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ONLY A MONGREL ' He liveth best who loveth best All things, both
great and small.' S. T. Colerldge. When I first made the
acquaintance of Mongrel Town, as an aimless, wandering London
stroller, I was prepared for a little misconception as to my object
and character. I got it. A thin, dirty, barefooted, sharp,
terrier-like urchin? healthy in body from living in the open air,
not being over-gorged with food, and being always on the move?'
spotted' me from the dilapidated door of a squat house, dying of
premature old age and ' Jerry' rheumatics. This boy thought proper
to warn the inmates by shouting, ' Mother! git under the bed!
'Ere's the tallyman a-comin !' This was hardly a compliment, but it
might have been worse. I have been taken before now for a
tax-collector. Mongrel Town is not a sightly settlement. In the old
Dickens days it would have borne half a yard of descriptive
writing. Now people are in a greater hurry, and read as they run.
They take their literature in wafers and essences, their newspaper
leaders in paragraphs, and their novels in the form of intellectual
' meat extracts.' Mongrel Town was proud of one thing?its
gas-works. It had the largest gasometer in the world. This was its
cathedral, its town- hall, its market-place, its monument.
Fortunately it was never much troubled with tourists. Outside the
gas-works stretched a waste of swampy land, dotted here and there
with small strips of garden ground, devoted mostly to the
cultivation of sooty vegetables, and adorned occasionally with
lop-sided, narrow huts, made of old wood and tarred canvas, and
called summer-houses. A few hillocks of ashes and dust-contractors'
refuse relieved the Dutch flatness of the ground, and formed a
half-mourning avenue to the river. The Thames at this point
|Country of origin:
||246 x 189 x 4mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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