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further invitation necessary. Ready dash into
the street. Toilette finished. Old man coming

This time, the interest was grown too hot to
admit of toleration of the boys on the stone
posts. The homicidal white-lead worker made
a pounce upon one boy who was hoisting him-
self up, and brought him to earth amidst general
commendation. Closely stowed as we were, we
yet formed into groupsgroups of conversation,
without separation from the massto
discuss the old man. Rivals of the tall and sallow
mason sprang into being, and here again was
popular inconstancy. These rivals attracted
audiences, and were greedily listened to; and
whereas they had derived their information solely
from the tall and sallow one, officious members
of the crowd now sought to enlighten him on
their authority. Changed by this social experience
into an iron-visaged and inveterate
misanthrope, the mason glared at mankind, and
evidently cherished in his breast the wish that the
whole of the present company could change
places with the deceased old man. And now
listeners became inattentive, and people made a
start forward at a slight sound, and an unholy
fire kindled in the public eye, and those next
the gates beat at them impatiently, as if they
were of the cannibal species and hungry.

Again the hinges creaked, and we rushed.
Disorderly pressure for sometime ensued before the
uncommercial unit got figured into the front
row of the sum. It was strange to see so much
heat and uproar seething about one poor spare
white-haired old man, so quiet for evermore.
He was calm of feature and undisfigured, as he
lay on his backhaving been struck upon the
hinder part of the head, and thrown forward
and something like a tear or two had started
from the closed eyes, and lay wet upon the face.
The uncommercial interest, sated at a glance,
directed itself upon the striving crowd on either
side and behind: wondering whether one might
have guessed, from the expression of those faces
merely, what kind of sight they were looking at.
The differences of expression were not many.
There was a little pity, but not much, and that
mostly with a selfish touch in itas who would
say, "Shall I, poor I, look like that, when
the time comes!" There was more of a secretly
brooding contemplation and curiosity, as "That
man I don't like, and have the grudge against;
would such be his appearance, if some onenot
to mention namesby any chance gave him an
ugly knock?" There was a wolfish stare at the
object, in which the homicidal white-lead worker
shone conspicuous. And there was a much more
general, purposeless, vacant staring at it
like looking at waxwork, without a catalogue,
and not knowing what to make of it. But all
these expressions concurred in possessing the
one under-lying expression of looking at
something that could not return a look. The
uncommercial notice had established this as very
remarkable, when a new pressure all at once
coming up from the street pinioned him
ignominiously, and hurried him into the arms
(nowsleeved again) of the Custodian smoking at his
door, and answering questions, between-puffs,
with a certain placid meritorious air of not being
proud, though high in office. And mentioning
pride, it may be observed, by the way, that one
could not well help investing the original sole
occupant of the front row with an air depreciatory
of the legitimate attraction of the poor old
man: while the two in the second row seemed
to exult at his superseded popularity.

Pacing presently round the garden of the
Tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie, and
presently again in front of the H├┤tel de Ville, I
called to mind a certain desolate open-air Morgue
that I happened to light upon in London, one
day in the hard winter of 1861, and which seemed
as strange to me, at the time of seeing it, as if I
had found it in China. Towards that hour of
a winter's afternoon when the lamplighters are
beginning to light the lamps in the streets a
little before they are wanted, because the
darkness thickens fast and soon, I was walking in
from the country on the northern side of the
Regent's Parkhard frozen and deserted
when I saw an empty Hansom cab drive up to
the lodge at Gloucester-gate, and the driver
with great agitation call to the man there: who
quickly reached a long pole from a tree, and,
deftly collared by the driver, jumped to the step
of his little seat, and so the Hansom rattled out
at the gate, galloping over the iron-bound road.
I followed running, though not so fast but that
when I came to the right-hand Canal Bridge,
near the cross-path to Chalk Farm, the Hansom
was stationary, the horse was smoking hot, the
long pole was idle on the ground, and the driver
and the park-keeper were looking over the bridge
parapet. Looking over too, I saw, lying on the
towing-path with her face turned up towards
us, a woman, dead a day or two, and under
thirty, as I guessed, poorly dressed in black.
The feet were lightly crossed at the ankles, and
the dark hair, all pushed back from the face, as
though that had been the last action of her
desperate hands, streamed over the ground.
Dabbled all about her, was the water and the
broken ice that had dropped from her dress, and
had splashed as she was got out. The policeman
who had just got her out, and the passing
costermonger who had helped him, were standing
near the body; the latter, with that stare at
it which I have likened to being at a wax-work
exhibition without a catalogue; the former,
looking over his stock, with professional
stiffness and coolness, in the direction in which the
bearers he had sent for, were expected. So
dreadfully forlorn, so dreadfully sad, so dreadfully
mysterious, this spectacle of our dear sister
here departed! A barge came up, breaking the
floating ice and the silence, and a woman steered
it. The man with the horse that towed it, cared
so little for the body, that the stumbling hoofs
had been among the hair, and the tow-rope had
caught and turned the head, before our cry of
horror took him to the bridle. At which sound
the steering woman looked up at us on the
bridge, with contempt unutterable, and then