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pleasant. The elms gather together, rubbing their branches in the gale till the bark is worn off and the boughs die; the shadow is deep under them, and moist, favourable to rank grass and coarse mushrooms. Beneath the ashes, after the first frost, the air is full of the bitterness of their blackened leaves, which have all come down at once. By the beeches there is little underwood, and the hollows are filled ankledeep with their leaves. From the pines comes a fragrant odour, and thus the character of each group dominates the surrounding ground. The shade is too much for many flowers, which prefer the nooks of hedgerows. If there is no scope for the use of express" rifles, this southern forest really is a forest and not an open hillside. It is a forest of trees, and there are no woodlands so beautiful and enjoyable as these, where it is possible to be lost a while without fear of serious consequences; where you can walk without stepping up to the waist in a decayed tree-trunk, or floundering in a bog; where neither venomous snake nor torturing mosquito causes constant apprehensions and constant irritation. To the eye there is nothing but beauty; to the imagination pleasant pageants of old time; to the ear the soothing cadence of the leaves as the gentle breeze goes over. The beeches rear their Gothic architecture; the oaks are planted firm like castles, unassailable. Quick squirrels climb and dart hither and thither, deer cross the distant glade, and, occasionally, a hawk passes like thought.

The something that may be in the shadow or the thicket, the vain, pleasant chase that beckons us on,

still leads the footsteps from tree to tree, till by-andby a lark sings, and, going to look for it, we find the stubble outside the forest-stubble still bright with the blue and white flowers of gray speedwell. One of the earliest to bloom in the spring, it continues till the plough comes again in autumn. Now looking back from the open stubble on the high wall of trees, the touch of autumn here and there is the more visible-oaks dotted with brown, horse chestnuts yellow, maples orange, and the bushes beneath red with haws.



Ir takes a hundred and fifty years to make a beauty-a hundred and fifty years out-of-doors. Open air, hard manual labour or continuous exercise, good food, good clothing, some degree of comfort, all of these, but most especially open air, must play their part for five generations before a beautiful woman can appear. These conditions can only be found in the country, and consequently all beautiful women come from the country. Though the accident of birth may cause their register to be signed in town, they are always of country extraction. Let us glance back a hundred and fifty years, say to 1735, and suppose a yeoman to have a son about that time. That son would be bred upon the hardest fare, but, though hard, it would be plentiful and of honest sort. The bread would be home-baked, the beef salted at home, the ale home-brewed. He would work all day in the fields with the labourers, but he would have three great advantages over them. -in good and plentiful food, in good clothing, and in home comforts. He would ride, and join all the athletic sports of the time. Mere manual labour

stiffens the limbs, gymnastic exercises render them supple. Thus he would obtain immense strength from simple hard work, and agility from exercise. Here, then, is a sound constitution, a powerful frame, well knit, hardened - an almost perfect physical existence.

He would marry, if fortunate, at thirty or thirtyfive, naturally choosing the most charming of his acquaintances. She would be equally healthy and proportionally as strong, for the ladies of those days were accustomed to work from childhood. By custom soon after marriage she would work harder than before, notwithstanding her husband's fair store of guineas in the iron-bound box. The house, the dairy, the cheese-loft, would keep her arms in training. Even since I recollect, the work done by ladies in country houses was something astonishing, ladies by right of well-to-do parents, by right of education and manners. Really, it seems that there is no work a woman cannot do with the best results for herself, always provided that it does not throw a strain upon the loins. Healthy children sprung from such parents, while continuing the general type, usually tend towards a refinement of the features. Under such natural and healthy conditions, if the mother have a good shape, the daughter is finer; if the father be of good height, the son is taller. These children in their turn go through the same open-air training. In the course of years, the family guineas increasing, home comforts increase, and manners are polished. Another generation sees the cast of countenance smoothed of its original ruggedness,

while preserving its good proportion. The hard chin becomes rounded and not too prominent, the cheek-bones sink, the ears are smaller, a softness spreads itself over the whole face. That which was only honest now grows tender. Again another generation, and it is a settled axiom that the family are handsome. The country-side as it gossips agrees that the family are marked out as good-looking. Like seeks like, as we know; the handsome intermarry with the handsome. Still, the beauty has not arrived yet, nor is it possible to tell whether she will appear from the female or male branches. But in the fifth generation appear she does, with the original features so moulded and softened by time, so worked and refined and sweetened, so delicate and yet so rich in blood, that she seems like a new creation that has suddenly started into being. No one has watched and recorded the slow process which has thus finally resulted. No one could do so, because it has spread over a century and a half. If any one will consider, they will agree that the sentiment at the sight of a perfect beauty is as much amazement as admiration. It is so astounding, so outside ordinary experience, that it wears the aspect of magic.

A stationary home preserves the family intact, so that the influences already described have time to produce their effect. There is nothing uncommon in a yeoman's family continuing a hundred and fifty years in the same homestead. Instances are known of such occupation extending for over two hundred years; cases of three hundred years may be

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