Imagine, for instance, the view of that part of Fleet Street which includes St. Clement Dane's Church, upon whose walls, right to the summit, are hung pendant stands for hundreds of people, the highest seemingly half way to heaven.
No one has talked of anything but Jubilee till this morning, when the suicide of Barney Barnato brought about a diversion which a bad railway accident, a treacherous mutiny in India, and an earthquake in Calcutta, had all failed to accomplish.
I had finished my work, and I ran out into Fleet Street to get a bus home. The crowds were still increasing; there was a pleasant thrill and rumour of excited expectancy in the air. Soon I forgot the man in the hospital, who a couple of hours before had been full of skilled strength and had had his own private hopes and expectations. The streets this evening were full of dowdy matrons, wives of toil, both of London and the country, going about with the naive child-like look of surprise which the housewife cooped up in kitchen and parlour for months together always exhibits on her infrequent outings. This inspection of the mere preliminaries of a great festival was their high holiday; they enjoyed the same sensations as the man free to roam will enjoy in witnessing all the splendid magnificence of Jubilee Day itself.
Stands seem to have been flung round some of the churches like a scarf, swathing them from tower to lowest buttress with almost the curves of drapery, clinging to the stonework like drapery pressed against it by a strong wind.