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not have been invited to join me on this
voyage) changes his ground. Leaving me
to wallow in the ignorance which I seem to
covet, he appeals with more chance of
success to the weakest point about me,—my
imagination. As a basis of operation, he
explains in a popular manner the nature and
construction of canal-locks. He tells me how
our frail bark, the Stourport, will be
admitted into a deep, narrow, oblong, brick
well; and how, as soon as we are in the
dreadful trap, two massive iron-bound timber
gates will close behind us in such a manner
that the more the pressure is increased
from behind, the tighter will they bind
themselves together. Then he draws a fearfully
vivid picture of the two gates in front of
us,—a single, slender barrier, that alone
opposes the advance of an oceana hundred
thousand tons of water forty feet above our
heads, fretting to be at us, like a bear looking
down from his pole upon the tender children
outside his pit. Cuddy candidly admits that
this barrier is secured by powerful and well-
tried machinery; but qualifies the admission
by his description of the persons who are
supposed to regulate the action of this
machinery. He puts it to me, whether I
ought to feel secure in resting where I am,
while a feeble old man from the lock-house
totters out of his bed in the dead of night,
with a glimmering lantern in one hand and
the fatal lock-key in the other, groping his
way to the awful barrier; or while the over-
worked, drowsy, and perhaps headstrong
boy, who travels the towing-path with the
horse, rushes at the fearful flood-gates to
play with the deluge. What can I expect,
but to be dashed backward and forward in
a savage maƫlstrom; or hurled, like a straw,
with trees, haystacks, cows, and farm-houses,
over the distant meadows?

Very true, indeed, Cuddy, very true, indeed
but do not, for mercy's sakebe so
shockinglygraphic. Sleep at last.
A fitful, feverish sleep. A very inferior
balm, and nothing like great Nature's second

It had lasted, perhaps, an hour, when it
was abruptly broken by a violent bump, which
caused the devoted Stourport to tremble from
stem to stern. Cuddy awoke, and sat upright;
while I started instantly upon my legs.
Everything was pitch black. Not a gleam of
light was visible. The rushing, hissing sound
of bursting waters filled the ears with terror.
I realised our position in a moment; we had
settled down in the bed of a lock, and the
canal-flood had already closed over our heads.
I flew to the spot where there had been an
opening in the tarpaulin before we went to
sleep, and tore it open. The moon was
shining dimly in the sky, for it was now near
daybreak. Our bark was certainly in the bed
of a lock, rising gradually to the upper level
close to the brick wall. The water was pouring
in at the lock-gates; and the bump that
had aroused us was the result of a more
than usually violent concussion of the head
of the boat against the upper gate timbers.
The pitch-black darkness of the hold was
caused by the fatherly tenderness of the boatman
on duty; who, finding we were sleeping
under the open tarpaulin, with a heavy dew
coming down upon our unprotected heads,
had drawn the rough and humble curtain,
without disturbing us, and had innocently
added to the horrors of our nightmare.

"Cuddy," I said to my friend and
companion, with something of severity in my
tone, "let us have no more of these graphic
descriptions, just upon the eve of slumber."


SEPTEMBER, the month of the Harvest
Moon, is the beloved month of moonshine for
the million. This month of bright English
autumn weather, is the holiday month of
many a fagged student and many a busy
labourer in the world's work. In this month,
of all others, the full moon rises so soon after
sunset, that the short evening walk begun in
sunshine may be closed in moonlight. After
the twenty-first of this month, English moonlight
walks, weather permitting, are to be
enjoyed at reasonable hours in their perfection.

Simply because of its rising night after
night, after the full, more closely upon the
sunset than any other, the moon which is at
its full on or nearest to the twenty-first of
September, is called the Harvest Moon.
Labourers who would make haste to gather
in their harvests, may go on with their work
by moonlight when the sunlight fails. On
the twenty-first of September the sun sets
due west, and the moon rises due east.
Then it is that the orbit of the moon makes
the least possible angle with the horizon.

Apropos not only of the harvest moon, I
have certain vague convictions of my own,
concerning moonshine in general. I am quite
serious, am too judicious to believe in ghosts;
but I believe that there is more in moonlight
than philosophers have yet discovered. I am
very far from content with the mere information
that moonlight is sunlight in a mild
form. A few years ago it contented men of
science to find in the sunshine little more
than light, in the sense of that which makes
things visible. All the effects of sunlight
were ascribed to light, and to nothing else.
Sunlight differed from other lights only in its
intensity, they said. Human art made intense
light, and found that it would not do what
sunlight does. It is true that a ball of ignited
quicklime in the Drummond light, the most
intense light we have ever made, appears
only as a black spot when held before the
bright disc of the sun; and the recent experiments
of Messieurs Fizeau and Foucault show
that the light at the surface of Drummond's
lime-ball is a hundred and forty-six times

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