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to frighten birdsis worth but
fourpence a day in the market? By what law
has the said economist been called upon to
supply storybooks containing pictures to
the little boys and girls of his acquairitance?
What says Adam Smith of Christmas
and the New Year, and of the modes
of acquiring property established at that
season?

These may be grave questions or they may
not:—I always feel to be getting on wifh
any argument when I can say that a thing is
or is not something. But the fact of the
matter is thisanother good phrase, it looks
lucidthe fact is that we are richer than
we were by all the money we have spent:
everything given away has been gain, and we
have gained also all that we have got. What
have we got? Every house, I suppose,
contains something pleasantly and recently
acquired by some one of its inmates. Don't
let me be thought boastful if I count my
gains.

My youngest daughter, Tabitha, with whom
I will begin, found a beautiful maiden with
black locks and large eyes barbarously tied
by the hair to a Christmas tree, and rescued
her. The beautiful maiden shows her gratitude
by devoting her whole life to Tabitha.
She never quits her side, and at this moment,
I perceive, lies clasped in her embrace.
Tabitha has gained this charming friend,
this sharer of her walks and talks, this bosom
companion, who is called Zenora. She does
not regret the accident that brought them to
a knowledge of each other, and though she has
a very strong suspicion that it was a cruel uncle
Uncle Robsonby whose hands she was
suspended to the tree, suspended by her lovely
hairhe has great whiskers, and looks like a
creature who can do such thingsshe cannot
find it in her heart to scold a relative by
whose deed Zenora was brougt to her arms.
On my part, as an economist, I can make no
objection to this introduction of a strange
lady into the household, for she never speaks
an unkind word of anybody, makes no mischief
if I except that upon one occasion she
did certainly strew bran over a muffinand
she takes nothing, literally nothing. She lives
upon bran, and a little lasts her a long time.
My daughter in the excess of hospitality has
frequently endeavoured to force tea upon her,
but the hot tea having burnt her mouth to an
alarming degree on one occasion, none has
recently been offered.

Egbert, aged twelve, has become since
Christmas a great ship-owner. His I believe
is the largest ship in our parishMarylebone
that has a boy for captain; there may
be, and I believe are, larger such at sea.
Egbert, who knows nothing of Blake or
Nelson, brought a history-prize home at the
end of his last half year, and he calls his ship
the Actiumwhich has been lettered on the
side by our page, John, who is a neat hand
at mechanics, "the gallant Axem." Egbert
is out now on a three days' visit to his
aunt Matilda, and John, who is a good-natured
lad, has been lettering the ship in
his absence with gold-leaf as an agreeable
surprise prepared for him against his return.
The gallant Axem rides in dock now in the
area cistern, and stems the tide of water
when it is turned on and rushes in with
fearful vehemence, as grandly as becomes a
piece of your real British timber, and the
leading vessel in the naval armament of
Marylebone. She carries only two brass guns,
but those have been procured by Egbert himself
regardless of expense; he gave for one
of them as much as eighteenpence sterling,
and when the trial of them took place, I remember
being told that his eighteenpencer
sent a bullet clean into a teapot of Britannia
metal, causing an enormous leak, and so completely wrecking it, as it lay on a day in the
nursery tray, with a full cargo of tea on
board, that it went down and has never been
brought up again. If Britannia cannot resist
my son's artillery, can Russia? Not Russia,
not Morocco, not even double sole leather,
for the rash cannonader has firedI regret
to sayone of his shots through the sole of a
pair of boots that I use in rough weather.
I went out in the last thaw and was
obliged to take a cab when I found one boot
letting in water with most unaccountable
rapidity.

Egbert, who is quite an illustration of
nepotism in his way, has not only been appointed
by one uncle to the command of a
vessel, but he has been made by another uncle
half proprietor with Tabitha of the Royal
Victoria Theatrenot the Victoria sustained
by 'icks, that in the Lambeth Marshes, but
the Royal Victoria Theatrenow open at
nineteen, Bunkiter Street, Marylebone. Egbert
is stage-manager and director; Tabitha
paints the scenery and the actors, they not
being competent to paint themselves. The
proprietors of the Royal Victoria have an exclusive
property in the performers. Now,
although that may be a wrong state of things
in a free land, it is exceedingly convenient in
a theatre. They are always to perform one
piece (which will ensure perfection), Timour
the Tartar. I may illustrate the complete
subservience of the company of this theatre
to the management. One of the horses that
appears in the tournament scene being too
thin in the knees, and very liable to come
down, Egbert, in the true spirit of a despot,
tore his legs off, and that horse has ever
since gone through the play upon its tail and
belly.

The Royal Victoria Theatre has not only
brilliant scenery and actors liberally spangled
every one a firmament in himself or
herself; but it has also a handsome green silk
curtain that rolls up at the tinkle of a bell,
and footlights that burn real oil. Mrs. Gettleton
my wife and Egbert's motherhas
objected very much to the real oil. The reason

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