to speculate upon the future but to get into touch with the as they did when Shakespeare past.” Here, indeed, we can study the looked on them in the fields by Strat. past with something like success; and ford. Or, leaving poetry, White's not only are the “minor antiquities of beautiful "Selborne" will never grow the generations immediately preceding old, never cease to have a place in the ours” unfolded for us in every farm- world's affections, because the little house and cottage, but nature too is lives therein so gracefully discoursed of seen at its best-inanimate nature in will not change as the centuries go by. the great solemn mountain wastes and And then this green wilderness has green hillsides, animate nature in the those other charms which appeal to wealth of life in every hedgerow and more strongly than even the field and tree.
charms of nature can do. We all reAnd this green wilderness takes our member how Dean Stanley wrote of the imagination by storm in its very aloof. Alps as "unformed, unmeaning lumps;" ness from all that makes up the world unless history or great fiction had left of to-day. What seems to me its great. its impress on scenery, it was nothing est want is indeed its greatest charm. to him. And Scott too, in the words of It is just because it offers nothing that Professor Shairp, was one who "looked is new, nothing that is exciting, nothing on the earth most habitually as seen that is of to-day more than of yester- through the coloring with which hisday, only "the old loved things," that toric events and great historic names the remembrance of it comes back to had invested it.” But in many minds us in crowded London streets like a sea this feeling works in a still more subtle breeze, like gale that bestows way, "and it is this: wherever men have much more than a momentary bliss. been upon earth, even when they have Thought, and human life and its condi- done no memorable deeds, and left no tions, are forever changing; and while history behind them, they have lived we are still pondering over what seems and they have died, they have joyed and to be the problem or the book of to-day, they have sorrowed; and the sense that some new problem has arisen before the men have been there and disappeared other has been set at rest, and there is leaves a pathos on the face of many a a life and stir in the very air. But the now unpeopled solitude.” And these world of nature is so different from all are the things which give an additional this! It makes no imperious demands charm to the solitudes of which I write, on our time or on our thoughts. We although they are not wholly unpeo. leave it and come back to it and find it pled; these traces of a vanished humanas we left it, except for the season's ity in the shape of pathetic old farmdifference-except that the tender green houses, grey and gaunt now; of some of spring leaves has turned to yellow, ruined priory almost hidden in wild and the summer birds have gone away. brushwood; of some little whitewashed
church gleaming from among dark yew- to bad farming. But here they mean no trees on the hillside.
such thing. The country is high and
exposed to heavy winds from the moun. So far I have been thinking of the tains, and these hedges are a useful district on each side of and among the shelter for the stock; indeed, they are a Black Mountains. But now I must necessity. narrow the horizon to one little town. But if here, as everywhere, some of ship therein, and to recollections of the land shows the effects of the bad half hours spent in its fields and by times, yet, on the other hand, though its old-fashioned chimney corners and nowhere is there "high farming,” there those of its immediate surroundings. is much that does credit to persever
This township takes in a long ridge ance, brains, and hard work. I have of low hill which slopes down to a little seen a crop of turnips on this hillside of river, such a river as Bewick loved, and which any farmer might well be proud. drew again and again. Again and Of the smaller holdings on the moun. again has he drawn these rocky banks, tain-side many are lineal descendants, the deep shadows under the black alder if I may so say, of holdings on the waste trees, the sparkle of the sunshine' ground of the manor, granted in rebeyond, the great boulders over which mote times by the then lord to his you know the brook is singing its quiet followers, and the rent for which was tune, the white-breasted dipper on the some service rendered to him, or pay. stone-you think you can hear its wild ment in kind, now commuted into a sweet song and the ripple of the passing nominal chief rent. In all but name water. On the opposite side, the west. these copyholds seem to be freeholds ern side of the brook, the great solemn and the interest of the matter lies in its wall of the Black Mountains bounds the being a living relic of feudal law, as view, and creeping as far up it as are also the heriots which remain in plough can work are little fields of un- force, although they too are no longer certain outline with white cottages paid in kind. The houses on such holdamong them. But the plough is soon ings are mostly, as I said, little whitebeaten back by rock and steepness, and washed buildings, gleaming from afar, the ingenuity of man will not easily re- and the dwellers in them are farmers claim these beautiful wastes.
on a small scale with a sheep run on the By the side of the brook there is a mountain. road-road and brook run almost side But the farmhouses on the opposite by side for miles. But the majority of hill-on the eastern side of the brook, the houses are in the fields, and are that is—are of a somewhat larger and reached by cart-tracks which are only more substantial type, though they are rough watercourses or grassy lanes, buí not by any means large. They nestle all are beautiful with those tall hedge. in sheltered and sunny nooks on the side rows which give food and shelter to of the bill. The trees above them, birds and hours of interest to all bird- blown into strange umbrella-like shapes lovers. And again, to some of the by mountain winds, show that the men houses the only approach is a footpath were wise who trusted their houses across the pleasant fields and over those only to these more sheltered spots. The stone stiles which are another feature aspect is well chosen, but the houses of this country.
themselves, when placed mentally beThe farms are small and are chiefly side the far larger ones in the eastern pasture, sheep pasture; and this will countries,
very explain those tall bedges,
colorless. Red walls, red-tiled roofs,
warm yellow corn-stalks; that is the Hardly hedgerows, little lines coloring of a fen farm, and very beauti. Of sportive wood run wild,
ful it is. The almost cottage-like farm
houses here are either of sad grey stone which at first sight we might attribute with great porches, and all roofed, too,
with grey stone, on which lichen does old-fashioned interiors, for all the oldnot readily thrive, or of black timber world things which are to be found in with plaster between. The plaster is these homesteads. It is generally by a laid over a wattling of sticks filled in deep porch, with stone seats on each with coarse mortar in all the older side, that we enter the large kitchen. buildings of this class hereabouts. By It is large because it was built in the the farms stand a few hayricks, and days when the farmer had laborers to the effect on the eye is greyness. It is help in the fields, and the mistress of sombre to a degree. There is "the hue the house had women servants to help of eld" over even last year's haystack. with the spinning and the poultry; The houses are a hundred or even two and all who lived under the same roof hundred years older than those of the had their meals together in this east country, or of the grand farm- room. houses on Cotswold farms, which look The doors are sometimes studded as if they had been built in the glorious with nails like church doors. One that days of farming at the beginning of the I know is secured by a great rough century, but which are far less pictur- wooden bolt drawn right across it into esque than the homely ones in the an iron loop on the opposite side at district of which I am writing.
night, and in the daytime thrust back As a rule there is an absence of flow- into a hole in the thickness of the wall. ers around these farmhouses; there are But the majority are more homely than “no roses bright, wreathed o'er the this and have only a latch inside, raised walls in garlands of delight.” You from outside by a leather thong, or by approach them through a fold-yard, and “tirling at the pin," as in the old this gives a squalid appearance to the ballad. whole. And as the cattle are often Some of the wide chimneys still returned into the fold there is no safety main, with a stone seat on each side, for flowers in front of the house. But and sometimes there are iron dogs and some of the cottage gardens are beauti- a wood fire burning on the low hearth, ful indeed. I remember one; a little The old iron "hangers" for pots are very flagged path with beds on each side, common. Oak dressers are almost ani. and then — "... here's rosemary, versal, and so are oak settles, which are that's for remembrance; pray you, love, a necessity in these draughty houses. remember; and there's pansies, that's And perhaps we may see a four-post for thoughts. ... There's fennel for bed, with oak-panelled back and top, you and columbines; there's rue for you, while the long oak tables, at which a and here's some for me. We may call household of twelve or more could sit it herb-of-grace o' Sundays. You down at once, are very common. China may wear your rue with a difference. of much interest is seldom seen, but There's a daisy. ..." It is quite a there are some of those glazed jugs with Shakesperean garden indeed.
an iridescent sheen on them, the art of Inside the houses there is much that making which is, I am told, a lost one. belongs to other days than these. The But we may see a set of pewter plates “minor antiquities of the generations and dishes (which are round like the immediately preceding ours" are, as plates, but much larger), brass mortars Goldwin Smith bas told us, becoming and pestles, brass or iron trivets, great rare as compared with those of remote brass milk-pans, and, indeed, many a ages, because nobody thinks it worth strange old-world thing, which it is while to preserve them. But in these more delight to meet with in its real old farms we find so many relics of a
home on a cottage mantelpiece or bygone time. Are there many districts dresser than in a curiosity shop. I am in England, do you think, where you not, of course, intending to say that will still see men threshing with flails these things are universal or found in as they do hereabouts?
every house. But they are more comSuch a sight will prepare us for the mon than elsewhere, and, fortunately,