These chapters on London life deal almost exclusively with the period before war, when the citizen was permitted to live in freedom, to develop himself to his finest possibilities, and to pursue happiness as he was meant to do. Since the delights of these happy times have been taken from us, perhaps never to be restored, it is well that they should be recorded before they are forgotten.
the marriage of some princess or the birth of some royal baby. Whenever I am away from London--never more than ten days at a time--and think of her, she comes to me as I saw her then from a height of three-foot-five: huge black streets rent with loud traffic and ablaze with light from roof to pavement; shop-fronts full of magical things, drowned in the lemon light which served the town at that time; and crowds of wonderful people whom I had never met before and longed deeply to meet again. I wondered where they were all going, what they would do next, what they would have for supper, and why they didn't seem superlatively joyful at their good fortune in being able to ride at will in cabs and omnibuses and take their meals at restaurants. There were jolly fellows, graceful little girls, all better clad than I, enjoying the sights, and at last, like me, disappearing down side-streets to go to mysterious, distant homes.
HOMES. Yes, I think that phrase sums up my London: the City of Homes. To lie down at
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