Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/107
Letters to Jack Cornstalk
From an Australian in London
London, September, 1900.
DEAR JACK,—You know I always had a great idea of the value of first impressions—an exaggerated idea, you used to say. I have it stronger than ever—indeed, I sometimes fear that the eagerness to seize first impressions, and write them down before they become blurred and lost, is becoming a mania with me. If I had to write up a big city I'd rather be there a month than a year. We Australians seem to adapt ourselves so quickly to strange places and upside-down conditions. Already London walls seem less dark and dirty to me—London streets less narrow, crowded and sordid, the whole city less like a big squalid village. The houses are growing every day, and I suppose as I go on the lives of the bulk of London humanity, and of two classes of London society especially—that of fashionable West End and that of Spitalfields, for instance—will seem less and less hopelessly useless and unnecessary to the existence of the world. As I make friends, and find halfway houses, so to speak, to drop