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tunic (like the Bust at the Hairdresser's,
completely carried out), is coming, when you see
them "getting over" to one side, while the
surprising phenomenon is presented on the
landscape of a vast mortal shadow in a hat of
the present period, violently directing them
so to do. You are acquainted with all these
peculiarities of the gaslight Fairies, and you
know by heart everything that they will do
with their arms and legs, and when they will
do it. But, as to the same good people in their
invisible condition, it is a hundred to one that
you know nothing, and never think of them.

I began this paper with, perhaps, the most
curious trait, after all, in the history of the
race. They are certain to be found when
wanted. Order Mr. Vernon to lay on a
hundred and fifty gaslight Fairies next
Monday morning, and they will flow into the
establishment like so many feet of gas. Every
Fairy can bring other Fairies; her sister Jane,
her friend Matilda, her friend Matilda's
friend, her brother's young family, her mother
if Mr. Vernon will allow that respectable
person to pass muster. Summon the Fairies,
and Drury Lane, Soho, Somers' Town, and
the neighbourhood of the obelisk in St.
George's Fields, will become alike prolific in
them. Poor, good-humoured, patient, fond
of a little self-display, perhaps, (sometimes,
but far from always), they will come trudging
through the mud, leading brother and sister
lesser Fairies by the hand, and will hover
about in the dark stage-entrances, shivering
and chattering in their shrill way, and earning
their little money hard, idlers and
vagabonds though we may be pleased to think
them. I wish, myself, that we were not so often
pleased to think ill of those who minister to
our amusement. I am far from having satisfied
my heart that either we or they are a
bit the better for it.

Nothing is easier than for any one of us to
get into a pulpit, or upon a tub, or a stump,
or a platform, and blight (so far as with our
bilious and complacent breath we can), any
class of small people we may choose to select.
But, it by no means follows that because it is
easy and safe, it is right. Even these very
gaslight Fairies, now. Why should I be
bitter on them because they are shabby
personages, tawdrily dressed for the passing
hour, and then to be shabby again? I have
known very shabby personages indeedthe
shabbiest I ever heard oftawdrily dressed
for public performances of other kinds, and
performing marvellously ill too, though
transcendently rewarded: yet whom none
disparaged! In even-handed justice, let me render
these little people their due.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Whatever you may
hear to the contrary (and may sometimes
have a strange satisfaction in believing), there
is no lack of virtue and modesty among the
Fairies. All things considered, I doubt if
they be much below our own high level. In
respect of constant acknowledgment of the
claims of kindred, I assert for the Fairies,
that they yield to no grade of humanity. Sad
as it is to say, I have known Fairies even to
fall, through this fidelity of theirs. As to
young children, sick mothers, dissipated
brothers, fathers unfortunate and fathers
undeserving, Heaven and Earth, how many
of these have I seen clinging to the spangled
skirts, and contesting for the nightly shilling
or two, of one little lop-sided, weak-legged

Let me, before I ring the curtain down on
this short piece, take a single Fairy, as Sterne
took his Captive, and sketch the Family-
Picture. I select Miss Fairy, aged three-and-
twenty, lodging within cannon range of Waterloo
Bridge, Londonnot alone, but with her
mother, Mrs. Fairy, disabled by chronic
rheumatism in the knees; and with her father,
Mr. Fairy, principally employed in lurking
about a public-house, and waylaying the
theatrical profession for twopence wherewith to
purchase a glass of old ale, that he may have
something warming on his stomach (which
has been cold for fifteen years); and with
Miss Rosina Fairy, Miss Angelica Fairy, and
Master Edmund Fairy, aged respectively,
fourteen, ten, and eight. Miss Fairy has an
engagement of twelve shillings a weeksole
means of preventing the Fairy family from
coming to a dead lock. To be sure, at this
time of year the three young Fairies have a
nightly engagement to come out of a Pumpkin
as French soldiers; but, its advantage to the
housekeeping is rendered nominal, by that
dreadful old Mr. Fairy's making it a legal
formality to draw the money himself every
Saturdayand never coming home until his
stomach is warmed, and the money gone.
Miss Fairy is pretty too, makes up very
pretty. This is a trying life at the best, but
very trying at the worst. And the worst
is, that that always beery old Fairy, the
father, hovers about the stage-door four or
five nights a week, and gets his cronies among
the carpenters and footmen to carry in
messages to his daughter (he is not admitted
himself), representing the urgent coldness of his
stomach and his parental demand for twopence;
failing compliance with which, he creates
disturbances; and getting which, he becomes
maudlin and waits for the manager, to whom he
represents with tears that his darling child and
pupil, the pride of his soul, is "kept down in
the Theatre." A hard life this for Miss Fairy,
I say, and a dangerous! And it is good to
see her, in the midst of it, so watchful of
Rosina Fairy, who otherwise might come to
harm one day. A hard life this, I say again,
even if John Kemble Fairy, the brother, who
sings a good song, and when he gets an
engagement always disappears about the
second week or so and is seen no more, had
not a miraculous property of turning up on a
Saturday without any heels to his boots,
firmly purposing to commit suicide, unless
bought off with half-a-crown. And yetso