London Labour and the London Poor
A Cyclopædia of the Condition and Earnings of Those That Will Work, Those That Cannot Work, and Those That Will Not Work.
By Henry Mayhew.
London: Griffin, Bohn, and Company, Stationers' Hall Court. 1862.

     Prostitution In London


Introduction

     The liberty of the subject is very jealously guarded in England, and so tenacious are the people of their rights and privileges that the legislature has not dared to infringe them, even for what by many would be considered a just and meritorious purpose. Neither are the magistracy or the police allowed to enter improper or disorderly houses, unless to suppress disturbances that would require their presence in the most respectable mansion in the land, if the aforesaid disturbances were committed within their precincts. Until very lately the police had not the power of arresting those traders who earned an infamous livelihood by selling immoral books and obscene prints. It is to the late Lord Chancellor Campbell that we owe this salutary reform, under whose meritorious exertions the disgraceful trade of Holywell Street and kindred districts has received a blow from which it will never again rally. If the neighbours choose to complain before a magistrate of a disorderly house, and are willing to undertake the labour, annoyance, and expense of a criminal indictment, it is probable that their exertions may in time have the desired effect; but there is no summary conviction, as in some continental cities whose condition we have studied in another portion of this work.
     We rely for certain facts, statistics, &c., upon Reports of the Society for the Suppression of Vice; information furnished by the Metropolitan Police; Reports of the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Prostitution; Returns of the Registrar-General; Ryan, Duchatelet, M. les Docteurs G. Richelot, Léon Faucher, Talbot, Acton, &c., &c.; and figures, information, facts, &c., supplied from various quarters: and lastly, on our own researches and investigations
     To show how difficult it is to give from any data at present before the public anything like a correct estimate of the number of prostitutes in London, we may mention (extracting from the work of Dr. Ryan) that while the Bishop of Exeter asserted the number of prostitutes in London to be 80,000, the City Police stated to Dr. Ryan that it did not exceed 7000 to 8000. About the year 1793 Mr. Colquhoun, a police magistrate, concluded, after tedious investigations, that there were 50,000 prostitutes in this metropolis. At that period the population was one million, and as it is now more than double we may form some idea of the extensive ramifications of this insidious vice.
     In the year 1802, when immorality had spread more or less all over Europe, owing to the demoralizing effects of the French Revolution, a society was formed, called "The Society for the Suppression of Vice," of which its secretary, Mr. Wilberforce, thus speaks: -
     The particular objects to which the attention of this Society is directed are as follow, viz.-
         1. The prevention of the profanation of the Lord's day.
        2. Blasphemous publications.
        3. Obscene books, prints, etc.
        4. Disorderly houses.
        5. Fortunetellers.

     When speaking of the third division a report of the Society says-
     In consequence of the renewed intercourse with the Continent, incidental to the restoration of peace, there has been a great influx into the country of the most obscene articles of every description, as may be inferred from the exhibition of indecent snuff-boxes in the shop windows of tobacconists. These circumstances having tended to a revival of this trade the Society have had occasion within the last twelve months to resort to five prosecutions, which have greatly tended to the removal of that indecent display by which the public eye has of late been too much offended.
     Before the dissolution of the Bristol Society for the Suppression of Vice, its secretary, Mr. Birtle, wrote (1808) to London the following letter:-
     Sir, - The Bristol Society for the Suppression of Vice being about to dissolve, and the agents before employed having moved very heavily, I took my horse and rode to Stapleton prison to inquire into the facts contained in your letter. Inclosed are some of the drawings which I purchased in what they call their market, without the least privacy on their part or mine. They wished to intrude on me a variety of devices in bone and wood of the most obscene kind, particularly those representing a crime "inter Christianos non nominandum," which they termed the new fashion. I purchased a few, but they are too bulky for a letter. This market is held before the door of the turnkey every day between the hours of ten and twelve.
     At the present day the police wage an internecine war with these people, who generally go about from fair to fair to sell indecent images, mostly imported from France; but this traffic is very much on the decline, if it is not altogether extinguished.
     The reports of the Society for the Suppression of Vice are highly interesting, and may be obtained gratis on application at the Society's chambers.
     Another Society was instituted in May 1835, called "The London Society for the Protection of Young Females, and Prevention of Juvenile Prostitution. We extract a few passages from its opening address.
     The committee cannot avoid referring to the present dreadfully immoral state of the British metropolis. No one can pass through the streets of London without being struck with the awfully depraved condition of a certain class of the youth of both sexes at this period (1835). Nor is it too much to say that in London crime has arrived at a frightful magnitude; nay, it is asserted that nowhere does it exist to such an extent as in this highly-favoured city. Schools for the instruction of youth in every species of theft and immorality are here established. It has been proved that 400 individuals procure a livelihood by trepanning females from eleven to fifteen years of age for the purposes of prostitution. Every art is practiced, every scheme is devised, to effect this object, and when an innocent child appears in the streets without a protector, she is insidiously watched by one of those merciless wretches and decoyed under some plausible pretext to an abode of infamy and degradation. No sooner is the unsuspecting helpless one within their grasp than, by a preconcerted measure, she becomes a victim to their inhuman designs. She is stripped of the apparel with which parental care or friendly solicitude had clothed her, and then, decked with the gaudy trappings of her shame, she is compelled to walk the streets, and in her turn, while producing to her master or mistress the wages of her prostitution, becomes the ensnarer of the youth of the other sex. After this it is useless to attempt to return to the path of virtue or honour, for she is then watched with the greatest vigilance, and should she attempt to escape from the clutches of her seducer she is threatened with instant punishment, and often barbarously treated. Thus situated she becomes reckless, and careless of her future course. It rarely occurs that one so young escapes contamination; and it is a fact that numbers of these youthful victims imbibe disease within a week or two of their seduction. They are then sent to one of the hospitals under a fictitious name by their keepers, or unfeelingly turned into the streets to perish; and it is not an uncommon circumstance that within the short space of a few weeks the bloom of health, of beauty, and of innocence gives place to the sallow hue of disease, of despair, and of death.
     This fact will be appreciated when it is known that in three of the largest hospitals in London within the last eight years (that is to say, from 1827 to 1835), there have not been less than 2700 cases of disease arising from this cause in children from eleven to sixteen years of age.
     Léon Faucher, commenting on this, exclaims with astonishment, mixed with indignation, "Deux mille sept cents enfants visités par cette horrible peste avant l'âge de la puberté! Quel spectacle que celuilà pour un peuple qui a des entrailles! Et comment éprouver assez de pitié pour les victimes, assez d'indignation contre les bourreaux!" A Frenchman, looking at the way in which his own illustrious country is governed, would very naturally exclaim against the authorities for not taking steps to prevent so much crime and misery, but he forgets that although a system may work well in France, it is no criterion of its excellent working among a nation totally dissimilar in their habits and disposition to his own.
     All French writers have the profoundest horror of our social economics. MM. Duchatelet, Richelot and Léon Faucher, whom we have just quoted, all unite in condemning our system of blind and wilful toleration. They do not understand the temper of the nation, which would never allow the State to legislate upon this subject. But, nevertheless, we must confess that the profligacy of the metropolis of England, if not so patent and palpable as that of some continental cities we have had occasion to refer to, is perhaps as deeply rooted, and as impossible to eradicate. The legislature, by refusing to interfere, have tacitly declared the existence of prostitutes to be a necessary evil, the suppression of which would produce alarming and disastrous effects upon the country at large. When any case more than usually flagrant occurs it falls within the jurisdiction of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, and the law is careful to punish anything that can be construed into a misdemeanour or a felony. In cold climates, as in hot climates, we have shown that the passions are the main agents in producing the class of women that we have under consideration, but in temperate zones the animal instinct is less difficult to bridle and seldom leads the female to abandon herself to the other sex. It is a vulgar error, and a popular delusion, that the life of a prostitute is as revolting to herself, as it appears to the moralist sternly lamenting over the condition of the fallen; but, on the contrary, investigation and sedulous scrutiny lead us to a very different conclusion. Authors gifted with vivid imaginations love to portray the misery that is brought upon an innocent and confiding girl by the perfidy and desertion of her seducer. The pulpit too frequently echoes to clerical denunciation and evangelical horror, until those unacquainted with the actual facts tremble at the fate of those whose terrible lot they are taught rather to shudder at than commiserate. Women who in youth have lost their virtue, often contrive to retain their reputation; and even when this is not the case, frequently amalgamate imperceptibly with the purer portion of the population and become excellent members of the community. The love of woman is usually pure and elevated. But when she devotes her affections to a man who realizes her ideal, she does not hesitate to sacrifice all she holds dear, for his gratification, ignoring her own interest and her own inclination. Actuated by a noble abnegation of self, she derives a melancholy pleasure from the knowledge that she has utterly given up all she had formerly so zealously guarded, and she feels that her love has reached its grand climacteric, when, without the slightest pruriency of imagination to urge her on to the consummation, without the remotest vestige of libidinous desire to prompt her to self-immolation, without a shadow of meretricious feeling lurking within her, she abandons her person beyond redemption to the idol. she has set up in the highest place in her soul. This heroic martyrdom is one of the causes, though perhaps not the primary or most frequently occurring, of the stream of immorality that insidiously permeates our social system. The greatest, and one equally difficult to combat, is the low rate of wages that the female industrial classes of this great city receive, in return for the most arduous and wearisome labour. Innumerable cases of prostitution through want, solely and absolutely, are constantly occurring, and this will not be wondered at when it is remembered that 105 women in England and Wales are born to every 100 males, which number is further augmented by the dangers to which men are exposed by their avocations, and also in martial service by sea and land. Again, so great are the inducements held out by men of lax morality and loose principles that procuresses find entrapping girls into their abodes a most lucrative and profitable trade. Some are even brought up from their earliest infancy by their pseudopro- tectors with the full intention that they shall embark in the infamous traffic as soon as their age will permit them to do so remuneratively. A revolting and horrible case exemplifying the truth of this statement came under our notice some short time back. We were examining a girl, who gave the following replies to the questions put to her.


Scene In The Gardens Of - "Closerie Des Lilas" Paris


     My name is Ellen, I have no other. Yes, I sometimes call myself by various names, but rarely keep to one longer than a month or two. I was never baptized that I know of; I don't know much about religion, though I think I know the difference between right and wrong. I certainly think it is wrong to live as I am now doing. I often think of it in secret, and cry over it, but what can I do? I was brought up in the country and allowed to run about with some other children. We were not taught anything, not even to read or write; twice I saw a gentleman who came down to the farm, and he kissed me and told me to be a good girl. Yes, I remember these things very well. I was about eleven the last time he came, and two years after I was sent up to town, carefully dressed and placed in a large drawing-room. After I had been there some time a gentleman came in with the person I had been sent to, and I directly recognized him as the one I had seen in the country. For the first time in my life I glanced at a looking-glass that hung on the wall, they being things we never saw in the country, and I thought the gentleman had changed his place and was standing before me, we were so alike. I then looked at him steadily for a few moments, and at last took his hand. He said something to me which I don't remember, and which I did not reply to. I asked him, when he had finished speaking, if he was my father. I don't know why I asked him. He seemed confused, and the lady of the house poured out some wine and gave me, after that I don't know what happened.
     This may be a case of rare occurrence, but it is not so morally impossible as at first it appears.
     In 1857, according to the best authorities, there were 8600 prostitutes known to the police, but this is far from being even an approximate return of the number of loose women in the metropolis. It scarcely does more than record the circulating harlotry of the Haymarket and Regent Street. Their actual numerical strength is very difficult to compute, for there is an amount of oscillatory prostitution it is easy to imagine, but impossible to substantiate. One of the peculiarities of this class is their remarkable freedom from disease. They are in the generality of cases notorious for their mental and physical elasticity. Syphilis is rarely fatal. It is an entirely distinct race that suffer from the ravages of the insidious diseases that the licence given to the passions and promiscuous intercourse engender. Young girls, innocent and inexperienced, whose devotion has not yet bereft them of their innate modesty and sense of shame, will allow their systems to be so shocked, and their constitutions so impaired, before the aid of the surgeon is sought for, that when he does arrive his assistance is almost useless.
     We have before stated (p. 211) the assumed number of prostitutes in London to be about 80,000, and large as this total may appear, it is not improbable that it is below the reality rather than above it. One thing is certain - if it be an exaggerated statement - that the real number is swollen every succeeding year, for prostitution is an inevitable attendant upon extended civilization and increased population.
     We divide prostitutes into three classes. First, those women who are kept by men of independent means; secondly, those women who live in apartments, and maintain themselves by the produce of their vagrant amours; and thirdly, those who dwell in brothels.
     The state of the first of these is the nearest approximation to the holy state of marriage, and finds numerous defenders and supporters. These have their suburban villas, their carriages, horses, and sometimes a box at the opera. Their equipages are to be seen in the park, and occasionally through the influence of their aristocratic friends they succeed in obtaining vouchers for the most exclusive patrician balls.
     Houses in which prostitutes lodge are those in which one or two prostitutes occupy private apartments; in most cases with the connivance of the proprietor. These generally resort to night-houses, where they have a greater chance of meeting with customers than they would have were they to perambulate the streets.
     Brothels are houses where speculators board, dress, and feed women, living upon the farm of their persons. Under this head we must include introducing houses, where the women do not reside, but merely use the house as a place of resort in the daytime. Married women, imitating the custom of Messalina, whom Juvenal so vividly describes in his Satires, not uncommonly make use of these places. A Frenchwoman in the habit of frequenting a notorious house in James Street, Haymarket, said that she came to town four or five times in the week for the purpose of obtaining money by the prostitution of her body. She loved her husband, but he was unable to find any respectable employment, and were she not to supply him with the necessary funds for their household expenditure they would sink into a state of destitution, and anything, she added, with simplicity, was better than that. Of course her husband connived at what she did. He came to fetch her home every evening about ten o'clock. She had no children. She didn't wish to have any.
     It must not be supposed that if some, perhaps a majority of them, eventually become comparatively respectable, and merge into the ocean of propriety, there are not a vast number whose lives afford matter for the most touching tragedies, - whose melancholy existence is one continual struggle for the actual necessaries of life, the occasional absence of which entails upon them a condition of intermittent starvation. A woman who has fallen like a star from heaven, may flash like a meteor in a lower sphere, but only with a transitory splendour. In time her orbit contracts, and the improvidence that has been her leading characteristic through life now trebles and quadruples the misery she experiences. To drown reflection she rushes to the gin palace, and there completes the work that she had already commenced so inauspiciously. The passion for dress, that distinguished her in common with her sex in former days, subsides into a craving for meretricious tawdry, and the bloom of health is superseded by ruinous and poisonous French compounds and destructive cosmetics. A hospital surgeon gave us the following description of the death of a French lorette, who at a very juvenile age had been entrapped and imported into this country. She had, according to her own statement, been born in one of the southern departments. When she was fourteen years old, the agent of some English speculator in human beings came into their neighbourhood and proposed that Anille should leave her native country and proceed to England, where he said there was a great demand for female domestic labour, which was much better paid for on the other side of the Channel. The proposition was entertained by the parents, and eagerly embraced by the girl herself, who soon afterwards, in company with several other girls, all deluded in a similar manner, were leaving the shores of their native country for a doubtful future in one with the language of which they were not even remotely acquainted. On their arrival their ruin was soon effected, and for some years they continued to enrich the proprietors of the house in which they resided, all the time remitting small sums to their families abroad, who were unwittingly and involuntarily existing upon the proceeds of their daughters' dishonour, and rejoicing in such unexpected success. After a while Anille was sent adrift to manage for herself. Naturally of a refined and sensitive disposition, she felt her position keenly, which induced a sadness almost amounting to hypochondria to steal over her, and although very pretty, she found this a great obstacle in the way of her success. She knew not how to simulate the hollow laugh or the reckless smile of her more volatile companions, and her mind became more diseased day by day, until she found it impracticable to think of endeavouring to hurl off the morbidity that had taken possession of her very soul. At last she fell a victim to a contagious disorder, the neglect of which ultimately necessitated her removal to the hospital. When there, she was found to be incurable; an operation was performed upon her but without success. She bore her illness with childish impatience, continually wishing for the end, and often imploring me with tearful eyes by the intervention of science to put an end to her misery. One afternoon, as usual, I came to see her. She exclaimed the moment she perceived me, I am cheerful to-day. May I not recover; I suffer no pain. But her looks belied her words; her features were frightfully haggard and worn; her eyes, dry and bloodshot, had almost disappeared in their sockets, and her general appearance denoted the approach of him she had been so constantly invoking. Unwrapping some bandages, I proceeded to examine her, when an extraordinary change came over her, and I knew that her dissolution was not far distant. Her mind wandered, and she spoke wildly and excitedly in her own language. After a while she exclaimed, "J'ignore où je suis. C'en est fait." An expression of intense suffering contracted her emaciated features. "Je n'en puis plus," she cried, and adding, after a slight pause, in a plaintive voice, "Je me meurs," her soul glided impalpably away, and she was a corpse. As a pendant to these remarks, I extract an expressive passage from an old book.
     "There are also women (like birds of passage) of a migratory nature, who remove after a certain time from St. James's and Marylebone end of the town to Covent Garden, then to the Strand, and from thence to St. Giles and Wapping; from which latter place they frequently migrate much further, even to New South Wales. Some few return in seven years, some in fourteen, and some not at all. During their stay here, like birds they make their nests upon feathers, some higher, some lower than others. At first they generally build them on the first-floor, afterwards on the second, and then up in the cock-loft and garrets, from whence they generally take to the open air, and become ambulatory and noctivagous, and as their price grows less, their wandering increases, when many perish from the inclemency of the weather, and others take their flight abroad."
Seclusives, Or Those That Live in Private Houses and Apartments
     Two classes of prostitutes come under this denomination - first, kept mistresses, and secondly, prima donnas or those who live in a superior style. The first of these is perhaps the most important division of the entire profession, when considered with regard to its effects upon the higher classes of society. Laïs, when under the protection of a prince of the blood; Aspasia, whose friend is one of the most influential noblemen in the kingdom; Phryne, the chère amie of a well-known officer in the guards, or a man whose wealth is proverbial on the Stock Exchange and the city, - have all great influence upon the tone of morality extant amongst the set in which their distinguished protectors move, and indeed the reflex of their dazzling profligacy falls upon and bewilders those who are in a lower condition of life, acting as an incentive to similar deeds of licentiousness though on a more limited scale. Hardly a parish in London is free from this impurity. Wherever the neighbourhood possesses peculiar charms, wherever the air is purer than ordinary, or the locality fashionably distinguished, these tubercles on the social system penetrate and abound. Again quoting from Dr. Ryan, although we cannot authenticate his statements-
     "It is computed, that 8,000,000l. are expended annually on this vice in London alone. This is easily proved: some girls obtain from twenty to thirty pounds a week, others more, whilst most of those who frequent theatres, casinos, gin palaces, music halls, &c., receive from ten to twelve pounds. Those of a still lower grade obtain about four or five pounds, some less than one pound, and many not ten shillings. If we take the average earnings of each prostitute at 100l. per annum, which is under the amount, it gives the yearly income of eight millions.
     Suppose the average expense of 80,000 amounts to 20l. each, 1,600,000l. is the result. This sum deducted from the earnings leaves 6,400,000l. as the income of the keepers of prostitutes, or supposing 5000 to be the number, above 1000l. per annum each - an enormous income for men in such a situation to derive when compared with the resources of many respectable and professional men.
     Literally every woman who yields to her passions and loses her virtue is a prostitute, but many draw a distinction between those who live by promiscuous intercourse, and those who confine themselves to one man. That this is the case is evident from the returns before us. The metropolitan police do not concern themselves with the higher classes of prostitutes; indeed, it would be impossible, and impertinent as well, were they to make the attempt. Sir Richard Mayne kindly informed us that the latest computation of the number of public prostitutes was made on the 5th of April, 1858, and that the returns then showed a total of 726 (1).
     It is frequently a matter of surprise amongst the friends of a gentleman of position and connection that he exhibits an invincible distaste to marriage. If they were acquainted with his private affairs their astonishment would speedily vanish, for they would find him already to all intents and purposes united to one who possesses charms, talents, and accomplishments, and who will in all probability exercise the same influence over him as long as the former continue to exist. The prevalence of this custom, and the extent of its ramifications is hardly dreamed of, although its effects are felt, and severely. The torch of Hymen burns less brightly than of yore, and even were the blacksmith of Gretna still exercising his vocation, he would find his business diminishing with startling rapidity year by year.  

    It is a great mistake to suppose that kept mistresses are without friends and without society; on the contrary, their acquaintance, if not select, is numerous, and it is their custom to order their broughams or their pony carriages, and at the fashionable hour pay visits and leave cards on one another.

     (1) Life and Adventures of Col. George Hanger, 1704.

     They possess no great sense of honour, although they are generally more or less religious. If they take a fancy to a man they do not hesitate to admit him to their favour. Most kept women have several lovers who are in the habit of calling upon them at different times, and as they are extremely careful in conducting these amours they perpetrate infidelity with impunity, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred escape detection. When they are unmasked, the process, unless the man is very much infatuated, is of course summary in the extreme. They are dismissed probably with a handsome douceur and sent once more adrift. They do not remain long, however, in the majority of cases, without finding another protector.

     A woman who called herself Lady ---- met her admirer at a house in Bolton Row that she was in the habit of frequenting. At first sight Lord ---- became enamoured, and proposed sur le champ, after a little preliminary conversation, that she should live with him. The proposal with equal rapidity and eagerness was accepted, and without further deliberation his lordship took a house for her in one of the terraces overlooking the Regent's Park, allowed her four thousand a year, and came as frequently as he could, to pass his time in her society. She immediately set up a carriage and a stud, took a box at the opera on the pit tier, and lived, as she very well could, in excellent style. The munificence of her friend did not decrease by the lapse of time. She frequently received presents of jewelry from him, and his marks of attention were constant as they were various. The continual contemplation of her charms instead of producing satiety added fuel to the fire, and he was never happy when out of her sight. This continued until one day he met a young man in her loge at the opera, whom she introduced as her cousin. This incident aroused his suspicions, and he determined to watch her more closely. She was surrounded by spies, and in reality did not possess one confidential attendant, for they were all bribed to betray her. For a time, more by accident than precaution or care on her part, she succeeded in eluding their vigilance, but at last the catastrophe happened; she was surprised with her paramour in a position that placed doubt out of the question, and the next day his lordship, with a few sarcastic remarks, gave her her congé and five hundred pounds.
     These women are rarely possessed of education, although they undeniably have ability. If they appear accomplished you may rely that it is entirely superficial. Their disposition is volatile and thoughtless, which qualities are of course at variance with the existence of respectability. Their ranks too are recruited from a class where education is not much in vogue. The fallacies about clergymen's daughters and girls from the middle classes forming the majority of such women are long ago exploded; there may be some amongst them, but they are few and far between. They are not, as a rule, disgusted with their way of living; most of them consider it a means to an end, and in no measure degrading or polluting. One and all look forward to marriage and a certain state in society as their ultimate lot. This is their bourne, and they do all in their power to travel towards it.
     I am not tired of what I am doing," a woman once answered me, "I rather like it. I have all I want, and my friend loves me to excess. I am the daughter of a tradesman at Yarmouth. I learned to play the piano a little, and I have naturally a good voice. Yes, I find these accomplishments of great use to me; they are, perhaps, as you say, the only ones that could be of use to a girl like myself. I am three and twenty. I was seduced four years ago. I tell you candidly I was as much to blame as my seducer; I wished to escape from the drudgery of my father's shop. I have told you they partially educated me; I could cypher a little as well, and I knew something about the globes; so I thought I was qualified for something better than minding the shop occasionally, or sewing, or helping my mother in the kitchen and other domestic matters. I was very fond of dress, and I could not at home gratify my love of display. My parents were stupid, easy-going old people, and extremely uninteresting to me. All these causes combined induced me to encourage the addresses of a young gentleman of property in the neighbourhood, and without much demur I yielded to his desires. We then went to London, and I have since that time lived with four different men. We got tired of one another in six months, and I was as eager to leave him as he was to get rid of me, so we mutually accommodated one another by separating. Well, my father and mother don't exactly know where I am or what I am doing, although if they had any penetration they might very well guess. Oh, yes! they know I am alive, for I keep them pleasantly aware of my existence by occasionally sending them money. What do I think will become of me? What an absurd question. I could marry to-morrow if I liked.


A Night House - Kate Hamilton's


     This girl was a fair example of her class. They live entirely for the moment, and care little about the morrow until they are actually pressed in any way, and then they are fertile in expedients.
     We now come to the second class, or those we have denominated prima donnas. These are not kept like the first that we have just been treating of, although several men who know and admire them are in the habit of visiting them periodically. From these they derive a considerable revenue, but they by no means rely entirely upon it for support. They are continually increasing the number of their friends, which indeed is imperatively necessary, as absence and various causes thin their ranks considerably. They are to be seen in the parks, in boxes at the theatres, at concerts, and in almost every accessible place where fashionable people congregate; in fact in all places where admittance is not secured by vouchers, and in some cases, those apparently insuperable barriers fall before their tact and address. At night their favourite rendezvous is in the neighbourhood of the Haymarket, where the hospitality of Mrs. Kate Hamilton is extended to them after the fatigues of dancing at the Portland Rooms, or the excesses of a private party. Kate's may be visited not only to dissipate ennui, but with a view to replenishing an exhausted exchequer; for as Kate is careful as to who she admits into her rooms - men who are able to spend, and come with the avowed intention of spending, five or six pounds, or perhaps more if necessary - these supper-rooms are frequented by a better set of men and women than perhaps any other in London. Although these are seen at Kate's they would shrink from appearing at any of the cafés in the Haymarket, or at the supper-rooms with which the adjacent streets abound, nor would they go to any other casino than Mott's. They are to be seen between three and five o'clock in the Burlington Arcade, which is a well known resort of cyprians of the better sort. They are well acquainted with its Paphian intricacies, and will, if their signals are responded to, glide into a friendly bonnet shop, the stairs of which leading to the cœnacula or upper chambers are not innocent of their well formed "bien chaussée" feet. The park is also, as we have said, a favourite promenade, where assignations may be made or acquaintances formed. Equestrian exercise is much liked by those who are able to afford it, and is often as successful as pedestrian, frequently more so. It is difficult to say what position in life the parents of these women were in, but generally their standing in society has been inferior. Principles of lax morality were early inculcated, and the seed that has been sown has not been slow to bear its proper fruit.
     It is true that a large number of milliners, dress-makers, furriers, hat-binders, silk-binders, tambour-makers, shoe-binders, slop-women, or those who work for cheap tailors, those in pastry-cooks, fancy and cigar shops, bazaars, servants to a great extent, frequenters of fairs, theatres, and dancing-rooms, are more or less prostitutes and patronesses of the numerous brothels London can boast of possessing; but these women do not swell the ranks of the class we have at present under consideration. More probably they are the daughters of tradesmen and of artizans, who gain a superficial refinement from being apprenticed, and sent to shops in fashionable localities, and who becoming tired of the drudgery sigh for the gaiety of the dancing-saloons, freedom from restraint, and amusements that are not in their present capacity within their reach.
     Loose women generally throw a veil over their early life, and you seldom, if ever, meet with a woman who is not either a seduced governess or a clergyman's daughter; not that there is a word of truth in such an allegation - but it is their peculiar whim to say so.
     To show the extent of education among women who have been arrested by the police during a stated period, we print the annexed table, dividing the virtuous criminals from the prostitutes.


     Degree Of Education Amongst Prostitutes

DEGREE OF INSTRUCTION amongst Prostitutes compared with the Degree of Instruction among Women not Prostitutes, arrested for breaking various laws (London). The City not included

PERIODS - taking 10,000 in each period. Total of women arrested of both classes 405.362.

Degree of Instruction amongst virtuous women brought up in the Police Courts for various offences during the years elapsing from 1837 to 1854 inclusive

 

 

     1st

period

-

6

years

1837-42


     10,000

Not able to read or write


     4,813

Able to read only, or read and write imperfectly


     4,838

Knowing how to read and write well


     327

Very well instructed


     22

     2nd

-

6

1843-48


     10,000

     4,167

     5,534

     279

     20

     3rd

-

6

1849-54


     10,000

     2,802

     1,972

     209

     17

     1st

period

-

9

years

1837-45


     10,000

     4,570

     5,098

     312

     20

     2nd

-

9

1846-54


     10,000

     3,247

     6,504

     320

     19

      

Total period

18

1837-54


     10,000

     3,861

     5,851

     268

     20

PERIODS - taking 10,000 in each period. Total of women arrested of both classes 405.362.

Degree of Instruction among Prostitutes similarly arrested.


     1st

period

-

6

years


     1837-42

     10,000

Not able to read or write


     4,524

Able to read only, or read and write imperfectly


     5,031

Able to read and write well


     432

Very well educated


     13

     2nd

-

6


     1843-48

     10,000

     3,672

     5,893

     425

     10

     3rd

-

6


     1849-54

     10,000

     2,305

     7,444

     212

     39

     1st

period

-

9

years


     1837-45

     10,000

     4,109

     5,424

     455

     12

     2nd

-

9


     1849-54

     10,000

     2,821

     6,910

     236

     33

      

Total period

18


     1837-54

     10,000

     3,498

     6,129

     351

     22

     This table shows us that public women are a little less illiterate than those who together with them form the most infamous part of the population. But we must remember that this is hardly a fair criterion of the education of all the prostitutes, or of prostitutes as a class, because we have only summed up those who were arrested for some crime or offence, so we may justly suppose them to have been the worst of their class in every respect.
     We see however that of the total number of women arrested during a period of 18 years, there were in every 10,000-

3,498

     not knowing how to read or write

6,129

     able to read only, or read and write badly

   351

     able to read and write well

22

     educated in a superior manner

10,000

      

     We next come to the consideration of convives, or those who live in the same house with a number of others, and we will commence with those who are independent of the mistress of the house. These women locate themselves in the immediate vicinity of the Haymarket, which at night is their principal scene of action, when the hospitable doors of the theatres and casinos are closed. They are charged enormously for the rooms they occupy, and their landlords defend themselves for their extortionate demands, by alleging that, as honesty is not a leading feature in the characters of their lodgers, they are compelled to protect their own interest by exacting an exorbitant rent. A drawingroom floor in Queen Street, Windmill Street, which is a favourite part on account of its proximity to the Argyll Rooms, is worth three, and sometimes four pounds a week, and the other étages in proportion. They never stay long in one house, although some will remain for ten or twelve months in a particular lodging. It is their principle to get as deeply into debt as they are able, and then to pack up their things, have them conveyed elsewhere by stealth, and defraud the landlord of his money. The houses in some of the small streets in the neighbourhood of Langham Place are let to the people who underlet them for three hundred a year, and in some cases at a higher rental. This class of prostitutes do not live together on account of a gregarious instinct, but simply from necessity, as their trade would necessarily exclude them from respectable lodging-houses. They soon form an acquaintance with the girls who inhabit the same house, and address one another as "my dear," an unmeaning, but very general epithet, an hour or two after their first meeting. They sometimes prefer the suburbs to reside in, especially while Cremorne is open; but some live at Brompton and Pimlico all the year round. One of their most remarkable characteristics is their generosity, which perhaps is unparalleled by the behaviour of any others, whether high or low in the social scale. They will not hesitate to lend one another money if they have it, whether they can spare it or not, although it is seldom that they can, from their innate recklessness and acquired improvidence. It is very common, too, for them to lend their bonnets and their dresses to their friends. If a woman of this description is voluble and garrulous, she is much sought after by the men who keep the cafés in the Haymarket, to sit decked out in gorgeous attire behind the counters, so that by her interesting appearance and the esprit she displays, the habitués of those places, but more usually those who pay only a casual visit, may be entrapped into purchasing some of the wares and fancy articles that are retailed at ten times their actual value. In order to effect this they will exert all their talents, and an inexperienced observer would imagine that they indeed entertain some feeling of affection or admiration for their victim, by the cleverness with which they simulate its existence. The man whose vanity leads him to believe that he is selected by the beautiful creature who condescends to address him, on account of his personal appearance, would be rather disgusted if he were to perceive the same blandishments lavished upon the next comer, and would regret the ten shillings he paid with pleasure for a glove-box, the positive market value of which is hardly one-fifth of the money he gave for it.
     There is a great abandonment of everything that one may strictly speaking denominate womanly. Modesty is utterly annihilated, and shame ceases to exist in their composition. They all more or less are given to habits of drinking.
     When I am sad I drink," a woman once said to us. "I'm very often sad, although I appear to be what you call reckless. Well! we don't fret that we might have been ladies, because we never had a chance of that, but we have forfeited a position nevertheless, and when we think that we have fallen, never to regain that which we have descended from, and in some cases sacrificed everything for a man who has ceased to love and deserted us, we get mad. The intensity of this feeling does wear off a little after the first; but there's nothing like gin to deaden the feelings. What are my habits? Why, if I have no letters or visits from any of my friends, I get up about four o'clock, dress ("en dishabille") and dine; after that I may walk about the streets for an hour or two, and pick up any one I am fortunate enough to meet with, that is if I want money; afterwards I go to the Holborn, dance a little, and if any one likes me I take him home with me, if not I go to the Haymarket, and wander from one café to another, from Sally's to the Carlton, from Barn's to Sam's, and if I find no one there I go, if I feel inclined, to the divans. I like the Grand Turkish best, but you don't as a rule find good men in any of the divans. Strange things happen to us sometimes: we may now and then die of consumption; but the other day a lady friend of mine met a gentleman at Sam's, and yesterday morning they were married at St. George's, Hanover Square. The gentleman has lots of money, I believe, and he started off with her at once for the Continent. It is very true this is an unusual case; but we often do marry, and well too; why shouldn't we, we are pretty, we dress well, we can talk and insinuate ourselves into the hearts of men by appealing to their passions and their senses.”
     This girl was shrewd and clever, perhaps more so than those of her rank in the profession usually are; but her testimony is sufficient at once to dissipate the foolish idea that ought to have been exploded long ago, but which still lingers in the minds of both men and women, that the harlot's progress is short and rapid, and that there is no possible advance, moral or physical; and that once abandoned she must always be profligate.
     Another woman told us, she had been a prostitute for two years; she became so from necessity; she did not on the whole dislike her way of living; she didn't think about the sin of it; a poor girl must live; she wouldn't be a servant for anything; this was much better. She was a lady's maid once, but lost her place for staying out one night with the man who seduced her; he afterwards deserted her, and then she became bad. She was fonder of dress than anything. On an average she had a new bonnet once a week, dresses not so often; she liked the casinos, and was charmed with Cremorne; she hated walking up and down the Haymarket, and seldom did it without she wanted money very much. She liked the Holborn better than the Argyll, and always danced.
Board Lodgers

     Board lodgers are those who give a portion of what they receive to the mistress of the brothel in return for their board and lodging. As we have had occasion to observe before, it is impossible to estimate the number of brothels in London, or even in particular parishes, not only because they are frequently moving from one district to another, but because our system so hates anything approaching to espionage, that the authorities do not think it worth their while to enter into any such computation. From this it may readily be understood how difficult the task of the statistician is. Perhaps it will be sufficient to say that these women are much more numerous than may at first be imagined; although those who give the whole of what they get in return for their board, lodging, and clothes are still more so. In Lambeth there are great numbers of the lowest of these houses, and only very recently the proprietors of some eight or ten of the worst were summoned before a police magistrate, and the parish officers who made the complaint bound over to prosecute at the sessions. It is much to be regretted that in dealing with such cases the method of procedure is not more expeditious and less expensive. Let us take for example one of the cases we have been quoting. A man is openly accused of keeping a ruffianly den filled with female wretches, destitute of every particle of modesty and bereft of every atom of shame, whose actual occupation is to rob, maltreat, and plunder the unfortunate individuals who so far stultify themselves as to allow the decoys to entrap them into their snares, let us hope, for the sake of humanity, while in a state of intoxication or a condition of imbecility. Very well; instead of an easy inexpensive process, the patriotic persons who have devoted themselves to the exposure of such infamous rascality, find themselves involved in a tedious criminal prosecution, and in the event of failure lay themselves open to an action. Mysterious disappearances, Waterloo Bridge tragedies, and verdicts of found drowned, are common enough in this great city. Who knows how many of these unfathomable affairs may have been originated, worked out, and consummated in some disgusting rookery in the worst parts of our most demoralized metropolitan parishes; but it is with the better class of these houses we are more particularly engaged at present. During the progress of these researches, we met a girl residing at a house in a street running out of Langham Place. Externally the house looked respectable enough; there was no indication of the profession or mode of life of the inmates, except that, from the fact of some of the blinds being down in the bed rooms, you might have thought the house contained an invalid. The rooms, when you were ushered in, were well, though cheaply furnished; there were coburg chairs and sofas, glass chandeliers, and handsome green curtains. The girl with whom we were brought into conversation was not more than twenty-three; she told us her age was twenty, but statements of a similar nature, when made by this class, are never to be relied on. At first she treated our inquiries with some levity, and jocularly inquired what we were inclined to stand, which we justly interpreted into a desire for something to drink; we accordingly "stood" a bottle of wine, which had the effect of making our informant more communicative. What she told us was briefly this. Her life was a life of perfect slavery, she was seldom if ever allowed to go out, and then not without being watched. Why was this? Because she would "cut it" if she got a chance, they knew that very well, and took very good care she shouldn't have much opportunity. Their house was rather popular, and they had lots of visitors; she had some particular friends who always came to see her. They paid her well, but she hardly ever got any of the money. Where was the odds, she couldn't go out to spend it? What did she want with money, except now and then for a drain of white satin. What was white satin? Where had I been all my life to ask such a question? Was I a dodger? She meant a parson. No; she was glad of that, for she hadn't much idea of them, they were a canting lot. Well, white satin, if I must know, was gin, and I couldn't say she never taught me anything. Where was she born? Somewhere in Stepney. What did it matter where; she could tell me all about it if she liked, but she didn't care. It touched her on the raw - made her feel too much. She was 'ticed’ when she was young, that is, she was decoyed by the mistress of the house some years ago. She met Mrs. ---- in the street, and the woman began talking to her in a friendly way. Asked her who her father was (he was a journeyman carpenter), where he lived, extracted all about her family, and finally asked her to come home to tea with her. The child, delighted at the making the acquaintance of so kind and so well-dressed a lady, willingly acquiesced, without making any demur, as she never dreamt of anything wrong, and had not been cautioned by her father. She had lost her mother some years ago. She was not brought direct to the house where I found her? Oh! no. There was a branch establishment over the water, where they were broken in as it were. How long did she remain there? Oh! perhaps two months, maybe three; she didn't keep much account how time went. When she was conquered and her spirit broken, she was transported from the first house to a more aristocratic neighbourhood. How did they tame her? Oh! they made her drunk and sign some papers, which she knew gave them great power over her, although she didn't exactly know in what the said power consisted, or how it might be exercised. Then they clothed her and fed her well, and gradually inured her to that sort of life. And now, was there anything else I'd like to know particularly, because if there was, I'd better look sharp about asking it, as she was getting tired of talking, she could tell me. Did she expect to lead this life till she died? Well she never did, if I wasn't going to preachify. She couldn't stand that - anything but that.
     I really begged to apologize if I had wounded her sensibility; I wasn't inquiring from a religious point of view, or with any particular motive. I merely wished to know, to satisfy my own curiosity. Well, she thought me a very inquisitive old party, anyhow. At any rate, as I was so polite she did not mind answering my questions. Would she stick to it till she was a stiff 'un? She supposed she would; what else was there for her? Perhaps something might turn up; how was she to know? She never thought she would go mad; if she did, she lived in the present, and never went blubbering about as some did. She tried to be as jolly as she could; where was the fun of being miserable?
     This is the philosophy of most of her sisterhood. This girl possessed a talent for repartee, which accomplishment she endeavoured to exercise at my expense, as will be perceived by the foregoing, though for many reasons I have adhered to her own vernacular. That her answers were true, I have no reason to question, and that this is the fate of very many young girls in London, there is little doubt; indeed, the reports of the Society for the Protection of Young Females sufficiently prove it. Female virtue in great cities has innumerable assailants, and the moralist should pity rather than condemn. We are by no means certain that meretricious women who have been in the habit of working before losing their virtue, at some trade or other, and are able to unite the two together, are conscious of any annoyance or a want of self-respect at being what they are. This class have been called the "amateurs," to contradistinguish them from the professionals, who devote themselves to it entirely as a profession. To be unchaste amongst the lower classes is not always a subject of reproach. The commerce of the sexes is so general that to have been immodest is very seldom a bar to marriage. The depravity of manners amongst boys and girls begins so very early, that they think it rather a distinction than otherwise to be unprincipled. Many a shoeblack, in his uniform and leathern apron, who cleans your boots for a penny at the corners of the streets, has his sweetheart. Their connection begins probably at the low lodging-houses they are in the habit of frequenting, or, if they have a home, at the penny gaffs and low cheap places of amusement, where the seed of so much evil is sown. The precocity of the youth of both sexes in London is perfectly astounding. The drinking, the smoking, the blasphemy, indecency, and immorality that does not even call up a blush is incredible, and charity schools and the spread of education do not seem to have done much to abate this scourge. Another very fruitful source of early demoralization is to be looked for in the quantities of penny and halfpenny romances that are sold in town and country. One of the worst of the most recent ones is denominated, "Charley Wag, or the New Jack Shepherd, a history of the most successful thief in London." To say that these are not incentives to lust, theft, and crime of every description is to cherish a fallacy. Why should not the police, by act of Parliament, be empowered to take cognizance of this shameful misuse of the art of printing? Surely some clauses could be added to Lord Campbell's Act, or a new bill might be introduced that would meet the exigencies of the case, without much difficulty.
     Men frequent the houses in which women board and lodge for many reasons, the chief of which is secrecy; they also feel sure that the women are free from disease, if they know the house, and it bears an average reputation for being well conducted. Men in a certain position avoid publicity in their amours beyond all things, and dread being seen in the neighbourhood of the Haymarket or the Burlington Arcade at certain hours, as their professional reputation might be compromised. Many serious, demure people conceal the iniquities of their private lives in this way.
     If Asmodeus were loquacious, how interesting and anecdotical a scandal-monger he might become!
     Another woman told me a story, varying somewhat from that of the first I examined, which subsequent experience has shown me is slightly stereotyped. She was the victim of deliberate cold-blooded seduction; in course of time a child was born; up to this time her seducer had treated her with affection and kindness, but he now, after presenting her with fifty pounds, deserted her. Thrown on her own resources, as it were, she did not know what to do; she could not return to her friends, so she went into lodgings at a very small rental, and there lived until her money was expended. She then supported herself and her child by doing machine-work for a manufacturer, but at last bad times came, and she was thrown out of work; of course the usual amount of misery consequent on such a catastrophe ensued. She saw her child dying by inches before her face, and this girl, with tears in her eyes, assured me she thanked God for it. "I swear," she added, "I starved myself to nourish it, until I was nothing but skin and bone, and little enough of that; I knew from the first, the child must die, if things didn't improve, and I felt they wouldn't. When I looked at my little darling I knew well enough he was doomed, but he was not destined to drag on a weary existence as I was, and I was glad of it. It may seem strange to you, but while my boy lived, I couldn't go into the streets to save his life or my own - I couldn't do it. If there had been a foundling hospital, I mean as I hear there is in foreign parts, I would have placed him there, and worked somehow, but there wasn't, and a crying shame it is too. Well, he died at last, and it was all over. I was half mad and three parts drunk after the parish burying, and I went into the streets at last; I rose in the world - (here she smiled sarcastically) - and I've lived in this house for years, but I swear to God I haven't had a moment's happiness since the child died, except when I've been dead drunk or maudlin.
     Although this woman did not look upon the death of her child as a crime committed by herself, it was in reality none the less her doing; she shunned the workhouse, which might have done something for her, and saved the life, at all events, of her child; but the repugnance evinced by every woman who has any proper feeling for a life in a workhouse or a hospital, can hardly be imagined by those who think that, because people are poor, they must lose all feeling, all delicacy, all prejudice, and all shame.
     Her remarks about a foundling-hospital are sensible; in the opinion of many it is a want that ought to be supplied. Infanticide is a crime much on the increase, and what mother would kill her offspring if she could provide for it in any way?
     The analysis of the return of the coroners' inquests held in London, for the five years ending in 1860, shows a total of 1130 inquisitions on the bodies of children under two years of age, all of whom had been murdered. The average is 226 yearly.
     Here we have 226 children killed yearly by their parents: this either shows that our institutions are defective, or that great depravity is inherent amongst Englishwomen. The former hypothesis is much more likely than the latter, which we are by no means prepared to indorse. This return, let it be understood, does not, indeed cannot, include the immense number of embryo children who are made away with by drugs and other devices, all of whom we have a right to suppose would have seen the light if adequate provision could have been found for them at their birth.
     A return has also been presented to Parliament, at the instance of Mr. Kendal, M.P., from which we find that 157,485 summonses in bastardy cases were issued between the years 1845 and 1859 inclusive, but that only 124,218 applications against the putative fathers came on for hearing, while of this number orders for maintenance were only made in 107,776 cases, the remaining summonses, amounting to 15,981, being dismissed. This latter fact gives a yearly average of 1,141 illegitimate children thrown back on their wretched mothers. These statistics are sufficiently appalling, but there is reason to fear that they only give an approximate idea of the illegitimate infantile population, and more especially of the extent to which infanticide prevails. Those who live in Low Lodging Houses.


The New Cut - Evening


     In order to find these houses it is necessary to journey eastwards, and leave the artificial glitter of the West-end, where vice is pampered and caressed. Whitechapel, Wapping, Ratcliff Highway, and analogous districts, are prolific in the production of these infamies. St. George's-in-the-East abounds with them, kept, for the most part, by disreputable Jews, and if a man is unfortunate enough to fall into their clutches he is sure to become the spoil of Israel. We may, however, find many low lodging houses without penetrating so far into the labyrinth of east London. There are numbers in Lambeth; in the Waterloo Road and contiguous streets; in small streets between Covent Garden and the Strand, some in one or two streets running out of Oxford Street. There is a class of women technically known as "bunters," who take lodgings, and after staying some time run away without paying their rent. These victimise the keepers of low lodging-houses successfully for years. A "bunter," whose favourite promenade, especially on Sundays, was the New Cut, Lambeth, said "she never paid any rent, hadn't done it for years, and never meant to. They was mostly Christ-killers, and chousing a Jew was no sin; leastways, none as she cared about committing. She boasted of it: had been known about town this ever so long as Swindling Sal. And there was another, a great pal of her'n, as went by the name of Chousing Bett. Didn't they know her in time? Lord bless me, she was up to as many dodges as there was men in the moon. She changed places, she never stuck to one long; she never had no things for to be sold up, and, as she was handy with her mauleys, she got on pretty well. It took a considerable big man, she could tell me, to kick her out of a house, and then when he done it she always give him something for himself, by way of remembering her. Oh! they had a sweet recollection of her, some on 'em. She'd crippled lots of the ---- crucifiers." "Did she never get into a row?" "Lots on 'em, she believed me. Been quodded no end of times. She knew every beak as sot on the cheer as well as she knew Joe the magsman, who, she might say, wor a very perticaler friend of her'n." "Did he pay her well?"
     This was merely a question to ascertain the amount of remuneration that she, and others like her, were in the habit of receiving; but it had the effect of enraging her to a great extent. My informant was a tall, stout woman, about seven-and-twenty, with a round face, fat cheeks, a rather wheezy voice, and not altogether destitute of good looks. Her arms were thick and muscular, while she stood well on her legs, and altogether appeared as if she would be a formidable opponent in a street-quarrel or an Irish row.
     Did he pay well? Was I a-going to insult her? What was I asking her sich a 'eap of questions for? Why, Joe was good for a ---- sight more than she thought I was! - "polite." Then she was sorry for it, never meant to be. Joe worn't a five-bobber, much less a bilker, as she'd take her dying oath I was." "Would she take a drop of summut?" "Well, she didn't mind if she did.
     An adjournment to a public-house in the immediate vicinity, where "Swindling Sal" appeared very much at home, mollified and appeased her.
     The "drop of summut short, miss," was responded to by the young lady behind the bar by a monosyllabic query, "Neat?" The reply being in the affirmative, a glass of gin was placed upon the marble counter, and rapidly swallowed, while a second, and a third followed in quick succession, much, apparently, to the envy of a woman in the same compartment, who, my informant told me in a whisper, was "Lushing Lucy," and a stunner - whatever the latter appellation might be worth. But the added "Me an' 'er 'ad a rumpus," was sufficient to explain the fact of their not speaking.
     What do you think you make a week?" at last I ventured to ask. Well, I'll tell yer," was the response: "one week with another I makes nearer on four pounds nor three - sometimes five. I 'ave done eight and ten. Now Joe, as you 'eered me speak on, he does it 'ansome, he does: I mean, you know, when he's in luck. He give me a fiver once after cracking a crib, and a nice spree me an' Lushing Loo 'ad over it. Sometimes I get three shillings, half-a-crown, five shillings, or ten occasionally, accordin' to the sort of man. What is this Joe as I talks about? Well, I likes your cheek, howsomever, he's a 'ousebreaker. I don't do anything in that way, never did, and shant; it aint safe, it aint. How did I come to take to this sort of life? It's easy to tell. I was a servant gal away down in Birmingham. I got tired of workin' and slavin' to make a livin', and getting a ---- bad one at that; what o' five pun' a year and yer grub, I'd sooner starve, I would. After a bit I went to Coventry, cut Brummagem, as we calls it in those parts, and took up with the soldiers as was quartered there. I soon got tired of them. Soldiers is good - soldiers is - to walk with and that, but they don't pay; cos why, they aint got no money; so I says to myself, I'll go to Lunnon, and I did. I soon found my level there. It is a queer sort of life, the life I'm leading, and now I think I'll be off. Good night to yer. I hope we'll know more of one another when we two meets again.
     When she was gone I turned my attention to the woman I have before alluded to. "Lushing Loo" was a name uneuphemistic, and calculated to prejudice the hearer against the possessor. I had only glanced at her before, and a careful scrutiny surprised me, while it impressed me in her favour. She was lady-like in appearance, although haggard. She was not dressed in flaring colours and meretricious tawdry. Her clothes were neat, and evidenced taste in their selection, although they were cheap. I spoke to her; she looked up without giving me an answer, appearing much dejected. Guessing the cause, which was that she had been very drunk the night before, and had come to the public-house to get something more, but had been unable to obtain credit, I offered her halfacrown, and told her to get what she liked with it. A new light came into her eyes; she thanked me, and, calling the barmaid, gave her orders, with a smile of triumph. Her taste was sufficiently aristocratic to prefer pale brandy to the usual beverage dispensed in gin-palaces. A "drain of pale," as she termed it, invigorated her. Glass after glass was ordered, till she had spent all the money I gave her. By this time she was perfectly drunk, and I had been powerless to stop her. Pressing her hand to her forehead, she exclaimed, "Oh, my poor head!" I asked what was the matter with her, and for the first time she condescended, or felt in the humour to speak to me. "My heart's broken," she said. "It has been broken since the twenty-first of May. I wish I was dead; I wish I was laid in my coffin. It won't be long first. I am doing it. I've just driven another nail in, and 'Lushing Loo,' as they call me, will be no loss to society. Cheer up; let's have a song. Why don't you sing?" she cried, her mood having changed, as is frequently the case with habitual drunkards, and a symptom that often precedes delirium tremens. "Sing, I tell you," and she began,
     In a regiment of dragoons,
I gave him what he didn't like,
And stole his silver spoons.

     When she had finished her song, the first verse of which is all I can remember, she subsided into comparative tranquillity. I asked her to tell me her history.
     “Oh, I'm a seduced milliner," she said, rather impatiently; "anything you like”. It required some inducement on my part to make her speak, and overcome the repugnance she seemed to feel at saying anything about herself.
     She was the daughter of respectable parents, and at an early age had imbibed a fondness for a cousin in the army, which in the end caused her ruin. She had gone on from bad to worse after his desertion, and at last found herself among the number of low transpontine women. I asked her why she did not enter a refuge, it might save her life. “I don't wish to live," she replied. "I shall soon get D. T., and then I'll kill myself in a fit of madness”. Nevertheless I gave her the address of the secretary of the Midnight Meeting Association, Red Lion Square, and was going away when a young Frenchmen entered the bar, shouting a French song, beginning "Vive l'amour, le vin, et le tabac," and I left him in conversation with the girl, whose partiality for the brandy bottle had gained her the suggestive name I have mentioned above.
     The people who keep the low lodging-houses where these women live, are rapacious, mean, and often dishonest. They charge enormously for their rooms in order to guarantee themselves against loss in the event of their harbouring a "bunter" by mistake, so that the money paid by their honest lodgers covers the default made by those who are fraudulent.
     Dr. Ryan, in his book on prostitution, puts the following extraordinary passage, whilst writing about low houses:-
     An enlightened medical gentleman assured me that near what is called the Fleet Ditch almost every house is the lowest and most infamous brothel. There is an aqueduct of large dimensions, into which murdered bodies are precipitated by bullies and discharged at a considerable distance into the Thames, without the slightest chance of recovery.
     Mr. Richelot quotes this with the greatest gravity, and adduces it as a proof of the immorality and crime that are prevalent to such an awful extent in London. What a pity the enlightened medical gentleman did not affix his name to this statement as a guarantee of its authenticity!
     When speaking of low street-walkers, the same author says:-
     These truly unfortunate creatures are closely watched whilst walking the streets, so that it is impossible for them to escape, and if they attempt it, the spy, often a female child, hired for the purpose, or a bully, or procuress, charges the fugitive with felony, as escaping with the clothes of the brothel-keeper, when the police officer on duty immediately arrests the delinquent, and takes her to the station-house of his divison, but more commonly gives her up to the brothel-keeper, who rewards him. This inhuman and infamous practice is of nightly occurrence in this metropolis. When the forlorn, unfortunate wretch returns to her infamous abode, she is maltreated and kept nearly naked during the day, so that she cannot attempt to run away. She is often half starved, and at night sent again into the streets as often as she is disengaged, while all the money she receives goes to her keeper whether male or female. This is not an exaggerated picture, but a fact attested by myself. I have known a girl, aged fifteen years, who in one night knew twelve men, and produced to her keeper as many pounds.
     "Paucis horis, hæ puellæ sex vel septem hominibus congruunt, lavant et bibunt post singulum alcoholis paululum (vulgo brandy vel gin) et dein paratæ sunt aliis."
     With what a vivid imagination the writer of these striking paragraphs must have been gifted. The Arabian Nights and the Tales of the Genii that are so charmingly improbable, are really matter of fact in comparison. If we multiply 12 by 365, what is the result? We never took such interest in arithmetic before: 12 X 365 = 4380. This total of course represents pounds; why, it is nearly equal to the salary of a puisne judge! But perhaps the young lady whose interesting age is fifteen, is not so fortunate every night. Let us reduce it by one half; 4380 ÷ 2 = 2190. Two thousand one hundred and ninety pounds per annum is a very handsome income; and after such a calculation, can we wonder that a meretricious career is alluring and attractive to certain members of the fair sex, especially when "hæ puellæ" make it "paucis horis?" So lucrative a speculation cannot be included in the category of those who are "kept nearly naked during the day, and often half starved." We suggest this on our own responsibility, for we have not been an "eye-witness" of such precocious profligacy; but we make the suggestion because it is something like nigger-keeping in the Southern States of America. A full-grown, hearty negro is a flesh and blood equivalent for a thousand or two thousand dollars. If he were "larruped" and bullied, he would perhaps die, or at any rate not work so well, and a loss to his owner would ensue that Pompey's massa would not be slow to discover. By parity of reasoning the white slave of England must also be treated well, or it naturally follows that she will not be so productive, and the 12l. received from as many men in a few hours, may dwindle to as many shillings, gleaned with difficulty in a great number of hours.
     Dr. Michael Ryan evidently possesses an extensive acquaintance among remarkable men. Let us examine the statement of "my informant, a truly moral character, a respectable citizen, the father of a family," who gives the following account of bullies:-
     Two acquaintances of his, “men of the world" (we submit with all humility that truly moral characters, respectable citizens, and fathers of families ought to be more select in their acquaintance, for birds of a feather, &c.), "were entrapped in one of the Parks by two apparently virtuous females, about twenty years of age, who were driving in a pony phaeton, to accompany them home to a most notoriously infamous square in this metropolis. All was folly and debauchery till the next morning. But when the visitors were about to depart, they were sternly informed they must pay more money. They replied they had no more, but would call again, when their vicious companions yelled vociferously. Two desperate-looking villains, accompanied by a large mastiff, now entered the apartment and threatened to murder the delinquents if they did not immediately pay more money. A frightful fight ensued. The mastiff seized one of the assaulted by the thigh, and tore out a considerable portion of the flesh. The bullies were, however, finally laid prostrate: the assailed forced their way into the street through the drawing-room windows; a crowd speedily assembled, and on learning the nature of the murderous assault, the mob attacked the house and nearly demolished it before the police arrived" (where were the police?). "The injured parties effected their escape during the commotion.
     What a surprising adventure! Haroun Alraschid would have had it written in letters of gold. The man of the world, who had a considerable portion of the flesh torn out of his leg by the terrible mastiff, must have been the model of an athlete to effect his escape and punish his bully after such a catastrophe, more particularly as he jumped out of the drawing-room window. Then that mob, that ferocious mob that nearly demolished the house before the police arrived! Mob more terrible than any that the faubourgs St. Antoine or St. Jacques could furnish during a bread riot in Paris, to harry the government, and erect barricades. What a horror truly moral characters must entertain of apparently virtuous females driving pony phaetons in the Parks! A little further on the same respectable citizen informs us, in addition,
     "that in a certain court near another notoriously profligate square, which was pulled down a few years ago, several skeletons were found under the floor, on which inquests were held by the coroner."
     What ghastly ideas float through the mind and obscure the mental vision of that father of a family!
     That rows and disturbances often take place in disorderly houses, is not to be denied. A few isolated instances of men being attacked or robbed when drunk may be met with; but that there are houses whose keepers systematically plunder and murder their frequenters our experience does not prove, nor do we for an instant believe it to be the case. Foreigners who write about England are only too eager to meet with such stories in print, and they transfer them bodily with the greatest glee to their own pages, and parade them as being of frequent occurrence, perhaps nightly, in houses of ill fame.
     Prostitutes of a certain class do not hesitate to rob drunken men, if they think they can do so with safety. If they get hold of a gentleman who would not like to give the thief in charge, and bring the matter before the public, they are comparatively safe.

     Sailors' Women

     Many extraordinary statements respecting sailors' women have at different times been promulgated by various authors; and from what has gone forth to the world, those who take an interest in such matters have not formed a very high opinion of the class in question.
     The progress of modern civilization is so rapid and so wonderful, that the changes which take place in the brief space of a few years are really and truly incredible. That which ten, fifteen, or twenty years might have been said with perfect truth about a particular district, or an especial denomination, if repeated now would, in point of fact, be nothing but fiction of the grossest and most unsubstantial character. Novelists who have never traversed the localities they are describing so vividly, or witnessed the scenes they depict with such graphic distinctness, do a great deal more to mislead the general public than a casual observer may at first think himself at liberty to believe. The upper ten thousand and the middle-classes as a rule have to combat innumerable prejudices, and are obliged to reject the traditions of their infancy before they thoroughly comprehend the actual condition of that race of people, which they are taught by immemorial prescription to regard as immensely inferior, if not altogether barbarous.
     It is necessary to make these prefatory remarks before declaring that of late years everything connected with the industrious classes has undergone as complete a transformation as any magic can effect upon the stage. Not only is the condition of the people changed, but they themselves are as effectually metamorphosed. I shall describe the wonders that have been accomplished in a score or two of years in and about St. Giles's by a vigilant and energetic police-force, better parochial management, schools, washhouses, mechanics' institutes, and lodging-houses that have caused to disappear those noisome, pestilential sties that pigs would obstinately refuse to wallow in.
     The spread of enlightenment and education has also made itself visible in the increased tact and proficiency of the thief himself; and this is one cause of the amelioration of low and formerly vicious neighbourhoods. The thief no longer frequents places where the police know very well how to put their hands upon him. Quitting the haunts where he was formerly so much at home and at his ease, he migrates westwards, north, south, anywhere but the exact vicinity you would expect to meet him in. Nor is the hostility of the police so much directed against expert and notorious thieves. They of course do not neglect an opportunity of making a capture, and plume themselves when that capture is made, but they have a certain sort of respect for a thief who is professionally so; who says, "It is the way by which I choose to obtain my living, and were it otherwise I must still elect to be a thief, for I have been accustomed to it from my childhood. My character is already gone, no one would employ me, and, above all, I take a pride in thieving skillfully, and setting your detective skill at defiance."
     It is indeed the low petty thief, the area-sneak, and that genus that more especially excites the spleen, and rouses the ire of your modern policeman. The idle, lazy scoundrel who will not work when he can obtain it at the docks and elsewhere, who goes cadging about because his own inherent depravity, and naturally base instincts deprive him of a spark of intelligence, an atom of honest feeling, to point to a better and a different goal. Emigration is as a thing unexisting to them; they live a life of turpitude, preying upon society; they pass half their days in a prison, and they die prematurely unregretted and unmourned.
     Whitechapel has always been looked upon as a suspicious, unhealthy locality. To begin, its population is a strange amalgamation of Jews, English, French, Germans, and other antagonistic elements that must clash and jar, but not to such an extent as has been surmised and reported. Whitechapel has its theatres, its music-halls, the cheap rates of admission to which serve to absorb numbers of the inhabitants, and by innocently amusing them soften their manners and keep them out of mischief and harm's way.
     The Earl of Effingham, a theatre in Whitechapel Road, has been lately done up and restored, and holds three thousand people. It has no boxes; they would not be patronized if they were in existence. Whitechapel does not go to the play in kidgloves and white ties. The stage of the Effingham is roomy and excellent, the trapwork very extensive, for Whitechapel rejoices much in pyrotechnic displays, blue demons, red demons, and vanishing Satans that disappear in a cloud of smoke through an invisible hole in the floor. Great is the applause when gauzy nymphs rise like so many Aphrodites from the sea, and sit down on apparent sunbeams midway between the stage and the theatrical heaven.
     The Pavilion is another theatre in the Whitechapel Road, and perhaps ranks higher than the Effingham. The Pavilion may stand comparison, with infinite credit to itself and its architect, with more than one West-end theatre. People at the West-end who never in their dreams travel farther east than the dividend and transfer department of the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, have a vague idea that East-end theatres strongly resemble the dilapidated and decayed Soho in Dean Street, filled with a rough, noisy set of drunken thieves and prostitutes. It is time that these ideas should be exploded. Prostitutes and thieves of course do find their way into theatres and other places of amusement, but perhaps if you were to rake up all the bad characters in the neighbourhood they would not suffice to fill the pit and gallery of the Pavilion.
     On approaching the play-house, you observe prostitutes standing outside in little gangs and knots of three or four, and you will also see them inside, but for the most part they are accompanied by their men. Sergeant Prior of the H division, for whose services I am indebted to the courtesy of Superintendent White, assured me that when sailors landed in the docks, and drew their wages, they picked up some women to whom they considered themselves married pro tem., and to whom they gave the money they had made by their last voyage. They live with the women until the money is gone, (and the women generally treat the sailors honourably). They go to sea again, make some more, come home, and repeat the same thing over again. There are perhaps twelve or fifteen public-houses licensed for music in St. George's Street and Ratcliff Highway: most of them a few years ago were thronged, now they can scarcely pay their expenses; and it is anticipated that next year many of them will be obliged to close.
     This is easily accounted for. Many sailors go further east to the K division, which includes Wapping, Bluegate, &c.; but the chief cause, the fons et origo of the declension is simply the institution of sailors' savings banks. There is no longer the money to be spent that there used to be. When a sailor comes on shore, he will probably go to the nearest sailors' home, and place his money in the bank. Drawing out again a pound or so, with which he may enjoy himself for a day or two, he will then have the rest of his money transmitted to his friends in the country, to whom he will himself go as soon as he has had his fling in town; so that the money that used formerly to be expended in one centre is spread over the entire country, ergo and very naturally the public-house keepers feel the change acutely. To show how the neighbourhood has improved of late years, I will mention that six or eight years ago the Eastern Music Hall was frequented by such ruffians that the proprietor told me he was only too glad when twelve o'clock came, that he might shut the place up, and turn out his turbulent customers, whose chief delight was to disfigure and ruin each other's physiognomy.
     Mr. Wilton has since then rebuilt his concert-room, and erected a gallery that he sets apart for sailors and their women. The body of the hall is filled usually by tradesmen, keepers of tally-shops, &c., &c.
     And before we go further a word about tally-shops. Take the New Road, Whitechapel, which is full of them. They present a respectable appearance, are little two-storied houses, clean, neat, and the owners are reputed to have the Queen's taxes ready when the collectors call for them. The principle of the tally business is this: - A man wants a coat, or a woman wants a shawl, a dress, or some other article of feminine wearing apparel. Being somewhat known in the neighbourhood, as working at some trade or other, the applicant is able to go to the tally-shop, certain of the success of his or her application.
     She obtains the dress she wishes for, and agrees to pay so much a week until the whole debt is cleared off. For instance, the dress costs three pounds, a sum she can never hope to possess in its entirety. Well, five shillings a week for three months will complete the sum charged; and the woman by this system of accommodation is as much benefited as the tallyman.
     The British Queen, a concert-room in the Commercial Road, is a respectable, well-conducted house, frequented by low prostitutes, as may be expected, but orderly in the extreme, and what more can be wished for? The sergeant remarked to me, if these places of harmless amusement were not licensed and kept open, much evil would be sown and disseminated throughout the neighbourhood, for it may be depended something worse and ten times lower would be substituted. People of all classes must have recreation. Sailors who come on shore after a long cruise will have it; and, added the sergeant, we give it them in a way that does no harm to themselves or anybody else. Rows and disturbances seldom occur, although, of course, they may be expected now and then. The dancing rooms close at twelve - indeed their frequenters adjourn to other places generally before that hour, and very few publics are open at one. I heard that there had been three fights at the Prussian Eagle, in Ship Alley, Wellclose Square, on the evening I visited the locality; but when I arrived I saw no symptoms of the reported pugnacity of the people assembled, and this was the only rumour of war that reached my ears.
     Ship Alley is full of foreign lodging-houses. You see written on a blind an inscription that denotes the nationality of the keeper and the character of the establishment; for instance Hollandsche lodgement, is sufficient to show a Dutchman that his own language is spoken, and that he may have a bed if he chooses.
     That there are desperate characters in the district was sufficiently evidenced by what I saw when at the station-house. Two women, both well-known prostitutes, were confined in the cells, one of whom had been there before no less than fourteen times, and had only a few hours before been brought up charged with nearly murdering a man with a poker. Her face was bad, heavy, and repulsive; her forehead, as well as I could distinguish by the scanty light thrown into the place by the bullseye of the policeman, was low; her nose was short and what is called pudgy, having the nostrils dilated; and she abused the police for disturbing her when she wished to go to sleep, a thing, from what I saw, I imagined rather difficult to accomplish, as she had nothing to recline upon but a hard sort of locker attached to the wall, and running all along one side and at the bottom of the cell.
     The other woman, whose name was O'Brien, was much better looking than her companion in crime; her hand was bandaged up, and she appeared faint from loss of blood. The policeman lifted her head up, and asked her if she would like anything to eat. She replied she could drink some tea, which was ordered for her. She had met a man in a public-house in the afternoon, who was occupied in eating some bread and cheese. In order to get into conversation with him, she asked him to give her some, and on his refusing she made a snatch at it, and caught hold of the knife he was using with her right hand, inflicting a severe wound: notwithstanding the pain of the wound, which only served to infuriate her, she flew at the man with a stick and beat him severely over the head, endangering his life; for which offence she was taken by the police to the station-house and locked up.
     There are very few English girls who can be properly termed sailors' women; most of them are either German or Irish. I saw numbers of German, tall brazen-faced women, dressed in gaudy colours, dancing and pirouetting in a fantastic manner in a dancing-room in Ratcliff Highway.
     It may be as well to give a description of one of the dancing-rooms frequented by sailors and their women.
     Passing through the bar of the public-house you ascend a flight of stairs and find yourself in a long room well lighted by gas. There are benches placed along the walls for the accommodation of the dancers, and you will not fail to observe the orchestra, which is well worthy of attention. It consists, in the majority of cases, of four musicians, bearded shaggy-looking foreigners, probably Germans, including a fiddle, a cornet, and two fifes or flutes. The orchestra is usually penned up in a corner of the room, and placed upon a dais or raised desk, to get upon which you ascend two steps; the front is boarded up with deal, only leaving a small door at one end to admit the performers, for whose convenience either a bench is erected or chairs supplied. There is a little ledge to place the music on, which is as often as not embellished with pewter pots. The music itself is striking in the extreme, and at all events exhilarating in the highest degree. The shrill notes of the fifes, and the braying of the trumpet in very quick time, rouses the excitement of the dancers, until they whirl round in the waltz with the greatest velocity.
     I was much struck by the way in which the various dances were executed. In the first place, the utmost decorum prevailed, nor did I notice the slightest tendency to indecency. Polkas and waltzes seemed to be the favourites, and the steps were marvelously well done, considering the position and education of the company. In many cases there was an exhibition of grace and natural ease that no one would have supposed possible; but this was observable more amongst foreigners than English. The generality of the women had not the slightest idea of dancing. There was very little beauty abroad that night, at least in the neighbourhood of Ratcliff Highway. It might have been hiding under a bushel, but it was not patent to a casual observer. Yet I must acknowledge there was something prepossessing about the countenances of the women, which is more than could be said of the men. It might have been a compound of resignation, indifference, and recklessness, through all of which phases of her career a prostitute must go; nor is she thoroughly inured to her vocation until they have been experienced, and are in a manner mingled together. There was a certain innate delicacy about those women, too, highly commendable to its possessors. It was not the artificial refinement of the West-end, nothing of the sort, but genuine womanly feeling. They did not look as if they had come there for pleasure exactly, they appeared too business-like for that; but they did seem as if they would like, and intended, to unite the two, business and pleasure, and enjoy themselves as much as the circumstances would allow. They do not dress in the dancing-room, they attire themselves at home, and walk through the streets in their ball costume, without their bonnets, but as they do not live far off this is not thought much of. I remarked several women unattached sitting by themselves, in one place as many as half-a-dozen.
     The faces of the sailors were vacant, stupid, and beery. I could not help thinking one man I saw at the Prussian Eagle a perfect Caliban in his way. There was an expression of owlish cunning about his heavy-looking features that, uniting with the drunken leer sitting on his huge mouth, made him look but a "very indifferent monster."
     I noticed a sprinkling of coloured men and a few thorough negroes scattered about here and there.
     The sergeant chanced to be in search of a woman named Harrington, who had committed a felony, and in the execution of his duty he was obliged to search some notorious brothels that he thought might harbour the delinquent.
     We entered a house in Frederick Street (which is full of brothels, almost every house being used for an immoral purpose). But the object of our search was not there, and we proceeded to Brunswick Street, more generally known in the neighbourhood and to the police as "Tiger Bay;" the inhabitants and frequenters of which place are very often obliged to enter an involuntary appearance in the Thames police court. Tiger Bay, like Frederick Street, is full of brothels and thieves' lodging houses. We entered No. 6, accompanied by two policemen in uniform, who happened to be on duty at the entrance to the place, as they wished to apprehend a criminal whom they had reason to believe would resort for shelter, after the night's debauch, to one of the dens in the Bay. We failed to find the man the police wanted, but on descending to the kitchen, we discovered a woman sitting on a chair, evidently waiting up for some one.
     That woman," said the sergeant, "is one of the lowest class we have; she is not only a common prostitute herself, and a companion of ruffians and thieves, but the servant of prostitutes and low characters as debased as herself, with the exception of their being waited upon by her.
     We afterwards searched two houses on the opposite side of the way. The rooms occupied by the women and their sailors were larger and more roomy than I expected to find them. The beds were what are called "fourposters," and in some instances were surrounded with faded, dirty-looking, chintz curtains. There was the usual amount of cheap crockery on the mantel-pieces, which were surmounted with a small looking-glass in a rosewood or gilt frame. When the magic word "Police" was uttered, the door flew open, as the door of the robbers' cave swung back on its hinges when Ali Baba exclaimed "Sesame." A few seconds were allowed for the person who opened the door to retire to the couch, and then our visual circuit of the chamber took place. The sailors did not evince any signs of hostility at our somewhat unwarrantable intrusion, and we in every case made our exit peacefully, but without finding the felonious woman we were in search of; which might cause sceptical people to regard her as slightly apocryphal, but in reality such was not the case, and in all probability by this time justice has claimed her own.
     A glance at the interior of the Horse and Leaping Bar concluded our nocturnal wanderings. This public-house is one of the latest in the district, and holds out accommodation for man and beast till the small hours multiply themselves considerably.
     Most of the foreign women talk English pretty well, some excellently, some of course imperfectly; their proficiency depending upon the length of their stay in the country. A German woman told me the following story:-
     I have been in England nearly six years. When I came over I could not speak a word of your language, but I associated with my own countrymen. Now I talk the English well, as well as any, and I go with the British sailor. I am here to-night in this house of dancing with a sailor English, and I have known him two week. His ship is in docks, and will not sail for one month from this time I am now speaking. I knew him before, one years ago and a half. He always lives with me when he come on shore. He is nice man and give me all his money when he land always. I take all his money while he with me, and not spend it quick as some of your English women do. If I not to take care, he would spend all in one week. Sailor boy always spend money like rain water; he throw it into the street and not care to pick it up again, leave it for crossing-sweeper or errand-boy who pass that way. I give him little when he want it; he know me well and have great deal confidence in me. I am honest, and he feel he can trust me. Suppose he have twenty-four pound when he leave his ship, and he stay six week on land, he will spend with me fifteen or twenty, and he will give me what left when he leave me, and we amuse ourself and keep both ourself with the rest. It very bad for sailor to keep his money himself; he will fall into bad hands; he will go to ready-made outfitter or slop-seller, who will sell him clothes dreadful dear and ruin him. I know very many sailors - six, eight, ten, oh! more than that. They are my husbands. I am not married, of course not, but they think me their wife while they are on shore. I do not care much for any of them; I have a lover of my own, he is waiter in a lodging and coffee house; Germans keep it; he is German and he comes from Berlin, which is my town also. I is born there.
     Shadwell, Spitalfields, and contiguous districts are infested with nests of brothels as well as Whitechapel. To attract sailors, women and music must be provided for their amusement. In High Street, Shadwell, there are many of these houses, one of the most notorious of which is called The White Swan, or, more commonly, Paddy's Goose; the owner of which is reported to make money in more ways than one. Brothel-keeping is a favourite mode of investing money in this neighbourhood. Some few years ago a man called James was prosecuted for having altogether thirty brothels; and although he was convicted, the nuisance was by no means in the slightest degree abated, as the informer, by name Brooks, has them all himself at the present time.
     There are two other well-known houses in High Street, Shadwell - The Three Crowns, and The Grapes, the latter not being licensed for dancing.
     Paddy's Goose is perhaps the most popular house in the parish. It is also very well thought of in high quarters. During the Crimean war, the landlord, when the Government wanted sailors to man the fleet, went among the shipping in the river, and enlisted numbers of men. His system of recruiting was very successful. He went about in a small steamer with a band of music and flags, streamers and colours flying. All this rendered him popular with the Admiralty authorities, and made his house extensively known to the sailors, and those connected with them.
     Inspector Price, under whose supervision the low lodging-houses in that part of London are placed, most obligingly took me over one of the lowest lodging-houses, and one of the best, forming a strange contrast, and both presenting an admirable example of the capital working of the most excellent Act that regulates them. We went into a large room, with a huge fire blazing cheerily at the furthest extremity, around which were grouped some ten or twelve people, others were scattered over various parts of the room. The attitudes of most were listless; none seemed to be reading; one was cooking his supper; a few amused themselves by criticising us, and canvassing as to the motives of our visit, and our appearance altogether. The inspector was well known to the keeper of the place, who treated him with the utmost civility and respect. The greatest cleanliness prevailed everywhere. Any one was admitted to this house who could command the moderate sum of threepence. I was informed those who frequented it were, for the most part, prostitutes and thieves. That is thieves and their associates. No questions were asked of those who paid their money and claimed a night's lodging in return. The establishment contained forty beds. There were two floors. The first was divided into little boxes by means of deal boards, and set apart for married people, or those who represented themselves to be so. Of course, as the sum paid for the night's lodging was so small, the lodgers could not expect clean sheets, which were only supplied once a week. The sheets were indeed generally black, or very dirty. How could it be otherwise? The men were often in a filthy state, and quite unaccustomed to anything like cleanliness, from which they were as far as from godliness. The floors and the surroundings were clean, and highly creditable to the management upstairs; the beds were not crowded together, but spread over the surface in rows, being a certain distance from one another. Many of them were already occupied, although it was not eleven o'clock, and the house is generally full before morning. The ventilation was very complete, and worthy of attention. There were several ventilators on each side of the room, but not in the roof - all were placed in the side.
     The next house we entered was more aristocratic in appearance. You entered through some glass doors, and going along a small passage found yourself in a large apartment, long and narrow, resembling a coffee-room. The price of admission was precisely the same, but the frequenters were chiefly working men, sometimes men from the docks, respectable mechanics, &c. No suspicious characters were admitted by the proprietor on any pretence, and he by this means kept his house select. Several men were seated in the compartments reading newspapers, of which there appeared to be an abundance. The accommodation was very good, and everything reflected great credit upon the police, who seem to have the most unlimited jurisdiction, and complete control over the low people and places in the East-end of London.
     Bluegate Fields is nothing more or less than a den of thieves, prostitutes, and ruffians of the lowest description. Yet the police penetrate unarmed without the slightest trepidation. There I witnessed sights that the most morbid novelist has described, but which have been too horrible for those who have never been on the spot to believe. We entered a house in Victoria Place, running out of Bluegate, that had no street-door, and penetrating a small passage found ourselves in a kitchen, where the landlady was sitting over a miserable coke fire; near her there was a girl, haggard and woe-begone. We put the usual question, Is there any one upstairs? And on being told that the rooms were occupied, we ascended to the first floor, which was divided into four small rooms. The house was only a two-storied one. The woman of the place informed me, she paid five shillings a-week rent, and charged the prostitutes who lodged with her four shillings aweek for the miserable apartments she had to offer for their accommodation; but as the shipping in the river was very slack just now, times were hard with her.
     The house was a wretched tumble-down hovel, and the poor woman complained bitterly that her landlord would make no repairs. The first room we entered contained a Lascar, who had come over in some vessel, and his woman. There was a sickly smell in the chamber, that I discovered proceeded from the opium he had been smoking. There was not a chair to be seen; nothing but a table, upon which were placed a few odds-and-ends. The Lascar was lying on a palliasse placed upon the floor (there was no bedstead), apparently stupefied from the effects of the opium he had been taking. A couple of old tattered blankets sufficed to cover him. By his bedside sat his woman, who was half idiotically endeavouring to derive some stupefaction from the ashes he had left in his pipe. Her face was grimy and unwashed, and her hands so black and filthy that mustard-and-cress might have been sown successfully upon them. As she was huddled up with her back against the wall she appeared an animated bundle of rags. She was apparently a powerfully made woman, and although her face was wrinkled and careworn, she did not look exactly decrepit, but more like one thoroughly broken down in spirit than in body. In all probability she was diseased; and the disease communicated by the Malays, Lascars, and Orientals generally, is said to be the most frightful form of lues to be met with in Europe. It goes by the name of the Dry ----, and is much dreaded by all the women in the neighbourhood of the docks. Leaving this wretched couple, who were too much overcome with the fumes of opium to answer any questions, we went into another room, which should more correctly be called a hole. There was not an atom of furniture in it, nor a bed, and yet it contained a woman. This woman was lying on the floor, with not even a bundle of straw beneath her, rapped up in what appeared to be a shawl, but which might have been taken for the dress of a scarecrow feloniously abstracted from a corn-field, without any very great stretch of the imagination. She started up as we kicked open the door that was loose on its hinges, and did not shut properly, creaking strangely on its rusty hinges as it swung sullenly back. Her face was shrivelled and famine-stricken, her eyes bloodshot and glaring, her features disfigured slightly with disease, and her hair dishevelled, tangled, and matted. More like a beast in his lair than a human being in her home was this woman. We spoke to her, and from her replies concluded she was an Irishwoman. She said she was charged nothing for the place she slept in. She cleaned out the water-closets in the daytime, and for these services she was given a lodging gratis.
     The next house we entered was in Bluegate Fields itself. Four women occupied the kitchen on the ground-floor. They were waiting for their men, probably thieves. They had a can of beer, which they passed from one to the other. The woman of the house had gone out to meet her husband, who was to be liberated from prison that night, having been imprisoned for a burglary three years ago, his term of incarceration happening to end that day. His friends were to meet at his house and celebrate his return by an orgie, when all of them, we were told, hoped to be blind drunk; and, added the girl who volunteered the information, "None of 'em didn't care dam for police." She was evidently anticipating the happy state of inebriety she had just been predicting.
     One of the houses a few doors off contained a woman well known to the police, and rather notorious on account of her having attempted to drown herself three times. Wishing to see her, the inspector took me to the house she lived in, which was kept by an Irishwoman, the greatest hypocrite I ever met with. She was intensely civil to the inspector, who had once convicted her for allowing three women to sleep in one bed, and she was fined five pounds, all which she told us with the most tedious circumstantiality, vowing, as "shure as the Almighty God was sitting on his throne," she did it out of charity, or she wished she might never speak no more. "These gals," she said, "comes to me in the night and swears (as I knows to be true) they has no place where to put their heads, and foxes they has holes, likewise birds of the air, which it's a mortial shame as they is better provided for and against than them that's flesh and blood Christians. And one night I let one in, when having no bed you see empty I bundled them in together. Police they came and I was fined five pounds, which I borrowed from Mrs. Wilson what lives close to - five golden sovereigns, as I'm alive, and they took them all, which I've paid back two bob a week since, and I don't owe no one soul not a brass farthing, which it's all as thrue as Christ's holiness, let alone his blessed gospel."
     The woman we came to see was called China Emma, or by her intimate associates Chaney Emm. She was short in stature, rather stout, with a pale face utterly expressionless; her complexion was blonde. There was a look almost of vacuity about her, but her replies to my questions were lucid, and denoted that she was only naturally slow and stupid.
     My father and mother," she said, "kept a grocer's shop in Goswell Street. Mother died when I was twelve years old, and father took to drinking. In three years he lost his shop, and in a while killed himself, what with the drink and one thing and another. I went to live with a sister who was bad, and in about a year she went away with a man and left me. I could not get any work, never having been taught any trade or that. One day I met a sailor, who was very good to me. I lived with him as his wife, and when he went away drew his half-pay. I was with him for six years. Then he died of yellow fever in the West Indies, and I heard no more of him. I know he did not cut me, for one of his mates brought me a silver snuff-box he used to carry his quids in, which he sent me when he was at his last. Then I lived for a bit in Angel Gardens; after that I went to Gravel Lane; and now I'm in Bluegate Fields. When I came here I met with a Chinaman called Appoo. He's abroad now, but he sends me money. I got two pounds from him only the other day. He often sends me the needful. When he was over here last we lived in Gregory's Rents. I've lived in Victoria Place and New Court, all about Bluegate. Appoo only used to treat me badly when I got drunk. I always get drunk when I've a chance to. Appoo used to tie my legs and arms and take me into the street. He'd throw me into the gutter, and then he'd throw buckets of water over me till I was wet through; but that didn't cure; I don't believe anything would; I'd die for the drink; I must have it, and I don't care what I does to get it. I've tried to kill myself more nor once. I have fits at times - melancholy fits - and I don't know what to do with myself. I wish I was dead, and I run to the water and throw myself in; but I've no luck; I never had since I was a child - oh! ever so little. I's always picked out. Once I jumped out of a first-floor window in Jamaica Place into the river, but a boatman coming by hooked me up, and the magistrate give me a month. The missus here (naming the woman who kept the place) wants me to go to a refuge or home, or something of that. P'raps I shall.


     The Irishwoman here broke in, exclaiming-

     And so she shall. I've got three or four poor gals into the refuge, and I'll get Chaney Emm, as shure as the Almighty God's sitting on his throne." (This was a favourite exclamation of hers.) "I keeps her very quiet here; she never sees no one, nor tastes a drop of gin, which she shouldn't have to save her blessed life, if it were to be saved by nothink else; leastways, it should be but a taste. It's ruined her has drink. When she got the money Appoo sent her the other day or two back, I took it all, and laid it out for her, but never a drop of the crater passed down Chaney Emm's lips.
     This declaration of the avaricious old woman was easily credible, except the laying out the money for her victim's advantage. The gin, in all probability, if any had been bought, had been monopolized in another quarter, where it was equally acceptable. As to the woman's seeing no one, the idea was preposterous. The old woman's charity, as is commonly the case, began at home, and went very little further. If she were excluded from men's society she must have been much diseased.
     I find the women who cohabit with sailors are not, as a body, disorderly, although there may be individuals who habitually give themselves up to insubordination. I take them to be the reverse of careful, for they are at times well off, but at others, through their improvidence and the slackness of the shipping, immersed in poverty. The supply of women is fully equal to the demand; but as the demand fluctuates so much I do not think the market can be said to be overstocked. They are unintelligent and below the average of intellectuality among prostitutes, though perhaps on a par with the men with whom they cohabit.

Soldiers' Women


     The evil effects of the want of some system to regulate prostitution in England, is perhaps more shown amongst the army than any other class. Syphilis is very prevalent among soldiers, although the disease is not so virulent as it was formerly. That is, we do not see examples of the loss of the palate or part of the cranium, as specimens extant in our museums show us was formerly the case. The women who are patronized by soldiers are, as a matter of course, very badly paid; for how can a soldier out of his very scanty allowance, generally little exceeding a shilling a day, afford to supply a woman with means adequate for her existence? It follows from this state of things, that a woman may, or more correctly must, be intimate with several men in one evening, and supposing her to be tainted with disease, as many men as she may chance to pick up during the course of her peregrinations, will be incapacitated from serving her Majesty for several weeks.
     The following quotation from Mr. Acton's book will suffice to show what I mean. He is speaking of a particular regiment.
     "In 1851, Dr. Gordon, surgeon to the 57th, read a paper before the Surgical Society of Ireland, in which he states, (see 'Dublin Medical Press,' February 26th, 1851,) that during the year ending 31st March, 1850, the following number, out of an average strength of 408 men, were treated for venereal diseases in the head-quarters hospital-

     Number admitted

113


     Number of days in hospital

2519


     Amount of soldiers’ pay

£136.10s.9d


     At the first blush, the economist would be apt to imagine that a very large sum of money is lost to the state annually by the inroads of syphilis. It is but fair to state that this is not the case, as tenpence a day is stopped from each man's pay while he is in hospital, so that about five-sixths of his wages are recovered. The actual loss to the country is his time, which, however during peace, is non-productive.
     From the statistical reports on the sickness, mortality, and invaliding among the troops in the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean, and British America, presented to Parliament some years ago (1839), it would appear that syphilis is a fatal enemy to the British soldier.

     Total cases during seven and a quarter years

8,072


     Total aggregate strength for do

44,611


     Annual mean strength for ditto

6,153


     Thus 181 per 1000, or about one man in five appear to have been attacked.
     Let us compare this with the following statistics extracted from a report on army diseases from 1837 to 1847.
     Aggregate strength:

     Cavalry

54,374


     Foot guards

40,120


     Infantry

160,103


     Total

254,597


     Extent of venereal disease:

     Cavalry

11,205


     Foot guards

10,043


     Infantry

44,435


     Total

65,683


     Deaths

17


     Number of men per 1000 of strength admitted during ten years:

     Cavalry

206


     Foot guards

250


     Infantry

277


     This report was drawn up by Dr. Balfour and Sir Alexander Tulloch, and the reason that a distinction is made between the line and the foot-guards, is that the line contains a large number of recruits and men returning from foreign service, whereas in the foot-guards, there is usually a much greater proportion of soldiers who have arrived at maturity, on the one hand, and who, on the other, have not served in foreign climates. As these circumstances were likely to have affected the amount of sickness and mortality, the returns of the two classes were kept distinct and separate in preparing the tables.
     Few infected soldiers escape notice, as health inspections are made once a week, which is the general rule in the service. If a soldier is found at inspection to be labouring under disease, he is reported for having concealed it to his superior officer, who orders him punishment drill on his discharge from hospital. In order to induce him to apply early for relief, the soldier is told that if he do so, he may probably be only a few days instead of several weeks under treatment.
     It is contrary to the rules of the service, to treat men out of hospital; even were it otherwise, the habits of the soldier, and the accommodation in barracks, would not favour celerity of cure." (1)
     In the brigade of Guards, though the average of syphilis primitiva is heavy, as above stated, only 11 per cent. of the cases are followed by secondary symptoms, which, however, follow 33 per cent. of the cases in the line. Dr. Balfour says a mild mercurial system is usually pursued in the army; and indeed mercury by many surgeons is held absolutely necessary for hard, or Hunterian chancres.
     A woman was pointed out to me in a Music Hall in Knightsbridge, who my informant told me he was positively assured had only yesterday had two buboes lanced; and yet she was present at that scene of apparent festivity, contaminating the very air, like a deadly upas tree, and poisoning the blood of the nation, with the most audacious recklessness. It is useless to say that such things should not be. They exist, and they will exist. The woman was nothing better than a paid murderess, committing crime with impunity. She was so well known that she had obtained the soubriquet of the "hospital" as she was so frequently an inmate of one, and as she so often sent others to a similar involuntary confinement.
     Those women who, for the sake of distinguishing them from the professionals, I must call amateurs, are generally spoken of as "Dollymops." Now many servant-maids, nurse-maids who go with children into the Parks, shop girls and milliners who may be met with at the various "dancing academies," so called, are "Dollymops." We must separate these latter again from the "Demoiselle de Comptoir," who is just as much in point of fact a "Dollymop," because she prostitutes herself for her own pleasure, a few trifling presents or a little money now and then, and not altogether to maintain herself. But she will not go to casinos, or any similar places to pick up men; she makes their acquaintance in a clandestine manner: either she is accosted in the street early in the evening as she is returning from her place of business to her lodgings, or she carries on a flirtation behind the counter, which, as a matter of course, ends in an assignation.
     Soldiers are notorious for hunting up these women, especially nurse-maids and those that in the execution of their duty walk in the Parks, when they may easily be accosted. Nurse-maids feel flattered by the attention that is lavished upon them, and are always ready to succumb to the "scarlet fever." A red coat is all powerful with this class, who prefer a soldier to a servant, or any other description of man they come in contact with.
       (1) Acton.

     This also answers the soldier's purpose equally well. He cannot afford to employ professional women to gratify his passions, and if he were to do so, he must make the acquaintance of a very low set of women, who in all probability will communicate some infectious disease to him. He feels he is never safe, and he is only too glad to seize the opportunity of forming an intimacy with a woman who will appreciate him for his own sake, cost him nothing but the trouble of taking her about occasionally, and who, whatever else she may do, will never by any chance infect. I heard that some of the privates in the Blues and the brigade of Guards often formed very reprehensible connections with women of property, tradesmen's wives, and even ladies, who supplied them with money, and behaved with the greatest generosity to them, only stipulating for the preservation of secrecy in their intrigues. Of course numbers of women throng the localities which contain the Knightsbridge, Albany Street, St. George's, Portman, and Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk. They may have come up from the provinces; some women have been known to follow a particular regiment from place to place, all over the country, and have only left it when it has been under orders for foreign service. A woman whom I met with near the Knightsbridge barracks, in one of the beerhouses there, told me she had been a soldiers' woman all her life.

     When I was sixteen," she said, "I went wrong. I'm up'ards of thirty now. I've been fourteen or fifteen years at it. It's one of those things you can't well leave off when you've once took to it. I was born in Chatham. We had a small baker's shop there, and I served the customers and minded the shop. There's lots of soldiers at Chatham, as you know, and they used to look in at the window in passing, and nod and laugh whenever they could catch my eye. I liked to be noticed by the soldiers. At last one young fellow, a recruit, who had not long joined I think, for he told me he hadn't been long at the depot, came in and talked to me. Well, this went on, and things fell out as they always do with girls who go about with men, more especially soldiers, and when the regiment went to Ireland, he gave me a little money that helped me to follow it; and I went about from place to place, time after time, always sticking to the same regiment. My first man got tired of me in a year or two, but that didn't matter. I took up with a sergeant then, which was a cut above a private, and helped me on wonderful. When we were at Dover, there was a militia permanently embodied artillery regiment quartered with us on the western heights, and I got talking to some of the officers. who liked me a bit. I was a---- sight prettier then than I am now, you may take your dying oath, and they noticed me uncommon; and although I didn't altogether cut my old friends, I carried on with these fellows all the time we were there, and made a lot of money, and bought better dresses and some jewellery, that altered me wonderful. One officer offered to keep me if I liked to come and live with him. He said he would take a house for me in the town, and keep a pony carriage if I would consent; but although I saw it would make me rise in the world, I refused. I was fond of my old associates, and did not like the society of gentlemen; so, when the regiment left Dover, I went with them, and I remained with them till I was five and twenty. We were then stationed in London, and I one day saw a private in the Blues with one of my friends, and for the first time in my life I fell in love. He spoke to me, and I immediately accepted his proposals, left my old friends, and went to live in a new locality, among strangers; and I've been amongst the Blues ever since, going from one to the other, never keeping to one long, and not particler as long as I get the needful. I don't get much, very little, hardly enough to live upon. I've done a little needlework in the day-time. I don't now, although I do some washing and mangling now and then to help it out. I don't pay much for my bed-room, only six bob a week, and dear at that. It ain't much of a place. Some of the girls about here live in houses. I don't; I never could abear it. You ain't your own master, and I always liked my freedom. I'm not comfortable exactly; it's a brutal sort of life this. It isn't the sin of it, though, that worries me. I don't dare think of that much, but I do think how happy I might have been if I'd always lived at Chatham, and married as other women do, and had a nice home and children; that's what I want, and when I think of all that, I do cut up. It's enough to drive a woman wild to think that she's given up all chance of it. I feel I'm not respected either. If I have a row with any fellow, he's always the first to taunt me with being what he and his friends have made me. I don't feel it so much now. I used to at first. One dovetails into all that sort of thing in time, and the edge of your feelings, as I may say, wears off by degrees. That's what it is. And then the drink is very pleasant to us, and keeps up our spirits; for what could a woman in my position do without spirits, without being able to talk and blackguard and give every fellow she meets as good as he brings?
     It is easy to understand, the state of mind of this woman, who had a craving after what she knew she never could possess, but which the maternal instinct planted within her forced her to wish for. This is one of the melancholy aspects of prostitution. It leads to nothing - marriage of course excepted; the prostitute has no future. Her life, saving the excitement of the moment, is a blank. Her hopes are all blighted, and if she has a vestige of religion left in her, which is generally the case, she must shudder occasionally at what she has merited by her easy compliance when the voice of the tempter sounded so sweetly.
     The Happy Prostitute

     and there is such a thing, is either the thoroughly hardened, clever infidel, who knows how to command men and use them for her own purposes; who is in the best set both of men and women; who frequents the night-houses in London, and who in the end seldom fails to marry well; or the quiet woman who is kept by the man she loves, and who she feels is fond of her; who has had a provision made for her to guard her against want, and the caprice of her paramour.

     The Sensitive, Sentimental, Weak-Minded, Impulsive, Affectionate Girl
     will go from bad to worse, and die on a dunghill or in a workhouse. A woman who was well known to cohabit with soldiers, of a masculine appearance but good features, and having a good-natured expression, was pointed out to me as the most violent woman in the neighbourhood. When she was in a passion she would demolish everything that came in her way, regardless of the mischief she was doing. She was standing in the bar of a public-house close to the barracks talking to some soldiers, when I had an opportunity of speaking to her. I did not allow it to pass without taking advantage of it. I told her I had heard she was very passionate and violent.
     Passionate!" she replied; "I believe yer. I knocked my father down and wellnigh killed him with a flat-iron before I wor twelve year old. I was a beauty then, an I aint improved much since I've been on my own hook. I've had lots of rows with these 'ere sodgers, and they'd have slaughter'd me long afore now if I had not pretty near cooked their goose. It's a good bit of it self-defence with me now-a-days, I can tell yer. Why, look here; look at my arm where I was run through with a bayonet once three or four years ago.
     She bared her arm and exhibited the scar of what appeared to have once been a serious wound.
     "You wants to know if them rowses is common. Well, they is, and it's no good one saying they aint, and the sodgers is such ---- cowards they think nothing of sticking a woman when they'se riled and drunk, or they'll wop us with their belts. I was hurt awful onst by a blow from a belt; it hit me on the back part of the head, and I was laid up weeks in St. George's Hospital with a bad fever. The sodger who done it was quodded, but only for a drag, (1) and he swore to God as how he'd do for me the next time as he comed across me. We had words sure enough, but I split his skull with a pewter, and that shut him up for a time. You see this public; well, I've smashed up this place before now; I've jumped over the bar, because they wouldn't serve me without paying for it when I was hard up, and I've smashed all the tumblers and glass, and set the cocks agoing, and fought like a brick when they tried to turn me out, and it took two peelers to do it; and then I lamed one of the bobbies for life by hitting him on the shin with a bit of iron - a crow or summet, I forget what it was. How did I come to live this sort of life? Get along with your questions. If you give me any of your cheek, I'll ---- soon serve you the same."
     It may easily be supposed I was glad to leave this termagant, who was popular with the soldiers, although they were afraid of her when she was in a passion. There is not much to be said about soldiers' women. They are simply low and cheap, often diseased, and as a class do infinite harm to the health of the service.
     (1) Imprisoned for three months
     Thieves' Women
     The metropolis is divided by the police into districts, to which letters are attached to designate and distinguish them. The head-quarters of the F division are at Bow Street, and the jurisdiction of its constabulary extends over Covent Garden, Drury Lane, and St. Giles's, which used formerly to be looked upon as most formidable neighbourhoods, harbouring the worst characters and the most desperate thieves.
     Mr. Durkin, the superintendent at Bow Street, obligingly allowed an intelligent and experienced officer (sergeant Bircher) to give me any information I might require.

    Fifteen or twenty years ago this locality was the perpetual scene of riot and disorder. The public-houses were notorious for being places of call for thieves, pickpockets, burglars, thieving prostitutes, hangers - on (their associates), and low ruffians, who rather than work for an honest livelihood preferred scraping together a precarious subsistence by any disreputable means, however disgraceful or criminal they might be. But now this is completely changed. Although I patrolled the neighbourhood on Monday night, which is usually accounted one of the noisiest in the week, most of the public houses were empty, the greatest order and decorum reigned in the streets, and not even an Irish row occurred in any of the low alleys and courts to enliven the almost painful silence that everywhere prevailed. I only witnessed one fight in a public-house in St. Martin's Lane. Seven or eight people were standing at the bar, smoking and drinking. A disturbance took place between an elderly man, pugnaciously intoxicated, who was further urged on by a prostitute he had been talking to, and a man who had the appearance of being a tradesman in a small way. How the quarrel originated I don't know, for I did not arrive till it had commenced. The sergeant who accompanied me was much amused to observe among those in the bar three suspicious characters he had for some time "had his eye on." One was a tall, hulking, hang dog-looking fellow; the second a short, bloated, diseased, red-faced man, while the third was a common-looking woman, a prostitute and the associate of the two former. The fight went on until the tradesman in a small way was knocked head over heels into a corner, when the tall, hulking fellow obligingly ran to his rescue, kindly lifted him up, and quietly rifled his pockets. The ecstasy of the sergeant as he detected this little piece of sharp practice was a thing to remember. He instantly called my attention to it, for so cleverly and skillfully had it been done that I had failed to observe it.

     When we resumed our tour of inspection, the sergeant, having mentally summed up the three suspicious characters, observed:
     "I first discovered them in Holborn three nights ago, when I was on duty in plain clothes. I don't exactly yet know rightly what their little game is; but it's either dog-stealing or 'picking up.' This is how they do it. The woman looks out for a 'mug,' that is a drunken fellow, or a stupid, foolish sort of fellow. She then stops him in the street, talks to him, and pays particular attention to his jewellery, watch, and every thing of that sort, of which she attempts to rob him. If he offers any resistance, or makes a noise, one of her bullies comes up, and either knocks him down by a blow under the ear, or exclaims: 'What are you talking to my wife for?' and that's how the thing's done, sir, that's exactly how these chaps do the trick. I found out where they live yesterday. It's somewhere down near Barbican, Golden Lane; the name's a bad, ruffianly, thievish place. They are being watched to-night, although they don't know it. I planted a man on them."
     Two women were standing just outside the same public. They were dressed in a curious assortment of colours, as the low English invariably are, and their faces had a peculiar unctuous appearance, somewhat Israeliish, as if their diet from day to day consisted of fried fish and dripping. The sergeant knew them well, and they knew him, for they accosted him.
     "One of these women," he said, "is the cleverest thief out. I've known her twelve years. She was in the first time for robbing a public. I'll tell you how it was. She was a pretty woman - a very pretty woman - then, and had been kept by a man who allowed her 4l. a week for some time. She was very quiet too, never went about anywhere, never knocked about at night publics or any of those places; but she got into bad company, and was in for this robbery. She and her accomplices got up a row in the bar, everything being concerted before hand; they put out the lights, set all the taps running, and stole a purse, a watch, and some other things; but we nabbed them all, and, strange to say, one of the women thieves died the next day from the effects of drink. All these women are great gluttons, and when they get any money, they go in for a regular drink and debauch. This one drank so much that it positively killed her slick off."
     At the corner of Drury Lane I saw three women standing talking together. They were innocent of crinoline, and the antiquity of their bonnets and shawls was really wonderful, while the durability of the fabric of which they were composed was equally remarkable. Their countenances were stolid, and their skin hostile to the application of soap and water. The hair of one was tinged with silver. They were inured to the rattle of their harness; the clank of the chains pleased them. They had grown grey as prostitutes.
     I learnt from my companion that "that lot was an inexpensive luxury; it showed the sterility of the neighbourhood. They would go home with a man for a shilling, and think themselves well paid, while sixpence was rather an exorbitant amount for the temporary accommodation their vagrant amour would require."
     There were a good many of them about. They lived for the most part in small rooms at eighteen pence, two shillings, and half-a-crown a week, in the small streets running out of Drury Lane.
     We went down Charles Street, Drury Lane, a small street near the Great Mogul public-house. I was surprised at the number of clean-looking, respectable lodging-houses to be seen in this street, and indeed in almost every street thereabouts. Many of them were well-ventilated, and chiefly resorted to by respectable mechanics. They are under the supervision of the police, and the time of a sergeant is wholly taken up in inspecting them. Visits are made every day, and if the Act of Parliament by the provisions of which they are allowed to exist, and by which they are regulated, is broken, their licences are taken away directly. Some speculators have several of these houses, and keep a shop as well, full of all sorts of things to supply their lodgers.
     There is generally a green blind in the parlour window, upon which you sometimes see written, Lodgings for Travellers, 3d. a night; or, Lodgings for Gentlemen; or, Lodgings for Single Men. Sometimes they have Model Lodging-house written in large black letters on a white ground on the wall. There are also several little shops kept by general dealers, in contiguity, for the use of the inmates of the lodging-houses, where they can obtain two pennyworth of meat and "a haporth" of bread, and everything else in proportion.
     There are a great number of costermongers about Drury Lane and that district, and my informant assured me that they found the profession very lucrative, for the lower orders, and industrial classes don't care about going into shops to make purchases. They infinitely prefer buying what they want in the open street from the barrow or stall of a costermonger.
     What makes Clare Market so attractive, too, but the stalls and barrows that abound there.
     There are many flower-girls who are sent out by their old gin-drinking mothers to pick up a few pence in the street by the sale of their goods. They begin very young, often as young as five and six, and go on till they are old enough to become prostitutes, when they either leave off costermongering altogether, or else unite the two professions. They are chiefly the offspring of Irish parents, or cockney Irish, as they are called, who are the noisiest, the most pugnacious, unprincipled, and reckless part of the population of London. There is in Exeter Street, Strand, a very old established and notorious house of illfame, called the ------, which the police says is always honestly and orderly conducted. Married women go there with their paramours, for they are sure of secrecy, and have confidence in the place. It is a house of accommodation, and much frequented; rich tradesmen are known to frequent it. They charge ten shillings and upwards for a bed. A man might go there with a large sum of money in his pocket, and sleep in perfect security, for no attempt would be made to deprive him of his property.
     There is a coffee-house in Wellington Street, on the Covent Garden side of the Lyceum Theatre, in fact adjoining the playhouse, where women may take their men; but the police cannot interfere with it, because it is a coffee-house, and not a house of ill-fame, properly so called. The proprietor is not supposed to know who his customers are. A man comes with a woman and asks for a bed-room; they may be travellers, they may be a thousand things. A subterranean passage, I am told, running under the Lyceum connects this with some supper-rooms on the other side of the theatre, which belongs to the same man who is proprietor of the coffee and chop house.
     We have before spoken of "dresslodgers:" there are several to be seen in the Strand. Any one who does not understand the affair, and had not been previously informed, would fail to observe the badly-dressed old hag who follows at a short distance the fashionably-attired young lady, who walks so gaily along the pavement, and who only allows the elasticity of her step to subside into a quieter measure when stopping to speak to some likely-looking man who may be passing. If her overtures are successful she retires with her prey to some den in the vicinity.
     The watcher has a fixed salary of so much per week, and never loses sight of the dress-lodger, for very plain reasons. The dress-lodger probably lives some distance from the immoral house by whose owner she is employed. She comes there in the afternoon badly dressed, and has good things lent her. Now if she were not watched she might decamp. She might waste her time in public-houses; she might take her dupes to other houses of ill-fame, or she might pawn the clothes she has on, for the keeper could not sue her for a debt contracted for immoral purposes. The dress-lodger gets as much money from her man as she can succeed in abstracting, and is given a small percentage on what she obtains by her employer. The man pays usually five shillings for the room. Many prostitutes bilk their man; they take him into a house, and then after he has paid for the room leave him. The dupe complains to the keeper of the house, but of course fails to obtain any redress.
     I happened to see an old woman in the Strand, who is one of the most hardened beggars in London. She has two children with her, but one she generally disposes of by placing her in some doorway. The child falls back on the step, and pretends to be asleep or half-frozen with the cold. Her naturally pale face gives her a half-starved look, which completes her pitiable appearance. Any gentleman passing by being charitably inclined may be imposed upon and induced to touch her on the shoulder. The child will move slowly and rub her eyes, and the man, thoroughly deceived, gives her an alms and passes on, when the little deceiver again composes herself to wait for the next chance. This occurred while I was looking on; but unfortunately for the child's success the policeman on the beat happened to come up, and she made her retreat to a safer and more convenient locality.
     Many novelists, philanthropists, and newspaper writers have dwelt much upon the horrible character of a series of subterranean chambers or vaults in the vicinity of the Strand, called the Adelphi Arches. It is by no means even now understood that these arches are the most innocent and harmless places in London, whatever they might once have been. A policeman is on duty there at night, expressly to prevent persons who have no right or business there from descending into their recesses.
     They were probably erected in order to form a foundation for the Adelphi Terrace. Let us suppose there were then no wharves, and no embankments, consequently the tide must have ascended and gone inland some distance, rendering the ground marshy, swampy, and next to useless. The main arch is a very fine pile of masonry, something like the Box tunnel on a small scale, while the other, running here and there like the intricacies of catacombs, looks extremely ghostly and suggestive of Jack Sheppards, Blueskins, Jonathan Wilds, and others of the same kind, notwithstanding they are so well lighted with gas. There is a doorway at the end of a vault leading up towards the Strand, that has a peculiar tradition attached to it. Not so very many years ago this door was a back exit from a notorious coffee and gambling house, where parties were decoyed by thieves, blacklegs, or prostitutes, and swindled, then drugged, and subsequently thrown from this door into the darkness of what must have seemed to them another world, and were left, when they came to themselves, to find their way out as best they could.
     My attention was attracted, while in these arches, by the cries and exclamations of a woman near the river, and proceeding to the spot I saw a woman sitting on some steps, before what appeared to be a stable, engaged in a violent altercation with a man who was by profession a cab proprietor - several of his vehicles were lying about - and who, she vehemently asserted, was her husband. The man declared she was a common woman when he met her, and had since become the most drunken creature it was possible to meet with. The woman put her hand in her pocket and brandished something in his face, which she triumphantly said was her marriage-certificate. "That," she cried, turning to me, "that's what licks them. It don't matter whether I was one of Lot's daughters afore. I might have been awful, I don't say I wasn't, but I'm his wife, and this 'cre's what licks 'em."
     I left them indulging in elegant invectives, and interlarding their conversation with those polite and admirable metaphors that have gained so wide-spread a reputation for the famous women who sell fish in Billingsgate; and I was afterwards informed by a sympathising bystander, in the shape of a stable-boy, that the inevitable result of this conjugal altercation would be the incarceration of the woman, by the husband, in a horse-box, where she might undisturbed sleep off the effects of her potations, and repent the next day at her leisure. "Nec dulces amores sperne puer."
     Several showily-dressed, if not actually well-attired women, who are to be found walking about the Haymarket, live in St. Giles's and about Drury Lane. But the lowest class of women, who prostitute themselves for a shilling or less, are the most curious and remarkable class in this part. We have spoken of them before as growing grey in the exercise of their profession. One of them, a woman over forty, shabbily dressed, and with a disreputable, unprepossessing appearance, volunteered the following statement for a consideration of a spirituous nature.
     Times is altered, sir, since I come on the town. I can remember when all the swells used to come down here-away, instead of going to the Market; but those times is past, they is, worse luck, but, like myself, nothing lasts for ever, although I've stood my share of wear and tear, I have. Years ago Fleet Street and the Strand, and Catherine Street, and all round there was famous for women and houses. Ah! those were the times. Wish they might come again, but wishing's no use, it ain't. It only makes one miserable a thinking of it. I come up from the country when I was quite a gal, not above sixteen I dessay. I come from Dorsetshire, near Lyme Regis, to see a aunt of mine. Father was a farmer in Dorset, but only in a small way-tenant farmer, as you would say. I was mighty pleased, you may swear, with London, and liked being out at night when I could get the chance. One night I went up the area and stood looking through the railing, when a man passed by, but seeing me he returned and spoke to me something about the weather. I, like a child, answered him unsuspectingly enough, and he went on talking about town and country, asking me, among other things, if I had long been in London, or if I was born there. I not thinking told him all about myself; and he went away apparently very much pleased with me, saying before he went that he was very glad to have made such an agreeable acquaintance, and if I would say nothing about it he would call for me about the same time, or a little earlier, if I liked, the next night, and take me out for a walk. I was, as you may well suppose, delighted, and never said a word. The next evening I met him as he appointed, and two or three times subsequently. One night we walked longer than usual, and I pressed him to return, as I feared my aunt would find me out; but he said he was so fatigued with walking so far, he would like to rest a little before he went back again; but if I was very anxious he would put me in a cab. Frightened about him, for I thought he might be ill, I preferred risking being found out; and when he proposed that we should go into some house and sit down I agreed. He said all at once, as if he had just remembered something, that a very old friend of his lived near there, and we couldn't go to a better place, for she would give us everything we could wish. We found the door half open when we arrived. 'How careless,' said my friend, 'to leave the street-door open, any one might get in.' We entered without knocking, and seeing a door in the passage standing ajar we went in. My friend shook hands with an old lady who was talking to several girls dispersed over different parts of the room, who, she said, were her daughters. At this announcement some of them laughed, when she got very angry and ordered them out of the room. Somehow I didn't like the place, and not feeling all right I asked to be put in a cab and sent home. My friend made no objection and a cab was sent for. He, however, pressed me to have something to drink before I started. I refused to touch any wine, so I asked for some coffee, which I drank. It made me feel very sleepy, so sleepy indeed that I begged to be allowed to sit down on the sofa. They accordingly placed me on the sofa, and advised me to rest a little while, promising, in order to allay my anxiety, to send a messenger to my aunt. Of course I was drugged, and so heavily I did not regain my consciousness till the next morning. I was horrified to discover that I had been ruined, and for some days I was inconsolable, and cried like a child to be killed or sent back to my aunt.
     When I became quiet I received a visit from my seducer, in whom I had placed so much silly confidence. He talked very kindly to me, but I would not listen to him for some time. He came several times to see me, and at last said he would take me away if I liked, and give me a house of my own. Finally, finding how hopeless all was I agreed to his proposal, and he allowed me four pounds a week. This went on for some months, till he was tired of me, when he threw me over for someone else. There is always as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it, and this I soon discovered.
     Then for some years, ten years, till I was six-and-twenty, I went through all the changes of a gay lady's life, and they're not a few, I can tell you. I don't leave off this sort of life because I'm in a manner used to it, and what could I do if I did? I've no character; I've never been used to do anything, and I don't see what employment I stand a chance of getting. Then if I had to sit hours and hours all day long, and part of the night too, sewing or anything like that, I should get tired. It would worrit me so; never having been accustomed, you see, I couldn't stand it. I lodge in Charles Street, Drury Lane, now. I did live in Nottingham Court once, and Earls Street. But, Lord, I've lived in a many places you wouldn't think, and I don't imagine you'd believe one half. I'm always a-chopping and a-changing like the wind as you may say. I pay half-a-crown a week for my bed-room; it's clean and comfortable, good enough for such as me. I don't think much of my way of life. You folks as has honour, and character, and feelings, and such, can't understand how all that's been beaten out of people like me. I don't feel. I'm used to it. I did once, more especial when mother died. I heard on it through a friend of mine, who told me her last words was of me. I did cry and go on then ever so, but Lor', where's the good of fretting? I arn't happy either. It isn't happiness, but I get enough money to keep me in victuals and drink, and it's the drink mostly that keeps me going. You've no idea how I look forward to my drop of gin. It's everything to me. I don't suppose I'll live much longer, and that's another thing that pleases me. I don't want to live, and yet I don't care enough about dying to make away with myself. I arn't got that amount af feeling that some has, and that's where it is I'm kinder 'fraid of it.
     This woman's tale is a condensation of the philosophy of sinning. The troubles she had gone through, and her experience of the world, had made her oblivious of the finer attributes of human nature, and she had become brutal.
     I spoke to another who had been converted at a Social Evil Meeting, but from a variety of causes driven back to the old way of living.
     The first part of her story offered nothing peculiar. She had been on the town for fifteen years, when a year or so ago she heard of the Midnight Meeting and Baptist Noel. She was induced from curiosity to attend; and her feelings being powerfully worked upon by the extraordinary scene, the surroundings, and the earnestness of the preacher, she accepted the offer held out to her, and was placed in a cab with some others, and conveyed to one of the numerous metropolitan homes, where she was taken care of for some weeks, and furnished with a small sum of money to return to her friends. When she arrived at her native village in Essex, she only found her father. Her mother was dead; her sister at service, and her two brothers had enlisted in the army. Her father was an old man, supported by the parish; so it was clear he could not support her. She had a few shillings left, with which she worked her way back to town, returned to her old haunts, renewed her acquaintance with her vicious companions, and resumed her old course of life.
     I don't insert this recital as a reflection upon the refuges and homes, or mean to asperse the Midnight Meeting movement, which is worthy of all praise. On the contrary, I have much pleasure in alluding to the subject and acknowledging the success that has attended the efforts of the philanthropic gentlemen associated with the Rev. Mr. Baptist Noel.
     I have already described the condition of low and abandoned women in Spitalfields, Whitechapel, Wapping, and Shadwell, although I have not touched very closely upon those who cohabit with thieves and other desperate characters, whose daily means of obtaining a livelihood exposes them to the penalties the law inflicts upon those who infringe its provisions. Their mode of living, the houses they inhabit, and the way in which they pass their time, does not very materially differ from that of other prostitutes, with this exception, they are not obliged to frequent casinos, dancing-rooms, and other places of popular resort, to make acquaintances that may be of service to them in a pecuniary way, although they do make use of such places for the purposes of robbery and fraud. Some women of tolerably good repute - that is, who are regarded as knowing a good set of men, who have admission to the night-houses in Panton Street and the Haymarket - I am informed, are connected with thieves. The night-houses and supper-rooms in the neighbourhood of the Haymarket are for the most part in the hands of a family of Jews. Kate Hamilton's in Princes Street, Leicester Square, belongs to one of this family. She is given a percentage on all the wine that she sells during the course of the evening, and as she charges twelve shillings a bottle for Moselle and sparkling wines, it may readily be supposed that her profits are by no means despicable. Lizzie Davis's, Sams's, Sally's, and, I believe, the Carlton, also belong to this family. One of these Jews, I am told, was some few years back imprisoned for two years on a charge of manslaughter. He was proprietor of a brothel in the vicinity of Drury Lane, and the manslaughter occurred through his instrumentality on the premises. I have been informed by the police that some of the proprietors of these night-houses are well-known receivers of stolen goods, and the assertion is easily credible. To exemplify this I will relate a story told me by a sergeant of the H division. Some two years ago a robbery was committed by a "snoozer," or one of those thieves who take up their quarters at hotels for the purpose of robbery. The robbery was committed at a hotel In Chester. The thief was captured, and the Recorder sentenced him to be imprisoned. This man was a notorious thief, and went under the soubriquet of American Jack. He was said to have once been in a very different position. He was polished in his manners, and highly accomplished. He could speak three or four languages with facility, and was a most formidable and dexterous thief, causing much apprehension and trouble to the police. After being incarcerated for a few weeks he contrived in a clever manner to make his escape from one of the London prisons; it was supposed by the connivance of his gaolers, who were alleged to have been bribed by his friends without. Be this as it may, he effected his liberation, and was successfully concealed in London until the hue and cry was over, and then shipped off to Paris. But the night after he escaped he perpetrated the most audacious robbery. He was dressed by his friends, and having changed his prison attire went to B---- Hotel, a well-known place, not far from the Freemasons Tavern, where, singularly enough, the Recorder of Chester, who had sentenced him, chanced to be staying. American Jack had the presumption to enter into conversation with the Recorder, who fancied he had seen his face before, but could not recollect where. The visitors had not long retired to bed before American Jack commenced operations. He was furnished by his accomplice with a highly-finished instrument for housebreaking, which, when inserted in the lock, would pass through and grasp the key on the inside. This done, it was easy to turn the key and open the door. The thief actually broke into sixteen or seventeen rooms that night, and made his exit before daybreak loaded with booty of every description. The proprietors of the hotel would offer no reward, as they feared publicity. The Recorder of Chester, when the robbery was discovered, remembered that the person he had conversed with the night before was the man he had convicted and sentenced at the assizes. He repaired to Bow Street with his information, and the police were put on the scent; but it is well known if no reward is offered for the apprehension of an eminent criminal the police are not so active as they are when they have a monetary inducement to incite them to action. It was imagined that American Jack had taken refuge with his friends near the Haymarket. A waiter who had been discharged from one of the night-houses was known slightly to a sergeant of police, who interrogated him on the subject. This waiter confessed that he could point out the whereabouts of the thief, and would do so for twenty pounds, which reward no one concerned in the matter would offer; and, as I have already stated, the criminal soon after made his escape to Paris, where he continued to carry on his depredations with considerable skill, until one day he mixed himself up in a great jewel robbery, and was apprehended by the gensdarmes, and sent to the galleys for some time, where he is now languishing.
     This little history is suggestive - why should not Parliament vote every year a small sum of money to form a "Detective and Inquiry Fund," from which the Commissioners of Police at Whitehall and Old Jewry might offer rewards for the capture of offenders? Some spur and inducement surely might be given to our detectives, who take a great deal of trouble, and, if unsuccessful, are almost always out of pocket through their researches.
     Cannot Sir Richard Mayne and Mr. Daniel Whittle Harvey improve on this idea?
     The police enter the night-houses every evening to see if spirits are sold on the premises; but as there are bullies at all the doors, and a code of signals admirably concerted to convey intelligence of the approach of the officers to those within, everything is carefully concealed, and the police are at fault. They might if they chose detect the practices they very well know are commonly carried on; but they either are not empowered to go to extremities, or else they do not find it their interest so to do I have heard, I know not with what truth, that large sums of money are paid to the police to insure their silence and compliance; but until this is established it must be received with hesitation, though circumstances do occur that seem strongly to corroborate such suspicions. The women who cohabit with thieves are not necessarily thieves themselves, although such is often the case. Most pickpockets make their women accomplices in their misdeeds, because they find their assistance so valuable to them, and indeed for some species of theft almost indispensable.
     There are numbers of young thieves on the other side of the water, and almost all of them cohabit with some girl or other. The depravity of our juvenile thieves is a singular feature in their character. It is not exactly a custom that they follow, but rather an inherent depravity on their part. They prefer an idle luxurious life, though one also of ignominy and systematic dishonour, to one of honesty and labour; and this is the cause of their malpractices, perhaps inculcated at first by the force of evil example and bad bringing up, and invigorated every day by independence brought about by the liberty allowed them, the consequence of parental neglect.
     It is of course difficult to give the stories of any of these women, as they would only criminate themselves disagreeably by confessing their delinquencies; and it is not easy to pitch upon a thieves' woman without she is pointed out by the police, and even then she would deny the imputation indignantly.
     Park Women, Or Those Who Frequent The Parks At Night And Other Retired Places
     Park women, properly so called, are those degraded creatures, utterly lost to all sense of shame, who wander about the paths most frequented after nightfall in the Parks, and consent to any species of humiliation for the sake of acquiring a few shillings. You may meet them in Hyde Park, between the hours of five and ten (till the gates are closed) in winter. In the Green Park, in what is called the Mall, which is a nocturnal thoroughfare, you may see these low wretches walking about sometimes with men, more generally alone, often early in the morning. They are to be seen reclining on the benches placed under the trees, originally intended, no doubt, for a different purpose, occasionally with the head of a drunken man reposing in their lap. These women are well known to give themselves up to disgusting practices, that are alone gratifying to men of morbid and diseased imaginations. They are old, unsound, and by their appearance utterly incapacitated from practising their profession where the gas-lamps would expose the defects in their personal appearance, and the shabbiness of their ancient and dilapidated attire. I was told that an old woman, whose front teeth were absolutely wanting, was known to obtain a precarious livelihood by haunting the by-walks of Hyde Park, near Park Lane. The unfortunate women that form this despicable class have in some cases been well off, and have been reduced to their present condition by a variety of circumstances, among which are intemperance, and the vicissitudes natural to their vocation. I questioned one who was in the humour to be communicative, and she gave the subjoined replies to my questions:-
     I have not always been what I now am. Twenty years ago I was in a very different position. Then, although it may seem ludicrous to you, who see me as I now am, I was comparatively well off. If I were to tell you my history it would be so romantic you would not believe it. If I employ a little time in telling you, will you reward me for my trouble, as I shall be losing my time in talking to you? I am not actuated by mercenary motives exactly in making this request, but my time is my money, and I cannot afford to lose either one or the other. Well, then, I am the daughter of a curate in Gloucestershire. I was never at school, but my mother educated me at home. I had one brother who entered the Church. When I was old enough I saw that the limited resources of my parents would not allow them to maintain me at home without seriously impairing their resources, and I proposed that I should go out as a governess. At first they would not hear of it; but I persisted in my determination, and eventually obtained a situation in a family in town. Then I was very pretty. I may say so without vanity or ostentation, for I had many admirers, among whom I numbered the only son of the people in whose house I lived. I was engaged to teach his two sisters, and altogether I gave great satisfaction to the family. The girls were amiable and tractable, and I soon acquired an influence over their generous dispositions that afforded great facilities for getting them on in their studies. My life might have been very happy if an unfortunate attachment to me had not sprung up in the young man that I have before mentioned, which attachment I can never sufficiently regret was reciprocated by myself.
     I battled against the impulse that constrained me to love him, but all my efforts were of no avail. He promised to marry me, which in an evil hour I agreed to. He had a mock ceremony performed by his footman, and I went into lodgings that he had taken for me in Gower Street, Tottenham Court Road. He used to visit me very frequently for the ensuing six months, and we lived together as man and wife. At the expiration of that time he took me to the sea-side, and we subsequently travelled on the Continent. We were at Baden when we heard of his father's death. This didn't trouble him much. He did not even go to England to attend the funeral, for he had by his conduct offended his father, and estranged himself from the remainder of his family. Soon letters came from a solicitor informing him that the provisions of the will discontinued the allowance of five hundred a year hitherto made to him, and left him a small sum of money sufficient to buy himself a commission in the army, if he chose to do so. This course he was strongly advised to take, for it was urged that he might support himself on his pay if he volunteered for foreign service. He was transported with rage when this communication reached him, and he immediately wrote for the legacy he was entitled to, which arrived in due course. That evening he went to the gaming table, and lost every farthing he had in the world. The next morning he was a corpse. His remains were found in a secluded part of the town, he having in a fit of desperation blown his brains out with a pistol. He had evidently resolved to take this step before he left me, if he should happen to be unfortunate, for he left a letter in the hands of our landlady to be delivered to me in the event of his not returning in the morning. It was full of protestations of affection for me, and concluded with an avowal of the fraud he had practised towards me when our acquaintance was first formed, which he endeavoured to excuse by stating his objections to be hampered or fettered by legal impediments.
     When I read this, I somewhat doubted the intensity of the affection he paraded in his letter. I had no doubt about the fervour of my own passion, and for some time I was inconsolable. At length, I was roused to a sense of my desolate position, and to the necessity for action, by the solicitations and importunity of my landlady, and I sold the better part of my wardrobe to obtain sufficient money to pay my bills, and return to England. But fate ordered things in a different manner. Several of my husband's friends came to condole with me on his untimely decease; among whom was a young officer of considerable personal attractions, who I had often thought I should have liked to love, if I had not been married to my friend's husband. It was this man who caused me to take the second fatal step I have made in my life. If I had only gone home, my friends might have forgiven everything. I felt they would, and my pride did not stand in my way, for I would gladly have asked and obtained their forgiveness for a fault in reality very venial, when the circumstances under which it was committed are taken into consideration.
     Or I might have represented the facts to the family; and while the mother mourned the death of her son, she must have felt some commiseration for myself.
     The officer asked me to live with him, and made the prospect he held out to me so glittering and fascinating that I yielded. He declared he would marry me with pleasure on the spot, but he would forfeit a large sum of money, that he must inherit in a few years if he remained single, and it would be folly not to wait until then. I have forgotten to mention that I had not any children. My constitution being very delicate, my child was born dead, which was a sad blow to me, although it did not seem to affect the man I regarded as my husband. We soon left Baden and returned to London, where I lived for a month very happily with my paramour, who was not separated from me, as his leave of absence had not expired. When that event occurred he reluctantly left me to go to Limerick, where his regiment was quartered. There in all probability he formed a fresh acquaintance, for he wrote to me in about a fortnight, saying that a separation must take place between us, for reasons that he was not at liberty to apprise me of, and he enclosed a cheque for fifty pounds, which he hoped would pay my expences. It was too late now to go home, and I was driven to a life of prostitution, not because I had a liking for it, but as a means of getting enough money to live upon. For ten years I lived first with one man then with another, until at last I was infected with a disease, of which I did not know the evil effects if neglected. The disastrous consequence of that neglect is only too apparent now. You will be disgusted, when I tell you that it attacked my face, and ruined my features to such an extent that I am hideous to look upon, and should be noticed by no one if I frequented those places where women of my class most congregate; indeed, I should be driven away with curses and execrations.
     This recital is melancholy in the extreme. Here was a woman endowed with a very fair amount of education, speaking in a superior manner, making use of words that very few in her position would know how to employ, reduced by a variety of circumstances to the very bottom of a prostitute's career. In reply to my further questioning, she said she lived in a small place in Westminster called Perkins' Rents, where for one room she paid two shillings a week. The Rents were in Westminster, not far from Palace yard. She was obliged to have recourse to her present way of living to exist; for she would not go to the workhouse, and she could get no work to do. She could sew, and she could paint in water-colours, but she was afraid to be alone. She could not sit hours and hours by herself, her thoughts distracted her, and drove her mad. She added, she once thought of turning Roman Catholic, and getting admitted into a convent, where she might make atonement for her way of living by devoting the remainder of her life to penitence, but she was afraid she had gone too far to be forgiven. That was some time ago. Now she did not think she would live long, she had injured her constitution so greatly; she had some internal disease, she didn't know what it was, but a hospital surgeon told her it would kill her in time, and she had her moments, generally hours, of oblivion, when she was intoxicated, which she always was when she could get a chance. If she got ten shillings from a drunken man, either by persuasion or threats, and she was not scrupulous in the employment of the latter, she would not come to the Park for days, until all her money was spent; on an average, she came three times a week, or perhaps twice; always on Sunday, which was a good day. She knew all about the Refuges. She had been in one once, but she didn't like the system; there wasn't enough liberty, and too much preaching, and that sort of thing; and then they couldn't keep her there always; so they didn't know what to do with her. No one would take her into their service, because they didn't like to look at her face, which presented so dreadful an appearance that it frightened people. She always wore a long thick veil, that concealed her features, and made her interesting to the unsuspicious and unwise. I gave her the money I promised her, and advised her again to enter a Refuge, which she refused to do, saying she could not live long, and she would rather die as she was. As I had no power to compel her to change her determination, I left her, lamenting her hardihood and obstinacy. I felt that she soon would be-

One more unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death.


     In the course of my peregrinations I met another woman, commonly dressed in old and worn-out clothes; her face was ugly and mature; she was perhaps on the shady side of forty. She was also perambulating the Mall. I know she could only be there for one purpose, and I interrogated her, and I believe she answered my queries faithfully. She said:-
     I have a husband, and seven small children, the eldest not yet able to do much more than cadge a penny or so by caterwheeling and tumbling in the street for the amusement of gents as rides outside 'busses. My husband's bedridden, and can't do nothink but give the babies a dose of 'Mother's Blessing' (that's laudanum, sir, or some sich stuff) to sleep 'em when they's squally. So I goes out begging all day, and I takes in general one of the kids in my arms and one as runs by me, and we sell hartifishal flowers, leastways 'olds 'em in our 'ands, and makes believe cos of the police, as is nasty so be as you 'as nothink soever, and I comes hout in the Parks, sir, at night sometimes when I've 'ad a bad day, and ain't made above a few pence, which ain't enough to keep us as we should be kep. I mean, sir, the children should have a bit of meat, and my ole man and me wants some blue ruin to keep our spirits up; so I'se druv to it, sir, by poverty, and nothink on the face of God's blessed earth, sir, shou'dn't have druv me but that for the poor babes must live, and who 'as they to look to but their 'ard-working but misfortunate mother, which she is now talking to your honour, and won't yer give a poor woman a hap'ny, sir? I've seven small children at home, and my 'usban's laid with the fever. You won't miss it, yer honour, only a 'apny for a poor woman as ain't 'ad a bit of bread between her teeth since yesty morning. I ax yer parding," she exclaimed, interrupting herself - "I forgot I was talking to yourself. I's so used though to this way of speaking when I meant to ax you for summut I broke off into the old slang, but yer honour knows what I mean: ain't yer got even a little sixpence to rejoice the heart of the widow?
     "You call yourself a widow now," I said, "while before you said you were married and had seven children. Which are you?"
     "Which am I? The first I toll you's the true. But Lor', I's up to so many dodges I gets what you may call confounded; sometimes I's a widder, and wants me 'art rejoiced with a copper, and then I's a hindustrious needle-woman thrown out of work and going to be druv into the streets if I don't get summut to do. Sometimes I makes a lot of money by being a poor old cripple as broke her arm in a factory, by being blowed hup when a steam-engine blowed herself hup, and I bandage my arm and swell it out hawful big, and when I gets home, we gets in some lush and 'as some frens, and goes in for a reglar blow-hout, and now as I have told yer honour hall about it, won't yer give us an 'apny as I observe before?"
     It is very proper that the Parks should be closed at an early hour, when such creatures as I have been describing exist and practise their iniquities so unblushingly. One only gets at the depravity of mankind by searching below the surface of society; and for certain purposes such knowledge and information are useful and beneficial to the community. Therefore the philanthropist must overcome his repugnance to the task, and draw back the veil that is thinly spread over the skeleton.

The Dependants Of Prostitutes


     HAVING described the habits, &c., of different classes of prostitutes, I now come to those who are intimately connected with, and dependant upon, them. This is a very numerous class, and includes "Bawds," or those who keep brothels, the followers of dress lodgers, keepers of accommodation houses, procuresses, pimps, and panders, fancy men, and bullies.

Bawds


     The first head in our classification is "Bawds." They may be either men or women. More frequently they are the latter, though any one who keeps an immoral house, or bawdy-house, as it is more commonly called, is liable to that designation. Bawdy-houses are of two kinds. They may be either houses of accommodation, or houses in which women lodge, are boarded, clothed, &c., and the proceeds of whose prostitution goes into the pocket of the bawd herself, who makes a very handsome income generally by their shame.
     We cannot have a better example of this sort of thing than the bawdy-houses in King's Place, St. James's, a narrow passage leading from Pall Mall opposite the "Guards Club" into King Street, not far from the St. James's theatre. These are both houses of accommodation and brothels proper. Men may take their women there, and pay so much for a room and temporary accommodation, or they may be supplied with women who live in the house. The unfortunate creatures who live in these houses are completely in the power of the bawds, who grow fat on their prostitution. When they first came to town perhaps they were strangers, and didn't know a soul in the place, and even now they would have nowhere to go to if they were able to make their escape, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish, considering they are vigilantly looked after night and day. They have nothing fit to walk about the streets in. They are often in bed all day, and at night dressed up in tawdry ball costumes. If they ever do go out on business, they are carefully watched by one of the servants: they generally end when their charms are faded by being servants of bawds and prostitutes, or else watchers, or perhaps both. There are houses in Oxendon Street too, where women are kept in this way.

     A victim of this disgraceful practice told me she was entrapped when she was sixteen years old, and prostituted for some time to old men, who paid a high price for the enjoyment of her person.
     I was born at Matlock in Derbyshire," she began; "father was a stonecutter, and I worked in the shop, polishing the blocks and things, and in the spring of '51 we heard of the Great Exhibition. I wished very much to go to London, and see the fine shops and that, and father wrote to an aunt of mine, who lived in London, to know if I might come and stay a week or two with her to see the Exhibition. In a few days a letter came back, saying she would be glad to give me a room for two or three weeks and go about with me. Father couldn't come with me because of his business, and I went alone. When I arrived, aunt had a very bad cold, and couldn't get out of bed. Of course, I wanted to go about and see things, for though I didn't believe the streets were paved with gold, I was very anxious to see the shops and places I'd heard so much about. Aunt said when she was better she'd take me, but I was so restless I would go by myself. I said nothing to aunt about it, and stole out one evening. I wandered about for some time, very much pleased with the novelty. The crowds of people, the flaring gas jets, and everything else, all was so strange and new, I was delighted. At last I lost myself, and got into some streets ever so much darker and quieter. I saw one door in the middle of the street open, that is standing a-jar. Thinking no harm, I knocked, and hearing no sound, and getting no answer, I knocked louder, when some one came and instantly admitted me, without saying a word. I asked her innocently enough where I was, and if she would tell me the way to Bank Place. I didn't know where Bank Place was, whether it was in Lambeth, or Kensington, or Hammersmith, or where; but I have since heard it is in Kensington. The woman who let me in, and to whom I addressed my questions, laughed at this, and said, 'Oh! yes, I wasn't born yesterday.' But I repeated, 'Where am I, and what am I to do?' She told me to 'ax,' and said she'd heard that before. I suppose I ought to tell you, before I go further," she explained, "that 'ax' meant ask, or find out.
     Just then a door opened, and an old woman came out of a room which seemed to me to be the parlour. 'Come in, my dear,' she exclaimed, 'and sit down.' I followed her into the room, and she pulled out a bottle of gin, asking me if I would have a drop of something short, while she poured out some, which I was too frightened to refuse. She said, 'I likes to be jolly myself and see others so. I'm getting on now. Ain't what I was once. But as I says I likes to be jolly, and I always is. A old fiddle, you know, makes the best music.
     'Market full, my dear,' she added, pushing the wine-glass of gin towards me. 'Ah! I s'pose not yet; too arly, so it is. I's glad you've dropped in to see a body. I've noticed your face lots of times, but I thought you was one of Lotty's girls, and wouldn't condescend to come so far up the street, though, why one part should be better nor another, I'm sure, I can't make out.' 'Really you must make a mistake,' I interposed. 'I am quite a stranger in London; indeed I have only been three days in town. The fact is, I lost myself this evening, and seeing your door open, I thought I would come in and ask the way.' Whilst I was saying this, the old woman listened attentively. She seemed to drink in every word of my explanation, and a great change came over her features. 'Well, pet,' she replied, 'I'm glad you've come to my house. You must excuse my taking you for some one else; but you are so like a gal I knows, one Polly Gay, I couldn't help mistaking you. Where are you staying?' I told her I was staying with my aunt in Bank Place. 'Oh! really,' she exclaimed; 'well, that is fortunate, 'pon my word, that is lucky. I'm gladder than ever now you came to my shop - I mean my house - cos I knows your aunt very well. Me an' 'er's great frens, leastways was, though I haven't seen her for six months come next Christmas. Is she's took bad, is she? Ah! well, it's the weather, or somethink, that's what it is; we're all ill sometimes; and what is it as is the matter with her? Influenzy, is it? Now, Lor' bless us, the influenzy! Well, you'll stay with me to-night; you's ever so far from your place. Don't say No; you must, my dear, and we'll go down to aunt's tomorrow morning arly; she'll be glad to see me, I know. She always was fond of her old friends.' At first I protested and held out, but at last I gave in to her persuasion, fully believing all she told me.
     She talked about my father, said she hadn't the pleasure of knowing him personally, but she'd often heard of him, and hoped he was quite well, more especially as it left her at that time. Presently she asked if I wasn't tired, and said she'd show me a room up-stairs where I should sleep comfortable no end. When I was undressed and in bed, she brought me a glass of gin and water hot, which she called a night-cap, and said would do me good. I drank this at her solicitation, and soon fell into a sound slumber. The 'night-cap' was evidently drugged, and during my state of insensibility my ruin was accomplished. The next day I was wretchedly ill and weak, but I need not tell you what followed. My prayers and entreaties were of no good, and I in a few days became this woman's slave, and have remained so ever since; though, as she has more than one house, I am occasionally shifted from one to the other. The reason of this is very simple. Suppose the bawd has a house in St. James's and one in Portland Place. When I am known to the habitués of St. James's, I am sent as something new to Portland Place, and so on.
     If I were to expatiate for pages on bawds, I don't think I could give a better idea than this affords. Their characteristics are selfishness and avariciousness, combined with want of principle and the most unblushing effrontery.

Followers Of Dress Lodgers


     I have spoken before of dress lodgers, and I now come to those women who are employed by the keepers of the brothels in which the dresslodgers live, to follow them when they are sent into the streets to pick up men. They are not numerous. They are only seen in the Strand and about the National Gallery. This species of vice is much magnified by people who have vivid imaginations. It might have assumed larger dimensions, but at the present time it has very much decreased. They follow the dress-lodgers for various reasons, which I have mentioned already. For the sake of perspicuity and putting things in their proper sequence, I may be excused for briefly recapitulating them. If they were not closely watched, they might, imprimis, make their escape with all the finery they have about them, which of course they would speedily dispose of for its market value to the highest-bidding Jew, and then take lodgings and set up on their own account. These unfortunate dress-lodgers are profoundly ignorant of the English law. If they were better acquainted with its provisions, they would know very well that the bawds would have no legal claim against them for money, board, or clothes, for if the bawds could prove any consideration, it would be an immoral one, and consequently bad in law. But the poor creatures think they are completely in the wretch's power, and dare not move hand or foot, or call their hair their own. Instances have been known of bawds cutting off the hair of their lodgers when it became long, and selling it if it was fine and beautiful for thirty shillings and two pounds.
     There is a dress-lodger who perambulates the Strand every night, from nine, or before that even, till twelve or one, who is followed by the inseparable old hag who keeps guard over her to prevent her going into public-houses and wasting her time and money, which is the second reason for her being watched, and to see that she does not give her custom to some other bawdy-house, which is the third reason.
     This follower is a woman of fifty, with grey hair, and all the peculiarities of old women, among which is included a fondness for gin, which weakness was mainly instrumental in enabling me to obtain from her what I know about herself and her class. She wore no crinoline, and a dirty cotton dress. Her bonnet was made of straw, with a bit of faded ribbon over it by way of trimming, fully as shabby and discreditable as the straw itself. She told me by fits and starts, and by dint of cross questioning, the subjoined particulars.
     They call me 'Old Stock;' why I shan't tell you, though I might easy, and make you laugh too, without telling no lies; but it ain't no matter of your'n, so we'll let it be. They do say I'm a bit cracky, but that's all my eye. I'm a drunken old b---- if you like, but nothing worser than that. I was once the swellest woman about town, but I'm come down awful. And yet it ain't awful. I sometimes tries to think it is, but I can't make it so. If I did think it awful I shouldn't be here now; I couldn't stand it. But the fact is life's sweet, and I don't care how you live. It's as sweet to the w----, as it is to the hempress, and mebbe it's as sweet to me as it is to you. Yes, I was well known about some years ago, and I ain't got bad features now, if it wasn't for the wrinkles and the skin, which is more parchmenty than anything else, but that's all along of the drink. I get nothing in money for following this girl about, barring a shilling or so when I ask for it to get some liquor. They give me my grub and a bed, in return for which in the day-time I looks after the house, when I ain't drunk, and sweeps, and does the place up, and all that. Time was when I had a house of my own, and lots of servants, and heaps of men sighing and dying for me, but now my good looks are gone, and I am what you see me. Many of the finest women, if they have strong constitutions, and can survive the continual racket, and the wear and tear of knocking about town, go on like fools without making any provision for themselves, and without marrying, until they come to the bad. They are either servants, or what I am, or if they get a little money given them by men, they set up as bawdyhouse keepers. I wish to God I had, but I don't feel what I am. I'm past that ever so long, and if you give me half a crown, or five bob, presently, you'll make me jolly for a week. Talking of giving a woman five bob reminds me of having fivers (5l. notes) given me. I can remember the time when I would take nothing but paper; always tissue, nothing under a flimsy. Ah! gay women see strange changes; wonderful ups and downs, I can tell you. We, that is me and Lizzie, the girl I'm watching, came out to night at nine. It's twelve now, ain't it? Well; what do ye think we've done? We have taken three men home, and Lizzie, who is a clever little devil, got two pound five out of them for herself, which ain't bad at all. I shall get something when we get back. We ain't always so lucky. Some nights we go about and don't hook a soul. Lizzie paints a bit too much for decent young fellows who've got lots of money. They aren't our little game. We go in more for tradesmen, shopboys, commercial travellers, and that sort, and men who are a little screwy, and although we musn't mention it, we hooks a white choker now and then, coming from Exeter Hall. Medical students are sometimes sweet on Lizzie, but we ain't in much favour with the Bar. Oh! I know what a man is directly he opens his mouth. Dress too has a great deal to do with what a man is - tells you his position in life as it were. 'Meds' ain't good for much; they're larky young blokes, but they've never much money, and they're fond of dollymopping. But talk of dollymopping - lawyers are the fellows for that. Those chambers in the Inns of Court are the ruin of many a girl. And they are so convenient for bilking, you've no idea. There isn't a good woman in London who'd go with a man to the Temple, not one. You go to Kate's, and take a woman out, put her in a cab, and say you were going to take her to either of the Temples, which are respectable and decent places when compared to the other inns which are not properly Inns of Conrt, except Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn, and she'd cry off directly. I mean Barnard's Inn, and Thavies' Inn, and New Inn, and Clement's Inn, and all those. I've been at this sort of work for six or seven years, and I suppose I'll die at it. I don't care if I do. It suits me. I'm good for nothing else.
     I gave her some money in return for her story, and wished her good night. What she says about women who have once been what is called "swell," coming down to the sort of thing I have been describing, is perfectly true. They have most of them been well-known and much admired in their time; but every dog has its day. They have had theirs, and neglected to make hay while the sun was shining. Almost all the servants of bawds and prostitutes have fallen as it were from their high estate into the slough of degradation and comparative despair.
     As I have before stated, there are very few dress-lodgers now who solicit in the streets, and naturally few followers of dresslodgers whose condition does not afford anything very striking or peculiar, except as evidencing the vicissitudes of a prostitute's career, and the end that very many of them arrive at.
     Keepers Of Accommodation Houses
     Those who gain their living by keeping accommodation houses, or what the French call maisons de passé, are of course to be placed in the category of the people who are dependant on prostitutes, without whose patronage they would lose their only means of support.
     When you speak of bawds you in a great measure describe this class also, for their avocations are the same, and the system they exist upon very similar. The bawds keep women in their houses, and the others let out their rooms to chance comers, and any one who chooses to take them. The keepers are generally worn-out prostitutes, who have survived their good looks and settled down, as a means of gaining a livelihood; in Oxenden Street and similar places an enormous amount of money is made by these people. The usual charge for rooms of course varies according to the height and the size of the room engaged. A first-floor room is worth seven or ten shillings, then the rooms on the second floor are five shillings, and three shillings, and so on. The average gains of keepers of accommodation houses in Oxenden Street and James Street, Haymarket, are from two pounds to ten pounds a night; the amount depending a good deal on the popularity of the house, its connection with women, its notoriety amongst men, and its situation. More money is made by bawdy-house keepers, but then the expenses are greater. A story is told of a celebrated woman who kept a house of illfame in the neighbourhood of May Fair. The several inmates of her establishment were dilatory on one occasion, and she gave vent to her anger and disappointment by exclaiming, "Twelve o'clock striking. The house full of noblemen, and not a---- girl painted yet." I introduce this anecdote merely to exemplify what I have been advancing, namely, that the best brothels in London, such as Mrs. C--'s in Curzon Street, and others that I could mention, are frequented by men who have plenty of money at their command, and spend it freely.
     A Mrs. J--, who kept a house in James Street, Haymarket, where temporary accommodation could be obtained by girls and their paramours, made a very large sum of money by her house, and some time ago bought a house somewhere near Camberwell with her five-shilling pieces which she had the questionable taste to call "Dollar House." A woman who kept a house in one of the small streets near the Marylebone Road told me she could afford to let her rooms to her customers for eighteen pence for a short time, and three and sixpence for all night, and she declared she made money by it, as she had a good many of the low New Road women, and some of those who infest the Edgware Road, as well as several servants and dress-makers, who came with their associates. She added, she was saving up money to buy the house from her landlord, who at present charged her an exorbitant rent, as he well knew she could not now resist his extortionate demands. If he refused to sell it, she should go lower down in the same street, for she was determined before long to be independent.
     When we come to touch upon clandestine prostitution we shall have occasion to condemn these houses in no measured terms, for they offer very great facilities for the illicit intercourse of the not yet completely depraved portion of the sexes, such as sempstresses, milliners, servant girls, etc,, etc., who only prostitute themselves occasionally to men they are well acquainted with, for whom they may have some sort of a partiality - women who do not lower themselves in the social scale for money, but for their own gratification. They become, however, too frequently insensibly depraved, and go on from bad to worse, till nothing but the pavé is before them. The ruin of many girls is commenced by reading the low trashy wishy-washy cheap publications that the news-shops are now gorged with, and by devouring the hastily-written, immoral, stereotyped tales about the sensualities of the upper classes, the lust of the aristocracy, and the affection that men about town - noble lords, illustrious dukes, and even princes of the blood - are in the habit of imbibing for maidens of low degree "whose face is their fortune," shop girls - dressmakers  - very often dressmakers and the rest of the tribe who may perhaps feel flattered by reading about absurd impossibilities that their untutored and romantic imaginations suggest may, during the course of a life of adventure, happen to themselves. Well, they wait day after day, and year after year for the duke or the prince of the blood, perfectly ready to surrender their virtue when it is asked for, until they open their eyes, regard the duke and the prince of the blood as apocryphal or engaged to somebody else more fortunate than themselves, and begin to look a little lower, and favourably receive the immodest addresses of a counter-jumper, or a city clerk, or failing those a ruffianly pot-boy may realize their dreams of the ideal; at all events, they are already demoralized by the trash that has corrupted their minds, and perfectly willing at the first solicitation to put money into the pockets of the keepers of accommodation houses.
     Procuresses, Pimps, and Panders
     Procuresses are women who in most cases possess houses of their own, where they procure girls for men who employ them. These establishments are called "Introducing Houses," and are extremely lucrative to the proprietors. There are also men who go about for these people, finding out girls, and bringing them to the houses, where they may meet with men. The procuresses who keep introducing houses often take in women to lodge and board. But they are quite independent, and must be well known about town, and kept by some one, or the procuress, if she is, comparatively speaking, in any position, will not receive them.
     To show how the matter is accomplished let us suppose an introducing house of notoriety and good report in its way, somewhere in the nighbourhood of St. George's Road, Pimlico, a district which, I may observe, is prolific in loose women. A well-known professional man, a wealthy merchant, an M.P., or a rich landed proprietor, calls upon the lady of the house, orders some champagne, and enters into conversation about indifferent matters, until he is able delicately to broach the object he has in view. He explains that he wishes to meet with a quiet lady whose secrecy he can rely upon, and whom he can trust in every possible way. He would like her, we will imagine, to be vivacious, witty, and gay.
     The lady of the house listens complacently, and replies that she knows some one who exactly answers the description the amorous M.P. has given, and says that she will send a message to her at once if he wishes, but he must take his chance of her being at home; if she is out, an appointment will be made for the next day. In the mean time a messenger is despatched to the lady in question, who in all probability does not reside at any great distance; perhaps in Stanley Street, or Winchester Street, which streets everybody knows are contiguous to St. George's Road, and inhabited by beauty that ridicules decorum and laughs at the virtuous restrictions that are highly conducive to a state of single blessedness and a condition of old-maidism. Some more champagne is ordered and consumed, every bottle of which costs the consumer fifteen shillings, making a profit to the vendor of at least seventy per cent. When the lady arrives, the introduction takes place, and the matter is finally arranged as far as the introducer is concerned. The woman so introduced generally gives half the money she obtains from the man to the keeper of the house for the introduction.
     Sometimes these women will write to men who occupy a high position in society, who are well-known at the clubs, and are reputed to be well off, saying that they have a new importation in their houses from the country that may be disposed of for a pecuniary consideration of perhaps fifty or a hundred pounds. This amount of course is readily paid by men who are in search of artificial excitement, and the negotiation is concluded without any difficulty. A woman is usually seduced five or six times. By that I mean she is represented as a maid, and imposed upon men as a virgin, which fabrication, as it is difficult to disprove, is believed, more especially if the girl herself be well instructed, and knows how to carry out the fraud. The Burlington Arcade is a well-known resort of women on the long winter afternoons, when all the men in London walk there before dinner.
     It is curious to notice how the places of meeting and appointment have sprung up and increased within the last few years. Not many years ago Kate Hamilton, if I am not misinformed, was knocking about town. Lizzie Davis's has only been open a year or two. Barns's very recently established, and the Oxford and Cambridge last season. The Café Riche three years ago used to be called Bignell's Café. Sams's I believe is the oldest of the night-houses about the Haymarket. The Café Royal, or Kate's, is the largest and the most frequented, but is not now so select as it used formerly to be. Mott's, or the Portland Rooms, used to be the most fashionable dancing place in London, and is now in very good repute. Formerly only men in evening dress were admitted; now this distinction is abolished, and every one indiscriminately admitted. This is beginning to have its effect, and in all likelihood Mott's will in a short time lose its prestige. It is always so with places of this description. Some peculiarity about the house, or some clever and notorious woman, presiding over its destinies, makes it famous; when these vanish or subside, then the place goes down gradually, and some other rival establishment takes its place.
     Loose women, as I have before asserted, very often marry, and sometimes, as often as not, marry well. The other day one of the most well-known women about town, Mrs. S--, was married to a German count; a few weeks ago Agnes W-- married a member of an old Norfolk family, who settled three thousand a year upon her. This case will most likely come before the public, as the family, questioning his sanity, mean to take out a writ of de lunatico inquirendo, when the facts will be elicited by counsel in a court of law. Indeed, so little was the gentleman himself satisfied with the match that a week after marriage he advertised his wife in the newspapers, saying he would not be held responsible for her further debts. These out of many others. A frequenter of the night-houses will notice many changes in the course of the year, although some well-known face will turn up now and then. The habitué may miss the accustomed laugh and unabashed impudence of the "nun," who always appeared so fascinating and piquante in her little "Jane Clarke" bonnet, and demure black silk dress. The "nun" may be far away with her regiment in Ireland, or some remote part of England; for be it known that ladies are attached to the service as well as men, and the cavalry rejoices more than the line in the softening influences of feminine society. Amongst the little scandals of the night, it may be rumoured within the sacred precincts of the Café Royal by "Suppers" of the Admiralty, who has obtained that soubriquet by his known unwillingness to stand these midnight banquets, that the "Baby" was seen at the Holborn with a heightened colour, rather the production of art than nature; ergo, the "Baby" is falling off, which remark it is fortunate for "Suppers" the Baby does not overhear. Billy Valentine, of her Majesty's "horse and saddle" department of the Home Office, as is his usual custom, may be seen at Coney's, exchanging a little quiet chaff with "Poodle," whose hair is more crimped than ever, while the "Poodle" is dexterously extracting a bottle of Moselle out of him for the benefit of the establishment. There is a woman of very mature age who goes about from one nighthouse to another with her betting book in her hand, perhaps "cadging" for men. Then there is Madame S. S.--, who plays the piano in different places, and Dirty Dick, who is always in a state of intoxication; but who, as he spends his money freely, is never objected to. But the night-houses are carrying me away from my subject.
     Pimps are frequently spoken of, and pimping is a word very generally used, but I doubt very much whether many of them exist, at least of the male gender. The women do most of the pimping that is requisite to carry on the amours of London society, and pander is a word that merges into the other, losing any distinctive significancy that it may possess for the eyes of a lexicographer. A woman when she introduces a man to a woman is literally pimping for him, or what I have said about keepers of introducing houses must apply generally to the panders and the pimps. I may add a story I heard of a bully attached to a brothel, who on one occasion acting as a pimp, went into the streets to pick up a woman who was required for the purposes of the establishment. He went some way without success, and at last met a "wandering beauty of the night," whom he solicited; she yielded to his entreaties, and followed him to his brothel. When they reached the light in the passage she raised her veil, when he was as horrified as a man in his position and with his feelings could be to perceive that he had brought his own sister to an immoral house: he had not seen her for some years. His profligacy had killed his father, had brought him to his present degraded position, and in a great measure occasioned his sister's fall and way of living.
     Ex uno - the proverb says - a lesson may be taught a great many.

Fancy Men


     Fancy-men are an extremely peculiar class, and are highly interesting to those who take an interest in prostitutes and their associates. They are - that is the best of them - tolerably well-dressed and well-looking, and sufficiently gentlemanly for women to like to be seen about with them. I am now speaking of those who cohabit with the best women about town.
     Parent Duchatelet discourses at some length on this subject, and treats it with great perspicuity and succinctness. He asserts that it is a common thing for many law students and medical students to be kept, or semi-supported, by loose women in Paris. This is a state of things that I need hardly say is never observed in England. Yet there is a class who throw all their self-respect into the background, and allow themselves to be partially maintained by loose women who have imbibed a partiality for them. They frequent the nighthouses in Panton Street, and often hook gentlemen out of several sovereigns, or by tossing them for champagne make them pay for several bottles in the course of the evening. By this it may be readily understood that they are in league with the proprietor of the establishment; and that this is undeniably the case in one instance I will unhesitatingly declare. It may be so in others, but I am not prepared to say so. I need not mention the name of the house for obvious reasons, but any one who has the slightest knowledge of the subject will be obliged, if he values his veracity, to corroborate my statement. The best, or the aristocracy of fancy-men, are for the most part on the turf. They bet when they have money to bet with, and when they have not they endeavour, without scruple, to procure it from their mistresses, who never hesitate a moment in giving it them if they have it, or procuring it for them by some means, however degrading such means may be. A fancy-man connected with a prostitute who is acquainted with a good set of men will, as the evening advances, be seen in one of the night-houses in Panton Street. His woman will come in perhaps about one o'clock, accompanied by one or two men. Whilst they are talking and drinking he will come up and speak to the woman, as if she was an old flame of his, and she will treat him in the same manner, though more as a casual acquaintance. In the course of time he will get into conversation with her men, and they, taking him for a gentleman, will talk to him in a friendly manner. After a while he will propose to toss them for a bottle of champagne or a Moselle cup. Then the swindling begins. The fancy-man has an infallible recipe for winning. He has in his hand a cover for the half-crown he tosses with, which enables him to win, however the piece falls. It is a sort of "heads I win, tails you lose," a principle with which schoolboys of a speculative disposition bother their friends. Sometimes the proprietor of the house will come up and begin to talk to them, ask them to step upstairs to have supper, and get them into a room where the victim may be legged more quietly, and more at their leisure. The proprietor then says that he must in his turn "stand" a bottle of champagne, but the fancy-man, pretending to be indignant, interposes, and exclaims, "No, let's toss;" so they toss. The fancy-man loses the toss, pays the proprietor at once with money, with which he has been previously supplied, and the man is more completely gulled than ever. He may be some man in the service up in town on leave for a short while, and determined as long as he stays to go in for some fun, no doubt well supplied with money, and careless how he spends it. He would be very irate if he discovered how he was being robbed, and in all likelihood smash the place up, and the fancy-man into the bargain, for people are not very scrupulous as to what they do in the night-houses. But the affair is managed so skillfully that he loses his four or five pounds at tossing or at some game or other with equanimity, and without a murmur, for he thinks it is his luck which happens to be adverse, and never dreams for one instant that his adversary is not playing on the "square." The rows that take place in the night-houses never find their way into the papers. It isn't the "little game" of the proprietors to allow them, and the police, if they are called in, are too well bribed to take any further notice, without they are particularly requested. I was told of a disturbance that took place in one of the night-houses in Panton Street, not more than a year ago, which for brutality and savage ferocity I should think could not be equalled by a scalping party of North American Red Indians.
     Two gentlemen had adjourned there after the theatre, and were quietly drinking some brandy and soda when a woman, with a very large crinoline, came in and went up to one of them, whom we will call A. She asked him for something to drink, and he, perceiving she was very drunk already, chaffed her a little. Angry at his persiflage, she leant over and seized his glass, which she threw into a corner of the room, smashing it to atoms, and spilling its contents. While doing so her crinoline flew into the air, and A. put out his hand to keep it down. She immediately began to slang him and abuse him immoderately, declaring that he attempted to take indecent liberties with her, and attempting finally to strike him he good-humouredly held her hands; but she got more furious every moment, and at last he had to push her down rather violently into a chair. A man who was sitting at an opposite table commented upon this in an audible and offensive manner, which excessively annoyed A., who however at first took no notice of his conduct. Presently he handed the woman over to one of the waiters, who with some difficulty turned her out. Then the man who had before spoken said, "D--d plucky thing, by Jove, to strike a woman." A. made some reply to this, and the other man got up, when A. flew at him and knocked him down. Two waiters ran up and seized A. by either arm, when the man got up from his recumbent position and struck A., while he was being retained by the waiters, a tremendous blow in the face, which speedily covered him with blood. A., exerting all his strength, liberated himself, and rushed at the coward, knocking him over a table, jumping over after him, seizing his head and knocking it against the floor in a frightful manner. The door porters were then called in, and A. with great difficulty turned out. A.'s friend had been waiting his opportunity, which had not yet come. When A. was at the door the man he had knocked down raised himself up. A.'s friend seized him by the collar and by one of his legs, and threw him with all his force along the table, which was covered with glass. The velocity with which he was thrown drove everything before him until he fell down on the top of the broken glass in a corner stunned and bleeding. His assailant then put his head down and charged like a battering-ram through the opposing throng, throwing them right and left, till he joined his friend in the street.
     Many low betting-men are partially kept by prostitutes - men who frequent Bride Lane and similar places, who, when out of luck, fall back upon their women. Many thieves, too, are fancy-men, and almost all the ruffians who go about "picking up," as the police call it, which I have explained before to be a species of highway robbery. The prostitute goes up to a man, and while she is talking to him the ruffians come up and plunder him. If the victim is drunk so much the better. Most low prostitutes have their fancy-men, such as waiters at taverns, labourers - loose characters, half thieves half loafers. It is strange that such baseness should find a place in a man, but experience proves what I have said to be true; and there are numbers of men in the metropolis who think nothing of being kept by a prostitute on the proceeds of her shame and her disgrace.
     Bullies
     Bullies are men attached to brothels and bawdy-houses; but this remark must not be understood to apply to houses of a superior description, for it would not pay them to extort money from their customers, as they have a character and a reputation to support.
     The bullies attached to low bawdy-houses are ostensibly kept to perform the functions of door-keepers, but in reality to prevent men from going away without paying enough money; they are in many cases a necessary precaution against "bilking," or going away without paying anything. If a well-dressed man went into an immoral house in Spitalfields, Whitechapel, or Shadwell, he would assuredly be robbed, but not maltreated to any greater extent than was absolutely requisite to obtain his money, and other valuables he might chance to have about him, at the time the depredation was committed.
     A man a little tipsy once found himself, he hardly knew how, on the transpontine side of Waterloo Bridge, not far from Stamford Street. It was past twelve, and on being accosted by a woman, he half unconsciously followed her to her rooms in Stamford Street, which were situated about half-way down, near Duke Street, Blackfriars. When upstairs he sent the servant out for some brandy and soda-water, and not having enough silver gave her half a sovereign for that purpose, telling her to bring him the change. She soon returned with a bottle of brandy, which she said cost eight shillings, and two bottles of sodawater, and keeping one shilling for herself, told him she had no change to give him: he put up with this extortion, for he was too tipsy to make any resistance. The time passed quickly, and he spent two or three hours in her society, until the soda-water somewhat sobered him, when he put on his hat and declared his intention of going away. The woman sprang up to stop him, and placed her back against the door, meantime calling some one with all her might. Being a strong powerful man, he seized her by the arm and flung her on a sofa. Opening the door, he heard some one rapidly coming up stairs; he rushed back to the room and laid hold of a chair, which he threw at the advancing figure; it missed it, but had the effect of causing it to retreat. Chair after chair followed until the room was nearly denuded of its furniture, the woman being all the time too frightened to take any part in the affray. The man next took the poker in one hand the lamp in the other, and began to descend the stairs, which he did with some difficulty, as the chairs rather impeded his progress. He had no doubt his adversary was waiting for him at the bottom, and it was evident that it was there the real struggle would take place. He descended very cautiously until he was very near the end of the stairs, when he saw a tall strongly-built man awaiting him with a bludgeon in his hand. The gentleman carefully, in the short space he had, reconnoitred the exit to the street by throwing the light of the lamp full into the passage. The bully finding he was discovered began to curse and make demonstrations of hostility, but remained where he was, as he was possessed of the best position. The gentleman when he was within three or four steps of the ground, hurled the lamp with all his force at the bully, striking him on the forehead. The lamp was smashed to atoms, and everything directly plunged in darkness. After this he ran in the direction of the door, but he found the chain up: while he was unfastening this as well as he could in the dark, he heard his antagonist picking himself up and muttering threats of vengeance. In a moment or two he began to grope his way towards the door, but fortunately the gentleman had succeeded in undoing the chain, and flinging the door wide open, he emerged into the street and began to run in the direction of the Waterloo Road as fast as he could. He made his escape; but if he had not had presence of mind, and been strong and powerful enough to fight with the bully, the result might have been very different.
     A man who would be a bully at a bawdy- house would stick at nothing. During the daytime they either sleep or lounge about smoking a short pipe, or go to the pawnshops for the women, or else to the public for gin.
     The men who used to keep the Cocoa Tree in St. James's Street were two brothers, who, when they were young, held a position of no great importance in their mother's house, which was nothing more than a house of ill fame. They might have degenerated into something of the same sort, but they had a certain amount of talent and opportunities, and once being possessed of this gambling house, which was famous enough in its day, they made money quickly enough.
     It is not men though, who have been amongst these scenes when they are young, who take to this sort of life. It is generally returned convicts or gaol birds, who look upon themselves as victims, and get desperate, and do not care very much what they do as long as they can have an easy time of it and enough to eat and drink.
     Sometimes, if they watch their opportunity, they may become proprietors of bawdy-houses themselves. Great events spring from little causes; and good management and a good locality will always make a bawdy-house remunerative; but bullies generally have no energy, and are wanting in administrative capability, and more often than not die of disease and excess in the gutter.
     The Argyle Rooms were once a small public-house called the "Hall of Rome," where tableaux vivants and poses plastiques found a home and an audience; but energy and a combination of causes have made it the first casino in London.
     A bully in a house in one of the streets near the Haymarket, who was loafing about a public-house, told me in return for some spirits I paid for, that he was a ticket of leave man - "he didn't mind saying it, why should he? he'd got his ticket-of-leave, he had, and he'd show it me in two twos.
     When he comed back from Norfolk Island, which he'd been sent to for a term of seven years, he knew no one in town, his pals mostly was lagged by police, and his most hintimit friend was hanged by mistake at the Old Bailey - he knew it was by mistake, as his friend was hincapable of such an act without he was riled extraordinary. Well, he took to the bullying dodge, which paid. He couldn't work, it wornt in his natur, and he took to bullying, kindly  - it suited him, it just did, and that was all about it.
     The bullies are the lowest ruffians going, and will not mind doing any act of iniquity, although they stand in great dread of the police, and generally manage matters so as to keep out of their clutches.

Clandestine Prostitutes


     THE next division of our subject is clandestine prostitution, whose ramifications are very extensive. In it we must include: 1. Female operatives; 2. Maid-servants, all of whom are amateurs, as opposed to professionals, or as we have had occasion to observe before, more commonly known as "Dollymops"; 3. Ladies of intrigue, who see men to gratify their passions; and 4. Keepers of houses of assignation, where the last-mentioned class may carry on their amours with secrecy.
     This in reality I regard as the most serious side of prostitution. This more clearly stamps the character of the nation. A thousand and one causes may lead to a woman's becoming a professional prostitute, but if a woman goes wrong without any very cogent reason for so doing, there must be something radically wrong in her composition, and inherently bad in her nature, to lead her to abandon her person to the other sex, who are at all times ready to take advantage of a woman's weakness and a woman's love.
     There is a tone of morality throughout the rural districts of England, which is unhappily wanting in the large towns and the centres of particular manufactures. Commerce is incontestably demoralizing. Its effects are to be seen more and more every day. Why it should be so, it is not our province to discuss, but seduction and prostitution, in spite of the precepts of the Church, and the examples of her ministers, have made enormous strides in all our great towns within the last twenty years. Go through the large manufacturing districts, where factory-hands congregate, or more properly herd together, test them, examine them, talk to them, observe for yourself, and you will come away with the impression that there is room for much improvement. Then cast your eye over the statistics of births and the returns of the Registrar-General, and compare the number of legitimate with illegitimate births. Add up the number of infanticides and the number of deaths of infants of tender years - an item more alarming than any. Goldsmith has said that "honour sinks when commerce long prevails," and a truer remark was never made, although the animus of the poet was directed more against men than women.

Female Operatives


     When alluding casually to this subject before, I enumerated some of the trades that supplied women to swell the ranks of prostitution, amongst which are milliners, dress-makers, straw bonnet-makers, furriers, hat-binders, silkwinders, tambour-workers, shoe-binders, slop-women, or those who work for cheap tailors, those in pastry-cook, fancy and cigar-shops, bazaars, and ballet-girls.
     I have heard it asserted in more than one quarter, although of course such assertions cannot be authenticated, or made reliable, for want of data, that one out of three of all the female operatives in London are unchaste, and in the habit of prostituting themselves when occasion offers, either for money, or more frequently for their own gratification.
     I met a woman in Fleet Street, who told me that she came into the streets now and then to get money not to subsist upon, but to supply her with funds to meet the debts her extravagance caused her to contract. But I will put her narrative into a consecutive form.
     Ever since I was twelve," she said, "I have worked in a printing office where a celebrated London morning journal is put in type and goes to press. I get enough money to live upon comfortably; but then I am extravagant, and spend a great deal of money in eating and drinking, more than you would imagine. My appetite is very delicate, and my constitution not at all strong. I long for certain things like a woman in the family way, and I must have them by hook or by crook. The fact is the close confinement and the night air upset me and disorder my digestion. I have the most expensive things sometimes, and when I can, I live in a sumptuous manner, comparatively speaking. I am attached to a man in our office, to whom I shall be married some day. He does not suspect me, but on the contrary believes me to be true to him, and you do not suppose that I ever take the trouble to undeceive him. I am nineteen now, and have carried on with my 'typo' for nearly three years now. I sometimes go to the Haymarket, either early in the evening, or early in the morning, when I can get away from the printing; and sometimes I do a little in the day-time. This is not a frequent practice of mine; I only do it when I want money to pay anything. I am out now with the avowed intention of picking up a man, or making an appointment with some one for tomorrow or some time during the week. I always dress well, at least you mayn't think so, but I am always neat, and respectable, and clean, if the things I have on ain't worth the sight of money that some women's things cost them. I have good feet too, and as I find they attract attention, I always parade them. And I've hooked many a man by showing my ankle on a wet day. I shan't think anything of all this when I'm married. I believe my young man would marry me just as soon if he found out I went with others as he would now. I carry on with him now, and he likes me very much. I ain't of any particular family; to tell the truth, I was put in the workhouse when I was young, and they apprenticed me. I never knew my father or my mother, although 'my father was, as I've heard say, a well-known swell of capers gay, who cut his last fling with great applause;' or, if you must know, I heard that he was hung for killing a man who opposed him when committing a burglary. In other words, he was 'a macing-cove what robs,' and I'm his daughter, worse luck. I used to think at first, but what was the good of being wretched about it? I couldn't get over for some time, because I was envious, like a little fool, of other people, but I reasoned, and at last I did recover myself, and was rather glad that my position freed me from certain restrictions. I had no mother whose heart I shou'd break by my conduct, or no father who could threaten me with bringing his grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. I had a pretty good example to follow set before me, and I didn't scruple to argue that I was not to be blamed for what I did. Birth is the result of accident. It is the merest chance in the world whether you're born a countess or a washerwoman. I'm neither one nor t'other; I'm only a mot who does a little typographing by way of variety. Those who have had good nursing, and all that, and the advantages of a sound education, who have a position to lose, prospects to blight, and relations to dishonour, may be blamed for going on the loose, but I'll be hanged if I think that priest or moralist is to come down on me with the sledge-hammer of their denunciation. You look rather surprised at my talking so well. I know I talk well, but you must remember what a lot has passed through my hands for the last seven years, and what a lot of copy I've set up. There is very little I don't know, I can tell you. It's what old Robert Owen would call the spread of education.
     I had to talk some time to this girl before she was so communicative; but it must be allowed my assiduity was amply repaid. The common sense she displayed was extraordinary for one in her position; but, as she said, she certainly had had superior opportunities, of which she had made the most. And her arguments, though based upon fallacy, were exceedingly clever and well put. So much for the spread of education amongst the masses. Who knows to what it will lead?
     The next case that came under my notice was one of a very different description. I met a woman in Leadenhall Street, a little past the India House, going towards Whitechapel. She told me, without much solicitation on my part, that she was driven into the streets by want. Far from such a thing being her inclination, she recoiled from it with horror, and had there been no one else in the case, she would have preferred starvation to such a life. I thought of the motto Vergniaud the Girondist wrote on the wall of his dungeon in his blood, "Potius mori quam fœdari," and I admired the woman whilst I pitied her. It is easy to condemn, but even vice takes the semblance of virtue when it has a certain end in view. Every crime ought to be examined into carefully in order that the motive that urged to the commission may be elicited, and that should be always thrown into the scale in mitigation or augmentation of punishment.
     Her father was a dock labourer by trade, and had been ever since he came to London, which he did some years ago, when there was great distress in Rochdale, where he worked in a cotton factory; but being starved out there after working short time for some weeks, he tramped with his daughter, then about fourteen, up to town, and could get nothing to do but work in the docks, which requires no skill, only a good constitution, and the strength and endurance of a horse. This however, as every one knows, is a precarious sort of employment, very much sought after by strong, able-bodied men out of work. The docks are a refuge for all Spitalfields and the adjacent parishes for men out of work, or men whose trade is slack for a time. Some three weeks before I met her, the girl's father had the misfortune to break his arm and to injure his spine by a small keg of spirits slipping from a crane near to which he was standing. They took him to the hospital, where he then was. The girl herself worked as a hat-binder, for which she was very indifferently paid, and even that poor means of support she had lost lately through the failure of the house she worked for. She went to see her father every day, and always contrived to take him something, if it only cost twopence, as a mark of affection on her part, which he was not slow in appreciating, and no doubt found his daughter's kindness a great consolation to him in the midst of his troubles. She said, "I tried everywhere to get employment, and I couldn't. I ain't very good with my needle at fine needlework, and the slopsellers won't have me. I would have slaved for them though, I do assure you, sir; bad as they do pay you, and hard as you must work for them to get enough to live upon, and poor living, God knows, at that. I feel very miserable for what I've done, but I was driven to it; indeed I was, sir. I daren't tell father, for he'd curse me at first, though he might forgive me afterwards: for though he's poor, he's always been honest, and borne a good name; but now - I can't help crying a bit, sir. I ain't thoroughly hardened yet, and it's a hard case as ever was. I do wish I was dead and there was an end of everything, I am so awfully sad and heart-broken. If it don't kill me, I suppose I shall get used to it in time. The low rate of wages I received has often put it into my head to go wrong; but I have always withstood the temptation, and nothing but so many misfortunes and trials coming together could ever have induced me to do it."
     This, I have every reason to believe, was a genuine tale of distress told with all simplicity and truth, although everything that a woman of loose morals says must be received with caution, and believed under protest.
     Ballet Girls
     have a bad reputation, which is in most cases well deserved. To begin with their remuneration - it is very poor. They get from nine to eighteen shillings. Columbine in the pantomime gets five pounds a week, but then hers is a prominent position. Out of these nine to eighteen shillings they have to find shoes and petticoats, silk stockings, etc., etc., so that the pay is hardly adequate to their expenditure, and quite insufficient to fit them out and find them in food and lodging. Can it be wondered at, that while this state of things exists, ballet-girls should be compelled to seek a livelihood by resorting to prostitution?
     Many causes may be enumerated to account for the lax morality of our female operatives. Among the chief of which we must class-
     1. Low wages inadequate to their sustenance.
2. Natural levity and the example around them.
3. Love of dress and display, coupled with the desire for a sweetheart.
4. Sedentary employment, and want of proper exercise.
5. Low and cheap literature of an immoral tendency.
6. Absence of parental care and the inculcation of proper precepts. In short, bad bringing up.

     Maid Servants
     Maid-servants seldom have a chance of marrying, unless placed in a good family, where, after putting by a little money by pinching and careful saving, the housemaid may become an object of interest to the footman, who is looking out for a public-house, or when the housekeeper allies herself to the butler, and together they set up in business. In small families, the servants often give themselves up to the sons, or to the policeman on the beat, or to soldiers in the Parks; or else to shopmen, whom they may meet in the streets. Female servants are far from being a virtuous class. They are badly educated and are not well looked after by their mistresses as a rule, although every dereliction from the paths of propriety by them will be visited with the heaviest displeasure, and most frequently be followed by dismissal of the most summary description, without the usual month's warning, to which so much importance is usually attached by both employer and employed.
     Marylebone was lately characterised by one of its vestrymen as being one of the seven black parishes in London. Half the women it is asserted who are sent from the workhouse, and have situations procured for them by the parochial authorities, turn out prostitutes. I have no means of corroborating the truth of this declaration, but it has been made and sent forth to the world through the medium of the public press, though I believe it has been partially contradicted by one of the workhouse authorities; however this may be, there can be no doubt that the tone of morality among servant-maids in the metropolis is low. I will not speak in the superlative - I merely characterise it as low. I had an opportunity of questioning a maid of all work, a simple-minded, ignorant, uneducated, vain little body, as strong physically as a donkey, and thoroughly competent to perform her rather arduous duties, for the satisfactory performance of which she received the munificent remuneration of eight pounds annually, including her board and lodging.
     She said: "I came from Berkshire, sir, near Windsor; father put me to service some years ago, and I've been in London ever since. I'm two and twenty now. I've lived in four or five different situations since then. Are followers allowed? No, sir, missus don't permit no followers. No, I ain't got no perleeceman. Have I got a young man? Well, I have; he's in the harmy, not a hoffisser, but a soldier. I goes out along of him on Sundays, leastways on Sunday afternoons, and missus she lets me go to see a aunt of mine, as I says lives at Camberwell, only between you and me, sir, there ain't no aunt, only a soldier, which he's my sweetheart, as I says to you before, sir."
     Maid-servants in good families have an opportunity of copying their mistress's way of dressing, and making themselves, attractive to men of a higher class. It is a voluntary species of sacrifice on their part. A sort of suicidal decking with flowers, and making preparations for immolation on the part of the victim herself. Flattered by the attention of the eldest son, or some friend of his staying in the house, the pretty lady's maid will often yield to soft solicitation. Vanity is at the bottom of all this, and is one of the chief characteristics of a class not otherwise naturally vicious. The housemaids flirt with the footmen, the housekeeper with the butler, the cooks with the coachmen, and so on; and a flirtation often begun innocently enough ends in something serious, the result of which may be to blight the prospect of the unfortunate woman who has been led astray.
     There are book-hawkers, who go about the country, having first filled their wallets from the filthy cellars of Holywell Street, sowing the seeds of immorality; servants in country houses will pay, without hesitation large prices for improper books. This denomination of evil, I am glad to say, is much on the decrease now, since the Immoral Publications Act has come into operation.
     Maid-servants live well, have no care or anxiety, no character worth speaking about to lose, for the origin of most of them is obscure, are fond of dress, and under these circumstances it cannot be wondered that they are as a body immoral and unchaste.

Ladies Of Intrigue And Houses Of Assignation


     The reader will find more information about "ladies of intrigue" in the annals of the Divorce Court and the pages of the Causes Célèbres than it is in my power to furnish him with. By ladies of intrigue we must understand married women who have connection with other men than their husbands, and unmarried women who gratify their passion secretly.
     There is a house in Regent Street, I am told, where ladies, both married and unmarried, go in order to meet with and be introduced to gentlemen, there to consummate their libidinous desires. This sort of clandestine prostitution is not nearly so common in England as in France and other parts of the Continent, where chastity and faithfulness among married women are remarkable for their absence rather than their presence. As this vice is by no means common or a national characteristic, but rather the exception than the rule, it can only expect a cursory notice at our hands.
     An anecdote was told me illustrative of this sort of thing that may not be out of place here.
     A lady of intrigue, belonging to the higher circles of society, married to a man of considerable property, found herself unhappy in his society, and after some time unwillingly came to the conclusion that she had formed an alliance that was destined to make her miserable. Her passions were naturally strong, and she one day resolved to visit a house that one of her female acquaintances had casually spoken about before her some little time before. Ordering a cab, she drove to the house in question, and went in. There was no necessity for her to explain the nature of her business, or the object with which she called. That was understood. She was shown into a handsome drawing-room, beautifully fitted up, for the house was situated in one of the best streets in May Fair, there to await the coming of her unknown paramour. After waiting some little time the door opened, and a gentleman entered. The curtains of the room were partially drawn round the windows, and the blinds were pulled down, which caused a "dim religious light" to pervade the apartment, preventing the lady from seeing distinctly the features of her visitor. He approached her, and in a low tone of voice commenced a conversation with her about some indifferent subject.
     She listened to him for a moment, and then with a cry of astonishment recognized her husband's voice. He, equally confused, discovered that he had accidentally met in a house of ill-fame the wife whom he had treated with unkindness and cruelty, and condemned to languish at home while he did as he chose abroad. This strange rencontre had a successful termination, for it ended in the reconciliation of husband and wife, who discovered that they were mutually to blame.
     From the Divorce Court emanate strange revelations, to which the press gives publicity. It reveals a state of immorality amongst the upper and middle classes that is deplorable; but although this unveils the delinquencies of ladies of intrigue, they are not altogether the class we have under discussion. Those who engross our attention are ladies who, merely to satisfy their animal instincts, intrigue with men whom they do not truly love. But though we could multiply anecdotes and stories, it is not necessary to do more than say, they are a class far from numerous, and scarcely deserve to form a distinctive feature in the category of prostitution in London.

Cohabitant Prostitutes


     THE last head in our classification is "Cohabitant Prostitutes," which phrase must be understood to include-
     1. Those whose paramours cannot afford to pay the marriage fees. This is a very small and almost infinitesimal portion of the community, as banns now cost so very little, that it is next to an absurdity to say "a man and woman" cannot get married because they have not money enough to pay the fees consequent upon publishing the banns, therefore this class is scarcely deserving of mention.
     2. Those whose paramours do not believe in the sanctity of the ceremony.
     There may be a few who make their religious convictions an objection to marriage, but you may go a very long journey before you will be able to discover a man who will conscientiously refuse to marry a woman on this ground. Consequently we may dismiss these with a very brief allusion.
     3. Those who have married a relative forbidden by law. We know that people will occasionally marry a deceased wife's sister, notwithstanding the anathemas of mother church are sure to be hurled at them. Yet ecclesiastical terrors may have weight with a man who has conceived an affection for a sister-in-law, for whom he will have to undergo so many penalties.
     Perhaps parliamentary agitation may soon legitimatize these connections, and abolish this heading from our category of Cohabitant Prostitution.
     4. Those who would forfeit their income by marrying, - as officers' widows in receipt of pensions, and those who hold property only while unmarried.
     This class is more numerous than any of those we have yet mentioned, but it offers nothing sufficiently striking or peculiar to induce us to dwell longer upon it, as it explains itself.
     5. Those whose paramours object to marry them for pecuniary or family reasons.
     This is a subject upon which it has been necessary to dilate; for it includes all the lorettes in London, and the men by whom they are kept. By lorettes, I mean those I have before touched upon as prima donnas, who are a class of women who do not call going to night-houses in Panton Street walking the Haymarket, and feel much insulted if you so characterize their nocturnal wanderings. The best women go to three or four houses in Panton Street, where the visitors are more select than in the other places, where the door porters are less discriminating. Sometimes women who are violent, and make a disturbance, are kept out of particular houses for months.
     Of course, the visits of kept women are made by stealth, as the men who keep them would not countenance their going to such places. Perhaps their men are out of town, and they may then go with comparative safety.
     Women who are well kept, and have always been accustomed to the society of gentlemen, have an intense horror of the Haymarket women, properly so called, who promenade the pavement in order to pick up men.
     And in reality there is a greater distinction between the two classes than would at first appear. Even if a good sort of woman has been thrown over by her man, and is in want of money, she will not pick up any one at a night-house who may solicit her; on the contrary, she will select some fellow she has a liking for: while, on the other hand, the Haymarket women will pick up any low wretch who she thinks will pay her. She will not even object to a foreigner, though all the best women have a great dislike to low foreigners.
     Were I to dwell longer upon this subject it is clear I should merely be recapitulating what I have already said in a former portion of this work.
     The following narrative was given me by a girl I met in the Haymarket, when in search of information regarding the prostitution of the West-end of London. Her tale is the usual one of unsuspecting innocence and virtue, seduced by fraud and violence. The victim of passion became in time the mistress of lust, and sank from one stage to another, until she found herself compelled to solicit in the streets to obtain a livelihood. She was about twenty-one years of age, beneath the ordinary height, and with a very engaging countenance. She appeared to be a high-spirited intelligent girl, and gave her sad tale with unaffected candour and modesty.

Narrative Of A Gay Woman At The West End Of The Metropolis


     I was born in the county of----, in England, where my father was an extensive farmer, and had a great number of servants. I have three brothers and one younger sister. I was sent to a boarding school at B----, where I was receiving a superior education, and was learning drawing, music, and dancing. During the vacations, and once every quarter, I went home and lived with my parents, where one of my chief enjoyments was to ride out on a pony I had, over the fields, and in the neighbourhood, and occasionally to go to M----, a few miles distant. On these occasions we often had parties of ladies and gentlemen; when some of the best people in the district visited us. I had one of the happiest homes a girl could have.
     When I was out riding one day at M----, in passing through the town, my pony took fright, and threatened to throw me off, when a young gentleman who was near rode up to my assistance. He rode by my side till we came to a hotel in town, when we both dismounted. Leaving the horses with the hostlers, we had some refreshment. I took out my purse to pay the expenses, but he would not let me and paid for me. We both mounted and proceeded towards my home. On his coming to the door of the house, I invited him to come in, which he did. I introduced him to my papa and mamma, and mentioned the kind service he had done to me. His horse was put up in our stables, and he remained for some time, and had supper with us, when he returned to M----. He was very wealthy, resided in London, and only visited M---- occasionally with his servants.
     I was then attending a boarding-school at B---- , and was about fifteen years of age. A few days after this I left home and returned to B----. We corresponded by letter for nearly twelve months.
     From the moment he rode up to me at M---- I was deeply interested in him, and the attachment increased by the correspondence. He also appeared to be very fond of me. He sometimes came and visited me at home during my school holidays for the next twelve months. One day in the month of May - in summer - he came to our house in his carriage, and we invited him to dinner. He remained with us for the night, and slept with one of my brothers. We were then engaged to each other, and were to be married, so soon as I was eighteen years of age.
     The next day he asked my parents if I might go out with him in his carriage. My mamma consented. She asked if any of our servants would go with us, but he thought there was no occasion for this, as his coachman and footman went along with us. We proceeded to B---- Railway Station. He left his carriage with the coachman and footman, and pressed me to go with him to London. He pretended to my parents he was only going out for a short drive. I was very fond of him, and reluctantly consented to go with him to London.
     He first brought me to Simpson's hotel in the Strand, where we had dinner, then took me to the opera. We went to Scott's supper rooms in the Haymarket. On coming out we walked up and down the Haymarket. He then took me to several of the cafés, where we had wine and refreshments. About four o'clock in the morning he called a Hansom, and drove me to his house; and there seduced me by violence in spite of my resistance. I screamed out, but none of the servants in the house came to assist me. He told his servants I was his young wife he had just brought up from the country.
     I wanted to go home in the morning, and began to cry, but he would not let me go. He said I must remain in London with him. I still insisted on going home, and he promised to marry me. He then bought me a watch and chain, rings and bracelets, and presented me with several dresses. After this I lived with him in his house, as though I had been his wife, and rode out with him in his brougham. I often insisted upon being married. He promised to do so, but delayed from time to time. He generally drove out every day over the finest streets, thoroughfares, and parks of the metropolis; and in the evenings he took me to the Argyle Rooms and to the Casino at Holborn. I generally went there very well dressed, and was much noticed on account of my youthful appearance. We also went to the fashionable theatres in the West-end, and several subscription balls. I often rode along Rotten Row with him, and along the drives in Hyde Park. We also went to the seaside, where we lived in the best hotels.


The Haymarket At Midnight


     This lasted for two years, when his conduct changed towards me. One evening I went with him to the Assembly Rooms at Holborn to a masked ball. I was dressed in the character of a fairy queen. My hair was in long curls hanging down my back. He left me in the supper-room for a short time, when a well-dressed man came up to me. When my paramour came in he saw the young man sitting by my side speaking to me. He told him I was his wife, and inquired what he meant by it, to which he gave no reply. He then asked me if I knew him. I replied no. He asked the gentleman to rise, which he did, apologising for his seating himself beside me, and thereby giving offence. On the latter showing him his card, which I did not see, they sat down and had wine together.
     We came out of the supper-room, and we had a quarrel about the matter. We walked up and down the ball-room for some time, and at last drove home.
     When we got home he quarrelled again with me, struck me, and gave me two black eyes. I was also bruised on other parts of the body, and wanted to leave him that night, but he would not let me. In the morning we went out as usual after breakfast for a drive. Next evening we went to the Casino at Holborn. Many of the gentlemen were staring at me, and he did not like it. I had on a thick Maltese veil to conceal my blackened eyes. The gentleman who had accosted me the previous night came up and spoke to me and my paramour (whom we shall call S.), and had some wine with us. He asked the reason I did not raise my veil. S. said because I did not like to do it in this place. The gentleman caught sight of my eyes, and said they did not look so brilliant as the night before. S. was indignant, and told him he took great liberty in speaking of his wife in this manner. The other remarked that no one could help noticing such a girl, adding that I was too young to be his wife, and that he should not take me to such a place if he did not wish me to be looked at. He told him he ought to take better care of me than to bring me there.
     When we got home we had another quarrel, and he struck me severely on the side. We did not sleep in the same bed that night. On coming down stairs to breakfast next morning I was taken very ill, and a medical man was sent for. The doctor said I was in a fever, and must have had a severe blow or a heavy fall. I was ill and confined to my bed for three months. He went out every night and left me with a nurse and the servants, and seldom returned till three or four o'clock in the morning. He used to return home drunk; generally came into my bedroom and asked if I was better; kissed me and went downstairs to bed.
     When I got well he was kind to me, and said I looked more charming than ever. For three or four months after he took me out as usual. The same gentleman met me again in the Holborn one night while S. had gone out for a short time, leaving me alone. He came up and shook hands with me, said he was happy to see me, and wished me to meet him. I told him I could not. S. was meanwhile watching our movements. The gentleman asked me if I was married, when I said that I was. He admired my rings. Pointing to a diamond ring on his finger, he asked me if I would like it. I said no. He said your rings are not so pretty. I still refused it; but he took the ring off his finger and put it on one of mine, and said, 'See how well it looks,' adding, 'Keep it as a memento; it may make you think of me when I am far away.' He told me not to mention it to my husband.
     Meantime S. was watching me, and came up when the man had gone away, and asked what he had been saying to me. I told him the truth, that the same man had spoken to me again. He asked me what had passed between us, and I told him all, with the exception of the ring. He noticed the ring on my finger, and asked me where I had got it. I declined at first to answer. He then said I was not true to him, and if I would not tell him who gave me the ring he would leave me. I told him the man had insisted on my having it. He thereupon rushed along the room after him, but did not find him. On coming back he insisted on my going home without him. He took me outside to his brougham, handed me in it, and then left me. I went home and sat in the drawing-room till he returned, which was about three o'clock in the morning. He quarrelled with me again for not being true to him. I said I was, and had never left his side for a moment from the time I rose in the morning till I lay down at night. I then told him I would go home and tell my friends all about it, and he was afraid. Soon after he said to me he was going out of town for a week, and wished me to stop at home. I did not like to remain in the house without a woman, and wished to go with him. He said he could not allow me, as he was to be engaged in family matters. He was absent for a week. I remained at home for three nights, and was very dull and wearied, having no one to speak to. I went to my bedroom, washed and dressed, ordered the carriage to be got ready, and went to the Holborn. Who should I see there but this gentleman again. He was astonished to see me there alone; came up and offered me his arm. I told him I was wearied at home in the absence of S., and came out for a little relaxation. He then asked to see me home, which I declined. I remained till the dancing was nearly over. He got into the brougham with me and drove to Sally's, where we had supper., after which he saw me home. He bade me 'good-bye,' and said he hoped to see me at the Holborn again some other night. Meantime S. had been keeping watch over me, it appears, and heard of this. When he came home he asked me about it. I told him. He swore the gentleman had connexion with me. I said he had not. He then hit me in the face and shook me, and threatened to lock me up. After breakfast he went out to walk, and I refused to go with him.
     When he had gone away I packed up all my things, told the servant to bring a cab, wrote a note and left it on the table. I asked the cabman if he knew any nice apartments a long way off from C----, where I was living. He drove me to Pimlico, and took me to apartments in ---- where I have ever since resided.
     When I went there I had my purse full of gold, and my dresses and jewellery, which were worth about 300l.
     One evening soon after I went to the Holborn and met my old friend again, and told him what had occurred. He was astonished, and said he would write to my relations, and have S. pulled up for it. After this he saw me occasionally at my lodgings, and made me presents. He met S. one day in the City, and threatened to write to my friends to let them know how I had been treated. I still went to the Holborn occasionally. One evening I met S., who wished me to go home with him again, but I refused, after the ill-usage he had given me. I generally spent the day in my apartments, and in the evening went to the Argyle, until my money was gone. I now and then got something from the man who had taken my part; but he did not give me so much as I had been accustomed to, and I used to have strange friends against my own wish. Before I received them I had spouted most of my jewellery, and some of my dresses. When I lived with S. he allowed me 10l. a week, but when I went on the loose I did not get so much.
     After I had parted with my jewellery and most of my clothes I walked in the Haymarket, and went to the Turkish divans, 'Sally's,' and other cafés and restaurants.
     Soon after I became unfortunate, and had to part with the remainder of my dresses. Since then I have been more shabby in appearance, and not so much noticed.

Criminal Returns


     IT is very interesting to philanthropists and people who take an interest in seeing human nature improved, and to those who wish to see crime decrease, to notice the fluctuations of crime, its increase, its decrease, or its being stationary, especially among different classes.
     Through the kindness of Sir Richard Mayne, and the obliging courtesy of Mr. Yardley, of the Metropolitan Police-Office, Whitehall, I am enabled to show the number of disorderly prostitutes taken into custody during the years 1850 to 1860. Mr. Yardley supplied me with the criminal returns of the Metropolitan Police for the last ten years, from which I have extracted much valuable and interesting information, besides what I have just mentioned.

NUMBER of DISORDERLY PROSTITUTES taken into Custody during the years 1850 to 1860, and their Trades

1850

2,502

1851

2,573

1852

3,750

1853

3,386

1854

3,764

1855

3,592

1856

4,303

1857

5,178

1858

4,890

1859

4,282

1860

3,734


     After some search I have been enabled to give the trades and occupations of those women.

74

were


     Hatters and trimmers.

418


     Laundresses

646


     Milliners, &c

400


     Servants

249


     Shoemakers

58


     Artificial flower-makers

215


     Tailors

33


     Brushmakers

42


     Bookbinders

8


     Corkcutters

7


     Dyers

2


     Fishmongers

8


     General and marine-store dealers

24


     Glovers

18


     Weavers.

     The remainder described themselves as having no trade or occupation.
     In ten years then 41,954 disorderly women, who had given themselves up to prostitution, either for their own gratification, because they were seduced, or to gain a livelihood, were arrested by the police. The word disorderly is vague, but I should think it is susceptible of various significations. In one case it may mean drunkenness, in another assaulting the police, in others an offence of a felonious nature may be intended, while in a fourth we may understand a simple misdemeanour, all subjecting the offender, let it be borne in mind, to a fine or incarceration.
     Now, 41,954 is an enormous total for ten years. In an unreflective mood I should be inclined to say that prostitutes, taken collectively, were most abandoned, reckless, and wicked; but it is apparent, after a minute's study, that they must not be taken collectively. This forty odd thousand should be understood to represent, for the most part, the very dregs, the lowest, most unthinking, and vilest of the class.
     We must look for them in the East, in Whitechapel, in Wapping, in transpontine dens and holes, amongst sailors' and soldiers' women. In the Haymarket there is not much drunkenness, and the police are seldom interfered with. If a man, with whom a woman is walking, is drunk, and makes an assault upon the police, the woman will content herself with the innocent, and comparatively harmless amusement of knocking off the policeman's hat, afterwards propelling it gracefull with her foot along the pavement. This pastime is of rather frequent occurrence in nocturnal street rows, and always succeeds in infusing a little comic element into the affray. Amongst the disorderly women of loose habits we see that milliners largely preponderate; 646 in ten years, who have broken the laws in some way, enables us to form, by comparison, a vague idea of the number of milliners, dressmakers, &c., who resort to prostitution; for if so many were disorderly, the number of well-behaved ones must be very large.
     Another curious item is laundresses, of whom there were 418 in the hands of the police. Either the influence of their trade is demoralizing in the extreme; or they are underpaid, or else there are large numbers of them; I incline to the latter supposition.
     That there should have been only 400 servants is rather a matter of surprise than otherwise, for they are exposed to great temptations, and form a very numerous body.
     In our next statistics we are able to be more precise than in the former ones. Peculiar facilities are afforded prostitutes for committing larcenies from the person, and there are annually some hundreds taken into custody, and some few convicted. Only the other day I was passing through Wych Street, on my way from New Inn with a friend, and it so happened that we were instrumental in protecting a gentleman from the rapacity of some men and women of infamous character, by whom he had been entrapped.
     In Wych Street there are five or six houses, contiguous to one another, that are nothing more or less than the commonest brothels. The keepers of these places do not in the least endeavour to conceal the fact of their odious occupation; at almost all hours of the day, and till twelve o'clock at night one may perceive the women standing at their doorways in an undress costume, lascivious and meretricious in its nature. Although they do not actually solicit the passer-by with words, they do with looks and gestures.
     It might have been a little after twelve o'clock, when, as I was passing one of these houses, a gentleman, with his coat off, and without his hat, rushed out of the doorway and ran up the street. He held a small clasp-knife in his hand, which from his manner I guessed he would not hesitate to use if hard pressed. He was in an instant followed by a pack of men and women, perhaps four or five of each sex, in full cry. They were nearing him, when he turned suddenly round and doubled upon them, which manœuvre brought him in my direction. I saw, when near enough, that he was intoxicated. Directly he perceived me he implored my protection, saying, "For God's sake keep those fellows off." The noise attracted the attention of a policeman at the end of the street, who came up to see what the origin of the disturbance was, and the crowd fell back at his appearance.
     The gentleman said he went into one of the houses to get a cigar, when he was set upon by some women, who attempted to rob him. Although drunk he was able to put his hand in his pocket and take out a small clasp-knife he always carried about with him. He brandished this in their faces, when some bullies descended from the upper regions, and the victim fortunately effected his escape into the street.
     This man might have been robbed and subsequently drugged, without much fear of discovery, for the subjoined statistics will prove that such outrages are of frequent occurrence in the metropolis.

LARCENIES from the PERSON by Prostitutes, during the years 1850 to 1860

Year

Larcenies

Convicted

Total loss

1850

684

116

£ 1,814

1851

640

98

1,890

1852

639

97

2,095

1853

605

112

1,578

1854

607

119

2,019

1855

688

96

3,017

1856

780

94

2,668

1857

854

79

2,928

1858

777

39

2,370

1859

681

93

1,743

1860

692

39

1,936


     The first thing that strikes us in looking at these figures is the small amount of convictions that followed arrest. For instance in 1850 out of 684 arrested only 116 were convicted. Yet we must not forget the difficulty of proving a charge of this description, and the unwillingness of men to prosecute. It is only natural that a man should have a repugnance to appear in public and mix himself up in a disgraceful affair of this sort. Any one who cared for his character and reputation would at once refuse, and in this repugnance we must look for the cause of the escape of so many offenders.
     Whenever an occurrence of this sort takes place in a brothel, one would imagine the police would have some grounds for prosecuting the keeper for harbouring thieves and persons who habitually break the public peace, but the criminal returns of the metropolitan police, from which we have before quoted, do not give one reason to think so.
     Let us examine the number of arrests for keeping common brothels, during the last ten years.

NUMBER of PERSONS taken into custody for keeping Common Brothels, during the years 1850 to 1860

Year

Females

Males

Total

1850

4

4

8

1851

12

5

17

1852

4

6

10

1853

9

3

12

1854

none

-

-

1855

6

4

10

1856

12

7

19

1857

6

8

14

1858

10

8

18

1859

9

9

18

1860

12

5

17

Total

 

 

143


     The largest number (19) was in 1856, while in 1854 there were none at all. But we have already drawn attention to the difficulty the police have in dealing with these cases.
     Of those arrested:

1

was a


     clerk

1


     sailor

13

were


     servants

3


     tailors

1

was a


     printer

1

was a


     sawyer

1


     interpreter

1


     cabinet-maker

1


     brass-founder

1


     green-grocer

1


     butcher

2

were


     milliners

3


     laundresses

9


     labourers

2


     smiths

6


     carpenters

3

general and marine store dealers

1

was a


     carver and gilder

4

were


     shoemakers

2


     watch-makers

2


     painters

3


     bricklayers

     The rest were of no trade or occupation, and depended for a livelihood solely upon this disgraceful means of subsistence.
     It is odd to see butchers, printers, tailors, carpenters, brass-founders, interpreters, bricklayers, and cabinet-makers combining this with their own legitimate trades, and if this is a common thing among the trades, how wide-spread the evil must be, for we have only an average of about 12 arrests annually, and this very small amount, with the perhaps light punishment awarded the offender by the sitting magistrate, or if committed by the judge, is evidently purely insufficient and ineffectual to act as a deterrent to others holding the same demoralizing views, and practising the same odious profession.
     A few pages back, while commenting upon crime amongst bawds and prostitutes, we took the liberty of criticising some remarks of Dr. Ryan‘s about the prevalence of murder in immoral houses. The best proof presumptive he could have adduced in support of his theory he utterly neglected to bring forward. I mean the returns of the metropolitan police of the number of persons reported to them annually as missing.
     This return, so enormous, so mysterious, so startling, is certainly very alarming before it is analysed. But when with the eye of reflection we calmly and dispassionately look at it, our alarm diminishes as rapidly as it was excited.

NUMBER of PERSONS reported to the Police as lost or missing, and the number found and restored by the Police, during the years 1841 to 1860

Year

Reported lost or Missing

Restored by the Police

1841

1,000

560

1842

1,179

623

1843

1,218

623

1844

1,111

543

1845

2,201

1,000

1846

2,489

1,082

1847

2,216

1,111

1848

1,866

1,009

1849

1,473

994

1850

2,204

1,137

1851

1,876

928

1852

2,103

1,049

1853

2,034

900

1854

2,286

941

1855

2,178

964

1856

2,371

1,084

1857

2,171

1,198

1858

2,409

1,264

1859

2,374

1,054

1860

2,515

1,164


     For twenty years the number of persons reported lost, stolen, strayed, and missing has been steadily increasing.

In

1841

it was

1,000

1851

1,876

1860

2,515


     Of which

In

1841

560

were restored by the police

1851

928

1860

1,164


     Now unscrupulous statisticians and newsmongers would not hesitate to say that the “Fleet Ditch” Dr. Ryan is so fond of might unfold a tale that would elucidate the mystery.
     It is surprising that in these enlightened days such monstrosities should be listened to.
     How many, I should like to know, disappear from home and enlist in the army? How many run away to sea, and how many commit suicide?
     A little reflection shows us that the tales of murder in immoral houses are only bugbears conjured up by moralists to frighten children. Not designedly perhaps, but more through ignorance than anything else.
     Perhaps the number of suicides committed annually in London may be of some use in reducing the number of lost and missing.

NUMBER of SUICIDES committed during the years 1841 to 1860

Year

Suicides committed

Year

Suicides committed

1841

139

1851

120

1842

134

1852

109

1843

112

1853

131

1844

155

1854

118

1845

144

1855

116

1846

162

1856

127

1847

152

1857

154

1848

100

1858

90

1849

131

1859

180

1850

140

1860

104


    

     I find also that the number of suicides prevented by the police, or otherwise, is on an average nearly equal to the actual number of suicides committed.
     Many attempted suicides may not be genuine attempts; for we often hear in the police courts of people endeavouring to make the public believe they wished to destroy themselves, with the sole object of exciting sympathy and drawing attention to their case. However, it is difficult to distinguish, and it is clear there are annually many unhappy wretches who do make away with their lives, and also numbers who are providentially prevented.

Rape


     is a crime that has not fluctuated to any great extent during the last ten years. I see that in 1850 there were 22 arrests for this offence, and the same number in 1860. Most of the prisoners were in a low station in life; 17 in 1850 only being able to read, or read and write imperfectly, and 15 in 1860 were in the same un-intellectual position. In 1855, 21 individuals were given in charge, 16 of whom were imperfectly instructed. It must be remembered that not all those who were charged were convicted, or even committed for trial, because the charge of rape is one easy to trump up, and it requires very sound and un-conflicting evidence to bring the charge home.

Concealing The Birth Of Infants


     is a crime I am glad to perceive of more frequent occurrence, than feloniously attempting to procure abortion; for of two evils it is better the less preponderate.

Year

Concealing Birth of their Infants

Feloniously attempting to procure Abortion


     1850

12

1


     1855

10

1


     1860

17

0


     In 1860 there were 2 cases of abduction, and in 1850 none at all; but in the latter year there were 61 cases of indecently exposing the person, which offence had in 1860 attained the dimensions of 103, three only, of which number were females, in the former instance eight.
     Of course it is only natural to expect that as the population of the empire increases, crime also will increase; and will more especially show its hideous and unwelcome visage in the metropolis, the centre of a vast and densely-populated kingdom. Where masses of men congregate, there disorder, dissension, and crime will have a place. We have to thank an efficient police force for keeping them within reasonable dimensions.
     I have already adverted to the difficulty experienced in even approximating to the actual number of prostitutes existing; but the magisterial authorities are enabled to catalogue and number those who are known to the police and those living in brothels.
     The subjoined table will be found extremely interesting:

Division and Local Name

Number known to the Police

Total

Well dressed who
live in Brothels

Who walk the Streets

Well dressed

All others


     A or Whitehall

None

None

None

None


     B or Westminster

469

177

17

275


     C or St. James

208

58

150

-


     D or St. Mary‘bone

428

143

133

152


     E or Holborn

511

173

58

280


     F or Covent Garden

428

50

204

174


     G or Finsbury

225

24

33

168


     H or Whitechapel

811

73

82

656


     K or Stepney

1015

..

310

705


     L or Lambeth

657

147

207

303


     M or Southwark

661

53

140

468


     N or Islington

441

90

136

215


     P or Camberwell

222

44

96

82


     R or Greenwich

570

172

124

274


     S or Hampstead

331

14

56

261


     T or Kensington

97

..

5

92


     V or Wandsworth

187

14

40

133

Totals

7,261

1,232

1,791

4,238


     This is the latest return that the authorities at Whitehall are in possession of. It will be seen that the largest number of prostitutes are in Stepney; but the prostitution in this district, it would appear, is of a low description, and mostly ambulatory, as no evidence of any women living in brothels is given in the return.
     The registered increase since 1857, is in most districts absolutely nothing, whilst the decrease in many localities contrasts very favourably indeed with the increase. For instance:-

Increase since last return, made in July, 1857

Decrease since last return, made in July, 1857

A

 

None

A


      

None

B

 

 

B


      

55

C

 

 

C


      

110

D

 

 

D


      

98

E

 

 

E


      

35

F

 

 

F


      

52

G

 

 

G


      

124

H

 

 

H


      

992

K

 

 

K


      

50

L

 

 

L


      

145

M

 

 

M


      

6

N

 

 

N


      

4

P

 

 

P


      

6

R

 

169

R


      

 

S

 

100

S


      

 

T

 

 

T


      

9

V

 

 

V


      

22

 

 

 

 


      

 

 

Total

269

 


     Total

1,708


     The police have thought it necessary to make special arrangements in special localities, to prevent disorder and enforce the law.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS of POLICE made, and at what places, to prevent disorder and enforce the law

Division and Local Name.


      

     A or Whitehall

     Cockspur Street-an additional constable occasionally. St. James‘s, Green, and Hyde Parks-additional constables during summer months.

     C-St. James

     Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Quadrant, Haymarket, and Coventry Street-four additional constables (and sometimes more) from 3 P.M to 3 A.M., daily.

     D-St. Marylebone

     Oxford Street, Edgeware Road. Harrow Road, and Paddington Green-one additional constable from 7 P.M. to 6 A.M., daily. Regent‘s Park and Bayswater Road-two additional constables from 9 A.M. to 6 A.M., following day. Portland Place-an additional constable from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M.

     E-Holborn

     Lower Regent Street and Portland Place-one additional constable from 7 P.M. to 10 P.M.; one ditto from 7 P.M. till 2 A.M.; two additional constables from 10 P.M. till 2 A.M., and a sergeant in plain clothes.

     F-Covent Garden

     Strand - a sergeant, and occasionally constables. Long Acre-a constable frequently.

     H-Whitechapel

     St. George‘s Street and High Street, Whitechapel-a constable, and a short beat, each place.

     L—Lambeth

     Waterloo Road, Herbert‘s Buildings, and Granby Street-an additional sergeant and two constables patrolling.

     S-Hampstead

     Regent‘s Park-an additional constable to patrol. Primrose Hill-twoadditional constables for eight hours after Park constables go off duty.

COMPARATIVE RETURN of the NUMBER of PROSTITUTES known to the Police, at four different periods, within the last seventeen years

Division and Local Name

In

In

In

In

 

1841

1850

1857

1858


     A or Whitehall

 

 

 

 


     B or Westminster

 

660

524

469


     C or St James‘s

 

390

318

208


     D or St Marylebone

 

429

526

428


     E or Holborn

 

461

546

511


     F or Covent Garden

 

698

480

428


     G or Finsbury

 

320

349

225


     H or Whitechapel

 

474

1803

811


     K or Stepney

 

827

965

1015


     L or Lambeth

 

854

802

657


     M or Southwark

 

531

667

661


     N or Islington

 

457

445

441


     P or Camberwell

 

152

228

222


     R or Greenwich

 

288

401

570


     S or Hampstead

 

216

231

331


     T or Kensington

 

92

106

97


     V or Wandsworth

 

157

209

187

Totals

6598

7006

8600

7261

NOTE -The total number only for 1841 can now be given.


     These are the only statistics relative to prostitution that I have been able to procure - indeed I may almost say they are the only ones procurable; and for them I am indebted to the courtesy of the authorities at Whitehall, who, during my researches, have most kindly afforded me every facility that I could wish for.
     I dare say that few things contribute so much to the spread of immorality as the sale of indecent and obscene prints and books, which were until lately so widely disseminated over the country by bookhawkers and the filthy traders of Holywell Street. Even now this trade is not entirely suppressed, although the police restrictions are rigorous, and the punishments awarded severe.
     Selling obscene prints and exposing for sale:-

In the year

1850

1

"

1851

4

"

1852

0

"

1853

0

"

1854

1

"

1855

0

"

1856

5

"

1857

4

"

1858

0

"

1859

3

"

1860

4

22


      
     Recently a man called Dugdale, who has grown grey in this disgusting occupation, was brought before a magistrate for selling obscene prints, and also sending some to customers in the country. The magistrate committed him for trial, when he was sent to prison for two years.
     It is always more or less interesting to know the extent of instruction among criminals, and with that idea in view I have put together the annexed table, in which I have included all the offences that bear directly and remotely upon the subject I am treating.
     As regards the man Dugdale, and the sale of immoral publications, obscene prints, &c., a long account of the prisoner's antecedents was given in the newspaper reports. He had been engaged in this infamous and diabolical traffic nearly forty years, and had spent a great number of them in prison at various times; tons weight of obscene books, pictures, and plates had been seized upon his premises, and he was well known to be the principal instrument for the dissemination of this sort of pollution all over the country. The prosecution was instituted by the meritorious Society for the Suppression of Vice. The judge made a few brief but impressive observations upon the inconceivable enormity of the prisoner's offence, and the whole course of his life, which he said had been one of vice, wickedness, infamy, and villainy, the real extent of which words would fail to describe. From the records of public proceedings for years past the Court had a knowledge of the prisoner's previous history, and it would be a waste of words and the public time to say any thing further to such a person. He was liable to three years' hard-labour, but, considering his age, the Court would refrain from going to extremity, but in the discharge of their duty to society and the rising generation they felt bound to pass upon him a severe sentence, which was that he be kept to hard labour for two years.

Table showing the degree of instruction of the persons taken into custody during a period of ten years - 1850 to 1860
Offences

Years

Total

Neither Read nor Write

Read only, or Read and Write imperfectly

Read and Write well

Superior Instruction


     Concealing births of their infants

From 1850 to 1860

167

28

124

15

-


     Feloniously attempting to procure abortion

9

-

3

4

2


     Rape

324

44

226

97

1


     Disorderly Prostitutes

41,914

10,134

30,921

784

75


     Indecently exposing the person

1,155

129

785

212

26


     Keeping common Brothels

143

22

81

40

-


     Selling and exposing obscene prints for sale

22

-

16

6

-


    

     Whilst I am dilating upon statistics it may not be inappropriate to refer to certain figures and facts relating to the Midnight Meeting movement.
     By the courtesy of Mr. Theophilus Smith, secretary to the Midnight Meeting movement, I have been furnished with the general statistical results.
     20 meetings have been held.
     4,000 friendless young women heard the gospel.
     23,000 Scripture cards, books, tracts, and Mr. Noel‘s address at the second meeting circulated.

89


     females restored to friends

75


     placed in service

81


     in homes

1


     set up in business

2


     emigrated

6


     married

1


     sent to France

1


     to Holland

1


     to New-York

30


     left homes after a short residence

287


      


     Of this number (287) very many (upwards of thirty) have given evidence of a change of heart.

56

restored at


     Liverpool

50


     Manchester

130


     Edinburgh

30


     Dundee

35


     Dublin

17


     Cardiff

10


     Ramsgate

358

 


      


     A total of 645, besides a large number who through the influence of the movement have given up a life of sin, and sought a way of escape for themselves. The committee have heard of many.
     I append a list of the metropolitan homes and refuges.

    1. British Penitent Female Refuge. Cambridge Heath, Hackney, N.E.
2. Female Temporary Home. 218, Marylebone Road, N.W.
3. Guardian Society. 12, North side of Bethnal Green, N.E.
4. Home for Friendless Young Females of Good Character. 17, New Ormond Street, W.C.
5. Home for Penitent Females. White Lion Street, Islington, N.
6. Lock Asylum. Westbourne Green, Paddington.
7. London Diocesan Penitentiary. Park House, Highgate, N.
8. London Female Dormitory. 9, Abbey Road, St. John's Wood.
9. London Female Penitentiary. 166, Pentonville Road, N.
10. London Female Preventive and Reformatory Institution. 200, Euston Road, N.W., and 18, Cornwall Place, Holloway Road, N.
11. London Society for Protection of Young Females. Asylum, Tottenham, N.; Office, 28, New Broad Street, E.C.
12. Magdalen Hospital. 115, Blackfriars Road, S.
13. Refuge for the Destitute. Manor House, Dalston, N.E.
14. Society for the Rescue of Young Women and Children. There are five homes; the office at 11, Poultry, E.C.
15. South London Institution.
16. St. Marylebone Female Protection Society. 157, Marylebone Road, N.W.
17. St. James' Home. Whetstone, Finchley Common, W.
18. Trinity Home. 9, Portland Road, Portland Place, W.
19. Westminster Female Refuge. 44, Vincent Square, S.W.
 
From February 1860 to February 1861, by contributions and collections the Society, it appears from the balance-sheet, received 2,924l. 7s. 4d.

     Traffic In Foreign Women


     ONE of the most disgraceful, horrible and revolting practices (not even eclipsed by the slave-trade), carried on by Europeans is the importation of girls into England from foreign countries to swell the ranks of prostitution. It is only very recently that the attention of Mr. Tyrrwhit, at the Marlborough Police Court, was drawn to the subject by Mr. Dalbert, agent to the "Society for the Protection of Women and Children."


     It is asserted that women are imported from Belgium, and placed in houses of illfame, where they are compelled to support their keepers in luxury and idleness by the proceeds of their dishonour. One house in particular was mentioned in Marylebone; but the state of the law respecting brothels is so peculiar that great difficulty is experienced in extricating these unfortunate creatures from their dreadful position. If it were proved beyond the suspicion of a doubt, that they were detained against their will, the Habeas Corpus Act might be of service to their friends, but it appears they are so jealously guarded, that all attempts to get at them have hitherto proved futile, although there is every reason to believe that energetic measures will be taken by the above-mentioned Society to mitigate the evil and relieve the victims.


     As this traffic is clandestine, and conducted with the greatest caution, it is impossible to form any correct idea of its extent. There are numbers of foreign women about, but it is probable that many of them have come over here of their own free-will, and not upon false pretences or compulsion. One meets with French, Spanish, Italian, Belgian, and other women.


     The complaint made before the metropolitan magistrate a short while since was in favour of Belgian women. But the traffic is not confined to them alone. It would appear that the unfortunate creatures are deluded by all sorts of promises and cajolery, and when they arrive in this country are, in point of fact, imprisoned in certain houses of ill-fame, whose keepers derive considerable emolument from their durance. They are made to fetter themselves in some way or other to the trepanner, and they, in their simple-mindedness, consider their deed binding, and look upon themselves, until the delusion is dispelled, as thoroughly in the power of their keepers.


     English women are also taken to foreign parts by designing speculators. The English are known to congregate at Boulogne, at Havre, at Dieppe, at Ostend, and other places. It is considered lucrative by the keepers of bawdy-houses at these towns to maintain an efficient supply of English women for their resident countrymen: and though the supply is inadequate to the demand, great numbers of girls are decoyed every year, and placed in the "Maisons de passé," or "Maisons de joie," as they are sometimes called, where they are made to prostitute themselves. And by the farm of their persons enable their procurers to derive considerable profit.


     An Englishwoman told me how she was very nearly entrapped by a foreign woman.


     "I met an emissary of a French bawdyhouse," she said, "one night in the Haymarket, and, after conversing with her upon various subjects, she opened the matter she had in hand, and, after a little manœuvring and bush-beating, she asked me if I would not like to go over to France. She specified a town, which was Havre. 'You will get lots of money," she added, and further represented 'that I should have a very jolly time of it.' 'The money you make will be equally divided between yourself and the woman of the house, and when you have made as much as you want, you may come back to England and set up a café or nighthouse, where your old friends will be only too glad to come and see you. You will of course get lots of custom, and attain a better future than you can now possibly hope for. You ought to look upon me as the greatest friend you have, for I am putting a chance in your way that does not occur every day, I can tell you. If you value your own comfort, and think for a moment about your future, you cannot hesitate. I have an agreement in my pocket, duly drawn up by a solicitor, so you may rely upon its being all on the square, and if you sign this - '


     'To-night?' I asked.


     'Yes, immediately. If you sign this, I will supply you with some money to get what you want, and the day after tomorrow you shall sail for Havre. Madame ------ is a very nice sort of person, and will do all in her power to make you happy and comfortable, and indeed she will allow you to do exactly as you please.'


     Fortunately for herself my informant refused to avail herself of the flattering prospect so alluringly held out to her. The bait was tempting enough, but the fish was too wary.


     Now let us hear the recital of a girl who, at an early age, had been incarcerated in one of these "Maisons de passé." She is now in England, has been in a refuge, and by the authorities of the charity placed in an occupation which enables her to acquire a livelihood sufficient to allow her to live as she had, up to that time, been accustomed to. Her story I subjoin:-


     When I was sixteen years' old, my father, who kept a public-house in Bloomsbury, got into difficulties and became bankrupt. I had no mother, and my relations, such as they were, insisted upon my keeping myself in some way or other. This determination on their part thoroughly accorded with my own way of thinking, and I did not for an instant refuse to do so. It then became necessary to discover something by which I could support myself. Service suggested itself to me and my friends, and we set about finding out a situation that I could fill. They told me I was pretty, and as I had not been accustomed to do anything laborious, they thought I would make a very good lady's maid. I advertised in a morning paper, and received three answers to my advertisement. The first I went to did not answer my expectations, and the second was moderately good; but I resolved to go to the third, and see the nature of it before I came to any conclusion. Consequently I left the second open, and went to the third. It was addressed from a house in Bulstrode street, near Welbeck street. I was ushered into the house, and found a foreign lady waiting to receive me. She said she was going back to France, and wished for an English girl to accompany her, as she infinitely preferred English to French women. She offered me a high salary, and told me my duties would be light; in fact by comparing her statement of what I should have to do with that of the others I had visited, I found that it was more to my advantage to live with her than with them. So after a little consultation with myself, I determined to accept her offer. No sooner had I told her so than she said in a soft tone of voice -


     'Then, my dear, just be good enough to sign this agreement between us. It is merely a matter of form - nothing more, ma chère.' I asked her what it was about, and why it was necessary for me to sign any paper at all?  She replied, 'Only for our mutual satisfaction. I wish you to remain with me for one year, as I shall not return to England until then. And if you hadn't some agreement with me, to bind you as it were to stay with me, why, mon Dieu! you might leave me directly - oh! c'est rien. You may sign without fear or trembling.' Hearing this explanation of the transaction, without reading over the paper which was written on half a sheet of foolscap, (for I did not wish to insult or offend her by so doing,) I wrote my name. She instantly seized the paper, held it to the fire for a moment or two to dry, and folding it up placed it in her pocket. She then requested me to be ready to leave London with her on the following Thursday, which allowed me two days to make my preparations and to take leave of my friends, which I did in very good spirits, as I thought I had a very fair prospect before me. It remained for what ensued to disabuse me of that idea.


     We left the St. Katherine's Docks in the steamer for Boulogne, and instead of going to an hotel, as I expected, we proceeded to a private house in the Rue N-- C--, near the Rue de l'Ecu. I have farther to tell you that three other young women accompanied us. One was a housemaid, one was a nursery governess, and the other a cook. I was introduced to them as people that I should have to associate with when we arrived at Madame's house. In fact they were represented to be part of the establishment; and they, poor things, fully believed they were, being as much deluded as myself. The house that Madame brought us to was roomy and commodious, and, as I afterwards discovered, well, if not elegantly, furnished. We were shown into very good bedrooms, much better than I expected would be allotted to servants; and when I mentioned this to Madame, and thanked her for her kindness and consideration, she replied with a smile:- 'Did I not tell you how well you would be treated? we do these things better in France than they do in England.' I thanked her again as she was going away, but she said, 'Tais toi, Tais toi,' and left me quite enchanted with her goodness.


     I need not expatiate on what subsequently ensued. It is easy to imagine the horrors that the poor girl had to undergo. With some difficulty she was conquered and had to submit to her fate. She did not know a word of the language, and was ignorant of the only method she could adopt to insure redress. But this she happily discovered in a somewhat singular manner. When her way of living had become intolerable to her, she determined to throw herself on the generosity of a young Englishman who was in the habit of frequenting the house she lived in, and who seemed to possess some sort of affection for her.


     She confessed her miserable position to him, and implored him to protect her or point out a means of safety. He at once replied, "The best thing you can do is to go to the British Consul and lay your case before him. He will in all probability send you back to your own country." It required little persuasion on her part to induce her friend to co-operate with her. The main thing to be managed was to escape from the house. This was next to impossible, as they were so carefully watched. But they were allowed occasionally, if they did not show any signs of discontent to go out for a walk in the town. The ramparts surrounding the "Haute Ville" were generally selected by this girl as her promenade, and when this privilege of walking out was allowed her, she was strictly enjoined not to neglect any opportunity that might offer itself. She arranged to meet her young friend there, and gave him notice of the day upon which she would be able to go out. If a girl who was so privileged chanced to meet a man known to the Bonne or attendant as a frequenter of the house, she retired to a convenient distance or went back altogether. The plot succeeded, the consul was appealed to and granted the girl a passport to return to England, also offering to supply her with money to pay her passage home. This necessity was obviated by the kindness of her young English friend, who generously gave her several pounds, and advised her to return at once to her friends.


     Arrived in England, she found her friends reluctant to believe the tale she told them, and found herself thrown on her own resources. Without a character, and with a mind very much disturbed, she found it difficult to do anything respectable, and at last had recourse to prostitution; - so difficult is it to come back to the right path when we have once strayed from it.


     Perhaps it is almost impossible to stop this traffic; but at any rate the infamous wretches who trade in it may be intimidated by publicity being given to their acts, and the indignation of the public being roused in consequence. What can we imagine more dreadful than kidnapping a confiding unsuspecting girl, in some cases we may say child, without exaggeration, for a girl of fifteen is not so very far removed from those who come within the provisions of the Bishop of Oxford's Act? I repeat, what can be more horrible than transporting a girl, as it were, by false representations from her native land to a country of strangers, and condemning her against her will to a life of the most revolting slavery and degradation, without her having been guilty of any offence against an individual or against the laws of the land?


     It is difficult to believe that there can be many persons engaged in this white slave trade, but it is undeniably true.


     It is not a question for the legislature; for what could Parliament do? The only way to decrease the iniquity is to widely disseminate the knowledge of the existence of such infamy, that those whom it most nearly concerns, may be put upon their guard, and thus be enabled to avoid falling into the trap so cunningly laid for them.


     Much praise is due to those benevolent societies who interest themselves in these matters, and especially to that which we have alluded to more than once - "The Society for the Protection of Women and Children," over which Lord Raynham presides.


     Much good may be done by this means, and much misery prevented. The mines of Siberia, with all their terrors, would be preferred - even with the knout in prospective - by these poor girls, were the alternative proffered them, to the wretched life they are decoyed into leading. For all their hopes are blasted, all their feelings crushed, their whole existence blighted, and their life rendered a misery to them instead of a blessing and a means of rational enjoyment.


     The idea of slavery of any kind is repulsive to the English mind; but when that slavery includes incarceration, and mental as well as physical subjection to the dominant power by whom that durance is imposed, it becomes doubly and trebly repugnant. If it were simply the deprivation of air and exercise, or even the performance of the most menial offices, it might be borne with some degree of resignation by the sufferer, however unmerited the punishment. But here we have a totally different case: no offence is committed by the victim, but rather by nature, for what is her fault, but being pretty and a woman? For this caprice of the genius of form who presided over her birth she is condemned to a life of misery, degradation, and despair; compelled to receive caresses that are hateful to her, she is at one moment the toy of senile sensuality, and at others of impetuous juvenility, both alike loathsome, both alike detestable. If blandishments disgust her, words of endearment only make her state of desolation more palpable; while profusions of regard serve to aggravate the poignancy of her grief, all around her is hollow, all artificial except her wretchedness. When to this is added ostracism - banishment from one's native country - the condition of the unfortunate woman is indeed pitiable, for there is some slight consolation in hearing one's native language spoken by those around us, and more especially to the class from which these girls are for the most part taken. We must add "pour comble d' injustice," that there is no future for the girl, no reprieve, no hope of mercy, every hope is gone from the moment the prison tawdry is assumed. The condemnation is severe enough, for it is for life. When her beauty and her charms no longer serve to attract the libidinous, she sinks into the condition of a servant to others who have been ensnared to fill her place. Happiness cannot be achieved by her at any period of her servitude; there must always be a restless longing for the end, which though comparatively quick in arriving is always too tardy.


     The mind in time in many cases becomes depraved, and the hardness of heart that follows this depravity often prevents the girl from feeling as acutely as she did at first. To these religion is a dead letter, which is a greater and additional calamity. But to be brief, the victim's whole life from first to last is a series of disappointments, combined with a succession of woes that excite a shudder by their contemplation, and which may almost justify the invocation of Death:-

Death, Death, oh amiable lovely death!
Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness!
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy detestable bones;
And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows;
And ring these fingers with thy household worms;
and stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself;
Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st,
And kiss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,
O, come to me!

SHAKESPERE, King John, Act iii. Scene 4.


      

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