had any special fondness for mercantile pursuits, or at all events for the work of an office, having to sit for ten or twelve hours of the day on a high stool at a desk, but yet I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that I must gain my own livelihood, and that by working hard alone could I expect to do so. Had the choice been given me, I should have preferred a life in the open air, with the opportunity of travelling about and seeing the world; but my father did not wish to have more than one son in the navy, and Charley had been devoted as an offering to Neptune. I was, however, very happy in my situation. Understanding what I was to do, I took a pleasure in doing it well; and I spent my evenings happily in the society of Mrs Bracewell and her son and daughter. We had generally music and singing, now and then two or three visitors. Occasionally we went out to Mr Crank's parties and those of other friends, so that our lives were in no respects dull.
I enter into these details in order that more int