instance, was bought at Mantua on a windy day. We were 
leaving the shop when the sinister old woman plucked at 
our skirts and said she would find herself starving one of 
these days, but, “Take it!” she cried, and thrust the blue
and white china bowl into our hands as if she never wanted 
to be reminded of her quixotic generosity. So, guiltily, but 
suspecting nevertheless how badly we had been fleeced, we 
carried it back to the little hotel where, in the middle of 
the night, the innkeeper quarreled so violently with his 
wife that we all leant out into the courtyard to look, and 
saw the vines laced about among the pillars and the stars 
white in the sky. The moment was stabilized, stamped like 
a coin indelibly, among a million that slipped by impe-
rceptibly. There, too, was the melancholy Englishman, 
who rose among the coffee cups and the little iron tables 
and revealed the secrets of his soul—as travellers do. All 
this—Italy, the windy morning, the vines laced about the 
pillars, the Englishman and the secrets of his soul—rise up 
in a cloud from the china bowl on the mantelpiece. And 
there, as our eyes fall to the floor, is that brown stamp on 
the carpet. Mr. Lloyd George made that. “The man's a 
devil!” said Mr. Cummings, putting the kettle down with 
which he was about to fill the teapot so that it burnt a 
brown ring on the carpet.

But when the door shuts on us, all that vanishes. The 
shell-like covering which our souls have excreted to house 
themselves, to make for themselves a shape distinct from 
others, is broken, and there is left of all these wrinkles and 
roughnesses a central oyster of perceptiveness, an enormous 
eye. How beautiful a street is in winter! It is at once re-
vealed and obscured. Here vaguely one can trace sym-
metrical straight avenues of doors and windows; here 
under the lamps are floating islands of pale light through 
which pass quickly bright men and women, who for all 
their poverty and shabbiness wear a certain look of un-
reality, an air of triumph, as if they had given life the