*^I .. (
TOIMMY AND HIS BROOM.
-,i__ . LL~lr;l*d~J~~
AND HIS BROOM
aIlub ottr rales.
: WITH ILLUS7
"RATIONS PRINTED IN COLOUR.
BETTER, AND GALPIN
r, PARIS, AND NEW YORK.
-TOMMY AND His BROOM,- 3
THE TWO DOGS, 15
YOUNG GUY FAWKES, 29
THE CHILDREN AND THE t DEATH-W ATCH," 42
THE BLACKBERRY GATHERING, 59
NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN,- 68
SMY BROTHER BEN AND I, 83
JOHN HENTHORN'S TRIAL, 93
AT THE TOP OF A LONG CHIMNEY, - 1O4
SMY FIRST ADVENTURE AT SEA, II14
.:r- : -
TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
T HE snow had been falling all night, and
in the morning London was covered
'with a white mantle, its ugly t. and
*ioke-blackened buildings.shining witasnow- .
flJkes and fringed with icicles. Even tlpe
4ualor and dirt of the little court on which
Tommy's eyes looked this wintry morning,
were quite hidden by the beauties of the
anow, for there was- such a grace in the
fantastic manner in which the flakes had-
chosen to drift and arrange themselves, that
even deformity was turned into loveliness.
But Tommy, as he gazed with delight at
he scene before him, by no means regarded
it from the ornamental point of view. At
!iht years old circumstances had made him
0r:ctly utilitarian, and to his eyes the snow
. ..- -
appeared as a providence, filling his little
heart with hope and strong ambition. Not
of snowballing, -nor of sliding, nor of any
similar sports was this ambition born; it
had a far more practical source in Tommy's
bosom. It was not that he by any means
disliked such things, but that life had grown
far too grave a matter for them to have room
in his mind. No, Tommy had something
else to think of! and, hurrying on his small
amount of clothing, he roused his mother, who
had fallen asleep, after a wear ..night of
It may be as well to state that the estab-
lishment, in which lived our hero, his mother,
his sick father, and his two little sisters, was of
the very narrowest dimensions, consisting only
of a small, very small room, one-third of which
might fairly be said to belong to the great
family bread-winner, a mangle.
S "Mother," said Tommy, creeping gently tip
to her side, oh, there is such a beautiful lot of
TOMMY AND HIS i
But snow to Mrs. Solly was only another
vexation added to her life, already too full o0:
TOMMY AND HIS BROOM. 5
Troubles; it was bad for the mangling trade,
Sbad for her consumptive husband's cough, and,
Therefore, bad for her prospects of getting out
again to char, since, whilst he remained so ill
she could not leave him, and if she could not
leave him, who was to feed them all ?
"Is there, child ?" she answered, with. a
heavy heart. "Well, we can't help it; but if
'this hard weather lasts, God knows what will
.become of us. The.: isAtt a handful of coal
for the fire to-day, even."
"Never you mind, mother," said Tommy, 'i
in all the vigour of hope, for already the child
-had learnt the art of consoling and strengthen-
'ing others; I'm going to take the broom and
i: sweep some doorsteps, and you see if I don't
Spring home a pocketfufof money. .There are
so many doorsteps, you know, and they'll all
: want sweeping, so I shall be sure to get plenty
But you're not big enough," suggested his
-."See if I'm not," cried Tommy, with
-"But the broom is so bad, and we haven't
6 ToffMMY AA1D HIS BRooM.
a spade; and if we had, you couldn't manage :
Sto use it."
This objection sounded a little more forcible,
and Tommy, fetching the broom out of the
-corner, surveyed it with scrutinising eyes.
It isn't so very stumpy," he said, hopefully,
for nothidig could damp his ardour; "and the
people will be sure to lend me a spade."
"But," continued Mrs. Solly, half willing and
half reluctant, your boots are all in holes, and
you'll get your feet so wet. Every one will say
itis a.shame, and tlat aught to :hav kept
Sf ey i~ont kAiw anything about it, r
wouldn't repplied .Tommy, resoahteli.
tent on his prost I ike wet feet, and they
:' ever hurt mn ~iVhat ae ve: to do. if I doa~t
earn some money ?"
This argument being unanswerable, after
eating a hearty breakfast off a slice of the last
lo :af, Tommy departed iii high faith and con-
fidence, shouldering his broom bwavely.
It was avery stumpy old broom, but Tommy
believed in it notwithstanding, and it sede _.-
to him that only to appear on the field was to ..
TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
o, nquer it. Lustily he shouted, as he went tip
:and down the first street that possessed door-
ways of sufficient importance to require sweep-
ing, "Want your doorway done ?" and was
Very much surprised that no responsive call
Answered his own. Besides this totally unex-
pected lack of demand for door-sweepers,
^-Tommy encountered another obstacle quite as
-16nforeseen, and more threatening to his future
p-- prospects. The supply was over-abundant,
and competition was rife in the market. Little
"ioys and big boys, little girls and great girls,
-ien, with spades and shovels and magnificent
bod6ms, were shouting, "Want your doorway
Sdo!ie ?" quite as vigorously as Tommy. A new
1'trade was suddenly born of the snow, and it
::-seemed to the child as if the whole world had
embraced it. Why, there were as many
sweepers as there were doors to sweep almost
:a)rimd then most of them had much better tools
.b work with than his stumpy broom, besides
4l.'. ing strength in union by banding together
4 f Os and threes. Poor Tommy, as he waded
_eringly on, felt himself gradually grow-
i:smnaller and smaller amongst his many
-. r 4ii."
8 TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
competitors, and by degrees his cheery cry
dwindled down to a very flat key indeed. Dis-
appointment in his little heart was rapidly
turning to despair, when a happy thought
struck him, for he was a boy of resources, and
strong of purpose. He would go to those
houses from which he was in the habit of
fetching mangling, and where he was a known
and respected character. Briskly he turned
his steps in the direction of the nearest, hope
winging his feet.
"Want your doorway done ?" he inquired,
eagerly, of the servant who answered the bell.
"What will you do it for?" she asked,
smiling, for Tommy was a favourite of hers.
"Do it cheap-do it for twopence !"
"Very well; you may do it."
After borrowing a spade, Tommy, delighted
at his success, set himself bravely to work to
shovel, away the snow, It must be confessed
that, the spade being as big as himself, he
laboured under difficulties. But what.matters
difficulty to a resolute spirit? Tommy wor4
away with a will, and was making, in his
eyes, considerable progress, when the door
TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
behind him suddenly opened, apd a sharp
:- "Why, Jane, how could you be so foolish
as to set that chit of a child to work ? Here,
my dear, take this, and go home; your mother
ought to know better than to send you out
such a morning as this !"
" The spade was taken out of one hand, a
Penny put in the other, and the door closed
before Tommy could speak a word.
SThen, no longer shoulderinghis broom, but
Sailing it behind him, he turned away, crest-
il1en and ashamed. That most dreary and
fcpeless of all feelings, disbelief in one's self,
,was creeping into his heart; and not shouting
. trade-question, but silent and subdued,
mmy went upon his way sorrowing. Was
really not fitted for the high career he had
~n? Was he destined to return home, a
ed hero with an empty pocket ? -In one
Swas he to be a bread-winner or not ?
.You must remember that this was no light
ion of personal ambition. At eight years
Tommy had, by painful experience, at-
to an acute knowledge of the value of a
-r -; C:
10 TOMMY AND HIS BROOM'
penny, of the amount of credit obtainhableat
the general dealer's, and of the necessity of the
simple daily prayer his mother had taughtbhim:
"Give us this day our daily bread."
Half inclined to return home, half propelled
by some undefined feeling that his failure was
not complete until every possible effort had
been tried, he went on until he reached another
of his clients, and, ringing the bell with timid
fingers, asked meekly if he might sweep the
S"You sweep the steps!" cried the servant;
"why, you're not half as big as your own
Tommy turned away with two big tears in
his eyes at this second stroke of fate, and was
just shutting the gate behind him, when a sharp
tap at the window arrested his steps, and,
looking up, he saw the lady of the house
"Well, Tommy," she said, opening the door,
S and what is it you want this morning Is
your father any better ?"
"No, ma'am; he's a deal worse. If you
please, I came to sweep the steps. I'm plenty
PTOMAMY ANAD HIS BROOM.
%ig enough, I am indeed, ma'am, Mother
i-an't any money, and I came out to earn
-some," he answered, in a mingled voice of pro-
test, indignation, and entreaty; for Tommy,
-like the rest of the world, felt it very hard to
have his powers so undervalued.
:. "Give him the shovel, Mary, and let him
try. He'll do it well enough, I've no doubt,
and every one must have a beginning."
So Tommy, his courage and hope again in
Sthe ascendant, a second time set to work, and
although he found the task much more difficult
ian he had fancied, for the snow would persist
~ -sticking to the stones, he contrived to do it
th the utmost satisfaction to himself. This
Satisfaction was not without its drawbacks, for
fi-rivals in the profession would not allow him
-work in peace, but threw jeering remarksat
:omnmy as they passed.
Don't shovel yourself away in the snow,
,ng 'un." "I s'pose you'll have done by
time next winter."
these, and such like observations, our hero
ed with all the contempt they deserved,
them' down to jealousy. Two rosy
12 TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
little boys in scarlet frocks were looking on at
him admiringly from the window, and every
now and then Tommy spared time to look up
and smile. He regarded them as mere babies,
quite unlearned in the ways of life, which was,
indeed, the truth, although their days num-
bered almost as many as his own. Very
proudly, when his work was done, did he take
back the shovel, and wait for his wages. Luck,
which, after all, generally follows perseverance,
and is not so much a thing of chance as we
believe, now waited upon our hero. He was
taken into the kitchen, dried, warmed, and fed,
and had threepence given him for his labour
Never did a threepence look so charming in
Tommiy's eyes; for had he not earned it by
the sweat, of his brow ? It represented-at
least, that and the other penny together-a
whole loaf of bread; and would not that be
sufficient for the day ?
1But this was not all. At parting, the lady
gave him a plate of delicious meat for his
father, and half-a crown. Tommy's heart
danced, and his eyes glistened with a gratitude
his tongue could not express, and he scampered
TOMMY AND HIS BRooM.
off as fast as his legs would take him through
the snow to carry the joyful tidings to his
mother, feeling a conquering hero indeed. How
can it be told what that half-crown purchased ?
Delight for Tommy, coals for the fire, bread
for the children, tea and butter for the sick man,
and-rest in the household for one day at least.
The snow came every day for a fortnight,
and found them bread. To be sure, Tommy
did not get half-a-crown every day, but he got
something much better, a business connection,
and a strong fund of self-help for future
occasions in life. The lady upon whose door-
step he had made his mark, took a kind inte-
rest in the boy, and procured him others to
sweep, besides bestowing many kind words and
many meals upon him.
As this is a true history, it must be con-
fessed that when a thaw set in, and Tommy
found his occupation gone, our hero cried. He
would have liked a whole year of snow; but,
being far too much a man of the world to give
way to his weaknesses, he soon brushed away
his tears and set bravely to work in another
line of business-that of fetching and carrying
14 TOMMY AND HIS BROOM.
for his mother's mangle. At present his whole
soul is possessed with a secret ambition, and
every halfpenny he gets on his own account is
stowed safely away in a place known only to
himself. He is heard to make many inquiries
as to the price of spades and brooms, for
Tommy is looking forward to opening next
year's campaign with a spade that may do him
honour, and a broom of unlimited powers.
-- - G~uylr~.;U.~-.- i _LlarL'" . 4 . -.Am- P-Wlrp;n_I- --~l.~--iri~~l(i l~l
i. - 5
THE TWO DOGS,
"QIZE goes for nothing," said the Terrier,
Turning up his nose; "so you needn't
think yourself any better than I am, just
because you're bigger. It's not the room
dogs take, but what they do that makes
"Quite true, my little friend," answered
the Newfoundland Dog, good- naturedly.
"Don't excite yourself; it's so bad for the
system. Perhaps you'll kindly tell me what
you can do, for I really don't know ?"
"Do !" replied the Terrier, delighted at the
opportunity of wagging his tongue and his
tail over his own exploits; "why, the house
wouldn't be safe if it were not for me. Scarcely
Sa night passes that I don't arouse every one in
Sit; and no thief dares come within a mile of
16 THE Two DOGS,
"Then why bark ?"
"What use should I be if I didn't bark, I
should like to know ?" and the Terrier glanced
superciliously at his companion, quite as-
tounded at the simplicity of the question.
"My master would think nothing of me if I
didn't call him out of his bed sometimes. If
you want to be thought anything of in the
world, you must bark."
"I shouldn't thank you if I were your
master. Why call him at all-why not
fly at the thief yourself? I beg your par-
don; I really forgot what a little fellow
you are. Size does go for something, you
see, after all."
"Personal remarks are odious," snapped
the Terrier; "your breeding, Mr. Newfound-
land, is like your coat, a little rough."
"Ah! I dare say. A sleek coat and a
brass collar do make a dog a gentleman,
I've no doubt. But which talked about size
The Terrier snarled.
"And," continued the Newfoundland, for
although the best-natured dog in the world,
THE TWO DOGS. 17
he could never help teasing the Terrier, "there
is a little disadvantage in being small. You
can be talen up and carried anywhere; and
then to have your ears cut must be very try-
ing to a dog with any self-respect."
"It's extremely vulgar and low-bred to
wear ears : I wouldn't wear ears on any con-
sideration," protested the Terrier, this being
one of his sore points.
"You'll be less of a puppy when you grow
older," said the Newfoundland, grinning, "and
think -more of your ears and less of your ap-
pearance. Well, I'm quite contented to leave
you the elegancies, but I can't give in about
the use: you certainly must grant me the
". I shall do no such thing," barked the
Terrier; "I'll not yield an inch to any
dog-not even if he were twice as big as
S "Then suppose we take a walk this fine
mortioig, and hear what others have to say on
thef;iOnt?." said the Newfoundland; "it would
St,'amusing, and one is sure to learn
18 TZE TWO Docs.
"With all the pleasure in life," said the other,
trotting off conceitedly by the side of his big
companion. "I'm appreciated in.these parts,
I flatter myself, and it's my impression you
will learn something, Mr. Newfoundland."
The first animal they came across was the
"Good morning, Miss Tabby-cat," said the
Newfoundland "this little gentleman and I
want to ask you a question. Which of us do
you think the most useful ?"
Here was a question to be put to a timid cat.
Despite her intimacy with both dogs, Miss
Tabby, being of a nervous temperament, had
never overcome her constitutional aversion to
them. If she said the Newfoundland was the
most useful, the Terrier would worry her life
out; and if she said tjhe Terrier, might not
the Newfoundland put an end to her on the
"Really, honoured sirs," she answered,
trembling in her skin, "you've puzzled me
extremely, you are both so celebrated for
your shining qualities that it would be hard
to answer your question."
~EUT--.-- c--c~Ll*-h-i~~C~L___;__~ ~_ __~ILlu--- _
THE TWO DOGS.
"Don't let's have any flattery," said the
S "Speak the truth, or I'll pull your tail,"
snapped the Terrier.
At this awful threat the cat stood speechless.
S"Come along. Don't you see the poor
thing is frightened, and nobody speaks the
truth when they are afraid of you? Here's the
Horse, I'll ask him ;" and the Newfoundland
walked on, whilst the Terrier gave the cat a
parting snarl as she scampered off.
"I hope we're not disturbing you, Mr. Bay-
horse, but my friend here and I are out this
morning in search of truth."
"I'm afraid you'll have to go a long.way
"Well, anyhow we want your opinion.
Which of us do you think of the most use ?"
"Use!" and here the horse gave a con-
temptuous snort. "I'd be thankful to any
one who would tell me what possible use that
little snarling, yelping Terrier is ? I shall kick
him to Jericho one of these days if he comes
barking at my heels every time I go out with
my master, and so I tell him."
20 THE TWO DOGS.
When the Newfoundland turned round to
look for his companion, he saw him skulking
off with his tail between his legs ; and it was
not until they had left the orchard for the
lawn that it reappeared in its proper place.
"I wouldn't stop to listen to that horse,"
said he, looking askant at the other, he's as
ignorant as a blackbeetle. How can you ex-
pect truth from any one steeped to his ears in
"And prejudice reaching to his heels, too,"
laughed the Newfoundland. "But, Mr. Terrier,
what did you do with your tail? when I looked
behind you I couldn't see an inch of it."
1 felt it a little cold, so tucked it up to get
warm," answered the Terrier, far too proud to
admit of feeling afraid. "Here's my old friend
Goody Snail, let's have her opinion. How are
you this morning, Mrs. Snail ?"
"I am as well as can be expected," said
the Snail, in a very thin, slimy voice; but
nobody knows what it is to carry one's house
on one's back all day long, except those that
have to do it."
"Why not leave it behind you, then?" asked
Sthe Newfoundland; for, although a very sen-
sible dog, he was profoundly ignorant of
natural history, and didn't understand the
habits of snails. I might as well carry about
my kennel and then grumble."
"And so you would if you were stuck to it
as I am to my house," retorted the Snail,
sneering with its horns. "But ignorance and
incivility always go together."
"I beg your pardon, I am sure. I meant
no offence, Mrs. Snail. Ask her our question,"
She whispered, giving the Terrier a nudge with
his tail. "I didn't mean to make the old
S "My friend is a little rough," said the
Terrier, patronisingly; "you mustn't mind him,
Mrs. Snail. I want you to tell me which of us
you think the most useful."
"If you come to me in a month, I shall
have digested the question. I can't do things
in a hurry."
"So it seems," said the Newfoundland,
"I wonder you do 't show respect to grey
horns," said the Terrir, following, reproach-
THE TWO DOGSs.
THE TWO DOGs.
fully. "You have hurt her feelings, I'm sure,
by that last speech."
"Then why can't she give a plain answer
to a plain question?" answered the Newfound-
land. As he spoke they turned the corner of
a walk, and came full upon the Peacock,
pluming his gorgeous feathers in the sun.
"Let us ask King Peacock. It's such fun to
hear him talk."
"Would your gracious majesty be conde-
scending enough to tell us which you think is
the most useful-I, or the Terrier ? You've so
many eyes in your tail, surely you must see
How can two ugly creatures such as you
be of any use at all ?" screamed the Peacock,
for a scream was his royal mode of speaking.
" Look at my dazzling beauty-see my purple
and gold. There is no other creature of the
slightest use in the world but me, for they are
not worth looking at. I pity you-I do,
-"You needn't," said the Newfoundland;
"for really, if your majesty will pardon me
for saying so, we don't envy you. My friend
THE TWO DOGs.
and I are quite contented with our personal
appearance, I can assure you. It wouldn't do
to have a world full of peacocks, for all their
fine feathers. Your eyes see nothing but your-
self, I find; and we prefer to see beyond our
The next friend they met was the Butterfly.
She answered their question with a laugh.
"What's the use of being any use ? Why
not enjoy oneself and be merry ? Life is too
short to be useful in;" and away she danced
from flower to flower.
"Gentlemen," said the Bee, coming from
the bell of a white lily, "what the Butterfly has
just said is shocking morality. Pray, don't
mind her, the frivolous creature! I really didn't
mean to listen, but being inside the lily I
couldn't help hearing your question."
"Then, perhaps, as you have heard it, Mrs.
Bee, you will be so kind as to answer it for us,"
replied the Newfoundland.
"I am not Mrs. Bee," replied she, with
great dignity ; I am the little Busy Bee that
improves each shining hour. I gather honey
all the day-"
THE TWO DOGS.
"From every opening flower," interrupted
the Terrier, for, although unacquainted with
Dr. Watts, he considered himself very poetical,
and liked to show his talents.
"No, I was not going to say that, Mr.
Terrier; but it's quite correct, notwithstanding.
I gather honey for the benefit of the human
race; that's my proud position. I set an ex-
ample to them also, and am known as the
symbol of industry. Now, if you can tell me
what each of you do, I can answer your ques-
tion in the twinkling of my wing."
"I do a great deal," began the Terrier,
pompously. "I guard the house at night; I
bark at all the beggars ; I am accomplished in
a number of tricks; really, if it were not for
me, my master would have nothing to entertain
his company with. I catch rats-in fact, I am
"And what do you do, Mr. Newfoundland?"
asked the Bee.
"Well, really, I have been puzzling my
brains whilst my friend was talking to know
what I do do. Not much, I'm afraid. I go
out for a walk when I'm wanted carry my
THE TWO DO GS.
master's stick, or the children's baskets and
toys; go into the water when I'm sent-in
fact, I do what I'm told."
"And that seems to be very little. I really
think Mr. Terrier is the most useful, although
he is so small."
Here the Terrier gave a bark of applause.
"I have saved my master's life once when
he got out of his depth in the river, and I flew
at a man's throat and saved my mistress from
being robbed, if that's worth mentioning,"
added the Newfoundland, modestly.
The Bee clapped her wings in ecstasy.
"Why you are a perfect hero I Yes, Mr.
Terrier, thats what I call being useful to the
human race. You must give up to the New-
foundland; for beyond doubt he is the most
useful. You couldn't save any one's life. But
I must bid you good morning, and go to my
The Terrier hung his head abashed. He
had never before heard of the Newfoundland's
deeds, and they struck him as being very grand,
quite beyond the capacities of a little dog like
himself. Perhaps, after all, size was something.
26 THE TWO D 0s.
The two dogs sat for sometime in silence after
the Bee's departure: the Terrier too crestfallen,
the Newfoundland too meditative, to speak.
"After all," said the latter, at last, "what
the Bee said is partly true, but it can't be the
whole truth. Jumping into the water is as easy
to me as standing on your hind legs is to you;
there can be no merit in one more than the
other. I'll tell you what we'll do, we'll go and
ask the Owl; she is the wisest bird in creation,
and I'll be bound can tell us."
The Terrier was quite agreeable to this, by
no means. liking the Bee's decision; so when
twilight fell they started off to the barn, where
the Owl came every day in the dusk to catch
mice. She was perched on its gable-end lost
in contemplation, when the Newfoundland
barked," How d'ye do ?" to her.
"Bless me, Mr. Newfoundland! how you
startle a body!" cried she. "How are you
this fine evening ?"
"Pretty well, thank you. My friend the
Terrier and I have come for the benefit of a
little of your wisdom. Which of us do you
think is the most useful?"
\ ~_ *..,,~ * I
THE TWO DOG's.
"Do you really want to know ?" asked the
Owl, looking down at them with a wink; "be-
cause so many come to me to hear the truth,
and are furious when I tell it to them. The
hedge-sparrow flew to me in a violent passion
the other day, because the cuckoo had laid an
egg in her nest, and when I told her she must
grin and bear it, for such was the way of
cuckoos, and no one could prevent them, she
was ready to peck my eyes out. This is hard,
you see, gentlemen, on an Owl that gives wis-
SWe'll be very grateful if you'll only tell us
the truth," barked both the dogs.
"Well, you shall have it. Each of you have
separate duties appointed you; he that does
his duty best is the most useful of the two;"
and the Owl flew away with a grand air of
philosophy before the dogs could thank her for
"She's quite right," said the Newfoundland;
and now, Mr. Terrier, I hope you're satisfied."
Perfectly," said the latter.
It was noticeable that ever after the Terrier
was less officious, barked less, and gave the
28 THE TWO DOGS.
horse's heels a wide berth. The Newfound-
land went on much the same as usual, for
never having overdone his duty, he couldn't
improve in that way, and always having done
it, he couldn't do any more.
YOUNG GUY FAWKES,
FRED WILMORE was born on the 5th
of November. What a lucky fellow!
most boys will say. And so thought Fred,
for every anniversary of his birth-day there
was a regular jollification in the town; and
a large Guy, suspended from a gibbet, his
pockets stuffed with squibs and crackers,
was burned over an enormous bonfire,
consisting of tar-barrels, waste, and straw,.
on the green in the centre of the town.
Then there was no end of shouting, hur-
rahing, and letting off of fire-works in
every direction, and spending the half-
pence-which the boys had collected by
carrying about an effigy of the Pope, or of
Guy Fawkes; it might be whichever people
chose to call it-they paid their halfpennies,
and they had their choice. It was generally
YOUNG G U F AWIKES.
tied to an old chair, and consisted of a
ragged coat and trousers, stuffed with
straw; with a mask, an old battered hat,
a box of lucifers, and a pipe in its
Fred's birthday was always celebrated
by his family with all due joviality; his
father, who was a grocer, giving a supper
to his shopmen and apprentices, after par-
taking of which, they drank the health of
"young Guy Fawkes," in steaming glasses
of hot punch.
As the young gentleman grew older, a
display of fireworks in the garden was
added; and he was allowed to invite his
schoolfellows to tea on the occasion. Mrs.
Wilmore made a large plum-cake, and lots
of oranges, almonds, and raisins, figs, and
other good things were liberally distributed
among the children assembled. So it is no
wonder if Fred Wilmore's birthday was
looked forward to and long remembered as
a most glorious day.
Every succeeding year added to the splen-
dour of Fied's very popular festival. But the
YoUNG GuY FAvWEES.
return of his twelfth birthday was to excel all
that had preceded it, for Jim Stevens, the new
apprentice, had been three months before on
trial to a maker of fireworks, and he had
acquired, in that short space of time, much of
the art and mystery of fires-red, blue, and
green, of steel sparks, golden rains, blue lights,
and bangs; and he and Fred, and Bill the
second son, had for some weeks been em-
ployed with cartridge-paper, resin, paste, char-
coal, and gunpowder, making wonderful things
in a shed at the bottom of the garden. How-
ever, Fred, although strictly forbidden, could
not resist the temptation of taking in a squib
or two, and letting them off out of the bed-
room window now and then; but as neither
obedience nor truthfulness was in the list of
his virtues, he stoutly denied any knowledge
of the matter, when the sulphurous smell of
the room the next morning, or the report of
the previous night, had led to a suspicion of
what he had been about.
"It only wants a week to the fifth," said he
one night to Bill, when he was preparing to
light a squib at the candle; "won't it be jolly?
YOUNG GUY FA WKES.
We've got lots of rockets, and Jim's going
to show us how to make a Jack-in-the-box
with a mine, and he's to make a Chinese tree
with a bang. Won't it be jolly, I say ?"
"But father said we were not to have a
mine, because the fire flies about so when it's
let off, you know."
Stuff and nonsense that's all bosh! he
won't know anything about it till it goes off."
I wish you wouldn't have it, nor yet let off
squibs out of the bedroom window," said Bill,
Sit's so dangerous."
"Don't you be a sneak, like Tom Heart-
well, or else I'll serve you out as I mean to do
him-a cowardly fellow, afraid to let off a
cracker last year."
"But his father forbade him; he disapproves
of fireworks, you know."
"Yes, an old canting humbug And he's
trying to prevent them having a bonfire on the
green this year. I hate him, and all of them i
I'm glad father wouldn't lend him our horse
the other day when he wanted it. Father said
it was lame; wasn't that a good 'un? Why,
the horse was no more lame than I am. I dare
YouNG' GuY FAA KES.
say they'll all be on their knees, and old Heart-
well will be droning out a prayer, when we are
in the height of our fun next Wednesday."
It was very true that Mr. Heartwell, whose
garden adjoined that of Mr. Wilmore, did not
approve of the popular mode of celebrating
" Guy Fawkes Day," as it is called. Though
a staunch Protestant, and viewing the cowardly
attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament
as it deserved, he did not consider that pro-
moting a scene of drunkenness and revelry, or
letting off combustibles to endanger life and
property, was a proper way of remembering it.
And being possessed of some influence in the
town, he had prevailed on the authorities to
prevent the usual display.
Nothing could be more auspicious than the
weather when the d~y arrived--crisp, frosty,
but clear; the paths sparkled with rime, and
the trees looked feathery in the hoar-frost.
About twenty boys, some accompanied by
their sisters, met in Mrs. Wilmore's parlour,
where tea, with muffins and crumpets, plum-
cake, and other popular et-caeteras, was served
to them. All was chatter and animation,
_____I~^_ _(~I___ _______
Yo UNG Gu FA WKXES.
How nasty it is of old Heartwell to pre-
vent them having a bonfire on the green this
yea~" said Ben Bluster, whose father kept a
beeifshop. "My father says he'd knock him
down for two farthings."
"Serve him right, a cantankerous old villain,"
growled Mr. Wilmore.
"Never mind, father," said Fred; "we've
got a famous lot of staves and waste to burn
to-night; we'll light the old chap to bed, won't
All laughed at this sally; but many a true
word is spokenin jest. When the tea was
ended, the young people played at games till
seven o'clock, when the fireworks were to begin.
In the meanwhile, Jim Stevens had been busy
building up the bo and suspending over
it a Guy, in the retiltorthodox style, with
its pockets stuffed OSTi fireworks. He had
S fastened the Catherine-wheels to a fence, with
calking-pins given him by Sally, the maid-of-
all-work, stuck the rocket sticks into the
ground, arranged the Roman-candle battery,
and made everything complete; and now
they all sallied into the garden.
YOUNG GUY FA WKES.
Just at this juncture Mr. Heartwell desired
to speak with Mr. Wilmore over the garden
wall, which was low.
"I would advise you not to have thatjon-
fire lighted," said he; "for the wind is rising,
and it blows towards your house: it might
carry sparks on to the roof, and do much
Now this was disinterested advice, as Mr.
Heartwell's dwelling-house was separated by
a large garden from Mr. Wilmore's. But Mr.
Wilmore had no mind to be advised by any-
body, especially not by such ; canting hypo-
crite, as he called Mr. Heartwell; so he answered
that he knew what he was about, and wanted
no advice of anybody.
Seeing it was iTseleso remonstrate, Mr.
Heartwell left him. S qo onfire was lighted,
and blazed away merrirto the boysntense
satisfaction, and they shouted-
Holloa, boys holloa, boys!
Make the bells ring;
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys!
i God save the Queen!"
Then therewas popping of squibs and crackers;
YoUNG G u FAWKES,
and though the wind was certainly getting up,
no mischief had happened yet, and they laughed
at the "old croaker" Heartwell's predictions,
whose son Tom was not invited. "He'd be
frightened to let off a squib," said Fred, who was
valiantly assisting Jim in firing a Chinese
"But I say, Jim, here's the Jack-in-the-box;
where shall we put that ?"
"Oh, I don't know, I'm sure," said Jim;
"out of the guv'nor's sight, anyhow."
"I'll fasten it to that pear-tree in the
"Isn't it rather too near the house ?" re-
C" You shut up ; it'll do no harm."
Fred always persisted ini contradiction; so
do many boys, but it is a bad habit.
Well, the rockets, and the Catherine-wheels,
and all the rest were let off, greatly to the praise
and triumph of Jim Stevens and of Fred, and
to the delight of the boys within the garden,
and of those without, who were mounted on
the top of the wall, and joined their shouts
with the rest, when Guy blew up with a tre-
I ----- --n-.~------~--C---(rr~---- IL I-- -ra~--CIII - I --
YOUNG GUY FA WEES.
mendous and repeated banging, from the fire-
works with which his pockets were stuffed.
SNow, Jim," said Fred, "I shall let off the
"Don't," replied Jim, "it's too nigh the house."
"No, it isn't; there's plenty of distance:"
So saying, Fred ran off with a match, and
applied it to the slow paper; but whether
Jim's skill did not extend so far as a Jack-in-
the-box, or from some other cause, it is impos-
sible to say; but instead of going off properly,
it exploded all at once, sending a stream of
blue fire, several feet in length, towards the
house, and scattering sparks and squibs in all
directions. Some of them entered the parlour
window, which had been left open, and ignited
a quantity of loose papers which lay on a table;
the flames communicated quickly to the win-
dow curtains, and to some household linen
which Mrs. Wilmore had brought down to
repair, and in an incredibly short time the
whole room was in a blaze. Mr. Wilmore,
Jim, and the shopman ran for buckets of
- water; but very little could be obtained, as
the frost was hard, and it was frozen in the
S Yo u G GUy FA WKES.
pipes. All was consternation, where so much
merriment had just before prevailed.
It happened, as Fred had predicted, that
Mr. Heartwell and his family were engaged in
family worship, and he had prayed earnestly
for the preservation of his neighbour from all
danger. He was just concluding, when the
whole family was startled by a loud explosion,
and a noise of children screaming at the back.
Going into the garden, they found all the
children in a state of great terror, trying to
get over the wall, which the bigger boys had
already climbed. By means of a step-ladder,
the rest were assisted over and taken into Mrs.
Heartwell's parlour. Mr. Heartwell and his son
Tom, a tall boy of fourteen, went out to see
what could be done.. But as the flames had
now got possession of all the lower part of the
premises, the parish engine being useless for
want of water, Mr. Heartwell busied himself in
getting out chests of tea, and other valuable
goods, the fire not having yet caught the shop.
In the meanwhile Mrs. Heartwell was trying
to persuade Mrs. Wilmore to go' into her
house; but the latter stood in a trance of
BRAVE TOM HEARTWELL.
YoU NG GUY FA wKEs.
horror, gazing at the burning pile. She was
roused, however, by Sally, who came scream-
ing, "Oh, missus! the baby-the baby!"
Where is it ?" cried many voices at once.
Up there !" said Sally, pointing to a second-
A ladder was brought, but who would ven-
ture to ascend ? Men looked at each other and
at the seething furnace below, and were silent.
"Oh! save my baby-save my baby !"
shrieked the distracted mother. But no one
answered the appeal.
Its father and Mr. Heartwell were on the
other side of the house, and heard her not.
But Tom Heartwell did, and made his way to
the ladder, which he ascended till he reached
the window. It was fastened. In a moment
he dashed his hand through the glass, undid
the fastening, opened the window, and stood
within the room. It was filled with smoke,
and in the darkness he was groping his way
towards the bed, when a jet of flame shooting
through the floor, showed at once the extreme
peril of the situation, and the child quietly
sleeping in its cot.
YOUNG GUY FA WKES.
SWhat an age it seemed to the agonised
mothers, after the resolute boy disappeared,
before he again came to the window, and with
the infant fastened to him with a small sheet
from the cot, began to descend the ladder In
breathless silence stood the awe-struck crowd ;
but when he placed the babe in its mother's
arms, a shout long and loud rent the air, and
there was a contention who should shake hands
with brave Tom Heartwell. Mrs. Wilmore
could only utter, "God reward you, brave boy !"
His mother's tearful eyes spoke volumes of
love and thankfulness to God.
As the roof had now fallen in, and the
premises were completely gutted, Mr. Heart-
well took poor Wilmore home with him, where
Mrs. Wilmore and the children were. They
were made as comfortable as circumstances
Mr. Heartwell's kindness did not end here.
He lent Mr. Wilmore a sum of money, by
means of which, and with the stock which was
saved, he was enabled to take another house
and shop, and begin business again, though in
a smaller way.
YoUNG GUY FAWKES. 41
Time brought former prosperity, and more
than former happiness. Mr. Wilmore became
in many respects a changed man. He often,
in after years, used to say, that the conduct of
the Heartwell family on that eventful night
had convinced him of the value of true religion;
and that it is good both for this world and for
that which is to come.
THE CHILDREN AND THE
"N URSE, it's really very strange, I can't
.AN 'make it out; there's a watch going
near my bed at night, but I can't find it
anywhere. Cary has looked under the
bedstead, and into the two old-fashioned
watch-pockets; and I have pushed my
biggest pin into the bolster everywhere: but
I can't find anything. It's so odd."
Such was the speech of little Lilly Fraser to
her nurse, Mrs. Stubbes, who replied, "Watch!
Lilly, dear! what do you mean? Watch,
child !-what was it like ? When did you hear
it? Oh! but, Lilly, I remember now, Mr.
Fraser won't like me to talk about such things.
Dear me-dear me! I'm so sorry !"
"What's the matter, nurse?" said Lilly;
THE DEATH- WA TCH."
"papa likes you to tell me all that's good, and
you know I was eight years old last Friday,
and Aunty Jane said girls of that age could
learn so much. And oh, nurse! it was on
Friday night I first heard that strange watch
ticking. Cary said that Grandpapa Williams
had perhaps given me a pretty little watch
for a birthday present, and, to surprise me,
had got you to sew it up in the bolster to
Friday night was it, Miss Lilly, you heard
that dreadful tick ?" said Mrs. Stubbes, in a
tone and with a look which puzzled poor Lilly,
"Nurse, dear, what makes you look so
frightened ? Do you think it's a watch some-
body has stolen and hidden in our bed; and
perhaps the police will come and take me and
Cary away to prison ? Oh! nurse, you must
come and find the watch; I wish I'd never
heard it. But it would keep ticking, and then
it would stop all of a sudden, and begin again
like a watch all in a flurry, or, as Cary said,
like a baby-watch that hadn't learnt its lesson
44 THE "DEA TH- WA TCI."
"Oh, Lilly, Lilly! I wish you had never
s aid a word about that awful ticking. Ah I
know what it means; but I mustn't tell: your
papa would be so angry."
This mystery on the part of the nurse, of
course, excited Lilly's curiosity, and at this
moment Cary, a younger sister, ran in, crying
out with a childish glee, Oh, Lilly, I've told
papa about the watch we hear at night, and he
did laugh so; I can't make it out. But he
really says he can find the watch, and then it
shall be yours, Lilly, for you heard it first on
your birthday; but you'll let me look at it
sometimes, won't you ?"
Cary stopped, partly because she had no
more to say, and partly because of nurse's
serious and Lilly's puzzled look. Lilly's turn
"Cary, dear, it's very strange; nurse says
it isn't a watch, it's some dreadful thing."
This was quite enough for the excitable
Cary, who, rushing to nurse, caught hold of her
dress, crying out, "Oh, do tell us what it is.
I'll never sleep there again, that I won't. Oh,
nurse, what is it ?"
THE "DEATH- WA TCH."
Mrs. Stubbes now felt she had gone too far
in her silly chatter; too late she tried to hush
the fears her stupidity had raised.
"Well, then; but don't be afraid," began the
nurse, with a solemn look. "That ticking you
heard is the death-watck."
"Dear me !" broke in Cary. Does Death
carry a watch with him ? But why does he
come to our nice little room ?"
"Hush, Cary!" said nurse; "don't ask
such questions. It's not a watch at all, but
something that comes to a house when some-
body is about to die."
Oh, I wish we had never heard it. Is any
one about to die, nurse ?-and why did papa
laugh ?" interrupted Lilly, clinging to nurse;
Cary getting very pale.
"Oh, Lilly, your papa is very clever, and
he does not believe in such things; but I do.
Three times have I heard it, and something
bad always came." Such was the answer of
the silly woman, who had been often cautioned
by Mr. Fraser against telling superstitious tales
to the children.
Both the little girls now cried out, "Do tell
46 THE "DEATH- WATCH."
us what happened, nurse, after you heard the
"Well, my dears," answered Mrs. Stubbes,
"I wish you hadn't asked me anything about
the ticking; but I suppose you must be told
now. It was on a fist of May, about eleven
o'clock at night, many years ago, when I was
a little girl, that my ears first heard the sound,
and before Christmas, that very year, my poor
grandfather died. He were eighty-three year
old, Miss Lilly-that he were."
"Well, but, nurse," broke in Lilly, "wouldn't
so old a man have died if there had been no
ticking at all ?"
"Ah, miss, that's a hard question, I shouldn't
like to answer," was the sage reply of the wo-
man, who went on by adding, "and the second
time was a hot night in July, when I was em-
ployed to wait on poor dear Dr. Trundle, who
kept his bed seven years and a half from the
rheumatics. Well, he died about four months
after the ticking. His sister, Miss Trundle,
was obstinate like, and she would have it that
I had only heard the doctor's big watch a-tick-
ing; but I know better. Then the last time
THE DEA TH- WA TCH."
I heard it was just before Simon Soundy, the
parish clerk, tumbled into the mill-pool of a
dark night, and was drowned. So that ticking
aren't to be laughed at. But you mustn't be
frightened; perhaps the sound won't come
again. Besides, I'll let you have the kitten in
your room to-night. The ticking doesn't come
when a kitten's near."
Night came: the little girls kissed, and
were kissed, keeping with great difficulty from
telling papa about the "watch." The little
things really liked Mrs. Stubbes, and did not
wish to draw a scolding upon her. To bed
they were snugly put, and nurse was quite full
of pleasant stories, being now really desirous
of quieting the children's fears. Tibby had
quite a luxurious bed made upon an arm-
chair, and nurse left, bidding them "go to
sleep, and not wake till the morning."
About an hour had passed; Mr. and Mrs.
Fraser were just finishing their evening game
at chess, the gentleman having for the third
time cried, Check, my dear," and was behold-
inAg with quiet satisfaction the approaching
mdate.' Louisa, "our eldest," aged sixteen
48 THE "DEA TH WA TCH,"
was fixing the last strip of beadwork to a most
elaborate lamp-stand, intended for a charitable
bazaar next week. Fred, rejoicing in the age
of fourteen, had just triumphantly extracted
the value of x from a strangely confused mass
of letters and figures, to which he had reduced
what his tutor called a problem in simple
equations. All this, we say, was being done,
when the whole party were startled by a
scream from the landing-place near the chil-
dren's bed-room. This was followed by a
scream, number two, from a stronger voice.
Nor were words wanting to the concert:
" Papa !" and Mamma !" were clearly heard
amidst the din, the whole being strangely
varied by a shrill and squealing outcry from
some enraged creature.
The mother had but just time to open the
door, when in dashed Cary, screaming out
a double mystery: "The watch! the watch
has come Oh, my foot! my foot !"
Lilly followed in full cry: "Oh, papa! it
won't go away; and Tibby's killed-oh,
Nurse, rushing in, added to the perplexity
THE DEA TH- WATCH."
by exclaiming, "Oh, sir! I told them not to
be frightened-I did indeed."
Cary was now safe in Louisa's lap, and
Lilly found a harbour in mamma's arms.
Then the whole story was soon told; Lilly
being the chief orator, Cary the prompter, and
nurse giving animation to the whole by re-
peated ejaculations of "Oh, dear who'd have
thought it ?"
Perhaps we had better let Lilly tell her own
story. "Oh, papa! that ticking you so laughed
at came again to-night. Cary and I both heard
it go tick-tick-tick !'"
Yes, just like this," broke in Cary, and
tapped her little finger three times on the
table, in imitation of the sound.
"Oh, yes," replied Lilly, "and then it
stopped a bit, then went on again. We caught
up kitty and put her on our bed; but the
'tick' did not mind Tibby one bit, and went
on louder. Then Cary screamed, and I
screamed-we couldn't help it-and we tried
to run out of the room; and Cary trod on
Tibby's tail in the dark, and then Tibby
scratched her foot so, and that made Cary cry
I ": :
KiL ..; ^ ^.... *-. -^
50 THE "DEATH- WA TCH.'
the more, of course; and I fell down upon
kitty, and she did cry out so, and then we
got the door open. Oh, papa! that ticking
frightens us all: do stop it."
Lilly's story explained the outcries which
had so startled the family, and even accounted
for the sounds of anger sent forth by the
Mr. Fraser saw at a glance that nurse had
been telling the children one of those super-
stitious fibs in which ignorance ever delights.
However, it was no time for scolding, and he
determined to explain the whole matter at
once. Beckoning to Lilly, he said, "Come
here, and I'll tell you all about that ticking.
You shall laugh about it yourself to-morrow."
"And you'll tell nurse, too, won't you,
papa?" added Cary, who saw Mrs. Stubbes
standing by the door, with a look made up of
fear, anger, and sulkiness.
"Oh, yes,' replied the father, "nurse must
try to understand the difference between a
goblin and a harmless insect."
"Insect-insect! why, surely no little crea-
ture, with wings all covered with scarlet and
--i~Uu~aLU-- ~- -~r-rr~r~iPrasr~a4. I
THE "DEA TH- W./A TCH."
gold, made such a ticking," cried Cary, with
"Oh, certainly not, little romantic," answered
Mr. Fraser; "not a word did I say about gold
and scarlet; but, I tell little Miss Cary that
the ticking which so frightened some people
was made by a small insect. It is a sort of
second cousin to a beetle, for it belongs to
At this point Lilly must needs interrupt.
"Oh, papa, is the creature like those horrid
blackbeetles in the kitchen ?"
"Lilly must remember that some beetles
are most beautiful insects, and this ticking
beetle is nothing like those black ones that so
Papa having thus far satisfied Lilly, pro-
ceeded by saying, "This insect has a sort of
a horn on the head, and raising himself on his
hind legs, he brings his hard head down with
all its might against some bit of timber in the
wall, and this stroke sounds something like the
ticking of a watch."
" But why," cried Cary, is the creature so
t f o knocking its head against things ?"
* .t '
THE DEATH- WA TCH."
"Quite right, Cary, to ask that question,"
said Mr. Fraser; "you shall hear. It is the
gentleman-beetle which makes the noise, and
it is a call to some female not far off. So you
see the ticking is really the beetle's mode of
At this the whole party laughed merrily,
Lilly exclaiming with vehemence, What silly
children we were, to be frightened by a poor
little beetle calling his wife Oh, I do hope it
will tick again."
Fred now put in his query: "I wonder
if we could catch one; I should like to
"Oh, yes-yes! can we catch one, papa ?"
cried both Lilly and Cary in the same breath.
That might, perhaps, be managed; if we
called in Sam Cox to cut open the old wainscot
of your bed-room to-morrow, we might find the
beetle in some dark corner; but then you'll
not hear the sound again."
The morning came; Lilly and Cary could
scarcely take breakfast-so great was their ex-
citement; and Fred was constantly wondering
"how the death-watch would feel when fairly
THE "DEATH- WATCH." .
caught and put into spirits of wine, to preserve
Sam Cox at last arrived, with hammers,
saws, and chisels. It seems Sam had often seen
what he called "the queer little insect," and
became a great man in the eyes of the children
by the freedom with which he described the
creature. Even nurse began to be perplexed.
Sam's opinion that "the ticking creature
mightn't be found after all, they get into such
very queer holes," heightened, if possible, the
curiosity of the children, and gave a little com-
fort to Mrs. Stubbes.
However, Cox began his cutting and boring
very quietly at the part whence the "ticking"
had come, and soon a long piece of wainscot
was removed, and all the inside most carefully
"Lots of old holes in this timber; impos.
sible to say which is the beetle's drawing-room,"
said Cdx, who now began to tap the timber
smartly with his hammer in various parts;
holding in the other hand a basin with a piece
of paper over the bottom, on which the beetle
was to be tumbled, if caught. Nothing was
54 THE "DEATH- WATCHH"
seen for some time except two or three huge
spiders, which darted off as if they feared
hanging for fly-murder.
I've got him at last," said Cox, holding
out the basin before Mr. Fraser's face. "He was
just running from that hole to get away," cried
the carpenter, pointing to a beam full of worm-
holes. Sixteen eyes were turned upon a tiny,
stone-coloured insect in the basin. How quietly
it lay there! Had Cox killed it in his hurry ?
Was that little frightened insect really the
creature which could scare grown-up people out
of their senses ? Yes, there it was in the bottom
of the basin, lying motionless.
"Them beetles be rare clever! He's a sham-
ming dead; but I'll touch him.. Now see!" So
said the carpenter, who gave the insect a sudden
push with the end of a chisel. The creature
resented this rudeness, by indignantly darting
half-way up the side of the paper. At this nurse
gave a faintish scream, which was, however,
almost drowned in the shouts of the children,
and the hurrah of Fred, who evidently thought
the beetle had performed a praiseworthy feat.
"Now look closely at it, all of you," said
THE DEA TH- WA TCH."
Mr. Fraser; it's not often this singular insect
is seen. Nurse, you come close and watch the
little harmless beetle, that has frightened a
stout woman like you."
The basin was put upon the table, and the
insect being again perfectly quiet, Mr. Fraser,
holding a large magnifying-glass over the
creature, went on with his description.
"See the sort of helmet on the insect's head,
and that bone-like knob on the forehead; that's
what it beats the ground with, and so produces
At this point Mr. Fraser held up his finger.
All looked, and he went on-
"I want great silence in the room. You
see the insect is standing on a sheet of note-
paper. I saw it move a moment ago; I'm
almost certain it struck the paper with its head
and gave a tick. There, there! listen all."
Sure enough, the little creature was seen to
move its body up and down with wonderful
rapidity, and amidst the deep stillness was
heard the successive tick-tick-tick-tick.
Nurse, in amazement, gazed at the insect
through the magnifying-glass. Lilly and Cary
THE DEATH- WATCH."
kept their eyes fixed on the startled face of
Mrs. Stubbes, and their ears open to the
strange sounds. The ticks stopped, but all
were silent, and in about a minute came seven
or eight more "tickings," when the insect
ceased, as if in despair of getting an answer
from some absent friend.
"Now look at the beetle and listen," said
papa. "I'll imitate the beat by tapping the
head of this pin against the table. Sometimes
these beetles will answer such taps, thinking
they come from a companion."
Hereupon he tried his skill at imitating the
beats of the death-watch. Perhaps the imita-
tion was badly done, or perhaps its perfection
puzzled even the beetle; no sound came in
return. "Tick-tick-tick," said Mr. Fraser's
pin. Four times was it tried, but in two or
three seconds after he had ceased the last
series of taps, there came from the paper in
the basin a rapid run of "tickings.", Papa held
up the pin to show he was not tapping; there
was no mistake-the beetle had answered its
human questioner. Three times did Mr. Fraser
tap with the pin, and twice did the insect answer
THE DEATH- WATCH."
by ticks as vigorous as ever. Even Cox was
"I never," said that learned carpenter, "seed
one do so much ticking afore. He's a merry
The death-watch had for ever lost its terrors
in that family; it had actually become a pet.
"Oh, papa," said Cary, do give that clever
beetle some crumbs of bread, or find out what
it likes to eat; we must keep it alive till Cousin
Susan comes up from the country next week."
Mr. Fraser promised to do his best.
The beetle was repeatedly visited in its
prison, the tickings were often heard, and Cary
hoped, to the horror of nurse, that "papa would
find a nice family of little ticking beetles in the
box-that would be so nice!"
Did Cousin Susan see the beetle? did she
hear it perform in good style ? Alas! no; the
provoking beetle died the fifth day after its
capture, to the sorrow of all save Mrs. Stubbes.
Her superstition about the death-watch had
been rudely shaken, and it was some consola-
tion to the poor woman when she remarked, to
herself, "They may say what they likes, but
THE DEATH-- TA TCH."
them tickings foretells a death, for the creature
It was voted by all that the beetle should
be preserved in a phial filled with spirits of
wine. This was done, and to this day "the
ticking beetle," or, as the learned call it, Ano-
bium lessclatun, may be seen on a shelf in Mr.
Fraser's study. Even nurse has been known
to bring in "friends from the country," to see
the dead death-watch. The sum of the whole
matter was, that Lilly and Cary never listened
again to superstitious stories about animals:
even nurse has begun to doubt. Tibby was
caressed for a whole week in compensation
for the bruising of his tail; Sam Cox got half
a day's pleasantwork; the whole family enjoyed
the excitement of hunting and.capturing the
death-watch, and Mr. Fraser has added one
specimen to his natural history collection.
A GROUP of schoolboys stood waiting for
a companion to make his appearance,
discussing in glowing language the beauty
of some blackberry-hedges which they had
planned to visit on their way to school, and
grumbling at the delay caused by the non-
appearance of their friend.
"Oh! here he is," at length exclaimed one,
as a boy about fourteen rushed out of a neigh-
"Now, Harry, be sure you go straight off
to Carr's at once," they heard his father say,
-as he closed the door after him; and then they
saw that Harry held a note in his hand.
" I say, old fellow, it's too bad to keep us
Iall this time," exclaimed two or three,
6o THE BLACKBERRY GATHERING.
"I wish you hadn't waited," said Harry,
petulantly, "for I've got to go round to Carr's,
the farrier's, with this note."
"Oh, you can't go this morning, Martin;
Carr's place is quite the other way, and if we
don't get them blackberries this morning, they'll
all be spoiled. I don't suppose that note is so
particular-is it ?"
"It's for Carr to send and fetch two of the
horses that have cast their shoes. One of them
belongs to the stage-coach, you know, and so
it will be wanted in the afternoon," answered
"Oh, well, you can run down with that in
the dinner-hour, just as well as going all that
way now; so stuff it in your pocket, and let's
go on, or the birds will have eaten the ripest
But father told me to be sure and take this
note," debated Harry, as they came to the
point where the two roads met-one leading to
the famous blackberry-bushes, and the other
round to the village where the blacksmith's
forge was situated.
Harry stopped here for a minute or two,
THE BLACKBERRY GA THERING. 61
balancing the note in his hand, and pondering
whether he should go on to the blacksmith's,
or postpone it until the dinner-hour came round.
The school was some distance from home, but
not far from the village; and as he always took
his dinner, it would be easy to run down then
and deliver the note, he thought, and he might
enjoy the fun of getting the blackberries with
S his companions. He did not mean to be dis-
obedient, but he had got into the habit of
putting off doing things at the time he was
desired to do them, and had hitherto escaped
detection, so that the fault was one he thought
little of now.
"Come, Martin, don't stand there like a
stuck pig," shouted one of his companions;
"either come on with us at once, or say you
don't mean to come, and trot off with that
bothering note. Bother the horses casting their
shoes just now!" he added.
Harry decided to go with them, and thrust-
ing the note into his pocket, turned up the lane.
The blackberries were very abundant, and
just ripe, so that they had quite a feast at the
expense of a few scratches. But the food,
62 THE BLACKBERRY GATHERING.
delicious as that was, was not enjoyed half so
much as the fun-the eager scrambling up the
dewy banks, and reaching, stretching, balancing
their bodies to reach the highest branches, where
the ripest fruit grew. Harry joined in the
laughing, and seemed the merriest of them all,
but in truth he was far from feeling as gay and
light-hearted as he seemed. The note that he
had in his pocket weighed heavily upon his
spirits, and he wished now that he had not
come after the blackberries; but it was too
late now. The clock struck nine befoi-e they
thought it could be half-past eight, and then
they were still some distance from school. They
scampered off at once, but prayers were over
before they got there, and they were ordered
to remain half-an-hour after the others had left,
as a punishment. It was past one o'clock be-
fore Harry reached the blacksmith's, to deliver
his note, and then he heard to his consterna-
tion that the man had gone out.
"He waited about till a little agone twelve,
to see if any jobs comed in," said his wife, and
when they didn't he went off to his brother,
t'other side- o' Farnley."
THE BLACKBETRRY G ATHERLVG. 63
"Could I fetch him back?" said Harry;
"for two of the horses have cast their shoes.,
and they must be done before the coach comes
up this afternoon."
"Ah, you're Mr. Martin's lad, then. But
why didn't you bring the note afore? I doubt
whether you'll catch the old man, for he's a
stout walker, is my John."
S"Oh, I'll run and overtake him," said Harry;
and scarcely heeding the woman's directions,
Delivered in her slow country speech, he burst
away and took the road towards Farnley. A
Spread fear had come over him, how or why,
. he could not tell, but he felt he must fly on to
; find the man, and get the horses shod before
the coach came by.
S A mile, two miles, nearly three miles he
ran, scarcely pausing to take breath, the haunt-
Sing fear growing upon him each moment and
Urging him onward. At last he was obliged
.to sit down upon the grass and rest, for he was
-ell.nigh exhausted. But not many minutes
tstay-only long enough to shed a few
rs, and wish that he had taken the
the time he was sent, and then he
64 THE BLACKBERRY GAT HEARING.
hurried on, not pausing again until he reached
the place he was in search of. But, alas! Carr
was not there, he had gone on to the next
village; and, glancing at the clock, Harry saw
that it was just three, and therefore too late to
get the horse shod before half-past. As he
retraced his steps, he tried to reason himself
out of the terrible fear that had taken such
hold upon him. His father had several other
horses, he thought, that could be used instead
of the shoeless one, and he tried to whistle and
think no more about it, as he sauntered lei-
surely through the green lane, wondering what
his father and schoolmaster would say to this
At the end of the lane rose a long, steep
hill; and as Harry began slowly to ascend it,
the mysterious fear again reasserted its power
over him. But he had not gone far when, to
his infinite relief, he heard the sound of wheels;
and the next moment, the lumbering, heavy-
laden stage-coach loomed in sight. They must
have changed horses by this time, he knew;
and as it came nearer, he saw that a young
white one had taken the place of the other.
_~.,-~iuCp -I _---L~L-BC~-i~QC7PYY~L~*~II~LYY~CI*
- TTHE BLACKBERRY GATHERING. 65
S"Oh, they'll gain by that," he said, half
aloud-all his fears vanishing in a moment;
"at least half an hour will be saved as 'Tops'
is leader;" and he stood still to watch the
approach of the vehicle.
It certainly did come down the hill at a
tapid rate, and he could see that the coachman
bad hard work to hold in the restive "Tops."
Thl passengers, too, seemed somewhat anxious;
Sadilooiing more narrowly at these, he described
S- IFatherai'mong those outside. But before he
could begin to wonder what business could take
his father in that direction, the coach gave a
vi6leant lurch; and the next minute-oh, horror
of horrors !-it lay upon its side in the road.
Wh AtI. happened next, Harry did not know;
.itahe found himself in the ditch, supporting
,- fatter's head; while the guard stood by
, l da1eb doctor, who had been fetched, the
ie tft the .-accident-having a fresh horse,
.niti'to the work, which, being restive, had
ifeagth urged on the others, and overturned
S H.Wv Harry sickened as he heard
own at the pale, unconscious
SHow heavy, how bitter his
66 THE BLACKBERRY GATHERING.
punishment was, as he sat there in the ditch
thinking that all this mischief had been caused
through his fault!
But he was roused from his bitter self-up-
braidings by the men coming to carry his father
to a cottage close by, where the doctor would
set his leg, which, it had been discovered, was
broken. Harry followed at a little distance,
anxious, yet fearing to enter, lest his father
should be dead. On his way, he heard that
several others had been slightly injured, but
none so seriously as his father. This was a
little relief to his mind, but who can picture his
misery when he heard soon afterwards that he
was not expected to live ?
For many weeks Mr. Martin hovered be-
tween life and death; but at length, to the
surprise of all, he began to recover; and then,
for the first time, he heard of the blackberry
gathering which had been the cause of the
accident. But there was no need to talk to
Harry about it now; he had suffered too deeply
ever to forget it; ah! and had profited by this
severe lesson. Mr. Martin had often had
serious misgivings before; for Harry, though
STHE BLACKBERRY GA THERzNG. 67
merry and light-hearted, was gradually growing
selfish, caring only for his own pleasure or
convenience; but now this was all changed,
S Ilis son was becoming a thoughtful, generous
boy; and as years rolled on, he thanked God
.* for that "blackberry gathering."
S. . ; *
BY SIDNEY DARYL.
M ONSIEUR BONHOMME sat in his
counting-house, reading the letters he
had received by the morning's post. Though
the hands of the clock over his desk said that
it wanted a quarter to nine, he had been work-
ing there more than an hour, and previously
to that had taken his first breakfast, and made
a lengthened tour of his garden, watering the
flowers of which he was so proud, and spudding
up the weeds he so loathed and hated in the
fulness of his horticultural heart.
Besides being an early riser, hp possessed
an orderly and methodical mind, and whether
it was his ledger and business -books to be
balanced, or his dinner-table to be arranged, ori
the weekly account with his washerwoman to
be settled, everything in which he had an
...... .....___ _...
P ..- . - ------.. m ; -,,,7:- '- -- -.- ----. ...-
NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 69
interest vas conducted with the strictest
r regularity and accuracy.
S Pierre Bonhomme was getting an old man.
He and his father before him had, between the
two of them, lived and traded in the old house
S in the corner of the Place de la Bourse better
S than a hundred years, and the letters in .which
the name or style of the firm--"Bonhomme et
[ Fils"-was painted over the tumble-down gate
S tbated intC the yard, were sadly illegible.
i t8eed, they might just as well have been ob-
'Bteiated altogether; first, because no one who
did not possess lynx eyes could distinguish the
S characters; and secondly, because there was no
SFils" now; that is to say, Pierre's son was
S not in the business-in fact; he was very con-
siderably above it-and though burt a youngster
'of seventeen, prided himself on being one of
.the best-dressed and most fashionable dandies
It had been a great trouble to Papa Bon-
homme that his spoiled boy had shirked the
Sbusitess collar he had sought to put around
.:'fi-easck. From the time when he had dan-
lI^at H Uittle LUon in his long clothes, the
70 NOTHIrG VEN TURE, NOTHING WIN.
great idea of his life had been that the young
gentleman should perpetuate the commer-
cial glories of the honoured and well-known
firm of "Bonhomme et Fils;" but he was
doomed to disappointment, and found him-
self compelled to surrender all his cherished
I am sorry to have to record it of Master
Leon, that he was far from being what he ought
to have been; he had acquired a habit of
spending money without thinking how hard it
was to earn it: for Pierre Bonhomme had
always kept his son's purse liberally supplied
when at school in England. In tastes and
ideas he was exceedingly precocious, and when
scarcely sixteen, had induced his father to allow
him to leave school and come home; ostensibly
to learn the routine of his business, but in
reality to be a gentleman at ease.
With all his method and order, Pierre Bon-
homme could refuse his son nothing, and so at
the time of my story, we find Leon leading a
wild and extravagant existence, and his father
silently mourning the destruction of the castles
in the air that in early days he had loved to build.
NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 71
Next to his son, there was no person so
dear to Pierre Bonhomme as Jacques Poucet,
the orphan son of his dead sister, who, though
but just sixteen, had made himself invaluable
in his uncle's counting-house, by his anxiety to
work hard, and learn the routine of business.
Let it not be supposed that he was a sneak, or
a schemer who was trying to advantage himself
at the expense of his cousin. He possessed-
wht we would there were a little more of in
thisKrorld-gratitude, and remembered affec-
tionttely how, when his mother died, a thought-
ful hand had been stretched out to him, and
rescued him from beggary. What little he had,
he owed it all to his uncle Pierre, and he sought
to the best of his power to pay fitting interest
Son the debt, by assiduity and attention to his
duties. When L0on left school, and came to
try what business life was like, Jacques did
everythingg he could to give him an agreeable
impression and to engage his sympathy and
confidence. But Ldon-who for no reason at
*1 had long entertained a prejudice against
killed him by the coldness with which
ant all his advances, and treated him with
72 NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHILVG WIN.
as little courtesy as if he had been the humblest
menial. And yet Jacques yearned from his
heart to gain the affections of the son of his
benefactor, but all in vain. Do what he would,
be he ever so thoughtful, Leon stubbornly held
aloof from him, and treated him with just the
same contempt and hauteur as he did the
old housekeeper and the porter.
But I am forgetting, in this preliminary
ramble, Monsieur Bonhomme in his counting.
house reading his letters. There was a large
number of them, and it took him some little
time to make himself acquainted with their
contents. When he got to the last, and was
reading it, he seemed somewhat put out.
"Ah! this is too bad," he grumbled to him-
self. "Just as I was thinking of taking a day's
holiday, comes this tiresome note, requiring
me to proceed on important business to Mar-
And then he sighed a sigh such as only a
hard-worked man who has been robbed of a
chance of relaxation can breathe.
"I must go at once," he continued, folding
up the unwelcome letter hastily, and looking
." NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 73
at his watch; "I shall be just in time to catch
the day express."
At that moment a man came bustling in at
"My dear Bonhomme," said the stranger,
plumping down a small paper parcel upon the
desk, "here are the four thousand francs due
S on our last account. I think you will find it
all right; and as I can't wait any longer, good
k And with that, the #unceremonious visitor
S disappeared as quickly as he had come.
"This is rather awkward," said Pierre, still
talking to himself; "he couldn't have paid it
at a more inconvenient time. I always take
iuoney to the bank myself, but if I want to
catch the train, I mustn't think of doing that
to-day. And then none of the clerks are here,
and Jacques hasn't come in from his morning's
Almost at the same moment, Leon appeared
at the door. There was a strange look about
him, which I may as well at once say was due
t- hs having been playing cards the previous
Sight, and losing more than he was able to
74 NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN.
pay. I say than he was able to pay, because,
foolishly indulgent though he was, his father
had refused to make him any further allow-
ance. He had scarcely entered the count-
ing-house, when Jacques, fresh and with a
heightened colour from his smart walk up to
the Bois de Boulogne and back again, came
briskly in. Monsieur Bonhomme, who had
saluted his son most affectionately, turned at
once to Jacques, telling him of his proposed
journey to Marseilles, and desiring him, as
soon as he had breakfasted, to go over to the
bank and pay in the four thousand francs,
which, for the present, he put inside his desk
without locking it.
Leon had at first turned away, disgusted at
Jacques preventing the interview he had con-
templated having alone with his father; but
when he heard the four thousand francs men-
tioned, there was a dangerous expression in
his eye that boded no good. With a hasty
good-bye, Monsieur Bonhomme hurried to his
sleeping-room, packed a few things in his carpet
bag, and in ten minutes was on his way to the
railway station. Jacques made some civil re-
NO THING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 75
mark to his cousin, but receiving no response,
took himself off to his breakfast.
It was nearly eleven o'clock when, having
discharged several pressing duties, Jacques
suddenly remembered the four thousand francs
in his uncle's desk, and that he was to pay
them into the bank. He was quite angry with
himself for his forgetfulness, and determined
to make up for it at once. What was his
horror to find that the four thousand francs
Quicker than it takes to write, the thought
flashed through his mind that his cousin was
-the thief Why, he knew not, save that he
had heard of Leon's extravagancies, and knew
that Monsieur Bonhomme had refused to
pander to them farther. It was a trying mo-
r ent for Jacques; he knew that suspicion was
.,. li1e enotigh' to fall on him, but he only gave
a passi ng:thought to that. The first and only
thing that was uppermost in his mind was to
.bring back Leon, wherever he had gone, and
with him, if possible, the four thousand francs
* -intact. But where to find him? Whither had
She gone? He might be in Paris, or flying
76 NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN.
away somewhere for safety. Looking out of
the window, Jacques saw Prosper, the porter,,
standing at the yard gate.
"Have you seen Monsieur Ldon?" he in-
quired hurriedly of him.
"Oh, yes, sir," replied the old man, "not
half an hour ago; and just before he left he
asked me to get the time-table of the Northern
Railway. Why, how pale you look, Monsieur
Jacques," he added, gazing at Jacques' care-
stricken face; "is anything the matter ?"
"Nothing, Prosper, nothing," replied Jacques,
withdrawing his head to the inside. "The
Northern Railway," he muttered to himself.
And then, as if a thought suddenly struck
him, he rushed away up-stairs to his own little
room, and unlocking his desk, put what few
savings he had stored away in it into his pocket.
He informed no one of his purpose, but slipping
out unperceived, hailed a carriage, and jumping
into it, ordered the driver to convey him with
all speed to the terminus of the Northern Rail-
way. He had not paused to reflect; had he
done so, he might have shrunk from the task
he had imposed upon himself. But his thoughts
~ ~--~ ~,~~_~ ~. ~--~-r-- -~*~---riLL11113~i~Wr~*+IILOCePDL~p
NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 77
were fixed on one who had been both father
and mother to him, and whose heart would
break if he were to find but that his son was a
Through the whole of that day Jacques
watched at the railway station, till, as evening
came on, the officials about the place began to
regard him as a suspicious person, who was
loitering there for no good purpose. He was
very tired and hungry, but he remained faith-
ful to the duty he had assumed, and hoped
/ against hope that his cousin would put in an
appearance at last. The hour had arrived at
which the night mail-train for Calais was on
the point of starting. There did not, however,
see- to be many people likely to travel by it,
and as the last warning bell rang, Jacques
turned on his heel to go home. L'on was not
Sigig to take flight in that direction, he felt
assured. As he was passing out through the
station gates, his attention was attracted by a
cab driving hurriedly in, the horse being urged
along at the top of his speed. He would not
throw away this last chance, so retracing his
steps, he made for the ticket-office once more.
78 NoTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN,
As he entered it, he was just in time to see a
figure that he was satisfied was no other than
that of his cousin, disappearing swiftly through
the inner door on to the platform. He could
not hesitate, so presenting himself at the little
window where tickets were dispensed, he took
one for Calais, and rushing on to the platform,
regardless of the remonstrances of a surly
official, who tried to stop him, opened the
door of one of the carriages in the train, that
had already begun to move, and scrambled in
as best he could. In five minutes more the
steam-horse was whirling him along through
the outskirts of Paris, shrieking and screeching
as if in astonishment at his temerity.
When the excitement of the moment was
passed, and he could look about him, Jacques
found that the carriage he was in had no other
occupant but himself, and that he was to be
alone for the next fifty miles. For he knew
that the night mail only stopped three times on
the journey between Paris and Calais. It has
already been seen that Jacques was naturally
very impulsive, and every minute's delay that
kept him from his cousin's side seemed full of
NO THINr VENTURE, NOTHI NG WIN. 79
danger to the success of his enterprise. He
looked out of the carriage window. It was a
dark, gloomy night, and some heavy rain-drops
fell upon his face, while the rushing of the wind
almost took his breath away.. But to wait till
fifty miles had been traversed, and then run
the risk of not seeing Leon at all, or if seeing
him, to have to do so in company-Jacques
scouted the idea, and was determined to make
a daring effort, if possible, to avoid all these
difficulties. Again^ he did not pause to reflect,
but, opening the door, stepped out on to the
long wooden step that ran along its full length,
and closed it after him. Then he remained still
for a moment, for the guard, whose van was
next behind, had just looked out. But it was
only to take a glance at a train which came
whizzing past on its way towards Paris, and
then he disappeared.
Jacques was not slow to proceed with the
daring enterprise he had resolved to undertake,
but made his way along the wooden steps from
carriage to carriage, glancing in at the windows
Sas he passed, unseen by the occupants, and
thus till he had reached nearly to the second
80 NorTHIVG VENTURE, NOTHING WIN.
guard's van, which came next to the engine.
Could he have been mistaken, after all, in the
identity of the figure he had supposed to be
that of his cousin ? As he paused with sinking
heart to put this question to himself, he hap-
pened to look in through the window of a first-
class carriage, and there, all by himself, sleeping
in the corner seat on the further side, was Leon,
and by his side a little black travelling-bag,
which was fastened round his shoulder by a
strap. Gently turning the handle of the door,
Jacques opened it, and gliding softly in, shut
it after him. He had played a bold game, but
it seemed likely that he would win noT. Leon
was moving restlessly in his sleep, while his
breathing was forced and heavy; every now
and then he murmured something between his
teeth, which were clenched together, but the
words were inaudible.
If he has but the money about him, and I
can secure it without waking him," said Jacques
to himself, "there is nothing to fear."
Stealthily he crept to Ldon's side,_. The
bag was resting on the arm of the seat in
which. Leon was sitting. Jacques tried to j
------------- --------- _-LiP--lm*L -L-~i;-~-i~i~iC~p ~;i~-~:iL~iLliY~Yi~Y~.--~=t~IIY;~E
JACQUES AND LEON.
NOTHING VtENTURE, NOTHING WIN. 8
open it, but at first he could not. Then he
remembered how he had once heard Ldon tell
his father about a particular spring that was
attached to it, and after a search that seemed
to last hours instead of seconds, he lighted on
it, and pressing it with his finger, the bag flew
open. Almost at the same moment, L6on
moved as if about to wake, and Jacques started
back; but his alarm soon passed when he saw
his cousin seemingly sink into a sounder sleep
than before; and then, looking into the bag,
Jacques saw a packet lying at the bottom of
it, which in an instant more he held in his
hand. It was made up of four thousand francs
in bank-notes that had been paid to M. Bon-
homme that morning. Having satisfied him-
self that they were all right in number, he put
them into his pocket-book, and carefully clos-
ing the bag, ensconced himself in a seat, and
prepared for the time when his cousin should
There is no need to linger over what remains
to be told. Neither Leon nor Jacques went as
far as Calais that night. Indeed, when the
mail train reached its first stopping-place, they
82 NOTHING VENTURE, NOTHING WIN.
got out together, and journeyed on no further.
If the reader had been there, he would have
seen that the elder of the two lads was as a
child in the hands of the younger, and seemed
willing to let him do as he would with him.
Monsieur Bonhomme, on his return from Mar-
seilles, was agreeably surprised to find his son
installed in the counting-house, at the desk by
Jacques' side, working away with a will that
gladdened his heart, and reinspired him with
a hope that the glories of the old house of
Bonhomme et Fils would yet be perpetuated.
He never knew of Leon what we do. And
Jacques toiled pleasantly on as before, more
than ever a son to M. Bonhomme, and a dear
and loved brother to Leon.
MY BROTHER BEN AND I.
W HEN I was a lad of about twelve
years of age, and was attending the
grammar-school in Slubberton, near which
town my father, a small Scotch proprietor,
resided, no study pleased me so well as that
of biography; and, having made a tolerable
progress in arithmetic, and other knowledge,
I received for a prize a book called "The
British Plutarch," in which I read the lives
of Milton, Pope, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, the
-Duke of Marlborough, Sir Francis Drake, and
Cromwell. But great as all these worthies
were, they were every one of them eclipsed,
in my opinion, by my brother Ben, who had
been at sea from an early age, and about the
beginning of the Midsummer holidays came
home, after an absence of nearly five years.
Ben was fifteen years older than myself,
84 MY BROTHER BEN AND .
and having entered the service as a mid-
shipman, had been in several battles, in
which he had gained both prize-money and
promotion, and was now first lieutenant of
the Thunderer, man-of-war, commanded by
So I decided, in my own mind, that Ben
was a much greater hero than Sir Cloudesley
Shovel, the Duke of Marlborough, or any of
those recorded in my Plutarch. And besides,
he was such a fine fellow to look at, with his
gold epaulettes, embroidery, and buttons, his
cocked hat and plume, white waistcoat, and the
glittering sword by his side. All the family,
especially the female part and their acquain-
tances, shared my enthusiasm, and we had more
young lady visitors during the week after Ben
came home than we had had for a whole
It certainly was glorious to hear Ben talk
and sing. He had a good voice, and he sang
sea songs about Tom Bowling, Admiral Ben-
bow, and Black-eyed Susan, which made me
think that if there existed anywhere a paradise
upon.the earth, it must be on board of a man-
iMY BROTHER BEN AND 7.
of-war. Then he had been in both East and
West Indies, and spoke of waving palms, with
groves of orange and citron, with myrtles,
magnolias, and passion flowers, all growing
wild; of gales laden with the odours of spices
and aromatic gums; rivers flowing over golden
sands; humming-birds, parrots, and parro-
quets of all colours and sizes; blue monkeys,
orange-coloured lizards, and fireflies. The
result was that I formed a resolution to go, as
soon as possible, and see all these wonderful
things with my own eyes.
Possessing no taste for farming, Ben amused
himself, while he was at home, in making, and
showing me how to rig, a small frigate, of
which my sisters hemmed the sails after they
were cut out. When she was complete, and
Ben launched her on the duck-pond in the
meadow, she really was a saucy-looking craft,
with her shapely hull, raking masts, and the
British ensign floating in the wind; and as
the breeze filled her canvas, and she floated
majestically across the pond, I felt myself, in
imagination at least, every inch a sailor! But
my infatuation was achieved by Ben giving
86 My BROTHER BEN AND 7.
me, as a parting gift, a large, handsome edition
of "Robinson Crusoe." I read this bock
morning, afternoon, and evening, and it lay
under my pillow at night.
After reading Robinson three times through,
it came into my head that I should like to act
it. The opportunity soon offered. My father
having built a new pigsty, I begged for the
old one-which was in the corner of a field,
around three sides of which was a wide, deep
ditch-in order to make a hut like Robinson
did on his island. Obtaining permission, I
and my brother Teddy, who was two years
younger than I, new thatched and cleaned it
as well as we possibly could. We then,
with old boards, and the tools which Ben had
lent me to use while he was away, contrived
to make two three-legged stools, a couple
of perches, and a shelf; on the latter I
placed my tea-mug, an old yellow dish, and
a plate or two, given me by my mother, and
with my Robinson to read, and the grey
parrot, that I had taught to say, "Poor
*Rob," which it did incessantly, the old Tom-
cat, and a goat, which was lame of a leg, I spent
.lMY BROTHER BEN AND I.
many happy hours; Teddy, in a black paper
mask, with an oval slit for the mouth, and
two smaller ones for the eyes, making an
admirable Man Friday. All this was very
delightful, and went on for a good while; but
no pleasures are lasting in this world; an
accident brought ours to a conclusion. Teddy
and I had made a raft by tying some boards
together with an old rope, and, having pushed
it into the ditch, we embarked upon it, along
with the, parrot, cat, and goat; and, by the
aid of a clothes-prop, paddled ourselves back-
wards and forwards several times in triumph,
till at length the rope, being rotten and unable
to bear the strain, gave way, the raft came to
pieces, and we were all suddenly submerged
in the muddy ditch. My father and Tom
Hackett, hearing our cries, came and dragged
out Teddy and me. The goat scrambled up
the bank by itself; but puss and poll were
My father said but little, though he had
forbidden us to play near the ditch many
times. But the next day he announced his
intention of putting me, as I was now nearly
88 MT BROTHER BEN AND L
fourteen years old, apprentice to Mr. Dip, the
tallow-chandler in Slubberton. Now, my
father was a worthy, Christian man, but he
was firm almost to obstinacy. What he had
once resolved upon was like the laws of the
Medes and Persians, which could never be
altered; so I had to give up all my dreams,
and go to Mr. Dip's. I abhorred the smell of
tallow, and detested grease; but it did not
matter-in canvas apron and sleeves I was
obliged to work in the hated melting-house
from morning till night. This I had done for
a week; the next day would be melting-day,
and I determined to avoid it, and all its
horrors, by running away. Accordingly, after
all the family were in bed, I let myself down
from the window by the sheets, which I tied
together and fastened to the bedstead, and
made the best of my way to a small seaport
town about fifteen miles off. I got there early
in the morning, and went to the beach to look
at the ships. There were not many, but be-
fore I could observe them, a stout, red-faced
man accosted me, and asked if I wanted a
berth; I told him I did, whereupon he said
MY BROTHER BEN AND 7.
he would engage me for a voyage to go as
ship's boy in the Lively Nancy, as fine a
vessel as ever sailed; "and as you're a strong,
active-looking chap," said he, "if you mind
your p's and q's, you'll come to be a captain
like me some day or other,"
Captain Driver, for that was his name, took
me into a small public-house, with the sign of
the Three Jolly Tars," where, after a repast
of bread and cheese and ale, I fell fast asleep,
and never woke till evening, when a rough-
looking man, who said he was the mate, came
to fetch me to go on board of the Lively
Nancy. When there, he told me I might turn
in for the night, and showed me my berth,
which looked, for all the world, like a shelf in
a coal-cellar. I was still too stupefied with the
ale I had drunk to notice much, but I found
the next morning, to my intense disgust, that
I had shipped myself on board of a collier-
brig, and that instead of being on a voyage
to "Araby the Blest" for a cargo of fragrant
spices, we were bound for Sunderland to fetch
coals! I was, besides all this, awfully sick,
and, like my prototype Robinson, heartily
90 MY BROTHER BEN AND I.
repented of my wicked disobedience; but
there was no help for it; we were far out at
sea by this time, and to cure my sea-sickness,
the mate gave me a dose which he said he had
never known to fail. This was a basin of
gruel, seasoned with salt and Cayenne pepper.
It nearly choked me, and set my throat on
fire; but whether it was really efficacious, or
through dread of its repetition, I don't know,
but I got better. I cannot describe half the
miseries that I endured in this short voyage,
and the return was still worse. Captain Driver
had one infallible argument to enforce all his
commands; this was a rope's end, by means
of which he compelled me, despite of terror,
To climb the high and giddy mast,"
and to perform all the other frightful tasks he
imposed upon me. To make matters worse,
the cargo shifted in a gale, and blocked up
the door of the cabin, where was the only fire-
place in the brig; so that we had to live on
raw salt pork and mouldy biscuit for three
weeks, during which we were knocking about
in the Channel, the wind being contrary,
When, after all, I reached home, black as
MY BROTHER BEN AND 1.
a chimney sweep, I found my brother Ben
already there, who received me with a hearty
laugh, while my mother actually wept at my
In the name of all that's abominable," said
Ben, where have you been ? On a cruise to
Davy's Locker, I should think; for that you
have been to sea, I can see by the cut of your
When I replied, "On board a coal-brig,"
he laughed still more; -but said, "That's no
bad beginning; they make taut sailors on
board those colliers."
"I don't wat a to go to sea any more," said
1; "I hate it!"
Then my father broke in; it was the first
time he had spoken since my return. "Eh!
but ye will go to sea again, Rob. We'll hae
nae mair changing. As ye hae made yer bed,
so ye maun lie on't." However, in the end
my mother prevailed on him to relent, and I
returned to the factory.
Warned by my sufferings on board the
coal-brig, I endured its unpleasantness with
patience. In time I became valuable to