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and man of letters; and the loss of the
complete series has left a void which the most
painstaking research can never fill.


THE Queen's birthday on board a Queen's
ship. All hands aloft. The captain and ship's
officers shouting their commands from the deck,
the yards manned, and the rigging swarming
with the active sailor lads who form the crew.
After one or two preliminary signals, the word
for "Three cheers for the Queen" is given, and
these and the conventional "one cheer more"
are delivered with true nautical heartiness.
Another, and another wandering and
undisciplined cheer, follow; for the experiment is a
new one, and the lithe figures above us are
manning yards, and keeping the Queen's birthday
together for the first time. During the
same anniversary last year most of them were
in the streets. Not walking in them occasionally
at holiday seasons, but living there entirely.
That "stony-hearted step-mother," the London
pavement, is the only relative many of them
have ever known; and foul words and deeds,
evil speaking, lying, begging, and stealing, are
the moral lessons she has taught.

We are on board the good ship Chichester,
now moored off Greenhithe, and the ninety-five
merry boys, who are by this time racing down
to the deck again, were all found destitute
and friendless, were all traversing the road to
ruin with dire rapidity, and are all being trained
for a useful and honourable life with complete
success. The Chichester was built for a government
frigate, and, after lying uselessly in ordinary
for many years, was lent by the Lords of
the Admiralty a few months ago to her present
occupants. A strange supper-party at the
Boys' Refuge in Queen-street, Lincoln's Inn-
fields, where the Earl of Shaftesbury presided
over as motley a crew of boy-guests as could
well be foundragged dirty guests who had
been prevailed on to come in from door-steps,
dry archways, street corners, twopenny lodging-
houses and casual wards, and a meeting at
Willis's Rooms, where some of the same boys,
cleansed and clothed, were exhibitedsuch
have been the preliminaries to which the scene
before us is due. The supper-party brought
the existence of these lads prominently before
the public, the meeting developed a distinct
scheme for their reclamation, and the ship and
its discipline show the practical result of both.
Converting incipient felons into truthful and
God-fearing citizens is, in a word, the business
carried on here; and the outward signs of this
business are as palpable as its moral effects.
Let us take the photograph presented to me at
the public meeting I have named, and compare
the portraits it contains with the faces of the
originals around us. Recognition is all but
impossible. Twelve months of decent life, of
regular hours, wholesome living and instruction,
have not merely humanised expressions,
but altered features. Most of us have suffered
so much and so severely from the photographer,
that the comparison of living smiling faces
with the vicious sullen parodies in our hands is
not conclusive in itself. Even in public life,
who cannot quote men of established goodness
and piety whose lineaments as photographed
would justify their conviction at the Old Bailey,
while in the portraits of Mr. Calcraft, and in
one of the most atrocious murderers he
executed, we seem to see mild benignity and staid
benevolence incarnate. But on board the
Chichester I recognise boys whom I saw in the
fleshbut much less of itsoon after they were
caught, and the change is marvellous. There is
fully as much difference between some of these
as they appear now, and as I saw them last, as
between the worst of photographs and its
original; and I know no more forcible mode of
expressing disresemblance. Frames have filled
out, scowls have disappeared, premature lines
and wrinkles have been smoothed away, but,
above all, the furtive sneaking "hunted" glance
which was so painful to see, is supplanted by
an open honest gaze which meets yours
unfalteringly, and which speaks volumes for its
owner's honesty. Nothing, however, would
make them handsome boys. Degeneracy of
race is marked in their low and narrow
foreheads, heavy jowls, and sunken eyes. It is
marked, too, in their tendency to strumous
affections, and in their deplorably low habit of
body. An abrasion of the skin, a mere scratch
that on a healthy person would heal as soon as
formed, becomes a serious sore on such patients
as have only recently left the streets. "Gallons
and gallons of tonics," we hear, had to be
administered before this half-starved ship's crew
reached an average of healthiness; and though,
thanks to the constant care they have received,
cases of sickness are rare among them now,
the doctor continues his daily visit, and some
hammocks were occupied when we went our
rounds. The light and cheerful "sick bay" is
only just finished and not fit for tenants yet,
so the two or three lads under the doctor's care
are swinging in their regular hammocks on the
main deck.

When we inquire into the conduct of the
ship's crew, the rapidity and success with which
they have been converted from open savagery
to a higher civilisation than is common among
school-lads seem truly magical. "In honour,
honesty, truthfulness, and good feeling," said
Captain Alston, R.N., under whose care they are,
and whose hearty personal interest in his
charge was not the least pleasing experience of
the day, "I would back my lads against those
of Eton or Rugby, or of any public school in
the kingdom. So strongly is this felt, that on
a grave offence being committed the other day,
it was decided to let the culprits be tried and
sentenced by their peers. Every Friday afternoon,
when fine, the boys go ashore in a body,
and play cricket or football in the pretty private
park you see through the trees yonder. The
owner of this park allows them to use a portion