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from one to the other, and on to the city, along
which people are passing and repassing like
ants, but I nowhere see a horse, or anything
on wheels. They carry everything themselves,
upon a bamboo pole. Regular tea-chest-looking
labourers are bobbing for frogs in the holes of
the paddy fields; and a little boy and a tall man
are going off towards the mountains. Just so
might Aladdin have started with his assumed
uncle to find the wonderful lamp of that most
charming of all our boyhood's tales.

We dined that day in the great Buddhist hall
of the joss-house, enormous idols looking on with
gilt stupidity at our proceedings. It is not a
"Chinese dinner" by any means. We have
excellent Shanghae mutton, although rather
tough, for, in this climate everything must be
eaten a few hours after it is killed; we have also
vermicelli soupdown in the city, perhaps, it
would be made with real wormsand we have
some little fowls, small and thin enough for
Vauxhall, but here they are fourpence each
instead of four shillings, as whilom at that
mouldy old temple of unamusing extortion. So,
with claret, maderia, and pale ale, we do not
altogether starve.

Mr. Commissioner Parkes promises that
tomorrow he will take me " all over Canton."
But his head is worth a thousand dollars, even
now, up at Pekin; so I am to come with my
revolver, and the officers at the Engineers' quarters
will lend me anything else. And I am first to
breakfast with them, for they want me to see
their treasures. They have a fighting goose
there, that can thrash two turkeys, and, as they
will all three be eaten in as many days, I must
not lose the chance. They have also loot, and
curios; and a fresh tub of beer, with a pewter
mug to drink it out offancy that! so that we
are not so badly off, after all, as we might be
in some awfully respectable London houses,
where malt is taboo'dat least before company.
Once, dining with some people who lived by
this rule, and in frightful awe of what the
world thought of them, I asked for beer.
The calm, cold falsehood which informed me that
"there was none in the house" was a thing to
recollect. Which I did, for, being at an evening
party shortly afterwards, in the same
establishment, I got the link-man to bring me a
pint of half-and-half from the neighbouring
public-house, and I left the pewter measure at
the foot of a Hebe on the staircase, just before
the first and important detachment of guests
came rustling down to supper.

I went to bed betimes in the joss-house that
night, for I had gone through a tiring day. I
slept on a cane sofa in the balcony, with a light
muslin mosquito tent over me. One by one the
lights in the great city at my feet were
extinguishedthe challenges of the sentinels died
away, and a silence so deep that it amounted
almost to oppression, reigned over Canton.
Then the moon rose behind Houan, throwing the
pagodas and yamuns into bold relief; but I
could still make out the little specks of light and
hear the bells marking the time on the ships in
the river. I did not sleep wellheat, excitement,
and novelty all combined to keep me
awake by fits and starts till the silence was
broken by the English drums and fifes playing
the réveil, and the sunlight flashed over the
panorama with tropical rapidity, lighting up at
once the entire view.


ONCE upon a time I was one of the pale faces
who studied physic at St. Poultice's, and had
registered my name in a certain book at the
hospital as candidate for the privilege of helping
infant paupers over their first trouble in the
world. A scrap of paper ordered me to Saffron-
hill upon a summer's night, when there was a
bright moon on the still sea far away, on the
green corn, and on the river flowing down from
among quiet meadows to the city asleep in its
dirt. Silver came down from heaven even among
the hawkers who were still at work in Leather-
lane, but they were none the richer for it. There
was an outcry of traders and quarrellers, a
hubbub, and a throng of eager, hungry, filthy
life. The gin-shops glared their welcome on each
side. About the door of one there was a
crowd intent upon a quarrel between angry
women; ballad-singers wailed their comic songs,
in rivalry with bands and solitary fiddles, dip
candles in paper lanterns flickered over unwholesome
shell-fish, fruit, sweetmeats, miserable
trinkets; vegetable trucks strewed the road and
the foul pavement with their refuse. I elbowed
my way through the crowd, escaped down a by-
street into the mere stoniness of Hatton-garden,
a desert of private houses, then decaying into
offices and shops. A wretched thoroughfare at
the end, now runs over the side of the old
garden wall; yet once turf yellow with crocuses
flourished just outside it, upon Saffron-hill.

I was but a boy, and might be pardoned for a
shudder at my work. The place was and is
wretched. There was green dirt overrunning
from the kennel, black dirt about all the doorways,
grey dirt on the windows or the bits of
paper or the bundles of old rag thrust into
window-frames, yellow dirt on every haggard
face. Bony young children, late as it was, were
in the road. Gaunt women were scolding, as I
suppose there always are, who scold all night and
all day, in their doorways. Drunken men were
swearing home to bed, and one of them was
lying at length in the gutter. There were not
many lights in the windows, except those of a
few ghastly and cavernous little shops; but one
light at an upper window helped me to assurance
ot the house I was to enter.

Up a sooty staircase, by a room into which
there struggled just enough of moonlight to
show eight or ten men, women, and children
huddled on the floor, and all, except one drunken
girl, asleep, I found the way to my patient. Let
me call her Mrs. Part. She was a large, red
womanI, a white little chit of a student.
The public should remember that an hospital