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visitors who have paid their way to the
cabinet work.  You must think of the late
fair possessor, Lady Blessiugton, to give an
interest to their pathways.

The estate purchased by the
Commissioners for the site and grounds of the New
National Gallery includes those just
described, which consist of about twenty acres;
and it will probably, when all the purchases
are completed, approach to a hundred.
It widens as it goes south, and reaches to
Old Brompton.


About fifteen years ago a short iron-built
man used to balance a scaffold pole upon his
chin, to whizz a slop-basin round upon the
end of it, and to imitate fire-works with
golden balls and gleaming knives, in the
public streets of London, I am afraid his
genius was not rewarded in his own country;
for not long ago I saw him starring it in
Paris. As I stood by to watch his evolutions,
in the Champs Elysées, I felt a patriotic glow
when they were rewarded with the enthusiastic
applause of a very wide and thick ring
of French spectators.

There was one peculiarity in his performance
which distinguished him from French
open air artisteshe never spoke.
Possibly he was diffident of his French accent.
He simply uttered a grunt when he wished
to call attention to any extraordinary
perfection in his performance; in imitation
perhaps of the "La!—la! " of the prince of
French acrobats, Auriol. Whatever he
attempted he did well; that is to say, in a
solid, deliberate, thorough manner. His
style of chin-balancing, knife-catching, ball-
throwing, and ground and lofty tumbling,
was not so agile or flippant as that of
his French competitors, but he never
failed. On the circulation of his hat, the
French halfpence were dropped in with
great liberality.

As the fall of the curtain denotes the close
of a play, so the raising of the square of carpet
signifies the end of a juggler's performance;
and, when my old acquaintance had rolled up
his little bit of tapestry, and had pocketed
his sous, I accosted him "You are," I said,
"an Englishman?"

"That's right!" he observed, familiarly.

"What say you to a glass of something, and
a chat?"

"Say?" he repeated, with a very broad grin,
"why, yes, to be sure!"

The tumbler, with his tools done up in a
carpet-bag closed at the mouth with a bit of
rope, and your humble servant were speedily
seated in a neighbouring wine-shop.

"What do you prefer to drink?" I inquired.

"Cure-a-sore," he modestly answered.

The epicure! Quality and not quantity
was evidently his taste; a sign of, at least,
a sober fellow.

"You find yourself tolerably well off in

"I should think I did," he answered, smacking
his lips, "for I wos a wagabon in London;
but here I am a artiste!"

"A distinction only in name, I suspect."

"P'raps it is; but there's a good deal of
difference, mind you. In Ingland (I have
been a'most all over it) a feller in my
line is a wagabon. He don't take no
standing in society. He may be quiet, never
get into no trouble, and never give nobody
else none; but that don't help him. 'He gits
his livin' the streets,' they say, and that's
enough. Well, 'spose he does? he 'as to work
tremenjus hard for it?"

"His certainly cannot be an idle life."

"It just ain't; if they'd only let us alone;
but they won'tthem blessed Peelers I mean.
How would you like it'?" he continued,
appealing to me with as hard a look in the
face as if I had been his most implacable
enemy, "how would you like it, if you had
looked up a jolly good pitch, and a rig'lar
good comp'ny was a looking onat the west
end, in a slap up street, where there ain't no
thoroughfare and jist as you're a doin' the
basin, and the browns is a droppin' into the 'at,
up comes a Peeler. Then it's 'Move on!' You
must go;" he stared harder than ever, and
thumped his hand on the table: "I say you
must go and lose per'aps a pick up as 'u'd
keep you for a week. How would you like

"I should expostulate."

"Spostallate!—would you?" a slight curl of
the lip, expressive of contempt at my ignorance
of the general behaviour of policemen.
"Ah! if you say 'bo!' to a Peeler he pulls
you, and what's the consequence? Why,
a month at the Steel!"—which hard name
I understood to be given to the House of

"But the police are not unreasonable," I

"Well, p'raps some of 'em ain't," he
remarked, " but you can't pick out your policemen,
that's where it is."

"Do the police never interfere with you
here?" I asked.

"They used to it; and I've had to beg back
my traps more than once from the borough
of the Police Correctionell, as they call it;
but then that was 'cause I was hignorant of
the law. When they see that I could git
a 'onest living, an old cove in a cocked hat ses
he to me, ses he, 'You're a saltimbanc, you
are. Wery good. You go to the borough of
police for public morals, and the minister (not
a parson, mind you, but the 'ed hinspector),
if he's satisfied with your character he'll give
you a ticket."

"And did he?"

"Course he did; and I'm now one of the
reg'lar perfession. I ain't to be hinterfered
with; leastways, without I'm donkey enough
to go on the cross and be took up. That's

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