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ity and remarkable contrasts of the four great temperate forests of which we have proposed that illustrations should be grown at Epping. In a lecture recently delivered before the Harvard University Natural History Society, Professor Asa Gray has given an explanation of these contrasts, which will commend itself to all naturalists who know how important has been the agency of the glacial period in bringing about the existing relations between Alpine and Arctic plants. Let us now first consider the remarka. ble difference between the forest vegetation of eastern America and that of Eu: rope and western Asia. The latter area is the more extensive and more varied of the two, yet its trees, both deciduous and coniferous, are scarcely half as numerous or half as diversified. Why, we naturally ask, is America so rich 2 Professor Asa Gray answers, it is not America that is exceptionally rich, but Europe that is exceptionally poor. This is shown in two ways. Firstly, because America, rich as it is, is surpassed by eastern Asia; and, secondly, because Europe itself was formerly at least as rich as America is now. During the Pliocene or later Miocene periods, Europe possessed most of the generic groups of trees now confined to North America and east Asia, and was wonderfully rich in different kinds. The later Tertiary deposits of Switzerland alone have yielded, according to Professor Heer, two hundred and ninety-one species of trees and two hundred and forty-two shrubs, or far more than the present rich flora of eastern Asia added to the poorer one of Europe. It is true that this number includes the species of several distinct deposits of somewhat different ages. But in the beds of one single locality and period, at GEninghen, the remains of nearly two hundred specimens of trees have been found; and it is in the highest degree improbable that all which lived there have been preserved, while it is certain that the flora of CEninghen was not so rich as that of Switzerland, and was, a fortiori, very much poorer than that of Europe. Making, therefore, all necessary deductions for imperfect determinations of species, it is impossible to doubt that the kinds of trees inhabiting Europe in late Tertiary times were far more numerous and varied than they are now even in eastern Asia, which, as we have seen, is the richest part of the north temperate zone. Since the period of these deposits the climate of all these regions has greatly deteriorated, culminating in a glacial epoch which has only
recently passed away; and to this is naturally imputed the wonderful change from riches to poverty which has come over the woody plants of Europe. But we have still to ask, Why did not eastern America and eastern Asia become equally poor? And Professor Asa Gray has now answered that question for us in a very satisfactory manner. We must first call attention to the fact that when Europe enjoyed a milder climate, with a rich and varied flora, there was also an abundant vegetation, very similar in character to that which now clothes our north temperate latitudes, extending northward to the Arctic circle and far beyond it. In Arctic America, in Greenland, and even in Spitzbergen, there have been found well-preserved remains of maples, poplars, birches, and limes, like those of Europe; of magnolias, hickories, sassafras, and Wellingtonias, like those of America; as well as of gingko-trees and several other kinds now peculiar to Japan. The period when these Arctic woods flourished was no doubt earlier than that of the forests of GEninghen (though both are usually termed Miocene), the northern plants having migrated southward owing to the lowering of the mean temperature. As the severer cold of the glacial epoch came on, the same species could only live by migrating still farther south; and then, when the cold period had passed away, they moved back again, and many of them now occupy the same countries as they did before the glacial epoch. And now we arrive at the explanation of the exceptional poverty of Europe. If we look at a good map or large globe, we shall see that in North America the Alleghany Mountains run north and south, and the lowlands east and west of them extend uninterruptedly to Florida, to Texas, and to the Gulf of Mexico. There was, therefore, nothing to prevent the southward migration of the flora, and its northward return, when the mountains were covered with snow and ice. But in Europe the geographical conditions are very different. There is a great chain of mountains, the Alps and Pyrenees, running in an east and west direction, and farther south a great sea, the Mediterranean, also running east and west. As the glacial epoch came on, the icy mantle crept southward from the Arctic Ocean and downward from the mountain heights, thus preventing the plants of central Europe from migrating southward, and destroying all that were not capable of enduring a very severe cli. mate, or which did not also exist south of the Alps. But here, too, the Mediterranean F. any southern migration; and eing crowded into a diminished area between the mountains and the sea, many species must have perished. When the cold passed away, the survivors spread northwards and rapidly covered the whole country, but their greatly diminished numbers and the prevalence of a few hardy species over very wide areas, sufficiently attest the severe ordeal they have passed through. The correctness of this explanation can hardly be doubted, more especially as it equally serves to explain the superior riches of eastern Asia. For here we find a far greater extent of northern land from which the existing forest trees originally came, and also a greater extent of southern lowlands extending uninterruptedly into the tropics, for them to retreat to during the period of cold. All the conditions were here favorable, first for the production and next for the preservation of a rich flora. The poverty of western America in deciduous trees and its richness in conifers, Professor Asa Gray considers to be a more difficult and at present an insoluble problem. But here, too, a consideration of the physical character of the country suggests an intelligible explanation. Conifers are more especially mountain plants, while deciduous trees abound most in the lowlands. Now in north-west America there is a vast stretch of mountains from the extreme north to the far south, and no extensive lowlands — exactly the reverse of what obtains in eastern America, where the lowlands are vastly more extensive than the mountains. Conifers, therefore, most likely always abounded most on the western side of the continent, and during their enforced southern migrations always found suitable mountain habitats. The deciduous trees, on the other hand (always, probably, few in number), were many of them exterminated in their migrations first southward and again northward, for want of suitable places of growth, or were overpowered by the greater vigor of the competing coniferous trees. Turning again to eastern Asia we find a combination of both these conditions. Ample mountain ranges traverse every part of it from the Arctic circle to the tropics, but these are everywhere interrupted by great river-valleys and extensive plateaus of moderate elevation, thus offering equally favorable conditions for the preservation of both kinds of trees; and here we accordingly still find the richest and most
perfectly balanced woody vegetation of the north temperate zone.
The marvellous history that we have here sketched in the merest outline, teaches us that our own country has been denuded of its proper share of wild trees and shrubs by a great natural catastrophe — the glacial epoch — which destroyed them just as a hurricane or a conflagration might have destroyed them, only more gradually, and at the same time more thoroughly. In replanting the same or similar trees as those which inhabited Europe before the glacial period, we may be said to be only bringing back our own, and again clothing our land with those forest denizens which at no very distant epoch it actually possessed.
Returning again to the more special subject of this paper, I would remark, in conclusion, that the preservation and restoration of Epping Forest is a matter of wide and even of national interest. The method of procedure now decided on will determine its condition for generations to come, and our successors will not forgive us if, for want of due consideration, we fail to make the most of the great opportunity which here offers itself. Whatever is now done will be practically irreversible. It is, therefore, of the highest importance that those who have given thought to the subject, or who possess experience bearing upon it, should now make their views known, in order that conflicting suggestions may be submitted to the ordeal of free criticism, and lead to the adoption of a plan worthy of the occasion, and which we may not at some future time have reason to regret.
WITH IN THE PRECINCTS. BY MRS. OLIPHANT.
Chapter xxxiv. A CRISIS.
LOTTIE scarcely knew how she got through that afternoon. Rollo presented himself for but a moment at the signor’s, in great concern that he could not stay, and begged a hundred pardons with his eyes, which he could not put into words. Lady Caroline and Augusta had made an engagement for him, from which he could not get free. “At the elm-tree l’” he whispered in the only moment when he could approach Lottie. Her heart, which was beating still with the mingled anger, and wonder, and fright of her late encounter, sank within her. She could only look at him with a glance which was half appeal and half despair. And when he went away the day seemed to close in, the clouds to gather over the very window by which she was standing, and heaven and earth to fail her. Rollo's place was taken by a spectator whose sympathy was more disinterested than that of Rollo, and his pity more tender; but what was that to Lottie, who wanted only the one man whom she loved, not any other? What a saving of trouble and pain there would be in this world if the sympathy of one did as well as that of another | There was poor Purcell turning over the music, gazing at her with timid eyes full of devotion, and longing to have the courage and the opportunity to offer her again that 'ome which poor Lottie so much wanted, which seemed open to her no where else in the whole world. And on the other side stood Mr. Ashford, without any such definite intention as Purcell, without any perception as yet of anything in himself but extreme “interest in,” and compassion for this solitary creature, but roused to the depths of his heart by the sight of her, anxious to do anything that could give her consolation, and ready to stand by her against all the world. The minor canon had been passing when that scene took place in the hall of Captain Despard's house with its open door. He had heard Polly's loud voice, and he had seen Law rush out, putting on his hat, and flushed with unusual feeling. “I don't mind what she says to me as long as she keeps off Lottie!” the young man had said; and careless as Law was, the tears had come to his eyes, and he had burst forth, “My poor Lottie what is she to do P” Mr. Ashford's heart had been wrung by this outcry. What could he do? — he was helpless — an unmarried man; what use can he ever be to a beautiful, friendless girl? He felt how impotent he was with an impatience and distress which did not lessen that certainty. He could do nothing for her, and yet he could not be content to do nothing. This was why he came to the signor's, sitting down behind backs beside Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, who distracted him by much pantomimic distress, shaking her head and lifting up her hands and eyes, and would fain have whispered to him all the time of Lottie's singing had not the signor sternly interfered. (“Sure these musical folks they're as big tyrants as the Rooshians themselves,” Mrs. O'Shaughnessy said indig
nantly.) This was all the minor canon could do — to come and stand by the lonely girl, though no one but himself knew what his meaning was. It could not be any help to Lottie, who was not even conscious of it. Perhaps, after all, the sole good in it was to himself. Lottie had never sung so little well. She did not sing badly. She took trouble; the signor felt she tried to do her best, to work at it, to occupy herself with the music by way of getting rid of things more urgent which would press themselves upon her. In short, for the first time Lottie applied herself to it with some faint conception of the purposes of art. To have recourse to art as an opiate against the pangs of the inner being, as an escape from the harms of life, is perhaps not the best way of coming at it, but the signor knew that this was one of the most beaten ways towards that temple which to him enshrined everything that was best in the world. It was perhaps the only way in which Lottie was likely to get at it, and he saw and understood the effort. But it could not be said that the effort was very successful. The others, who were thinking only of her, felt that Lottie did not do so well as usual. She was not in voice, Purcell said to himself; and to the minor canon it seemed very natural that after the scene which she had just gone through poor Lottie should have but little heart for her work. It was easily explained. The signor, however, who knew nothing of the circumstances, came to the most true conclusion. The agitation of that episode with Polly would not have harmed her singing, however it might have troubled herself, had Lottie's citadel of personal happiness been untouched. But the flag was lowered from that donjon, the sovereign was absent. There was no inspiration left in the dull and narrowed world where Lottie found herself left. Her first opening of vigorous, independent life had been taken from her, and for the first time the life of visionary passion and enthusiasm was laid low. She did not give in. She made a brave effort, stilling her exloted nerves, commanding her depressed heart. The signor himself was more excited than he had been by all the previous easy triumphs of her inspiration. Now was the test of what she had in her. Happiness dies, love fails, but art is forever. Could she rise to the height of this principle, or would she drop upon the threshold of the sacred place incapable of answering to the guidance of art alone Never before had he felt the same anxious interest in Lottie. He thought she was groping for that guidance, though without knowing it, in mere instinct of pain to find something that would not fail her. She did not rise so high as she had done under the other leading, but to the signor this seemed to be in reality Lottie's first step, though she did not know it, on the rugged ascent which is the artist's way of life. Straight is the path and narrow is the way in that, as in all excellence. The signor praised her more than he had ever praised her before, to the surprise of the lookers-on ; the generous enthusiasm of the artist glowed in him. If he could, he would have helped her over the roughness of the way, just as the minor canon, longing and pitiful, would have helped her if he could over the roughness of life. But the one man was still more powerless than the other to smooth her path. Here it was not sex, nor circumstances, which were in fault, but the rigid principles of art, which are less yielding than rocks; every step, however painful, in that thorny way the neophyte must tread for herself. The signor knew it; but the more his beginner stumbled, the more eager was he to cheer her on. “I am afraid I sang very badly,” Lottie said, coming out with Mrs. O'Shaughnessy and the minor canon, who went along with them he scarcely knew why. He could do nothing for the girl, but he did not like to leave her — to seem (to himself) to desert her. Only himself was in the least degree aware that he was standing by Lottie in her trouble. “Me child, you all think a deal too much about it. It was neither better nor worse; that's what I don’t like in all your singing. It may be fine music, but it's always the same thing over and over. If it was a tune that a body could catch — but it's little good the best tune would have been to me this day. I didn't hear you, Lottie, for thinking what was to become of you. What will ye do? Will you never mind, but go back 2 Sure you've a right to your father's house whatever happens, and I wouldn't be driven away at the first word. There is nothing would please her so well. I'd go back l’” “Oh, don't say any more,” cried Lottie with a movement of sudden pride. But when she caught the pitying look of the minor canon her heart melted. “Mr. Ashford will not be angry because I don't like to speak of it,” she said, raising her eyes to him. “He knows that things are not — not very happy –at home.” Then Mr. Ashford awoke to the thought that he might be intruding upon her. He
took leave of the ladies hurriedly. But when she had given him her hand, he stood holding it for a minute. “I begin to like Law very much,” he said. To feel that this was the way in which he could give her most pleasure was a delicate instinct, but it was not such a pleasure as it would have been a month ago. Lottie did not speak, but a gleam of satisfaction rose in her eyes. “lf there is anything I can do,” he said faltering, “to be of use 77 What could he do? Nothing. He knew that, and so did she. It was only to himself that this was a consolation, he said to himself when they were gone. He went away to his comfortable house, and she, slim and light, turned to the other side of the Abbey, with Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, with nowhere in the world to go to. Was that so 2 was it really so P But still he, with that house of his, a better home than the one which young Purcell was so eager to offer to her, what could he do? Nothing; unless it were one thing which had not before entered his thoughts, and now, when it had got in, startled him so, that middleaged as he was, he felt his countenance turn fiery red, and went off at a tremendous pace, as if he had miles to go. He had only a very little way to go before he reached his own door, and yet he had travelled more than miles between that and the dwelling of the signor. As for Lottie, she went home with Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, not knowing what she was to do after. The elm-tree — that was the only place in the world that seemed quite clear to her. For a moment, in the sickness of her disappointment to see Rollo abandon her, she had said to herself that she would not go; but soon a longing to tell him her trouble came upon her. After the Abbey bells had roused all the echoes, and the usual congregation had come from all quarters for the evening service, she left Mrs. O'Shaughnessy and went slowly towards the slopes. It was still early, and the wintry afternoon was cold. . There was an east wind blowing, parching the landscape, and turning all its living tints into lines of grey. Lottie was not very warmly clothed. She had her merino gown and little cloth jacket, very plain garments, not like the furs in which Augusta had come home; but then Lottie was not used to living like Augusta, and perhaps her thinner wrap kept her as warm. She went up the Dean's Walk languidly, knowing that it was too early, but unable to rest. She would have to go home after all, to steal in and hide herself in her room for this night at least; but after that, what was she to do? The O'Shaughnessys had not a room to give her. She had no relations whom she might go to ; what was to become of her ? When she got to the elm-tree there was nobody there. She had known it was too early. She sat down and thought, but what could thinking do? What could she make of it? She looked over the wide landscape which had so often stilled and consoled her, but it was all dead and unresponsive, dried up by that east wind; the earth and the sky, and even the horizon on which they met, all drawn in pale outlines of grey. Her face was blank and pale like the landscape, when the lover for whom she was waiting appeared. The wind, which was so cold, had driven everybody else away. They had it all to themselves, this chilly wintry landscape, the shadowy trees with a few ragged garments of yellow or faded brown still clinging to them. Rollo came up breathless, his feet ringing upon the winding path. He came and placed himself beside her with a thousand apologies that she should have had to wait. “It was a trick of Augusta's,” he said; “I am sure she suspects something.” Lottie felt that this repeated suggestion that some one suspected ought not to be made to her. But her paleness and sadness roused Rollo to the most hearty concern. “Something has happened,” he said; “I can see it, darling, in your eyes. Tell me what it is. Have not I a right to know everything?” Indeed he was so anxious and so tender that Lottie forgot all about offence and her disappointment, and everything that was painful. Who had she beside to relieve" her burdened heart to, to lean upon in her trouble P. She told him what had happened, feeling that with every word she uttered her load was being lightened. Oh how good it is to be able to say forth everything, to tell some one to whom all that happens to you is interesting ! As she told Polly's insults, even Polly herself seemed to grow more supportable. Rollo listened to every word with anxious interest, with excitement, and indignation and grief. He held her closer to him, saying, “My poor darling, my poor Lottie ' " with outbursts of rage and tender pity. Lottie's heart grew lighter and lighter as she went on. He seemed to her to be taking it all on his shoulders, the whole of the burden. His eyes shone with love and indignation. It was not a thing which could be borne; she must not bear it, he would not allow her to bear it, he cried. Finally a great excitement seemed to get possession of
him all at once. A sudden impulse seized upon him. He held her closer than ever, with a sudden tightening of his clasp, and hasty resolution. “Lottie ' " he cried; and she could feel his heart suddenly leap into wild beating, and looked up trembling and expectant, sure that he had found some way of deliverance. “Lottie, my love! you must not put up with this another day. You must come away at once. Why not this very night? I could not rest and think you were bearing such indignity. You must be brave and trust yourself to me. You will not be afraid, my darling, to trust yourself to me?” “To-night !” she said with a cry of answering excitement, alarm, and wonder. “Why not to-night 2 " he cried with more and more energy. “I know a place where I could take you. A quiet, safe place, with people to take care of you, who would not suffer you to be annoyed even when I was not there myself to watch over you. . Lottie, dearest, you would not be afraid to trust yourself to me?” “No, Rollo, why should I be afraid 2– but —” The suddenness of this prospect of deliverance, which she did not understand, took away Lottie's breath. “But — there are no buts. You would be taken care of as if you were in a palace. You would have everything to make your life pleasant. You could work at your music — ” “Ah !” she said, interrupting him: his excitement roused no alarm in her mind. She was incapable of understanding any meaning in him that was inconsistent with honor. “Would it be so necessary to think of the music P” she said. It seemed to her that for Rollo Ridsdale's wife it need not be any longer a point essential. A host of other duties, more sweet, more homely, came before her dazzled eyes. “Above all things 1" he said with a sudden panic, “without that what would you — how could I’” — the suggestion was insupportable —“but we can discuss this after,” he said. “Lottie, my Lottie, listen Trust yourself to me — let me take you away out of all this misery into happiness. Such happiness I scarcely can put it into words. Why should you have another day of persecution, when you can be free if you will this very night?” His countenance seemed aflame as he bent towards her in the wintry twilight; she could feel the tumultuous beating of his heart. It was no premeditated villany but a real impulse, acted upon, with: