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neighbours similarly employed, and otherwise
behaving in quite a patriarchal manner. A
third, with an eye to business, wafered up
sanguine placards relative to tea and coffee and hot
water always ready; or displayed in front of his
establishment, boards on tressels covered with
fair white cloths, and creaking, if not groaning,
beneath the weight of half-cut hams, fruit tarts,
buns, and ginger beer. For do what Fashion
will to keep itself exclusive, and have the cream
of things, the common people will not be banished
from the festivals altogether. They will peep
over the palings or through the chinks thereof;
they will peep round the carriages and criticise
the occupants; and what can Fashion, itself, do
more? Often, the common see the best of the
fireworks; and the music of the brass bands,
coming from a distance, falls more sweetly
on their ears than of those who are privileged
to stand within the inner enclosure, and
to be half deafened by the blasting and the
braying. The purest pleasures in life are the
cheapest ones. Once the writer knew a gentleman
of a lively and convivial turn, but whose
circle of acquaintances was limited, and who
was, besides, so chronic an invalid as to be almost
permanently confined to the house. At the back
there was another house, almost always full of
company, and where balls, supper-parties, and
other merry meetings, were continually going on.
It was the valetudinarian philosopher's delight
to sit sipping his sassafras tea at his open window
and cry "Hear, hear," with due attention to the
proprieties of time and place, to the eloquent
speeches, and sometimes to join in choruses
when songs were sung in the convivial chambers
whose lights glimmered in the distance. No
pleasure could be cheaper; yet he enjoyed it
amazingly. There was no trouble about dressing,
about being introduced, about meeting people
he didn't care for. He went away when he
liked, without having to make, perhaps, a
mendacious assurance to the hostess of having spent
a delightful evening; and he rose next morning
without a headache, or, worse still, the loss of
his heart to that pretty girl in blue.

If some of the traders just glanced at did not
make holiday in honour of the sun; if one
crusty-looking cheesemonger denounced the
whole proceedings as rubbish, and another
secreted himself in his back parlour to brood
over his speech at the next vestry, or Board of
Guardians meeting; or if another, the worst
of all, shut himself up to grumble over his
books and hard times, and scold his wife and
children, and curse because the people outside
were enjoying themselveswhat were these but
the little flaws and specks that must needs be
found in the brightest social diamond! If everybody
were happy, what good would there be in
expatiating on the blessings of happiness? It
is certain, however, that the grumblers this
sunny afternoon were in a grave minority.
Troops of children who did not belong to
seminaries or educational institutes, and perhaps
came out of the by-lanes before alluded to,
invaded the footway, screamed with delight at
the processional pageantry, and endangered
themselves, as usual, under the carriages without
getting run over. It is certain that the
offspring of Want very rarely enjoy a ride in
Fortune's chariot, yet are they for ever hanging
on behind, running close to the wheels, and
diving beneath the horses' hoofs.

Many persons of grave mien and determined
appearanceperipatetic, not stationary, traders
were turning the sunshine and its consequent
holiday to commercial account. There did not
seem any great likelihood, at the first blush, of
the Court Guide, the Blue Book, the Peerage or
the Baronetage, descending from their equipages
to purchase lucifer-matches or knitted babies'
caps, or to partake of jam tarts, gingerbread
nuts, or apples three a penny; and the numbers
of speculations entered into towards that end, on
the footway, must have appeared to the
superficial as rash in conception and pregnant with
disaster. But the peripatetic merchants knew
perfectly well what they were about. There
was somebody to buy everything they had to
sell, and they sold accordingly. Somebody was
the great wandering fluctuating stream of poor
people; and poor people are always buying
something, and must perforce have ready money
to pay for it. More remarkable was the fact
that all the taverns and beer-shops on the line of
road were full of guests; the men all smoking
pipes and drinking beer; the vast majority
of the women holding babies in one hand and
Abernethy biscuits in the other. Why was
this? Why is this? Why will it be so, if augury
can be hazarded, in ages to come? This flower-
show was not a popular gathering. The tickets
were ten shillings each. The people had nothing
to do with it. They just took a good long
starenot of envy, be it understood, but of lazy
and listless curiosity, at the fine folks in the
carriages, and then trooped into the nearest
public-house for beer, tobacco, baby-nursing and
biscuit-munching. There is surely a dreary
sameness about the amusements of the English
people; and, for aught we know, the system
adopted of rigorously excluding them from
anything that is to be seen, and fencing them off by
barriers and reserved seats, just as though they
were unclean animals, from every trumpery
section of infinite space where something humanly
considered grand is going on, may have been
carried a little too far. Gentility has robbed the
poor play-goer of his best seats in the pit, and
made them into stalls. The gallery even, once
specially appropriated to the gods, has now its
amphitheatre stalls. The railway formula has
penetrated everywhere. All is first, second, and
third class, from refreshment-rooms to funerals.

Neither pit-stalls nor railway formulæ were
thought much of, however, in the year '36, and
the honest folk enjoying their outing, took their
pipes and malt liquor, nursed their bantlings and
ate their biscuits because there was nothing else