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of the hurricanes that rush at times with fearful regarded a very little child, who beat a tambourine destruction across the fields and forests. Toronto is at his feet. She was not more than three years old, to be the central station; and there tabulated records a dancing creature with a bright, fair face, her yellow will be kept of all the phenomena.
hair hanging into her saucy blue eyes, from beneath An American M.D. has brought to England the the shadow of a little hat, which, old and ragged as Canadian, Alexis St Martin, who has been frequently it was, set off her childish beauty gracefully enough. mentioned in physiological works, as having a hole in In that great rushing crowd they stood alone, the his side through which the interior of his stomach man and the child, the loud world hurrying by. can be seen. The visit will doubtless be taken Bertha,' he called her; and she laughed when he advantage of by our physiologists to settle some of spoke: laughied to the passengers who stopped for a the unsettled points in the phenomena of digestion. moment to drop half-pence into her baby drum, and
shook out her pretty music in downright defiance of THE STREET-MUSICIAN.
time and tune, for which it was all the prettier. The
picture was suggestive, and it was easy to divine Who is not acquainted with the chorus of trumpets, their case; for the peculiar guardian tenderness in blowing brazen discord throughout our streets in every the eyes of the man, is an anomaly seldom observable note of the gamut simultaneously? What Londoner except in brave dogs and the fathers of motherless is ignorant of the drone of the organ, grinding solemn children. parodies of Adeste Fideles, or the Old Hundredth; or • Karl Rosen, a Switzer of one of the French canexciting a wretched monkey in Highland costume to tons. His Bertha had died among the mountains exhibit withered gambols for the behoof of a race of yonder, and left the little one behind her. No, she ragged pigmies, bent on mimicry, or lost in wonder; was not much of a care, and a great deal of comfort. or to clash his cymbals with a horrible bathos in the C'était le bon Dieu. This was all. It was a simple face of the human automaton, who awakens his martial tale enough, and their faces told it for them better ardour by mechanically expressing Partant pour la than words. The child had feasted her eyes on the Syrie, or the Marseillaise? Then there is the twang. splendours of the toy-shops-all she was like to know ing harp, which comes at twilight, discoursing bold of ‘Noël, poor little soul; she had danced in the symphonies quite innocent of theory, to plaintive joy of her innocent heart, and beaten proud 'music' vocal strains ; and the pert flute extinguishing to her favourite tunes. But the day was drawing in impossible operatic themes in a cataract of whimsical very fast; the air grew more raw and chill; the variations. On a wet and windy morning, you may street-lamps began to blink through the fog; little reckon on encountering a tempest-tossed petticoat, Bertha's feet were heavy and chill; was it mist that screaming street-ballads against wind and weather; hung in her pretty blue eyes ? and you must account yourself fortunate if the same The street-musician looks at her, stops short in afternoon you escape the ambush laid for you in the the very middle of his liveliest tune, shoulders his shape of a family fugue, alternating in startling vio- pole and his piano, lifts the little thing tenderly on lence from gruff, surly bass, to shrill, quavering treble, one arm, while the other steals from her uncertain and winding up with a chorus of juveniles, whose grasp the ponderous tambourine. She, with both only initiation into the mysteries of the joyeuse science her small hands clasped tight round his neck, and has been the melody of a 'cat's concert. In this age her cheek resting on his shoulder, forgets weariness, of competition and insincerity, no calling, however hunger, cold; her merry laugh rings out again, but humble, has escaped the general contagion ; and it quietly; and with snatches of prattle, and sighs of is pleasant now-a-days to meet with even a street- happiness, they trudge away into the cold, cloudy musician too simple for suspicion, and too candid to twilight, no unmeet parable of 'peace and good-will impose. For even here, life scatters its true poetry; | -sending up their unconscious amen to the tender and now and then, a chord of real music, the music glory of the Christmas chorus, already faintly rising, of nature and humanity, will startle us into a smile if we would but listen, in the deep heaven yonder, of pleasure, and give back to us the delight and the among the stars. glory of faith.
It was Christmas-eve. A thick, heavy fog was shortening the brief light of the late December day,
INDIGENT GENTLEWOMEN OF SCOTLAND. and mulcting the pleasure-seekers of a full hour of It will be readily admitted that there is no sort of their first holiday.' The fog was as cold as snow, persons with greater claims upon a compassionate regard and not half so pleasant; and the passengers in the than aged females of the middle and upper classes, who, crowded thoroughfares, jostling one another as they from non-marriage or widowhood, or any other continhurried home to their good Yule-fires, scarcely be- gency, have been left to spin out their last years in stowed a glance on the boughs of Christmas' that penury.
The indigent gentlewoman is everywhere a flashed cheerily, red and green, among the doors and person of frequent occurrence. The families of clergywindows, under the early gaslight. Still less likely men, of military officers, of professional men, and of the to detain them for an instant was the merry tinkle minor gentry, supply them in great numbers. Persons, of a street-piano, hardly audible, indeed, among the too, who have in earlier years been useful as teachers, roar and murmur of the Strand. Yet it was a boná- often become indigent gentlewomen in old age.
Under a sense of the needs and deservings of many fide piano in its way, quite tunable, and with something innocent and bird-like in its notes, chasing one
of these ladies, a few individuals in Scotland formed, another with the headlong, silvery haste of that fasci, what is called The Indigent Gentlewomen's Fund. It is
about ten years ago, a society for the maintenance of nating toy, a musical-box. Its glories of rose and an institution of which we can scarcely speak in terms purple silk were shrouded for the moment in a cover
of too high approbation. A vast number of gentlemen ing of green baize, prepared by the careful artist and clergymen throughout the country are connected against atmospherical emergencies - much to the with it, and there is a most extensive organisation of dissatisfaction of certain youngsters who had followed, ladies for the collection of funds, application being with laudable perseverance, from street to street, the systematically made annually at every house where indimerry cycle of tunes. The itinerant was a foreigner, viduals of the middle and upper classes reside. The still young, with nothing that could be called charac- society's object was not to support, but merely to aid teristic in his personal appearance, except the French and comfort these unhappy solitaries, after they had sparkle in his eyes, the unmistakable abandon of passed their fiftieth year; and we are proud to say his motions, and the watchful anxiety with which he that we recognise in the result the old kindly feeling
of the people of Scotland. The most scrupulous deli- Scottish Indigent Gentlewomen's Fund Society, Mr cacy was observed in distributing the relief; and no Fullarton, 5 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, will be happy to aid from a public charity was ever administered in a assist with any information that it may be in his power way less likely to wound the feelings of the recipients. to give. At the very first annual distribution of the fund, the
of L.878 was divided among 154 applicants. Last year, the an tants numbered 322, and the sum
A DEAD SEA-GULL: distributed among them was L.2060. The pecuniary
NEAR LIVERPOOL. assistance given by the society is small—but how im
LACK-LUSTRE eye and idle wing, portant to the threadbare economical gentility of the
And smirchèd breast that skims no more, class! An annuity of L.5 to L.15, to which the regular
White as the white foam, o'er the waveaid is limited, is found absolutely to elevate these old
Hast thou not even a grave ladies from almost destitution to comfort. In particular
Upon the dreary shore, cases, a trifle is sometimes given in addition to the
Forlorn, forgotten thing? annuity; and the following is copied as a fair specimen of the applications made for this benevolence: Humbly Thou whom the deep seas could not drown, sheweth--that your petitioner has been a grateful recipient
Nor all the elements affright, of the fund for some years, and that to the extent of
Flashing, like thought, across the main, L.6 annually. That your petitioner for thirty years has
Mocking the hurricane, almost entirely supported herself by teaching. That your
Screaming with wild delight petitioner is eighty years of age. Until two months ago, When the great ship went down: she has continued to teach ; but, from extreme age and growing infirmities, she has now been obliged to give up
Thee not thy beauty saved, nor mirth, her school:
Nor daring, nor thy obscure lot We need not say that ladies were from the first the
As one midst myriads ; in quick haste main support of this admirable institution.
Fate caught thee as thou pastbazaars for the sale of ladies' work for the benefit of the
Dead-how, it matters not; fund were held in the principal towns in Scotland; and
Corrupting-earth to earth. the produce was so considerable, as to warrant the insti
And not two leagues from where it lies, tution of a sinking fund to provide for the greater
Lie bodies once as free from stain, stability of the society. The amount of this fund, to
And souls once gay as this sea-bird's, which come to be added every year legacies and donations,
Whom all the preachers' words was, at the close of the financial year 1856, L.5896.
Will ne'er make white again, To give an idea of the kind of cases which come before
Or from the dead arise. the society, we copy the following applications : (3-119.) aged 93.-Petitioner is the daughter
Rot, pretty bird, in harmless clay! of the late of sometime an extensive landed
We sing too much poetic woes : proprietor in the county of - He was ruined by the
Let us be doing while we can. failure of the Bank, and died in 1802. With what
Go forth, thou Christian man, she had. saved by her own exertions, petitioner has
On the dank shore seek those hitherto been enabled to support herself; but now old age
Left dead of soul-decay. and infirmities have left her little to depend on, excepting what she receives through the kindness of friends." She
THEORY OF SEA-SICKNESS. has been confined to bed for nearly two years. Any
The seat of the sense of nausea is the pit of the stomach, relation she has is very distant.
and there-like a sorcerer in his cave-lies the solar plexus. *(1-65.) aged 75.- Petitioner is the daughter of This, according to Erasmus Wilson (Spas of Germany and the late Rev. of Her income is L.10 per annum, purchased Belgium) is the god who is to be propitiated by those.
who are afraid of sea-sickness : some of whom offer by her some years ago. She receives also occasional
him a good breakfast or a good dinner, a glass of grog, assistance from friends. (3-108.) aged 72.- Petitioner is the daughter
a pinch of cayenne-pepper, a dose of peppermint, camof the late sometime overseer of the extensive Others cover his pit externally with a camphor bag,
phor, creosote, laudanum, naphtha, ether, or chloroform. Mines at He farmed at the same time the and over it a warm plaster of cinnamon or frankincense. lands of -, belonging to the Duke of and the
None of the internal preventives, Mr Wilson thinks, are lands of and -, belonging to the Marquis of worth anything, except a good dinner or breakfast at
Petitioner has now no income, excepting the trifle the usual time when the god is hungry, and soda-water which she makes by sewing.
when he is thirsty, with a little sherry or brandy in it; * (3-63.)-Petitioner is the daughter of the late M.D. Her income consists of the interest of a small bestow warmth and pressure. The cause of the sickness,
but the external remedies are better, chiefly because they sum of money earned by her own exertions. She has been a governess for nearly thirty years, and, if health however, is the unaccustomed motion—the vertical motion
more especially, and added to that the horizontal and permitted, is still willing to contribute to her own sup- other motions we are more familiar with in a railway, port by the exercise of her talents. She has no home, carriage ; and it is to this we are to apply any remedial bat is at present residing with a friend.'
After these melancholy cases, it gives us much satis- process we adopt, with a view to fix the muscular faction to add, that it is not an uncommon thing for an system, over which we have control, and by that fixture allowance to be resigned when the annuitant's circum- to steady, if not totally to fix, the solar plexus.' Mr stances have changed for the better; and that in one that a belt, or, in the absence of that, a shawl, should be
Wilson, after making experiments upon himself, advises case, the whole amount that had been received was
wound round the trunk, making strong pressure from returned with interest. For the above particulars, we are indebted to the the patient-or rather he who is determined not to
the bips upwards to the middle of the chest, and that Tenth Annual Report of the Committee of Management,
become a patient-should sit down on a bench, fix his and we recommend strongly to our readers a careful heels against the deck, and resist with all his power any perusal of this document. Why should such a society movement of the vessel. be confined to Scotland ? Could there be any more graceful and useful employment for ladies and clergymen in each of the wealthy counties of England, than the Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster
Row, LONDON, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH. Also sold by establishment of a similar institution ? We trust the
WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 23 Upper Sackville Street, DUBLIN, and hint will fructify; and we are sure the secretary of the all Booksellers.
Science and Arts.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 1858.
becomes afterwards so tightly riveted, that there are GOING OUT TO PLAY.
few pleasures purer or more exquisite than that taken Wao that has lived to middle age, when to work has by old playmates, or children of one family, in talking become the principal object of existence, does not over every trivial thing belonging to their contemlook back with an amused interest, a half-melancholy porary childhood. And the same free-masonry which wonder on that season when going out to play' was makes most people hear patiently any sort of lovean acknowledged daily necessity ; when we sallied story, makes everybody listen with a vague interest forth with no pretence of duty or labour, neither to to the chronicle of everybody else's childhood; for walk, nor ride, nor pay visits, nor do errands; bent both themes form two out of the three universal facts on no definite scheme of action-going out simply of human life-birth, love, and death. and absolutely 'to play.' And those Saturday after- Therefore, it may amuse some, if, prior to saying noons—those glorious whole holidays—those delicious a few serious words on the subject of play, I gossip accidental half-hours, form the largest feature in our a little, as we did the other night over our fire-I recollections now.
and the only one now left to gossip together over Going out to play! It seems ludicrous to fancy our- our childhood. We did so, apropos of the notion selves ever doing such a thing—we, who have to tramp already started, that childhood is the only time in and out of town on our daily business—and do it; or when it is a necessary business-this going out to feel we are bound to pay a visit-and pay it; that it play. is our duty to take a constitutional walk—and we take We were not city children, thank goodness! We it; to plan a pleasure-excursion—and we go through never had to be muffled as to the bodies, denuded as with it. But as for turning out of doors for a given to the legs, our heads weighed down by beautiful space of time, to go nowhere and do nothing particu- hats and feathers, our feet compressed into the natlar—what a ridiculous idea! It is only by a strong tiest of boots, and sent out walking, solemnly and effort of mental transposition and retrogradation that genteelly, through streets and squares. I am proud we can sympathise with a certain dear little soul of to say, ours was a very different costume. It conmy acquaintance, who, after being sedulously petted sisted of a pinafore of common blue print, made after and entertained for a whole week by a houseful of the pattern of a French blouse, put on over all our benevolent grown-up people, said pathetically: other clothes, fastened at the waist by a leather belt,
• Me want to go out and play! Me want a 'ittle girl and reaching nearly to the ankles, which, in boys and to play with me! Me shouldn't care if she was a 'ittle girls alike, were defended by stout shoes, merino girl in rags!'
stockings, and those substantial under-vestments Companionship in this play is a great matter which we were then not ashamed to call “trousers.' companionship based on quite different grounds from Thus some light head-gear, cloth cap or straw-hat, later-life friendship. Except a few, endowed with was the only addition necessary to the universal, that passionate adhesiveness which is sure to prove all-covering blue pinafore. in after-life at once their glory and their torment, O sacred blue pinafore !---80 warm, light, and children are seldom either unselfish or devoted in comfortable-put off or on in a minute-allowing their attachments. Most of their loves are mere full liberty to run, jump, climb, scramble, or crawl, likings, contracted for the pleasure of the moment. creating a sublime indifference to dirt or tears-that Their dear little free hearts want neither a friend nor is, fractures—I have never seen any modern garment a lover-they only want somebody to play with appropriated to children's wear which could at all be Anybody will do-even the “ 'ittle girl in rags.' Those compared to this costume of my youth. who have experienced that premature clouding of In it invariably we went out to play. Our playlife's golden morning—a solitary childhood, may place was the garden, the green, and the great field remember the wistful longing with which they have before the terrace where we lived: there was a tabooed stood watching groups of dirty, happy little rogues, region beyond, consisting of the parade and the public collected at street-corners and on village-greens, and walks, where we were not allowed to go in our blue how sorely they have rebelled at prohibitions to join pinafores ; but within the above limits, nobody and them. Easy age! when there is no patrician exclusive- nothing interfered with us. On the green, ball-pracness, and very little of the eclecticism of personal tastes tice-not bullets—against a gable-end, tip-cat, trapor affections: the chief thing wanted is society, bat, prisoners' base, cricket, marbles, were carried companionship.
on; likewise digging of holes and making of bonBut as if in compensation, the tie, so slight then, fires. The garden had its restrictions, especially at
the season of growing vegetables, though I remember And once we regularly planned this, laying a wella rhubarb-bed which mysteriously, withered in con- arranged plot—which, for the moral safety of any sequence of a secret excavation under it, two or three young reader, I beg to state, proves that, like most feet deep; and an ash-tree, which, being made one of children, we were extremely naughty at times. the principal supports of a hut—where there was a We thought, if we could only lie quiet and keep fire and a good deal of gunpowder used-was observed awake till all the household were asleep, we might by next spring sensibly to have declined in its robusto steal down stairs, grope through the kitchen, unbolt ness of constitution.
the back-door-and so away! Out to play—when But these things were trifles; so were a few pro- there was nobody about but ourselves; out under the hibitions concerning the field, when it happened to stars, or obeying that summons—which to my mind be knee-deep in mud or snow, or filled with three still conjures up a dream of unattained bliss, that hundred head of cattle which periodically visited it, haunted at least a dozen years of my childhood for the poor burgesses of our town have enjoyed from time immemorial the right of successive pasturage
The moon doth shine as bright as day; in the three or four-I forget how many-large town
Boys and girls, come out to play: fields.
Come with a rattle, and come with a call; When they came to ours, what a jubilee it was !
Come with a good will, or come not at all ! To be wakened by a distant murmur of lowing, For the furtherance of this plan, we determined to neighing, shouting, trampling-to dart to the window, go to bed in our clothes. How we managed it, I now and see with sleepy eyes, in the gray dawn, our field forget—whether we generously came in without being covered, not with daisies and buttercups—these floral 'fetched,' and volunteered to put ourselves to bed, or delights must be sacrificed forthwith—but with a tried some other ruse calculated to throw dust into eyes moving multitude-equine, bovine, asinine; and gra- that were aching with many cares, never understood dually with countless milkmaids and milking-men, till little boys and girls grow up to be fathers and carrying their pails, or sitting peacefully leaning mothers ; but we certainly did manage it. To prevent against well-behaved cows.
discovery, we put on, outside all our clothes, our After then, no want of a place to play in. We innocent-looking night-gowns--and lay down to sleep used to get dressed by six A.M., leap the ditch-bank, as quiet as mice, and as good as gold. mug in hand, to have it filled direct from the cow, our But fate was against us, as against most conspirown particular animal; for we chose favourites, whose ators. Maternal surveillance missing the aforesaid proceedings we watched, to whom we gave names-clothes, including the boys' boots, which were safe on Daisy, Brownie, Cowslip, and the like—and over whom their feet, also, a little surprised at our all appearing we were exceedingly jealous. Wo be to the individual so very fat in bed, proceeded to investigate. Alas! who presumed to go for a pennyworth of milk to any- we were ignominiously found out, and made to body else's cow! And still worse, who dared offend undress and go to bed, like good children; and any but his or her own cows with what we were though, since then, we have kept many a nightparticularly fond of doing—namely, stirring them up, watch, sleeping roofless under foreign stars, or seeing and squatting down on the yard or two of warmed the English dawn break from sick-room windows, and perfumy grass where they had been lying all never, never have we been among the number of night.
those fortunate little boys and girls who came out to The other animals we patronised little, though play when the moon did shine as bright as day.' occasionally it was fun to run after an infant donkey, But once, on a birthday, we obtained permission to or come stealthily behind some drowsy old mare, and rise early enough to go out and play by starlight. twitch a hair or two, invaluable for fishing purposes, Well do I remember the look of that chilly November out of her long tail. Strange to say, I do not remem- morning, the brightness of the stars, the intense blackber our ever coming to harm, though with the mixed ness of the trees, the solitude of the terrace and the cautiousness and fearlessness of country-bred children, road; how hard we tried to persuade ourselves that we used to roam among these beasts all day over it was very pleasant and that we enjoyed everything as long as they stayed ; and we were inconsolable very much. Our chief proceeding, in defiance of for at least an hour, when, starting up as usual to numb fingers and tingling toes, was to gather laurel give a morning glance at our favourites, we would in order to make a crown for the hero of the dayfind the well-cropped field all brown, bare, and who, protesting it was cold' and 'spidery,' declined desolate—the cattle were gone!
putting it on his head after all, but placed it on the Once, and only once, the great field was made into top of the pump. There for weeks we watched it hay. The novelty of the thing-the beauty of acres dangle, watched it dolefully from behind windows, upon acres of waving, flowery grass, the exquisite where, shut up with hooping-cough, we still protested perfume when it was down, and the excitement during —as even yet we protest-all save one, whose birthday the whole of hay-time-lasting a good while, for I passes by, outwardly unkept, and whose fair head has remember one end of the field was green again before long since been laid down in peace, without any the other was mown-makes that summer one of the laurel-crown-that we would not on any account most vivid points in our juvenile history. Its daily have missed that going out to play under the joys, being holiday joys, were only bounded by the November stars. terrible necessity of having to go to bed.
Our play was sometimes exceedingly hard work. Even now, a sympathetic pang affects me, as I One laughs now to call to mind the extraordinary remember how dreadful it was to be “fetched in'on delight there was in digging a hole--not for any those lovely summer nights; how we envied those purpose or after any design, but simply digging a 'poor' children on the green, who happier far than we hole. We would be at it for entire days, with a respectable ones--and probably having no particular perseverance worthy of Cornish miners or Australian bed to go to—were allowed to play as long as ever gold-hunters. If our labour had any aim at all, it they chose : how cruel it was to be undressed in was that of digging till we came to water, which not broad daylight, and expected to go to sleep! which unfrequently happened, and then our hole became expectation, I must confess, was generally fulfilled in a pond. Once, after hearing of the central fire, we five minutes. Nevertheless, we rebelled, and kept up started the idea of digging down in search of it, for years a fondly cherished dream of some time and burrowed several feet deep; when, finding the contriving to play out of doors all night long, and earth no warmer, we gave up our project. We never never go to bed at all.
made any particular use of our holes except to sit in
them occasionally, enthroned on brick-ends and pieces in the Art-Treasures Exhibition brought back to of stone from the neighbouring quarry; exceed- me, as it must have done to thousands more, ingly proud and happy, but slightly damp and those glorious frosts of old, when we were out uncomfortable.
at play from daylight till dusk, as merry as But towards the 5th of November, the great epoch crickets and as
' toasts '- barring our in our year, we ceased to dig, and began to build. noses, toes, and finger-ends ; running in at noon for Our architecture was at first very simple, consisting a scrap of dinner, which we gobbled down as fast as merely of a few bricks, so placed as to keep off the wind possible_bless us! we had the digestion of young from our bonfire. From that, we planned seats round ostriches : and were off again instanter. For, who it, where we might watch our potatoes roast, and could tell? it might be a thaw to-morrow. light our crackers at ease. Then, after reading In one thaw after a long frost, we—in the absence Cooper's novels, and George Lillie Craik's New of lawful authority-performed a feat which under Zealanders, we conceived the bold idea of erecting a no other circumstances could have happened ; and sort of wigwam. More than one was attempted, and which, in its daring originality, still gives us a degree failed; the last, which lingers in most vivid recol- of naughty satisfaction. We discovered that the canal lection, is that before mentioned, of which the door opposite a coal-wharf had been broken up by boats post was the ill-fated mountain-ash.
into large blocks of ice, which still went floating Aladdin's palace was nothing to this wonder of about. One of us, who had unluckily been presented architecture. Its site was in a triangular corner, with a volume of Arctic Voyages, embarked on the where two walls joined the other walls were built nearest of these icebergs, and went floating about of quarry-stones and earth. Its roof had proper beams too-guiding his course by the aid of a long pole. -old pea-sticks, or, as we called them, pea-rice;' | Of course, there were some half-a-dozen more imiand was slated over with thin stones. There was a tating him. O the delight of that sail-in its total chimney, with two seats in the chimney.corner, quite ignoring of danger, its indifference to shipwreck, and proper and comfortable, save that in these seats, or cool enjoyment of submersion! One of the voyagers any other, you never could get further than eighteen still tells with pride that he got in' up to the neck inches from the fire; and that the smoke obstinately three times that afternoon-the only termination of persisted in going out anywhere except by the which was his being obliged to go to bed, because the chimney.
whole of his available wardrobe was hanging to dry Nevertheless, it was a magnificent house, imper- by the kitchen-fire. vious to wind and rain, except on very bad days. In Nothing worse happened, much as it might have it we spent our holiday afternoons, for many weeks- been deserved. And if that handful of fool-hardy obliged to rush out at intervals to clear eyes, mouths, | lads-one or two of whom, chancing to read this, may and noses from the smoke, and to cool ourselves after call to mind that very afternoon's play-could be being nearly as well roasted as our potatoes : still, I gathered together now, out of India, China, Australia, repeat, it was a magnificent dwelling. It finally, like from happy paternal English homes, and quiet graves, all mansions, fell into decay; the last thing remem- where the solitary name, left behind to neither wife bered of it being that one of our boys, in bearing the nor child, moulders away upon the forgotten headroof down, saw, to his horror, emerging from the stone-happy they if they could plead guilty to no ruins, a school-fellow, who had sat by the hearth all freak more perilous, no delirium of pleasure more the time, and now shook himself composedly, put on fatal, than the sailing on those icebergs across our old his cap and walked away-perfectly safe and sound. | canal ! Truly, children, like cats, have nine lives.
But reflecting on these facts of our childhood—we, These were winter pleasures. In those days, what brought up with at least as much care as falls to the lot a grand event was the first frost, which I have known of middle-class children generally-on our daily risks come as early as the 9th of November-mayor- of life and limb, and moral contamination-though this choosing-day,' or 'clouting-day'-which, by an old latter was a less peril, as it is to all who have the town-custom, was the very saturnalia of play. All safeguard of a good mother and an innocent home; the children in every school or private house were and yet remembering what a boundless enjoyment, clouted out' by a body of young revolutionists, what a vital necessity was to us this going out to armed with clouts '-knotted ropes — with which play; we cannot but ponder deeply on the lot of those they battered at school-doors till the delighted pri- other children whom we used to envy for being soners were set free. Woe be to the master or mistress allowed to play anywhere and anyhow, without being who refused the holiday! for there would not have called in to the interruption of meals or the ignominy been a whole pane left in their windows; and I doubt of bed. “Poor” children—as with a genteel schoolif his worship, the new mayor, would have dared to mistress's accentuation of the adjective, Dickens's fly in the face of public opinion by punishing any Miss Monflathers terms them-we have come to think clouter-out'
differently of them now. Not exactly for their Our next era was when the canal bore '—which poverty-hunger is sauce to any fare, short of no fare meant, when that famous piece of water, our Thames, at all, and dirt makes a capital substitute for clothes : our Rhine, our Loch Lomond, our Lake Superior, was in hard times, it is rarely the children who suffer, at hard enough for skating ; when we could actually walk least consciously. Nevertheless, we view them with a on foot across those depths, sacred to boat-sailing full heart. We wonder how, in cities especially, and fishing; and kick our heels against the clumps they ever manage to arrive at maturity, or, so of frozen water-grass, which had wrecked many a surviving, and blessed with their due share of limbs bold ship, and harboured many a gudgeon, swimming and bodily faculties, that they do not all turn out away with our unfortunate hook in his mouth-sorely thieves, rogues, sluts-or worse. We marvel at lamented by us, but not, I fear, because-like George finding anywhere decent, sober workmen, and tidy Stephenson's cow-it was rather unfortunate for the workmen's wives. gudgeon.
Dangers infinite, all children must meet: it is an Well knew we every inch along the canal banks- old saying, half true and half profane, that Providence up to the big stones, where the skaters used to sit guards the child and the drunkard; but Providence tying on their skates, and the timid lookers-on stand guards by strictly natural means-namely, the watching the two beautiful slides that were always exceeding elasticity of frame, tenacity of life, and made right across the canal basin. We had never power of eradicating evil by perpetually renewed heard then of Webster, R. A.; but his famous “ Slide'l growth, which belongs to all young animals. There