84 Ragpickers. By Armstrong, Le Roy

Born in streets that “echoed to the tread of either Brutus,” under the wall-shadows that have fallen on a Caesar’s triumphal march, beneath a sun that could not find a foe for Romans born so, but in a later day when alien blood has sunk a race of warriors - this last residuum in Time’s great goblet that once brimmed over with the best of earth, these ancient crones have wandered from the Old world to glean a living from the refuse of the New. The dames of ancient Rome - the garbage barrels of an American city! There is the satire of the centuries. The stylus that painfully engrossed the learning of that day has swept across the page of Time with swiftly growing speed, till lightning presses end the cycle of improvement. And these old crones, dark fishing in the dawn, dig up the crumpled leaves: “Decline and Fall!” Shall any matron, proud of present empire, live in lines to be digged out of dust-bins in that brighter age when our descendants, sunk to slaves, shall crouch and shiver in the noisome ways? Is there a city somewhere hid in Earth and Time through whose dim alleys Columbia’s final son shall grope inferior for food? Why not? Did the Tigris promise less? Do our streams promise more? Where stood the fate that crushed the kings of earth? What fate for us lies crouching in the twilight - centuries away?

Dieses Kapitel ist Teil des Buches STREET TYPES GREAT AMERICAN CITIES