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tion by the mere fact of his having come at all, and then quite put that sensation's nose out of joint by cooking some rump-steaks for his own especial eating. Perhaps you don't think much of rump-steaks, because you can visit daily the abodes of Joe or Campbell, where, at your command, an obedient waiter will put his mouth to the call-pipe, and sing out, “ One rump-steak-cut to a point, well done, with a little bit of fat ;" or indeed anything else that you may choose to order : but if, like the Folkestonians, you had lived on such hard fare as skates and old maids all the days of your life, you would have a more vivid appreciation of their unfortunate case. As soon as the stranger had departed, which he did when he had finished his dinner, the natives gathered round his plate, and gathered up the scraps with wonderful assiduity; after which they carried them to the town-hall, that the elders might hold a council respecting them. And at this council it was moved by the Alderman Cute of the town, that the said fragments should be “put down,” after the fashion in which the stranger had “ put down” the original steak. This motion was seconded by all the hungry people in the town; but another alderman who had just dined, and consequently thought less of the present than of the future, moved that, if they were put down at all, it should be in the ground, so that they might bring up a plentiful crop for future emergencies. Now, the general wisdom of popular assemblies is so well known that I need hardly tell you of the result. As usual, prudence triumphed over appetite, and the steaks were planted. Well, you may be sure that the natives were jealous of each other all the time that the steaks were supposed to be growing—not allowing any one to go near the field, for fear lest he should take some mustard and salt with him and eat the buds as they came up. Once a week only the municipal authorities went in a body and watered the field with mushroom catsup, by way of giving the crop a flavour. At length, however, they could hold out no longer, so they went in a body to inspect the crop. Well, they searched the whole field over without finding so much as a single shoot, so that they began to fear that the robin-redbreasts had become carnivorous animals and devoured the harvest. At length, when they were nearly in despair, one who was more hungry, and consequently more zealous than the rest, spied a snail who was crawling about and warming himself in the sun. “Hallo !” cried this fellow to his companion, “ here's the crop coming up thick and strong, and, see, it's got bullock's horns on it already!”
Now, I certainly will not vouch for the truth of this story; but I will say, that they tell it against the Folkestonians over all that part of the country. However, it has not much to do with my Railway Shares, having been put in more to fill up room than for any connection it had with the general tenor of my tale, which I will now resume.
I need not specify my exact age; but may content myself with stating that I sit rather longer after dinner than I was wont of old, that I address my juniors as “ You young men,” and that I am continually finding out " that things are not as they were."
My family consists of a daughter, aged eighteen, and three little boys, aged thirteen, eleven, and ten, the “hiatus valde deflendus” having been caused by the death of two other girls, with whom I was originally blessed. I have plenty of friends, for I keep a good table, and give nice little parties ; and you know that in this funny condition of ours, which we call society, friends are like flies, and buzz around us so long as there is anything to
consume. But my two principal cronies are Jones and Smith, whom I have known since my boyhood ; and in this place I must make the reader anderstand the main feature of my character, which is my extraordinary penetration and knowledge of character. I know all my friends well ; but, in particular, I thoroughly fathom the motives of my friends Jones and Smith. Jones is a crusty sort of fellow ; evidently discontented, or he would not be always telling me of my faults, as if I had more faults than other men ; unsuccessful too, I'll be sworn, in all his schemes, or he wouldn't be always telling me that my schemes are foolish, likely to ruin me, and so forth. Jones has a son, about one-and-twenty, who is always coming to our house, and playing long games at chess with my daughter, without making a single move, and always losing bis hat in the passage, and having to hunt for it a long time, whilst she holds the candle. But these things can't escape my eye, and if Jones thinks that his son is to marry my daughter he must be rather more civil. Now, Smith is altogether a different sort of man ; quite another fellow from Jones. He is such a clever chap is Smith, and would have made his fortune over and over again if his luck hadn't always been against him. Many and many a time he has told me, as we sat after dinner, drinking up my sixty-shilling port, how he could have made ten thousand pounds by the Calcutta and Sauger Railway-only it failed, or by the Wheal Swindle Mines in Cornwall-only they hadn't anything to do with the common weal, or the wheel of fortune, or any other wheel, except that which is used in gaols, hulks, and other receptacles for the industrious poor. And then he is such a knowing fellow, and has such an insight into my character. Didn't he tell me only last week, when I lent him five-and-forty pounds, that he might take a share in the “ Equitable Association for the Promotion of Mesmerism,"-didn't he tell me then, “Ah! Thompson (for my name is Thompson), you should have been a speculator by rights --with your clear head, and your knowledge of business, you'd have been a pillar of the Stock Exchange ? Didn't he tell me this; and didn't Jones, when I mentioned it to him, say, like a brute as he is, that Smith could only have compared me to a pillar because he knew that I was as stupid as a post? But Jones is a fool, and Smith is a very good fellow; and as for young Jones, he shall not come into the house any more after my daughter, that's flat. As stupid as a post, indeed!
But, just to shew you what a good, kind, real, true friend Smith is, rul tell you what he did the other day. I was sitting at dinner when I heard his knock. It's a most peculiar knock, and always comes at dinner-time. Well, in he comes, and looks very knowingly at me, as much as to say, “Get your dinner over as soon as possible, for I've got some news for you." So, when my wife and daughter were gone,-they always go away as soon as they can when he is with us, for, somehow or other, they hate him-1 don't know why; but women have so little penetration, so little knowledge of character. When they were gone, he drew his chair close to mine, pulled a large paper out of his pocket, and spread it on the table. It was a prospectus running as follows: “ The Great Boulogne and Calais Railway, with a Branch to Guisnes ;” and it set forth in glowing terms that the Boulonnais and the people of Calais had long been filled with sentiments of brotherly love towards each other, and had earnestly desired more rapid means of communicating with each other than the daily diligences afforded ; that the pic-nic parties to Guisnes were becoming so numerous as to require a railroad to convey them; that the interchange of produce between Boulogne and Calais amounted to many thousand tons; that the interests of the country, the interests of the shareholders, the union between France and England, and the consequent peace of the world, demanded a railroad between Boulogne and Calais, with a branch to Guisnes; and that the capital was one million, to be raised in fifty-pound shares,—deposit, two pounds per share.
“ There,” said Smith, when he had made an end of the prospectus, “there,—now your fortune is made. Don't deny it, because it is, and you know it,—you knowing dog, you have seen it all at the first glance, -you always do,—you have such a head for business.”
Now I must confess that I did not at all see how my fortune was made ; but I did'nt like to tell Smith, for fear of losing his good opinion, wherefore I held my tongue, and tried to look as knowing as I could. “Ah," said Smith again, “you want me to come to the point,—you won't speak first, you're cautious, very cautious, well, you are quite right. In this sinful world you ought to be cautious," and he drew his hand across his eyes.
“My dear Smith,” said I, but he stopped me immediately.
“Well, well, my dear fellow, I've got two hundred and fifty of these shares. They're yours,--don't say a word,—you shall have 'em, upon my soul you shall, at the market price,-just five shillings premium.”
“But I can't rob you of this chance of making your fortune,” said I, quite melted by his generosity.
“Don't mention it,” replied he, “I've no family, you have ; take the shares,- pay the money, give me a check for the amount,-just five hundred pounds, and the premium of five shillings a share. In a month,—a fortnight,- a week, they'll be up at six pounds a share,-some people say more, but I limit 'em to six,—you'll clear a thousand pounds,—it will go to your children,--and I shall have served my friend.”
Well, to make short work of a long story, I bought the shares next day, at two pounds fifteen per share, and Smith shook hands with me, saying as he did so, “Now, my boy, sell when they get to six pounds,—don't be rash, don't wait for more,-be content, and you'll make money."
I can't tell you how proud I felt when I had the scrip in my pocket. I was as pleased as if the shares were already up at a high premium. I showed them to my wife, who said I was a fool, and to Jones, who said just the same thing ; but then women are so ignorant, and Jones is so spiteful, I know he is. I showed 'em to young Jones, who had been in France; and he said, “that about one hundred people went from Calais to Boulogne in the course of the week ; that people would not go to Guisnes on a pic-nic by railway; and that if they did, their going would'nt pay the expenses.” But then young men are so given to talk nonsense, and he is worse than his father ; he shall not come near my daughter again, for he'll be no match for her ; after my speculations. Besides she's too young to marry,--although, to be sure, my wife was only eighteen when I married her; but then I think that people now are younger at eighteen than they were when I was a boy.
(To be continued.)
THE LATE HOUR SYSTEM.
A LECTURE DELIVERED AT THE ISLINGTON AND PENTONVILLE
Let me point you to another organ, which is frequently the cause of disease in the whole body. The skin is placed over the other organs of the body. It is very complicated in its structure. In the first place, it is by means of this skin that the beat of the body is regulated: it is through its means that the heat constantly formed from the combustion of carbon in the body is given out, and its temperature is constantly fixed at 98°. This it does by giving off the heat from the body in the form of insensible perspiration. The perspiration also carries off with it matters that, if thrown back upon the system, act injuriously upon it, producing some of the most serious diseases of the body. In shops there are several causes acting and interfering with the healthy performance of these functions of the skin. In the first place, there is frequent exposure to draughts, which, acting upon the skin in an enfeebled state of the body, frequently produces inflammatory disease, and often a permanently diseased state of the skin. Again, in some places, stoves are used, by which the temperature of rooms is unduly elevated, a dry. atmosphere is produced, and the skin percorms its functions irregularly. In a dry state of air, the skin per orms its functions at first in an undue manner, and gives out a larger quantity of fluid than it ought; the consequence is, that a re-action afterwards takes place, and the system becomes burdened with a greater quantity of watery fluid than is required for health. It is thus that head-aches, vertigo, &c., are produced, arising from the incapability of the skin to throw off moisture to relieve the loaded blood.
But I must now draw your attention to the last set of organs affected by the pernicions custom of late hours. I mean the nervous system, which is the most important of all. This system consists of three separate parts: 1st. the brain ; 2nd, the spinal cord, and 3rd. the nerves which proceed from the brain and the spinal cord. Now the functions of this system are various and most important. The brain is the seat of consciousness. We find, as the brain is developed, so is the consciousness of existence; and, when passing upward from the lower animals we arrive at man, we find it the most perfect. It is by means of this organ that we are cognizant of the external world, the organs of sensation convey their impression from external objects to the brain. When the brain is destroyed, all exhibition of mind ceases. It is also the seat of all those higher faculties of the mind, thought, reflection, moral feeling ; so that it may be said to be the organ of all that distinguishes man as man. The spinal marrow and the nerves perform comparatively unimportant functions. Our minds would have no connexion with the body, but for the brain. Were I to have the nerves of sensation in my arm destroyed, I should not know, but for the nerves of special sense, that I possessed a hand. Thus it is this system which maintains the connexion between the individual and all his parts. Now what are the necessary conditions to preserve the healthy action of this organ? In the first place, it requires an original sound condition ; this, however, we may suppose to be the case in all: we are not supposed to enter upon this life in an unsound condition. In the second place, the brain and nerves require, for the proper performance of their functions, that blood should be supplied in a pure state ; if the blood be not supplied to the
brain, it becomes imperfect. Any one may be convinced of this if they would try to read for several hours in a closed room, where his own breath contaminated the atmosphere, and no provision was made for obtaining a supply of fresh air. In the course of a short time his brain would become so oppressed, that he would not be able to pursue the subject; and this arises from the fact, that a close room will at last deteriorate the blood, and the blood will not be able to supply the necessary stimulus to the brain. Persons in the habit of reading ten or twelve hours would find no oppression in an open room with plenty of pure air ; but they would have to give up in half that time in a close room, arising out of an impure supply of blood.
Now, another consideration for the perfect performance of the functions of this organo is, that it shall be duly exercised. Now, you will say, how is it that the brain can be equally exercised? Allow me to refer you to a science-I mean Phrenology--to whose details I by no means pledge myself, for a statement of the fact, that the brain is a series of organs, and if so, you may use some at the expense of the others. Now I have here written down all these organs. You will see they are divided into those of the intellectual faculties, including the ordinary operations of the understanding, as perception, reflection, and the moral feelings, which are again divided into sentiments and propensities. Now each of these faculties are said to have a distinct organ in the brain of man. I will not commit myself to this statement at all; but I will to the inferences which may be deduced from it, viz., that in order to preserve the healthy exercise of the brain, there must be a change of employment of the brain corresponding to the faculties of the mind of man. Men who are constantly occupying the mind on the perception of particular objects, will not exercise those faculties which perceive relation, or reflect, and compare ; and if the whole life is devoted to the exercise of the perceptive faculties of man, then less will be given to the other faculties, and that man suffers materially, and the brain sufers for want of the proper exercise of all its functions. The brain may be compared to a piano-forte, which has a certain number of keys, and unless they are all struck occasionally, the instrument will get out of tune. Now we do not find in these occupations that there is any want of a certain amount of exercise of the mind. Persons in shops are sometimes over-exercised in this respect; but there is a want of proper distribution of this exercise—the lower faculties, and not the higher faculties of the mind, are exercised. Where is the opportunity, in these occupations, for the exercise of the functions of the nobler sentiments which give so much character to the mind of man? And can you be surprised if these young men are not in every respect such as they ought to be, and such indeed as they might be but for the obstructions which are thrown across their path by the cruel and pernicious system I now seek to expose? I think the wonder is, that they should maintain any moral character at all; that they do not despair altogether, and that their heads do not become fattened down like those people who are said to possess no moral faculties whatever. The consequence of the pressure of the details of business upon them is, that they have no opportunities of cultivating their moral feelings, and they become victims o: those propensities which, before they sink them as their victims, render them pests in society.
I feel, however, that I have detained you a long time upon the subject; and if I have not pointed out all the evils of this system, I have pointed out some the most injurious in their results, and I trust that what I have said will produce a serious impression upon all who have heard me. Something ought to be done. These young men are placed in circumstances in which their mental and moral faculties cannot possibly have a full and fair development. Men who are not in a state to exercise all their bodily functions in a healthy manner—who are even precluded from properly digesting that food which is to become a part of their system by the pressure of this cruel system, cannot have the various functions of the mind carried on in a proper manner, and the consequence is they