At the Door of the Gate

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Mrs. Wilberforce strongly objected to Myrtle Row. The eight cheap houses run up just at the end of Blenheim Gardens by a greedy landlord of plebeian and commercial instincts were a perpetual eyesore to her. In Blenheim Gardens resided eminent physicians, successful lawyers, distinguished professors, well-to-do business men - the élite, in short, of the middle class - and here for twenty years the Wilberforces themselves had lived, occupying the house with the creeper, next door to Professor Lanyon's; but in Myrtle Row there dwelt a person who inspected gas-meters, a clerk, a postman, a tram-conductor; while number eight, a double-house (also next door to Professor Lanyon's), stood revealed as a very unpretending post-office and lending library. Both Mrs. Wilberforce (whose grandfather had been a General) and Professor Lanyon had given notice when, in an incredibly short time. Myrtle Row had ceased to be the mere scheme of a vulgar brain and had become a conspicuous reality, and, though in due course their notices were withdrawn, it was very widely felt that the value of house property in the vicinity must have depreciated, and the occupants of Blenheim Gardens had unanimously and successfully demanded a reduction in their rents.

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