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immoderately, his dog barking at me all the
time. I didn't see so much to laugh at as all
thisit was absurd. Did not feel that I
quite understood Arrowsmith. But he had
always been a curious sort of a fellow.

After some desultory conversation, I told
Arrowsmith I had quite determined to go to
the Diggings, and that I should like exceedingly
to make one of his party, and to go in
the same ship with him.

"Dixon," said he, shaking me by the hand
with a smile, "you shall be welcome to a
corner in my tent; you are, I know, a
goodhearted, honourable young fellow; you will
be tolerably strong after a few weeks' training,
and as you have seen nothing of life, and
the worldbeyond London life, and the dull
routine of a silversmith's shopa trip to
Australia will enlarge your experience, if it
does nothing more. Lose no time, if you wish
to go in the Rodneyrig. As for outfitters,
one house is about as good as another; and
as for tools and appurtenances, one house is
about as bad as another, because as I said
before, scarcely anybody knows what is
wanted, or can calculate for changes. You
will let me hear how you get on. I must
now wish you good morning, for," said he
(taking up the paper of figures from the
chimney-piece, which I had fancied were
engineering calculations), "I have a rather
long washing bill to settle before I go out
this morning."

I walked homewards very thoughtfully.
I did not much relish the remark about the
shop; and yet it was true enough. A "trip"
to Australia, too, sounded strangely. I was
not much impressed with Arrowsmith's
qualifications as a leader. The important question
of outfit seemed to me to be treated by him
with a great deal too much levity; and as to
what he said about tools and implements as
mere matters of speculation, I could not help
arriving at the conclusion that he was
mystifying me, that he did intend to speculate
himself, and largely too; and perhapsfor
such is human naturethat he did not wish
to have a rival in the market. I wondered
how much money my aunt would advance for
my outfit. All depended upon that, as to
what I should do in this respect.


"WHAT is this smell?" "Oh it's the
leather."—"But what is that other smell?"
"Oh, that's the glue!"

Two million olfactory organs, mostly belonging
to Her Majesty's subjects, are annually
troubled with a visitation of a peculiar kind;
and two million owners of those organs
(more or less) annually exchange such
questions and answers as the above, in
respect to that visitation. It would not be
safe to assert that the number is accurately
two millions, or that it does not vary like
other mundane things, from time to time;
but the assertion may be hazarded, that
nearly all the passengers by the Greenwich
Railway are sensibly reminded of the possession
of certain nerves, subject to a kind of
titillation when excited by odours. There
are mysterious roofs, chimneys, wooden
erections, and open yards in the Bermondsey
district, through which this railway passes,
not very loveable to look upon, nor embalmed
in sweet perfumes. Bermondsey, thereupon,
acquires a dubious character in the minds of
those who fly through it on the top of those
innumerable brick arches, and who have not
time to inquire into its more solid

If the reader will make one in a tour to
Bermondsey, we will start from London
Bridge, which may be taken as the extreme
north-west limit of that region. We begin
betimes in the morning, and at once
encounter on the bridge sundry men and
women, laden with large, sturdy bundles of
bags and baggings, with which they are
trotting along at a tolerably smart pace. The
who, the what, and the what for, respecting
these people and their bags, show that
Bermondsey and its immediate vicinity
have need of more canvas bags than any
other district in the Metropolis. This
demand gives rise to a busy trade of bag-making.
There are so many corn-merchants
on both sides of the Thames, so many
hop-merchants in the Borough, so many
wool-merchants in Bermondsey, and so many bags
and sacks are required for the corn and
hops and wool, that the making of these
adjuncts gives employment to a very considerable
number of poor people. The manufacturers
or sellers have their warehouses
mostly to the north of the bridge, but the
actual stitchers live in the poor streets of
Bermondsey; and the carrying of the canvas
in one direction, and of the made bags in the
other, is part of the duty of the bag-stitchers,
who mostly have to take London Bridge in
their way. This is one link in the
Bermondsey chain.

We will next descend the forty or fifty steps
at the foot of the bridge, and plunge at once
into the water-side region connected with the
coasting trade. It has very much of a
Wapping character about it; yet it is not
without sights and sounds, and odours,
belonging peculiarly to itself. Tooley Street
(a name, as antiquaries assure us, growing out
of a corruption of St. Olave Street) is mostly
a street of shopkeepers; but, if we turn down
any of the crooked, crabbed openings on the
left, such as Mill Lane, or Morgan Lane, or
Stoney Lane, we get fairly among the wharfs
and warehouses. And a strange region they
make. The street rejoicing in the name of
"Pickle Herring," and its eastern neighbour
"Shad Thames," do occasionally succeed in
getting a gleam of sunshine; but they have
to struggle for it, with the granaries on the
one side and the warehouses on the other.

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