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When sufficiently hardened by time, it
falls to the disposal of the finisher. Of course
our sabotier has plenty of ready-dried
subjects to go on with. He may either simply
smooth its rough places, and send it forth to
the blacker, an unpretending comfortable
sabot, or he may carve it with the semblance
of embroidery and buttons; or he may imitate
the sole and the wrinkles of a leathern pump,
and destine his sabot to be decorated
hereafter with Siberian fur and Genoa velvet.
Besides his own little scraper and polisher,
the tools of the carver and engraver are at
his elbow; and it sometimes pleases him to
prepare at his leisure hours the sabot of
luxury, as a token of love or friendship, or
perhaps merely to beguile wandering
amateurs, like ourselves, of the francs and
sous that ought to be laid out upon shoe-
leather and caoutchouc.

Let a more unpretending specimen of art be
mine! With permission, I will pocket this
half-finished, damp, but lady-like sabot. It
shall stand in the centre of my writing-table,
and suggest dreams of the charming but
unknown Cinderella, whose well-proportioned
foot would exactly fit it. Nor need it be a
useless toy; our friends here give the hint.
A gros sabot serves them as a salt-box; mine
shall perform the office of a pen-tray.
Pleasant thoughts, in proper phrase, must
flow, next morning, from the quill which has
reposed all night in that virgin receptacle.
I salute you, trio of industrious and obliging
sabotiers, and thank you much for your well
meant promise, that if I pay another visit to
Blind Ass Street, with Cinderella's sabot in
my pocket, you will finish it off for me in
first-rate style, gratuitously!


WHEN I was at school near Harborough,
at Doctor Doddle's Classical and Commercial
Academy, where we had lectures on
astronomy, and hydraulics, and optics, and practised
elocution; where "corporal punishment" was
superseded by " moral restraint " and fighting
was not allowed; where we never played
football or any other game in the rough style of
the rude boys at Eaxby Grammar School
(who thrashed us whenever they met us), but
performed gymnastics and went through
military evolutions; my inseparable
companion was Harry Spanner. Spanner was
the youngest brother by twenty years of
the great house of Richard and Robert
Spanner, merchants and manufacturers, who
dealt in everything, from a pin to a steam
engine, and did not disdain the smallest
profits that could be squeezed out of a garret
master. He was not the best scholar, or the
best at anything, not even the best fighter
for we did fight at times, although it was
unlawful, and voted ungentlemanly. But, he
was the best dressed fellow, the neatest, the
coolest, the most impudent, the most amusing,
and one of the best looking.

If poets are born, not made; so are gentlemen.
I mean gentlemen after the definition
of Brummel. Colourless well-cut features,
and a remarkably symmetrical figure; animal
spirits that never failed him; a dry, cynical,
sarcastic humour, a spirit of self-possessed
cool assurance, a strong taste for dress and
amusement; these were the qualifications that
rendered Harry Spanner the admired chief
of those who were older, cleverer, and richer
than himself.

At seventeen, no guardsman could better
affect indifference, no pot-boy was readier at

He it was who introduced Wellington boots
into the school, with the full approbation of
Doctor Doddles, and he it was who, when
a mild usher, having discovered him in the act
of brewing gin-punch in the kitchen after
midnight with a party of admiring friends,
inquired " Whether he was aware of the
injurious effects of alcoholic drinks?" answered
that he was, and that he took them with the
express purpose of keeping his stature within
moderate limits: having been disgusted by
the gigantic proportions of his brothers Robert
and Richard.

I verily believe that old Doddles was afraid
of him. Mrs. Doddles delighted to point him
out, as " one of our young gentlemen," and to
expatiate on the elegance of his bow, which,
by-the-bye, he had copied very exactly from
Count Crookedini, when he met him' on the
grand stand at Wallsend races. The two
Miss Doddleses, Mariffc- with spectacles, and
Agnes with long ringlets and sentimental
eyes, were both in love with him; the laundry-
maid always got up his shirts with extra
care; the cook was accused of putting
cakes and pork-pies into his desk when she
lighted the school-room fires. Although
Spanner never gave anybody anything and
gave himself a great many airs, he had the
command of the best of everything from
every one in the school. The most preciously
prized home presents were handed out in
fear of his pitiless ridicule. As when, for
instance, he said, " Hollo, old fellow, let us have
the loan of that new pocket-knife; it will
spoil, wrapped in all that silk paper."

Among other pretensions assumed by
Master Spanner, he hinted to his intimates
that he was not really the younger brother of
Robert and Richard Spanner, merchants and
manufacturers, so much respected by their
bankers and so much detested by their workmen;
that the smart old gentleman with a
curly brown wig, false teeth, a bright blue
frock coat, gold spectacles, and a hat extremely
turned up at the brim, who had retired from
business and lived in London with his sister
Mrs. Fubsy the tailor's wife, was not really
his father; but that, by some mysterious
process, he was in fact a scion of a noble family.
And then he quoted Byron, and appealed to

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