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storage, planting seeds or roots in the earth to fructify and develop, or domesticating animals. At the basis of advancement stands the domestication of the ass, the horse, the ox, the camel, the sheep, and the goat. In the milch animal, and the greatly increased proportion of multiplication which its possession implies, is found “the economic basis of the existing settlement of the Old World." America was practically destitute of “those animals which in the Old World were bred and fed in domestication in order to yield a constant supply of milk for human consumption. In this fact Mr. Payne sees the most important among the causes of the backwardness of the American aborigines. For the further development of this interesting second theory the “History of the New World” must be consulted.

WHAT PEOPLE READ. W H AT books do the majority of people read by preference ?

If I may trust the librarians of local London libraries, fiction enjoys an uncontested supremacy. This is, of course, to be expected. According to the third annual report of the Brentford Free Public Library—a juvenile institution with no embarrassing variety of choice, as it contains only 4,092 volumes in all—the two most popular books with the Brentfordians are Blackmore's “Lorna Doone” and Edna Lyall's “In the Golden Days,” both of which had been taken out sixty-five times. Confining oneself only to the same class of literature, one finds Besant's “Katherine Regina,” Macdonald's “Robert Falconer," Kingsley's “Westward Ho !” and Holmes's “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," continue in a diminishing degree of popularity. Some heavier fare was there for more practical minds, Cassell's “ Popular Educator” having been taken out forty-one times. Opposite Cross's “Life of George Eliot” is the number thirty, and opposite Stanley's “In Darkest Africa,” thirty-five. Darwin's “Descent of Man” was read fifteen times, Swedenborg's “Heaven and Hell” fourteen, and Farrar's “St. Paul” thirteen. Very interesting are these statistics, and the lessons to be drawn from them, were one inclined to moralise, are significant. Until I know the general constitution of the library I cannot, however, reach any very satisfactory results. That books supplying practical information, such as the “ Popular Educator," are in favour with the higher class of workmen is known not only to the librarian but to the second-hand bookseller. An old volume of some trade or scientific periodical, sold for a few pence, will attract the attention of a workman who, like Johnson choosing an arithmetic for a compagnon de trag, koors that its contents will not soon be exhausted. The only books belonging to past literature that are given are Swedenborg's - Hearea and Hell,” before mentioned, “ Æsop's Fables" taken down twentytwo times, and “Gulliver's Travels," taken down twenty.

WHAT IS READ BY YOUTH? T SHOULD like full statistics as to what is generally read by the 1 younger generation besides the brilliantly amusing pages of the Idler and other redhot novelties. In fiction, even, are the old masters forgotten by the young ? That Scott is still popular is proven by the fact that endless editions of the Waverley Novels see the light. Men of culture will never deny themselves the delight of reading “Joseph Andrews” and “Tristram Shandy," and will turn at times to “Peregrine Pickle” and “Clarissa Harlowe.” New editions of Jane Austen even see the light. Does anyone, however, in these days take up the novels of Captain Marryat, the breeziest and the most sidesplitting volumes ever written? Is Mrs. Radcliffe clean forgotten, with her romances of mystery; or lovely, piquante Mrs. Inchbald, with her delightful pictures of society? I was aghast to hear the other day, and was a little incredulous also, that the days of Alexandre Dumas are over, and that few now in France read “ Monte Cristo” or “ La Reine Margot.” I was told even, by the same authority, himself a distinguished author, that the taste for Hugo among the young generation was dying, and that it was only older men that turned to “Notre Dame de Paris ” and “Les Misérables." That the actual is the most palatable to men may be granted, but oblivion cannot tread so closely as this upon highest accomplishment. A curious trait of the British workman I must supply. I had a workman to make the bookshelves a fresh provision of which an erpanding library rendered constantly necessary. He was one of the honestest and worthiest men I ever knew, and had by industry raised himself and his family to a respectable position. He was to some extent a reader. I possessed a copy, in many volumes, of a good edition of Shakespeare which had been scorched in a fire, but was for reading purposes uninjured. This I gave him, telling him he might carry the volumes home at his leisure. The gift was quite unprized, and the later volumes were not taken away. I have strong doubts whether Shakespeare is much read among the operatives.


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“ A RE you the girl who did it ?”

A “I,” said Norah, with a smile, “ am the girl who did it.”

All day long and every day, come wet, come wind, come sunshine, Norah, the girl at the ferry, poled the punt backwards and forwards across the river, and many people lately had come to be ferried across by her. They thought there was an honour in being ferried across by the girl who had done the thing to which the vicar's wife from the next parish alluded in the question given above.

“Tell me,” continued the lady, "all about it. I must hear it from your own lips. I will sit here, at the end of the punt, and hear the story from your own lips.”

“It was nothing, nothing at all,” Norah replied, but placing a cushion at the end of the punt for the greater ease of the old lady, and then standing before her in picturesque garb, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, wide-brimmed hat slantwise on her head as a shield directed against the blazing afternoon sun, and one hand on the top of the punt pole, planted on the outward side of her moored craft to keep it steady at the landing-place. “Less than nothing, Mrs. Marcus.”

“But I don't think so, my dear, and I want to hear your own account of it.” VOL. CCLXXIII. NO. 1943.


“Why, you see,” Norah began, looking thoughtfully at the great broad stream that even in that summer weather swirled and eddied turbulently by, “why, you see, I had just ferried the pic-nic party across, and noticed what a pretty little girl it was they had with them, and so had watched them making their preparations for tea beside the bank, when, all at once, I heard a scream and saw the poor little thing in the water. What was it, on a summer day, to have gone in after the child and brought her out? Anyone would have done it, placed as I was. They couldn't have helped doing it ; and it isn't worth a word.”

“It would have been a brave thing, standing alone. But it is not your first rescue,” Mrs. Marcus said, with admiring eyes hardly dimmed by the spectacles through which they glanced up at the tall strong figure and the handsome gipsy face.

"Old Clark, when he got tipsy and fell out of my punt last winter in the twilight? Oh, I couldn't drown a passenger, you know! It would ruin business."

“You're a remarkable girl!” Mrs. Marcus returned, still looking admiringly at face and figure. “Do you really mean to tell me that you're contented with your life, living all by yourself in that little hut (which you keep as neat as a new pin), and that you wouldn't like to try a new life—I don't like to say a better station of life, seeing the noble things you've done in your present one-somewhere else?"

“I do mean it, Mrs. Marcus, honestly, Pr’aps if I'd been able to arrange things for myself I'd have had one or two things different. I'd have liked poor father to have lived on, so that I shouldn't have been quite so lonely in the winter's evenings. P'raps if he hadn't said with his last breath, 'Norah, keep you on the ferry! There's been Jacksons at Swiftwater Ferry for three generations; keep you on the ferry,' I'd have turned to something else. As it is, you seewhy, it's as it is, and here I am.”

Then Norah laughed.

“Well, my dear,” Mrs. Marcus rejoined, “as you seem to like it, and as you are so useful at it, perhaps this ferry 's your right place in the world. I don't know, I'm sure. If you'd been anywhere else you wouldn't have saved two lives, I expect. Fancy it! What danger you must have been in.”

"Not very much, either time,” said Norah, laughing still. “The third 's the dangerous time, you know. When that comes I must be careful."

“I hope," replied Mrs. Marcus, " that it never may come !”

“Oh, I don't know. If it does, I'm ready for it! Shall I punt you across ?”

“ If you please. I don't know that there's anything pleasanter, on such a day, than being ferried across by such a girl.”

It was such a marvell ously responsive craft that the least movement on Norah's part-a mere smile of hers down at the waterand the punt was out in the stream, moving diagonally across it. The exertion was of so slight a nature to Norah that she spoke as unconstrainedly in mid-stream as though she had been sitting in a drawingroom with an egg-shell tea-cup in her hands in lieu of the long pole that bent in her grasp notwithstanding the apparent ease of her movements.

“It's strange to me,” she said, “ sometimes, to think I've got to make just the same allowance as father had for the current ; that there's just the same strength in the current now that there used to be fifteen years ago, when I began to learn to balance myself in the punt, a little mite of three : I've changed so very much and it hasn't changed at all !”

“And won't, my dear, I expect, for the next five hundred years.”

“Unless, you know, they come to make that bridge they're always talking of, and so do away with me altogether. I don't seem to belong to the present age at all, do I? I'm such an old-world institution, you see: I feel as if I belonged to the gallant days when "knights were bold,” and there were barons holding sway, and all that sort of thing. When there was chiv—what's the word, Mrs. Marcus ?

“Chivalry, my dear ?”
"Yes; but I wasn't quite clear about it.”

“But you know a very great deal. I think you wonderfully well educated.”

“All that curate who 's gone away,” Norah said, with a grave face. “ All his doings, when father was smoking his pipe in the evenings. Night work.”

They were nearing the opposite bank now, and Mrs. Marcus looked very closely at the handsome gipsy face, and wondered whether the rumour were true that poor Mr. Chex, curate, of no expectations, had been wildly in love with his pupil and would have married her if she'd given him the least encouragement, which she wouldn't.

In the final survey of that face as the end of the punt bumped on the bank, Mrs. Marcus felt she wouldn't have been greatly surprised if that rumour had been a true one.

"Well, my dear,” she said, handed out by Norah with the greatest

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