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Bovington hastened to the appointed corner,
to expostulate with Mr. Whelter.

"How can I help it! " was that individual's
consolation. " I spoke for all your
beasts; but there was only room for seven
on 'em to be tied up; so the rest on 'em is
in off-droves. Where else can they be?"

"And my sheep?"

"Couldn't get none on 'em in. They 're a
waiting in the 'Ram' Yard, till the sales empties
some of the pens. You 'll find 'em in the first
floor."

"What! Up stairs?"

"Ah, in the one-pair back."

Mr. Bovington elbowed his way to the
Ram Inn, to confirm by his eyes what he
could not believe with his ears. Sure enough
he found his favourite 'New Leicesters' a
whole flight of stairs above ground. How
they had ever been got up, or how they
were ever to be got down, surpassed his
ingenuity to conjecture.

At length there was pen-room; and sorely
were Mr. Bovington's feelings tried. When
his little flock were got into the market, they
met, and were mixed with, the sold flocks
that were going out. Confusion was now
worse confounded. The beating, the goading,
the bustling, the shouting; the bleating of the
sheep; the short, sharp, snarling of the dogs;
above all, the stentorian oaths and imprecations
of the drovers,—no human imagination,
unaided by the reality, could conceive. Several
flocks were intermixed, in a manner that made
correct separation seem impossible; but while
Mr. Bovington shuddered at all this cruelty
and wickednessSOLELY PRODUCED BY WANT
OF SPACE, AND BY THE PREVIOUS DRIVING
THROUGH THE STREETShe could not help
admiring the instinct of the dogs, and the
ingenuity of the men, in lessening the confusion
the former watching intently their masters'
faces for orders, and flying over the backs of
the moving floor of wool, to execute them.

"Go for 'em, Bob!"

Like lightning the dog belonging to the
drover of Bovington's sheep, dashed over their
backs, and he beheld the ear of a favourite
wether between its teeth. By some magic,
however, this significant style of ear-wigging
directed the sheep into the alley that led
to the empty pens; and the others were
pushed, punched, goaded, and thrashed, till
each score was jammed into the small
enclosures, as tight as figs in a drum.

"They seem a nice lot," said Mr. Brumpton,
who had followed the new seller; " but how
is it possible for the best butcher in London
to tell what they are, in a wedge like this.
Can he know how they will cut up, after the
punishment they have had? Impossible:
and what's the consequence? Why, he will
deduct ten or fifteen per cent. from your
price for bruised meat. It is the same with
bullocks."

Mr. Bovington, at this hint, reverted to his
herd of cattle with a fresh pang. Crammed,
rammed,  and jammed as they were between
raw-boned Lincolnshires and half-fed
Herefordsa narrow bristling grove of gaunt
shoeing-hornshow could his customers see
and appreciate the fine ' points ' of his fancy
stock? He had worked for Fame; yet,
however loud her blast, who could hear it above
the crushing din of Smithfield?

Mr. Bovington, having returned to the
rendezvous, leaned against a cutler's door-post
where there was an old grindstone outside
(which the market-people, by much sharpening
of their knives upon it, had worn away, like an
old cheese)- in profound rumination. He was
at a dead lock. He could not sell all his stock,
and he could not withdraw it; for it was so
fearfully deteriorated from the treatment it
had got, that he felt sure the recovery of
many of his sheep and oxen would be very
doubtful. The best thing he could wish for
them was speedy death: and, for himself, sales
at any price.

His reflections were interrupted by the
pleasing information, that although some of
his beasts that were tied up had been sold at
the top price, only a few of those in the off-
droves could find customers at the second,
because the butchers could not get to see them.
"And you see they will have the pull of the
market, if they can get it."

Mr. Bovington looked unutterable despair,
and told the salesman emphatically to sell.

"It don't matter to him," said Brumpton,
who was again at poor Bovington's elbow,
"what the animals fetch. Sold for much or
little, the salesman's profit don't vary4s. a
head for beasts, and from 10s. to 13s. a score
for sheep, at whatever price he sells. That's
the system here, and it don't improve the
profits of the grazier. Why should he care
what you get, or lose?"

Towards the close of the market, Mr.
Bovington perceived, that if it cost the animals
intense torture to be got into their allotted
places, it took unmitigated brutality to get
them out again. The breaking up of a ringdrove
might have made a treat for Nero;
but honest Mr. Bovington had had enough.
He retired from the arena of innumerable
bull-fights in a state of mind in which disgust
very much preponderated over personal
disappointment. "And mentioning bull-fights,"
thought he to himself, "Upon my life! I
don't think we are so much better than those
people in Spain after all, while we stand this
sort of thing, and eat our dinners, and make
our wills."

Mr. Brumpton and he determined to breakfast
together, at the 'Catherine Wheel,' in
St. John Street.

"What remedy do you propose for these
horrors? " asked our dejected friend.

"A market in the suburbs," was the answer.

"But look at the rapidity with which
London spreads. How long will you guarantee
that any site you may select will remain
'out of Town?'"

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