nature, who, whatever circumstances may have compelled him to become, cast him in the mould of a gentleman. It is said that in London every man finds his level. Whether Griffith Maclean, after all his vicissitudes, has found his, I do not pretend to say. Happily for him, he thinks that fortune has done her worst, and that he is bound to rise on her revolving wheel as high at least as he has fallen low. May the hope stick by him, and give birth to energies productive of its realisation!



THERE are a number of stock subjects, which writers of fiction, concocters of articles for journals and magazines, and delineators of society as it is, or as they imagine it to be, have in a manner seized for their peculiar property, and erected into a sort of literary capital, upon which they consider themselves at liberty to draw upon emergencies. Among these not the least remarkable, or to the gentlemen of the quill the least useful, is the Lodging-house Keeper— the lone woman whom misfortune has condemned to open her doors to all the world, and to postpone her own ideas of convenience or comfort to those of whomsoever fate may quarter upon her hospitality. It is a noble quarry, doubtless; and the grey goose shaft when it is winged against the "Landlady," must not be deemed ill-directed. There is something very chivalrous and laudable in denouncing her as a thief and a drunkard, under a little ingenious periphrasis-and it is so much more pleasant and profitable to make her the laughing-stock of the public, and to hold her up to the scorn and detestation of good and sober people, than it is punctually to pay her weekly bills, that authors who write for the amusement of their readers, are perfectly justified in the course they have unanimously adopted. It may be thought a piece of gross impertinence, in one of this highly criminal class, whom every writer of the age, from the loftiest genius to the lowest would-be litterateur, has used for the butt of his wit, if he chanced to have any, or of

his ill-nature, when he had nothing better to display-it may be held unpardonable that such an one should venture to demur to the general verdict, and prefer a claim to be heard on the other side of the question. But I shall venture it notwithstanding-not indeed taking example from the writers aforesaid, or retorting in the same complimentary strain which characterises their productions. I am a Lodging-house Keeper, and the necessities of my position have compelled me to the practice of civility: those who set themselves up for teachers of public morals, through the press, appear to be under no such compulsion, and can do as they list. My arguments will consist of my own experience, or some selected portion of it—and if they serve no other purpose will, I am sure, tend to show that the "Landlady," so far from being a sort of animal of prey, ready to seize upon whom she may devour, rather resembles the poor quadruped, tied to a stake, against whom, in the good old times, any houseless vagabond cur might try his mettle.

I was the only child of respectable parents, who, after a life of business, retired upon their savings, to a modest cottage in the outskirts of town. With the death of my father, which took place in my twenty-first year, the major part of our revenue ceased, but he left me a small portion, payable upon his policy of insurance. A year after his death, I married a gentleman in the employment of a wellknown mercantile firm, and with my mother, who had a small annuity of her own, and in the society of my husband, an excellent and accomplished man, passed eight years of my life in the enjoyment of as much happiness as any woman has reason to expect. At the end of this period my mother died. The same disease that carried her off confined my husband to his room for five months, and so undermined a constitution, which was never strong, as to inspire me with the greatest fears on his account. They proved to be but too well founded. In little more than a year after I had

buried my mother, my husband was stretched sickness, from which he never rose again.

upon a bed of While he lay ill,

my youngest child sickened and died, and I was obliged to send away the two eldest, in order to devote myself to the care of my sick partner. He was respected by his employers, and they generously continued his salary, which, though not large, was sufficient for our wants, up to the day of his death. He languished for upwards of twenty months, during which the greater part of my little fortune was expended unavailingly in feeing physicians, none of whom would come to any decision as to the precise nature of his disease. After his departure, I found myself completely alone in the world with my two boys-I had no other relations, that I knew of, living-in possession of about two hundred pounds in cash, and a house full of excellent furniture.

I was anxious to get my little boys educated, and to put them in a way, as soon as old enough, to earn a living for themselves—and I deliberated long on the best means of investing my little capital in a way that should ultimately ensure this object. It was not from choice that I became a Lodging-house Keeper; but because nothing else appeared applicable in the circumstances in which I was then placed. I hired a new house, in a pleasant and healthy part of the London suburbs, and situated in the route of the omnibuses to and from the City. The annual rent, together with the rates and taxes, amounted to sixty pounds; but, anything respectable and fit for the purpose could not be got for less, and I hoped, by superior accommodation and attention, to succeed in creating a connexion, and to be enabled ultimately to pay my way. When all my goods were arranged in a state of order and cleanliness, I put up a legible announce ment in the parlour window, and anxiously waited for occupants-never leaving home, save after dark, for fear of missing an offer and employing myself in teaching my boys to read, to distract my mind from the fears and


responsibilities which began to weigh upon it. Nearly a fortnight passed without an applicant, and then came a commercial gentleman, on the Sunday afternoon, which, he said, was the only time he had to spare for the purpose, to inquire my terms. He was pleased with everything, but objected to the price, and offered me a rent for two rooms, with attendance, which would have barely covered their cost to me if empty. He was huffed at my refusal-said he could get them elsewhere-that people who had rooms to let must let them for what they could get he would look further. When he was gone away I began to reflect on his offer, and to suspect whether I had not done wrong. I saw the truth of what he said, and that I must let my house at whatever people would give, or do worse. He came back in the evening, and in a very brusque way, said :—

"What do you pay for this house?"

"Sixty pounds, including everything."


Too much—but say sixty-there are ten rooms-bating the kitchens, as common to the whole house, there are eight H left for hire-eights in sixty-that's seven pound ten a room, empty-come, I don't mind doubling it for furniture and attendance, if you give me my choice of the roomssay twelve shillings a week."

Though internally resenting this mode of calculation, I was too anxious to make a beginning to venture to offend him. As a matter of course, he chose the front parlour and the best bed-room-and, leaving a deposit, agreed to send his luggage on the morrow. He came, and remained with me two years, at the end of which time he was seduced away by a promising advertisement, in one of the daily papers, offering the same accommodation, with "partial board" into the bargain, at the same price. He was a north-countryman, attached to the London department of a Manchester house, at a salary of £400 a year, every farthing of which it was his boast that he banked regularly as he

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