+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

in her Majesty's naval service said to be on

H. M. Steem Friegkt
Vultur Uncon or els ware,

belonged to the Steam Frigate Vulture, at
Hong Kong? Few would think that

Mr. Weston
Osburn Cottage

was a neighbour of her Majesty, and lived at
Osborne Cottage, Isle of Wight.'

The following additional epistolary puzzles
were then read, amidst, as reporters say,' loud
laughter: '

Mr. Laurence
New Land

(High Wycombe).

W. Stratton
Ceald teapot

(We presume as a total abstinence man.)
Weelin (Welwyn).

Thom Hoodless
3 St. Ann Ct
Searhoo Skur (Soho Square).

The ingenious orthographies Ratlifhaivai
and Ratlef Fieway went straight to the proper
parties in Ratcliffe Highway; but it is a
wonder how

Mr. Dick
Bishop Cans
ner the Wises

got his letter, considering that his place of
abode was near Devizes.

For the next specimen of spelling there is
some excuse. 'In England,' says a French
traveller, ' what they write " Greenwich,"
they pronounce "Grinitch," and I am not
quite sure that when they set down
"Solomon," they do not pronounce it
"Nebuchadnezzar." ' ' I much question,' continued
one of the amateur Post-Office inspectors,
' if either of us had never seen the name of
the place to which the following superscription
applies, that we should not have spelt it
nearly similarly to the correspondent of

Peter Robertson
2 Compney 7 Batilian
Rolyl Artirian

' Although the writer's ear misled him
grievously in the other words, he has recorded
the sound into which we render Woolwich
with curious correctness.'

' Innocent simplicity baulks us as much as
ignorance,' remarked the head of the
hieroglyphic department. ' Here are one or two
specimens of it:—

To Mr. Michl
In the town of

' A schoolboy sends from Salisbury,

To My Uncle Jon
in London.

' Another addressed the highest personage
in the realmno doubt on particular business

Queene Victoria.
of England

While this amusement was going forward,
the bustle in the adjoining rooms had reached
its climax. It was approaching eight o'clock,
and the ' Miller and his Men ' above stairs
were delivering their sacks from the mouth of
the ever-revolving mill at an incessant rate.
These, filled nearly to the mouth with
newspapers, were dragged to the tables, which the
brass label fastened to the corner of each bag
marked as its own, to have the letters inserted.
Our friends rushed to where they saw '
Edinburgh ' painted up on the walls, and there
they beheld their yellow, green, and red letters
in separate packets, though destined for the
same place; just as they had come in at
first from Fleet Street. The bundles were
popped in a trice into the Edinburgh bag,
which was sealed and sent away. Exactly
the same thing was happening to every
bundle of letters, and to every bag on the

The clock now struck eight, and the two
visitors looked round in astonishment. Had
they been guests at the ball in ' Cinderella,'
when that clock struck they would not have
been more astonished; for hardly less rapidly
did the fancy dresses of the postmen
disappear, and the lights grow dim. This is
the most striking peculiarity of the
extraordinary establishment. Everything is done
on military principles to minute time. The
drill and subdivision of duties are so perfect,
that the alternations throughout the day are
high pressure and sudden collapse. At five
minutes before eight the enormous offices were
glaring with light and crowded with men;
at ten minutes after eight the glass slipper
had fallen off, and there was hardly a light
or a living being visible.

' Perhaps, however,' it was remarked as our
friends were leaving the building, ' an invisible
individual is now stealthily watching behind
the ground glass screen. Only the other day
he detected from it a sorter secreting 140

It is a deplorable thing that such a place of
observation should be necessary; but it is
hardly less deplorableand this should be
most earnestly impressed upon the reader
that the public, now possessed of such
conveniences for remitting money, by means of
Post-Office Orders and Registered Letters, should
lightly throw temptation in the way of
these clerks, by enclosing actual coin. No
man can say that, placed in such circumstances
from day to day, he could be stedfast. Many
may hope they would be, and believe it; but