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and to use pieces of bed-tick or old apron
instead of canvas. But there is no stopping a
man of that kind. Crome soon mastered his
art, and learned with naive simplicity to show
the beauty of the simplest natural effects; he
could conjure with the rudest spells a few
old trees, a broken cottage, a rough scrap of
heath; yet whatever he painted was always
luminous, broad, and massive. He always clung
to Norfolk and to simple subjects, and never
fell over the fatal Grand Style, like poor Haydon
and others. Founding the Norwich Society
of Artists, he became its president, and did
good service to art in originating, in 1805, the
first provincial exhibition of pictures in
England. Crome died in 1821, and the same
year one hundred and eleven of his paintings
were exhibited, beginning with " The Sawyers,"
a sketch made for a public-house in 1790, down
to a fine wood scene, painted within a month of
his departure. Household Heath was old Crome's
favourite hunting ground.

With Norwich, as with so many other spots
the crow has visited, Shakespeare has
associated himself. The old black flint wall that
once girdled the town wears for a brooch at
one spot the Erpingham Gate, a fine pointed
arch of the fourteenth century, with panelled
buttresses, and a statue of the builder, sentinelled
high up in a niche. This grey, silent sentinel
was an old soldier whom Shakespeare,
with an affection for the character, calls "a good
old commander and a most kind gentleman."
He lent his cloak to Henry the Fifth on the eve
of Agincourt, and bore himself nobly in that
sturdy encounter. Sir John favoured the Lollards,
and for this heresy was sentenced by
Bishop Spencer, a fighting bishop, to build
this gate as a penance. Norwich is full of old
houses, old churches, and old bits of wall, stolen
originally from the Roman station at Caistor,
for the legend says:

Caistor was a city when Norwich was none,
And Norwich was built of Caistor stone.

The churches, too, are of great antiquity.
St. Julian's, with the round and very ancient
tower; St. John's, Maddermarket, earlier than
the Confessor's coronation; and St. Peter's,
Mancroft, the finest parish church in England,
excepting St. Mary's, Redcliffe. The cathedral,
though begun by Bishop Losinga in 1094, was
not finished till 1510.



LATE that night I went to look at the
moonlight from the stone parapet that ran
round the house. Belle was there already,
staring straight out before her. She had
on an old dark blue wrapper, and her
uncoiled hair lay heavily upon it. I had never
seen her look so moody, and she did not
stir at my approach.

"Making out pictures, Belle?"

The water broke on the shingle with
silver foam; there was a barge with lights
on it; a lull had dropped on the village.

"Yes," said Belle, shortly.

"What do you see?"

"Darkness," she replied, in the morbid,
exaggerated style I especially disliked. As
she spoke, the moon passed behind a cloud,
and the lighted barge was hidden by a rock.
A gloomy blackness had suddenly fallen.

Belle shivered.

"Who would be a prophet," she said,
"with a future like that?"

I was so vexed with her mood, that I did
not care to stay.

"Good-night, Belle," I said. " I don't
think prophets are very much in my style.
I can't see your visions, and, I am thankful
to say, I don't dream your dreams."

After this Belle grew every day more
fitful. One hour her eyes would be bright
and her colour high, and the next, perhaps,
it would have faded, and her face have
relapsed into its usual pallor. I, who was
watching her, found the clue. It depended
a good deal on the new comer, Jack Curzon.
Every day, as it passed, confirmed my idea,
until at last it grew clear to every one. He
was making love to Eunice.

Frogmore came to me in despair.

"I have been waiting too long," he said.
"Nothing that I could say now to Eunice
would be of any use. She cares for him,
and it is too late for me."

"They are not engaged?" I said, my
voice alone making it a question.

"They soon will be," he returned, with
a groan, and I was too much his friend to
dispute it.

Eunice came to me, a changed character
in her happiness.

"Dear, dear Devonshire," she said, " and
this dear house. Mrs. F., if ever I have a
house, it shall be nice like this. There shall
be a hall with all those painted stones let in,
and roses and geraniums in the fireplace,
and, in the winter, scented fires; and I would
have a grey soft furry shawl, and- it's
all rather confused in my mind just now,
but I would have the prettiest things."

"You little, foolish, vague girl," I said,
"that is not half what I should have
expected you to say. How will you ever be
content with anything so perfectly ordinary?
Could you not manage a running
stream through your house, with the
'prettiest' flowers growing in the water,
and little golden arrows all along it? This
way to the blue roomto the guest's best
chamberto the larder! My dear, you
will have nothing that is out of the way."