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that hour! I learn with a fiendish joy that these
tinselled warriors are no more than a spurious
soldiery, buckram champions, companies of
tailors and wig-makers, and what not. And
now an awful retribution is at hand, for British
endurance will be no longer tried, but collecting
itself for an effort, bursts through the line,
sweeps away portly commander, and charges
triumphantly at the door. Sing Io Paean! sons
of Albion! Spanish señora is avenged.


I HAVE been staying for the last month in the
country, a hilly, stony, and rather fatiguing
country in hot weather (when there is any).
One day, my friend, whom, for convenience'
sake, we will call Miss Brown, said to me, "You
have observed the little spring of water which
runs close to the hedge all the way from here
to the village? I have been thinking it might
be a good thing to place a spout at the top of
the hill. There is no water to drink within a
mile of the place without toiling up the hill."

With some people, to believe that a thing is a
good thing is the first step towards doing it. In a
few days, a bricklayer was employed at the spring.
A small square tank was built to catch the water
as it fell, one side being lower than the other
three, so that the water overflowed, and still
continued its course towards the village. Two
earthenware pipes were placed through the
embankment of the hedge, for the water came
originally from a meadow on the other side.
When it was finished it looked hideous; but
this was to be expected. The bricklayer did
the work he had contracted for, and
unfortunately a little more; he cut away all the
brambles and ivies which would have ornamented
the fountain. We at once gave up calling it
by the latter name until it should be better
looking. I rooted up periwinkles and ferns
from other spots, and planted them round and
above it, so as to hide the horrible bricks and
mortar; We then drove to the nearest town
to buy a pewter mug and a chain. The next
morning I went down to the "spout," and
desired the blacksmith to rivet the chain on to
a stump which had been placed by the side of
the tank. He laughed "to my nose," as the
French say. "Do you expect the mug to
remain here a week? Why, the boys will have he
off directly. It's a deal too good for this kind
of thing." "Not the boys of the village, I
think," said I.

I returned to the house, and repeated what
the man had said; but Miss Brown was not to
be moved. Said she, "When I came here, two
or three years ago, every one said to me, 'You
will have no fruit in your garden, exposed as
it is. You must build a high wall all the way
round it; the boys will eat all the fruit
otherwise.' I have built no wall; but I have never
missed any fruit. Go back, and have the chain
and mug fixed. I confide in the honour of the
dirty little boys." The chain and mug were fixed,
and that evening the spout was to be inaugurated.

In driving through the village we
mentioned to several children that the mug was
now at the tank, and that they might come up
at six o'clock if they liked, and that we should be
there. Evidently there was a mystery about
the concluding sentence, which was attractive
to the children; for fifty-four of them arrived at
six o'clock in the evening. We were there,
seated upon the bench which had been erected
close to the tank, and concealing with our
dresses some baskets of cakes. Miss Brown
harangued the audience, telling them of the
doubts communicated to us as to the safety of
the mug, and reverting to the time when she
had been warned to protect her fruit-garden
from the boys of the village. "Do you see any
high wall built round my garden?" she asked.
"No," the children answered. "I said,"
continued Miss Brown, " I would sooner trust the
boys than place walls with broken bottles to
keep them out; and I have never known of a
boy who has taken my fruit. So now, I trust
the boys not to remove the mug; not to cut
their names upon the bench; not to throw dirt
into the tank, because the tank, and the mug,
and the bench are all provided for the comfort
of the people of the place, and I give them into
their care."

Then, each in turn, beginning with ourselves,
drank the health of the company from the
spring, after which the cakes and a picture-book
were given round to each of the children. Then,
they played for an hour, refreshing themselves
about every five minutes with draughts of water.
I am sure gallons must have been drunk that
day; and, after more cakes, gave three cheers
for the fountain, and three for Miss Brown.

If you had asked the children a few days later
what they had thought of that little opening of
the waters, you would have found how few
shillings it takes to give an immense amount of
pleasure. It was a fête to them, and I believe
such an inauguration as will be the protection
of the pewter mug and chain. The critical
week had passed before I left; two weeks, three
weeks, and the mug was still there. By-and-by
the spout acquired more the appearance of a
fountain, as it gained little additional attentions
from the villagers. Sometimes flowers were
gathered and placed over it, sometimes green
branches, or fern-leaves, and even little roots
were planted to hide more of the bricks and

We all wish that we could do something for
the benefit of others. Who can calculate the
benefit done by the erection of such a fountain
and resting-place as this? It is all very well to
cry down the use of beer, and to cry out against
drunkenness; but I reckon that the man or
woman who gives to the people water does more
than a hundred who abuse them for drinking
beer. There is a statistical little girl in the
village, who takes great delight in reporting
to us the number of people daily found sitting
upon Miss Brown's bench, or drinking out of
Miss Brown's mug.

The erection of the bench cost thirteen shillings