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This was one of those mornings when the smoke and the Themes Valley mist decided to work a few miracles for their London, and especially for the oldest part of it, the City. The City, on this mornings, is an enchantment.There is a faintly luminous haze, now silver, now old gold, over everything. The buildings have shape and solidity but no weight; they hang in air, like palaces out of the Arabian Nights;you could topple the dome off St. Paul's with a forefinger, push back the Mansion House, send Monument floating into space. On these mornings, the old charges cannot be counted; there more of them then ever. There is no less traffic than usual; the scarlet stream of buses still flows though the ancient narrow streets; the pavements are still thronged with messengers, office boys, policemen, clerks, typists, commissioners, directors, secretaries, crooks, busy-bodies, idlers; but on these morning all the buses, taxicabs, vans, lorries and all the pedestrians lose something from their ordinary solidity; they move in gauze, they are tyred in velvet, their voices are muted, their movement is in slow motion. Whatever is new and vulgar and foolish contrives to lose itself in the denser patches of mist. But all the glimpses of ancient loveliness are there,
perfectly framed and lighted: round every corner somebody is whispering line or two of Chaucer.And on these mornings, the river is simply not true: there is no geography, nothing but pure poetry, down there; the water has gone and shaped out of an adventurous dream drift by on a tide of gilded and silvered air. Such is the City, on one of those mornings, a place in a Gothic fairy tale, a miracle, a vision.