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things, know them daily on the evidence of my
senses and experience; when I know that the
Ruffian never jostles a lady in the street, or
knocks a hat off, but in order that the Thief
may profit, is it surprising that I should require
from those who are paid to know these things,
prevention of them?

Look at this group at a street corner.
Number one is a shirking fellow of five-and-
twenty, in an ill-favoured and ill-savoured suit,
his trousers of corduroy, his coat of some
indiscernible ground-work for the deposition of
grease, his neckerchief like an eel, his
complexion like dirty dough, his mangy fur cap
pulled low upon his beetle brows to hide
the prison cut of his hair. His hands are
in his pockets. He puts them there when
they are idle, as naturally as in other people's
pockets when they are busy, for he knows
that they are not roughened by work, and
that they tell a tale. Hence, whenever he takes
one out to draw a sleeve across his nosewhich
is often, for he has weak eyes and a constitutional
cold in his headhe restores it to its
pocket immediately afterwards. Number two
is a burly brute of five-and-thirty, in a tall
stiff hat; is a composite as to his clothes of
betting man and fighting man; is whiskered;
has a staring pin in his breast, along with his
right hand; has insolent and cruel eyes; large
shoulders; strong legs, booted and tipped for
kicking. Number three is forty years of age;
is short, thick-set, strong, and bow-legged;
wears knee cords and white stockings, a very
long-sleeved waistcoat, a very large
neckerchief doubled or trebled round his throat,
and a crumpled white hat crowns his ghastly
parchment face. This fellow looks like an
executed postboy of other days, cut down
from the gallows too soon, and restored and
preserved by express diabolical agency.
Numbers five, six, and seven, are hulking, idle,
slouching young men, patched and shabby, too
short in the sleeves and too tight in the legs,
slimily clothed, foul-spoken, repulsive wretches
inside and out. In all the party there obtains
a certain twitching character of mouth and
furtiveness of eye, that hints how the coward is
lurking under the bully. The hint is quite
correct, for they are a slinking sneaking set,
far more prone to lie down on their backs and
kick out, when in difficulty, than to make a
stand for it. (This may account for the street
mud on the backs of Numbers five, six, and
seven, being much fresher than the stale splashes
on their legs.)

These engaging gentry a Police-constable
stands contemplating. His Station, with a Re-
serve of assistance, is very near at hand. They
cannot pretend to any trade, not even to be
porters or messengers. It would be idle if
they did, for he knows them, and they know
that he knows them, to be nothing but
professed Thieves and Ruffians. He knows where
they resort, knows by what slang names they call
one another, knows how often they have been in
prison, and how long, and for what. All this is
known at his Station, too, and is (or ought to
be) known at Scotland Yard, too. But does he
know, or does his Station know, or does
Scotland Yard know, or does anybody know,
why these fellows should be here at liberty,
when, as reputed Thieves to whom a whole
Division of Police could swear, they might
all be under lock and key at hard labour?
Not he; truly he would be a wise man if he
did! He only knows that these are members
of the " notorious gang," which, according
to the newspaper Police-office reports of this
last past September, " have so long infested"
the awful solitudes of the Waterloo Road, and
out of which almost impregnable fastnesses the
Police have at length dragged Two, to the
unspeakable admiration of all good civilians.

The consequences of this contemplative habit
on the part of the Executivea habit to be
looked for in a hermit, but not in a Police
Systemare familiar to us all. The Ruffian
becomes one of the established orders of the
body politic. Under the playful name of Rough
(as if he were merely a practical joker) his
movements and successes are recorded on
public occasions. Whether he mustered in large
numbers, or small; whether he was in good
spirits, or depressed; whether he turned his
generous exertions to very prosperous account,
or Fortune was against him; whether he was
in a sanguinary mood, or robbed with amiable
horse play and a gracious consideration for life
and limb; all this is chronicled as if he were
an Institution. Is there any city in Europe,
out of England, in which these terms are held
with the pests of Society? Or in which, at this
day, such violent robberies from the person are
constantly committed as in London?

The Preparatory Schools of Ruffianism are
similarly borne with. The young Ruffians of
Londonnot Thieves yet, but training for
scholarships and fellowships in the Criminal
Court Universitiesmolest quiet people and
their property, to an extent that is hardly
credible. The throwing of stones in the streets
has become a dangerous and destructive offence,
which surely could have got to no greater
height though we had had no Police but our
own riding-whips and walking-sticksthe
Police to which I myself appeal on these oc-
casions. The throwing of stones at the
windows of railway carriages in motion an act of
wanton wickedness with the very Arch-Fiend's
hand in ithad become a crying evil, when the
railway companies forced it on Police notice.
Constabular contemplation had until then been
the order of the day.

Within these twelve months, there arose
among the young gentlemen of London
aspiring to Ruffianism, and cultivating that much
encouraged social art, a facetious cry of " I'll
have this!" accompanied with a clutch at some
article of a passing lady's dress. I have known
a lady's veil to be thus humourously torn from
her face and carried off in the open streets at
noon; and I have had the honour of myself
giving chase, on Westminster Bridge, to another