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E asked a boy of some twelve years of age, who had been
spending a few weeks at the seaside, to write us a few lines about the picture we give this month. We confess we did it more in fun than in expectation that
he would comply with our request. However, he took what we said seriously, and gave us the following-written we may say hurriedly and without any time for revision :
“What pleasant thoughts the scene before as calls up! To the old, the happy hours of enjoyment they had at the seaside when they were young, and all life, with its joys and sorrows, was before them. To the young, the pleasant times they, with their parents and friends, have enjoyed there, and hope to enjoy again.
" Who can view the sea without pleasure, from the oldest to the youngest ? There are many pleasures at the seaside. What pleasure there is in watching the advancing tide, and in seeing the little boats dance merrily along. Then there is the pleasure of digging in the sands, and making small lakes to swim our boats in, and of gathering seaweed and the pretty shells that are scattered all about on the beach.
“Among the many attractions of the seaside there is that of the bathing-place. How delightful it is to plunge into the sea and rush forward to meet the coming waves!
“ Who that looks at the sea has not wished to sail upon it in some little fairy craft ; or to cross the broad ocean, in the mighty ship, to some far-off land? “How beautiful and sublime is the sea !
66° Earth has not a plain
Sinks halfway o'er it, like a wearied bird.' "Now the sea is quiet and calm, then it is tossed abont and lashed into fury by the winds and waves. There are terrors on sea as well as on land. The fury of the storm, the raging of the elements, all contribute to a wild and terrible but still beautiful scene. How different from that which the picture suggests.”
Thus much for our young contributor. Though he took our request seriously we question whether he will not be greatly surprised to see
what he wrote in print. We hope he will not be proud of it. Before he is that, he must wait five years and then look at it again. He says the seaside recalls pleasant hours to the old spent there when they were young. Of some this is true, but not of so many. When those who are more aged were young the sea was not so accessible to those living at a distance from it as it now is. There were then no railways to bring people swiftly and cheaply from the centre to the circumference of our island. We ourselves were twenty years old before we were favoured with a sight of the sea. Children of the present day have sources of enjoyment which were altogether denied to their forefathers. Let us hope that they will be all the better and happier for them.
BEN BARLOW'S BUDGET.
Letter No. 44.
Worcester, August 8th, 187, MY DEAR FATHER,—
I arrived here all safe about twelve, and found many of my schoolfellows already arrived ; among them Ted Instone, who is well and jolly.
We have three or four fresh fellows, and two of the old ones have left.
Ted and I are in the third class now; so, instead of having to sleep in our old room, we two have a little double-bedded room to ourselves. It is very jolly.
I was going to write you quite a nice long letter, and also one to Charlie Thornton, but Sam Belton, our captain, has just sent a boy to tell me he wants me to play ericket, so you will please excuse this: short note.
With love to you, to mother, Clara, and Helen, and to Bob, and everybody else, I remain, yours, in great haste,
High Street, Woodbourne, ;
August 15th, 1874 MY DEAR BEN,
· Hurrah! I've got a situation! I told you when you were over
that father meant trying to get me in at Carson's tray manufactory at Tinbury. Well, Mr. Jones gave me a good character, and your father was so kind as to make a purpose journey to speak for me, and so I bave got a place as junior in the office. I am to begin on Monday morning, and shall have wages at the rate of £12 a-year for the first six months, £15 a-year for the next half-year, then £20 the second year, and a regular advance of £5 a-year till my salary reaches £100 a-year ! That is, of course, if I give satisfaction; and you may be sure I shall try hard.
Did I tell you that our school club had been challenged to play the Tinbury school. They have accepted the challenge, and the match will be played on Saturday week. Of course Tom Blunt is captain of the club now I have left school, but they will have me to take that post once more, and the Tinbury fellows have accepted my name as one of the players. We have a half-holiday at Carson's on Saturdays, so I can join in the match.
I expect I shall not now be able to write to you so often as formerly: My office hours will be from eight in the morning till seven at night, with half-an-hour for breakfast and an hour for dinner; so I shall not have a great deal of leisure, and then I shall make father's post-bag up for him every night, as I have been doing lately. But I hope you will not forget your old comrade though he may not be able to remind you of his existence quite so often as formerly.
Father and mother send their kind regards. Remember me to your friend Instone; a line from him would be very welcome if he hasn't forgotten us country clowns. I remain, yours very truly,
Letter No. 46.
Worcester, August 16th, 187– MY DEAR CHARLIE,–
I am so glad you have got the situation you were wishing for, though I'm afraid you'll find it hard to be shut up in a musty office for so many hours a-day. However, you must make baste and learn the business, rise to be chief clerk, and marry your master's daughter, like the hero in a tale Ted lent me last night.
You may be sure I shan't forget you, old fellow, even if you can't write so often as you used to do. I'll try and get more regular in correspondence in proportion as you become irregular.
I say, Charlie, shouldn't I just like to come and watch that match with the Tinbury school ! Of course you would not have time—but can't you get somebody else to send me a good account of it? Ted Instone is as eager as I am to know who makes the runs.
I am getting on well with our club here. Yesterday the captain
let me have my innings with him. He says I'm a steady, careful player.
But I must leave off. I have barder lessons now I'm in the third class, and must get to them at once. My friend Ted, who sends his love, has been at his a quarter-of-an-hour already. So good-bye, Charlie!
Give my love to your father and mother, and believe me, as ever, your old schoolfellow,
Letter No. 47.
Sept. 6th, 187
Charlie Thornton has asked me to give you an account of the cricket match played between our club and the Tinbury School Club this day week. He says you are anxious to hear all you can about it.
I had hoped to be able to send you a printed account of the match, but our miserable local newspaper has not sufficient enterprise to publish such things.
As secretary of our club I wrote out a report, and sent it to the Tinbury Mercury, and directly the paper came this morning I opened it to see my report, but, strange to say, for some reason or other they had inserted nothing more than the score of the match. It was stupid of them, and I was very vexed, beciuse I took special trouble to make the report interesting.
I had kept a copy of what I wrote, so I send it herewith for yourself and your friend. I also send you a copy of the Mercury containing the score,
With kind regards to you both, I am, yours truly, JOE BLAND.
P.S.-Father has just popped in and read the report. He seems very much amused at something in it, and says he doesn't wonder at the Mercury folks not printing it.
[Copy of the Report sent to the Tinbury Mercury.]
Cricket Match at Woodbourne.
Woodbourne School versus Tinbury School. This long-expected match was played on Woodbourne Common on Saturday afternoon, August 20th, and was witnessed by a large concourse of spectators.
The weather was delightful. The sun shone brightly, but not so fiercely as to distress the players, and the ground was in good condition.
The Tinbury School Club, as challengers, had the first innings, so the Woodbourne boys had to take the field. Charles Thornton
(late captain of the club, and playing with it on this occasion by special arrangement) bowled, and Thomas Blunt (present captain) took the wickets, the other players occupying the remaining posts.
At two o'clock play was commenced, the Tinbury Captain sending two of his best
-Wilkins and Brown-to the wickets. With one look round the field to see that all were in their places, and with a few tinal directions to his “men,” Thornton sent a quiet, uncertain ball to test the skill of the player, and, if possible, to discover his weak points. Wilkins hit the ball fairly, but it was promptly stopped by John Williams, the “mid-wicket.”
Thornton next tried one of his swiftest throws, but the player dex: terously turned it off to “leg," where, however, it was again stopped before any runs could be scored. Two or three other balls followed, for one of which two runs were made, but in the next“over" Thornton resolved to try his notorious “slow-twisters." These came gently springing over the turf till within a few feet of the wickets, when they generally leaped up higher than anyone could expect Brown and Wilkins were evidently puzzled, but they managed for three “overs” to keep the balls off their wickets ; but at last Wilkins, gaining confidence, struck at one with all his might, when it at once cheated his calculation, leaped over his bat, and sent his “bails" flying
Brown soon shared his companion's fate, and the other Tinbury fellows fared much the same, getting an occasional run, but being, eventually, bowled out. In a little over an hour Thornton had the pleasure of seeing the last of the eleven retire, the Tinbury Club having made a score of only fifty-eight runs.
There was a pause of about ten minutes before the Woodbourne boys went in, during which time the players and the spectators regaled themselves with buns and ginger-beer, which an enterprising old woman had brought on the ground. She drove a brisk trade, and soon bad to fetch a fresb stock.
John Williams and Fred Higgins were the first to take the bats on behalf of Woodbourne School. Some of the boys wanted Thornton to go in first, but he knew better play than that. He had been hard at work bowling, and meant to rest himself before his innings, and he, of course, knew his opponents would be tiring themselves somewhat in the meantime.
The bowling on the part of the Tinbury eleven was very irregular. Brown, who first took the ball, seemed scarcely to know what sort of balls to send, for there were hardly two alike. This, of course, bothered the bats somewhat, but it had the good effect of making them play cautiously. They accordingly watched each ball eagerly, and took advantage of its peculiarities. The swift straight balls they “blocked" or "slipped”; the crooked, wavering balls were driven to all parts of the field; and the springing, dancing balls were knocked right over the beads of the farı hest fielders.
But though the balls were played with such skill, Williams and