‘Wouldn’t you like,’ I inquired, ‘to find a city without any people in it at all?’
It seems as though the brightest side of everything were also itshighest and best, so that as our little lives sink back behind us intothe dark sea of forgetfulness, all that which is the lightest and themost gladsome is the last to sink, and stands above the waters, longin sight, when the angry thoughts and smarting pain are buried deepbelow the waves and trouble us no more.
The Friar ceased. The disconsolate company retired to the remaining part of the castle. In the morning Manfred signed his abdication of the principality, with the approbation of Hippolita, and each took on them the habit of religion in the neighbouring convents. Frederic offered his daughter to the new Prince, which Hippolita’s tenderness for Isabella concurred to promote. But Theodore’s grief was too fresh to admit the thought of another love; and it was not until after frequent discourses with Isabella of his dear Matilda, that he was persuaded he could know no happiness but in the society of one with whom he could for ever indulge the melancholy that had taken possession of his soul.
I was soon called back to Folkestone; but Mrs. Meldrum and her young friend had already left England, finding to that end every convenience on the spot and not having had to come up to town. My thoughts however were so painfully engaged there that I should in any case have had little attention for them: the event occurred that was to bring my series of visits to a close. When this high tide had ebbed I returned to America and to my interrupted work, which had opened out on such a scale that, with a deep plunge into a great chance, I was three good years in rising again to the surface. There are nymphs and naiads moreover in the American depths: they may have had something to do with the duration of my dive. I mention them to account for a grave misdemeanour — the fact that after the first year I rudely neglected Mrs. Meldrum. She had written to me from Florence after my mother’s death and had mentioned in a postscript that in our young lady’s calculations the lowest numbers were now Italian counts. This was a good omen, and if in subsequent letters there was no news of a sequel I was content to accept small things and to believe that grave tidings, should there be any, would come to me in due course. The gravity of what might happen to a featherweight became indeed with time and distance less appreciable, and I was not without an impression that Mrs. Meldrum, whose sense of proportion was not the least of her merits, had no idea of boring the world with the ups and downs of her pensioner. The poor girl grew dusky and dim, a small fitful memory, a regret tempered by the comfortable consciousness of how kind Mrs. Meldrum would always be to her. I was professionally more preoccupied than I had ever been, and I had swarms of pretty faces in my eyes and a chorus of high voices in my ears. Geoffrey Dawling had on his return to England written me two or three letters: his last information had been that he was going into the figures of rural illiteracy. I was delighted to receive it and had no doubt that if he should go into figures they would, as they are said to be able to prove anything, prove at least that my advice was sound and that he had wasted time enough. This quickened on my part another hope, a hope suggested by some roundabout rumour — I forget how it reached me — that he was engaged to a girl down in Hampshire. He turned out not to be, but I felt sure that if only he went into figures deep enough he would become, among the girls down in Hampshire or elsewhere, one of those numerous prizes of battle whose defences are practically not on the scale of their provocations. I nursed in short the thought that it was probably open to him to become one of the types as to which, as the years go on, frivolous and superficial spectators lose themselves in the wonder that they ever succeeded in winning even the least winsome mates. He never alluded to Flora Saunt; and there was in his silence about her, quite as in Mrs. Meldrum’s, an element of instinctive tact, a brief implication that if you didn’t happen to have been in love with her she was not an inevitable topic.
This seemed to cheer him up a little. He took another glass of wine and smiled wanly. 'I'm afraid I've not been following all you chaps have said. I was thinking. What were we talking about?'
"She'll die," Siddhartha said quietly.
“I now fell into the hands of one of a very different disposition, and this was no other than the celebrated St. Chrysostom, who dieted me with sermons instead of sacrifices, and filled my ears with good things, but not my belly. Instead of high food to fatten and pamper my flesh, I had receipts to mortify and reduce it. With these I edified so well, that within a few months I became a skeleton. However, as he had converted me to his faith, I was well enough satisfied with this new manner of living, by which he taught me I might insure myself an eternal reward in a future state. The saint was a good-natured man, and never gave me an ill word but once, which was occasioned by my neglecting to place Aristophanes, which was his constant bedfellow, on his pillow. He was, indeed, extremely fond of that Greek poet, and frequently made me read his comedies to him. When I came to any of the loose passages he would smile, and say, ‘It was pity his matter was not as pure as his style;’ of which latter he was so immoderately fond that, notwithstanding the detestation he expressed for obscenity, he hath made me repeat those passages ten times over. The character of this good man hath been very unjustly attacked by his heathen contemporaries, particularly with regard to women; but his severe invectives against that sex are his sufficient justification.
The cry of, “Over, over!”
Secondly, the acceptation of Columbus his offer of the West Indies by Kinge Henry the Seaventh, at the very firste, maketh moche for the title of the Kinges of England, althoughe they had no former interest; which I will here putt downe as I finde it in the eleventh chapiter of the historie of Ferdinandus Columbus of the relation of the life and doinges of his father: This practise, saieth he, of the Kinge of Portingale (which was secretly to deprive him of the honour of his enterprise), beinge come to the knowledge of the Admyrall, and havinge lately buried his wife, he conceaved so greate hatred againste the citie of Lysbone and the nation, that he determyned to goe into Castile with a younge sonne that he had by his wife, called Diego Colon, which after his fathers deathe succeded in his state. But fearinge, yf the Kinges of Castile also shoulde not consente unto his enterprise, he shoulde be constrayned to begynne againe to make some newe offer of the same to some other Prince, and so longe tyme shoulde be spente therein, he sente into England a brother of his which he had with him, named Bartholmewe Columbus. Nowe Bartholmewe Columbus beinge departed for England, his fortune was to fall into the handes of pyrates, which robbed him, and his other companions that were in his shippe, of all that they had. By which occasion and meanes of his povertie and sicknes, which cruelly afflicted him in a strange contrie, he deferred for a longe space his embassage, till, havinge gotten upp a little money by makinge of seacardes, he began to practize with Kinge Henry the Seaventhe, the father of Kinge Henry the viij’th which nowe reigneth; to whome he presented a general carde, wherein these verses were written, which I will rather here put downe for their antiquitie then for their elegancie:
Oddrun to win,
My uncle Gordon saw in what direction, horrible to him, the chase was driving him. He doubled, darting to the right and left; but high as the fever ran in his veins, the black was still the swifter. Turn where he would, he was still forestalled, still driven toward the scene of his crime. Suddenly he began to shriek aloud, so that the coast re-echoed; and now both I and Rorie were calling on the black to stop. But all was vain, for it was written otherwise. The pursuer still ran, the chase still sped before him screaming; they avoided the grave, and skimmed close past the timbers of the wreck; in a breath they had cleared the sand; and still my kinsman did not pause, but dashed straight into the surf; and the black, now almost within reach, still followed swiftly behind him. Rorie and I both stopped, for the thing was now beyond the hands of men, and these were the decrees of God that came to pass before our eyes. There was never a sharper ending. On that steep beach they were beyond their depth at a bound; neither could swim; the black rose once for a moment with a throttling cry; but the current had them, racing seaward; and if ever they came up again, which God alone can tell, it would be ten minutes after, at the far end of Aros Roost, where the seabirds hover fishing.
Hath Phoebus woo'd in vain to spoil her cheek,
One thing, in this connection, White Fang quickly learnt, and that wasthat a thieving god was usually a cowardly god and prone to run away atthe sounding of the alarm. Also, he learned that but brief time elapsedbetween his sounding of the alarm and Grey Beaver coming to his aid. Hecame to know that it was not fear of him that drove the thief away, but fearof Grey Beaver. White Fang did not give the alarm by barking. He neverbarked. His method was to drive straight at the intruder, and to sink histeeth in if he could. Because he was morose and solitary, having nothing todo with the other dogs, he was unusually fitted to guard his master'sproperty; and in this he was encouraged and trained by Grey Beaver. Oneresult of this was to make White Fang more ferocious and indomitable,and more solitary.
‘What is it?’ asked her companion.详情 ➢
Copyright © 2020