But it has often struck me that Italian nights, whenever clouds do congregate, are somehow as much darker than English nights as Italian days are brighter than days in England. They have a heavier and thicker nigritude. They shut things out from you more impenetrably. They enclose you as in a small pavilion of black velvet. This tenement is not very comfortable in a strong gale.

You never tell nursery-tales of ghosts or fairies; you have conscientiously stripped from the dark closet every vestige of a legend; you have permitted juvenile inspection of the chimney, to prove that Santa Claus could not descend its sooty flue without grievous nigritude of the anticipated doll's frock, and have logically appealed to Miss Bran Beeswax's satin silveriness in proof of the non-existence of the saint beloved of Christmas-tide.

But what a sable triumph was his when he had cleared his awful tunnel and had emerged into daylight, blooming, as Lamb would say, in his first tender nigritude! "I seem to remember," he continues, "that a bad sweep was once left in a stack with his brush to indicate which way the wind blew."

I like to meet a sweep understand me not a grown sweeper old chimney-sweepers are by no means attractive but one of those tender novices, blooming through their first nigritude, the maternal washings not quite effaced from the cheek such as come forth with the dawn, or somewhat earlier, with their little professional notes sounding like the peep peep of a young sparrow; or liker to the matin lark should I pronounce them, in their aerial ascents not seldom anticipating the sun-rise?

A glance at the shock-headed boy showed a peculiarity in his visual organs; his eyes, which were black naturally, had evidently suffered in some kind of a fisticuff demonstration, and one of them still showed the marks; it was twice black, naturally and artificially; it had a dual nigritude, and might, perhaps, be called a double-barrelled black eye.

On a shelf above the sink, cluttered there with all the pitiful unprivacy of poverty, a layout, to recite which will label me with the nigritude of the realist, but which is actually the nigritude of reality a dish of brown-and-white blobs of soap; a coffee-cup with a great jag in its lip; a bottle of dried beans; a rubber nipple floating in a saucer of water; a glass tumbler containing one inverted tooth-brush; a medicine-bottle glued down in a dark-brown pool of its own substance; a propped-up bit of mirror, jagged of edge; a piece of comb; a rhinestone breastpin; a bunion-plaster; a fork; spoon; a sprouting onion.