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with a multiplicity of words. Hence, crippled and over-weighted, he is doomed to be distanced in his flight to posterity.
Lacking originality, our popular poet shares but a divided fame in his very laboured and most ambitious work. In the heavens of our literature he shines Castor, Malory the Pollux, in the Arthurean legend which he has so beautifully, yet so much less graphically, paraphrased. Even that moiety is overshadowed by an impure cloud, for, quoting once more from the
66 Bivouac " :
"Do not the deeds of an adulterous queen,
Though gloss'd in all the witchery of art,
R. COMPTON NOAKE,
Major R. A. M.
SONNET ON THE BOSPHORUS.
BEAUTIFUL Bosphorus ! enchantingly wandering
Now the rude storm-winds cease to disturb thee,
Beautiful Bosphorus ! gentle and tender,
Beautiful minarets, gilded and slender,
That rise from the centre of keen, sordid strife; Pointing with fingers, taper and tender,
Upwards and onwards, the journey of life. Now the last rays shine on star and on crescent, Beautiful emblems of happier days,
And I see Istamboul, not of the present,
But back in the past my memory strays.
Beautiful Bosphorus, grand old Propontis !
Alas! for the days when thy beauties were sung;
When but a sight of thy glorious waters
Inspired the sweet songs that through ages were sung. Alas for the songs, and alas! for the singers!
The songs have been sung, and well-nigh forgot;
Soft and voluptuous thy beauty still lingers,
While nations and kingdoms have been and are not!
Constantinople, Sept. 12.
THE WATER TOWER:
A STORY OF THE FIRST ROYAL LANCASHIRE MILITIA.
BY MRS. HIBBERT WARE,
Authoress of "Dr. Harcourt's Assistant," "The Hunlock Title Deeds," &
THE WOMAN IN POSSESSION.
ABOUT seven o'clock in the evening the postchaise in which Oliver and Mark had travelled from London drove rapidly along the avenue of fine old elms which led up to the front entrance of Buckhurst Hall.
If Norris disliked that condition in the will which required him to take the name of Tinker, he had not a shadow of aversion to the other injunction, and so he spent not only six months out of the year at Buckhurst Hall, but the whole twelve.
One of the few remaining specimens of the timber-and-plaster style of architecture, it offered great attractions to a man of such antiquarian taste as the new squire of Buckhurst.
With the fresh green hues of spring about it, and the sky above a clear deep blue, melting away towards the horizon into soft opal tints, the old hall looked at its best, the sombre colouring of the dark shining ivy, that shrouded walls and casements, and twined its tendrils even about the quaint stacks of chimnies, contrasting well with the brighter tints in the surrounding landscape.
Descending banks, now covered with soft green turf, marked the spot where the moat had been in days gone by, and where its waters had once flowed evergreens now flourished, and primroses and broad clustering patches of wild violets grew thickly on the sloping banks and against the ivied walls of the old house.
Alighting from the chaise, the two young men, after receiving a very satisfactory answer from the butler as to the present health of the master of the house, passed through the great door, beautifully carved in oak of antique workmanship. A screen, supported by pilasters, very tastefully adorned, gave exit from the entrancepassage into the hall, a vast apartment with the walls hung with a variety of weapons, helmets, and flags, and a window, at the far end, ornamented with the Tinker arms and pedigree in stained glass.
As Oliver and Mark emerged from the screen, the door of the dining-room, which was just at their right hand, opened, and forth came a lady rustling in very stiff silk-a very tall lady, of commanding appearance, with clear olive complexion, black hair, piercing black eyes, and a nose so strongly aquiline, as to border on the Roman.
"Mr. Oliver Norris and Mr. Mark Unsworth, I presume," said the lady, advancing towards them. "Mr. Tinker has deputed to me the pleasure of receiving you, as he is yet unable to leave his room. I—that is, we, all his friends, I should say-have only felt too happy in rendering to him, during his illness, all the little services that lay in our power. Come into the dining-room, pray, and I will send word to Mr. Tinker that you have arrived, for I daresay he will like to see you before you dine; but I must prohibit more than a few minutes' chat, as it might excite him; besides, you must both need refreshment. I have ordered dinner for eight, and it wants only a quarter now. Will you tell Mrs. Ford," she added, turning to the butler, "to see that the fires are burning well in the chintz bedroom and the tapestry-room? The nights are cool, and I thought, as you were coming off a journey, you had best have fires," she continued, walking into the diningroom, followed by the two young men, who had not, as yet, been able even to edge in a word. Indeed, Oliver looked quite bewildered, whilst Mark's face expressed great inward amusement.
After some more remarks, principally on the lady's part, she rustled out of the room to give a few more orders, and to apprise Norris, through the butler, of the arrival of his son and step
"I'll tell you what, Mark," said Oliver, "this is an odd state of things. Here I am, my father's son, welcomed to his house as if I were a stranger, by a lady visitor, and told what room I shall have, and how long I am to be permitted to stay with him, and so She evidently orders everything here, and has the complete control of the household; and, by Jove, I think she intends having me under her wing too."
"I have heard of the man in possession in a case of distress for rent," replied Mark, laughing; "but as your father's is certainly a case of distress for a wife, I suppose we must consider Mis Fairfax as the woman in possession. Did you notice the affectionate and pitying tenderness with which she laid hold of my stumps ?"
Here the conversation was stopped by the abrupt entrance of Peter and fon, foil wel by Miss Fairfax. After sundry fraternal greetings from the two boys, Oliver asked if they were going to dine with Mark and himself.
"Oh, no," answered Miss Fairfax, whose volubility fairly overpowered Oliver; "they had tea at six o'clock, and that is their last meal. Their tutor, Mr. Spalding, a young curate whom Mr. Tinker and myself engaged a few weeks since, always re nains with them till that time. Mr. Spalding is a very gifted young man, modest, and sensible also, which are two very good qualities. Peter and Thomas," she continued, to the two boys, "I ain sure your brothers must be surprised and shocked at your appearance tangled, disordered hair, and unwashed hands! but, you see," she added, addressing Mark in a more plaintive tone, "these poor boys have no maternal care-deprived of that, can you wonder at any. thing?"
"No, indeed I can't," replied Mark, very abruptly, "for I know, that with maternal care we often had dirty faces and torn jackets; so to what greater depths of wretche lness these poor infants," and the speaker laid an ironical stress on the last two words, "may fall, who are without it, who shall say?"
Miss Fairfax looked searchingly at Mark, but made no answer, and then there came a summons for them to go to the sick-room, where they found Norris still sitting up in an easy chair, looking a little pale and thiu from his illness, and also rather confused and agitated. "Signs of the times," as Mark observed, in an under tone to Oliver.
After the usual affectionate greetings had taken place, and questions had been put and answers given on either side, Norris, as we shall still call him, said, in a would-be indifferent tone, ." Well, boys, how do you like Miss Fairfax?" Then he went on hurriedly before they could answer, "a most estimable woman; so clever, and yet not above descending to the small and trivial details of housekeeping. Such a manager! my household affairs have been conducted on quite another footing since she most kindly undertook to come here occasionally and look after those poor boys, when I was taken ill. She is a perfect treasure!”
"The valiant woman of the Canticles, I suppose, observed Mark, with slight irreverence. 'But I forget, she is a Miss,rather astonishing that such a treasure should still be in the market."
"A very good old family," continued Norris, looking a little confused at Mark's observation. "Her late father was colonel of a dragoon regiment, which he commanded at Waterloo."
I thought there was something military in her appearance," said Oliver, with a slight laugh.
"What do you mean?" asked Norris, rather testily; "I was speaking of the lady's father."