Imatges de pÓgina

growth of shrubs and succulent plants. The conclusions apparent from the Time was when such localities were as facts and arguments herein advanced unpromising to vegetation as any which are the following: That forest - trees in now compose our Californian valleys. sufficient numbers will absorb, from deep

It may be said that this theory proves as well as from superficial strata, a suftoo much; that if trees take up so much ficient quantity of water to establish water from the soil, the surface ground regular subterranean currents, and that must necessarily be desiccated, and thus whatever miasma may be combined with rendered unfit for cereal crops. This or held in solution by the water will thus does not follow. While it is admitted be carried off, or have its toxic properthat during the growing season the soil ties in whole or in part neutralized; beneath forest-trees may contain a pro- that the water thus exhaled will be difportion of water smaller than that with- fused through the atmosphere in such out their range, it is also true that a quantity as to be returned in great part large portion of the San Joaquin Valley, to the surface soil by precipitation; that having a known depth of seventy or 100 the high summer temperature may thus feet, being the product of denudation be so modified as to reduce the nocturand not retaining the rain-fall of winter nal heat below 60°; that the causes thus near the surface, is capable of sustain- operating to prevent vegetable fermenting a sparse vegetation only so long as ation, or to dissipate miasma if develfrequent rains keep the substratum in a oped, would protect the valley from regmoist condition; consequently, the for- ular visitations of paludal fevers; that est would obtain its main supply of wa- the modification of climate thus induced ter by the trees projecting their roots would, under ordinary circumstances, indownward far beyond the limits of sur

sure average crops of grain in localities face moisture. But our argument is now which are now dependent either on undirected primarily to a hygienic point, usually wet seasons or on artificial irriand secondarily to the means whereby gation; and that, while immediate benunproductive land may be brought to a efits would thus be conferred upon the condition in which crops may be insured farmer by extensive tree-planting, the at a minimum expense and at the great- remuneration would be cumulative, not est profit to the cultivator. In a future only in the regularly increasing value of paper I will resume this subject, and his timber, but the prospective reendeavor to prove that forest-trees re- clamation, by natural processes without turn to the land and air more moisture absolute expense, of land which is now than they extract from surface soil.

utterly useless.




"HE dining-room at Mossland was not need to shrink from the searching

a large room much longer than light, for it bore the impress of a noble broad, with windows reaching almost to generous nature; as old a man as Mr. the foor. The walls made you think of Lingarde, yet there was not a line of silrose-clouds flitting over a gray sky, skyver in the dark hair, and the smile and and clouds alike covered with a filmy light of the eye were trusting as a child's. veil of silver. The windows were drap- Children and animals all worshiped Ray ed with curtains of rose - damask falling Llorente, and on the occasion of his in heavy folds to the foor, and then coming to Mossland the great mastiff, melting away into the ashen gray of the who almost merited his name, “ Lion,' carpet, which was crossed in diamonds never failed to slip into the room to by threads of rose. Between the win- make a mat for his feet. At the other dows, which were three in number, there corner of the fire-place, upon a low stool were mirrors of the same height; the drawn far back into the shadow, which marble slab at the base of one uphold- her black dress made deeper and more ing a fernery, that of the other a globe intense, Roberta sat, apparently watchof gold-fish. In the rose-tinted arches ing the flickering rays of light chase the over windows and mirrors were marble shadows over the carpet, for her head busts, shining purely white as the moon- was slightly bent forward, and she did light bursting through a cloud. At one not once raise her eyes. At the table, end of the room stood a broad low cab- farther back, engaged in looking over a inet of rose-wood, the shelves filled with pile of letters and papers, sat Louis Varare and curious souvenirs of travel. lois. His name, as well as the quick At the opposite end of the room was a vivacious play of his features, he had insimilar cabinet filled with books, and herited from his French ancestry. Vahad you opened them you would have lois had once been De Valois until some found in each, traced in delicate charac- revolution had beheaded it. He was one ters, the name, “Fay Lingarde.” Across of the few men who can be called handone corner stood a small upright piano, some: features perfectly regular, yet also of rose - wood, with keys of pearl; with a mobility of expression which across another, the buffet. Now the saved them from insipidity; hands and last trace of the late dinner had been feet whose perfect shape was still sugremoved from the table; and on the low gestive of masculine strength and ensofa, drawn up by one side of the open durance, and around and about him such wood-fire, Fay was sitting with her fa- a fire and dash and bloom of youth that ther. His arm was lying about her, you would be forever forgetting whether while his hand was softly stroking the his eyes were gray or black, whether his ends of the golden hair; so they always hair were brown or of the purplish hue sat. Directly in front of the fire anoth- of the gods. The tones of his voice er gentleman was sitting. The full blaze would linger in your memory and rouse of the fire lit up his face, which did the sleeping echoes of your heart. For


more than a year he had made one of berta could not even tell me the subject Mr. Lingarde's family. He was by nat. I had inflicted upon them.” ure and education an artist. In reality At the mention of her name, Roberta he did exactly what he chose; sketched started as if just made conscious of the and painted when the fancy took him, presence of others. and at other times shut himself in the “It is very bad of you to say that; library for days together, doing the work one might almost call it malicious,” said which he had allowed to await his pleas- Fay, vivaciously. “We were very inter

From where he sat the only face ested, were we not, Roberta ?” which he could see was Roberta's. He “What was it about, then?" asked had only given her a passing glance as her father. she first took her seat, but that glance “It was Ruskin's Stones of Venice,had brought the quick color to her answered Fay. “We had been talking cheek and weighed her eyes down to about it the evening before, and as Rothe carpet, while Louis saw her an- berta had never been in Venice, Mr. Lloswering look upon every page which he rente brought it for her to read, or rather opened.

to read to us. After you had gone, Mr. "And so you have really missed me, Llorente," she continued, “Roberta playmy pet?” said Mr. Lingarde, fondly, in ed for me the most ravishing piece of answer to some words of Fay's. music that I have ever heard; she said

“Missed you!”—with a world of sweet that the description which you had read reproach in voice and look — “missed recalled it to her. I wish so much that you! You know without asking." she would play it now” — turning to Ro

“But you have had no one to inter- berta. fere with your pleasure, as I most cer- “And I," said Mr. Llorente. tainly should have done, for I like not “I could not give it the same effect as to see the roses of your cheeks sinking then, when my imagination was filled down into your canvas, any more than to with it,” answered Roberta, shrinking have the purple from your canvas circle farther back into the shadow. itself about your eyes. Confess that you “It was not an improvisation, then ?" have been working too hard. Llorente, “O, no, indeed; it was a song-a song I gave you charge of this little girl. I without words — that one of the sisters shall call you to an account as a faith- used to play for me. do not know that less guardian."

it was ever published.” “O! papa, it is because you have not “It was not one of Mendelssohn's, seen me for two weeks. Indeed, I am then?” quite well.”

“No; it was something even more “I have taken the young ladies out divine, if possible.” for a ride every morning, and have call- “Then, if it is not your own, you will ed to inquire after their health every surely not refuse to gratify me." evening,” said Mr. Llorente, lazily. “Do, pray do!” breathed rather than

"And on rainy days when we could entreated Fay. not go to ride he was so kind as to Louis Valois dropped the pencil which come over and read to us,” interrupted he had been holding in his hand, and Fay.

Roberta raising her eyes just then met “Miss Fay does not add that I proved his gaze full of entreaty. Mr. Lingarde myself so tiresome a reader, or else made alone looked indifferently into the fire. such an unfortunate selection, that she There was between him and Roberta nearly went to sleep; while Miss Ro- a strange chill reserve which nothing

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seemed able to break down. Rarely is not just the same as you played it bedid either address the other in direct fore- it can not be-it is so much more conversation, yet Roberta was acutely sad. I did not feel like weeping then, conscious the moment her father enter- and now it seems as though I could ed her presence.

In appearance she never shed tears enough. Tell me, why resembled him in an extraordinary de- did you change it?” gree—the power of his face was repeat- “I did not change it," answered Roed and intensified in hers; while Fay berta. “I think I never played anyhad not a single feature of her father's thing twice alike-one would need to be family. It may have been the strong an automaton to do that.” resemblance to his lost wife which made She had risen from the piano and apthe father so tender to her. Certain it proached the fire to resume her seat, was that all the love of his strong nature when she heard her father speak to Mr. blossomed for her alone. Throughout Llorente. His lips were not moving, Roberta's childhood he contented him- but certainly she heard these words: self with seeing her at rare intervals, “Another Alice; one can never depend and had even left her for a year longer upon a character such as that.” Mr. than was necessary at the convent. Llorente sat shading his eyes with his

Roberta rose to go to the piano with- hand. “Thank you, Miss Roberta," out further words. She sat for a full he said; “I never heard a measure so moment without striking a note; then, strange as that. What did you say it was like the beating of a heart, one chord called ?” after another fell from her hands and “I think Sister Agatha called it the passed into a movement full of melody, "Song of a falling star,' or perhaps we intense and passionate — the ecstasy of named it so; I do not remember: but melancholy, the bitterness of sweetness. we always called it the ‘Song without One harmony grew and blended into words." another, yet through it all you could “What voice, what words, could ever feel rather than hear the theme thread- express it?" said Louis Valois, involuning out the story, as one might pluck the tarily. “The heart which should make petals from a rose, one by one, and each the attempt would surely break under in falling making the fragrance sweeter. the burden, or burn with the fire which At times, with strong impetuous rush, flows in its strains." the notes followed each other in quick “I can not imagine an inmate of a succession, and then would float away convent playing such music,” observed as softly as thistle - down before the Llorente, still shading his eyes with his breath of August; then, with a sudden hand. “It is well that music is above leap, passing up into the higher notes, and beyond all language, for nothing the measure grew delirious with whirl- base or ignoble ever finds expression ing dizzy motion, until to hear seemed in it." to die, and dying sweet; then, with a “Roberta," said Fay, quite suddenly, faltering shudder, the music sunk into “while you were playing, there came inthe plaint of solitude, the repining of one to your face just the expression which I alone, the hunger and thirst of a soul have tried to bring, but could not sucwhich will never be satisfied, and with ceed in bringing, into the face of my a broken tumult of sweet sounds it Rebecca." shivered into silence.

“And is your great picture at last “O, Roberta !” cried Fay, the tears finished ?" inquired Louis, with sudden glistening in her eyes, “I'm sure that interest. “I have been longing all the

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evening to ask if you had succeeded in of the other lay the whole effect of the working it out?"

picture. There was a look of innocent “It is as nearly finished as it will ever uncomprehending surprise upon Rowebe," answered Fay, discontentedly. “I na's face, as she held the casket in her shall never be any better satisfied.” hand, half of its rich contents poured

“There speaks the artist nature. You out in her lap. But the study, the focus will never be satisfied with anything of the picture, was concentrated in the you finish; for it is the incompleteness face of Rebecca — the face of a woman which makes you try again. Let us see who suffers, who renounces. It was as it, and pass our judgment upon it.” if she were reading the future of Ivan

“No, indeed; I'm not ready yet.” hoe in that farewell look into Rowena's

“Give me permission to go up and soul. There was a divine beauty in her bring it down,” entreated Louis. “The countenance; the beauty of the soul. picture will look different, even to you, Louis Valois did not move nor speak as when taken out of the room where you Roberta entered and stood by his side. have worked upon it. There the ideal He was conscious, painfully conscious which is in your mind is stamped upon to his very finger-tips, the moment that every object, so that wherever you turn she crossed the threshold. He longed your eyes you can see it a thousand to speak to utter some commonplace times more perfect and beautiful than words — but he felt as if chained to sithe one which you have really painted. lence. Five minutes before he would I shall go, shall I not?” He had risen have given the world, in his extravafrom the table. Fay hesitated. Before gance, for the opportunity to speak a she could speak Louis was out of the word to Roberta alone, and now he room, when, as if struck by a sudden seemed in a trance, unable to move. thought, Fay exclaimed:

Roberta spoke first: “But the frame! It will not look half “Shall we take it down? There is a as well unframed. I have a superstition frame in the closet which Fay wishes it about my picture. Pray, Roberta, go and put into.” Her natural even tones made tell him that the frame which was too Louis himself at once. large for my sea - picture just fits it.” “Do you know, I thought Miss Fay

“I know where it is, dear,” said Ro- had imprisoned your very self in the canberta, "and it shall not be brought down vas, and it was only your wraith which until it is as properly framed as if it were had been sitting so quietly down - stairs, to be sent to the exhibition.” With and that was why the music was so awnoiseless steps she passed up the stairs. ful in its ghostly mysteriousness. I The door of the studio stood ajar. Into hardly dared turn my head when you the window, from which the curtain was glided into the room without even the still pushed aside, the trembling light of echo of a footfall.” the young moon stole, for the clouds Are you very sure now that I am had rolled away as the night-chill set- real?" asked Roberta, with attempted tled down. Louis Valois was standing playfulness. with his back to the door gazing upon the “Yes, perfectly so; the strange likepainting. The artist had given color to ness has vanished, now that I see you the word - picture in Ivanhoe, where Re- side by side. It is a wonderful creation, becca is in the act of giving the jewels though. Little Fay has more genius to the Lady Rowena. In the contrast than we all. I did not dream that she between the dark mournful beauty of could produce anything like this. It was the one and the rich sunny brightness a mere shadow two weeks ago; she


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