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BOARD OF EDITORS.
'91.

'92.
Literary Miscellany...
.D. N. TAYLOR. Exchange Notes......

.E. C. BANFIELD
De Temporibus et Moribus......R. M. KAVANA. College Notes and Personals........A. L. REED.
Home Matters....

M, F. WASHBURN. Asst. Business Manager...... A. M. ROBBINS Business Manager.....

.K. L. STRONG.

Vol. XX.

NOVEMBER, 1890.

No. 2.

66

RAIN IN CALIFORNIA. Why is it, I wonder, that the poet always speaks of the spring rains as joyous ? They can never have lived in California, for there is nothing so dreary in that country as a Spring rain. One reason perhaps is that there nature is not "just awakening from her long sleep,” but has been wide awake and busy for many months, and is now about ready to go to sleep for the summer, and leave the bare, brown hills to take care of themselves. The Spring rain is really a chilly, ill-natured visitor, that could not “laugh" if it tried. It does not come in little quick showers, that have barely time to reach the earth before the sun calls them back; there is a great deal of sulking and fussing among the clouds, as though each were trying to make the other go down first, then a few unwilling drops fall, others follow faster and faster, thicker and thicker, till it seems as though we were at Lodore, and the water were coming down “all at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar.”

We do not as a rule have rain in Summer, but now and then Nature forgets herself, and sends us a good downpour, to the great disgust of trustful campers and unprepared farmers. The storm makes quite a sensation and gets its name into the papers, then evidently decides that it has done its duty, and is seen no more.

Were the poets to put Spring for Autumn and Autumn for Spring, their descriptions would be much truer, when applied to California. There the Autumn rains do not “sob against the panes," but jump on them, thump them, kick them, in a jolly, small-boy fashion, apparently enjoying life immensely. They rap on the ground, and up leap thousands of tiny green blades to meet them. The lazy brooks and rivers are roused, and hurry along in such excitement that they sometimes forget their old course, and lose their way. Best of all, when night comes, the rain thunders down on the slanting roof above your head, with a sound more soothing than a lullaby. They can be very mischievous, these Autumn and Winter rains, and often the farmers are inclined to echo the Scotchman's prayer, “Dinna send it down kerslosh, O Lord, but drizzly-drozzly.”

We must forgive the Spring rains for the sake of their dear, noisy Autumn brothers. Perhaps, after all, they have “Spring feelings," just like the rest of us, and cannot help being a little disagreeable. At any rate, Spring or Autumn, it is all the same good rain, that “ falleth alike on the just and the unjust.”

TOLD ON A SUMMER NIGHT. We sat together, Whalley and I, on the balcony of our pension at St. Brelade's, Jersey, one summer evening. There was no moon, great clouds hung over the bay, whose curves were dimly outlined through the dusk; a few twinkling lights from St. Aubin's gleamed on the hillside at our left. Where the bay met the ocean, directly in front, a faint, lurid glow on the horizon seemed to outline the distant coast of France. Below in the pension drawing-room, some one was playing the Sonata Pathétique, and its chords mingled with the fitful gusts of wind which presaged a storm.

“ Was there ever any other such music written ?" I asked Whalley, after we had listened in silence for a long time.

Whalley knocked the ashes from his cigar, sat up, and leaning on the balcony rail gazed out over the bay.

“ Perhaps Beethoven had heard it,'' he mused. “ Heard what?” “The music that never was and never can be written." “ What do you mean?”

“ Bert, shall I tell you a story?” Whalley asked, still in that low, dreamy tone.

“ I would not tell it to many fellows, but you are not like the rest. You remember the years I spent here and in England after we graduated ?"

“Yes. I remember that no one heard anything of you in all that time."

“When I went abroad, I carried with me a letter of introduction to some English people who were old friends of Uncle Jim's. Their country house was in Lancashire, so on landing at Liverpool and finding myself near them, I determined to present myself there before going on to London. Accordingly, one June day found me driving through the Leigh estate, behind a neat cob and before a decorous tiger,' prepared to make my best bow at Leigh Hall.

The Leighs received me with open arms,-that is, Harry Leigh did. I should have considered myself too fortunate if Miss Mary had honored me with such a greeting, and as for the rest of the family, there were no more. Harry and his twin sister were orphans, and for ten years had lived alone on the estate, with the old housekeeper who had brought them up. They were not fond of fashionable company, but something in me proved congenial to them, and my stay lengthened itself indefinitely, for between Harry Leigh and myself had sprung up one of those rare friendships which are as strong as they are sudden.”

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Whalley paused. A swallow whirled past us in the dim light. He followed it with his eyes till it vanished, then continued,

“ Leigh's nature was a strange one. Deeply imaginative, dreamy, poetic, he had yet lost all belief in the world of spirit. Some freak of heredity had made him, with all his passionate capacity for faith, a skeptic. Doubt paralyzed him, for he was too weak to live without religion. It was a source of bitter grief to him, as it formed the only barrier between him and his sister, the centre of whose existence was in the spiritual. Bert, I have seen love, a mother's love, a wife's love, the love of a woman for the man she has chosen, but never have I known any love so yearning, so passionate, so strong and tender, as that of Mary Leigh for her twin brother.

Well, I must not be too long about my story. I had not been with the Leighs for two months, before Mary died-died suddenly, without an hour's warning, of heart disease. You will not ask me to tell, indeed, I could not, of the awful depths of grief and despair through which her brother passed in those few days. He implored me not to leave him. As we stood together by the grave after the funeral crowd had gone, Leigh turned to me with the strangest look I have ever seen on any face. •

Listen !' he said. For a moment we were as still as the grave at our feet. 'Do you not hear it ! Leigh whispered. • I hear nothing,' said I.

• There, it is gone. A strain of music, oh Whalley! of such music as no mortal ever heard before. Only a fragment though—what would it be if I could hear it all ?' · Why, Leigh, come home with me.

It is your nerves, old man,' I said soothingly. I thought it a fancy of his. Heaven knows what it was."

Again Whalley paused. The darkness was growing

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deeper: the storm was rising fast. I could scarcely see his face.

“ That night Harry heard the strain again. He was a thorough musician, and what seemed to agitate him most about the fugitive, vanishing melody that so haunted him, was its incompleteness. He could not reproduce it on violin or piano, and he could not finish it. Day after day it came to him. He would sit brooding for hours, trying to fix it in memory, trying to complete its harmony. When he was quite alone, he would take his violin and seem to draw out its very soul in his vain search for the enchanted strain.

"At length I became alarmed for his health and sanity, and asked advice of his family physician. The old doctor came and took up his abode at the Hall, that he might watch over Harry, for we both feared that his sister's death had unsettled his reason. Sometimes, when we three were walking in the woods on a bright autumn afternoon, he would stop suddenly and ask us to listen, listen! Could we not hear it ? it was so clear! and we would strain our ears and hear nothing but the wind or a distant woodpecker.

“ Finally the doctor told me that it was a clear case of monomania, and that Leigh must be taken from the scene of his great loss to spend the winter abroad. We came to Jersey. For a long time the music ceased to haunt him; he became stronger and more like himself. But one evening, an evening like this, with a storm coming on, as we were walking along the beach, Leigh had been talking to me in his old way, about the impossibility of believing in a world above and beyond the present. He had said but little on these subjects since his sister's death, but that night all the old questions seemed to have revived in his mind.

“ Suddenly he paused, and I could see that familiar listening, yearning look come over his face. The music had come again, more distinctly than ever before.

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