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At Cologne, while the porters were at work
upon the heap of bones under which my
portmanteau was buried, I got ashore and swang
my legs in a high state of juvenile enjoyment
on a wooden railing. At the same time I
was enjoying thoroughly the sight of the
distant mountains and the near cathedral
towers, the Rhine and the bridge of boats.
The artist and his family passed by upon the
way into the town, and rather hurt my dignity
by glancing at me and at each other with an
interchange of some compassionate remarks.
I dare say I was looking sentimental; I was
not too young to have read Childe Harold,
but I was as happy as a prince, and had got
on so capitally by myself that I resented pity
as injustice. The truth is, as I put it myself,
the capacities of boys are generally underrated.
There are some men at fifty, a great deal less
fit to travel unprotected than the majority of
boys at ten. The artist came to me in his polite
way and said, "Perhaps, sir, as we are fellow-
travellers, both going on to-morrow morning,
we may do well to occupy the same hotel."
I knew what he meant and thanked him, took
the name of the hotel for which he was bound,
and went on with my meditations.

My little nugget of leather having been
extracted from the great mountain of luggage
on the steamer, I went to the hotel indicated,
found an English waiter there, met my friend
the artist once in the corridor, who shook
hands with me heartily, and made a joke or
two, but did not in any way offer to invade
my privacy. In the evening I went out for
a ramble by the water-side, and coming home
followed out the idea by which I had been
pleased in Rotterdam, and supped on bread
and milk. So far, all went well; but the next
morning I was in sad distress, for the boat
started at five A. M., and the English waiter
did not get up. Soon after four in the morning
I was crying out over the heavy staircase
of the dark old inn to sleepy people who
spoke no English, that, if they pleased I should
like to have some bread and milk for breakfast
before I left. Nothing could be made of
me, or done for me, and I went off in the
raw morning to the steamer, in company with
the artist and his family, the several members
of which had been tumbling about the inn
staircases, dressing in furious haste, and wanting
hot water, a bill, a porter, and other
matters, for the last ten minutes: while I, more
virtuous, but not more happy for my virtue,
had been up and dressed in time to devote
half-an-hour to the vain search for a breakfast.

That was the last stage of my journey. On
the same morning, when the boat stopped on
its way alongside the quiet town of New
Unkraut, there stood upon the platform a
placid man with a small cloth cap on his head,
and his collar turned back from his neck,
who smoked a pipe with beautiful tranquillity,
and who had evidently singled me out from
among the passengers. I saw that he was
looking at me quietly while the great
scrambling of ropes took place. I shook
hands with my friends on board and stepped
ashore; the portmanteau was dropped out
of the vessel after me; the umbrella I carried
in my own right hand. The quiet German
instantly stepped forward, took from me the
umbrella (which I never touched again until
my return to England), and gave me, in
the English language, a mild, friendly welcome
to New Unkraut. I believed in him instantly;
and, taking his hand with all childish
simplicity, walked by his side, chattering, to

So ended my first taste of the responsibilities
of life. I liked it, and it did me good. In
that little attempt to fly alone, I obtained
more practical knowledge than is usually
got out of a half-year's grind at Propria quæ
Maribus; and I have no doubt went further
to make a man of me than any amount
of physical injury and moral contamination
I could have suffered among what are
sometimes called the wholesome hardships of
a fag.


THE power of visiting and studying a good
menagerie is ever regarded as a pleasurable
privilege; but the fact of having and holding
a collection of living creatures all to one's
self, is a precious possession for princes to
boast of. With small folk, and with mighty
folk, the sentiment is equally prevalent.
Little Tom has a certain satisfaction in
watching his friend Bob's experiment with
the new red-eyed doe rabbit; he gives his
advice how best to manage the perverse pair
of pigeons, who seem determined to "mate"
according to their own, rather than in
obedience to Bob's ideas of a suitable match:
but Tom's real and intense delight is to gloat
over the profitable increase of his private and
proper flock of guinea-pigs, and to speculate
on the vocal promise of some thrushes, which
he himself kidnapped from a thorn-bush in
their infancy, and afterwards reared on
spoon-meat and truncated worms, with his
own assiduous and well-scratched hands.

The boy is father to the man, occasionally;
but there are frequent cases wherein the
man remains undeveloped in many respects,
and the boy survives to the end of his days.
In those who have been early smitten with
the love of dumb animals, the passion mostly
lingers in maturer years. It is latent ever,
though they may try hard to smother it.

They are ashamed themselves to indulge in
"lop-ears," "mule canaries," and other
domestic juvenile pets, so they disingenuously
get out of the difficulty by buying a cage and
a rabbit-hutch for their interesting youngster's
exclusive use. But what a hardy piece of
transparent hypocrisy! As if it were not
perceptible, with half an eye, that they are
as completely wrapped up in the matter of
the live things as their children now are,