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distance from London, and accessible by rail," as
house-agents sayand I wrote to himor her
for the address of one of these houses, stating
that I intended to pass a night there. Heor
shereplied that though hisor herstatement
was thoroughly correct, heor shemust decline
giving the address of any particular house, as
such a course would be detrimental to the value
of the property, and might render himor her
liable to an action at law on the part of the landlord.
So I was disappointed.

I heard, however, the other day, that a real
ghost, real as to its unreality, its impalpability,
its visionary nothingness, was to be
seen in a remote and unknown region called
Hoxton, I had previously heard that the
same, or a similar spectre, haunted Regent-
street, but I laughed at the notion. Regent-
street! with the French boot-shop, and the
ice-making man, and the Indian pickle depôt
opposite! A ghost in juxtaposition to electrical
machines, a diver who raps his helmet with
halfpence, and the awful insects in the drop of
water! But Hoxtonthere was something
ghostly in the very name, and the place itself was
as unfamiliar to me as Tierra del Fuego. Nobody
to whom I spoke knew anything about it; they
"had heard the name;" it was "somewhere out
north," they thought. Ah! in an instant my
fancy sketches the spot. A quaint old suburb,
where the railway has not yet penetrated, where
sleepy cows chew the cud of peace in quiet
meadows, where ploughmen whistle o'er the
lea (whatever that may happen to mean), where
huge elms yet stand waving their giant limbs
before square red brick mansions. One of these
mansions for years untenanted, roofless,
dismantled, a murder was committed in it years
ago: an old man with silver hair, a spendthrift
nephew, a box of gold, a carving knife, a well in
garden where weapon is discovered years
afterwards, a wailing cry at twelve P.M., a tottering
figure wringing its handsyes, that must be it,
or something very like it! I determined to go
to Hoxton that night.

There was no railwayso far I was rightand
I went to my destination in a cab. After a little
time I found we were striking out of the great
thoroughfares of commerce into narrow by-lanes,
where a more pastoral style of living prevailed,
where fried fish of a leathery appearance lay in
tangled heaps on the slabs of windowless fish-
shops, where jocund butchers, seemingly on the
best terms with their customers, kept up a
perpetual chorus of "Buy, buy!" and slapped the
meat before them with a carving knife and a gusto
that together seemed to give quite an appetite to
the hesitating purchaser. We passed several
graveyards deep set in the midst of housesdank,
frouzy, rank, run-to-seed places, where Pelions
of "Sacred to the memory" were heaped upon
Ossas of "Here lieth the remains," and out of
which the lank sapless grass trembled through
the railings and nodded feebly at the passers-by.
Good places for ghosts these! City ghosts of
misers and confidential clerks, and trustees who
committed suicide just before the young gentleman
whom they had had in trust came of age,
and would have infallibly found out all about
their iniquities. I peered out of the cab in quest
of any chance apparition, but saw none, and was
very much astonished when the driver, to whom
I had given particular instructions, pulled up
before a brilliantly lighted doorway, round which
several cadgers were disporting themselves.
These youths received me with great delight,
and one said, "You come along with me, sir!
I'll take you to the hout and houtest old spectre
in the neighbr'ood. This way, sir!" He
led the way along a lighted passage, between
rough brick walls, until we arrived at a barrier,
whereafter a muttered conversation between
my guide and the janitora shilling was
demanded of me, after paying which I was provided
with a card talisman and left to find my way alone.
Down a broad passage on one side of which was
a recess where sandwiches lay piled like deals
in a timber-yard, where oranges were rolled up
in pyramidal heaps of three feet high, and where
there was so much ginger-beer that its
simultaneous explosion must infallibly have blown the
roof off the building, down a flight of asphalted
stairs, at the bottom of which a fierce man wrung
my card talisman from me and turned me into a
large loose box, the door of which he shut behind
me. A loose box with a couple of chairs in it,
a looking-glass, a flap tablea loose box open on
one side, looking through which opening I see
hundreds of people ranged in tiers above each
other. Turning to see what they are all
intent on, I see a stageI'm tricked! I'm done!
the loose box is a private box, and I'm in a
theatre.

Left to myself, what could I do but look at
the stage, and, doing that, how could I fail to
be intensely interested? I speedily made myself
acquainted with the legend being there theatrically
developed, and, beyond that the colour
was, perhaps, a little heightened, I did not find
it more or less preposterously unlike anything
that could, by any remote possibility, ever have
occurred than is usual in dramatic legends.
The scene of action being laid at the present
time, I found the principal character represented
to be a BARONET (he had a name, but he was
invariably spoken of by everybody, either with
yells of hatred or shoulder-shrugs of irony, as
"the Baronet"), and certainly he was the most
objectionable old gentleman I have ever seen.
The mere fact of his walking about, in the
present day, in a long claret coloured coat, a low
crowned hat with a buckle in the front, and
boots which, being apparently made of sticking-
plaster, had tassels like bell-pulls, was in itself
irritating; but his moral conduct was horrible.
He seemed to have an insane desire for the
possession of his neighbours' property, not felonious
in his intentions, but imbued with a buying
mania, and rabidly ferocious when said
neighbours refused to sell. First among his coveted

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