I may mention that when I retired from business, and took out of it the fortune that had accumulated during my twenty-two years of assiduous attention and labour, I invested the bulk of it in Three per cent Consols. The rate of interest was not high, but it was nevertheless secure. High interest, as every one knows, means riskful security. I desired to have no anxiety about the source of my income, such as might hinder my enjoying the rest of my days in the active leisure which I desired. I had for some time before my retirement been investing in consols, which my dear wife termed "the true antibilious stock," and I have ever since had good reason to be satisfied with that safe and tranquillising investment. All who value the health-conserving influence of the absence of financial worry will agree with me that this antibilious stock is about the best.

    The "Cottage in Kent" was beautiful, especially in its rural surroundings. The view from it was charming, and embodied all the attractive elements of happy-looking English scenery. The noble old forest trees of Penshurst Park were close alongside, and the grand old historic mansion of Penshurst Place was within a quarter of a mile's distance from our house. There were many other beautiful parks and country residences in our neighbourhood; the railway station, which was within thirty-five minutes' pleasant walk, enabling us to be within reach of London, with its innumerable attractions, in little more than an hour and a quarter. Six acres of garden-ground at first surrounded our cottage, but these were afterwards expanded to sixteen; and the whole was made beautiful by the planting of trees and shrubs over the grounds. In all this my wife and myself took the greatest delight.

    Hammerfield, Penshurst.

    From my hereditary regard for hammers -- two broken hammer-shafts being the crest of our family for hundreds of years -- I named the place Hammerfield; and so it remains to this day. The improvements and additions to the house and the grounds were considerable. A greenhouse was built, 120 feet long by 32 feet wide. Roomy apartments were added to the house. The trees and shrubs planted about the grounds were carefully selected. The coniferae class were my special favourites. I arranged them so that their natural variety of tints should form the most pleasing contrasts. In this respect I introduced the beech-tree with the happiest effect. It is bright green in spring, and in the autumn it retains its beautiful ruddy-tinted leaves until the end of winter, when they are again replaced by the new growth.

    The warm tint of the beech contrasts beautifully with the bright green of the coniferae, especially of the Lawsoniania and the Douglassi -- the latter being one of the finest accessions to our list of conifers. It is graceful in form, and perfectly hardy . I also interspersed with these several birch-trees, whose slender and graceful habit of growth forms so fine a contrast to the dense foliage of the conifers. To thus paint, as it were, with trees, is a high source of pleasure in gardening. Among my various enjoyments this has been about the greatest.

    During the time that the alterations and enlargements were in progress we rented a house for six months at Sydenham, close to the beautiful grounds of the Crystal Palace. This was a most happy episode in our lives, for, besides the great attractions of the place, both inside and out, there were the admirable orchestral daily concerts, at which we were constant attendants. We had the pleasure of listening to the noble compositions of the great masters of music, the perfectly trained band being led by Herr Manns, who throws so much of his fine natural taste and enthusiastic spirit into the productions as to give them every possible charm.

    From a very early period of my life I have derived the highest enjoyment from listening to music, especially to melody, which is to me the most pleasing form of composition. When I have the opportunity of listening to such kind of music, it yields me enjoyment that transcends all others. It suggests ideas, and brings vividly before the mind's eye scenes that move the imagination. This is, to me, the highest order of excellence in musical composition. I used long ago, and still continue, to whistle a bit , especially when engaged in some pleasant occupation. I can draw from my mental repository a vast number of airs and certain bits of compositions that I had once heard. I possess that important qualification for a musician -- "a good ear;" and I always worked most successfully at a mechanical drawing when I was engaged in whistling

  By PanEris using Melati.

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