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family circle by relating feats of valour
achieved by that lamented officer at the
Battle of Waterloo, where I leave him dead,
with the British flag (which he wouldn't
give up to the last) wound tightly round his
left arm. So we go on, until Bob leaves for
Sandhurst. I leave in course of time
everybody leaves. Years have gone by, when
I twice or thrice meet a gentleman with a
moustache, driving a lady in a very gay bonnet,
whose face recalls the boarding establishment
of Miss Maggiggs at Hammersmith, though
it does not look so happy as it did under Miss
Maggiggs, iron-handed despot as I
believed that accomplished woman to be. This
leads me to the discovery that the
gentleman with the moustache is Bob; and
one day Bob pulls up, and talks, and
asks me to dinner; but, on subsequently
ascertaining that I don't play billiards, hardly
seems to care as much about me as I had
expected. I ask Bob at this period, if he is in
the service still? Bob answers no my boy,
he got bored and sold out; which induces me
to think (for I am growing worldly), either
that Bob must be very independent indeed, or
must be going to the Dogs. More years elapse,
and having quite lost sight and sound of Bob
meanwhile, I say on an average twice a week
during three entire twelvemonths, that I
really will call at the guardian's near the
Bank, and ask about Bob. At length I do so.
Clerks, on being apprised of my errand,
became disrespectful. Guardian, with bald
head highly flushed, bursts out of inner office,
remarks that he hasn't the honor of my
acquaintance, and bursts in again, without
exhibiting the least desire to improve the
opportunity of knowing me. I now begin sincerely
to believe that Bob is going to the Dogs,
More years go by, and as they pass Bob
sometimes goes by me too, but never twice in
the same aspectalways tending lower and
lower. No redeeming trace of better things
would hang about him now, were he not
always accompanied by the sister. Gay
bonnet gone; exchanged for something limp
and veiled, that might be a mere porter's
knot of the feminine gender, to carry a load
of misery onshabby, even slipshod. I, by
some vague means or other, come to the
knowledge of the fact that she entrusted that
independence to Bob, and that Bobin short, that
it has all gone to the Dogs. One summer day,
I descry Bob idling in the sun, outside a
public-house near Drury Lane; she, in a
shawl that clings to her, as only the robes of
poverty do cling to their wearers when all
things else have fallen away, waiting for him
at the street corner; he, with a stale, accustomed
air, picking his teeth and pondering;
two boys watchful of him, not unadmiringly.
Curious to know more of this, I go round
that way another day, look at a concert-bill
in the public-house window, and have not a
doubt that Bob is Mr. Berkeley, the
celebrated bacchanalian vocalist, who presides at
the piano. From time to time, rumours float
by me afterwards, I can't say how, or where
they come fromfrom the expectant and
insatiate Dogs for anything I knowtouching
hushed-up pawnings of sheets from poor
furnished lodgings, begging letters to old
Miss Maggiggs at Hammersmith, and the
clearing away of all Miss Maggiggs's
umbrellas and clogs, by the gentleman who called
for an answer on a certain foggy evening
after dark. Thus downward, until the faithful
sister begins to beg of me, whereupon I
moralise as to the use of giving her any
money (for I have grown quite worldly now),
and look furtively out of my window as she
goes away by night with that half-sovereign of
mine, and think, contemptuous of myself, can
I ever have admired the crouching figure
plashing through the rain, in a long round
crop of curls at Miss Maggiggs's! Oftentimes
she comes back with bedridden lines
from the brother, who is always nearly dead
and never quite, until he does tardily make
an end of it, and at last this Act├Žon reversed
has run the Dogs wholly down and betaken
himself to them finally. More years have
passed, when I dine at Withers's at Brighton
on a day, to drink 'Forty-one claret; and
there, Spithers, the new Attorney- General,
says to me across the table, " Weren't you a
Mithers's boy? " To which I say, " To be
sure I was! " To which he retorts, " And
don't you remember me? " To which I
retort, " To be sure I do"—which I never did
until that instantand then he says how
the fellows have all dispersed, and he has
never seen one of them since, and have I?
To which I, finding that my learned friend
has a pleasant remembrance of Bob from
having given him a black eye on his fifteenth
birthday in assertion of his right to " smug"
a pen-wiper forwarded to said Bob by his
sister on said occasion, make response by
generalising the story I have now completed,
and adding that I have heard that, after Bob's
death, Miss Maggiggs, though deuced poor
through the decay of her school, took the
sister home to live with her. My learned
friend says, upon his word it does Miss
Whatshername credit, and all old Mitherses
ought to subscribe a trifle for her. Not
seeing the necessity of that, I praise the
wine, and we send it round, the way of the
world (which world I am told is getting
nearer to the Sun every year of its existence),
and we bury Bob's memory with the epitaph
that he went to the Dogs.

Sometimes, whole streets, inanimate streets
of brick and mortar houses, go to the Dogs.
Why, it is impossible to say, otherwise than
that the Dogs bewitch them, fascinate them,
magnetise them, summon them and they
must go. I know of such a street at the
present writing. It was a stately street in
its own grim way, and the houses held
together like the last surviving members of
an aristocratic family, and, as a general rule,