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diately followed by others as interesting; a flowing gallery of portraits; all life, life! Waiting unobserved under the awning, occasionally, too, I hear voices as the throng goes by on the pavementpleasant tones of people chatting and the human sunshine of laughter. The atmosphere is full of movement, full of light, and life streams to and fro.

Yonder, over the road, a row of fishermen lean against the rails of the cliff, some with their backs to the sea, some facing it. "The cliff" is rather a misnomer, it is more like a sea-wall in height. This row of stout men in blue jerseys, or copper-hued tan frocks, seems to be always there, always waiting for the tide or nothing. Each has his particular position; one, shorter than the rest, leans with his elbows backwards on the low rail; another hangs over and looks down at the site of the fish market; an older man stands upright, and from long habit looks steadily out to sea. They have their hands in their pockets; they appear fat and jolly, as round as the curves of their smacks drawn up on the beach beneath them. They are of such that "sleep o' nights;" no anxious ambition disturbs their placidity. No man in this world knows how to absolutely do -nothing, like a fisherman. Sometimes he turns round, sometimes he does not, that is all. The sun shines, the breeze comes up the cliff, far away a French fishing lugger is busy enough. The boats on the beach are idle, and swarms of boys are climbing over them, swinging on a rope from the bowsprit, or playing at marbles under the cliff. Bigger boys collect under the lee of a smack, and do

nothing cheerfully. The fashionable throng hastens to and fro, but the row leaning against the railings do not stir.

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Doleful tales they have to tell any one who inquires about the fishing. There have been "no herrings these two years. One man went out with his smack, and after working for hours returned with one sole. I can never get this one sole out of my mind when I see the row by the rails. While the fisherman was telling me this woeful story, I fancied I heard voices from a crowd of the bigger boys collected under a smack, voices that said, "Ho! ho! Go on! you're kidding the man!" Is there much "kidding" in this business of fish? Another man told me (but he was not a smack proprietor) that £50, £70, or £80 was a common night's catch. Some people say that the smacks never put to sea until the men have spent every shilling they have got, and are obliged to sail. If truth lies at the bottom of a well, it is the well of a fishing boat, for there is nothing so hard to get at as the truth about fish. At the time when society was pluming itself on the capital results attained by the Fisheries Exhibition in London, and gentlemen described in the papers how they had been to market and purchased cod at sixpence a pound, one shilling and eightpence a pound was the price in the Brighton fishmongers' shops, close to the sea. Not the least effect was produced in Brighton; fish remains at precisely the same price as before all this ridiculous trumpeting. But while the fishmongers charge twopence each for fresh herrings, the old women bring them to the door at sixteen a shill. The poor who

live in the old part of Brighton, near the markets, use great quantities of the smaller and cheaper fish, and their children weary of the taste to such a degree that when the girls go out to service they ask to be excused from eating it.

The fishermen say they can often find a better market by sending their fish to Paris; much of the fish caught off Brighton goes there. It is fifty miles to London, and 250 to Paris; how then can this be? Fish somehow slip through ordinary rules, being slimy of surface; the maxims of the writers on demand and supply are quite ignored, and there is no groping to the bottom of this well of truth.

Just at the corner of some of the old streets that come down to the King's Road one or two old fishermen often stand. The front one props himself against the very edge of the buildings, and peers round into the broad sunlit thoroughfare; his brown copper frock makes a distinct patch of colour at the edge of the house. There is nothing in common between him and the moving throng: he is quite separate and belongs to another race; he has come down from the shadow of the old street, and his copper-hued frock might have come out of the last century.

The fishing-boats and the fishing, the nets, and all the fishing work are a great ornament to Brighton. They are real; there is something about them that forms a link with the facts of the sea, with the forces of the tides and winds, and the sunlight gleaming on the white crests of the waves. They speak to thoughts lurking in the mind; they float between life

and death as with a billow on either hand; their anchors go down to the roots of existence. This is real work, real labour of man, to draw forth food from the deep as the plough draws it from the earth. It is in utter contrast to the artificial work-the feathers, the jewellery, the writing at desks of the town. The writings of a thousand clerks, the busy factory work, the trimmings and feathers, and counter-attendance do not touch the real. They are all artificial. For food you must still go to the earth and to the sea, as in primeval days. Where would your thousand clerks, your trimmers, and countersalesmen be without a loaf of bread, without meat, without fish? The old brown sails and the nets, the anchors and tarry ropes, go straight to nature. You do not care for nature now? Well! all I can say is, you will have to go to nature one day-when you die you will find nature very real then. I rede you to recognize the sunlight and the sea, the flowers and woods now.

I like to go down on the beach among the fishing boats, and to recline on the shingle by a smack when the wind comes gently from the west, and the low wave breaks but a few yards from my feet. I like the occasional passing scent of pitch: they are melting it close by. I confess I like tar: one's hands smell nice after touching ropes. It is more like home down on the beach here; the men are doing something real, sometimes there is the clink of a hammer; behind me there is a screen of brown net, in which rents are being repaired; a big rope yonder stretches as the horse goes round, and the heavy

smack is drawn slowly up over the pebbles. The full curves of the rounded bows beside me are pleasant to the eye, as any curve is that recalls those of woman. Mastheads stand up against the sky, and a loose rope swings as the breeze strikes it; a veer of the wind brings a puff of smoke from the funnel of a cabin, where some one is cooking, but it is not disagreeable, like smoke from a house chimney-pot; another veer carries it away again,depend upon it the simplest thing cooked there is nice. Shingle rattles as it is shovelled up for ballast -the sound of labour makes me more comfortably lazy. They are not in a hurry, nor "chivy" over their work either; the tides rise and fall slowly, and they work in correspondence. No infernal fidget and fuss. Wonder how long it would take me to pitch a pebble so as to lodge on the top of that large brown pebble there? I try, once now and then.

Far out over the sea there is a peculiar bank of clouds. I was always fond of watching clouds; these do not move much. In my pocket-book I see I have several notes about these peculiar sea-clouds. They form a band not far above the horizon, not very thick but elongated laterally. The upper edge is curled or wavy, not so heavily as what is called mountainous, not in the least threatening; this edge is white. The body of the vapour is a little darker, either becausethicker, or because the light is reflected at a different angle. But it is the lower edge which is singular: in direct contrast with the curled or wavy edge above, the under edge is perfectly straight and parallel to the line of the horizon. It looks as if the level of the sea

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