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and I've only got three of 'em written down. Check me off, all of you ; I'm going to read my errands.")

“ . Your own proper pride, love,' I said, ' will suggest to (“ Grey powder for baby.”)

“the necessity of making up your mind, my angel, to

("Row the plumber for infamous condition of back kitchen sink.”)

-“66 to return all the wretch's letters, and (“ Speak to the haberdasher about patching Jack's shirts.")

_“.all his letters and presents, darling. You need only make them up into a parcel, and write inside-'. (“Matilda! Is that all ? ”).

“6 and write inside("Pamby! Is that all ?")

666 and write inside("Nurse! Is that all?")

66. I have my mother's sanction for making one last request to you. It is this

“ What have the children got for dinner to-day?”) 666 it is this : Return me my letters, as I have returned yours. You will find inside

(“A shoulder of mutton and onion sauce? And a devilish good dinner too!")

The coarse wretch roared out those last shocking words cheerfully, at the top of his voice. Hitherto, Lady Malkinshaw had preserved her temper with the patience of an angel; but she began—and who can wonder ?to lose it at last.

“ It is really impossible, my dear," she said, rising from her chair, “ to continue any conversation while that very intolerable person persists in talking to his family from his front garden. No! I really cannot go on–I cannot indeed.”

Just as I was apologising to my sweet friend, for the second time, I observed, to my great relief (having my eye still on the window), that the odious Major had apparently come to the end of his domestic business for

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that morning, and had made up his mind at last to relieve us of his presence. I distinctly saw him put his tablets back in his pocket, wheel round again on his heel, and march straight to the garden gate. I waited until he had his hand on the lock to open it; and then, when I felt that we were quite safe, I informed dear Lady Malkinshaw that my detestable neighbour had at last taken himself off, and, throwing open the window again to get a little air, begged and entreated her to oblige me by resuming the charming conversation.

“ Where was I ?” inquired my distinguished friend.

“ You were telling me what you recommended your poor darling to write inside her enclosure,” I answered.

“ Ah, yes; so I was. Well my dear, she controlled herself by an admirable effort, and wrote exactly what I told her. You will excuse a mother's partiality, I am sure; but I think I never saw her look so lovely—so mournfully lovely, I should say—as when she was writing those last lines to the man who had so basely trifled with her. The tears came into my eyes as I looked at her sweet pale cheeks; and I thought to myself

(“Nurse! Which of the children was sick last time, after eating onion sauce ?")

He had come back again !—the monster had come back again, from the very threshold of the garden gate, to shout that unwarrantable, atrocious question in at his nursery window !

Lady Malkinshaw bounced off her chair at the first note of his horrible voice, and changed towards me instantly—as if it had been my fault !—in the most alarming and most unexpected manner. Her ladyship’s face became awfully red; her ladyship’s head trembled excessively; her ladyship's eyes looked straight into mine with an indescribable fierceness.

Why am I thus insulted ?” inquired Lady Malkinshaw, with a slow and dignified sternness which froze the blood in my veins. “What do you mean by it?” continued her ladyship, with a sudden rapidity of ntterance that quite took my breath away.

Before I could remonstrate with my friend for visiting


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her natural irritation on poor innocent me: before I could declare that I had seen the major actually open his garden gate to go away, the provoking brute's voice burst in on us again.

· Ha, yes,”.we heard him growl to himself in a kind of shameless domestic soliloquy. Yes, yes, yes—Sophy was sick, to be sure. Curious. All Mrs. Namby's stepchildren have weak chests and strong stomachs. All Mrs. Namby's own children have weak stomachs and strong chests. I have a strong stomach and a strong chest. Pamby!”

“I consider this,” continued Lady Malkinshaw, literally glaring at me, in the fulness of her indiscriminate exasperation—" I consider this to be unwarrantable and unladylike. I beg to know—"

“Where's Bill ?" burst in the major from below, before she could add another word. 66 Matilda ! Nurse! Pamby! Where's Bill? I didn't bid Bill good-byehold him up at the window, one of you."

My dear Lady Malkinshaw," I remonstrated, “why blame me? What have I done?

“ Done?” repeated her ladyship. “Done?-All that is most unfriendly, most unwarrantable, most unladylike, most

“Ha! ha! ha-a-a-a !” roared the major, shouting her ladyship down, and stamping about the garden in fits of fond paternal laughter. “ Bill, my boy, how are you ! There's a young Turk for you! Pull up his frock ; I want to see his jolly legs

Lady Malkinshaw screamed and rushed to the door. I sank into a chair, and clasped my hands in despair.

“ Ha! ha! ha-a-a-a! What calves the dog's got! Pamby! Look at his calves. Aba! Bless his heart, his legs are the model of his father's! The Namby build, Matilda : the Namby build, every inch of him. Kick again, Bill—kick out, like mad. I say, ma'am! I beg your pardon, ma'am!”

Ma'am? I ran to the window. Was the major actually daring to address Lady Malkinshaw, as she passed indignantly on her way out, down my front garden ?

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He was! The odious monster was pointing out his—his, what shall I say?-his undraped offspring to the notice of my outraged visitor.

“ Look at him, ma'am. If you're a judge of children, look at him. There's a two-year-older for you! Ha! hal ha-a-a-a! Show the lady your legs, Bill-kick out for the lady, you dog; kick out!

From “My Miscellanies,” by kind permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.



BEEN out in the lifeboat often? Ay, ay, sir, oft enough. When it's rougher than this? Why, bless you! this ain't

what we calls rough! It's when there's a gale a-blowin', and the waves run in

and break On the shore with a roar like thunder, and the white

cliffs seem to shake : When the sea is a whirl of waters, and the bravest holds

his breath As he hears the cry for the lifeboat—his summons may

be to death That's when we call it rougb, sir; but, if we can get her

afloat, There's always enough brave fellows ready to man the


You've heard of the Royal Helen, the ship as was wrecked

last year;

Yon be the rock she struck on the boat as went out be


The night as she struck was reckoned the worst as ever

we had, And this is a coast in winter where the weather be awful

bad; The beach here was strewed with wreckage, and to tell

you the truth, sir, then Was the only time as ever we'd a bother to get the men.

The single chaps was willin', and six on 'em volunteered, But most on us here is married, and the wives that night

were skeered.

Our women ain't chicken-hearted, when it comes to savin'

lives, But death that night looked certain—and our wives be

only wives; Their lot ain't bright at the best, sir; but here, when the

man lies dead, 'Taint only a husband missin', it's the children's daily

bread, So our women began to whimper, and beg o' the chapas

to stayI only heard on it after, for that night I was kept away. I was up at my cottage, yonder, where the wife lay nigh

her end; She'd been ailin' all the winter, and nothin' 'ud make her

mend. The doctor had given her up, sir, and I knelt by her side

and prayed, With my eyes as red as a baby's, that Death’s hand

might yet be stayed. I heard the wild wind howlin', and I looked on the

wasted form, And thought of the awful shipwreck as had come in the

ragin' storm; The wreck of my little homestead—the wreck of my dear

old wife, Who'd sail'd with me forty years, sir, o'er the troublous

waves of life; And I looked at the eyes so sunken, as had been my

barbour lights, To tell of the sweet home haven in the wildest, darkest

nights. She knew she was sinkin' quickly—she knew as her end

was nigh, But she never spoke o' the troubles as I knew on her

heart must lie;

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