eager to see the best in everybody, she wore rose-coloured
At the last moment I have your letter, for which I was waiting; I have taken my place, and see no good in inquiries. Do nothing more, good Eustace, I pray you. It only will vex me. Take no measures. Indeed, should we meet, I could not be certain; All might be changed, you know. Or perhaps there was nothing to be changed. It is a curious history, this; and yet I foresaw it; I could have told it before. The Fates, it is clear, are against us; For it is certain enough I met with the people you mention; They were at Florence the day I returned there, and spoke to me even; Stayed a week, saw me often; departed, and whither I know not. Great is Fate, and is best. I believe in Providence partly. What is ordained is right, and all that happens is ordered. Ah, no, that isn't it. But yet I retain my conclusion. I will go where I am led, and will not dictate to the chances. Do nothing more, I beg. If you love me, forbear interfering.
Shall we come out of it all, some day, as one does from a tunnel? Will it be all at once, without our doing or asking, We shall behold clear day, the trees and meadows about us, And the faces of friends, and the eyes we loved looking at us? Who knows? Who can say? It will not do to suppose it.
X. Claude to Eustace,-from Rome.
Rome will not suit me, Eustace; the priests and soldiers possess it; Priests and soldiers:--and, ah! which is the worst, the priest or the soldier? Politics, farewell, however! For what could I do? with inquiring, Talking, collating the journals, go fever my brain about things o'er Which I can have no control. No, happen whatever may happen, Time, I suppose, will subsist; the earth will revolve on its axis; People will travel; the stranger will wander as now in the city; Rome will be here, and the Pope the custode of Vatican marbles. I have no heart, however, for any marble or fresco; I have essayed it in vain; 'tis in vain as yet to essay it: But I may haply resume some day my studies in this kind; Not as the Scripture says, is, I think, the fact. Ere our death-day, Faith, I think, does pass, and Love; but Knowledge abideth. Let us seek Knowledge;--the rest may come and go as it happens. Knowledge is hard to seek, and harder yet to adhere to. Knowledge is painful often; and yet when we know we are happy. Seek it, and leave mere Faith and Love to come with the chances. As for Hope,--to-morrow I hope to be starting for Naples. Rome will not do, I see, for many very good reasons. Eastward, then, I suppose, with the coming of winter, to Egypt.
XI. Mary Trevellyn to Miss Roper. You have heard nothing; of course I know you can have heard nothing. Ah, well, more than once I have broken my purpose, and sometimes, Only too often, have looked for the little lake steamer to bring him. But it is only fancy,--I do not really expect it. Oh, and you see I know so exactly how he would take it: Finding the chances prevail against meeting again, he would banish Forthwith every thought of the poor little possible hope, which I myself could not help, perhaps, thinking only too much of; He would resign himself, and go. I see it exactly. So I also submit, although in a different manner. Can you not really come? We go very shortly to England.
So go forth to the world, to the good report and the evil! Go, little book! thy tale, is it not evil and good? Go, and if strangers revile, pass quietly by without answer. Go, and if curious friends ask of thy rearing and age, Say, 'I am flitting about many years from brain unto brain of Feeble and restless youths born to inglorious days: But,' so finish the word, 'I was writ in a Roman chamber, When from Janiculan heights thundered the cannon of France.'
We have our prejudices in England. Or, if that assertion offends any of my readers, I will modify it: we have had our prejudices in England. We have tortured Jews; we have burnt Catholics and Protestants, to say nothing of a few witches and wizards. We have satirized Puritans, and we have dressed-up Guys. But, after all, I do not think we have been so bad as our Continental friends. To be sure, our insular position has kept us free, to a certain degree, from the inroads of alien races; who, driven from one land of refuge, steal into another equally unwilling to receive them; and where, for long centuries, their presence is barely endured, and no pains is taken to conceal the repugnance which the natives of "pure blood" experience towards them.
There yet remains a remnant of the miserable people called Cagots in the valleys of the Pyrenees; in the Landes near Bourdeaux; and, stretching up on the west side of France, their numbers become larger in Lower Brittany. Even now, the origin of these families is a word of shame to them among their neighbours; although they are protected by the law, which confirmed them in the equal rights of citizens about the end of the last century. Before then they had lived, for hundreds of years, isolated from all those who boasted of pure blood, and they had been, all this time, oppressed by cruel local edicts. They were truly what they were popularly called, The Accursed Race.
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