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aged CHERUB. uiv wits' end. As I write, my 1 "^razors'is open before me; the blight fa9 L°c f Vmdimnieil, alas! and umhilled by 61adC 'rmn ns they came from the cutler's ase ' reatlv to my hand; but my hand forge- 11 • t]ie j nst) the desperate \t 45, health, money, u wife, sl (though against them I well may cW1 « grudge), even, I may say, honor s „n unblemished reputation, are not i,c abandoned without a strug Îj Yet life and all the rest are embit tn me by one misfortune, which n® g", t0 roe by one misfortune, wlucli ms "SL have enabled me to overcome, no Seism has availed to disregard; and, had I the courage, priest as I am, 1 would trike the blow, and suicide should drop the merciful curtain upon the pitiful fnree ______vitronw. Let me see if penning -i mv existence. ------------ i---------a 0e tale of my woes will nerve my hand to end them Yet the tale will but move the world to tftuehter. My wife has long pooh-poohed me and urged me "not to think of it;" as irell urge the eel not to think of skinning, M the fugitive cur to disregard the kettle «ed to his tail. But then she is supported hythe courage and a good deal of the ap g ___ _____ r.f a errenadier. „earance of a grenadier. *01dfriends speak sympathizing!)* and wy "Well, old fellow, I wish I had half vour complaint. But some men never are satisfied." Ah! I know their tones of regret aud envy are mere mockery; safe in the possession of gray hairs and gouty toes, they know they can trifle with me as they please. I can scarcely bear to divulge my secret to those who do not know me and it, but I must. My curse is this. I, a man of 45 a husband, the father of a great lout of' a lad and a gawky girl, a priest in holy orders and a bachelor of divinity, have the face, the ligure, the voice, and the carriage of a cherry cheeked boy of ft Ah! you may laugh, but none can know what I endure till they have tried it Just consider. I 'ook like a nice, healthy, lower school L oy. My cheeks are pink and smooth; my hair is yellow and rough and plenty of it ; my waist is slim, my back is flat ; I wdlk with a springy step; at times involuntarily I run, and I believe I still could beat any alto in my old school choir. It was not till after I left Oxford that I bétamo conscious of my affliction. At college many of us do like boys, and act like boys too. My post was naturally tho pleasant one of cox of the college eight, and although raftmen and bargees guffawed privily when I came down to the boats, and little boys from the towpath mimicked my shrill, imperative voice, still I was petted and popular, ns cox is by virtue of his office, and I was happy. They carried me shoulder high round the quad and placed me on the table at "wines" to pipo my treble songs, and, if I felt like a tit mcise beside the giants of my crew, I was but fulfilling my steersman's mission. Those, hdeed, were goldeu days. But ftom t.. time 1 announced n determina tion to t.ke orders, trouble grew up around me. Tutors said they doubted if I should have "enough influence;" clergy men, to whom I applied for a title, seemed skeptical of my "seriousness;" and when I called on tho examining chaplain to the bishop of my choice and explained the ob ject of my visit, the good man looked puz *led, but smiled kindly and asked with a surtout point de zele nir if I didn't think I had better not have troubled to come to him till I was within more mensurable distance of the earliest age for ordination. And at that moment I was 24. At that time, indeed, I knew I looked boyish; but then I often felt boyish, and not being a vain peacock, I gave little critical study to my appearance; vanity is not my besetting sin, and in those days I did not stare gloomily in the glass for the purpose of detecting some hope, some promise of age, or, indeed, for any other purpose. Though below thq middle height, I am not a dwarf, and as yet the awful conviction of the truth had not forced itself upon me. 1 did not know how childlike a front I presented. At last, however, I obtained a curacy iu A parish, where we had a fine old church, a considerable choir, and several other wrates, and, Unding my vicar kindly, and his wife positively affectionate, I settled flown to my work and looked forward to * happy atpl beneficent life. Within a week my hopes were crushed. There Well me a calamity which lias left me "««nee » blighted and dispirited being. i had but just been ordained, and I was wry full of the solemnity and the dignity « my new position. We had just finished a wedding in humble life, and about half 1 ® * f was to elapse before mal ins. I taken a subordinate part in indis solubly yoking a bashful country lass a very bemused looking gaby from the «wi- H 1, nu ' l was waiting in my , for tlle service in which 1 was, so peak, to »"first appearance." °, th , er was hot > and I laid aside my „ ®. ari( i hood l'or a while; for I was as P™uu and earefid of their untarnished hnn,.* F 1 ? 1 '»' as a mother of her first tin* \ an< * * tlio vestry door eliat« ° w >' vicar and two of my fellow toiin TO-« • wepo making their mystical swltt î! 1 "' 0n a sudden I beard a very I / Ti s y0lce saying, "Oh, 1 do wish ÆL"S C ° Ut this window—there loolGnr, w one to explain if," and elderlv ioT' n t i° chm 'ch I saw one stout two slim young ones ex* r a , i ! 1 winnow of Ananias and Sapphi jor T ■'gain at the girls, and oh, WaanJW" 1 ! v, '° fair Americans who termtwl 011 Vi °, xf °rd during my last Passionate l,oen the objects of my Ü«ver im 1 n | u , ieart stricken devotion. intrbMi.iVT SOtteu thom - ' 'ajolery the * uu onco brought me into cotfi.i room with them, hut J.vfore I tioa tho,. an opportunity for im iniroduc tcie k? gone, and 1 saw them no v No ? Waa my time. Straight I steps of the chancel and errant a , T !i° before tiicin like a knight distressed Î. i U8ht ' coming to deliver a WSS 1 ' 11 ; f "Vou would like to i'sskefi bin,, ii su bJeet of the window is! " very qualm.' ,V Ifc is ver >' old ß lass atd I saiiAS i 5 allow mo to explain it." **fl the 3i flu f n «* v on. "Dear me!" Canie to a r ! !'" ?, d y Presently, when I Very ] m ! n ," so f. how interesting! What 8 W U i n ld °a to have the church choristers i vt nx '» aad what very nice ^ Wein^ij!_'® ar ° here; so intelligent ^levant f d ' I thought this rather °' Kl was puzzled, but all p.atse of die church just then was .. to } w > r n< f I said complacently les, the choir is very good; we take great chiline^"^ ^reat attention is paid to dis cipline. \\hy the young ladies should have. Utiered, or the old lady have looked so all-abroad, I could not guess; but ns people were beginning to come into church nnmbcrs 1 drew toward the chancel steps, discoursing as I went and then, as we reached tlic c hancel gate! I paused, intending, before we parted to n^ke soineullusiou to having met them in Oxfoni. i lie elderly lady, however, mis took me. .she stopped at the foot of the steps, where lier head was still ,«li«-hUv nbove mine, and bringing her hand mit of her pocket, where she 1 id been fumbling, slipped fi naif crown into my palm and said, "There, my little man, that will do; ^ ou vo got it ail very nicely; now f must just give you one kiss, my dear." and with t.mt I, yes i. was kissed publiclv cm mv own chancel steps, under mv own rooil screen, before the eyes of my'own pastor and Hock. "Oh. yes! dear little fellow'" cried the young ladies, "he is so pertain cunning," and they too kissed me wit! ' nul great goodwill. 1 stood with " flaniimi checks and mouth agape, the half crown still in my hand, watching them as tliev complacently retreated down the aisle'. Then, when they had disappeared, roused by the titter of ladies and the guffaws of my fellow clergy at .he vcfctry door, I fled hnstily and buried by blushes among the registers and surplices of the vestry. It was useless to remain in that parish. The conduct of the congregation next Sunday, when I stepped forth to read the lesson, proved that to demonstration. Of course such a story had spread like wild fire. The church was crammed, and when in reading about David, who was "ruddy and withal of a beautiful countenance," I came to the words, "Lock not on his countenance or on the height of his stat ure," t liera arose such a stifled laughter ns sounded like 1 the wind among dry leaves. I stopped short, consumed with shame and mortification, unable to see the book for tears, and than, witii an astute ness I did not know t possessed, judi ciously fainted away and was borne out like a child in the arms of the basso blacksmith. It was a skillful stroke and might have retrieved me, but I could not. brook to re main there longer. By the assistance of the archdeacon and the consent of the bishop, who tried hard not to laugh while lie gave it, 1 was transferred to another county. But though no like blow fell on me there, 1 saw the attempt was useless. Did I go to school to catechise or exhort tho boys, my presence was a signal for disorder. As a matter of course my au thority was disregarded. Girls chatted under my nose, hoys extracted from dirty breeches pockets pegtops and toffee liefore my very eyes, and even looked to me for encouragement, and if the master was forced to come to the rescue and canon lad, the ingenuous youth would appeal to me, with an air that said as plain as words. "Come, you know what alley-tors are? Why don't you put a stop to this grown up tyranny? Have you no fellow feeling?" At baptisms mothers re fused to let me officiate upon the bawling infant, vowing "they weren't ugoin' to let that theer careless boy play no tricks with the blessed baby. ' ' My ministrations pro voked hilarity at funerals, and once an irate virago, with whom 1 was expostu lating on the wickedness of her ways, soused me neck and crop, clerical hat and nil, into her soapsuds and wnslitub. With much pain I dropped my holy calling. Marriage and a literary life ab sorbed some years. 1 strove—heaven knows how earnestly—to correct the vice of my appearance, hut the more I ad vanced iu life the more absurd matters grew. Occasional glimpses of hope only proved delusive and plunged me hack again into a darker despair. If I have tried one patent infallible whisker pro ducer I have tried twenty. I have been n mine of wealth to barbers. Fluids that would make au elm plank shaggy simply make my cheeks look chapped. Many a time have I gone to rest daubed with pomade, only to find in the morn ing that it had fled from my chin in the night to seek a more hopeful ground ou the pillow. Once a slight downy efflorescence made its appearance under my jav.*, and l'or days I was almost delirious with joy, and walked the streets with my chin in the air to show my manly beard. Alas! like Jonah's gourd, it withered in one night, as it grew. Sud denly it dropped off and left my face hair less as the sole of my foot. At 401 still looked like 14. But. though 1 looked ns if time had stood still with me, in fact it has made ns good haste as with other folks. My wife is half as tall again as I, and twice as heavy. When I give her my arm sue puts her fingers into my armpit, and peo ple are ceasing to take her for my mother and think 1 am her grandchild. I am blest with a hopeful young family, a boy and a bony, awkward girl, who looks already over the crown of my head and has to sloop down to kiss me. ThA hoy I do think an extraordinary creature. He is not more than Hi, hut lie looks as much older than his age as I, so to speak, look younger than mine. He is tall and burly, and has a mighty mature and lumpish look. The brawl which fate has denied me adorns him. and with a double portion, and, now that ins voice has broken and settled itself into a kind of hoarse bray, boyish is the ln-i word to apply to him. I took him down the other day to Harl Jjorough school to enter him there. My railway journey was neither more nor less of a misery to me than usual. . An economically minded ticket inspector remarked considerately to my son, "I'd have passed him with a half ticket, sir! You needn't have got a whole 'un." I went to tia-refresh ment room and asked for a four of whisky. The young lady behind the bar leant over and cried. "Oh! you horrid little hoy! I shan't give you nothing hut it glass of milk and a bun. not if you was ever so. To think of the likes of you wanting fours of Scotch, indeed!" nnd a burly country man standing by smote »neun the back till I choked, and guffawed. "Haw! Haw! Thee'rt « good 'un. I loikes thy cheek, little chop," and in trying to force on me a drink of his beer contrived to pour some half pint into ray nock ai d waistcoat and then cursed me for his own clumsi ness. The bookstall man treated me with polite indifférence and paid ifo more at tention to me than to a spaniel. Finally, when ;i grim old lady got into our smok ing carriage she fixed me with n stonveve and said, "Oh! you nasty little 'bov! smoking at your age! Where do you cx pect to go to?" and proceeded to take niv pipe away from me; while the other pas sengers said, "W ell, ho is too young to be smoking, for sure," and that lout of a son of mine went black in the face with laughter and declined to come to the rescue. Harlborough was readied at last and we walked up to the headmaster's house. With some difficulty nnd two half crowns i induced the incredulous butler to usher us in, and having got rid of his lh st notion that it was, as he said, "a 'oax," I found I had cast out the first devil only to have a more wicked one take his place; for now he winked jocosely and bade us "come this way, young genle'men," and actually poked me in the ribs before go ing found the screen nnd ushering ns into the doctor's presence. I was wild with wrath at. the indignity. "Doctor." said I, fiercely and shrilly, "I must protest, T insist, sir." He glared at me haughtily, and then, turning to my huit, said, "is this some farce? If, sir, as l suppose, you arc bringing your little brother to en ter him at the school, let me say that we have the means," and he swished his hand through the air, "of correcting that unbridled and insubordinate demeanor which tlie loss, no doubt, of a father, and the absence of parental control, lias in duced in him. 1 sec," said he, as the gaby turned crimson and shuffled from one foot to the other, "your brother's pertness not unnaturally discomposes you; believe me, I attach no blame to you. and I think," lie added significantly, ""we can soon remedy it." My cup brimmed over. What exactly I said I will not repeat. Let me not for get that I am a clergyman, and that it is mv duty alike to forgive my enemies and to eschew bad language; but for the nonce my language was very bad indeed, and very wrathful; and the matter was made all the worse by the fact that tho doctor was but a young man. ••Sir," I cried, "I took an honorable degree at Oxford when you were still being birched at school, and was a priest in holy orders before ever you were in coat tails. How dare you gibe at my personal appearance, sir? How dare you make a mock of my infirmity? You seem so inhuman, and so indecently fond of the most degrading part of your duties, that 1 would gladly leave this grinning oaf with you. and then he would get the thrashing lie deserves for exulting in his father's discomfiture. But then 1 should have to speak with you, sir; to speak with you! and I will not lower myself by having anything to do with you; evil communications corrupt good manners, sir, and I will not stoop to imperil my own good breeding by com municating with a pedagogue, who, in stead of a scholar and a gentleman, ap pears to he a coxcomb and a boor;" and with this tirade I flung out of the room in a rage, nnd my son slunk out at my heels. I was speechless with fury till we got some distance from the house. Then, looking up, I saw t hat my wretched boy was sniggering still, and in my mortifica tion I struck him with my cane. There were several of the lads about, and he, poor fellow, was high and mighty in his new tail coat, and he felt tho indignity. He lost his temper, as I had lost mine, and, turning on me, he boxed my ears. This was too much. To what depth of con tempt must I have fallen! 1 dropped on a bench and burst into tears—tlie bitter est tears, I think, that ever man shed. I gave him money and sent him home alone, and then I wandered away in inde scribable wretchedness. I was blind to all that passed; I neither saw nor eared where I went. I could not even pursue one train of thought, however miserable. Not that any oblivion came mercifully to relieve me from my sufferings. 1 passed through moment after moment of exqui site pain, but each seemed isolated, and to he enaured by itself separately, and with out any continuity with either the mo ments that went before or those which followed after. How the time went I do not know, but after what 1 thought was a great while I found myself sitting by a dull, dark stream, staving gloomily into it. I do not know what was passing through my mind; perhaps no settled thought lmd formed itself; but I was in a very abyss of despair. Suddenly I felt n little hand thrust into mine, and a child kissed me. I looked up nnd saw a village girl of 7 or 8 years old, very plain but for n pair of wistful eyes, who gazed pitifully at me undsuid, "Poo'hoy!" From her lips I did not wince at the reproach of youth. Slowly I came out of the dark mood in which I was ready for I know not what rash act; aud in talking to the little girl, and feeling her hand confidingly in mine, I gradually found composure and resignation. She was very shy, and even stupid, and, when I got her to speak, her voice was coarse, and she talked in a villainously provincial accent; but still, by her mute kindliness and fellow feeling, she had saved ni from what I dared not contemplate, and 1 owed her a debt of gratitude w hich I could not pay. Alas! these milder moments were not for long. At lust 1 reached home, and found the boy, who had preceded mo, had told his story from his own point of view, and my wife, perhaps rightly, took his part. "I suppose," she said with stately censure, "l suppose it is useless to hope that you are ashamed of yourself, but I am ashamed of you. No wonder you look such a baby when you give way to such childish tempers. At your age to mind what you look like! You don't act like a man and you don't deserve to bo treated like one. And to strike the poor boy be fore the whole school! Oh, it was too bad!" I dure say it was; but it was not dis creet to toll me so, and she does not know what I feed. Her chiding lms brought hack all my old bitterness and gloom, and I think if I were now on that river bank again, not even the little girl would save me. But men are weak, and for the present, for want of a convenient way over to the other side. 1 must stay on this and abide my life as best 1 can. When I am gone, if I go, this narrative may per haps lead a few to think not too harshly of mo.—Jerome Yen in Belgravia. I ! I I I ; I The Son of a Swineherd. 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