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to conceal from her that such things exist in
England as penny buns and pork-pies? Why
could not the terrified refreshment room have
been soothed and comforted and encouraged
to speak for itself? If it had said,"Please
your Majesty, I am the humble servant of
your Majesty's hungry subjects; and, as such,
I respectfully present myself for inspection
in my own useful work-a-day character"— if
it had said that, where would have been the

We know that the shareholders spent
money, on this occasion, and have spent it,
on many other occasions, with the idea of
pleasing the Queen. But, have they
sufficiently considered whether an expensive
transmogrification of a refreshment room
does give her pleasure? Can any man who
has looked at the apartments (at Windsor
Castle and elsewhere) in which the
Queen lives, suppose that the sight of those
tawdry nondescript trumpery four walls at
Peterborough really produced an agreeable
impression on her, or really reminded her in
the remotest degree of anything connected
with her own or any other royal residence?
We suggest that question to the shareholders
for future consideration; and we put it to
them, whether this wasteful expenditure on
temporary gew-gaws, on the one side, and
the riotous annual upbaidings of the directors,
on the other, can be expected to look
quite as sound as might be wished, in the
eyes of that portion of the public which
sees and thinks, in these matters, for itself?
Are we even quite sure that the Queen
who sees newspapers as well as transmogrified
refreshment roomsdoes not privately
make some such unfavourable comparison.

But let us leave examples, and put the
question, for the last time, on the broadest
and most general grounds. We say, and say
truly, that the Queen lives in the hearts of
her people. But looking to external signs
and tokens as exhibited by local
authorities, we should see so little difference
between a municipal reception of Queen
Victoria and a municipal reception of
Napoleon the Third, that we should be puzzled
judging only by the official proceedings in
each case—  to know which of the two was the
free ruler. There is, perhaps, a more perfect
uniformity of folly in the decorations on the
other side of the Channel; for, when the potent
monarch on that throne wants his triumphal
arches, illumination lamps, profile statues
pretending to be solid, and other second-rate
theatrical preparations, he sends down his
gracious orders for so many gross of them,
and they are turned out accordingly. But,
otherwise, a French mayor's or a French
railway director's way of receiving Louis
Napoleon and an English mayor's or English
railway director's way of receiving Queen
Victoria, are far too much alike. On this
ground only, if there were no other, it is
certainly desirable to alter our loyal
demonstrations for the better on the British side of
the Straits of Dover. The next time the
intelligent foreigner meets her Majesty on
her travels, let him be able to say, "They
manage these matters differently in England."
And let the New Reform Bill, if it be in want
of a sensible social clause to fill up with,
condescend to take a hint from these pages,
and introduce among its provisions some
such startling legislative novelty as this:

And Be It Enacted, That the good Sense of
the Country shall in future confidently trust
to the good Sense of the Queen; and that
no Cloud of Mayors, Upholsterers,
Scene-Painters, or the like, shall henceforth be
permitted to interpose between the next
Meeting of the Sovereign in her natural
Character, and of the People and all that
belongs to them, in their natural Characters.


It is not many years since the making of
a new street in the City of London swept
awayamong others of those old places
which our city can so ill afford to losethe
house and playground, of the Brewers'
School. My father was a stockbroker, and
he sent me to this school; not as one of the
foundation-boysof whom there were but
twelve, who were dressed in black gowns
but as the son of a gentleman who could pay
for my education. I wore a trencher-cap,
the only thing which distinguished me from
the foundation-boys; though I was very
proud of the distinction, as were all of the
commoners of the school, as we called
ourselves. Some boys lived in the master's
house; but I did not, for my home was but
a few streets distant. The boarders were all
grave boys, who moped about the dismal
playground, or sat on a stone coping, looking
through the rusty, paintless, weather-eaten
rails into the lane in which the
school-house stood;— a silent way, with grass
growing between its paving-stones, for it
was not a thoroughfare for horses, and few
foot-passengers could have business
thereabouts. I say the playground was a dismal
place, because it must have seemed so to
others, though it is pleasing to me to think of
it as it was in that time. It had been the
site of a church, and of a churchyard, too;
though the churchyard must have been very
small. The fire of London destroyed the
church, which was never re-built in the same
spot. The Brewers' School bought the plot
of ground, and erected its house upon part
of it soon after the fire. As in several other
such little vacant spaces in the city, a stone
tablet, under a fig-tree against the wall, still
told, in spite of soot and weather stains, that
"before ye dreadful fire " the Church of
Saint Margaret stood there.

We thought ourselves, as I have said, superior
to the foundation-boys, though we did not
object to play with them. Sometimes, however

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