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She had a reason for looking instinctively out at the sea-line; a reason that many young women have had in the history of the world.
But there was no sail in sight. On the beach below the parade were a succession of small crowds, surrounding the usual orators of the seaside; whether niggers or socialists, whether clowns or clergymen.
Here would stand a man doing something or other with paper boxes; and the holiday makers would watch him for hours in the hope of some time knowing what it was that he was doing with them.
Next to him would be a man in a top hat with a very big Bible and a very small wife, who stood silently beside him, while he fought with his clenched fist against the heresy of Milnian Sublapsarianism so wide-spread in fashionable watering-places.
It was not easy to follow him, he was so very much excited; but every now and then the words "our Sublapsarian friends" would recur with a kind of wailing sneer. Next was a young man talking of nobody knew what least of all himselfbut apparently relying for public favour mainly on having a ring of carrots round his hat.
He had more money lying in front of him than the others. Next was a children's service conducted by a man with a long neck who beat time with a little wooden spade. Farther along there was an atheist, in a towering rage, who pointed every now and then at the children's service and spoke of Nature's fairest things being corrupted with the secrets of the Spanish Inquisition—by the man with the little spade, of course.
The atheist who wore a red rosette was very withering to his own audience as well. But between the atheist and the children's service was a little owlish man in a red fez, weakly waving a green gamp umbrella. His face was brown and wrinkled like a walnut, his nose was of the sort we associate with Judaea, his beard was the sort of black wedge we associate rather with Persia.
The young woman had never seen him before; he was a new exhibit in the now familiar museum of cranks and quacks. The young woman was one of those people in whom a real sense of humour is always at issue with a certain temperamental tendency to boredom or melancholia; and she lingered a moment, and leaned on the rail to listen.
It was fully four minutes before she could understand a word the man was saying; he spoke English with so extraordinary an accent that she supposed at first that he was talking in his own oriental tongue.
All the noises of that articulation were odd; the most marked was an extreme prolongation of the short "u" into "oo"; as in "poo-oot" for "put. Eventually it appeared to her that he had some fad about English civilisation having been founded by the Turks; or, perhaps by the Saracens after their victory in the Crusades.
He also seemed to think that Englishmen would soon return to this way of thinking; and seemed to be urging the spread of teetotalism as an evidence of it. The girl was the only person listening to him. Those inns were not poo-oot up in the beginning to sell ze alcoholic Christian drink.
They were put up to sell ze non-alcoholic Islamic drinks. You can see this in the names of your inns.
They are eastern names, Asiatic names. You have a famous public house to which your omnibuses go on the pilgrimage. It is called the Elephant and Castle. That is not an English name. It is an Asiatic name. You will say there are castles in England, and I will agree with you.
There is the Windsor Castle.
But where," he cried sternly, shaking his green umbrella at the girl in an angry oratorical triumph, "where is the Windsor Elephant? I have searched all Windsor Park. In accordance with the strange system of concurrent religious endowment which prevails at watering-places, she dropped a two shilling piece into the round copper tray beside him.
With honourable and disinterested eagerness, the old gentleman in the red fez took no notice of this, but went on warmly, if obscurely, with his argument. Who thinks about a Bull in gardens of delight? What need is there of a Bull when we watch the tulip-tinted maidens dance or pour the sparkling sherbert?
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Jan 03, · The yellow fish from Finding Nemo as a description of a person.