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dinners and wine. The young man who has
a stockbroker for a friend, has need but to
trouble himself only concerning his lodging
and washing; his board will take care of
itself, or, rather, will be amply taken care of
in the villa of his Amphitryon. Next, I
should say, to a decided penchant for betting
odds, and a marked leaning towards the
purchase and sale of horseflesh, hospitality is the
most prominent characteristic of a
stockbroker. He is always "wanting to stand"
something. His bargains are made over
sherry and sandwiches; he begins and ends
the day with conviviality. What a pity it is
that his speculations should fail sometimes,
and that his clients should lose their money,
and himself "sold up"—ostracised from
'Change, driven to dwell among the tents of
Boulogne-sur-Mer, or the cities of refuge of
Belgium, the boorish and the beery! Else
would he be living in his own ground-
surrounded villa to this day, instead of its being
confided to the tender mercies of Messrs.
Hammer and Rapps, auctioneers and house-
agents, as a "House to Let."

"An Italian Villa to Let." Pretty, plausible,
but deceptive. The house-agent who
devised the Italian prefix was a humbug. Start
not, reader, while I whisper in your ear. The
Italian villa is a shabby little domicile, only
Italian in so far as it possesses Venetian
blinds. I know it; for I, who speak, have
been egregiously sold, lamentably taken in,
by this mendacious villa.

"A Villa to Let." Not elegant, desirable,
distinguished, nor Italian; but a villa. It has
bow windows, I will go bail. A green
verandah over the drawing-room window,
for a trifle. Two bells, one for visitors, and
one for servants. The villa is suitable for
Mr. Covin (of the firm of Feraud and Covin,
Solicitors), who has been importuned so long
by Mrs. Covin to abandon his substantial
residence in Bedford Row, that he has at last
acceded to her wishes. Covin is a portly
man, with a thick gold chain, a bald head,
and a fringe of black whisker. He is fond
of a peculiarly fruity port; and his wife's
bonnet-box is a japanned tin-coffer, labelled
"Mr. Soldoff's estate." He won't live in the
villa long, because he will get tired of it, and
long for Bedford Row again, with its pleasant
odour of new vellum and red tape. He will
let it to Mr. Runt, the barrister, or Mr. Muscovado,
the sugar-broker of Tower Street, or
Mrs. Lopp, the comfortably-circumstanced
widow, who was so stanch a friend to the
Reverend Silas Chowler; the same who, in
imitation of the famous Mr. Huntingdon,
S.S., called himself H.B.B., or Half-Burnt
Brand.

What should the "cottage ornée" be like,
I should wish to know (to jump from villas
to cottages), but that delightful little box
of a place at Dulwich, where a good friend
of mine was wont (wont, alas!) to live. The
strawberries in the garden; the private
theatricals in the back parlour; the pleasant
excursions on week days to the old College
—(God bless old Thomas Alleyne and Sir
Francis Bourgeois, I say! Had the former
done nothing worthier of benediction in his
life than found the dear old place, or the latter
not atoned for all the execrably bad modern
pictures he painted in his life-time, by the
exquisitely beautiful ancient ones he left us
at his death);—the symposium in the garden
on Sundays; the clear church-bells ringing
through the soft summer air; the pianoforte
in the boudoir, and Gluck's "Che faro senza
Euridice?" lightly, gently elicited from the
silvery keys (by hands that are cold and
powerless now), wreathing through the open
window; the kind faces and cheerful laughter,
the timid anxiety of the ladies concerning the
last omnibus home at night, and the cheerful
recklessness with which they subsequently
abandoned that last omnibus to its fate, and
conjectured impossibly fortuitous conveyances
to town, ultimately terminating in impromptu
beds. How many a time have I had a shake-
down on the billiard-table of the cottage
ornée?
How many a time——But my theme
is of Houses to Let.

And of "Houses to Let," it appeareth to me,
I have been unconscionably garrulous, without
being usefully communicative. I have said
too much, and yet not half enough. In houses,
I am yet at fault about the little mushroom-
like rows of flimsy-looking tenements that
spring up on every side in and about the
suburbs; in brick-fields, in patches of ground
where rubbish was formerly shot, and
vagabond boys turned over three times for a
penny. I have yet to learn in what species
of "House to Let" the eccentric gentleman
formerly resided, who never washed himself
for five-and-forty years, and was supposed to
scrape himself with an oyster-shell after the
manner of the Caribbees; where it was,
whether in a house, a villa, a residence, or a
cottage, that the maiden lady entertained the
fourteen tom cats, which slept each in a four-
post bedstead, and were fed on turtle soup.
I want to know what "every convenience"
means. I should like to have some further
information as to what "a select number"
actually implies. I am desirous of ascertaining
in what category of "Houses to Let" a
house-agent would rank a tenantless theatre,
a chapel without a congregation or a minister,
an empty brewery, or a deserted powder-mill.

Finally, I should like to know what a
"cottage" is. Of the cottage ornée I have
spoken; the compact cottage, the detached
cottage, the semi-detached cottage, speak for
themselves; but I am as much puzzled about
the simple cottage as about the simple house,
mansion, or villa. In my youth I had a
chimera of a cottage, and drew rude outlines
thereof on a slate. It had quadrangular tiles,
a window immediately above the door, palings
at the side, and smoke continually issuing
from its chimney. Its architecture was

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