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country only three months before. " How
comes he to look so ill? " was the next question.
The mother " feared it was from want
of air. He had victuals enough, and warm
clothes, but their room was very close." " He
is not always at home? " " Always," she
replied, "except when he is at school, and
when he goes out with me, and that is very
seldom, for I can't walk far. I dare not let
him play in the street, and get bad words and
bad ways. It would break my heart if he
got into mischief." Poor soul! I thought,
there is no help for it. Better let your
little boy look as he does, than get health
at the risk of all he might get with it, in the

That very day the newspapers told how
two boys of ten and eleven years were
committed to prison for stealing tarts from a
pastry-cook's tray; and how it came out in
evidence that they had been playing with
other boys, but having been " moved on," or
"moved off," had sauntered and loitered
about, looking first at one shop window, then
at another, weary and discontented; till,
seeing the tray from which the confectioner's
boy had turned away for a minute, the
raspberry tarts tempted them, and they
committed the theft which would send them in
the downward path of crime and ruin. A
gentleman, who appeared in court, to say a
word for the boys, gave this evidence; his
intercession, however, could not avert the
consequence of an offence so fully proved.

Every one who walks much in London
may see and hear scores of such things.
They attract little attention. Street
influences change the boywho with the least
possible share of active play and pleasure,
and a few words of kind persuasion from a
friend, might have been induced to attend
school, and do wellinto the ruffianly,
swaggering youth, sallying out with a short
pipe, and a thick stick, ready for any
lawless work; familiar with the gin-shop
and the police-court; and, with a life
before him that one shrinks from picturing.
Think of a boy, perhaps an only boy, a
youngest darling, the pet and plague of the
family, whose high spirits and heedlessness
make it impossible with all your care to keep
him within lawful bounds:—think of him
deprived of any outlet for activity in healthy
sport, with no guide but his own undeveloped
conscience, thrown into an atmosphere of filth
and profanity, and left there to fall under the
trials that break strong men's lives! Sunday
and week-day school and reformatory may go
on working, as they do, bravely and well;
but, while the street mischief remains, the
work will be counteracted. It ia a very
simple sort of charity, and yet a sort of
charity to little children, which, as it considers the
nature Heaven gave them, may help much
to secure to them the final place in life for
which they were created, to enable them to
play without the loss of innocence. Let us
provide our poor children with space to play
in, safe and dry, and out of sight and hearing
of the gin-palace with all its infectious
horrors. Let them be maintained under the
superintendence of a good-tempered, steady
man, with the penalty of exclusion for fighting
and bad language. Let us only try this.

The Playground Society is a small
combination for such a purpose. Its object, as set
forth in its first circular, is " to provide
playgrounds for poor children in populous places,"
and its origin is due to the Reverend David
Laing, an accomplished and disinterested
clergyman of the Church of England, who
has been a true friend to the poor.

The committee state, that in the most dense
neighbourhoods it is possible to make arrangements
for the present, with the hope that
changes of site and transfers of property may
afford better opportunities for the future.
The playground of St. Martin's in the Fields
affords one mode of meeting the want.

Whoever desires information as to the
further designs of the society, and would
know how it is proposed to carry them out,
can apply at its office, number seventeen,
Bull-and-Mouth Street, St. Martin's-le-Grand.


IT was towards the afternoon that we got
into Amalfi. A host of touters besieged us in
vain; and as Domenico, the driver of the coach
that brought us, usually gets a fee from the
padrone of the inn for every guest he brings,
he was eloquent in its praise. An army of
beggars surrounded us, shouting for a "bottiglia;"
and, thus accompanied, we arrived at the
doors of the Locanda dei Cappuenii, where
the Don Mattheo is something of a magnifico,
and seems to think it somewhat of a
condescension to play the host. The fare and
treatment are very good.

I had a special object in view, which was
to describe the great branch of industry by
which Amalfi and the neighbourhood subsist.

'' Where will you take us, Luigi," said I to
my cicerone, " to see macaroni made?"

"Well, sir, Gambardella is the largest
maker," was the reply.

Off we went to the great flour prince of
Amalfi. A stream of water rushing down
from the mountains in front of a great
factory marked the place we were in search
of; but, before entering, I stopped to purify
my shoes from dirt acquired in the way.
One rushed to get water, another straw, and
another a brush.

"I'll skin this stranger! " said the first of
my eager assistants. " If I don't get half a
piastre out of him, may I be hanged!"

"You have made a mistake," I replied, in
Italian. On which the whole party laughed

The scene within the fabrica was comical
enough. A crowd of men and boys, half-
blind with flour, and as white as cauliflowers,

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