"How lovely!" said Isabel, swiftly catching at her skirt, and deftly escaping contact with one of a long row of ash-barrels posted sentinel-like on the edge of the pavement. "Whose is it, Basil?" "Ah! a poet's," answered her husband, "a man of whom we shall one day any of us be glad to say that we liked him before he was famous.

Once she found herself in the afternoon torrent of Broadway, swept past tawdry shops and flaming theatrical posters, with a succession of meaningless faces gliding by in the opposite direction... A feeling of faintness reminded her that she had not eaten since morning. She turned into a side street of shabby houses, with rows of ash-barrels behind bent area railings.

When he had found his way, among the ash-barrels and the groups of decently dressed church-goers, to the docks, he experienced a sufficient excitement in the recent arrival of a French steamer, whose sheds were thronged with hacks and express-wagons, and in a tacit inquiry into the emotions of the passengers, fresh from the cleanliness of Paris, and now driving up through the filth of those streets.

"How lovely!" said Isabel, swiftly catching at her skirt, and deftly escaping contact with one of a long row of ash-barrels posted sentinel-like on the edge of the pavement. "Whose is it, Basil?" "Ah! a poet's," answered her husband, "a man of whom we shall one day any of us be glad to say that we liked him before he was famous.

On the hot summer days, when the saloon-keeper on the farther side of the street pulled up his awning, the sun came over the house-tops and looked down for an hour or two into the alley. It shone upon broken flags, a mud-puddle by the hydrant where the children went splashing with dirty, bare feet, and upon unnumbered ash-barrels.

In the first place, whenever Aunt Nancy appeared with the bottle and spoon, as many of the children as could get away would flee for their lives, and hide themselves behind the hen-coops and ash-barrels, and under the cabins, and anywhere they could conceal themselves.

To these belonged the frowzy serving-women; to these the rows of ash-barrels, in which the decrepit children and mothers of the streets were clawing for bits of coal. By the time Basil and Isabel reached Broadway there were already some omnibuses beginning their long day's travel up and down the handsome, tiresome length of that avenue; but for the most part it was empty.

'Findings is havings' was one of the laws of the ash-heap haunters; and no one thought of disputing another's right to the spoons and knives that occasionally found their way into the ash-barrels; while bottles, old shoes, rags, and paper, were regular articles of traffic among them.

Manstey occupied the back room on the third floor of a New York boarding-house, in a street where the ash-barrels lingered late on the sidewalk and the gaps in the pavement would have staggered a Quintus Curtius.

The accommodations, too, while they are comfortable and even luxurious for the poor creatures that have hitherto slept on ash-barrels and stone flaggings, are unfit for household pets that have slept on cushions, soft rugs, and milady's bed. There is a dog-house and a cat-house, sufficiently far apart that the occupants of one need not be disturbed by those of the other.