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spring, and give me such violent hints that
some little refreshment would be required
after their labours, that I asked the explorers
to lunch. There were six and thirty brethren
of Saint Snibble; all devotedly attached to
beer, and cold lamb and salad, and cold
brandy-and-water and cigars, not to mention
gooseberry-pies, and strawberries and cream.
And the result was, that, after a pleasant
stroll through some of the upland fields, and
tearing a few gates off their hinges, and
breaking several holes in the hedges, they
returned, as ignorant of the whereabout of
the holy well as when they came. They
would have had more success if the object
of their search had been bottled ale.
However, they drank my health with three times
three, and made me an honorary member of
their fraternity; with thanks for the promise
(which I never gave them) of supplying the
secretary with the main incidents of my

Scarcely have I recovered from the biographical
attempts of these two associations,
when a letter is put into my hands with a
seal on it the size of a saucer, with armorial
bearings enough to fill up the panels of an
omnibus; and on opening it, I find it is
another of the same. This time the application
is made for a minute narrative of
everything that ever befel me, or my father or
grandfather, to be inserted with a vast
impression of my family shield in Ye Booke of
ye Barons of England. Who the——
I won't write the word in fullever spelt
book with an e at the end of it, or thought
I was a baron of England ? And yet it
appears I have held that exalted rank
for many years; and my father held it
before me; for the lands we possess are
freehold; and freeholders under the crown
are barons, though not of parliamentbut
barons by as true and indefeasible a title as
if we were barons of beef, or had signed
Magna Charta, or had made the king sign it,
I don't remember which. And all this time I
have called myself esquire, or even plain
Mr. But in return for this revelation of
my magnificence, I am to inform the editor,
Blenkinsop Gwillim, Squire in Arms, Norroy
Trumpet, and Tabard of Maintenance, to the
care of Messrs. Spittle and Lick, Mediæval
and Heraldic Booksellers to the Brethren of
Roncesvalles,—on a variety of subjects of the
deepest importance. I have mislaid the man's
letter, but it haunts me yet like the hideous
and confused thing one dreams of after a
heavy supper. There is a good deal about
dragons and griffins; and one question
seems to have excited the Trumpet's
interest to an intense degree; namely, whether
I claimed the right to quarter salterwise or
otherwise; as a family of the same name in
Derbyshire manifests gules, "in the first
grand quarter with two sheep rampant within
a double treasure."

It these persecutions are long-continued, it
is my intention to sell this little domain. I
have been very happy in it, man and boy, for
thirty years. It consists of a hundred and ten
acres of moderately productive ground. I
have a house on it, with a miniature serpentine
in front, and a lawn trimly kept, and trees of
my own planting. But, house, and lands, and
trees, and lakeI must leave them all; hunted
literally for my life, and driven into lodgings
to prevent appearing in print as co-parishioner
with one exploded humbug, and co-proprietor
with another, and one of the barons of
England, and I don't know how many
characters beside; for there is no end to the
capacities in which I am expected to write
my adventures. If I had been Robinson
Crusoe the public curiosity could not have
been greater; and my fear is that, in some
weak moment, I may be deluded into jotting
down the exact date of my christening and
marriage, and waking some morning famous
among the distinguished personages of the

I have mentioned the lake. It covers
about two acres, and is four hundred and
fifty feet long. On it I keep a boat; and, in
the cool summer evenings, I make my two
girls, who are both capital handlers of the
oar, row me for half an hour on the water.
We sometimes fish out of the boat, but
never catch anything. This is quite enough.
A request comes to me for my subscription
to a new work by a gentleman of genius,
whom I never heard of before, but who, it
appears, is author of the Lives of the Sussex
Coach-makers; and he wishes me to furnish
materials for a memoir of myself, to be
inserted in his forthcoming volume of the
Lives of the Yachters. I am to tell him at
what time my predilection of maritime
adventures first manifested itself; whether I
have any relations in the navy or the
mercantile service, and generally what I have
been doing for the last forty years: with
anecdotes of my neighbours and friends. As
a further inducement to grant his request,
he informs me that an illustration to my
memoirs, consisting of an excellent
photographic likeness, is already in his possession,
a woodcut of which will be the frontispiece to
my obliging communication.

This is a greater nuisance than the others.
The pen it is just barely possible to escape
from; you may resolve positively to
continue as mute and inglorious as Milton if he
had been a Dorsetshire labourer at nine
shillings a-week; but, from a set of amateur
portrait-mongers who catch you unawares and
make hideous images of you when you
are quite unconscious of their proceedings,
there is no safety whatever. There is not
a summer in which our village is not invaded
by dozens of those artistical impostors;
and as long as they confine themselves to
cliff and waterfall, or winding lane or
dilapidated old church, nobody can blame them,
except occasionally for a trespass. But what