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more disgraceful than the attempts on the part of the united societies to obtain a practical monopoly in this particular labour market. The last report has the following illiberal passage :— "The streets are now so crowded with disorderly shoeblacks unconnected with any society, that the committee have great difficulty in establishing any fresh stations, and even in maintaining some of their old ones. In the Bill now before Parliament for the Traffic Regulation of the Metropolis, a clause has been introduced which will give the police greater powers for regulating all street shoe-blacks, and protecting the public from annoyance."

Here is penny wise and pound foolish management with a vengeance, and a noteworthy example of the selfishness often underlying sentimental trading. While ninety-nine boots out of a hundred go unpolished in the streets, it is evident that the Society's boys are not capable of doing all the work in the market. Those who desert from the ranks of the association, and those who start to get an honest living out of a brush and blacking-bottle without ever joining the Society, have a very good reason for their conduct. Speaking to one of the former boys the other day, I asked him why he no longer wore the red livery.

"Left 'em, sir," he said.

"What for?" I asked.

"A good many things. I can go to work a hour earlier than they goes, an' work ever so much later."

"And the police-do they move you on ?"

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Magna Charta was, of course, not signed for such a poor social atom as this, and the British Constitution was only made for his betters. Still there is something that sets the blood boiling when such boys are roughly "moved on," and driven from fair, open, honest work to skulking and stealing. Scarcely a day passes that I do not walk half a dozen miles through the London streets, and I am particularly interested in watching the "opposition" shoeblacks. Taking them altogether, as far as my own observation goes, I have found them as steady and well-conducted as the Society's boys, and they represent a far more wholesome trading principle. The reports of the Society on this head are narrow-minded and short-sighted. The Jack Cadeism * This choice specimen of over-legislation is now law.

which attempts to fix the price of shoe-cleaning at one penny, becomes eminently protective and uncharitable when it speaks of its competitors. The Society talks vaguely of the evils which have resulted, not merely to the liveried boys, but to the opposition boys themselves, and to the public at large, from the increased swarms of vagrant shoeblacks who infest the streets under the pretence of earning a living. Such a statement as this is full of falsehood, unfounded assumptions, and error. The boys are not vagrants, and they do earn a living by shoe-blacking. The public are not injured, and even if they were, they know very well how to protect themselves without the aid of an interested society. A loud and constant call for legislative interference is always made by such advocates, without any regard to individual liberty. "Those," they say, in a former report, "who are most interested in the shoeblack movement foresee that, unless measures be taken to protect those who are quietly pursuing their business, and to repress the unruly conduct of others, the whole occupation may become so full of danger to the morals of the boys and of nuisance to the public, that, notwithstanding the benefits which would follow if it was properly regulated, its suppression may become an unfortunate necessity."

Such writing as this might be put forward by the old omnibus interest, to show the propriety of destroying all competitors. Our boots on our legs are surely our own, and we can put them into the hands of any one we please. The pleasures and advantages of Government regulation in any branch of industry have been tested before to-day, and found wanting. We all know that cabs and Parliamentary trains are the slowest, dearest, and the dirtiest of our travelling vehicles.

The committee of the Central Society certainly deserve credit for trying to give effect to what they preach, by obstinate attempts to obtain legislative enactments for their own benefit. As they were in 1857, so they are in 1867.

As all shoe-blacks, however, cannot be first filtered through a ragged school before they find their way to the streets-and it is not generally considered well that they should be so filtered-the Society had better devote all its care to its internal management, instead of writing protectionist letters to the Home Secretary. At present, it appears to draw about eight pounds sterling every year from each boy, and one boy out of two seems to be dissatisfied with this arrangement. If it is to keep such a position amongst sentimental trading associations as its friends could wish, it must be more benevolent to its supporters, and more charitable to its opponents.

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And th' King o' th' Sky

In her lap doth lie

When she sitteth at her door.

Her shoulder is curved like an eagle's wing

When he riseth on his way,

And my two little maids

They lay in braids

Her dark locks, day by day.

Her heart in the folds of her kerchief,
It doth not fall nor rise,

And afar I wait

At her royal gate,

And I love her with my eyes!

Now you that are wise in love-lore,
Come teach your arts to me,
For each of the darling damsels
Is as sweet as she can be!
And if I wed with Charlamine
Of the airy little feet,
I shall sicken and sigh,

I shall droop and die,

For my gentle Marguerite! And if I wed with Marguerite, Whom I so much adore,

I shall long to go

From her hand of snow

To my Lady Heleanore! And if I wed with Heleanore, Whom with my eyes I love, 'Gainst all that is right,

In my own despite,

I shall false and faithless prove.

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I AM not long for this world: don't be alarıned, I mean this world of Nookside, Sussex. I took out the pony-chaise on two days when my lady particularly wanted it, and wanted it suddenly. She drives out (having learnt this art of Aunt Rachel, mind you) all alone. I have been twice with her at the wish of the Governor; but then she made the drives very short. When she goes out alone, she'll be away for three or four hours. My uncle, who has become nervous, fidgety, and is far from well, seldom accompanies her, spending most of his day in his study. He has quite given up practising, and I believe is writing a treatise on medicine: I think it is more likely to be on domestic economy.

He has ordered me never to take out the trap without asking her permission. 'Pon my soul, this is drivelling. The rain has stopped: I shall go out for a good stretch, and get rid of my anger.

(The same continued in the evening.)

I am bothered. Listen. Walking past a farmer's house (Worley's, a great fisherman, by the way), old Worley was trying a new horse. He asked me if I'd like to ride him. Preferring the beast's society to my own, I accepted the offer, mounted him, and made for the foot of the Downs, by Budgeley (you know the country), and then up the hill to Falcon Ring: here there's a good three-mile gallop, and a narrow descent through a coppice, into a plantation, where, just on the border of the bridle-road, which takes you into the main road a mile lower down, stands a small inn, a sort of shebeen in fact, frequented, I suppose, by harvesters and gamekeepers. A little bit of an out-of-the-way place. As I descended the soft sandy way cautiously, I heard voices, some stragglers from a pic-nic party, perhaps; another step proved to me that I was about to break in upon a desperate flirtation, so I snapped a bough in two, and gave a decided cough. I heard

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