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head, either at the dirty aspect of the weather
or at that of your humble servant, and was
just about closing his door, when I ran up the
steps and caught him by the coat-tail.

"Dear-a deary me!" said the relieving
officer, when I had explained my errand to
him, "dear-a deary me!"

This was perplexing rather than
encouraging; and I waited some moments for a
more definite communication. But, none
came, and the relieving officer kept staring
at me with a bewildered expression, twitching
nervously at a watch-ribbon meanwhile, and
then whirling it round as if he intended
presently to sling the seals at my head; but I
made bold to tell him what the porter had
told me about his finding me a bed.

"Dear-a deary me!" said the relieving
officer again, dropping the threatened missiles;
but, this time, with a shake of the head that
gave solemn significance to his words. "Where
am I to find a bed?"

This was a question that I could not
answer; nor, apparently, could the relieving
officer. So he changed the theme.

"There isn't such a thing as a bed," he
remarked.

I don't think that he meant to deny the
existence of such a thing as a bed, taken in
the light of a bed; but rather that he intended
to convey the impossibility of there being such
an institution as a bed for such as I was.

"You must go further," he said.

"Where, further?" I asked desperately.

"Oh, I'm sure I can't say," replied the
relieving officer; "you must go on. Yes,"
he repeated with another stare of bewilderment
and clutch at his watch appendages,
"go onfurtherthere's a good lad."

Whatever I may have found inclination
to respond to this invitation, was cut short
by the relieving officer shutting the door
precipitately, and putting up the chain. So I
did go on; but not much further. I wandered
down to the banks of the canal, where I found
a coal-barge just unladen. It was very hard,
and black, and gritty; but I found out the
softest board, and, in that barge, in spite of all
the rain and the coal-dust, I slept soundly.

From Guildford to Farnham next day,
through Alton; where, if I remember right,
the ale is brewed. My feet were terribly
swollen and blistered; but, with a sullen pride
I kept to my shoes. I have those shoes to
this day in a neat case. Such crabshells!
It was just one o'clock when I walked into
Farnham, Hants; but, I was so tired out that,
pending the opening of my hotel, the
workhouse, I turned into a field, and slept there,
under a hedge, until nearly eight o'clock.

I may remark as a note-worthy feature of
the frame of mind I must have been in during
my tramp, that although I was a sharp boy,
with a taste for art and a keen eye for the
beauties of nature, I observed nothing,
admired nothingnor smiling landscapes, nor
picturesque villages, nor antique churches. I
saw, felt, thought, of nothing but of the mortal
miles I had to walk. The counties of Surrey
and Hampshire were to me but vast deserts
of coach-roads, diversified by oases of
milestones, with a Mecca or Medina, in the
shape of an Union workhouse, at the end of
each day's weary travel. I met wayfarers like
myself, but they were merely duplicates of the
sunburnt tramp, the Irish reaper, and the
drunken tinker. There was, now and then, a
stray Italian boy, and an Alsacian broom-girl
or so; and once I met a philanthropist in
a donkey-cart, who sold apples, onions, pots
and pans, red-herrings, Common Prayer-
books, and flannel. He gave me a raw
red-herringif, being already cured, that
fishy esculent can be said to be raw. Raw or
cooked, I ate it there and then.

I never begged. Stout farmers' wives, with
good-humoured countenances, threw me a
halfpenny sometimes, and one pleasant-spoken
gentleman bade me wait till he saw whether
he could find sixpence for me. But he had
no change, he said; and, bidding me good
evening in quite a fatherly manner, rode
away on his dapple gray steed. Has he
change, now, I wonder?

When I woke up I went straight to the
workhouse. Farnham did not boast an Union,
but had a workhouse of the old school. The
master was a pleasant old man, with a large
white apron, and gave me a liberal ration of
bread and cheese. I happened to be the only
occupant of the ward that evening; and, being
locked up early, I had time to look about me,
and select the cleanest and softest-looking
truss of straw. The whitewashed walls were
covered with the names of former tramps;
their poetical effusions and their political
sentiments were scratched with nails or scrawled
in charcoal. John Hind had laboured
hard to rhyme "workhouse" with "sorrow;"
but, although he had covered some six feet of
wall with his efforts, he had not succeeded.
Some anonymous hand had scrawled in
desperate Roman capitals "God help the poor;"
to which I said Amen. Mr. Jack Bullivant
had recorded, in energetic but untranscribable
terms, his disapproval of the quality of the
cheese; and J. Naylor had given vent to his
democratic enthusiasm in "Hurrah for uni"
something which looked like unicorn, but
was intended, I fancy, to mean "universal
suffrage." Chartism was the great wall-cry
in those days. Close to the door was the sign
manual of "Paul Sweeny, bound to London
with Fore Kids." Motherless, perhaps.

There had been one "casual" in before
me; but he was taken so violently ill
immediately after his admission, that he had been
removed into another out-house, on to a truckle
bed: the rules of the establishment not permitting
his being transferred to the infirmary. The
poor wretch lay groaning piteously, as I could
hear with painful distinctness through the thin
wall that separated him from the casual ward.
His groans became at last so appalling that

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