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they worked me into an agony of terror; and
I clung to the locked door (in the centre of
which there was a largish grating) and beat
against it, to the great disgust and irritation
of the porter; who, with a lantern at the
end of a pitchfork, came in to look at the
moribund occasionally, and who made a rush
at me at last as he would have done at a young
bull. "It's all over with him," he said to me
in remonstrance; "so where's the good? The
doctor's gone to a birth; but we've give him
a bottle of stuff till he comes, and made
him comfable. So lie down."

Whatever the "stuff" wasdoctor's stuff,
kitchen stuff, or household stuffthe miserable
man continued "moaning of his life out"
as the porter said querulously, until it was
almost morning. Then the doctor (a pale,
over-worked, under-paid young man with
tight trousers, and spectacles, always in a
chaise and a perspiration) came; and I heard
him tell the porter that the man would "go
off easily." He presently did.

They let me out at eight o'clocksick,
dizzy, and terrified. "I told you so," the
porter said with apologetic complacency, "he
went off quite 'comfable.'" This was his
epitaph. Who he was or what he waswhere
he came from or whither he was goingno
man knew, and it was no man's business to
inquire. I suppose they put him in the plain
deal shell, which I saw the village carpenter
tacking together as I turned down the street,
and so lowered him under ground. They might
have written "comfable" on his tombstone, for
any purpose a word would serveif they
gave paupers tombstones; which they do not.

But, this poor dead unknown man did me a
service. For, whether I was superstitious, or
whether my nerves were unstrung, or whether
repentance at my obdurate folly came tardily,
but came at last, I went no farther on the
way to Portsmouth, but thought I wouldn't
go to sea, just at present, and tramped
manfully back to Ealing, determined to take all
Mr. Bogryne could give me, and be thankful.
But I did not get what I expected and what
I deserved. I found anxious friends just on
the point of putting out bills of discovery
as for a strayed puppy; I found a fatted calf
already slaughteredkindness, affection,
forgiveness, and Home.

There was but one drawback to my happiness.
With some strong preconceived notion
of the dreadful company I must have been
keeping, and the horrible dens I must have
sojourned in, my relations and friends found it to
be their bounden duty to wash me continually.
When it wasn't warm bath, it was yellow soap
and scrubbing-brushes; and when it wasn't
that, it was foot-bath. I was washed half away.
I was considerably chafed, and morally hustled,
too, by good pious relatives in the country;
who, for many months afterwards, were for
ever sending me thick parcels; which, seeing,
I thought to be cakes; which, opening, I
found to be tracts.

I have walked a good deal to and fro on
the surface of this globe since then; but I
have never been to seaon similar terms
since, any more.


IF I lived in Piccadilly, I believe that I
should not be tempted to Hyde Park by the
grandest review of drums, and guns, and
cartridge-boxes that was ever held, though
Russia, Prussia, France, and Austria, sent
their Field-marshals and their picked troops
to eke out the show. Living not very far from
Piccadilly, I was, however, tempted a short
time ago to journey off to the remote
neighbourhood of Romney Marsh, attracted by the
announcement that a grand field-day was to
be held, and that a review of regiments of
turnips, carrots, pumpkins, and such brave
supporters of the country, was to take place
under the auspices of field labourers from
Playden, Peasmarsh, Iden, Northiam, and
other places, who would bring contingents to
the field.

There had been sent to me a bill of the
performance of the Rye District Cottagers'
Horticultural Society, advertised to be
presented in capacious marquees on a promising
day at the close of August in the present year.
The programme lies before me now, a sheet
as large as half-a-dozen London playbills, and
offering a proportionately large combination
of attractions. There are set all over the
paper, apples, for cooking; apples, for eating;
pots of honey; ripe fruit; scarlet runners;
and many other equally old favourites, which
were all announced to appear together in
their finest characters. I thought that an
assemblage of them in considerable force was
worth going a good way to see. Little
enthusiasm as I feel about the tented field,
commonly speaking, I thought that there
might be something that would cause my
heart to warm a little when I got among the
tents of the horticulturists, and saw the flags of
the cottagers of Sussex floating victorious over
the soil they had conquered, and which they
had compelled to pay to them heavy tribute.

I took the first train for Hastings on the
appointed day, and, quitting Hastings instantly
again, proceeded on to Rye. It was one of
the cheerful days which autumn has in her
youth before she takes to sighing, weeping,
and the wearing of russet. She wore a very
gay dressgreen and goldenon the day in
question, prettily trimmed, I observed, with
festoons of hop; and she had on a magnificent
blue cap, upon which there floated a few
ribbons of cloud. Mistress Autumn does not
wear her best clothes when she is in town,
but it is different when you go to see her in
the country.

The sea looked its bluest as we swept away
upon our flight like birds; and the Downs,
with the remains of Hastings Castle on
their summit, were drawn over the waters