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MRS. BULL and her rising family were
seated round the fire, one November evening
at dusk, when all was mud, mist, and darkness,
out of doors, and a good deal of fog had
even got into the family parlor. To say the
truth, the parlor was on no occasion fog-proof,
and had, at divers notable times, been so
misty as to cause the whole Bull family to
grope about, in a most confused manner,
and make the strangest mistakes. But, there
was an excellent ventilator over the family
fire-place (not one of Dr. Arnott's, though it
was of the same class, being an excellent
invention, called Common Sense), and hence,
though the fog was apt to get into the parlor
through a variety of chinks, it soon got out
again, and left the Bulls at liberty to see what
o'clock it was, by the solid, steady-going,
family time-piece: which went remarkably
well in the long run, though it was apt, at
times, to be a trifle too slow.

Mr. Bull was dozing in his easy chair, with
his pocket-handkerchief drawn over his head.
Mrs. Bull, always industrious, was hard at
work, knitting. The children were grouped
in various attitudes around the blazing fire.
Master C. J. London (called after his
Godfather), who had been rather late at his
exercise, sat with his chin resting, in
something of a thoughtful and penitential manner,
on his slate, and his slate resting on his knees.
Young Jonathana cousin of the little Bulls,
and a noisy, overgrown ladwas making a
tremendous uproar across the yard, with a
new plaything. Occasionally, when his noise
reached the ears of Mr. Bull, the good
gentleman moved impatiently in his chair, and
muttered "Confound that boy in the
stripes, I wish he wouldn't make such a fool
of himself!"

"He'll quarrel with his new toy soon, I
know," observed the discreet Mrs. Bull, "and
then he'll begin to knock it about. But we
mustn't expect to find old heads on young

"That can't be, Ma," said Master C. J.
London, who was a sleek, shining-faced boy.

"And why, then, did you expect to find an
old head on Young England's shoulders?"
retorted Mrs. Bull, turning quickly on him.

"I didn't expect to find an old head on
Young England's shoulders!" cried Master
C. J. London, putting his left-hand knuckles
to his right eye.

"You didn't expect it, you naughty boy?"
said Mrs. Bull.

"No!" whimpered Master C. J. London.
"I am sure I never did. Oh, oh, oh!"

"Don't go on in that way, don't!" said
Mrs. Bull, "but behave better in future.
What did you mean by playing with Young
England at all?"

"I didn't mean any harm!" cried Master
C. J. London, applying, in his increased
distress, the knuckles of his right hand to his
right eye, and the knuckles of his left hand
to his left eye.

"I dare say you didn't!" returned Mrs.
Bull. "Hadn't you had warning enough,
about playing with candles and candlesticks?
How often had you been told that your poor
father's house, long before you were born,
was in danger of being reduced to ashes by
candles and candlesticks? And when Young
England and his companions began to put
their shirts on, over their clothes, and to play
all sorts of fantastic tricks in them, why
didn't you come and tell your poor father and
me, like a dutiful C. J. London?"

"Because the rubric—" Master C. J.
London was beginning, when Mrs. Bull took
him up short.

"Don't talk to me about the Rubric, or
you 'll make it worse!" said Mrs. Bull,
shaking her head at him. "Just exactly what
the Rubric meant then, it means now; and
just exactly what it didn't mean then, it don't
mean now. You are taught to act, according
to the spirit, not the letter; and you know
what its spirit must be, or you wouldn't be.
No, C. J. London!" said Mrs. Bull,
emphatically. "If there were any candles or
candlesticks in the spirit of your lesson-book,
Master Wiseman would have been my boy,
and not you!"

Here, Master C. J. London fell a crying
more grievously than before, sobbing, "Oh,
Ma! Master Wiseman with his red legs, your
boy! Oh, oh, oh!"

"Will you be quiet," returned Mrs. Bull,
"and let your poor father rest? I am ashamed