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And all around thee they myriads sleep,
Heavily, darkly, dead, and deep,
And nothing beside the wind dare creep
                      Through the City of Earthly Eden."


MY friend Philosewers and I, contemplating
a farm-labourer the other day, who was drinking
his mug of beer on a settle at a road-side ale-
house door, we fell to humming the fag-end of
an old ditty, of which the poor man and his beer,
and the sin of parting them, form the doleful
burden. Philosewers then mentioned to me
that a friend of his in an agricultural county
say a Hertfordshire friendhad, for two years
last past, endeavoured to reconcile the poor man
and his beer to public morality, by making it a
point of honour between himself and the poor
man that the latter should use his beer and not
abuse it. Interested in an effort of so
unobtrusive and unspeechifying a nature, "O
Philosewers," said I, after the manner of the dreary
sages in Eastern apologues, " Show me, I pray,
the man who deems that temperance can be
attained without a medal, an oration, a banner,
and a denunciation of half the world, and
who has at once the head and heart to set about

Philosewers expressing, in reply, his willingness
to gratify the dreary sage, an appointment
was made for the purpose. And on the day
fixed, I, the Dreary one, accompanied by
Philosewers, went down Nor'-West per railway, in
search of temperate temperance. It was a
thunderous day; and the clouds were so
immoderately watery, and so very much disposed
to sour all the beer in Hertfordshire, that they
seemed to have taken the pledge.

But, the sun burst forth gaily in the afternoon,
and gilded the old gables, and old mullioned
windows, and old weathercock and old clock-face,
of the quaint old house which is the dwelling of
the man we sought. How shall I describe him?
As one of the most famous practical chemists of
the age? That designation will do as well as
anotherbetter, perhaps, than most others.
And his name? Friar Bacon.

"Though, take notice, Philosewers," said I,
behind my hand, " that the first Friar Bacon had not
that handsome lady-wife beside him. Wherein, O
Philosewers, he was a chemist, wretched and
forlorn, compared with his successor. Young
Romeo bade the holy father Lawrence hang up
philosophy, unless philosophy could make a
Juliet. Chemistry would infallibly be hanged
if its life were staked on making anything half
so pleasant as this Juliet." The gentle
Philosewers smiled assent.

The foregoing whisper from myself, the Dreary
one, tickled the ear of Philosewers, as we walked
on the trim garden terrace before dinner, among
the early leaves and blossoms; two peacocks,
apparently in very tight new boots, occasionally
crossing the gravel at a distance. The sun,
shining through the old house-windows, now and
then flashed out some brilliant piece of colour
from bright hangings within, or upon the old
oak panelling; similarly, Friar Bacon, as we
paced to and fro, revealed little glimpses of his
good work.

"It is not much," said he. "It is no
wonderful thing. There used to be a great deal of
drunkenness here, and I wanted to make it better
if I could. The people are very ignorant, and
have been much neglected, and I wanted to make
that better, if I could. My utmost object was,
to help them to a little self-government and a
little homely pleasure. I only show the way to
better things, and advise them. I never act for
them; I never interfere; above all, I never

I had said to Philosewers as we came along
Nor'-West that patronage was one of the curses
of England. I appeared to rise in the estimation
of Philosewers when thus confirmed.

"And so," said Friar Bacon, " I established
my Allotment-club, and my pig-clubs, and those
little Concerts by the ladies of my own family,
of which we have the last of the season this
evening. They are a great success, for the
people here are amazingly fond of music. But
there is the early dinner-bell, and I have no need
to talk of my endeavours when you will soon see
them in their working dress."

Dinner done, behold the Friar, Philosewers,
and myself the Dreary one, walking, at six
o'clock, across the fields, to the " Club-house."

As we swung open the last field-gate and
entered the Allotment-grounds, many members
were already on their way to the Club, which
stands in the midst of the allotments. Who could
help thinking of the wonderful contrast between
these club-men and the club-men of St.
James's-street, or Pall-mall, in London! Look
at yonder prematurely old man, doubled up
with work, and leaning on a rude stick more
crooked than himself, slowly trudging to the
club-house, in a shapeless hat like an Italian
harlequin's, or an old brown-paper bag, leathern
leggings, and dull green smock-frock, looking as
though duck-weed had accumulated on itthe
result of its stagnant lifeor as if it were a
vegetable production, originally meant to blow
into something better, but stopped somehow.
Compare him with Old Cousin Feenix, ambling
along St. James's-street, got up in the style of
a couple of generations ago, and with a head of
hair, a complexion, and a set of teeth,
profoundly impossible to be believed in by the
widest stretch of human credulity. Can they
both be men and brothers? Verily they are.
And although Cousin Feenix has lived so fast
that he will die at Baden-Baden, and although
this club-man in the frock has lived, ever since
he came to man's estate, on nine shillings a
week, and is sure to die in the Union if he die
in bed, yet he brought as much into the world
as Cousin Feenix, and will take as much out
more, for more of him is real.

A pretty, simple building, the club-house,
with a rustic colonnade outside, under which
the members can sit on wet evenings, looking at