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When others played, she stole apart
In pale and shadowy quiet ,
Too full of care was her child heart
For laughter running riot.

Hard lot for such a tender life,
And miserable guerdon;
But like a womanly wee wife,
She bravely bore her burden.

One wintry day they wanted wood
When need was at the sorest;
Poor Pearl, without a bit of food,
Must up and to the forest.

But there she sank down in the snow,
All over numbed and aching:
Poor little Pearl, she cried as though
Her very heart was breaking.

The blinding snow shut out the house
From little Pearl so weary;
The lonesome wind among the boughs
Moaned with its warnings eerie.

To little Pearl a Child-Christ came,
With footfall light as fairy;
He took her hand, he called her name,
His voice was sweet and airy.

His gentle eyes filled tenderly
With mystical wet brightness:
"And would you like to come with me,
And wear this robe of whiteness?"

He bore her bundle to the door,
Gave her a flower when going:
*' My darling, I shall come once more,
When the little bud is blowing."

Home very wan came little Pearl,
But on her face strange glory:
They only thought, " What ails the girl?"
And laughed to hear her story.

Next morning mother sought her child,
And clasped it to her bosom;
Poor little Pearl, in death she smiled,
And the rose was full in blossom.


HAVING occasion to transact some business
with a solicitor who occupies a highly suicidal
set of chambers in Gray's Inn, I afterwards took
a turn in the large square of that stronghold
of Melancholy, reviewing, with congenial
surroundings, my experiences of Chambers.

I began, as was natural, with the Chambers
I had just left. They were an upper set on a
rotten staircase, with a very mysterious bunk or
bulkhead on the landing outside them, of a
rather nautical and Screw Collier-like appearance
than otherwise, and painted an intense
black. Many dusty years have passed, since
the appropriation of this Davy Jones's locker
to any purpose, and during the whole period
within the memory of living man, it has been
hasped and padlocked. I cannot quite satisfy
my mind whether it was originally meant for
the reception of coals, or bodies, or as a place
of temporary security for the plunder " looted"
by laundresses; but I incline to the last
opinion. It is about breast-high, and usually
serves as a bulk for defendants in reduced
circumstances to lean against and ponder at, when
they come on the hopeful errand of trying to
make an arrangement without moneyunder
which auspicious circumstances it mostly happens
that the legal gentleman they want to see, is
much engaged, and they pervade the staircase
for a considerable period. Against this opposing
bulk, in the absurdest manner, the tomb-like
outer door of the solicitor's chambers (which is
also of an intense black) stands in dark ambush,
half open and half shut, all day. The solicitor's
apartments are three in number; consisting of
a slice, a cell, and a wedge. The slice is
assigned to the two clerks, the cell is occupied by
the principal, and the wedge is devoted to stray
papers, old game baskets from the country, a
washing-stand, and a model of a patent Ship's
Caboose which was exhibited in Chancery at
the commencement of the present century on an
application for an injunction to restrain
infringement. At about half-past nine on every
week-day morning, the younger of the two
clerks (who, I have reason to believe, leads the
fashion at Pentonville in the articles of pipes
and shirts)  may be found knocking the dust out
of his official door-key on the bunk or locker
before mentioned; and so exceedingly subject
to dust is his key, and so very retentive of that
superfluity, that in exceptional summer weather
when a ray of sunlight has fallen on the locker
in my presence, I have noticed its inexpressive
countenance to be deeply marked by a kind of
Bramah erysipelas or small-pox.

This set of chambers (as I have gradually
discovered, when I have had restless occasion to make
inquiries or leave messages, after office hours) is
under the charge of a lady, in figure extremely like
an old family-umbrella, named Sweeney: whose
dwelling confronts a dead wall in a court off
Gray's Inn-lane, and who is usually fetched into
the passage of that bower, when wanted, from,
some neighbouring home of industry which has
the curious property of imparting an inflammatory
appearance to her visage. Mrs. Sweeney
is one of the race of professed laundresses, and
is the compiler of a remarkable manuscript
volume entitled " Mrs. Sweeney's Book," from
which much curious statistical information may
be gathered respecting the high prices and small
uses of soda, soap, sand, firewood, and other
such articles. I have created a legend in
my mindand consequently I believe it with
the utmost pertinacitythat the late Mr.
Sweeney was a ticket-porter under the Honourable
Society of Gray's Inn, and that, in
consideration of his long and valuable services,
Mrs. Sweeney was appointed to her present post.
For, though devoid of personal charms, I have
observed this lady to exercise a fascination
over the elderly ticket-porter mind (particularly
under the gateway, and in corners and entries),
which I can only refer to her being one of the
fraternity, yet not competing with it. All that need
be said concerning this set of chambers, is said,
when I have added that it is in a large double
house in Gray's Inn-square, very much out of
repair, and that the outer portal is ornamented
in a hideous manner with certain stone remains,
which have the appearance of the dismembered
bust, torso, and limbs, of a petrified bencher.