I Am Not Very Fond Of Milton, But I Admit
That He Does At Times Put Me In Mind Of Fleet Street.
While on the subject of Fleet Street, I would put in a word in
favour of the much-abused griffin.
The whole monument is one of
the handsomest in London. As for its being an obstruction, I have
discoursed with a large number of omnibus conductors on the
subject, and am satisfied that the obstruction is imaginary.
When, again, I think of Waterloo Bridge, and the huge wide-opened
jaws of those two Behemoths, the Cannon Street and Charing Cross
railway stations, I am not sure that the prospect here is not even
finer than in Fleet Street. See how they belch forth puffing
trains as the breath of their nostrils, gorging and disgorging
incessantly those human atoms whose movement is the life of the
city. How like it all is to some great bodily mechanism of which
the people are the blood. And then, above all, see the ineffable
St. Paul's. I was once on Waterloo Bridge after a heavy
thunderstorm in summer. A thick darkness was upon the river and
the buildings upon the north side, but just below I could see the
water hurrying onward as in an abyss, dark, gloomy, and mysterious.
On a level with the eye there was an absolute blank, but above, the
sky was clear, and out of the gloom the dome and towers of St.
Paul's rose up sharply, looking higher than they actually were, and
as though they rested upon space.
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