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sometimes gained admittance, and heard a trial of some poor sheep-stealers, who in those days were liable to transportation for life, in order to protect the landed interest, which then ruled the country.

The elections for members of Parliament were at that time scenes of considerable show and excitement, and the members elected had to undergo the ceremony of being chaired, which consisted in being carried around the town on their supporters' shoulders seated in a chair highly decorated with rosettes and coloured ribbons. I well remember the election which took place after the Reform Bill of 1832 was passed, when Thomas Slingsby Duncombe was the Radical member, and was returned at the head of the poll. I saw him being chaired, and when he had been brought back to the door of his hotel, the chair was overturned, as was then the custom, and he had to jump out into his friends' arms to avoid an awkward fall. There was then a scramble for the ribbons and chair-coverings, which were carried away as trophies.

To celebrate the great national event-the passing of the Reform Bill-a banquet was given in the main street to all who chose to attend. It was summer time, and fine weather, and we went to see the feast, which was enjoyed by almost all the poorer people of the town on rows of tables which filled the street for a long distance.

In connection with the game of cricket, I may mention that in those days the players, whether professional or amateur, had none of the paraphernalia of padded leggings and gauntlets now worn; while a suit of white duck, with an ordinary white or black top-hat, was the orthodox costume. This was the time when the practice of overhand bowling was just beginning, and there was much controversy as to whether or not it should be allowed. I once saw tried a curious bowling machine which it was thought might advantageously take the place of the human bowler. It was called a catapult, and was on the principle of the old instrument used for throwing stones into besieged cities. It consisted of a strong wooden frame about three feet high. On a cross-bar at top was a place for the ball, and this was struck by a knob

on an upright arm, which was driven on to it by a powerful spring, something in the manner of a spring-trap. The upright arm was pulled back and held by a catch, which was released by pulling a cord. By slight alterations in the position of the ball and the force of the spring, the ball could be made to pitch on any spot desired, and could thus be slightly changed each time, as is the case with a good bowler. It seemed to answer very well, and it was thought that it might be used for practice where good bowlers were not available, but it never came into general use, and is now, perhaps, wholly forgotten.



My recollections of life at our first house in St. Andrew's Street are very scanty. My father had about half a dozen small boys to teach, and we used to play together; but I think that when we had been there about a year or two, I went to the Grammar School with my brother John, and was at once set upon that most wearisome of tasks, the Latin grammar. It was soon after this that I had the first of the three serious illnesses which at different periods brought me within a few hours of death in the opinion of those around me. I know that it must have been after I went to the school by the way the illness began. We had school before breakfast, from half-past six to eight in summer, and as we had nearly half a mile to walk, it was necessary to be out of bed at six. One morning I got up and dressed as usual, went down the two flights of stairs, but when I got to the bottom I suddenly felt so weak and faint and curiously ill all over that I could go no further, so I had to lie down on the bottom step, and was found there shortly afterwards by the servant coming down to light the fire. That was the beginning of a severe attack of scarlet fever, and I remember little more but heat and horrid dreams till one evening when all the family came to look at me, and I had something given me to drink all night. I was told afterward that the doctor said this was the crisis, that I was to have port wine in teaspoonfuls at short intervals, and that if I was not dead before morning I might recover.

For some weeks after this I lived a very enjoyable life in bed, having tea and toast, puddings, grapes, and other luxuries

till I was well again. Then, before going back to Latin grammar and other studies of the period, a little incident or interlude occurred which I am unable to place at any other period. How it came about I do not at all remember, but a gentleman farmer from Norfolk must have come to see us about some business, possibly connected with my sister and her desired occupation as a governess, and seeing me, and perhaps hearing of my recent illness, offered to take me home. with him for a visit to play with his boy of about my age, and to go to Cromer, where his wife, with her sister and son, were going for change of air. As it was thought that the change would do me good, and I was delighted at the idea of going to such a nice seaside place as Cromer, his offer was kindly accepted. As it happened we did not go to Cromer, but my visit was, so far as I remember, an enjoyable one. We went by coach to Ely, where we stayed the night at a large inn almost joining the cathedral. No doubt we had had dinner on the way, and I had tea on our arrival, but my host, whose name I cannot remember, dined with a large party of gentlemen-probably a farmers' dinner-about six o'clock, and he told me to walk about and see the shops or wait in the hall, and I should come in for dessert. So for more than an hour I wandered up and down the street near the hotel and past the great entrance to the cathedral. At last a servant came and called me in, and my friend bade me sit beside him, and introduced me to the company as a real Wallace— "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," he added, I suppose to show what he meant. Then I had fruit of many kinds, including fine grapes, and a glass of wine, and after an hour more went to bed.

In the morning, after breakfast, we started in a chaise which had been sent from my friend's home overnight to meet him, and we had a long drive to the farm, where we arrived early in the afternoon, and found dinner ready for us. There were, I think, two ladies, my friend's wife and her sister, a boy about my own age, and I think the lady's brother, who had come some miles on a pony to meet us, and rode back alongside of the carriage.

Of this visit I remember very little except one or two incidents. On the very day of our arrival, I think about teatime, soon after I and my boy-friend had come in, Mrs. became very excited, and then went off into violent hysterics, and was obliged to be taken upstairs to bed. Whether this had anything to do with putting off the visit to Cromer, or some other domestic affairs, I never heard. However, next day all was right again, and I was treated very kindly, as if to show that I had nothing to do with it. I recall the house as a rather long white building with green outside shutters, with a lawn and flower-beds in front, and a kitchen garden and large orchard on one side. In the fields around were some fine trees, and I think there was a pond or a stream near the house and a small village not far off. I and my companion played and roamed about where we liked, but what most struck me was the fruit-gathering in the large orchard, which began the very day after our arrival. I had never seen so many apples before. They were piled in great heaps on the ground, while men and boys went up the trees with ladders and gathered those from the higher branches into baskets. Of course, my little friend knew the best trees, and we ate as many as we liked. Sometimes we went out for drives, or were taken to visit at houses near, or visitors came to tea; but how long I stayed there, or how I returned, I have no recollection, but the main features of the visit as here related have always remained clearly impressed upon my


It may be well here to give a brief outline of my school life at Hertford and of the schoolmaster who taught me. The school itself was built in the year 1617, when the school was founded. It consisted of one large room, with a large square window at each end and two on each side. In the centre of one side was a roomy porch, and opposite to it a projecting portion, with a staircase leading to two rooms above the schoolroom and partly in the roof. The schoolroom was fairly lofty. Along the sides were what were termed porches -desks and seats against the wall with very solid, roughly carved ends of black oak, much cut with the initials of names

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