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HIS REFORMATION.

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HIS REFORMATION. (By EDWARD REBS GRIFFITH). The village fair was in full swing. Merry-go- rounds, switchback, shooting-galleries, cocoa-nut stalls, and swings, added to the many other sources of merriment, had attracted quite large crowds from the neighbouring hamlets and countryside the ordinarily quiet village had become the centre of quite a hubbub. The Saints' Inn"—so christened by a rather sceptical old shepherd, because of its attractions to the elders of the church to which he belonged-was so overcrowded that, several of the folk had to moisten their parched lips outside that paradise of beer. Thus a group of rustics stood on the doorstep, inhaling the "fresh" air, ministering to the wants of their inner-selves, indulging freely in criticisms of passers-by, and discussing light heartedly the doings and wonders of the fair. Tomkins, better known to his associates as Peckham," on account of his abnormal cubical dimensions, was particularly frivolous, and seemed to have an insatiable desire for talking; indeed, so much of a nuisance had he become in this respect, that his comrades bored to distrac- tion by his loquaciousness, eventually deter- mined that an end must be put to this form of perpetual motion. Standing on a Tate sugar box, in the busiest part of the fair, and hurling his arms about in frantic ecstasy Professor Bunce, the phren- ological prodigy, could be seen, vehemently expostulating with some extremely obstreperous person in the crowd, who insisted on labelling his methods as fraudulent and deceitful. Words were of no avail, and arguments were worse than useless, so a challenge was at last thrown out] that the interrupter should appear at the conclusion of the address for examination. Professor Bunce was a really wonderful man. He could boast (and did boast-but oh how very modestly !) of his most intimate acquaintance with all and sundry appertaining to the human mind and human development. Phrenology, psychology, physiology, palmistry, hypnotism- these were but pawns on his chessboard, mere playthings for his Olympic mind. The crowd drew closer and closer, so as not to lose one gem of wisdom, that fell from the lips of this seemingly great philosopher, whose slender stature, long drawn, but finely sculptured face, piercing eyes, long flowing curls, together with his top hat, frock coat, and monocle, served to produce a deep and lasting impression, amounting almost to reverence in the rustic minds. Naturally the professor's genius had brought him into contact with rare personalities. Politicians, men of science, journalists, doctors, lawyers, bishops and parsons, and many others, too numerous, of course, to be mentioned, had been among his regular clientele. But now he felt it to be his duty" to do something for the working classes, even though this entailed a financial loss." Such was the professor's altruistic conscience; this, his sacrifice on the altar of public service. "Ad a bull," said he, was wot I charged 'em, but tuday a tanner is all I hask for the job"—a sacrifice evidently keenly appreciated by the delighted crowd. Fancy," continued he, his face beaming with a transient smile and bearing signs of surprise, only a tanner for yer charicter, think of it "-then checking himself and coughing slightly, added- but minj yer, if yer aint got no charicter, its your fault, an yer must take the risk." The address was duly concluded, and the crowd having by this time swelled to immense pro- portions, anxiously awaited the outcome of the professor's challenge. The victim (for victim he certainly was) having wended his way through the dense crowd to the front, proved to be no other than "Peckham." There he sat on the box, a tremendous accumulation of flesh like a fattened calf, whilst the professor, mounted on a chair—in order that he might get within working distance of Tomkins's cranium—manipulated his instruments with swiftness and precision. Peckham" was absolutely cowed; the dreaded calipers, together with the mockery and jeering of the crowd, had obviously touched his dignity. Elated by drink, and urged on to it by his companions, he had deliberately insulted the Professor-but now, the hour of retribution had arrived. The examination of Peckham's bumps was prolonged and laborious the professor looked puzzled, but, at last, a twinkle of the eye announced the solution. Collecting his volumi- nous notes together, he turned to the crowd, and addressed them in a voice deep and grave. Gentlemen," began the tormented sage, and ladies, too, for the matter of that—Yer all know that at. the beginning we was every one of us monkeys. Some says as Adam were a monkey, but no matter, we 'ave revolved since his toime, an' some 'ave become men, same as us, 'an some 'ave remained monkeys as afore. Now gentle- men, this e're feller belongs to neither of 'em classes. When Oi was at collige Oi used ter go deeply into the matter of pedigrees, an' Oi can tell yer as Oi know all about 'em. Now look 'ere then Oi 'ave traced this 'ere feller's pedigree up to a sartin stage only ter find, that theer 'e stops, 'alf way like. Add to this, gentlemen, the fact that 'e 'as a 'uge corpura- shun an' I be blowed if yer conclushuns are not hidentical with these of meslf, naaimly, that the feller's a primitive ass, an' a fat un at that." The crowd cheered immensely. Peckham raved like a madman, whilst his companions, rocking with laughter at the joke they had enjoyed at his expense, sought in vain to appease his troubled soul. Years have rolled by. Professor Bunce is now-let us all hope-in paradise. The Saints' Inn is still the fair day rendezvous, but it has ceased to wield its magic power over Peckham," for Tomkins is now no longer a Saint."

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