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quantity more. The procession was in the
highest spirits, and consisted of idlers who had
come with the curtained litter from its starting-place,
and of all the reinforcements it had picked
up by the way. It set the litter down in the
midst of the Morgue, and then two Custodians
proclaimed aloud that we were all " invited" to
go out. This invitation was rendered the more
pressing, if not the more flattering, by our being
shoved out, and the folding-gates being barred
upon us.

Those who have never seen the Morgue, may
see it perfectly, by presenting to themselves an
indifferently paved coach-house accessible from
the street by a pair of folding-gates; on the left
of the coach-house, occupying its width, any large
London tailor's or linendraper's plate-glass window
reaching to the ground; within the window,
on two rows of inclined planes, what the coach-house
has to show; hanging above, like irregular
stalactites from the roof of a cave, a quantify
of clothesthe clothes of the dead and buried
shows of the coach-house.

We had been excited in the highest degree by
seeing the Custodians pull off their coats and
tuck up their shirt-sleeves, as the procession
came along. It looked so interestingly like
business. Shut out in the muddy street, we
now became quite ravenous to know all about
it. Was it river, pistol, knife, love, gambling,
robbery, hatred, how many stabs, how many
bullets, fresh or decomposed, suicide or murder?
All wedged together, and all staring at one
another with our heads thrust forward, we
propounded these inquiries and a hundred more
such. Imperceptibly, it came to be known
that Monsieur the tall and sallow mason yonder,
was acquainted with the facts. Would
Monsieur the tall and sallow mason, surged at by a
new wave of us, have the goodness to impart?
It was but a poor old man, passing along the
street under one of the new buildings, on whom
a stone had fallen, and who had tumbled dead.
His age? Another wave surged up against
the tall and sallow mason, and our wave swept
on and broke, and he was any age from sixty-five
to ninety.

An old man was not much: moreover, we
could have wished he had been killed by human
agencyhis own, or somebody else's: the latter,
preferablebut our comfort was, that he had
nothing about him to lead to his identification,
and that his people must seek him here.
Perhaps they were waiting dinner for him
even now? We liked that. Such of us as
had pocket-handkerchiefs took a slow intense
protracted wipe at our noses, and then crammed
our handkerchiefs into the breast of our blouses.
Others of us who had no handkerchiefs
administered a similar relief to our overwrought
minds, by means of prolonged smears or wipes
of our mouths on our sleeves. One man with
a gloomy malformation of browa homicidal
worker in white-lead, to judge from his blue tone
of colour, and a certain flavour of paralysis
pervading himgot his coat-collar between his
teeth, and bit at it with an appetite. Several
decent women arrived upon the outskirts of the
crowd, and prepared to launch themselves into
the dismal coach-house when opportunity should
come; among them, a pretty young mother,
pretending to bite the forefinger of her babyboy,
kept it between her rosy lips that it might
be handy for guiding to point at the show.
Meantime, all faces were turned towards the
building, and we men waited with a fixed and
stern resolution:—for the most part with folded
arms. Surely, it was the only public French
sight these uncommercial eyes had seen, at which
the expectant people did not form en queue.
But there was no such order of arrangement
here; nothing but a general determination to
make a rush for it, and a disposition to object
to some boys who had mounted on the two stone
posts by the hinges of the gates, with the
design of swooping in when the hinges should

Now, they turned, and we rushed! Great
pressure, and a scream or two from the front.
Then a laugh or two, some expressions of
disappointment, and a slackening of the pressure
and subsidence of the struggle.—Old man not

"But what would you have?" the Custodian
reasonably argues, as he looks out at his
little door. "Patience, patience! We make
his toilette, gentlemen. He will be exposed
presently. It is necessary to proceed according
to rule. His toilette is not made all at a blow.
He will be exposed in good time, gentlemen, in
good time." And so retires, smoking, with a
wave of his sleeveless arm towards the window,
importing, "Entertain yourselves in the mean
while with the other curiosities. Fortunately the
Museum is not empty to-day."

Who would have thought of public fickleness
even at the Morgue? But there it was, on that
occasion. Three lately popular articles that had
been attracting greatly when the litter was first
descried coming dancing round the corner by
the great cathedral, were so completely deposed
now, that nobody save two little girls (one
showing them to a doll) would look at them.
Yet the chief of the three, the article in the
front row, had received jagged injury of the left
temple; and the other two in the back row, the
drowned two lying side by side with their heads
very slightly turned towards each other, seemed
to be comparing notes about it. Indeed, those
two of the back row were so furtive of appearance,
and so (in their puffed way) assassinatingly
knowing as to the one of the front, that it was
hard to think the three had never come together
in their lives, and were only chance companions
after death. Whether or no this was the general,
as it was the uncommercial, fancy, it is not to
be disputed that the group had drawn exceedingly
within ten minutes. Yet now, the inconstant
public turned its back upon them, and even
leaned its elbows carelessly against the bar
outside the window, and shook off the mud from its
shoes, and also lent and borrowed fire for pipes.

Custodian re-enters from his door, "Again
once, gentlemen, you are invited——" No