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The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.]   By: (1866-1947)

Book cover

First Page:

THE ROMANCE OF

ZION CHAPEL

By

RICHARD LE GALLIENNE

1898

TO

TWO IN HEAVEN

AND

TWO ON EARTH.

Contents

I. OF A CURIOUS MEETING OF EXTREMES II. INTRODUCES MORE UNROMANTIC MATERIAL III. OF ELI MOGGRIDGE AND THE NEW SPIRIT IV. ENDS QUITE ROMANTICALLY V. OF THE ARTIST IN MAN AND HIS MATERIALS VI. OF A WONDERFUL QUALITY IN WOMEN VII. THE LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF COALCHESTER. VIII. THE PLOT AGAINST COALCHESTER IX. "THE DAWN" X. HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS OF A MORRIS WALL PAPER TO COALCHESTER XI. A LITTLE ABOUT JENNY XII. HOW THE RENAISSANCE CAME IN PERSON TO NEW ZION XIII. IN WHICH JENNY KISSES MR. MOGGRIDGE XIV. THE GREAT EVENT OF MR. TALBOT'S LIFE XV. JENNY'S BOTTOM DRAWER XVI. THEOPHIL ALL THIS TIME XVII. "O THAT 'T WERE POSSIBLE..." XVIII. ONE DAY OUT OF ALL THE YEARS XIX. PREPARATIONS FOR A FAST AND OTHER SADNESS XX. IN WHICH JENNY CRIES XXI. IN WHICH JENNY IS MYSTERIOUSLY HONOURED XXII. THE TRYST LETHEAN XXIII. JENNY'S LYING IN STATE XXIV. THE BEGINNING OF THE PILGRIMAGE A MESSAGE FROM JENNY XXV. JENNY'S POSTE RESTANTE XXVI. FURTHER CONCERNING THEOPHIL'S LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF JENNY XXVII. ISABEL CALLING XXVIII. BACK IN ZION PLACE XXIX. AND SUDDENLY THE LAST

The Romance of Zion Chapel

CHAPTER I

OF A CURIOUS MEETING OF EXTREMES

On the dreary suburban edge of a very old, very ignorant, very sooty, hardhearted, stony streeted, meanly grim, little provincial town there stands a gasometer. On one side of this gasometer begins a region of disappointed fields, which, however, has hardly begun before a railway embankment cuts across, at an angle convenient for its entirely obscuring the few meadows and trees that in this desolate land do duty for a countryside. The dull workmen's streets that here abruptly present unfinished ends to the universe must console themselves with the gasometer. And indeed they seem more than content. For a street boasting the best view, as it runs out its sordid line longer than the rest, is proudly called Gasometer Street. Some of the streets that are denied the gasometer cluster narrow and dark, hardly built twenty years perhaps, yet long since drearily old, with the unattractive antiquity of old iron and old clothes, round a mouldy little chapel, in what we can only describe as the Wesleyan Methodist style of architecture. Cased in weather stained and decaying stucco, it bears upon its front the words "New Zion," and the streets about it are named accordingly: Zion Passage, Zion Alley, Zion Walk, Zion Street. There is a house too which had been lucky enough to call itself Zion View, the very morning before the house at the corner had contemplated doing the same. At Zion View lived and still lives Mr. Moggridge, the huge, good natured, guffawing pillar of New Zion, on whom, at the moment, however, we will not call.

A nice dull place, you may say, from which to issue invitations to a romance. Well, of course, it must seem so if pretty places are the reader's idea of romance. Curiously enough, the preference of the Lady Romance herself is for just such dull places. These dreary, soot begrimed streets are the very streets she loves best to appear in, on a sudden, some astonished day, with a sound of silk skirts and a spring wind of attar of roses. Contrast, surprise, these are her very soul. Dull places and bright people, these she loves to bring together, and watch for laughter and tears. You are never safe from Romance, and the place to seek her is never the place where she was last found.

Well, at all events, it is to Gasometer Street and New Zion that you are respectfully invited, and before you decline the invitation with a shrug, I will tell you this about the gasometer. The romantic eyes of one of the greatest French poets once looked on that gasometer! I won't pretend that they dwelt there, but look on it they once did the eyes of that great, sad, scandalous, religious French poet on a night of weary rain that set someone quoting, also in that street,

"Il pleure dans mon coeur Comme il pleut sur la ville... Continue reading book >>




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