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TYLNEY HALL

CHAPTER VIII.

There are a sort of men whose visages

Do cream and mantle like the standing pool,

And do a wilful stillness entertain

Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,

As who should say, " I am Sir Oracle,

And when I ope my lips let no dog bark." Merchant of Venice.

Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer,

Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew

Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.

He must not float upon his watery bier,

Unwept, and welter to the parching wind

Without the meed of some melodious tear. MILTON.

THE flood rapidly subsided, but left behind many tokens

of the extent of its ravages : amongst others, as already

recorded, was the destruction of the little bridge between

Hawksley and the Hall, a circumstance productive of some

embarrassment to an unsuspecting pedestrian, who had ex-

pected the assistance of the ruined fabric in passing over

the brook.

" Humph ! a regular pull-up, right on my haunches,"

exclaimed the man, as he came to a full stop on the bank.

It has never yet been explained by phrenologists why men

should scratch their heads when puzzled, but it is certain

that no sooner did this difficulty present itself to the way-

farer, than his hat was off in one hand, while the fingers

of the other hunted through his short yellow scrubby hair,

like a team of spaniels in a field of stubble. At the same

moment he fixed his eyes on the stream, and with all his

might began to ponder what substitute could be found for

a bridge, a deliberation to which Lavater would have as-

signed a very distant termination, for of all countenances

ever created, that of Master Goff, one of the country con-

stables, had the least expression of sagacity or intelligence.

It was certainly no superabundance of brain in the interior

that made his two heavy eyes with their lids protrude from

their sockets like two well poached eggs, except that in

place of the yolks there were two globes of the dull greenish

brown of a fowl's gizzard ; his nose was absolutely devoid

of character or meaning, a mere mushroom-button ;

while

his mouth, round and open, reminded one irresistibly

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