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"What was that about your first speech: you have not told me about that?”

"Nothing of consequence as it was, only my courage failed me. I had been often at the House, very often, before I thought of speaking; and when at last I made up my mind to try, it was without any fear or hesitation. I knew the subject well, I understood what I meant to say, and that is not like trusting to memory, you know, that may fail. I could no more make a studied ready-made speech, learned before-hand, than I could repeat a long passage in a language I did not understand. This is my rule, I never speak about anything I do not thoroughly comprehend, about which I do not feel. Then my knowledge of the matter can carry me through, and my feelings supply the place of eloquence, to which I do not lay claim. Nay do not think I want to seem modest with you, but, indeed, what I say is correct. I know I have often been cheered, and why?

Not from any talent or

merit of my own, but because I only speak the truth: as I said before, I only speak what I feel. Well, I was telling you, how I nearly broke down the first time, yet I assure you I had not the least fear. Not wishing to do anything very grand for the beginning, I thought I should easily express what I wished to say.

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Full of confidence I got up, I hardly know whether I said the initiatory Sir,' I only know I attempted to speak, when my tongue refused to move, my heart seemed to stop. I could see nothing, hear nothing, distinctly, and the cheers and cries of New Member,' meant to encourage me, sounded like mocking laughter in my ears; I hardly knew where I was, my senses seemed to fail me, and I think I was going to sit down, when Harry Lewis whispered me 'Neck or nothing-if you stop you are done for: say something-anything! The effect was magical; in a moment I understood all. I thought only that silence was failure, and I spoke. I hardly knew what I said: I spoke with rapidity and warmth. In my eagerness not to seem embarrassed, I fell into the other extreme; but that was better. In a few moments it was all right. I got in my depth again, and got on much better than I expected; but I always felt grateful to Lewis for his timely hint. As I said before, I like him well enough, but he is not my favourite. My friend, par excellence, is Lord Hewis


"What! Lord Relton's son ?—and a high Tory too!"

"And something more than a high Tory. A man of strong feelings, and good sense; with

a kind heart, and lively fancy: an universal favourite."

"Indeed! then no wonder he is your friend."

"But we have said enough of London and Londoners. Let us talk of Arbridge now. How beautiful every thing looks! And the cottage gardens, how well they are kept: why they surpass our own."

"They do, indeed; and no wonder. Our grounds are tended by hired gardeners, but these are the objects of the owners' care. They labour for them con amore: you can hardly conceive the pride and pleasure they feel in these little plots of ground. Ah, there is old Bennet at work. You remember Bennet?"

"I do, indeed; but he used to work in the fields, has he given it up?"

"He is quite worn out; fit for work no longer. His son supports him now, and he remains at home. But he is not idle you see. He still works a little at the garden; it's an employment for him, and he is able to do good too."

As they spoke, they approached the humble dwelling and its well kept garden, where a very old man was busily employed, surrounded by a group of children, all young, but full of health and happiness, and all eager and active. Some were weeding, some picking up stones; even the

youngest contributed his mite, and seemed not the least delighted with his business. As the gentlemen approached, the old man looked up, and, leaning on his spade, saluted them respectfully.

"Ah, Master Arbridge!" he exclaimed, turning to Charles, "I'm right glad to see you again. Often and often have we talked of you, and hoped you were happy in Lunnun."

"I am more happy to come back though," said Arbridge. "I am glad to see you look so well too. Hard at work as ever?"

"Please God, as long as I've strength, I'll work; and thanks to the master too, for giving me the means. It's not much I am fit for now; but I do all I can."

"And that's a great deal too, Bennet, if this garden is all your doings."

"It's not all mine," said the old man, rather sadly; "time was when I could have equalled the best; but my good days are over. You are young, Master Charles; you look the same now, as you did last year; but a few months make a difference with an old man like me: the spade seems to grow heavier every day. I can't dig much now; but when John comes home of an evening, he does the heavy work, and I look to it in the day."

"You've plenty of helpers too, I see."

"Yes, God bless them!" said the old man, looking affectionately at his grandchildren. "God bless them, they do their best; we're trying to bring 'em up to work hard, as their parents before 'em. And again," he added, turning to Sir Henry, "again, it's all the good of the garden: it's a school for the young, as well as a business for the old. Bless their hearts, how happy they are; and it's all along o' the garden, Sir."

"And very well the garden looks," said Sir Henry. "It does you credit, Bennet. I shall tell Peter to take a lesson from you: the gardens at the Hall don't look half so well."

The old man looked round on the little spot with a countenance glowing with pride. Of how much value is a kind word—a merited commendation!

"Thank ye kindly, Sir Henry; it is not much, certainly, but it's better than it looks. Your fine large gardens are very grand to look at; but they can't tell such a tale as this one. May be, Master Charles," he added, "with all your learnin', you couldn't read this bit of ground."

"Indeed I could not, Bennet. Pray show me how."

"Perhaps you won't care to hear it: it's only a fancy o' mine. One takes more interest in a thing, when one knows what it's for; and when

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