Of Greenland; I Have
Mingled With The Teeming Hordes Of Old Cathay, And, Deep In The
Great Pine Forests Of The Western World, I Have Lain, Wrapped In My
Blanket, A Thousand Miles Beyond The Shores Of Human Life."
B., to whom I explained my leaning towards this style of diction,
said that exactly the same effect could be produced by writing about
places quite handy.
"I could go on like that without having been outside England at all.
I should say:
"I have smoked my fourpenny shag in the sanded bars of Fleet Street,
and I have puffed my twopenny Manilla in the gilded balls of the
Criterion; I have quaffed my foaming beer of Burton where
Islington's famed Angel gathers the little thirsty ones beneath her
shadowing wings, and I have sipped my tenpenny ordinaire in many a
garlic-scented salon of Soho. On the back of the strangely-moving
ass I have urged - or, to speak more correctly, the proprietor of the
ass, or his agent, from behind has urged - my wild career across the
sandy heaths of Hampstead, and my canoe has startled the screaming
wild-fowl from their lonely haunts amid the sub-tropical regions of
Battersea. Adown the long, steep slope of One Tree Hill have I
rolled from top to foot, while laughing maidens of the East stood
round and clapped their hands and yelled; and, in the old-world
garden of that pleasant Court, where played the fair-haired children
of the ill-starred Stuarts, have I wandered long through many paths,
my arm entwined about the waist of one of Eve's sweet daughters,
while her mother raged around indignantly on the other side of the
hedge, and never seemed to get any nearer to us.
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