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we found all the musicians of our village
ranged in a semicircle, with the music glued
to their instruments, while a lot of small boys
acted as torch-bearers, by holding up little
pieces of tallow candles. And Herr Holub
played the clarionette, and Herr Melitka and
Herr Kuckawy greeted the dignitaries of the
Church with low salaams, while the village
population pressed round to kiss their hands.
Every window in the school-house was
brilliantly illuminated ; even Herr Holub's garret
sported a small piece of candle on a gigantic
saveall. Need I add, that the festivities of
the evening closed with a cold collation, which
Frau Melitka (for once without her ruler)
begged to offer to the very reverend gentlemen :
that on the following morning I rose
with the sun, and wrapped my well-thumbed
books in clean white paper ; and long before
the appointed time, we allmy father,
mother, cousin and nurse, dressed in our Sunday
clothes, and solemn like so many felons
at the hour of executionmarched to the
school to offer the first fruits of my learning
to the gentlemen from Prague. For it had
been arranged that I was to address the
visitors at the end of the examination. Herr
Holub had composed the speech, and repeated
it to me every day for the last six weeks.

On that festive day everything was grand,
clean, and imposing. Herr Holub shone in a
bran new suit of black. He had a resplendent
hat and waterproof boots. The school-
room had been scrubbed, and the walls divested
of their time-honoured tapestry of
cobwebs. Scarlet-cushioned chairs from the
Church had been placed for the visitors; and
on the table in front of the chairs lay a very
large nosegay. All the children and their
parents were, like our own family, in their
Sunday clothes. In short, Herr Holub was
quite right when he remarked that all ranks
and all classes combined to do honour to this
grand educational jubilee.

The examination commenced. The reverend
guests sat down, looked at the muster-
roll, and the copybooks, and produced silver
snuffboxes which they offered to the Herr
Pfarrer. The cleverest boys were called up
and examined by Herr Melitka, while Messrs.
Kuckawy and Holub stood at their elbows to
prompt them, in case of need. Never were
services more welcome or necessary. In due
time I was called upon to speak; and, obedient
to the instructions I had received, I stood up,
made four bows to the four quarters of the
globe, and commenced:

"Very Reverend, Highly Honoured and
Honoured Gentlemen, Patrons and Guests,—
This is a day—" But at this juncture I became
confused, and forgot all I had to say. Again
I repeated, " This is a day " and the gentlemen
of Prague nodded their heads, as much
as to say, that there was no contradicting such
a self-evident proposition. There is no saying
what might have become of my speech, had
not Herr Holub crept near me and whispered
in my ear. With his assistance I acquitted
myself very creditably, and received a Silber
Zwanziger and a tract, " The Royal Road to

Thus did Herr Holub crown the good
work he had commenced when he picked me
up in the market-place; and I take this
opportunity publicly to testify to his merits
and my own gratitude. As for my pretty
cousin, she jilted him.


THE parish of St. Carrabas Fields had sunk
into a state of sad decay. To speak more
correctly, it had always been in decay. No
one ever remembered the days when St.
Carrabas had possessed a clean street, a cistern
three feet distant from a sewer, or a sewer
that was not always going to be " looked to,"
and which was not looked to at all.

Scientific gentlemen had produced wonderful
heaps of figures, called statistics. Minute
particulars respecting the chemical analysis of
the air and water in the parish of St. Carrabas,
had elicited strong applause at the Bagstraw
Literary and Scientific Association; and one
gentleman had satisfactorily proved that a
dog expired under the vapour of a concentrated
alkaline poison, which was found
largely distributed through the same happy
district. Nevertheless, things went on in the
same way; the houses looked as if they had
never been newa supposition which was
rendered highly probable by the old, angular
faces of the children who sported in the
gutters, or wore life away in the factories of
St. Carrabas Fields.

People belonging to the " upper circles"
had heard that there was such a place as
St. Carrabas Fields, and that it was a large,
dirty place, filled with dirty people, who went
to work very early, and left off work very
late, and were always having the typhus
fever, " which was so dreadfully catching,"
and who never read the Bible, never educated
their children, and never did any of the many
things which ought to be done. Young ladies
had shuddered at hearing of it; and a fashionable
Member of Parliament, who was always
taking the chair at fashionable charity-school
meetings, assured Lady Lucia de Montmorency
while paying her for an egg-shell
decorated with gold strip, at the " Grand
Horticultural Fete and Fancy Fair in behalf
of the Distressed Crochet Workers "—that it
was " horrid low."

But dirt, poverty, and hard work were not
the only evils under which St. Carrabas
suffered. The minds of its inhabitants were as
unhealthy as their bodies, or as the air they
breathed. There was a church, to be sure;
but, besides being but small, it was at a
wonderful distance from the very people who most
wanted it. There were one or two Infant
schools, which kept a few of the children out