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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

246               Written Sketches

got a large piece of brown paper in which he wrapped up the
body of his favourite ; he tied it neatly with a piece of string
and, placing it in his cart, went homeward with a heavy heart.
The day was dull, the gutters were full of cabbage stalks and
the air resounded with the cry of costermongers.

On this a Japanese gentleman, who had watched the scene,
lifted up his voice and made the bystanders a set oration. He
was very yellow, had long black hair, gold spectacles and a
top hat; he was a typical Japanese, but he spoke English per-
fectly. He said the scene they had all just witnessed was a
very sad one and that it ought not to be passed over entirely
without comment. He explained that it was verjr nice of the
good old man to be so sorry about his dog and to be so careful
of its remains and that he and all the bystanders must sym-
pathise with him in his grief, and as the expression of their
sympathy, both with the man and with the poor dog, he had
thought fit, with all respect, to make them his present speech.

I have not the man's words but Gogin said they were like
a Japanese drawing, that is to say, wonderfully charming, and
showing great knowledge but not done in the least after the
manner in which a European would do them. The bystanders
stood open-mouthed and could make nothing of it, but they
liked it, and the Japanese gentleman liked addressing them.
When he left off and went away they followed him with their
eyes, speechless.

St. Pancras' Bells

Gogin lives at 164 Euston Road, just opposite St. Pancras
Church, and the bells play doleful hymn tunes opposite his
window which worries him. My St. Dunstan's bells near
Clifford's Inn play doleful hymn tunes which enter in at my
window; I not only do not dislike them, but rather like them ;
they are so silly and the bells are out of tune. I never yet was
annoyed by either bells or street music except when a loud
piano organ strikes up outside the public-house opposite my
bedroom window after I am in bed and when I am just going
to sleep. However, Jones was at Gogin's one summer evening
and the bells struck up their dingy old burden as usual. The
tonic bell on which the tune concluded was the most stuffy
and out of tune. Gogin said it was like the smell of a bug.