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Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 3/The silver cord - Part 1




Four,” remarked St. Mary of the Strand, successor to the tall Maypole that once overlooked what is now the pleasantest, and handsomest, and most English street in London.

The vibration of the Saint’s voice had by no means ceased from out of the ears of the passers-by, when, with an honourable promptitude, and a delicate anxiety not to put the country under the obligation of receiving more service than she had bargained for, groups of gentlemen of all ages and sizes came pouring out at the gate of Somerset House. One might have thought that they had been listening for the summons, and had prepared themselves to obey it on the instant. In the old days, that church did not collect the saints of Drury Lane so rapidly as it now called forth the clerks of the Civil Service.

But not among the early ones at the gate was Mr. Arthur Lygon.

He heard the last stroke of the bell, and the single note with which the little black clock on his mantelpiece ratified the announcement, before he closed the large volume in which he was making entries from some half-printed, half-written papers by his side; and he proceeded to arrange all his documents with the precision of a man who intends to resume an interrupted duty, and who knows the value of order and of time. He was exact, but not the least fidgetty—a man, happily married, seldom becomes a fidget at five-and-thirty.

Nor did Arthur Lygon at once take up his hat and depart. A handsome man, happily married, seldom loses, at the age of thirty-five, his bachelor habit of paying some attention to appearances; and Mr. Lygon went to the other end of his comfortable, double-sashed apartment—exclusively his own—brushed his wavy dark brown hair, washed his aristocratic hands, and gave himself that good-natured look-over which a man who has no objectionable vanity, but has the laudable desire to be as presentable as he conveniently can, usually performs before re-joining society. King Henry the Fifth, when courting, vowed that he had never looked in the glass for the love of anything he saw there; and the vows of kings—and emperors—are always truthful; but all of us have not the regal faculty of self-abnegation. Arthur Lygon, finishing his arrangements with a touch at his rather effective brown whiskers, saw, and was perfectly Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/542 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/543 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/544 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/545 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/546 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/547