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and the Queen; and Aunt Charlotte immediately said she

knowledge 2023-12-02 23:53:027657475317

Ah, what a shame, indeed, to abuse these most worthy people! Ah, what a sin to have sneered at their innocent rustic pretensions! Is it not laudable really, this reverent worship of station? Is it not fitting that wealth should tender this homage to culture? Is it not touching to witness these efforts, if little availing, Painfully made, to perform the old ritual service of manners? Shall not devotion atone for the absence of knowledge? and fervour Palliate, cover, the fault of a superstitious observance? Dear, dear, what do I say? but, alas! just now, like Iago, I can be nothing at all, if it is not critical wholly; So in fantastic height, in coxcomb exaltation, Here in the garden I walk, can freely concede to the Maker That the works of His hand are all very good: His creatures, Beast of the field and fowl, He brings them before me; I name them; That which I name them, they are,--the bird, the beast, and the cattle. But for Adam,--alas, poor critical coxcomb Adam! But for Adam there is not found an help-meet for him.

and the Queen; and Aunt Charlotte immediately said she

No, great Dome of Agrippa, thou art not Christian! canst not, Strip and replaster and daub and do what they will with thee, be so! Here underneath the great porch of colossal Corinthian columns, Here as I walk, do I dream of the Christian belfries above them? Or, on a bench as I sit and abide for long hours, till thy whole vast Round grows dim as in dreams to my eyes, I repeople thy niches, Not with the Martyrs, and Saints, and Confessors, and Virgins, and children, But with the mightier forms of an older, austerer worship; And I recite to myself, how Eager for battle here Stood Vulcan, here matronal Juno, And with the bow to his shoulder faithful He who with pure dew laveth of Castaly His flowing locks, who holdeth of Lycia The oak forest and the wood that bore him, Delos' and Patara's own Apollo.

and the Queen; and Aunt Charlotte immediately said she


* Hic avidus stetit Vulcanus, hic matrona Juno, et Nunquam humeris positurus arcum; Qui rore puro Castaliae lavit Crines solutos, qui Lyciae tenet Dumeta natalemque silvam, Delius et Patareus Apollo.

and the Queen; and Aunt Charlotte immediately said she

Yet it is pleasant, I own it, to be in their company; pleasant, Whatever else it may be, to abide in the feminine presence. Pleasant, but wrong, will you say? But this happy, serene coexistence Is to some poor soft souls, I fear, a necessity simple, Meat and drink and life, and music, filling with sweetness, Thrilling with melody sweet, with harmonies strange overwhelming, All the long-silent strings of an awkward, meaningless fabric. Yet as for that, I could live, I believe, with children; to have those Pure and delicate forms encompassing, moving about you, This were enough, I could think; and truly with glad resignation Could from the dream of Romance, from the fever of flushed adolescence, Look to escape and subside into peaceful avuncular functions. Nephews and nieces! alas, for as yet I have none! and, moreover, Mothers are jealous, I fear me, too often, too rightfully; fathers Think they have title exclusive to spoiling their own little darlings; And by the law of the land, in despite of Malthusian doctrine, No sort of proper provision is made for that most patriotic, Most meritorious subject, the childless and bachelor uncle.

Ye, too, marvellous Twain, that erect on the Monte Cavallo Stand by your rearing steeds in the grace of your motionless movement, Stand with your upstretched arms and tranquil regardant faces, Stand as instinct with life in the might of immutable manhood,-- O ye mighty and strange, ye ancient divine ones of Hellas. Are ye Christian too? to convert and redeem and renew you, Will the brief form have sufficed, that a Pope has set up on the apex Of the Egyptian stone that o'ertops you, the Christian symbol? And ye, silent, supreme in serene and victorious marble, Ye that encircle the walls of the stately Vatican chambers, Juno and Ceres, Minerva, Apollo, the Muses and Bacchus, Ye unto whom far and near come posting the Christian pilgrims, Ye that are ranged in the halls of the mystic Christian Pontiff, Are ye also baptized? are ye of the kingdom of Heaven? Utter, O some one, the word that shall reconcile Ancient and Modern! Am I to turn me from this unto thee, great Chapel of Sixtus?

These are the facts. The uncle, the elder brother, the squire (a Little embarrassed, I fancy), resides in the family place in Cornwall, of course; 'Papa is in business,' Mary informs me; He's a good sensible man, whatever his trade is. The mother Is--shall I call it fine?--herself she would tell you refined, and Greatly, I fear me, looks down on my bookish and maladroit manners; Somewhat affecteth the blue; would talk to me often of poets; Quotes, which I hate, Childe Harold; but also appreciates Wordsworth; Sometimes adventures on Schiller; and then to religion diverges; Questions me much about Oxford; and yet, in her loftiest flights still Grates the fastidious ear with the slightly mercantile accent.

Is it contemptible, Eustace--I'm perfectly ready to think so,-- Is it,--the horrible pleasure of pleasing inferior people? I am ashamed of my own self; and yet true it is, if disgraceful, That for the first time in life I am living and moving with freedom. I, who never could talk to the people I meet with my uncle,-- I, who have always failed,--I, trust me, can suit the Trevellyns; I, believe me,--great conquest, am liked by the country bankers. And I am glad to be liked, and like in return very kindly. So it proceeds; laissez faire, laissez aller,--such is the watchword. Well, I know there are thousands as pretty and hundreds as pleasant, Girls by the dozen as good, and girls in abundance with polish Higher and manners more perfect than Susan or Mary Trevellyn. Well, I know, after all, it is only juxtaposition,-- Juxtaposition, in short; and what is juxtaposition?

But I am in for it now,--laissez faire, of a truth, laissez aller. Yes, I am going,--I feel it, I feel and cannot recall it,-- Fusing with this thing and that, entering into all sorts of relations, Tying I know not what ties, which, whatever they are, I know one thing, Will, and must, woe is me, be one day painfully broken,-- Broken with painful remorses, with shrinkings of soul, and relentings, Foolish delays, more foolish evasions, most foolish renewals. But I have made the step, have quitted the ship of Ulysses; Quitted the sea and the shore, passed into the magical island; Yet on my lips is the moly, medicinal, offered of Hermes. I have come into the precinct, the labyrinth closes around me, Path into path rounding slyly; I pace slowly on, and the fancy, Struggling awhile to sustain the long sequences, weary, bewildered, Fain must collapse in despair; I yield, I am lost, and know nothing; Yet in my bosom unbroken remaineth the clue; I shall use it. Lo, with the rope on my loins I descend through the fissure; I sink, yet Inly secure in the strength of invisible arms up above me; Still, wheresoever I swing, wherever to shore, or to shelf, or Floor of cavern untrodden, shell sprinkled, enchanting, I know I Yet shall one time feel the strong cord tighten about me,-- Feel it, relentless, upbear me from spots I would rest in; and though the Rope sway wildly, I faint, crags wound me, from crag unto crag re- Bounding, or, wide in the void, I die ten deaths, ere the end I Yet shall plant firm foot on the broad lofty spaces I quit, shall Feel underneath me again the great massy strengths of abstraction, Look yet abroad from the height o'er the sea whose salt wave I have tasted.

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