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and all in the brightest colours, on a light

Let us now return to the principal entrance,
and ascend to the first gallery. The panels
all round, are painted as below. The chief
subject of most of them appears to be a colliery
that is, the works above ground, such
as the little black house of the steam-engine,
with its long chain passing over the drum,
and then over a wheel above the pit's mouth.
The first we come to is the celebrated Wallsend
colliery. Each has fanciful designs above
and beneath, as if to atone for the dark reality
of the centre piece, picturesque as this is
always made. Over some of these we find
heraldic monsters of the right frightful Order
of the Griffin, prancing above greyhounds who
crouch on each side of a large ornamental
cup, not unlike a head-dress of the ancient
South American Indians, which however is
supported by a lady in the bright costume of
a Mexican peasant, wearing wings. Beneath
there lies a rich grouping of grapes, arborescent
ferns, with vulture-headed griffins, and
flowers of the cactus. The collieries are occasionally
varied with a sea-piece, in which, of
course, a black collier-vessel is sailing from
the North. Sometimes the scene is a shore-piece
with a collier boat; but presided over
by the usual sort of nut-brown mining beauty
with Italian eyes, and hair in no particular
order, bearing a fruit-basket on her head,
piled up with all sorts of ripe fruit of the
most tempting size and colour. Beneath her,
we again find the griffin vultures holding
watch over some logs of antediluvian trees.

Wandering onwards in this way, we observed,
a little in advance of us, a seafaring
man, in a rough blue pilot coat, with a face
so weather-beaten that it looked as hard as a
ship's figure-head, and a pair of great dangling
hands that seemed hewn out of solid oak.
He was very busy in front of one of the
panels, admiring a lady with very good-humoured
black eyes, and cheeks as red as ripe
tomatos, carrying on her head a basket of
Orlean plums and alligator pears, richly
grouped with a profusion of grapes, and crimson
flowers of the cactus. Her face was turned
smilingly upwards at a collier-brig in full sail.

We congratulated him on his 'choice,' and
the suggestion appearing to please his fancy, a
little colloquy ensued, from which it turned
out that he was Thomas Oldcastle, of
Durham, captain of the collier brig 'Shiner,' of
South Shields, and having just discharged his
cargo at Rotherhithe, had come to London to
amuse himself for a few hours. Arriving at
the entrance in the course of our talk, we ascended
the stairs together, and soon reached
the second gallery.

The flooring of this galleryin fact the
whole of it, like the previous one, was of cast
iron. In the semicircle of the entrance was a
picture of Newcastle, on one side, with its iron
bridge and railway combined, and its old stone
bridge below. It was very well and characteristically
painted, and of a sombre and rather
smoky colour, which Captain Oldcastle said
was too like to be very pleasing. His thoughts
were evidently reverting to the very highly-coloured
operatic ladies below. On the other
side of this entrance was a picture of Durham,
with the cathedral among the treesalso a
very good and truthful picture. Captain
Oldcastle, after great deliberation, and the slow
pocketing of both hands, was obliged to confess
that it was something like the old place.
But this wall was not rightany howand
that spire did not look sowhen last he saw
itin short, it was clear he wanted reality,
could not make out perspective differences,
and preferred the handsome looks of the brunette
fruit-bearer in the lower gallery.

But though our honest friend had no good
taste in pictures, there was a great mass of
good solid practical knowledge in the hard-outlined
head of this rough captain of the
North Sea. It turned out that he was an
old friend of Mr. Buddle, the coal engineer of
Wallsend, and often quoted him as authority.
Chancing to ask him some question about
the number of people employed in the coal-trade
on the Tyne and the Wear, he said
that he had heard Buddle say (twenty years
ago) there were nearly 5,000 boys, and quite
3,500 men underground in the works near the
Tyne: and nearly 3,000 men, and 700 boys
above ground. On the Wear, he said there
were 9,000  All of these were employed in the
mines, and taking the coal to the ships on
the two rivers. Captain Oldcastle estimated
the vessels employed at about 1,400, which
would require 15,000 sailors and boys to
work them "as all ought to be." Besides
these, there were lots more hands in other
parts of the great coal trade of the north.

But as this estimate of his friend Buddle,
we remarked, had been made twenty years
ago, was it not pretty certain that the
numbers had immensely increased by this
time? To this the Captain replied that
it was so, no doubt; and supposing that
every other district, besides the North, of
the entire coal trade of England, had increased
in the same proportion, and if you
added to this all the agents, factors, clerks,
subordinates, whippers, lightermen, wharfingers,
&c., there would be found upwards
of 200,000 men engaged in the Coal trade
of England,—enough, he added with a grimly
comical look, if a war broke out, to furnish
the army and navy with 20,000 men each, at
a week's notice.

"If they liked the work," we added; but
the Captain had walked on, attracted by a
picture in one of the panels. It was a portrait
of a miner in his underground dresswhen
he wears anythe darkness of his figure and
position in the mine being pleasantly and
appropriately relieved by an immense quantity
of highly coloured tropical fruits, flowers,
griffin-vultures, long and sleek-necked cranes,
arborescent ferns, various logs of wood known