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and the room was not yet quite re-arranged;
but the boys were roaming unrestrained about
a large and airy yard, as any other schoolboys
might have done. Some of them had
been drawing large ships upon the schoolroom
wall; and if they had a mast with shrouds
and stays set up for practice (as they have in
the Middlesex House of Correction), it would
be so much the better. At present, if a boy
should feel a strong impulse upon him to
learn the art of going aloft, he could only
gratify it, I presume, as the men and women
paupers gratify their aspirations after better
board and lodging, by smashing as many
workhouse windows as possible, and being
promoted to prison.

In one place, the Newgate of the
Workhouse, a company of boys and youths were
locked up in a yard alone; their day-room
being a kind of kennel where the casual poor
used formerly to be littered down at night.
Divers of them had been there some long
time. "Are they never going away? " was the
natural enquiry. "Most of them are crippled,
in some form or other," said the Wardsman,
"and not fit for anything." They slunk about,
like dispirited wolves or hyænas; and made
a pounce at their food when it was served out,
much as those animals do. The big-headed
idiot shuffling his feet along the pavement, in
the sunlight outside, was a more agreeable
object everyway.

Groves of babies in arms; groves of mothers
and other sick women in bed; groves of
lunatics; jungles of men in stone-paved
down-stairs day-rooms, waiting for their
dinners; longer and longer groves of old
people, in upstairs Infirmary wards, wearing
out life, God knows how-- this was the
scenery through which the walk lay, for two
hours. In some of these latter chambers,
there were pictures stuck against the wall,
and a neat display of crockery and pewter on
a kind of sideboard  now and then it was a
treat to see a plant or two; in almost every
ward, there was a cat.

In all of these Long Walks of aged and
infirm, some old people were bed-ridden, and
had been for a long time; some were sitting
on their beds half-naked; some dying in their
beds; some out of bed, and sitting at a table
near the fire. A sullen or lethargic
indifference to what was asked, a blunted
sensibility to everything but warmth and food, a
moody absence of complaint as being of no
use, a dogged silence and resentful desire to
be left alone again, I thought were generally
apparent. On our walking into the midst
of one of these dreary perspectives of old
men, nearly the following little dialogue
took place, the nurse not being immediately
at hand:

"All well here?"

No answer. An old man in a Scotch cap
sitting among others on a form at the table,
eating out of a tin porringer, pushes back his
cap a little to look at us, claps it down on his
forehead again with the palm of his hand, and
goes on eating.

"All well here?" (repeated.)

No answer. Another old man sitting on
his bed, paralytically peeling a boiled potato,
lifts his head, and stares.

"Enough to eat?"

No answer. Another old man, in bed,
turns himself and coughs.

"How are you to day?" To the last old

That old man says nothing; but another
old man, a tall old man of a very good address,
speaking with perfect correctness, comes
forward from somewhere, and volunteers an
answer. The reply almost always proceeds
from a volunteer, and not from the person
looked at or spoken to.

"We are very old, Sir," in a mild, distinct
voice. "We can't expect to be well, most
of us."

"Are you comfortable?"

"I have no complaint to make, Sir." With
a half shake of his head, a half shrug of his
shoulders, and a kind of apologetic smile.

"Enough to eat?"

"Why, Sir, I have but a poor appetite," with
the same air as before; "and yet I get through
my allowance very easily"

"But," showing a porringer with a Sunday
dinner in it; " here is a portion of mutton, and
three potatoes. You can't starve on that?"

"Oh dear no, Sir," with the same apologetic
air. "Not starve."

"What do you want?"

"We have very little bread, Sir. It's an
exceedingly small quantity of bread."

The nurse, who is now rubbing her hands
at the questioner's elbow, interferes with, " It
ain't much raly, Sir. You see they've only
six ounces a day, and when they've took their
breakfast, there can only be a little left for
night, Sir."

Another old man, hitherto invisible, rises
out of his bedclothes, as out of a grave, and
looks on.

"You have tea at night?" The
questioner is still addressing the well-spoken old

"Yes, Sir, we have tea at night."

"And you save what bread you can from
the morning, to eat with it?"

"Yes, Sir-- if we can save any."

"And you want more to eat with it?"

"Yes, Sir." With a very anxious face.

The questioner, in the kindness of his heart,
appears a little discomposed, and changes the

"What has become of the old man who
used to lie in that bed in the corner?"

The nurse don't remember what old man is
referred to. There has been such a many old
men. The well-spoken old man is doubtful.
The spectral old man who has come to life in
bed, says, "Billy Stevens." Another old man
who has previously had his head in the
fireplace, pipes out,