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it out until hardly anything else is left, but the
pillars that hold up the root. A lot of forms are
placed along the bare floor, making the place
look like a school; and the library seems to me
to have very few what I call amusing books. I
didn't like to see handbills lying about, at the
top of which was printed 'The Cabman's Dying
Cry;' and the whole place seemed to be cold
and uncomfortable. The rules may be very good,
and the people that started these 'clubs' may be
very good, but it strikes me they don't quite
understand cabmen. We've got a deal to put up
with, and try our tempers. The owners pull
at us on one side, and the public's always shaking
the Act of Parli'ment at us on the other.
Sometimes we're dragged off the very front of the
standa place that's worth moneyand all for
what? Sixpence! Some one wants to go round
the muddy corner in thin boots, and so off we
come, according to regulations. If we try to do
the best we can for ourselves, and look out for
a long fare with two extra passengers, people
shout after us as if we'd picked somebody's

"If you accept a cab," I interrupted, "you
accept it with all its rules and conditions."

"So we do," returned my visitor; "and pretty
close we keep to 'em. Take us all together, the
bad and the good, we don't often kick over the
traces. Because we've got to loiter about for
hours near our stand, in all weathers, we're none
the worse for smoking a pipe, drinking a pint of
beer, and sometimes slinking in to warm our
hands at a tap-room fire. The gentlemen who
start these 'cabmen's clubs' think we are, but
while they try to improve us, they never
interfere with the tradesmen in the public-house
parlour. The 'clubs' provide us with tea, coffee,
chops, and steaks at the usual charges, but beer
is not openly allowed on the premises. This
may be all very well for men who're not at work,
but, unless there was one 'club' close upon
every stand, it can't be used by the cabmen on
duty. Besidesa man wants beer, and it's
wronging him, in my opinion, to say he don't.
We go to the public-house, or coffee-house,
if one happens to be near, for cabmen are quite
as fond of coffee as decent mechanics. We
use a good many comfortable coffee-shops that
are like clubs, in different parts of London, and
one especially, near Regent-street, filled with
all kinds of books and papers. The books and
papers at the 'cabmen's clubs' are not admitted
until they've passed the committee, because the
whole thing is supported by charity. This is
another reason why I don't like it, although they
tell me that seven hundred men have become
members at the different stations. The 'penny
bank' and the 'sick fund' may be all very well,
because the member pays for all he gets, but
the 'free tea' provided every Sunday afternoon
always sticks in my throat. While I'm able to
do my work and pay my way, I don't want
anything given to me. I ain't a child. If the seven
hundred members are not able to do this, they'd
better say so, and either throw up driving, or get
the sixpence a mile altered to eightpence."

At the close of this speech, as the hour was
getting late, my visitor took his departure,
having succeeded in making me take a more
charitable view of the business and trials of cab


a reference will be found (No. 41 of this
Journal, page 356) to LORD BROUGHAM, as
having been one of the opponents of lighting
streets by gas. The statement requires qualification.
Lord Brougham was counsel in an action
brought against Winsor's gas company, and
strongly objected to certain proceedings of that
body and their originator. But, it should be
understood that he never set himself in any
other way than through this limited exercise of
an advocate's functions, against the idea. This
explanation is simply due to the illustrious name
of BROUGHAM, and to its natural position in the
history of Progress.


     SITTING lonely, ever lonely,
     Waiting, waiting for one only,
Thus I count the weary moments passing by;
     And the heavy evening gloom
     Gathers slowly in the room,
And the chill November darkness dims the sky.
     Now the countless busy feet
     Cross each other in the street,
And I watch the faces flitting past my door;
     But the step that lingered nightly,
     And the hand that rapp'd so lightly,
     And the face that beam'd so brightly,
                           Come no more.

     By the firelight's fitful gleaming
     I am dreaming, ever dreaming,
And the rain is slowly falling all around;
     And voices that are nearest,
     Of friends the best and dearest,
Appear to have a strange and distant sound.
     Now the weary wind is sighing,
     And the murky day is dying,
And the wither'd leaves lie scatter'd round my door;
     But that voice whose gentle greeting
     Set this heart so wildly beating
     At each fond and frequent meeting,
                         Comes no more.


As I shut the door of my lodging behind me,
and came out into the streets at six on a drizzling
Saturday evening in the last past month of
January, all that neighbourhood of Covent-
garden looked very desolate. It is so essentially
a neighbourhood which has seen better days,
that bad weather affects it sooner than another
place which has not come down in the world.
In its present reduced condition, it bears a thaw
almost worse than any place I know. It gets
so dreadfully low-spirited, when damp breaks
forth. Those wonderful houses about Drury-
lane Theatre, which in the palmy days of theatres
were prosperous and long-settled places of