I tried to see myself, on the waiter's suggestion, in this predica- ment, and admitted in the full glow of sympathy that it did seem hard. It was impossible not to respond to the unquenchable human nature in the waiter's eye. After all, they weren't my rabbits. A venal warmth chequered the restraint of my smile. As the irrigator directs the waterflow by a slight turn of his foot, I directed, just so quietly, the conversation. You see, in the winter-time, a man may be out of work and he knows where 'is two-and-nine is waitin' for him when 'e's wearin' 'is fur-lined overcoat, as the sayin' goes.
Yes, Miss ; two-an'-nine's what they give for a hare—so I've been told. I wanted some cheese, but I caught sight of the glow in the oyster-eyes and I prayed that nothing might divert the waiter to a sense of his duties at that moment. There is poetry in every soul, we know ; by long study I have learned to detect sometimes the moment of the lighting of its fires.
There was that in the waiter s kiln-brick face which a keen eye could recognise. You can't wonder that some of 'em steps out of a night an' nooses a brace of pheasants. As for the poorer parts, they pretty near give it away of a Saturday night, an' for two shillin he'll get what'll keep 'is family in meat for a week. I'd as soon have a chicken. You can go out with a line in your pocket, an' a fish 'ook on the end of it, an' bait it with a raisin, and 'ang it over the fence—".
Of course, it wants artful doin' ; the line wants to be 'ung just so , and a raisin or two dropped where he's likely to run, an' ten to one 'e'll make a peck at it—an' the best of it is w'en 'e's got it the bird can't 'oller. I suppressed a weak desire to say it was shockingly cruel. Mentally, I surveyed myself with cold dislike as I heard myself remark that it must be very exciting work. These old poachers 'as some fine stories to tell of it. Some likes a pea at the end of a few strands of horse-hair.
Oh, you want to dror it long from the horse's tail, an' then you twist it fine together an' runs it through the pea and makes a knot. Some prefers a 'ook in the pea. Then, you see, the bird just swallows it, and there he is. With either the raisin hor the pea it wants to be 'ung so's the bird, when he pecks an' takes it, 'as 'is feet just awf the ground. It's wonderful how quick they are to see it, too. Of course, it has to be a fine night, but I don't care for too much moon my- self. Well," with a deprecatory smile, which displayed an irreproachable set of false teeth, " I've 'ad as many as three in one evening.
Well, I was in Tom Hotchkiss's racing stables till I got too heavy, but I've always been a great one for sports or anything of that. Fine sideboardful o' cups I've got wot I've won running ; I 'ad a butter cooler, silver-plated, only last year for the Married Men's 'Undred Yard Race.
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I feared he might have been reflecting on his growing handicap, technical or physical, and I deployed a reflection upon the variety of his experiences. He smiled again, and spoke softly of his lost youth. Then one morning where I took the meat down, the gardener stop' and ask me if I d care to come hin doors"—some inner light illuminated this phrase for me.
It did not mean would he step into the kitchen ; it meant would he take indoor service—" because 'is master wanted a page-boy, an' I jumped at this. Oh, I thought it grand—that was with Mr. Beatup at the 'Bull,' and I've been mostly in hotel service ever since. I hunted for the proper setting of the question ; I was anxious not to make a blunder.
Sometimes 'e would buy a horse for luck, other times 'e'd think one of 'is carriages brought him bad luck. He always used to go about with a carriage dog, one o' them spotted—well, Darmations some calls 'em ; oh, she was a beautiful creature—an' knowin'! Well, there wasn't any- thing she wouldn't do. Why, she'd go up to one of the other horses on the rank, as it might be, what wasn't my father's, you see, Miss, an' she'd ackshly pull the clover out of 'is nose-bag and kerry it to one of my father's own 'orses.
There was a lady there awffered my father eighteen sov'rins for her, but 'e wouldn't sell. Often enough she ask' 'im, but 'e always said the same about 'is luck. An' it wasn't a twelvemonth later that 'e was drivin' home one night with a horse he'd bought in London some time before, an' it bolted at the scroop of a tramway, turn' the corner short and come down pitchin' father out and his 'ead was all cut to pieces—killed 'im on the spot.
He was took up in a bag. Seems he might have fell free if his coat hadn't 'ave caught in the lamp-iron. Yesser, senior,. Sollop have the landau this afternoon? She wishes to drive out to Cray's Wood ; have you a horse disengaged about three? I recognised the old Rector's voice at once ; he spoke his inquiry like a piece of ritual—or is it rubric? The reply was inaudible, but I was quite sure that Mrs. Sollop couldn't have the landau : I had been in the inn-yard that morning, and I knew that the landau had other fish to fry, so to speak.
Words would fail to depict the ardour with which Tom and Frank, the two ostlers, had been assailing the old landau, leathers in hand and scarlet braces flying, from an early hour ; they had got my wheel jack in use, and pail after pail of water went through the spokes. They did not apologise for borrowing the wheel jack, and I recognised with them that the occasion lifted us all above considerations of common formulae.
Within the stable could be seen the patient heads of "the Teamster" and "Bay Bob" provisionally referred to as "the pair" dipping reflectively between the pillar-chains. Poor beasts, they knew something was going to happen, if it were only from the reek of "compo" on the harness. No hope of Mrs. Sollop getting up to Cray's Wood—what a name, by the way, for a rector's wife? And for a Rector!
The Rev. Richard Grace Sollop ; and it is their name, too ; it's certainly none of my making. I had a sort of feeling that I would like to lend a carriage and "a pair," but at best I could only have proffered a scratch tandem, Black Nannie in the shafts and Nutcracker in front, and this would certainly have interrupted the ceremony. There was an odd sense of stir about the Green. There was not exactly a crowd, but two or three more men than usual were listening to the blacksmith's famous story of his six beagle puppies ; beagle I say, but in the interests of truth and dog- breeding I ought to call it "very-nearly beagle" puppies.
The old man who carries telegrams and wears a grey surtout with a rakish air of Stock-Exchange failure about it, has picked up the puppy that favours a fox-terrier, and Mr. Remmitt from the grocer's shop is explaining why he thinks the "spannel bitch" is going to make the best beagle of the lot. Although the whole six are similarly spotted in liver and black upon white, they are all known by separate names—like the above, of a narrowly descriptive nature.
They were born and bred in the centre of the Green, and every dog in the village has a sort of proprietary interest in them. At this moment Mr. Hampshire passed from the telegraph office ; he has his bluish-pink trousers on and wears a black coat and waistcoat, all new, a black tie, and a straw hat.
He is a very shy man, and he has calculated to a second when he will change to a puce satin tie with white lozenges before he starts ; whereas the topper that came by post is to be taken with him and assumed en route ; I know this, for I saw Frank trying to get it incon- spicuously stowed under the cloth flap of the box-seat. What will. Throw it away in Ambledon Wood, no doubt, to be picked up by some hawker and used for a baby's cradle or to put a sitting hen in.
Ten o'clock, and he doesn't start till eleven, and yet the poor man cannot be seen outside his own inn without some joke being thrown at him, and a convulsive titter issuing from the knot of boys gathered on the corpse-bench below the lych-gate. Now I know that that was a champagne cork ex- ploding in the commercial room, and they don't explode of them- selves—in an Inn! She must have a large hand if his third finger and hers are the same size," I observe.
Groves this morning? Hampshire's senior and a widow ; one or two people had said, before the affair which finishes to-day was heard of. Is that the carriage? Good gracious, it's not eleven? How grand Tom looks on the box! There is a wild flight of a figure across the sweep as with scarlet wings to it, and Frank, pouring with perspiration, slogs at the Teamster's mane with a water-brush, in a last agony of fervour. Annie, behind the curtains of my parlour. Brooker followed—he is to be best man—Frank relinquished the Teamster, much flattened, and Tom whipped the two to a heavy canter.
A derisive cheer went up from the little boys upon the corpse-bench and a hearty shout from the work-people at the Inn door. Hampshire neither lifted his hat nor looked round, but the purple mounted slowly and surely to the back of his ears. It is a trying thing to be married from your own Inn.
They sniffed at apples, and Black Nannie shot reproachful glances at me over her stall as much as to say :. They must be, or they wouldn't pull the loads they do! Like most brewers, Quarpitt is rather a fine-looking person, and I fell into conversation with him with some pleasure ; his great bass rolled and rumbled like his own waggon, and as he stood, he seemed to be trying to look as much like a vat as possible.
I'm 'ere to take four eigh- teens" he pronounced it four-ray-teens , "down to the cricket field to-night, to be give away by"—he waved a large freckled arm and hand towards the Inn door—"the good gentleman as has now left us. No sooner was my simple tea begun than the boys, who earlier on had adorned the lych-gate, came to lean upon the wood rail that surrounds the cellar opening before my window, to crack nuts thoughtfully upon the flags, and to keep up a tapping of a maddening intermittence upon the wooden cellar-flap.
I gathered from their conversation that the band was expected. Very soon a gentleman strolled up, the pocket of whose black coat bulged suggestive of a cornet and, indeed, when he turned, the nozzle of the instrument disclosed itself, nestling in the groove worn by a week-day foot-rule, which had disappeared with the rest of a joiner's trappings for the nonce. I was buried in the unsatisfactory tannin of a second cup, when a sound so horrid and inexplicable that fear alone prevented. The rest of the brass was not slow to follow, and about half-an-hour of preliminary pints intervened before the performers took up their position upon the triangle of grass below the sign of "The Merry Hedgehog.
I gleamed this intelligence from the boy's continual references to "George ;" there seemed even to be a question as to whether "George" would come. At length there appeared a saturnine person who bore an oboe in a bag. He took no beer, he nodded sullenly to the circle, or rather, he threw a nod in front of him, and such of the circle as cared to, caught it. He was drawing out a small thumb-browned piece of written music when the drum, who had command of the performers, no doubt because he made most noise, looked inquiringly round and thundered out a preludial boom-boom-boom-boom, which had the effect of drawing certain hesitating cat-calls from the brass.
I had heard the drum whisper "the new march," in a tone which was meant to reach his co-musicians, and not the crowd ; the crowd was not intended to know that a new march had been sedulously studied in view of the present occasion. George had his eye upon his oboe, and after the boom he spat meditatively beside his shoulder and chirped to his instrument, which responded instantly with a florid growl, lasting about half a minute. The others were too interested in "getting away " and "getting a good place," to notice this observation on the part of George's oboe, but I noticed it, and a dreadful suspicion fell upon me.
Still, the hilarity of the occasion augmented from moment to moment. The church bells had rung out a complimentary peal or two, and only desisted because a woman was to be buried at five o'clock ; the bellringers, all save the. Outlying labourers who had left their work began to slouch up with that peculiar report which corduroys will make when the spare material flaps together in walking, the grocer's and baker's carts began to come in from their rounds, and the men hurried their tired horses into the stables, with a shake of hay and no wisp down, the sooner to join the crowd.
All this while "the new march," with an afflicting element of discord from the oboe, blared tunelessly below the sign. A cart had appeared mysteriously, the brewer, passing his mottled hand through his shock of beard and hair all the colour of "four-ale" , was loading up certain barrels, with the assistance of Frank ; then it dawned upon me what "four eighteens" might mean ; four times eighteen gallons! The third of my abstruse calculations brought this out at seventy-two gallons ; seventy-two gallons of free beer up on the cricket-ground!
While the band sought among its leaflets for a light waltz, which all the village whistled carelessly in advance, and a boy tucked two black bottles labelled "Scottish Nectar" securely into his armpits, I observed a short colloquy to take place between George and the flute, who was old and bearded and of a neutral temper ; it resulted in blacker scowls than ever from the oboe, and the bitter tapping of his finger upon a band-part. When, finally, they all formed into line in front of Mr. Brewer Quarpitt, the cart, and the four eighteens, for an adjournment to the cricket- ground, I saw the oboe step moodily into the bar.
He had refused to play any more—musical people are notably touchy— owing to some quarrel between him and the drum : he had blown steadily through the Wedding March first of all—which the drum had reserved to take them up the village to the cricket-field. Nobody told me this, but when the Wedding March ultimately started, and the party and the four eighteens, and the crowd and a number of the beagle puppies got under weigh for the cricket- ground, George could be seen striding glumly homeward with the disconsolate and silent oboe in a bag.
At first an air of delicate reserve hung over the populace, and the large white jugs moved slowly above the glasses ; there was a tendency to dawdle in the neighbourhood of the "whelk and winkle barrow," which had taken up a promising corner, but kindly dusk hid many blushes, and with nightfall all tremors were dispersed, and, since it was there. It was, I say it with pain, a very drunk village, and a very gay inn by eleven o'clock that night. But then a landlord is not married every day, and who knows how dull things may be when "The Merry Hedgehog" has a missis?
There was but one clear head I am excepting the Rev. Sollop, of course and two sore hearts upon the green that night. Mine was the clear head. George's was one of the sore hearts unless the oboe had one, and that would make a third and Mrs. Groves, the housekeeper, who had to have a good deal of whisky and very little else, in a claret glass, at intervals during the evening—hers was the other.
Brewer Quarpitt kept repeating a suspicious number of times as he slapped the big white horse confidingly, till every link upon the waggon gave out a note of music. And then, "Never see such a mort o' beer put down so quick in my life," and he gathered up his reins and jangled gaily off upon his homeward way.
And I shut down my window to avoid the hymeneal comments of the rustics below. IN the first-floor sitting-room of a lodging-house in Great College Street, Westminster, a young man—he was tall and thin, with a good deal of rather longish light-coloured hair, some- what tumbled about ; and he wore a pince-nez, and was in slippers and the oldest of tattered coats—a man of thirty-something was seated at a writing-table, diligently scribbling at what an accus- tomed eye might have recognised as "copy," and negligently allowing the smoke from a cigarette to curl round and stain the thumb and forefinger of his idle hand, when the lodging-house maid-servant opened his door, and announced excitedly, "A lady to see you, sir.
With the air of one taken altogether by surprise, and at a cruel disadvantage, the writer dropped his pen, and jumped up. He was in slippers and a disgraceful coat, not to dwell upon the con- dition of his hair. She was a handsome, dashing-looking young woman, in a toilette that breathed the very last and crispest savour of Parisian elegance :. Poising lightly near the threshold, with a bright little smile of interrogation, this bewildering vision said, "Have I the honour of addressing Mr.
William Stretton? The young man bowed a vague plea of guilty to that name ; but his gaze, through the lenses of his pince-nez, was all per- plexity and question. I've called to see you about a matter of business," she informed him. Then he added, with a pathetic shake of the head, "I'm the last man in the world whom any one could wisely choose to see about a matter of business ; but such as I am, I'm all at your disposal.
One has some chance of over-reaching them. It reminds me of Oxford. The canons and people have their houses there. And the trees aren't bad, either, for town trees. It must be rather fun to be a canon. As I live," she cried, turning back into the room, "you've got a Pleyel. This is the first Pleyel I've seen in England. Let me congratulate you on your taste in pianos.
It's just the shadow of a shadow out. I was brought up on Pleyels. Do you know, I've half a mind to make you a confidence? It's quite tame," she laughed, "though I admit it looks a bit ferocious. What a sweet room you've got so manny, and smoky, and booky. Are they all real books? How terribly exciting. I've never seen a book before that's actually passed through a. They don't look much the worse for it.
What- ever else you said about them, I trust you didn't deny that they make nice domestic ornaments. But this isn't business. You wouldn't call this business? I'm a miserable sinner, but at least I'm incapable of that. However, if you were really kind, you'd affect just a little curiosity to know the errand to which you owe my presence. But my interest was psychological. I was wondering by what mental process you came to hit upon it. It's a conceit of my landlady's. Here are twenty times that I've commenced it, and twenty times you've put me off.
Index of /page_1
Shall we now, at last, proceed seriously to business? I'm what somebody or other has called a literary man. I see there's nothing for it but to plunge in medias res. Then never tell me again that there's nothing in intuitions. I ve never met Miss Silver, but. My friend Miss Silver—". I should never have guessed that you weren't entirely happy.
But forgive my interruption. You were about to say that your friend Miss Silver—". Sometimes, I confess, we quarrel like everything, and remain at daggers drawn for months. She's such a flighty creature, dear Johannah, she not infrequently gets me into a perfect peck of trouble. But since she's fallen heir to all this money, you'd be surprised to behold the devotion her friends have shown her. I couldn't very well refuse to follow their example. One's human, you see ; and one can't dress like this for nothing, can one?
I come to you as Johannah's emissary. She desires me to ask you several questions. Do you think it was nice to answer her letters with those curt little formal notes of yours? Johannah sat down to write to you. And she began her letter Dear Mr. And then she simply couldn't. So she tore up the sheet and began another My dear Cousin Will. And what did she receive in reply? A note beginning Dear Miss Silver. Do you think that was kind? Don't you think it was the least bit mortifying? And why have you refused in such a stiff-necked way to go down and see her at Silver Towers?
And why, being very well as I am in town just now, why should I disarrange myself by a journey into the country? I'm sure I can give no reason. Why should one ever do any one else a kindness? Your cousin has con- ceived a great desire to meet you. She'll live it down. A man named Burrell has been stuffing her up. Oh, I know my Burrell. He's tried to stuff me up, too, about her. But Burrell has no knack for character drawing. But aren't you taking a slightly one-sided point of view? Let us grant, for the sake of the argument, that it is Johannah's bad luck to be charming and good-looking.
Nevertheless, she still has claims on you. She looked at him with eyes that were half whimsical, half pleading. We'll drop the question of cousinship, if you wish—though it's the simple fact that you're her only blood-relation in this country, where she feels herself the forlornest sort of alien. She's passed her entire life in Italy and France, you know, and this is the first visit she's made to England since her childhood. But we'll drop the question of cousinship. At any rate, Johannah is a human being. Well, consider her plight a little.
She finds herself in the most painful, the most humiliating circumstances that can be imagined ; and you're the only person living who can make them easier for her. Involuntarily—in spite of herself—she's come into possession of a fortune that naturally, morally, belongs to you. She can't help it. It's been left to her by will—by the will of a man who never saw her, never had any kind of relations with her, but chose her for his heir just because her mother, who died when Johannah was a baby, had chanced to be his cousin. And there the poor girl is.
Can't you see how like a thief she must feel at the best? Can't you see how much worse you make it for her, when she holds out her hand, and you refuse to take it? Is that magnanimous of you? Isn't it cruel? You couldn't treat her with greater unkindness if she'd actually designed, and schemed, and intrigued, to do you out of your inheri- tance, instead of coming into it in the passive way she has.
After all, she's a human being, she's a woman. Think of her pride. But you must remember that I had never seen you. How could I know? Could you ring your bell, and order up something in the nature of meat and drink? And while you are about it, you might tell your landlady or some one to pack your bag. We take," she mentioned, examining a tiny watch, that seemed nothing more than a frivolous incrustation of little diamonds and rubies, "we take the three- sixteen for Silver Towers.
Seated opposite her in the railway-carriage, as their train bore them through the pleasant dales and woods of Surrey, Will Stretton fell to studying his cousin's appearance. Her nose was too small, but it was a delicate, pert, pretty nose, not withstanding. Her mouth was too large, but it was a beautiful mouth, all the same, softly curved and red as scarlet, with sensitive, humorous little quirks in its corners.
Her eyes he could admire without reservation, brown and pellucid, with the wittiest, teas- ingest, mockingest lights dancing in them, yet at the same time a. Her hair, too, he decided, was quite lovely, abundant, undulating, black, blue-black even, but fine, but silky, escaping in a flutter of small curls above her brow, "It's like black foam," he said.
And he would have been ready to go to war for her complexion, though it was so un- English a complexion that one might have mistaken her for a native of the France or Italy she had inhabited : warm, dusky, white, with an elusive shadow of rose glowing through it. Yes, she was tremendously good-looking, he concluded. She looked fresh and strong and real. She looked alert, alive, full of the spring and the joy of life.
She looked as if she could feel quick and deep, as if her blood flowed swiftly, and was red. He liked her face, and he liked her figure—it was supple and vigorous. He liked the way she dressed—there was something daring and spirited in the unabashed, whole-souled luxury of it. But we'll probably find Madame Dornaye there, piaffer -ing in person. Can you resign yourself to the prospect of driving up to your ancestral mansion in a hired fly?
She's what might be technically termed my chaperon. Until the other day I'd never thought of such a thing. But it's all along o' the man named. He insisted that I mustn't live alone—that I was too young. He has such violent hallucinations about people's ages. He said the County would be horrified. I must have an old woman, a sound, reliable old woman, to live with me. I begged and implored him to come and try it, but he protested with tears in his eyes that he wasn't an old woman.
So I sent for Madame Dornaye, who is, every inch of her. She's the widow of a man who used to be a professor at the Sorbonne, or something. I've known her for at least a hundred years. She's connected in some roundabout way with the family of my father's step-mother. She's like a little dry brown leaf ; and she plays Chopin comme pas un ; and she lends me a false air of respectability, I suppose. She calls me Jeanne ma fille , if you can believe it, as if my name weren't common Johannah. If you chance to please her, she'll very likely call you Jean mon fils.
But see how things turn out. The man named Burrell also insisted that I must put on mourning, as a symbol of my grief for the late Sir William. That I positively refused to think of. So the County's horrified, all the same which proves the futility of concessions. To begin with, there's the vicar, with all his wives and daughters. Their emotions are complicated by the fact that I'm a Papist. Then there's old Lord Belgard ; and there's Mrs. Breckenbridge, with her marriage- able sons ; and there's the Bishop of Salchester, with his Bishopess, Dean, and Chapter.
The dear good people make up parties in the afternoon, to come and have a look at me ; and they sip my tea with an air of guilt, as if it smacked of profligacy ; and they suppress demure little knowing glances among themselves. Rawley was kind enough to write and ask us to dinner, and she added that she had heard I sang, and wouldn't I bring some music? But nobody had ever told me that it's bad form in England to sing well.
So, after dinner, when Mrs. Rawley said, 'Now, Miss Silver, do sing us something,' I made the incredible blunder of singing as well as I could. We were a little surprised, and vastly enlightened, to perceive that we'd shocked everybody. And by-and-by the Bishop's daughters consented to sing in their turn, and then we saw the correct British style of doing it. If you don't want to be considered rowdyish and noisy in a British drawing-room, you must sing under your breath, faintly, faintingly, as if you were afraid some body might hear you.
It's one of the founda- tion-stones of our social constitution. If you sing with any art or with any feeling, you expose yourself to being mistaken for a paid professional. I don't like horses —except in pictures. In pictures, I admit at once, they make a. But in life—they're too strong and too unintelligent ; and they're perpetually bolting. By-the- bye, please choose a good feeble jaded one, when you engage our fly. I'm devoted to donkeys, though. They're every bit as decorative as the horse, and they're really wise—they only baulk.
I had a perfect love of a little donkey in Italy ; his name was Angelo. If I decide to stay in England, I shall have a spanking team of four donkeys, with scarlet trappings and silver bells. But the County says, 'Oh, you must have horses,' and casts its eyes appealingly to heaven when I say I won't. It's really a deli- ciously fresh one—a big country house, and not a horse in the stables.
They take it as the final crushing evidence of my depravity, that I prefer to leave it in its present condition of picturesque decay. I'm sure you agree with me, that it would be high treason to allow a carpenter or mason to lay a hand on it. By-the-bye, I hope you have no conscientious scruples against speaking French ; for Madame Dornaye only knows two words of English, and those she mispronounces.
There she is—yes, that little black and grey thing, in the frock. She's come to meet me, because we had a bet. You owe me five shillings," she called out to Madame Dornaye, as Will helped her from the carriage. Madame Dornaye, who had a pair of humorous old French eyes, responded, blinking them, "Oh, before I pay you, I shall have to be convinced that it is really he. I hope, though, that you won't begrudge the journey to town. I think there are certain aspects of your character that I might never have dis- covered if I'd met you in any other way. The first part of my rash little prophecy has already come true.
Will Stretton is staying in this house, a contented guest. At the present moment he's hover- ing about the piano, where Madame Dornaye is playing Chopin ; and. I quite agree with you, he is a charming creature. So now I repeat the second part of my rash little prophecy : Before the summer's over he will have accepted at least a good half of his paternal fortune. He will he shall, even if I have to marry him to make him.
Will left his room somewhat early the next morning, and went down into the garden. The sun was shining briskly, the dew still sparkled on the grass, the air was heady with a hundred keen earth-odours. A mile away, beyond the wide green levels of Sumpter Meads, the sea glowed blue as the blue of larkspur, under the blue June sky. And everywhere, everywhere, innumerable birds piped and twittered, filling the world with a sense of gay activity, of whole-hearted, high-hearted life.
She laughed, and gave him her hand, a warm, elastic hand, firm of grasp. In a garden-hat and a white frock, her eyes beaming, her cheeks faintly flushed, she seemed to him a sort of beautiful incarnation of the spirit of the summer morning, its freshness, and sweetness, and richness. In Italy we love the day when it is young, and deem it middle-aged by eight o'clock.
But in England I had heard it was the fashion to lie late. Perhaps it was a sort of dim presentiment that I should surprise Aurora walking in the garden, that banished slumber. And in the rosery, as she stood close to him, pinning the red, red rose in his coat, her smooth cheek and fragrant hair so near, so near, he felt his heart all at once begin to throb, and he had to control a sudden absurd longing to put his arms round her and kiss her. Could it possibly be, he wondered wildly, that she had divined his monstrous impulse, and was coquetting with it? And apropos of the sea, I would beg you to observe its colour.
Is it blue? I would also ask you kindly to cast an eye on that line of cliffs, there to the eastward, as it goes winding in and out away to the vanishing-point. Are the cliffs white? White, indeed! That is an optical effect due doubtless to reflection or refraction or something—no? I don't know what it means, but they repeat it so often and so earnestly, I'm sure it must be true. They're material-minded little beasts, you know.
Is the greensward beyond there rela- tively spangled with buttercups and daisies? Is the park leafy, and shadowy, and mysterious, and relatively delightful? Is the may in bloom? Voyons donc! And is the air like an elixir? I vow, it goes to one's head like some ethereal elixir? And yet you have the effrontery to tell me that you're pining for the flesh-pots of Great College Street, Westminster, S. Ah, well, it must have been with intent to deceive, for nothing could be farther from the truth. After having lived all one's life in Prague, suddenly to find oneself translated to the mistress-ship of an English country house.
I mean the capital of Bohemia.
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Wasn't my father a sculptor? And wasn't I born in a studio? And haven't my playmates and companions always been of Flori- zel the loyal subjects? Where two of the faithful are gathered together they can form a miniature Prague of their own. If I decide to stay in England, I shall send for a lot of my Prague friends to come and visit me, and you can send for an equal number of yours ; and then we'll turn this bright particular corner of the British Empire into a province of Bohemia, and the County may be horrified with reason.
But meanwhile, let's be Pragueians in practice as well as theory. Let's go to the strawberry beds, and steal some straw- berries. Further theatre pieces and autobiographical pieces include Histoire de ma vie , Elle et Lui about her affair with Musset , Journal Intime posthumously published in , and Correspondence. Sand often performed her theatrical works in her small private theatre at the Nohant estate.
In addition, Sand authored literary criticism and political texts. She wrote many essays and published works establishing her socialist position. Because of her early life, she sided with the poor and working class.
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When the Revolution began, women had no rights and Sand believed these were necessary for progress. Around this time Sand started her own newspaper which was published in a workers' co-operative. This allowed her to publish more political essays. She wrote "I cannot believe in any republic that starts a revolution by killing its own proletariat.
A few excerpts demonstrate much of what was often said about George Sand: "She was a thinking bosom and one who overpowered her young lovers, all Sybil Pritchett writer "What a brave man she was, and what a good woman. The American poet Walt Whitman cited Sand's novel Consuelo as a personal favorite and the sequel to this novel La Comtesse De Rudolstady contains at least a couple of passages that appear to have had a very direct influence on him. The character, Stepan Verkhovensky, in Dostoevsky's novel The Possessed took to translating the works of George Sand in his periodical, before the periodical was subsequently seized by the ever-cautious Russian government of the s.
And in the first episode of the "Overture" to Swann's Way George Sand also makes an appearance in Isabel Allende's Zorro, going still by her given name, as a young girl in love with Diego de la Vega Zorro. Gossip Girl , Blair Waldorf plans to astonish the dean of Yale University by answering 'George Sand' to his question of whom she would have dinner with, dead or alive. In another episode, Blair Waldorf says "Why rip off a page of your life when you can throw the whole book into the fire?
George Sand, she understands me. Chronological List. Alphabetical List. Available Only List. Gargilesse Paperback. Thoughts and Aphorisms of George Sand Other. The Intimate Journal Paperback. George Sand [French Edition] Paperback. Lettres Retrouves Paperback. Le Chne Parlant Paperback. Published by W.
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About this Item: W. Condition: FAIR. More information about this seller Contact this seller 3. More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Couverture souple. In, 7 pages. Seller Inventory PIX More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Mass Market Paperback. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition.
Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory GI4N More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. Published by Fredonia Books About this Item: Fredonia Books , Condition: As New. Books is in new condition.
Seller Inventory DS More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Condition: Fair. No Jacket. First American Edition. Cover worn. Foxing throughout. Prior bookstore sticker inside front cover. Original cloth with more recent endpapers.
Translated from the French by a Lady. Biographical sketch by Oliver S. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. Published by Actes Sud From: diceddeals Fontenay sous bois cedex, France. About this Item: Actes Sud, Condition: Used: Very Good. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Published by Fredonia Books NL Condition: Good. Satisfaction Guaranteed!
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