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So I sat behind a desk many hours in the day, ostensibly engaged in transcribing documents of various kinds; the scene of my labours was a strange old house, occupying one side of a long and narrow court, into which, however, the greater number of the windows looked not, but into an extensive garden, filled with fruit trees, in the rear of a large, handsome house, belonging to a highly respectable gentleman, who, moyennant un douceur considerable, had consented to instruct my father’s youngest son in the mysteries of glorious English law. Ah! would that I could describe the good gentleman in the manner which he deserves; he has long since sunk to his place in a respectable vault, in the aisle of a very respectable church, whilst an exceedingly respectable marble slab against the neighbouring wall tells on a Sunday some eye wandering from its prayer-book that his dust lies below; to secure such respectabilities in death, he passed a most respectable life. Let no one sneer, he accomplished much; his life was peaceful, so was his death. Are these trifles? I wish I could describe him, for I loved the man, and with reason, for he was ever kind to me, to whom kindness has not always been shown; and he was, moreover, a choice specimen of a class which no longer exists—a gentleman lawyer of the old school. I would fain describe him, but figures with which he has nought to do press forward and keep him from my mind’s eye; there they pass, Spaniard and Moor, Gypsy, Turk, and livid Jew. But who is that? what that thick pursy man in the loose, snuff-coloured greatcoat, with the white stockings, drab breeches, and silver buckles on his shoes; that man with the bull neck, and singular head, immense in the lower part, especially about the jaws, but tapering upward like a pear; the man with the bushy brows, small grey eyes replete with catlike expression, whose grizzled hair is cut close, and whose ear-lobes are pierced with small golden rings? Oh! that is not my dear old master, but a widely different personage. Bon jour, Monsieur Vidocq! expressions de ma part