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18. CHAPTER XVIII - "THE VICAR OF BULLHAMPTON"--"SIR HARRY HOTSPUR"--"AN EDITOR'S TALES"--"CAESAR"
In 1869 I was called on to decide, in council with my two boys and their mother, what should be their destination in life. In June of that year the elder, who was then twenty-three, was called to the Bar; and as he had gone through the regular courses of lecturing tuition and study, it might be supposed that his course was already decided. But, just as he was called, there seemed to be an opening for him in another direction; and this, joined to the terrible uncertainty of the Bar, the terror of which was not in his case lessened by any peculiar forensic aptitudes, induced us to sacrifice dignity in quest of success. Mr. Frederic Chapman, who was then the sole representative of the publishing house known as Messrs. Chapman & Hall, wanted a partner, and my son Henry went into the firm. He remained there three years and a half; but he did not like it, nor do I think he made a very good publisher. At any rate he left the business with perhaps more pecuniary success than might have been expected from the short period of his labours, and has since taken himself to literature as a profession. Whether he will work at it so hard as his father, and write as many books, may be doubted.
My second son, Frederic, had very early in life gone to Australia, having resolved on a colonial career when he found that boys who did not grow so fast as he did got above him at school. This departure was a great pang to his mother and me; but it was permitted on the understanding that he was to come back when he was twenty-one, and then decide whether he would remain in England or return to the Colonies. In the winter of 1868 he did come to England, and had a season's hunting in the old country; but there was no doubt in his own mind as to his settling in Australia. His purpose was fixed, and in the spring of 1869 he made his second journey out. As I have since that date made two journeys to see him,--of one of which at any rate I shall have to speak, as I wrote a long book on the Australasian Colonies,--I will have an opportunity of saying a word or two further on of him and his doings.
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