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“When I left working at her Majesty’s palace, I, under the circumstances mentioned, had arrived at a turning-point in my worldly fortunes. Shakspeare has said, that ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;’ and I believe the tide of my fortunes came at this time; and, through the blessing of God, it was taken at the flood. If it has not led me on to fortune, it has at least led me to a position of comfort and respectability, which at one period of my life I would have deemed it impossible for me, by any amount of diligence, to attain. I was without work and without friends, though, thanks to teetotalism, I had a little money deposited in a place where I could easily get it, the savings-bank at Chelsea. It was in the year 1849 that I went to see Mr. Thomas Cubitt, whom I desire to mention with gratitude and respect. I told him my circumstances, and that I wanted to build a house.

“‘Well,’ he said, ‘take a piece of ground for half-a-dozen houses.’

“‘I am frightened to go too far at first,’ I replied.

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“‘Very well,’ he said; ‘there is nothing like making sure steps. You are our temperance man,’ he added; ‘I remember you well.’

“This was the commencement of my rise in the world above the position of a common journeyman. Mr. Cubitt offered me bricks upon credit, sufficient to get the roof on, if I could find money for the rest. I had £65 of my own, the savings of three years’ teetotalism; and to work I went, and soon got the skeleton of the house up, on the piece of ground he granted in Wellington Street, Pimlico. Although I used to rise with the lark, I was, nevertheless, at a teetotal meeting every night; while on Sunday I was lecturing all day long. I would not give up my temperance work for any manp. 97or anything. My son and myself used to get up at four o’clock in the morning, and make up a batch of mortar, so as to be able to set the labourers to work when they came. We had two labourers to assist us, and now and then I took on a man, just to give him a little help to bide over the hard time immediately succeeding his signing the pledge. At times I used to go away, and perhaps my son with me, to another job, which would bring in a little money. When I got the roof on I was in a terrible fix. I had spent all my money; and though Mr. Cubitt was ready to give me all I wanted, yet I did not know him as I do now. I got into very low spirits; but as, in leaving her Majesty’s palace, I had made that a matter of prayer, so also did I do with this. My wife also prayed, and thus the matter was left, apparently, no better than before.

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“One day I went down to my work as usual, and, on looking up the street, which was then beginning to form, I saw Mr. Robert Alsop coming along—the very man who brought two policemen to take me in charge for holding meetings at the ‘White Stiles,’ Chelsea. He did this partly on his own account, and partly because the people sent a petition to have me removed from the spot. It may be as well to give a little account of what transpired when Mr. Alsop brought the two policemen.

“‘I give,’ he said, ‘this man in charge. I have told him that the people about here are much offended. We cannot allow this disturbance to go on, and a letter has been sent on this subject. I therefore give him in charge.’

“‘Then,’ said I, ‘I give Mr. Alsop in charge; and I dare you to take me without taking him.’

“The policemen were in a fog—likewise Mr. Alsop.

“‘Well, sir,’ said one of them, at last, ‘it appears Mr. M‘Currey knows what he is doing. We know nothing about the case; and, if you force us to take this man in charge, we must take you too.’

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“Mr. Alsop considered for a little. He did not know what to do. The people and the policemen were alike awaiting his decision. If he persisted, he must he conveyed, like a culprit, along with me; and he knew well that I cared little what was done, for by this time the roads to the various station-houses were getting pretty familiar. If, on the contrary, he retired from the conflict, he must do so with the p. 98ridicule of all about him. I think he chose the wisest course. He walked away amidst the derisive laughter of the crowd.

“This, then, was the man whom God, and God alone, had sent to relieve me from my embarrassment. I stood in front of the house as Mr. Alsop came by, thinking what on earth I should do, but never for a moment dreaming that he was likely to be a customer.

“‘What will be the amount?’ said Mr. Alsop, pausing in his walk, and looking up at the house.

“I said, ‘When it is finished, and you have a good tenant, I will sell it to you for £380. It has a sixteen-feet frontage, and is twenty-six feet deep.’

“‘Who is the tenant to be?’