Chapter 36700323

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberLIX
Chapter TitleCONCLUSION.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36700323
Full Date1868-10-17
Page Number2
Corrections11
Word Count5996
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2020-02-02
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleThe Maxwells of Bremgarten
article text

THE MAXWELLS OF BREMGARTEN. A STORY OF TASMANIA. [Founded on Facts.] (ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.) (Continued from Saturday, 10th October.) CHAPTER LIX.—CONCLUSION. IT is scarcely possible for a modern author to grace his pages with a moral sentiment or philosophic remark without incurring the risk of being charged with appropriating to himself what has been said scores, of times since the days of Homer. So painfully im- pressed have we been with this idea, which is by no means an original one, that we have avoided as much as possible the laying down of " wise saws and modern instances" lest it might be said that we had grubbed in the gardens of the Bacons and Shaksperes of every age and nation for this or that peculiar gem, and adopting it as our own, had un- blushingly set it down without acknowledg- ment in the hope of gulling a public which is notoriously too discerning to be gulled. If, for instance, we tell you that Time flies by with healing in his wings—that immedicable wounds, both of mind and body, are in- variably closed up by him either to the killing or the curing of the patient ; that the mys- teries of true love are far beyond the ken of mere human vision ; that partial and harsh criticism in literary circles is as rare as bad generalship in military,—the learned reader will probably tell us to our face, " I can show you that apothegm, word for word nearly, in Xenophon's Cyropædia" (which we never looked into) ; or, " You stole that from Chateaubriand" (a totally unknown author to us, we are sorry to say). This is a very lamentable state of things, but still there are worse evils in the world. We would sooner have a good thing cribbed from our book, provided we got our legitimate profit, than a valuable watch from our waistcoat pocket. These remarks may be rendered necessary by a few dozen plagiarisms having occurred in the course of this work of which we are most beatifically unconscious. We are blessed with a most treacherous memory in literary matters ; and in the course of our writing it has happened, once at least, that a really good thing has appeared on our paper. While, however, we contemplate to the brilliant idea with its new local name and habitation, and plume ourselves upon the richness of our latent talent, it suddenly flashes upon us that we have picked it up somewhere in the course of our promiscuous reading ; but if we were to be trasfixed to death with a gross of steel pens from a critical catapult, we cannot recollect where the original came from. It is thus in every-day life. We live upon the fruits of each other's labors, and reap where we have not sown. We must hasten on. Our respected friend (for we will dispose of some of our friends in a summary, Yankee fashion, clean right away), Mr. Johnson Juniper, of Skittle-Ball Hill, was married to Miss Arabella Leary at the time appointed. Charles Maxwell did not go to the wedding breakfast, as it would seem disrespectful to the memory of poor Henry Arnott, who was scarcely cold in his grave, so Juniper was not troubled with the pork, alias egg pie. He sold his farm shortly after- wards, and entered into arrangements with his father-in-law for the purchase of the latter's property on the Derwent. The land was secured to our friend on the death of the old gentleman, who, until that melancholy event should happen, was placed above pecuniary embarrassment by a life annuity. The property was mortgaged to nearly its full value, but Juniper managed in the course of three years to pay off all demands upon it. He maintains, his cheerful disposition, and adheres to his original sober and industrious habits. Arabella is the happy mother of four children. Juniper sits by the fireside in the evenings with a son and daughter on each knee, sings his merry songs, and, when tired of singing, relates to his delighted offspring wonderful stories of the bush and the black war, and their venerable grandsire's pleasant reminiscences of Davey. The widow of the unfortunate Baxter soon recovered from the effects of her husband's untimely death, and after an interval of two months she thought her condition would be improved by marrying again. Her new hus- band fell into evil courses, and carried his wife with him : her daughter Mary fled for protection to her former preserver, Miss Max- well, who, with her father's permission, im- mediately took her into her service as lady's maid of superior rank. Mary was a fine buxom girl then, endowed with a considerable share of her father's humor ; and so great was the affection she had for her young mistress that we have no hesitation in saying that she would have gone through fire and water to serve her. Jorgen Jorgenson finished his remarkable career in her Majesty's Colonial Hospital, Hobart Town. As an author, so far as we can judge from the small portion of his lite- rary remains which has fallen into our hands, he was certainly gifted with a considerable share of talent ; and had he carefully studied the style of great writers, been less afflicted with self-conceit, and had the resolution to abstain from his besetting sin, gambling, he might have attained an honorable celebrity. His errors and the sufferings consequent thereupon may serve to point a moral, if not to adorn a tale, and all we can hope for is that the moral may not be thrown away. Baxter's inveterate antipathy to Bill Jin- kins was not, certainly, without some primi- tive though unknown cause, and leads us to say a word respecting the latter individual. He died miserably not long ago of a cancer in the lip, supposed to have been induced by excessive smoking. He was strongly sus- pectedl of being connected with a notorious gang of sheepstealers, commonly known by the name of the Nile Gang—for the river Nile runs in Tasmania as well as in Egypt— by some of whom an unfortunate hawker, named Miles Careless, was barbarously mur- dered. We hope we do no injustice to the memory of Bill by suspecting him to have been the very man who murdered Miles Careless. Charles Maxwell rode over occasionally to Belle Park to see his friend Edwin, salute Mrs. Herbart, and spend an agreeable evening with his fair and lively relatives. His friend- ship and esteem for the charming Rose al- ready bade fair to ripen into love. He would laugh and tell funny stories, and sing " I'm o'er young to marry yet," and other songs with great glee, while Rose would smile and blush, and Augusta with a pouting frown, but not an ill-natured frown, would systematically snub Mr. Buffer, who was generally sent for to contribute to his own and his friends' amusement on such happy occasions. Edwin rarely spoke to Charles about Gri-

selda except to ask after her health. He considered himself still under the ban of her father, though a less scrupulous young man would probably have thought that all im- pediments to a successful wooing were re- moved, not exactly by Henry Arnott's sud- den death, but by his positive rejection at the hands of the fair charmer. Perhaps Edwin's scruples would vanish, too, in time, but at present he felt a little sore against Maxwell, though he still loved and thought of Griselda with unabated ardor. He was hurt, in fact, that Maxwell had not either by letter or personal visit, or even by a verbal message through his son, welcomed Mrs. Her- bart, his relative by marriage, to the colony. " One would have thought (said Edwin to himself) that he would at least acknowledge my mother's presence by bringing Mrs. Max- well to see her ; or if he could not manage to do so, write a civil note, and state his rea- sons for the omission. He cannot be afraid of poor accommodation, for I have a comfort- able bedroom for strangers." In his mental commentaries upon this subject, Edwin ac- knowledged the truth of what he had often heard repeated in conversation—that the set- tlers of Tasmania, taken as a whole, are a striving practical race of men, who by reason of the severe discipline they have undergone in grappling with the difficulties of colonial life, place but little value upon the nice punctilios of refinement, which often render social intercourse more attractive than it otherwise would be. To violently abuse a community because their every day habits and social manners do not accord exactly with those of persons of equal rank in the mother country, from which they have been absent for dozens of years, is a great and se- rious error. To condemn the society of any country because there may be a few villains of upper rank found walking in it unblush- ingly, is, to say the least, most inconsiderate folly, and demands some apology from a cer- tain great Duke,* high in the councils of his Sovereign. We fearlessly assert that Max- well, who is the type of many, was a consci- entiously honest, just, and honorable man, who would scorn an act of meanness or treachery, or scandalous immorality ; and that he never turned away a poor fellow from his door without something to help him on his journey, though so backward in observing the nice rules of polite society. Better, perhaps, for him that he was not so nice if Swifte's aphorism be true—that nice people are people of filthy ideas. Meanwhile Edwin prospered in his farm- ing. He had had two very successful sea- sons—heavy crops of wheat, and a ready sale at from fifteen to two and twenty shillings per bushel—so that he had the satisfaction of paying Maxwell and the bank every shilling he owed them, and of possessing a balance at the latter of considerable amount. His stock also of sheep, cattle and horses became quite respectable ; he saw himself possessed of what at one time he scarcely dared to think of—property sufficient to render him in a few years an independent man. The value of landed property in his particular district rose very considerably, for an adjoining farm not a bit better than Edwin's was put up for sale by auction and realized the then enormous price of £5 per acre. As we advance in prosperity we become fonder of either money or comfort, and some- times of both combined. Edwin was not ashamed to confess that he was fond of money, as of a faithful servant whom he had no intention of allowing to become his master, because the possession of it kept his mind in a contented state, and enabled him to do that good which a man without money cannot possibly do ; but he also had a weakness for comfort. His drays often went to Launceston with wheat and wool, and never returned thence without welcome additions to his stock of furniture or books, or sundry other etceteras which, next to an agreeable wife, render home a pleasant place. To make his home more comfortable he determined to make it more permanent, and having money as well as credit he forthwith commenced to build a new house. It was to be constructed of dressed freestone on a carefully digested plan, and superin- tended by an experienced architect. The colony at this period really began to assume the cultivated and happy appearance which has won praise from many visitors. The disquietude once caused by the wandering savage no longer prevails, and the internal peace of the island is not often dis- turbed by bushrangers. Within the last two years three men were executed for taking up arms and committing robberies in the bush, and a confederate was killed on their capture. The leader of the party had lost an arm when young and was nicknamed Wingy : he was said to have been very dexterous in the use of his musket. Viewing it from the position we occupy, though we may be mistaken, there appears to be no romance in bushranging, and we would have gladly excluded the subject altogether from these pages. Mrs. Herbart did not like the colony at first ; indeed, there are very few fresh arrivals who do. However ardently Tas- manian scenery may be admired, those only who have dwelt in the country for years and have become fully naturalized to it can feel completely at home. People, especially ladies, accustomed to live on land, are glad to escape from the dangers of the sea ; but when the remembrance of the voyage fades and the novelty of being at the antipodes wears off, there comes a fresher and a brighter memory of the OLD COUNTRY, which steeps many a spirit in sadness and wraps many a heart in the mantle of desola- tion. What settler or immigrant has not been troubled with home-sickness ? Who has not wished to walk the old familiar path again even though it may be buried in snow, or see the dear kind faces so long admired and beloved—some of them, alas ! never to be seen more on earth ! But patient resigna- tion is the only cure for this disease. He is wise who can eradicate all unavailing regrets, and with steady determination endeavor to succeed in the line of life for which he feels himself fitted by nature and habits. While their new house was in course of erection the residents at Belle Park lived happily and quietly in the society of each other. They occasionally visited some of their immediate neighbors and their neighbors sometimes visited them ; but their visitors were few. They took pleasant walks by the banks of the river and over the adjacent hills, though never wandering very far from the house. The first winter which the ladies spent in Tasmania came and went, and Mrs. Herbart praised its excessive mildness, so different from the snows, the thaws, and the * This was written before the death of the late Duke of Newcastle. If a whole community was to be condemned because of the sins of a portion, what did his Grace think of Lon- don ?

cutting blasts of an English winter. The spring came, clothing the wattle trees with rich yellow blossoms, and beautifying the natural pasture with millions of golden flowers. The summer came, redolent with the new mown hay ; bringing an atmosphere of smoke from distant regions ; making the green grass appear yellow and withered, from which, however, the snowy sheep, recently deprived of their fleeces, derive sufficient nourishment to keep them fat and juicy ; and in the sky a burning sun compels even the hardy horse and panting steer to take refuge from its heat beneath the shade of spreading boughs. Autumn came with its accompanying gifts of golden corn and ripe fruits. Still the great heat had not subsided, and still the smoke of raging fires in the distant forests covered the earth, and made the setting sun look like a great glass globe full of red wine with a strong light behind it. On the 6th day of February of this year, about three o'clock p.m., a most extraordinary phenomenon made its appearance. The heat had been almost overpowering all day, and now a dense dark cloud, brought by the wind from the north, spread itself like a pall of gloom and wrath over the entire face of the country. It brought with it a darkness ten times thicker than that of a thunder-cloud, and a strange ashy, suffocating smell that few of those who saw and breathed in it will ever be able to forget. It seemed the precursor of something dreadful ;—perhaps an earthquake ! perhaps a tornado ! The face of the earth was changed, day as it were turned into night, and an imaginative terrorist might have accounted for the remarkable appearance by supposing that a neighboring planet had sud- denly bounded from its orbit and was now approaching our world with a velocity which on collision would instantly destroy every living thing. While the dark cloud was still passing, a horse and gig of respect-inspiring presence stopped at the garden-gate of Edwin's resi- dence, and the gentleman who drove, handing the reins to the lady by whom he was ac- companied, got down, entered the little garden, and knocked at the door. Edwin, who was reading in the parlor, supposing the visitor was his neighbor Buffer, said, without even lifting his eyes from his book (Romeo and Juliet), " Come in, the door is not looked." The door opened and there was a pause. Edwin looked up and started to his feet, letting his book fall in his sudden haste, and exclaimed—" Is it possible—Mr. Maxwell, this is a most unexpected honor and pleasure, I hope you have brought your excellent lady with you ?" " I have, Edwin, and I suppose you think it is time I should," said Maxwell pressing our hero's hand. Edwin rushed out to welcome Griselda's mother ; he bade her welcome and expressed his happiness in a few ardent words, as he assisted her from the gig ; and after calling Frank to tell the groom to come and take the horse, he gave his arm to Mrs. Maxwell and conducted her to the house. Mrs. Herbart and her daughters were not long in making their appearance, and after the salutations customary on such occasions they bore the good lady off with them as it were in triumph. Maxwell and Edwin walked out into the garden and about the grounds. A long and most interesting conversation com- menced, too long indeed for us to think of reporting in this place. After making some observations about the great heat and the oppressive state of the atmosphere, and won- dering what could be the cause of the smoky cloud that had so suddenly darkened the air, Maxwell was pleased to admire in more enthusiastic terms than became a man so eminently practical, everything connected with Edwin's establishment. The calm river undisturbed by the superabundant waters of the lakes, the quality of the soil, the produce of the corn fields, the plan of the new house and farm buildings—all of these, and more, underwent critical examination and received the unqualified praises they so well deserved. " I am glad to perceive," said Maxwell, " that your young establishment here bears abundant evidence of the industry and care you have bestowed upon it. You do not, then, sit in your room all day and write verses " " Indeed I do not, Sir," said Edwin, color ing and smiling ; " if I ever give way to that weakness it is in the evenings, when the labors of the day are over. I am addicted to the habit of stealing away from the cares of the world sometimes during the day, as you can testify, for you surprised me in the act of reading Shakespere." " Poetry," said Maxwell, " is very well for an amusement; but take my advice and never follow it as a profession. When you have established yourself on your estate, an inde- pendent man—and I have no doubt that if you go on as you have commenced, patiently and steadily, you will soon be an independent, if not a wealthy man—you can then try a volume of poems in London. Literary failure will not affect your purse. If you succeed, your ambition will be gratified ; if you fail, your mind will be, it is to be hoped, satisfied. Poetry that is not immoral can do no harm, and if it is not worth reading the reviewers of books will soon say so. Some of these gentle- men will muzzle a literary aspirant altogether by telling him that there is too much litera- ture in the world already, as if those who come after should not have as good a chance as those who went before. The more the better, say I, when I can take my choice of what I read ; besides employment is provided for compositors and bookbinders, and some- times even greengrocers and cheesemongers derive a benefit in getting a cheap lot of waste paper, duly spoiled with printer's ink. You are not writing a novel ?" " No," said Edwin, " nor thinking of one. I only wish I could write a good one that would have the effect of even in the twentieth part of a degree making the world better than it is." " I am not fond of them," said Maxwell ; " and yet I will not be too cynical. Shak- spere's plays are all fiction, or nearly so, and yet I am very fond of Shakspere. Paradise Lost is a mere offspring of Milton's imagina- tion, and yet how sublime and beautiful it it." " It would be a miserable world," said Edwin, " if we could not get books—if we could not converse in solitude with the great living and the mighty dead." " I agree with you in that," said Maxwell, " although our tastes may differ. I have no patience with that stupid egotist who con- demns in others that for which he has no taste himself. Dr. Johnson once said that he wished there was silence for a generation—a very mean and narrow wish to proceed from so great a man. But a true to the subject. You are certainly very comfortable here, and it pains me to think that I, your father's

relative and friend, contributed the least of all men in this island to make you so." " How can you make that out ?" said Edwin. " Did I not partake of your hos- pitality for many months ? Am I not in- debted to you for the loan of money without which I would not have these comforts ?" " Still," replied Maxwell, " the balance is in your favor. In return for my hospitality I had your services, and money you could have procured elsewhere. How have I re- warded you for saving my life—at least I give you full credit for having done so ? The ruffian might have missed his aim, and his bullet might have gone through my stomach, but it was you who, under Providence, arrested its flight at the outset." " I was but a humble instrument," said Edwin. " And then you were shot yourself," con- tinued Maxwell. " What could I have said to your respected mother if you had been shot through the heart while in the act of preserving my life ? How have I repaid you —how can I repay you for all this ?" Edwin hung down his head and cast his eyes on the ground. The thought of putting his visitor to the full proof of his gratitude by asking him for his daughter flashed upon him, but his courage was not equal to the attempt, and he stood still in silence. " If you know of anything in which I can possibly assist you," said Maxwell, " you have only but to mention it, and it will afford me pleasure and relief to do it, knowing as I do how little I have already done. You have done wonders for yourself and your friends in a short time ; and I shall be sorry to learn that the opportunity of repaying my obliga- tions is past." " It is not past," said Edwin hurriedly. " O, Mr. Maxwell, you have always been a straightforward and a kind friend : can I mention without offending you a subject upon which my heart lives day by day ? Dare I tell you that I love your amiable and beau- tiful daughter ? That I always did love her since we were children, and that I will con- tinue to love her, even should my bold avowal involve the loss of your valued friend- ship. You can assist me in this. If the excellent Griselda thinks with tenderness of so humble an individual as I am—and I have thought, I have dreamed that she does —why should you, Sir, oppose our union ? We are not too nearly related, our ages are not disproportionate, and we are equal in birth and rank. I know she will not marry without your consent ; and on your consent all my happiness depends. Imagine yourself young again, and let your own feelings plead for me." " I remember on a former occasion, Edwin," said Maxwell, with almost severe gravity, " speaking to you on the subject which you have now rather abruptly introduced. I even had a strict injunction upon you not to renew the subject under any pretence. I went so far as to command my daughter not even to think of you in any other light than that of a distant relation, and to all appearances she has obeyed me to this hour. Why I was so peremptory it boots not now to explain, and the explanation would not recall the slightest particle of the past. Whether Griselda thinks tenderly of you or not is to me only a mat- ter of conjecture ; but you can go and ascer- tain the fact from her own lips, and tell her from me that her father's opposition is with- drawn." '" This very hour I will go," said Edwin starting off like one insane, but recollecting himself he stopped, and continued—" Mr. Maxwell, I have not language to thank you— my weak breath is incapable of thanking you as it should, but—" " Stay, my young friend," interrupted Maxwell, " say not another word of thanks or protestations—I might become unreason- able, as fathers sometimes do, and quarrel with you, then your self-defence will be branded as ingratitude. And, further—con- tent yourself where you are for to-night. If you rode all night you might be at Brem- garten to breakfast, but why such haste ? It will be a night of pitchy darkness, and if you miss a ford or ride into a lake you may perish. No, no, let there be no tempting of Providence ; many an impatient man has lost a rich inheritance." They now entered the cottage and the parlor where the ladies, with faces rich in smiles of pleasure, awaited their presence at the pleasant tea table. The matrons seemed pleased with each other, the young ladies were merry : Maxwell was in an easy con- versible humor, and asked Frank a great many questions about the affairs of Ireland. Edwin alone was in a state of bewildered abstraction. His mother was surprised at him : his sisters laughed at him. The evening passed away and the guests retired, after accepting a press- ing invitation to remain for a few days to rest after their fatiguing journey from Brem- garten to Launceston, and from Launceston to Belle Park. Edwin retired to rest, too, after looking out upon the night, which was, as Maxwell had foreseen, blacker than Erebus itself. Need we tell the reader that Edwin, after tumbling about in his bed for two hours in vain attempts to gain a footing in the land of dreams, got up, lit his candle, dressed himself carefully, and passed the rest of the night in his study trying to read, and when he could not compose his mind sufficiently for that, walking up and down from corner to corner. At three o'clock he boiled his kettle and made himself some coffee, and at four he went to the stable, saddled and bridled his horse, mounted him, and rode away. What sort of a horse was it ? O do you think, ma'am, we have any space to waste in describing like the novelists "the animal which our hero bestrode ?" Like that of Young Lochinvar, his steed was undoubtedly the best in the country just because it happens to carry our hero. Consult Mundy's 'Our Antipodes,' where you will find some- thing about Tasmanian horses: but we our- selves have ridden one (we cannot say more than one) which it would have given us demoniacal pleasure to alight from delibe- rately, back to the nearest ditch, kick him into it and leave him there, walking away with what gratification we might carrying the saddle on our own back. Ride, Edwin, ride ! the dawn is in the sky, the darkness fast disappearing, and the world, in spite of our sins, not yet destroyed : your horse is young, strong, and full of spirit ; he is no fire-worshipper either, and will not bury his nose in the dust when the red sun makes his appearance above the smoky horizon. Ride ride, for your life, across the nearest ford in the Lake River—over the grassy uplands and through the nearest ford in the Macquarie River—up upon the rising ground on the other side, and in a rapid canter over the parched plains—past the palatial residences of our nobility not yet erected—under the railway viaducts not yet built. Draw rein

now, and let your steed blow as he wades through the deep sand on the skirts of Epping Forest. On again along the gravelled track, under the shadows of umbrageous trees, emerging upon the rich marshes that mark the course of the well-remembered river, where the echoes of a hostile trumpet have not yet disturbed the innocent sheep and their sporting lambs. Ride, Edwin, ride ! Between three and four o'clock he entered the lawn of Bremgarten, and approached the house where dwelt—assuming him to be Petarch—his idolized Laura. He was yet about twenty yards from the door when it opened, and Charles Maxwell came out yawning, for he had been asleep for the last three hours on the parlor sofa. When he saw Edwin he lifted up his hands in great amaze- ment, and said—"Why, Edwin, is it your- self, or a wicked goblin bearing your mein and features ?—speak, I charge, thee !" "It is I, certainly, Charles," said Edwin, alighting, from his panting horse. " How are you ?" " O, I'm jolly," said Charles, " right as a ripe peach in a schoolboy's pocket. How did you leave my fair friends, Rose and Augusta ? Father's gone to Launceston, and mother too —they're going to bolt, I hear, to make a runaway match of it at last. Come round to the stable and I'll show you such a beautiful litter of puppies." " You must excuse me," said Edwin, throwing his bridle reins on the ground. " Where is Griselda ?—I want to speak to her ?" " She's in there, thumping away at that eternal piano. But won't you come and see my dogs first—such real beauties ?" " Not I, thank you," said Edwin, as he entered the house. The door of the room where he knew the piano used to be was shut : he knocked, but without waiting for an invitation opened it and walked in. Griselda was there, gazing at the door with her blue eyes wide open. When she saw Edwin she started and rose from her seat. Her face, which had been pale and delicate before, became instantly suffused with a burning blush, and she advanced to meet him, holding out her hand. " Griselda, my sweet love," said Edwin. " O Edwin !" she faltered, " how—why— what is the meaning of this ?" " My dear and excellent girl," said the youth, " I come to ask you to be the beloved, the honored wife of my bosom—the mistress of my house and heart." " But my father," said Griselda, " does not know : I cannot—he forbade me to think of such a thing." " He does know," said Edwin; " I saw him last night, and he bade me tell you that his opposition is withdrawn." " Is it true ?" asked Griselda. " It is true," replied Edwin. " He said that you must yourself be the arbitress of my fate—the words of your own lips must make me happy or wretched; and now what do you say ?" " What must I say ?" said the bewildered maiden. " You may repeat what I say," said Edwin,"— Dear Edwin—I am happy to tell you that—go on—I love you, and do hereby consent to become your loving and happy wife : but you are not repeating the words—" As he spoke he most artfully extended his arms, and she, poor innocent fly, advanced a step and entered the magic circle, was folded up in an instant, and suffered her forehead to recline upon her lover's breast. It was a happy and a merry wedding. There was a grand ball at Bremgarten in honor of the event, where upwards of sixty guests partook of the wedding cake and danced until the next day's sun was high in the heavens. In the course of the festivities our friend Charles formally proposed for the hand of Rose Herbart, who quietly told him that is he was o'er young to marry yet, he must wait until he had a house of his own. Augusta was honored with the unremitting attentions of poor Buffer ; but her heart re- mained an obdurate as ever, so that he gave up the pursuit in despair, and some time afterwards transferred his affections to Mary Baxter. How he proposed in his wooing we may imagine but dare not describe ; let it suffice to say that his suit was eminently successful. Other important changes took place in the course of a few years. The two old neighbors, Earlsley and Maxwell, decided upon revisiting Great Britain, the former taking his wife and family with him, the latter his wife only. Charles went to Port Phillip after his marriage, having joined with Eugene—who eventually became the husband of Augusta?—in partnership, in which state they have both grown exceedingly rich, and have never had the slightest disagreement. The estates of Clifton Hall and Bremgarten have long since changed owners, and the names of their former proprietors are scarcely now remembered in the thriving villages of Avoca and Fingal. Our story must end here, for we have no- thing more to say ; unless we thought it wise to draw aside the matrimonial curtain and exhibit Edwin and his fair wife surrounded by five or six of the rosiest, noisiest, hungriest, most troub—, but no, we do not think it wise. Good-by, dear reader. In far-off lands when you close these pages think kindly of our extraordinary island and of the true British hearts which fought the battle of life in its rugged forests with success. We may have our political and literary Singlewoods, who trumpet all our little faults to the world with hypocritical blasts ; but we have still our Maxwells and Herbarts who have won their independence with indomitable fidelity and courage, and also our Elizabeths and Griseldas, without whom the homes which they adorn and make happy would be wretched indeed. THE END.