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delight. Another was that the girls had
evidently accepted their defeat in the last
contest as final, and she should be rid of them
for ever. She had noticed various preparations
for departure, had seen heavy boxes
lumbering the passages near their rooms,
but had carefully avoided making any
inquiries, and had begged her husband to do

"They will go," she said, "and it will
be for the best. Either they or I must
have gone, and I suppose you would prefer
it should be they. It is their duty to say
where they purpose going, and what they
purpose doing. It will be time enough
for you to refuse your consent, if the place
of selection be an objectionable one, when
they tell us where it is."

Two days after that conversation Mr.
and Mrs. Creswell were sitting together
after luncheon, when Maud entered the
room. She took no notice of Marian, but
said to her uncle, "Gertrude and I are
going away to-morrow, uncle, for some
time, if not for ever. You won't be
astonished to hear it, I know, but it is our
duty to tell you."

"Well, Maud, Igoing awayI confess,
not entirely news to me"—said Mr. Creswell,
hopelessly feeble— " where are you
going, child?"

"We have accepted an invitation we
have received, uncle!"

"An invitation? I did not know you
knew any one, Maud! From some of your
old school companions?"

"No, uncle: from Lady Caroline
Mansergh a friend of Mr. Benthalls and Mr.
Joyce's, uncle!"

Marian looked up, and the light of
triumph faded out of her eyes. It was but
an incomplete victory, after all!



THE sea gives and takes all along our coast.
The history of its greedy and ceaseless annexations
in our island would be geologically curious
and valuable. Slowly the ocean is sucking our
island away, as a boy sucks a sugarplum.
Harwich presents several curious instances of this.
Beacon Cliff, on the south of the town, is an
eminence of clay separating Orwell Haven from
Walton Bay. It once had a signal-house and
telegraph on its summit, and it now boasts the
largest martello tower in England, mounting
ten guns. With the clay stone of this hill, that
hardens with exposure, Harwich is paved, and
the stout walls of Orford and Framlingham
Castles were long ago built. It is a clay full
of fossils, bivalves, shells, and elephants' teeth.
Captain Washington, says Mr. Walcott, has
measured the speed of the sea's progress at
Harwich. The cliff lost ten feet between 1709
and 1756, eighty feet between 1756 and 1804,
and three hundred and fifty feet between the
latter date and 1841. The vicar's field has been
swallowed up since 1807, and part of a battery,
built in 1805, at a considerable distance from
the sea, was swept away in 1829, and the ruins
now overhang the shore. The sea, if not built
out, will make a breach in time, the best
authorities think, at Lower Dovercourt, turn the
peninsula into an island, and destroy well-
intentioned but somewhat somnolent Harwich.
Felixstow shows other dangers awaiting
Harwich. Felixstow has one charming feature
a straggling place several miles long, it
has no shops, and sends for everything to
Walton, a village two miles distant. In spite
of a salt marsh, unsavoury at night, it is
not an ugly place, for the cliffs are full of
springs. There was once a castle behind the
church, and a Roman fort, said still to exist,
somewhere out at sea; and altogether, when it
is once built, it really will be a town, and
Bernard Barton, the Quaker poet, who was
easily pleased, has sung of it:

On that shore where the waters of Orwell and Deben
Join the dark heaving ocean, that spot may be found
A scene which recals the lost beauties of Eden,
And which Fancy might hail as her own fairy ground.

Such are the delusions of local attachment.
At Felixstow Point, where the cliff, from
reddish yellow darkens to brown and yellow,
striped black like the carcase of a mammoth
tiger, the sea has been at it again. Waggon-
loads of coprolites have been scratched and
washed out of the cliff, and day by day, with
this dangerous diminution, has grown a still
more fatal gift, for the sea, changing from
shallow green to grey, shows where a tongue of
shingle has grown southward from Landguard
Fort. This sou'-west drift of shingly sand,
centuries ago, filled up the northern one of the
two useful entrances to Harwich Haven, and
joined this fort, originally on an island (vide
old engravings), to the mainland. In 1804 this
fatal " blue tongue of shingle" was five hundred
feet long, and at its outer edge seven fathoms
deep. The cement works dug out huge slices of
fossil earth from Felixstow for "cement stone."
Certain blind, selfish seekers for money removed
a useful ledge of coprolite that had
hitherto barred the drift at Felixstow Point.
The burrowing at Beacon Cliff, on which stands
Harwich Lighthouse, hastened the evil. The
invisible, ceaseless workers for mischief went
on. In 1841 the Demon's tongue had grown
eighteen hundred feet long, and in 1859 nearly
three thousand (no operation could remove it
now), and, moreover, its base had reduced the
practicable channel to eleven feet. Then the
sleepers at last awoke. Harwich harbour
spoiled, there would be no place of refuge on the
east coast from the Thames to the Humber;
and civilisation having had no effect as yet in
emolliating the manners of the North Sea, this
was important. The Admiralty had long talked