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his "bags" as "despatches," under the care of
the Right Honourable Ignis Fatuus, removed
to Vienna.


SUFFERER! on thy couch of pain,
Hail the hour of ease again;
Long by mortal sickness tried,
By thy sufferings purified,
Heir of sorrow from thy birth,
Of the pains and throes of earth,
                       Fold thy hands!
Respite brief of ease and rest,
Fold them o'er thine aching breast.

Woman! o'er whose sunken eyes,
The last rushlight glimmer dies,
Lay thine ill-paid toil away,
Till the morrow's hungry day;
Seek the respite and release,
Heaven will give in dreams of peace.
                      Fold thy hands!
Earth denies thee food, not rest,
Fold them o'er thy patient breast!

Garment of a soul laid by,
Silent lips and rayless eye,
Now these mortal hands lay down,
Spade, or distaff, cross, or crown;
Freed one! fresh from care and strife,
Finished is thy sum of life;
                      Fold thy hands!
Ere thou seek'st thy long, last rest,
Fold them o'er thy pulseless breast!


Is the sweet little cherub who sits smiling
aloft and keeps watch on the life of Poor Jack,
commissioned to take charge of Mercantile Jack,
as well as Jack of the national navy? If not, who
is? What is the cherub about, and what are we
all about, when Poor Mercantile Jack is having
his brains slowly knocked out by pennyweights,
aboard the brig Beelzebub, or the bark Bowie-
knifewhen he looks his last at that infernal
craft, with the first officer's iron boot-heel in his
remaining eye, or with his dying body towed overboard
in the ship's wake, while the cruel wounds
in it do "the multitudinous seas incarnadine"?

Is it unreasonable to entertain a belief that if,
aboard the brig Beelzebub or the barque Bowie-
knife, the first officer did half the damage to
cotton that he does to men, there would
presently arise from both sides of the Atlantic so
vociferous an invocation of the sweet little cherub
who sits calculating aloft, keeping watch on the
markets that pay, that such vigilant cherub
would, with a winged sword, have that gallant
officer's organ of destructiveness out of his head
in the space of a flash of lightning?

If it be unreasonable, then I am the most
unreasonable of men, for I believe it with all iny soul.

This was my thought as I walked the dock-
quays at Liverpool, keeping watch on poor
Mercantile Jack. Alas for me! I have long
outgrown the state of sweet little cherub; but
there I was, and there Mercantile Jack was,
and very busy he was, and very cold he was:
the snow yet lying in the frozen furrows of the
land, and the north-east winds snipping off the
tops of the little waves in the Mersey, and rolling
them into hailstones to pelt him with.
Mercantile Jack was hard at it, in the hard
weather, as he mostly is in all weathers, poor
Jack. He was girded to ships' masts and
funnels of steamers, like a forester to a great
oak, scraping and painting; he was lying out
on yards, furling sails that tried to beat him off;
he was dimly discernible up in a world of giant
cobwebs, reefing and splicing; he was faintly
audible down in holds, stowing and unshipping
cargo; he was winding round and round at
capstans melodious, monotonous, and drunk; he
was of a diabolical aspect, with coaling for the
Antipodes; he was washing decks barefoot,
with the breast of his red shirt open to the
blast, though it was sharper than the knife in his
leathern girdle; he was looking over bulwarks,
all eyes and hair; he was standing by at
the shoot of the Cunard steamer, off to-morrow,
as the stocks in trade of several butchers,
poulterers, and fishmongers, poured down into the
ice-house; he was coming aboard of other
vessels, with his kit in a tarpaulin bag, attended
by plunderers to the very last moment of his
shore-going existence. As though his senses
when released from the uproar of the elements
were under obligation to be confused by other
turmoil, there was a rattling of wheels, a clattering
of hoofs, a clashing of iron, a jolting of
cotton and hides and casks and timber, an
incessant deafening disturbance, on the quays, that
was the very madness of sound. And as, in the
midst of it, he stood swaying about, with his hair
blown all manner of wild ways, rather crazedly
taking leave of his plunderers, all the rigging in
the docks was shrill in the wind, and every little
steamer coming and going across the Mersey was
sharp in its blowing off, and every buoy in the
river bobbed spitefully up and down, as if there
were a general taunting chorus of "Come along,
Mercantile Jack! Ill-lodged, ill-fed, ill-used,
hocussed, entrapped, anticipated, cleaned out.
Come along, Poor Mercantile Jack, and be
tempest-tossed till you are drowned!"

The uncommercial transaction which had
brought me and Jack together, was this; I had
entered the Liverpool police-force, that I might
have a look at the various unlawful traps which
are every night set for Jack. As my term of
service in that distinguished corps was short,
and my personal bias in the capacity of one of its
members has ceased, no suspicion will attach to
my evidence that it is an admirable force.
Besides that it is composed, without favour, of the
best men that can be picked, it is directed by an
unusual intelligence. Its organisation against
Fires, I take to be much better than the
metropolitan system, and in all respects it tempers its
remarkable vigilance with a still more remarkable

Jack had knocked off work in the docks some
hours, and I had taken, for purposes of
identification, a photograph-likeness of a thief,
in the portrait-room at our head police-office
(on the whole, he seemed rather complimented