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signatures must be sat down to. There was no
exception to this rule. Meantime, the various
club-members smoked, drank their beer, and
talked together quite unrestrained. They all
wore their hats, except when they went up to
Friar Bacon's table. The merry-faced little man
offered his beer, with a natural good-fellowship,
both to the Dreary one and Philosewers. Both
partook of it with thanks.

"Seven o'clock!" said Friar Bacon. "And
now we had better get across to the concert,
men, for the music will be beginning."

The concert was in Friar Bacon's laboratory;
a large building near at hand, in an open field.
The bettermost people of the village and
neighbourhood were in a gallery on one side, and, in
a gallery opposite the orchestra. The whole
space below was filled with the labouring people
and their families, to the number of five or six
hundred. We had been obliged to turn away
two hundred to-night, Friar Bacon said, for
want of roomand that, not counting the boys,
of whom we had taken in only a few picked
ones, by reason of the boys, as a class, being
given to too fervent a custom of applauding
with their boot-heels.

The performers were the ladies of Friar
Bacon's family, and two gentlemen; one of
them, who presided, a Doctor of Music. A
piano was the only instrument. Among the
vocal pieces, we had a negro melody (rapturously
encored), the Indian Drum, and the Village
Blacksmith; neither did we want for fashionable
Italian, having Ah! non giunge, and Mi
manca la voce. Our success was splendid;
our good-humoured, unaffected, and modest
bearing, a pattern. As to the audience, they
were far more polite and far more pleased than
at the Opera; they were faultless. Thus for
barely an hour the concert lasted, with
thousands of great bottles looking on from the walls,
containing the results of Friar Bacon's Million
and one experiments in agricultural chemistry;
and containing too, no doubt, a variety of
materials with which the Friar could have blown
us all through the roof at five minutes' notice.

God save the Queen being done, the good
Friar stepped forward and said a few words,
more particularly concerning two points;
firstly, that Saturday half-holiday, which it
would be kind in farmers to grant; secondly,
the additional Allotment-grounds we were going
to establish, in consequence of the happy success
of the system, but which we could not
guarantee should entitle the holders to be
members of the club, because the present members
must consider and settle that question for
themselves: a bargain between man and man being
always a bargain, and we having made over the
club to them as the original Allotment-men.
This was loudly applauded, and so, with
contented and affectionate cheering, it was al

As Philosewers, and I the Dreary, posted back
to London, looking up at the moon and discussing
it as a world preparing for the habitation of
responsible creatures, we expatiated on the
honour due to men in this world of ours who try
to prepare it for a higher course, and to leave
the race who live and die upon it better than
they found them.


IT is a glowing, glaring morning at Hong
Kong. I awake inside my net-muslin safe,
wherein my boy, A-Powan urchin in baggy
blue breeches and soft thick shoes, which allow
him to glide about like a ghost -- has consigned
me for security from the flies, like a jam tart
under gauze in a pastrycook's window, during
the dog-days.

A-Pow is about nine, of grave demeanour,
and wearing a little pigtail. The rest of his
head is shaven down to a leaden blue tint, with
the exception of a "cheveux de frise" following
the course of the coronal suture, over the
head from ear to ear, in the dotted line on the
profile of the popular advocate for self-measurement
as regards wigs. This fringe, about an
inch long, sticks bolt upright, looking rather
like a glory: more like, perhaps, one section of
a bottle-brush. I had seen him so often on fans,
with a veneered ivory face, that when I first
engaged him, I felt we were old friends.

"Gud morng," he says.

"Chin-chin, A-Pow," I reply.

He thinks he is speaking English, and I
imagine I am talking Chinese. We are both equally

"Ey Yaw!" he cries, with an expression of
delight, as he sees the inevitable mosquito that
has annoyed me all night, in a state of bloated
gluttony in a fold of the curtains. " No hab
catchee he."

And with beaming triumph he squeezes him
between his fingers and thumb, leaving a red
splash, about the size of a florin, on the muslin.

"Maskee (never mind)," I say. "Wilow
down sye talkee that comprador catchee my one
piecey glass beer all a proper cold. Chop!

Which interpreted means, " Therenever
mind that: cut away down stairs and tell the
steward to let me have a glass of cold beer.

It is a dreadful thing I know to confess to
drinking beer in bed before breakfast, but there
is no help for it here. I am perfectly assured I
shall not have strength enough to dress, unless
I get it.

For I feel completely washed out, and not
dried. My thermometer, which I have plunged
into my cold bath, stands at 88°— only four
degrees lower than the average heat of a warm bath
in England! The air is blowing through the open
blinds as if it came from a hot blast furnace.
There has also been a heavy rain at daybreak,
and a hot mist is rising from the steaming rank
vegetation of Hong Kong, wrapping everything
in its muggy embraces. The gum-water I made
last night in a little saucer is all dried up; my
bottle of hair-grease seems filled with thick
yellow oil; and a colony of very small red ants