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MRS. CAUDLE'S CURTAIN LECTURES,
THE STORY OF A FEATHER,
THE SICK GIANT AND THE DOCTOR DWARF.
BRADBURY AND EVANS, 11, BOUVERIE STREET.
IT has happened to the writer that two, or three, or ten, or twenty gentlewomen have asked him-and asked in various notes of wonder, pity, and reproof
"What could have made you think of Mrs. Caudle? How could such a thing have entered any man's mind !”
There are subjects that seem like raindrops to fall upon a man's head, the head itself having nothing to do with the matter. The result of no train of thought, there is the picture, the statue, the book, wafted, like the smallest seed, into the brain to feed upon the soil, such as it may be, and grow there. And this was, no doubt, the accidental cause of the literary sowing, and expansion-unfolding like a night-flower-of Mrs. CAUDLE.
But let a jury of gentlewomen decide.
It was a thick, black wintry afternoon, when the writer stopt in the front of the play-ground of a suburban school. The ground swarmed with boys full of the Saturday's holiday. The earth seemed roofed with the oldest lead; and the wind came, sharp as Shylock's knife, from the Minories. But those happy boys ran and jumped, and hopped and shouted, and-unconscious men in miniature !—in their own world of frolic, had no thought of the full-length men they would some day become; drawn out into grave citizenship; formal, respectable, responsible. To them the sky was of any or all colours; and for that keen east-wind-if