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Saki's short story "Dusk" presents people in a park who partake in that time of day that is neither day nor night. In this "gloaming" period they pass along the walks unnoticed. On the bench beside Gortsby sits an elderly gentleman with "a drooping air of defiance."
He belonged to that forlorn orchestra to whose piping no one dances; he was one of the world's lamenters who induce no responsive weeping.
The quote means that the older man may have been someone of import in his earlier years, but now he was what others might label a "pensioner," a man simply living out the remainder of his days unnoticed and unvalued. In fact, as he departs Gortsby gives him no more thought than to imagine that he returns to some mere lodging where he lives in dull habitude from week to week.
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