and difficult subjects, and told him to review them in a single article within a week. In one book there was an editorial note to the effect that the writer was to be condemned. Ernest particularly admired the book he was desired to condemn, and feeling how hopeless it was for him to do anything like justice to the books submitted to him, returned them to the editor.

At last one paper did actually take a dozen or so of articles from him, and gave him cash down a couple of guineas apiece for them, but having done this it expired within a fortnight after the last of Ernest's articles had appeared. It certainly looked very much as if the other editors knew their business in declining to have anything to do with my unlucky godson.

I was not sorry that he failed with periodical literature, for writing for reviews or newspapers is bad training for one who may aspire to write works of more permanent interest. A young writer should have more time for reflection than he can get as a contributor to the daily or even weekly Press. Ernest himself, however, was chagrined at finding how unmarketable he was. `Why,' he said to me, `if I was a well-bred horse, or sheep, or a pure-bred pigeon or lop-eared rabbit I should be more saleable. If I was even a cathedral in a colonial town people would give me something, but as it is they do not want me'; and now that he was well and rested he wanted to set up a shop again, but this, of course, I would not hear of.

`What care I,' said he to me one day, `about being what they call a gentleman?' And his manner was almost fierce.

`What has being a gentleman ever done for me except make me less able to prey and more easy to be preyed upon? It has changed the manner of my being swindled, that is all. But for your kindness to me I should be penniless. Thank heaven I have placed my children where I have.'

I begged him to keep quiet a little longer and not talk about taking a shop.

`Will being a gentleman,' he said, `bring me money at the last, and will anything bring me as much peace at the last as money will? They say that those who have riches enter hardly into the kingdom of Heaven. By Jove, they do; they are like Struldbrugs; they live and live and live and are happy for many a long year after they would have entered into the kingdom of Heaven if they had been poor. I want to live long and to raise my children, if I see they would be happier for the raising; that is what I want, and it is not what I am doing now that will help me. Being a gentleman is a luxury which I cannot afford, therefore I do not want it. Let me go back to my shop again, and do things for people which they want done and will pay me for doing them. They know what they want and what is good for them better than I can tell them.'

It was hard to deny the soundness of this, and if he had been dependent only on the £300 a year which he was getting from me I should have advised him to open his shop again next morning. As it was, I temporized and raised obstacles, and quieted him from time to time as best I could.

Of course he read Mr Darwin's books as fast as they came out and adopted evolution as an article of faith. `It seems to me,' he said once, `that I am like one of those caterpillars which, if they have been interrupted in making their hammock, must begin again from the beginning. So long as I went back a long way down in the social scale I got on all right, and should have made money but for Ellen; when I try to take up the work at a higher stage I fail completely.' I do not know whether the analogy holds good or not, but I am sure Ernest's instinct was right in telling him that after a heavy fall he had better begin life again at a very low stage, and as I have just said, I would have let him go back to his shop if I had not known what I did.

As the time fixed upon by his aunt drew nearer I prepared him more and more for what was coming, and at last, on his twenty-eighth birthday, I was able to tell him all and to show him the letter signed by his aunt upon her death-bed to the effect that I was to hold the money in trust for him. His birthday happened that year (1863) to be on a Sunday, but on the following day I transferred his shares into his own name, and presented him with the account books which he had been keeping for the last year and a half.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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