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ON the fifth of last November, I, the
Conductor of this journal, accompanied by a
friend well-known to the public, accidentally
strayed into Whitechapel. It was a miserable
evening; very dark, very muddy, and raining

There are many woful sights in that part
of London, and it has been well-known to me
in most of its aspects for many years. We
had forgotten the mud and rain in slowly
walking along and looking about us, when
we found ourselves, at eight o'clock, before
the Workhouse.

Crouched against the wall of the Workhouse,
in the dark street, on the muddy pavement-
stones, with the rain raining upon them, were
five bundles of rags. They were motionless,
and had no resemblance to the human form.
Five great beehives, covered with ragsfive
dead bodies taken out of graves, tied neck
and heels, and covered with ragswould
have looked like those five bundles upon
which the rain rained down in the public

"What is this! " said my companion. "What is this!"

"Some miserable people shut out of the
Casual Ward, I think," said I.

We had stopped before the five ragged
mounds, and were quite rooted to the spot
by their horrible appearance. Five awful
Sphinxes by the wayside, crying to every
passer-by, " Stop and guess! What is to be
the end of a state of society that leaves us

As we stood looking at them, a decent
working-man, having the appearance of a
stone-mason, touched me on the shoulder.

"This is an awful sight, sir," said he, "in a
Christian country!"

"GOD knows it is, my friend," said I.

"I have often seen it much worse than this,
as I have been going home from my work. I
have counted fifteen, twenty, five-and-twenty,
many a time. It's a shocking thing to

"A shocking thing, indeed," said I and my
companion together. The man lingered near
us a little while, wished us good-night, and
went on.

We should have felt it brutal in us who
had a better chance of being heard than the
working-man, to leave the thing as it was, so
we knocked at the Workhouse Gate. I
undertook to be spokesman. The moment the
gate was opened by an old pauper, I went in,
followed close by my companion. I lost no
time in passing the old porter, for I saw in
his watery eye a disposition to shut us out.

"Be so good as to give that card to the
master of the Workhouse, and say I shall be
glad to speak to him for a moment."

We were in a kind of covered gateway,
and the old porter went across it with the
card. Before he had got to a door on our
left, a man in a cloak and hat bounced out of
it very sharply, as if he were in the nightly
habit of being bullied and of returning the

"Now, gentlemen," said he in a loud voice,
"what do you want here?"

"First," said I, " will you do me the favor
to look at that card in your hand. Perhaps
you may know my name."

"Yes," says he, looking at it. " I know
this name."

"Good. I only want to ask you a plain
question in a civil manner, and there is not
the least occasion for either of us to be
angry. It would be very foolish in me to
blame you, and I don't blame you. I may
find fault with the system you administer,
but pray understand that I know you are
here to do a duty pointed out to you, and
that I have no doubt you do it. Now, I
hope you won't object to tell me what I want
to know."

"No," said he, quite mollified, and very
reasonable, " not at all. What is it ?"

"Do you know that there are five wretched
creatures outside?"

"I haven't seen them, but I dare say there

"Do you doubt that there are?"

"No, not at all. There might be many

'' Are they men? Or women?"

"Women, I suppose. Very likely one or
two of them were there last night, and the
night before last."

"There all night, do you mean?"

"Very likely."

My companion and I looked at one another,
and the master of the Workhouse added