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II.—The Married Sister
BRIO
RIGID is a caution, sure. What's that ye say?

Is it my sister then, Brigid Macllray ?
Caution or no caution, listen what I'm tellin' ye-
Childer, hould yer noise there, faix! there's no quellin' ye-
Och well, I've said it now this many a long day,
Tis the quare pity o' Brigid MacIlray.

An' she that was the beauty, an’ never married yet!
An' fifty years gone over her, but do ye think she'll fret?
Sorra one o' Brigid then, that's not the sort of her,
Ne'er a hait would she care though not a man had thought of her;
Heaps o' men she might 'a' had-Here, get out o' that,
Mick ye rogue! desthroyin' o' the poor ould cat!

Ah, no use o' talkin'! Sure a woman's born to wed,
An' not go wastin' all her life by waitin' till she's dead.
Haven't we the men to mind, that couldn't for the lives o' them
Keep their right end uppermost, only for the wives o'them ? -
Stick to yer pipe, Tim, an' give me no talk now!
There's the door forenenst ye, man: out ye can walk now'.

Brigid, poor Brigid will never have a child,
An' she you'd think a mother born, so gentle an' so mild-
Danny, is it puttin' little Biddy's eyes out ye're after,
Swishin' wid yer rod there, an' splittin' wid yer laughter
Come along, the whole oyes, in out o' the wet,
Or may I never but ye'll soon see what ye'll get!

She to have no man at all-Musha, look at Tim.
Off an' up the road he is, an' wet enough to swim,
An' his tea sittin' waitin' on him, there he'll sthreel about now
Amn't I the heart-scalded woman out an' out now!
Here I've lived an' wrought for him all the ways I an,
But the goodness grant me patience, for I'll need it wid that man!

What was I sayin' then ? Brigid lives her lone,
Ne'er a one about the house, quiet as a stone-
Lave a-go the pig's tail, boys, an' quet the squealin' now :
Mind! I've got a sally switch that only wants the peelin' nou—
Ah, just to think of her, 'deed an' well-a-day!
'Tis the quyare pity o' Brigid MacIlray.

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T

HE artistic value of backgrounds through an open window, we are always

is strikingly shown in Mr. Black looking out on the wild, romantic Valley

more's one successful novel, of the Doones that it lives in memory and “Lorna Doone." There are other stories recalls us to many a quiet re-reading. To of his which are not without charming a Devonshire man, as Blackmore reports qualities, but on this romance alone has with evident satisfaction, “ Lorna Doone" he put the stamp of beauty and individ- is “as good as clotted cream,” that deliuality. “Lorna Doone " cannot be re- cious product of the dairies of Devon. It garded as a great story; it is, rather, a is redolent of Devon and Somerset, two lovable story-one of those pieces of art counties which in variety and richness of which live by reason of their close touch scenery must be ranked among the first upon the most intimate and tender of in England. John Ridd belonged to both human relations; a story which, upon counties, and both have given the story analysis, reveals serious faults of construc- the charm of landscapes of noble breadth tion and defects of style, but which no- and ripest beauty. body is willing to analyze. It is too long; There is no better approach to the it drags in places; the manner, under the Valley of the Doones than a drive across guise of great simplicity, is sometimes country from Bideford. At nightfali, in artificial; and yet it captivates, and its that quaint old town, one may look across charm is likely to abide.

the Torridge and see the lights shining That charm resides in two elements— from the low windows of “The Ship its idyllic love story, and its impressive Tavern,” where Salvation Yeo and his felbackground. If the drama of John Ridd lows once talked far into the night of the and Lorna Doone had been played on a perils of the Spanish Main. One may, commonplace stage, it could hardly have if he chooses, sit in the room in which appealed with such beguiling force to the much of the work of preparation for the imagination; it is because through it, as writing of “Westward Ho” was done.

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On a soft summer morning, the low sky Exmoor, with its broad expanse of gently veiled with a pale mist, no road could be sloping moor, brown or green, with more beguiling than that which takes one touches of purple bell-heather. The noble from the old seaport, where famous sail- coast lies but a mile or two beyond; ors were bred in the sixteenth centuryand there again the landscape changes, into the heart of the lovely Devonshire and the cliffs of Devon stand in the sea, landscape, with its bold lines of hills, its rocky and castellated or green to the very rich verdure, its fields ripe with the deep- edges where the tides rise and fall. rooted loveliness of ancient fertility, its It is a noble approach which one makes hedges so high that one is often shut in who goes to the Valley of the Doones between impenetrable walls of hawthorn from Lynton; at once wild, solitary, and and privet.

beautiful with the loveliness of color, of For hours through this quiet world of moving streams, and of bold hillsides. old-time beauty one drives in absolute There are passes between the hills so solitude ;, not even a

deep and densely cart comes down the

overhung with trees long hills or around

that it is easy to the winding curves

imagine the sudden of the road. Later,

descent of the robber as one nears Lynton,

band from the hills, coaches will thun

the brief struggle, der past; but across

and the swift success country this western

of the adventure. corner of England is

Below the road runs as quiet as it was in

the stream which is the days before tele

fed by the two brooks phones vexed the ear

which flow together with the noise of

at Watersmeet. The distant cities. In

meeting of these some corner of a field

mountain brooks is a or some bend in the

place of rare beauty, road, under immemo

where Bryant would rial oaks or beeches,

have found the there is fitting time

charm of solitude for luncheon and a

which laid its spell quiet nooning for the

upon him in Flora's horses. If there hap

Glen among

the pens to be a long

Berkshires, with an hill ahead, one walks

added wildness of on in advance, stop

OARE CHURCH

hill and an added ping now and again to enter some newly loveliness of ancient water flowing through harvested field and catch another glimpse moss-grown beds. There is a choice of of the fertile landscape where long service roads, and the well-informed go in by one of human needs has bred a deep sense of route and return by another. The road fellowship between man and meadow. through the valley of the Brendon runs In one of these little incursions one may through the quaint hamlet which bears the meet a typical English farmer, taking time name of the stream ; the little villages are for a turn with his pipe and predisposed much alike: a church, a parsonage, a few to friendly talk, with a vein of character- laborers' houses, a small inn, and someistic criticism of the Government, the times a picturesque house of size, solidity, state of agriculture, and the English sys- and an air of assured position. tem in general; for farmers are much The little hamlet of Oare is one of the the same the world over, and are rarely focal points in the story, and there still without good-humored grievances against stands the old church in which Lorna existing conditions.

and John were married, where the true At the end of the afternoon the land- hearted girl fell into the arms of the faithscape changes, and one comes out upon ful lover, and from which John rushed in

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