The Butcher, Newport Market Alleydetails

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The Butcher, Newport Market Alley

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A bearded butcher chops meat, seemingly on a tree-stump, surrounded by his customers.

“What! you have no district markets in London! People buy their meat and vegetables in these horrible little shops!” one of my companions exclaimed, as we pushed our way along the crowded pavement of the New Cut on Sunday morning, when the police and the costermongers were at loggerheads. “And, pray, why are the police hustling these wretched fellows who are trying to sell a few more oranges, or another knife or comb? Remark that tottering old woman with the laces-driven into the road! Look at the customers of that hard-faced street butcher!”

I explained that hawking on Sundays was illegal.

“But these men, whose faces tell how hard they work, have no other time, or their wives haven’t. It cannot be for their pleasure they take part of their only holiday to go to market.”

I answered that they mostly left off work early on Saturdays. (p. 159)


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