exhibited at one view many works which had attracted attention at the Academy Exhibitions, and as to whose ultimate destiny there had been some curiosity. The prices realized were disappointing to the executors, but, then, these things are so much a matter of chance. An unscrupulous writer in a well- known weekly paper had written the collection down. Moreover there had been one or two large sales a short time before Dr Skinner's, so that at this last there was rather a panic, and a reaction against the high prices that had ruled lately.

The table of the library was loaded with books many deep.; MSS. of all kinds were confusedly mixed up with them, - boys' exercises, probably, and examination papers - but all littering untidily about. The room in fact was as depressing from its slatternliness as from its atmosphere of erudition. Theobald and Ernest as they entered it, stumbled over a large hole in the Turkey carpet, and the dust that rose showed how long it was since it had been taken up and beaten. This, I should say, was no fault of Mrs Skinner's but was due to the Doctor himself, who declared that if his papers were once disturbed it would be the death of him. Near the window was a green cage containing a pair of turtle doves, whose plaintive cooing added to the melancholy of the place. The walls were covered with bookshelves from floor to ceiling, and on every shelf the books stood in double rows. It was horrible. Prominent among the most prominent upon the most prominent shelf were a series of splendidly bound volumes entitled `Skinner's Works.'

Boys are sadly apt to rush to conclusions, and Ernest believed that Dr Skinner knew all the books in this terrible library, and that he, if he were to be any good, should have to learn them too. His heart fainted within him.

He was told to sit on a chair against the wall, and did so, while Dr Skinner talked to Theobald upon the topics of the day. He talked about the Hampden Controversy then raging, and discoursed learnedly about `Praemunire'; then he talked about the revolution which had just broken out in Sicily, and rejoiced that the Pope had refused to allow foreign troops to pass through his dominions in order to crush it. Dr Skinner and the other masters took in the Times among them, and Dr Skinner echoed the Times' leaders. In those days there were no penny papers and Theobald only took in the Spectator - for he was at that time on the Whig side in politics; besides this he used to receive the Ecclesiastical Gazette once a month, but he saw no other papers, and was amazed at the ease and fluency with which Dr Skinner ran from subject to subject.

The Pope's action in the matter of the Sicilian revolution naturally led the Doctor to the reforms which his holiness had introduced into his dominions, and he laughed consumedly over the joke which had not long since appeared in Punch, to the effect that Pio `No, No,' should rather have been named Pio `Yes, Yes,' because as the doctor explained, he granted everything his subjects asked for. Anything like a pun went straight to Dr Skinner's heart.

Then he went on to the matter of these reforms themselves. They opened up a new era in the history of Christendom, and would have such momentous and far-reaching consequences, that they might even lead to a reconciliation between the Churches of England and Rome. Dr Skinner had lately published a pamphlet upon this subject, which had shown great learning, and had attacked the Church of Rome in a way which did not promise much hope of reconciliation. He had grounded his attack upon the letters A.M.D.G., which he had seen outside a Roman Catholic chapel, and which of course stood for Ad Mariam Dei Genetricem. Could anything be more idolatrous?

I am told, by the way, that I must have let my memory play me one of the tricks it often does play me, when I said the Doctor proposed Ad Mariam Dei Genetricem as the full harmonies, so to speak, which should be constructed upon the bass A.M.D.G., for that this is bad Latin, and that the doctor really harmonized the letters thus: Ave Maria Dei Genetrix. No doubt the doctor did what was right in the matter of latinity - I have forgotten the little Latin I ever knew and am not going to look the matter up, but I believe the doctor said Ad Mariam Dei Genetricem, and if so we may be sure that Ad Mariam Dei Genetricem is good enough Latin at any rate for ecclesiastical purposes.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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