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ness, disguised as royal Brunswick, and driving about in a carriage of shadows, for the especial purpose of robbing rustic maids. As we have intimated, the damsel had, in the fastnesses of Kent, learned prudence against the iniquities of London. And so, believing that St. Mary Axe was close at hand, she hopefully jogged on. “What a many churches' she said, looking at St. Clement's. “Well, the folks in London ought to be good.” “And so they are, my wallflower,” rejoined the footman. “The best in the world; take 'em in the lump. And there, you see, is another church. And besides what we have. we're a going to have I don't know how many hundred more built, that everybody, as is at all anybody, may have a comfortable pew to his whole self, and not be mixed up—like people in the allery of a playhouse—along of the lower orders. I dare say, now, your grandmother in the country"— “Ain’t got no grandmother,” said the girl. “Well, it's all the same: the old women where you come from —I dare say they talked to you about the wicked, s- of London, didn’t they 2 And how all the handsome young men you'd meet was nothing more than roaring lions, rolling their eyes about, and licking their mouths, to eat up anybody as come fresh from the daisies 2 Didn't they tell you this, eh, beauty : " cried Ralph. “A little on it,” said the girl, now pouting, now giggling. “And you’ve seen nothing of the sort : Upon your word and honour now, have you ?” and the footman tried to look winningly in the girl's eyes, and held forth, appealingly, his right hand. “Nothing yet ; that is, nothing that I knows on,” was the guarded answer of the damsel. “To be sure not. Now my opinion is, there 's more downright wickedness—more roguery and sin of all sorts in an acre of the country than in any five mile of London streets : only, we don't kick up a noise about our virtue and all that sort of stuff. Whilst quite to the contrary, the folks in the country do nothing but talk about their innocence, and all such gammon, eh?” “I can't hear innocence called gammon afore me,” said the girl. “Innocence is innocence, and nothing else ; and them as would alter it, ought to blush for themselves.” “To be sure they ought,” answered Gum. “But the truth is, because lambs don't run about London streets — and birds don't hop on the pavement—and hawthorns and honeysuckles don't grow in the gutters — London's a place of wickedness. Now, you know, my lily of the valley, folks arn’t a bit more like lambs for living among 'em, are they 2” “Is this the way to Mary Axe 3’’ asked the girl, with growing impatience. .* “Tell you, tisn't no distance whatever, only first”— and the deceiver turned with his victim out of the Strand—“first you must pass Drury-lane playhouse.” “The playhouse—really the playhouse !” exclaimed the wench, with an interest in the institution that in these times would have o attested her vulgarity. “I should like to see the playouse.” “Well then, my double heartsease, here it is,” and Ralph with his finger pointed to the tremendous temple. With curious, yet reverential looks, did the girl gaze upon the mysterious fabric. It was delicious to behold even the outside of that brick and mortar rareeshow. And staring, the girl's heart was stirred with the thought of the wonders, the mysteries, acted therein. She had seen plays. Three times at least she had sat in a wattlebuilt fane, and seen the dramatic priesthood in their hours of sacrifice. Pleasant, though confused, was her remembrance of the strange harmonies that filled her heart to overflowing —that took her away into another world—that brought sweet tears into her eyes — and made her think (she had never thought so before) that there was really something besides the drudgery of work in life; that men and women were made to have some holiday thoughts—thoughts that breathed strange, comforting music, even to creatures poor and low as she. Then recollections flowed afresh as she looked upon that mighty London mystery—that charmed place that in day-dreams she had thought of-that had revealed its glorious, fantastic wonders in her sleep. The London playhouse ! She saw it—she could touch its walls. One great hope of her rustic life was consummated ; and the greater would be accomplished. Yes: sure as her life, she would sit aloft in the gallery, would hear the music, and see the London players' spangles. “And this is Drury-lane!” cried the wench, softened by the thought—“well ! I never ! ” “You like plays, do you ? So do I. Well, when we know one another a little better—for I wouldn't be so bold as to ask it now —in course not—won’t we go together ?” said Ralph ; and the girl was silent. She did not inquire about St. Mary Axe ; but brought, and Ralph drank to the maiden with both eyes and lips. Liquor made him musical : and with a delicate compliment to the rustic taste of his fair companion, he warbled of birds and flowers. One couplet he trolled over again and again. “Like what they call sentiment, don't you ?” said Ralph. “How can I tell ?” answered the girl; “it’s some of your fine London stuff, I suppose.” “Not a bit on it ; sentiment 's sentiment all over the world. Don't you know what sentiment is ? Well, sentiment’s words that’s put together to sound nicely as it were—to make you feel inclined to clap your hands, you know. And that 's a sentiment that I’ve been singing”—and he repeated the burden, bawling:
“Oh the cuckoo’s a fine bird as ever you did hear,
“There! don't you see the sentiment now?” The maiden shook her head. “Why, sucking the little birds' eggs—that 's the sentiment. Precious clever birds, them cuckoos, eh? They're what I call birds of quality. They've no trouble of hatching, they havn't ; no trouble of going about in the fields, picking up worms and grubs for their nestlings: they places 'em out to wetnurse ; makes other birds bring 'em up ; while they do nothing themselves but sit in a tree, and cry cuckoo all day long. Now, that's what I call being a bird of quality. IIow should you like to be a cuckoo, my buttercup 3 ''
“There, now, I don't want to hear your nonsense. What's a cuckoo to do with a Christian 2 "-asked the damsel.
“Nothing, my passion-flower—to be sure not ; just wait a minute,” said Ralph—“I only want to speak to my aunt that lives a little way off; and I'll be back with you in a minute. I've got a message for the old woman : and she's such a dear creetur— so fond of me. And atween ourselves, whenever she should be made a angel of and when a angel's wanted, I hope she 'll not be forgotten—shan’t I have a lot of money ! Not that I care for money; no, give me the girl of my heart, and all the gold in the world, as I once heard a parson say, is nothing but yellow dirt. And now I won't be a minute, my precious periwinkle.”
And with this, Mr. Ralph Gum quitted the room, leaving the fair stranger, as he thought, in profoundest admiration of the disinterestedness of footmen.