‘No,’ said Hannele. ‘No more than a painted portrait.’
John Westley, who back home manufactured cement-mixers, suddenly felt that he had wakened into a world of make-believe.
And, like thy shadow, follow thee.'"
To me it seems manifest that sexual matters may be discussed generally in at least three permissible and valid ways, of which the consideration of the world as a system of births and education is only the dominant chief. There is next the question of the physical health and beauty of the community and how far sexual rules and customs affect that, and thirdly the question of the mental and moral atmosphere in which sexual conventions and laws must necessarily be an important factor. It is alleged that probably in the case of men, and certainly in the case of women, some sexual intercourse is a necessary phase in existence; that without it there is an incompleteness, a failure in the life cycle, a real wilting and failure of energy and vitality and the development of morbid states. And for most of us half the friendships and intimacies from which we derive the daily interest and sustaining force in our lives, draw mysterious elements from sexual attraction, and depend and hesitate upon our conception of the liberties and limits we must give to that force.
The march was resumed. Mali-ya-bwana was instructed to lead the way following the scraped places on the earth, the twigs bent over, and the broken branches by which Simba had marked his route for them. Kingozi himself brought up the rear. Reluctantly, apathetically, the Leopard Woman's men got to their feet. Kingozi was everywhere, urging, encouraging, shaming, joking, threatening, occasionally using the _kiboko_ he had taken from one of the _askaris_. At last all were under way. The Leopard Woman sat still on the load, the Nubian crouched at her back. The long, straggling, staggering file of men crawled up the dry bank and disappeared one by one over the top. Each figure for a moment was silhouetted against the sky, for the sun was low. Kingozi toiled up the steep, his head bent forward. In his turn he, too, stood black and massive on the brink, the outline of his powerful stooped shoulders gold-rimmed in light. She watched him feverishly, awaiting from him some sign that he realized her existence, that he cared whether or not she was left behind. He did not look back. In a moment he had disappeared. The prospect was empty of human life.
Diesel was turned toward me in the small car. His arm was resting on my seat back, and he was absentmindedly stroking my neck with his fingertip while he was talking. It was soothing and disturbingly erotic, all at the same time, and I was working hard to pay attention to the conversa-tion and not to the warm fingertip.
CAPTAIN FITZCHROME. This is the strangest fellow of all.
The House of the Seven Gables comes nearer being a picture of contemporary American life than either of its companions; but on this ground it would be a mistake to make a large claim for it. It cannot be too often repeated that Hawthorne was not a realist. He had a high sense of reality — his Note-Books super-abundantly testify to it; and fond as he was of jotting down the items that make it up, he never attempted to render exactly or closely the actual facts of the society that surrounded him. I have said — I began by saying — that his pages were full of its spirit, and of a certain reflected light that springs from it; but I was careful to add that the reader must look for his local and national quality between the lines of his writing and in the indirect testimony of his tone, his accent, his temper, of his very omissions and suppressions. The House of the Seven Gables has, however, more literal actuality than the others, and if it were not too fanciful an account of it, I should say that it renders, to an initiated reader, the impression of a summer afternoon in an elm-shadowed New England town. It leaves upon the mind a vague correspondence to some such reminiscence, and in stirring up the association it renders it delightful. The comparison is to the honour of the New England town, which gains in it more than it bestows. The shadows of the elms, in The House of the Seven Gables, are exceptionally dense and cool; the summer afternoon is peculiarly still and beautiful; the atmosphere has a delicious warmth, and the long daylight seems to pause and rest. But the mild provincial quality is there, the mixture of shabbiness and freshness, the paucity of ingredients. The end of an old race — this is the situation that Hawthorne has depicted, and he has been admirably inspired in the choice of the figures in whom he seeks to interest us. They are all figures rather than characters — they are all pictures rather than persons. But if their reality is light and vague, it is sufficient, and it is in harmony with the low relief and dimness of outline of the objects that surround them. They are all types, to the author’s mind, of something general, of something that is bound up with the history, at large, of families and individuals, and each of them is the centre of a cluster of those ingenious and meditative musings, rather melancholy, as a general thing, than joyous, which melt into the current and texture of the story and give it a kind of moral richness. A grotesque old spinster, simple, childish, penniless, very humble at heart, but rigidly conscious of her pedigree; an amiable bachelor, of an epicurean temperament and an enfeebled intellect, who has passed twenty years of his life in penal confinement for a crime of which he was unjustly pronounced guilty; a sweet-natured and bright-faced young girl from the country, a poor relation of these two ancient decrepitudes, with whose moral mustiness her modern freshness and soundness are contrasted; a young man still more modern, holding the latest opinions, who has sought his fortune up and down the world, and, though he has not found it, takes a genial and enthusiastic view of the future: these, with two or three remarkable accessory figures, are the persons concerned in the little drama. The drama is a small one, but as Hawthorne does not put it before us for its own superficial sake, for the dry facts of the case, but for something in it which he holds to be symbolic and of large application, something that points a moral and that it behoves us to remember, the scenes in the rusty wooden house whose gables give its name to the story, have something of the dignity both of history and of tragedy. Miss Hephzibah Pyncheon, dragging out a disappointed life in her paternal dwelling, finds herself obliged in her old age to open a little shop for the sale of penny toys and gingerbread. This is the central incident of the tale, and, as Hawthorne relates it, it is an incident of the most impressive magnitude and most touching interest. Her dishonoured and vague-minded brother is released from prison at the same moment, and returns to the ancestral roof to deepen her perplexities. But, on the other hand, to alleviate them, and to introduce a breath of the air of the outer world into this long unventilated interior, the little country cousin also arrives, and proves the good angel of the feebly distracted household. All this episode is exquisite — admirably conceived, and executed with a kind of humorous tenderness, an equal sense of everything in it that is picturesque, touching, ridiculous, worthy of the highest praise. Hephzibah Pyncheon, with her near-sighted scowl, her rusty joints, her antique turban, her map of a great territory to the eastward which ought to have belonged to her family, her vain terrors and scruples and resentments, the inaptitude and repugnance of an ancient gentlewoman to the vulgar little commerce which a cruel fate has compelled her to engage in-Hephzibah Pyncheon is a masterly picture. I repeat that she is a picture, as her companions are pictures; she is a charming piece of descriptive writing, rather than a dramatic exhibition. But she is described, like her companions too, so subtly and lovingly that we enter into her virginal old heart and stand with her behind her abominable little counter. Clifford Pyncheon is a still more remarkable conception, though he is perhaps not so vividly depicted. It was a figure needing a much more subtle touch, however, and it was of the essence of his character to be vague and unemphasised. Nothing can be more charming than the manner in which the soft, bright, active presence of Phoebe Pyncheon is indicated, or than the account of her relations with the poor dimly sentient kinsman for whom her light-handed sisterly offices, in the evening of a melancholy life, are a revelation of lost possibilities of happiness. “In her aspect,” Hawthorne says of the young girl, “there was a familiar gladness, and a holiness that you could play with, and yet reverence it as much as ever. She was like a prayer offered up in the homeliest beauty of one’s mother-tongue. Fresh was Phoebe, moreover, and airy, and sweet in her apparel; as if nothing that she wore — neither her gown, nor her small straw bonnet, nor her little kerchief, any more than her snowy stockings — had ever been put on before; or if worn, were all the fresher for it, and with a fragrance as if they had lain among the rose-buds.” Of the influence of her maidenly salubrity upon poor Clifford, Hawthorne gives the prettiest description, and then, breaking off suddenly, renounces the attempt in language which, while pleading its inadequacy, conveys an exquisite satisfaction to the reader. I quote the passage for the sake of its extreme felicity, and of the charming image with which it concludes.
Certainly there were plenty of things about the Hall and the Hall gardens which Stephen, who was of an adventurous and inquiring turn, was anxious to have explained to him. ‘Who built the temple at the end of the laurel walk? Who was the old man whose picture hung on the staircase, sitting at a table, with a skull under his hand?’ These and many similar points were cleared up by the resources of Mrs Bunch’s powerful intellect. There were others, however, of which the explanations furnished were less satisfactory.
In contemplating the state of degradation and impotency into which have fallen Syria, and that vast Peninsula which extends westward of the Euphrates, after having occupied so proud a place in the page of history, from the earliest traditionary periods down to the time when the Turkish Sultans abandoned Broussa for Adrianople, we naturally inquire what has become of the intellectual inheritance which the ancient inhabitants of these countries left behind them? Where are the successors of the skilful workmen of Damascus, of Mossul, and of Angora; the navigators of Phoenicia, the artists of Ionia, and the wise men of Chaldea? Several distinct characters of civilisation have successively flourished in this part of Asia. To the primitive ages, to the reign of the Pelasgi, correspond the subterraneous excavations of Macri, and the Phrygian monuments of Se?d? Gazi; to the Babylonian power, the ruins of Bagdad, and the artificial mountains of Van; to the Hellenic period, the baths, the amphitheatres, and the ruins which strew the coast of the Archipelago; to the Roman empire, the military roads which traverse in every direction the whole Peninsula; to the Greeks of the middle ages, the church of Iznik.
“Have you had any experience in your profession?”
"His foot is perfectly well again now. But, unfortunately, the enforced inaction led to disastrous results. You recollect, no doubt, that Seacliff always had a--a tendency;--a--a weakness--it was a family failing--"
“And leave the P.O.?”
PATIENTS ARRIVE FROM ALL PARTS—ROUGH JOURNEYS—ARRIVE AT THE HAMRAN SETTITE—MAHOMET SALI DECEIVES US—CROCODILES, TURTLE, AND FISH—WE MOVE ON TO BOORKATTAN, IN ABYSSINIA—NEXT DAY WE MOVE OFF, AS ABYSSINIANS APPROACH—WE CATCH ENORMOUS QUANTITIES OF FISH WITH THE NET—NARROW ESCAPE FROM A WOUNDED BUFFALO—THE COORBATCH ADMINISTERED—SCORPIONS AND SNAKES—HAMRANS VISIT US—HAMRAN MODE OF HUNTING AND SNARING—HAMRAN AND BASé—THE HAMRANS THREATEN TO FIRE ON US—AGAIN RETURN TO THE HAMRAN SETTITE—ENCAMP AT OMHAGGER.
'Well, that's rather what I've come to tell you, PauL Margot's gone away.'
Robert settles into her. But Francesca is wide awake.详情 ➢
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