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Blackfoot—"that nightthat I would never
see or think o' onnything that angered me,
but thou, so much better than me, should'st
be beside it. Thou'rt beside it now. Thou
mak'st me see it wi' a better eye. Bless
thee. Good night. Good bye!"

It was but a hurried parting in the
common street, yet it was a sacred
remembrance to these two common people.
Utilitarian economists, skeletons of schoolmasters,
Commissioners of Fact, genteel and used-up
infidels, gabblers of many little dog's-eared
creeds, the poor you will have always with
you. Cultivate in them, while there is yet time,
the utmost graces of the fancies and affections,
to adorn their lives so much in need
of ornament; or, in the moment of your
triumph, when romance is utterly driven
out of their souls, and they and a bare existence
stand face to face, Reality will take a
wolfish turn, and make an end of you!

Stephen worked the next day, and the
next, uncheered by a word from any one,
and shunned in all his comings and goings as
before. At the end of the second day, he
saw land; at the end of the third, his loom
stood empty.

He had overstayed his hour in the street
outside the Bank, on each of the two first
evenings; and nothing had happened there,
good or bad. That he might not be remiss
in his part of the engagement, he resolved to
wait full two hours, on this third and last

There was the lady who had once kept
Mr. Bounderby's house, sitting at the first
floor window as he had seen her before; and
there was the light porter, sometimes talking
with her there, and sometimes looking over
the blind below which had BANK upon it, and
sometimes coming to the door and standing on
the steps for a breath of air. When he first
came out, Stephen thought he might be looking
for him, and passed near; but the light
porter only cast his winking eyes upon him
slightly, and said nothing.

Two hours were a long stretch of lounging
about, after a long day's labor. Stephen sat
upon the step of a door, leaned against a wall
under an archway, strolled up and down,
listened for the church clock, stopped and
watched children playing in the street. Some
purpose or other is so natural to every one,
that a mere loiterer always looks and feels
remarkable. When the first hour was out,
Stephen even began to have an uncomfortable
sensation upon him of being for the
time a disreputable character.

Then came the lamplighter, and two lengthening
lines of light all down the long perspective
of the street, until they were blended
and lost in the distance. Mrs. Sparsit closed
the first floor window, drew down the blind,
and went up stairs. Presently, a light went
up stairs after her, passing first the fanlight
of the door, and afterwards the two staircase
windows, on its way up. By and by, one
corner of the second floor blind was
disturbed, as if Mrs. Sparsit's eye were
there; also the other corner, as if the
light porter's eye were on that side. Still,
no communication was made to Stephen.
Much relieved when the two hours were
at last accomplished, he went away at a
quick pace, as a recompense for so much

He had only to take leave of his landlady,
and lie down on his temporary bed upon the
floor; for his bundle was made up for to-
morrow, and all was arranged for his departure.
He meant to be clear of the town very early:
before the Hands were in the streets.

It was barely daybreak, when with a parting
look round his room, mournfully wondering
whether he should ever see it again, he went
out. The town was as entirely deserted as
if the inhabitants had abandoned it, rather
than hold communication with him. Everything
looked wan at that hour. Even the
coming sun made but a pale waste in the
sky, like a sad sea.

By the place where Rachael lived, though
it was not in his way; by the red brick
streets; by the great silent factories, not
trembling yet; by the railway, where the
danger-lights were waning in the strengthening
day; by the railway's crazy
neighbourhood, half pulled down and half
built up; by scattered red brick villas, where
the besmoked evergreens were sprinkled with
a dirty powder, like untidy snuff-takers;
by coal-dust paths and many varieties of
ugliness; Stephen got to the top of the hill,
and looked back.

Day was shining radiantly upon the town
then, and the bells were going for the morning
work. Domestic fires were not yet
lighted, and the high chimneys had the sky
to themselves. Puffing out their poisonous
volumes, they would not be long in hiding it;
but, for half an hour, some of the many
windows were golden, which showed the Coketown
people a sun eternally in eclipse, through
a medium of smoked glass.

So strange to turn from the chimneys to
the birds. So strange to have the road-dust on
his feet instead of the coal-grit. So strange to
have lived to his time of life, and yet to be
beginning like a boy this summer morning!
With these musings in his mind, and his
bundle under his arm, Stephen took his attentive
face along the high road. And the trees
arched over him, whispering that he left a
true and loving heart behind.


STRANGE things might be written in a
chapter upon Supernatural Zoology, being
an authentic description and history of
dragons, unicorns, basilisks, and other
curiosities that once belonged, as properly as
owls or lions, to a history of animals. From
histories of plants, dating three centuries ago