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such living things as never use the
little power of retort they have ; and knowing
or appearing to know, nothing of the passion,
half suggest to the faulty that he has no
fault. I do not mean in any way to affirm
that gardeners and fowl-keepers are a good
sort of folk given to stubbornness and wrath.
But folk of that sort, I believe, are apt to
take for hobbies gardening and the cherishing
of fowls, rabbits, ducks, or pigs. All green is
colour, but all colour is not green.

If there be truth in this hypothesis, it was
quite natural in Mr. Branbody to fill up his
nephew's time between morning service and
a four o'clock dinner with a grand tour of
the garden, including detours to the rabbits,
cows, and pigs, which, for a hungry boy, was
cold work on a grey, damp winter's day.
When dinner-time arrived, there was, said
Tom, hobby the rabbit to be eaten in pie,
hobby the pig in loin or ham, that he did
not so much mind. Uncle Timothy eating
his own hobbies is simple bliss; and, when
their bones are picked and the dessert
arrived, there is an after-dinner hobby to assist
the happy host's digestion:—The past-mastership
of the Dollmakers' Company. But what
is that dear conversational hobby, more than
an expression of the natural delight of an
upright and simple-hearted man,in the esteem
and confidence of worthy fellow-citizens?

Now, I affirm, that with all the social
respect due to Mr. Branbody, the back-bone
of his intellectual and moral nature consists
of his hobbies. In his garden, telling his
friends of his azaleas and tulips, he is his best
self, amiable, happy, clever. No doubt, he
is master of the toy-business, but out of that
and into that none of his friends follow him;
out of that, he knows little or nothing, beyond
what he has learnt for his hobbies' sake. But
he is an intellectual giant upon the subject
of horticulture, and upon the natural history
of both rabbits and cochin-china fowls. If
he had not had a hobby to sustain him, his
son might have died unforgiven. The boy
was cast out, and took to the sea. Abroad,
he collected strange seeds; and, when he came
home, sent them to his father, with a rabbit
from Patagonia, Kamtchatka, or I know not
what far place; it had a surprising tail. This
did not brush away the quarrel. The old
man was obstinate, though he, perhaps, did
in his heart relent a little; but, after a time,
the strange rabbit became a father. Three
rabbitlings, all with surprising tailsan
unique breedwere a peace-offering to move
the stubbornest of hearts. Branbody, junior,
now is, what he ought to be, his father's right
hand man. He understands perfectly the
management of foreign animals of all sorts.
Nephew Tom is no longer required to offer
himself up for martyrdom before the hutches.
Who will deny, then, that if Branbody is a
good fellow to the back-bone, and a clever
fellow, in some respects, he owes it to his
hobbies. May he live long to enjoy them!

Now, let us take number nineteen — "Well,
I won't. Though I am on a hobby of my
own, and ought not to be taken off abruptly,
and, indeed, have not said my say, or taken
up all threads of my discourse, I won't say a
word more. There are peremptory orders
given from the head-quarters of this journal
that no reader is to be bored. The fault
would be in the reader, if I bored him; but
we will not discuss that. Except, indeed, to
sum the matter up, by putting it in this
way. Unless a man can be choice in
the selection of his company, must he not
want strength of character, if nobody can
ever say of him,  "Now, he is off upon one of
his peculiar hobbies, and becomes a bore?"
Ought we to trust a man who does not keep
a hobby? Ought we to like a man who never
is a bore? My answer is, No. Many a thing
ruthful to hear is good to speak; and, it is
not seldom the best part of a man, that, in
the utterance, he most sorely tries his
neighbour's patience.



THE excitement and disappointment of
the last few days, added to the craziness
of a constitution broken by dissipation,
struck Andrew with a terrible fit of delirium
tremens, from which it was thought
he would never recover. He could not,
therefore, make any opposition; and
Magdalen proved the will, and took possession
of the property undisturbed, wondering
why he never answered her letters nor
acknowledged the remittances she sent
him. In her own mind she determined
that her brother should share equally with
herself in her inheritance; only she would
not bind herself to this by any written deed
or agreement, as she wished to reserve the
right of distribution according to her own
judgment and the circumstances of his family.
She was uneasy at his silence, however, and
more than once spoke of going herself to
London, to see what was the matter. But
Paul, who had a horror of scenes, and who
dreaded anything like contest infinitely more
than he hated oppression and wrong,
persuaded her to remain quiet; telling her that
if there was ill in store for her, it would
come soon enough, without her meeting it
half-way, and that silence was the best thing
that could happen between them. And, as
Magdalen felt he was right, she remained in
the country: calmer and happier as the
sharpness of her sorrow wore away by time.

"A letter, miss!" said the servant, one
day, bringing in a coarse-looking epistle
sealed with a wafer and marked with a
sprawling blot of ink. It was wet, too, with
rain, and had been suffered to fall into the
mud. Magdalen took it carelessly, thinking
it was a circular or a begging-letter; not at
first recognising the writing. But she soon