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as it seems to Mr. Bret Harte's " Haunted
Man," female goodness is always embodied
by Dickens in an undersized and infantine,
not to say idiotic, creature; sometimes
charming, sometimes irritatingly imbecile,
but always undersized. For a similar in-
scrutable reason, his willful or wicked
woman strides on the scene, always tall and
handsome and haughty. Only late in life did
his imagination ripen to the production of
flesh-and-blood women, such as these two of
" Our Mutual Friend," or such as Rosebud,
in " Edwin Drood," gave promise of being.
At Tower Hill our way has again joined
that of Mr. Riderhood, who is now far
ahead, " sweating away at the brow, as an
honest man should." We hasten after him,
going always eastward ; down Tower Hill,
through the Ratclifle Highway — now St.
George's street, the scene of the first of De
Quincey's "Three Memorable Murders "and
of much of " The Uncommercial Traveler's "
midnight prowling: through Wapping, and
Shadwell, and Stepney — the latter curious
as the parish to which all English children
bom at sea were considered to belong. We
go over the same ground witii Walter Gay,
in his visit to Captain Cuttle, in Brig Place;
and with Pip in his search for Mrs.
Whimple's house, at Mill Pond Bank,
Chink's Basin, Old Green Copper Rope-
walk, where Hved old Bill Barley and
his daughter Clara, and where the convict
Magwitch was concealed. The neighborhood
becomes more and more marine in its charac-
ter as we advance ; the people more and more
degraded — "the accumulated scum of
humanity washed from higher grounds, hke
so much moral sewage, and pausing until its
own weight has forced it over the bank, and

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other of his works — unless it be the unap-
proachable " Tale of Two Cities " — nothing
IS introduced that does not bear upon and
irresistibly lead toward the progress of the
story and its due catastrophe. Says poor
Gustcr, as she sits sobbing on the floor and
fearful of " going off into another " ; Esther
soothing her and trying to draw out her
interview that evening with the disguised
Lady Dedlock ; Mr. Bucket standing by
in painful expectancy for the result; Mr.
Soagsby coughingly apologetic in the back-
ground: — "And I asked her which burying-
ground. And she said the poor burying-
ground. And so I told her I had been a
poor child myself, and // was according to
parishes^ Now, the law-writer had his
lodgings at Krook's rag-and-bottle shop, in
a court on the west side of Chancery Lane,
so near to Lincoln's Inn as to be blinded by
its wall "intercepting the light within a
couple of yards." This court is in the parish
of St Clement Danes, that ugly little church
in the Strand, where one may still sit in the
l>ew occupied every Sunday for so many
years by Samuel Johnson : — and the grave-
yard must therefore be sought for in this
parish. The old burying-ground near
Drury Lane lies in quite a different parish,
either in that of St. Giles-in- the- Fields, or of
St. Mary le Strand; while that of St. Dun-
sian-in-the-West lay not only in another
parish, but in a different city, London, to
wit : that " city " end'mg at Temple Bar and
Chancery Lane, and Westminster begin-
ning on the westerly border of that street.
So that, however many points of resem-
blance may have existed between these
burying-grounds and that of" Bleak House,"
it could have been neither of the two. These
points of resemblance, however, — with per-
haps some bits from the grave-yard of the
adjoining parish of St. Andrew, Holbom,
wherein slept Peffer, Mr. Snagsby's former
partner, — were probably all used, as was
Dickens's way, and adapted to the peculiar
traits of the parish burying-ground of St.
Geraent Danes: which, there can be no
doubt, was the original of that of " Bleak
House," and is, indeed, as 1 have shown, the
only possible one. This old pauper burying-
ground of St Clement Danes lay between
Lincoln's- Inn Fields and the Strand ; its site
now partly covered by King's College Hos-
pital : — a loathsome spot, long called in de-
rision the " Green Ground," reported time
and again by everybody for everything, and
in which 5500 corpses were crammed in
twenty-five years, until it was heaped and

running over with pauper bodies. Poor
Joe understood it: "They put him wery
nigh the top. They was obliged to stamp
upon it to get it in. I could onkiver it for
you with my broom if the gate was t)pen.
I s'pose that's why they locks it" The
hole into which they had stamped Nemo
Hawdon, "among them piles o' bones
and close to that there kitching-winder,"
could not have been far from the grave of
Joe Miller, of which we read in an old book :
" The slab rose from rank green grass that
was sprinkled with dead cats, worn-out
shoes, and fragments of tramps' bonnets" —
a singular tesrimony in this connection.
This foul place was spaded out of existence
in 1850 and 185 1, Che latter the year of the
beginning of " Bleak House " ; so that none
of the searchers for its grave-yard have ever
seen it*

Tulkinghorn's house, in Lincoln's-Inn
Fields, in which takes place so much of the
action, and around which moves so much of
the current of the " Bleak House " narrative,
has always had a peculiar fascination for
me. The coloring given to it is something
unique, even from Dickens's hand; it is
done with but few touches, but with such
skill that, like Foe's " House of Usher," it has
an aspect and an atmosphere all its own.
It should not be difficult, therefore, of iden-
tification, and two Americans who were
interested in this quest, and who went on it
at odd hours each by himself, were pleased
one day, on comparing results, to find that
both had fixed on the same two houses —
adjoining and united by a common porch —
as the only two possible houses that might
serve for Tulkinghorn's. Soon after, we
found that passage, in one of Dickens's letters
to Forster from America, in which he speaks
of his hoping soon " to walk into No. 58
Lincoln's-Inn Fields"; and our immediate
visit showed that number on the door of
one of these two houses! As we had al-
ready suspected, he had taken the house in
which Forster lived, and with which he was
so familiar, as the residence of Tulkinghom.
And if any further corroborative proof was
needed, it was unexpectedly stumbled on

•A striking confirmation of the truth of this rea-
soning has come to me since the above was put in
type. Mr. Lawrence Mutton, who has been in-
terested in this same search, tells me that, question-
ing the present Mr. Charles Dickens about the" Bleak
House grave-yard, he was assured that its descrip-
tion was made up from several of these vile pauper
burial-places, in the city and elsewhere, and, so
completed, placed within the proper parish.

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the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High
Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery,"
and so along by the garden. " I call it my
garden," says poor little Miss Flite. But,
long before, Ben Jonson had strolled there
as in his own garden ; later, Richard Steele
«%andered undisturbed for hours while
composing in its quiet precincts; here Isaac
Bickerstaffe was to be seen walking, as the
" Tatler " tells us ; and Mr. Pepys came to
look at " the new garden they are making
and will be very pretty": — ^indeed, the whole
place is haunted with historic shapes. And
so, through the heavy old Tudor gate-way,
black with age and smoke, we come out into
Chancery Lane.

As the heart of this story is a chancery
suit, so the heart of its scene is Chancery
Lane. All its London localities lie within
a half-mile radius of this street. It is
but a short street, running from' Fleet
street to Holbom, but it is. the very center
of legal London, and, therefore, of legal
England. At its southern end lie the
Temple and its gardens, and here, span-
ning Fleet street, stood Temple Bar, now
replaced by its gratuitously hideous memo-
rial At its upper end, running back from
Holbom, is Gray's Inn, its dreary garden,
its " arid square, Sahara desert of the law."
All along its westerly side stretch Lincoln's-
Inn Fields, and the old inns of Court and
of Chancery lie all about. The street is
lined with massive law offices and cham-
bers ; in odd comers and dingy courts we
find rusty law-stationers, and many a little
shop which, like Krooks's, seem to be
*' dirty hangers-on' and disowned relations
of the law"; and, at frequent intervals, we
pass the ceaselessly swinging doors of the
Slap Bang eating-house, with Mes.srs.
^juppy, Jobling, Smallweed, and all their
race passing in and out. These noisy and
nasty eating-houses are in striking contrast
with the staid, old-fashioned taverns in the
same neighborhood. The Old Cheshire
Gicese, the Mitre Tavern, descendant of Dr.
Johnson's, " Dick's," the Rainbow, Tenny-
son's Cock Tavem, all in Fleet street near
Chancery Lane, have been but little changed,
if at all, m all these years. The two aspects
of this neighborhood — the one in the midst
of the November fog, the other in the midst
of the summer heats — are given with equal
^ithfiilness and equal vividness. Dickens
oever excelled these two dramatic bits of

At the lower end of the Lane the rising
walls and towers of the vast new law-

coiu-ts have nearly destroyed Bell- Yard, —
" that filthy old place, Bell-Yard," as Pope
called it, — ^but they still look down on one
house therein which is more to us than all
their massive magnificence. " The chandler's
shop, left-hand side, name of Blinder,"
Gridley, the man from Shropshire, has
given as his address ; but we go there, not
to see that querulous personage, but to
call on " Little Coavinses," as the jocular
Skimpole names the child of the Bailiflfs
follower — "Charley," who takes charge of her
little brother and sister, not much younger
than herself, after " Coavinses himself had
been arrested by the Great Bailiff." There
is not, in all of Dickens's pages — it would
be hard to find in English literature — any-
thing more true and touching than the
scene of the visit to that room. It is given
with Dickens's tenderest touch ; there is no
sham sentiment anywhere in it ; it has the
true ring. The unconscious daily heroism
of little Charley, as shown in this short
scene, is worth all the perpetual posing of
Miss Esther Summerson; and not all the
tiresome, demonstrative self-effacement of
that tiresome young lady touches us once
as does Charley's little gasp and quick re-
ply when Mr. Jamdyce hints that she is
hardly tall enough to reach the tub: "In
pattens I am, sir. I've got a high pair as
belonged to mother."

A few steps up Chancery Lane, on the
left, we tum into the narrow and dingy
Bishop's Court, in the middle of which,
huddled up close under the wall of
Lincoln's-Inn Fields, we find Krooks's
rag-and-bottle shop, well chosen in its
gloom and dreariness for Miss Elite's
perching place, for the law-writer's suicide,
for Krooks's hideous death, and its ghastly
discovery by Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling.
And to this very day, one sees there — in
ftirther proof of that marvelous accuracy of
observation of Dickens — the round holes in
the closed shutters, and knows them, with a
sudden shock, to be the great gaunt eyes
that stared in on the dead man on that
dreadful afternoon.

Just beyond Krooks's, at the back of the
court named Chichester Rents, we find the
public house, — the " Old Ship," — called by
Dickens the SoPs Arms, where little Swills,
the comic vocalist, held forth, and where the
" inkwhich " took place. Crossing the lane
again, and turning down Cursitor street,
we pass the former site of ** Coavinses," now
partly occupied by the Imperial Club cham-
bers. Sloman's private prison for debtors

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like an oblong cistern to hold the fog," and
find ourselves in Thavie's Inn, the residence
of Mrs. Jellaby. This apt description of
this inn is one of the many of the old Inns
Dickens introduced in his works. Early in
life he was struck by all that is queer, and
comical, and intensely dramatic in them and
their denizens, and he has used them in many
ways and with great effect. So early as
Pickwick, he speaks of these "curious little
ncK>ks in a great place like London," —
" queer old places," — and at once starts Jack
Bamber with his stories about them. " I
know another case; it occurred in Clifford's
Inn ; tenant of a top set — bad character —
shut himself up in his bedroom closet, and
took a dose of arsenic." The reader may
turn to the twenty-first chapter of " Pick-
wick*' for the rest of the story, which will
be made more vivid to him by a sight of
the very windows of that top set in our
sketch. The little square and plot of grass
has been somewhat improved since Mr.
Boffin was led to it for a quiet talk by John
Rokesmith, and found it to be a " moldy
little plantation or cat-preserve, as it was at
that day. Sparrows were there, cats were
there, dry rot and wet rot were there, but
not otherwise a suggestive spot." Dickens's
pages are full of these delightful bits of de-
KTiption, and of every variety of allusion to
the old Inns, gay, gloomy, ludicrous : from
the decay and darkness of Symond's Inn,
to which Richard Carstone took his bride
Ada, and wherein he died, — " a little pale,
wall-eved, woe-begone inn, like a large dust-
bin ot two compartments and a sifter " : to
his rollicking description — ^undeterred by the
majestic memory of Bacon or the pleasant
memory of Sir Roger de Coverly — of the
cliambers in Gray's Inn, and of the leeches
that were painfully escaping therefrom. It
is to Mr. Perker's chambers, in Gray's Inn,
that Mr. Pickwick goes in the afternoon, to
find no one left but the *Maundress," — ^so
called, Sam explains, " 'cos they has a mortal
awersion to washin* anythin'." It is also
in rooms in Holbom Court, Gray's Inn, that
Traddles packs his bride and " the girls " ;
and, " pernicious snug " as Mr. Tigg Mon-
tague would have called them, for Traddles
there were "oceans of room."

Pip finds his quarters in Barnard's Inn,
which he had supposed to be a grand hotel
kept by Mr. Barnard, and found to be " the
dingiest collection of shabl>y buildings ever
squeezed together in a rank comer as a club
for tomcats." Pip afterward moves to the
Temple, and the description of the night

storm therein, in the midst of which the
convict Magwitch finds his way to his
chambers, is one of Dickens's strongest bits.

The Temple is introduced in many of
the novels. In " Bamaby Rudge," Sir John
Chester has here his elegant chambers;
in the "Tale of Two Cities," Stryver, Q.
C, here lives and works, or rather Syd-
ney Carton works for him by night; and
here Tom Pinch dusted, arranged, and
catalogued the piles of books of his un-
known patron. It was here, too, that Mor-
timer Lightwood and Eugene Wraybum
had their chambers, presided over by young
Blight; to find which one had to wander
"disconsolate about the Temple until he
stumbled on a dismal church-yard, and had
looked up at the dismal windows command-
ing that church-yard until, at the most dis-
mal window of them all, he saw a dismal

It has always seemed odd to me that
Dickens should have been impressed in this
way by this litde church-yard. It lies snugly
shadowed under the wall of the little round
Temple church, built by the Templars in
that shape in imitation of the temple at
Jerusalem, and still the finest one of the four
now existing in England. This interesting
Norman and early English relic ; the cross-
legged stone effigies of the mailed Knights
Templar within; the flat tombstones with-
out, worn by the footsteps of centuries; the
grave of Goldsmith there; the names that
cluster about — Chaucer, the student here;
the judicious Hooker, master of the Tem-
ple; Addison, Johnson, Lamb: — all the
memories with which this quiet spot is
haunted, make it dear to the American

" Behind the most ancient part of Hol-
bom, Lopdon, where certain gabled houses,
some centuries of age, still stand looking on
the public way as if disconsolately looking
for the old Bourne that has long run dry, is
a little nook, composed of two irregular
quadrangles, called Staple Inn." Here it
was that Mr. Grewgious had his home;
here Mr. Tartar lived, and here Neville
Landless, after his persecution in Rochester,
found a retreat in " some attic-rooms in a
corner," taken for him by the kindly Cris-
parkle. It is a great delight to turn out
fi-om the maddening thoroughfare of Hol-
born into the quiet of this little nook, where
"a few smoky sparrows twitter in smoky
trees, as though they called to each other,
* Let us play at country,' and where a few
feet of garden-mold and a few yards of

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^avel enable them to do that refreshing
violence to their tiny understandings." It
was Mr. Snagsby, who, loving to walk
in Staple Inn in summer time, observed
"how countrified the sparrows and the
leaves are" ; but only so poetic a soul could
have seen this. What we see is what may
have been seen there at any time for more
than a century — " the little hall with a little
lantern in its roof," the queer old sun-dial
on the wall, the three mystic letters on it
and over the door-way :




— which, however little they troubled Mr.
Grewgious, do never cease to puzzle us.

One other interesting feature of these old
inns, which, as a matter of course, did not
escape Dickens's unerring eye, is the con-

stant presence of " lovely woman " within
their dim and dismal precincts. He who
passes through them cannot help being
struck by the frequency with which he
meets a dainty figure, " not sauntering, you
understand (on account of the clerks), but
coming briskly up," and vanishing within
one of the dusky portals and up the
shabby staircase. Or it may be he sbaD
see, peeping out of a second or third floor
window, — ^its smoke-soaked sash framing the
fair face so quaintly, — the laughing Wue
eyes and yellow curls of that charming
English blue-and-gold edition of girlhood-
like Ada in Symond's Inn, or Rosebud in
Staple Inn, or Ruth in Furnival's. Dick-
ens never failed to light up the gloom of
these dingy and dismal dens by thus pfeity
contrast of youth and grace ; and the mem-
ory of it leaves with us, as with Ada's
friends, " a mournful glory shining on the
place, which will shine forever."

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Aatlior of "That Lass o' Lowrie*s," " Haworth's," " Surly Tim and Other Stories," " Louisiana," etc.



In the meantime, Mr. Burmistone was
improving his opportimities within doors.
He had listened to the music with the most
serious attention, and on its conclusion he
had turned to Mrs. Bumham, and made
himself very agreeable indeed. At length,
however, h'e arose and sauntered across the
room to a table at which Lucia Gaston
chanced to be standing alone, having just
been deserted by a voung lady whose
mamma had summoned tier. She wore, Mr.
Burmistone regretted to see as he advanced,
a troubled and anxious expression — the
truth being that she had a moment before
remarked the exit of Miss Belinda's niece
and her companion. It happened oddly
that Mr. Burmistone*s first words touched
upon the subject of her thought. He began
quite abruptly with it :

" It seems to me," he said, " that Miss
Octavia Bassett "

Lucia stopped him with a courage which
surprised herself.

" Oh, if you please," she implored, " don't
say anything unkind about her ! "

Mr. Burmistone looked down into her
soft eyes with a good deal of feeling.

"I was not going to say anything un-
kind," he answered. " Why should I ? "

"Everybody seems to find a reason for
speaking severely of her," Lucia faltered.
" I have heard so many unkind things to-
night, that I am quite unhappv. I am sure
— I am sure she is very candid and simple."

•* Yes," answered Mr. Burmistone, " I am
sure she is very candid and simple."

" Why should we expect her to be exact-
ly like ourselves ? " Lucia went on. " How
can we be sure that our way is better than
any other? Why should they be angry
because her dress is so expensive and pret-
ty ? Indeed, I only wish I had such a dress.
It is a thousand times prettier than any we
ever wear. Look around the room, and see
if it is not And as to her not having
learned to play on the piano or to speak

French — why should she be obliged to do
things she feels she would not be clever at ?
I am not clever, and have been a sort of
slave all my life, and have been scolded
and blamed for what I could not help at all,
until I have felt as if I must be a criminal.
How happy she must have been to be let
alone ! "

She had clasped her litde hands, and
though she spoke in a low voice, was quite
impassioned in an imconscious way. Her
brief girUsh life had not been a very happy
one, as may be easily imagined, and a
glimpse of the Uberty for which she had
suffered roused her to a sense of her own

" We are all cut out after the same pat-
tern," she said. " We learn the same things,
and wear the same dresses, one might say.
What Lydia Egerton has been taught, I
have been taught; yet what two creatures
could be more unlike each other, by nature,
than we are ? "

Mr. Burmistone glanced across the room
at Miss Egerton. She was a fine, robust
young woman, with a high nose and a stoUd
expression of countenance.

" That is true," he remarked.

" We are afi-aid of everything," said Lu-
cia, bitterly. "Lydia Egerton is afi*aid —
though you might not think so. And as for
me, nobody knows what a coward I am but
myself. Yes, I am a coward ! When grand-
mamma looks at me, I tremble. I dare not
speak my mind and differ with her, when I
know she is unjust and in the wrong. No
one could say that of Miss Octavia Bas-

"That is perfectly true," said Mr. Bur-
mistone, and he even went so far as to laugh
as he thought of Miss Octavia trembling in
the august presence of Lady Theobald.

The laugh checked Lucia at once in her
little outburst of eloquence. She began to
blush, the color mounting to her forehead.

" Oh I " she began, " I did not mean to —
to say so much. I "

There was something so innocent and
touching in her sudden timidity and con-
fusion, that Mr. Burmistone forgot alto-

VoL. XXI.-49.

^Copyright, z88o^ by Fiaocet Hodgioo Burnett All rights reserved.

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Octavia was winding her lace scarf around
a* throat.

** He'll think I want him to call," she
id, serenely. " And I do."



The |>osition in which Lady Theobald
^nd herself placed, after these occurrences,
as certainly a difficult and unpleasant one.
: was Mr. Francis Barold's caprice, for
\t time being, to develop an intimacy with
\j, Burmistone. He had, it seemed, chosen
\ become interested in him during their
^oum at Broadoaks. He had discovered
im to be a desirable companion, and a
iever, amiable fellow. This much he con-
escended to explain incidentally to her
idyship's self.

" I can't say I expected to meet a nice
rflow or a companionable fellow," he re-
marked, ** and I was agreeably surprised to
nd him both. Never says too much or
x> httle. Never bores a man."

To this Lady Theobald could make no
epiy. Singularly enough, she had discov-
red early in their acquaintance that her
tonted weapons were likely to dull their
dges upon the steely coldness of Mr. Fran-
is Barold's impassibility. In the presence
if thb fortunate young man, before whom
lis world had bowed the knee from his ten-
Icrcst infancy, she lost the majesty of her
lemeanor. He refused to be aflfected by
t ; he was even implacable enough to show
>penly that it bored him, and to insinuate
>y his manner that he did not intend to
wbmit to it He entirely ignored the claim
if 'relationship, and acted according to the
xromptings of his own moods. He did not
cd it at all incumbent upon him to remain
tt Oldclough Hall, and subject himself to
he time-honored customs there in vogue.

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