And beneath it:
PROCLAMATION TO THE SOCIALISTS EXPECTED TO-NIGHT.
Monsignor read it, unconscious of all else except the astounding fact. Then he turned to speak, but found himself alone.
London went soberly mad with enthusiasm that night, and Monsignor Masterman, standing on the cathedral roofs with half a dozen priests, watched what could be seen of the excitement for half an hour, before going downstairs for the Te Deum in the great church.
The cathedral was, indeed, largely, the centre round which the-enthusiasm concentrated itself. Two other whirlpools eddied in Parliament Square, and round St. Paul’s, where the Archbishop of London preached a sermon from the steps. Even these facts, although in a sense he knew they must be so, drove home into the priest’s mind the realization of how the Church was, once again, as five hundred years ago, the centre and not merely a department of the national life.
In every direction, as he leaned over Ambrosden Avenue, as he looked down Francis Street to right and left, everywhere nothing of the streets was visible under the steadily moving pavement of heads. Every space between the tall houses resembled the flow of an intricate stream, with its currents, its eddies, its back-waters, beneath the clear radiance of the artificial light. Here and there actors were seen gesticulating in dumb show, for all sounds were drowned in the steady subdued roar of voices. There was no delirium, no horse-play; the citizens were too well disciplined. Occasionally from this point or that a storm of cheering broke out as some great man was recognized.
About half-past nine mounted policemen began to make their appearance from Victoria Street, and an open way was gradually formed leading to a cleared space in front of the Cathedral. Ten minutes later cars began to follow, as the great folks began to arrive for the Te Deum, and almost simultaneously the bells broke out, led by the solemn crash of the great “St. Edward” from the campanile.
They read in the morning the full text of the proclamation to the Socialists.
As Monsignor Masterman carne up from breakfast, he felt his arm taken, and there was Father Jervis, his clever old face lit up by excitement. He too carried a morning paper under his arm.
“I want to have a talk with you about this,” he said, “Have you seen the Cardinal yet?”
“I’m to see him at ten. I feel perfectly helpless. I don’t understand in the least.”
“Have you read it through yet?”
“No, I glanced at it only. I wish you’d help me through, father.”
The old priest nodded.
“Well, we’ll read every word of it first,”
As they passed into the sitting-room, the prelate slipped forward the little door-plate that announced that he was within, but engaged. Then, without a word, they sat down, and there was dead silence for twenty minutes, broken only by the rustle of turning pages, and an occasional murmur of raised voices from the groups that still wandered round the Cathedral—pools of that vast river that had filled every channel last night. Father Jervis uttered a small exclamation once or twice.