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On the whole, then, about forty' must be considered a somewhat solitary period of life, but at the same time it possesses not a few advantages peculiarly its own. It is true that most of the illusions of life have vanished, and that high spirit which carried us through difficulties is effectually sobered ; but with a man of sound constitution, who has taken tolerable care of himself, all the substantial advantages of life are left.

His eyesight is probably as keen as ever it was ; and he is nearly, if not quite, as good across country as he was ten years ago, though he may ride fifteen stone.

If he be wise, he has given up dancing, though I have met with men considerably past forty, who are such devoted worshippers of Terpsichore, that they still haunt scenes where they formerly distinguished themselves.

Undoubtedly, there is one thing a man ought to have acquired at forty, and that is, the ability to recognise and appreciate a good dinner. I confess I feel nearly as great a contempt for a man of forty who does not care what he eats as

do for a dainty youngster of twenty.

As boys, it is natural we should, as it were, rush upon our chief meal to be in time for the theatre, where we have taken stalls ; but, to middle-aged men, the attractions of the drama are less absorbing than they were ten or fifteen years ago, and they have learned that one of the most essential adjuncts to enjoyment at dinner is repose.

On certain matters connected with the table, they have decided opinions—think, for instance, that oysters are always (when in season) the best thing to commence upon; that champagne goes well with cheese ; and that dressed fish is a mistake.

Then, again, about forty may be considered physically a safe age ; for though people die, of course, at all ages, and thirty-seven is considered, I believe, the average of human life, yet we are not as we were in the days of Edward III., when few gentlemen lived till they were forty, but, on the contrary, have surmounted juvenile disorders, and, with the exception of a hint of approaching gout, are free from the infirmities of age.

So, with all its drawbacks, there is something favourable to be said about forty. Must I confess that when our club party broke up, I was halfoblivious of the lapse of twenty years, and inclined to ask our host : Shall you be at morning chapel to-morrow?' but that infliction at least we most of us escape when about forty.

When gallants wore the true grand airAnd wigs, by half a morning's care

Made wondrous smooth and sheenyAnd, while the perfumed pinch they took, Lisped languid rhapsodies on Glück,

Or, maybe, on Piccini.
I touch the keys—the startled chord
Can scarce a weak response afford

That wakes a low vibration
Among the slackened, palsied strings :
A feeble spell, and yet it brings

A magic transformation.
An antique aspect veils the place,
A weird, oppressive, ghostly grace

That almost makes one tremble;
A mystic light pervades the air,
Faint footfalls gather on the stair-

The belles and beaux assemble.
The belles and beaux ? Alas, the ghosts !
Thin shadows of once-reigning toasts,

And heroes of the duel.
They smile, they chatter, they parade,
They rustle in superb brocade,

They shine with many a jewel.
They flirt their fans with pretty airs,
They tap their precious tabatières,

They smooth their ruffles grandly ;
While here and there an exquisite
Lets fall his studied stroke of wit,

And waits for plaudits blandly.
The harpsichord is quav'ring soon
A minuet's slow triplet-tune.

A courtly powdered couple,
All formal graces, bend and slide,
With court sies marvellously wide,

And bows politely supple.
The tune is changed, with graceful ease
Fair spirit-fingers sweep the keys,

A spirit voice is trilling ;
The passionate Che faro strain
Comes, like a half-heard cry of pain

From some far distance thrilling.
The lights go out; the voices die ;
Among the strings strange tremors fly,

That slowly sink to slumber ;
The harpsichord remains alone,
A monument of glories done,

An ancient piece of lumber.

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CHAMBERSS JOURNAL

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART. .

fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

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No. 442.
SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 1872.

PRICE 1 d. orders and received communications, preceded by BAR ON E.

a whistle like that of a railway-engine, in a hollow It was within a few days of June. The most and sepulchral voice, by means of a gutta-percha sanguine barbarians had finally abandoned all tube, and had drawn the firm's extremest salary hope of any more skating. The east wind had of three hundred a year. Partly from the necesbeen put under arrest. The Queen of the May sity of distinguishing one Brown from other by no was rapidly recovering from her inflammation of means rare holders of the same honoured name; the lungs ; and the blessed sun had at last torn partly from the obsequiousness of his subordinates ; himself away from his favourite haunts amongst partly from a custom observed by his acquaintthe blameless Ethiopians.

ances, who didn't like to be thought to know one of Moreover, it was the last Wednesday in May; your common Browns; partly from his own natural and thereby hangs a tale.

love of euphony; and partly, perhaps, from personal It had not yet struck 8 A.M. by Shrewsbury vanity, he had for some years past signed himself, clock, but already there was plenty of stir on the and let it be understood that he expected to be road between Clapham and Balham. The morn- spoken to and of as Stanhope Brown. Latterly, he ing was lovely, and promised a lovely day; and had boldly introduced a hyphen ; and even on his along the dusty highway, in the direction of the visiting-cards his name appeared as Stanhopepleasant village of Sutton, toiled even at this early Brown. Some people, amongst whom were his bour quite a noticeable number of people on foot, employers, laughed in their sleeves (and openly and in vans and other vehicles drawn by lineal to one another) at this innovation; but Mrs descendants of Rosinante. The pace, therefore, Stanhope-Brown liked it, and so did most of was slow and sober, if not stately, and calculated her and her husband's circle of acquaintance. to command the approval of the Quakers and A hyphen, one would think, can't do any harm; Puritans who, as some authorities affirm, form the and it is a common mistake to confound post aboriginal nucleus of the Claphamite population. hoc with propter hoc. However, it is quite Here and there, on both sides of the road, are certain that what had contented the late Mr cottages which, though they have no double coach- G. S. Brown and his wife, failed to content the house

, are yet cottages of gentility, and, though new-blown Mr and Mrs Stanhope-Brown. So they are not devoid of modest ornament, suggest much was evident from the conversation which nothing of the pride that apes humility. They was going on among the little party assembled are the sort of snuggeries inhabited by those round their breakfast-table, at a quarter before simple and yet daring folks who fly in the face of 8 A.M., on the lovely morning, already alluded to, everybody but Providence, and marry with even of the last Wednesday in a certain month of the mystic three hundred a year looming, as a May. desirable object of future attainment, in the "Can't you manage it anyhow, George?' asked a distance. The distance had been traversed, and jolly-looking man with the stamp of the country the object had been attained by the couple who on every streak of his ruddy face. lived in the very prettiest nest amongst all the • He could, if he would, I'm sure, broke in a neighbouring snuggeries. George Stanhope Brown pretty, buxom woman of five-and-thirty. had for three years been in the enjoyment of * Everybody else goes, but George is so conwhat had once been his highest ambition : for scientious,' added a still prettier but more delicatethree years he had reaped all the honours and looking woman, younger and more lady-like than emoluments attached to his office of manager in a the former speaker, but in other respects that certain commercial establishment—that is, he had speaker's double. sat in a private room all by himself, had issued "Oh, do come, that's a dear old dad !' cried a

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handsome little boy, ten years old, yellow of hair, communication, that it really makes very little blue of eye, and pink of cheek.

difference whether your school is in a remote part Do you want to drive me mad?' pettishly ex- of England, or on the continent.' claimed the person addressed. “You know I'm a "And so much more attention is paid to manners nigger-slave. The partners can go, and the junior abroad,' simpered Mrs Stanhope-Brown. clerks can go-or at least some of 'em ; but the * Poor lad! poor lad!' said the miller commanager must be at his desk every day of every passionately. *No cricket nor nothing; only month.'

dominoes, they tell me. Well, well; I reckon * Bar one, George,” said the ruddy man with a your month's outing 'll cost a sight o' money, eh ?' grin.

*You can't travel for nothing, certainly,' answered * Ah, I do get a month's holiday, I admit,' Mr Stanhope-Brown evasively ; 'but all my little rejoined the other petulantly ; 'and,' he added ventures have lately turned out pretty well-all

, more cheerfully, 'thanks to you, I enjoy it.' bar one.'

• Bother the thanks,' said the ruddy man bluntly ; 'Oh! you got hit once, then,' suggested the you 're always welcome at the old mill. But we miller. shan't see you this autumn, Bessy tells me ; you ’re • It's not certain yet whether I have or not,' off to Jericho or somewhere, like the fashionable rejoined Mr Stanhope-Brown carelessly. folks.'

* You dabble a little in them funds,' remarked * That depends," said Mr George Stanhope-Brown the miller disparagingly, and yet you never will with dignity.

make a bet-even on a certainty.' • The old mill's not good enough for you,

I

Mr Stanhope-Brown smiled feebly and shook his suppose, George,' remarked the ruddy man in a head. frank, hearty tone; and the buxom woman, who 'I always put a ten-pun note on every big race,' was his wife, laughed good-humouredly.

said the miller confidentially, it gives you an Mr Stanhope-Brown and the somewhat delicate interest in the thing; and, on the whole, I'm not looking woman, who was his wife, and the hand out o' pocket. I get very good information. You'd some boy, who was their sole offspring, all protested better give me a tenner, and let me put it on for together

you when I get down to the course.' Don't talk rubbish, James,' said Mr Stanhope- “No, no; thank you,' answered Mr StanhopeBrown with a slight air of confusion.

Brown decisively. ‘James, you 're very unkind, exclaimed Mrs 'I'm sure George will not do anything of the Stanhope-Brown, bridling and looking hurt. kind,' cried Mrs Stanhope-Brown with moisture in

*Stainesford Mill's the jolliest place in the her eyes and a flush on her cheek: he hasn't so world, Uncle James,' roared the youngster lustily. many ten-pound notes to spare as you have, James? The miller looked pleased, but puzzled.

Mr Stanhope-Brown shook his head once more ; 'If there's nothing the matter with the old mill, and the miller laughed good-naturedly. then, he bellowed, and it's as pleasant for you Do you know what the betting is this morning, to come as it is for us to have ye (and I know we George?' asked the latter. look forrard to it as our treat), why, 'in the name of *I don't understand it,' answered Mr Stanhopepatience and the patriarch Job, should you go off Brown fretfully : 'here's the paper.' to Jericho ?'

"Oh! 3 to i bar one,' said the miller eagerly, *Nearly all the people we know here go abroad after a glance at the quotations. somewhere,' insinuated Mrs Stanhope-Brown. * Bar one !' exclaimed Mr Stanhope-Brown, as if

‘More fools they, Mary,' rejoined the stout he were puzzled, in a loud and excited voice. miller. "Your sister and I are older than you and “Yes,' replied the miller patronisingly; bar your husband, and we never wanted to leave Mox, of course. You can get 3 to 1 against any what's the best country out, with all its faults. hoss you fancy except Mox. But, bless you, it's a Did we, Bess?'

certainty ; he's been going up in the betting every I never did ; I can't answer for you,' replied day, and I put my tenner on hini when it was 10 the buxom Bessy. “Perhaps it's that very desire to 1 against him.' of getting away from home which is wearing you • Then, if you 'd put ten tenners on, you'd have down so.'

stood to win a thousand pounds, besides getting At this sally, the jolly miller, who weighed back your hundred,' said Mr Stanhope-Brown with some two-and-twenty stone, winked and chuckled an air of interest. approvingly for full a minute, during which Mrs * Less the commissioner's percentage, and unless Stanhope-Brown had thought of something to say. you hedged,' assented the miller: but you have

*You see, James,' she said coaxingly, addressing to go in for the regular book-making business for Mr. Tamlin, the miller, we want to personally that sort of thing, and that wouldn't suit either visit some schools in Switzerland. We think of you or me.' sending our little George to school there, educa- . Decidedly not,' said Mr Stanhope-Brown emtion is so much cheaper abroad than in England.' phatically : why, you could hardly keep your

* And so it ought to be,' said the miller, grinning; transactions concealed, and your character as a they tell me it's a darned sight nastier. But steady man of business would be gone.' d' ye mean to say you'll put all them seas and I You speak like a book, George,' rejoined the don't know what else between yourselves and an miller, laughing: just bet once on one horse, and only child? Why, God bless my soul !! stick to him. °if you lose one time, you 'll win

Mrs Stanhope-Brown looked furtively at her another. All you have to do is to write to a proper husband, who answered for her.

sort of commissioner, and even your own wife," he *Well, Mary didn't like the notion at all at first, I added, winking at Mrs Tamlin, 'needn't know anybut she listened to reason, You see, James, we thing about it, unless you like.' have nowadays such quick and easy means of 'I had a curious dream last night,' said Mrs

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Tamlin, 'I suppose in consequence of your talking cried Mr Stanhope-Brown, so violently as to make so much about this race just before we went to bed. the jolly miller start and look serious, “that I think I saw the whole race as distinctly as if I had been you'll be an infernal fool.' there and wide awake.'

- Why? If you were going to bet, said the * Did 'ee, now!' exclaimed the miller with a miller anxiously, 'would you still back Mox ?' broad grin. “Tell us what you saw; that's a good 'I'll stake my life on him,' answered Mr Stanwoman.'

hope-Brown. 'I saw about thirty or more horses, with riders The betting-men would rather have your money, looking like harlequins and what-not, all going remarked the miller smiling: “I don't know that round and round, and jumping about at the bottom they'd object to take both, but they'd prefer the of a hill with white railings on each side of it ; money.' and all of a sudden away they went up the hill 'I must be off,' was Mr Stanhope-Brown's as if they'd been shot from a catapult'

rejoinder: 'we've been chattering for an hour, and • That was the start,' interrupted the miller, I shall hardly catch my train. Make yourselves rubbing his hands with glee.

as happy as you can without me,' he added with a *They were all in a cluster at the top of the sad smile. hill,' continued Mrs Tamlin, “and then they turned You'll be home by seven, George,' his wife to the left, and I lost sight of them for a few called after him. seconds

• If I live,' he replied. The bushes hid 'em,' broke in the miller.

'He always says that,' remarked Mrs Stanhope“When I saw them again, proceeded Mrs Tam- Brown to her sister. lin, 'they were broken up into fours, and threes, ' He seems very low this morning,' was the and twos, streaming along in a crooked line: then rejoinder: 'I'm so sorry he couldn't go with us.' they turned sharp to the left again, and rushed Oh! he is so good,' replied Mrs Stanhopedown a fearful hill close by some more white rail- Brown : ‘he wouldn't stay away for the world, un

less he were ill; the firm speak so highly of him ; * Tattenham Corner,' roared the miller.

and I do so hope his last little speculation may turn 'And, just as the leaders were turning the corner, out well—he is so anxious to see a little of foreign one of the horses-the one nearest the rails— life.' seemed to slip up and fall with a frightful crash.

• He said all his little ventures had been successAll the others went on like a flash of lightning, ful“ bar one,” remarked Mrs Tamlin. and, about a hundred yards before they reached a “Yes,' said Mrs Stanhope-Brown, 'that is the one. sort of sentry-box, in which I could see nothing I don't know what it is, as I don't understand funds but a man's hat, one horse jumped right away from and that sort of thing.' the other three that had been in front, and they And so they conversed, whilst Mr Tamlin and never caught him, so I suppose he won. At any- George were watching at the window, round which rate, he was brought back in custody by a mounted the pretty creeper climbed, the pedestrians and the policeman, and was taken, with his rider, into vehicles growing every minute more numerous and some place near the sentry-box.'

noisy, and incompatible with the ordinary habits Ah! he won, safe enough, roared the miller. of the aboriginal denizens of Clapham. But I reckon now you couldn't tell us what colour At 11 A.M. there drove up to Mrs Stanhopehe was, and what his rider's colours were ?' Brown's cottage a wagonette with a pair of good

He seemed to me,' said Mrs Tamlin quietly, horses. Hampers were put in; blue veils were 'to be a very dark-coloured horse, and his rider assumed by Mr and Mrs Tamlin, Mrs Stanhopelooked like a chimney-sweep with a white night- Brown, and little George ; and away they went in

grand style to the Derby. It was the jolly miller's * It was Mox, by gum,' observed the miller principal holiday ; he always insisted, to use his solemnly: 'he's a very dark bay hoss, and his own language, upon 'standing the trap ;' and the rider's colours are black and white cap. And how only drawback to his enjoyment of his great annual about that an that fell, my dear?'

festival was, that he never could induce his dutiful I only tell you what I dreamt, mind,' answered brother-in-law to take part in the Epsom carnival. Mrs Tamlin, with the balf-deprecatory, half-patron- Meanwhile, Mr Stanhope-Brown was seated at ising air of a person who has had an unexpected his desk in his own room, doing all the work there triumph ; 'but I have it impressed upon my mind was to do on the Derby-day ; and that was, appathat it was a beautiful cream-coloured creature'- rently, to walk about and bite his nails. He had

Never was a race-hoss that colour, and never been grievously annoyed on his railway-journey, will be,' sneered the miller, contemptuously inter- and on his walk from the station to the office ; for rupting.

his ears had caught nothing but a buzzing sound Well

, it may have been chestnut,' resumed Mrs in which no words were clearly distinguishable Tamlin with less confidence ; 'but I know the rider but ‘Mox' and 'Bar one.' Until nearly two o'clock wore a red jacket and black cap, something like he paced the floor of his private room, and then he the Queen's outriders.'

went out to luncheon. * That 'll do,' said the miller reflectively; 'it was About the same time, at Epsom, his relatives Beggarman. And now,' he added, slapping his were at the height of their enjoyment. The miller, thigh, 'I attach so much importance to dreams, as good as his word, had at the earliest opportunity especially when I can account for 'em by the gone off to put his 'tenner' on Beggarman. He pickles you took and the stories I told you last was not a member of the ‘ring,' and he had therenight, that I'll be darned like an old stocking if fore been delighted to find an affable man presiding I don't put an extra ten-pun note on Beggarman as at a board on which was the name of Podex ; for soon as I have settled you all right at Epsom.' Podex was the name of the miller's own commis

And I attach so much importance to dreams,' | sioner,' and the affable man at once replied, in

cap on.'

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answer to a question, that it was all one and the were two wind-instruments, which he used altersame firm,' and volunteered to give the jovial nately for the production of sounds delicious to miller, as an old customer, a ‘pint' over. The boys and pandemoniacs. By half-past 6 P.M. they 'pint' was not liquid measure, but, otherwise pro- bad reached the pretty cottage, between Balham nounced, a “point' over the odds. So the miller and Claphamn, in a condition which the muller returned rejoicing to his relatives ; and they all acknowledged was appropriate to his calling. made a hearty meal, with a good many libations of Before 4 P.M. there had been gathered together champagne, to prepare them for the imminent in front of certain shop-windows in the City many Derby. There had been some change in the bet- clusters of men, women, boys, and girls, all waitting. There were voices shouting · Three to two on ing for the appearance of a little piece of paper. It the field,' and 'Two to one bar one ;' and Stentor is probable that not one in twenty of the gazers and Leviathan were proclaiming, at the risk of had any pecuniary interest in what they were so breaking a blood-vessel, their earnest desire to 'bet anxious to see; nor, from the artistic point of view, against Mox;' but they wouldn't offer more than is there much to look at in a piece of foolscap three to two, though occasionally a queer-looking paper inscribed with three more or less outlandish customer, who, even if he were not a native of the names having appended to them respectively the Principality, bore the lineaments of a Welsher, first three numerals. And yet the human clusters was liberal enough (as money was no object to could not have displayed greater eagerness had him) to offer a sovereign to anybody to make a they been expecting the exhibition of a new bet,' and an additional “alf-pint' over the odds. painting by a great master, or of a live Clainant At last the course was cleared; the dog was driven weighing something under a ton. But nowadays, mad ; the dust-cloud was raised ; hats were taken with the help of the press, interest in anything off ; the sea of faces heaved and roared; the hoofs gathers bulk, as does a snowball by continual thundered and the colours flashed; the crowd rolling in the snow; so that it would not be closed in behind the horses as they passed ; the wonderful if the whole world were to be divided winner's number was duly hoisted ; and the miller's into two hostile camps on the question of a family wife read No. 7.'

difference between two fleas, supported by their Beggarman's won,' roared the excited miller ; respective organs.' At anyrate, example is catch'but dang me if I didn't think it was Squoggles ; ing; and, whether a man has a bet on' or not, lie at any rate, it was too near to be pleasant.'

is not singular if he stands amongst his fellowBabel at once set in and continued, and in the creatures, and joins them in staring at a particular midst of it all the worthy miller went in search of pane of glass. the affable man who professed to represent Podex There was nothing very remarkable, then, in the & Co. But Affability's place knew him no more ; fact, that amongst one group of starers should be the man and the board had vanished together; and Mr George Stanhope-Brown. It was far more the only information the miller could obtain was remarkable that, when the expected bit of paper coldly imparted in two words : “'Ooked it.' was put up and bore the inscription 'Beggarman 1,

'I see 'im getting ready to step it,' remarked a Squoggles 2, Kick-the-bucket 3-won easily by a policeman, grinning, jest as the 'osses passed the length,' Mr Stanhope-Brown's neighbour should distance-post with Beggarman a-pullin' double.' have uttered a cry of agony, and pushed him

The miller returned chop-fallen to his party, but fiercely away, saying: “What the devil are you awith the assistance of champagne he soon recovered | doin' of ?' his spirits.

'Beg pardon,' said Mr Stanhope-Brown dreamily “Twenty pounds gone,' said he with rueful as he elbowed his way out of the throng. grimace at his wife. Well, twenty pounds won't * Beg pardon! I should think you did-pinchin

' break me; but if ever I set eyes on that infernal people like that,' roared the injured neighbour Welsher, I'll break every bone in his skin.' after him. “Why, the man must be mad.'

“Ah!' said the two sisters reproachfully, ‘George Mad or not, Mr Stanhope-Brown sauntered leiswas wise ; he never bets.'

urely along, looking very pale, and grinding his Stuff!' growled the miller: 'you women would teeth together, insomuch that a friend who met ha' been the first to crow if I'd brought the money him cried : ‘Hollo, Stanhope-Brown ! you didn't back wi' me. It ain't betting, it's swindling that back Beggarman, evidently. But I know you lost me my twenty pounds.'

don't bet, old fellow. What's the matter? ToothThe handsome little boy had been looking won-ache ?' deringly from one to another.

Mr Stanhope-Brown nodded. 'You'll never bet, Georgy, will you ?' said his "Then look here,' continued his friend : just mother, drawing him close to her.

you run over the way to Cory's, the chemist's. * Not I,' replied the boy laughing ; 'I'll be like He gave me some rare stuff. Teil him I sent you! dad.'

*Chemist's !' exclaimed Mr Stanhope-Brown, as The miller looked a little disconcerted, and drew if it gave him an idea. "Ah! thanks—I'll go.' attention to the fact that the horses were coming And Mr Stanhope-Brown went not only to out for the next race ; and the whole party became Cory's, but to several other chemists ;' and when absorbed in the proceedings

, and divided their time he got back to his office, he said to the porter: 'I between watching preliminary canters, and breaks have some work that I must finish to-night, Peter. away, and downright racing, amidst an uproar You can shut up as usual at five.' caused by Ethiopian melodists, mountebanks, and *Very well, sir. Shall I get you some dinner?' the like, until the last event was decided. Then No, thank you ; I've had all the dinner I mean they set out for home with little George as happy to have. That'll do.' as a king; for round his cap were stuck innumer- Peter retired, and Mr Stanhope-Brown shut himnable dolls ; on what pugilists call his ósmeller' was self up in his room, and set seriously to work. a false nose of gigantic size ; and in his two hands ;

Seven, eight, and nine struck, and Mr Stanhope

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