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events, at one altar, and to another Madonna,
good for influencing a different sort of matters,
at another altar.


MY godfathers and godmothers at my baptism
gave me the cognomen of Johnmy whole name
is simply John Mooner, not a hard name to
write, or read when written; also, I should think
and I am an unprejudiced mannot hard to
remember, but, what is easy for many, seems, in
certain localities, by no means so. I am
addicted to grumbling, so my wife says, and that
excellent woman is always rightat least so
she makes out. I may have an opinion of my
own on the subject, but that is neither here nor
there. I won't deny that I have my grievances,
and feel that the only vent for them is by
grumbling; besides, it's my privilege; I enjoy it
in common with every Englishman, and it is not
one that I feel disposed to give up. Now, I
have had something on my mind for a very
considerable time. Mrs. Mooner says she is tired
of hearing about it; the subject is interdicted at
the family breakfast-table, and I feel that my
only resource is to make public the great wrong
that I have suffered, and I am certain that the
justice of my complaint will be acknowledged by
every one!

Not a long time ago business took me to town,
and, hoping to be able to return to the country
almost immediately, I put up at the Great
Centrifugal Railway Hotel, of which I had heard
much, and I considered it would suit my purpose
very well for the limited period of my stay in
London. I arrivedengaged a room, the
number of which was 186sent my luggage up,
and started on my businessfound that I should
have to remain a couple of days at least, but,
congratulating myself on getting into such good
quarters, rather rejoiced than otherwise! I
strolled into the coffee-room at about one
o'clock, looked around for anything in the shape
of a waiter, but not a soul was to be seen! I
am a stout man, require a good deal of nourishment,
and as regularly as the sun goes round
the earth so do I, at half-past one, have a mutton
chop and a pint bottle of beer. But on the
present occasion I gazed at what I may term
vacancy. Finely painted walls, covered with
representations of vases of flowers, fruits, game
of all sorts, hanging up most temptingly within
reach; magnificent damsels in not too much
clothing, with unmeaning smiles on their faces,
which seemed to invite one to partake of the
delicacies of which they apparently were the
guardian angels; enormous windows, with not
much of a look out, though; tables, chairs,
knives and forks, tumblers and napkins, with
all the usual array commonly seen in a respectable
coffee-room; but there were no attendants,
and I suppose I may ask, without appearing
cynical, what earthly use all these fine things
are when I can't get any one to bring me what
I want. If I had not been hungry I might have
enjoyed all this display, but, being so, its only
effectt on me was to increase my appetite, and, as
I had only had a cup of tea and a bit of toast
at about half-past seven, I considered that I had
a perfect right to something more substantial
at half-past one. Of course, it's always the way,
I had no time to get anything fit to eat when I left
home. Mrs. Mooner did not make her appearance
till ten minutes before I left, and when I
ventured to complain, told me I was always
grumbling, and if I had only told her the night before
that I was going by the early train, everything
would have oeen ready, and as it was, she did not
know I was going at all! I told her in reply that
she ought to have known, and that any wife of
common sense would have done so! Grumbling,
indeed! I think I may well grumble.

I now tried the bells, and went round the
room pulling them one by one, as each seemed
to fail in bringing any waiter up. I have reason
to believe that they were constructed on a new
principle, for when pulled, they, instead of
sounding a good peal, gave out but one solitary
ting! and, after keeping pretty well at this
fatiguing work, I began to wish myself fairly
back with Mrs. Mooner. I found out afterwards
that there was not the slightest objection
to any one ringingnot the slightest! You
might ring as of ten as you liked; but as to
anything like an answer to the summons that was
another thing! Eventually an individual in a
white tie sidled up, asking if I had rung. Too
hungry to waste words, and bridling my impatience,
I simply remarked that I had applied my
digits fourteen times to the white nobs stuck in
the walls, and should feel glad if something could
be brought immediately. Waiter asks for my
number. " Number!" said I; " what number?"

"Number of your room, sir?"

"Oh, 186. Mr. Mooner." He rapidly
retires to a side door, and informs some one who
is shrouded in a most mysterious darkness, that
"186 'ull take p'nt bottle o' beer, mutt'n chop,
'nd pertaties." Mark this, I beg! Not Mr.
Mooner would take this or that but 186! I
waited no less than twenty-three and a half
minutes before it was brought, and then the
chop was raw, and the potatoes like brick-bats!
Satisfactory, certainly; but what was the use of
complaining? My eye fell on a "carte."
Mechanically taking it up, I read at the foot a
notice to the effect that, if any one was kept
waiting more than a quarter of an hour after
ordering anything, would they kindly inform the
manager? Of course I wouldhe should hear
all about it. And I dare say I might have done
something in that way, but I perceived the
room was full, and almost every one was in
much the same plight as myself, so I bottled
my anger, and, walking out, inquired of the
hall porter if there were any letter for me?

"186, I think, sir? No; there's none." I
thought that he probably did not know my
name, though, as he was well informed as to my
number, he ought to have done so; however, I left
my card, and went out. On my return, I was met
at the door by the same individual, who began,

"186. 1 think, sir" (he always said "I think,