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we can say, “Ay, ay, Sir!" with a brave heart. What better life than a life on sea is there for boy or man? And doesn't Saturday night come round ?

· For all the world's just like the ropes aboard a ship,

Each man's rigged out,

A vessel stout,
To take for life a trip.
The shrouds, the stays, the braces,

Are joys, and hopes, and fears;
The halliards, sheets, and traces,

Still as each passion veers,
And whim prevails,

Direct the sails,
As on the sea of life he steers.

Then let the storm

Heaven's face deform,
And danger press;

Of these in spite, there are some joys
Us jolly tars to bless ;

For Saturday night still comes, my boys,
To drink to Poll and Bess.'

Praiseworthy Meddler roared out the song at the top of his voice, as if it were the most natural and appropriate thing for him to do just there and then. The effect of his sudden inspiration was, that every member of the Marvel family, without being previously acquainted with the young ladies referred to, repeated in their honour the refrain of the last two lines :

• For Saturday night still comes, my boys,

To drink to Poll and Bess,'

with such extraordinary enthusiasm, that the carroty-haired cat rose to her feet in alarm, debating within herself the possibility of the Marvel family having suddenly caught a contagious madness from the Old Sailor. Convinced that the matter required looking into, puss walked softly to the door, with the intention of arousing the neighbours; but silence ensuing at the conclusion of the refrain, she became reassured, and stole back to her warm space on the floor, and curled herself up again and blinked at the fire.

After this exertion, Praiseworthy Meddler took the twelve-hundred - ton ship off his knee, and dabbed his face with it energetically.

What does it amount to,' he continued, if the heart's brave? What does it amount to when it is all over, and when one gets to be as old as I am ? I'm tough and firm ;' and he gave his leg a great slap. 'I'm as young as a younger man; and I know that there's no place on earth like the sea.'

. And you can get promotion, can't you ?' asked Joshua eagerly. 'A man needn't be a common sailor all his life ?'




No, Josh, he needn't stick at that, if he's willing and able, and does his duty. I know

I many a skipper who once on a time was only an able-bodied seaman.'

'Do you hear that, mother ?' cried Joshua. Now are you satisfied ? and he jumped up and gave her a kiss.

• What is a skipper, Mr. Meddler ?' asked Mrs. Marvel with her arm round Joshua's waist. She had a dim notion that a skipper was connected with a skipping-rope, and that she might have been a skipper in her girlhood's days. If that were the case, she could not see what advantage it would be to Joshua to become one.

‘A skipper's a captain, mother,' whispered Joshua.

O!' said Mrs. Marvel, but not quite clear in her mind on the point. Then, if I might be so bold, Mr. Meddler

But here Mrs. Marvel stopped suddenly and blushed like a girl.

* Ay, ay, lady, go on,' said the Old Sailor encouragingly.

'If I might make so bold,' continued Mrs. Marvel with an effort, 'how is it that you never rose to be a skipper ?'


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0, mother !' cried Joshua.

*The question is a sensible one, Joshua,' said Praiseworthy Meddler slowly, and a right one too; though, if all able-bodied seamen rose to be skippers, there wouldn't be ships enough in the world for them. I should have been promoted, I've no doubt; but I was born with something unfortunate, which has stuck to me all my life, and which I have never been able to get rid of.'

'Is it anything painful ?' asked Mrs. Marvel with womanly solicitude.

Praiseworthy Meddler looked at her with a droll expression on his face, and folded his twelvehundred-ton ship into very small squares, and laid it in the palm of his left hand, and flattened it with the palm of his right, before he spoke again :

• It wasn't my fault, it was my misfortune. I couldn't help my father's name being Meddler, and I couldn't help being a Meddler myself, being his son, you see. My father didn't like his name any more than I did, but he didn't know how to change it; he was born a Meddler, and he died a Meddler. My being a Meddler is the only reason, I do believe, why I am not a skipper this present day of our Lord; and I don't think I am

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sorry that, when I die, I sha'n't leave any Meddlers behind me.'

* You have never been married, Mr. Meddler ?'

• No, lady; but I was very near it once, as you shall hear. It was all because of my name that I wasn't. My father didn't like his name, as I have told you.

His Christian name was Andrew; he was a saddler. He got along well

; enough to set up shop for himself, and one morning he took the shutters down for the first time, and commenced business. Over his window was the sign, “A. Meddler, saddler."

There was a rival saddler in the same town, whose name was Straight, and who didn't like my father setting up in opposition to him; and he put in his window a bill, with this on it: “Have your saddles made and repaired by a Straightforward man, and not by A Meddler.” That ruined my father : people laughed at him, instead of dealing with him ; he soon had to shut up shop, and go to work again as a journeyman.

He had two children ; the first was a girl, the next was me.

I heard that he was very pleased when my sister was born, because she was a girl. She can marry when she grows up," he said, "and then she will have her husband's name." When I was born, my father wasn't

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