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stranger to a vault or firmament, of a sort of
floorcloth, with an indistinct pattern distantly
resembling eyes, which occasionally obtrudes
itself on her repose. Neither am I. Neither
is Winking Charley. It is quite common to
all three of us to skim along with airy strides
a little above the ground; also to hold, with
the deepest interest, dialogues with various
people, all represented by ourselves; and to
be at our wit's end to know what they are
going to tell us; and to be indescribably
astonished by the secrets they disclose. It is
probable that we have all three committed
murders and hidden bodies. It is pretty
certain that we have all desperately wanted
to cry out, and have had no voice; that we
have all gone to the play and not been able
to get in; that we have all dreamed much
more of our youth than, of our later lives;
thatI have lost it! The thread's broken.

And up I go. I, lying here with the night
light before me, up I go, for no reason on earth
that I can find out, and drawn by no links
that are visible to me, up the Great Saint
Bernard!  I have lived in Switzerland, and
rambled among the mountains; but, why I
should go there now, and why up the Great
Saint Bernard in preference to any other
mountain, I have no idea. As I lie here broad
awake, and with every sense so sharpened that
I can distinctly hear distant noises inaudible
to me at another time, I make that journey,
as I really did, on the same summer day, with
the same happy partyah! two since dead,
I grieve to thinkand there is the same track,
with the same black wooden arms to point the
way, and there are the same storm-refuges here
and there; and there is the same snow falling
at the top, and there are the same frosty
mists, and there is the same intensely cold
convent with its menagerie smell, and the
same breed of dogs fast dying out, and the
same breed of jolly young monks whom I
mourn to know as humbugs, and the same
convent parlour with its piano and the sitting
round the fire, and the same supper, and the
same lone night in a cell, and the same bright
fresh morning when going out into the highly
rarefied air was like a plunge into an icy bath.
Now, see here what comes along; and why
does this thing stalk into my mind on the top
of a Swiss mountain!

It is a figure that I once saw, just after
dark, chalked upon a door in a little back
lane near a country churchmy first church.
How young a child I may have been at the time
I don't know, but it horrified me so intensely
in connection with the churchyard, I suppose,
for it smokes a pipe, and has a big hat with
each of its ears sticking out in a horizontal
line under the brim, and is not in itself more
oppressive than a mouth from ear to ear, a
pair of goggle eyes, and hands like two
bunches of carrots, five in each, can make it
that it is still vaguely alarming to me to recall
(as I have often done before, lying awake) the
running home, the looking behind, the horror
of its following me; though whether
disconnected from the door, or door and all, I can't
say, and perhaps never could. It lays a
disagreeable train. I must resolve to think of
something on the voluntary principle.

The balloon ascents of this last season.
They will do to think about, while I lie
awake, as well as anything else. I must hold
them tight though, for I feel them sliding
away, and in their stead are the Mannings,
husband and wife, hanging on the top of
Horsemonger Lane Jail. In connexion with
which dismal spectacle, I recal this curious
fantasy of the mind. That, having beheld
that execution, and having left those two
forms dangling on the top of the entrance
gatewaythe man's, a limp loose suit of
clothes, as if the man had gone out of them;
the woman's, a fine shape, so elaborately
corseted and artfully dressed, that it was
quite unchanged in its trim appearance as it
slowly swung from side to sideI never
could, by my utmost efforts, for some weeks,
present the outside of that prison to myself
(which the terrible impression I had received
continually obliged me to do) without presenting
it with the two figures still hanging
in the morning air. Until, strolling past the
gloomy place one night, when the street was
deserted and quiet, and actually seeing that
the bodies were not there, my fancy was
persuaded, as it were, to take them down and
bury them within the precincts of the jail,
where they have lain ever since.

The balloon ascents of last season. Let me
reckon them up. There were the horse, the
bull, the parachute, and the tumbler hanging
onchiefly by his toes, I believebelow the
car. Very wrong indeed, and decidedly to
be stopped. But, in connexion with these and
similar dangerous exhibitions, it strikes me
that that portion of the public whom they
entertain, is unjustly reproached. Their
pleasure is in the difficulty overcome. They
are a public of great faith, and are quite
confident that the gentleman will not fall off the
horse, or the lady off the bull or out of the
parachute, and that the tumbler has a firm
hold with his toes. They do not go to see
the adventurer vanquished, but triumphant.
There is no parallel in public combats
between men and beasts, because nobody can
answer for the particular beastunless it
were always the same beast, in which case it
would be a mere stage-show, which the same
public would go in the same state of mind to
see, entirely believing in the brute being
beforehand safely subdued by the man. That they
are not accustomed to calculate hazards and
dangers with any nicety, we may know from
their rash exposure of themselves in overcrowded
steam-boats, and unsafe conveyances
and places of all kinds. And I cannot help
thinking that instead of railing, and attributing
savage motives to a people naturally well
disposed and humane, it is better to teach
them, and lead them argumentatively and

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