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in a wooden mug, and a quashy mess of
baking pears under a pie-crust of the Middle


"SIR," said Samuel Johnson to the Scotch
gentleman—"sir, let us take a walk down Fleet
Street." If I had not a thousand other reasons
to love and revere the memory of the great
and good old doctor, I should still love and revere
it for his preference of Fleet Street to the
fieldsof streets generally to sylvan shades
of the hum of men and the rattling of wheels,
to the chirp of the cricket or the song of the
skylark. It may be prejudice, or an unpoetic
mind, or so on; but I am of the streets,
streety. I love to take long walks, not only
down Fleet Street, but up and down all other
streets, alleys, and lanes. I love to loiter about
Whitehall, and speculate as to which window
of the Banqueting House it was, and whether
at the front, or at the back, that Charles
Stuart came out to his death. I see a vivid
mind-picture of the huge crowd gathered
together that bleak January morning, to witness
the fall of that "grey discrowned head."
Drury Lane I affect especially, past and present
the Maypole, Nelly Gwynn, and the
Earls of Craven, dividing my interest with
Vinegar Yard, the costermongers, the pawn-brokers,
and the stage-door of the theatre
round the corner. Holborn, Cheapside, the
Old Bailey, the great thoroughfares on the
Surrey side of the water, have all equal
charms for me.

I will take a walk "down Whitechapel

How many thousands of us have lived for
yearsfor a third part of our lives, probably,
in Londonand have never been down the
Whitechapel Road? I declare that there are
not half-a-dozen persons in the circle of my
acquaintance who can tell me where Bethnal
Green is. As to Ratcliff Highway, Shadwell,
Poplar, Limehouse, and Rotherhithe, they are
entirely terrœ incognitœ to shoals of born-and-bred

"Down Whitechapel way." Have you ever
been "down" that way, reader? Ten to one
you have not. You have heard, probably, of
Whitechapel needles; and the costermonger
from whom you may occasionally have condescended
to purchase vegetables would very
likely inform you, were you to ask him,
that he lives "down that way." Perhaps
your impressions connected with Whitechapel,
refer vaguely to butchers, or, probably, to
Jews, or possibly to thieves. Very likely you
don't trouble yourself at all about the matter.
You had an aunt once who lived at Mile
End; but she quarrelled with everybody
during her lifetime, and left her money to
the London Hospital when she died, and you
never went to see her. You see scores of omnibuses
pass your door daily, with Aldgate,
Whitechapel, Mile End, painted on their
panels; but you have no business to transact
there, and let the omnibuses go on their way
without further comment.

Those who care to know a little about what
their neighbours in the far East are doing
this Saturday night, are very welcome to accompany
me in the little excursion I am
about to make. A thick pair of boots, and
perhaps a mackintosh, or some light covering
of that sort, would not be out of place; for it
is as rainy, slushy, and muddy a Saturday night
as you would desire to have (or not to have) in
the month of October. Stay, here is a friend
with us who has known Whitechapel and its
purlieus any time this five-and-twenty years,
on all sorts of days and nights. Here is
another who is an enthusiast in the noble art
of self-defence, and who insists on forming
one of our party, on the principle that a night
excursion to Whitechapel must necessarily
involve a "scrimmage," and an opportunity
to develop the celebrated tactics of the prize-ring
on a grand scale. Those who patronise
the deleterious weed may light cigars; and so
onward towards Whitechapel!

On, through Fleet Streetpassing St.
Dunstan's as eight strikes; noting the newspaper
offices blazing with gas from basement to
garret; jostled occasionally by the well-looking
(though ruined) agricultural gentlemen,
with massy watch-chains (and bankrupt purses)
who have been discussing port and Protection
after an ample dinner at Peele's or Anderton's.
On, and up Ludgate the lofty, watching
the red and blue lights of the doctors'
shops as they are mirrored in the wet pavement;
and thinking, perhaps, that, after all,
there may be some good in that early-closing
movement which has fastened the portals of
all those magnificent palaces of linen-drapery,
and sent those shoals of spruce clerks and
assistants forth for health and recreation
many, it is to be hoped, to the Literary and
Scientific Institute, the class-room, and the
singing lesson, and not all (as some kind souls
would insinuate) to the taproom or the cigar
shop. On, round the solemn dome of St. Paul's,
and by that remarkable thoroughfare on the
left-hand side, where, to my mind, the
odours of a pastrycook's shop, of a tallow-manufactory,
of the Chapter Coffee House,
and all the newly-bound books in Paternoster
Row are irrevocably combined and blended.
On, by Cheapside, the magnificent, where
rows of dazzling gas-reflectors illumine shop-fronts,
teeming with yet more dazzling si
of watches, rich jewellery, and bales of
silver spoons and forks. There are desolate
ragged wretches staring wistfully at the
glittering heaps of baubles, just as they
would at the pennyworth of pudding in the
window of a cook's shop. Are they speculating
on the possibility of a gold watch filling
a hungry belly? or are they, haply, contemplating
one bold dash through the frail
sheet of glassone hasty snatch at the
watches, and rings, and braceletsone

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