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It was the effect of the ingenious optical toy
known as the thaumatropethe eye saw only
so many revolving circles. And to stand
near and hearken to them grinding the
saddest music, a mournful creak and groaning
of the axle that goes on all day long and
the night, long, too! Most melancholy
entertainment for such as are lying awake near
them, tossing hopelessly, and thinking that
some doomed spirit is being ground up
along with the colours and the oil seed.
But the housePeter's house? Just a little
this way, then, down this lanethere!

A rude hay barnan open shed,
supported on posts, sheltering a crazy wooden
house, that leans over, all on one sidenot
over-much of paint, not over-much of caulking,
not over-much of care generally, and
that is Peter's house. The house in which
he slept, and from which he sallied out, of
mornings, in his rough working-dress, axe in
handa true Calmuck; there was no scraping
necessary in his case, as Napoleon laid it
down, to bring out the Tartar. It wore
itself through at once and for ever. A true
barbarian Peter; and yet there is a
tradition of this same barbarian being beaten
by a brother workman for taking his tools,
and of his shielding this same workman from
all punishment, and even rewarding him.
Interiorly, a small naked room, bare as your
hand, adorned with, I suppose, one hundred
thousand autographs, from plain Smith to a
crowned head. This is the barbarian's room,
and his bedstead is here, too. Where? A
hole in the wall with doors, fixed there much
after the fashion of a registered safe. A
cupboard, in other words. Another hole in the
wall overhead, leading to what seems to be a
hayloft, attainable, however, only by a ladder.

"Behold it all," says Guide, " voilà tout!"
and we go forth again.

"What next?" I ask abstractedly.

"Perhaps," says Guide faintly, " perhaps
the Mynheer would nowthe great
windmillsthat is for grinding of flour, of rape-
seed, of——?"

I motion him off sternly, tendering him at
the same time his proper fee, and then take
my way slowly to the quay, where Captain
Hatteraick, with steam up, is standing on his
paddle-box, swearing lustily that he will not
wait another minute.

CHIPS.

A PLEA FOR PLAYGROUNDS.

ALL wisdom to the councils, and all success
to the efforts, of a Society that has been
recently established for the furnishing of
playgrounds to the pent-up children in our London
lanes and alleys! There are associations
in plenty for the schooling, the punishing, and
the reforming, of the little boys and girls
who live in dens. Praise be to the new
society that suddenly cries " Boys and girls,
come out to play! " The day's experience
that brought the claims of this society before
my mind, let me proceed to tell. I am not
feigning incidents and coincidences for the
sake of effect. I am just one of the public
telling simple truth:

"My lads, you must move on. No marbles
here! And you therehand me that kite."

So spoke E Thirty-Four to five boys, all
under twelve years old, who were settling
themselves down to a game at marbles on
the pavement of a wide and not too busy
street. The boy gave up his kite with a rueful
look, and his companions, pocketing their
marbles, moved off slowly and sullenly in the
direction of our dirty High Street. I asked
the policeman where the boys were to go?
"Couldn't say; boys like them oughtn't to have
games in the streets; his orders were strict,
not to allow stoppages on the pavement, and
to take away all hoops and kites."

I had not a word to reply; it  was all
reasonable enough. Foot-passengers must
not be detained by gatherings of children;
hoops and kites in the streets are both
inconvenient and dangerous. But, a
recollection of my own young happiness with
hoop and marble, and in many a wholesome
game, came into my mind so forcibly, that
I followed the five children, hoping to see
their game begin again where it was not
a forbidden refreshment. They went on
slowly enough for me to overtake them with
the kite which E Thirty-Four had willingly
given up; and which I restored to the owner
on conditions dictated by that public authority.
The four boys turned round a
corner, went up a little alley, passed a large
and showy gin-palace, and went into a
paved court, in which all nauseous smells
and noxious sights seemed to have been
brought together. One door of the gin-
shop opened into the court; and, just
opposite this door on the most level spot
of pavement they could find, the boys set
themselves to a new pastime. This time it
was hopscotchthe marbles would have
rolled into the kennels and puddles. The
mysterious lines indicating pots, pancakes,
&c., were chalked out, and the jumping began.
Interruptions were frequent, but they did not
stop the game. Little girls with babies got
in the way. Women with baskets gave the
boys a shove, and, occasionally, something
worse. The loungers from the public-house
door indulged in every variety of horrid
imprecation as they stumbled and reeled past
the boys and over the chalked lines. What
a recreation was this! I turned away
with pain; and, meeting a poor widow
in whose arrangements for her boy's
education I had taken some interest, asked how
the boy was going on? The answer came
from a pale little fellow, who was carrying a
bundle by her side. In his large eyes and
thin limbs it was hard to recognise the
rosy boy whom she had brought from the

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