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of transparent gorgeousness, but in a studied
privacy and all packed close in great rolls.
Later, I found my way up the deserted stair of
the " rooms " where the North Pole had taken
up its residence, and, awe-struck, peeped into the
great darkened chamber where it reposed with
mysterious stillness. There was a delightful
perfume of gas, and the rows of seats stretched
away far back, all deserted. The North Pole,
shrouded in green baize, rose up gauntly,
as if it were wrapping itself close in a cloak,
and did not wish to be seen. A hammer
began to knock behind, and I withdrew
hurriedly. Somehow, that grand déshabille by day
left almost as mysterious, though not so gay, an
impression as the night view. But to return to
Mr. Blackstone. Latterly, rather an awkward
run of " satis " and " medis " had set in, and
the pupil at that evening's inspection of the
books had been warned and remonstrated. With
that rather gloomy view which is always taken
of a child's failings, he had been warned that he
was entering on a course that would bring him
early "to a bad end," if not "to the gallows."
This awful warning, though the connexion of
this dreadful exit with the " satis," &c., was but
imperfectly seen, always sank deep, and the
terrors of the " drop " and a public execution
sometimes disturbed youthful dreams. But, however,
just on the arrival of the North Pole it was
unfortunate that this tendency towards a disgraceful
end should have set in. For the very
presence of this pleasing distraction unnerved the
student. It was determined that an early day
should be fixed when the family should go, as it
were, en masse, and have their minds improved
by the spectacle of what the Arctic navigators
had done. To the idle apprentice who was under
Mr. Blackstone's care, it was sternly intimated that
unless he promptly mended, and took the other
path which did not lead to the gallows, he should
be made an example of. This awful penalty was
enough from sheer nervousness to bring about
failure, and when the day fixed for the North
Pole came round, Mr. Blackstone said "it was
with much pain that he was compelled to give
the worst mark in his power for Greek, namely,

At this terrible blow all fortitude gave way, and,
with a piteous appeal to tutorial mercy, it was
"blubbered " out what a stake was depending on
his decision, and that not only was the North
Pole hopelessly lost for ever, but that worse might
follow. Blackstone was a good soul at heart,
and I recal his walking up and down the room
in sincere distress as he listened to the sad
story. He was a conscientious man, and when
he began, " You see what you are coming to, by
the course of systematic idleness you have entered
on," and when, too, he began to give warnings
of the danger of such a course, with an indistinct
allusion to the gallows, it was plain there was
hope. After a good deal of sarcasm and anger,
and even abuse, I recal his sitting down with
his penknife and neatlyhe did everything neatly
scratching out the dreadful "malè." But his
conscience would only suffer him to substitute a
"vix medi," a description which, in truth, did not
differ much, but which had not the naked horror
of the other. I could have embraced his knees.
And yet suspicion was excited by this erasure,
most unjustly, and but little faith was put in the
protestations of the accused; for his eagerness
to be present at the show was known, and he
was only cleared by the friendly testimony of an
expert as to handwriting.

That North Pole was very delightful. It
seems to me now to be mostly ships in various
positions, and very "spiky" icebergs. The
daring navigators, Captain Back and others,
always appeared in full uniform. They had all
our sympathy. The most exciting scene was
the capture of the whale, as it was called, though
it scarcely amounted to a capture. When the
finny monster had struck out with his tail and
sent the boat and crew all into the air, a dreadful
spectacle of terror and confusion, which
caused a sensation among the audience,
exhibited by rustling and motion in the dark, an
unpleasantness, however, quickly removed by the
humour of our lecturer, who, in his comic way,
says, "As this is a process which happens on
an average about once in the week, the sailors
get quite accustomed to this ducking, and
consider it rather fun than otherwise, as it saves
them the trouble of taking a bath." This drollery
convulses us, and the youthful mind thinks
what it would give to have such wit. Not less
delightful was the scene where the seals were playing
together on the vast and snowy-white shore,
with the great " hicebergs " (so our lecturer had
a tendency to phrase it) in the distance, and the
two ships all frozen up. We had music all
through, as the canvas moved on. And when
our lecturer dwelt on the maternal affection of
the wounded seal which was struggling to save
its offspring, and declined to escape into the
water, Mr. George Harker, the admired tenor
(but invisible behind the green baize), gave us,
with great feeling and effectwas it the ballad of
"Let me kiss him for his Mother"?

Only a few years ago, when the intrepid
navigators, M'Clintock and others, were exciting
public attention, a new panorama of their perils and
wanderings was brought out. Faithful to the
old loves of childhood, I repaired to the show;
but presently begun to rub my eyes. It seemed
like an old dream coming back. The boat in
the air, the wounded seal, and the navigators
themselves, in full uniform, treating with the
Esquimauxall this was familiar. But I rather
resented the pointing out of the chief navigator
"in the foreground" as the intrepid Sir Leopold,
for he was the very one who had been pointed
to as the intrepid Captain Back.

Not less welcome in these old days was the
ingenious representation of Mr. Green the intrepid
aeronaut's voyage in his great balloon " Nas
sau." There was a dramatic air about all that.
The view of gardens, crowded with spectators