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little house that would accommodate a married
couple and a baby, with one servant, might
be had in a London suburb for the price we
determined upon paying. I appeal to any
countryman and ask, would he not himself
have thought so.

There was a little row of semi-detached
dwarf villas, near our lodgings, which we
thought might hold us; I being short, the
baby not large, and a servant we might
make it our business to find, if requisite, of
a size small enough to fit the rooms. They
were dull places to be sure, and very much
out of the way; among unknown new streets
facing a road that was not yet properly made;
being partly flint, partly mud, and chiefly
oyster shells. The houses were obviously very
slight; but there was a bit of garden to each,
and there was a tidiness about the fashion of
them by which we were pleased. A board in
front of them bade us apply to Mr. Brixell,
estate agent, at a given address. I resolved to
call upon Mr. Brixell. "What," I asked,
"might the rent be of those little houses?"
"Fifty guineas," he replied. Quietly setting
down the landlord as a lunatic, I said that
such a sum was more than I desired to pay,
explained my wish for any neat little house
with enough rooms in it for a married
couple, a baby and a servant, and my belief
that thirty pounds ought to supply such a
want. Mr. Brixell, with a virtuous look, told
me that he had no dealings with regard to
houses under fifty pounds rental, and placed
his hand on the knob of the door; through
which I quietly disappeared.

I travelled early the next morning to the
chief local house agent of Kensington New
Town, and begged to be informed of any
small house vacant in that district that would
let at about thirty-five pounds a year. I
had abandoned hope of finding anything at
thirty. The agent answered me as if I were
a beggar, that he had nothing for me; and I
went away. Presently, passing by a very
humble looking undertaker's shop, with which
a small business of house agency appeared to
be connected, I thought that I would make
inquiry there; but was retorted upon sharply
by a small man in Hessian boots and a
black waistcoat with black sleeves, who
informed me that there was nothing under forty
pounds on the "estate."

Changing the scene, I tried the neighbourhood
of Paddington; and, having been asked
eighty pounds for the first house I ventured
to enquire about, went to Bakesly and
Wagg's Agency Office, where I saw the chief
clerk;—an old woman. She gave me a couple
of printed tickets, which entitled me to view
two houses, one in a terrace and the other in
a row. The terrace I found to exist only on
the ticket. It consisted for the present of the
one house built far away out in the fields;
where, if we lived, the Forty Thieves might
get at us, and never need to chalk the door lest
they should miss it when they came again.
The house in the Row was mean, dreary and
dirty.—I visited more houses and saw more
agents. The agents made it evident, even
when they were most polite, that they
considered a respectably dressed person asking
for a house at thirty-five pounds a year to
be doing a mean action. I was told that
I should not easily get what I wanted;
although indeed there were such houses; and
sometimes they passed through their books.
If they cared to say more than that, they
advised me to pay forty or fifty pounds for a
house larger than I wanted, and to let part
of it.

"When you do that," said one of them,
"you may count upon five pounds as ten."

"I don't understand," I said.

He replied blandly that every five pounds
extra rent paid to a landlord, was equivalent
to ten pounds extra rent got for unfurnished
apartments from a lodger.

I am an irritable man, and the word lodger
vexed me. I own I used a strong word. The
agent shrugged his shoulders, and said surely
there could be no harm in letting lodgings.
"There is no harm," I said, "in letting
blood; but I am not a leech and my wife is
not a landlady!" I walked away in boiling
dudgeon. Shall my darling little Suffolk
beauty ever become mistress of a lodging-
house? Shall she bring her mind to learn an
infamous science; and forestall and regrate
every article that passes the street-door on
its way to her lodgers? Will it ever come
to pass that my angel shall concoct fraudulent
tariffs of tea, butter, eggs, and oysters? Shall
that sylph-like form batten upon clandestine
pork-chops and upon porter secretly
abstracted from first-floors' or front-parlours'
cellarets? Shall the innocent cherub now
smiling in her cradle, be bred up in arts of
prying and deceit? Shall she be taught to
read back drawing-rooms' letters by the aid
of dessert knives? Shall Adeliza be trained
to watch single gentlemen out of doors, in
order that the maternal teapot may be
enriched with extra scoops of seven-and-six-
penny green, or the paternal cigar case
replenished out of unlocked boxes of choice
Regalias? Never!

Another house agent, who advertised in his
window that he had on his books houses
renting from thirty pounds upwards, told me,
to my joy, that he had then on hand a house
at thirty-two, the very thing for me. He
gave me its address. I went at once. The
outside was well-looking, the house new;
being one of a new row. Those houses that
were tenanted seemed to have dirty tenants;
but I did not mind that. We should know
how to be clean. I entered. Nice parlours,
nice rooms above, and very nice rooms above
that; the floors all planned to be let to
lodgers, and the rooms made duly spacious
and attractive. But I could not find the
kitchen. I had seen a very small back-parlour
with a copper in it little larger than a stew-

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