Frank Frankfort Moore.

A garden of peace, a medley in quietude online

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at its face value. He removed over two hundred
panes, each four feet by ten inches, without breaking
one, and he removed more than a thousand feet of the
two-inch laths from the stages, the heavier ones being
of oak; he braced up the seven foot depth of roof
which we decreed should shelter our peaches, and
" made good " the inequalities of the edges. In short,
he made a thoroughly good job of the affair, and
when he had finished he left us with a new and very
interesting feature of the garden. A lean-to green-
house is, as a rule, a commonplace incident in a garden
landscape, and it is doubtful if it pays for its keep,
though admittedly useful as a nursery; but a peach-
alley is interesting because unusual. In our place of
peace this element is emphasised through our having
allowed the elevated, brick-built border that existed
before, to remain untouched, and also the framework
where the swing-glass ventilators had been hung.
When our peach-trees were planted, flanked by plums
and faced by apples en espatier, we covered the
borders with violas of various colours, and enwreathed
the framework with the Cape Plumbago and the Jas-
mine Solanum, and both responded nobly to our de-


Nothing remained in order to place the transforma-
tion in harmony with its surroundings but to turn the
two large brick tanks which had served us well in
receiving the water from the old roof, into ornamental
lily ponds, and this was accomplished by the aid of
some of the stone carvings which I had picked up
from time to time, in view of being able to give them
a place of honour some day. On the whole, we are
quite satisfied with this additional feature. It creates
another surprise for the entertainment of a visitor,
and when the peaches and plums ripen simultaneously,
following the strawberries, we shall have, if we are to
believe Friswell, many more friends coming to us.

"If they are truly friends, we shall be glad," says

" By your fruits ye shall know them," says he, for
like most professors of the creed of the incredulous,
he is never so much at his ease as when quoting Scrip-

This morning as I was playing (indifferently) the
part of Preceptress Pinkerton, trying to induce on
Rosamund, Olive, Francie, Marjorie, and our dear,
wise John, a firm grasp of the elements of the nature
of the English People as shown by their response to
the many crusades in which they have taken part
since the first was proclaimed by Peter the Hermit,
I came to that part of my illuminating discourse
which referred to the Nation's stolidity even in their
hour of supreme triumph.

'This," said I, "may be regarded by the more


emotional peoples of Europe as showing a certain
coldness of temperament, in itself suggesting a want
of imagination, or perhaps, a cynical indifference
' cynical,' mind you, from kyon, a dog to incidents
that should quicken the beating of every human heart.
But I should advise you to think of this trait of our
great Nation as indicating a praiseworthy reserve of
the deepest feelings. I regard with respect those
good people who to-day are going about their busi-
ness in the streets of our town just in the usual way,
although the most important news that has reached
the town since the news of the capture of Antioch in
1099, is expected this evening. And you will find that
they will appear just as unconcerned if they learn
that the terms of the Armistice have been accepted
they will stroll about with their hands in their pockets
not a cheer. ... Is that your mother calling you,
John? "

"No; I think it's somebody in the street?" said

" Oh, I forgot. It's Monday market day.
There's more excitement in Yardley High Street if a
cow turns into Waterport Lane than there will be
when Peace is proclaimed. But still, I repeat, that
this difference . . . What was that? two cows must

have turned into Why, what's this what's sit

down, all of you I tell you it's only "

" Hurrah hurrah hurrah hurrah hurrah 1 "
comes from the five young throats of five rosy^
cheeked, unchecked children, responding to the five
hundred that roar through the streets.


In five minutes the front of our house is ablaze with
flags, and five Union Jacks are added to the hundreds
that young and old wave over their heads in the street ;
and amid the tumult the recent admirer of the stolid
English People is risking his neck in an endeavour to
fix a Crusader's well-worn helmet in an alcove above
the carven lions on the porch of his home.

There, high over us, stands the Castle Keep as it
stood in the days of the First Crusade.

" And ever above the topmost roof the banner of
England blew."

Going out I saw a cow stray down Waterport
Lane; but no one paid any attention to its errantry.


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Online LibraryFrank Frankfort MooreA garden of peace, a medley in quietude → online text (page 18 of 18)