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Syr Cauline loveth her best of all,

But nothing durst he say,
Ne descreeve his counsel to any man,
But dearlie he lovde this May.

Old Ballad.

It was a fine autumn evening in the year 18—, and the little town of Allerton was alive with pleasant excitement.

Mr. Hardy, the proprietor of large coalpits in the neighbourhood, and owner of most of the houses in the town, had lately built a handsome church and schools for the advantage of the families in his employment. The church had this day been consecrated, and an entertainment provided



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for the children who were in future to

attend the schools.

The whole population of Allerton was assembled in a large play-ground, where Mr. Hardy, with some of his friends, was looking on at the various athletic sports which had succeeded to an extraordinary consumption of beef and plum-pudding. A stranger would have found but little beauty in the scene beyond the beauty of happy faces : nature had not done much for Allerton, and man still less. It is true that there were no black chimneys actually in sight, that the houses were not all roofed with glaring red tiles, that the church and schools were well designed, and that there was a river of very tolerable dimensions close at hand. But then the chimneys, if not visible, gave a murky tinge to the atmosphere--the houses, if not all red, were all ugly—the church was too new to be interesting, and the river flowed between such steep banks that it could only be discovered


by one who stood on those banks. There were no trees, and the cheerless black roads ran straight from point to point, between scanty thorn-hedges through which a resolute sheep could have forced its

way without much difficulty.

No, there was nothing to attract stranger's eye. Those who were assembled on the evening recorded, however, had been too long accustomed to the scene to feel its want of beauty, and the children shouted as joyously, the mothers talked as comfortably, the spectators looked on with as much satisfaction, as if the level rays of the evening sun gleamed upon forests, lakes, and mountains, instead of only casting long shadows upon the trodden grass, and lighting up the windows of Mr. Hardy's square unpicturesque house, which stood on the opposite bank of the river.

Well, brother,” said a little active old maid, bustling up to Mr. Hardy, “I hope you are satisfied. Everything has gone off

well for once.

There were too many plumpuddings, in spite of all I could say-and little Tom Giles would have had a bit in his pocket in a moment if I had not looked round just in time, but still it all did very well, and I am sure, if the people ever join in a strike again, they will be the most ungrateful wretches!”

“The plum-puddings and the gratitude will probably last about equally long," answered her brother; “if the latter endures until the former is digested, I shall be quite satisfied. Gratitude is the last thing any sensible man expects from his fellow creatures."

Miss Jane Hardy looked surprised.

“Then why do you put yourself to all this expense ? ” asked she.

“ For my own sake, principally. I do not choose to be wanting in any of the duties of proprietorship, and it shall not be my fault if my people turn out ill. I believe they will derive benefit from these


schools; they ought to do so. Improvement I look for after many years, gratitude never."

“I believe you would be nearer the fact if you did not look for improvement at all,” said Mr. Marshall, a neighbouring coalowner. “I cannot say I expect anything from all this fuss about education. If

you could keep your men from reading mischievous publications, well and good, but you cannot, and their heads are filled with the wildest nonsense. I declare I would rather trust to gratitude than to book-learning."

“We shall see,” answered Mr. Hardy.

“ Yes, we shall see," returned his friend. “When a strike comes you will be no better off than I.

“Give me a little time, Marshall. If these men were really educated — mind, I do not call mere reading, writing, and arithmetic, education--if they were really educated, they would see that our interests must be identical, and they would reject the

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