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founded the great firm of Barclay, Perkins, and Co., when Dr. Johnson was a frequent visitor there.

My husband's father, the Honourable George Nevill, it seems curious to remember, had known Mrs. Thrale quite well; he lived at Godstone, not very far away, in a district which still remains comparatively rural.

The change in locomotion in my own lifetime is extraordinary. In my early childhood a coach travelled to Dalston three or four times daily; fare, Is. outside; inside, Is. 6d. A journey by coach to Gravesend cost 5s. or 7s. 6d. You might get there by boat for 2s. 6d., but the voyage occupied a very long time. Hackney, then Hackney, then a remarkably select neighbourhood, offered conveyances every half-hour at is. or Is. 6d. The coach ran to Hampstead three times daily; fare, 2s. 6d. or is. 6d. Highgate was rather more difficult of access. Six journeys were performed between London (the City) and Islington daily; charge, Is. or Is. 6d. Margate was a long and costly journey by road; those who ventured on board a hoy travelled cheaper, but frequently at no small amount of physical suffering, especially from sea-sick

There were several stages between Paddington and the Royal Exchange; the charge from is. 6d., but never under Is. Most people of those days were capital pedestrians, and seldom troubled them. A modern omnibus holds from twenty-six to thirty persons, and is frequently crowded. These old-world vehicles would only accommodate at the most eight or


ten, and were seldom full. The canals about London, particularly the Grand Junction, were formerly constantly used by passengers; to-day, anyone who spoke of travelling by canal-boat would be thought mad.

In connexion with the use canals were formerly put to the following paragraph, referring to the dispatch of troops from London to Ireland at a time of great excitement, is curious:

"The first division of the troops that are to proceed by Paddington Canal for Liverpool, and thence by transports for Dublin, will leave Paddington to-day, and will be followed by others to-morrow and on Sunday. By this mode of conveyance the men will be only seven days in reaching Liverpool, and with comparatively little fatigue; and it would take them above fourteen days to march that distance. Relays of fresh horses for the canal-boats have been ordered to be in readiness at all the stations."


The frugal past-Rise and fall in prices-Tea, oysters, and sealskin - Before envelopes and postage stamps-Mulready—A curious craze— Foolscap Priceless MSS. at 7 a ton-An astute collector-Gretna Green-Sir Henry Peyton's driving-whips-" Amadio" portraits-Pins and fancy ware-The White Lodge-Miss Braddon and her son-Teapots-Bomba dollars-Anecdotes-Eridge


OOKING back upon past days, it is curious to

remember how many of the small conveniences

of life were unknown to a less luxurious generation. Things which are now taken as a matter of course were-such as night-lights when first placed on the market-considered a wonderful novelty.

Before they were invented a sort of candle set in a japanned tin cylinder pierced with holes was employed to give a dim light in the rooms of sick people, or of those who did not like sleeping in the dark. Some of these curious contrivances, which were not pretty, may now be occasionally found in old country curiosity shops, together with other relics of the domestic life of the past, such as old tea-caddies and the like. The best of these, besides two compartments for different kinds of tea, contain a glass sugar-basin.

In old days both black and green tea were used


together. At that time, when the tax was two shillings a pound, tea was, of course, expensive. Costing scarcely ever less than five shillings a pound, it was considered a luxury, and usually kept locked up in the aforesaid caddies, the more elaborate of which are now so highly prized by collectors. It is curious to reflect that whilst tea has gone down in price, oysters have come up. Formerly they were so cheap as to be within the reach of the poor, as may be realized from Dickens' remark "that Poverty and Oysters always seemed to go together." A very different state of affairs prevails to-day, when oysters cost about six times what they formerly did.

A number of other things which were once not in great request have, owing to an increased demand, become comparatively dear. A notable instance of this is "sealskin," which in the Forties of the last century was common enough. Boxes were covered with it, gloves and driving-rugs were made of it, costermongers and cabmen cut their caps from it. Then came a time when some cunning furrier discovered how to dye it a rich dark brown, and to give it that exquisite soft and downy texture which is its chief charm. At once ladies adopted the luxury. It was soon found that for cloaks, jackets, muffs, dainty little hats, collars, cuffs, bags, portmonnaies, for a thousand other articles of feminine use, it was the most delightful of all possible materials. The demand for it increased with a rapidity almost marvellous, and the fashion, instead of wearing itself

out, if anything steadily increased. Indeed, the best Alaska sealskins, like the furs of the sable, the silver fox, and the Russian sea otter, began to command an altogether fancy price, and a handsome jacket of close texture and uniform colour, with no white hairs to break the continuation of its tint, in time fetched as many guineas as five-and-twenty years before it would have fetched half-crowns. The result of the popularity of sealskin is, I believe, that now only measures preserve seals from extermina


Some of our modern necessities are quite of recent origin. For instance, envelopes as we now know them date only from the time of the Exhibition of 1851, when the "envelope-folding machine first brought out. Originally it was laid down in the postal regulations that a letter must be on one single sheet of paper without an enclosure of any kind; and if even a slip was inserted, double postage had to be paid. Before the time of envelopes, of course, letters were folded in a special way and secured either with sealing-wax or wafers, the latter of which are now more or less obsolete.

In old days, it should be added, wafers were in general use for closing letters, but sealing-wax eventually caused their disappearance. In connexion with this one recalls the story of the village school puzzling over the word "waif."

Suddenly a brilliant idea struck a bright-eyed little fellow, and he burst out with: "I can conjugate

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