London Labour and the London Poor: A Cyclopaedia of the Condition and Earnings of Those that Will Work, Those that Cannot Work, and Those that Will Not Work, Volume 1

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G. Woodfall and Son, 1851 - Crime
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This is a fascinating look at the culture and condition of the street sellers of London. It thoroughly covers the ways in which the sellers sell their wares, the wares sold, the sellers' views on religion, the sellers' slang, food and drink, entertainment, customs.... Some of the passages are quotes from costermongers themselves. (Probably the most fascinating part of all.)
A very enlightening look at street life in the mid 19th century, and very worth a read for students of history and culture.
 

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Page 304 - Imagination fondly stoops to trace The parlour splendours of that festive place: The white-washed wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnished clock that clicked behind the door: The chest contrived a double debt to pay, A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day; The pictures placed for ornament and use, The twelve good rules...
Page 322 - I ever wish to change such hours of freedom for all the luxuries of civilized life, and, unnatural and extraordinary as it may appear, yet such is the fascination of the life of the mountain hunter, that I believe not one instance could be adduced of even the most polished and civilized of men, who had once tasted the sweets of its attendant liberty and freedom from every worldly care, not regretting the moment when he exchanged it for the monotonous life of the settlements, nor sighing, and sighing...
Page 9 - There are hundreds of stalls, and every stall has its one or two lights; either it is illuminated by the intense white light of the new self-generating gas-lamp, or else it is brightened up by the red smoky flame of the oldfashioned grease lamp.
Page 3 - ... greater development of the animal than of the intellectual or moral nature of man, and that they are all more or less distinguished for their high cheek-bones and protruding jaws — for their use of a slang language — for their lax .ideas of property — for their general improvidence — their repugnance to continuous labour — their disregard of female honour — their love of cruelty — their pugnacity — and their utter want of...
Page 39 - ... werry far gone. She used to be at work from six in the morning till ten o'clock at night, which was a long time for a child's belly to hold out again, and when it was dark we would go and lie down on the bed and try and sleep until she came home with the food. I was eight year old then. 'A man as know'd mother, said to her, "Your boy's got nothing to do, let him come along with me and yarn a few ha'pence,
Page 25 - With glowing cheeks, flashing eyes, and palpitating bosom, Venetia Trelawney rushed back into the refreshment-room, where she threw herself into one of the arm-chairs already noticed. But scarcely had she thus sunk down upon the flocculent cushion, when a sharp click, as of some mechanism giving way, met her ears; and at the same instant her wrists were caught in manacles which sprang out of the arms of the treacherous chair, while two steel bands started from the richly carved back and grasped her...
Page 322 - Although liable to an accusation of barbarism, I must confess that the very happiest moments of my life have been spent in the wilderness of the far West; and I never recall but with pleasure the remembrance of my solitary camp in the Bayou Salado, with no friend near me more faithful than my rifle, and no companions more sociable than my good horse and mules, or the attendant coyote which nightly serenaded us.
Page 1 - Of the thousand millions of human beings that are said to constitute the population of the entire globe, there are — socially, morally, and perhaps even physically considered — but two distinct and broadly marked races, viz., the wanderers and the settlers — the vagabond and the citizen — the nomadic and the civilized tribes.
Page 108 - Lady," which she never passed without curtseying to. Of course I detail these matters as mere facts, without desiring to offer any opinion here, either as to the benefit or otherwise of the creed in question. As I had shown how the English costermonger neither had nor knew any religion whatever, it became my duty to give the reader a view of the religion of the Irish street-sellers. In order to be able to do so as truthfully as possible, I placed myself in communication with those parties who were...

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