Chapter 107135411

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Url
Full Date1870-12-29
Page Number4
Word Count8955
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)
Trove TitleOn the Hawkesbury - Under the Willows: A Tale of Last Christmas and This
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On the Hawkesbury— Under the Willows.

A TAT.Tj OF LAST CHRISTMAS AND THIS. ? Chapter I. — Ckoes Puhfoses.

Last Christmas Day, as fair a day as one might w$sn. J£e sou beaming, not in his fiercest mood, but wiihjjpaUB strength ; a soft breeze stirring in the air, 4Bil playing amidst the thick and. graceful foliage of the willows which overhang the banks of the Hawkesbury, where it glides peacefully along benafitf. ihr* clihrinTCS nf flip. iur»1.ur*-sniifl hills of the

Kurrajong. The hour approaches evening. Beneath the protecting shade of the willows is a boat, in which are four persons, each in his and her ?way remarkable for beauty of face and form. The ladies are sisters— Grace nnd Ada Evsrton — daughters of that weli-knowa wealthy squatter, Simon Everton, Esq., owner of no end of sheep and cattle, and holder of c-vcr so many bask shares ; as rich an old gentlemm, indeed, as you'll lind in. New South Wales — and there are no few to select from. The gentlemen are — first, Mr. Howard Livingstone, a squatter from the Murrumbidgee district; secondly, Mr. William Seacombe, a young fellow recently arrived from England, but with one of those adaptable natures, that ho has already cast his new chum skin, and looks for all the world as though to the manner born to all things colonial ; a handsome, hearty young man, with a frank, gentlemanly face, and that air of breeding which, while indescribable, is wnrtVi oil +Kif Tfrnilnr fpnfurpa enn rin in mjikinG*

up a winsome face. Mr. Livingstone is also a very fine fellow, large of limb and strong ; and, alto gether, you would not find a finer quartet anywhere than they I speak of, as they sat in the boat under the willows. It was apparent, however, that all were not at ease dt happy, and that a nervous diffidence charac terized the manner of at least one of tho ladies; while Mr. Livingstone seemed absorbed in his con templation of the elder girl, Grace Everton. Mr. Seacombe alone, seemed self-possessed andindifferent to the feelings, which it was evident animated the others, though in the glances which Grace Everton not infrequently cast towards him, he might have read that, had he so chosen, there was one not unwil ling to receive his advances with favour. Again, Mr.

ton let her blue eyes linger upon his face with an expression that might have told him — werehe not so busy reading anotier'B eyes — tbat his fviirest fortune lay with her. But no ; it was a clear caso of cross purposes. Being seated, young Seacombe pushes the boat into the stream, down which it is permitted to float. The conversation is not at all of an animated kind. Neither of the young ladies had been drilled in that school , the first lesson taught in which, is the neces sity of controlling all outward and visible sign of emotion ; and so, being both oppressed by feelings which, though not wholly grateful, were not quite unwelcome, they sat quiet in that listless meditative mood which has been aptly described by the poet as ' Loves young dream.' Nor did Mr. Livingstone deport himself with much more self-possession, suf fering, as it would seem, from a suspension of the power of coherent speech, and consequently,

when speaking, making some very aisconnecica and not at all intellectual observations. ' Whew ! it is hot,' he cried. 'Now I tell you what it is,' said Sencombe, 'I've kept count, and this is the fifteenth time ?within ten minutes, that you have informed us that it is hot. Hang it, man, can't you say some thing original ? If you can't, why content your self with silenoe — eh, Miss Grace.' The girl laughed — a nervous, timid little laugh — as she glanced her dark eyes at the speaker, who ?omtinued : 'You see,' said he, 'I can't make you people out ; you're all as silent as mice, and if it wasn't that I don't believe Livingstone there has got the capacity for that kind of thing, I'd think he's over head and ears in love.' ' Don't be a fool, Seacombe,' cried his friend, sharply. ' Oh, there ; he's found his tongue,' laughed the young fellow. ' By George I believe I've hit the truth. Come, Howard, let us have a COnfeS Binn TT«r«i nxi tliB HTOift-. rivpr rnn lrnnw ! with t.hfi

calm sky above, and all that kind of thing. Oh, let us have a confession. Speak thy mind, old fellow, and let us know the secrets of thy buxzom.' ' I'll let you know something of quite another kind, my boy,' answered his friend, half angrily, ' if you don't keep your banter to yourself. Mind your oar, you monkey, and also mind your tongue.' But the young feUow's badinage had the effect of arousing: his friends from their silent mood; and the girls, who were clever and smart of speech when put toit, joined in a brisk conversation with their cavaliers. Presently they turned back, and tne gentlemen pulled up stream to the willows, where they moored the boat and handed the ladies out. The epot at which they disembarked was a garden leading up to Mr. Everton's country house — a large but pictur esque wandering kind of edifice, built partly of wood partly of brick, surrounded by a verandah, and for all its scattered appearance looking comfortable and cosy enough. In the verandah were seated the old gentleman and his wife, together with two young lade, the orphan sous of Mrs. Everton's brother, and eince his death, het's by adoption. The old folks, watching the four handsome young people approaching up the long -walk- which led from the river, felt all the pride and delight which the contemplation of beauty in one's children gives to the parents. 'I believe .'Ada has grown latoly,'said Mr Everton. ' We call her little Ada, but she is not much shorter than Grace. By-the-way, don't you fancy Living stone is smitten with Gracy.' Mrs. Everton smiled as she answered that ' any body possessed of two eyes could see that.' ' Well,' said the old gentleman, ' if eho should care for him, I shall not say no — for one. Ho is well to do, and a pushing fellow.' ?'I can't make her out,' said the mother; 'I fancy that she hardly knows her own mind in the matter.' ' Humph,' said the old gentleman. ' In my time she would soon have been taught. We made -warmer lovers, Emma, forty years ago, than they Make now. However, we'll let tie matter nlnvn, :;:;i I dare say all will turn out smoothly. V-*ui!, girls, have you enjoyed yourselves?' ' Enjoyed tfcrmsplvfl?,' echoed Mr. Seacombe; ' if they havn, Kir, nil I can say is, that thoy take the most dismal view of enjoyment that can well be conceived. Until I roused them up they sat like tho?o dummies one Bees in the British Museum, sigh ins: and murmuring — though, to be sure, the d.aimics dp neither ; but what I mean is, they sat like dummies, leaving me to do al! the talking.' 'Which, I guarantee, you were well able to do,'

iaugiica Jttr. Jiverton. ' iJut come is. lhe even ing is closing in, and I can't say that I much fancy the dews on the banks of the river. Come in, gentle men.' And with that he led the way into the long drawing-room, whither the rest followed. Chapter II. THE GAME IS INVOLVED. A few days afterwards. Mr. Livingstono sought and knew his fate. Finding an opportunity, while walking w:th Grace along lie river brink, lie plunged headlong into — the subject of his devouring passion, and argued his cause very eloquently. But it was to no purpose ; for the fair Grace gently, though kindly enough, refused his offer. It could not be said that the young man was entirely prepared for this. Like all young men of handsome face and good means, ho was not insensible to these advantages ; and hence had counted upon their aid in a matter wherein, how ever, they are not always irresistible. So he pressed for some more explanatory answer than the mere 'No,' with which hie proposal had been received, and at last, by dint of entreaties and crossquestion ing, arrived at the comfortable conclusion that he had a successful rival. Who this person could be, however, he did not dream ; nor was he so unmanly as to press Grace to revoaj the name. So taking her hand, he bent over it, and pressed his lips to the slender fingers, saying very sincerely — ' Dear Grace. I can only say that had I been the happy man to have won this hand, I should have made -it the pleasure of my life to make you happy. As it is, I can oqly hope that he who wins you may do as I should have done ;' and with that he left her. That evening he started for Sydney, eager, in new scenes and amidst other distractions, to seek some means by which to calm his disappoint ment. At first he had thought of returning to his station; but this thought he quickly banished.

lae term ot holiday he bad given him soli was not expired, and he resolved to spend its remaining portion in town, where he had a large circle of acquaintances, and where doubtless he would find some bright eyes to shine more favourably upon him than had her's to whom he had that morning told

us love. At least this was the dim philosophy with which he comforted Tumself. We may be sure that so shrewd a person as Mis. Everton -was not at a lo» to gather the cause of her guest's departure, for which she was heartily sorry. However, she was by far too sensible a woman to permit herself to take any active part of interfer ence — contenting herself with, eie hope that, after a time, the course of true love would run more smoothly. Seacombe, however, and the old gentle man, could make nothing of this sudden departure. ' Why, hang it, man,' cried th^ former, ' I thought you'd made up your mind to stay out your three months at the ' Willows.' Well, (if all the changeable fellows' — 'The fact is,' stammered the other, 'I\have received news which compels my absence ;' and he irlanced at Grace, who turned her head aside, while

a hot blush suffused her cheek. And so he left ; promising, however, that he would pay them a short visit ere he returned to his station. Could he have road aright, perhaps he would even then have stayed his departure, for there was one heart at least which beat painfully as he left, and one pair of blue eyes that strained {heir vision after him until the far distance hid b'*m from their view. But he was blind. That evening, when they were alone, Grace told her sister of the cause of Mr. Livingstone's sudden departure. ' And you refused him,' cried Ada clasping her hands. ' Of course, I did,' answed the other ; ' I do not love him.' 'Not love Mr. Livingstone,' said Ada, intones that signified the surprise she felt at such a possi bility. Grace laughed outright. ' No, you goose, I do not ; but I fancy I know who does.' ' Who?' asked Ada, as the warm blushes covered her faco and neck : ' who, Grace?' ' Why, one little slyboots known as Ada Everton,' answered Grace, taking her sister's face between her hands, and looking playfully into her eyes. — ' Come,

now, am i ngni r Ada did not answer, but hiding her blushing face on her sister's bosom exclaimed — ' Oh, Grace, how could you send him away ?'' And then, this confidence begun, it went further, until Ada learnt, to her astonishment, that the object of her sister's affection was no other than Mr. Sea combe. 'Why, he is but a boy,' cried Ada. 'That may be,' answered Grace, with a pout; ' but remember, we are nothing but girls. Besides, he is a very handsome, agreeable boy, as you call him. Well I'm su'e.' 'Come, don't be angry,' cried the younger sister, 'I meant nothing offensive, dear. I only meant that in my eyes, at any rate, he is not comparable to the man you have refused. But he is a very nice fellow for all that.' , ' Well,' said Grace, as she brushed her long dark brown hair, ' it would not do for us all to have the same tastes you know, would it, Ada ? So you may have tie, man— I thejboy. Dear, handsome fellow ; I loved him the moment I saw him.'

' xnen n seems, saia uraoe, Kneeling aown Dy her sister, and looking with an arch smile into her face, ' it really seems that we have been playing at cross purposes.' ' Decidedly; and for my part I don't Bee as yet how the game is to be rectified. However,' she added with a sigh, 'we must wait and see. Oh what a pity it is, Ada, that it isn't fashionable for the ladies to propose.' And with this reflection she sought her bed, to dream of the handsome boy upon whom her wa3' ward heart was set, and who at that moment was engaged smoking a short clay pipe in the garden, in conversation with a short,'_thick-set little man, whom he addressed as Dr. Pump. Dr. Pump was the district doctor; a gen tleman of some forty years of age — rosy, well fed, and dressed with that assumption of juvenility which we so often discern in the middle-aged beau of good condition. As he strutted up and down the walk by Seacombe's side, he looked for all the world like 'a huge paunehed hill pony beside a racehorse. He was talking very impressively to the young man. - ' The fact is,' said he, ' I have determined, you know, to change my mode of life. Forty years — I don't deny my age — forty j'ears of bachelorhood are enough for any man. I don't mind telling you in confidence, my young friend, that my object in paying this visit is matrimony.' ' Indeed,' said;Seacombe ; ' and which young lady, now, do you purpose to have f' ' Oh, Miss Ada,' replied the Doctor. ' The tact is Mr. Seacombe, as a physiognomist, I have discerned a vigour of mind, a strength of will, an,dyou know, in fact, a devil of a .temper in the elder Miss Everton, that are alarming. I couldn't venture you know ; but the younger sister is charming.' Seacombe puffed away at his pipe in 'intense amusement. The spectacle of this little, round, middle-aged gentleman making love to the young girl of whom he had just spoken was too ridiculous ; and being intensely found of fun, he determined to witness it.

ahu. jiru), .Lfuuwr, buhl no, uubb mu juuug lady entertain any idea of your sentiments towards herf' 'I imagine so, I imagine bo,' answered the Doctor, ' though as yet I have not ventured upon any stronger advances than are to be shown in the language of the eyes — the optics in fact.' ' Which in your case are eloquent enough,' said Seacombe, slyly grinning at the idea of the Doctor's fishy eyes expressing the language of the tender passion. ' You are good enough to say so,' said the Doctor, with a bow. ' As a physiognomist, I have paid some attention to the language of the optics, and may, I imagine, venture to affirm that I know how to express my sentiments through this agency in such a manner as to be unmistakable. Hence, I infer, Miss Ada cannot have failed to observe the feelings which I entertain towards her. But, Mr. Seacombe, not a word of this to anyone — d'ye understand.' The young man said that he might rely upon him; and then retiring to his room exploded into the most violent mirth. ' Good lord,' he said, as he kicked up his heels on his bed, ' little Pump is mad. Well, at any rate, we shall see some fun.' Chapter III. TWO -WINNERS. Nearly three months have passed away, since Christmas Day, when our story opened ; and Mr. Livingstone has returned, to pay his promised visit. Seacombe is also at The Willows ; and Dr. Pump, ?who has not proceeded any further in the prosecu tion of his suit than the language of his eyes enabled him, was also constantly present — the secret butt of the girls' wit. Tne fine weather which had lasted for some time after Christmas now ceased, and dull, heavy showers of rain had prevailed for some

aays. xne party naa, vnereiore, 10 Keep witnin doors — Seacombe being the only reBtleBS being who could not remain for any length of time cooped up, as he said, like a fowl with her chickens. At last it cleared up somewhat. The river was much swollen, and had encroached to some extent on the lower part of the garden ; but it was not appre hended that any great flood would ensue. However, one morning, it was discovered that the mountain torrents had swollen the river to a deluge during the night, and that at the rate tho volume was increasing there was somo risk that the house would be sub merged. Dr. Pump was of opinion that an imme diate departure should take place. ' My cottage, you know, is built on a hill. I had my eyes open, Miss Ada, when I built my cottage. I was determined that I would never be flooded out ; and I really think we can't do better than adjourn to my cottage until the flood (for it's evident we must expect a regular Hood) somewhat subsides.' The Doctor's view coincided with Mr. Everton's; and it was resolved to adopi it — Livingstone and Seacombe, however, avowing their intention of

remaining ' to look atter the place. In this they were not opposed : first, because there really seemed no immediate danger, secondly, because the place was very well worth looking after. The girls alone protested against their remaining. 'I assure you,' said Dr. Pump, 'you need be under no apprehension. I shall be quite sufficient escort.' And Dr. Pump laid his hand on his shirt-front, and made an elaborate bow. Seacombe, who had been marking the progress of the water, now announced that it was rising rapidly; and it ivas therefore determined by Mr. and Mrs. Everton, that an immediate retreat should be beaten. Indeed this was the more necessary, seeing that the flood had begun to pass to the rear of the house, which, but a slight elevation, would soon bo sur rounded, as it were, by a natural moat. It was neces sary, therefore, to get on the high land beyond the site of the house before the waters had encircled it. So the buggy was prepared and the spring cart — the girls mounting their horses ; the young men escorting them as far as the stream, which now began to pour fiercely down the valley. ' Quick,' cried Livingstone, seizing the bridle of the horse upon which Grace rode ; ' quick, or you'll nst get across.'

. They had dallied somewhat behind the others ; who bad, 'Frith great difficulty, got across), and now plunged into the stream to join them — Ada and young Beacembe leading the way, and getting across safe enough. But they were presently startled by a crriromMrs. Everton, who, with the other occu pants of tiie vehicles, had paused to see them safe across ; and looking back, Seacombe beheld Living stone's horso roll over in the water, submerging the rider, while the animal ridden by Grace, plunged leavily, and was swept down the fierce current. The girl, who was an accomplished horsewoman, kept her seat for some time ; but tbe animal at last became uncontrollable, and plunging heavily cast his rider into the foaming waters. By this time, however, Seacombe had pushed down the stream, and now dashed in to the rescue. Down came the current 'with terrible strength, sweeping horse and rider along an il might sweep a feather. Nearer, hewever,- to the poor girl who, encumbered by her heavy riding dross, was fast becoming exhausted. Nearer still. -Ah, if ho should miss his grasp. Now! Tea, he has caught her, and dra^s her form before him on the saddle, the horse sinking neck under as this fi^rther weight is cast upon him. A great about is given by thoBe who witnessed young Seacombe's gallant deed, but whose hearts and voices were soon stilled by the wild fear that the rescuer and rescued may be swept into the boiling river, towards ?which they are fast hurrying. Indeed there was too much reason to fear this. Seacombe and his fair charge were in the centre of the current which rushed down the valley, and

which was supplied iromiaeovcrnowin^ Demiui iuu river, and to the whole fury of which they vcro exposed. ' . ' Keep heart,' cried Seacombe, as he vainly Btrovc to head the horse towards the banks ; ' keep heart, Grace.' Though he said this, his own heart sank. The horse, which for some time had given signs of weak ness and exhaustion, now plunged bo violently that it was with difficulty that the young man could pre serve his seat. He watched an opportunity, there fore, to escape from the saddle ; and presently, as they approached the junction of the smaller stream with the river, he grasped Grace firmly in his lei arm, and leaping clear of the horse, seized a branch of a tree which was floating by, and which gave them some support. And thus they were swept by the eddying current into the main river. The Hawkesbury was in full flood— the current rushing alone with fearful impetuosity ; while snags and tree branches were swept past them, and con stantly threatened to crush them. Grace closed her eyes, but kept calm, clinging with her best strength to the branches of the tree which they had bo providentially reached. On they were swept, the roar of the waters surging in their ears, adding further terrors to the hour. 'Keep heart,' again cried the young man. 'If we must die, we'll die together. I won't leave you

Grace, and so keep heart. It was good to hear his manly, ringing voice above the dull roar of the waters, and look upon his kindling eye and firm closed lips — symbols of the courage which sustained him. As he spoke, he pressed one hand upon hers, and she bent her lips down and kissed it. And, as though the dawning of an unknown truth had come upon him in this hour of danger and approaching death, he knew that, which ofttimes he had thought he knew — that ho loved Grace. Strange circumstances under whien o find one's heart, though such as to evoke its utmost truth and loyalty. They had now been carried many hundred yards down the. stream, and were approaching a broader reach of the flooded valley. Of course they were powerless to- guide their course, having to follow that which the stream direccted, until at last, as the current swept round the bend of the river, the tree struck upon the submerged bank and there stuck fast. It was questionable, however, whether this was a safer position than th»t which they had hitherto held, as the waters — though not of the full strength of the current — were sufficiently fierce to make it a matter involving all their strength, to resist. And now, worst of all, night approached. The dull leaden clouds overhead threatened soon to outpour, and the prospect was indeed dismal. Still there was hope ; hope the stronger now to both that each knew that the other read aright.

Seacombe caught wace round tne waist ana sup ported her as well as he could against the surging torrent ; bending her head upon his shoulder, aa he sought tenderly and carefully, to preserve her from further exhaustion. He did not speak a word more than to urge that she wbb not to despair. Down came the rushing stream. Passing by them they saw fragments offences, porlionB of hay stacks and houses, dead cattle, fowls, and farm produce. Once, a dull form swept by, and Seacombe turned the girl's head aside, for it was the corpse of some poor wretch upon whom the flood had seized. Still down came the flood, raging and roaring, until the darkness of night camo nearer. ' What is that yonder?' oried Seacombe suddenly, as he peered eagerly in the. direction of the shore, which now appeared as if it were miles distant. 'Is tlmt a boat r' But he met with no answer. The girl, wearied and exhausted, had swooned, and lay across his breast, helplesB and without motion. If ever man prayed for help Seacombe then did. He was one of those who have faith in the efficacy of prayer, and was not ashamed to use it. And still he gazed anxiously at the object coming from the shore. He was soon rewarded fsr hie trust and hopeful ness. It was a boat sure enough, manned by those who had determined to risk life and limb to rescue them — Livingstone and. two of the farm servants. Guided by Seacombe's shouts, it was not long, before they reached the spot where Graoe and her preserver wero ; and it was well they were no later, for darkness had almost closed in ; but at last they were safe within the boat, and making way for the blessed shore. You may be sure that Livingstone used some good strong expletives in his delight and admiration. ' By George, old boy, you're true blue,' he cried, ss he wrung Seacombe's hand. 'Here is some brandy; give her some.' A little brandy under such circumstances is an excellent thing. Warmed and stimulated, Grace

Seacombe. But as it was dark this gesture was not noticed by her admirer, who was tugging manfully at the bow oar oftheboat; nor indeed, had he noticed it, could he have denied that common gratitude might properly prompt such an action. He little knew that strong affection very much stimulated the gratitude ia this case. At last they reached the shore, and soon arrived at a small cottage, where a warm fire and change of clothing awaited them — Grace being at once sent to bed ; an order which, in her delight and gratitude, she was disposed to resist, preferring to sit awhile by the gallant youth who had rescued her. But as he would not hear of it, but in hiB comical fashion, commanded her to retire at once — the while glancing so tenderly, that her heart beat high with hope and love, — she did his bidding. And then, before the roaring wood fire — the sound of the flood and wind without making a strange echo of his words — he told the story of their hairbreadth escapes. 'By George,' cried Livingstone, 'it was well done old man, and I honour and esteem you.' And with genuine tears of joy and gratitude, the squalter;shook his young friend by the hand , for the twentieth time at least. * Chapter IV.

PLATED OUT. ' Beally,' said Dr. Pump, ' a most heroic adven ture. I quite envy you, Mr. Seacombc ; I do indeed.' 'My dear boy,' cried old Everton, almost in tears, ' you have done me a service for -which. I can never repay you.' Seacombe glanced at Grace, who was looking at him — as her sister afterwards remarked — as' though she could cat him.' And so the young fellow was praised, and thanked, and made much of, until he absolutely felt miserable ; for the truly bravo are always modest, and hate to hear their praises sung. So he simply said — 'I've done no more, Sir, than any other person would have done, and I can only Bay that if you feel thankful towards me, I am very glad that I've had a chance of earning your thanks.' But when, stealing away, he met Grace — by accident ? of course — and heard from her lips how grateful she felt, he was very willing to listen. And presently taking her hand, which she did not resist, he pressed it to his lips. ' Grace,' said he, ' do you know what I found out as we made that adventurous voyage ?' ' No.' she answered. ' That I loved you,' said he, bending down to look intojher eyes ; ' tell me — have I any hope ?' In words she said nothing. JJnt she cast her arms about his neck, and looking up, Bmiled such a smile as bewildered him so much that he was fain to kiss her lips. '* Dear Grace,' was all he could say. ' Why, Willie,' said she, ' I have loved you this year past : ever since I first saw you.' 'Me!' he cried. ' Yes, you,' she answered, hiding her blushing face.

' And I thought all the while thai it was Living- * stone you eared about. I. am sure he's in love with yon.' - -- ?'- ... ' Then she told him all about it: how she had always cared for him— shecould not 'repeat that too often— how Livingstone had proposed to her, and she had refused him; and further (this in the mag nitude of her confidence) the fact that her sister was fond of the handsome squatter. Then, of course, Mr. Seacombe, whose sentiment could not destroy his perception of the ridiculous, revealed the little conversation he had with Dr. Pump, touching that gentleman's views of her sister; at which, first Grace was angry, and then laughed heartily. They had been 'walking in the Doctor's garden, which was full of old peach-trees and shrubs, and as they came towards the house, very close together, and talking so confidentially that it became fre quently necessary that their faces should approach remarkably near to each other, they were suddenly startled by a voice, raised in entreaty, and seem ingly the utterance of one who was very mucli agitated. ' Hush,' whispered Seacombe, whose love of fun overpowered all ot- . ? nonsiderations ; ' by Jove, it is the Doctor— listen. ' Butyou know — au; wd the little mnn, who was close a*, hand, ' vnu Alien Ada, that I'm greatly in ?*??) with yi-i- . 'O. The fact ie I'm dying lot you. I'm? culsrly youiu; man, I know, but I'm noi rly old d'ye sci1. I've a good practico-and p j'erty, and really I don't think I'm so very i .;i ; .c. Dear Mi68 Ada. permit me to ? ' ' Will you let my hand tree,' cried the angry voice of Ada Everton ; ' I've told you before that I don't wish you to make yourself ridiculous. Get up, Sir, and don't kneel in that absurd fashion. If you could only see yourself you'd bo ashamed of your self.' Here Bhe snatched her hand awayj and darted from behind the hedge, where the Doctor had chosen to make his declaration. The little gentleman looked awfully disgusted, and presently arose, dusting the knees of his trousflrB, with a very woeful countenance. ' Dear me,' he muttered, ' I can't think whit has come over the girl. She must have seen it in my eyes long ago. Dear me — and to say that I, Dr. Pump, made myself absurd.' Pulling up his shirt collar, the Doctor followed the youne lady into the house ; little wotting that there were two happier lovers who had been mean enouprl to listen and to overlook, while this little comedy was being enacted. ' Poor little Doctor,' cried Grace, who, in her own happiness was ready enough to pity the thwartea affections of others ; ' but who would have ever thought of his falling in love?' ' T'm afraid ' cniri Mr. Seacnmhe. who seemed tc

have grown very wise by his own success, ' that thero is more self-love in the Doctor's passion than love of anybody else. But come, Grace, shall I speak to your father ? I'm rather afraid of him ; for though. I've got good expectations, I have not much at pre sent. It looks so mean to make up to a girl whose people are so rich.' ' Never you mind, Sir, what it looks like, and don't trouble your head about the matter. I'll speak to papa myself; and am pretty Bure what the answer will be. There — only one — and now go.'1 When, by-and-bye, the young man met old Mr. Everton, he saw by the expression of his face that all was well ; a fact he afterwards learned from the old gentleman's lips. 'It's not because you saved her from death, Willie,' said he, 'it's not for tbat, or any other cause, than that she loves you ; and as I think you'll prove an honest and good hu-band, — there, no pro testations — I em sure you will, and fo the matter is settled. But you jmiBt wait a bit my boy, until Christinas next, by which time I shall have heard from your father.' Hard as these conditions appeared to Seacombe, he felt bound to acquiesce in them, and contented himself with the reflection that the time would soon pass by. And notv about Mr. Livingstone. That gentle man war. in a very uneasy slate of mind. He had discovered that he waB in love with two persons. Since hie refusal b- Grace, he had fought hard against his passion for her, and found no little aid towards this, in. the society of her sister, who in j truth, listened -with greater complacency than had I Grace. Still ho did not know his own mind, ? until he happened accidentally to overhear Mr. and Mrs. Everton talking about Grace's engagement to Seacombe. He did not hear much, but he heard enough ; and straightway, like a sensible fellow, resolved to appeal in a quarter where he hoped he would be less cruelly treated. ' Seeking Ada, he told her the story of his affection for her sister, his rejection, and the love which had grown up insensibly in his heart for herself. And when he had finished, and looking into her blue eyes sought his answer there, he read this time that it was favourable. 'The Willows' are gay enough this Christmas Eve, when two weddings will take place. Beauti ful the brides— handsomo the grooms— jolly the company— among whom Dr. Pump and a bride he has won oh the Hunter, whither he had repaired to soothe the pangs of his rejection by Ada, will shine conspicuous. We can fancy the two happy young couples | standing in the verandah of the old house at the ' Willows, looking forth upon the river, now calm and placid ; and Grace, looking up into her husband's face, saying, ' Do you remember last Christmas-day, Willie?' '? 'That I do,' cries he. ' Who then would have , thought that such happy results would come so j soon.' | ' From a game of cross purposes,' laughed the i others.

money-takers and porters was also something new ; and it sesmed wonderful, after the chaos of confu sion which prevailed at first, that order should ever be restored and departure become possible. But Milward was a very good manager in such cases, and he paid the coolies, bullied them, and drove them away with thorough Anglo-Indian vigour, so hat in the course of time our travellers found them selves safe in their carriages, and prepared to face their destinies to any extent. They are excellent carriages — those of the first-class — on the Indian railways, and admirably adapted for tho reception of air, a welcome ally in the 'cold weather,' which by-the-way, must be accepted in a strictly compara tive sense.' ' Oxford and the New B-egime,' ' Fitzbud,' ' Paris, as seen from a balloon,' by Walter Thornbury ; ' The Morals of Music Halls,' ' Marriage Bells,' ' Game,' and six full page illus trations, render this periodical specially amusing, instructive, and interesting. JIacmillan this month contains an admirable article on the Navy. The article is from the pen of E. J. Hoed, C.B. Mr. Beed indulges the most gloomy forebodings respecting the ultimate fate of turret ships. At the commencement of the article he formally places these forebodings before hiB readers. ' It is no longer possible,' ho says, ' to write upon i the ' Nuvy ' without pain and humiliation. For a I lsng timo to come we sbnJl be unablo to hear even i the name pronounced without finding the mind | involuntarily revert to that melancholy night off i Finisterre, in which a perfectly new and highly j extolled British man-of-war turned quietly over, and I went to the bottom, with fivohundred souls onboard 1 of her. There have been tragedies at Bea in which ; lives as precious and more numerous have been sacri ficed, and although the finished Captain cost nearly . £400,000, and therefore exceeded in value a whole squadron of such ships as Nelson fought with, more treasure has sometimes been sack -tt than went down with her. But tho greatness of the tragedy in : her case lay in the needless nature of the sacrifice, : and in the magnitude of the dangers to which, as her - ' loss uow reveals even to the least observant, the navy ^ has been end henceforth is exposed. If there wero ' ground for hope that the capsizing and foundering 1 . of tho Captain would at once fully convert all the . influential advocates and admirers of dangerous ? i types of ships, and give to science its just weight in | naval affairs, her loss would not bo too high a price '? ; to pay for that result. But the turret-ship agitation '? j has spread too widely, and won too many supporters 1 ; in high places, to justify the hope that the preseEt ' Hevengo of Science will suffice; and I for one — possessing, as I may safely say, a fuller knowledge ' of the danger than tho public can possibly possess — I feel bound to express my apprehension that we may 1 have witnessed but the first of a succession of naval tragedies.' fc'urely thiB ought to bo looked to in - limq. so nfi f.haf-. raiflfiirnnhpfi mnv Yin nrpvpntfid in ihft

future. If turret-ships built on the model o'f the ill-fated Captain be unEeaworl.hy in heavy weather, let the construction of those now br.ilt be altered, and let the unsafe model be abandoned for ever. We fear very much that the entire department to which the Captain belonged, and which other turret-ships belong, requires alteration nnd improvement. The decision of the court-martial on the loss of the Cap tain was to the effect that the pressure of sail, assisted by tho heavy sea, caused her to capsize, and that the amount of Bail carried at the time of her loss (regard being had to the force of wind and tha stale of the sea) was insufficient to have endangered a ship endowed with a proper amount of stability. The Captain had been built in deference to public opinion, and in direct opposition to the wishes and advice of the Controller of the Navy, and the result was the catastrophe off Capo Finisterre. We pre sume no more ships on the Captain's model will be built. Thin, however, is not the only matter in connec tion with the navy which demands inquiry and altera tion. Some of the English papers affirm that the naval dockyards are so insufficiently supplied with stores that they would be wholly unable to fit out a equadron with such rapidity as the exigencies of modern service may any day require, and that conse nilPTlfli* 9. rninnna lnnrrfVi t\( 4ima mnef nlonoa in i\\a

case of in emergency before a sufficient numberjof the iron walls of England could proceed to sea. The shipB are built, and their guns are on board, but stores absolutely necessary to their equipment are wanting. This state of things should not be allowed to continue a moment longer, inasmuch as Britain's safety depends wholly on her fleet. In addition to Mr. .Heed's article, Macmillan's con tains 'the War and the Ambulance Service,' 'a story of Vionville,' 'Army Organization,'1 Mr. Trollope's story of Sir Harry Hotspur, letters from Mr. Buskin and Canon Kingsley, along with other interesting papers. Temple Bar is thoroughly Prussian in tone and sentiment. Perhaps the arrest of George Augustus Sala as a spy, and the indignities ho was obliged to suffer at the hands of the French, may have had some influence over the contributors to the present number. Perhaps Mr. Sala wrote some of the articles himself. At any rate, whoever wrote them, they are thoroughly Prussian. The whole maga zine is full of war and warlike matters. Tho most interesting of theso is an account of Strasbourg after

tne siege, xne writer stayed somo time at a little village two miles from Strasbourg, where 8000 Prus sians were quartered en the inhabitants, and absurdly enough he represents those on whom the Prussians were quartered as quite pleased with their uninvited guests. He Bays : ' Nobody in the world would have guessed thatbothparties were enemies, and no one in the house was afraid of the soldiers. The farmer's wife was running up and down all day, and always with a smiling face, and answering readily the friendly jokes. My carpenter sergeant called her alwayB mother-in-law. The young girls con versed fearlessly with the Boldiers, who did not hurt their feelings by a single word. The Garde Land wehr men were all young husbands and fathers (2400 men of that regiment had together above 7000 children) from Berlin or neighbourhood, and their

Denaviour was admirable ; though only privates, all behaved like gentlemen. The artillery-men were from the Polish provinces of Prussia. They were not much refined, and now and then a little noisy, but the best-natured and merriest fellows on earth, and most excellent soldiers.' Ye*y different is the view which he takes of the French soldiery. He tells us that after the siege, and immediately before they departed as pri soners of war, they 'looked rather respectable, for on the previous night they had all received new clothing, ilany of them had three or four new pairs of boots on their knapsacks, and dozens of shirts and other wearing apparel. Others had bur dened themselves so much with miscellaneous things which had a very thievish smell, and the same was the case with the heavy swelling sacks 4Un» T,nJ *.« Jl.nf_ 1~nnl... ill _f J1 ? 1 ? 1 — ._ ?

U1UJ UO.U. \jix U1CU UtLUJXB. &.IX UX LUttUl llilU. UUU UL several loaves with them, and some lovers of vege tables had, on crossing the fields, loaded themselves with one or more heads of cabbage. A field with onions caused great excitement and an overpowering smell, for all broke from tho ranks to pluck out their ' favourite vegetable.' The pro-Prussian character of the article will be seen from these extracts. How could these gentlemen — these models of manly courage, and incarnations of every virtue — burn vil lages, shoot down women, and wring from starving peasants their List farthing and their last loaf? Should it be said that the exigencies of war rendered such conduct necessary, then we say that those who act in connection with those exigencies are savages and barbarian-, wholly unde serving of tho encomiums which this writer bestows

on them. The continuation of the 'Tangled Skein,' and of the ' Landlord of the Sun,' will be interest ing to those who aro fond of fiction, while a ' Modern Vendetta,' and ' Letters from India,' will suit the astes of another class of readers. The Yeteiiikaeian for October, brought by the last mail, has some useful articles pertaining to its specialty. ' Observations on the anatomy and physiology of the horse's foot,' by George Fleming, is a useful article, conveying much information on the subject which it professes to describe. In an article by W. Fearnley on tuition in our veterinary Bchools, the necessity of practical knowledge for practical men is very clearly set forth and demon strated. The writer Eays that ' no man can acquire a knowledgo of anatomy elsewhere than in the dis secting room ; of chemistry, elsewhere than in the laboratory ; of pathology, elsewhere than clinically. But some will say that they know men who got their diplomas without dissection, without laboratory instruction, and without clinical instruction. It would be superfluous and uncalled for on mv T-art to use words in Tirmnnp' fhuft *)k-ra Tn*m

did aot know these subjects, but that their tongues had been trained to speak glibly and knowingly about them. A man who has not dissected carefully can be no better for knowing the course of an artery he is required to tie when ho has not the manipu lative dexterity required in tying it. A man who knows the blow-tube test for the substance which he is required to test with the blow-tube, and cannot manipulate the blow-tube, his knowledge of the test is next to worthless to him.. A man who has *iever heard the sounds, who has never seen the Bights, and who has never handled certain portions of the body labouring under diseases which present these sounds, sights, &c, can do nothing but draw upon

is imagination when hearing them described. gP ? annot apply what he hears in the leetuie-r-Z I fhen he enters the sick-box.' We doubt the ©» 1 ectness of the latter statement, while we admit Oe m ;eneral forcefulness of Mr. Feamley's reaaoniiw ? 3ad he endeavoured to show that theoretic insW I don and practical knowledge are both necessary to I sake a complete veterinary surgeon, he would W I jeen nearer the truth. The veterinarian will jjj-j ? much in the present number to interest him. ? The Oobkhhx is full of the stuff which novek I ire made of. ' Lord Kilgobbin ' contains soae I picturesque though extremely doubtful sket&s I Some of them appear to be altogether unnahnsl. ? Here is an example of what we mean i KinaE«.l talergi, the heroine of the tale, lived with her fatha ? at Home, and 'if her long mornings and afternoon I were passed amidst solitude and poverty, vowfl cares, and harassing importunities, when night came ? she emerged into the blaze of lighted lustres^ I gilded saloons, to move in an atmosphere i m splendour and sweet soundB, with all that coaul captivate the senses and exalt imagination. HjH twofold life of meanness and magnificence gl wrought upon her nature as to develop almost tjj I individualities. The one hard, stern, .realistic, ctqI to grudfiingness; the other, gay, buoysiitH enthusiastic, and ardent; and they who odjH saw her of nn evening in all the cxuliaiiaJ of her flattered beauty, followed about Ly |l train of admiring worshippers, addreseed in all Htf H exaggeration of language Italy sanctions, pamptitiH by caresses, and honoured by homage on even- si4e,M little knew by what dreary torpor of .heart and misjfl that joyous ecstasy they witnessed .had been pn.1 ceded, nor by what a bound her. emotions bjfl Bprung from the depths of brooding melanchoktoH this paroxysm of delight ; nor could the wornicniH and wearied followers of pleasure comprehend ihtl intense enjoyment produced by sights and Fc-.tisH which in their case no fancy idealized, no FooriwH imagination had lifted to the heaven of L!.si.'M Surely thero never was a womnn wlirwe cliarajgH could undergo such substantial and thoren^H changes as those described by our author. TuH changes which men and women experience in tkfl course of every succeeding twenty-fouH hours are superficial, and in no irigfl affect the substantial elements of charactaH When a novelist draws a port) nit which iraajH archetype in human nature, we may be amused TiiB his exaggerations and caricatures, but we cofl scarcely accord him the praise which is the jnjl meed of high- art. Nc .rly all the portraits oftjfl men and women who strut their little hour in tlnH tale of Lord Kil go1 - I 'in are overdrawn. The ConliM would not be c mplete without a paper ontheTOM and accordingly we have 'How the Uhlans tatM Mousseaux-ius-Caves. 'The Adventures of Hanjfl Eichmond,' and several light and gossipping papal complete the number. ' ? The Houticultural Journal contains in Knfl of its recent numbera a variety of articles deephfl interesting to the class of readers to whom it A addressed. Mnny of theso articles are original, afl some are quoted from other horticultural eeriak jjM article from the Gardener revives and puts forrofl in a very prominent light on old idea with respejH to big potatoes. '? ' Many of them of good size,Mfl very coarse,' was the critical judgment latdjH passed upon a large collection of some fifty kinditjH potatoes tbat were staged at one of the mceb'sgsdH the Uoyal Horticultural Society at South Kcnanj-B ton. This critique was just, but not sufficiaqH severe ; for if it had proceeded to denounce in sbwH terms the far too prevalent practice of growing,niH especially of staging for exhibition, the %H ungainly, sunken-eyed, and altogether 'ccaaH samples of our noble tuber that some people EesH to think the ne plus ultra of potato culture, ttaH would a service have been rendered to hortjcnltdH taste, and possibly our eyes might soon be rid ofb^H sight of those ugly monstrosities yclept 'exoiftH tion' potatoes. I do protest against the pottH being put on a level with mangold wurzel as a 8doi-H root, making size the criterion by which to judge iH its merits. Nay, even in judging mangolds smfl respect is paid to shape and outline ; but a maup^B be it big or little, is but a mangold euljH whilst there are potatoes and potato™ the difference being just this, that whilst umU are fit to go upon the table of an cpicoiH others arc only fit diet for the pigs. The differawH may be but trifling, but it is enough that it exisSlS If I were philosophically inclined, I might profibfl bly moralise over the strange taste for mere size Hull seems to prevail among horticulturists, Wehnfl nearly gone mad in the pursuit of it in some ttingM and now find we have committed a huge blurar.H Big plants have had their day, and are now rstherB pooh-poohed ; big cuoumbers, also, are noirJfX&dH upon as bo much cattle-food by judges pi taste ; Igfl melons or other fruit must pass through th« shuflH ordeal ef the flavour test ; and so it is allttomfj the piece. And now we have but to get rid of th^H strange anomaly of big potatoes from our extibiSffl^B tables, and then we may well hope for the disUH in the future of such cultural results as shall 1*AH please the eye and delight the taste ; and that ^|H reformation is near I have good reason to belkn^B The lovers of horticulture will find much infora^B tion in this serial, which, with very slight altersta^M — Buch alterations as any sensible reader can reai^H make — will be useful to them in practising hmtH culture in Australia. H The Scientific American contains many artraH of great interest, either original or carefully selected^

Most of the scraps and short articles might be ta)'fl ferred to the columns of any newspaper, and frfl there a fitting and a natural place. Here is lfl example : — 'At the concluding lecture of his comB on experimental' medicine for .the session 1869-H^J Dr. Richardson made a very curious experimrfB which appears to show that there is a direct *? almost immediate passage of substances is tfl gaseous form through all the tissues of the body, »? especially through the coats of the veins. BS Richardson introduced a fine tube through the noS tril of a rabbit into the cranial cavity. . Air, 0I*B b'nic acid gas pumped through this tube, inetafflM made its appearance in the right cavities g^^H heart. The carbonic acid darkened the blood -? stopped the systolic action Atmo pheric air njH dered the blood&pf the right ei'ie arterial, ^H restored the sysrafe. It seems therefore that wen not air-tight.' 'TJozens of analogous paragn^l mjtat be quoted. Articles on every branch' science, both practical and speculative, — the p* tical predominating, — and many of them copious and beautifully illustrated, are to be found in& useful record of the progress of science.