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IT was, I suppose, a necessary consequence
of my being a desultory person, and writing
always desultorily, that I had no sooner
penned the prefix, Sunday, to this article than
it fell out that the current of my thoughts
which are here set down by my pen should
run in the channel of Monday. My paper
was prepared, and my ink-bottle uncorked;
when stepping out to purchase the newest of
magnum bonum pens, I found myself in the
midst of a Monday morning's procession. A
long string of open carriages, broughams,
chaise-carts, breaks, and cabs, filled inside
and outside with people dressed in their best,
and with unmistakably holiday faces,
immediately and naturally suggested races to me.
But quickly remembering that the only
two race-meetings that Londoners care to
attend, Epsom and Ascot, were long since
gone and past, the ship of my mind ran
aground. Then, seeing sundry bright-coloured
banners, and noting that the horses' heads
were decorated with ribbons, I feebly thought
of elections. But there was no gentleman in
a white hat bowing right and left to the
ragamuffins, and kissing his hand to the ladies at
the windows, no drunkenness, no stone-throwing,
no Anybody for ever; so, recalling to
mind, besides, that there was no metropolitan
borough vacant just then, I abandoned
elections with a sigh. At length in the offing
of my soul I saw a sail. The preponderance
of ladies and smiling children's faces in the
procession; the total-abstinence mottoes on
the banners; the general snugness, spruceness
and jauntiness of the gentlemen; the
absence of red noses among the standard-
bearersall these said plainly that this was a
teetotal procession. And it was. The mob,
incarnated as far as my desire of knowing all
about it went, by a pallid shoemaker,
informed me that it was "them teetotallers;"
and I left them to go on their way rejoicing
to their commemoration, or revival, or centenary,
or jubilee, or by whatever other name
their cheerful honest festival might have been
called: I left them I say to celebrate their
white Monday; regretting only that even
virtue and good intentions were obliged to
resort to the poor old aggressive paraphernalia
of flags and ribbons, and bands of
music, and processions; and that among
the teams of well-fed horses there were
to be found, in that perverse yoke-fellowship
we won't abandon, sundry animals which
divide the hoof and chew not the cud,
animals with tusks, and ill-will grubbing
snouts, of the porcine breed porky. Are we
never to be able to do without banners!
Whether carried by crazy fanatics, scheming
demagogues, bands of incendiaries, or Bands
of Hopeare these pennons and streamers
and braying wind instruments never to be
dispensed with! They are aggressive. They
do irritate, annoy, stir up discord. They do
say, "We are better than you; here is our
flag to show it; and if you don't come under
this flag's shadow, we should like to know
where you expect to go to." My friend the
shoemaker, now, who would be all the better
for being washed, and sober, and well shod
(save that it seems a law of the sutorial being
never to wear good shoes), and for going to a
commemoration or a revival with health in
his veins, money in his purse, and peace in
his heart; is evidently aggravated, nettled,
exasperated, by all this flaunting and braying.
You can't wave and blow a man into temperance
and happiness. Which reflection causes
me to go home as quickly as I can with the
magnum bonum pen, and sit down to write
about Sunday.

I wish to state, once for all, that I am
treating this much-discussed Sunday question
solely as one bearing on public morals,
as conducive to public (mundane) happiness,
and without the slightest reference to public
religion. All the acts of parliament in the
world will not make one man pious. I claim
for myself and every other man a right of
private judgment on this subject, and a wrong
in being interfered with by any wholesale
dealer in other people's consciences. You shall
not fine me forty shillings for not going to
church, by virtue of any cap., sec., or sched.
of any act whatsoever. You shall not drive
me to Doctor Mac Yelp's chapel with a moral
rope's end, as boatswain's mates were wont to
start men of war's-men when the church
was rigged on the quarter-deck.

Sunday in England must perforce be taken
as a holiday, as we have scarcely any other
holidays during the long year. The want of
recognised days of public relaxation is the