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KE 3504

HARVARD
COLLEGE
LIBRARY

Printed by
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & Sons, Edinburgh, Scotland.

TO MY FRIEND,

D. S. MELDRUM, Esq.

, .

Preface.

TO-NIGHT, under a nearly full moon, the peasants are practising their dances and songs for to-morrow's feast—the feast of St Sebastian. I am brought from the fireside about ten o'clock out under the stars, to listen to them. The sky is very clear, and the moon rides easily, like a pale lady on horseback, among the stars, that seem incomparably far away. The plaintive, poignant sweetness of the mandolins floating away from me out across the silver levels of water, throbs almost bitterly it seems to me, as I I lean over the verandah listening. Just at the bottom of my garden, but on higher ground, -on a kind of a promontory, in fact, that juts out into the sea,—is the cemetery, full of tall calm cypresses that look jet black against the paleness of the sky. Far away, somewhere deep down in the valley, a bugle calls, and as the notes gallop towards me, a curious emotion sweeps through my blood, and I feel the splendours of the pageants and of all the royalty of the emperors and kings that are no more. The bugle ceases, and a quiet wind creeps round

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