Grant Allen once said that an Englishman's idea of God was another Englishman twelve feet high, and I suppose that is more or less everybody's idea of God- with the necessary geographical adjustment. Zenith Brown has an idea about God that pleases me. 'God, ' says Mrs. Brown, 'is obviously a friendly enough Old Gentleman most of the time, Who wishes us well and tries to see to it that we are reasonably happy. It is equally obvious the He has an idiot brother who takes over the reins whenever God Himself goes fishing. It is when the idiot brother is in charge of things that the world goes wrong and we have wars, famines, and pestilences on earth.
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Here dwell together still two men of note/ Who never lived and so can never die:/ How very near they seem, yet how remote/ That age before the world went all awry./ But still the game's afoot for those with ears/ Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:/ England is England yet, for all our fears-/ Only those things the heart believes are true./ A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane/ As night descends upon this fabled street:/ A lonely hansom splashes through the rain, / The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet./ Here, though the world explode, these two survive, / And it is always eighteen ninety-five.
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But there can be no grave for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson... Shall they not always live in Baker Street? Are they not there this moment, as one writes? Outside, the hansoms rattle through the rain, and Moriarty plans his latest devilry. Within, the sea-coal flames upon the hearth and Holmes and Watson take their well-won case... So they still live for all that love them well; in a romantic chamber of the heart, in a nostalgic country of the mind, where it is always 1895.
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Old books, yes! They are the true comforters; and principally because they are old and familiar. Many excellent new tales and poems and dramas are added yearly to the catalogues, and and some of these in time will stand beside the great companions under discussion; but only Time (and you and I and all other lovers of good books) will bring about their survival.
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But there can be no grave for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson...Shall they not always live in Baker Street? Are they not there this moment, as one writes? Outside, the hansoms rattle through the rain, and Moriarty plans his latest devilry. Within, the sea-coal flames upon the hearth and Holmes and Watson take their well-won case...So they still live for all that love them well; in a romantic chamber of the heart, in a nostalgic country of the mind, where it is always 1895.
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