My “slops” were a very loose suit of clothes made of much coarser material than my own, and I suppose they were called “slops” because they fitted in such a peculiarly sloppy manner. The whole “rig out” (it included a strong clasp-knife, and a little leathern bag to keep my money in, which I was instructed to carry round my neck) was provided by Mr. Cohen in exchange for the clothes I had been wearing before, with the addition of ten shillings in cash. I dipped again into the leathern bag to provide a meal for myself and my friend; then, by his advice, I put a shilling and some coppers into my pocket, that I might not have to bring out my purse in public, and with a few parting words of counsel he wrung my hand, and we parted—he towards some place of business where he hoped to get employment, and I in the direction of the docks, where the ships come and go.
“I hope you will get work,” were my last words.
“The same to you, my lad,” was his reply, and it seemed to acknowledge me as one of that big brotherhood of toilers who, when they want “something to do,” want it not to pass time but to earn daily bread.
Dearka.” ("Beg of a Beggar.”)
“... From her way of
speaking they also saw immediately that she
too was an Eirisher.... They must be a bonny family when they are
all at home!”—The Life of Mansie Tailor in Dalkeith.
“Dock” (so ran the 536th of the ‘Penny Numbers’) is “a place artificially formed for the reception of ships, the entrance of which is generally closed by gates. There are two kinds of docks, dry-docks and wet-docks. The former are used for receiving ships in order to their being inspected and repaired. For this purpose the dock must be so contrived that the water may be admitted or excluded at pleasure, so that a vessel can be floated in when the tide is high, and that the water may run out with the fall of the tide, or be pumped out, the closing of the gates preventing its return. Wet-docks are formed for the purpose of keeping vessels always afloat.... One of the chief uses of a dock is to keep a uniform level of water, so that the business of loading and unloading ships can be carried on without any interruption.... The first wet-dock for commercial purposes made in this kingdom was formed in the year 1708 at Liverpool, then a place of no importance.”
The business of loading and unloading ships can be carried on without any interruption. If everything that the Penny Numbers told of were as true to the life as that, the world’s wonders (at least those of them which begin with the first four letters of the alphabet) must be all that I had hoped; and perhaps that bee-hive about which Master Isaac and I had had our jokes, did really yield a “considerable income” to the fortunate French bee-master!