Jacob's Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Jacob's Room.
and little Johnnie Sturgeon took the chance to swing down the staircase, carrying his large mysterious parcel, and so dodging a zigzag course between the wheels he reached the pavement, started to whistle a tune and was soon out of sight—­for ever.  The omnibuses jerked on, and every single person felt relief at being a little nearer to his journey’s end, though some cajoled themselves past the immediate engagement by promise of indulgence beyond—­steak and kidney pudding, drink or a game of dominoes in the smoky corner of a city restaurant.  Oh yes, human life is very tolerable on the top of an omnibus in Holborn, when the policeman holds up his arm and the sun beats on your back, and if there is such a thing as a shell secreted by man to fit man himself here we find it, on the banks of the Thames, where the great streets join and St. Paul’s Cathedral, like the volute on the top of the snail shell, finishes it off.  Jacob, getting off his omnibus, loitered up the steps, consulted his watch, and finally made up his mind to go in. ...  Does it need an effort?  Yes.  These changes of mood wear us out.

Dim it is, haunted by ghosts of white marble, to whom the organ for ever chaunts.  If a boot creaks, it’s awful; then the order; the discipline.  The verger with his rod has life ironed out beneath him.  Sweet and holy are the angelic choristers.  And for ever round the marble shoulders, in and out of the folded fingers, go the thin high sounds of voice and organ.  For ever requiem—­repose.  Tired with scrubbing the steps of the Prudential Society’s office, which she did year in year out, Mrs. Lidgett took her seat beneath the great Duke’s tomb, folded her hands, and half closed her eyes.  A magnificent place for an old woman to rest in, by the very side of the great Duke’s bones, whose victories mean nothing to her, whose name she knows not, though she never fails to greet the little angels opposite, as she passes out, wishing the like on her own tomb, for the leathern curtain of the heart has flapped wide, and out steal on tiptoe thoughts of rest, sweet melodies. ...  Old Spicer, jute merchant, thought nothing of the kind though.  Strangely enough he’d never been in St. Paul’s these fifty years, though his office windows looked on the churchyard.  “So that’s all?  Well, a gloomy old place. ...  Where’s Nelson’s tomb?  No time now—­come again—­a coin to leave in the box. ...  Rain or fine is it?  Well, if it would only make up its mind!” Idly the children stray in—­the verger dissuades them—­and another and another ... man, woman, man, woman, boy ... casting their eyes up, pursing their lips, the same shadow brushing the same faces; the leathern curtain of the heart flaps wide.

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Jacob's Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.