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the ticket," he exclaimed triumphantly, pulling
out a bronze badge, "I'm number thirty-
five, I am."

"And can you perform anywhere?"

"No; the police picked out thirteen good
places'pitches,' we calls 'emwhere we can
play. There's the listthirteen on 'em all
of a rowbeginning on the Boulevards at
the Place de la Colonne de Juilliet, and
ending in the Champs Elysées." He
unfolded a neatly written document that plainly
defined the limits of Paris within which he,
in common with his co-professors, was
allowed to display his abilities.

With a small gratuity for the new light
thrown upon the subject of street performances,
I parted from my enterprising
countryman wishing him every success.

I have sometimes wondered whether
considering that we have all sorts of licensed
people about us; people who are licensed to
cram us upon steam-boats; to crowd us into
omnibuses; to jolt us in ramshackle cabs; to
supply us with bad brandy and other adulterated
drinks; licentiates for practising
physic; licentiates for carrying parcels;
licentiates for taking money at their own
doors for the diversions of singing and
dancing; licentiates for killing game with
gunpowder, which other people have been
licensed to makeit would not be wise to
license in England out-of-door as well as
in-door amusements.


In spite of never-ending talk about
''perfidious Albion," the French cannot justly be
reproached with being either a suspicious or
a timid people. On the contrary, they often
suffer, individually, from placing too much
confidence in those who really deserve it not;
and nationally, from having no sort of fear
or forethought; but rashly rushing forwards
into all sorts of messes and disasters,
which are as visible as the course of the
highway under your feet to every living
creature except themselves.

In one point, however, they carry distrust
and wariness far beyond a heroic, or even a
reasonable point of caution. They are not
particularly afraid of facing their enemies;
but they are ridiculously fearful of touching
a fungus. They will often give credit to a
plausible stranger; but they will have nothing
to do with any member of the cryptogamic
class, of whose antecedents they are not fully
cognizant, and for whose future proper
behaviour they have not the most trustworthy
guarantees. A pair of lovers would as soon
shut themselves up in an air-tight chamber,
with a dish of burning charcoal for their
entertainment, as sit down to sup off a mess
of mushrooms which their most trusty friend
had gathered in a meadow. The fool-hardiness
of those insular experimentalists in
L'eccentrique Angleterre, who feast themselves
on inky toad-stools, cotton-woolly puff-balls,
and leathery morels, is to them sufficient
proof that, droll as we are, we are by no
means deficient in courage. "Ketchup" is a
British sauce, which many a Frenchman
would label POISON; and it must be honestly
confessed that we are not over-nice about
the ingredients which enter it. Unless
mushrooms can be warranted as garden
produce, it is in vain to set them before a
Gallic epicure. The mouth may water, and
the palate may smackfor it is in human
nature to suffer temptation; but the head
will shake a firm negative, and the lips will
utter a decided "Merci!" A wild agaric
grilled ever so deliciously, bathed in butter
and powdered with blended pepper and salt,
would have less chance of being swallowed in
a restaurant than the very strange things
which, we are told, are not strained at in
such places at all. But if only educated in
an authorised seminary, mushrooms, served
as a side-dish, are forked up and devoured
by ardent admirers before you have time to
look at them twice.

We grow mushrooms in England, but on
a much smaller scale. Any dark outhouse
or convenient cellar, of tolerably equable
temperature, will furnish a liberal supply; and
they may be cultivated in the heart of a town
just as successfully as in the midst of the
purest country air. Hollow spaces, something
like shallow wine-bins, of any size that may
be judged convenient, from a yard or two
square to larger dimensions, are made with
boards upon the floor; or, they may be
disposed, one above the other, after the fashion
of shelves, only leaving between them a space
sufficient for the gardener to introduce his
head and shoulders. These bins are then
filled with animal manure, beaten down firmly
with a mallet, and covered an inch or two
thick with a layer of garden mould. The
object of having a multitude of bins or beds, is
to insure a successional supply of mushrooms.
The bed is suffered to ferment for a while,
without anything more being done to it; but
when the heat is reduced to the warmth of
milk from the cow, (which may be known by
thrusting a stick into the bed, and leaving it
there for a few minutes before withdrawing
it) morsels of what is known to nursery-men
as mushroom spawn, about the size of a hen's
egg, are stuck here and there in the coating of
earth, which is again beaten down firmly and
covered with straw. This spawn soon spreads
itself through the mass of the bed, in the
form of irregular filmy threads, much in the
same way as a mouldy Stilton cheese increases
in ripeness from day to day. The progress,
however, of the spawn is very uncertain;
sometimes it will lie dormant for weeks. Too
much watering destroys the bed, while a
certain degree of humidity is absolutely necessary.
Symptoms at last become apparent
that the capricious crop is about to burst
forth into full bloom. The whole surface