Loitering in Pleasant Paths

Marion Harland Loitering in Pleasant Paths
Project Gutenberg
Marion Harland
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Опис: SUNDAY in London: For the first time since our arrival in the city we saw it under what passes in that latitude and language for sunshine. For ten days we had dwelt beneath a curtain of gray crape resting upon the chimney-tops, leaving the pavements dry to dustiness. “Gray crape” is poetical—rather—and sounds better than the truth, which is, that the drapery, without fold or shading, over-canopying us, was precisely in color like very dirty, unbleached muslin, a tint made fashionable within a year or so, under the name of “Queen Isabella’s linen” (“le linge de la Reine Isabeau”). The fixed cloud depressed and oppressed us singularly. It was a black screen set above the eyes, which we were all the while tempted to push up in order to see more clearly and farther,—a heavy hand upon brain and chest. For the opaqueness, the clinging rimes of the “London fog,” we were prepared. Of the mysterious withholding for days and weeks of clouds threatening every minute to fall, we had never heard. We had bought umbrellas at Sangster’s, as does every sensible tourist immediately after securing rooms at a hotel, and never stirred abroad without them; but the pristine plaits had not been disturbed. Struggle as we might with the notion, we could not rid ourselves of the odd impression that the whole nation had gone into mourning. Pleasure-seeking, on the part of sojourners who respected conventionalities, savored of indecorum. We were more at our ease in the crypt of St. Paul’s, and among the dead of Westminster Abbey, than anywhere else, and felt the conclave of murderers, the blood-flecked faces of the severed heads, the genuine lunette and knife of Samson’s guillotine in Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors, to be “quite the thing in the circumstances.”

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