Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/176

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for smashing the iron-clad rule that every Englishman's house was his castle, and now profoundly grateful for the act of Parliament which compelled him and every other Englishman to stop work on Saturday afternoon.

And not even janitors are exempt, as I learned the next day when I presented myself at the half-door.

"No, he ain't at home. He's off for the afternoon," answered his bright, cheery wife. "But I'll take ye up myself and unlock the place."

I thanked her, saw her through the door, and, picking out my point of view, started to work in the dead silence, the scratching of my coal the only sound. Soon there stole over me something of the same feeling that I had experienced the year before at Charter House when shut up in the very room in which the dear Colonel had died. Again I was alone with the ghosts of the past. Here was the window out of which Jasper craned his uncanny face; before this very fireplace had sat Mr. Grewgious on that foggy night when Edwin Drood invited himself to dinner; there, on the other side of that door, was Bazzard's room, and across the hall Mr. Grewgious's bedchamber where he lay and speculated about the ring set with diamonds and rubies which he had handed Mr. Edwin Drood "in discharge of a trust."

And it has lost nothing of its individuality nor have any changes been made in its fittings or condition: No new grate, nor mantel, nor doors; and, so far as can be seen, no fresh coat of paint upon any square foot of its surface inside or out. Even the window-panes are the same, the