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if not imperial personage called after him; "and as for you, young fellow, come and sit here."

Tom yielded to the force of circumstances and took his place opposite his new friend, not sorry to have escaped the bone, which was not of his own choosing; a plentiful repast was spread before him, and he was kindly, though roughly, pressed to partake of it; and after he had eaten a few mouthfuls felt himself better able to do justice to it. “What will you take to drink ?” his friend asked.

“ Call for anything you like; what will you take ?

“ Water," said Tom.
“ Nonsense. Water! Bones! What-what!”

But Tom was resolute on this point, and after much remonstrance was allowed to have his own way.

“So you would like to be a sailor, should you ? ” the man said, when he had done eating. “You don't know what it is, perhaps, tossing about on the ocean. I do. Crossed the Atlantic twice, I have. Business though, not pleasure. Now you wonder what my business is, I dare say. Contractor I am, if you know what that is. Chaffin my name is ; you may have heard it.”

Mr. Chaffin threw himself back in his chair and spread out his arms as if to be looked at. “Yes,” he said, “I am a contractor—in a large way, mind you. Daniel Chaffin. What !”

Tom Howard thought as he surveyed the burly figure before him that he looked at that moment more like an “expander," but he said nothing.

“ You know what a contractor is, don't you ? ” Mr. Chaffin continued. “We make the railways, the docks, the piers; we do all the great works in the kingdom; we build the bridges, the exhibitions, everything; no matter what it is; if it's only large enough, we do it."

“ Could you build a ship ? ” Tom asked.

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Ship? well, that's not in our line. I would rather build anything else. I have had enough of ships. What !”

Tom looked at him with something of disdain.

“So you are all for ships, are you? Ah! you'll change your mind about that. I always feel sorry for a young lad when I see him going about with a blue jacket and gilt buttons and a gold band round his cap. It ain't all gold that glitters. * What!' I think to myself, ‘you're like a young bear--all your sorrows to come.' What !”

Do young bears have more sorrows than other animals ?” Tom asked. “Never mind ; don't you be a young bear, that's all; a young

; sailor I mean. You have not done with school yet, by the look of you."

“I have hardly begun,” said Tom. “I am going to begin to-morrow.”

“That's right,” said Mr. Chaffin; "where are you going to ?” “ Abbotscliff," said Tom.

“What! what ! I'm glad of that. Why, it's a curious thing, now; I've got a son there myself. Went back last week, after the holidays. Chaffin his name is ; same as mine; Marmadook Chaffin. I'll tell you what; I'm going along the line to-morrow, and Marmadook will be coming down to the station to have a word with me when the train stops. I'll introdooce you. You are a new boy, and he has been there three terms. It will be useful for you to have a friend. We can travel together so far, and I'll introdooce you."

Tom Howard thought it was very kind of Mr. Chaffin to make this proposal, and though he had not been much taken with the contractor at first, he felt drawn towards him by his heartiness and good temper, and was glad to think that he should have a cheerful companion on his journey next morning, and perhaps a useful friend in the school at his first joining.

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Mr. Chaslin lighted a pipe and called for brandy and water, and wanted Tom to have a small glass of the same to bear him company, and to keep him from catching cold after his wetting. But Tom declined with something like alarm, and rang for his candle.

Take something before you go,” said Mr. Chaffin; “just a little drop. What shall it be? Must have something."

It was an article of faith with Mr. Chaffin that everybody ought to take something. He seldom met a friend in the street, or received a visitor at his own house, or even a client at his place of business, without asking him what he would take. It was sometimes said that the invitation meant “one for his friend and two for himself;" but that was not strictly the fact. Mr. Chaffin was, it is true, always ready to do his part, but he liked to see others enjoy a glass, and to feel that it was at his expense. He always paid cheerfully, and experienced a great sense of pleasure, not to say pride, at seeing his friend or neighbour drink off the ale, or wine, or spirits with which he furnished him. He liked to see a man's eyes glisten as the cordial went down his throat; and the “Thank you, sir; your health, sir," was pleasant to his ears. It may even be doubted whether Mr. Chaffin did not feel himself a better man after every such exercise of his liberality and kindness; it was his way of doing to all men as he would they should do unto him, and he was fully convinced that it tended to promote harmony and good feeling between himself and those who partook of his bounty. Yet Mr. Chaffin set his face sternly against drunkenness. He never was "overtaken ” himself, perhaps because

. he could carry more than most men without feeling it; and he was very severe upon those who were guilty of excess. He would not keep a clerk in his counting-house who "drank,” nor give employment to a workman who was known to have had too much during working hours. A glass or two would huri nobody, he used to say; but everybody should know where to stop. Mr. Chaffin knew where to stop, and he expected others to be equally discreet. And yet he knew only too well that many of those with whom he had to do were quite incapable of such self-control. His “What will you take ?” had been the beginning of mischief to more than one of his own people, whom he subsequently discarded with contempt, and the cause of misery and desolation to their families, about whom he gave himself no concern. It is to be feared that there are a great many thoughtless, good-tempered Chaffins in the world, and that many anxious, care-worn households may trace the begining of their sorrows to such ideas of hospitality as his. It would be well if they could adopt good George Herbert's argument on this subject :

“Shall I, to please another's wine-sprung mind,
Lose all mine own? God hath given me a measure
Short of his can and body; must I find
A pain in that wherein he finds a pleasure ?

CHAPTER VI.

SYMPATHY.

Rind hearts are more than coronets.- Tennyson.
OM HOWARD, declining Mr. Chaffin's hospitality, looked in

Good night” to Mrs. Roseberry. He had never been alone at an hotel before, and had some difficulty now in finding his way through the many passages and odd turns of the old-fashioned rambling house ; but the number on the door enabled him to identify his chamber as soon as he came to it, and he went in and stood in the middle of it, looking round him with a feeling

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