A more amusing example still of the insect being taken for the mammoth was given to me by the person whose mammoth-like proportions (intellectually) were neglected because all eyes were directed upon the passage of an insignificant local insect across the line of vision.

He was a literary man whose name is known and respected in every part of the world—not merely in that narrow republic known as the world of letters. He was staying for a week at the house of a friend, when a lady, who was getting up a charity concert at Ringdon, calling at the house one day, and being told in a whisper by one of the daughters of the family when walking through the garden that they had a celebrity with them, entreated him to “do” something for the entertainment of her audience: she didn't mind what it might be that he would do, if he only agreed to do something.

Now it so happened that the lady had a more potent qualification than persistence in making an appeal to a man—she was extremely good-looking—and the man could not resist her importunity. He pro-mised to tell some short stories at the concert, and, in accordance with the terms of his promise, he turned up in the schoolhouse where the concert was to take place, supported by his host and two of the family. But the charming lady had not mentioned the fact that the entertainment was to supplement a parochial tea, and when they arrived this part of the programme was scarcely over. There were no printed programmes; only the clergyman who presided had before him a list of the performers and the nature of their performances, and he at once called upon a young woman who played very prettily on the piano. A young man, who professionally was the assistant to the Ringdon baker, was then called upon to sing the “Death of Nelson,” which he did without faltering. When the applause had died away the clergyman rose from his chair and said—

“My dear friends, we have with us this evening a gentleman who has very kindly consented to contribute to our entertainment. He is a gentleman with whose name you will all be familiar. Were he not present I should like to refer more particularly to his honourable career; for in his presence I feel that it would not be good taste to do so, and, besides, he is so modest that I know he would be set blushing even though I were only to say one-half of all that was his due. My dear friends, I call upon you to give a hearty welcome to Mr. Reuben Robinson, who has come all the way from Netherham to give you his entertainment familiar to you all, I am sure, under the title of 'Charlie and Charlotte.'”

The amateur ventriloquist went on the platform with his horrid puppets, and the young people cheered him for several minutes.

Later in the evening the clergyman, without any preliminary discourse, called upon the literary celebrity to tell his stories. Now throughout the world this writer is known as Alec Bidford, and now for the first time in his life he heard himself alluded to as Alexander Bedford; and it became clear to him that the good clergyman had never heard his name before!

Happily the victim of the beautiful lady's importunity has a keen sense of humour, as any one who goes farther than the parson did, and reads one of his books, will not need to be told, and I have never heard him more humorous than when he refers to his selfconsciousness while the clergyman was dealing with the fame achieved by—Mr. Reuben Robinson, the amateur ventriloquist, who had come all the way miles from the village of Netherham, where he sold bacon in the daytime. I do not know what Alec Bid-ford's opinion is, but I do know that there are some people who believe that this sort of discipline is good for one, whether one may be a literary celebrity or some lesser personage. An appearance in a Court of Law usually serves the same purpose; but it must be more than irritating to a man whose name is known to and honoured by every member of his own profession to be treated in the court with no more consideration than is extended to the merest nonentity. The judge professes never to have heard his name mentioned before, and, if he has been a witness, refers to his evidence without thinking it necessary to give him the ordinary prefix of “Mr.” I have seen six of the most distinguished literary men in England—popular men, too, as well as geniuses—give evidence in a Court of Law, and yet the calling out of name after name did not cause even one of the solicitors' clerks to raise his head from the paper which he was reading, and the jurymen chatted together without being in the smallest degree impressed by the prospect of hearing the great one's voice.

This also is discipline, I suppose. At any rate, it suggests that a provincial town is not the only place where a sense of proportion is lacking.

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