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locomotion; in the second place, there was the
satisfaction of personal vanity, for it was
not to be doubted that upon my first
appearance in public upon the back of an ass
I should become the cynosure of
neighbouring eyes, and at once take rank amongst
the parish celebrities. This consideration
nearly carried my vote by storm; but then,
on the other hand, a donkey, I could not
but admit, was a less handy possession
than a gold hunting watch. The latter
would go into one's pocket, whereas the
former would not. Indeed it was more
than probable that the donkey would need
a certain amount of space to move about
in, and if so, what was to be done, for we
had no stables? Second thoughts bring
counsel. I was a sharp boy, and I remembered
the staircase. If the difficulty of
bringing the donkey up to the third floor
could be once overcome, I should be happy
to allow him to sleep in my bedroom;
there would be ample space for him in the
corner close by the wash-hand-stand; and
he would be a sociable companion when it
rained. There was no fear of his catching
a cold or a cough, as he might do if left
down-stairs in the yard. Yes; but how
about his food? The postchaise of my
thoughts, which was at that moment going
twenty miles an hour, here stuck of a
sudden in a deep rut. I had never thought
of the food. I was like the Irishman who
had a clock. I had forgotten the works.
I could not think of asking my father to
board the donkey. The thing would be
indelicate after he had generously given
me sixpence; and yet from whatever point
of view I considered the matter, the
donkey, I was compelled to own, must
eat . . . I became miserable. I think I
cried. I saw my donkey depart at a
gallop, and scamper away into darkness,
carrying away with him upon his back
my hopes, my illusions, and my dreams of

But after a few seconds my donkey
returned as he had departed, at full gallop.
The idea had struck me that his
maintenance could be effected by an equitable
distribution of my daily meals with him.
This was the straw to the drowning man.
Having decided that my coming donkey
should be nourished upon roast mutton
and batter pudding, I was about to rush
out to effect my purchase when, attracted
by a noise below, I thrust my head out of
the window and saw a small boy, aged ten,
throwing cherries in the air and trying to
catch them in his mouth.

At this sight I forgot, for the minute,
the donkey, the roast mutton and the batter
pudding, and considered the cherries. It
was a hot day, and I was thirsty. The
cherries rose and fell, but always into the
small boy's mouth and never into mine.
Like Tantalus with the flow and ebb of
waters, I began to find the thing
monotonous. If one or two cherries would
only have fallen on the ground now and
then, the interest would have been
enlivened; but no; one, two, three, four, all
came down like plummets without
deviating an inch from the right course, and
each laugh of the small boy (for he was
merry) gave me a violent inclination to see
his head punched. I don't know what
spirit of evil prompted me, but some such
spirit inspired me with a baleful desire to
substitute for one of the falling cherries, a
pebble, a piece of coal, or a bit of soap. My
eyes sparkled. The youth had thrown a
plump bigaroon rather higher than usual,
and stood with his hands extended, his
head thrown back, his eyes shut, and his
mouth gaping until it should return. The
temptation was too strong. I felt frantically
around me to find a projectile, and in sweeping
my hand over the window-sill caught
at something which, without pausing to
look, I threw with all my might and main
at the small boy. The thing struck him in
the eye, and then bounded on the
pavement. A shout of triumph escaped me;
but at the same instant I burst into a cold
sweat and staggered. The boy had stooped
to pick up the thing that had hit him, and
was holding it in his fingers. "Thank
you!" he shouted joyously, and disappeared
in the distance.

I had thrown him my sixpence!


A NATIVE of the soil, yet legal representative
of her Majesty Queen Victoria, the magistrate
of the Bengal village to which I had the honour
of introducing the reader in a previous paper,
is a foreshadower of the time when India shall
be self-governed. By birth he is the son of a
small zemindar, or landowner, an ignorant and
downtrodden unit of an ignorant and
downtrodden nation; by education he is a member
of an exalted community whose interests and
influence cover the whole surface of the globe .
He commenced his studies at the government
academy of his native town, but, having soon
mastered all the information he could there
acquire, he transferred the scene of his labours,
at a still early age, to the Calcutta University.
By the interest of an influential native, a friend
of his father's, he was offered, at the close of