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With this hero I became acquainted very
early in life. He comes before me in three
scenes, and the first scene was abroad in a
foreign country.

At one period I see our family in France,
on a hill overlooking Havre, attended by
masters, watched over by that conscientious
governess, Miss Simpson, while I myself was
in a state of eternal protest and revolt.
Never did the bright blessingsand such
cheap blessings as they are!—of sun and
tropical days, and balmy airs, and trees, and
acres of soft grass, eddying down towards
the town far below, seem so inviting.
Those recollections are shaded by no dark
or lowering days, no gloomy fogs, no weeks
of drizzle; it was Italian, cerulean blue,
pleasant green, and most inviting.

The hill, or Côte, as it was called, was
an agreeable suburb, looking down on the
great seaport, whose houses, docks, and
stores were all clustered below: with the sea
beyond. A most agreeable amphitheatre it
was, and the descent was in the main by
terraces and stages of steps. The ascent,
under the broiling French suns, coming
at the close of an important expedition to
the town, was a very serious and exhausting
business. On the edge of the hill, I see
now a sort of comb, as it were, of bright
villas on the roadside, with a fine common
in front. I say "fine," because adapted to
boys' sport of every degreeto fights, ball
play, kite-flying, and what not. Those
residences, that seem to me now like houses out
of an opera, for they were always in the
glare of the Havre sun, were cheerful in
their yellow tone, their green jalousies, their
old-fashioned air, and the luxuriant gardens
behind and about them, where the apple-
trees abounded, and the oranges tried to
grow, but were cut off in an untimely way
by organised parties of bandits. The grapes
clustered about the windows so luxuriantly
that they were held in low estimation, as
not worth pillage and inferior in quality.

Most of these mansions were occupied by
English colonistsone or two by English
exiles: and I recal our immediate neighbour,
seen within his chateau-like gate stooping
over his flowers, a Captain Butler, one sleeve
of his pepper-and-salt shooting-coat growing
flat to his chest. A great family swarmed
about him, and there were rumours of a
struggle and sore privations.

He was a grave man, haughty and
reserved, and seemed then to take that
curious shape of a separate potentate, as I
have often remarked, endowed with more
mysterious power and importancegreater
than seem to invest individuals of real
influence at a later era. Our houses did
not know each other, though we were not
indisposed to intimacya distance, however,
that did not extend to the junior branches.
His son, Tom Butler, a tall English lad,
thin, wiry, and pale, I looked up to with
a longing admirationhe was so
independent, so grand, so strong, and went
where he liked. He ' seemed a separate
potentate, too, and could " do things" which,
someway, I never could. Indeed, we saw
that he and the one-armed captain were not
on good terms, and two of us, one day, on
a guilty ascent up an apple-tree in the next
garden, heard below us a frightful altercation
between the too men. Peeping through the
branchesand not without misgiving lest
the scene might end indirectly in our own
personal detection, trial, and executionwe
saw the captain's square face glowing with
a sort of mournful and suppressed fury, and
caught these memorable words:

"You disgraced me before, sir, and you
have now disgraced me again!"

We had to carry this denunciation about
with us for days, nearly bursting, and
not daring to reveal it to mortal, save an
English maid, who could be relied on, and
who shook her head and said, " Like enough
like enough!"

The English complexion of the district
was certainly very strong. Not very far
on was Mr. Darbyshire's house, a charming
English place, with hothouses and
greenhouses, and a real Scotch gardener, who
had been there ten or fifteen years, could
not pass one of the roadside crosses, or
meet a procession, without his features
expressing open pain and hostility. They
were "a peeteous crew," he said, to the
last, "the puir, benighted creeturs," and
the like. He would not mix with them.
His master, Mr. Darbyshire, was a wealthy
merchant, in the shipping way, who had
shares in the steamers between
Southampton and our port, and was universally
known as " M. Debbisha." A little under
the hill, with its roof on a level with its
crest, was Mr. Longtail's English academy,
with its highest references, to the Reverend
William Short, British chaplain; to Captain
Gunter, H. B. M. Consul, Quai Montpensier;
to the Lord Montattic; to the Honourable
Mrs. Colman; to W. H. Darbyshire, Esq.,
The Côte, Havre; and to many more.
Mrs. Longtail looked after the boys' linen,
and " was a guarantee for the comforts of
a home." This was her husband's fond
and too partial statement, loudly dissented