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A BIT OF BOSTON.

RIVERSIDE BOSTON

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wooden steps, and in which you are paddled over in that primitive but picturesque old-fashioned manner at the cost of a penny. Here also, by some timber landing-stages, were anchored sundry sea-beaten fishing smacks that, with their red-tanned sails and sun-browned sailors on board mending their nets, made a very effective picture, so effective that we needs must spend a good hour sketching and photographing them (an engraving of one of our sketches will be found herewith). Along the banks of this river the artist may find ample material—“good stuff," in painter's slang—for brush or pencil, and the amateur photographer a most profitable huntingground. Even the old warehouses on the opposite side of the river are paintable, being pleasing in outline and good in colour—a fact proving that commercial structures need not of necessity be ugly, though alas! they mostly are. Then rambling on in a delightfully aimless fashion, at the same time keeping our eyes well open for the picturesque, we chanced, in a field a little beyond the outskirts of the town, upon an old ruined red-brick tower, standing there alone in crumbling and pathetic solitude. We learnt that this was called Hussey Tower, and that it was erected by Lord Hussey about 1500, who was beheaded in the reign of Henry VIII. for being concerned in the Lincolnshire rebellion. So one drives about country and learns or re-learns history as the case may be.

We bade a reluctant good-bye to old-world and storied Boston one bright, breezy morning, and soon found ourselves once again in the open country, with all Nature around us sunny and smiling. Boston was interesting, but the country was beautiful. The landscape had a delightfully fresh look after the frequent showers of the previous day; the moisture had brought out the colour and scent of everything. The air, wind-swept and rain-washed, was clear, and cool, and sweet, and simply to breathe it was a pleasure. As we journeyed on we rejoiced in the genial sunshine and the balmy breezes that tempered its warmth and gently rustled the leaves of the trees by the way, making a soft, subdued musical melody for us, not unlike the sound of a lazy summer sea toying with some sandy shore-breezes that, as they passed by, caused rhythmic waves to follow one another over the long grasses in the fields, and set the sails of the windmills near at hand and far away a-whirling round and round at a merry pace.

Everywhere we glanced was movement, in things inanimate as well as living; the birds, too, were in a lively mood, and much in welcome evidence (what would the country be without birds ? those cheery companions of the lonely wanderer !). Even the fat rooks gave vent to their feelings of satisfaction by contented if clamorous cawing as they sailed by us in merry company overhead, for, be it noted, rooks can caw contentedly and discontentedly, and the two caws are very different. Rooks are knowing birds too, and they appear to possess a considerable amount of what we term instinct. We all know the old saying that rats desert an unseaworthy ship. Whether this be true or not I cannot tell, but I believe that rooks desert an unsafe tree. I lived

THE WAYS OF ROOKS

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near a rookery once, and studied their ways and character. There were several nests in one big elm tree, a sturdy-looking tree, and apparently a favourite with the rooks. One year, for a purpose I could not divine, all the nests in this tree were deserted, and fresh ones built in another elm near by. Within a few months after its desertion by the rooks the former tree was blown down in an exceptionally heavy gale, though, till the gale came, it had shown no signs of weakness. Other big trees in the same wood were laid low at the same time, but not one of those that the rooks inhabited was damaged even in branch.

The weather was simply perfect, the sky overhead was as blue as a June sea; it was a joy to be in the country on such a day, when earth seemed a veritable Paradise, and pain and death a bad dream. There is a virtue at times in the art of forgetting ! for, when the world looks so fair, one desires to be immortal! “ Around God's throne,” writes Olive Schreiner, " there may be choirs and companies of angels, cherubim and seraphim rising tier above tier, but not for one of them all does the soul cry aloud. Only, perhaps, for a little human woman full of sin that it once loved.” So there may be golden cities in Paradise paved with priceless gems, yet not for these does my soul hunger, but for the restful green fields and the pastoral peacefulness of our English Arcadia, with its musical melody of wandering streams and sense of untold repose. Did not Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the American millionaire, who once drove through the heart of England from

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