eyes, Roman nose, with carefully tended whiskers, reaching the corners of a well-formed mouth, and thence descending in semicircles into a vast expanse of hair beneath the chin.

Having mentioned Mr Sponge’s groomy gait and horsey propensities, it were almost needless to say, that his dress was in the sporting style -- you saw what he was by his clothes. Every article seemed to be made to defy the utmost rigour of the elements. His hat (Lincoln and Bennett) was hard and heavy. It sounded upon an entrance-hall table like a drum. A little magical loop in the lining explained the cause of its weight. Somehow, his hats were never either old or new -- not that he bought them second-hand, but when he bought a new one he took its ‘long-coat’ off, as he called it, with a singeing lamp, and made it look as if it had undergone a few probationary showers.

When a good London hat recedes to a certain point, it gets no worse; it is not like a country-made thing that keeps going and going until it declines into a thing with no sort of resemblance to its original self. Barring its weight and hardness, the Sponge hat had no particular character apart from the Sponge head. It was not one of those punty ovals or Cheshire-cheese flats, or curly-sided things that enables one to say who is in a house and who is not, by a glance at the hats in the entrance, but it was just a quiet, round hat, without anything remarkable, either in the binding, the lining, or the band, still it was a very becoming hat when Sponge had it on. There is a great deal of character in hats. We have seen hats that bring the owners to the recollection far more forcibly than the generality of portraits. But to our hero.

That there may be a dandified simplicity in dress, is exemplified every day by our friends the Quakers, who adorn their beautiful brown Saxony coats with little inside velvet collars and fancy silk buttons, and even the severe order of sporting costume adopted by our friend Mr Sponge, is not devoid of capability in the way of tasteful adaptation. This Mr Sponge chiefly showed in promoting a resemblance between his neckcloths and waistcoats. Thus, if he wore a cream-coloured cravat, he would have a buff-coloured waistcoat, if a striped waistcoat, then the starcher would be imbued with somewhat of the same colour and pattern. The ties of these varied with their texture. The silk ones terminated in a sort of coaching fold, and were secured by a golden fox-head pin, while the striped starchers, with the aid of a pin on each side, just made a neat, unpretending tie in the middle, a sort of miniature of the flagrant, flyaway, Mile-End ones of aspiring youth of the present day. His coats were of the single-breasted cut-away order, with pockets outside, and generally either Oxford mixture or some dark colour, that required you to place him in a favourable light to say what it was.

His waistcoats, of course, were of the most correct form and material, generally either pale buff, or buff with a narrow stripe, similar to the undress vests of the servants of the Royal Family, only with the pattern run across instead of lengthways, as those worthies mostly have theirs, and made with good honest step collars, instead of the make-believe roll collars they sometimes convert their upright ones into. When in deep thought, calculating, perhaps, the value of a passing horse, or considering whether he should have beefsteaks or lamb chops for dinner, Sponge’s thumbs would rest in the arm-holes of his waistcoat; in which easy, but not very elegant, attitude, he would sometimes stand until all trace of the idea that elevated them had passed away from his mind.

In the trouser line he adhered to the close-fitting costume of former days; and many were the trials, the easings, and the alterings, ere he got a pair exactly to his mind. Many were the customers who turned away on seeing his manly figure filling the swing mirror in ‘Snip and Sneiders’,’ a monopoly that some tradesmen might object to, only Mr Sponge’s trousers being admitted to be perfect ‘triumphs of the art,’ the more such a walking advertisement was seen in the shop the better. Indeed, we believe it would have been worth Snip and Co.’s while to have let him have them for nothing. They were easy without being tight, or rather they looked tight without being so; there wasn’t a bag, a wrinkle, or a crease that there shouldn’t be, and strong and storm-defying as they seemed, they were yet as soft and as supple as a lady’s glove. They looked more as if his legs had been blown in them than as if such irreproachable garments were the work of man’s hands. Many were the nudges, and many the ‘look at this chap’s trousers,’ that were given by ambitious men emulous of his appearance as he passed along, and many

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