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I KNEW they would turn out a failure, sir;
I knew they would. It's infamous. What
has a Prince to do with building cottages?
What has the royally high to do with the
villanously low, sir? When the Prince
becomes a bricklayer, what are the bricklayers
to be?—answer me that! What I say, is,
that if the Queen don't go down to the
Bricklayers' Arms to live, and Mr. Cubitt doesn't
move his works to certain other premises in
Pimlico, there will be loss of balance
somewhere; there will be a man floored, and a
bruise for somebody. Whoever thinks to
chop meat with a penknife, must let pens be
mended with a cleaver. Well, sir, I knew
they would turn out a failure, and it gives me
pain to see the flooring of a prince, or, in
point of fact, his tiling either. My allusion
is in this place to houses, not to hats.
Nevertheless, I am an upright, downright sort of
fellow; my name's Bendigo, and I 'm a stickler
for fair-play. I knew the Model Cottages
would turn out a humbug; but being an
impartial umpire, thinks I to myself, Buster,
you shall go and see, and give a fair opinion.
So, my old Tartar, come along, says I to
Mrs. B. She put a knuckle of ham in a
basket, with a few bottles of the best
Jamaica, and we very soon were on the way
to Knightsbridge. I scorn to deny that I
had private motives. As a man inheriting
old family property in Church Lane, and some
other places that I needn't mentionas a
man experienced in the sort of tenants aimed
at by his Royal Highness, Buster felt
naturally bound to go, as an impartial man, to see
the Knightsbridge Cottages, and give a
straightforward opinion. That is just what
he has been and done.

The Model Cottages, you know, are at the
Knightsbridge Cavalry Barracks. Their
object is to defraud owners of existing cottage
property, by offering to tenants a superior
article at the same price. Pretty competition
for a Prince to be engaged upon! They may
well be built at Knightsbridge;—a place
famous in the good old times as the lurking-
place of robbers, ought to keep up its reputation,
certainly. Well, sir, these cottages are
at the Cavalry Barracks, just opposite that
tremendous failure, the Great Exhibition, for
which His Royal Highness has, I believe,
also something to answer. I call the Great
Exhibition a failure, because I've been to it
and found it barren. There's not a boxing-
glove in the whole trumpery collection, and I
could fight any five of the visitorsthe puny,
marrowless, perspiring creatures. There's
nothing in the Exhibition fit to look at, and
I only stopped five minutes. As for the glass
house, pooh! it's not original. There was a
glass palace built in China about a thousand
years ago. I don't carry a history of China
in my pocket; so I can't tell the precise date,
nor whether the emperor was Wou-ti or
Wen-ti; but I'll bet you ten to one it's a fact
that somewhere about the year 800, two
strangers from the West came into China,
and they told the emperor, whatever his name
might be, that they could teach the art of
making coloured glass; an article which had
before that time been imported at a great

The emperor said "Done;" the Tartars,
or whatever they were, led the way among
mountains, and showed where to find the
mineral pigments: coloured glass was made;
and Wou-ti, Wen-ti, or whatever Ti he was,
ordered a palatial hall to be constructed
of this glass, that should be large enough to
hold one hundred people! It was built; and
all the newspaper puff concerning crystal
splendour, super-terrestrial beauty, and so on
all the identical phrases now in use, are to
be found in Chinese, uttered by the Chinamen
a thousand years ago.

That's not my opinion of the Model Houses.
Certainly it isn't. My opinion of them is,
that nothing so ridiculous was ever
perpetrated, whether in China or Peru, or Little
Pedlington, from Anno Mundi one, down to
this Monday, Anno eighteen hundred and
fifty-one, on which I have walked down with
Mrs. B. to see them for myself, and judge
impartially. Well, here they are, and they
look rather neat outside,—but Fronti nulla
fides, the front's not worth a fiddle. Yes, I
believe you, I pick up some Latin: one don't
box with Oxford men for nothing. But you
may cheer up; I scorn to take much advantage
of my opportunities, and I may say as I heard
a rector say, who'd grown too stout to box,
but was a jolly fellow for all that, and has

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