Part 5 out of 10
my making you my last bow, "ye distant spires, ye ANTIC towers!"
Wheel. (aside to Lord J.). Ye ANTIC towers!--fit for Oxford, my lord!
Lord J. Antique towers, I suppose Mr. Bursal means.
Burs. Antique, to be sure!--I said antique, did not I, Wheeler?
Wheel. O, yes.
Lord J. (aside). What a mean animal is this!
Enter RORY O'RYAN.
Rory. Why, now, what's become of Talbot, I want to know? There he is
not to be found anywhere in the wide world; and there's a hullabaloo
amongst his friends for him.
(Wheeler and Bursal wink at one another.)
Wheel. We know nothing of him.
Lord J. I have not the honour, sir, to be one of Mr. Talbot's friends.
It is his own fault, and I am sorry for it.
Rory. 'Faith, so am I, especially as it is mine--fault I mean; and
especially as the election is just going to come on.
Enter a party of boys, who cry, Finsbury's come!--Finsbury's come with
Wheel. Finsbury's come? Oh, let us see the dresses, and let us try 'em
Burs. (pushing the crowd). On with ye--on with ye, there!--Let's try 'em
on!--Try 'em on--I'm to be colonel.
lst Boy. And I lieutenant.
2nd Boy. And I ensign.
3rd Boy. And I college salt-bearer.
4th Boy. And I oppidan.
5th Boy. Oh, what a pity I'm in mourning.
Several speak at once.
And we are servitors. We are to be the eight servitors.
Wheel. And I am to be your Captain, I hope. Come on, my Colonel. (To
Bursal). My lord, you are coming?
Rory. By-and-by--I've a word in his ear, by your LAVE and his.
Burs. Why, what the devil stops the way, there?--Push on--on with them.
6th Boy. I'm marshal.
Burs. On with you--on with you--who cares what you are?
Wheel. (to Bursal, aside). You'll pay Finsbury for me, you rich Jew?
(To Lord John.) Your lordship will remember your lordship's promise.
Lord J. I do not usually forget my promises, sir; and therefore need not
to be reminded of them.
Wheel. I beg pardon--I beg ten thousand pardons, my lord.
Burs. (taking him by the arm). Come on, man, and don't stand begging
pardon there, or I'll leave you.
Wheel. (to Burs.) I beg pardon, Bursal--I beg pardon, ten thousand times.
Manent LORD JOHN and RORY O'RYAN.
Rory. Wheugh!--Now put the case. If I was going to be hanged, for the
life of me I couldn't be after begging so many pardons for nothing at
all. But many men, many minds--(Hums.) True game to the last! No
Wheeler for me. Oh, murder! I forgot, I was nigh letting the cat out o'
the bag again.
Lord J. You had something to say to me, sir? I wait till your
Rory. 'Faith, and that's very kind of you; and if you had always done
so, you would never have been offended with me, my lord.
Lord J. You are mistaken, Mr. O'Ryan, if you think that you did or could
Rory. Mistaken was I, then, sure enough; but we are all liable to
mistakes, and should forget and forgive one another; that's the way to go
Lord J. You will go through the world your own way, Mr. O'Ryan, and
allow me to go through it my way.
Rory. Very fair--fair enough--then we shan't cross. But now, to come to
the point. I don't like to be making disagreeable retrospects, if I
could any way avoid it; nor to be going about the bush, especially at
this time o' day; when, as Mr. Finsbury's come, we've not so much time to
lose as we had. Is there any truth, then, my lord, in the report that is
going about this hour past, that you have gone in a huff, and given your
promise there to that sneaking Wheeler to vote for him now?
Lord J. In answer to your question, sir, I am to inform you that I HAVE
promised Mr. Wheeler to vote for him.
Rory. In a huff?--Ay, now, there it is!--Well, when a man's MAD, to be
sure, he's mad--and that's all that can be said about it. And I know, if
I had been MAD myself, I might have done a foolish thing as well as
another. But now, my lord, that you are not mad--
Lord J. I protest, sir, I cannot understand you. In one word, sir, I'm
neither mad nor a fool!--Your most obedient (going, angrily).
Rory (holding him). Take care now; you are going mad with me again. But
phoo! I like you the better for being mad. I'm very often mad myself,
and I would not give a potato for one that had never been mad in his
Lord J. (aside). He'll not be quiet, till he makes me knock him down.
Rory. Agh! agh! agh!--I begin to guess whereabouts I am at last. MAD,
in your country, I take it, means fit for Bedlam; but with us in Ireland,
now, 'tis no such thing; it mean's nothing in life but the being in a
passion. Well, one comfort is, my lord, as you're a bit of a scholar, we
have the Latin proverb in our favour--"Ira furor brevis est" (Anger is
short madness). The shorter the better, I think. So, my lord, to put an
end to whatever of the kind you may have felt against poor Talbot, I'll
assure you he's as innocent o' that unfortunate song as the babe unborn.
Lord J. It is rather late for Mr. Talbot to make apologies to me.
Rory. He make apologies! Not he, 'faith; he'd send me to Coventry, or,
maybe, to a worse place, did he but know I was condescending to make this
bit of explanation, unknown to him. But, upon my conscience, I've a
regard for you both, and don't like to see you go together by the ears.
Now, look you, my lord. By this book, and all the books that were ever
shut and opened, he never saw or heard of that unlucky song of mine till
I came out with it this morning.
Lord J. But you told me this morning that it was he who wrote it.
Rory. For that I take shame to myself, as it turned out; but it was only
a WHITE lie to SARVE a friend, and make him cut a dash with a new song at
election time. But I've done for ever with white lies.
Lord J. (walking about as if agitated). I wish you had never begun with
them, Mr. O'Ryan. This may be a good joke to you; but it is none to me
or Talbot. So Talbot never wrote a word of the song?
Rory. Not a word or syllable, good or bad.
Lord J. And I have given my promise to vote against him. He'll lose his
Rory. Not if you'll give me leave to speak to your friends in your name.
Lord J. I have promised to leave them to themselves; and Wheeler, I am
sure, has engaged them by this time.
Rory. Bless my body! I'll not stay prating here then.
Lord J. (follows). But what can have become of Talbot? I have been too
hasty for once in my life. Well, I shall suffer for it more than anybody
else; for I love Talbot, since he did not make the song, of which I hate
to think. (Exit.)
A large hall in Eton College--A staircase at the end--Eton lads, dressed
in their Montem Dresses in the Scene--In front, WHEELER (dressed as
Captain), BURSAL and FINSBURY.
Fins. I give you infinite credit, Mr. Wheeler, for this dress.
Burs. INFINITE CREDIT! Why, he'll have no objection to that--hey,
Wheeler? But I thought Finsbury knew you too well to give you credit for
Fins. You are pleased to be pleasant, sir. Mr. Wheeler knows, in that
sense of the word, it is out of my power to give him credit, and I'm sure
he would not ask it.
Wheel. (aside). O, Bursal, pay him, and I'll pay you tomorrow.
Burs. Now, if you weren't to be captain after all, Wheeler, what a
pretty figure you'd cut. Ha! ha! ha!--Hey?
Wheel. Oh, I am as sure of being captain as of being alive. (Aside.) Do
pay for me, now, there's a good, dear fellow, before THEY (looking back)
Burs. (aside). I love to make him lick the dust. (Aloud.) Hollo!
here's Finsbury waiting to be paid, lads. (To the lads who are in the
back scene.) Who has paid, and who has not paid, I say?
(The lads come forward, and several exclaim at once,) I've paid! I've
Enter LORD JOHN and RORY O'RYAN.
Rory. Oh, King of Fashion, how fine we are! Why, now, to look at ye all
one might fancy one's self at the playhouse at once, or at a fancy ball
in dear little Dublin. Come, strike up a dance.
Burs. Pshaw! Wherever you come, Rory O'Ryan, no one else can be heard.
Who has paid, and who has not paid, I say?
Several Boys exclaim. We've all paid.
1st Boy. I've not paid, but here's my money.
Several Boys. We have not paid, but here's our money.
6th Boy. Order there, I am marshal. All that have paid march off to the
staircase, and take your seats there, one by one. March!
(As they march by, one by one, so as to display their dresses, Mr.
Finsbury bows, and says,)
A thousand thanks, gentlemen. Thank you, gentlemen. Thanks, gentlemen.
The finest sight ever I saw out of Lon'on.
Rory, as each lad passes, catches his arm, Are you a TalbotITE or a
WheelerITE? To each who answers "A Wheelerite," Rory replies, "Phoo!
dance off, then. Go to the devil and shake yourself."* Each who
answers "A Talbotite," Rory shakes by the hand violently, singing,
"Talbot, oh, Talbot's the dog for Rory."
*This is the name of a country dance.
When they have almost all passed, Lord John says, But where can Mr.
Talbot be all this time?
Burs. Who knows? Who cares?
Wheel. A pretty electioneerer! (Aside to Bursal.) Finsbury's waiting
to be paid.
Lord J. You don't wait for me, Mr. Finsbury. You know, I have settled
Fins. Yes, my lord--yes. Many thanks: and I have left your lordship's
dress here, and everybody's dress, I believe, as bespoke.
Burs. Here, Finsbury, is the money for Wheeler, who, between you and me,
is as poor as a rat.
Wheeler (affecting to laugh.). Well, I hope I shall be as rich as a Jew
to-morrow. (Bursal counts money, in an ostentatious manner, into
Fins. A thousand thanks for all favours.
Rory. You will be kind enough to LAVE Mr. Talbot's dress with me, Mr.
Finsbury, for I'm a friend.
Fins. Indubitably, sir: but the misfortune is--he! he! he!--Mr. Talbot,
sir, has bespoke no dress. Your servant, gentlemen.
Burs. So your friend Mr. Talbot could not afford to bespeak a dress--
(Bursal and Wheeler laugh insolently.) How comes that, I wonder?
Lord J. If I'm not mistaken, here comes Talbot to answer for himself.
Rory. But who, in the name of St. Patrick, has he along with him?
Enter TALBOT and LANDLORD.
Talb. Come in along with us, Farmer Hearty--come in.
(Whilst the Farmer comes in, the boys who were sitting on the stairs,
rise and exclaim,)
Whom have we here? What now? Come down, lads; here's more fun.
Rory. What's here, Talbot?
Talb. An honest farmer, and a good natured landlord, who would come here
along with me to speak--
Farm. (interrupting). To speak the truth--(strikes his stick on the
Landlord (unbuttoning his waistcoat). But I am so hot--so short-winded,
that (panting and puffing)--that for the soul and body of me, I cannot
say what I have got for to say.
Rory. 'Faith, now, the more short winded a story, the better, to my
Burs. Wheeler, what's the matter, man? you look as if your under jaw was
Farm. The matter is, young gentlemen, that there was once upon a time a
fine, bay hunter.
Wheel. (squeezing up to Talbot, aside). Don't expose me, don't let him
tell. (To the Farmer.) I'll pay for the corn I spoiled. (To the
Landlord.) I'll pay for the horse.
Farm. I does not want to be paid for my corn. The short of it is, young
gentlemen, this 'un here, in the fine thing-em-bobs (pointing to
Wheeler), is a shabby fellow; he went and spoiled Master Newington's best
Land. (panting). Ruinationed him! ruinationed him!
Rory. But was that all the shabbiness? Now I might, or any of us might,
have had such an accident as that. I suppose he paid the gentleman for
the horse, or will do so, in good time.
Land. (holding his sides). Oh, that I had but a little breath in this
body o' mine to speak all--speak on, Farmer.
Farm. (striking his stick on the floor). Oons, sir, when a man's put
out, he can't go on with his story.
Omnes. Be quiet, Rory--hush! (Rory puts his finger on his lips.)
Farm. Why, sir, I was a-going to tell you the shabbiness--why, sir, he
did not pay the landlord, here, for the horse; but he goes and says to
the landlord, here--"Mr. Talbot had your horse on the self-same day;
'twas he did the damage; 'tis from he you must get your money." So Mr.
Talbot, here, who is another sort of a gentleman (though he has not so
fine a coat) would not see a man at a loss, that could not afford it; and
not knowing which of 'em it was that spoiled the horse, goes, when he
finds the other would not pay a farthing, and pays all.
Rory (rubbing his hands). There's Talbot for ye. And, now, gentlemen
(to Wheeler and Bursal), you guess the RASON, as I do, I suppose, why he
bespoke no dress; he had not money enough to be fine--and honest, too.
You are very fine, Mr. Wheeler, to do you justice.
Lord J. Pray, Mr. O'Ryan, let the farmer go on; he has more to say. How
did you find out, pray, my good friend, that it was not Talbot who
spoiled the horse! Speak loud enough to be heard by everybody.
Farm. Ay, that I will--I say (very loudly) I say I saw him there
(pointing to Wheeler) take the jump which strained the horse; and I'm
ready to swear to it. Yet he let another pay; there's the shabbiness.
(A general groan from all the lads. "Oh, shabby Wheeler, shabby! I'll
not vote for shabby Wheeler!")
Lord J. (aside). Alas! I must vote for him.
"True game to the last; no Wheeler for me;
Talbot, oh, Talbot's the dog for me."
(Several voices join the chorus.)
Burs. Wheeler, if you are not chosen Captain, you must see and pay me
for the dress.
Wheel. I am as poor as a rat.
Rory. Oh, yes! oh yes! hear ye! hear ye, all manner of men--the election
is now going to begin forthwith in the big field, and Rory O'Ryan holds
the poll for Talbot. Talbot for ever!--huzza!
(Exit Rory, followed by the Boys, who exclaim "Talbot for ever!--huzza!"
The Landlord and Farmer join them.)
Lord J. Talbot, I am glad you are what I always thought you--I'm glad
you did not write that odious song. I would not lose such a friend for
all the songs in the world. Forgive me for my hastiness this morning.
I've punished myself--I've promised to vote for Wheeler.
Talb. Oh, no matter whom you vote for, my lord, if you are still my
friend, and if you know me to be yours. (They shake hands.)
Lord J. I must not say, "Huzza for Talbot!" (Exeunt.)
LADY PIERCEFIELD, MRS. TALBOT, LOUISA, and a little girl of six years
old, LADY VIOLETTA, daughter to LADY PIERCEFIELD.
Violetta (looking at a paper which Louisa holds). I like it VERY much.
Lady P. What is it that you like VERY much, Violetta?
Violet. You are not to know yet, mamma; it is--I may tell her that--it
is a little drawing that Louisa is doing for me. Louisa, I wish you
would let me show it to mamma.
Louisa. And welcome, my dear; it is only a sketch of "The Little
Merchants," a story which Violetta was reading, and she asked me to try
to draw the pictures of the little merchants for her. (Whilst Lady P.
looks at the drawing, Violetta says to Louisa)
But are you in earnest, Louisa, about what you were saying to me just
now,--quite in earnest?
Louisa. Yes, in earnest,--quite in earnest, my dear.
Violet. And may I ask mamma, NOW?
Louisa. If you please, my dear.
Violet. (runs to her mother). Stoop down to me, mamma ; I've something
to whisper to you.
(Lady Piercefield stoops down; Violetta throws her arms round her
Violet. (aside to her mother). Mamma, do you know--you know you want a
governess for me.
Lady P. Yes, if I could find a good one.
Violet. (aloud). Stoop again, mamma, I've more to whisper. (Aside to
her mother). SHE says she will be my governess, if you please.
Lady P. SHE!--who is SHE?
Lady P. (patting Violetta's cheek). You are a little fool. Miss Talbot
is only playing with you.
Violet. No, indeed, mamma; she is in earnest; are not you, Louisa?--Oh,
Violet. (claps her hands). YES, mamma; do you hear YES?
Louisa. If Lady Piercefield will trust you to my care, I am persuaded
that I should be much happier as your governess, my good little Violetta,
than as an humble dependent of Miss Bursal's. (Aside to her mother.)
You see that, now I am put to the trial, I keep to my resolution, dear
Mrs. T. Your ladyship would not be surprised at this offer of my Louisa,
if you had heard, as we have done within these few hours, of the loss of
the East India ship in which almost our whole property was embarked.
Louisa. The Bombay Castle is wrecked.
Lady P. The Bombay Castle! I have the pleasure to tell you that you are
misinformed--it was the Airly Castle that was wrecked.
Louisa and Mrs. T. Indeed!
Lady P. Yes; you may depend upon it--it was the Airly Castle that was
lost. You know I am just come from Portsmouth, where I went to meet my
brother, Governor Morton, who came home with the last India fleet, and
from whom I had the intelligence.
(Here Violetta interrupts, to ask her mother for her nosegay--Lady P.
gives it to her, then goes on speaking.)
Lady P. They were in such haste, foolish people! to carry their news to
London, that they mistook one castle for another. But do you know that
Mr. Bursal loses fifty thousand pounds, it is said, by the Airly Castle!
When I told him she was lost, I thought he would have dropped down.
However, I found he comforted himself afterwards with a bottle of
Burgundy: but poor Miss Bursal has been in hysterics ever since.
Mrs. T. Poor girl! My Louisa, YOU did not fall into hysterics, when I
told you of the loss of our whole fortune.
(Violetta, during this dialogue, has been seated on the ground making up
Violet. (aside). Fall into hysterics! What are hysterics, I wonder.
Louisa. Miss Bursal is much to be pitied; for the loss of wealth will be
the loss of happiness to her.
Lady P. It is to be hoped that the loss may at least check the foolish
pride and extravagance of young Bursal, who, as my son tells me--
(A cry of "Huzza! huzza!" behind the scenes.)
Enter LORD JOHN.
Lord J. (hastily). How d'ye do, mother! Miss Talbot, I give you joy.
Lady P. Take breath--take breath.
Louisa. It is my brother.
Mrs. T. Here he is!--Hark! hark!
(A cry behind the scenes of "Talbot and truth for ever! Huzza!")
Louisa. They are chairing him.
Lord J. Yes, they are chairing him; and he has been chosen for his
honourable conduct, not for his electioneering skill; for, to do him
justice, Coriolanus himself was not a worse electioneerer.
Enter RORY O'RYAN and another Eton lad, carrying TALBOT in a chair,
followed by a crowd of Eton lads.
Rory. By your LAVE, my lord--by your LAVE, ladies.
Omnes. Huzza! Talbot and truth for ever! Huzza!
Talb. Set me down! There's my mother! There's my sister!
Rory. Easy, easy. Set him down? No such TING! give him t'other huzza!
There's nothing like a good loud huzza in this world. Yes, there is!
for, as my Lord John said just now, out of some book, or out of his own
"One self-approving hour whole years outweighs,
Of stupid starers and of loud huzzas."
FORGIVE AND FORGET.
In the neighbourhood of a seaport town in the west of England, there
lived a gardener, who had one son, called Maurice, to whom he was very
partial. One day his father sent him to the neighbouring town to
purchase some garden seeds for him. When Maurice got to the seed-shop,
it was full of people, who were all impatient to be served: first a
great tall man, and next a great fat woman pushed before him; and he
stood quietly beside the counter, waiting till somebody should be at
leisure to attend to him. At length, when all the other people who were
in the shop had got what they wanted, the shopman turned to Maurice--"And
what do you want, my patient little fellow?" said he.
"I want all these seeds for my father," said Maurice, putting a list of
seeds into the shopman's hand; "and I have brought money to pay for them
The seedsman looked out all the seeds that Maurice wanted, and packed
them up in paper: he was folding up some painted lady-peas, when, from a
door at the back of the shop, there came in a square, rough-faced man,
who exclaimed, the moment he came in, "Are the seeds I ordered ready?--
The wind's fair--they ought to have been aboard yesterday. And my china
jar, is it packed up and directed? where is it?"
"It is up there on the shelf over your head, sir," answered the seedsman.
"It is very safe, you see; but we have not had time to pack it yet. It
shall be done to-day; and we will get the seeds ready for you, sir,
"Immediately! then stir about it. The seeds will not pack themselves up.
Make haste, pray."
"Immediately, sir, as soon as I have done up the parcel for this little
"What signifies the parcel for this little boy? He can wait, and I
cannot--wind and tide wait for no man. Here, my good lad, take your
parcel, and sheer off," said the impatient man; and, as he spoke, he took
up the parcel of seeds from the counter, as the shopman stooped to look
for a sheet of thick brown paper and packthread to tie it up.
The parcel was but loosely folded up, and as the impatient man lifted it,
the weight of the peas which were withinside of it burst the paper, and
all the seeds fell out upon the floor, whilst Maurice in vain held his
hands to catch them. The peas rolled to all parts of the shop; the
impatient man swore at them, but Maurice, without being out of humour,
set about collecting them as fast as possible.
Whilst the boy was busied in this manner, the man got what seeds he
wanted; and as he was talking about them, a sailor came into the shop,
and said, "Captain, the wind has changed within these five minutes, and
it looks as if we should have ugly weather."
"Well, I'm glad of it," replied the rough faced man, who was the captain
of a ship. "I am glad to have a day longer to stay ashore, and I've
business enough on my hands." The captain pushed forward towards the
shop door. Maurice, who was kneeling on the floor, picking up his seeds,
saw that the captain's foot was entangled in some packthread which hung
down from the shelf on which the china jar stood. Maurice saw that, if
the captain took one more step forward, he must pull the string, so that
it would throw down the jar, round the bottom of which the packthread was
entangled. He immediately caught hold of the captain's leg, and stopped
him. "Stay! Stand still, sir!" said he, "or you will break your china
The man stood still, looked, and saw how the packthread had caught in his
shoe buckle, and how it was near dragging down his beautiful china jar.
"I am really very much obliged to you, my little fellow," said he. "You
have saved my jar, which I would not have broken for ten guineas, for it
is for my wife, and I've brought it safe from abroad many a league. It
would have been a pity if I had broken it just when it was safe landed.
I am really much obliged to you, my little fellow, this was returning
good for evil. I am sorry I threw down your seeds, as you are such a
good natured, forgiving boy. Be so kind," continued he, turning to the
shopman, "as to reach down that china jar for me."
The shopman lifted down the jar very carefully, and the captain took off
the cover, and pulled out some tulip roots. "You seem, by the quantity
of seeds you have got, to belong to a gardener. Are you fond of
gardening?" said he to Maurice.
"Yes, sir," replied Maurice, "very fond of it; for my father is a
gardener, and he lets me help him at his work, and he has given me a
little garden of my own."
"Then here are a couple of tulip-roots for you; and if you take care of
them, I'll promise you that you will have the finest tulips in England in
your little garden. These tulips were given to me by a Dutch merchant,
who told me that they were some of the rarest and finest in Holland.
They will prosper with you, I'm sure, wind and weather permitting."
Maurice thanked the gentleman, and returned home, eager to show his
precious tulip-roots to his father, and to a companion of his, the son of
a nurseryman, who lived near him. Arthur was the name of the
The first thing Maurice did, after showing his tulip-roots to his father,
was to run to Arthur's garden in search of him. Their gardens were
separated only by a low wall of loose stones: "Arthur! Arthur! where are
you? Are you in your garden! I want you." But Arthur made no answer,
and did not, as usual, come running to meet his friend. "I know where
you are," continued Maurice, "and I'm coming to you as fast as the
raspberry-bushes will let me. I have good news for you--something you'll
be delighted to see, Arthur!--Ha!--but here is something that I am not
delighted to see, I am sure," said poor Maurice, who, when he had got
through the raspberry-bushes, and had come in sight of his own garden,
beheld his bell-glass--his beloved bell-glass, under which his cucumbers
were grown so finely--his only bell-glass, broken to pieces!
"I am sorry for it," said Arthur, who stood leaning upon his spade in his
own garden; "I am afraid you will be very angry with me."
"Why, was it you, Arthur, broke my bell-glass! Oh, how could you do so?"
"I was throwing weeds and rubbish over the wall, and by accident a great
lump of couch-grass, with stones hanging to the roots, fell upon your
bell-glass, and broke it, as you see."
Maurice lifted up the lump of couch-grass, which had fallen through the
broken glass upon his cucumbers, and he looked at his cucumbers for a
moment in silence--"Oh, my poor cucumbers! you must all die now. I shall
see all your yellow flowers withered tomorrow; but it is done, and it
cannot be helped; so, Arthur, let us say no more about it."
"You are very good; I thought you would have been angry. I am sure I
should have been exceedingly angry if you had broken the glass, if it had
"Oh, forgive and forget, as my father always says; that's the best way.
Look what I have got for you." Then he told Arthur the story of the
captain of the ship, and the china jar; the seeds having been thrown
down, and of the fine tulip-roots which had been given to him; and
Maurice concluded by offering one of the precious roots to Arthur, who
thanked him with great joy, and repeatedly said, "How good you were not
to be angry with me for breaking your bell-glass! I am much more sorry
for it than if you had been in a passion with me!"
Arthur now went to plant his tulip-root: and Maurice looked at the beds
which his companion had been digging, and at all the things which were
coming up in his garden.
"I don't know how it is," said Arthur, "but you always seem as glad to
see the things in my garden coming up, and doing well, as if they were
all your own. I am much happier since my father came to live here, and
since you and I have been allowed to work and to play together, than I
ever was before; for you must know, before we came to live here, I had a
cousin in the house with me, who used to plague me. He was not nearly so
good-natured as you are. He never took pleasure in looking at my garden,
or at anything that I did that was well done; and he never gave me a
share of anything that he had; and so I did not like him; how could I?
But, I believe that hating people makes us unhappy; for I know I never
was happy when I was quarrelling with him; and I am always happy with
you, Maurice. You know we never quarrel."
It would be well for all the world if they could be convinced, like
Arthur, that to live in friendship is better than to quarrel. It would
be well for all the world if they followed Maurice's maxim of "Forgive
and Forget," when they receive, or when they imagine that they receive,
Arthur's father, Mr. Oakly, the nurseryman, was apt to take offence at
trifles; and when he thought that any of his neighbours disobliged him,
he was too proud to ask them to explain their conduct; therefore he was
often mistaken in his judgment of them. He thought that it showed
SPIRIT, to remember and to resent an injury; and, therefore, though he
was not an ill-natured man, he was sometimes led, by this mistaken idea
of SPIRIT, to do ill-natured things: "A warm friend and a bitter enemy,"
was one of his maxims, and he had many more enemies than friends. He was
not very rich, but he was proud; and his favourite proverb was, "Better
live in spite than in pity."
When first he settled near Mr. Grant, the gardener, he felt inclined to
dislike him, because he was told that Mr. Grant was a Scotchman, and he
had a prejudice against Scotchmen; all of whom he believed to be cunning
and avaricious, because he had once been over-reached by a Scotch
peddler. Grant's friendly manners in some degree conquered this
prepossession but still he secretly suspected that THIS CIVILITY, as he
said, "was all show, and that he was not, nor could not, being a
Scotchman, be such a hearty friend as a true-born Englishman."
Grant had some remarkably fine raspberries. The fruit was so large, as
to be quite a curiosity. When it was in season, many strangers came from
the neighbouring town, which was a sea-bathing place, to look at these
raspberries, which obtained the name of Brobdingnag raspberries.
"How came you, pray, neighbour Grant, if a man may ask, by these
wonderful fine raspberries?" said Mr. Oakly, one evening, to the
"That's a secret," replied Grant, with an arch smile.
"Oh, in case it's a secret, I've no more to say; for I never meddle with
any man's secrets that he does not choose to trust me with. But I wish,
neighbour Grant, you would put down that book. You are always poring
over some book or another when a man comes to see you, which is not,
according to my notions (being a plain, UNLARNED Englishman bred and
born), so civil and neighbourly as might be."
Mr. Grant hastily shut his book, but remarked, with a shrewd glance at
his son, that it was in that book he found his Brobdingnag raspberries.
"You are pleased to be pleasant upon them that have not the luck to be as
book-LARNED as yourself, Mr. Grant; but I take it, being only a plain
spoken Englishman, as I observed afore, that one is to the full as like
to find a raspberry in one's garden as in one's book, Mr. Grant."
Grant, observing that his neighbour spoke rather in a surly tone, did not
contradict him; being well versed in the Bible, he knew that "A soft word
turneth away wrath," and he answered, in a good humoured voice, "I hear,
neighbour Oakly, you are likely to make a great deal of money of your
nursery this year. Here's to the health of you and yours, not forgetting
the seedling larches, which I see are coming on finely."
"Thank ye, neighbour, kindly; the larches are coming on tolerably well,
that's certain; and here's to your good health, Mr. Grant--you and yours,
not forgetting your, what dye call 'em raspberries"--(drinks)--and, after
a pause, resumes, "I'm not apt to be a beggar, neighbour, but if you
could give me--"
Here Mr. Oakly was interrupted by the entrance of some strangers, and he
did finish making his request--Mr. Oakly was not, as he said of himself,
apt to ask favours, and nothing but Grant's cordiality could have
conquered his prejudices, so far as to tempt him to ask a favour from a
Scotchman. He was going to have asked for some of the Brobdingnag
raspberry-plants. The next day the thought of the raspberry-plants
recurred to his memory, but being a bashful man, he did not like to go
himself on purpose to make his request, and he desired his wife, who was
just setting out to market, to call at Grant's gate, and, if he was at
work in his garden, to ask him for a few plants of his raspberries.
The answer which Oakly's wife brought to him was that Mr. Grant had not a
raspberry-plant in the world to give him, and that if he had ever so
many, he would not give one away, except to his own son.
Oakly flew into a passion when he received such a message, declared it
was just such a mean, shabby trick as might have been expected from a
Scotchman--called himself a booby, a dupe, and a blockhead, for ever
having trusted to the civil speeches of a Scotchman--swore that he would
die in the parish workhouse before he would ever ask another favour, be
it ever so small, from a Scotchman; related to his wife, for the
hundredth time, the way in which he had been taken in by the Scotch
peddler ten years ago, and concluded by forswearing all further
intercourse with Mr. Grant, and all belonging to him.
"Son Arthur," said he, addressing himself to the boy, who just then came
in from work--"Son Arthur, do you hear me? let me never again see you
with Grant's son."
"With Maurice, father?"
"With Maurice Grant, I say; I forbid you from this day and hour forward
to have anything to do with him."
"Oh, why, dear father?"
"Ask no questions but do as I bid you."
Arthur burst out a crying, and only said, "Yes, father, I'll do as you
bid me, to be sure."
"Why now, what does the boy cry for? Is there no other boy, simpleton,
think you, to play with, but this Scotchman's son! I'll find out another
play-fellow for ye, child, if that be all."
"That's not all, father," said Arthur, trying to stop himself from
sobbing; "but the thing is, I shall never have such another play-fellow,-
-I shall never have such another friend as Maurice Grant."
"Like father like son--you may think yourself well off to have done with
"Done with him! Oh, father, and shall I never go again to work in his
garden, and may not he come to mine?"
"No," replied Oakly, sturdily; "his father has used me uncivil, and no
man shall use me uncivil twice. I say no. Wife, sweep up this hearth.
Boy, don't take on like a fool; but eat thy bacon and greens, and let's
hear no more of Maurice Grant."
Arthur promised to obey his father. He only begged that he might once
more speak to Maurice, and tell him that it was by his father's orders he
acted. This request was granted; but when Arthur further begged to know
what reason he might give for this separation, his father refused to tell
his reasons. The two friends took leave of one another very sorrowfully.
Mr. Grant, when he heard of all this, endeavoured to discover what could
have offended his neighbour; but all explanation was prevented by the
obstinate silence of Oakly.
Now, the message which Grant really sent about the Brobdingnag
raspberries was somewhat different from that which Mr. Oakly received.
The message was, that the raspberries were not Mr. Grant's; that
therefore he had no right to give them away; that they belonged to his
son Maurice, and that this was not the right time of year for planting
them. This message had been unluckily misunderstood. Grant gave his
answer to his wife; she to a Welsh servant-girl, who did not perfectly
comprehend her mistress' broad Scotch; and she in her turn could not make
herself intelligible to Mrs. Oakly, who hated the Welsh accent, and whose
attention, when the servant-girl delivered the message, was principally
engrossed by the management of her own horse. The horse, on which Mrs.
Oakly rode this day being ill-broken, would not stand still quietly at
the gate, and she was extremely impatient to receive her answer, and to
ride on to market.
Oakly, when he had once resolved to dislike his neighbour Grant, could
not long remain without finding out fresh causes of complaint. There was
in Grant's garden a plum-tree, which was planted close to the loose stone
wall that divided the garden from the nursery. The soil in which the
plum tree was planted happened not to be quite so good as that which was
on the opposite side of the wall, and the plum-tree had forced its way
through the wall, and gradually had taken possession of the ground which
it liked best.
Oakly thought the plum-tree, as it belonged to Mr. Grant, had no right to
make its appearance on his ground: an attorney told him that he might
oblige Grant to cut it down; but Mr. Grant refused to cut down his plum-
tree at the attorney's desire, and the attorney persuaded Oakly to go to
law about the business, and the lawsuit went on for some months.
The attorney, at the end of this time, came to Oakly with a demand for
money to carry on his suit, assuring him that, in a short time, it would
be determined in his favour. Oakly paid his attorney ten golden guineas,
remarked that it was a great sum for him to pay, and that nothing but the
love of justice could make him persevere in this lawsuit about a bit of
ground, "which, after all," said he, "is not worth twopence. The plum-
tree does me little or no damage, but I don't like to be imposed upon by
The attorney saw and took advantage of Oakly's prejudice against the
natives of Scotland; and he persuaded him, that to show the SPIRIT of a
true-born Englishman it was necessary, whatever it might cost him, to
persist in this law suit.
It was soon after this conversation with the attorney that Mr. Oakly
walked, with resolute steps, towards the plum-tree, saying to himself,
"If it cost me a hundred pounds I will not let this cunning Scotchman get
the better of me."
Arthur interrupted his father's reverie, by pointing to a book and some
young plants which lay upon the wall. "I fancy, father," said he, "those
things are for you, for there is a little note directed to you, in
Maurice's handwriting. Shall I bring it to you?"
"Yes, let me read it, child, since I must." It contained these words:
"DEAR MR. OAKLY,--I don't know why you have quarrelled with us; I am very
sorry for it. But though you are angry with me, I am not angry with you.
I hope you will not refuse some of my Brobdingnag raspberry-plants, which
you asked for a great while ago, when we were all good friends. It was
not the right time of the year to plant them, which was the reason they
were not sent to you; but it is just the right time to plant them now;
and I send you the book, in which you will find the reason why we always
put seaweed ashes about their roots; and I have got some seaweed ashes
for you. You will find the ashes in the flower-pot upon the wall. I
have never spoken to Arthur, nor he to me, since you bid us not. So,
wishing your Brobdingnag raspberries may turn out as well as ours, and
longing to be all friends again, I am, with love to dear Arthur and self,
"Your affectionate neighbour's son,
"P.S.--It is now about four months since the quarrel began, and that is a
very long while."
A great part of the effect of this letter was lost upon Oakly, because he
was not very expert in reading writing, and it cost him much trouble to
spell it and put it together. However, he seemed affected by it, and
said, "I believe this Maurice loves you well enough, Arthur, and he seems
a good sort of boy; but as to the raspberries, I believe all that he says
about them is but an excuse; and, at anyrate, as I could not get 'em when
I asked for them, I'll not have 'em now. Do you hear me, I say, Arthur?
What are you reading there?"
Arthur was reading the page that was doubled down in the book, which
Maurice had left along with the raspberry-plants upon the wall. Arthur
read aloud as follows:--
(Monthly Magazine, Dec. '98, p. 421.)
"There is a sort of strawberry cultivated at Jersey, which is almost
covered with seaweed in the winter, in like manner as many plants in
England are with litter from the stable. These strawberries are usually
of the largeness of a middle-sized apricot, and the flavour is
particularly grateful. In Jersey and Guernsey, situate scarcely one
degree farther south than Cornwall, all kinds of fruit, pulse, and
vegetables are produced in their seasons a fortnight or three weeks
sooner than in England, even on the southern shores; and snow will
scarcely remain twenty-four hours on the earth. Although this may be
attributed to these islands being surrounded with a salt, and
consequently a moist atmosphere, yet the ashes (seaweed ashes) made use
of as manure, may also have their portion of influence."*
*It is necessary to observe that this experiment has never been actually
tried upon raspberry-plants.
"And here," continued Arthur, "is something written with a pencil, on a
slip of paper, and it is Maurice's writing. I will read it to you.
"'When I read in this book what is said about the strawberries growing as
large as apricots, after they had been covered over with seaweed, I
thought that perhaps seaweed ashes might be good for my father's
raspberries; and I asked him if he would give me leave to try them. He
gave me leave, and I went directly and gathered together some seaweed
that had been cast on shore; and I dried it, and burned it, and then I
manured the raspberries with it, and the year afterwards the raspberries
grew to the size that you have seen. Now, the reason I tell you this is,
first, that you may know how to manage your raspberries, and next,
because I remember you looked very grave, as if you were not pleased with
my father, Mr. Grant, when he told you that the way by which he came by
his Brobdingnag raspberries was a secret. Perhaps this was the thing
that has made you so angry with us all; for you never have come to see
father since that evening. Now I have told you all I know; and so I hope
you will not be angry with us any longer.'"
Mr. Oakly was much pleased by this openness, and said, "Why now, Arthur,
this is something like, this is telling one the thing one wants to know,
without fine speeches. This is like an Englishman more than a Scotchman.
Pray, Arthur, do you know whether your friend Maurice was born in England
or in Scotland?"
"No, indeed, sir, I don't know--I never asked--I did not think it
signified. All I know is, that wherever he was born, he is VERY good.
Look, papa, my tulip is blowing."
"Upon my word," said his father, "this will be a beautiful tulip!"
"It was given to me by Maurice."
"And did you give him nothing for it?" was the father's inquiry.
"Nothing in the world; and he gave it to me just at the time when he had
good cause to be angry with me, just when I had broken his bell-glass."
"I have a great mind to let you play together again," said Arthur's
"Oh, if you would," cried Arthur, clapping his hands, "how happy we
should be! Do you know, father, I have often sat for an hour at a time
up in that crab-tree, looking at Maurice at work in his garden, and
wishing that I was at work with him."
Here Arthur was interrupted by the attorney, who came to ask Mr. Oakly
some question about the lawsuit concerning the plum-tree. Oakly showed
him Maurice's letter; and to Arthur's extreme astonishment, the attorney
had no sooner read it, than he exclaimed, "What an artful little
gentleman this is! I never, in the course of all my practice, met with
anything better. Why, this is the most cunning letter I ever read."
"Where's the cunning?" said Oakly, and he put on his spectacles.
"My good sir, don't you see, that all this stuff about Brobdingnag
raspberries is to ward off your suit about the plum-tree? They know--
that is, Mr. Grant, who is sharp enough, knows--that he will be worsted
in that suit; that he must, in short, pay you a good round sum for
damages, if it goes on--"
"Damages!" said Oakly, staring round him at the plum-tree; "but I don't
know what you mean. I mean nothing but what's honest. I don't mean to
ask for any good round sum; for the plum-tree has done me no great harm
by coming into my garden; but only I don't choose it should come there
without my leave."
"Well, well," said the attorney, "I understand all that; but what I want
to make you, Mr. Oakly, understand, is, that this Grant and his son only
want to make up matters with you, and prevent the thing's coming to a
fair trial, by sending on, in this underhand sort of way, a bribe of a
"A bribe!" exclaimed Oakly, "I never took a bribe, and I never will";
and, with sudden indignation, he pulled the raspberry plants from the
ground in which Arthur was planting them; and he threw them over the wall
into Grant's garden.
Maurice had put his tulip, which was beginning to blow, in a flower-pot,
on the top of the wall, in hopes that his friend Arthur would see it from
day to day. Alas! he knew not in what a dangerous situation he had
placed it. One of his own Brobdingnag raspberry-plants, swung by the
angry arm of Oakly, struck off the head of his precious tulip! Arthur,
who was full of the thought of convincing his father that the attorney
was mistaken in his judgment of poor Maurice, did not observe the fall of
The next day, when Maurice saw his raspberry-plants scattered upon the
ground, and his favourite tulip broken, he was in much astonishment, and,
for some moments, angry; but anger, with him, never lasted long. He was
convinced that all this must be owing to some accident or mistake. He
could not believe that anyone could be so malicious as to injure him on
purpose--"And even if they did all this on purpose to vex me," said he to
himself, "the best thing I can do, is, not to let it vex me. Forgive and
forget." This temper of mind Maurice was more happy in enjoying than he
could have been made, without it, by the possession of all the tulips in
Tulips were, at this time, things of great consequence in the estimation
of the country several miles round where Maurice and Arthur lived. There
was a florist's feast to be held at the neighbouring town, at which a
prize of a handsome set of gardening-tools was to be given to the person
who could produce the finest flower of its kind. A tulip was the flower
which was thought the finest the preceding year, and consequently numbers
of people afterwards endeavoured to procure tulip-roots, in hopes of
obtaining the prize this year. Arthur's tulip was beautiful. As he
examined it from day to day, and every day thought it improving, he
longed to thank his friend Maurice for it; and he often mounted into his
crab-tree, to look into Maurice's garden, in hopes of seeing his tulip
also in full bloom and beauty. He never could see it.
The day of the florist's feast arrived, and Oakly went with his son and
the fine tulip to the place of meeting. It was on a spacious bowling-
green. All the flowers of various sorts were ranged upon a terrace at
the upper end of the bowling-green; and, amongst all this gay variety,
the tulip which Maurice had given to Arthur appeared conspicuously
beautiful. To the owner of this tulip the prize was adjudged; and, as
the handsome garden-tools were delivered to Arthur, he heard a well known
voice wish him joy. He turned, looked about him, and saw his friend
"But, Maurice, where is your own tulip?" said Mr. Oakly; "I thought,
Arthur, you told me that he kept one for himself."
"So I did," said Maurice; "but somebody (I suppose by accident) broke
"Somebody! who?" cried Arthur and Mr. Oakly at once.
"Somebody who threw the raspberry-plants back again over the wall,"
"That was me--that somebody was me," said Oakly. "I scorn to deny it;
but I did not intend to break your tulip, Maurice."
"Dear Maurice," said Arthur--"you know I may call him dear Maurice--now
you are by, papa; here are all the garden-tools; take them, and welcome."
"Not one of them," said Maurice, drawing back.
"Offer them to the father--offer them to Mr. Grant," whispered Oakly;
"he'll take them, I'll answer for it."
Mr. Oakly was mistaken: the father would not accept of the tools. Mr.
Oakly stood surprised--"Certainly," said he to himself, "this cannot be
such a miser as I took him for"; and he walked immediately up to Grant,
and bluntly said to him, "Mr. Grant, your son has behaved very handsomely
to my son; and you seem to be glad of it."
"To be sure I am," said Grant
"Which," continued Oakly, "gives me a better opinion of you than ever I
had before--I mean, than ever I had since the day you sent me the shabby
answer about those foolish, what d'ye call em, cursed raspberries."
"What shabby answer?" said Grant, with surprise; and Oakly repeated
exactly the message which he received; and Grant declared that he never
sent any such message. He repeated exactly the answer which he really
sent, and Oakly immediately stretched out his hand to him, saying "I
believe you: no more need be said. I'm only sorry I did not ask you
about this four months ago; and so I should have done if you had not been
a Scotchman. Till now, I never rightly liked a Scotchman. We may thank
this good little fellow," continued he, turning to Maurice, "for our
coming at last to a right understanding. There was no holding out
against his good nature. I'm sure, from the bottom of my heart, I'm
sorry I broke his tulip. Shake hands, boys; I'm glad to see you, Arthur,
look so happy again, and hope Mr. Grant will forgive--"
"Oh, forgive and forget," said Grant and his son at the same moment. And
from this time forward the two families lived in friendship with each
Oakly laughed at his own folly, in having been persuaded to go to law
about the plum-tree; and he, in process of time, so completely conquered
his early prejudice against Scotchmen, that he and Grant became partners
in business. Mr. Grant's book-LARNING and knowledge of arithmetic he
found highly useful to him; and he, on his side, possessed a great many
active, good qualities, which became serviceable to his partner.
The two boys rejoiced in this family union; and Arthur often declared
that they owed all their happiness to Maurice's favourite maxim, "Forgive
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT; or TWO STRINGS TO YOUR BOW.
Mr. Gresham, a Bristol merchant, who had, by honourable industry and
economy, accumulated a considerable fortune, retired from business to a
new house which he had built upon the Downs, near Clifton. Mr. Gresham,
however, did not imagine that a new house alone could make him happy. He
did not propose to live in idleness and extravagance; for such a life
would have been equally incompatible with his habits and his principles.
He was fond of children; and as he had no sons, he determined to adopt
one of his relations. He had two nephews, and he invited both of them to
his house, that he might have an opportunity of judging of their
dispositions, and of the habits which they had acquired.
Hal and Benjamin, Mr. Gresham's nephews, were about ten years old. They
had been educated very differently. Hal was the son of the elder branch
of the family. His father was a gentleman, who spent rather more than he
could afford; and Hal, from the example of the servants in his father's
family, with whom he had passed the first years of his childhood, learned
to waste more of everything than he used. He had been told that
"gentlemen should be above being careful and saving": and he had
unfortunately imbibed a notion that extravagance was the sign of a
generous disposition, and economy of an avaricious one.
Benjamin, on the contrary, had been taught habits of care and foresight.
His father had but a very small fortune, and was anxious that his son
should early learn that economy ensures independence, and sometimes puts
it in the power of those who are not very rich to be very generous.
The morning after these two boys arrived at their uncle's they were eager
to see all the rooms in the house. Mr. Gresham accompanied them, and
attended to their remarks and exclamations.
"Oh! what an excellent motto!" exclaimed Ben, when he read the following
words, which were written in large characters over the chimney-piece, in
his uncle's spacious kitchen--
"WASTE NOT, WANT NOT."
"'Waste not, want not!'" repeated his cousin Hal, in rather a
contemptuous tone; "I think it looks stingy to servants; and no
gentleman's servants, cooks especially, would like to have such a mean
motto always staring them in the face." Ben, who was not so conversant
as his cousin in the ways of cooks and gentlemen's servants, made no
reply to these observations.
Mr. Gresham was called away whilst his nephews were looking at the other
rooms in the house. Some time afterwards, he heard their voices in the
"Boys," said he, "what are you doing there?"
"Nothing, sir," said Hal; "you were called away from us and we did not
know which way to go."
"And have you nothing to do?" said Mr. Gresham.
"No, sir, nothing," answered Hal, in a careless tone, like one who was
well content with the state of habitual idleness. "No, sir, nothing!"
replied Ben, in a voice of lamentation.
"Come," said Mr. Gresham, "if you have nothing to do, lads, will you
unpack those two parcels for me?"
The two parcels were exactly alike, both of them well tied up with good
whip cord. Ben took his parcel to a table, and, after breaking off the
sealing wax, began carefully to examine the knot, and then to untie it.
Hal stood still, exactly in the spot where the parcel was put into his
hands, and tried first at one corner, and then at another, to pull the
string off by force. "I wish these people wouldn't tie up their parcels
so tight, as if they were never to be undone," cried he, as he tugged at
the cord; and he pulled the knot closer instead of loosening it.
"Ben! why, how did you get yours undone, man? what's in your parcel?--I
wonder what is in mine! I wish I could get this string off--I must cut
"Oh, no," said Ben, who now had undone the last knot of his parcel, and
who drew out the length of string with exultation, "don't cut it, Hal,--
look what a nice cord this is, and yours is the same: it's a pity to cut
it; 'WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!' you know."
"Pooh!" said Hal, "what signifies a bit of packthread?"
"It is whip cord," said Ben.
"Well, whip cord! what signifies a bit of whip cord! you can get a bit of
whip cord twice as long as that for twopence; and who cares for twopence!
Not I, for one! so here it goes," cried Hal, drawing out his knife; and
he cut the cord, precipitately, in sundry places.
"Lads! have you undone the parcels for me?" said Mr. Gresham, opening the
parlour door as he spoke.
"Yes, sir," cried Hal; and he dragged off his half cut, half entangled
string--"here's the parcel." "And here's my parcel, uncle; and here's
the string," said Ben.
"You may keep the string for your pains," said Mr. Gresham.
"Thank you, sir," said Ben: "what an excellent whip cord it is!"
"And you, Hal," continued Mr. Gresham, "you may keep your string too, if
it will be of any use to you."
"It will be of no use to me, thank you, sir," said Hal.
"No, I am afraid not, if this be it," said his uncle, taking up the
jagged knotted remains of Hal's cord.
A few days after this, Mr. Gresham gave to each of his nephews a new top.
"But how's this?" said Hal; "these tops have no strings; what shall we do
"I have a string that will do very well for mine," said Ben; and he
pulled out of his pocket the fine, long, smooth string, which had tied up
the parcel. With this he soon set up his top, which spun admirably well.
"Oh, how I wish I had but a string," said Hal. "What shall I do for a
string? I'll tell you what, I can use the string that goes round my
"But then," said Ben, "what will you do for a hat-band?"
"I'll manage to do without one," said Hal, and he took the string of his
hat for his top. It soon was worn through, and he split his top by
driving the pea too tightly into it. His cousin Ben let him set up his
the next day; but Hal was not more fortunate or more careful when he
meddled with other people's things than when he managed his own. He had
scarcely played half an hour before he split it, by driving the peg too
Ben bore this misfortune with good humour. "Come," said he, "it can't be
helped; but give me the string because THAT may still be of use for
It happened some time afterwards that a lady, who had been intimately
acquainted with Hal's mother at Bath--that is to say, who had frequently
met her at the card-table during the winter--now arrived at Clifton. She
was informed by his mother that Hal was at Mr. Gresham's, and her sons,
who were FRIENDS of his, came to see him, and invited him to spend the
next day with them.
Hal joyfully accepted the invitation. He was always glad to go out to
dine, because it gave him something to do, something to think of, or at
least something to say. Besides this, he had been educated to think it
was a fine thing to visit fine people; and Lady Diana Sweepstakes (for
that was the name of his mother's acquaintance) was a very fine lady, and
her two sons intended to be very great gentlemen. He was in a prodigious
hurry when these young gentlemen knocked at his uncle's door the next
day; but just as he got to the hall door, little Patty called to him from
the top of the stairs, and told him that he had dropped his pocket-
"Pick it up, then, and bring it to me, quick, can't you, child," cried
Hal, "for Lady Di's sons are waiting for me?"
Little Patty did not know anything about Lady Di's sons; but as she was
very good-natured, and saw that her cousin Hal was, for some reason or
other, in a desperate hurry, she ran downstairs as fast as she possibly
could towards the landing-place, where the handkerchief lay; but, alas!
before she reached the handkerchief, she fell, rolling down a whole
flight of stairs, and when her fall was at last stopped by the landing-
place, she did not cry out, she writhed, as if she was in great pain.
"Where are you hurt, my love?" said Mr. Gresham, who came instantly, on
hearing the noise of someone falling downstairs. "Where are you hurt, my
"Here, papa," said the little girl, touching her ankle, which she had
decently covered with her gown. "I believe I am hurt here, but not
much," added she, trying to rise; "only it hurts me when I move."
"I'll carry you; don't move then," said her father, and he took her up in
"My shoe! I've lost one of my shoes," said she.
Ben looked for it upon the stairs, and he found it sticking in a loop of
whip cord, which was entangled round one of the bannisters. When this
cord was drawn forth, it appeared that it was the very same jagged,
entangled piece which Hal had pulled off his parcel. He had diverted
himself with running up and downstairs, whipping the bannisters with it,
as he thought he could convert it to no better use; and, with his usual
carelessness, he at last left it hanging just where he happened to throw
it when the dinner bell rang. Poor little Patty's ankle was terribly
strained, and Hal reproached himself for his folly, and would have
reproached himself longer, perhaps, if Lady Di Sweepstakes' sons had not
hurried him away.
In the evening, Patty could not run about as she used to do; but she sat
upon the sofa, and she said, that she did not feel the pain of her ankle
SO MUCH, whilst Ben was so good as to play at JACK STRAWS with her.
"That's right, Ben; never be ashamed of being good-natured to those who
are younger and weaker than yourself," said his uncle, smiling at seeing
him produce his whip cord, to indulge his little cousin with a game at
her favourite cat's cradle. "I shall not think you one bit less manly,
because I see you playing at cat's cradle with a little child of six
Hal, however, was not precisely of his uncle's opinion: for when he
returned in the evening, and saw Ben playing with his little cousin, he
could not help smiling contemptuously, and asked if he had been playing
at cat's cradle all night. In a heedless manner he made some inquiries
after Patty's sprained ankle, and then he ran on to tell all the news he
had heard at Lady Diana Sweepstakes'--news which he thought would make
him appear a person of vast importance.
"Do you know, uncle--do you know, Ben," said he--"there's to be the most
FAMOUS doings that ever were heard of upon the Downs here, the first day
of next month, which will be in a fortnight, thank my stars! I wish the
fortnight was over; I shall think of nothing else, I know, till that
happy day comes!"
Mr. Gresham inquired why the first of September was to be so much happier
than any other day in the year.
"Why," replied Hal, "Lady Diana Sweepstakes, you know, is a famous rider,
and archer, and ALL THAT--"
"Very likely," said Mr. Gresham, soberly; "but what then?"
"Dear uncle!" cried Hal, "but you shall hear. There's to be a race upon
the Downs on the first of September, and after the race, there's to be an
archery meeting for the ladies, and Lady Diana Sweepstakes is to be one
of THEM. And after the ladies have done shooting--now, Ben, comes the
best part of it! we boys are to have our turn, and Lady Di is to give a
prize to the best marksman amongst us, of a very handsome bow and arrow!
Do you know, I've been practising already, and I'll show you, to-morrow,
as soon as it comes home, the FAMOUS bow and arrow that Lady Diana has
given me; but, perhaps," added he, with a scornful laugh, "you like a
cat's cradle better than a bow and arrow."
Ben made no reply to this taunt at the moment; but the next day, when
Hal's new bow and arrow came home, he convinced him that he knew how to
use it very well.
"Ben," said his uncle, "you seem to be a good marksman, though you have
not boasted of yourself. I'll give you a bow and arrow, and, perhaps, if
you practise, you may make yourself an archer before the first of
September; and, in the meantime, you will not wish the fortnight to be
over, for you will have something to do."
"Oh, sir," interrupted Hal, "but if you mean that Ben should put in for
the prize, he must have a uniform."
"Why MUST he?" said Mr. Gresham.
"Why, sir, because everybody has--I mean everybody that's anybody; and
Lady Diana was talking about the uniform all dinner time, and it's
settled, all about it, except the buttons: the young Sweepstakes are to
get theirs made first for patterns--they are to be white, faced with
green, and they'll look very handsome, I'm sure; and I shall write to
mamma to-night, as Lady Diana bid me, about mine; and I shall tell her to
be sure to answer my letter, without fail, by return of post; and then,
if mamma makes no objection, which I know she won't, because she never
thinks much about expense, and ALL THAT--then I shall bespeak my uniform,
and get it made by the same tailor that makes for Lady Diana and the
"Mercy upon us!" said Mr. Gresham, who was almost stunned by the rapid
vociferation with which this long speech about a uniform was pronounced.
"I don't pretend to understand these things," added he, with an air of
simplicity; "but we will inquire, Ben, into the necessity of the case;
and if it is necessary--or, if you think it necessary, that you shall
have a uniform--why, I'll give you one."
"YOU, uncle? Will you, INDEED?" exclaimed Hal, with amazement painted in
his countenance. "Well, that's the last thing in the world I should have
expected! You are not at all the sort of person I should have thought
would care about a uniform; and now I should have supposed you'd have
thought it extravagant to have a coat on purpose only for one day; and
I'm sure Lady Diana Sweepstakes thought as I do; for when I told her of
that motto over your kitchen chimney, 'WASTE NOT, WANT NOT,' she laughed,
and said that I had better not talk to you about uniforms, and that my
mother was the proper person to write to about my uniform: but I'll tell
Lady Diana, uncle, how good you are, and how much she was mistaken."
"Take care how you do that," said Mr. Gresham: "for perhaps the lady was
"Nay, did not you say, just now, you would give poor Ben a uniform?"
"I said I would, if he thought it necessary to have one."
"Oh, I'll answer for it, he'll think it necessary, " said Hal, laughing,
"because it is necessary."
"Allow him, at least, to judge for himself," said Mr. Gresham.
"My dear uncle, but I assure you," said Hal, earnestly, "there's no
judging about the matter, because really, upon my word, Lady Diana said
distinctly, that her sons were to have uniforms, white faced with green,
and a green and white cockade in their hats."
"May be so," said Mr. Gresham, still with the same look of calm
simplicity; "put on your hats, boys, and come with me. I know a
gentleman whose sons are to be at this archery meeting, and we will
inquire into all the particulars from him. Then, after we have seen him
(it is not eleven o'clock yet) we shall have time enough to walk on to
Bristol, and choose the cloth for Ben's uniform, if it is necessary."
"I cannot tell what to make of all he says," whispered Hal, as he reached
down his hat; "do you think, Ben, he means to give you this uniform, or
"I think," said Ben, "that he means to give me one, if it is necessary;
or, as he said, if I think it is necessary."
"And that to be sure you will; won't you? or else you'll be a great fool,
I know, after all I've told you. How can anyone in the world know so
much about the matter as I, who have dined with Lady Diana Sweepstakes
but yesterday, and heard all about it from beginning to end? And as for
this gentleman that we are going to, I'm sure, if he knows anything about
the matter, he'll say exactly the same as I do."
"We shall hear," said Ben, with a degree of composure which Hal could by
no means comprehend when a uniform was in question.
The gentleman upon whom Mr. Gresham called had three sons, who were all
to be at this archery meeting; and they unanimously assured him, in the
presence of Hal and Ben, that they had never thought of buying uniforms
for this grand occasion, and that, amongst the number of their
acquaintance, they knew of but three boys whose friends intended to be at
such an UNNECESSARY expense. Hal stood amazed.
"Such are the varieties of opinion upon all the grand affairs of life,"
said Mr. Gresham, looking at his nephews. "What amongst one set of
people you hear asserted to be absolutely necessary, you will hear from
another set of people is quite unnecessary. All that can be done, my
dear boys, in these difficult cases, is to judge for yourselves, which
opinions, and which people, are the most reasonable."
Hal, who had been more accustomed to think of what was fashionable, than
of what was reasonable, without at all considering the good sense of what
his uncle said to him, replied, with childish petulance, "Indeed, sir, I
don't know what other people think; but I only know what Lady Diana
Sweepstakes said." The name of Lady Diana Sweepstakes, Hal thought, must
impress all present with respect; he was highly astonished, when, as he
looked round, he saw a smile of contempt upon everyone's countenance:
and he was yet further bewildered, when he heard her spoken of as a very
silly, extravagant, ridiculous woman, whose opinion no prudent person
would ask upon any subject, and whose example was to be shunned, instead
of being imitated.
"Ay, my dear Hal," said his uncle, smiling at his look of amazement,
"these are some of the things that young people must learn from
experience. All the world do not agree in opinion about characters: you
will hear the same person admired in one company, and blamed in another;
so that we must still come round to the same point, 'Judge for
Hal's thoughts were, however, at present too full of the uniform to allow
his judgment to act with perfect impartiality. As soon as their visit
was over, and all the time they walked down the hill from Prince's
Building's towards Bristol, he continued to repeat nearly the same
arguments, which he had formerly used, respecting necessity, the uniform,
and Lady Diana Sweepstakes. To all this Mr. Gresham made no reply, and
longer had the young gentleman expatiated upon the subject, which had so
strongly seized upon his imagination, had not his senses been forcibly
assailed at this instant by the delicious odours and tempting sight of
certain cakes and jellies in a pastrycook's shop. "Oh, uncle," said he,
as his uncle was going to turn the corner to pursue the road to Bristol,
"look at those jellies!" pointing to a confectioner's shop. "I must buy
some of those good things, for I have got some halfpence in my pocket."
"Your having halfpence in your pocket is an excellent reason for eating,"
said Mr. Gresham, smiling.
"But I really am hungry," said Hal; "you know, uncle, it is a good while
His uncle, who was desirous to see his nephews act without restraint,
that he might judge their characters, bid them do as they pleased.
"Come, then, Ben, if you've any halfpence in your pocket."
"I'm not hungry," said Ben.
"I suppose THAT means that you've no halfpence," said Hal, laughing, with
the look of superiority which he had been taught to think the RICH might
assume towards those who were convicted either of poverty or economy.
"Waste not, want not," said Ben to himself. Contrary to his cousin's
surmise, he happened to have two pennyworth of halfpence actually in his
At the very moment Hal stepped into the pastrycook's shop, a poor,
industrious man, with a wooden leg, who usually sweeps the dirty corner
of the walk which turns at this spot to the Wells, held his hat to Ben,
who, after glancing his eye at the petitioner's well worn broom,
instantly produced his twopence. "I wish I had more halfpence for you,
my good man," said he; "but I've only twopence."
Hal came out of Mr. Millar's, the confectioner's shop, with a hatful of
cakes in his hand. Mr. Millar's dog was sitting on the flags before the
door, and he looked up with a wistful, begging eye at Hal, who was eating
a queen cake. Hal, who was wasteful even in his good-nature, threw a
whole queen cake to the dog, who swallowed it for a single mouthful.
"There goes twopence in the form of a queen cake," said Mr. Gresham.
Hal next offered some of his cakes to his uncle and cousin; but they
thanked him, and refused to eat any, because, they said, they were not
hungry; so he ate and ate as he walked along, till at last he stopped,
and said, "This bun tastes so bad after the queen cakes, I can't bear
it!" and he was going to fling it from him into the river.
"Oh, it is a pity to waste that good bun; we may be glad of it yet," said
Ben; "give it me rather than throw it away."
"Why, I thought you said you were not hungry," said Hal.
"True, I am not hungry now; but that is no reason why I should never be
"Well, there is the cake for you. Take it; for it has made me sick, and
I don't care what becomes of it."
Ben folded the refuse bit of his cousin's bun in a piece of paper, and
put it into his pocket.
"I'm beginning to be exceeding tired or sick or something," said Hal;
"and as there is a stand of coaches somewhere hereabouts, had not we
better take a coach, instead of walking all the way to Bristol?"
"For a stout archer," said Mr. Gresham, "you are more easily tired than
one might have expected. However, with all my heart, let us take a
coach, for Ben asked me to show him the cathedral yesterday; and I
believe I should find it rather too much for me to walk so far, though I
am not sick with eating good things."
"THE CATHEDRAL!" said Hal, after he had been seated in the coach about a
quarter of an hour, and had somewhat recovered from his sickness--"the
cathedral! Why, are we only going to Bristol to see the cathedral? I
thought we came out to see about a uniform."
There was a dulness and melancholy kind of stupidity in Hal's countenance
as he pronounced these words, like one wakening from a dream, which made
both his uncle and his cousin burst out a-laughing.
"Why," said Hal, who was now piqued, "I'm sure you did say, uncle, you
would go to Mr. Hall's to choose the cloth for the uniform."
"Very true, and so I will," said Mr. Gresham; "but we need not make a
whole morning's work, need we, of looking at a piece of cloth? Cannot we
see a uniform and a cathedral both in one morning?"
They went first to the cathedral. Hal's head was too full of the uniform
to take any notice of the painted window, which immediately caught Ben's
embarrassed attention. He looked at the large stained figures on the
Gothic window, and he observed their coloured shadows on the floor and
Mr. Gresham, who perceived that he was eager on all subjects to gain
information, took this opportunity of telling him several things about
the lost art of painting on glass, Gothic arches, etc., which Hal thought
"Come! come! we shall be late indeed," said Hal; "surely you've looked
long enough, Ben, at this blue and red window."
"I'm only thinking about these coloured shadows," said Ben.
"I can show you when we go home, Ben," said his uncle, "an entertaining
paper upon such shadows."*
*Vide "Priestley's History of Vision," chapter on coloured shadows.
"Hark!" cried Ben, "did you hear that noise?" They all listened; and
they heard a bird singing in the cathedral.
"It's our old robin, sir," said the lad who had opened the cathedral door
"Yes," said Mr. Gresham, "there he is, boys--look--perched upon the
organ; he often sits there, and sings, whilst the organ is playing."
"And," continued the lad who showed the cathedral, "he has lived here
these many, many winters. They say he is fifteen years old; and he is so
tame, poor fellow! that if I had a bit of bread he'd come down and feed
in my hand."
"I've a bit of bun here," cried Ben, joyfully, producing the remains of
the bun which Hal but an hour before would have thrown away. "Pray, let
us see the poor robin eat out of your hand."
The lad crumbled the bun, and called to the robin, who fluttered and
chirped, and seemed rejoiced at the sight of the bread; but yet he did
not come down from his pinnacle on the organ.
"He is afraid of US," said Ben; "he is not used to eat before strangers,
"Ah, no, sir," said the young man, with a deep sigh, "that is not the
thing. He is used enough to eat afore company. Time was he'd have come
down for me before ever so many fine folks, and have eat his crumbs out
of my hand, at my first call; but, poor fellow! it's not his fault now.
He does not know me now, sir, since my accident, because of this great
black patch." The young man put his hand to his right eye, which was
covered with a huge black patch. Ben asked what ACCIDENT he meant; and
the lad told him that, but a few weeks ago, he had lost the sight of his
eye by the stroke of a stone, which reached him as he was passing under
the rocks at Clifton unluckily when the workmen were blasting. "I don't
mind so much for myself, sir," said the lad; "but I can't work so well
now, as I used to do before my accident, for my old mother, who has had a
STROKE of the palsy; and I've a many little brothers and sisters not well
able yet to get their own livelihood, though they be as willing as
willing can be."
"Where does your mother live?" said Mr. Gresham.
"Hard by, sir, just close to the church here: it was HER that always had
the showing of it to strangers, till she lost the use of her poor limbs."
"Shall we, may we, uncle, go that way? This is the house; is not it?"
said Ben, when they went out of the cathedral.
They went into the house; it was rather a hovel than a house; but, poor
as it was, it was as neat as misery could make it. The old woman was
sitting up in her wretched bed, winding worsted; four meagre, ill-
clothed, pale children were all busy, some of them sticking pins in paper
for the pin-maker, and others sorting rags for the paper-maker.
"What a horrid place it is!" said Hal, sighing; "I did not know there
were such shocking places in the world. I've often seen terrible-
looking, tumble-down places, as we drove through the town in mamma's
carriage; but then I did not know who lived in them; and I never saw the
inside of any of them. It is very dreadful, indeed, to think that people
are forced to live in this way. I wish mamma would send me some more
pocket-money, that I might do something for them. I had half a crown;
but," continued he, feeling in his pockets, "I'm afraid I spent the last
shilling of it this morning upon those cakes that made me sick. I wish I
had my shilling now, I'd give it to these poor people."
Ben, though he was all this time silent, was as sorry as his talkative
cousin for all these poor people. But there was some difference between
the sorrow of these two boys.
Hal, after he was again seated in the hackney-coach, and had rattled
through the busy streets of Bristol, for a few minutes quite forgot the
spectacle of misery which he had seen; and the gay shops in Wine Street
and the idea of his green and white uniform wholly occupied his
"Now for our uniforms!" cried he, as he jumped eagerly out of the coach,
when his uncle stopped at the woollen-draper's door.
"Uncle," said Ben, stopping Mr. Gresham before he got out of the
carriage, "I don't think a uniform is at all necessary for me. I'm very
much obliged to you; but I would rather not have one. I have a very good
coat, and I think it would be waste."
"Well, let me get out of the carriage, and we will see about it," said
Mr. Gresham; "perhaps the sight of the beautiful green and white cloth,
and the epaulettes (have you ever considered the epaulettes?) may tempt
you to change your mind."
"Oh, no," said Ben, laughing; "I shall not change my mind,"
The green cloth, and the white cloth, and the epaulettes were produced,
to Hal's infinite satisfaction. His uncle took up a pen, and calculated
for a few minutes; then, showing the back of the letter, upon which he
was writing, to his nephews, "Cast up these sums, boys," said he, "and
tell me whether I am right."
"Ben, do you do it," said Hal, a little embarrassed; "I am not quick at
figures." Ben WAS, and he went over his uncle's calculation very
"It is right, is it?" said Mr. Gresham.
"Yes, sir, quite right."
"Then, by this calculation, I find I could, for less than half the money
your uniforms would cost, purchase for each of you boys a warm great-
coat, which you will want, I have a notion, this winter upon the Downs."
"Oh, sir," said Hal, with an alarmed look; "but it is not winter YET; it
is not cold weather YET. We sha'n't want greatcoats YET."
"Don't you remember how cold we were, Hal, the day before yesterday, in
that sharp wind, when we were flying our kite upon the Downs? and winter
will come, though it is not come yet--I am sure, I should like to have a
good warm great-coat very much."
Mr. Gresham took six guineas out of his purse and he placed three of them
before Hal, and three before Ben. "Young gentlemen," said he, "I believe
your uniforms would come to about three guineas a piece. Now I will lay
out this money for you just as you please. Hal, what say you?"
"Why, sir," said Hal, "a great-coat is a good thing, to be sure; and
then, after the great-coat, as you said it would only cost half as much
as the uniform, there would be some money to spare, would not there?"
"Yes, my dear, about five-and-twenty shillings."
"Five-and-twenty shillings?--I could buy and do a great many things, to
be sure, with five-and-twenty shillings; but then, THE THING IS, I must
go without the uniform, if I have the great-coat."
"Certainly," said his uncle.
"Ah!" said Hal, sighing, as he looked at the epaulettes, "uncle, if you
would not be displeased, if I choose the uniform--"
"I shall not be displeased at your choosing whatever you like best," said
"Well, then, thank you, sir," said Hal; "I think I had better have the
uniform, because, if I have not the uniform, now, directly, it will be of
no use to me, as the archery meeting is the week after next, you know;
and, as to the great-coat, perhaps between this time and the VERY cold
weather, which, perhaps, won't be till Christmas, papa will buy a great-
coat for me; and I'll ask mamma to give me some pocket money to give
away, and she will, perhaps." To all this conclusive, conditional
reasoning, which depended upon the word PERHAPS, three times repeated,
Mr. Gresham made no reply; but he immediately bought the uniform for Hal,
and desired that it should be sent to Lady Diana Sweepstakes' son's
tailor, to be made up. The measure of Hal's happiness was now complete.
"And how am I to lay out the three guineas for you, Ben?" said Mr.
Gresham; "speak, what do you wish for first?"
"A great-coat, uncle, if you please." Gresham bought the coat; and,
after it was paid for, five-and-twenty shillings of Ben's three guineas
"What next, my boy?" said his uncle.
"Arrows, uncle, if you please; three arrows."
"My dear, I promised you a bow and arrows."
"No, uncle, you only said a bow."
"Well, I meant a bow and arrows. I'm glad you are so exact, however. It
is better to claim less than more than what is promised. The three
arrows you shall have. But go on; how shall I dispose of these five-and-
twenty shillings for you?"
"In clothes, if you will be so good, uncle, for that poor boy who has the
great black patch on his eye."
"I always believed," said Mr. Gresham, shaking hands with Ben, "that
economy and generosity were the best friends, instead of being enemies,
as some silly, extravagant people would have us think them. Choose the
poor, blind boy's coat, my dear nephew, and pay for it. There's no
occasion for my praising you about the matter. Your best reward is in
your own mind, child; and you want no other, or I'm mistaken. Now, jump
into the coach, boys, and let's be off. We shall be late, I'm afraid,"
continued he, as the coach drove on: "but I must let you stop, Ben, with
your goods, at the poor boy's door."
When they came to the house, Mr. Gresham opened the coach door, and Ben
jumped out with his parcel under his arm.
"Stay, stay! you must take me with you," said his pleased uncle; "I like
to see people made happy, as well as you do."
"And so do I, too," said Hal; "let me come with you. I almost wish my
uniform was not gone to the tailor's, so I do." And when he saw the look
of delight and gratitude with which the poor boy received the clothes
which Ben gave him; and when he heard the mother and children thank him,
he sighed, and said, "Well, I hope mamma will give me some more pocket
Upon his return home, however, the sight of the FAMOUS bow and arrow,
which Lady Diana Sweepstakes had sent him, recalled to his imagination
all the joys of his green and white uniform; and he no longer wished that
it had not been sent to the tailor's.
"But I don't understand, Cousin Hal," said little Patty, "why you call
this bow a FAMOUS bow. You say famous very often; and I don't know
exactly what it means; a famous uniform--famous doings. I remember you
said there are to be famous doings, the first of September, upon the
Downs. What does famous mean?"
"Oh, why, famous means--now, don't you know what famous means? It means-
-it is a word that people say--it is the fashion to say it--it means--it
means famous." Patty laughed, and said, "This does not explain it to
"No," said Hal, "nor can it be explained: if you don't understand it,
that's not my fault. Everybody but little children, I suppose,
understands it; but there's no explaining THOSE SORT of words, if you
don't TAKE THEM at once. There's to be famous doings upon the Downs, the
first of September; that is grand, fine. In short, what does it signify
talking any longer, Patty, about the matter? Give me my bow, for I must
go out upon the Downs and practise."
Ben accompanied him with the bow and the three arrows which his uncle had
now given to him; and, every day, these two boys went out upon the Downs
and practised shooting with indefatigable perseverance. Where equal
pains are taken, success is usually found to be pretty nearly equal. Our
two archers, by constant practice, became expert marksmen; and before the
day of trial, they were so exactly matched in point of dexterity, that it
was scarcely possible to decide which was superior.
The long expected lst of September at length arrived. "What sort of a
day is it?" was the first question that was asked by Hal and Ben the
moment that they wakened. The sun shone bright, but there was a sharp
and high wind. "Ha!" said Ben, "I shall be glad of my good great-coat
to-day; for I've a notion it will be rather cold upon the Downs,
especially when we are standing still, as we must, whilst all the people
"Oh, never mind! I don't think I shall feel it cold at all," said Hal,
as he dressed himself in his new green and white uniform; and he viewed
himself with much complacency.
"Good morning to you, uncle; how do you do?" said he, in a voice of
exultation, when he entered the breakfast-room. How do you do? seemed
rather to mean, "How do you like me in my uniform?" And his uncle's
cool, "Very well, I thank you, Hal," disappointed him, as it seemed only
to say, "Your uniform makes no difference in my opinion of you."
Even little Patty went on eating her breakfast much as usual, and talked
of the pleasure of walking with her father to the Downs, and of all the
little things which interested her; so that Hal's epaulettes were not the
principal object in anyone's imagination but his own.
"Papa," said Patty, "as we go up the hill where there is so much red mud,
I must take care to pick my way nicely; and I must hold up my frock, as
you desired me, and, perhaps, you will be so good, if I am not
troublesome, to lift me over the very bad place where are no stepping-
stones. My ankle is entirely well, and I'm glad of that, or else I
should not be able to walk so far as the Downs. How good you were to me,
Ben, when I was in pain the day I sprained my ankle! You played at jack
straws and at cat's-cradle with me. Oh, that puts me in mind--here are
your gloves which I asked you that night to let me mend. I've been a
great while about them; but are not they not very neatly mended, papa?
Look at the sewing."
"I am not a very good judge of sewing, my dear little girl," said Mr.
Gresham, examining the work with a close and scrupulous eye; "but, in my
opinion, here is one stitch that is rather too long. The white teeth are
not quite even."
"Oh, papa, I'll take out that long tooth in a minute," said Patty,
laughing; "I did not think that you would observe it so soon."
"I would not have you trust to my blindness," said her father, stroking
her head, fondly; "I observe everything. I observe, for instance, that
you are a grateful little girl, and that you are glad to be of use to
those who have been kind to you; and for this I forgive you the long
"But it's out, it's out, papa," said Patty; "and the next time your
gloves want mending, Ben, I'll mend them better."
"They are very nice, I think," said Ben, drawing them on; "and I am much
obliged to you. I was just wishing I had a pair of gloves to keep my
fingers warm to-day, for I never can shoot well when my hands are
benumbed. Look, Hal; you know how ragged these gloves were; you said
they were good for nothing but to throw away; now look, there's not a
hole in them," said he, spreading his fingers.
"Now, is it not very extraordinary," said Hal to himself, "that they
should go on so long talking about an old pair of gloves, without saying
scarcely a word about my new uniform? Well, the young Sweepstakes and
Lady Diana will talk enough about it; that's one comfort. Is not it time
to think of setting out, sir?" said Hal to his uncle. "The company, you
know, are to meet at the Ostrich at twelve, and the race to begin at one,
and Lady Diana's horses, I know were ordered to be at the door at ten."
Mr. Stephen, the butler, here interrupted the hurrying young gentleman in
his calculations. "There's a poor lad, sir, below, with a great black
patch on his right eye, who is come from Bristol, and wants to speak a
word with the young gentlemen, if you please. I told him they were just
going out with you; but he says he won't detain them more than half a
"Show him up, show him up," said Mr. Gresham.
"But, I suppose," said Hal, with a sigh, "that Stephen mistook, when he
said the young GENTLEMEN; he only wants to see Ben, I daresay; I'm sure
he has no reason to want to see me."
"Here he comes--Oh, Ben, he is dressed in the new coat you gave him,"
whispered Hal, who was really a good-natured boy, though extravagant.
"How much better he looks than he did in the ragged coat! Ah! he looked
at you first, Ben--and well he may!"
The boy bowed, without any cringing servility, but with an open, decent
freedom in his manner, which expressed that he had been obliged, but that
he knew his young benefactor was not thinking of the obligation. He made
as little distinction as possible between his bows to the two cousins.
"As I was sent with a message, by the clerk of our parish, to Redland
chapel out on the Downs, to-day, sir," said he to Mr. Gresham, "knowing
your house lay in my way, my mother, sir, bid me call, and make bold to
offer the young gentlemen two little worsted balls that she has worked
for them," continued the lad, pulling out of his pocket two worsted balls
worked in green and orange-coloured stripes. "They are but poor things,
sir, she bid me say, to look at; but, considering she has but one hand to
work with, and that her left hand, you'll not despise 'em, we hopes." He
held the balls to Ben and Hal. "They are both alike, gentlemen," said
he. "If you'll be pleased to take 'em they're better than they look, for
they bound higher than your head. I cut the cork round for the inside
myself, which was all I could do."
"They are nice balls, indeed: we are much obliged to you," said the boys
as they received them, and they proved them immediately. The balls
struck the floor with a delightful sound, and rebounded higher than Mr.
Gresham's head. Little Patty clapped her hands joyfully. But now a
thundering double rap at the door was heard.
"The Master Sweepstakes, sir," said Stephen, "are come for Master Hal.
They say that all the young gentlemen who have archery uniforms are to
walk together, in a body, I think they say, sir; and they are to parade
along the Well Walk, they desired me to say, sir, with a drum and fife,
and so up the hill by Prince's Place, and all to go upon the Downs
together, to the place of meeting. I am not sure I'm right, sir; for
both the young gentlemen spoke at once, and the wind is very high at the
street door; so that I could not well make out all they said; but I
believe this is the sense of it."
"Yes, yes," said Hal, eagerly, "it's all right. I know that is just what
was settled the day I dined at Lady Diana's; and Lady Diana and a great
party of gentlemen are to ride--"
"Well, that is nothing to the purpose," interrupted Mr. Gresham. "Don't
keep these Master Sweepstakes waiting. Decide--do you choose to go with
them or with us?"
"Sir--uncle--sir, you know, since all the UNIFORMS agreed to go together-
"Off with you, then, Mr. Uniform, if you mean to go," said Mr. Gresham.
Hal ran downstairs in such a hurry that he forgot his bow and arrows.
Ben discovered this when he went to fetch his own; and the lad from
Bristol, who had been ordered by Mr. Gresham to eat his breakfast before
he proceeded to Redland Chapel, heard Ben talking about his cousin's bow
and arrows. "I know," said Ben, "he will be sorry not to have his bow
with him, because here are the green knots tied to it, to match his
cockade: and he said that the boys were all to carry their bows, as part
of the show."
"If you'll give me leave, sir," said the poor Bristol lad, "I shall have
plenty of time; and I'll run down to the Well Walk after the young
gentleman, and take him his bow and arrows."
"Will you? I shall be much obliged to you," said Ben; and away went the
boy with the bow that was ornamented with green ribands.
The public walk leading to the Wells was full of company. The windows of
all the houses in St. Vincent's Parade were crowded with well dressed
ladies, who were looking out in expectation of the archery procession.
Parties of gentlemen and ladies, and a motley crowd of spectators, were
seen moving backwards and forwards, under the rocks, on the opposite side
of the water. A barge, with coloured streamers flying, was waiting to
take up a party who were going upon the water. The bargemen rested upon
their oars, and gazed with broad faces of curiosity upon the busy scene
that appeared upon the public walk.
The archers and archeresses were now drawn up on the flags under the
semicircular piazza just before Mrs. Yearsley's library. A little band
of children, who had been mustered by Lady Diana Sweepstakes' SPIRITED
EXERTIONS, closed the procession. They were now all in readiness. The
drummer only waited for her ladyship's signal; and the archers' corps
only waited for her ladyship's word of command to march.
"Where are your bow and arrows, my little man?" said her ladyship to Hal,
as she reviewed her Lilliputian regiment. "You can't march, man, without
Hal had despatched a messenger for his forgotten bow, but the messenger
returned not. He looked from side to side in great distress--"Oh,
there's my bow coming, I declare!" cried he; "look, I see the bow and the
ribands. Look now, between the trees, Charles Sweepstakes, on the
Hotwell Walk; it is coming!"
"But you've kept us all waiting a confounded time," said his impatient
"It is that good-natured poor fellow from Bristol, I protest, that has
brought it me; I'm sure I don't deserve it from him," said Hal, to
himself, when he saw the lad with the black patch on his eye running,
quite out of breath, towards him, with his bow and arrows.
"Fall back, my good friend--fall back," said the military lady, as soon
as he had delivered the bow to Hal; "I mean, stand out of the way, for
your great patch cuts no figure amongst us. Don't follow so close, now,
as if you belonged to us, pray."
The poor boy had no ambition to partake the triumph; he FELL BACK as soon