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and we now find ourselves, writer and readers,
like the materials of which we have been
speaking, brought back, after all these various
processes, to the refinery from which we set out.


MY knapsack was on my shoulder

So said Armand, a young artist, when a
little company of us were sitting together
the other evening.

My knapsack was on my shoulder, my
ashen stick in hand; three leagues of dusty
road had whitened me like a miller. Whence I
came, whither I was goingwhat matters it?
I was not twenty years of age. My starting
point, therefore, was home; my goal was
Paradiseany earthly Paradise I could find.
The country was not particularly picturesque;
and the weather was very hot. Great undulations
of harvest-laden fields rolled irregularly
on all sides. Here was a hamlet; there a
solitary farm-house; yonder a wood; on each
eminence a windmill. Some peasants that were
in the fields, sang; and the birds chirped at
them as if in mockery. One or two waggons,
dragged by oxen and horses, slowly moved
along the tree-bordered road. I sat down on
a heap of stones. A waggoner gruffly asked
me if I was tired, and offered me "a lift."
I accepted; and soon I was stretched, where
dung had been; jolted into an uneasy, half-
slumber, not without its charm, with the bells
of the lazy team softly jingling in my ears,
until I thought fifty silver voices were calling
me away to a home that must be bright,
and a land that must be beautiful.

I awoke in a mood sufficiently benign to
receive an apology. The man had forgotten
me when he turned off the high road, and
had taken me half a league into the country.
Where was the harm, honest waggoner? I
am not going anywhere; "I am only going to
Paradise." There was no village of that name
in the neighbourhood, he said; but he had no
doubt I would be pleased to see the grounds
of the chateau. Of course, I had come on
purpose for that. I handed him his pourboire.
"Drink my health, good man, and injure
your own. Let us see these grounds." The
man showed me through a meadow near the
farm (to which he belonged) and left me,
tossing the silver piece I had given him in his
hard hand. I soon observed that the place
was worth seeing.

A hasty glance showed it to be a fragment
of wild nature, occupied in its original
state, and barricaded against civilisation.
There were woods, and solitary trees,
and lakes, and streams of sufficient
dimensions for grandeur; and, when once the wall
disappeared amidst the heavy foliage, I could
at first discern no traces whatever of the
presence of man. However, on closer
examination, I discovered that nature had been
improved upon; that all objects which might
ungraciously intercept the view, or deform a
landscape, had been removed. There were
no sham ruins nor artificial cascades; but the
stranger's steps were led, by some ingenious
process of plantation, insensibly to the best
points of view. I felt, and was thankful, for
the presence of the art which so industriously
endeavoured to conceal itself; but being, at
that time, as most young men are, inclined to
compare great things with smallthinking to
be epigrammatic and knowingI exclaimed
aloud: " The toilette of this park has been
admirably performed."

"A vulgar idea, vulgarly expressed," said a
clear firm voice above me. I looked up,
thinking that somebody, was hidden in a tree;
and, to my surprise, saw a young woman
upon a fine large horse, holding a riding-
whip playfully over my head. She had
approached across the turf unheard; and had
heard my exclamation, which, I assure you,
was meant for no ears but my own.

"Madam," replied I, when I had recovered
from my confusion, "I think you misunderstand
me. There is no vulgarity in comparing
a prospect, in which every superfluity is thus
tastefully pruned away, to a woman; who,
instead of loading herself with ornaments,
uses the arts of the toilette to display all her
beauties to the best advantage."

"The explanation will not do," she
replied. " It wants frankness. Your phrase
simply meant that you were ashamed of the
admiration this view had at first excited; and
that you thought it necessary to exert the
manly privilege of contempt. If I had not
seen you yonder using your sketch-book, I
should take you for a travelling

The tone and manner of my new acquaintance
puzzled me exceedingly; and I was at
first rather irritated by the hostile attitude
she assumed on such slight grounds. It was
evident she wished to provoke an intellectual
contest; for, at the moment, I did not understand
that her real desire was to suppress the
formalities of an introduction. I returned to
the charge; she replied. A broadside of
repartee was fired off on either side; but
insensibly we met upon common ground;
affectation was discarded; and, as we streamed
irregularly along the swardy avenues, or
stopped at the entrance of a long vistashe
gently walking her docile genet; I, with
my hand upon its mane,—we made more
advances towards familiarity and friendship
in an hour than would have been possible,
under any other circumstances, in a season.

Let me describe my impressions as I
received them. Otherwise, how will the
narrative illustrate the theory? I am
endeavouring to show, by example, what an
immense structure of happiness may be built
upon a very flimsy ground; that the material
sequence of this life's events need have no
correspondence with the sequence of our
sentiments; that——But I must not anticipate.

The lady, dressed in a green riding-habit,

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