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registered; and in the evening, in the little greasy
room behind the shop, where the transfer is
about to be formally concluded, I know that
I form a prominent topic of discussion when
the question of "good-will" comes to be
decided upon.

Sometimes I fancy the interests of the
little knot of traders clash; the fishmonger
becomes jealous of the butcher, or the
butcher of the fishmonger; the tailor thinks
that I patronise the bootmaker more than I
do him, or the bootmaker becomes discontented
when he sees me with a new coat.
The doctor grumbles that there is not enough
stale fish, and doubtful meat sold, to enable
him to keep his family in a respectable manner;
and since they erected the gymnasium
at the boarding school for the boys, and
started the cricket club, the demand for pills
and black-draughts has sensibly fallen off,
and although there is now an occasional
dislocation, or a broken leg, it does not benefit
him, as he has no surgical knowledge.

If I dare to rebel against the right of
property which these traders claim in me and
my household, I am very soon brought to a
proper sense of the duties of my position.
When I forbade the grocer the house for a
few days, in consequence of the unbearable
character of the articles he sold; and, after
much difficulty, got the omnibus people to
bring what I wanted from town, he waited
upon me in the most confident manner, and
coolly said, "that he would endeavour, if
possible, to do better in future; but begged
respectfully and firmly to state that he had
paid about thirty pounds for me in the goodwill,
and he certainly intended to have me!"

And so it is with them all. I may be
weak, imaginative, and morbidly sensitive,
but I am morally certain that the very
undertaker is looking towards me with longing
eyes, waiting for the time, perhaps not far
distant, when I shall slip through the greedy
fingers of his fellow-tradesmen, and drop
helplessly into his willing arms. I am
sure that at the little evening gatherings in
the tavern parlour, feeling that his chances
of employment come few and far between,
and utterly forgetful of the peculiar nature
of his calling, he is one of the first to
join in the universally popular Poodleton
tradesman's maxim of "live and let live."
When the curtains are drawn close and the
knocker is muffled, I know that his card will
be dropped gently into my letter-box to
remind me of his claims and his existence.


"I SHALL be late! I shall be late! Only
ten minutes to the hour! Run, some one,
and see what can Victor be doing with that
valise. A child could carry it. O, O, these
rascals! These (something) French rascals!"

Words spoken by an infuriated Briton at
the door of a grand hotel in a very grand
Parisian street. He is bound for Marseilles
by the night express; and is vainly seeking
to have his mails brought down. The grand
people of the grand hotel (it was of all nations
and of copious flourish) are in the habit of
doing things in their own way, and at their
own time. So that the chances of that
infuriated Briton's going down peacefully by
night express, of that infuriated Briton's
paying his cab fare, taking through ticket,
having his mails weighed, and being improperly
assessed thereon, would have appeared
ludicrously poor to unoccupied bystanders,
Practically speaking, he might have been
taken to be out of the betting altogether
perhaps scratched.

"Will no one seek that fellow and the
valise? O (here suppressed oath) execrable
canaille! Laziest crew! I must bring it
down myself!"

A sympathising fille de chambre, leaning
against the door, observes: "How cruel!—
Jacques has deplorable lungs, the boy!
'Twill kill him, laying these heavy burdens
on him."

The infuriated Briton darts past her with
look of defiance, and meets his valise
constructed to be carried in the handborne
arduously by two men. He snatches it from
them, and bears it down himself. Then bids
Cocher, if he would love double fare, drive
like five hundred devils. Cocher, lashing his
steed furiously, swears profanely that he
will drive like five hundred thousand of
those condemned spiritsadding, that his
pace shall be as the residence of those
unhappy beings. The infuriated Briton leans
him back in the vehicle, and is gradually

It may be as well confessed at once, that I
was that excited foreigner, wishing, perhaps,
through all that turbulent scene to veil my
own proper personality under the thin
disguise of a species of allegory. As I was
borne away at the unholy pace promised;
now speeding round corners in arcs of
fearfully small radius, now taking crossings with
a bound as though they were leaps; I began
to find myself rising, as it were, in the
betting, and to feel a yearning to hedge, if
possible. A change of feeling, in a great measure
owing to a certain yellow fiacre that kept
steadily before us, describing the same fearful
arcs, also taking the crossings like fences, and
imperilling human life precisely in the same
manner. The yellow fiacre might, in all
probability, have had ITS unholy company,
five hundred thousand strong, chartered and
in yoke. To our charioteer it was a terrible
rock a-headthat yellow fiacre. Vainly did
he strive to shoot past it by the right or by
the left: destined to be always stopped by the
adroit obstruction of yellow fiacre. Fearful
were his oaths when so checked: awful his
round of imprecation. I noted, too, that a
dark face, with black glossy moustaches, was
put forth from the window every now and