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WORKING MEN,

BY

HUGH STOWELL BROWN.

I

SONS

108

.

YON:
GEORGE PHILIP & SON, 32, FLEET STREET,

LIVERPOOL:
L'HILIP, SON, & NEPHEW, ATLAS BUILDINGS,
49 & 61, SOUTH CASTLE STREET.

AND ALL BOOKSELLERS,

1870.

141. k. 341.

"I CAN'T AFFORD IT!”

SHALL I tell you what it was that suggested to me the subject and title of this address? A few weeks ago I sat on the top of an omnibus which conveyed me through two or three miles of the most crowded streets in the town. It was evening, and the shops were lighted up; and, from my exalted position, I could see into them. But I saw, what was nothing new either in fact or to my observation, that the drinking shops, far more numerous than those of any other sort, were likewise far more crowded than those of any other sort. In a baker's shop, a butcher's, or a greengrocer's, there might be two or three people, and, in a barber's, one customer getting shaved and another waiting for his turn; but in most cases the gin shop and the beer shop were full from one end of the counter to the other, sometimes in ranks two or three deep; and some were coming out and others going in; to serve them all seemed to be as much as the people behind the counter could do. Altogether the trade was very brisk, although every body says there's nothing doing, and that the times are very bad. As I saw all this going on, not in one case or in two, but at almost every street corner, right and left, for miles, I said to myself “I don't know how it is with these fellows, they ought to be uncommonly well off, but, as for myself, to put it on no higher ground, 'I can't afford it.'” Yet, very well off, I could not

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