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faint lights in the windows of the houses where
the people were asleep, and to think that some
of them had been to Public Prayers that
Sunday, and had typified the Divine love and
gentleness, by the panting, footsore creature,
burnt, beaten, and needlessly tormented there,
that night, by thousandssuggested truths
so inconsistent and so shocking, that the
Market of the Capital of the World seemed a
ghastly and blasphemous Nightmare.

"Does this happen every Monday morning?"
asked the horror-stricken denizen of Long
Hornets, of a respectable-looking man.

"This?" repeated the stranger. "Bless
you! This is nothing to what it is
sometimes." He then turned to a passing drover,
who was vainly trying to get some fifty sheep
through a pen-alley calculated for the easy
passage of twenty. " How many are spoke for
to-night, Ned?"

"How many? Why five-and-twenty-thousand
sheep, and forty-one-hundred beasts."

"Ah! no more than an ordinary market,
Sir," said Mr. Bovington's new friend; " yet
you see and hear what's now going on to
wedge these numbers in. And it stands to
reason, if you 've got to jam together a fourth
more animals than there is space for, there
must be cruelty."

"How much legitimate accommodation is
there? " asked Mr. Bovington.

"There are pens for two-and-twenty-thousand
sheep and they can tie up twenty-seven-
hundred beasts. Well! you hear; room has
already been 'spoke for,' or bespoken, for
three-thousand more sheep and fourteen-
hundred more cattle than there is proper space
for."

"What becomes of the surplus?"

"The beasts are formed, in the thoroughfares
and in the outskirts of the market, into
what we call ' off droves; ' and the sheep wait
outside, anywhere, till they can get in."

Here the conversation was interrupted by
a sudden increase in the demoniacal noises.
Opposite the speakers, was a row of panting
oxen, each fastened by a slip-noose to a rail,
as closely as their heads could be jammed
together. Some more were being tied up, and
one creature had just escaped. Instantly a
dozen hoarse voices yelled:

"Out! out! out!"

The cry was echoed by a dozen others.

"Out! out! out!"

A wild hunt followed, and then a shower
of blows on the back, horns and sides, of the
luckless truant. The concentrated punishment
of two dozen drovers' sticks made the bull
too glad to resume its original station. It
was then tied up, so tightly, that the swelled
tongue protruded. That the poor brute
should be rendered powerless for motion for
some time to come, it was ' hocked; '
that is to say, tremendous blows were
inflicted on its hind legs till it was completely
hobbled.

Mr. Bovington was glad it was not one of
his bullocks. " Are many strangled by these
tight nooses? " he asked.

"A good many in the course of the year, I
should say. All the rails are full now, and the
off-droves are beginning."

The battle raged faster and more furious
than ever. In order to make the most of the
room, they were forming 'ring-droves;' that
is, punishing the animals till a certain number
had turned all their heads together so as to
form the inside of a circlewhich at last
they did, to avoid the blows inflicted on
them. Mr. Bovington's blood ran cold as he
witnessed the cruelty necessary for this
evolution. After every imaginable torment had
been practised, to get them into the right position,
a stray head would occasionally protrude
where a tail should be -- on the outside
of the ring. Tremendous blows were then
repeated on the nose, neck, and horns, till the
tortured animal could turn; and when he
succeeded, the goad was ' jobbed ' into his
flanks till he could wedge himself in, so as to
form his own proper radius of the dense
circle.

"I have often seen their haunches streaming
with blood," said Mr. Bovington's companion,
"before they could get into the ring. Why,
a friend of mine, a tanner at Kenilworth, was
actually obliged to leave off buying hides that
came out of this market, because they were
covered with holes that had been bored in the
live animals by the Smithfield drovers. He
called these skins Smithfield Cullanders."

"Cruel wretches!"

"Well," said the stranger, thoughtfully, " I
can't blame them, I have known them forty
years——"

"You are a salesman?"

"I was; but they worried me out of the
market, for trying to get it removed, and for
giving evidence against it before Parliament."

Mr. Brumpton (that was the name of the
ousted salesman) did a little fattening, now, on
a few acres near London; and came occasionally
to Smithfield to buy and sell in a small
way,—just, in fact, as Mr. Bovington had begun
to do.

"Well," he continued, " I can't lay all the
blame on the drovers. What can they do?
If they have got one hundred beasts to wedge
into a space only big enough for seventy, they
must be cruel. Even the labour their cruelty
costs themselves is terrible. I have often seen
drovers' men lying on the steps of doors, quite
exhausted. None of them ever live long."

"How many are there?"

"About nine-hundred-and-fiftylicensed."

A deafening hullabaloo arose again. A
new ring-drove was being begun, close by.
Bovington threw up his hands in horror,
when he saw that some of his cherished cattle
were to become members of it. The lively
West Highlander was struggling fiercely
against his fate; but in vain: he was goaded,
beaten, and worried with dogs, till forced into
the ring.

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