Whenever you have gone to take a serious look at the exhibition of works of sculpture and painting, such as it has been since the revolution of 1830, have you not been seized by a sense of uneasiness, weariness, sadness, at the sight of those long and over-crowded galleries? Since 1830, the true Salon no longer exists.
The two men dined together that evening and afterwards over the cigars in the Seer's room the old engineer talked of the progress and future of the great Reclamation work, of its value not only to our own nation but to the over-crowded nations beyond the seas, and of its place in the great forward march of the race.
The jails are over-crowded; we must either build new ones, or transform those we have into castles of refuge to which good people may fly to escape the criminal nations outside; there will be no over-crowding then! Let worldly wisdom and enlightened selfishness retire, and listen for a while to believers fanatics even.
"It's their whole position, their selfish predominance, their class conspiracy against the mass of people," said Margaret. "When I sit at dinner in that splendid room, with its glitter and white reflections and candlelight, and its flowers and its wonderful service and its candelabra of solid gold, I seem to feel the slums and the mines and the over-crowded cottages stuffed away under the table."
By Morton's desire, four of these lads readily undertook the task of sentinels, and he left with them Headrigg, on whose fidelity he could depend, with instructions to call him, if any thing remarkable happened. This arrangement being made, Morton and his colleague took possession, for the night, of such quarters as the over-crowded and miserable hamlet could afford them.
It was conceded, it was being made manifest daily that the housing of so many people for any length of time in the over-crowded mines was opt of the question. But that was a consideration to which the "Military Situation" could not resonably be expected to play second fiddle.
The majority of the miners on the Comstock in the first days of its activity lived in tents and dug-outs called "holes in the wall." I never realized the vastness of our country, nor the wonderful opportunities which the West affords those in search of wealth, until I lived there six months. There are untold undeveloped resources, the like of which does not exist in the over-crowded East.
A joyous Sunday mood doubtless filled the minds of the burghers, who to-day were out of doors on foot, in large over-crowded wooden wagons, or gaily-painted boats on the Rhine, to enjoy the leisure hours of the day of rest, eat country bread, yellow butter, and fresh cheese, or drink milk and cool beer, with their wives and children.
A small space was reserved for Murden, Fred, and myself, but it did not look large enough to seat one of us comfortably. In the corner opposite to me was the wounded man, and partly resting upon one of the police was Rover, as quiet and orderly a dog as ever suffered confinement for the purpose of saving life. "And von't you take me in?" asked Steel Spring, as Murden entered our over-crowded den.
"It's terribly awkward at times, for one minute I may be in China taking tea with a Mandarin of the Blue Button, and have to disappear suddenly, turning up a minute later in a first-class carriage on the Underground Railway, greatly to the surprise and indignation of the passengers, especially if it happens to be over-crowded without me, as it very often is.