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Page [NA] of Barren honour : a novel / by the author of "Guy Livingston," "The sword and gown," &c., &c., &c.

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BARREN HONOUR: A TALE. BY TILE AUTHOR OF GUY LIVINGSTONE, X SC SWORD AND GOWN), ETC. CHAPTER L NEW AND OLD. A vYER central place is Newmanham, both by local and commercial position -a big, black, busy town, waxing bigger and blacker and busier day by day. For more than a century that Queen of Trade has worn her iron crown right worthily; her pulse beats, now, sonorously with the clang of a myriad of steam-ham- mers; her veins swell almost to bursting with the ceaseless currents of molten metals; and her breath goes up to heaven, heavy and vaporous with the blasts of many furnaces. Whenever I pass that way, as a born Briton, an unit of a great mercantile na- tion, I feel or suppose myself to feel, a certain amount of pride and satisfaction in witnessing so many evidences of my country's wealth and prosperity; they are very palpable indeed, those eviden- ces, and not one of the senses will be in- clined to dispute their existence. If I chance to have an exiled Neapolitan prince, or a deposed grand-duke, or any other potentate in difficulties, staying with me (which, of course, happens con- stantly), I make a point of beguiling the illustrious foreigner into the dingy laby- rinth of Newmanham, from which he escapes not till he has done justice to every one of its marvels. Nevertheless, as an individual whose only relations with commerce consist in always want- ing to buy more things than one can possibly afford, and in never, by any chance, having anything to sell, except now and then a horse or two, more or less "screwed," or a parcel of ideas, more or less trivial-as such an one, I say, I am free to confess, that my first and abiding emotion, after being ten min- utes in that great emporium, is a deso- late sense of having no earthly business there, and of being very much in every- body's way-a sentiment which the na- tives seem perfectly to fathom and coin- cide with. It is not that they make themselves in any wise disagreeable, or east you forth with contumely from their hive. The operative element does not greet the stranger with the "1'eave of a arf- brick," after the genial custom of the minink districts; neither is he put to confusion by a broad stare, breaking up into a broader grin, as sometimes oc- curs in our polite sea-port towns. A quick careless glance, as if the gazer had no time even for curiosity, is the worst ordeal you will have to encounter in passing a group of the inhabitants, whether at work, or by a rare chance, resting from their labours. There are is roughs" to be found there more dan- gerous, they say, than in most places: but these do not show much in daylight or frequented thoroughfares. They have their own haunts, and when the sun arises they lie down in their dens. In deed, the upper Ten Thousand-the great manufacturers and iron-founders or their representatives-will treat you