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the weeks must be strongly felt. One week would probably be found a nuiswonders therefore that none of those ance, but it would only come once in who appear to be so much impressed five years, and it has been seriously with the advantage of sub-dividing a proposed to introduce four such weeks year of 364 days have not, so far as we into every year! Of course, under this are aware, suggested another plan for plan, the date of the equinox would getting rid of the superfluous days. wander eight days on either side of the This could be done by using the week mean date. At the sacrifice of siminstead of the day as the unit of inter- plicity it would be more correct to incalation. We begin by allotting 364 tercalate eleven weeks in each succesdays to the common year. We then sive period of 62 years, at the interadd at the end of every fifth year (the vals: date ending with 0 or 5) a special 6,6,5, 6,6,5, 6,6,5, 6,5 years. leap" week. This in itself would By this rule the equinox would be make the year on the average too kept within four days of the given long. We therefore omit the "leap" date, while the mean length a year week every fifty years, when the date would be slightly more accurate than ends in 25 or 75; and, further, we omit in the Gregorian system. Such a vathe week at every century which is riation from the mean date would not divisible by 4 (the reverse of the Greg- be likely to constitute a practical oborian rule). The result is to add 71 jection. The idea, however, is only weeks or 497 days in 400 years, thus suggested in order to illustrate the unmaking the average length of the year exhausted possibilities which liebe365.2425 days, or exactly the same as fore the would-be calendar reformer. the mean Gregorian year. The special

H. C. P. Nature.

AT THE SIGN OF THE PLOUGH.

PAPER IV.-ON THE WORKS OF CHARLES DICKENS,

BY THE RIGHT Hon. G. W. E. RUSSELL. 1. Who carried what peculiarity into

6. What feminine idiosyncrasy “is Devonshire? Answer: Stryver: his fruitful hot water for all parties"? delicacy. (Tale of Two Cities.")

Answer: What gentlemen like, the 2. Who had been a little unfortunate ladies don't. ("Mrs. Lirriper's

in taking cold at what ceremony? Lodgings.")
Answer: Mrs. Bishop at a Confirm- 7. Who lived at Taunton Vale?
ation. ("Little Dorritt.")

Answer: The Hawkinses. ("Nicho3. Who did not go to church on las Nickleby.")

Christmas morning with the old 8. Whom would the prospect of find-
couple and the pewful of children? ing anybody out in anything have
Answer: Aunt George and Uncle kept awake under the influence of
George. (Sketches by Boz.")

henbane? Answer: Miggs. (“Barn4. “What the Italians call

aby Rudge.") plete the sentence. Answer: Regu- 9. What ultimately became of the larly fummoxed. (Pickwick Pa- gentleman who labored under an pers.")

erroneous view of the locality of 5. What did the Englishman say his stomach? Answer: He was ulwho learnt French and thought it timately buried at Brixton. (Mar

like English? Answer: Bob tin Chuzzlewit.") swore. (David Copperfield.") 10. Who made a spectral attempt at

" Com

so

drollery, and in what colored spec- bowl of punch? Answer: One of tacles? Answer: Mr. Peter Mag- these days. (old Curiosity Shop.") nus.

Blue and green. ("Pickroick 12. Who, in ordering dinner, exPapers.")

pressly barred slugs? Anstoer: 11. At what date was aptitude for Bart Smallweed. (Bleak House.")

business to be rewarded with a The Cornhill Magazine.

PRIMAVERA.

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

every young wife in the village, BesJames Miscom.

sie. Well, how is James? (Looks Sir Elred Handsaw.

knowingly at the shirt) You mean to Lady Handsaw

send him smart to the Poll to

morrow, Bessie Miscom (James Miscom's Wife). if he is the wrong color, I see. Miss Captree.

Bessie (apologetically, and a little emIr. Hapgood (The Vicar).

barrassed):

Men is that fullish, miss and only I.

just across the road too! He won't be The interior of a country cottage.

long now, miss, not if you want to Dishes, plates, and cups on shelves.

speak wi' 'im. He's reglar to's meals. Gaily-framed pictures on walls. Photo

Miss C. (sniffs appreciatively at the graph of Mr. Asquith on chimney-piece.

saucepan): Bricks of floor stili damp from morning

I don't wonder, Bessie. scrubbing-brush. A saucepan simmers

Bessie (gratified): over a small, clear fire, at the bars of

I do mostly manage to have a bit of which a flat iron is heating. Bessie Mis

summut hot against he comes, miss. com is busy with a clean shirt spread on

Viss C. (laughing): the table. She is a pretty young woman

That's the way to manage them! of twenty-four, with bright eyes, cheeks,

Well, James is a man worth putting and hair.

oneself out a bit for. Mr. Topskins There is a sharp little knock. Shie

was telling the Squire that there isn't seems to recognize it, casts a rapid

a job on his farm that James can't glance over the room, smooths her apron,

do it; and show the man who ought to corrects her hair with a light touch, and

do it how to do it, too. There's the opens the door to a young lady who is

stuff of a first-class bailiff in him-but awaiting admission. The visitor is about

I've a poor opinion of men, Bessie. tienty, tall, clad in very workmanlike

Bessie: tweeds, with an air of assured superior

You, miss! Well, to be sure! ity that takes welcome for granted.

Viss 0.: Bessie Miscom curtseys, and wipes a

Well. between you and me. Bessie, brightly polished chair with her apron

I hare. Of course, they're our mas. before offering it.

ters and have got to provide for us and Bessie:

all that. But we have the common You must please excuse me being sense. I'd take your opinion, ten to in a muddle-like, miss.

one, against his. Viss C. (with quite unaffected conde- Bessie (blushing): ecension):

You're very good, miss. But that Your muddle might be a model to ain't what James do think.

Viss C.:

James Miscom. About the best man Better for you both if he did. Now, in the place, all round—best workman, Bessie, don't let me stop you. Let me I mean. As for everything else, he's see how you iron a shirt. Lady as bad as he can be. Chapel, teetotál Handsaw is going to pick me up. She -the Lord knows what. Then there's was saying the other day how they a mechanic of sorts from Slumbridge. want a practical man to save Sir El- And he's worse. And they've got hold dred some of the bother of that home

of a couple of others. Good, steady farm of his. He hasn't so much time fellows they were, regulars at the Red on his hands as he had, and (laughing Lamb. And now they all four meet and blushing) he's likely to have less. twice a week at James Miscom's. Pay I wish he wasn't such a red-hot Tory! a penny each for a cup of coffee, and But-Ah, there she is! Good-bye, talk. Regular Radical salon, if you Bessie.

please. Bessie (hurriedly and anriously):

Lady H.: Oh, I'm sure, miss, Sir Eldred would But that cottage is your father's! hear a word from you

Why? Miss C.:

Miss C. (with bitter sarcasm): When we're married, he'll have to, Oh, yes! And the Shipshire Gazette! Bessie. I'm on my promotion now. But hang elections, I say. Well, how's Well, you'll wish the Squire to come Eldred? Pretty well sick of his home in on top, anyhow.

farm by now, I suppose.

What were She goes out and joins Lady Handsaro, you saying the other day about his who is interviewing the grocer's wife from wanting a bailiff? her pony carriage.

Lady A.: Lady H. (about fifty; active, decided, Bailiff! Eldred! and genial):

Viss C.: In with you. Georgie.-Send those Well, wasn't he, Or mightn't he? Or things along with Thomas, Mrs. Fig. wouldn't he? Or-as much subjuncmeal. And don't forget the soap!- tive as you please. Well?

Lady H. (with intention): Viss C. (shakes herself donon compre- You know best, Georgie. What are hensively, and pulls her sloves up with

you up to? I'm not in it, you villain. some energy):

Jiss C. (innocently): Bad! Squire's like a bear with a In what? Well, he's no good at all sore head. The agent got at him to us as he is. If it wasn't for us and the other day and insisted on his join- those Unionist women, we should have ing a Small Holders' Encourage- no more chance in the division thanment Society! (Both laugh) And a dumbledore in a bee-hive. The reports are fishy. He's found out whole fabric of society is breaking up. that there's an Anarchist Club in the Don't laugh, you bad woman! Well, it yillage!

is. Look at teetotalism spreading all Lady H.:

over the length and the breadth of the Anarchist Club!

British Isles like a burning fever, as Miss C.:

our good doctor told us the other day, In where I came out of.

hand-in-hand with anarchy and rebelLady A.:

lion. Now, do you know I never be“Raid on

Club." I know the lieved our agent before, when he plasheading. Who is it?

tered us all over with butter after last Miss 0.:

January. But-
LIVING AGE.

VOL. LI. 2691

a

Lady A.:

come. Mother's jealous of me. And Oh, I know, Georgie. If we women they do look fascinating as Darby hadn't badgered the laborers' wives and Joan! into making their husbands' lives a Sir Eldred: burden to them, four out of five of Thank God, to-morrow's the end of it! them would have gone Yellow. Every- Miss C.: body knows that.

A deal of difference it makes to you! Viss C.:

You don't do a thing! You shuffled out Only you put it in such a nasty of standing yourself, too. It's very way! Well, ye haven't done it enough hard on me. We should have swept this time. We "sat down on our lau- the whole division into my hat-canrels." I didn't, I take my oath of vassing together. that. I worked—like a skirt-improver. Lady H.: The cakes I judged and the cakes I Don't fight, you two. (She passes cut up! And the tea I drank! And through a door) the egg-and-spoon races I ran! And Sir Eldred (laughing): the speeches I listened to!

I prefer to be an oasis, thank you. Lady H.:

You can retire to me when .your elecCome, you made a good many your- tioneering simoons are intolerable. self.

Miss C. (allows herself to be consoled Miss C.:

in the orthodor way): Well, if I did, they weren't so nau- Well, you are reposeful, I admit. seating as some I had to sit out. The But I shall have to work you up to acworst kind of working-men, you know. tive enthusiasm before next election. There was one carneying, bumptious

Sir Eldred (deroutly): little beast I could have throttled with Please God, Asquith will sit tight joy.--Do pull up a moment and let me for the next five years. set myself to rights before we turn in. Jiss C.: (Rectifies hat) There, will that do? Will he? I suppose, then, you'll be Lady H. (derisively):

pleased to learn that we're as good as Do! Don't you go and spoil him, beaten. It's all your fault! Why Georgie.

didn't you go about and speak? A private road through pasture takes Sir Eldred: them to an old Georgian house. Sir El- My mind has only room for one idea dred Handsaw comes down the steps to at a time. meet them. He is a fine specimen of Eng- Miss C. (somewhat placated): lish manhood, tall, strong, and straight- Silly! forward.

Sir Eldred: Sir Eldred:

Besides, what is there left to say? Halloa, Georgie! I was just going It's all on posters and leaflets. Why over. Well, mother, so you picked her not leave the poor souls a minute or up and brought her along.

two to think things ore: for themMiss 0.:

selves? It's just as well I cut you off.

Miss C. (sharply): Squire's unapproachable. If you'd Why? Why, because if we did, gone pouring cold water on him, as you every man Jack of them would vote do, he'd have been seeing me in my Yellow. If it wasn't for 118coffin, as likely as not. Besides, he's Sir Eldred: due at Hepston at four, and half-a- Now, look here Georgie. I'm not dozen places afterwards. I wasn't let keen upon Parliament at all. But if

I ever do get in, it won't be by way of Petticoat Lane.

Miss C. (indignant):

Indeed! So you turn your back on Our League, and your mother and me! You are unkind. (Shows signs of tears)

Sir Eldred (interferes in the proper manner):

Oh, you're all right, Georgie, you and mother. There's no intimidation and corruption as far as you're concerned. Blandishment and cajolery cover your field of operations. Bad enough, but that can't be helped, I'm afraid. But I'll be hanged if I'm so sure of some of the rest of you.

Miss C. (blushing):

Oh, the other side may be trusted to look sharp enough after that. (1 bell rings) Luncheon, thank Heaven!

II.

The same evening. James Jiscom's cottage. Tea things inritingly set out. Hot dripping toast. Glass jar with jam. Clean cloth. James Miscom sits looking gloomily into the fire. He is a powerful man, in laborer's clothes, with a heavy, masculine face, suggesting the surly goodnature of a bull.

James :

I can't think what's come to Traxall. Says I, "See you to-night, Jack." "Not to-night," he says, "James Miscom." Same as that. And there was Billings and Cox outside the Lamb, a-sniggering as I passed 'em! There's summut up. They ain't gone over, be 'em? It's going to be touch and go, this bout. Squire's changed a bit since last January. Then 'twas. “Please yerself about yer vote and you'll please me." And t'other day he meets me and he says, “Vote as you please, James Miscom. But if you vote for Hilboy, you’re voting agin yourself. And so I tell ee.” So sharp he was. Billings and Cox I don't say. But Traxall's sound stuff. Do you know aught about it, missus?

Bessie:

There, you eat your toast while it's hot, James. What odds is it to us what they do do? I don't like Traxall. Summut in his pocket for to blow us all up with, as like as not. I'd rather he stayed away, for me.

James (looks at her sharply):

Now, out wi' it. You do know what 'tis. I can see it in the face of ee. Now, I ain't agoing to stand no nonsense. You've been having words wi' 'un, I reckon.

Bessie:

Me words wi' 'un! I wouldn't demean myself! He came along for to say summut about to-night, and I told 'un you'd be a bit early, same as you said.

James:
Well?
Bessie (hesitatingly):

And Miss Georgie, she just looked in afore dinner-I forgot to tell ee-and got to praising you up, as you was fit for a bailiff's place if ever one was. And so you be, James, and if them yaller friends o' yourn was men, they'd see as you was one.

James (sternly):
Well?
Bessie (confused and interruptedly):

And summut about Sir Eldred-as she'll be Lady Handsaw at Easterand as how they was main put about to find some 'un as could look after the Home Farm, along o' his marrying. And I couldn't help saying, friendly like, as from what Miss Georgie she said, there warn't no doubt o' who 'twould be. And he were downright uncivil. "Oh, that's the way wi' him, is it?" he says, and off, wi' never another word.

James (his face suddenly purple with rage):

You said that, you! You! You went and gave your husband away that way! There, if I took stick to ee, 'twould be less than what you've bin

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