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world, woodland all round, and a mountain ash overhanging the well. So rapidly rises the water as to realize Coleridge's exquisite lines

“ Nor ever cease
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page,
As merry and no taller, dances still.”

And of course there is a legend. A maiden of the Silchesters, a thousand (more or less) years ago, met' beside this fountain a man faint with travel. He was too weak to reach the water, so as to quench his thirst.

She not only aided him in his trouble, but brought him up to the house, and gave him food and wine. As he left, he said—“ Whoso wishes a true wish after drinking the water of that well, shall have what he wishes."

And it is recorded that as he passed down the great avenue his stature expanded, and he looked like unto Joseph of Arimathea.

Precociously flirted. Perfectly fearless, and knowing that prevention is better than cure, He did his best to teach the village lout temper

ance in all things. He was the Squire's adju

cant.

Concerning Silchester, there is probably nothing more to be said, except that it is a lovely village. But all villages are lovely. Man preposterously tries to

tries to achieve the hideous; but God covers his monstrosities with lichen and ivy, and makes the rain wash them and the sun embrown them; and so they gradually become what it is the fashion to call picturesque. This probably means—fit to make a picture of. It is the most conceited epithet in our language, for it patronizes the Creator.

What in the world would an archæologist say if the most important thing about Silchester were forgotten? It has an immemorial wishing

Clear water comes up into a granite basin, beneath a granite arch, Norman, or perhaps Saxon. It is the loveliest corner in the

well.

world, woodland all round, and a mountain ash overhanging the well. So rapidly rises the water as to realize Coleridge's exquisite lines

“ Nor ever cease
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page,
As merry and no taller, dances still.”

And of course there is a legend. A maiden of the Silchesters, a thousand (more or less) years ago, met' beside this fountain a man faint with travel. He was too weak to reach the water, so as to quench his thirst. She not only aided him in his trouble, but brought him up to the house, and gave him food and wine. As he left, he said—“Whoso wishes a true wish after drinking the water of that well, shall have what he wishes."

And it is recorded that as he passed down the great avenue his stature expanded, and he looked like unto Joseph of Arimathea.

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a reminiscence of old days of archery; but modern sentiment has rechristened it Nightingale Lane. It is the favourite resort of your Devonshire Tityrus and Amaryllis.

The street winds. On the left, the Oak Tavern, kept by old Harry Withers, whose white head and brown gaiters are institutions in Silchester. The man who gets drunk at the Oak will never drink there again. Withers farms under the Squire, and brews his own ale, and stands no nonsense.

The next house, hidden among trees and surrounded by a high wall, is what in these days would be called a ladies' seminary—kept by Madame Simonet, a very decided Englishwoman, who is thus called from having married a Frenchman. She bears the repute of being a rigid disciplinarian.

Just opposite, from a cottage overgrown with honeysuckle, there issues a wondrous shrillness of bird-music. If you enter that cottage, you will find two rooms full of bird-cages, fifty in each, perhaps : a true academy of music; for

one cage in each room contains a nightingale," and the others canaries, which that nightingale has to educate ; and when the two nightingales are in full song, with a hundred canaries following them, the jargoning deafens all Silchester. Burrows, the owner of this ornithic cottage, drives the coach from Silchester to Exeter: a born lover of birds, he can gain answers from them at any time as he drives along in the twilight.

Now, also on the right, is Sherwood, attorneyat-law and gentleman by act of Parliament. Sherwood is a gentleman on other grounds; he is also a humorist; and, having quite enough to live upon, he has a mania for reconciling litigants. He is unpopular among the lawyers of the neighbourhood. The Squire likes him well enough to invite him to dinner now and then. The fact is that Sherwood, though a thoroughly good fellow, has a slightly boisterous humour.

Next door is Zeal the wine merchant, a

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