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successful. He allowed that I was right so far,
but that the impious attempt had nevertheless
been made.

He boasted to me that though he had
twelve children, and but little money of his
own, he had yet declined to insure his life,
since that was gambling. I understood from
him that another terror must needs be added
to death for those who expire in Bettysomething,
because he always improves a demise
by a sermon. Even the little children in his
parish are frightened when they get ill, lest
they should die, and be put in a tract.

When I ventured to recall to Jack's mind
the above incident of his asking the Divinity
Professor to a social entertainment, he
requested me, curtly, not to revive humiliating
antecedents.

THE GOLDEN MELON.

SOMEWHERE in the far-east, there lived in
ancient times, a good and wise man who was
a practical gardener. After a life-long study
he produced, by incessant cultivation, a
species of melon so excellent in its nutritive and
medicinal properties that it was justly named
"the Golden Melon." It was at once food
and medicine for the people. All the virtues
ascribed to a hundred plants were summed
up in this quintessence of the vegetable world.
It hadif we may believe old stories
marvellous good effects, not only on the physical
health, but also on the characters of all who
who were fortunate enough to taste it; for it
improved the temper, cheered the heart,
made the aspect mild and benevolent, and
wonderfully promoted a flow of the milk of
human kindness.

Travellers, after crossing a surrounding
desert, knew well, without the aid of any
sign-post, when they came into the land
where lived the golden melon eaters; for
here the people were cheerful; or, when sad,
were patient. They loved to help others,
were slow to think evil, ready to believe in
good, and wished all the world to know the
virtues of the golden melon.

Here I must leave a long interval of time
in my parable. Centuries rolled away. The
inventor of the marvellous gourd had left its
seeds to be distributed among the people, with
a full and careful description of the fruit and
all its virtues. This was necessary to prevent
disputes; for the melon, though uniform in
its real properties and effects, was singularly
varied in its form and colour. It might be
more or less flat or rounded, and, as to colour,
a light yellow or a golden brown might
predominate. And so were the genuine seeds
varioussome flattened, others rounded;
some large, and others small. " They are all
good; never mind the varieties," said the
inventor, in his Guide to Melon Growers. But
unfortunately this little scroll of parchment
was lost, while the people were disputing on
the genuineness of the several descriptions of
seed. One party contended for the flattened
seeds; while another would look at no
specimens that were not well rounded; and so
arose the two factions, commonly known as
Flat Seedsmen and Rounders. When every
possible division had been made about the
shape, the controversy on colours, or rather
shades of colour, began; and so originated
the parties rejoicing in such names as Light-
yellows and Golden-browns. At lastit would
be tedious to tell all their quarrelsthe
disputants subsided into common sense, so far
as to say among themselves, " Enough! let
us begin to plant and try the result."

But new differences of opinion arose with
regard to the soil to be selected, and hence
came the parties respectively named Sandy
Boys, Clay Gardeners, and Deep Soilers.
They divided themselves into groups,—each
located on its favourite plot of ground,— and
might have devoted themselves, at once, to
the work of growing melons; but, unhappily,
a new and more elaborate controversy now
began about the frames to be used. " Shall
we use crown-glass ? or plate-glass ? or no
glass at all? Shall the frames have a slope
facing north ? or south ? or east ? or west?
Shall the sashes be made of wood? and
granting thisshall it be oak? or pine ? or
maple ? or sycamore? or shall the frames be
made of iron ? or any other metal? "—On
these points the several parties disputed long,
until certain wealthy and influential men,—
misled by a mere name,— contended for golden
frames, which, of course, deprived the poor
of all hope of growing or eating the genuine
melon. It may seem too fantastic for an
oriental parable; but it is true that, on these
several questions, the melon growers divided
themselves into groups as oddly named as
parties in American politics, and as numerous
as sects in Christendom. On the question of
frames alone, so intense was the division that,
after contending together through life,
opposite parties refused to be buried in the same
soil. There was a grand cemetery for the
Golden Frarners; while in obscure and lowly
places slept the Sandy Boys and the Clay
Gardeners. Worse than thisthe few melons
raised were used as missiles, and the frames
were pulled to pieces to supply ready weapons
in many a combat. So maple was shivered
to match-wood upon oak; oak was splintered
on iron, and even golden bars were used
with deadly effect in fights among the melon
growers. They trampled down the lowly
but useful gourds planted by poor people
who could not go to the expense of frames.
In a word, not one of the good effects
originally described as belonging to the culture
of the famous melon could be found, and the
disappointed people now became clamorous,
crying out, at the gates of the several
parties:—" Give us melons! No more of
your disputes about crown-glass and plate-
glass, oak, maple, and sycamore, or iron or
golden frames! Give us melons of some sort

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