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The Napoleon of Notting Hill

the dream the streets i trodThe lit straight streets shot out and metThe starry streets that point to godThis legend of an epic houra child i dreamed, and dream it stilInder the great grey water-towerThat strikes the stars on Campden hillG K C

hair-dressersalk about londeCicconani's You know, I'm awfully fond of hair-dressers shops Theyremiles better than those nasty butchers And he disappeared into theforaThe man called james continued to gaze after him, a monocle screwedinto his eyeWhat the devil do you make of that fellow? he asked his companioa pale young man with a high noseThe pale young man reflected conscientiously for some minutes, anden salHad a knock on his head when he was a kid i should thinkNo, I don't think it's that, replied the Honourable James Barker Isometimes fancied he was a sort of artist lambertBosh! "cried Mr Lambert, brieflyI admit I can't make him out, " resumed Barker abstractedly, he neveropens his mouth without saying something so indescribably half-wittedthat to call him a fool seems the very feeblest attempt at characterisationBut there's another thing about him that's rather funny Do you knowthat he has the one collection of Japanese lacquer in Europe? Have youever seen his books? All greek poets and mediaeval french and that sorof thing

Have you ever been in his rooms? It's like being inside anamethyst And he moves about in all that and talks like-like a turnipWell, damn all books Your blue books as well, said the ingenuousMr Lambert, with a friendly simplicity You ought to understand suchings What do you make of him?He's bevond me, returned Barker "But if you asked me for my opinion, I should say he was a man with a taste for nonsense, as they callt--artistic fooling, and all that kind of thing And i seriously believe thathe has talked nonsense so much that he has half bewildered his ownmind and doesn't know the difference between sanity and insanityhas gone round the mental world, so to speak, and found the placewhere the East and the West are one, and extreme idiocy is as good asychological gamesYou can't explain them to me,"replied Mr Wilfrid Lambert, withcandourAs they passed up the long streets towards their restaurant the coppertwilight cleared slowly to a pale yellow, and by the time they reached itthey stood discernible in a tolerable winter daylight The HohonourableJames Barker, one of the most powerful officials in the English Government(by this time a rigidly official one), was a lean and elegant young

blank handsome face and bleak blue eyes He had a greatamount of intellectual capacity, of that peculiar kind which raises a manfrom throne to throne and lets him die loaded with honours withouthaving either amused or enlightened the mind of a single man wilfridLambert, the youth with the nose which appeared to impoverish the restof his face, had also contributed little to the enlargement of the humanspirit, but he had the honourable excuse of being a fooLambert would have been called a silly man, barker with all his cleverness, might have been called a stupid man But mere silliness and stipidity sank into insignificance in the presence of the awful and mysterious treasures of foolishness apparently stored up in the small figure thatstood waiting for them outside Cicconanis The little man whose namas Auberon Quin, had an appearance compounded of a baby and anowl His round head, round eyes, seemed to have been designed bynature playfully with a pair of compasses His flat dark hair and preposterously long frock-coat gave him something of the look of a childsoah "When he entered a room of strangers, they mistook him for asmall boy, and wanted to take him on their knees, until he spoke, whenthey perceived that a boy would have been more intelligentI have been waiting quite a long time, said Quin, mildly It's awfullyfunny I should see you coming up the street at lastWhy? asked Lambert, staring

" You told us to come here yourselfMy mother used to tell people to come to places, " said the sageThey were about to turn into the restaurant with a resigned air, whenir eyes were caught by something in the street TIther thoucold and blank, was now quite clear, and across the dull brown of thewood pavement and between the dull grey terraces was moving something not to be seen for miles round-not to be seen perhaps ated in bright colelung on the man s heelsHe was a tall stately man, clad in a military uniform of brilliant greensplashed with great silver facings From the shoulder swung a shortgreen furred cloakhat like that of a hussar the lining of whichgleamed every now and then with a kind of tawny crimson His breastglittered with medals; round his neck was the red ribbon and star ofsome foreign order; and a long straight sword, with a blazing hilt, trailedand clattered along the pavement At this time the pacific and utilitariandevelopment of Europe had relegated all such customs to the MuseumsThe only remaining force, the small but well-organised police, were attired in a sombre and hygienic manner But even those who remembered

last Life Guards and Lancers who disappeared in 1912 must haknown at a glance that this was not, and never had been, an English uniform; and this conviction would have been heightened by the yellowaquiline face, like Dante carved in bronze, which rose, crowned withwhite hair, out of the green military collar, a keen and distinguished, butnot an English faceThe magnificence with which the green-clad gentleman walked downe centre of the road would be something difficult to express in humanlanguage For it was an ingrained simplicity and arrogance, something inthe mere carriage of the head and body, which made ordinary modernin the street stare after him; but it had comparatively little to do withus gestures or expression In the matter of these merely temporary movements, the man appeared to be rather worried and inquisite, but he was inquisitive with the inquisitiveness of a despot and wordith the responsibilities of a god The men who lounged andwondered behind him followed partly with an astonishment at his briliant uniform, that is to say, partly because of that instinct which makesIs all follow one who looks like a madman but far more because of thatnstinctakes all men follow(and worship) any one who choosesto behave like a king He had to so sublime an extent that great quality ofroyalty--an almost imbecile unconsciousness of everybody, that peoplewent after him as they do after kings-to see what would be the firstthing or person he would take notice of And all the time, as we havesaid, in spite of his quiet splendour, there was an air about him as if hewere looking for somebody; an expression of inquirSuddenly that expression of inquiry vanished, none could tell whyand was replaced by an expression of contentment

Amid the rapt attention of the mob of idlers, the magnificent green gentleman deflected himself from his direct course down the centre of the road and walked to oneside of it He came to a halt opposite to a large poster of Colmans Mustard erected on a wooden hoarding His spectators almost held theirHe took from a small pocket in his uniform a little penknife; with thishe made a slash at the stretched paper Completing the rest of the operation with his fingers, he tore off a strip or rag of paper, yellow in colournd wholly irregular in outline Then for the first time the great beingddressed his adoring onlookers-Can any one, "he said, with a pleasing foreign accent, "lend me a pin?Mr Lambert, who happened to be nearest, and who carried innumerable pins for the purpose of attaching innumerable buttonholes, lent him

one, which was received with extravagant but dignified bows, and hy-perboles of thanksThe gentleman in green, then, with every appearance of being gratified, and even puffed up, pinned the piece of yellow paper to the greensilk and silver-lace adornments of his breast Then he turned his eyesound again, searching and unsatisfiedAnything else I can do, sir?" asked Lambert, with the absurd polite-ness of the Englishman when once embarrassedRed, " said the stranger, vaguely, redI beg your pardon?beg yours also, Senor, " said the stranger, bowing "I was wonderingThether any of you had any red about yAny red about us?well really--no, I don't think I haveI used tocarry a red bandanna once, butBarker, asked Auberon Quin, suddenly,"wheres your red cockatooWhere's your red cockatooWhat do you mean? asked Barker, desperately What cockatoo?You ve never seen me with any cockatooknow," said Auberon, vaguely mollified"Whit been all thtime?Barker swung round, not without resentmentI am sorry, sir, "he said, shortly but civilly,"none of us seem to haveanything red to lend you But why, if one may askI thank you, Senor, it is nothing

I can, since there is nothing else, fulfilAnd standing for a second of thought with the penknife in his hand,he stabbed his left palm The blood fell with so full a stream that it struckthe stones without dripping The foreigner pulled out his handkerchiefith his teeth The rag was immediatelin scarletSince you are so generous, Senor, he said,"another pin, perhapsLambert held one out, with eyes protruding like a frogsThe red linen was pinned beside the yellow paper, and the foreignertook off his hatI have to thank you all, gentlemen, he said; and wrapping the re-nainder of the handkerchief round his bleeding hand he resumed hiswalk with an overwhelming statelinessWhile all the rest paused, in some disorder, little Mr Auberon Quinran after the stranger and stopped him, with hat in hand Considerablyto everybodys astonishment, he addressed him in the purest Spanish16

Senor, he said in that language, " pardon a hospitality, perhaps indis-creet, towards one who appears to be a distinguished but a solitary guest in London Will you do me and my friends, with whom youhave held some conversation the honour of lunching with us at the adoining restaurant?The man in the green uniform had turned a fiery colour of pleasure atthe mere sound of his own language, and he accepted the invitation withhat profusion of bows which so often shows, in the case of the Southernraces, the falsehood of the notion that ceremony has nothing to do withSenor " he said, your language is my own; but all my love for myshall not lead me to deny to yours the possession of so chivalryan entertainer Let me say that the tongue is Spanish but the heart engish And he passed with the rest into Cicconaniid Barker, over the fish and sherry intensely politebut burning with curiosity,"perhaps it would be rude of me to ask whyou did that?Did what, Senor? asked the guest, who spoke English quite well,though in a manner indefinably americanWell, said the englishman in some confusion "I mean tore a strip offhoarding and…er… cut yourself…andTo tell you that, Senor, "answered the other, with a certain sad pride,involves merely telling you who I am I am Juan del Fuego, President ofNcaragaThe manner with which the President of Nicaragua leant back anddrank his sherry showed that to him this explanation covered all thfacts observed and a great deal more

Barker's brow, however, was still alittle cloudedAnd the yellow paper, " he began, with anxious friendliness, and theagThe yellow paper and the red rag, said Fuego, with indescribablethe colours of nicaraguaBut Nicaragua "began Barker, with great hesitation, " Nicaraguano longer aNicaragua has been conquered like Athens Nicaragua has been annexed like Jerusalem, cried the old man, with amazing fire The Yankeeand the German and the brute powers of modernity have trampled itwith the hoofs of oxen But Nicaragua is not dead Nicaragua is an ideaAuberon Quin suggested timidly, "a brilliant idea

d the foreatching at the word "You are right, generous Englishman An idea brillant, a burning thought Senor, you askedme why, in my desire to see the colours of my country, I snatched at paer and blood Can you not understand the ancient sanctity of colours?The Church has her symbolic colours And think of what colours meanto us--think of the position of one like myself, who can see nothing butlose two colours, nothing but the red and the yellow To me all shapesare equal, all common and noble things are in a democracy of combination Wherever there is a field of marigolds and the red cloak of an oldwoman, there is Nicaragua Whreverthere is a field of poppies and ayellow patch of sand, there is Nicaragua

Wherever there is a lemon andountry wherever i see a red pillar-beyellow sunset, there my heart beats Blood and a splash of mustard canbe my heraldry If there be yellow mud and red mud in the same ditchbetter to me than white starAnd if, said Quin, with equal enthusiasm," there should happen tobe yellow wine and red wine at the same lunch, you could not confineyourself to sherry Let me order some Burgundy, and complete, as itere, a sort of nicaraguaneBarker was fiddling with his knife, and was evidently making up hismind to say something, with the intense nervousness of the amiableEnglishmanam to understand, then, he said at last, with a cough, that youhem, were the President of Nicaragua when it made its--er--one mustof course, agree--its quite heroic resistance to--elThe ex-President of Nicaragua waved his handYou need not hesitate in speaking to me, he said " I'm quite fullyaware that the whole tendency of the world of to-day is against Nicaragua and against me I shall not consider it any diminution of yourevident courtesy if you say what you think of the misfortunes that havedublic in ruinsBarker looked immeasurably relieved and gratifiedYou are most generous, president he said, with some hesitation overthe title,"and I will take advantage of your generosity to express thedoubts which, I must confess, we moderns have about such thingsas--er-the Nicaraguan independenceSo your sympathies are,said Del Fuego, quite calmly, with the bignation which-Pardon me, pardon me, President, said Barker, warmly:"my symmathies are with no nation You misunderstand, I think, the modern

tellect We do not disapprove of the fire and extramonwealths as yours only to become more extravagant on a larger scaleWe do not condemn Nicaragua because we think Britain ought to bemore Nicaraguan We do not discourage small nationalities because wewish large nationalities to have all their smallness, all their uniformity ofoutlook, all their exaggeration of spirit If i differ with the greatest re-spect from your Nicaraguan enthusiasm, it is not because a nation or tentions were against you; it is because civilisation was against you Wemoderns believe in a great cosmopolitan civilisation one which shall include all the talents of all the absorbed peoples-The Senor will forgive me, said the President May I ask the Senordinary circumstanceId hotI never catch a wild horse, replied Barker, with dignityPrecisely, "said the other;and there ends your absorption of the talents That is what I complain of your cosmopolitanism

Whenyou sayyou want all peoples to unite, you really mean that you want all peoplesto unite to learn the tricks of your people If the Bedouin Arab does notknow how to read, some English missionary or schoolmaster must beent to teach him to read, but no one ever says, This schoolmaster doesnot know how to ride on a camel, let us pay a bedouin to teach him Yousay your civilisation will include all talentill it? Do you really meanto say that at the moment when the Esquimaux has learnt to vote for aCounty Council, you will have learnt to spear a walrus? I recur to the exmple I gave In Nicaragua we had a way of catching wild horses--bylassoing the fore feet--whicIs supposed to be the best in SoutAmerica If you are going to include all the talents, go and do it If notpermit me to say what I have always said, that something went from theworld when Nicaragua was civilisedSomething, perhaps, replied Barker, but that something a mere bar-barian dexterity I do not know that I could chip flints as well as aprimeval man, but I know that civilisation can make these knives whichare better, and i trust to civilisationood authoritMany clevemen like you have trusted to civilisation Many clever Babylonians,many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of rome Cantell me, in a world that is flagrant with

the failures of civilisationere is particularly immortal about yoursthink you do not quite understand, President, what oursanswered Barker You judge it rather as if England was still a poor and

Part 1

ChapterIntroductory Remarks on the art of ProphecyThe human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at childrens games from the beginning, and will probably do it tithe end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up And oneof the games to which it is most attached is called " Keep to-morroaaro name(by the rustics in Shropshire, I have nodoubt)"Cheat the Prophet "The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in thenext generation The players then wait until all the clever men are dead,and bury them nicely They then go and do something else That is allFor a race of simple tastes, however, it is great funFor human beings, being children, have the childish wilfulness and thechildish secrecy And they never have from the beginning of theworlddone what the wise men have seen to be inevitable They stoned the falseprophets withgreater and juster enjoyment Individually, men may present a more orless rational appearance, eating, sleeping, and scheming

But humanityas a whole is changeful, mystical, fickle delightful Men are men butMan is a womanBut in the beginning of the twentieth century the game of Cheat theProphet was made far more difficult than it had ever been before Theason was, that there were so many prophets andthat it was difficult to elude all their ingenuities When a man didsomething free and frantic and entirely his own, a horrible thoughtstruck him afterwards; it might have been predicted Whenever a dukeclimbed a lamp-post, when a dean got drunk, he could not be reallappy, he could not be certain that he was not fulfilling some prophecyIn the beginning of the twentieth century you could not see the groundfor clever men They were so common that a stupid man was quite eeptional, and when they found him, they followed him in crowds downthe street and treasured him up and gave him some high post in the

State And all these clever men were at work giving accounts of whatwould happen in the next age, all quite clear, all quite keen-sighted andruthless, and all quite different And it seemed that the good old game ofhoodwinking your ancestors could not really be managed this time, be-cause the ancestors neglected meat and sleep and practical politics, sothat they might meditate day and night on what their descendantould be likely to doBut the way the prophets of the twentieth century went to work wasthis They took something or other that was certainly going on in theirtime, and then said that it would go on more and more until somethingextraordinary happened And very often they added that in some oddlace that extraordinary thing had happened, and that it showed thesigns of thee timesthought that science would take charge of the future; and just as 6oThus, for instance, there were mrh G Wells and others whemotor-car was quicker than the coach, so some lovely thing would bequicker than the motor-car; and so on for ever

And there arose fromeir ashes Dr Quilp, who said that a man could be sent on his machineo fast round the world that he could keep up a long, chatty conversatioin some old-world village by saying a word of a sentence each time hecame roufd And it was said that the experiment had been tried on anapoplectic old major, who was sent round the world so fast that thereseemed to be(to the inhabitants of some other star)a continuous bandround the earth of white whiskers red complexion and tweeds--a thinsike the ring of SaturnThen there was the opposite school There was Mr Edward Carpenter,whoought we shin a very short time return to Nature, and livsimply and slowly as the animals do And Edward Carpenter was followed by James Pickie, DD(of Pocohontas College), who said that menwere immensely improved by grazing, or taking their food slowly andcontinuously, after the manner of cows And he said that he had, we most encouraging results, turned city men out on all fours in a fieldcovered with veal cutlets Then tolstoy and the humanitarians said thatthe world was growing more merciful, and therefore no one would everesire to kill And Mr Mick not only became a vegetarian, but at lengthdeclared vegetarianism doomed(shedding,as he called it finegreen blood of the silent animals"), and predicted that men in a betterge would live on nothing but salt And then came the pamphlet fromOregon(where the thing was tried), the pamphlet called"Why shouldSalt suffer?"and there was more trouble

And on the other hand, some people were predicting that the lines ofkinship would become narrower and sterner There was Mr CecilRhodes, who thought that the one thing of the future was the British Empire, and that there would be a gulf between those who were of the em-pire and those who were not, between the Chinaman in Hong Kong ande Chinaman outside, between the Spaniard on the Rock of Gibraltarand the Spaniard off it, similar to the gulf between man and the loweranimals And in the same way his impetuous friend, Dr Zoppi(the Paulof Anglo-Saxonism"), carried it yet further, and held that, as a result ofthis view, cannibalism should be held to mean eating a member of theEmpire, not eating one of the subject peoples, who should, he said, bekilled without needlessHis horror at the idea of eating a maBritish Guiana showed how they misunderstood his stoicism whoought him devoid of feeling He was, however, in a hard position; aswas said that he had attempted the experiment, and, living in London,had to subsist entirely on Italian organ-grinders And his end was terible, for just when he had begun, Sir Paul Swiller read his great paper atRoyal Society, proving that the savages were not only quite right ineating their enemies, but right on moral and hygienic grounds, since itwas true that the qualities of the enemy, when eaten, passed into the eater

The notion that the nature of an Italian organ-man was irrevocablygrowing and burgeoning inside him was almost more than the kindlydProfessor couThere was Mr Benjamin Kidd, who said that the growing note of ource would be the care for and knowledge of the future His idea was de-veloped more powerfully by William Borker, who wrote that passagewhich every schoolboy knows by heart, about men in future ages weeping by the graves of their descendants, and tourists being shown over thecene of the historic battle which was to take place some centurieafterwardsAnd Mr Stead, too, was prominent, who thought that England woulein the twentieth century be united to America; and his young lieutenarGraham Podge, who included the states of France, Gd riin the American Union, the State of Russia being abbreviated to raThere was Mr Sidney Webb, also, who said that the future would seea continuously increasing order and neatness in the life of the people,and his poor friend Fipps, who went mad and ran about the countwith an axe, hacking branches off the trees whenever there were not thesame number on both sides

ety oftywhat would happen soon, and they all did it in the same way, by takingsomething they saw" going strong, " as the saying is, and carrying it as faras ever their imagination could stretch This, they said, was the true andsimple way of anticipating the future Just as, said Dr Pellkins, in a finepassage,just as when we see a pig in a litter larger than the other pigswe know that by an unalterable law of the Inscrutable it will some daybe larger than an elephant, just as we know, when we see weeds anddandelions growing more and more thickly in a garden, that they muin spite of all our efforts, grow taller than the chimney-pots and swallowe house from sight, so we know and reverently acknowledge, thatThen any power in human politics has shown for any pee arconsiderable activity, it will go on until it reaches to the skyAnd it did certainly appear that the prophets had put the people(engaged in the old game of Cheat the Prophet)in a quite unprecedenteddifficulty It seemed really hard to do anything without fulfilling some ofprophBut there was, nevertheless, in the eyes of labourers in the streetspeasants in the fields, of sailors and children, and especially women,astrange look that kept the wise men in a perfect fever of doubt

Theycould not fathom the motionless mirth in their eyes They still hadsomething up their sleeve; they were still playing the game of Cheat theProphetThen the wise men grew like wild things, and swayed hither andthither, crying, What can it be? What can it be? What will London belike a century hence? Is there anything we have not thought of? Housesupside down--more hygienic, perhaps? Men walking on hands--makefeet flexible, don't you know?Moon… motor-cars… no heads…"Andtheaved and wondered until they died andburied nicelyThen the people went and did what they liked Let me no longer conceal the painful truth The people had cheated the prophets of the twenteeth century When the curtain goes up on this story, eighty years afterpresent date, Londoalmost exactly like what it is now

ChapterThe man in greenVery few words are needed to explain why London, a hundred yearshence, will be very like it is now, or rather, since I must slip into a prophetic past, why London, when my story opens, was very like it was inthose enviable dhen i was still aliThe reason can be stated in one sentence The people had absolutelyost faith in revolutions all revolutions are doctrinal-such as theFrench one, or the one that introduced Christianity for it stands to common sense that you cannot upset all existing things, customs, and com-promises, unless you believe in something outside them, something postive and divine Now, England, during this century, lost all belief in thisthled Evolution And it said, All theoretic changeshave ended in blood and ennui If we change, we must change slowlyand safely, as the animals do Nature ' s revolutions are the only success-There has been no conservative reaction in favour of tailsthings did chdropped out of sight

Things that had not often happened did not hap-pen at all Thus, for instance, the actual physical force ruling the countrye soldiers and police, grew smaller and smaller, and at last vanished almost to a point The people combined could have swept the few policemen away in ten minutes: they did not, because they did not beliewould do them the least good They had lost faith in revolutionsDemocracy was dead; for no one minded the governing class governing England was now practically a despotism, but not an hereditary oneSome one in the official class was made King No one cared how: no oned who hersal secretaryIn this manner it happened that everything in London was very quietThat vague and somewhat depressed reliance upon things happening asey have always happened, which is with all Londoners a mood, hadbecome an assumed condition There was really no reason for any mandoing anything but the thing he had done the day before

There was thereforeason whatever why the three young menwho had always walked up to their Government office togethershould not walk up to it together on this particular wintry and cloudymorning Everything in that age had become mechanical, and Government clerks especially All those clerks assembled regularly at theirposts Three of those clerks always walked into town together All theneighbourhood knew them: two of them were tall and one short And onhis particular morning the short clerk was only a few seconds late to jointhe other two as they passed his gate: he could have overtaken them inthree strides; he could have called after them easily But he did notFor some reason that will never be understood untilaredged (if they are ever judged; the idea was at this time classed with fetsh worship) he did not join his two companions, but walked steadily be-hind them The day was dull, their dress was dull, everything was dullbut in some odd impulse he walked through street after street, throughdistrict after district, looking at the backs of the two men, who wouldhave swung round at the sound of his voice

Now, there is a law writtenin the darkest of the Books of Life, and it is this: If you look at a thingnine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look atit the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the firsttimeSo the short government official looked at the coat-tails of the tallGovernment officials, and through street after street, and round cornerafter corner, saw only coat-tails, coat-tails, and again coat-tails--whenhe did not in the least know why, something happened to his eyesTwo black dragons were walking backwards in front of him twoblack dragons were looking at him with evil eyes The dragons werewalking backwards it was true, but they kept their eyes fixed on himnone the less The eyes which he saw were, in truth, only the two buttonsat the back of a frock-coat: perhaps some traditional memory of theirmeaningless character gave this half-witted prominence to their gazeThe slit between the tails was the nose-line of the monster: whenever thetails flapped in the winter wind the dralicked their lips Ita momentary fancy but the small clerk found it imbedded in his soulever afterwards He never could again think of men in frock-coats exceptand agons walking backwards He explained afterwards, quite tactfullynicely, to his two official friends, that( while feeling an inexpressiblegard for eacemhe could not seriously regard the face of eitherof them as anvthing but a kind of tail it was, he admitted, a handsometail--a tail elevated in the air But if, he said any true friend of thei11

ched to see their faces to look into the eves of their soul, that friendmust be allowed to walk reverently round behind them, so as to seethem from the rear There he would see the two black dragons with theblind eyesBut when first the two black dragons sprang out of the fog upon thesmall clerk, they had merely the effect of all miracles--they changed theuniversediscovered the fact that all romantics kthat advenhappen on dull days, and not on sunny ones When the chord ofmonotony is stretched most tight, then it breaks with a sound like songglaring at him he looked round and realised the strange dead dar ad eyeshin y noticed the weather before, but with the four dead eyesThe morningd dim, not misty but darkened with thatshadow of cloud or snow which steeps everything in a green or coppertwilight The light there is on such a day seems not so much to comefrom the clear heavens as to be a phosphorescence clinging to the shapesthemselves The load of heaven and the clouds is like a load of watersand the men move like fishes, feeling that they are on the floor of a seaEverything in a London street completes the fantasy thee carriages aabs themselves resemble deep-sea creatures with eyes of flame He hadbeen startled at first to meet two dragons

Now he found he was amongdeep-sea dragons possessing the deep seaThe two young men in front were like the small young man himself,well-dressed The lines of their frock-coats and silk hats had that luxuriant severity which makes the modern fop, hideous as he is, a favouriteexercise of the modern draughtsman; that element which Mr Max Beerbohm has admirably expressed in speaking of "certain congruities ofdark cloth and the rigid perfection of linenThey walked with the gait of an affected snail, and they spoke at thelongest intervals, dropping a sentence at about every sixth lamp-postThey crawled on past the lamp-posts their mien was so immovabthat a fanciful description might almost say, that the lamp-posts crawledpast the men, as in a dream Then the small man suddenly ran after themwant to get my hair cut I say, do you know a little shop anywherewhere they cut your hair properly? I keep on having my hair cut, butkeeps on growing aOne of the tall men looked at him with the air of a pained naturalistWhy here is a little place, "cried the small man with a sort of imbecileheerfulness, as the bright bulging window of a fashionable toilet-saloonglowed abruptly out of the foggy twilight " Do you know, I often find