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horseman close upon me on the pathwho had
no existencethat I came to myself and looked
about. The day broke mistily (it was autumn
time), and I could not disembarrass myself of
the idea that I had to climb those heights and
banks of cloud, and that there was an Alpine
Convent somewhere behind the sun, where I was
going to breakfast. This sleepy notion was so
much stronger than such substantial objects as
villages and haystacks, that, after the sun was
up and bright, and when I was sufficiently awake
to have a sense of pleasure in the prospect, I still
occasionally caught myself looking about for
wooden arms to point the right track up the mountain
and wondering there was no snow yet. It is
a curiosity of broken sleep, that I made immense
quantities of verses on that pedestrian occasion
(of course I never make any when I am in my
right senses), and that I spoke a certain
language once pretty familiar to me, but which I
have nearly forgotten from disuse, with fluency.
Of both these phenomena I have such frequent
experience in the state between sleeping and
waking, that I sometimes argue with myself
that I know I cannot be awake, for, if I were, I
should not be half so ready. The readiness is
not imaginary, because I can often recal long
strings of the verses, and many turns of the
fluent speech, after I am broad awake.

My walking is of two kinds; one, straight on
end to a definite goal at a round pace; one,
objectless, loitering, and purely vagabond. In the
latter state, no gipsy on earth is a greater
vagabond than myself; it is so natural to me and
strong with me, that I think I must be the
descendant, at no great distance, of some
irreclaimable tramp.

One of the pleasantest things I have lately
met. with, in a vagabond course of shy
metropolitan neighbourhoods and small shops, is the
fancy of a humble artist as exemplified in two
portraits representing Mr. Thomas Sayers, of
Great Britain, and Mr. John Heenan, of the
United States of America. These illustrious
men are highly coloured, in fighting trim, and
fighting attitude. To suggest the pastoral and
meditative nature of their peaceful calling, Mr.
Heenan is represented on emerald sward, with
primroses and other modest flowers springing
up under the heels of his half-boots; while Mr.
Sayers is impelled to the administration of his
favourite blow, the Auctioneer, by the silent
eloquence of a village church. The humble
homes of England, with their domestic virtues
and honeysuckle porches, urge both heroes to
go in and win; and the lark and other singing-
birds are observable in the upper air, ecstatically
carolling their thanks to Heaven for a fight.
On the whole, the associations entwined with
the pugilistic art by this artist are much in the
manner of Izaak Walton.

But, it is with the lower animals of back
streets and by-ways that my present purpose
rests. For human notes, we may return to such
neighbourhoods when leisure and inclination
serve.

Nothing in shy neighbourhoods perplexes my
mind more, than the bad company birds keep.
Foreign birds often get into good society, but
British birds are inseparable from low
associates. There is a whole street of them in
Saint Giles's; and I always find them in poor
and immoral neighbourhoods, convenient to the
public-house and the pawnbroker's. They seem
to lead people into drinking, and even the man
who makes their cages usually gets into a
chronic state of black eye. Why is this? Also,
they will do things for people in short-skirted
velveteen coats with bone buttons, or in sleeved
waistcoats and fur caps, which they cannot be
persuaded by the respectable orders of society
to undertake. In a dirty court in Spitalfields,
once, I found a goldfinch drawing his own
water, and drawing as much of it as if he
were in a consuming fever. That goldfinch
lived at a bird-shop, and offered, in writing, to
barter himself against old clothes, empty bottles,
or even kitchen-stuff. Surely a low thing and a
depraved taste in any finch! I bought that
goldfinch for money. He was sent home, and
hung upon a nail over against my table. He
lived outside a counterfeit dwelling-house,
supposed (as I argued) to be a dyer's; otherwise it
would have been impossible to account for his
perch sticking out of the garret window. From
the time of his appearance in my room, either
he left off being thirstywhich was not in the
bondor he could not make up his mind to
hear his little bucket drop back into his well
when he let it go: a shock which in the best of
times had made him tremble. He drew no
water but by stealth and under the cloak of
night. After an interval of futile and at length
hopeless expectation, the merchant who had
educated him was appealed to. The merchant
was a bow-legged character, with a flat and
cushiony nose, like the last new strawberry. He
wore a fur cap, and shorts, and was of the
velveteen race, velveteeny. He sent word that he
would "look round." He looked round,
appeared in the doorway of the room, and slightly
cocked up his evil eye at the goldfinch. Instantly,
a raging thirst beset that bird; when it was
appeased, he still drew several unnecessary buckets
of water; and finally, leaped about his perch
and sharpened his bill, as if he had been to the
nearest wine-vaults and got drunk.

Donkeys again. I know shy neighbourhoods
where the Donkey goes in at the street door,
and appears to live up-stairs, for I have examined
the back yard from over the palings, and have
been unable to make him out. Gentility,
nobility, Royalty, would appeal to that donkey in
vain to do what he does for a costermonger. Feed
him with oats at the highest price, put an infant
prince and princess in a pair of panniers on his
back, adjust his delicate trappings to a nicety,
take him to the softest slopes at Windsor, and
try what pace you can get out of him. Then,
starve him, harness him anyhow to a truck with
a flat tray on it, and see him bowl from Whitechapel
to Bayswater. There appears to be no
particular private understanding between birds
and donkeys, in a state of nature; but in the shy

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