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and his hand on his hanger; or Lady Bellaston's chair and bearers coming swinging down Great Guelph Street, which we have just quitted to enter Sedan Buildings.

Sedan Buildings is a little flagged square, ending abruptly with the huge walls of Bluck's Brewery. The houses, by many degrees smaller than the large decayed tenements in Great Guelph Street, are still not uncomfortable, although shabby. There are brass-plates on the doors, two on some of them: or simple names, as “ Lunt,” “ Padgemore," &c. (as if no other statement about Lunt and Padgemore were necessary at all) under the bells. There are pictures of mangles before two of the houses, and a gilt arm with a hammer, sticking out from one. I never saw a Goldbeater. What sort of a being is he, that he always sticks out his ensign in dark, mouldy, lonely, dreary, but somewhat respectable places? What powerful Mulciberian fellows they must be, those Goldbeaters, whacking and thumping with huge mallets at the precious metals all day. I wonder what is Goldbeaters' skin? and do they get impreg. nated with the metal? and are their great arms under their clean shirts on Sundays, all gilt and shining?

It is a quiet, kind, respectable place somehow, in spite of its shabbiness. Two pewter pints and a jolly little half-pint are hanging on the railings in perfect confidence, basking in what little sun comes into the Court. A group of small children are making an ornament of oyster-shells in one corner. Who has that half-pint? Is it for one of those small ones, or for some delicate female recommended to take beer? The windows in the Court, upon some of which the sun glistens, are not cracked, and pretty clean; it is only the black and dreary look behind which gives them a poverty-stricken appearance. No curtains or blinds. A bird-cage and very few pots of flowers here and there. This — with the exception of a milkman talking to a whity-brown woman, made up of bits of flannel and strips of faded chintz and calico seemingly, and holding a long bundle which cried - this was all I saw in Sedan Buildings while we were waiting until the door should open.

At last the door was opened, and by a porteress so small, that I wonder how she ever could have lifted up the latch. She bobbed a curtsy, and smiled at the Curate, whose face gleamed with benevolence too, in reply to that salutation.

" Mother not at home? says Frank Whitestock, patting the child on the head.

“ Mother's out charing, sir," replied the girl ; “ but please to walk up, sir.” And she led the way up one and two pair of stairs to that apartment in the house which is called the secondfloor front; in which was the abode of the charwoman.

There were two young persons in the room, of the respective ages of eight and five, I should think.

She of five years of age was hemming a duster, being perched on a chair at the table in the middle of the room. The elder, of eight, politely wiped a chair with a cloth for the accommodation of the goodnatured Curate, and came and stood between his knees, immediately alongside of his umbrella, which also reposed there, and which she by no means equalled in height.

66 These children attend my school at St. Timothy's,” Mr. Whitestock said, " and Betsy keeps the house while her mother is from home.”

Anything cleaner or neater than this house it is impossible to conceive. There was a big bed, which must have been the resting-place of the whole of this little family. There were three or four religious prints on the walls; besides two framed and glazed, of Prince Coburg and the Princess Charlotte. There were brass candlesticks, and a lamb on the chimneypiece, and a cupboard in the corner, decorated with near half a dozen plates, yellow bowls, and crockery. And on the table there were two or three bits of dry bread, and a jug with water, with which these three young people (it being then nearly three o'clock) were about to take their meal called tea.

That little Betsy who looks so small is nearly ten years old : and has been a mother ever since the age of about five. I mean to say, that her own mother having to go out upon her charing operations, Betsy assumes command of the room during her parent's absence : has nursed her sisters from babyhood up to the present time: keeps order over them, and the house clean as you see it; and goes out occasionally and transacts the family purchases of bread, moist sugar, and mother's tea. They dine upon bread, tea and breakfast upon bread when they have it, or go to bed without a morsel. Their holiday is Sunday, which they spend at Church and Sunday-school. The younger children scarcely ever go out, save on that day, but sit sometimes in the sun, which comes in pretty pleasantly: sometimes blue in the cold, for they very seldom see a fire except to heat irons by, when mother has a job of linen to get up. Father was a journeyman bookbinder, who died four years ago, and is buried among thousands and thousands of the nameless dead who lie crowding the black churchyard of St. Timothy's parish.

The Curate evidently took especial pride in Victoria, the youngest of these three children of the charwoman, and caused Betsy to fetch a book which lay at the window, and bade her read. It was a Missionary Register which the Curate opened hap-hazard, and this baby began to read out in an exceedingly clear and resolute voice about

“ The island of Raritongo is the least frequented of all the Caribbean Archipelago. Wankyfungo is at four leagues S. E. by E., and the peak of the crater of Shuagnahua is distinctly visible. The · Irascible' entered Raritongo Bay on the evening of Thursday 29th, and the next day the Rev. Mr. Flethers, Mrs. Flethers, and their nine children, and Shangpooky, the native converted at Cacabawgo, landed and took up their residence at the house of Ratatatua, the Principal Chief, who entertained us with yams and a pig," &c. &c. &c.

“Raritongo, Wankyfungo, Archipelago.” I protest this little woman read off each of these long words with an ease which perfectly astonished me. Many a lieutenant in her Majesty's Heavies would be puzzled with words half the length. Whitestock, by way of reward for her scholarship, gave her another pat on the head; having received which present with a curtsy, she went and put the book back into the window, and clambering back into the chair, resumed the hemming of the blue duster.

I suppose it was the smallness of these people, as well as their singular, neat, and tidy behavior, which interested me so. Here were three creatures not so bigh as the table, with all the labors, duties, and cares of life upon their little shoulders, work ing and doing their duty like the biggest of my readers; regular, laborious, cheerful, - content with small pittances, practising a hundred virtues of thrift and order.

Elizabeth, at ten years of age, might walk out of this house and take the command of a small establishment. She can wash, get up linen, cook, make purchases, and buy bargains. If I were ten years old and three feet in height I would marry her, and we would go and live in a cupboard, and share the little half-pint pot for dinner. 'Melia, eight years of age, though inferior in accomplishments to her sister, is her equal in size, and can wash, scrub, hem, go errands, put her hand to the dinner, and make herself generally useful. In a word, she is fit to be a little housemaid, and to make everything but the beds, which she cannot as yet reach up to. As for Victoria's qualifications, they have been mentioned before. I wonder whether the Princess Alice can read off “Raritongo,” &c., as glibly as this surprising little animal.

I asked the Curate's permission to make these young ladies a present, and accordingly produced the sum of sixpence to be divided amongst the three. " What will you do with it?” I said, laying down the coin.

They answered, all three at once, and in a little chorus, 6. We'll give it to mother.” This verdict caused the disbursement of another sixpence, and it was explained to them that the sum was for heir own private pleasures, and each was called upon to declare what she would purchase.

Elizabeth says, “I would like twopenn'orth of meat, if you please, sir.”

'Melia : “Ha'porth of treacle, three-farthings'-worth of milk, and the same of fresh bread.”

Victoria, speaking very quick, and gasping in an agitated manner : “ Ha'pny—aha- orange, and ha'pny

aha— apple, and ha'pny - aha — treacle, and — and —” here her imagination failed her. She did not know what to do with the rest of the money.

At this 'Melia actually interposed, “Suppose she and Victoria subscribed a farthing apiece out of their money, so that Betsy might have a quarter of a pound of meat?” She added that her sister wanted it, and that it would do her good. Upon my word, she made the proposal and the calculations in an instant, and all of her own accord. And before we left them, Betsy had put on the queerest little black shawl and bonnet, and had a mug and a basket ready to receive the purchases in question.

Sedan Buildings has a particularly friendly look to me since that day. Peace be with you, O thrifty, kindly, simple, loving little maidens! May their voyage in life prosper! Think of the great journey before them, and the little cock-boat manned by babies venturing over the great stormy ocean.

II. FOLLOWING the steps of little Betsy with her mug and basket, as she goes pattering down the street, we watch her into a grocer's shop, where a startling placard with “ Down AGAIN!” written on it announces that the Sugar Market is still in & depressed condition — and where she no doubt negotiates the purchase of a certain quantity of molasses. A little further on, in Lawfeldt Street, is Mr. Filch's fine silversmith's shop, where a man may stand for a half-hour and gaze with ravishment at the beautiful gilt cups and tankards, the stunning waistcoat chains, the little white cushions laid out with delightful diamond pins, gold horseshoes and splinter-bars, pearl owls, turquoise lizards and dragons, enamelled monkeys, and all sorts of agreeable monsters for your neck-cloth. if I live to be a hundred, or if the girl of my heart were waiting for me at the corner of the street, I never could pass Mr. Filch's shop without having a · couple of minutes' good stare at the window. I like to fancy myself dressed up in some of the jewellery. "Spec, you rogue,” I say, “ suppose you were to get leave to wear three or four of those rings on your fingers; to stick that opal, round which twists a brilliant serpent with a ruby head, into your blue satin neck-cloth ; and to sport that gold jack-chain on your waistcoat. You might walk in the Park with that black whalebone prize-riding-whip, which has a head the size of a snuff-box, surmounted with a silver jockey on a silver race-horse; and what a sensation you would create, if you took that large ram's horn with the cairngorum top out of your pocket, and offered a pinch of rappee to the company round!” A little attorney's clerk is staring in at the window, in whose mind very similar ideas are passing. What would he not give to wear that gold pin next Sunday in his blue hunting neck-cloth? The ball of it is almost as big as those which are painted over the side door of Mr. Filch's shop, which is down that passage which leads into Trotter's Court.

I have dined at a house where the silver dishes and covers came from Filch's, let out to their owner by Mr. Filch for the day, and in charge of the grave-looking man whom I mistook for the butler. Butlers and ladies’-maids innumerable have audiences of Mr. Filch in his back-parlor. There are suits of jewels which he and his shop have known for a half-century past, so often have they been pawned to him. When we read in the Court Journal of Lady Fitzball's head-dress of lappets and superb diamonds, it is because the jewels get a day rule from Filch's, and come back to his iron box as soon as the drawing-room is over. These jewels become historical among pawnbrokers. It was here that Lady Prigsby brought her diamonds one evening of last year, and desired hurriedly to raise two thousand pounds upon them, when Filch respectfully pointed out to her ladyship that she had pawned the stones already to his comrade, Mr. Tubal, of Charing Cross. And, taking his hat, and putting the case under his arm, he went with her ladyship to the hack-cab in which she had driven to Lawfeldt Street, entered the vehicle with her, and they drore in silence to the back entrance of her mansion in Monmouth Square, where Mr. Tubal's young man was still seated in the hall, waiting until her ladyship should be undressed.

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