from fire. The intervening ground was still commanded by the sharpshooters behind the north and south walls; but they were too far off for accurate fire. At first the passers to and fro, bearing water and provisions to the picket, were disposed to run across the park by way of shortening the ordeal of stray bullets saluting them; but the example of Falkland strolling leisurely back to the residency after his night's work, with his eyes on the ground and hands behind him, was soon taken up by the others; and the enemy, seeing that it was disregarded, gradually slackened their fire.
"Well, my love," said Falkland to his wife, as she met him in the entrance hall, "bearing up as bravely as ever, I see," and he held her two hands at arm's length, and looked her fondly in the face. "There is one person at any rate on whom the siege makes no impression. No, my dear," he said, as she made a gesture of moving towards him, "I am not fit to be kissed; I feel like a dirty butcher, and look the part thoroughly, I am sure."
"Dear Robert, how can you talk like that?" replied Olivia, as breaking down his guard, she imprinted a gentle kiss on his grimy face. "But, oh! Robert, I don't want to seem like a coward; but must you be always leading the way into all the risks?"
"Somebody must do what has to be done, I suppose, my child," he said, gently; "we can't all be stopping behind and telling the rest to go on."
"But the brigadier says that, as second in command, it is quite contrary to etiquette for you to be heading a storming-party."
"The brigadier is an old wo— is quite wrong; but, after all, the risk was quite trifling: the work last night was more disagreeable than dangerous. But will you see, my love, if the commissariat can manage some tea for us, while I try to get rid of some of this dirt? How have the wounded been getting on during the night?"
"Pretty well, I think; I have just come from them; but Mr. M'Intyre is very restless with pain, poor fellow, though he has no fever, and Dr. Maxwell says Captain Sparrow's wound is not dangerous. Johnny is quite in spirits at the news of your success, but saying it is a shame he is not allowed to get up and help."
To Yorke, who, following the colonel, and standing in the doorway just behind them, had witnessed the meeting, this little scene had caused a qualm of pain. Somehow during the siege he had come to regard Olivia, not so much as Falkland's wife, as a sort of angelic being, separate from everybody else, whose very presence rendered danger or defeat impossible. There had so far been nothing of wifely ministrations to witness. Falkland himself had been too busy and preoccupied to pay any attention to her, never resting save to take an occasional nap in the public room, on a sofa or on the floor; while, as Olivia came before him, sometimes to bring him his rough meal when on watch, with the warm sisterly greeting she always accorded him, stopping perhaps for a few minutes to tell him the little stock of news collected in the public rooms, she seemed to be the Miss Cunningham of former days come back again. Or when he caught glimpses of her in the sick-room, she appeared like a sister of mercy, removed from all association of love and passion. But now the stern fact came home to him again, and, weary with labour and want of sleep, and under the influence of the reaction of the night's excitement, he turned aside without coming forward to greet her as usual, and took his way to the men's dressing-room downspirited and sad at heart.
"Poor Braywell," said one of the portico guard, as they were discussing the action of the night, "he had the makings of a good soldier; his turn has come quickly, but a soldier could not wish for a better end than his has been."
"Aye," said Braddon, "and how the poor fellow would have enjoyed describing it to us, if he had been here to do so."
From Macmillan's Magazine.
TORQUATO TASSO: HIS LIFE AND WORKS.
"For I have battled with mine agony,
And made me wings wherewith to overfly
The narrow circus of my dungeon wall,
And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall,
And revell'd among men and things divine,
And poured my spirit over Palestine,
In honour of the sacred war for Him,
The God who was on earth and is in heaven;
For He hath strengthen'd me in heart and limb.
That through this sufferance I might be forgiven,
I have employed my penance to record
How Salem's shrine was won and how adored."
Byron, Lament of Tasso.
It is a painful reflection that it is almost always a melancholy task to chronicle the lives of the poets. They seem in so many cases, either from outward circumstances or from physical infirmities, to have been