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dead. What is that you are saying? that you
wish the fever had taken you; and you could
go now and shoot yourself? Before you dare
to say such things, you should look at the
other half of the case. Is not the future
greater than the past, because we have power
over it? And is there not a good text
somewhere about forgetting the things that are
behind, and pressing forwards to those that
are before?"

"O, Sir! if I could forget the past!"

"Well: you see you have scripture warrant
for trying. But then the pressing forwards
to better things must go with it. If you
forget the past, and go on the same as ever,
you might as well be in hell at once. Then, I
don't know that your shooting yourself would
do much harm to anybody."

"But, Sir, I am willing to do all I can.
I am willing to spend all I have. I am,

"Well, spend away,—money, time, thought,
kindness,—till you can fairly say that you
have done by everybody as you would be done
by! It will be time enough then to think
what next. And, first, about these cottages
of yours. If no more people are to die in
them, murdered by filth and damp, you have
no time to lose. You must not sit here, talking
remorse, and planning fine deeds, but you
must set the work going this very day. Come!
let us go and see."

Farmer Neale walked rather feebly through
the hall: so Mr. Kirby called him into the
parlour, and gave him a glass of wine. Still,
as they went down the street, one man
observed to another, that Neale looked ten
years older in a day. He looked round him,
however, with some signs of returning spirits,
when he saw the boys at their street-cleaning,
and observed, that hereabouts things looked
wholesome enough.

"Mere outside scouring," said Mr. Kirby.
"Better than dirt, as far as it goes; unless,
indeed, it makes us satisfied to have whited
sepulchres for dwellings. Come and see the
uncleanness within."

Mr. Kirby did not spare him. He took him
through all the seven cottages, for which he
had extorted extravagant rents, without
fulfilling any conditions on his own part. He
showed him every bit of broken roof, of damp
wall, of soaked floor. He showed him every
heap of filth, every puddle of nastiness caused
by there being no drains, or other means of
removal of refuse. He advised him to make
a note of every repair needed; and, when he
saw that Neale's hand shook so that he could
not write, took the pencil from his hand, and
did it himself. Two of the seven cottages he
condemned utterly: and Neale eagerly agreed
to pull them down, and rebuild them with
every improvement requisite to health. To
the others he would supply what was wanting,
and especially drainage. They stood in such
a cluster that it was practicable to drain them
all into a gully of the rock which, by being
covered over, by a little building up at one
end, and a little blasting at one side, might be
made into a considerable tank, which was to
be closed by a tight-fitting, and very heavy
slab at top. Mr. Kirby conceded so much to
the worldly spirit of the man he had to deal
with, as to point out that the manure thus
saved would so fertilise his fields as soon to
repay the cost of this batch of drainage.
Neale did not care for this at the moment.
He was too sore at heart at the spectacle of
these cottages and their inmates,—too much
shaken by remorse and fear,—for any idea of
profit and loss: but Mr. Kirby thought it as
well to point out the fact, as it might help to
animate the hard man to proceed in a good
work, when his present melting mood should
be passing away.

"Well: I think this is all we can do
today," said Mr. Kirby, as they issued from the
seventh cottage. "The worst of it is, the
workmen from O——will not come,—I am
afraid no builder will come, even to make an
estimatetill we are declared free of fever.
But there is a good deal that your own people
can do."

"They can knock on a few slates before
dark, Sir; and those windows can be mended
to-day. I trust, Mr. Kirby, you will give me
encouragement; and not be harder than you
can help."

"Why, Neale; the thing is this. You do
not hold your doom from my hand; and you
ought not to hang upon my words. You
come to me to tell me what you feel, and to
ask what I think. All I can do is to be
honest with you, and (as indeed I am)
sorry for you. Time must do the rest. If
you are now acting well from fear of the
fever only, time will show you how worthless
is the effort; for you will break off as soon
as the fright has passed away. If you really
mean to do justly and love mercy, through
good and bad fortune, time will prove you
there, too: and then you will see whether I
am hard, or whether we are to be friends.
This is my view of the matter."

Neale touched his hat, and was slowly going
away, when Mr. Kirby followed him, to say
one thing more.

"It may throw light to yourself, on your
own state of mind, to tell you that it is quite
a usual one among people who have deeply
sinned, when any thing happens to terrify
them. Histories of earthquakes and plagues
tell of people thinking and feeling as you do
to-day. I dare say you think nobody ever
felt the same before; but you are not the only
one in Bleaburn"

"Indeed, Sir! " exclaimed Neale, exceedingly

"Far from it. A person who has often
robbed your poultry-yard, and taken your
duck eggs, thought that I was preaching at
him, last Sunday; though I knew nothing
about it. He wished to make reparation;
and he asked me if I thought you would