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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/837

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MR. FRANK BUCKLAND.

overcoat stuffed with natural-history specimens of all sorts, dead and alive. Among them was a monkey, which was domiciled in a large inside breast-pocket. As Buckland was taking his ticket, Jocko thrust up his head and attracted the attention of the booking-clerk, who immediately (and very properly) said, "You must take a ticket for that dog, if it's going with you." "Dog?" said Buckland; "it's no dog; it's a monkey." "It is a dog," replied the clerk. "It's a monkey," retorted Buckland, and proceeded to show the whole animal, but without convincing the clerk, who insisted on five shillings for the dog ticket to London. Nettled at this, Buckland plunged his hand into another pocket and produced a tortoise, and, laying it on the sill of the ticket-window, said, "Perhaps you'll call that a dog, too." The clerk inspected the tortoise. "No," said he, "we make no charge for them—they're insects."

If a close observer were asked to mention the chief quality which Mr. Buckland developed as Inspector of Fisheries, he would probably reply, a capacity for managing men. He had the happiest way of conciliating opposition, and of carrying an even hostile audience with him. It frequently occurred that the fishermen, at the many inquiries which his colleague and he held, looked in the first instance with suspicion on the inspectors. They never looked with suspicion on them when they went away. The ice of reserve was thawed by the warmth of Mr. Buckland's genial manner; and the men who, for the first half-hour, shrank from imparting information, in the next three hours vied with one another in contributing it. Mr. Buckland was equally at ease with more educated audiences, though in their case he was perhaps less uniformly successful. If he had been a politician, he would have been a greater mob orator than Parliamentary debater. But the higher classes, like the lower classes, could not resist the warmth of his manner or the ring of his laughter. He could not, in the most serious conversation, refrain from his joke; and some persons will recollect how on one occasion he was descanting, at a formal meeting, on the advantages which would ensue from the formation of a fishery district: "You will be appointed a conservator, and then you will impose license duties, and the money—probably three hundred pounds—will be paid to you." "And what shall I do then?" "Why, then," replied Mr. Buckland, "you had better bolt with it."

His love of a joke distinguished him as a lecturer. He remembered his father's lectures, and always thought it his first duty to make his audience laugh; and he had a dozen stories ready to provoke laughter. The excuse of a milk-boy, on a fish being found in the milk—"Please, sir, mother forgot to strain the water"—was one of those which did frequent duty. The same love of a joke followed him on his official inquiries. He left on one occasion a parcel of stinking fish, which he had carried about with him, and forgotten, neatly done up in paper, in a fashionable thoroughfare in Scotland, and stood at the hotel-window