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such as he describes in this and in every other sect; but care should be taken not to give character to a body from the oddities or bigotry of an individual, and thus to involve the whole in the same condemnation. Young Alton was early called to labour, though by no means of a robust constitution : his mental faculties were in more healthful exercise than were his bodily members. His introduction to the workshop, where he should imbibe so much both of opinion and sentiment, which afterwards placed him in strange positions, and led him to experience bitter as well as pleasurable feelings, is thus described :
“ With a beating heart, I shambled along by my mother's side next day to Mr Smith's shop, in a street of Piccadilly; and stood by her side, just within the door, waiting till some one would condescend to speak to us, and wondering when the time would come when I, like the gentlemen who skipped up and down the shop, should shine glorious in patent-leather boots, and a blue satin tie sprigged with gold. Two personages, both equally magnificent, stood talking with their backs to us; and my mother, in doubt, like myself, as to which of them was the tailor, at last summoned up courage to address the wrong one, by asking if he were Mr Smith. The person addressed answered by a most polite smile and bow, and assured her that he had not that honour; while the other he—he’ed, evidently a little flattered by the mistake, and then uttered in a tremendous voice these words— I have nothing for you, my good woman-go. Mr Elliot! how did you come to allow these people to get into the establishment?
• My name is Locke, sir, and I was to bring my son here this morning.'
.Oh-ah !- Mr Elliot, see to these persons. As I was saying, my lard, the crimson velvet suit, about thirty-five guineas. By-the-by, that coat ours? I thought so—idea grand and light-masses well broken-very fine chiaroscuro about the whole—an aristocratic wrinkle just above the hips—which I fatter myself no one but myself and my friend Mr Cooke really do understand. The vapid smoothness of the door dummy, my lard, should be confined to the regions of the Strand. Mr Elliot, where are you? Just be so good as to show his lardship that lovely new thing in drab and bleu foncée. Ah! your lardship can't wait. Now, my good woman, is this the young man?'
Yes,' said my mother; and—and—God deal so with you, sir, as you deal with the widow and the orphan.'
Oh-ah-that will depend very much, I should say, on how the widow and the orphan deal with me. Mr Elliot, take this person into the office, and transact the little formalites with her. Jones, take the young man upstairs to the work-room.'
I stumbled after Mr Jones up a dark, narrow, iron staircase, till we emerged through a trap-door into a garret at the top of the house. I recoiled with disgust at the scene before me ; and here I was to workperbaps through life! A low lean-to room, stifling me with the combined odours of human breath and perspiration, stale beer, the sweet sickly smell of gin, and the sour and hardly less disgusting one of new cloth. On the floor, thick with dust and dirt, scraps of stuff and ends of thread, sat some dozen haggard, untidy, shoeless men, with a mingled look of care and recklessness that made me shudder. The windows were tight closed to keep out the cold winter air ; and the condensed
breath ran in streams down the panes, chequering the dreary out-look of chimney tops and smoke. The conductor handed me over to one of the men.
• Here, Crossthwaite, take this younker, and make a tailor of him. Keep him next you, and prick him up with your needle, if he shirks.'
He disappeared down the trap door, and mechanically, as if in a dream, I sat down by the man and listened to his instructions, kindly enough bestowed. But I did not remain in peace two minutes. A burst of chatter rose, as the foreman vanished, and a tall, bloated, sharpnosed young man next me bawled in my ear—'I say, young'un, fork out the tin, and pay your footing at Conscrumption Hospital ?'
• What do you mean ?'
''Aint he just green? Down with the stumpy—a tizzy for a pot of half-and-half.
I never drink beer.'
• Then never do,' whispered the man at my side ; "as sure as hell's hell, it's your only chance.'
There was a fierce, deep earnestness in the tone, which made me look up at the speaker, but the other instantly chimed in-Oh, yer don't, don't yer, my young Father Mathy; then yer'll soon learn it here, if yer want to keep yer victuals down.'
' And I have promised to take my wages home to my mother.'
• O criminy! hark to that, my coves! here's a chap as is goin to take the blunt home to his mammy.'
''Taint much of it the old'un 'll see,' said another. • Ven yer pockets it at the Cock and Bottle, my kiddy, yer wont find much of it left o' Sunday mornings.'
• Dont his mother know he's out ?' asked another; and wont she know it
Ven he's sitting in his glory
Half-price at the Victory! Oh! no, ve never mentions her—her name is never heard. Certainly not, by no means. Why should it?'
Well, if yer wont stand a pot,' quoth the tall man, 'I will, that's all, and blow temperance. • A short life and a merry one,' says the tailor
The ministers talk a great deal about port,
And they makes Cape wine very dear,
To deprive a poor cove of his beer. llere, Sam, run to the Cock and Bottle for a pot of half-and-half to my score.'
A thin, pale lad jumped up and vanished, while my tormentor turned to me. I say, young'un, do you know why we're nearer heaven here than our neighbours ?
'I shouldn't have thought so,' answered I with a naïveté which raised a laugh, and dashed the tall man for a moment.
* Yer don't? then I'll tell yer. A cause we're a top of the house, in the first place, and next place, yer'll die here six months sooner nor if yer worked in the room below. ' 'Aint that logic and science, Orator ?' appealing to Crossthwaite."
The following may be called Alton Locke's first lessons in Chartism. They were given him by Crossthwaite
"Come on,' he said, peevishly clutching me by the arm ; 'what do you want dawdling? Are you a nursery-maid, that you must stare at those red-coated butchers ? a deep curse followed. • What harm have they done you ?'
I should think I owed them turn enough.' • What ?'
* They cut my father down at Sheffield - perhaps with the very swords he helped to make-because he would not sit still and starve, and see us starving round him, while those who fattened on the sweat of his brow, and on those lungs of his, which the sword-grinding dust was eating out day by day, were wantoning on venison and champagne. That's the harm they've done me, my chap!'
• Poor fellows! they only did as they were ordered, I suppose.'
. And what business have they to let themselves be ordered ? What right, I say—what right has any free, reasonable soul on earth, to sell himself for a shilling a-day to murder any man, right or wrong-even his own brother or his own father-just because such a whiskered, profligate jackanapes as that officer, without learning, without any god except his own looking-glass and his opera-dancer-a fellow who, just because he is born a gentleman, is set to command greyheaded men before he can command his own meanest passions. Good heavens ! that the lives of free men should be entrusted to such a stuffed cockatoo; and that free men should be such traitors to their country, traitors to their own flesh and blood, as to sell themselves, for a shilling a-day and the smirks of the nursery-maids, to do that fellow's bidding!'
• What are you a-grumbling about here, my man ? gotten the cholera ?' asked one of the dragoons, a huge, stupid-looking lad.
* About you, you long-legged cut-throat,' answered Crossthwaite, and all your crew of traitors.'
• Help, help, coomrades o' mine! quoth the dragoon, bursting with laughter; 'I'm gaun to be moorthered wi' a little booy that's gane mad, and toorned Chartist.'
• Locke, my boy, I've made an ass of myself, and got into a rage, and broken a good old resolution and a promise that I made to my dear little woman-bless her!—and said things to you that you ought io know nothing of for this long time; but those redcoats always put me beside myself. God forgive me!' And he held out his hand to me cordially.
'I can quite understand your feeling deeply on one point,' I said, as I took it, after the sad story you told me; but why so bitter on all ? What is there so very wrong about things, that we must begin fighting about it?
* Bless your heart, poor innocent! What is wrong? what is not wrong? Wasn't there enough in that talk with Mackaye, that you told me of just now, to show anybody that, who can tell a hawk from a handsaw ?
* Was it wrong in him to give himself such trouble about the education of a poor young fellow, who has no tie on him, who can never re
pay him ?
• No; that's just like him. He feels for the people, for he has been one of us. He worked in a printing-office himself many a year, and he knows the heart of the working.man. But he didn't tell you the whole truth about education. He daren't tell you. No one who has money dare speak out his heart; not that he has much certainly; but, the cunning old Scot that he is, he lives by the present system of things, and he wont speak ill of the bridge which carries him over—till the time comes.'
I could not understand whither all this tended, and walked on, silent and somewhat angry, at hearing the least slight cast on Mackaye.
*Don't you see, stupid ?' he broke out at last. What did he say to you about gentlemen being crammed by tutors and professors ? Have not you as good a right to them as any gentleman?'
• But he told me they were no use --that every man must educate himself.
Oh! all very fine to tell you the grapes are sour, when you can't reach them. Bah, lad! Can't you see what comes of education ? that any dolt, provided he be a gentleman, can be doctored up at school and college, enough to make him play his part decently—his mighty part of ruling us, and riding over our heads, and picking our pockets, as parson, doctor, lawyer, member of parliament—while we-you now, for instance-cleverer than ninety-nine gentlemen out of a hundred, if you had one-tenth the trouble taken with you that is taken with every pig. headed son of an aristocrat
• Am I clever asked I, in honest surprise.
• What! haven't you found that out yet? Don't try to put that on me. Don't a girl know when she's pretty, without asking her neighbours ?'
* Really, I never thought about it.'
* More simpleton you. Old Mackaye has, at all events; though, canny Scotchman that he is, he'll never say a word to you about it, yet he makes no secret of it to other people. I heard him the other day telling some of our friends that you were a thorough young genius.'
By this time Crossthwaite had gained the ascendancy over our young hero, imbuing him with his opinions, which were democratic in the extreme, and taking him with him to the evening clubs, where he was the chief orator. Sandy Mackaye also, an associate of Crossthwaite's, and a Scotchman, as his name imports, exerted no small influence upon him; but, notwithstanding the old man's oddities, being a sort of good genius, his influence was rather beneficial in its tendency. He lends him books which he greedily devours, and by this means he not only makes himself acquainted with English literature, but even manages to gather some idea of the Latin language. With the knowledge he picks up, and the bitter feeling he begins to cherish towards the higher classes and the clergy, it will not astonish the reader to hear that he became infidel in his opinions. This led to his being banished the house of his mother, whom he never sees again alive. Alton has a cousin, George, the son of a wealthy grocer, and who is studying at Cambridge for the church. They meet, and in their rambles visit the Dulwich Gallery, where Alton, while gazing in raptures upon Guido's “St Sebastian," comes into contact with a living figure by whom he is captivated and enslaved
--the fair Lillian. He now began to write poetry, was thrown out of work by a strike, visited Cambridge, met with patrons there, under whose auspices his poems were published, found his lost idol, who turned out to be the niece of the scientific dean, his patron. Under the dean's influence, he expunges all the verses containing extreme political and social notions, hasks a while in the light of men of science and cultivated women. His book produces a sensation, newspapers applaud it, and sentimental ladies weep over its pages, and even sing some of its songs in aristocratic drawing-rooms.
Alton takes leave of his cousin in Cambridge, of whom he has formed no very favourable opinion, and returns to London, where he lives-. rather attempts to live-by his pen, contributing to Mr O'Flynn's newspaper—the paper of the people. The Irish editor and our hero don't work long together. They part, and his quondam friend attempts to write him down, which he succeeds in doing for a time, having ferreted out everything connected with his suppressing his political opinions in his book to please the “aristocrats," and lays things to his charge of which he was entirely ignorant.
Though toiling day by day with his pen for bread, Locke was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. Farmer Porter, with whom he had become acquainted when at Cambridge, had come to London in search of a long lost son, who, it was believed, was imprisoned in some sweater's den.
Much search had been made, and hope had almost died away, when, "as I passed through Covent-Garden,"our hero relates, “ a pretty young woman stopped me under a gas-lamp. I was pushing on, when I saw that it was Jemmy Downes's Irish wife, and saw, too, that she did not recognise me. A sudden instinct made me stop and hear what she had to say. • Sure, then, and yer a tailor, my young
man “Yes,' I said, nettled a little that my late loathed profession still betrayed itself in my gait.
* From the counthry?'
I nodded, though I dare not speak a white lie to that effect. I fancied that, somehow, through her I might hear of poor Kelly and his friend Porter.
Ye'll be wanting work, thin?' • I have no work.'
Och, then, it's I can show ye the flower o' work, I can. Bedad, there's a shop I know of where ye'll earn-bedad, if ye're the ninth part of a man, let alone a handy young fellow like the looks of you. ye'll earn thirty shillings the week to the very least—an' beautiful lodgings Och, thin, just come and see 'em-as chape as mother's milk! Come along thin-och, it's the beauty ye are—just the nate figure for a tailor.'
The fancy still possessed me; and I went with her through one dingy back street after another. She seemed to be purposely taking an indirect road, to mislead me as to my whereabouts; but, after a half-hour's walking, I knew, as well as she, that we were in one of the most miserable slop-working nests of the east-end. She stopped at a house-door, and hurried me in, up to the first floor, and into a dirty, slatternly par