Among these stray Americans I remember one ragged, patient old man, who soberly affirmed that he had been wandering about England more than a quarter of a century, doing his utmost to get home, but never rich enough to pay his passage.
Surrounded by beauty and luxury, they could not believe that side by side with them lived human beings degraded to a position lower than a beast's, shelterless and ragged, without hope or ambition. This condition of affairs was particularly pronounced in Germany after the Franco-German war.
With regard to being spruce, sir, that's where it is, you see. And here he looked particularly gloomy. 'Where what is? Mr Pinch demanded. 'Where the aggravation of it is. Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well dressed. There an't much credit in that. If I was very ragged and very jolly, then I should begin to feel I had gained a point, Mr Pinch.
Colonel Bishop could not be expected to recognize at a glance in these upright, furbished, soldierly figures the ragged, unkempt scarecrows that but yesterday had been toiling in his plantations.
I saw the little darkies running about the streets down there at Carthage; they were poor and ragged and dirty, but they were out in the air and the sunshine; they have a chance to get their growth; to go to school and learn something. The white children are worked worse than slaves, and are growing up dulled and stunted, physically and mentally.
The snow had melted below the timber line and a long trail of smoke floated across the somber forest. A fire was working through the trees and a smell of burning came down the valley. Three or four men in ragged overalls lounged about the veranda, and the landlord leaned against a post. He wore a white shirt with gold studs, and his clothes were good.
He seized a small branch and hurled it at the hyenas, sending them off with their tails between their legs to their hiding-places on the ragged slopes. Then he fed his fire with more dry wood till the fierce heat of it drove him back. Returning to the side of the wondering girl, he sat down, and contemplated his handiwork with swelling pride.
Men ragged and famished clutched tenaciously at whatever came in their way, whether of clothing or food, of luxury or necessity.
We go to the top of a very wide main street to await the tram which is to take us to the Pyramids. "Poste-carte, sir-r-r-r," says insinuatingly a ragged ruffian, thrusting vividly coloured picture postcards into our faces as we stand. We turn away, shaking our heads.
But, on the other hand, the explosion might be of another kind. Suppose that suddenly a real woman's entire nature should be revealed to the world, might not the universe be enveloped in a rose glory and a love symphony? We'll see! Also, could the time ever come when a woman wouldn't risk hanging over the ragged edge of Heaven to hold on to the hand of some man? Never!