Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Canvasser

Hilaire Belloc
ca. 1910 
IN that part of the Garden of Eden which lies 
somewhat to the south-west of the centre thereof 
the weather, during the recent election which was 
held there, was bad. It blew, it rained, it hailed, it 
snowed, and all this was on account of the great 
comet, of which the people of that region said 
proudly to strangers, " Have you seen our comet ? " 
Imagining, with I know not how much justice, that 
this celestial phenomenon was local rather than 
national or imperial. 
The Garden of Eden being mainly of a clay soil, 
large parts of it were flooded, and a Canvasser (a 
draper by profession and a Gentleman from London 
by birth), unacquainted as he was with the Garden of 
Eden, thought it a foul place, and picked his way 
without pleasure. He went down a lane the like of 
which he did not even know to exist in England (for 
it was what we call in the Garden of Eden a " green 
lane," and only those learned in the place could get 
along it at all during the floods). 
I say he went down this lane, turned back, took 
a circumbendibus over some high but abominably 
sticky ploughed fields, and turned up with more of 
English earth than most citizens can boast at the 
door of the Important Cottage. He had been given 
his instructions carefully, and he was sure of the 
place. He swung off several pounds of clay from his 
boots to the right and to the left, and then it struck 
him that he did not know how to accost a cottage 
door. There was no knocker and there was no bell, 
But he had had plenty of proof and instruction 
dinned into him as to the importance of that cottage, 
so at last he made up his mind to do something bold 
and unconventional, and he knocked at it with his 
contined at: 

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