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THE METROPOLITAN PROTECTIVES.

NERVOUS old ladies, dyspeptic half-pay
officers, suspicious quidnuncs, plot-dreading
diplomatists, and grudging rate-payers, all
having the fear of the forthcoming Industrial
Invasion before their eyes, are becoming very
anxious respecting the adequate efficiency of
the London Police.  Horrible rumours are
finding their way into most of the clubs:
reports are permeating into the tea-parties
of suburban dowagers which darkly shadow
forth dire mischief and confusion, the most
insignificant result whereof is to be (of course)
the overthrow of the British Constitution.
Conspiracies of a comprehensive character are
being hatched in certain back parlours, in certain
back streets behind Mr. Cantelo's Chicken
Establishment in Leicester Square.  A complicated
web of machination is being spunwe
have it on the authority of a noble peer
against the integrity of the Austrian Empire,
at a small coffee-shop in Soho.  Prussia is being
menaced by twenty-four determined Poles and
Honveds in the attics of a cheap restaurateur
in the Haymarket.  Lots are being cast for
the assassination of Louis Napoleon, in the
inner parlours of various cigar shops. America,
as we learn from that mighty lever of
the civilized world, the "New York Weekly
Herald "—at whose nod, it is well known,
kings tremble on their thrones, and the earth
shakesis of opinion that the time bids fair
for a descent of Red Republicans on
Manchester. The English policemen have been
tampered with, and are suborned. The great
Mr. Justice Maule can't find one anywhere.
In short, the peace of the entire continent of
Europe may be considered as already gone.
When the various conspiracies now on foot
are ripe, the armies of the disaffected of all
nations which are to land at the various
British ports under pretence of "assisting"
at the Great Glass show, are to be privately
and confidentially drilled in secret Champs
de Mars
, and armed with weapons, stealthily
abstracted from the Tower of London: while
the Metropolitan Police and the Guards, both
horse and foot, will fraternise, and (to a man)
pretend to be fast asleep.

Neither have our prudent prophets omitted
to foretel minor disasters. Gangs of burglars
from the counties of Surrey, Sussex, and
Lancashire are also to fraternise in London, and
to "rifle, rob, and plunder," as uninterruptedly
as if every man's house were a mere Castle of
Andalusia. Pickpocketsnot in single spies
but in whole battalionsare to arrive from
Paris and Vienna, and are to fall into compact
organisation (through the medium of
interpreters) with the united swell-mobs of
London, Liverpool, and Manchester!

In short, it would appear that no words can
express our fearful condition, so well, as Mr.
Croaker's in "The Good Natured Man."
"I am so frightened," says he, "that I scarce
know  whether I sit, stand, or go. Perhaps at
this moment I am treading on lighted matches,
blazing brimstone, and barrels of gunpowder.
They are preparing to blow me up into the
clouds. Murder!  We shall be all burnt in
our beds!"

Now, to the end that the prophets and their
disciples may rest quietly in their beds, we
have benevolently abandoned our own bed
for some three nights or so, in order to report
the results of personal inquiry into the
condition and system of the Protective Police of
the Metropolis:—the Detective Police has
been already described in the first volume of
"Household Words." If, after our details
of the patience, promptitude, order, vigilance,
zeal, and judgement, which watch over the peace
of the huge Babylon when she sleeps, the
fears of the most apprehensive be not
dispelled, we shall have quitted our pillow,
and plied our pen in vain! But we have
no such distrust.

Although the Metropolitan Police Force
consists of nineteen superintendents, one
hundred and twenty-four inspectors, five hundred
and eighty-five serjeants, and four thousand
seven hundred and ninety-seven constables,
doing duty at twenty-five stations; yet, so
uniform is the order of proceeding in all, and
so fairly can the description of what is done
at one station be taken as as a specimen of
what is done at the others, that, without
farther preface, we shall take the reader into
custody, and convey him at once to the Police
Station, in Bow Street, Covent Garden.

A policeman keeping watch and ward at
the wicket gives us admission, and we proceed
down a long passage into an outer room,
where there is a barrack bedstead, on which
we observe Police-constable Clark, newly










































been already described in the first volume















































































reports are permeating intothe tea-parties
of suburban dowagers which darkly shadow
forth dire mischief and confusion, the most
insignificant result whereof is to be (of course)
the overthrow of the British Constitution.













having the fear of the forthcoming Industrial

Invasion before their eyes, are becoming very

anxious respecting the adequate efficiency of

the London Police. Horrible rumours are

finding their way into most of the clubs:







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