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neighbourhood of Hoxtonwhich, before
my eyes, ate a straw-hat of considerable
dimensions; and which, being subsequently
(by the juvenile and indignant proprietor of
the hat)  lapidated with a decayed flower-pot,
ate that too!

Bricks and mortar invade market-gardens;
they elbow green-houses;  they jostle
conservatories;  they thrust summer-houses
away. Still looking from the carriage-window,
do we see streets upon streets growing
up in commons, and what were once shady
lanes; filling up ditches; tumbling down
hedges everywhere; crushing up the country
in its concrete grasp. Here and there a
solitary pollard-willow stands among scaffold-
poles and wheelbarrows, seeming to
wonder very much how it got there, and
feeling itself, doubtless, an anachronism.
Again, the train rushes over housesor
rather on a viaduct parallel with the tops
of the houses.  The impertinent locomotive
gives " knowing looks " into little, queer,
poky attics, where gentlemen are giving
the last turn to their whiskers, and ladies
the last tug at the laces of their corsets.
Curious Asmodeus-like peeps do we get
of the internal life of these houses.  The
knowing locomotives wink at the windows,
and the washing hung out in the back garden;
and, with an impertinent whistle and a puff
of smoke, rushes on.

Diverge at Bow, and you can go through
Old London to Fenchurch Street.  Keep on
towards Blackwall, and the traces of New
London, in its invading form, meet you at
every step . Factories, dye-houses, bone-
boiling establishments, are surrounded by
houses, where they were (and ought to be)
removed from the contiguity of a metropolis.
Chapels, devoted to the service of all
imaginable creeds, start up in these invading
streets.  New Jerusalemites, Mormonites,
Johanna Southcotonians, Howlers, Jumpers,
and Shakers, join the army of invaders, and
are fiercely pious in Meeting-houses, the
roofs of which occasionally tumble in, not
with age, but for pure want of seasoningso
new they are.

Try to get out of town any way, and the
bricks drive you back, the mortar hangs on
your skirts, and harasses you fiercely. I
remember the time when London finished at
Padlock House, and when Kensington was
almost in the country. Kensington, Hammersmith,
Turnham Green (the "Pack Horse"), is a
mere omnibus "public" now!—Brentford
Isleworth almostwhat are they now?  A
line of housesthat is all.

Where is it all to end? When will the
invasion cease? Will the whole island be
covered with houses? Or even as the great
wheel keeps turning round and round; even
as the winter gives place to spring, and
so round to winter again and again; even as
the new grows old, and then new again; so,
perhaps, will the great City grow and grow,
and its growth yet resolve itself into
insignificancetill the great becomes small,
as small as when the boatman ferried St. Peter
over the pond to Westminster, or the Danes
fought at Holborn Bars, or Eleanor's corse
rested at the village of Charing.


SINCE residence on Norfolk Island is
permitted only to two classes of men;—namely,
to those who are engaged there in the public
service, and to those who, having done the
public some dis-service, are transported thither
in the character of convicts;  and since it is
only on occasions of great emergency that
any but a government ship showing the
private signals, is permitted to approach its
shore, I take it to be a fact that Norfolk
Island does not often occupy a chapter in
books of travel.  Now, I have been to
Norfolk Island; I know the place well and
the people living there, convicts and all.
How I came by my knowledge is a question
which I am not obliged to answer; but, for
the comfort of the clean-fingered, I may state
that I am not legally pitch.  My misdeeds
have not yet come to be discussed in any
court of justice whatever.

The first glimpse of Norfolk Island that one
gets from a ship's deck, is made remarkable by
a treewell-known by means of pictures and
descriptionsthe grand Norfolk Island pine;
which clothes the hills to their summit. The
island is of volcanic origin.  It is about twenty-
one miles in girth, and rises abruptly from
the sea on every side but one.  On that one
side, of course, we land.  It is a low sandy
levelthe site of the penal settlementand
not very accessible. The island bids men
keep their distance by its physical formation
quite as much as by its laws.  A coral reef
runs round it.  Where the coast is inaccessible,
the reef lurks under water; but where
the coast might otherwise be come at,
the reef shows its teeth and foams at an
approaching vessel.  It is only at certain times
when the surf beats over the bar in a
comparatively placid state of wraththat any
hope of landing can be entertained. The
union jack hoisted on the flagstaff indicates
such a season of relapse, and informs boats
that they may attempt to come ashore.  The
black flag hoisted means:  "If you come now,
there is an end of you."

A boat having arrived, under favourable
circumstances, within the reef; having been
dashed over the bar very rudely by the
wave that crosses it, and tossed down abreast
of the jetty;  the visitor, when he has fetched
his breath, has leisure to observe a gang
of convicts, stripped to the waist, with
ropes in their hands, ready to plunge in to
the rescue,  if the boat should happen to
capsize. Perhaps the visitor is not allowed
to fetch his breath, or to observe this
gang, until he has taken a salt-water bath,