By this term we refer to the street vendors of the city, who hawk their wares through the public thoroughfares. A recent number of the Cornhill Magazine, of London, contains the following interesting description of this class:

As New York is the largest city in America, we naturally find more of this class there than anywhere else. It takes a long residence in the city to become familiar with them, for they vary with the season, and their occupations change according to circumstances. In many respects New York city resembles London or Paris. And so would any other town with a million of inhabitants, surrounded by a cluster of cities, which swell the united population to almost two millions. It may well be doubted if there is a city in Europe which presents so many strong characteristics as the American metropolis. The population of Manhattan Island is a mixture of all the peoples under the sun, fearfully and wonderfully jumbled together. About one thousand foreigners a day arrive in New York from all parts of the world the year round. The resident American is always coming in contact with Spaniards, Germans, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Africans, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Mexicans, Scotchmen, Canadians, Englishmen, Arabs, Prussians, Swedes, and Italians. The Frenchman is as much at home as in his native Paris; the Scotchman hears the bagpipes in the City Hall Park, and sees the shepherd's dog at the Central Park; the Chinaman can find a whole street devoted to the selling of his teas, his native idols stare him in the face as advertisements before a Yankee shop door, and all the ladies on Broadway are toying with his fans; the Irishman rules the city, and hoists his green flag upon the public buildings; the African is the most important man in the crowd, and expects soon to colonize the whites in British America, or somewhere else, while the German has his sangerbunds and his schutzenfests and lager bier, and runs a halle and a boarding haus. Great is the mystery of New York.

But to the patterers. These are that large class of people who hawk their wares upon the street, or get a living at a stand. Some of them do a thriving trade, others barely eke out a miserable existence. Take them all in all, and they are a very curious class of people, interesting to study. A large number of them are women, from the oldest gray-haired grandmother, tottering on her cane, down to the young woman of sixteen. There are numerous little girls struggling to get a living, too, from three years old upwards. The women always excite our pity, and we patronize them in preference to the men.

The women patterers are usually a very ugly-looking set. That is, they are not handsome. Most of them are Irishwomen, although we now and then see an Italian or German woman. We never saw more than two American women patterers in New York, and have no recollection of ever seeing a Jewess, a Scotch woman, or a Spanish woman. The women and girls sell flowers, newspapers, candy, toothpicks, fruit, various kinds of food, turn hand-organs, sell songs, and beg. A woman never sells cigars or tobacco, and we have never seen one crying gentlemen's neckties. There is an old woman on Nassau street, not far from the General Post-office, who sits behind a stocking stall, covered with ladies' hose and gentlemen's socks, suspenders, mittens (the women always were fond of dealing in mittens) list slippers, yarns, and such stuff. So far as we know, this woman is an exception to her sex.

Very few women patterers in New York cry their wares. There is one ancient dame in the vicinity of St. John's Park, who screeches ' straw- ab-berries' in the spring time, following it up in the summer with 'blackberrie-e-e-s.' She seldom gets above Canal street, and always stays upon the west side of Broadway. Her voice has been familiar in that section of the city for the past five years, at least, and would be sadly missed if some day she should happen to get choked with one of her own berries, and, turning black in the face, be laid out on a bier of straw ready for burial.

There is a very stout old lady who always sits by the City Hospital gate, on Broadway. She has been in that selfsame spot, ever since before 'the late war,' and how much longer we know not. She is immensely stout, and must weigh at least two hundred pounds. Rain or shine, hot or cold, there she sits, with a little stand of newspapers before her - the Tribune, World, Herald, Times, and Sun. She only sells morning papers, and leaves when they are all sold. She always has her knitting-work, or sewing with her, and can often be seen making her own garments. Now and then she grows weary, the eyes close, the head falls forward, the mouth opens, the fingers stop, (still holding on to the knitting work,) and she dreams! What are her dreams? Possibly of a happy home in a distant land, a long time ago, when she was a little girl, and had a father to bless her, and a mother to love. A brace of omnibuses come thundering down the pavement, and she awakes. If people purchase papers of her while she is asleep they drop the pennies upon her stand, and pass on. This old body has a daughter who sells newspapers at a stand directly opposite, upon the other side of the street. The daughter is not as dutiful as she ought to be, and sometimes there is a family jar upon the street, not at all to the edification of those who witness it.

One of the saddest sights in New York is that of a pale-faced, light- haired woman, middle-aged, who can frequently be seen sitting on a Broadway curbstone behind a small hand-organ, from which she grinds a plaintive tune, the notes of which are seldom heard above the thunder of the street. She always appears bareheaded, and with a small child in her lap. The little straw hat of the babe is put upon the top of the organ to catch the pennies and bits of scrip. We are glad to notice that many men remember her in passing.

City Hall Park, Printing-House Square, Bowery, and Nassau street, are the great centres for all kinds of patterers. Here women sell ice cream, lemonade, doughnuts, buns, tropical fruits, and sweetmeats. Bananas and pineapples are favorite fruits and all forms of chocolate candies are in great demand. Most of the women who attend stalls grow very stout, as they get little or no exercise. It is noticed that very few of them ever partake of the fruits or other edibles which they deal in. They always bring a lunch with them of bread and butter, cold soups, and cold tea or coffee, with occasionally a bit of meat. One evening, opposite the Fifth Avenue Hotel, we saw a young woman, evidently nineteen or twenty, playing upon a violin. She was blind, and, as it was a warm, bright moonlight night, her head was bare. The countenance had a very sad, sweet expression, and the air she played was a far-away dreamy romance. We never saw her but once.

The poor little girls of New York do a wonderful number of things to get a living. They sell matches, toothpicks, cigars, songs, newspapers, flowers, etc. There is a good deal of romance published in the newspapers, about the flower-girls, which does not exist. The Evening Post once said they were as handsome as the flower-girls of Paris. If they are, the Paris flower-girls must be frightful little wretches. The flower-girls of New York cluster about St. Paul's churchyard and the Astor House, and can be found scattered up Broadway as high as Twenty- third street. They sell magnolias, hand bouquets and button-hole bouquets for gentlemen's coats. They appear on the streets with the earliest spring violets, and only disappear with 'the last rose of summer.' A rainy day is a very good one for the flowers, and they sell better than in fair weather. When the skies are lowering, man wants something to cheer him, and so he takes a tuberose and a geranium leaf, and puts it in the button-hole of his coat. The girls buy their flowers of the gardeners out in the suburbs of the city, and then manufacture their own bouquets.

Some of the little girls who patter upon the street make a tolerably good living, if they are industrious and stick to their business. Oranges and sponges sell well, and often from two to four dollars' worth are disposed of between the rising and the setting of the sun. Pattering is only profitable during business hours, which, in New York, do not commence much before 9 o'clock, and close by 5 P. M. So the patterer is a gentleman with the rest of them, and shuts up shop at the same time A. T. Stewart and H. B. Claflin do their marble and sandstone palaces. There are exceptions to this rule, as there are to all rules. Those who patter at the Battery, and in the vicinity of South Ferry, where a constant stream of people is passing back and forth far into the night, stick by their stands as long as there is any one upon the street. At midnight, when the thunder of the streets is hushed, and the moon is rolling beneath a dark cloud, the heads of old men and women can be seen nid, nid, nodding, from Bowling Green to the Battery wall. Where they go to when they close up their stalls and crawl away in the darkness, it is impossible to say.

The most interesting sights in connection with pattering may be seen in the vicinity of Castle Garden, and on the east side of City Hall Park, opposite Park Row. At Castle Garden the patterers meet with a constant stream of freshly arrived emigrants. They have just landed in 'free America,' and the first thing which greets their eyes after they have left the officials, and passed the portals of the Garden, is a long row of patterers behind stalls filled with ginger-cakes, lemonade, tropical fruits, apples, etc. Many of the poor peasants from the interior of Europe never saw a bunch of red or golden bananas, they know nothing of the mysteries of a pineapple, and are unacquainted with cocoa-nuts. They look with no little astonishment upon these products of the soil, but hesitate to purchase them. They are shy of the new-fangled American drinks, but being very thirsty, occasionally indulge in a glass of lemonade. How their eyes sparkle as the delicious nectar runs down their throats. Such wasser is unknown to the springs of Germany. Bread, cakes and apples are readily bought by them, but as they deal in hard cash, and talk German, and as the old woman they are trading with speaks Irish-English, and has nothing but scrip, it takes some little time to conclude a bargain. A great deal of talking is done on the fingers, and the emigrant goes away satisfied, nay, pleased, at the great amount of something to eat he is able to buy in America with a small lot of silver. Besides this, the old woman behind the stall gives him a variety of paper money, curiously printed. He looks at it, then doubles it up, and puts it carefully away.

The men patterers are a much larger class in New York than the women. They are engaged in all imaginable occupations and dog your steps at every corner. Some of these men are middle-aged, able-bodied fellows, quite strong and healthy enough to be clearing up land in the West or laying bricks at five dollars a day. For some unaccountable reason they prefer to remain in New York, living from hand to mouth, and doing nothing to improve themselves, mentally, worldly, or financially. We have one of these in mind now. Sitting on the west side of Broadway, not far from White street, a young man of about thirty-two or three, healthy, stout, and quite intelligent looking, employs his time in tending a small stand, upon which a few gum-drops and chocolates are displayed for sale. Here is enterprise and ambition for you. We have passed his stand several times a day for the last year, and we never saw him selling anything to a man. They are ashamed of his presence on the street in such an occupation. A girl, or a poor woman, would get some sympathy, but for an able-bodied man in America, none! The fellow has a wife, and sometimes she takes place. There is a sad, disconsolate look upon her face, and well there may be, since she is united to such a lazy dolt of a husband.

It has been noticed that dwarfs and deformed people often resort to pattering. Like Gloster, in King Richard III., they are 
             - - - 'curtailed thus of fair proportion, 
            Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, 
            Deform'd, unfinished, sent before their time 
            Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, 
            And that so lamely and unfashionable, 
            That dogs bark at them.'

Through these misfortunes they hope to tell upon the feelings of the public, and thereby secure a larger share of patronage. One of these 4 unfashionable human beings stands on Broadway, with a bunch of carpet dusters in his hand-leather thongs fastened to a handle. Another poor fellow in front of the Times office has no arms, and therefore supports himself by whittling kindling-wood for the benefit of the public. A dwarf on the sidewalk, not far from the St. Nicholas Hotel, has an immense head, with ugly and snubbish features, a short body, and ungainly limbs. He peddles apples.

The other men and boy patterers of New York sell cigars, whips, neckties, sleeve-buttons, dogs, young bears, watch-chains, resurrection plants, sponge-cakes, and all the articles sold by women. A man does a thriving business at the foot of one of the large marble columns of the Sub-Treasury on Wall street. He keeps fresh home-made sponge cakes, which sell for five or ten cents each. One of these is enough for a man's lunch.

The dog and bear men lurk in the vicinity of the Astor House. They always have a basket in which they carry their animals, and during business hours spend the most of their time scratching their backs with a comb. These men seem to be a little unsound in the upper regions. They wear long hair, loose fitting clothes, broad-brimmed hats, and are perfectly happy whether they sell a dog or not. No one has yet been seen offering cats for sale. Maps, pictures, and songs are frequently indulged in by the street patterers. Most of them are horrible prints, highly colored, representing favorite priests, the Presidents, naval conflicts, battles, and fires. The maps have the Irish harp in one corner and the United States flag in the other. The favorite maps are those of Ireland and New York City.

Since the police have banished the banner-men from the side-walks, the various trades have taken to representing themselves in odd costumes on the backs of ambitious patterers. Just now walking awnings, barber's poles, whalebones, etc., are the rage. Like everything else in a city, this will be tolerated until it becomes a nuisance, when the police will take them off to the station-house and they will be among the things that were.

"The patterers of New York could well be dispensed with. Most of them deserve none of our sympathy, and should be taken in charge by the government, and set to work at some useful occupation. This would clear the streets of a great many disgusting sights, and give the town an air of thrift and respectability, which it is not likely to have as long as such a horde of spendthrifts hang about all the corners."