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While he was putting up the other cast
and coming down from the chair, the thought
crossed my mind that all his personal jewellery
was derived from like sources. As he had shown
no diffidence on the subject, I ventured on the
liberty of asking him the question, when he
stood before me, dusting his hands.

"Oh yes," he returned, "these are all gifts
of that kind. One brings another, you see;
that's the way of it. I always take 'em. They're
curiosities. And they're property. They may
not be worth much, but, after all, they're
property and portable. It don't signify to you with
your brilliant look-out, but as to myself, my
guiding-star always is, "Get hold of portable

When I had rendered homage to this light, he
went on to say, in a friendly manner:

"If at any odd time when you have nothing
better to do, you wouldn't mind coming over to
see me at Walworth, I could offer you a bed,
and I should consider it an honour. I have
not much to show you; but such two or three
curiosities as I have got, you might like to look
over; and I am fond of a bit of garden and a

I said I should be delighted to accept his

"Thank'ee," said he, "then we'll consider
that it's to come off, when convenient to you.
Have you dined with Mr. Jaggers yet?"

"Not yet."

"Well," said Wemmick, "he'll give you
wine, and good wine. I'll give you punch, and
not bad punch. And now I'll tell you something.
Wken you go to dine with Mr. Jaggers,
look at his housekeeper."

"Shall I see something very uncommon?"

"Well," said Wemmick, "you'll see a wild
beast tamed. Not so very uncommon, you'll
tell me. I reply, that depends on the original
wildness of the beast, and the amount of taming.
It won't lower your opinion of Mr. Jaggers's
powers. Keep your eye on it."

I told him I would do so with all the interest
and curiosity that his preparation awakened. As
I was taking my departure, he asked me if I
would like to devote five minutes to seeing Mr.
Jaggers "at it?"

For several reasons, and not least because I
didn't clearly know what Mr. Jaggers would be
found to be "at," I replied in the affirmative.
We dived into the City, and came up in a
crowded police-court, where a blood-relation
(in the murderous sense) of the deceased with
the fanciful taste in brooches, was standing at
the bar, uncomfortably chewing something;
while my guardian had a woman under
examination or cross-examinationI don't know
which and was striking her, and the bench,
and everybody present, with awe. If
anybody, of whatsoever degree, said a word that
he didn't approve of, he instantly required to
have it "taken down." If anybody wouldn't
make an admission, he said, "I'll have it out
of you!" and if anybody made an admission,
he said, "Now I have got you!" The
magistrates shivered under a single bite of his
finger. Thieves and thief-takers hung in dread
rapture on his words, and shrank when a hair
of his eyebrows turned in their direction.
Which side he was on, I couldn't make out, for
he seemed to me to be grinding the whole place
in a mill; I only know that when I stole out on
tiptoe he was not on the side of the bench, for
he was making the legs of the old gentleman
who presided, quite convulsive under the table,
by his denunciations of his conduct as the
representive of British law and justice in that
chair that day.


I SPENT the greater part of last summer and
autumn in Mount Lebanon and the adjacent
districts, during the time when the French
expeditionary force in Syria was moving about in large
and small bodies over the whole country; and
although nearly twenty years' Indian service
had given me considerable experience as to what
a soldier can and cannot do in the way of
marching in a hot climate, I saw feats of
endurance performed under a Syrian sun by the
French infantry, which astonished me. Thus I
was led to make minute inquiries as to how these
comparatively weaker men were able to march
so much better, although, carrying much greater
loads, than our own troops in India.

The corps with which I was most thrown
during the expedition in Lebanon, and of which
I saw most when they returned to Beyrout,
were the Chasseurs d'Afrique, the Zouaves, and
the Spahis. The first of these, as most people
know, are French; country troops raised
exclusively for service in Algiers, and although they
may be called upon to serve elsewhereas
in the Crimea, in Italy, and latterly in Syria
they are never stationed or garrisoned in
any other part of the world. The Zouaves are
also all French; raised for the same purpose,
and with the same exceptions as the Chasseurs
d'Afrique, but they are infantry. The Spahis
are irregular cavalry troops, natives of Algiers,
with a mixture of Frenchmen among the
non-commissioned officers. All these three arms
bear more or less affinity to one or other of
our Indian troops, and it has often struck me
that each of them has more or less peculiarities,
which we might do well to copy in many
instances in our Indian service. I can hardly
conceive in many instances, an organisation
better adapted for our Anglo-Indian cavalry
I mean regiments of English dragoons raised for
service in the Eastthan that of the Chasseurs
d'Afrique, a corps certainly on the whole the
very best light cavalry on service I ever saw.
One anecdote alone will show the quickness and
readiness of these dragoons. One forenoon last
October, I was lounging about their camp at
Kâb-Elias, in the plain of Calo-Syria; some of
the men were cooking, many of them catering,
and others were occupied in various ways.
Many were hardly dressed at all; for the
morning was very hot. Nothing was further