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Everybody seemed very glad of this, and applauded more than ever.

"But I hope my Honourable Friend," said the gentlemanly member-of course he added, “if he will allow me to call him so,' and of course Mr. Pecksniff bowed—“will give me many opportunities of cultivating the knowledge of him; and that I may have the extraordinary gratification of reflecting in after time that I laid on this day two first stones, both belonging to structures which shall last my life!"

Great cheering again. All this time Martin was cursing Mr. Pecksniff up hill and down dale.

“My friends!” said Mr. Pecksniff, in reply. "My duty is to build, not speak; to act, not talk; to deal with marble, stone, and brick: not language. I am very much affected. God bless you!”

This address, pumped out apparently from Mr. Pecksniff's very heart, brought the enthusiasm to its highest pitch. The pocket handkerchiefs were waved again; the charity children were admonished to grow up Pecksniffs, cvery boy among them ; the corporation, gentlemen with wands, member for the Gentlemanly Interest, all cheered for Mr. Pecksniff. Three cheers for Mr. Pecksniff! Three more for Mr. Pecksniff! Three more for Mr. Pecksniff, gentlemen, if you please! One more, gentlemen, for Mr. Pecksniff, and let it be a good one to finish with!

In short, Mr. Pecksnisf was supposed to have done a great work, and was very kindly, courteously, and generously rewarded.

When the procession

moved

away, and Martin and Mark were left almost alone upon the ground, his merits and a desire to acknowledge them formed the common topic. He was only second to the gentlemanly member.

“Compare that fellow's situation to-day, with ours !” said Martin, bitterly.

“Lord bless you, sir,” cried Mark, “what's the use! Some architects are clever at making foundations, and some architects are clever at building on 'em when they're made. But it'll all come right in the end, sir ; it'll all come right!"

“And in the meantime-" began Martin.

“In the mean time, as you say, sir, we have a deal to do, and far to go. So sharp's the word, and

jolly !”

You are the best master in the world, Mark," said Martin, “and I will not be a bad scholar if I can help it, I am resolved! So come! Best foot foremost, old fellow !"

Charles Dickens.

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XIV.

BURNING OF DRURY LANE THEATRE.

SURVEY this shield, all bossy bright;
These cuisses 2 twain behold!
Look on my form in armour dight 3
Of steel inlaid with gold ;
My knees are stiff in iron buckles,
Stiff spikes of steel protect my knuckles,

These once belong'd to sable prince,
Who never did in battle wince;
With valour tart as pungent quince,

He slew the vaunting Gaul.
Rest there awhile, my bearded lance,
While from green curtain I advance
To yon footlight, no trivial dance,
And tell the town what sad mischance

Did Drury Lane befall.

THE NIGHT.

On fair Augusta's 5 towers and trees
Flitted the silent midnight breeze,
Curling the foliage as it past,
Which from the moon-tipp'd plumage cast
A spangled light, like dancing spray,
Then re-assumed its still array;
When, as night's lamp unclouded hung,
And down its full effulgence flung,
It shed such soft and balmy power,
That cot and castle, hall and bower,
And spire and dome, and turret height,
Appeared to slumber in the light.

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From Henry's chapel, Rufus' hall,
To Savoy, Temple, and St. Paul;
From Knightsbridge, Pancras', Camden Town,
To Redriffe, Shadwell, Horsleydown,
No voice was heard, no eye unclosed,
But all in deepest sleep reposed.
They might have thought, who gazed around,
Amid a silence so profound,

It made the senses thrill, That 'twas no place inhabited, But some vast city of the dead,

All was so lush'd and still.

THE BURNING.

As Chaos, which, by heavenly doon,
Had slept in everlasting gloom,
Started with terror and surprise
When light first flash'd upon her eyes:
So London's sons in nightcap woke,

In bedgown woke her dames;
For shouts were heard 'mid fire and smoke,
And twice ten hundred voices spoke,

“The playhouse is in flames !" And lo! where Catherine Street? extends, A fiery tail its lustre lends

To every window-pane;
Blushes each spout in Martlet Court,
And Barbican, moth-eaten fort,
And Covent Garden kennels sport,

A bright ensanguin'd drain;
Meux's new brewhouse shows the light,
Rowland Hill's chapel, and the height

Where patent shot they sell ;
The Tennis Court, so fair and tall,
Partakes the ray, with Surgeons' Hall,
The Ticket Porters' House of Call,
Old Bedlam, close by London Wall,
Wright's shrimp and oyster shop withal,

And Richardson's Hotel.

Nor these alone, but far and wide,
Across red Thames's gleaming tide,
To distant fields, the blaze was borne,
And daisy white and hoary thorn
In borrow'd lustre seem'd to sham
The rose or red sweet Wil-li-am.
To those who on the hills around.
Beheld the flames from Drury's mound,

As from a losty altar rise,
It seemed that nations did conspire,
To offer to the god of fire

Some vast stupendous sacrifice !

The summon'd firemen woke at call,
And hied them to stations all :
Starting from short and broken snooze,
Each sought his ponderous hob-nail'd shoes.
But first his worsted hosen plied,
Plush breeches next, in crimson dyed,

His nether bulk embraced;
Then jacket thick, of red or blue,
Whose massy shoulders gave to view
The badge of each respective crew,

In tin or copper traced.

The engines thunder'd through the street,
Fire-hook, pipe, bucket, all complete,
And torches glared, and clattering feet

Along the pavement paced.

And one, the leader of the band,
From Charing Cross along the Strand,
Like stag by beagles hunted hard,
Ran till he stopp'd at Vin'gar Yard.

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