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summer rarely, if ever, venture out alone
not even a stone's throw from their
father's house. The "roughs" are all
away; the boisterous young men are hard
at work in the marshes. A little friendly
intercourse and homely affection is thus
allowed to spring up between the youth of
both sexes, who meet at the metato fires in
the long winter evenings and tell stories
and sing songs. When the spring returns
the "emigrants" begin to make their
appearance againperhaps as early as the
March violetseither one by one, or in
batches of six or eight, as the case may

The peasantry of Italy are not much
addicted to dancing, except in Carnival,
and the priests denounce it as a peccato
mortale, or deadly sin, when they have
the chance. A village fête in most parts of
Italy is a day on which there is nothing to
do, when people walk about in their best
clothes, eat and drink better than usual,
and go to church three times instead of
once: once to mass, once to vespers, and
once to funzione in the evening.

The distinguishing features of a village
"wake " in Italya harvest home, a
vintage feast, or a veglione in the dead of
winterare eating and drinking, intermixed
with singing (sacred and profane),
and the offering up of prayers. Many
lads of fifteen can rhyme and versify in
the most surprising manner, now and then
extorting praise (and money) from tourists,
few of whom are, perhaps, aware that the
improvvisatori of Italy are in the habit of
using the same phrases over and over again,
as people tell a Joe Miller, or a favourite
pun, in different houses.

The Neapolitan peasants are, or used to
be, quite famous for their extempore songs
many of them very elaboratewhich
they sang to their own music, like the
wood-cutters of the South of France,
alluded to by Madame Sand in her story of
the Maîtres Sonneurs. I have heard of
Italian peasants who could write verses
about their friends and acquaintances who
were working in the fields, and sing them
(instead of working themselves) in a clear,
soft, theatrical voice. I have heard of
other peasants (also Italian) who could
play the flute or flageolet, and dance as
nimbly as a ballet-man; and of others
who could fence and play at chess. It will
be said (not without reason) that these
accomplishments are not likely to be of
much use to a hard-working clodhopper;
but a certain civilising or refining influence
may be attributed to them, jnst as boors
are likely to be improved by being brought
into the society of ladies.

                 PEACE AND WAR.



  THIN yellow leaves are waving in the sun,
     Thin red leaves tremble on the garden wall,
  A cold dew beads upon the last pale rose,
     That e'er another hour will shake and fall.

  Gay past my window, heedless of next frost,
     Flit the bright coloured wandering butterflies;
  The stillness and the calm of Autumn time
     Upon the changing misty woodland lies.

  And on the yellowing bough of the ash-tree
     The little robin with a ruddier breast
  Sits singing now with heedless child's delight
     Of Autumn's soothing hours of ease and rest.

  Peace and Content, like children hand in hand,
     Walk by the woodside through the rustling leaves;
  Nature seems dreaming of the golden age,
     When joyous days but led to merrier eves.


  Another scene, and in another land,
     A sullen sky of boding thundercloud,
  That broods upon the long, long poplar rows,
     And gathers hill by hill within its shroud.

  Under the vineyard, torn in gaps with shot,
     Nestles a cottage, once so trim and neat;
  But now across the shattered smouldering floor
     There are the crimson prints of trampling feet.

  And by the riven wall that's in a flame,
     There lies an old man, with his long grey hair
  Steeped in his children's blood. 'Twas well he died
     Before he saw red Murder riot there.

  And in the distance through the sloping vines,
     The bayonets glance, and one quick angry drum
  Answers a calling bugle; and a horse,
     Now riderless, flies fast from where the foemen come.


GENERAL TROCHU'S announcement that
the gates of Paris would be closed on
Thursday, September the 15th, at six
o'clock in the morning, and the warning
of the British Embassy addressed to British
subjects, informing them that if they
prolonged their stay they did so at their own
risk and peril, made such English as
remained in Paris reflect a little seriously
as to whether they had not better take
their departure. To say the truth, there
were not many of our countrymen still
remaining. Faces of residents, to which
one had become well accustomed, had been
for some time missing. Just before and
after the disaster of Sedan, the period of
greatest panic of flight had set in, and
produced sights not to be forgotten by
those who witnessed the state of any of the
railway stations of Paris during that period.
A perfect avalanche of fugitives and their
baggage fell down on all the termini of
the lines leading to England or Belgium
it was, indeed, at every station, confusion