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THE TOLL-KEEPERS;AND OTHERStorias for tOp anog.BYBENJAMIN CLARKE,AUTinOR OF " IY -IRST AND LAST VOYAGE," ETC., ETC.EDINBURGH:"WILLIAM P. NIMMO.1872.
EDINBURGH:PRINTED BY M'FARLANE AND ERSKINE,(late Schenck & M'Farlane,)ST JAMES' SQUARE.
CONTENTS.PAGETHE TOLL-KEEPERS, 5CHIPS FROM A NAVAL OFFICER'S LOG, 11"A SHORT ACCOUNT OF GIBRALTAR, 15"A GENEROUS ENEMY, ... .21THIRSTY JACK, 25A VISIT TO MALTA, .29THE FAT CAPTAIN, 3A CONVICT STORY, 87THE LITTER OF PUPS, 43ABOUT FISHING, 49AN ANIMAL THAT HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS, 55CHARLEY FORDER AND HIS SISTERS, 61MY GRANDFATHER. .. 69
4 CONTENTS.PAGETHE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, 77MY FIRST BEAR, 85THE PLOT DISCOVERED, 91OWLS AND HOWLS, 98OUT OF HIS PLACE, 103The " Chips from a Naval Oficer's Log" are allstrictly true, having been related to the Writer by oficerswho bore witness to the truth of their statements.
THE TOLL-KEEPERS.B USHGROVE farm-house was a rightsnug homestead, and the farm-yard, and the rick-yard, and theout-buildings said very plainly that FarmerCousens was a well-to-do man. To spendone fine summer's day at Bushgrove wouldfurnish you children with enough to talkabout for a month. There would be some-thing to suit the tastes of all of you. Someof the boys would make for the stable atonce, and very likely would get a chance ofa ride in one of the carts to some part of thefarm; others would venture up in the loftabove, and perform some daring somersaultson the soft hay; some of the girls would get
6 FARM-HOUSE ATTRACTIONS.permission to feed the poultry, and be de-lighted when the different sorts came halfrunning, half flying at the sight of the well-known bowl; others would only be too gladto help Mrs Cousens in the house, especiallyif they were entrusted with the importantduty of going up to the apple room andselecting the nicest, rosiest apples for thepie. But none, either of the boys or girls,would be far away when the cows weremilked just before tea, for a draught of newmilk warm from the cow is a treat thatLondoners do not easily forget.I will undertake, however, to say thatnot one of you when thinking over yourday's pleasure, but would decide that themost enjoyable part of your visit was yourintroduction to little Sophy and NellyCousens.Oh! their father would not think much ofhis farm or his ricks if he had not these littlerogues about him, and their mother wouldconsider Bushgrove a very dismal homewithout these little feet trotting about it:it was hard to say who was the farmer'sfavourite. Sophy was the elder and the
NELLY AND SOPHY. 7prettier, so strangers said, but "Bless you,"he would say, "folks may talk, but theywon't persuade me which is the prettier, forI don't want to know: 'tis just like this withcows-some like 'em all roan, others like 'emspotted, but Betty doesn't care which way'tis as long as they are quiet and well-be-haved when she milks 'em; so I say, as longas the dear children are good, what's the useof comparing 'em feature by feature ?" Butfriends could not help comparing their man-ner. Nelly, though only four,-more than ayear younger than her sister-was by far thesturdier child, and far less shy and bashful.She would hold up her dear hones facefor any one to kiss that spoke kindly toher, while Sophy needed to be persuadedthat you loved her before she would raiseher drooping eyes, much less her plumpcheeks.Now Farmer Cousens used to grumble-all farmers have some cause, they say; andhis was, that he could not take his corn, orhis hay, or his vegetables to market withoutpaying a heavy toll. But when most inclinedto complain, he would think of the other
8 INEXORABLE TOLL-KEEPERS.toll gate nearer home, and then his facewould lighten up with a smile.I wonder who kept that other gate, andwhat the toll was for passing through.It was very strictly kept by two littlekeepers, who were very partial indeed indeciding who were to pay, and who wereto go free; and, strange to say, those theyloved best had to pay the most. Why, theylet their toll gate take care of itself till justas they knew their father would be cominghome; then they would take up their places-Sophy on her feet, ready to catch him ifhe should try to run through; and Nellysitting up on the bars, to get a ride when thegate was opened, as well as her toll. Some-times her father pretended he could not openit with such a great heavy weight on it, butshe was not to be done in that way. If any-thing delayed him longer than usual, Sophywould soon begin to get anxious and fear hewould not come before it was time for her togo to bed, but little Nelly rested her heels onthe bar, and planted her hands so firmly, asmuch as to say, "Here I sit till he doescome."
AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM. 9All right, Sophy; cheer up, little woman;I hear old Bob's steady trot, your father iscoming, and you won't care about our societyjust now; so good-bye both of you, and savesome kisses for us when we next go through-we shall want lots of change for ourmoney.
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CHIPS FROM A NAVALOFFICER'S LOG.HARDLY know whether I ought tocall the short story I am going totell you "a chip" from my log, ornot; for this reason, that it did not occur inmy own experience, but was related to me.However, like all my other chips, you mayrely on its truth. I can vouch for the factthat I am going to mention, and you mayrely on whatever you find in my log, for oldsailors have seen too many wonderful thingsthat have really happened to go out of theirway to take in their listeners by trying toimpose upon them.If you want wonderful things that never
12 LITERARY TRASH.happened; if you want frightful scenes thatnever could have occurred; if you wantbattles written by people that scarcely knowthe stem from the stern of a ship; that knownothing of the Queen's service, and preciouslittle of the Queen's English, then you mustgo to " Admiral Dick; or, the Death Calm;"or, "Stick-at-nothing Tom; or, the GoryCapstan," or some such rubbish as you seeadvertised, and alas see read. Now, I won'tsay more about this now, except that theboys and girls who care for my chips, andtake any interest in them, will find themtruthful and harmless, neither of whichqualities do those exciting and absurb talespossess."Well, when I was serving in the " Con-queror " frigate, there was a midshipman whowas a Turk by birth. He was the only TurkI ever knew in Her Majesty's service; butthis youngster was not a bad sort of a fellowin his way. 'Twas from him I heard thisshort story, with which he was personallyfamiliar. In a former ship in which hesailed, there was a passenger who had madesome money as a milkman at Constantinople,
A MONEY TRICK. 13which he kept in a bag in his cabin, and wasvery fond of retiring there and counting itover. Now, the captain had a pet monkeythat used to watch this man, and seeing himso often going to this bag, he thought theremust be something in it worth examining;so one day he watched his opportunity, raninto the man's cabin, seized the bag, andclimbed with it up to the mainsail-yard.The man soon missed his bag, and soon foundout where it was gone, for the monkey begantaking out the gold coins, and throwingthem alternately on the deck and into thesea.Those that fell on the deck the poor mangreedily picked up, but the half of them thatwent overboard, of course, were lost. He didnot intend putting up with his loss so quietly,for he held the captain responsible, as it washis monkey that had robbed him.Nothing could be done until the vesselgot into port, when the man had the captainbrought before the Kadi, or magistrate, torecover the value of the coins lost."You were a milkman?" said the Kadi"I was, sir," replied the man.B
14 A TURKISH SOLOMON."And, pray, will you tell me how muchwater you used to put with your milk ?"The man was much confused, and replied,le would rather not tell; but as he saw themagistrate was determined to know, he atlast confessed he used to mix one-half."Very well, then," said the Kadi, "it ap-pears to me that only one-half of what youearned was honestly yours. You have got,therefore, all that was your due, and thismonkey has only thrown into the water theamount of profit you dishonestly got out ofthe water."Thus, judgment was given against the man,and every one but he felt how just it was.
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF GIBRALTAR.FROM NOTES OF A PERSONAL VISIT.HE rock, the town, the bay, and thestrait of Gibraltar lie, as you know,at the southern extremity of Spain,but I dare say if you have been at all inter-ested in the place, you have fallen into thesame mistake that many have who areolder than you. They have thought thetown was near the mouth of the strait whichits artillery is supposed to command.But this is not the case, the town is morethan twenty miles from the Atlantic, and itsguns, instead of pointing southward to thestraits, which are here no less than fifteenmiles across, point towards the bay on thewest, where alone it is accessible, and to theSpanish mainland on the north.
16 A FIBE-EATER .Looking at Gibraltar from the sea, it isindeed a grand sight. The rock is formed ofmarble and limestone, and rises to threepoints, the loftiest of which, Sugar LoafPoint, is 1439 feet from the sea. EuropaPoint is on the south, and here, on an ovalplatform, stands the governor's cottage.One of the most dreadful tragedies I everheard of in the way of duelling came off atEuropa Point. One evening an Americanofficer was going through the guard-room-where were a number of English officers-onthe way to his ship, when as he passed heoverheard the Englishmen mention, in noinsulting manner, the word "Yankee." Hereturned, boiling over with rage, and toldthem they should repent the insult, whichthey declared was never intended. However,the American returned next day with a chal-lenge from as many officers of his ship asthere were English officers of our army inthe guard-room, to fight duels.The English took up the challenge, butstipulated that they would none of them fightwith Americans of inferior rank. This threwout some of the Americans, so that then there
A MIXED MULTITUDE. 17were more English than necessary, and theyarranged amongst themselves that no marriedmen, but only single ones, should go forth tothis mad encounter. The morning came, andat Europa Point there stood up in deadlycombat four English against four Americanofficers, of whom two were killed and threeor four wounded. Now I cannot be quiteexact as to the number; I know however Iam rather under the mark than over-butthe main incident I had from most reliableauthority at Gibraltar.On landing, one is disappointed with thetown itself, which is situated at the base ofthe rock. It is a miserable place, with smalldirty-looking houses and straggling irregularstreets. The inhabitants themselves-some20,000 of them-are not very attractive, sucha mixture of English, Spanish, Moors, andTurks, with but little in the fair sex to war-rant their being called so. But if you arenot struck with the beauty of the people, youwill be with the strength of the place. Allthe descriptions you may have read will notprepare you for the reality, so that I do notexpect my account of it will bring you much
18 THE BOCK.nearer. I will merely say, therefore, thatthere are four or five tiers of galleries risingone above another on one side of the rock,in which are placed guns of immense powerand weight. Smaller batteries are placed inevery possible direction, and altogether therecan be stowed away ammunition and pro-visions sufficient for a very long siege.Ordinarily, there are about seven thousandsoldiers on the rock, of whom about threethousand belong to the artillery, but theseare not enough to wvork all the guns, so thatin case of war many more would be sent out.Ah! in case of war; that reminds us that ithas often been the scene of warfare, and per-haps a short sketch of its past history wouldnot be uninteresting to our young readers."When William III. assisted Charles III. ofSpain against Philip V. it was agreed thatGibraltar was to be given to England, but asthe agreement was not kept, and Gibraltarwas not handed over to us, Sir G. Rooke tookforcible possession of it in the year 1704.An attempt was made by the Spaniards torecover it, but it was formally ceded to us inJuly 1713.
KEY TO THE MEDITERRANEAN. 19In the year 1779, during the war withAmerica, Gibraltar was blockaded by theFrench and Spanish squadrons. The garrison,under Governor-General Elliott, made a brayeresistance, but was subject to great priva-tions by reason of the provisions runningscarce through the long siege. At last avessel hove in sight which proved to be theforerunner of Admiral Rodney's squadron oftwenty ships, who, having defeated the enemy,came to the relief of the garrison.Since then the Spaniards have often desiredto be again in possession of Gibraltar, andhave made some attempts, but always unsuc-cessful. They now see the value and import-ance of it, and so do we. It is the key tothe Mediterranean, and though England hasa good many keys on her bunch, she is notlikely to give up thisone.And now with an anecdote nearer our owntime, I must close. You know that WilliamIV. was in the navy when young, and once,when he was a midshipman, he served underAdmiral Digby in the Prince George."When the Spanish Admiral Langara wasa prisoner of the English, he visited Admiral
20 " ICH DIEN."Digby, and was introduced to His RoyalHighness, who retired during the conference,but reappeared at its conclusion as the mid-shipman on duty, respectfully informing theSpanish Admiral that the boat was mannedready for him. "Well does Great Britainmerit the empire of the sea," exclaimed theSpaniard, "when the humblest stations inher navy are occupied by princes of theblood."
A GENEROUS ENEMY.N 1815 I was a "younker," or mid-shipman, on board His Majesty'sship "Swinger," a twelve-gun brig.I remember one day, soon after we leftSurinam, our captain hobbled upon deck-for he had a wooden leg-and as his customwas, he stood up near one of the guns, andlooked over the ship's side."Beat to quarters," shouted the captain;and sure enough 'twas no false alarm, forbearing right down upon us was a ship muchlarger than our own, which we soon madeout to be an American. Nothing dauntedby her size or her superior armament, andconsequently larger ship's company, we pre-pared for action, and soon gave the enemy a
22 TWO WAYS OF TELLING IT.taste of our metal. Nothing could havebeen better than the manner in which ourguns were served, for although we had butsixty men and boys, and twelve guns, whilstthe enemy had 145 men and boys, and fifteenguns, we kept up a galling fire for two hoursand a-half, until the American, finding shehad had as much as she cared for, and notwanting a closer acquaintance, made off andleft us."We gave chase for the remainder of theday, but as she was a much faster ship thanours she made good her escape.Soon after, we returned to Surinam; but onthe way we painted our ports, so that wewere not at first recognised.I had better explain that when we left wewere painted entirely black, but on our re-turn we were black and white, somethinglike a chess-board.When we asked "what news," we weretold that a little black brig, that had recentlyleft, had been licked by an American. Wehad a good laugh, of course, and we wereable to give a much better account of thelittle black brig than that.
MEETlING OF THE CAPTAINS. 23"Well, six years after, in 1821, a friend ofmine was in the West Indies, and wasthrown into contact with the captain of theAmerican vessel that encountered the" Swinger." He often spoke of the engage-ment, and declared "he would give anythingto see her captain, for he was the smartestman he'd ever came across.""Why," said my friend, "the officer whocommanded the 'Swinger' is now here, andis an old friend of mine. I shall be delightedto introduce you."Accordingly it was arranged, and a friendlymeeting took place between the two formerenemies. The American rushed up to hisold opponent, and shook him by the hand insuch a hearty manner, that it was someminutes before he relinquished his grasp."I'm delighted to see you, sir," he said;" you're the cleverest man I ever saw, by along chalk. Why, I expected to chaw youup in about half-an-hour, and instead of that,in about two you gave me such a wallopingthat I ran into port and didn't venture outagain. We had nine killed and fifteenWounded; how many had you ?"
24 WELL DONE!"Only five killed and wounded.""Well done! give us your hand again,captain!"4s
THIRSTY JACK.HIS little story I am going to tellyou is a very small chip, so small,indeed, that it might be almostcalled a shaving, but it comes into my mindjust now, and is such a trifling occurrence,that unless I tell you now I may forget it atanother time. It will just do to fill up aspare moment or two while your candle isbeing got ready for bed, or after you havefinished your dinner, and have a minute tospare, or while you are waiting to be attendedto in a shop.It is about Jack Fraser, one of our lieuten-ants in the Well, on second thoughts,I won't tell you the name of the ship, orsome of my fair young friends may beO
26 EXCUSE FOR THE GLASS.ingenious enough to look through old NavyLists, and by seeing when my ship was atthe station I am going to mention, may dis-cover that I must be getting very old, whereasI want you all to fancy I'm very young. Atall events, though my timbers are creaking,and my skylights getting dim, and my figure-head rather grey, I am still fond of boysand girls, and like to have them about me."Well, about Jack Fraser. We were atJamaica, which is, as you know, rather awarm climate. Fraser was what they call"a thirsty soul," that is, one very fond of hisglass; not his spyglass for looking abroad, orhis looking-glass for looking at home, but hiswine glass and grog-tumbler. He had alwayssome excuse, though I can't call it a reason."When here, he used to say it was so hot wecould only keep cool by drinking; whenfarther north in colder climates, he declaredthe only way to keep warm was by drinking;and when on any home station on half-pay,he used to say that this was such a wretchedclimate that he could only keep off "theblues" by his glass regular. I always thinkwhen I hear any one finding excuses like this
A GOOD BODY OF LIQUOR. 27for drinking, that he is rather ashamed of ithimself, and that he indulges far more thanis generally supposed."Well, one afternoon he went ashore atPort Royal, and had not returned when we allturned in, and when all lights were turnedout. By and by Jack came on board andbegan fumbling about for something to drink.The steward had retired, so he knew he couldnot get supplied. My cabin opened in themess-room, so I heard him talking to himselfabout his misfortune in being so thirsty andin not getting anything to drink. PresentlyI found out he had discovered some, whichhe soon drank off, for in a few seconds Iheard such a spitting and spluttering that Ilaughed right out, for I at once guessed whathad happened. He had got hold of the jugwhich contained a decoction for enticingmosquitoes and other insects to it, and whichhad done its work pretty well that day. It"was this liquid Fraser had drunk, and it wasthese mosquitoes that he had spit out, ex-cept such as had been swallowed past recovery.I wish this had taught him a lesson; butthis bad habit, even more than others, though
28 MORAL.it may receive many checks, is with thegreatest difficulty given up.Take care, young friends, that you do notform them.w-
A VISIT TO MALTA.HE view of Malta did not quiteequal my expectations, though theharbour certainly is very fine, andthe number of gay and picturesque-lookingboats makes it a lively scene. The fortifica-tions are of great extent, but so differentfrom- Gibraltar, being all artificial. I needhardly say that Malta is an island in theMediterranean, between Africa and Sicily,but perhaps it may be necessary to mentionthat it is about 20 miles long by 12 broad.By the way, Malta is not unlike somehuman beings-naturally barren and of nouse, but by culture and application and dili-gence, and with help from others, how veryfertile they become ?
30 PARADISE OF THE RICif.This reflection occupies us whilst we rowto land-there to see for ourselves the placesof note. The streets are very curious, beinglarge flights of steps leading up from the seainto the town. The church of St John andthe governor's house are well worth seeing;but one of the finest modern buildings is theHospital, on the left hand side of the entranceto the town. The hotels and shops are verygood, that is, you can get what you require,but then you have to pay rather dearly;perhaps the people think that persons goingto the East must make all their purchaseshere, as it is the last European place at whichthe steamers stop, and that persons comingfrom the East are only too glad to preparehere for the colder climate they will en-counter before they finish their journey, andso do not much mind what they pay forthings. The population is somewhat over125,000, and as most of the inhabitants areRoman Catholics, there is a great deal ofchurch-going. But the bell-ringing is enoughto summon ten times the number of peopleto matins and vespers;-clang, clang, ding,dong,-the noise is incessant. I am talking,
PERVERTED INGENUITY. 31of course, of the time when I was there, butI hear that much of the nuisance has beendone away with. Then, besides the churches,there are many monasteries, one of which Ivisited, and of which I will tell you, as a verysingular custom is in force there, that ofbaking the deceased friars.The monastery is one of the Capuchinorder, and as soon as one of the monks dies,his body is exposed to a dry heat; wherebythe softer parts become hardened; then he ispropped up in a niche set apart for him, andhis name and history are written above. Thecatacombs, where all these bodies are placed,consist of a long narrow room dimly lighted,and filled with a faint sickly odour; oneither side is a row of corpses attired in therobes of their order, with ropes fastenedround them as waistbands. Over each nichebranches of the bay tree were wreathed, andamong them the monks, with horrible in-genuity, had intertwined garlands and fes-toons of skulls, thigh bones, legs, and arms.The monk who accompanied me appearedintensely gratified and exultant over thesedisgusting things, and when he pointed out
32 FBIAB BAKE'US'!one old fellow who had been baked about ahundred years, he was in raptures.Rather an unpleasant order to belong toFancy seeing your niche in the wall thatyour body will fill up some day! almost asbad as the custom in Iceland of standing theminister's coffin in the church near thepulpit, or as the man who bought a job lotof coffins, thinking they would be sure tocome in useful some day.An officer of ours accompanied, me whotwo years ago knew one of the monks, andon his asking for him, he was taken to anewly-filled niche, and there shown his oldfriend in a state of mummyism, as he hadbeen dead some months.Instead of being an order of friars, theyshould be called an order of bakers.
THE FAT CAPTAIN.NE of the queerest men I ever knewwas Captain Well, there,you won't be any wiser if I tellyou his name. He has been dead some time,but many of his friends are still living, soI will merely call him the fat captain.He was an immensely stout man, and ifhe wasn't a port admiral, he was a portlycaptain.Once when his ship was in the Piraeus, hegave an entertainment to some of the prin-cipal residents at Athens, among whom weremany ladies. They spent a merry eveningon board the ship, and when it was time forthe party to break up, the captain calledaside the first lieutenant, who was a very
34 PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT.small man indeed, by the way, and told himthat when the boats were putting off fromthe ship he would fall into the water,and asked the lieutenant if he would mindjumping in after him. The latter, quiteappreciating the joke, readily consented, forboth could swim; and they waited to carryout their intention.But the gunner had overheard the conversa-tion, and knew what was going to take place.Now this man was a great favourite onboard, especially with the captain, with whomhe had sailed six years. He was the handiestman imaginable, and could do anything, evento repairing any watches that might be outof order. His readiness and willingness gavehim a certain position which made him rathersaucy.When he heard of the captain's intendedjoke, he thought some fun might be madeout of it, and so he went below and told allthe men of it.At length the party was ready to go. Itwas a lovely night; the moon shone on thestill blue water, and the ladies were lookingforward to a pleasant row to land.
SAILOR'S FUN. 35Just as the boats had got clear of the shipthere was a sudden splash as a body fellheavily into the water, and a cry was in-stantly raised, "The captain overboard."Another splash! as over went the lieu-tenant, the ladies screaming, greatly terrified.No sooner was the lieutenant in the water,when splash! splash! splash! as from everyport-hole on that side 6f the ship plungedsailor after sailor, who had been waiting, un-dressed, for the captain's joke.Then followed quite a scrimmage as towho should save the captain, until the unfor-tunate man was being rather roughly handledin the very laudable and extraordinarilyprompt efforts, as he thought, to save hislife. When the ladies got over the fright ofthe supposed accident, and the proximity ofso many naked tars, they entered into thefun and enjoyed it with the others.I don't know if the captain ever knew ofthe part the gunner had taken in the affair,but he always continued to be a favouritewith him, although the captain frequentlydeclared he was the greatest blackguard inthe ship.
36 ABUSE PREFERRED TO PBAISE.Some time after, when the captain's vesselwas ordered home, he sent for the gunnerand told him he was going home, but wouldn'tdisgrace himself by taking such a blackguardback to England. He said he was transferredto another ship, and handed him two letters."When he got out of the cabin the man foundthat one letter contained his discharge to theadmiral's ship, and the other a ten-poundnote.They quite understood one another, and Idare say the gunner would rather have hadhis captain's abuse than his praise. Queerfellow, wasn't he ?
A CONVICT STORY.T was soon after landing at Sydneyfrom my second voyage that I fellin with an old friend, who was thena magistrate of the town.After comparing notes since we had lastmet, he asked me to go out and visit his familywho lived in the bush, about seven milesfrom Sydney. The captain of the "Tartar,"the vessel I had come out in, was to go withmIe; and so we hired a gig, and drove out.It was a wild, dreary country, sure enough,that we went over, and a most dismal localityto reside in. Why, the nearest house was"the police-station, and that was three milesoff; but, as we shall see, the police are not atall bad neighbours in that part of the world.D
38 A DESPERATE STRUGGLE.We got to our journey's end, and the firstsight we saw was four gibbets erected nearthe gate. We thought, perhaps, that theywere the sign that a magistrate lived there,or that they were put up, just like the oldstocks one sometimes sees on a village green,to be ready when wanted, and to be a terrorto people always; but the account that myfriend gave showed that they were erectedfor some real criminals.About six weeks before this, a gentlemanand his son were spending Sunday here; andin the afternoon the young man, with myfriend's son, were strolling about the yard,when they fancied they heard a strange noisein an out-house.They listened for some time, till, feelingsure they heard footsteps, they went near,and opened the door, when immediately theyfound themselves attacked by four convicts.A desperate struggle took place, for theyoung men were strong, and were not to beeasily beaten; but the odds were too great,and it might have gone very heard withthem, had not the scuffle been heard in-doors.My friend said he was sitting with his
STERN JUSTICE. 39daughter in the back parlour, when he hearda noise of heavy footfalls, with loud andlaboured breathing. They went out into theyard, the father taking his gun with him; but,as it was getting dusk, they could see nothing."Who's there ?" shouted he. No answer;but he could just make out the form of aman scrambling from the ditch, and retreat-ing over the wall. He fired; and then threeother men retreated in like manner. Theyoung men quickly appeared and relatedhow they had been attacked, and how nar-rowly they had escaped strangulation, for itwas their hard breathing that had been heardin-doors.They soon informed the police, who quicklycaught the four men, and they were hungnear the scene of their crime.I had been left with the ladies for sometime, wondering where my friend and thecaptain had gone; but when I came to in-quire, I was rather annoyed to find that theyhad gone to Sydney in the gig, as the magis-trate was sent for in a hurry, and had leftword for me to remain there for the night.I must say I did not like the idea at all
40 FOREBODINGS.I knew something of these convicts, whatdesperate fellows they were, and thought itnot unlikely that they might resent thepunishment so lately inflicted on some oftheir order, particularly as the gibbets re-minded them of the event, and were likelyto keep alive any ill-feeling that might exist.Besides, I knew I was the only male in thehouse, and that great things would be expectedof me in case of an alarm.When I got up to my room, my first carewas to fasten the door; but, alas there wasno lock; and I could only discover a smallbutton. I then searched the room for someweapon, and found a gun; but this, like thedoor, was without a lock. I got hold of avwhaddy, a short, club-like stick, heavier atone end than the other; so, placing thiswith the gun near me, I jumped into bed.Then I was rather ashamed of myself forgetting at all alarmed, and so I soon wentasleep. I was awoke shortly after by thesound of heavy breathing, such as my friendhad described; and at once all the circum-stances of his account came into my mind.I sat up in bed, and heard the breathing-
GUARIDIANTS, NOT ENEMIES. 41now dying away, now getting louder-andalso footsteps in like manner. I got out ofbed, seized my weapons, and was close to thedoor, feeling that a desperate encounter wasat hand. I should not care to see a sketchof myself as I then appeared. My lowerlimbs were altogether unprotected, andwere not very steady; but I hope youwill charitably put down any shakingthere may have been to cold rather thanfear.The footsteps were again drawing near, thebreathing was more plainly heard, and thedoor was gently shaken. I opened it, sprangout-shouted "Who's there?"-got no an-swer-saw no one-listened-heard the foot-steps retreating, and felt sure there wereseveral. I then returned to my room, andsoon heard the footsteps again approaching,so this time prepared for the worst; andwhen I imagined they had got up to thedoor, I rushed out, and confronted two asstrongly-built, savage-looking bloodhounds asI ever saw, which, after giving a good sniffat my legs-I, of course, expected a bite-turned round, and kept their watch as before.
42 A E IME TO LAUGH.My friend had got them since the night ofthe attack as a protection.Ah! it's all very well to laugh now, but itwas no laughing matter at the time, myyoung friends.
THE LITTER OF PUPS." H my! what beauties !" exclaimedJessie Barton, on coming downone morning and finding that theirdear old " Floss " had become a joyful mother.The household was soon informed of the factand hastened to welcome the little strangers.Tom, who was Jessie's brother, and two yearsolder, immediately had ideas of appropria-tion, and wanted to know which he mighthave. But his father said they would notdecide yet, but had better select two that wereto live, and destroy the rest. In vain Tomurged, in vain Jessie pleaded for the inno-cents; Mr Barton said it was kindness tothe mother, who could not possibly do justice
44 MA4SSACBE OF THE INNOCENTS.to the whole litter-seven in number; andto the pups themselves, who could not be allkept by them, but would be given away,and might fall into cruel hands.So five of the number were quickly im-mersed in a bucket, and were kept underwater by a mop until, in a few seconds, theirvery young life was extinguished.The two that were spared, were by generalconsent the prettiest; and when in the courseof nine days they looked out upon the worldinto which they had been born, it was thenconsidered the time had come for their ap-propriation. This was a rather importantmatter to Tom and Jessie, to whom theywere to belong. One pup was black andtan, with rather a sharp nose; and the otherwas brown with a shorter nose and moreamiable look.It so happened that the one each had fixedon was just the one the other did not want,so that both were well pleased.As soon as they could leave their motherthe young people took the pups under theirespecial charge, whilst "Floss" exercised aparental watchfulness over them both.
A SAD DOG. 45Jessie had, after great deliberation, andasking the advice of all her young friends,called her pet " Gyp," and it must be acknow-ledged that she took great care of him, andappeared very fond of him. But Gyp wasungrateful from his earliest puppyhood; henever thought of his poor mother when anyfood was going, but gobbled up as much ashe possibly could; and when he had donewould even try to take a bone from hismother's mouth, which was perhaps all shehad had. He soon resented any interferencewith his freedom and liberty, and showed hismother he did not want her to be followinghim about, licking his back, or trying to keephim in any way clean. You will judge fromthis that " Gyp " was rather a sfrong-mindedand self-willed dog. He was also of a re-flective turn of mind, and as he had plenty oftime hanging on his paws, he would sit andpuzzle over things that did not concern him,and try to find out the reason for thingswhich had puzzled older and wiser dogs than'he.There was one thing that troubled himmuch; he saw " Pincher," Tom's dog, go out
46 A HATEFUL TIE.with him continually, and always on half-holidays, and heard from him what fun theyhad had; whilst he seldom went out, andeven then was dragged along by his mistresswith a piece of red window-blind cord; sothat if he wanted to investigate anything forhimself, or if he met with other dogs whoseacquaintance he might like to form, he foundhimself suddenly jerked along by the neck,in a most humiliating, and sometimes painfulmanner.One afternoon, the two brothers met, and,of course, stopped and had a chat. "Pincher"was off to the country with Tom and a num-ber of his school-fellows, but " Gyp " had beenout with Jessie on an errand, and was goinghome. He complained to his brother of hisconfinement, when he suggested he shouldslip the cord, and make a bolt of it; but hewas unable to do it; he was nearly choked,both by the cord and with indignation, andhe returned home in a desperate frame ofmind.The next day "Gyp" was gone, and wasnowhere to be found, nor did he ever returnto his native place, for soon after, the family
GOONE TO THE DOGS. 47changed houses. Of course, Jessie missedher pet for some time; but long after she hadceased to think much of him, he thought withsorrowful regret of the comfortable home andkind mistress he had lost.He soon got tired of his wandering, rovinglife, and found it very unsatisfying to hisappetite. Then he followed some little boysfor a day or two, who gave him some crusts,but who soon ceased to care for him, andgave him the slip. He then attached him-self to a cat's-meat woman, from whom henow and then got a stray piece; but somestronger dog witnessed his good fortune andusurped his place, when the woman, findingherself surrounded by quite a pack of houndsof various sorts, sternly drove them all off, andnever gave them as much as a skewer to pick.One day in his hungry wanderings, " Gyp "found himself in the street in which he hadformerly lived, and seeing a board up in thegarden of his old home, he trotted up, hopingto find a notice of a reward offered for hisrestoration; but it was only to the effect thatthe house was to let, and the family had gone,he knew not whither.
43 THE PRODIGAL'S BETUR2 .However, they had not moved very far off;and so tired was "Gyp" of his roving life,that he determined to hang about the neigh-bourhood with the hope of getting some oneto recognise him. He came across the milk-man, and wagged his weary tail against hiscan to attract his notice, but he only drovehim away. He loitered outside the butcher's,hoping to be remembered, but he was thoughtto have designs upon the meat on the boards,and was driven off with a whip. At last oneday he met "Pincher," and great was thedelight of both, for Tom had gone to boarding-school, and his dog was very dull. Of coursehe took "Gyp " with him to the house, andsoon brought Jessie to the door, who at oncerecognised her dear old "Gyp," in spite ofhis hungry and dirty condition; and whatwas far more important to poor " Gyp," re-ceived him with open arms.He has now grown up a faithful, steadydog, and has learned the lesson that he andothers did not think necessary-that it iswell when young to be subject to control anddiscipline, and that at that period we do notknow what is best for ourselves.
ABOUT FISHING.OW many recollections do these fish-ing-boats, now hauled up and lyingidle on the beach, revive !They tell of long hours of toil, of longerhours still of weary watching and waiting;they tell of dangers braved, of storms endured,of exposure to cold winds and drenchingspray. They suggest all the dangers of thedeep to which some of their number havesuccumbed, leaving widows and orphans tomourn for-" Those who shall never come back to the town."But just now we do not want so much todwell on the hardships and dangers of theE
50 TOILERS OF THE SEA.fisherman's lot, as the produce of his toil andthe result of his fishing.Those of you who have been to seaporttowns have sometimes watched the fleet offishing-boats going out to sea.If there is a smart breeze blowing, and thesun is shining, it is as pretty a sight as youare likely to see; the strong heavy boatsrunning before the wind, and the sun light-ing up their dull brown sails. They willremain out perhaps for a day or two if thefish are scarce, but if plentiful, they willbring in their hauls, and dispose of them atfair prices.Now, perhaps some of you who are fond offish are disposed to ask why fish is so dear,as you so seldom get any on that account.Well, the principal fault lies with the re-tailer or shopkeeper: the fisherman onlyreceives from 3d. to 4d. a lb. for his primefish, but those who buy it, or the consumers,pay from Is. to Is. 6d. a lb. When at awatering-place last year, we paid 2s. a lb. forsoles that were caught off the coast.Of course some allowance is to be madefor the perishable nature of the commodity,
HARVEST OF THE DEEP. 51but when that has been done, it does seemthat we have to pay far too dearly for thatwhich is so plentiful.Besides, the facilities of conveyance are somuch greater than they were formerly. Thenthe trade was carried on from Yarmouth toLondon by light four-horse vans, and in thatway some 2000 tons were conveyed everyyear; but now that quantity is sent to Londonby rail every fortnight.In the fishing-grounds on the south andsouth-east coasts, steamers go out to thefleets and bring up the fish very quickly toBillingsgate every day.The largest traffic is with fish that aretaken in shoals. Off Scarborough from sevento eight hundred tons of herrings have beentaken and sent away at one time; and on theSuffolk coast 14,000 worth of fish were takenin a single day.Then mackerel has its seasons, when thehauls are enormous; this fish is much likedfor its solidity, and also for its delicacy.You boys and girls can get a good mouthfulwithout fear of bones if you are ordinarilycareful; and you may imagine they are re-
52 A FINE INSTITUTION.lished when you are told that the consumptionin London alone, every year, is 25,000,000.There is quite a numeration sum for many ofyou, and very few will at all realise what anenormous quantity those figures convey ?But perhaps of all fish, pilchards are takenin the largest quantities. They are caughtchiefly off the coast of Devon and Cornwall,and when marinated or potted are muchliked. Many a nice jar of potted pilchardsdo the mothers in the west of England pre-pare and send to different parts; and if someof you who never tasted them, once had a jarsent you, you would think them a fine "in-stitution."The shoals are often of enormous extent;one was computed to extend over a hundredmiles, and no doubt many millions were cap-tured. Besides the home consumption, theyare packed in oil and shipped to Italy anddifferent parts in the Mediterranean.Now we wonder if the thought has enteredthe minds of any of you, that with so manytaken they will become by and by veryscarce; and this refers not only to pil-chards, but to fish generally.
FOOD FOR THE MILLION. 53If so, you are by no means singular, forlately a Royal Commission has consideredthe subject, and we believe that the supplyof fish is inexhaustible. It has been ascer-tained that far more fish are destroyed bycreatures of their own race than by man,that by far greater slaughter goes on underthe water than above it.We have counted as many as fifteen ortwenty small fish inside a cod, and often asmany herrings have been discovered to havebeen swallowed by one of the same species.A calculation then has been made: allowinga cod two herrings a day for seven months ofthe year, it was found that if " the cod andling caught on the Scotch coast in 1861 hadbeen left in the water, they would havedevoured as many herrings as were caughtby all the fishermen of Scotland, and 6000more, in the same year."So that you see, instead of making fishscarce by catching them, there are actuallymore because of all the fishing that goes on.There is no fear, therefore, that we shall everexhaust the stock; and besides, the rate ofincrease is so enormous. Little have you
54 WONDERS OF THE SEA.thought, perhaps, when you were eating theroe of a herring, that you were crunching upthousands and thousands of eggs. A singleherring has been found to contain 36,000; amackerel half-a-million; a sole a million; aflounder a million and a quarter; whilst a codhas been known to possess 3,400,000 eggs.Truly these may be said to be some of thewonders of the sea, and glad shall we be ifthis hurried paper leads any of our readers tostudy the wisdom and goodness of God in thegreat deep.
AN ANIMAL THAT HAS SEENBETTER DAYS.*WISH some one would write a bookabout the ass, and show us how hebecame so degenerated, and whenhe first got into disfavour.Everybody knows he was an animal ofgreat importance once, and in the East, atthe present day, he is ridden by nobles, andis well cared for. Ah you say, he is a verydifferent animal from our poor ass. Ofcourse he is; there, he is really an elegantanimal, full of spirit and of good action; hiscoat is smooth, and his pace is rapid. But thisonly proves our point. It is not because heis first dull and stupid that he is ill cared
56 EXCEPTIONS.for; but because he is badly treated, that heis the poor, slow, heavy brute we find him.Even now, we do see some first-rateamnifalsin the shafts of costermongers' carts, andsometimes of gigs and other vehicles; inthese cases, their owners take an interest inthem, feed them well, groom them carefully,and oftener use the corn measure than thecudgel.At recent donkey exhibitions there havebeen some fine specimens, showing what therace is capable of; but, alas! these dre onlyexceptions, and only make their less for-tunate fellows appear more stupid than ever.We see what can be done with kindness withour existing stock; but if some good speci-mens were brought from the East, might wenot have a much better race of donkeys ? Atone time in this country no doubt we had;but then the ass was an object of religiousinterest; people remembered how honouredhis race had been; he was the only animalon which our Saviour rode, the only one thatever relieved Him of any bodily fatigue andweariness; and so he became celebrated inthe early church.
QUEER PROCEEDING. 57The Feast of the Ass was held on the 14thJanuary, in commemoration of the flight intoEgypt. The Holy Family was represented,the ass was led round the town, and thentaken into the church, where at the end ofthe service the priest brayed three times, andthe whole congregation " hee-hawed." Ahymn was sung, and in the chorus the bray-ing was imitated:" From the country of the East,Came this strong and handsome beast;This noble ass, beyond compare,Heavy loads and packs to bear.Now, seignior ass, a noble bray,Thy beauteous mouth, at large display;Abundant food our hay-lofts yield,And oats abundant load the field.Hee-haw hee-haw hee-haw !"There was not he a lucky ass ?Some of you boys are quite irreverentenough to think they were all a set of assestogether.Well, it was certainly a queer proceeding,and one that should never have taken placeinside a church.Why, the priest must have been the original"Vicar of Bray."
58 SUPERSTTITON.They carried their reverence so far as todeclare-and the superstition has beenhanded down to our time-that the crossthat we see on the back of every ass, nearthe shoulders, is there because of ourSaviour's riding on one into Jerusalem.The fact is, however, that the stripe on theass shows that it belongs to the same classas the zebra, which has several of them.This much to show that the ass wastreated well at one time; and I remember afriend drawing attention to a verse in theBible, which proved how different was hisnature then from now.In Proverbs xxvi. 3, it says, "A whip forthe horse, a bridle for the ass," as if in thosedays it was the horse who wanted urging,and the ass that required to be held in. Howdifferent now not only does the ass feel thewhip, but the cudgel, rope-end, or anythingthat comes to hand, and often the foot too.His body is a mark for stones to be aimedat, if he is grazing by the roadside, or if hemeets any one on the road he is consideredfair game to whack, in passing. With somemen and boys, it is impossible to have a
NOT PAIN-PROOF. 59stick without bringing it down upon everydonkey they meet with. Some look uponthem as animated drums, made on purposeto be beaten; they do not think there is anyfeeling below that rough hide.Why, in one stage, an ass's skin retainsthe impression of a black lead pencil; andbe sure that in its roughest and tougheststate it is painfully affected by a cudgel.The fact is, the poor donkey is not wellable to defend himself, as if it were nevercontemplated he would be so ill-used. Itwas natural for him to expect the stings ofinsects and the pricks of brambles, and so heis covered with a thick coating of hair; itwas likely he would come across nettles andsuch things in his quest for food, and so hismouth has been made nettle-proof; but itwas never to be expected that a patient,useful, willing, hard-working brute, shouldbe an Ishmael among animals, with everyman's hand against him, and so he is notfurnished with any formidable qualities. Hedoes not even run away very rapidly from hisenemies; and as to his kicking, he does notoften do that, and, when he does, it is not a
60 CRIACKED JOKES.very sudden affair; but he has always creditgiven him for being about to kick, and so hegets walloped in anticipation.Men have found out that he is rather sen-sitive about his ears, and so the only objectof his having them, that they can see, is tofurnish them with opportunities to annoyhim.I had one once-there, now, the meremention of the circumstance makes some ofyou smile, as if it were a more ridiculousanimal than a goat or pig.The poor donkey is looked upon as a joke;but he would not mind if jokes were theonly things cracked upon him-it is thewhip and sti4k that he minds most.Some have asked, " Why a donkey prefersthistles to grass ?"-" Because he's an ass."But these playful attacks he doesn't mind atall; he would only like to put in a word,that he could do with more of them andfewer kicks and blows; but that he wouldeven prefer corn to thistles.
CHARLEY FORDERAND HIS SISTERS.OW, there are some of you boys thatdon't care very much about yoursisters. You may not like to ownit, and would not, perhaps, confess it if youwere asked, yet it is so; for I know you,though I have not, seen you. You don't careto kiss them night and morning; but if theyare loth to go without this affectionate salute,then you merely put up your cheek to beoperated on, and look quite like a martyrwhile it is being done. You are too grandto play with them, although they are quitewilling to let you have your own way; theywould always be the horses, and let youF
62 MUFFS.drive, or let you have first "turn" at anygame you like to suggest. But no; girls aresuch "muffs" at any sensible games; allvery well for tea-parties and skipping-ropes.They can't give backs for leap-frog, theyhave no idea of throwing a ball, and theycould no more spin a top than make one.You don't care to take baby out in yourarms, though your sister, perhaps, has hadher all the afternoon, and is really verytired; for though they call her "Toddles,"she has no idea of walking at present.You don't like even to go out to walk withyour sisters, ever since the day when youwere prevented going out walking with TomHawkins and Harry Wilkins, having pro-mised your mother you would take the girls.I knew how ashamed you felt when you metyour school-fellows, and they shouted out,"There's a big girl! Take care of the baby,Dick !"Now, young gentleman, I advise you toget out of these ways as soon as possible.You are now at a very disagreeable age, andwhen you are a little older you will wonderyou could ever have been so "uppish." I
MISSED WHEN NEEDED. 63don't doubt you will get over all this non-sense when you go out in life, and have toleave home; then you will miss the manylittle acts that your eldest sister, just aboutyour own age, used to perform.Dressing hurriedly of a dark winter'smorning, there goes a button Never mind,let's pin the shirt. Not long after, stoopingdown, or lifting a heavy parcel, or somethingelse, gives you a hint about your substitutefor a button, by a sudden prick, that makesyou think of dear old Susy and her nimblefingers.Going errands in the snow and wet, youfeel your toes uncommonly cold; you putthem up close to the fire in the shop whileyou are waiting to be served, or you do the" double shuffle " with your feet over a railingor on the pavement; but something bettermight be done if only Susy had your stock-ings, and darned these great holes throughwhich your toes project.Sooner or later, boys, you would think youhad been very foolish in not having valuedyour sisters more. Well, never mind; theywill soon forget any little want of attention,
64 A REAL COMFORT.and we will cease to remind you what awk-ward customers you once were-that is, ifyou try and make up for it.Ah! Charley Forder cared for his sister, Ican tell you. "But who was Charley Forder!"Well, listen.He was the eldest child of his parents,who lived at Lingford, a small town on thesea-coast.His father was a sailor in the navy, andwas now away on a four-years' voyage to theSPacific. Mrs Forder had enough to do tolook after her family, and help support them,by taking in plain needle-work; but Margaret,who was now ten years old, and a big girlfor her age, was able to help her mother inminding her younger sisters. Charley, whowas sixteen, had been a sailor boy for sometwo years; but his father, wishing him tobe nearer home than he was likely to be,had entered him in the merchant service;and he was apprenticed to a firm whosevessels called in at Lingford.His mother was very sorry to part withCharley, as he was a real comfort to her.He was always willing to rock the cradle, or
CHILDIS1H ASPIRANTS. 65look after little "Puss," as he called hissecond sister; and then, when all the workwas done, he would go out for a run withthem on the down, or else stroll down to thebeach, and watch what was going on. Heand Margaret used to talk like grown-uppeople in their plans for helping their mother,for they knew that there was only what sheearned and father's half-pay to maintainthem all." I tell you what 'tis, Madge, I shall leavehere, and be doing something for myself, andfor you all, said Charley, one day, on thebeach."And so shall I, Charley; why, I'm biggerthan Susan Carter, and she's in a place, andgets a shilling a week, and does not cost hermother anything, 'cos her missus gives herher old clothes.""No, that won't do; you must stay athome and look after the little ones, so thatmother will have more time for her work,and I'll be off; that will be one less to keep."And the matter was talked over, and aletter written to the father; and when hisconsent was gained, after several months'
66 SOMETHING FOR CHARLEY.interval, Charley joined a schooner that wasengaged in the fruit trade, and went betweenValencia and London. The vessel was justgoing out for a cargo, and it was expectedshe would call in at Lingford. It would bea good opportunity for Mrs Forder to get upsome clean linen for Charley, and also some-thing out of the way of junks of salt porkand biscuit for him to eat. The childrenhad the bundle of clothes and the tin of goodthings in readiness on the beach, and waitedfor the "Stirling Castle" as she came roundthe point. It was a windy day, so Margaretthoughtfully set baby on a rock, with herback to the sea, not minding how she herselfwas blown about; and little "Puss " was toointent on seeing Charley to think of herselfat all.At last a vessel hove in sight, and nearedthe land, a boat put off for the shore, withCharley in her, bearing a letter to one of thepartners, which he was to deliver, to wait ananswer, and then return at once.The lad had just time to run in to hismother and thank her for her kindness, afterembracing his sisters on the beach. Poor
GOOD BYE! 67boy! he was obliged to tear himself away.He tried to be merry, and told Madge shehad given him a smack when she kissed him,but perhaps he should have a schooner someday; but it was with a heavy heart he leftthem.That evening the fresh meat was takenwith salt tears trickling down his face, yet hefelt happy when he rose from his knees andturned into his hammock.Good-bye, Charley-God bless you!
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MY GRANDFATHER..IONG the pleasantest recollectionsof my youth are the memories ofmy dear grandfather.I have a very distinct remembrance of thesatisfaction I felt when I presented myselfat church for the first time in jacket andtrousers; and a much clearer one of havingdiscovered in the depths of the pocket of thelatter garment a fourpenny bit, than of any-thing the minister said that day.I recall my feelings on breaking up at theend of my first half, away from home atboarding-school. That was very jolly; and ifI stopped to relate them, I could jot downseveral occasions, the remembrance of which
70 HOW TO BE LOVED.I have never lost; but, as I said, the plea-santest recollections of my youth are concern-ing my grandfather.He lived at no great distance from us, andso we often saw him; in fact, he made it hisduty, and I am sure it was his pleasure, tocome and see us once every fortnight. If hehad lived at a distance, and had only cometo us once a year, say at Christmas time, weshould, of course, have been very glad to seehim; but then we should not have learnedto respect or love him as we did.It is no very difficult thing to make one's-self popular with youngsters, if one bringsthem presents; and especially at Christmas,when most people's hearts are more thanusual kindly disposed; so that if a personcould not make himself agreeable then, hemust be a bear. Had grandfather only paidus these annual visits he might, by an effort,have impressed us very favourably even hadhe not been particularly fond of children;but these frequent visits, when we saw himunder varied circumstances, sometimes undertrial, sometimes in bodily pain, sometimesanxious about some of his children or grand-
GENERALSHIP. 71children, gave us so many opportunities ofobserving that he was always the same to usyoungsters. The rattle of his stick on therailings would bring us down to the door atonce, however interestedly we were engaged;and though we were always delighted to seehim, I must say that our hearts beat with athrob of curious joy when we noticed, as wewere sure to do in a moment, that his pocketslooked at all bulky. The contents werenever disclosed until after dinner; the delaykept up our interest, and I think also it wasa little generalship on his part, as it gave himan opportunity of having forty winks whilstwe were engaged with our presents, eithereating them, if they were for consumption, oramusing ourselves with them, if they werefor recreation. After the real nap wouldcome an assumed one. We could alwaystell where the one ended and the other beganby the smile that played round his mouth ashe opened one eye, and then shut it up quickly,if we were looking. Then he was supposedto be a sleeping giant, or a grizzly bear, andwe tried to get near him and touch him, andfly off before he could reach us. How angry
72 MEBRYhe would pretend to get at our impudence;"how severely he appeared to feel our tinyslaps; what dreadful threats he uttered, theseverest of which, "seeing our noses aboveour chins," was always received by us withdefiant laughter.I need not say we ran some terrible risks,until success making us very bold, we putourselves entirely within reach of the enemy,were fairly caught, and were mercilesslytickled.Then would come a more vigorous romp,sometimes in the hall, at his suggestion, lestwe should disarrange the parlour too much.He was always more than a match for us,both with his arms and legs; but in ourdesperate struggles, when I would try to triphim up, and my sister to pull him down, hewould pretend to be almost conquered. Thisgave great zest to the fun, and made it muchmore enjoyable than if he had, as he mighthave done, turned us over on our backs likesailors do the turtle on the sands; and attea time, when we related the encounters, hetook good care to break in with some suchremark as-" Ah! I must look out when
AND WISE. 73you get a little bigger," or else rubbed hisshoulder, as if by our gigantic efforts we hadnearly pulled his arm out of the socket.Though defeated, we were never humiliated;and his sweet, amiable disposition was seenin all his conduct. He always tried to makethe most of every one; he would always en-courage, or draw out whatever was in them,unless he met with any one very forward orconceited.Then, after tea, before we went to bed, wegathered round him. I used to sit on hisknee until my mother declared I was too bigto be nursed; but my sister had that privi-lege long after she had outgrown the size at"which I had to give it up. There were someold stories and jokes that we insisted on hav-ing every time he came; and so well did weknow them that, when, for fun, he wouldvary them, or omit portions, we at once de-tected him, and would have the "full, true,and particular account."Always before he left us he would gradu-ally get us sober; not suddenly repressingour laughter, or jerking his face into a solemnexpression, but generally leading round theG
74 TO BRIGHTER WORLDS.last story or subject in the direction ofreligion. I can never forget the Bible storiesas he told them; he made the characters soreal and lifelike by telling us of them in aplain, simple way, and by looking at themfrom a child's stand-point. We never tiredof hearing of the Good Shepherd; he madeJesus appear to us as especially the Saviourof little children; and as he unfolded to usthe tender, pitying, gentle love of Christ, wenestled close into him, and fancied we wereindeed His lambs, and that His very armswere folding us to His bosom.Since then, Ethel has been welcomed intothe heavenly fold by Jesus himself; and I-well, trust I am not wandering away fromHim; at all events, I know I am nearer thanI should have been had I not been blessedwith such a grandfather.I often think of him, but especially whenChristmas comes round. It was on Christ-mas Day that he last visited us. We weresitting round the fire, before the lights werelit for tea, and as usual, Ethel and I were closeto him. He was holding each of us by thehand, and, raising us, we stood at his side. He
LEADING6 THE WAY. 75was speaking about the Babe of Bethlehem;he said he felt, soon, very soon, he too, likethe shepherds, should see Him, though notas they saw Him. Presently I felt a tearfall on my hand, and then another; at lengththe tears fell fast, and the words stopped.Looking up in his face, Ethel said, "Are youill, grandpa?" "No, my child," he replied,"I was thinking how long I should have towait in heaven until the Shepherd fetchedmy darlings and His."He died before the New Year, and he hadnot long to wait for little Ethel.
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THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.ANY places there surely are inLondon that it would do one goodto visit-many places-to which youhave never been, and many more to whichwe have never been together. I don't meanpeepshows, or waxworks, or places of amuse-ment at all; but places that are set apart fcrsome wise, and good, and holy objects, placeswhere something, at all events, is done tolessen the misery and wretchedness thateverywhere surround us. One such place is theHospital for Sick Children, in Great OrmondStreet, and if you have never been there-Itrust you never have been as an inmate-you will be interested in tracing my steps.
78 A FAMOUS MANSION.My visit was a very recent one, and I maysay I had you, my young readers, in my mindas I went.Waiting a short time in a large reception-room, I had time to observe that the houseformerly was a mansion, and I found outthat a hundred years ago men of literatureand science assembled here. Here Addisonand Pope and Swift met and talked, some-times gravely and sometimes gaily; but nowthe present little inhabitants forbid one'sgaiety, at all events. Then children's feetran up and down those broad oak stairs; butnow the children that pass up are borne,helpless and afflicted. Then the rich paint-ings on the walls, the gilding on the ceiling,the cornices and figures, were objects of nowonder to those who saw them so frequently;but now they are looked upon with childishadmiration, and even delight.Ah! but the children are not left to bepleased with things they cannot handle; for,look! did you ever see so many toys in oneroom, that was not a shop ? This used to bethe drawing-room; but it is now hung roundwith pictures of child life, and is filled with
SUFFERING INNOCENTS. 79little beds, in each of which is a poor suffer-ing little girl.Here they lie so patiently, so uncomplain-ingly-not because a stranger is visitingthem, but this is the character the nursesgive them. Who shall say how much isowing to the gratitude they bear for the com-forts they have, which they never had athome, and for the kindness with which theyare supplied? I did not hear one cry, ormoan, or complaint, except from a littlefellow suffering from fits, which seemed tohave confused his mind as to the ownershipof a two-horse omnibus with which anotherboy was playing. The fact was, his own hadbeen placed on one side by the nurse as alittle act of discipline.Over each bed there is a little platform, onwhich are placed the child's toys. Somewere sitting up playing with theirs. Onelittle girl had fallen asleep, placing thegreatest confidence in a number of wildanimals that lay upon the pillow beside her;another, a tiny little thing of three years ofage, who was suffering from skin disease, satup in her bed looking very sad, which even
80 MERCIFUL DISPENSA4TIONS.the presence of three rag dolls at her feetcould not remove. Ah perhaps had it beensome of you, there would have been some-thing worse than a sad look--even cries or tears.Others were sleeping sweetly, forgetful oftheir pain and suffering, dreaming, perhaps,of the time when they ran and frisked about,which some of them would never do again.For instance, here is a child, only six yearsold, that has lost her leg-cut off up to thethigh, for hip disease. Poor child, she doesnot even know that it is gone; but sad asthis may appear, it really shows how skill-fully the doctor did his part, and how tenderlythe nurse did hers, and also how mercifullyher heavenly Father provided the chloroformthat prevented her feeling any pain.I said they all had their toys-that is,each child its own. There are some largetoys, such as a beautiful doll in a glass caseand a muscial-box which shows a number offunny old figures playing various instru-ments, that belong to the room. TheQueen sent this last one; but the smallertoys, that she herself bought when in Ger-many, and sent here, were given to the
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED TOYS. 81children to play with, and to take awaywhen they left. Most of those who hadthem had gone away; still I saw two of HerMajesty's toys, and was glad to find theywere just ordinary ones, that would amuseany child. There was a man on a standdriving three sheep to market, with a dogbehind him. The white leather invited meto press the bottom, but the squeak wasgone; but had it been there I could nothave told you whether it was intended to bethe man, or the dog, or the sheep, makingthe noise. I was more successful with abird in a cage, for here the cage decidedlysqueaked, and saved the bird the trouble.At Christmas time there was a largeChristmas tree provided, when several formerpatients were invited, and the presents fromthe Queen and from others were distributed.I noticed also that Prince Alfred had senta large lion with a woolly mane-not soample as it might have been, but perhaps ithad been deprived of its wool by little peoplewho wanted a memento of this royal present.I hear that lately the youngest prince wasmuch pleased at having to select a number
82 AMONG THE BOYS.of toys for the children; whilst two of thePrincesses have on more than one occasionsent little garments for the children made bythemselves.But we must go upstairs to the boys'ward, where the same order and cleanlinessand comfort are seen. The first thing thatstrikes me is a rocking horse, in a worsestate than any inmate, for he has lost hishead. Ah I am glad to see that, for ittells me that the dear boys have had many aiide on him.But here are many poor little fellows whowill not be able to ride for a long while-some never again. Here is one that has. hadhis leg cut off above the knee, only a fort-night ago, and yet he is cheerful and happy,and, I am glad to say, is getting on favour-ably. I asked him if he was in pain, and hesaid, "Not now; but I often feel great painin my toes at night." Strange as it mayseem, this is borne out by others, for I haveheard of many cases of persons complainingof pains in their feet, or of suffering fromcorns years after their feet, and corns too,have been removed.
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL. 83Another boy cannot move his chin fromhis chest, through contraction of the muscles,caused by being burnt. Poor boy, he looksvery sad and wretched, but he, too, has histoys, and he, too, murmurs not.I hope all these-both boys and girls-will soon get into the convalescent ward,where there is plenty to interest them.There are plenty of toys and plenty ofbooks; and then two doves in a cage, andgold fish swimming in an aquarium, and lastof all a shaggy dog-all alive. This lastinmate was asleep, and so I asked the nurseif he was convalescent too, and she told methat he liked being in that ward. I dare sayhe does; he prefers the company of childrenwho can move about and play with himrather than of those who are in bed.I have been over the house. I am nearlyat the end of my paper. But you would liketo hear a word about the institution, and howit is supported. About twenty years ago thefirst little girl was admitted, and since thenthey have been able to increase their numberof beds as their means have allowed them.Now there are many more; but how few
84 HOW TO HELP.when there are so many poor children whoshould be here. If my young readers wouldreflect that more than 21,000 children underten years of age die in London every year,they would wish to do something for thehospital. Can you do anything? Why, yes.I saw a beautiful scrap-book that had beenmade and sent by a lady; some of you boysand girls could make some plainer ones. InIndia, when some Hindoo girls heard aboutthe Hospital, they sent over several dollsdressed in Hindoo costume.Your contributions might not be large,but you would help to cheer the afflicted andthe suffering, and you would draw down ablessing into your own hearts while you thusministered unto your Saviour, by ministeringto his little ones.
MY FIRST BEAR.[Extracted from a Letter from a Gentleman in the CivilService of India to a friend in England.]N my last letter I told you I had goneto the hills for a holiday for thebenefit of my health; and you willnow be glad to hear that I am all the betterfor the change. After the heat of Calcutta,the freshness of the atmosphere here is mostexhilarating, and out-of-door exercise, insteadof being irksome or fatiguing, is positivelymost refreshing, I often wish you andBessie and Fred were here, for I know youwould enjoy it immensely. We are veryquiet up here; there are some nice familiesresident here; then there are some of ourH
86 FIRE-EATERS.men and a few army officers; and though weare not gay as society is in our cities, we arenot without opportunities of recreation andpleasure." But I must tell you of a most amusingadventure that befel me here shortly aftermy arrival, which I do all the more readily,as it was considered quite an event for thisplace."Wanting to see if there was any shootingin the neighbourhood, I got four natives toaccompany me to a rocky and mountainousdistrict some few miles from here. I selectedthis spot, as I had heard that some timebefore a bear had been seen in the woods.I furnished my guides with guns and ammuni-tion; and with a good stock of provenderwe started. The way was enlivened by therecital, by the natives, of the daring exploitsthey would perform, and of the unflinchingcourage which each of them possessed. Theyspoke of bears and even lions with thegreatest contempt, and assured me that theirexperience in shooting these wild beasts wasmost extensive."To tell you the truth, though I had
.ENTER BB UIN. 87heard about the bear, I was not very san-guine about meeting one, but I fortunatelyprovided myself and companions with shotsuited to his capacity. I might just as wellhave supplied my companions with peas-but there, I am anticipating. To come tothe point, then, at once. We really didcome across the bear, or, rather, he cameacross us; for whilst we were on some highrocks, one of the natives espied Master Bruinin the woods, trotting towards us. They allshouted at the top of their voices, in the hopeof driving him off, but seeing that he was notto be so easily diverted, they then begged meto fire, as they very considerately said theyshould like me to have the honour of killinghim." I knew if I did not, they would not, andthat perhaps Bruin might kill some of us; sowaiting till he came clear of the trees, so thatI could get a good shot at him, I fired onebarrel, and struck him somewhere in the headwithout killing him. It arrested his pro-gress, however, and he stood still."He was now not more than a few yardsfrom me; between us there was a deep
88 VALOUR'S BETTER PART.ravine, which the bear could have easilycleared at a bound, but he thought better ofit; and whilst he was reflecting on whatcourse to take, I discharged my second barrelinto his shoulder. This was enough for him;he turned round and retired into the woods."Where were my companions all thistime ? you ask. They were behaving them-selves in the most gallant manner. At thenear approach of the bear they showed signsof fear; and when he came to the edge ofthe cliff, and seemed as if he would be on uswith a bound, they all fell back in thegreatest fright. One let his gun fall from hishand, and it fell down the ravine; two ofthem fairly, or, as I should say, unfairly,turned tail and ran off; and the fourth, run-ning backwards, fell over a bush and per-formed an involuntary summersault. Whenthey satisfied themselves that the bear hadmade off, and was not likely to be seen again,they plucked up courage to return, not at allashamed of their cowardice. In fact, two ofthem had the effrontery to say that they wererunning off to get a shot at him from a pointhigher up on the rocks.
A SHREWD TRIC. 89"However, even then they were too muchafraid to show me the way up through thevalley into the wood, as the ravine was ratherwider than I cared to jump; and as it wasgetting late, and I was somewhat tired (notbeing quite so much up to work on my legsas I used to be in the Highlands), and I hadto walk home, I was obliged to leave theissue of my shots doubtful."Next morning, however, there was someexcitement near the Residency, occasionedby the bringing in of the carcass of a bear,which a party of natives declared they hadthat morning killed. They hoped to get areward from the Resident for the destructionof an animal which might have done so muchmischief but for their timely slaughter ofhim; but when I made my appearance, oneof the valiant huntsmen, who was one of mybrave comrades on the day previously, wasslow to prefer his claim any longer."The fact was, he had thought I mighthave killed or severely wounded the bear,and so had gone into the woods to recon-noitre; and finding the dead body, hadbrought it in with his companions rejoicing.
90 EXIT B UIN.On examining the body I found it almostcold; so that Bruin must have retired to dieafter my second shot.
THE PLOT DISCOVERED.AS TRUE AS IT IS WONDERFUL.OW, boys and girls, I am no spiri-tualist; I do not believe in table-turning, except when some one laysa very clever snare and falls into it, then thetables are turned on him; nor do I believein table-rapping, except in the method yourfathers may adopt, when you are making somuch noise that they can't hear themselvesspeak; then they may sometimes rap thetable with advantage. Nor do I take muchnotice of dreams generally: of course, if folkswill make hearty suppers of indigestible food,they must expect to fall off the church tower,or be pursued by a mad bull (especially if
92 A THEORY.beef-steaks figured at supper), or come intocontact with robbers, once or twice in thenight. But if we are careful of ourselves,and if we are in good health we shall'not betroubled with dreams much! the mind willbe active when the body is still, but whenwe awake to the duties of the day, it findsscope enough there, and soon forgets its exer-cise in the night.Nevertheless there are occasions whendreams are important, when they so vividlyimpress the mind as to lead to definite action,from which important results follow.I believe, occasionally, but very rarely per-haps, that some persons are "warned of Godin a dream," and I will give you an instancewhich has never yet been made public so faias I know, but for the truth of which I canvouch.I have often heard the story from themother of the master of the first boarding-school I was at.She was too good a woman to deceive us,and besides, the circumstances happened toher own uncle, and were in this wise.He was a minister in Cornwall, surrounded
A STBANGE DBEAM. 93by wicked neighbours, who hated him be-cause he so constantly reproved them by hisvoice and example. And so they determinedto get rid of him. It was the time of theFrench war, and they had him arrested forsupplying the enemy with gunpowder.He was in gaol at Launceston, and on thenight before the assizes, a gentleman atStonehouse, in Devonshire, who knewnothing of these circumstances, dreamed thathe must go to Launceston: he awoke hiswife and told her, but she sensibly advisedhim to go to sleep again. He did so, butsoon awoke, having again dreamed that hemust go there. And on his informing hiswife, she suggested his going to sleep again,saying that if there. were anything in thedream, it would be repeated the third time.He went to sleep again; and again did heawake with the impulse, stronger than ever,that he must go to Launceston.While he was dressing, the thought oc-curred to him that he would not be able tocatch his horse, which was in a field nearthe house. In broad daylight it was a mat-ter of difficulty, and the animal was only
94 COINCIDENCES.captured by the sight of the corn measure,and the promise of some oats at the bottom,and not then until he had indulged in a can-ter or two round the field. You may imaginethat the gentleman was much surprised tofind his horse standing at the gate, waitingfor him, as it were, and allowing himself tobe saddled and bridled at once. On hismaster rode through Devonport, wonderingto himself how at that time of night heshould cross the Tamar that separates Devonfrom Cornwall. The ferry had stopped forhours; but as he was riding down to thewater's edge, he was shouted to by a man,"Come on, sir." The voice came from theferryman, who was waiting with his boat, andwho asked the gentleman where his com-panions were. He replied he had none." Oh, then," said the man, "it must have beensome drunken men who shouted to us-several of them-to bring over the ferry.But it appears we have not come on a wild-goose chase after all; so step in, sir."Once on the other side, there was no furtherdifficulty in the way, so that the gentlemantrotted on toLaunceston,full of the importance
STARTLED. 95of his errand, but quite in the dark as to itspurport. Nearing the town, he overtooknumbers of people, and hearing they wereon their way to the assizes, he decided ongoing there too.Squeezing his way into court, he remainedthere for some little time an obscure and un-observed individual; but he was soon destinedto play a very important part in a trial thathad just begun. He was startled at hearinghis own name called out loudly by the crierof the court, from which he knew he was re-quired as a witness. He pushed forward intothe witness-box, when a number of menstanding near appeared much confused, andhurriedly left the court. On being sworn hewas asked his name, residence, and business,and then the counsel said,-" I believe on the-(mentioning the date)you had a large order for gunpowder. Will youplease to inform the court of the transaction."" I never had such an order, nor do I atall know to what these proceedings relate,"said the gentleman in an astonished manner." What !" said the judge, do you mean tosay you know nothing of the prisoner at the