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We bid you welcome! and hope each may find
Something we've chosen suited to his mind;
Our bill of fare contains some curious dishes
To satisfy your various tastes and wishes.
And first, to show our classic lore, we'll speak
What Sophocles composed in sounding Greek,
Repeat the words his olden heroes said,

And from their graves call back the mighty dead.
Then in Rome's Senate we will bid you stand,
The Conscript Fathers ranged on either hand,
When Cicero th' expectant silence broke,
And cruel Verres trembled while he spoke.
In modern Rome's soft language we'll rehearse
Immortal Tasso's never-dying verse:

In German we've a name you all know well,
The brave, the free, the patriot, William Tell;
And then, for fear all this dry stuff they'll tire on,
To please the ladies we've a piece from Byron.
Next, we've the one-legged goose-that rara avis,
Whose history will be told by Master Davis,

And Monsieur Tonson's griefs we're sure will call
A little hearty laughter from you all.

With a few concluding lines which I cannot remember.

Just before the Christmas holidays (or perhaps on the fifth of November) I wrote a slight serio-comic play, the subject being "Guy Faux." While following history pretty closely as to the chief characters and events, I purposely introduced a number of anachronisms, as umbrellas, macintoshes, lucifer matches, half-farthings then just issued. I also made use of some modern slang, and concluded with a somewhat mockheroic speech by the judge when sentencing the criminal. The boys acted their parts very well, and the performance was quite a success.

Early in the following year (February, 1846) I received the totally unexpected news of the death of my brother William at Neath. He had been in London to give evidence before a committee on the South Wales Railway Bill, and returning at night caught a severe cold by being chilled in a wretched third-class carriage, succeeded by a damp bed at Bristol. This brought on congestion of the lungs, to which he speedily succumbed. I and my brother John went down to Neath to the funeral, and as William had died without a will,

we had to take out letters of administration. Finding from my brother's papers that he had obtained a small local business, and that there was railway work in prospect, I determined to take his place, and at once asked permission of Mr. Hill to be allowed to leave at Easter.

My year spent at Leicester had been in many ways useful to me, and had also a determining influence on my whole future life. It satisfied me that I had no vocation for teaching, for though I performed my duties I believe quite to Mr. Hill's satisfaction, I felt myself out of place, partly because I knew no subject—with the one exception of surveying-sufficiently well to be able to teach it properly, but mainly because a completely subordinate position was distasteful to me, although I could not have had a more considerate employer than Mr. Hill. The time and opportunity I had for reading was a great advantage to me, and gave me an enduring love of good literature. I also had the opportunity of hearing almost every Sunday one of the most impressive and eloquent preachers I have ever met with-Dr. John Brown, I think, was his name. He was one of the few Church of England clergymen who preached extempore, and he did it admirably so that it was a continual pleasure to listen to him. But I was too firmly convinced of the incredibility of large portions of the Bible, and of the absence of sense or reason in many of the doctrines of orthodox religion to be influenced by any such preaching, however eloquent. My return to some form of religious belief was to come much later, and from a quite different source.

But, as already stated, the events which formed a turningpoint in my life were, first, my acquaintance with Bates, and through him deriving a taste for the wonders of insect-life, opening to me a new aspect of nature, and later on finding in him a companion without whom I might never have ventured on my journey to the Amazon. The other and equally important circumstance was my reading Malthus, without which work I should probably not have hit upon the theory of natural selection and obtained full credit for its independent discovery. My year spent at Leicester must, therefore, be considered as perhaps the most important in my early life.



AT Easter I bade farewell to Leicester and went to Neath with my brother John, in order to wind up our brother William's affairs. We found from his books that a considerable amount was owing to him for work done during the past year or two, and we duly made out accounts of all these and sent them in to the respective parties. Some were paid at once, others we had to write again for and had some trouble to get paid. Others, again, were disputed as being an extravagant charge for the work done, and we had to put them in a lawyer's hands to get settled. One gentleman, whose account was a few pounds, declared he had paid it, and asked us to call on him. We did so, and, instead of producing the receipt as we expected, he was jocose about it, asked us what kind of business men we were to want him to pay twice; and when we explained that it was not shown so in my brother's books, and asked to look at the receipt, he coolly replied, "Oh, I never keep receipts; never kept a receipt in my life, and never was asked to pay a bill twice till now!" In vain we urged that we were bound as trustees for the rest of the family to collect all debts shown by my brother's books to be due to him, and that if he did not pay it, we should have to lose the amount ourselves. He still maintained that he had paid it, that he remembered it distinctly, and that he was not going to pay it twice. At last we were obliged to tell him that if he did not pay it we must put it in the hands of a lawyer to take what steps he thought




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