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lens. Our ingenious lens-maker informed me
that he had been selling these microscopes
for fifteen years, and that he and his family
conjointly make them. One child cut out
the pill-boxes, another the gap, another put
them together, his wife painted them black,
and he made the lenses.

Not long afterwards, in another part of
the town, I came across another microscopist.
He did not sell anything, but merely charged
a halfpenny for a peep. His apparatus
consisted of a tin box, about the size of a
common tea-caddy, placed on three legs, at about
the level of a small boy's eye: these ingenuous
youths being his principal customers. The
fee being paid, the slide was drawn away;
from the peep-hole, and the observer
addressed with the following words: "Here,
you see a drop of Thames water, which
looks like a gallon; the water, is full of
heels, snakes, and ladders a-playing about
and a-devouring of one another." Whence
the showman had got the water I cannot
undertake to say, but I sincerely hope, not from
the Thames; for it was filled with numerous
little creatures, which, having very small:
bodies, have as a sort of compensation
received very large Latin names from their
christener and discoverer, Ehrenburgh.
Many of them were swimming about,
pursued by what appeared to be
immense sea-snakes, who caught and devoured
them. Others were quietly reposing on
weeds, which looked like elm-trees, and all of
them were perfectly unconscious of being
exhibited to the British public at a halfpenny a
head. But this was not all: the exhibitor next
brought out of his waistcoat pocket a small
tin tube, and said, all in one breath, " There
you see a flea chained round his neck with a
silver chain he lays his heggs on the glass
and I feeds him three times a day on my 'and
the performance is now concluded." Another
man, in the optician line, has two tubes, like
telescopes, placed facing each other. He
asks you, whether you can see through an
inch board? Of course you say " No." " Then
for a halfpenny I'll show you that you
can." Accordingly you look through the
end of one of the tubes, seeing through
the length of the other, and for the benefit
of the by-standers you are requested to read
some printing placed at the end of the
furthest tube. This is easy enough. He
then places a thick board between the two
tubes, and still you can read the printing,
which you are again requested to do; having
purchased the power on that occasion only of
seeing through a deal board for the small
charge of one halfpenny.

In Tothill Street, Westminster, on a
Saturday-night, a travelling successor to the
glass-blowing exhibitions that had permanent
patronage from the sight-seeing world in the days
of Miss Linwood's exhibition may sometimes
be seen, who goes his rounds to sell the
products of his industry. A glass pen, a glass
Neptune's trident, a glass dove fastened to
the top of a pointed wire, so as to form a
breast-pin, and a glass peacock with a beautiful
tail of spun glass, are wrapped in a
neatly made brown paper bag, for the sum of
one penny.

Another man, who stands close by him,
sells five dining chairs and a round table,
all of wood, and neatly put together,
for one halfpenny. The chairs are strong
enough for large dolls to sit upon, the table
will support an ordinary sized teacup without
breaking. An older huckster sells
wooden men, who have their legs and arms
articulated, so as to be capable of rapid
movement on pulling a string which hangs
between the legs. Some of these are painted
like Turkssome like Russians; and, by
pulling the strings they appear engaged in
single and mortal combat, throwing their
arms and legs about with desperate but
cranky energy. The charge of
a representative of either nation is one halfpenny.

Workers in iron also endeavour to catch
an honest penny. There is a man who
sells for twopence a most ingenious
contrivance for roasting meat. It consists of
no less than five pieces of iron wire, which,
when put together, are strong enough to
hold up a good sized leg of mutton. One of
the pieces serves as a fastening to the mantel-piece,
and the others are attached to it by
one of the pieces aforesaid. The cook is
enabled by a simple mechanism, not unworthy of
a Brunel or Stephenson, to heighten or lower
the meat according to the state of the fire.
If the inventor of this apparatus had a chance,
there is no telling how many benefits he
might confer upon mankind, and let us hope
upon himself too, by his mechanical talents.

One more peep at Leicester Square, where
penny-catchers most do congregate. Razor
paste at one penny a box is sold by a
dexterous shaver, who chops such large
gashes in a hard bit of wood with a shilling
razor, that he makes the wood fly about.
He then passes the blunted instrument a few
times over his magic strop; and, pulling a
hair from his head, divides it, as it stands
erect between his finger and thumb, with the
same ease that Saladin divided the scarf
with his scymetar, and the life-guardsman at
Saville House cuts a whole sheep in half with
a broad-sword.

The paste is, very likely (and so is the razor)
more efficacious in the hands of the proprietor
than of the purchaser; nevertheless, it is a
good pennyworth.


'We have but few pastimes now, even
for our children; we are too grave and
sensible to play at forfeits or blind man's
buff, or puss in the corner, at Christmas time
or any other time. They used to manage
these things better in France; and, at Christmas