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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 273

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made acquaintance ; and had some difficulty in dis-covering any near view of it. At last I lit on one— a view which was a perfectly-composed picture, seen through the gate of a poor cottage garden. I sent Scotty in to enquire if I might enter. He presently produced from the cottage a tottering, forlorn old woman. Not being veiled, she was, I suppose, a Chris-tian ; but we could hardly be quite certain of her sex, much less of her religion. She said I might do what I pleased, and retired within her door again. Merely looking in from the road outside, I little thought what a scene that garden would present to me. Half of it was green with some carelessly grown vegetables, in-terspersed with weeds ; the other half was occupied by heaps of ancient building-stones. At one corner of it was a broken Persian water-wheel, and one of its boundaries was a ruinous Gothic church ; and it was over a gap in other ruins that the cathedral showed itself. And now in all its intensity my experience of the former morning repeated itself. The whole desolation seemed to turn into music, and fill my ears with a sound overpowering and yet faint, as if it came from the violin-strings of a thousand distant orchestras—a sound which seemed to recede in shadowy bewildering vistas, far away into the heart of the irrecoverable centuries. Heard melodies are sweet ; tut those unheard Are sweeter. In this melody, in this harmony, everything round 270 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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