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And really my brother's villa on the
Yarra River is a very fine place. The house
is an Italian villa built of real stone, ample,
with large, airy rooms, a broad verandah,
and all in the purest taste. It stands on a high
bank above the valley, in which the Yarra
winds, taking a sweep there, its course marked
by a dense body of acacia trees. In the spring
these trees are of resplendent gold, loading
the air with their perfume. Now they were
thick and dark in their foliage, casting their
shade on the river deep between its banks.
From the house the view presented this deep
valley with this curving track of trees, and
beyond slopes divided into little farms, with
their little homesteads upon them, where
Uriah had a number of tenants making their
fortunes on some thirty or forty acres each,
by hay at forty pounds a ton, and potatoes
and onions at one shilling a pound, and all
other produce in proportion.

On this side of the river you saw extensive
gardens in the hollow blooming with
roses and many tropical flowers, and along
the hill sides on either hand vineyards
and fruit orchards of the most vigorous
vegetation, and loaded with young fruit.
The party assembled at my brother Uriah's
house on that hospitable Christmas day,
descended amid a native shrubbery, and
Uriah thrust a walking-stick to its very
handle into the rich black soil, and when his
friends expressed their surprise, he told them
that the soil there was fourteen feet deep, and
would grow any quantity of produce for ages
without manuring. Indeed, they passed
through green corn of the most luxuriant
character, and, crossing the bridge of a brook
which there fell into the river, they found
themselves under the acacias; by the river
side there lay huge prostrate trunks of ancient
gum-trees, the patriarchs of the forest, which
had fallen and given place to the acacia, and
now reminded the spectators that they were
still in the land of primitive woods.

"Why, Tattenhall," said Robinson, to my
brother Uriah, "Trumpington Cottage, my
dear fellow, would cut a poor figure after
this. I'd ask any lord or gentleman to
show me a fertiler or more desirable place
in the tight little island. Bigger houses
there may be, and are, but not to my mind
more desirable. Do you know, very large
houses always seem to me a sort of asylums
for supernumerary servantsthe master
can only occupy a cornerthere he cuts
out quite small in the bulk. And as to
fertility, this beats Battersea Fields and
Fulham hollow. Those market-gardeners might
plant and plant to all eternity, always taking
out and never putting in, and if they could
grow peaches, apricots, grapes, figs twice a
year, and all that as tine in the open air as
they do in hot-houses, and sell their bunches
of parsley at sixpence a-piece, and water-
melonsgathered from any gravel heap or
dry open fieldat five shillings a-piece,
plentiful as pumpkins, wouldn't they astonish
themselves!

"But what makes you call this place
Bowstead? " continued Robinson, breaking off a
small wattle-bough to whisk the flies from
his face. " Orr has named his Abbotsford
that's because he's a Scotchman; and we've
got Cremorne Gardens, and Richmond, and
Hawthorne, and all sorts of English names
about here;—but Bowstead! I can't make
it out."

"You can't? " said Uriah, smiling; "don't
you see that the river curves in a bow here,
and stead is a place?"

"O! that's it," said Robinson; " I fancied
it was to remind you of Bow Bells."

"There you have it," said Bob, laughing.
"Bow Bells! but, as there was a bow and no
bells, my father put a stead to it, that's
instead of the bells, you know."

"Bless me! " said Robinson: "now I should
never have thought of thathow very
clever!"

And he took the joke in such perfect
simplicity, that all burst into a simultaneous
laugh; for every one else knew that it was
so called in honour of Maria Bowstead, now
the univerally respected Mrs. Tattenhall.

The whole party were very merry, for they
had good cause to be. Mr. and Mrs. Tattenhall,
still in their prime, spread out, enlarged
every way, in body and estate, rosy,
handsomely dressed, saw around them nothing but
prosperity. A paradise of their own, in which
they saw their children already developed
into that manly and feminine beauty so
conspicuous in our kindred of the south; their
children already taking root in the land and
twining their branches amongst those of other
opulent families, they felt the full truth of
Robinson's rude salutation, as he exclaimed,
on coming to a fresh and more striking view
of the house and grounds,—

"Ah! Tattenhall, Tattenhall!" giving him
one of his jocose pokes in the side, " didn't
I say you knew very well what you were
about when you came here, eh? Mrs.
Tattenhall, ma'am? Who said it? Robinson,
wasn't it, eh?"

When they returned to the house, and had
taken tea in a large tent on the lawn, and the
young people had played a lively game of
romps or bo-peep amongst the bushes of the
shrubbery, with much laughter, the great
drawing-room was lighted up, and very soon
there was heard the sounds of violins and
dancing feet. My brother Uriah and his
wife were at that moment sitting under the
verandah, enjoying the fresh evening air, the
scent of tropical trees and flowers which
stole silently through the twilight, and the
clear, deep blue of the sky, where the
magnificent constellations of Orion and the
Scorpion were growing momentarily into their
full nocturnal splendour. As the music broke
out my brother Uriah affectionately pressed
the hand of his wife, faithful and wise

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