though I felt somewhat inclined; for a man with a white hat and a sparkling eye held up a box which contained something which rattled, and asked me to fling the bones. ‘There is nothing like flinging the bones!’ said he, and then I thought I should like to know what kind of thing flinging the bones was; I, however, restrained myself. ‘There is nothing like flinging the bones!’ shouted the man, as my friend and myself left the room.

Long life and prosperity to Francis Ardry! but for him I should not have obtained knowledge which I did of the strange and eccentric places of London. Some of the places to which he took me were very strange places indeed; but, however strange the places were, I observed that the inhabitants thought there were no places like their several places, and no occupations like their several occupations; and among other strange places to which Francis Ardry conducted me was a place not far from the abbey church of Westminster.

Before we entered this place our ears were greeted by a confused hubbub of human voices, squealing of rats, barking of dogs, and the cries of various other animals. Here we beheld a kind of cock-pit, around which a great many people, seeming of all ranks, but chiefly of the lower, were gathered, and in it we saw a dog destroy a great many rats in a very small period; and when the dog had destroyed the rats, we saw a fight between a dog and a bear, then a fight between two dogs, then . . . .

After the diversions of the day were over, my friend introduced me to the genius of the place, a small man of about five feet high, with a very sharp countenance, and dressed in a brown jockey coat and top boots. ‘Joey,’ said he, ‘this is a friend of mine.’ Joey nodded to me with a patronising air. ‘Glad to see you, sir! - want a dog?’

‘No,’ said I.

‘You have got one, then - want to match him?’

‘We have a dog at home,’ said I, ‘in the country; but I can’t say I should like to match him. Indeed, I do not like dog-fighting.’

‘Not like dog-fighting!’ said the man, staring.

‘The truth is, Joe, that he is just come to town.’

‘So I should think; he looks rather green - not like dog-fighting!’

‘Nothing like it, is there, Joey?’

‘I should think not; what is like it? A time will come, and that speedily, when folks will give up everything else, and follow dog- fighting.’

‘Do you think so?’ said I.

‘Think so? Let me ask what there is that a man wouldn’t give up for it?’

‘Why,’ said I, modestly, ‘there’s religion.’

‘Religion! How you talk. Why, there’s myself bred and born an Independent, and intended to be a preacher, didn’t I give up religion for dog-fighting? Religion, indeed! If it were not for the rascally law, my pit would fill better on Sundays than any other time. Who would go to church when they could come to my pit? Religion! why, the parsons themselves come to my pit; and I have now a letter in my pocket from one of them, asking me to send him a dog.’

‘Well, then, politics,’ said I.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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