23 Pages

Letter XXXI: Thursday, January 31, 1850

I now continue the evidence which I commenced in my last letter, concerning the class of characters frequenting the low lodging-houses of the Metropolis. I there gave the statements, it will perhaps be remembered, of a young pickpocket and a returned convict, together with the testimony of a man of superior education and birth, who, through inveterate intemperance, had been forced to become an inmate of these wretched and infamous dens. These men, I wish it to be distinctly understood, are not picked cases. The first two were taken from a house at the East -end, which pretends to be of a far superior character to the ordinary run of such places - and the third was met with at a house in the Borough. To complete the picture of the classes usually congregating in these places, I shall in my present letter give the confessions of one of the beggars, and one of the prostitutes, who may be taken as fair average types ofthe other inmates of the low lodging-houses of London; and I shall conclude with a Report of a Meeting of 150 of the Vagrants gathered from all parts of the metropolis.