'Honour and rank from no condition rise. Act well thy part; in that the honour lies.'"
"Yes, yes," said Mrs. Dodd, "only first choose your part; and let your choice be reasonable."
"Mine was Hobson's, and he never chooses wrong. Come, come," said he, and appealed calmly to their reason, by which means he made no impression at all. Then he happened to say, "Besides, I must do something. I own to you I am more cast down than I choose to show. Mother, I feel like lead ever since she died." Now on this, their faces filled with sympathy directly. So encouraged he went on to say: "But when I got my hand on that old duffer's collar, and lowered him to the ladder, and the fire shot roaring out of the window after him, too late to eat him, and the crowd cheered the fireman and me, I did feel warm about the waistcoat, and, for the first time this ever so long, life seemed not quite ended. I felt there was a little bit of good left, that even a poor dunce like me could do, and she could approve--if she can look down and see me, as I hope she can."
"There, there," said Mrs. Dodd tearfully, "I am disarmed, But, my darling, I do not know what you are talking about: Stay; why, Edward, surely--I hope--you were not the young gentleman in the paper, the one that risked his life so nobly, so foolishly--if it was you.
"Why, mother, didn't I tell you it was me?" said Edward, colouring.
"No, that you did not," said Julia. "Was it? was it? oh do be quick and tell one. There, it was."
"Well, it was: ah, I remember now; that splendiferous account shut me up. Oh, I say, didn't the _'Tiser_ pitch it strong?"
"Not at all," cried Julia; "I believe every word, and ever so much more. Mamma, we have got a hero, and here he is at breakfast with us, like an ordinary mortal." She rose suddenly with a burst of her old fire and fell upon him and kissed him, and said earnestly how proud she was of him; "And so is mamma. She may say what she likes."