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quite certain whether Sir Basil did not give a
quiet chuckle over the operation thus

Sir Basil talked to me about a design for
the school-house, and hinted at a change in
his family that would involve some considerable
alterations in his dwelling, and how glad
he was to have fallen in with an architectural
friend of Tom's.  I thought his conversation

We left early.  Tom always read prayers,
night and morning, to his housekeeper and
her daughter; and even Fanny, had she wished
it, could not have caused him to forget so
simple and conscientious a duty.  I was to be
up early to go with Sir Basil to a meeting of
landlords at some distance, and we went,
therefore, quietly to bed.

I could not detail the delightful manner in
which I spent the next four or five days, any
more than I could describe my satisfaction
at the agreeable nature of Tom's prospects.
But, I thought of the influence which good
circumstances would bring; of the further
development of his high feeling and good-
heartedness; and of the chastened soberness
of disposition, which the farewell to a
bachelor's life would bring with it.

When I thought of Tom's ambition, "in his
salad days, when he was green in judgment,"
to be seen in stables at all hours of the day;
of his uncouth dress and careless conversation
when I reflected upon our breakfasts of
beer and cigars, our extravagant luncheons
and suppers, our dinners anywhere but in
"hall"—when I summed up the mass of bills
that used to be displayed in the chinks of the
looking-glass frame, before they were jerked
into the fireI could not help saying, as I
shook hands with him on the railway
platform: "A great change for the better, Tom,
a great change for the better!"



ONE of the early Italian novelists has left
us an anecdote of a pleasant old Florentine
gentleman, Scolaio Franchi by name, which,
if the proverb had not been as old as the
Greeks, or probably as philosophy itself, might
be supposed to have originated the famous
admonition about "the cup and the lip."
There is nothing very wonderful in the story.
Similar surprises have happened at many
dinner-tables.  I believe the manner in which
it was told was what made it impress
me; and to this I shall probably not do
justice, for I repeat it from memory, and
some particulars have escaped me.  But the
spirit of it ran as follows:—

Signor Scolaio was entertaining some friends
at a tavern; and the wine had been flowing
for some time and the company very merry,
when the old gentleman, who had the spirits
of a young one, and who was gifted with a
corresponding flow of words, wound up a
panegyric which he had been making on
the juice of the grape, with the following

"So much, gentlemen, for the glories of
wine in general: and now for a sample of
them in particular, and that too in connection
with my own glory, and in the shape of this
particular glass of wine which I hold in my
hand, and which I am about to have the
honour and felicity of drinking.

"Gentlemen, it is a very remarkable
circumstance, and worthy, if you reflect on it, of
your deepest consideration, that this particular
glass of winelook at it if you please,
and observe it well, as a thing contemplated
in the decrees of fatewas destined from all
eternity to be drank by me, simple as I stand
here, Scolaio Franchi.  Moot as you will the
point; bolt the matter to the bran; sift, with
all the enquirers on such subjects, from
Aristotle to Saint Austin, every particle of
evidence left in the respective sieves of your
subtleties out of the whole grinding and
tri-turation of the great questions of fate, free-
will, foreknowledge, liberty, necessity and
unavoidability; and you will find nothing in
the whole rounds of certainty more certain,
than the drinking and imbibition of this
particular glass of wine by me, Scolaio Franchi.
All the folios that could be written on the
other sideall the armies that could be
brought against me to hinder me, though
they were bigger than Charlemagne's or than
Agrican'sall the eclipses, comets, and earth-
quakes gathered together (if that were
possible) from all timeor whatsoever else might
turn, terrify, and annihilate a man from his
purpose, if it were not absolutely decreed as
in this instance, could turn, terrify, or in the
least degree interfere with, or obstruct, the
passage of this particular pre-ordinated glass
of wine into the throat and stomach of Scolaio

The orator had no sooner uttered these
words than the friend who sat on his right,
and who had been nicely calculating the
mode of doing it, snatched the glass out of
his hand, and swallowed it himself.


WE have been favoured with the following

"I am a constant reader of Household
Words, and having, in two recent numbers,
been struck with an account of a tour through
the western part of my native county
(Cornwall) in an apparently fruitless search
after Cornish Choughs, it has occurred to
me, that you might really wish to obtain
a living specimen of that bird.  If such is
the case, I can inform you where they are

"I was residing for some years at a small
cove, named Portloe, and subsequently at