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                 OUT OF TOWN.

SITTING, on a bright September morning,
among my books and papers at my open
window on the cliff overhanging the sea-
beach, I have the sky and ocean framed
before me like a beautiful picture. A
beautiful picture, but with such movement in it,
such changes of light upon the sails of ships
and wake of steamboats, such dazzling
gleams of silver far out at sea, such fresh
touches on the crisp wave-tops as they break
and roll towards mea picture with such
music in the billowy rush upon the shingle,
the blowing of the morning wind through
the corn-sheaves where the farmers' wagons
are busy, the singing of the larks, and the
distant voices of children at playsuch
charms of sight and sound as all the
Galleries on earth can but poorly suggest.

So dreamy is the murmur of the sea
below my window, that I may have been
here, for anything I know, one hundred years.
Not that I have grown old, for, daily on the
neighbouring downs and grassy hill-sides, I
find that I can still in reason walk any
distance, jump over anything, and climb up
anywhere; but, that the sound of the ocean
seems to have become so customary to my
musings, and other realities seem so to have
gone a-board ship and floated away over the
horizon, that, for aught I will undertake to
the contrary, I am the enchanted son of the
King my father, shut up in a tower on the
sea-shore, for protection against an old she-
goblin who insisted on being my godmother,
and who foresaw at the fontwonderful
creature!—that I should get into a scrape
before I was twenty-one. I remember to
have been in a City (my Royal parent's
dominions, I suppose), and apparently not
long ago either, that was in the dreariest
condition. The principal inhabitants had
all been changed into old newspapers,
and in that form were preserving their
window-blinds from dust, and wrapping
all their smaller household gods in curl-
papers. I walked through gloomy streets
where every house was shut up and
newspapered, and where my solitary footsteps
echoed on the deserted pavements. In the
public rides there were no carriages, no
horses, no animated existence, but a few
sleepy policemen, and a few adventurous
boys taking advantage of the devastation to
swarm up the lamp-posts. In the Westward
streets there was no traffic; in the Westward
shops, no business. The water-patterns,
which the Prentices had trickled out on the
pavements early in the morning, remained
uneffaced by human feet. At the corners of
mews, Cochin-China fowls stalked gaunt
and savage; nobody being left in the deserted
city (as it appeared to me), to feed
them. Public Houses, where splendid footmen
swinging their legs over gorgeous hammer-
cloths beside wigged coachmen were wont
to regale, were silent, and the unused pewter
pots shone, too bright for business, on the
shelves. I beheld a Punch's Show leaning
against a wall near Park Lane, as if it had
fainted. It was deserted, and there were
none to heed its desolation. In Belgrave
Square I met the last manan ostler
sitting on a post in a ragged red waistcoat,
eating straw, and mildewing away.

If I recollect the name of the little town,
on whose shore this sea is murmuringbut
I am not just now, as I have premised, to be
relied upon for anythingit is Pavilionstone.
Within a quarter of a century, it was a little fishing
town, and they do say, that the time was,
when it was a little smuggling town. I have
heard that it was rather famous in the
hollands and brandy way, and that co├źvally with
that reputation the lamplighter's was considered
a bad life at the Assurance offices. It
was observed that if he were not particular
about lighting up, he lived in peace; but, that
if he made the best of the oil-lamps in the
steep and narrow streets, he usually fell over
the cliff at an early age. Now, gas and electricity
run to the very water's edge, and the
South Eastern Railway Company screech at
us in the dead of night.

But, the old little fishing and smuggling
town remains, and is so tempting a place for
the latter purpose, that I think of going out
some night next week, in a fur cap and a pair
of petticoat trousers, and running an empty
tub, as a kind of arch├Žological pursuit. Let
nobody with corns come to Pavilionstone, for
there are break-neck nights of ragged steps,
connecting the principal streets by back-ways,
which will cripple that visitor in half an hour.
These are the ways by which, when I run

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