The newcomer to London is rare who does not receive as his first lasting impression of the metropolis the efficiency of its big, blue, benevolent policeman,—"Bobbie," as he is known half the Anglo-Saxon world over. Driving hotelward, and peering out from his cab upon the seemingly endless processions of pedestrians and vehicles of all sorts which pack the narrow streets, the chances are in favor of the traveler's catching more than one glimpse of the order everywhere maintained in the heart of seeming chaos by the calmly confident guardian of the peace. Apparently impassive, yet actually the personification of alertness, wholly unarmed save for the visible insignia of his position bestowed by his uniform, the policeman stands in completest control of the surging thousands which throng the thoroughfares and parks. His unobtrusive yet impressive rule is felt everywhere. A white-gloved hand is raised no higher than the helmet's rim—and instanter the east-and-west traffic stops as if every horse were hobbled, each motor-car suddenly bereft of power. Geranium-laden coster-cart and package-piled van, luxurious victoria and crowded "bus, all yield unquestioning obedience to that one man's silent command. A moment later and, at a second similar unspoken order, those accumulated columns stream on again while the north-and-south lines wait in turn.

What works the modern miracle? Not the broad shoulders and muscular arms of the man, surely; Hercules' self would be lost in such a contest. It is the recognition of the power which that lone figure represents. He stands on his crossing the embodiment of British government. He speaks as one having authority, and order follows.

November 19, 1910

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