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To our old house! I sometimes think,
With my eyes closed, and half-asleep,
That I am lying on the brink
Of the old fish-pond, still, and deep.

Methinks in one of those sweet nooks,
Beneath the hanging willow-trees,
I listen to the cawing rooks
And busy humming of the bees.
And, moodily, I watch the trout
Make circles in the tranquil pool;
And watch the swallows skim about,
And feel the breeze so fresh and cool.

Let me awakethe dream was brief
Be thankful for my sufferings here;
Be thankful, too, for Heaven's relief,
E'en though I leave thee, sister dear.
Yet let me once more see you smile;
A Vision opens on me bright!
Lay your hand by me for a while
And now, God bless you, loveGood Night!



FLEMING did what he could to find fair play
for his father-in-law. He spoke to one and
anotherto the officers of the railway, and to
the owners of neighbouring plots of ground,
about the bad drainage, which was injuring
everybody; but he could not learn that
anything was likely to be done. The ditchthe
great evil of allhad always been there, he
was told, and people never used to complain
of it. When Fleming pointed out that it
was at first a comparatively deep ditch, and
that it grew shallower eveiy year, from the
accumulations formed by its uneven bottom,
there were some who admitted that it might
be as well to clean it out; yet nobody set
about it. And it was truly a more difficult
affair now than it would have been at an
earlier time. If the ditch was shallower, it
was much wider. It had once been twelve
feet wide, and it was now eighteen. When
any drain had been flowing into it, or after a
rainy day, the contents spread through and
over the soil on each side, and softened it,
and then the next time any horse or cow
came to drink, the whole bank was made a
perfect bog; for the poor animals, however
thirsty, tried twenty places to find water that
they could drink, before going away in
despair. Such was the bar in the way of
poor Woodruffe's success with his ground.
Before the end of summer, his patience was
nearly worn out. During a showery and
gleamy May and a pleasant June, he had
gone on as prosperously as he could expect
under the circumstances; and he confidently
anticipated that a seasonable July and
August would quite set him up. But he had
had no previous experience of the peculiarities
of ill-drained land; and the hot July and
August from which he hoped so much did
him terrible mischief. The drought which
would have merely dried and pulverised a
well-drained soil, leaving it free to profit
much by small waterings, baked the over-
charged soil of Woodruffe's garden into hard
hot masses of clay, amidst which his produce
died off faster and faster every day, even
though he and all his family wore out their
strength with constant watering. He did
hope, he said, that he should have been
spared drought at least; but it seemed as if
he was to have every plague in turn; and
the drought seemed, at the time, to be the
worst of all.

One day, Fleming saw a welcome face in
one of the carriages; Mr. Nelson, a Director
of the railway, who was looking along the
line to see how matters went. Though Mr.
Nelson was not exactly the one, of all the
Directors, whom Fleming would have chosen
to appeal to, he saw that the opportunity
must not be lost; and he entreated him to
alight, and stay for the next train.

"Eh! what?" said Mr. Nelson "what
can you want with us here? A station like
this! Why, one has to put on spectacles
to see it!"

"If you would come down, Sir, I should be
glad to show you . . ."

"Well: I suppose I must."

As they were standing on the little platform,
and the train was growing smaller in
the distance, Fleming proceeded to business.
He told of the serious complaints
that were made for a distance of a few miles
on either hand, of the clay pits, left by the
railway brickmakers, to fill with stagnant

"Pho! pho! Is that what you want to
say?" replied Mr. Nelson. "You need not
have stopped me just to tell me that. We
hear of those pits all along the line. We are
sick of hearing of them."

"That does not mend the matter in this
place," observed Fleming. "I speak freely,
Sir, but I think it my duty to say that some-
thing must be done. I heard, a few days
ago, more than the people hereabouts know,—
much more than I shall tell themof the
fever that has settled on particular points
of our line; and I now assure you, Sir, that
if the fever once gets a hold in this place, I
believe it may carry us all off, before
anything can be done. Sir, there is not one of
us, within half a mile of the Station, that has
a wholesome dwelling."

"Pho! pho! you are a croaker," declared
Mr. Nelson. "Never saw such a dismal
fellow! Why, you will die of fright, if ever
you die of anything."

"Then, Sir, will you have the goodness to
walk round with me, and see for yourself
what you think of things. It is not only for
myself and my family that I speak. In an
evil day, I induced my wife's family to settle
here, and . . ."

"Ay! that is a nice garden," observed Mr.
Nelson, as Fleming pointed to Woodruffe's
land. "You are a croaker, Fleming. I
declare I think the place is much improved

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