Mirror of Literature,  2 (1823), 488–92.

The Night Walker in London



Extract, Miscellaneous

Publications extracted:

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine


Technology, Medical Practitioners, Morality, Immorality, Dissection, Steam-power

    The author describes how 'As the broad glare of gas drives darkness even from our alleys, so multitudinous avocations keep rest for ever from our streets' (488). Between midnight and two o'clock, the coffee-houses in the vicinity of Fleet Street and the Strand are 'beset by habitual idlers, or late-stirring "professional people"', including 'medical students guiltless of physic'. 'This is the very "witching time," par excellence, of night, / "When graves yield up their dead!" / (because resurrection-men will have it so)'. (489) Reflecting on the importation of ice for confectioners, the author suggests that, 'with the help of a few more devices in the way of commercial arrangement, and perhaps a new improvement or two as to the application of steam, it shall go hard but we will, shortly, turn the seasons out of doors altogether' (490).

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