once are the huge wrought-iron gates, and one peeps through them to see the façade of this place, very white and large and fine, down a long avenue of yews. Eastry was far greater than Bladesover, and an altogether completer example of the eighteenth-century system. It ruled not two villages but a borough, that had sent its sons and cousins to parliament almost as a matter of right so long as its franchise endured. Every one was in the system, every one—except my uncle. He stood out and complained.
My uncle was the first real breach I found in the great front of Bladesovery the world had presented me, for Chatham was not so much a breach as a confirmation. But my uncle had no respect for Bladesover and Eastry—none whatever. He did not believe in them. He was blind even to what they were. He propounded strange phrases about them, he exfoliated and wagged about novel and incredible ideas.
"This place," said my uncle, surveying it from his open doorway in the dignified stillness of a summer afternoon, "wants Waking Up!"
I was sorting up patent medicines in the corner.
"I'd like to let a dozen young Americans loose into it," said my uncle. "Then we'd see."
I made a tick against Mother Shipton's Sleeping Syrup. We had cleared our forward stock.
"Things must be happening somewhere, George," he broke out in a querulously rising note as he came back into the little shop. He fiddled with the piled dummy boxes of fancy soap and scent and so forth that adorned the end of the counter, then turned about petulantly, stuck his hands deeply into his pockets and withdrew one to scratch his head. "I must do something," he said. "I can't stand it.