I don't know much about ladies and gentlemen, but I am sure your inside mother must be a lady, as her hand tells you, and I will try to say how I know it. This is how: when I forget myself looking at her as she goes about her work—and that happens oftener as I grow older—I fancy for a moment or two that I am a gentleman ; and when I wake up from my little dream, it is only to feel the more strongly that I must do everything as a gentleman should. I will try to tell you what I mean, Curdie. If a gentleman—I mean a real gentleman, not a pretended one, of which sort they say there are a many above ground—if a real gentleman were to lose all his money and come down to work in the mines to get bread for his family—do you think, Curdie, he would -work like the lazy ones ? Would he try to do as little as he could for his wages ? I know the sort of the true gentleman— pretty near as well as he does himself. And my wife, that's your mother, Curdie, she's a true lady, you may take my word for it, for it's she that makes me want to be a true gentleman. Wife, the boy is in the right about your hand."
" Now, father, let me feel yours," said Curdie, daring a little more.
" No, no, my boy," answered Peter. " I don't want to hear anything about my hand or my head or my heart. I am what I am, and I hope growing better, and that's