THE recollections of my observation of England and its people which are recorded in the present chapter are very heterogeneous; and it might perhaps have been well to distribute most of them under appropriate headings. But I do not profess to treat my subject either with unvarying method or exhaustively; nor do I believe that anything would be gained by so doing. Those of my readers who can be thoughtful without being precise--and for such I write--will, I hope, not be repelled by the desultory character of these memories.
Among the minor material traits of England, none seemed to me more peculiar and characteristic than the many by-ways there and short cuts of common use through places that appeared to be closed to the public, and with us would be so. There is one of these in London, near the Albany, which goes right through a great block of houses. It is made of planks, and has a hand-rail. It brings one out into a little lane where there are shops which, one would think, might as well, so far as buying and selling was concerned, have been in the dome of St. Paul's or the Queen's drawing-room. But; the people knew their business, and the shops would not have been there if they had had no customers. I used this by-way frequently; and one Thursday morning, when I was