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some belated connoisseur, or escaped lunatic
may one day suddenly be taken with, and
bid a gigantic sum for, it.

The corner opposite the shelf, where the
gouty bottles of "Shrub," "Cloves," "Loveage,"
and " Orange Boven " stand: is the chosen
resort of Mr. Large and Mr. Broad, two very
fat old men. They are both equally corpulent,
they both breathe stertorously, have
curly grey hair, and no whiskers. They both
wear broad-brimmed hats, spectacles, and low
shoes. You might easily take them for twins.
But they are not. They are not even friends,
in the proper sense of the term, but simply
chance acquaintances. Their professions are
not even similar. Large is in the lawchancery
clerk in Lambert, Falstaff, and Armitage's
office; but Broad is supposed to be head cook
at a west-end hotel. Large has used The File
for years; but Broad dropped in " promiscuous"
during the cholera season to have a
glass of ginger brandy. These two fat men
saw, loved, admired one another momentarily.
They were made for one another. They
exchanged fat. They became living looking-
glasses to one another. They do not talk,
but sit opposite each other on low stools,
staring and breathing hard, and occasionally
interchanging pinches from dumpy snuff-
boxes. Each holds a glass of gin-and-water
warm on his kneeeach " stands " alternately
fresh fourpenn'orths. I am certain if either of
these gross men were to absent himself, the
other would not long survive.

Apart from these regular customers, The
File is frequented by flying hordes of legal
Bohemians, writ-servers, hangers about the
courts, bailiffs' assistants, and, specially, " law
writers," wretched men with red noses, hoarse
voices, tattered apparel and trembling hands
so trembling, that you are amazed at their
ability to execute the magnificent examples of
penmanship by which they live. The File is
their house of call. Of all the gifts, abilities,
or varied craftsmanship they once possessed
of classical educations, splendid opportunities,
honourable employments, they have
left but this sole cunning of the hand. Here
they wait in sodden silence, or shiftless
gossip, until their services are called into
request, until some piece of writing has
to be executed for a neighbouring office.
When their labour is over they drink the
hirethen wait again, and write, and drink,
and die.

One more regular customer, the customer
of The File. This is old Mr. M'Adam of
Flagstone chambers, Stoney Square. He
comes punctually at five o'clock every day,
and has a pint of a peculiar hard, dry,
stinging, thorny port-wine, all to himself at
the bar, standing. He is six feet high, with
very large grey whiskers and petrified grey
eyes. His teeth are horribly whitewith a
death-like, polishless glare such as some
dentists have, and divers schoolmasters. He wears
a white neckcloth, or rather a white scarf,
decorated in the centre with a diamond
brooch. He is what you call a "hard"
man; the hardest, sharpest, most ruthless
practitioner in the professionor was at
least, having resigned active practice lately
to his second son, also six feet high and
also a very hard man. He keeps a little
office yet to himself in his son's chambers, in
the which he does any bold bit of extraordinarily
scarifying business that may be on
hand, for the pure love of its hardness.


IT does not fall to the lot of every stranger
who visits the Eternal City to pass the whole
of the summer-months in Rome. Various
circumstances compelled me to remain there
from November eighteen hundred and fifty-one
till the end of October in the following year.

The end of March brought heavenly days,
so soft and balmy that, in the full confidence
of summer being at hand, every one threw off
warm clothing, and appeared in light and gay
habiliments; shortly afterwards the summits
of the Alban hill and the Lionessa, lying at
the back of the Sabine range, were again
covered with snow. In April, however, fine
weather must, sooner or later, come, and come
at last it did; and nowhere does the Roman
spring wear a lovelier aspect than from the
Casa Tarpeia. As I looked down upon the
mingled masses of houses, gardens and
vineyards, which lie between us and the Palatine,
my eye roved delighted from the tender green
of vines with their graceful foliage and curling
tendrils, to the darker hue of orange-trees,
pines and cactuses, one of which has taken
root on the very edge of the supposed
Tarpeian rock, crowning the summit of a precipice
no longer formidable, except from the dirt
beneath. Mingling with the green are a
profusion of roses, and the pink and white
blossoms of almond and peach trees. As the
season advances appear apricots,
strawberries, figs and grapes in succession. Think
of apricots, and very good ones too, at two
bajocchi, or a penny a pound! The Romans
eat strawberrieswhich are the small acid
kind, but have an agreeable flavourwith
wine and sugar; even raspberries are now to
be had in Rome. Next come peaches, also
very good, though not to be compared with
our hot-house fruit, partly because you
scarcely ever get them ripe. It is a great
difficulty in Rome to obtain fruit that has been
left on the tree till it is matured. I found it
best to make an agreement with the owner
of a garden in the immediate neighbourhood;
whom I persuaded to let the fruit stay on the
tree till it was fit to eat. The figs in this
garden were delicious; a small green kind,
from which, when they were ready to gather,
a single drop of transparent golden honey
issued, as an indication of the sweets within.
The Romans prefer the kind called pizzitelli,
a long pointed grape with a thick skin and