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he were anxious to impress her with the importance of the subject more than anybody else,-and, to say the truth, his attentions to her were of rather a marked kind, at times, when Archer's back happened to be turned.
In the evening, after the Waltons had returned home, Harding came to the cottage at Southsea to begin the fitting up of a little chaise-house into a boat-house, as Mr. Walton wished his boat to be built under his own “roof, that he might see it from day to day “growing under his own eye.” When Harding arrived, however, Mr. Walton took him aside, rather mysteriously, into another room.
“I am aware, Harding,” said he, “ of the general tenor of the advice that our friend Archer has been giving you on the subject of self-education. He has spoken of it to my daughter once or twice while I was reading the newspaper. I am much interested in you—as indeed I ought to be—and I have something to say about all this. Mr. Archer is, no doubt, a highly-informed man -superior sort of mind, and varied talents—writes poetry, and all that, and therefore, very naturally, recommends you to read it. But he has no knowledge of the practical business of the world, and what kind of information would be most serviceable to you
your station of life. He no doubt recommended you to read Shakspeare and Mr. Pope, and to have a touch at Milton on Sundays. Stuff!—I don't mean to say that those writers are stuff'—God forbid—very good stuff of course they are, in their way—but that they are all nonsense and no use for you, my boy. Mr. Archer has also, I know, confused you very much on the subject of history-trying to prove to you that the French Revolution was conducted through all its stages by very respectable men, whose enthusiasm carried them a little too far sometimes, and that Buonaparte was an angel in disguise. Wat Tyler too of course he told you that Tyler was a very intelligent, disinterested, patriotic blacksmith, a model for all modern working-men to form themselves by; and that our History of England was full of lies concerning all these good Tylers, and Jack Straws, and Jack Cades, and Old Nolls. Some lies, no doubt, have been told about all these men, and the events that surrounded them—but so have lies been told about you and me, sometimes—and who the deuce can help that? No-read your Bible and Psalter-read some History of England, and Lindley Murray's English Grammar'avoid politics-study the four first rules of arithmetic, simple and
compound-you write a good bold round hand, learn also to write a good running hand—when you marry, read Cobbett's “ Cottage Economy,' and Cottage Gardener,' if you have a garden ; and when you want a little recreation in the book way, read Dibdin's Songs, the · Little Warbler,” • Joe Miller '—or, if you want to get up a choice bit of elegant reading to make a show with, on great occasions, take a page or so of · Harvey's Meditations, and the * Enfield Speaker
Harding thanked Mr. Walton for his advice, with as good a grace as he could, though with difficulty suppressing a smile ; and when Mr. Walton pressed his hand in a fatherly manner and took leave of him for the night, that worthy gentleman felt as if he had done Harding a signal service which would last him to the end of his days. But when he re-entered the room, and saw Archer talking to his daughter, so innocent of all knowledge of the mischief he had been doing to many of his fine theories, Mr. Walton's conscience pricked him lest he should have been acting rather treacherously; he therefore relieved his breast by telling Archer what he had done. To his amazement, Archer said, “ Oh, never mind !”-as if it were of no consequence. Oh, never mind !
It has been said that Mr. Short was very talkative, if not eloquent, in Pratt's bun-shop this morning. Whether he had talked himself into a more sanguine state of mind than usual on the subject of a new scheme which he had been digesting for some time, or that he had taken a little more of his favourite old port than usual, certain it is, that when he was half undressed that night, he sat in his dressing-gown and slippers upon the edge of his bed, opposite the fire, in which he always indulged through the winter months, and thus soliloquised :
“ Yes—there is more prosperous virtue in fish than in bricks and mortar. Associated Homes for the middle-classes is a good speculation-I think it is—if the time is ripe for such things,
and that there are also enough people now ready, willing, competent, and resolved to begin. Aħ, there's the rub,' as Macbeth says, or, at least, Shakspeare. I don't feel quite safe in this venture. At any rate we must wait a little. How my ancles ache with walking about on those dockyard stones !—and my left boot put me in an agony once or twice this morning.
“ To commence our operations by using the designs of a halfmad German architect, who believes in magic, and cannot speak
six words of English, will never do. But a fishery on the coast of Ireland somewhere that indeed, if well established, and well conducted, would be a rare spec! I must try and move Walton and Bainton to join me in this. I have got a chilblain too, I find duds ! how it stings !—I think they will. Perhaps I may even persuade them to take a trip over to Dublin with me.
What a fine woman that Mary Walton is !—fine person, shapely and complete—handsome face_instructed mind; has some wild radical notions about the improvement of things, and popular progressbut unmarried women must have something to think about. All put into her head by that pale, briefless-barrister-looking Archer. Don't think she cares very much for him. I fancied she looked several times at my new waistcoat and diamond shirt-pin.
“If I can persuade these men, now- - and Bainton, I can see, is already taking it quite into his mind—and if we can succeed only on one fishing coast, I shall lose no time in establishing the very same thing on two or three other coasts, and thus obtain a monopoly. First, we will begin with the Wexford and Waterford coasts-pick out a nice place—and there are several, if the letter of Dennis Kelly's widow is worth anything. Then, the letters I have received this morning as to the coast of Clare, show that very much is to be done there—not close in shore, where the Paddies fish, but two or three and twenty miles out, in the deep sea fisheries—the south-western banks, which the Paddies seldom dare venture out to, in their poor, patched bean-shells of canoes. There we shall net 'em !-cod, haddock, whiting, ling, mackerel, herrings, pollock, plaice, turbot—ha !-gurnet, green and red, bream, mullet, salmon, with loads of crabs and lobsters! My left boot must be eased over the little toe—I'm d-d if I can bear it!
“But we will be careful and gradual—wise as—not timid though -as Cato-skait 0 ! I have taken a glass too much this evening, I begin to think. My head and ears burn, and my tongue is dry and furry. A vile cigar, that. I must tell old Walton all about my new scheme, without loss of time. It is now well matured in
Bainton will certainly come into it. I shall easily persuade Walton to join us ;—he and I shall make money together -often dine together—we shall talk over old times, and I shall not recollect any of those things which show that I am nearly fifty-two-we shall soon be inseparable—I shall turn him round my finger, and perhaps marry his daughter. Who knows ? "
THE LAST GREEK BARD'S SONG OF HOMER.
BY GOOD WYN BARMBY.
Bring me, boy, the Samian flask !
Sound thy flute beneath those trees,
Where the myrtles woo the breeze;
Homer sang here, ages past,
To his fount of song at last.
Tempe's vale is rich with bloom;
And Ilissus hallows gloom ;
And though green the earth below,
Father Homer's tuneful flow?
Life-like statues there we see;
All but motioned symmetry!
Still we want, and singing pray,
live to swell his lay.
Lone in wealth and slaves of state,
Poor in love, and weak in hate ;
Jewelled though their armlets be,
He who sung Penelope ?
Men we have, and women too ;
Scarce the different sex you know.
Men we have for whom the helm
Weighs too heavy on the brow;
Achilles' wrath or Hector's woe?
And swords are pointed not to save ;
We have no strength to earn a grave.
And Homer will not leave the tomb,
And Death's urns tell no noble doom.
Though Greece is fair in earth and sky,
With blood whose fame can never die,
Unless we first can show us men;
Nor send us Homer back again.
Like temple to the bats a prey,
It is in our old Homer's lay :
The land of a most glorious lyre,
Our prince of bards à crown of fire !
CLUB-CROTCHETS AND CHEAP COMFORTS:
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WHITTINGTON FUND.
INTRODUCTORY. IF people's legislation was confined to themselves alone, one might be amused rather than disturbed at the view of life taken by certain worthy and unworthy characters, who seem theoretically and practically resolved to carry out “the greatest misery principle." “We live in a vale of tears," they say, “and, therefore, you shall wipe your eyes on clouts as coarse as sail-cloths.”