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238                Written Sketches

A Clifford's Inn Euphemism

People when they want to get rid of their cats, and do not
like killing them, bring them to the garden of Clifford's Inn,
drop them there and go away. In spite of all that is said
about cats being able to find their way so wonderfully, they
seldom do find it, and once in Clifford's Inn the cat generally
remains there. The technical word among the laundresses in
the inn for this is, " losing " a cat:

" Poor thing, poor thing/' said one old woman to me a few
days ago, " it's got no fur on its head at all, and no doubt
that's why the people she lived with lost her/'

London Trees

They are making a great outcry about the ventilators on
the Thames Embankment, just as they made a great outcry
about the Griffin in Fleet Street. [See Alps and Sanctuaries.
Introduction.] They say the ventilators have spoiled the
Thames Embankment. They do not spoil it half so much as
the statues do—indeed, I do not see that they spoil it at all.
The trees that are planted everywhere are, or will be, a more
serious nuisance. Trees are all very well where there is plenty
of room, otherwise they are a mistake; they keep in the
moisture, exclude light and air, and their roots disturb
foundations; most of our London Squares would look much
better if the trees were thinned. I should like to cut down all
the plane trees in the garden of Clifford's Inn and leave only
the others.

What I Said to the Milkman

One afternoon I heard a knock at the door and found it was
the milkman. Mrs. Doncaster [his laundress] was not there,
so I took in the milk myself. The milkman is a very nice man,
and, by way of making himself pleasant, said, rather com-
plainingly, that the weather kept very dry.

I looked at him significantly and said : " Ah, yes, of course
for your business you must find it very inconvenient," and

He saw he had been caught and laughed too.   It was a very