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well as the best of citizens and ratepayers.
Ferocity, dishonesty, are not the normal state.
A lion cannot be always roaring, a bear
cannot be always hugging; and, unless
you make of every thief a caput lupinum,
and shoot him down wherever you find
him, he must have his den, his hole, or his
corner; his shinbone of beef or his slain
antelope. Being human, he is also gregarious;
and thus Gibbet Street. If you leave
holes, the foxes will come and inhabit them;
if you suffer heaps of rubbish to accumulate,
the bats and dragonflies will make them their
habitation; if you banish the broom from
your ceiling-corners, the spiders will come
a-building there; if you flush not your
sewers, the rats will hold high holiday in
them; and if, to make an end of truisms,
you are content to bear with rottenness
and dirt in the heart of the city that
has no equal, on the skirt of your kingly
mantle a torn and muddy fringe; if your
laws say, Dirt, you are an institution, and
Vermin you are vested, and Ignorance you
are our brother; if you make and keep up,
and sweep and garnish, a Thieves' Kitchen,
with as much care and precaution as if it
were a diplomatic mission to Ashantee, or a
patent place, or an assistant commissionership,
why the thieves will come and live in it. Which
is the greatest scandala house infested with
vermin, or the carelessness of the servant
who has suffered them to accumulate there?
Gibbet Street is a scandala burning shame;
but it is not half so scandalous or shameful as
the governmental dwellers in Armida's garden,
who have suffered the foul weeds to grow
up; who have yawningly constructed
succursal forcing-houses for crime and ignorance,
and have had a greenhouse in every gaol,
and a conservatory in every Gibbet Street?
They may say that it is not for them to
interfere: some of them interfere to obstruct
national education; others interfere to
manufacture pet hypocrites in gorgeous gaols.

I notice that the principal argument of the
police before the magistrates, when they wish
to put down a penny theatre, a penny dancing
saloon, concert hall, or beershop, lies in the
fact of the place inculpated being a resort for
thieves and the worst of characters. Bless
me, good Mr. Superintendents and
Inspectors, astute and practical as you are,
where are the thieves to go? What are
they to do in the small hours? Is the Clarendon
open to them? Would they be
welcome at the Sacred Harmonic? Would
Mr. Albert Smith be glad to see them at the
Egyptian Hall? Are their names down for
the house dinners at the Garrick or the
Carlton? You will have none of them even
in your prisons or hulks, but you turn
them out with tickets of leave as soon
as they have imposed on the chaplain; or as
soon as your gamut of reclaiming measures
has been drummed over. You empty them
on the streets, and then, wall-eyed, moon-
struck Society, holds up its hands and gapes,
because astute Superintendent X, practical
Inspector Z, tells you that the thieves are
gone back to Gibbet Street; that they are
"forty thieving like one" at the corner; and
that they are careering about with life-
preservers, chloroform bottles, crow-bars,
and skeleton-keys. Where else should they
go? Where can they go? "Where!" echo
the six hundred and fifty-six slumberers in
Armida's Garden, waking up from a sodden
trance; "but what a shocking place this
Gibbet Street is! We shall really have
to move for leave to bring in a bill some
day to put it down: meanwhile, let us
never, no never, give a thought to the
practicability of putting down thieves or
thieving by moving one finger, by making
one snail's footstep towards the discountenance
and destruction of the teeming
seed from which crime is grown,"—seed
colported and exposed as openly as the nasturtions
or ranunculuses in the little brown
paper bags in Covent Garden Market; seed
that, with our eyes shut, and with a dreamy
perseverance in wrong-doing, we continue
scattering broadcast over the fields; afterwards
spending millions in steam-ploughs
of penal laws, and patent thrashing-machines
of prison discipline, and improved harrows of
legislation, and coercive drains, and criminal
subsoiling; all for the furtherance of the
goodly gibbet harvest. What is the good of
throwing away the cucumber when you have
oiled, and vinegared, and peppered, and
salted it?  Why don't you smash the
cucumber-frames?  Why don't you burn the
seed? Hang me all the thieves in Gibbet
Street to-morrow, and the place will be
crammed with fresh tenants in a week; but
catch me up the young thieves from the
gutter and the doorsteps; take Jonathan
Wild from the breast; send Mrs. Shepherd to
Bridewell, but take hale young Jack out of
her arms; teach and wash me this young
unkempt vicious colt, and he will run for
the Virtue Stakes yet; take the young child,
the little lamb, before the great Jack Shepherd,
ruddles him and folds him for his own
black flock in Hades; give him some soap,
instead of whipping him for stealing a cake of
brown Windsor; teach him the Gospel, instead
of sending him to the treadmill for haunting
chapels and purloining prayer-books out of
pews; put him in the way of filling shop-
tills, instead of transporting him when he
crawls on his hands and knees to empty them;
let him know that he has a body fit and
made for something better than to be kicked,
bruised, chained, pinched with hunger, clad
in rags or prison grey, or mangled with
gaoler's cat; let him know that he has
a soul to be saved. In God's name, take
care of the children, somebody; and there
will soon be an oldest inhabitant in Gibbet
Street, and never a new one to succeed