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morning. It did a cove good, there's no mistake about that; but a man who's used to his half-pint at eleven can't do a baking walk in the sun and go without it.”
“ 'Tain't likely,” said everybody.
“But don't you think that its just a spurt and will blow over in a month or so. They'll soon be sick of taking advantage of the precious fog that hangs about that Act, and snaring in the same net them wot says they is travellers, and them wot serves 'em because they believes that they is."
"I don't believe it. It's much more likely that them that keeps public-houses a little way out in the country, where Sunday morning travellers are in the habit of calling, will get that aggravated by the police being down on 'em, that they'll cut the Sunday trade altogether, and keep their houses shut.”
“Why, it stands to sense that they will,” spoke the landlord of the Hare and Weazel-at that moment handing in and taking the money for half-a-pint of gin and two pots of eightpenny—“and a good thing too. It'll put a stopper on them that's so jolly fond of walking off to take their Sunday morning's pint in the fields and medders, and never caring a button how their neighbours are to live. All right. I've got my eye on ’em. It'll rather astonish 'em when they come here a Sunday morning for me to oblige 'em, and I tell 'em to go and have a look at the green leaves instead. Them and their 'umbuggin' green leaves. Give me a good summer cabbidge—them's green leaves enough for me, and if they ain't, and my appetite wants another tickler in the afternoon, I can always fall back on water creases."
This noble sentiment elicited loud whispers of applause ; and the man who had expressed his liking for a walk between the country hedges, feeling that he, perhaps, was the individual the landlord had his retributive eye on, ordered a conciliatory quartern of rum, and when the landlord had fetched it, and had condescendingly drunk a glass of it, he further enlightened us as to what were his opinions on the clause of the new Act that dealt with Sunday trading during prohibited hours.
“ Live and let live, that's my motto," said the landlord.
“All except teetotallers,” remarked a sneak, who a little before had “stuck up a pint” till next day.
“Teetotallers included,” replied the landlord of the Hare and Weazel, magnanimously ; "they've done me many a good turn, and never a better than when they passed the Act that stopped the Sunday morning out in the country. I approve of their principles,” continued the landlord, bestowing a grin and a wink on the company generally. “It is a scandalous thing to see the doors—the front doors, mind you !of a public house open on Sunday morning on any pretence whatever. If fellows will indulge in the vicious habit of insisting on their pint on a Sunday morning as well as on any other, they should keep it dark, and not make their wulgarity as public as people coming from church make their hymn-books and that. If they must drink-and, mind you, they will do that, open or sly, if they take it into their heads to do it—why, let them keep the secret to themselves, and call at Popshort's and get a comfortable shave, and—”.
What else did not transpire, for at this moment an authoritative rapping was heard at the front door, and at the same moment the potboy made his appearance with a pail. Without apology, he seized every measure on the tables and emptied it into that receptacle ; and in a twinkling he gathered up every pot and measure and vanished with them to regions below. “Out you go. Sharp's the word. Hook it over the wall. Good luck t' ye !”
And so, ignominiously dismissed, we tumbled over the wall into the wood-chopping shed, and thence made our way to where the scarlet runners grew, and so, one at a time, through the barber's shop, and out into Little Swallow Street.
THE HUMAN HAIR MARKET.
It was recently my privilege to inspect, and for just as long as I chose, linger over the enormous stock of the most extensive dealer in human hair in Europe. The firm in question has several warehouses, but this was the London warehouse, with cranes for lowering and hauling up heavy bales. I, however, was not fortunate in the selection of a time for my visit. The stock was running low, and a trifling consignment of seventeen hundredweight or so was at that moment lying at the docks till a waggon could be sent to fetch it away. But what remained of the impoverished stock was enough to inspire me with wonder and awe. On a sort of bench, four or five feet in width, and extending the whole length of the warehouse front, what looked like horse tails were heaped in scores and hundreds; in the rear of this was another bench, similarly laden; all round about were racks thickly festooned ; under the great bench were bales, some of them large almost as trusses of hay; and there was the warehouseman, with his sturdy bare arms, hauling out big handfuls of the tightly-packed tails, and roughly sorting them.
I should imagine that a greater number of pretty lines have been written on women's hair than on anything else in creation. Lovers have lost their wits in its enchanting tangle; poets have soared on a single lovely tress higher than Mother Shipton ever mounted on her celebrated broom ; but I question if the most delirious of the whole hair-brained fraternity could have grown rapturous, or even commonly sentimental, over one of these bales when, with his knife, the warehouseman ripped open the canvas and revealed what was within. Splendid specimens, every one of the tails. Eighteen or twenty inch lengths, soft and silky in texture, and many of rare shades of colour-chestnut, auburn, flaxen, golden—and each exactly as when the cruel shears had cropped it from the female head.
It was this last-mentioned terribly palpable fact that spoilt the romance. Phew! One hears of the objectionable matters from which certain exquisite perfumes are distilled; but they must be roses and lilies compared with this raw material out of which are manufactured the magnificent head-adornments that ladies delight in. As to its appearance, I will merely remark that it gave one the "creeps" to contemplate it. Misinterpreting my emotion, the good-natured gentleman who accompanied me hastened to explain that the fair maidens of Southern Germany to whom these crowning glories had originally belonged did not part with the whole of their crop. “More often than not,” said he, “they will agree to sell but a piece out of the centre of their back hair, and under any circumstances they will not permit the merchant's scissors to touch their front hair.” Time was when I should have derived consolation from this bit of information ; but now I could not avoid the reflection what a pity it was, for sanitary reasons, that they did not have their heads shaved outright. “Is it all in this condition when you first receive it ?” I ventured to inquire. “As nearly as possible,” was my friend's bland rejoinder.
The lot under inspection, a little parcel of a couple of hundredweight, came from Germany. The human hair