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placed with its door against the wall, and the occupant left to get out of it when he awoke as best he could. At other times a loud cry of 6. Watch! Watch!” would be raised, sufficiently loud to arouse the neighbourhood ; and when the sleepy patrol came bustling up, out of breath, and out of humour, he was coolly told to return to his box, and 6 sleep it out.” But human patience has a limit, and even the watchmen would sometimes be goaded to revenge. Then heavy blows were dealt promiscuously; and from the general affray, some such serious matters as a broken arm or fractured skull might result.
The inefficiency of the watchmen in anything but trifling streetbrawls (and even in these they were often obliged to make a precipitate retreat), and the absence of a day watch, and of a detective police, called into existence the body that became afterwards known as “ Bow-street Runners" (but who first took the name of the magistrate to whose office they were attached, as “ Justice Wright's people, " " Sir Johu Fielding's people,” &c.), and distinguished by their activity, vigilance, and intelligence, as well as their basilisk influence over the thieves, who would seldom resist a capture or attempt a rescue, even when the officer went into their rendezvous single-handed to beckon out the man he wanted" for a murder, street robbery, or burglary.
But the “thieftakers" who preceded them had only a kind of semiofficial character. One William Norton, who was examined in a case of highway robbery, when the Devizes coach was stopped near Hyde Park, on the 3rd of June, 1752, was asked how he got his living. The reply was characteristic of the period: “I keep a shop in Wych-street, and sometimes I take a thief.” But on the subject of “thieftakers” we may, perhaps, enter more fully in another chapter.
THE WHISPER IN THE MARKET-PLACE.
BY G. W. THORNBURY.
Of harvest mirth into the town,
Come sweeping o'er the stubble brown :
The swallows sleep within their nest,
To quench the flame that fills the west.
Are closed, but all the scent of noon
Gives entrance to the light the moon
Where saints guiard round the old church porch,
The sun has scarcely ceased to scorch,
Of his new-gathered summer corn ;
As he froths up the drinking-horn,
And when the reapers shout together;
He brims each cup with barley juice,
Will suffer none to make excuse.
Frets playfully his futtering hawk;
While at his feet the mastiffs stalk,
Comes gladly from his laughing mouth;
Love as the spring flowers do the south.
On noisy games were all intent,
A burgher to the council went ;
When screamed the shrill voice of the dame:
They would not stir though father came.
Bright shines the flame through rift and chink-
Waves up but down again to sink ;
The sturdy arm smites hot and fast,
Fans up the roaring stithy blast.
The horse-shoes glimmer from the roof,
The heads bend round the charger's hoof.
And listens to the tailor's news ;
His cheeks rich tanned with motley hues.
His shuffling slippers on his feet,
Between the hammer's ceaseless beat;
His scissors peeping from his pouch,
The busy craftsman all avouch.
And listens to the burring wheel,
For last night rose the price of meal.
Floods with a silver tide his purse;
And counts it when the townsmen curse.
Stands laughing on the stepping-stones;
Swears, frowning, by his father's bones
Such ribaldry he will not brook,
And cautious leads his trembling horseAlas! without that varlet's crook
He cannot grope his way across. Two lovers by the distant bridge
Watch the swift stream that wanders under Where massy pier and greystone ridge
Cleave the clear flowing tide asunder; You hear the mill throb now and then
In spite of all the buzz within, The miller shouting to his men,
While the white roof is vibrating. The landlord stood beneath his sign,
That far above him groans and creaks; He's counting up the jugs of wine
Drunk for the last half-dozen weeks. Behind him stands the crafty groom,
Stealing from willing maid a kiss; Cups rattle in the latticed room
To landlord's ear the sound is bliss.
Is listening to the rising wind
He knows enough has stayed behind
The creaking stone from every plank Shakes off the white dust of the meal
Upon the sacks, ranged there in rank. The fisher by the river-side
Has watched all day the buoyant float, Though skies grew flushed with crimson pride,
His changeless eye no beauties note.
Gazes like beauty in a glass;
Lies writhing by him on the grass.
The hunter watches for the deer ; Through golden boughs the waters gleam,
The leaf upon the oak is sere; The foam lies white in rocky nooks
Beneath the bonghs all red and brown, And through a cleft you see the brooks
Babble together to the town. The page from castle parapet
Looks o'er the orchards in the vale, Sees in the woods the red sunset
Flame bright upon the distant sail. And far beneath the lichened wall
The distant river glides away; The wind that rends the poplars tall
Stays with the flowers to kiss and play.
And dallies with the castle flag,
Yet strips the beggar of his rag.
The vane upon the old church tower
Shines like a star above the trees ; O'er gabled roof the sounding hour
To weary reapers bringing ease. The fisher's boat is in the bay,
And rocking by the weedy shore ; His shouting children leap and play,
And bid the hushed waves louder roar. The gulls scream floating round the crag,
The breakers whiten all the reef, The sea-bird poised upon the jag,
Fills the grey air with shrieks of grief. A sudden gloom fills all the town,
The wind comes sighing o'er the moors, And wandering moaning up and down,
Shakes with its trembling hand the doors, When slowly through the market-place
A stranger rode, but spoke to none;
He never looked up at the sun.
The children ceased to talk and play ;
In every mother's eye dismay; The matrons at the open pane
Stayed all at once their spinning-wheels, The old wife hushed her wise old saying,
And threads ceased running from the reels. A whisper through the long street ran
It spread through all the market-place ; The cobbler turned his ready ear
Unto the tailor's earnest face;
Afraid to let the secret out;
For none into his ear would shout;
Awoke half scared and stared about; The pilgrim by the wayside cross
Ceased half-unsaid his votive prayer ; The knight pulled up his weary horse,
The ploughman stayed his glittering share ; The miller stops the noisy mill,
The ringers in the belfry rest, All through the valley to the hill
Bear down the rain-clouds from the west. Another year—the tall grass grew,
And seeded in the open street ;
In spite of all the parching heat ;
A mournful silence fills the mill,
The very tailor's tongue is still.
THE HISTORY OF THE SIEGE OF SEBASTOPOL. The siege of Sebastopol will be ever memorable in the annals of warfare. The military science and skill, and the martial prowess of the two foremost nations of the earth, have been carried further off than hitherto was generally the case, and have met with a rare and almost unprecedented opposition. There were the natural and artificial difficulties of the place, not a town within a girth of walls and bastions with outlying works, in which, a breach once effected, there was admission to the interior, but fortress upon fortress, detached from one another, each requiring to be taken separately, situated on three different tongues of land, peninsulated by the waters of the Black Sea, part on one side of a deep inlet, whose entrance had been closed by a sacrifice which events have proved to be worthy of the ends accomplished, and part on the other, and all these defended and strengthened by no end of batteries and outworks.
These difficulties were of themselves of a sufficiently formidable character, but they have been rendered still more so by the prodigious resources of the enemy, in men and ammunition. Not only had they troops enough to garrison the town and forts and outworks, but they had also plenty to sacrifice in oft-renewed sanguinary sorties; and they had besides a whole army, larger than the one engaged at Alma, to assail the besiegers on the right, whether at Balaklava in the rear, or at the Tchernaya in the front. This large garrison and army has been constantly receiving reinforcements; so that, like the soldiers that sprang from stones, as fast as a Russian fell another was there to take his place, and as if these exhaustless resources and this great numerical superiority was not enough, the Muscovites also possessed such an advantage in the weight of their metal, that the first opening of the siege on the extreme left by our gallant allies was a total failure ; while the prodigious resources in guns and ammunition not only threatened the whole line of siege, but rendered toil incessant and success itself of no avail. Such was the extent of these resources, that no sooner was a breach effected than it was filled again ; a tower or battery silenced, than it roared as loud as ever; and if for every man that fell another took his place, so for every gun, which hard work and skill had succeeded in dismantling, there was another to stand in the embrasure to do the same work of death and defiance over again.
Never was a siege waged against such fearful odds, and never did the endurance, the gallantry, and the perseverance of the allies stand forth in a more brilliant light.
It is impossible, at the same time, not to do justice to the courage, the perseverance, and the skill of our antagonists' qualities, which, with their superiority of numbers and of resources, has enabled them not only to spare no means of defence, but also to rise again fresh out of every disaster, and which are only detracted from by a now notorious bloodthirstiness and treachery-an indifference to the destruction of life among themselves as well as with the enemy—a most cowardly and ungrateful return for kindness shown them—and the putting to death of all prisoners or wounded whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The southern portion only of Sebastopol, from the Quarantine Bay on the left to the river Tchernaya on the right, has been invested by the