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look in such a costume, but also the wonderful processes by which the gloriously-tinted fabric was produced from the secretion of a caterpillar, and dyed by means of substances extracted from coal-tar by a succession of chemical changes, each one as curious as beautiful. In fine, will women, having now got as it were the first foot on the ladder of intellectual progress, rush rapidly onward, and perchance lose all advantages by over-eagerness to rival and outdo men in all departments; or will they quietly and slowly push onwards, and leave to time to decide fairly whether or no there are certain occupations and departments of usefulness which an average woman cannot fulfil, by reason of her sex alone, as well as an average man? No doubt there will be revolutionary enthusiasts and advocates of progress too rapid for safety amongst the alumni (or alumnce, should we say ?) of the rising training-schools for female thought; but if we may judge by the quiet earnestness of purpose and apparent love of knowledge for its own sake that has characterised during the last few years the development of the movement for the higher education of women, we can scarcely doubt that the same wise moderation will be a conspicuous feature in the future, and that most of the evils prophesied as the sure outcome of this desire for intellectual cultivation will exist only in the fervid imagination of the false prophets. Palmam qui

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meruit ferat ! The startling results of what has been familiarly called “The Ladies' Year' at Cambridge bring these considerations very much to the front, and invest the whole subject with a profound interest amongst the signs of the times.'

Literary nooks.

I
THINK it is always an interesting point to

determine the habitat of a great writer, to compare the writings with the surroundings, to see how the author has reproduced the scenery and how the scenery has affected the writer. I have even met with distinguished Germans, who have said that, given the external circumstances that act upon a man, you may tell his cast of mind and character. This is a good example of the German passion for theorising, building up an immense superstructure upon a slender basis. We like to think of our writers of pleasant fiction writing under pleasant circumstances. So Dickens wrote in his Swiss chalet, and Lord Lytton in the summer-house on the margin of his lake. We can very well imagine how Thackeray's notes were made, if not written out; in lodgings, in cabs, in boarding - houses, in his bedroom after heavy dinner-parties, in the writing-rooms of clubs, and so

The late Mr. Lever, whose loss we all sincerely deplore, left the track of his travels on all his writings.

on.

While poor

As an Irish surgeon he gave us rollicking Irish stories, and when he went abroad he took his readers abroad with him. His political friends sent him to Spezzia and Trieste, much as Shiel was sent to Florence, or Mr. Hannay to Barcelona. Then he gave us the scenery of Northern Italy and of the shores of the Adriatic. So, too, Mr. Trollope utilised all his travels for the postoffice in that long series of stories, which, on the whole, have quite a cosmopolitan character. Lever was moving about London writing blithely his cheery stories and papers, we now know that for him health and happiness were both gone. He had lost his wife, and his doctors had told him he was hopelessly diseased. From first to last how bright and boyish was his nature, and how he loved to delineate boyish nature ! And what a patriotic nature was his, from first to last trying to make Ireland understood, and to render her such service as a novelist might render.

The public doubtless take a great interest in Mr. Tennyson. A friend of mine was once staying at a country inn where the great man was also putting up. As my friend reclined in an arbour, he was more surprised than gratified by observing that various surreptitious peeps were taken of him by the people of the place, and compliments were freely passed on his magnificent brow, his intellectual eyes, and his wildly poetic hair. My friend was doubtless gratified that his personal qualifications were so liberally recog

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nised, but the feeling must have been modified on learning that such compliments were not intended for him but for the Laureate. I have frequently made tracks' by accident upon Mr. Tennyson in pretty scenery, and I find that he always likes retiredness. And he must find it hard to get. He was driven by the tourists from his pretty house near Freshwater; and I remorsefully recollect that, when I had the Tennysonian fever in my youth, I persuaded the gardener to give us some of his flowers, but at the time he was far away in Portugal. And the public follow him to his new home, which I will not indicate. Once I saw an advertisement in the second column of the Times, assuring some imperfectly-educated gentleman that Wordsworth really did live and die at Rydal Mount. And of all pleasant nooks I know, there is none lovelier than that of Rydal, between the mountains and the lake. Wordsworth used to wonder what would become of Rydal after his time, and it is perhaps a sad thought that, apparently to the inevitable advertisement all pretty poetic retreats must come at last. There was a study at Rydal, but Wordsworth studied abroad; and on him, if on any, the outward forms of nature left a distinct impress. I remember once forging a long day's work in walking from Keswick to Derwentwater, over mountain and by lake, and at last I came in the solemn twilight to that exquisite retreat, covered with roses, jessamine, and

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