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week, and six healthy children, all hearty as
lions, the pig of the family is an important
member of the household. Reuben's pig
certainly represents all the hopes and chances
Reuben has of giving his household occasional
treats of animal food. The happiness of the
family on New Year's Day next depends
materially upon the development of that leg
which Reuben's pig is now carelessly rubbing
against the door-post, with the obvious hope
of reducing a little local irritation. Reuben
may well lounge against the sty in the evening
when his day's hard work is overand,
puffing his smoke into the cool evening air,
anxiously contemplate the proportions of its
tenant. He remembers with a shudder how
a year or two ago, when provisions were
uncommonly dear, and when work was scarce,
his pig suddenly died, and was unfit for
anything but to fill a hole in the garden. That
was, for a time, simply ruin. Reuben had no
money to buy another pig, and terrible days
and nights ensued. He remembers how an
earnest man came one evening to his gate; and,
in a mild kind voice began to talk with him
about his loss. He remembers that at first he
was confused by the stranger's words, and
that he was about to turn away and to give
up the conversation as too deep for his
comprehension, when suddenly he caught a glimmer
of the truth. It was a very faint glimmer
at first, but it soon grew brighter.

"You have lost your pig," the stranger
said, "and you are sorely distressed at the
loss it has overwhelmed you; but your
neighbours have not lost their pigs, so that
they are in a comparatively prosperous
condition, and should help you in your need;
while you should promise to help them at a
future time when any of them require your
assistance. You see, all these things are
equitably arranged by striking averages.
There are sixty pigs in your village. Taking
the experience of the last forty years, one
out of the sixty has either died of disease, or
been rendered by it unfit for consumption as
human food. One year you have been the
unfortunate loser; another year the calamity
will fall upon your next-door neighbour.
To each of you the loss has been a calamity.
Now, would you not willingly pay threepence
once a year to insure yourself against the
loss of your pig for the future? For by the
payment of that sum by the sixty owners
of pigs in your village, a fund will be
provided to supply the place of the pig that is
annually lost."

These were the words of the stranger, as he
leaned over Reuben's gate, to condole with
him upon his loss. They explained the
principles, not only of porcine, but of human life
assurance. Reuben was convinced, and now
annually insures the lives of his pigs. He
still finds it difficult, however, to make all his
neighbours understand the advantages of the
Pig Insurance Society: but that is not much
to be wondered at, when people who pretend
to be particularly sagacious on all points, are
slow to avail themselves of the advantages of
a Man Insurance Society.

      A BEGINNING AND AN END.

FRÄULEIN SÄNSCHEN, poor old soul! arrived
yesterday, at the studio, very much out of
breath, and holding in her hand a long printed
paper, which announced that a grand ceremony
was to take place that afternoon, in
honour of the christening of "Her Royal
Highness Theresa Charlotta Marianna
Augusta, Daughter of His Royal Highness Prince
Luitpold, of Bavaria," as the programme
expressed it. "The christening is to be in the
Throne-room," said Fraülein Sänschen, "such
a beautiful room, with white marble walls and
columns, and rows of gilded statues."

"But could we gain admittance?"

"Certainly," said Fraülein Sänschen.

At two o'clock the ceremony was to take
place; so by one we returned home, where we
found the Frau Majorin ready to attend us.
Frau Majorin is a very fat little woman, and
a very great talker. She has an only son, too,
who, like his late father, must be something
or other in the army, as we see every morning
a uniform being brushed by a soldier outside
the Frau Majorin's door.

The two old ladies being ready, away we
went. Tribes of people we found crowding
into the palace, at a side entrance in the
oldest portion of the building. We were
carried along by the stream up long flights of
steps, and through galleries, some hung with
ugly old portraits, others ornamented with
armorial bearings, and various heraldic
devices emblazoned on the walls, which,
together with the vaulted ceilings, are white-
washed. Numbers of people had arranged
themselves along the walls to watch the
procession as it should pass on to the Throne-
room; but we, hoping to gain admittance
to the centre of things, hurried on till we
found ourselves ignominiously commanded to
return by a severe gend'armes. Only those
who had friends in the Throne-room were
allowed to pass. Now, as it chanced, I
happened to have a friend in the Throne-
room, a Baroness, who soon was seen,
magnificently attired, approaching with the Royal
cortege; but, alas! we bethought us of this
"friend at court" too late, for any service she
could render us. And therefore you, like
ourselves, must be content to see only as much of
the show as was vouchsafed to the vulgar
multitude. Tall men, dressed in a costume
not unlike that of our own jolly "Beefeaters,"
except that its colour was blue, instead of
scarlet, and holding in their hands tall pikes,
arranged themselves in long row up either side
of the gallery, and behind them, peering from
between their great blue and black striped
backs, and slashed sleeves, crushed a row of
eager spectators, and caught fitful glimpses of
the approaching procession.

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