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they flit through the thick bar of shadow that
the lighthouse casts upon the pier.

"True," I reply, " but then we shall miss
the happiness of returning to them." And
how great this happiness isalmost worth,
indeed, the cost of separationwe know
well next morning, when, after no end of
bells, breathless arrivals from the trains,
gangways twice withdrawn and twice
replaced for more last-comers, a thrill vibrates
through the crowded vessel, the steam ceases
its impatient hiss, the massive engine-beam
slowly rises, descends; the paddles turn, the
pier floats by with its kindly voices; around
us is the sea; before usEngland!

You go out with the tide, and the
sea itself is bound for England! Could
you bear to see it glide thither with a
smooth, tame apathy, instead of those
generous bounds with which it rushes to the
land of freemen and fires? The hours fly
like the waves. What! the white cliff's
already! Yes, the mist rises, furls off from
those gates of pearlfor so they seem, as the
light pours upon them through the dewy
air. And how lovely looks Albion as she
greets you thus! With what modesty, what
sweet reserve, does she lift her veil, and
disclose, one after one, the features that
charm youthe shining town, just fresh
from its bath, the silver vapours stealing
under the hollow cliffs, the sheep that range
their summits, and dot at times some sloping
crevice of green!

We are not going to be ungrateful to those
bright clear skies which we have just left,
and which take good care that no fibre of a
leaf, no nicest pediment of gate or temple,
shall be lost upon you, and having set off the
region to the best advantage, naturally
expect you to admire it. But there is a
pleasure in finding out your wealth, in a sun
that, like a discreet cicerone, can
sometimes retire, and which, in place of dazzling
you with a ceaseless blaze of commentary, is
often content with a mere hint of light on
upland or in valley. So we think, as the
Express dashes through green lands that
have not paid the penalty of a cloudless sky;
by woods just tinged with autumn, now
solemn and thoughtful, and anon brightening
with a thousand chequered gleams, by
hills on whose slopes the shadows sport,
while, above, the mill whirls merrily in a
white effulgence, and shrieks with joy to the
riotous brook. This is our England, the land
of homes! Blessings on her! May she
forgive us, if ever in unfilial mood we have
swelled the foreigner's reproach on her climate,
if we have ever been bitter on her springs
and split our coals with impatient expletives
in the heart of her Junes. May she forgive
us if we have ever thought the bloused pea-
sant of France better informed and more
courteous than honest Giles, who leans there
on his pitchfork by the gate, and of whose
hearty welcome to his bacon we are thoroughly
assured. May she especially pardon us if we
have ever considered the Barrière de l'Etoile,
on the whole, a finer approach than the
suburb of Peckham; or, if we have ever
compared Trafalgar Square with the Place de
la Concorde, to the disadvantage of the
former. What! try our England by the laws
of beauty, or any such abstraction? No
such thing: we will try her by our love. Her
features are beautiful to us, for they are

Besides, whatever inferiority cold critics
may assign to us, out of doors, we challenge
the world to match our interiors. We can
bear to think that we have no vine-clad steeps
when we remember our firesides. We feel
this more than ever when, arrived at last, we
bask again in the glow of our own. The urn
enters in a state of agitated enthusiasm, and
greets us with a hiss of welcome. Dear, kind,
Aunt Betsy has surrendered to us her charge.
Mamma sits radiant between Harriet, Jane,
and Carry, while the chubby fingers of shy,
silent Freddy dive into mine. Now comes
happy social tea, towards the end of which,
telegraphic glances pass between the children,
well aware of the one trunk left purposely in
the hall, but resolved as a point of imperative
etiquette to ignore its existence. Attacked
at last, the cords fall off forlornly, the groaning
lock gives way, to vigorous assaults, the
stronghold of mystery is forced. O, treasures
of Lyons' silk for the delight of Aunt
Betsy! O, inlaid work-box with shining
implements, and silk, crimson lining, for Carry!
O, veritable, full-sized poupée, literally
overwhelming Harriet-Jane with the sudden
burden of maternity! O, drum and bugle,
that roll and blare through Gallic streets, and
now, in miniature, alarm a garrison of nurses
and house-maids to the rapture of military
Freddy! " Arthur, lay aside that Molière for
your uncle, till he leaves chambers! " And
now let us to the fire, and pray that all
home-comingswhether to mighty London,
with its glare and din, or to woody suburbs
thereof, or to country-towns with quaint old
inns, or to bright, many-windowed halls, or-
to hilly farm-steads, glimmering for miles
above the dusky wealds, may be happy as
our own.

Now Ready, in Twenty-eight pages, stitched,
Household Words Office, No. 10, Wellington Street
North, Strand.—Sold by all Booksellers, and at all
Railway Stations.

The Publication of the
Will be Discontinued at the End of the Present Year
with the Completion of the Volume. The previous
Volumes, beginning with 1850 may be had of all
Booksellers and at all Railway Stations.