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evening, during the winter months, medical
soirées, where matters germane to the scalpel
and lancet were pleasantly discussed over
coffee and muffins, I think I have named all
that Leicester Square offers of remarkable
historically speaking. I am not aware that
any nobleman ever had his head cut off here ;
that Lord Rochester ever said anything witty
from any of its balconies; or that any patriot,
from Jack Cade to Mr. Hunt, ever addressed
British freeholders within its precincts.

The diameter I proposed to myself is
well-nigh completed; but there is yet the
centre of my self-traced circle to be visited.
I shall say no more of Mr. Wyld's globe, save
that it is a very excellent vivâ voce course of
lessons in geography. I will not touch upon
the bazaar that was to have been built there
once; but I must, for the benefit of my
untravelled readers, say a word about the
centre of the square before it was built upon.

Where now is a lofty dome was once, oh
neophyte in London, a howling desert enclosed
by iron railings. There was no grass, but
there was a feculent, colourless vegetation like
mildewed thatch upon a half-burnt cottage.
There were no gravel walks, but there were
sinuous gravelly channels and patches, as if
the cankerous earth had got the mange.
There were rank weeds heavy with soot.
There were blighted shrubs like beggars'
staves or paralytic hop-poles. There were
shattered marble vases like bygone chemists'
mortars which had lost their pestles, half
choked with black slimy mould like
preparations for decayed blisters. The earth
brought forth crops, but they were crops
of shattered tiles, crumbling bricks, noseless
kettles, and soleless boots. The shrubs had
on their withered branches, strange fruits
battered hats of antediluvian shape, and
oxidised saucepan lids. The very gravel was
rusty and mixed with fragments of willow
pattern plates, verdigrised nails, and spectral
horseshoes. The surrounding railings, rusty,
bent, and twisted as they were, were few and
far between. The poor of the neighbourhood
tore them out by night, to make pokers of. In
the centre, gloomy, grimy, rusty, was the
statue I have mentionedmore hideous (if
such a thing may be) than the George the
Fourth enormity in Trafalgar Squaremore
awful than the statue of the Commendatore
in Don Giovanni.

There were strange rumours and legends
current in Leicesterian circles concerning this
enclosure. Men told, holding their breath,
of cats run wild in its thickets, and grown as
large as leopards. There was no garden, and
if any man possessed a key to the enclosure,
he was too frightened to use it. People spoke
of a dragon, a ghoule, a geni, who watched
over the square, and for some fell purpose
kept it desolate. Some said, the statue was
the geni; but in 1851, when the Globe was
proposed, he showed himself to the world,
howled dismally, and did furious battle to
keep his beloved Square intact in all its
ruin and desolation. This 'geni, or dragon's
name was, if I remember right, Vested


                THE GREAT DO.

I SOLEMNLY protest against the Marseille
route to Italy, or to anywhere else (unless,
perhaps, you pack yourself up with the
outward India mail); and I am now writing
these lines in the best hotel at Marseilles.

Let me begin at the beginning;—in Paris.
In the morning I go to the Lyons railway
station called Lyons as a harmless
pleasantry, for it goes no further than Châlons
to learn how I am to get to Marseilles,
and I am referred to an agreeable gentleman
of lively manners, seated in a species of rabbit
hutch, inscribed Enquiry Office. I take off
my hat to the agreeable gentleman, and
receive his salutation in return. This is the
Gallic substitute for smoking the pipe of
peace; and must be gone through if you wish
to get anything out of a Frenchman.

"When can I get to Marseilles?"

"Monsieur can go to Marseilles when he
pleases," replies the agreeable gentleman;
who, discerning by instinct that I am an
Englishman, appears to expect good sport for
a few minutes, to enliven the monotony of his
rabbit hutch. "That depends entirely upon

"I wish to go at once." The agreeable
gentleman is desolated that no train will start
before ten minutes to eight in the evening
an express train.

"Well, when shall I arrive?"—"Ah,
Monsieur, to-day is Monday. Let us see, to-day is
Monday." After a pause, in which I continue
resolutely to look notes of interrogation, the
agreeable gentleman finally assures me that
if it were summer he should be able to tell me
unfortunately, however, it is January. But
be knows a good hotel at Châlons, where the
irain stops. Indeed, he has a few cards of
that excellent hotel about him; and presents
me with one, assuring me that I shall find
surpassing accommodation in it. I take my
leave chiefly in consequence of the agreeable
gentleman returning to the study of one of
Paul de Kock's instructive romances.

It is evening; I have left the gay part of
Paris far behind me, its lights, and its
boulevards; the brilliant cafés of the Palais
Royal, and the palaces of the Place de la
Concorde. I am going in a cab to a dismal
suburb in which the railway station may be
found by any one who has a good organ of
locality. Presently a sudden halt and a sharp
jerk bring all my luggage on my favourite corn.

"Well, we are not yet at the station?"

"No; but Monsieur will have the kindness
  to pay me."

"But I can't carry these things to the

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