The amount of the valuation shall be paid by the succeeding tenant, who shall be allowed to enter on any part of the allotment which is uncropped at the time of notice of the leaving tenant.
11.--Any member not keeping his allotment-garden clear from seed- weeds, or otherwise injuring his neighbours, may be turned out of his garden by the votes of two-thirds of the committee, one month's notice being given to him.
12.--Any member carelessly breaking a mug, is to pay the cost of replacing the same.
I was soliciting the attention of Philosewers to some old old bonnets hanging in the Allotment-gardens to frighten the birds, and the fashion of which I should think would terrify a French bird to death at any distance, when Philosewers solicited my attention to the scrapers at the club-house door. The amount of the soil of England which every member brought there on his feet, was indeed surprising; and even I, who am professedly a salad-eater, could have grown a salad for my dinner, in the earth on any member's frock or hat.
"Now," said Friar Bacon, looking at his watch, "for the Pig-clubs!"
The dreary Sage entreated explanation.
"Why, a pig is so very valuable to a poor labouring man, and it is so very difficult for him at this time of the year to get money enough to buy one, that I lend him a pound for the purpose. But, I do it in this way. I leave such of the club members as choose it and desire it, to form themselves into parties of five. To every man in each company of five, I lend a pound, to buy a pig. But, each man of the five becomes bound for every other man, as to the repayment of his money. Consequently, they look after one another, and pick out their partners with care; selecting men in whom they have confidence."
"They repay the money, I suppose, when the pig is fattened, killed, and sold?"
"Yes. Then they repay the money. And they do repay it. I had one man, last year, who was a little tardy (he was in the habit of going to the public-house); but even he did pay. It is an immense Advantage to one of these poor fellows to have a pig. The pig consumes the refuse from the man's cottage and allotment-garden, and the pig's refuse enriches the man's garden besides. The pig is the poor man's friend. Come into the club-house again."
The poor man's friend. Yes. I have often wondered who really was the poor man's friend among a great number of competitors, and I now clearly perceive him to be the pig. HE never makes any flourishes about the poor man. HE never gammons the poor man--except to his manifest advantage in the article of bacon. HE never comes down to this house, or goes down to his constituents. He openly declares to the poor man, "I want my sty because I am a Pig. I desire to have as much to eat as you can by any means stuff me with, because I am a Pig." HE never gives the poor man a sovereign for bringing up a family. HE never grunts the poor man's name in vain. And when he dies in the odour of Porkity, he cuts up, a highly useful creature and a blessing to the poor man, from the ring in his snout to the curl in his tail. Which of the poor man's other friends can say as much? Where is the M.P. who means Mere Pork?
The dreary Sage had glided into these reflections, when he found himself sitting by the club-house fire, surrounded by green smock- frocks and shapeless hats: with Friar Bacon lively, busy, and expert, at a little table near him.
"Now, then, come. The first five!" said Friar Bacon.