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after his own sense of the needs of the people.
The boys who survived and were in health,
formed a sort of regiment under his orders, and
they certainly never liked work so well before.
Every little fellow felt his own consequence,
and was aware of his own responsibility. A
certain number, as has been said, went up to
the brow to bring down the stores. A certain
number were to succeed each other at the
doctor's door, from hour to hour, to carry
medicines, that the sick might neither be
kept waiting, nor be liable to be served with
the wrong medicine, from too many sorts
being carried in a basket together. Others
attended upon Warrender, with pail and
brush, and helped him with his lime-washing.
At first it was difficult, as has been said, to
induce the lads to volunteer for this service,
and Mr. Kirby directed much argument and
persuasion towards their supposed fear of
entering the cottages where people were
lying sick. This was not the reason, however,
as Warrender explained, with downcast eyes,
when Mr. Kirby wondered what ailed the
lads, that they ran all sorts of dangers all
day long, and shirked this one.

" 'Tis not the danger, I fancy, Sir," said
Warrender; "they are not so much afraid of
the fever as of going with me, I 'm sorry to say."

"Afraid of you!" said Mr. Kirby, laughing.
"What harm could you do them?"

" 'Tis my temper, Sir, I 'm afraid."

"What is the matter with your temper? I
see nothing amiss with it."

"And I hope you never may, Sir: but I
can't answer for myself, though at this
moment I know the folly of such passion as
these lads have seen in me. Sir, it has been
my way to be violent with them; and I don't
wonder they slink away from me. But—"

"I am really quite surprised," said Mr.
Kirby. "This is all news to me. I should have
said you were a remarkably staid, quiet, persevering
man; and, I am sure, very kind
hearted."

"You have seen us all at such a time, you
know, Sir! It is not only the misfortunes of
the time that sober us, but when there is
so much to do for one's neighbours, one's
mind does not want to be in a passionso to
speak."

"Very true. The best part of us is roused,
and puts down the worse. I quite agree with
you, Warrender."

The boys were not long in learning that
there was nothing now to fear from Warrender.
No one was sent staggering from a
box on the ear. No hair was ever pulled;
nor was any boy ever shaken in his jacket.
Instead of doing such things, Warrender
made companions of his young assistants,
taught them to do well whatever they put
their hands to, and made them willing and
happy. While two or three thus waited on
him, others carried home the clean linen that
his daughter and a neighbour or two were
frequently ready to send out: and they daily
changed the water in the tubs where the foul
linen was deposited. Others, again, swept
and washed down the long steep street,
making it look almost as clean as if it
belonged to a Dutch village. After the autumn
pig-killing, there were few or no more pigs.
The poor sufferers could not attend to them;
could not afford, indeed, to buy them; and
had scarcely any food to give them. Though
this was a token of poverty, it was hardly to
be lamented in itself, under the circumstances;
for there is no foulness whatever, no nastiness
that is to be found among the abodes of men,
so dangerous to health as that of pig-styes.
There is mismanagement in this. People
take for granted that the pig is a dirty animal,
and give him no chance of being clean;
whereas, if they would try the experiment of
keeping his house swept, and putting his food
always in one place, and washing him with
soap and water once a week, they would find
that he knows how to keep his pavement
clean, and that he runs grunting to meet his
washing with a satisfaction not to be mistaken.
Such was the conclusion of the boys
who undertook the purification of the two or
three pigs that remained in Bleaburn. As
for the empty styes, they were cleaner than
many of the cottages. After a conversation
with Mr. Kirby, Farmer Neale bought all the
dirt-heaps for manure; and in a few days
they were all trundled away in barrows
even to the stable-manure from the Plough
and Harrowand heaped together at the
farm, and well shut down with a casing of
earth, beat firm with spades. Boys really
like such work as this, when they are put
upon it in the right way. They were less
dirty than they would have been with tumbling
about and quarrelling and cuffing in the filthy
street; in a finer glow of exercise; with a
more wholesome appetite; and far more
satisfaction in eating, because they had earned
their food. Moreover, they began to feel
themselves little friends of the grown people
of Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, and the Doctor,
and the Warrendersinstead of a sort of
reptiles, or other plague; and Mr. Kirby
astonished them so by a bit of amusement
now and then, when he had time, that they
would have called him a conjuror, if he had
not been a clergyman. He made a starany
star they pleasedas large as the comet, just
by making them look at it through a tube;
and he showed them how he took a drop of
foul water from a stinking pool, and put it
between glasses in a hole in his window-shutter;
and how the drop became like a
pond, and was found to be swarming with
loathsome live creatures, swimming about,
and trying to swallow each other. After
these exhibitions, it is true the comet seemed
much less wonderful and terrible than before;
but then the drop of water was infinitely more
so. The lads studied Mr. Kirby's cistern
so carefully covered, and so regularly cleaned
out; and they learned how the water he

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