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A HOUSE FULL OF HORRORS

CLUMP LODGE, Brixton, in this quarter being
rented by a very miserable man.  I rent
Clump Lodge, Brixton, and I have been
very miserable for the last five weeks. Up
to the middle of October I was always happy.
When I used to come home out of the City
of an evening, I was in the habit of talking
the news over with my neighbours in the
omnibusthere are half a dozen of us who
leave town at the same hourin a most
chatty manner. After I came in to Mrs.
Crumpet, she was in the habit of remarking
that my cheerfulness was like that of a bird
at tea. When we shut out the twilight,
and I lighted the camphinewhich I always
do myself, in order to prevent what I used
to call, when I was jocular, a Rising of
the BlacksI seemed to shut out care, to
lighten up my heart as well as my small
parlour. When, after exchanging coat and
boots for dressing-gown and slippers, I sat
down in my large easy chair, I seemed to
have put on inside as well as outside comfort
and ease, and to find rest for my thoughts as
well as for my body. I used to apply to myself
and Lodge the following sweet lines, when I
heard my eldest daughter Polly sing them
in a powerful tone of voice to our piano:

"0, am I not happy? I am! Iam!
To thee, sweet Eden, how dark and sad
Are the diamond turrets of Shadderabam,
And the fragrant bowers of Amberabad."

But now, alas! as Pollyor Marie, as she
would have us call hersays of her poor
father, out of a poet whom she considers to
have had a truly deep insight into human
nature, his life is become a wilderness of
brambles tearing at him right and left, so
that for the last five weeks there has been

"A stain on every bush that bore
A fragment of his palampore."

And, in truth, I am not sure that I should
not now prefer Palampore and Amberabad to
Cheapside and Brixton.

For the last five weeks I have been haunted
by the most horrid shapes. When I get into
the omnibus I ride home silent, for I see,
nine times out of ten, in some corner or
opposite to me, nestling on a friend's bosom,
or in his lap, unobserved by himself, some
dreadful thing. When I come home a dozen
hideous forms glare at me in the hall. My
snug parlour maddens me;  the walls and
floor are densely covered with the most
frightful objects; a detestable thing lies
spread out at full length before my fire; the
persons of my wife and daughter are surrounded
very often by these horrors.When
I draw the curtains and shut in my room, I
shut myself in with all these terrible companions,
whose hideousness is visible alone to
me. When I light my camphine lamp it
glares upon me in the shape of something
evil; my dressing gown and slippers torture
me, as though the gown were made by
what's-her-name for me instead of Hercules; and
the slippers were on the plan of the tight
boots in the Middle Ages. My chair, and
every chair I see, is occupied by ghastly
shapes, upon which I must sit if I would sit
at all; and, when my daughter goes to the
piano, I am agonised by the horror of the
thing she touches when she puts her hand on
the music stool. It is not in this chamber
only that I suffer; my whole house is full of
horrors, and I meet them in the streets. Yet
I am a quiet City man; I dream little of
nights; I do not diet myself on cold pork and
half roasted potatoes, eaten with the skins;
my health is good; my appetite is well
controlled; I am quite sure that I am not
delirious or likely to go mad. I was delirious
when I was satisfied. You are delirious who
do not share my tortures, who have not felt
thatas Marie quotes, in illustration of my
opinion- though she does not practically
understand it

"We madly smile when we should groan;
Delirium is our best deceiver."

The matter is this: I have acquired some
Correct Principles of Taste. Five weeks ago,
I went to the Department of Practical Art in
Marlborough House, to look over the museum
of ornamental art. I had heard of a Chamber
of Horrors there established, and I found it,
and went through it with my catalogue.It
was a gloomy chamber, hung round with
frightful objects, in curtains, carpets, clothes,
lamps, and what not. In each case the catalogue
told me why such and such a thing
wasn't endurable; and I found in the same

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