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and ye Duvernays, what would you have
been without your legs? Say ye English
and continental managers how often have
you escaped bankruptcy through the legs of
your figurantes and the judicious selection
of ballets, otherwise "leg pieces." Captain
Barclay walked himself into a comfortable
annuity; and I understand that more than
one professional pedestrian has realized a
handsome competency by moving their legs
a thousand miles in a thousand hours, in the
presence of thousands of spectators at a
shilling a head.

Setting riches on one side, what numbers of
industrious persons there are who earn their
daily bread by their legs. At the very moment
I write a company of acrobats are vaulting,
leaping, tumbling, climbing, standing with
their legs on each other's heads beneath my
window. At an adjoining exhibition hall,
Professor Squadaccini, and his three talented
sons, nightly tie their legs into knots, and
raise them to a level with their shoulders for
a living. Madame Saqui has supported
herself on her legs (on the tight-rope) since the
days of the first French Revolution. Clowns,
rope-dancers, tumblers, and mountebanks of
every description, would starve were it not for
their legs. Even the ragged little street
Bedouin who tumbles cartwheels by the side of
your cab as you come from the railway station ;
the brown-faced, ragged, scarlet-jacketed
varlet who follows the hounds with bare feet ;
the Ethiopian Serenaders, who reverberate the
tambourines on their knees, their shins, and
the soles of their feet ; the little Highland-
dressed children who dance on the scrap of
carpet in the muddy street, all look to their
legs as an auxiliary, if not a means, of
subsistence. Nay, the piteous cripple of Italian
extraction, who sits in the truck beside the
barrel organ upon which the other exile grinds
melancholy tunes ; the stunted jack-in-the
water paddling about, without legs, in his
little canoe ; and the legless beggar on
the little platform on rollers who pushes
himself along by means of instruments,
something between dumb-bells and railway buffers,
rapport themselves indefinitely by their legs ;
for passers-by remember sympathisingly that
they had legs once, and relieve their leglessness
with moneys.

If the heart be the stronghold of vitality,
the legs are the outposts of life. The legs die
first. The outposts are captured before the
citadel is stormed. Mrs. Quickly put her hand
upon poor dying Sir John Falstaff's legs, and
they were " as cold as a stone." We speak of
a man likely to die, that he will come out of
the house "feet foremost." We say of one
that is dead, that he has " turned his toes up."
No one can mistake a dead man's legs. Put
them in fishermen's boots, swathe them in
fifty yards of sheeting, and you could not
mistake them. Not many days since, at
my dear old Dumbledowndeary, a man
fell from the topmast of a Dutch vessel
in the river on to the deck. They brought
him to the jetty in a boat, covering the body
with a tarpaulin, while medical assistance
was sent for. I can see now the cold, gloomy
grey February day; the knot of idlers on the
jetty, a solitary gull rising from the marshes
opposite with dull flapping wings and swaying
fitfully in the rising tide beneath, the
wounded man lying at full length in the
boat, and, standing on the thwarts over
him, one of his messmates, a clumsy tallow-
faced Dutchman, with a huge fur cap
and earrings, who was wringing his honest
tarry hands and crying out that he loved
him; all the while the tears trickling down
his face and pattering sharply, like
commencing rain, as they fell on the tarpaulin.
But we needed not the verdict of the doctor,
to know that the man in the boat was dead.
None but a dead man could have had the
legs, stark, stiff, awful, which we saw
protruding from the tarpaulin as the boat rowed
to shore.

I am not at all a believer in " graphiology,"
and have never been tempted to send specimens
of my hand-writing, accompanied by a
certain number of postage stamps, to
Professor Anybody. Neither do I hold by
those theorists who assert that all bald-headed
men ill-treat their wives; neither do I swear
by those who believe that all red-headed
people are hypocrites. But I am a believer
in the idea that a man's character can be
tolerably well deciphered from his face; and I
would advise all physiognomists who are of
my opinion, to extend their scrutiny from a
person's visage to his legs. The advantages
to science would be incalculable. I have
found it of prodigious service to me in my
speculations upon the characters of mankind.
There are as infinite varieties of expression in
legs as in faces, and I wait with impatience
for the day when some learned man shall
give to the world an elaborate commentary
on all the legs he has met with: the long
and the short, the thick and the thin, the
bandy and the bow, the in-kneed and the
out-toed.

We are told that we can tell a man by
the company he keeps; why not by the legs
that take him into that company?

NEW TALE by Mr. CHARLES DICKENS to be
published Weekly in HOUSEHOLD WORDS.
On the 22nd of April will be published, in Household
Words, the Fourth Portion of a New Work of Fiction,
called HARD TIMES. BY CHARLES DICKENS.
The publication of this Story will he continued in HOUSEHOLD
WORDS   from Week to Week, and completed in  five Months.
Price of each Weekly Number of HOUSEHOLD WORDS, (containing, besides, the usual variety of matter), Twopence; or Stamped, Threepence.
HOUSEHOLD WORDS, CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS
is published also in Monthly parts and in Half-yearly Volumes.

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