As he neared his hotel, he thought of his morning visit to Goldsmith’s tomb, and ten-fold he repented the little half-sneer with which he had bought the flowers. In a boyish impulse, he rang the Temple bell, and found his way again to the lonely corner. His flowers were lying there in the moonlight, and again he read: “Here lies Oliver Goldsmith.”
“Forgive me, Goldy,” he murmured. “Well may men bring you flowers,—for you wrote, not as those yonder; you wrote for the human heart.”
BACK TO REALITY
It was good to get back to reality, with Angel’s blue eyes, Mike’s laugh, and Esther’s common sense.
“Let me look deep into them, Angel—deep—deep. It is so good to get back to something true.”
“Are they true?” said Angel, opening them very wide.
“Something that will never forsake one, something we can never forsake! Something in all the wide world’s change that will never change. Something that will still be Angel even in a thousand years.”
“I hope to be a real angel long before that,” said Angel, laughing.
“Do you think you can promise to be true so long, Angel?” asked Henry.
“Dear, you know that so long as there is one little part of me left anywhere in the world, that part will be true to you.—But come, tell me about London. I’m afraid you didn’t enjoy it very much.”
“Oh, yes, I loved London,—that is, old London; but new London made me a little sad. I expect it was only because I didn’t quite understand the conditions.”
“Perhaps so,” said Angel. “But tell me,—did you go to the Zoo?”
“You dear child! Yes! I went out of pure love for you.”
“Now you needn’t be so grown up. You know you wanted to go just for yourself as well. And you saw the monkey-house?”
“And the lions?”
“And the snakes?”
“Oh, I’d give anything to see the snakes! Did they eat any rabbits when you were there,—fascinate them, and then draw them slowly, slowly in?”
“Angel, what terrible interests you are developing! No, thank goodness, they didn’t.”
“Why, wouldn’t it fascinate you to see something wonderfully killed?” asked Angel. “It is dreadful and wicked, of course. But it would be so thrillingly real.”
“I think I must introduce you to a young man I met in London,” said Henry, “who solemnly asked me if I had ever murdered anyone. You savage little wild thing! I suppose this is what you mean by saying sometimes that you are a gipsy, eh?”
“Well, and you went to the Tower, and Westminster Abbey, and everything, and it was really wonderful?”
“Yes, I saw everything—including the Queen.”
For young people of Tyre and Sidon to go to London was like what it once was to make the pilgrimage to Rome.