MY younger brother used often to find fault with my indomitable ambition. He would say, " The man of letters requires food and clothing only. A modest carriage and a humble hack; some small official post in a quiet place, where he may win golden opinions from the surrounding villagers -- that should suffice. Why toil and strive for more? "
At the request of several families he and Mrs Legge gave a home for some months to a young Dutch girl, a granddaughter of the first Dutch governor of the Straits Settlements. She had several pearls of which the Dutch residents were great collectors, got from oysters found in a river of the Malay Peninsula, when she left them she gave Mrs Legge a small box containing a large pearl the size of a pea, with a blue spot on it, and two others not so large. This box was then put away and locked up. Several weeks later he took it out and on opening it discovered more than a dozen pearls, most of them very small. Astonished at the phenomenon he called his chief servant, a Portuguese, who happened to enter the room and who expressed no surprise but declared it to be a common occurrence. On enquiry he found that many of the Dutch people had jars of pearls, large and small, which had accumulated in this way. Some years later he related the incident at dinner on board ship. The captain was a cautio