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At least, if the emperor has sinned deeply,
he has at last suffered deeply, and he may
yet live to suffer more.


IN the present unhappy quarrel, it has
been urged from the German side, that on
our part a benevolent neutrality has been
wanting. The truth is, our unfortunate
allies, the French, have but too much
reason to complain of our coldness, and
whatever justification may be urged for our
abstention up to the present moment, it is
now high time to abandon our selfish
indifference, and come forward with substantial
assistance. The question will of course
arise, what shape this must take; and the
jealous temper of our friends, the
Germans, may start some nice points as to
whether this necessary interference may
not amount to substantial aid, and thus
bring international lawyers and other
authorities into the field. But a sense of
compassion for the unlucky French
victimised, browbeaten, bulliedcalls on us,
by the voice of common humanity, to come
forward, and careless of what the exultant
Prussians may think, to do our duty
honestly, and assert the old alliance.

Leading shopkeepers of what has been
called the nation of shopkeepers, might
reasonably grow alarmed as they read such
doctrine as this. Entangle the country in
foreign complications, drag England into a
war! What wild talk is all this? And
yet this infringement of neutrality is harmless
enough. There is no "contraband of
war" involved; no nice question of supplying
"coal in English bottoms to a
belligerent." The simple infringement of
neutrality here urged is involved in the humane
protection of the wretched refugees who
seek our shores, landing at St. Katherine's
Wharf, London Bridge, and other places,
from the foul harpies, the nautical Uhlans
uncomplimentary as the comparison may
be to the famous light horsemenwho
pillage the poor exiles who fly to us for
refuge from their own distracted country.

Talk of requisitions, of pillage in an
enemy's country; why here, in policed
and corporationed London, every traveller
can see for himself the most scandalous
and outrageous attacks by these Thames
freebooters upon timorous foreigners, and,
above all, on scared foreign ladies, who are,
of course, the favourite victims.

Beyond the Tower is to be found a strange
wild region of the gloomiest sort, with a
specially dismal road which winds down to
the river between enormous brick walls, of
most desponding and prison-like character.
These low-spirited piles of brick are the
backs of vast warehouses, in bond and out
of bond, and even above some of them can
be seen projecting tall masts and yards.
When the traveller bound for Belgium or
France, by long sea, is taken down this
melancholy route, let him prepare his mind
for a mournful and fearful struggle, in
which he will find arrayed against him
a terrible band of organised marauders;
decayed portersdisappointed mudlarks
broken-down tarsadventurers of the
residuum, and the scum of the docks. As his
laden cab drives up, seen from afar off, a
cluster of these harpies emerges
mysteriously from the archway at the bottom
and greets him with "The Hostend boat,
sir?" "The Boolong boat, sir?" or
something that sounds like Mrs. Gamp's
"Ankworks packidge." An honest cabman,
sober and moderate at Pimlico, becomes
demoralised on the instant, in this foul
region. He becomes a brigand; will not
allow the trunks to be stirred or taken
down till his exorbitant demand is satisfied,
and is not to be appeased by less than three
times the fare. No kindly policeman is at
hand; the force shuns the spot, possibly

The dirty marauders have it all their own
way, and though not honoured by his
previous acquaintance, back the cabman in his
demand of ten and sixpence from (say) the
Great Western Hotel. Though not actually
participating in his unlawful profits, they
still have a generous sympathy with all
pillagers. Through the archway the victim sees
the forests of masts, the foliage of crossing
ropes, steamers lying side by side four or
five deep. For every yard of space
intervening he must pay handsomely. No one
will even show him the steamer of which
he is in search without payment; half a
dozen ruffians distribute his effects among
them, and must be settled with

All this, though bad enough in all
conscience, is, comparatively, plain sailing.
But let the traveller arrive from
Boulogne on some dark, miserable morning,
at five or six o'clock, with the rain
drizzling down, and the wind churning
the river up into mud, after a miserable
night of tossing, and tumbling, and rolling.
When the Custom House officers come
on board, the wretched French passengers,