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feat he had recently performed in swallowing
so much red tape, he rapidly became a man
of mark and likelihood in the great city.
Everybody paid court to him as one sure
to rise to honour. He began his new life
by setting up as a master carpenter, without
going through any intermediate apprenticeship
or study; and in the course of a few years, as
he was found to have a genius for watching a
glue-pot, while on the fire, the first cabinet-
maker of the day took him into partnership.

The cabinet-work of Lord Peter gave the
utmost satisfaction to his employers, and the
greatest possible dissatisfaction to everybody
elseat least to all the people, if they, poor
souls, are anybody.

Numberless petitions now came to him, as
urgently as of old, though with more ceremony
than when he ran wild in the woods. He had
abandoned his dress of skins, with the exception
of the foraging cap, which he had
converted into a more domestic article, equally
applicable as a day-cap or a night-cap; and,
in place of his former costume, he now
appeared in fine cloth, wore a shirt-collar
wonderfully "got up," and was followed by
an attendant in livery with the glue-pot. The
said attendant also carried a telescope under his
arm, as Lord Peter often wished to see bow
objects close at hand looked when he applied
the eye-glass end to them, and the object-glass,
or "field," to his eye. The telescope was also
fitted, under his directions, with a distorting
glass, which rendered objects of all sorts of
shapes; and, likewise, vith a darkening glass,
by means of which he could see nothing at
all, though he often kept staring through it
with all his might.

The petitions and requisitions he now
received did not relate at all to the woods
and forests, but to the supervisorship of
the bodily health of the inhabitants of
the great city, with their water-pipes, and
drain-pipes, and bills of mortality. As to
the doctors, and statistical folks, and learned
clerks, under his control, he treated them
all in his old way; whatsoever proposals
for doing anything they placed in his hands,
he instantly let them drop, and danced round
them. In like manner, though with a difference,
when large deputations of the people
came to him with petitions, and proposals,
and prayers, against Old Typhus, Old Cholera,
Old Rawhead, and the Reverend Mr. Skull-yard
all dreadful old nuisanceshe
received them with a bow; but, as soon as the
deputations were out of sight, he let fall their
documents and papers, and performed his
usual dance round them. Subsequently,
however, as the people happened (for a wonder) to
become impatient and clamorous because
nothing was really done, or seemed at all
likely ever to be done, he advanced upon a
temporary platform outside the window of
the cabinet-maker's workshop, and placing
himself in a dignified and truly imposing
attitude, began to draw from his mouth yard
after yard of red tape, to the utter confusion
of all the petitioners, the discomfiture of his
enemies, and the bewilderment of the country
at large!

At last, after a life of great public service,
Lord Peter saw his end approaching. Being
of a disinterested and generous disposition, he
determined not to leave his light under a
bushel of saw-dust, but that other men in
office should derive all the benefit they could
from his wisdom and experience. Before
he died, therefore, he left this great political
maxim (which had been his rule through life,
and the foundation of all his greatness),
as a guide for all future cabinet-makers and
public carpenters: "Never do anything till
you are obliged; and then do as little as

A brass plate is fixed up in the parish,
church of North Church, Hertford, on the
top of which there is (or there used to be,
some years ago) a sketch of the head of
"Peter," drawn from a very good engraving
by Bartolozzi. A similar effigy has been
arranged to be carved in stone, by Lord
Peter's political admirers and disciples the
statuaries having strict injunctions never to
raise a chisel until ordered by the police to
"move on," and then only to chip off the
smallest particle of stone-dust at a time.


Naples, Jan. 8.

WHAT sort of reading for the million is
provided under the enlightened rule of
Ferdinand Bomba, King of Naples, is a question
which it will not occupy a great number of
your columns to answer. Take a walk with
me in Naples, if you please. There is a
crowd at the street corner, where there
is a People's Library; that is to say, an old
wall, under the professional care of the
bill-poster, and blistered over with placards.
The gentleman with the paste-pot is spreading
a blister; he raises it, and the anxious
crowd fastens curiously upon its expanding
features, as he smooths it out before their
eyes. It contains political information, being,
in fact, a police notice. Every batch of
placards has a small crowd about it: the proportion
of the million who can read is in Naples
(as in England) small; but those who are
learned, read aloud the writing on the wall to
the poor ragged Belshazzars standing about
them. Here is a good deal about police, and
so on, something about a railway, and all the
praise of the new singer at San Carlo, in a
mighty poster. Few remarks are made, for
no game is too small in the eyes of a police
spy; but the people will go home, and discuss
the information they have gathered from the
wall. So, for example, numbers of them come
to talk, like connoisseurs, of the new bass, or
the new tenor, whom they have never seen or
heard,—never will see or hear,—but they have
read about him, or heard read about him, on.

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