Henry James, Jr.


The of my seeing them was the funeral of Mr. Odger, which befell some four or five weeks before Easter period. Mr. George Odger, it will be remembered, an English radical agitator, of humble origin, who had himself by a perverse desire to get into Parliament. exercised, I believe, the useful profession of shoemaker, and knocked in vain at the door that opens but golden keys. But he was a useful and honorable , and his own people gave him an honorable burial. emerged accidentally into Piccadilly at the moment they were engaged, and the spectacle was one I should have sorry to miss. The crowd was enormous, but I to squeeze through it and to get into a cab that was drawn up beside the pavement, and I looked on as from a box at the . Though it was a funeral that was going on will not call it a tragedy; but it was very serious comedy. The day happened to be magnificentthe of the year. The funeral had been taken in by the classes who are socially unrepresented in Parliament, it had the character of a great popular *.manifestation.* hearse was followed by very few carriages, but the of pedestrians stretched away in the sunshine, up and the classic gentility of Piccadilly, on a scale that highly impressive. Here and there the line was broken a small brass band ---- apparently one of those of itinerant Germans that play for coppers beneath lodging-house ; but for the rest it was compactly made up what the newspapers call the dregs of the population. was the London rabble, the metropolitan mob, men and , boys and girls, the decent poor and the indecent, had scrambled into the ranks as they gathered them on their passage, and were making a sort of spree of it. Very solemn it all was ---- proper and undemonstrative. They shuffled along in an interminable , and as I looked at them out of the of my hansom I seemed to be having a of panoramic view of the under side, the wrong , of the London world. The procession was filled with which seemed never to have *shown out,* as the say, before; of strange, pale, mouldy paupers who blinked stumbled in the Piccadilly sunshine. I have no space describe them more minutely, but I found in the affair something memorable. My impression rose not simply from radical, or as I may say for the sake color, the revolutionary, emanation of this dingy concourse, lighted by the ironical sky; but from the same causes I had observed a short time before, on the the queen went to open Parliament, when in Trafalgar , looking straight down into Westminster and over the royal é, were gathered a group of banners and festoons, inscribed big staring letters with mottoes and sentiments which a police-department might easily have found seditious.



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