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These words were repeated about twice "No," she exclaimed, "not a farthing a-day-except on Mondays, when the wash- shall go to a cheating Government for ing was done, and my mother was too much stamps. We are robbed enough in rates put about to be hopeful.
and taxes, and Tom will rise to the Great But, there, the public does not want a Seal and a gilt coach in spite of an imposGoldsmith's History or a Pinnock's Cate-ing Government.” chism of Mr. Thomas Gummer's early life; so So I grubbed on at Purrem and Mangles I will bolt over the events as fast as a Derby until I was twenty-five, and my screw was horse can gallop, and come to the fortune. three pounds a-week. I knew more of law
After a spell at day school, I went as boarder than the fellows who pass the final. A to Tudor House, Epping. According to the solicitor will not help you to articles, parprospectus, on which was engraved a flat- ticularly if you are worth your salt, because terirg representation of the mansion and an unarticled clerk cannot set up for himgrounds, everything ever known-including self, and take away the clients. "If I had classics, dancing, mathematics, music, book- been admitted, Purrem and Mangles would keeping, the use of the globes, and French by have sacked me. Not being articled, I was a native—was taught, besides liberal board, their confidential. the comforts of a home, and high moral A lawyer's clerk, with three pounds a-week training, for thirty guineas a-year, a silver and perquisites, is well feathered, sees plenty fork and spoon, six towels, and no extras of pleasure, and can do the swell. My except pew rent.
That prospectus was a career of mild dissipation was cut short "do," and Tudor House ought to have been by a visit to a theatre, where I saw Matilda wound up in Chancery. After two years Brace. It was a draft on my heart at sight, of hic, hæl, hoc, genitive hujus, I went into and was duly honoured. My courting the "Delectus," and then to “Cæsar,” and was short, but fierce; and I never rested then back again to “Delectus." You see, until I made Matilda Brace Mrs. Thomas the master could not teach us more than he Gummer. Political economy is against marknew, and even Cæsar floored him without rying and having a family, unless you have a crib. The French was no better than the a fortune. But such eyes, such hair, such a Latin, and the globes were of no use what-mouth, such a waist, and such ways as Maever. What good is it to teach a youth tilda had, were irresistible. Were
you ever that the earth turns on a brass rod, and in a raffle? Bits of card-a very few marked that the people on the other side of the are shook up in a bag. Most likely you world walk with their heads downwards, will draw a blank; but small chance of drawlike flies on a ceiling? It may be science, ing even a second prize. The tickets seem but it is not sense.
all alike until you have drawn. That is On leaving school my father wanted me matrimony. In courting time, one girl is as to go into the shop. My mother was furi- like another as peas in a pod. So sweet,
Her boy should not corn his fingers so neat, so fond. No nagging, and no fluswith lugging on his inferiors' boots and shoes! tering. A very few turn out mortal angels; Her boy's talents were not going to be thrown others are middling; but the most are the away in a holland apron behind a counter! reverse of angels. I drew a first prize; and There was a two years' wrangle, during I defy any one to produce Mrs. Gummer's which time I had nothing to do but eat, second-unless it is our girls. A fellow who sleep, and get into mischief. At last I en-could get a counterpart of my lease would tered the office of Messrs. Purrem and Man- be uncommonly lucky. gles, solicitors, at a salary of five shillings Matilda had a few pounds, and with the a-week. My mother was delighted at my help of the old folks we furnished a small being in a genteel profession, and knew I house at Bow. We began as we meant to should work my way to be Lord Chancellor. go on. When we were doing our honeyBut I never had a chance of getting on. moon-or rather, honey week-at Chigwell, My mother did not understand that the best Mrs. Gummer said fish can't swim unless it is in the water; “Tom, my dear, I saw plenty of poverty and that, no matter how clever a fish is, it at home before I went out to earn my can't put itself in the water. I was not even living—and it's a caution. We must be a articled. Not that my mother grudged me little saving, Tom. If we gobble up our money, but she would not pay the stamps. eggs as fast as they are laid, and never think
of hatching fresh layers, some fine day we Mrs. Gummer was doing something to shall be as hungry as winter wolves, and one of the girls' dresses." Well, she is a trehave no eggs to eat. Keeping out of debt is mendous woman with her needle. When a better than getting into it; but putting by, dress is soiled, it is turned inside out; when Tom, is the best game."
the plaits are worn, it is turned upside down, Mr. Pitt was called a heaven-born minister. and the bottom trimmed; when the front Perhaps he was, though he did load us with breadths are shabby, they are taken out and debt. But I am sure Matilda is a heaven- the skirt is gored; and finally, the dress is born economist. She is such a right-down converted into a petticoat. I have never genius, that I believe she would save a for- had an entire new shirt since my marriage. tune out of nothing a-year, besides keeping The wristbands fray, and new ones are put her family tiptop.
on; the front goes, and a new one is put “Our money, Tom, shan't line a land- in; the body is worn, and as the wristbands lord's pocket."
and front are nearly equal to new, they are We let our first floor, and joined a build- attached to a new body. Being better off ing society; so that we were always rent makes no difference. Needling, to women, free, and the house our own in fourteen is what smoking is to men. Fellows who years. Moreover, every week some of my don't smoke are growlers, and women who salary, which increased yearly, went to the don't sew are naggers. I cannot conceive savings bank.
domestic bliss with a sewing machine. Mushrooms are slow growers compared The ghosts of great events always come to debts or savings. Owe a trifle, and be first. I had a feeling that something was fore you know where you are the duns have going to happen. For days there had been you, body and soul. Save ever so little, and a mysterious nodding and whispering bedo it regularly, and you wake up and find tween mamma and the girls. I had received yourself a person of property.
more than the ordinary attention. There Moreover, we had windfalls. Being in had been potato cakes for tea, and favourite the law, I have seen a great many wills; nick-nacks for supper. My grog was a trifle and I notice that when people are making stronger than usual
. There was abundance their wills they generally think of one text of clean pipes and pipe lights. Mrs. Gumof Scripture, and give most to those who mer had not contradicted me for a week. I have most. Mrs. Gummer's aunt, hearing was in a manner ready for the onslaught, we were not in want, left us £600. When when Matilda put down her work, took a my father's affairs were cleared up, there long sip at her anti-spasms physic, and was over £1,000 to the good. Savings coughed. added, we had £4,000 invested; the house "Gummer, there is a dead weight on my our own, and my screw crept up to £4 ios. mind which I can't keep to myself.” a-week. That I call being well off, with “Indeed, my dear!” only two domesticated daughters to keep- “For, Tom, a secret means mischief when Nancy being twenty, and Janet eighteen. people are the same flesh and bone, which
It might be supposed that the Gummers we have been for over twenty years.” were a contented family; and so we were, “What on earth is the matter?" until the time my story begins.
“There now, don't flare up; for it is very It was Saturday night, and the girls had hard if a poor drudge of a wife is to be gone to bed half an hour earlier on account tongue-tied, and hollowed at fit to split of the usual bath. Mrs. Gummer would every drum in her ear if she opens her think it a sin for young folks to go to bed mouth.” on Saturday night without being lathered Another anti-spasms sip, and another and rubbed from head to foot. I was over cough. my first after-supper pipe and grog. Mrs. “You see, Tom, if we are not Bank of Gummer took a little gin and water-not England hot, leastways, we are comfortably that she cared for it, but hot suppers with
There is £200 a-year, equal to out a digester bring on spasms and night- £4 a-week, from property, and which no
one can touch. There is your four-ten from “It is so much physic to me, Gummer.” Purrem and Mangles. Moreover, the house
And the good soul sipped the gin and is our own to live in or to let.” water as if she liked it.
"To let, Matilda!"
Mrs. Gummer snatched up her work, and in a year or two the girls would marry equal began to stitch fiercely. The needle clicked to their merits and what is coming to them. against the thimble with a sharp noise which You know, if there were the most beautiful might have been heard in the street. empresses at Bow that ever lived, and every
“Gummer, I am disgusted with you. Are hair of their heads hung with Koh-i-noor we trees that we cannot be moved, and diamonds, gentility would no more think of must stick at Bow until we are carried out? marrying them, than they would think of Not that I dislike my native place, which is putting on scarlet jackets and setting off
yours and the girls. But it is not likings with their gamekeepers to shoot London or dislikings that trouble me. Duty first sparrows.” and fancy second always has been and “I suppose you would like Belgravia?” always will be the motto of Matilda Gum- said I, with a rise of my nose, for I was unmer, so long as she has a breath to draw and commonly vexed. the strength to draw it.”
“Anywhere that pleases Thomas Gummer, Click, click, click.
Esquire, will please his poor, put-upon wife, "Matilda," said I, lighting a pipe, “what provided, for the sake of the innocent girls, is your drift?” ?
it is not East-end." "Say no more, Gummer. I pity the poor girls, and sorry am I that I borned them to
TABLE TALK. be blighted by their own father; and kept down, and trod upon as if they were a paltry AS
S an additional note to the article on pair of paving stones.”
mushrooms which lately appeared in “My dear, be a little reasonable. You ONCE A WEEK, I append a few remarks on have not told me what
those curious freaks of nature commonly called "Gummer, you are enough to turn a “fairy rings.” I dismiss the superstition-50 dove into an owl. I want to know if we pleasant to the more poetically inclinedare landlord's fixtures that must not be which ascribes the formation of these rings moved? And if we are not fixtures, is it or to the Terpsichorean gambols of the fairies is it not our duty to give the poor dear girls under the "pale moonlight," simply contenttheir chance?"
ing myself, for the present, with the more “Matilda, I am not the one to grudge a matter-of-fact consideration as to how these month at the sea.”
curious circles are so suddenly and unac"Gummer, you would have driven Job countably formed. Every one who is accusinto an asylum. Pray, what is the use of tomed to the country knows a "fairy ring” the sea to such girls as ours? For low flirt- when he sees it. Each ring is only a belt ing, and for picking up rogues and rascals, of grass of a much darker green than that and empty-pursed monkeys, give me sands surrounding it.
sands surrounding it. In a paper on “The Fairy or piers; but for girls who have looks, edu- Rings of Pastures,” read by Professor Wray cation, and prospects, the sea is not worth before the British Association, at Southampthe snuffings of a halfpenny tallow candle." ton, in 1846, it was stated that the grass of
“Then where do you want to go for a which such rings are formed is always the trip?” said I, expecting to hear of a cheap first to vegetate in the spring, and keeps the excursion up the Rhine.
lead of the ordinary grass of the pastures till "We are not trippers, Gummer. I say, the period of cutting. If the grass of these and I will say, that the girls ought to live in “fairy rings” be examined in the spring and a genteel neighbourhood. The rent will be early summer, it will be found to conceal a a pull; but the clothes and living can be number of agarics or “toadstools” of various pared down to make up for the loss.” sizes. They are found situated either en
“What ! leave Bow for good? Leave where tirely on the outside of the ring, or on the I have been born and bred! Matilda, I outer border of the grass which composes would rather not; and I don't think you it. Decandolle's theory, that the rings incould do it when it came to the going." creased by the excretions of these funguses
"Tom, for the sake of the girls I could being favourable for the growth of grass, but go through an ocean of blazing brimstone. injurious to their own subsequent developSuppose we take a villa in a high neighbour-ment on the same spot, was remarked on, hood, standing in its own grounds, or at and proved to be insufficient to explain the least semi-detached? Mark my words, Tom, phenomena. A chemical examination was
ONCE A WEEK.
(February 17, 1872.
made of some funguses—the true St. George's form of a serpent in our lower nature have
LIFE, SAID Sydney Smith, is but “a midphosphoric acid and potash found in the dling affair;" yet surely there are times when ashes of these specimens was most remark- it rises some degrees higher than this. Much able, showing 20-49 of the former, and 55'10 more depends on our wisdom and self-conof the latter. The Professor's view of the trol than upon the richness of our circumformation of these “fairy rings" was as fol- stances. We never enjoy fully what we get lows:-“A fungus is developed on a single easily and what we get often. Variety is a spot of ground, sheds its seed, and dies. On great help, even when we descend to such low the spot where it grew it leaves a valuable levels as eating and drinking. You enjoyed manuring of phosphoric acid and alkalies, your mutton chop very much to-day, because some magnesia, and a little sulphate of lime. you had been dining three days before on Another fungus might undoubtedly grow on
cold meat: try a veal cutlet to-morrow. the same spot again; but, on the death of Don't have the same guests stopping too the first, the ground becomes occupied by a long at one time in your house. You love vigorous crop of grass, rising, like a phoenix, them and respect them very much, but a from its ashes." Dr. Wollaston and Sir change of society is good for both them and Humphrey Davy both adopted this elucida- you. After you have been reading the Duke tion of Professor Wray's as the correct one;
of Argyle's “Reign of Law," or “Smith's and his is the explanation most generally Biblical Dictionary,” or any book of that accepted by the best naturalists. The theory deep kind, take up one of Trollope's novels, has also been very clearly stated in an early or write a letter to the gentleman or lady volume of the “London Medical and Physical you are engaged to, or else go out and see Journal,” thus :-“Every fungus exhausts the after your flowers in the garden. ground on which it grows, so that no other can exist on the same spot. It sheds its
TO ENJOY LIFE, you must have an inward seed around; and on the second year, in- capacity for enjoyment as well as external stead of a single fungus as a centre, a num
A poor man may console himself ber arise in an exterior ring around the spot
for the smallness of his means by the poswhere the individual stood. These exhaust session, gained by nurture and cultivation, the ground on which they have come to
of a large capacity. The science of optics perfection; and in the succeeding year the shows us that the colour of an object dering becomes larger, from the same principle looks at it. It is so with the mind: nothing
pends of divergency.”
is beautiful to it, unless it itself is beautiful. THE MORAL of Mr. Tennyson's poem, “The Holy Grail,” is self-denial. You have
AFTER TEN O'CLOCK, the world should be in it a picture of brave men going forth hours' good sleep is enough; but a wise per
left to the owls and the bats. Five or six from festive boards and mirthful circumstances to encounter, for a religious object, two or three hours to fill up, if need be,
son will always leave himself a margin of the greatest external hardships. There is an element of romance in this noble con
gaps of wakefulness in the foregoing ones. duct which seems to strike an electricity required for sleep, they may well be made
But if these supplementary hours are not through our veins, and to inspire us with a desire to imitate it; but it is to the principle thought, and general additions to our stock
a season for meditation, arrangement of which lies within it that we have chiefly to of wisdom. look. We need not to go forth in knightly armour,
with sword and spear, to enter READY-MONEY MORTIBOY. - This Novel moonlit caverns rank with the breath of was commenced in No. 210, and can be obtained ghosts, and giving back in terrible echoes through all Booksellers, or by post, from the Office the thunder of the heavens, to obtain the
direct on receipt of stamps. cup of blessing. We shall find it within
Terms of Subscription for ONCE A WEEK, free by
post:- Weekly Numbers for Six Months, 5s. 5d.; ourselves when the demons which lie in the Monthly Parts, 5s. 8d.
February 24, 1872.
A MATTER-OF-FACT STORY.
room, taking her farewell of all that she has known and loved so long. There are the
stately bookcases, the portfolios of prints CHAPTER THE FOURTEENTH. and drawings, the music, the pianos, the
chairs and sofas which have witnessed
their happy hours. Dry-eyed, but with a HREE weeks breaking heart, she turns over the leaves of have passed the books, and takes a last look at the picsince the sui- tures in the portfolios. Nothing is to be cide of Mr. Mel- taken away. They have decided, Frank and liship and the she, because their mother is helpless, that failure of his nothing but the barest necessaries of clothbank. The ing is to be retained by them, not even the town of Mar- smallest trinket, not the most precious keepket Basing has sake, not the most trifling memento. Whatin some mea-ever happens, they will be able to say that, sure recovered in the wreck of their father's house, they too its tranquillity, were wrecked and lost their all. Even the ring and those who upon her finger, with her father's hair, will have lost mo-to-night go into the jewel box, and in a few
ney are begin- days be put up to sale with the rest. Alas ning to consider that they are lucky in pull- for this wrenching up of all the tendrils and ing something out of the wreck. Meantime, branching roots with which a girl's affection official assignees have taken possession of the clings to her home! Agony as was that offices, with all their papers. The bereaved bitter awaking when the shrieks of the maid and ruined family have stripped themselves roused Kate from her sleep in the early of their last farthing, save a poor hundred morning, it almost seems as if this is worse, pounds a-year, the slender portion which when everything has to be left behind, and Mrs. Melliship brought her husband—the of the father who cherished and loved her large settlements made upon her at her mar- so tenderly, nothing will be left at all but the riage being absolutely surrendered for the memory. Surely, it were something to have benefit of the creditors. For their advan- a few books of his—to preserve some little tage, too, the books, pictures, and furniture token, the sight of which would always bring are to be sold.
him back to mind. It is not to be; and poor It is the last day the Melliships have to Kate, too wretched for tears, sits silent and spend in their old house. For, obeying the sad in the lonely, fireless room, and feels as usual instinct of broken people, they have if there were no more possibility of life, or decided on going to London, and hiding light, or joy. their poverty and ruin where no one will be Let me try to depict her. likely to see it. The wounded beast seeks She is, like her brother, fair-haired; and, the thickest covert, where it can die undis- like him, tall. Not so fascinating as Grace turbed: the stricken Briton looks for the Heathcote, she has a certain dignity of deepest solitude, which is in the streets of bearing which makes her more striking in infinite London, where he may brood over appearance. Grace is a maiden fair-Kate his sorrows, and meditate fresh enterprises. is a queen. Grace is a young man's god
Kate Melliship goes sadly from room to dess. For Kate, the Knight Bayard himself