Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 048 [04-08-1855]

              42
and listened to their talk, occasionally putting in a word or two.  They
spoke of yachts and ship-building, of smoking, of actresses and of
the one dominant idea in Mason�s skull, the Thames Tunnel.  The
man is the resident something-or-other there, and has been for twenty
years or so; and the fact has rendered him such a paramount nui-
sance that you wish the river would get in, drown him and Brunel�s
bore all together.     He is ignorant beast too, knowing only in facts and
figures, hates poor people, loves an obscene jest, and has inordinate con-
ceit.      I had to be bored, by seeing furnaces and engines, a desolate
garden frowned upon by a great black gasometer, arbours made of shells
and four little spirits of fountains blown awry by a bleak wind, a sombre
sky overhead.       I had to go through (and down to) the great, dank,
long-cellar-like utilitarian Tunnel, in company with a young man,
(whom I felt sorry for, he must have found it so almighty slow,)
finally I had to subside into �Calmet�s Bible,� and escape Mason
and Stokes by going into the women�s room.     But I couldn�t talk
to anybody, we�d no likings in common.                   We left by 11,
and returned on foot through the dark and squalid Rotherithe streets,
and a steady rain.  No omnibuses or cabs to be had about there.
So my sisters put their dresses over their heads, and glided along in
white, each under shelter of a big umbrella; I strode along unwetted
in talma, and rather thought �it served us right.�
  9.  Monday.  Being out this morning met Wilkins, whom I
last saw during my Holmes time in New York.   He recognized
me, we drank together, and he told me he had been two years in
England, but would return to the U.S. ere long.              Called at
Hepburn�s, unsuccessfully, then home to dinner.       To Sam�s in               
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