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TIO U S A N D

A Y E A R.

BY THE

AUTHOR OF THE “DIARY OF A LONDON PHYSICIAN.”

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TEN THOUSAND A YEAR.

CHAPTER I.

ABOUT ten o'clock on Sunday morning, | ing his little fire, and listlessly listening in the month of July, 183—, the dazzling to the discordant jangling of innumerable sunbeams which had for many hours irra-church-bells, clamorously calling the ci. diated a little dismal back attic in one of the tizens to their devotions. What passed closest courts adjoining Oxford Street, in through his mind was something like the London, and stimulated with their intensi-following:ty the closed eyelids of a young man lying * Heigho!-Oh, Lord !-Dull as ditchin bed, at length awoke him. He rubbed water !—This is my only holiday, yet I his eyes for some time, to relieve himself don't seem to enjoy it—the fact is, I feel from the irritation he experienced in them; knocked up with my week's work.—Lord, and yawned and stretched his limbs with a what a life mine is, to be sure! Here am heavy sense of weariness, as though his I, in my eight-and-twentieth year, and for sleep had not refreshed him. He presently four long years have been one of the shopcast his eyes on the heap of clothes lying men at Dowlas, Tagrag, Bobbin and Comhuddled together on the backless chair pany's-slaving from seven o'clock in the the bedside, and where he had hastily flung morning till ten at night, and all for a sathem about an hour after midnight; at which lary of 35l. a year and my board! And time he had returned from a great draper's Mr. Tagrag is always telling me how high shop in Oxford Street, where he served as he's raised my salary. Thirty-five pounds a shopman, and where he had nearly drop- a year is all I have for lodging and appearped asleep after a long day's work, while ing like a gentleman! Oh, Lord, it can't in the act of putting up the shutters. He last, for sometimes I feel getting despecould hardly keep his eyes open while he rate-such strange thoughts! Seven shilundressed, short as was the time it took him lings a week do I pay for this cursed hole”to do so; and on dropping exhausted into he uttered these words with a bitter emphabed, there he had continued in deep unbro- sis, accompanied by a disgustful look round ken slumber till the moment he is presented the little room—that one could'nt swing a to the reader. He lay for several minutes, cat in without touching the four sides ! stretching, yawning, and sighing, occasion. Last winter, three of our gents, (i. e. his ally casting an irresolute eye towards the fellow-shopmen) came to tea with me one tiny fireplace, where lay a modicum of wood Sunday night; and bitter cold as it was, and coal, with a tinder-box and a match or we made this d-d doghole so hot we were two placed upon the hob, so that he could obliged to open the windows! And as for easily light his fire for the purposes of shav- accommodations – I recollect I had to borrow ing and breakfasting. He stepped at length two nasty chairs from the people below, lazily out of bed, and when he felt his feet who on the next Sunday, borrowed my only again, yawned and stretched himself, then decanter in return, and, hang them, cracked he lit his fire, placed his bit of a kettle on it-Curse me, if this life is worth having ! the top of it, and returned to bed, where he It's all the very vanity of vanities, and no lay with his eyes fixed on the fire, watching mistake! Fag, fag, fag, all one's days, the crackling blaze insinuating itself through and—what for? Thirty-five pounds a year, the wood and coal. Once, however, it be- and no advance!'. Bah, bells! ring away gan to fail, so he had to get up and assist it till you're all cracked !-Now do you think by blowing and bits of paper; and it seem- I'm going to be mewed up in church on this ed in so precarious a state that he determin- the only day out of the seven I've got to ed not again to lie down, but sit on the bed sweeten myself in, and sniff fresh air? A side, as he did with his arms folded, ready precious joke that would be! Whew!to resume operations if necessary. In this after all, i'd as leave sit here; for what's posture he remained for some time, watch-I the use of my going out? Every body I

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