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of erudite volumes on some much desiderated
spiders, of which nothing but a portion of a
fossil hind leg was as yet known to naturalists.
It is precisely his erudition and enthusiasm
in the cause of science that render him so
unpleasant a neighbour. He has a huge
collection of live black beetles, the habits of which
he is busy studying just now; several tame
snakes, an arsenal of spiders, some abominable
bluebottles, and some rare and hideous specimens
of the lizard tribe, to say nothing of a
Norwegian rat or two, and three Siberian
toads. If he kept rabbits, cats, dogs, mice,
owls, a. happy family of animals in short, we
should know what to expect; but it is in
reptiles, vermin, noxious insects, that he
delights. His loathsome lodgers crawl about the
stairs; they invade the sanctity of Mademoiselle
de Keraguel's apartments; they frighten
Doctor Jaconnet's children, and drive the
martial Madame Stidmann to a state of
culinary frenzy.

Ouf! I am out of breath. Only one pair
of stairs yet remain. One peep into the trim
little chamber of M. Adolphe, the notary's
clerk, who hopes to be a notary himself some
day. He has a neat little bed in an alcove, a
littles bureau in walnut-wood, aftd a bookshelf
on which repose his "Code Civile," his treatise
on Roman law, his "Paroissien complet,"
&c. Adolphe is a decently conducted young
fellow; does not wear moustaches, smokes in
moderation, makes quiet and unobtrusive love
to Mademoiselle Eulalie, in the lodge below,
and will be quite a model of a chief clerk,
when he is elevated to that responsible

I wish I could say the same of Timoleon
Cassemajou, artiste-peintre, who occupies the
next room. Of all the able, idle, witty,
pipe-smoking, worthless professors of the fine
arts, this lazy colossus with a red beard is the
very king and kaiser. He would have won
the prix de Rome at the Ecole des Beaux Arts,
if he had tried, but he wouldn't; he might
make ten thousand francs a year by
portrait-painting, but he won't; he won't do anything
save smoke, and fence with vagabond geniuses
like himself, and lie on the bed in his boots,
and scrawl careless, clever sketches on the

But, enough of my four stories at present.
There are other rooms to be visited, other
sequestered little cabinets, such as where I,
the scribe, dwell; where sleeps the shabby
little man in the green coat, of whose identity
I was for a long time ignorant, but whom
I ultimately discovered to be the proprietor
of the house; where works and sings, and
sings and works, Mademoiselle Bijou, the
dressmaker; where hides (in misery I am
afraid) Count Schalingski, the Polish refugee;
where the mysterious man holds out who
copies manuscripts and music, and finds out
genealogies, and hunts up dates, and is a
gentleman by birth, doing anything for a
crust. Some day, perhaps, we shall change
our lodgers, and I may have something more,
and something better to tell you of the four


IN a great office at the East End of London,
where pens move so rapidly, that you wonder
whether the clerks could ever identify their
own correspondence, but where no other
visible signs of traffic appear, there is a little,
plain, snug inner counting-house; and in that
counting-house is a burly, snug, rather
pompous looking gentleman. Mark the bland
tranquillity with which he is surveying that
heap of calculations. Would it not frighten
us to have to do with so many figures? Is it
not enough to make one fancy one's self in debt
to an extent only to be measured, like Ali
Baba's gold pieces? And still the burly gentleman
seems quite satisfied. His eye flinches not,
and his countenance wears an easy smile.
Yet, it is Quarter-day to-morrow. The boys
are coming home from school, and their
"extras" and book bill at Switchington House
are always heavy; the rent of the villa at
Highgate is due; so are the taxes, to say
nothing of the insurances, rent, and no one
knows what, of the large warehouses at the
Docks. Mrs. Dipper is talking about the
"girls," "the season," and the small size of
the drawing-rooms; and bills are coming due
that make us shrivel into our four-roomed
house, and our insignificance. No matter,
Mr. Dipper is unmoved. What cares he for
Quarter-day. If it has any demands upon
him, he simply refers Quarter-day to his cash-
box, or to stamp, bill, and bullions; and
Quarter-day pockets the gold, or cashes the
check, and goes away rubbing its hands
with satisfaction, and says something about
"respectable men."

Quarter-day walks on its route, and knocks
at the door of Blatherton and Company, the
great publishing-house the whole firm is in a
bustle. Half-a-dozen Christmas books, full
of pretty pictures to gladden little hearts,
must be put in hand; and between petitions
to recreant authors for "more copy," looking
up of artists, engravers, fancy binders,
advertising and "subscribing" books already
out, there is confusion enough to drive chaos
itself mad with envy. Everything must be out
by a certain time, and everything depends
upon somebody else, and that somebody is
again quite at the mercy of a third party.

A sadder picture follows, as Quarter-day
knocks at the door of the mechanic, on whom
sickness has laid its hard hand. The sale of
some cherished articles of furniture, perhaps
of some little refinements which industry had
purchased, stares him in the face. But he
belongs to a club, and he can command so
much a week; his landlord is not a hard
man, and will give him time; and there is a
chance that Tom or Jack will be able to pick
up some work, now that the busy time has