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last. It is a coarse grass, with no strength in
it; and it must be a stronger beast than this
that will bear feeding on it. Just do you tell
your father what I say, that's all; and then
he can do as he pleases: but I would take a
different way with that pony, without loss of
time, if it was mine."

Allan did not much like taking this sort of
message to his father, who was not altogether
so easy to please as he used to be. If
anything vexed him ever so little, he always
began to complain of his rheumatismand
he now complained of his rheumatism many
times in a day. It was managed, however,
by tacking a little piece of amusement and
pride upon it. Moss was taught, all the way
as they went home, after selling their
vegetables, how much everything sold for; and
he was to deliver the money to his father,
and go through his lesson as gravely as any
big man. It succeeded very well. Everybody
laughed. Woodruffe called the child his little
man-of-business; gave him a penny out of
the money he brought; and when he found
that the child did not like jumping as he used
to do, carried him up to the railway to listen
for the whistle, and see the afternoon train
come up, and stop a minute, and go on again.




"Sir, I take up my pen to tell you what's
going to happen if the cause of temperance is
to be allowed to have unlicensed power to
unlicense all the public-houses. We have
heard a good deal about the advantages of
Temperance (and I don't deny them), but
Mr. Ledru Rollin has taught me to look closer
than ever to the dark side of things, and
tee-totalism has its dark side like everything
else; it is not all clear water, I can tell you.
I look forward to the time when strong
liquors will be abolished, and pot-houses taken
from the corners of the streets or shifted
from the sides of the road, and I say, 'how
shall I find my way about?'

"For the fact is; Sir, public-houses are the
great land-marks of the country. Whether
you are benighted in a Northumberland moor;
lost in a Devonshire lane (the one thing in
nature which it is well known has no end);
whether you are cast away in a river; left
without a clue upon Salisbury Plain; or
reduced to a state of topographical despair in
a Warwickshire wood; the first person you
meetbe it he or she, gentle or simple, old or
young, a genius or an idiot will assuredly
convince you that the only rural means of
directing you are the names and signs of places
of public entertainment. 'Go on straight till
you come to the Green Lion, then turn to the
left close to the Goat and Compasses, and
after you have passed the Plough, bear off to
the right; and, opposite the Jolly Gardeners,
you will see a lane: go down that lane till
you have to cross a brook by the side of the
Bottle and Bagpipes, and when you have got
to the Three Whistles and Cockchafer further
down, get over a stile next to the Tinker and
Turkey-Cock, take the first to the leftand
that's it.' Such were the directions by which
I found my old friend, Groggles, last Monday.
Without the signs I have mentioned, I never
should have found Groggles to this day.

"Now, Sir, I trust the advocates of temperance
will pause before they wash away the
land-marks of England (Tooting included), in
order to substitute water-marks. How are we
to find our way about without signs, I wonder?
for I suppose these will not be allowed to stand
when the houses behind them are taken away.
Do the great Father Mathews of this age
intendlike the monks of oldto christen
the wells, and to give names to the pumps,
and springs, and fountains, and conduits?
Indeed I hope they do; for these I venture
to say will be the only taps they intend
leaving to a future generation.

"Unless, Sir, they wish the topography of
our native land to be utterly confused, and
desire to make voluntary locomotion impossible
(I call railways compulsory travelling,
for you must go where they choose to take
you), I do intreat of them to leave us their
signs, whatever they do with the inns. Why
not move the former to stand sponsors to their
new-fangled watering places? Take the
'Puncheon of Rum' from what used to be
the posting-house (before steam blew post-
horses off the road) and stick it on the parish
pump. Let wayside wells be ornamented with
effigies of 'Topers Heads'; transfer the
'Barrel of Beer' from the village inn to the
village fountain, and the 'Jolly Full Bottle'
from the alehouse to the conduit. Then,
when a man comes to the picture of three
drunken soldiers, and the inscription, 'The
Rendezvous,' he will know it means a
reservoir, or regular meeting of the waters.
The 'Punch-Bowl,' in gold letters, will
indicate a water-trough; the 'Black Jack'
would give a significant license for water to
be drunk on the premises; and the 'Sir
John Barleycorn' would indicate that a good
supply of the ale of our first parent is not
far off'.

"I do hope my suggestion will be complied
with. The tavern signs of England are a
great topographical institution. If they will
not take them down, the Temperance
Movement may do its worst for me. I, and a good
many others who live out of town and don't
carry lanterns at night, will still be able to
find our way about, and the agricultural
population will be able to show us when we
have lost it. In that case, the Green Dragons,
Marquises of Granby, Roses and Crowns,
Bears and Buttermilks, Bulls in the Pounds,
Stars and Stumps, with innumerable other
signs dear to the eyes and ready to the
tongues of unconverted tipplers for the behoof
of way-beguiled strangers, would not be utterly