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rough stone cottages, set thick in a mosaic
bordering of hollyhocks and sunflowers. This
was the pith of CoddletonCoddleton proper.

Walking about and chatting with men,
women, and children, I soon found that Tom's
good-nature had succeeded in winning some
friends quite as warm as those with whom he
used to drive and drink at Loggerhead.  He
seemed to be very well known, and
unquestionably popular.  My heart yearned towards
the old fellow, and I retraced the way towards
his cottage.

Tom met me at the gate, and we said as little,
and said that little as heartily, as two people
do sometimes when they have not met since
the state of both has undergone great change.
We were soon lounging on the American
arm-chairs, talking about everybody whom
each had or might have seen during the
interval since our last meeting.

Tom's household consisted of an old woman
and her daughter, a middle-aged woman.  He
rented the best part of their house, to wit,
a sitting-room and bed-chamber, and they
cooked and "did for" him. There was not
much society about the place; but, the vicar,
he said, was rich, and gave good "feeds," at
which his curate was of course always
present.  The vicar was likewise indolent, with
strong non-resident tendencies, and Tom was
not sorry to be left much to himself.  Sir Basil
Pump, the wealthy merchant out of Aldgate,
was his next door neighbour, and helped
heartily when money was desired for a good
purpose.  Tom got also the use of Sir Basil's
horses, and a quiet "trap" now and then; so
that he still indulged his old tastes in a
moderate way.

Tom had recently lost his father, and his
honest face was often overcast with a look of
sad remembrance.  His mother and sisters
paid him a brief visit but a few days since;
and I thought, as he took up one or two of
the books which I recollected having seen at
Trafford vicarage, there was a little quiver on
his lip.  But it was pleasing to see the bustle
that his room betokened.  The reports of
schools and baths and wash-houses, piles of
little books for distribution, prospectuses of
various schemes for social benefit, clerical
almanacs, files of magazines, and even a copy
of the University Commission, showed that
Tom's mind was upon the things around him,
as well as upon the revival of his college
studies.

We strolled down to see the school, which
had been recently done up.  It was clean,
compact, and well conducted, but sadly
inadequate to the requirements of the place.  Sir
Basil, however, to whom the surrounding
neighbourhood owed much of its prosperity
and comfort, was supposed to have good
intentions.  Tom intimated his purpose of
introducing me to the worthy knight that
evening.

The church was in capital condition; and I
mentally resolved to run up again with a
Saturday return ticket, and hear Tom hold
forth from his pulpit.  The vicar appeared to
be a nonentity: moderately liberal, but without
any care to see a just use made of the
money he bestowedhospitable to the
surrounding gentry, without caring to extend his
influence for good. He seldom spent more
than six weeks in the parish at a time.
However, the living was a small one, and he paid
Tom a sufficient stipend.

We sat down to a plump fowl and a few
slices of ham, and I soon found that Sir Basil's
stock of the good things of this world was
very much at Tom's disposal.  Moreover, I
remarked anti-macassars and a kettle-holder,
all new, and remarkably elaborate.  Of course,
I did not hazard any remarks that looked like
curiosity.  When dinner was over, Tom,
donning a straw hat and an old dressing-gown,
produced a cigar-box.  He saw no harm
therein, neither did I.

But all my friend's mischievous propensities
were gone. To be sure, his eye kindled once
or twice as some college prank was called to
mind, and he pointed to a couple of whips
hanging behind the door, as well as to a
cornopean, that at one period had been the evil
genius of the Loggerhead reading men.  He
even confessed to having lost a trifle by not
hedging on Mary Blane, but he seemed half
ashamed of this last lurking peccadillo.  For
my own part, I felt almost glad to see some
traces left of Tom's old nature.  I have weak
faith in violent reforms.  All the fine parts of
Tom's character had ripened; his generosity
had become chastened by judgment; his
ready good-nature made his lessons of religion
and good conduct interesting and convincing
to his flock; and the interest he took as a
pupil in agricultural matters and the every-
day pursuits of those around him, inspired a
confidence which, in turn, secured attention to
his doctrine when it was his turn to teach.

After a few hours' chat, Tom paid a visit to
a sick old woman, while I busied myself with
his books.  When he returned, we set out for
his knightly neighbour's mansion.  It was a
beautiful place, owned by a widower, who
seemed to be so much devoted to his pretty
daughter, Fanny, that you would have thought
he had no time for the remembrance of his
wife.  But it was quite the reverse: he had
experienced deep sorrows as well as unbounded
prosperity; but he softened his reflections of
the one by making good use of the other.

I do not know whether the old knight or
his daughter seemed most glad to see Tom,
nor by what arrangement I and Sir Basil fell
into conversation so closely, while neither
Tom nor Fanny appeared to have the least
interest in our discourse.  But, I could not
help observing Tom's initials to some very, I
might say, affectionate, birthday lines in an
album that I chanced to open.  I observed
that, when we strolled out on the lawn, Fanny
did not seem to object to my friend's tying
the ribbons of her straw hat, and I am not

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