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show; who were all profuse and prosperous
while the cards could continue to be shuffled
and the deals to go round.

In the same place, I saw, nearly every day,
a curious spectacle. One pretty little child
at a window, always waving his hand at, and
cheering, an array of open carriages escorted
by out-riders in green and gold; and no one
echoing the child's acclamation. Occasional
deference in carriages, occasional curiosity on
foot, occasional adulation from foreigners, I
noticed in that connection, in that place; but,
four great streams of determined indifference
I always saw flowing up and down; and I
never, in six months, knew a hand or heard a
voice to come in real aid of the child.

I am not a lonely man, though I was once
a lonely boy; but that was long ago. The
Mooninian capital, however, is the place for
lonely men to dwell in. I have tried it, and
have condemned myself to solitary freedom
expressly for the purpose. I sometimes
like to pretend to be childless and
companionless, and to wonder whether, if I
were really so, I should be glad to find
somebody to ask me out to dinner, instead of
living under a constant terror of weakly
making engagements that I don't want to
make. Hence, I have been into many Mooninian
restaurants as a lonely man. The company
have regarded me as an unfortunate
person of that description. The paternal
character, occupying the next table with two
little boys whose legs were difficult of administration
in a narrow space, as never being
the right legs in the right places, has regarded
me, at first, with looks of envy. When the little
boys have indecorously inflated themselves
out of the seltzer-water bottle, I have seen
discomfiture and social shame on that Mooninian's
brow. Meanwhile I have sat majestically
using my tooth-pick, in silent assertion
of my counterfeit superiority. And yet it
has been good to see how that family Mooninian
has vanquished me in the long-run. I
have never got so red in the face over my
meat and wine, as he. I have never warmed
up into such enjoyment of my meal as he has
of his. I have never forgotten the legs of the
little boys, whereas from that Mooninian's
soul they have quickly walked into oblivion.
And when, at last, under the ripening influence
of dinner, those boys have both together
pulled at that Mooninian's waistcoat (imploring
him, as I conceived, to take them to the
play-house, next door but one), I have shrunk
under the glance he has given me; so
emphatically has it said, with the virtuous farmer in
the English domestic comedy, "Dang it,
Squoire, can'ee doa thic! " (I may explain
in a parenthesis that "thic," which the virtuous
farmer can do and tlie squire can't, is to
lay his hand upon his hearta result opposed
to my experience in actual life, where the humbugs
are always able to lay their hands upon
their hearts, and do it far ofteiier and much
better than the virtuous men.)

In my solitary character I have walked
forth alter eating my dinner and paying my
billin the Mooninian capital we used to call
the bill "the addition"—to take my coffee
and cigar at some separate establishment
devoted to such enjoyments. And in the
customs belonging to these, as in many other
easy and gracious customs, the Mooninians
are highly deserving of imitation among
ourselves. I have never had far to go, unless I
have been particularly hard to please; a
dozen houses at the utmost. A spring evening
is in my mind when I sauntered from my
dinner into one of these resorts, hap-hazard.
The thoroughfare in which it stood, was not
as wide as the Strand in London, by Somerset
House; the houses were no larger and
no better than are to be found in that place;
the climate (we find ours a convenient scapegoat)
had been, for months, quite as cold and
wet, and very very often almost as dark, as
the climate in the Strand. The place into
which I turned, had been there all the winter
just as it was then. It was like a Strand-
shop, with the front altogether taken away.
Within, it was sanded, prettily painted and
papered, decorated with mirrors and glass
chandeliers for gas; furnished with little
round stone tables, crimson stools, and crimson
benches. It was made much more tasteful
(at the cost of three and fourpence a-week) by
two elegant baskets of flowers on pedestals.
An inner raised-floor, answering to the back
shop in the Strand, was partitioned off with
glass, for those who might prefer to read the
papers and play at dominoes, in an atmosphere
free from tobacco-smoke. There, in
her neat little tribune, sits the Lady of the
Counter, surrounded at her needlework by
lump-sugar and little punch-bowls. To
whom I touch my hat; she graciously
acknowledging the salute. Forth from her
side comes a pleasant waiter, scrupulously
clean, brisk, attentive, honest: a man to be
very obliging to me, but expecting me to
be obliging in return, and whom I cannot
bullywhich is no deprivation to me, as I
don't at all want to do it. He brings me, at
my request, my cup of coffee and cigar, and,
of his own motion, a small decanter of
brandy and a liqueur-glass. He gives me a
light, and leaves me to my enjoyment. The
place from which the shop-front has been
taken makes a gay proscenium; as I sit
and smoke, the street becomes a stage, with
an endless procession of lively actors crossing
and re-crossing. Women with children, carts
and coaches, men on horseback, soldiers,
water-carriers with their pails, family
groups, more soldiers, lounging exquisites,
more family groups (coming past, flushed, a
little too late for the play), stone-masons
leaving work on the new buildings and playing
tricks with one another as they go along,
two lovers, more soldiers, wonderfully neat
young women from shops, carrying flat boxes
to customers; a seller of cool drink, with the

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