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as the inscrutable totem

Le 9 juin 2017, 06:07 dans Humeurs 0

On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.
Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitan distances "above the Forties," of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and splendour with those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the sociable old Academy. Conservatives cherished it for being small and inconvenient, and thus keeping out the "new people" whom New York was beginning to dread and yet be drawn to; and the sentimental clung to it for its historic associations, and the musical for its excellent acoustics, always so problematic a quality in halls built for the hearing of music.
It was Madame Nilsson's first appearance that winter, and what the daily press had already learned to describe as "an exceptionally brilliant audience" had gathered to hear her, transported through the slippery, snowy streets in private broughams, in the spacious family landau, or in the humbler but more convenient "Brown coupe" To come to the Opera in a Brown coupe was almost as honourable a way of arriving as in one's own carriage; and departure by the same means had the immense advantage of enabling one (with a playful allusion to democratic principles) to scramble into the first Brown conveyance in the line, instead of waiting till the cold-and-gin congested nose of one's own coachman gleamed under the portico of the Academy. It was one of the great livery-stableman's most masterly intuitions to have discovered that Americans want to get away from amusement even more quickly than they want to get to it.
When Newland Archer opened the door at the back of the club box the curtain had just gone up on the garden scene. There was no reason why the young man should not have come earlier, for he had dined at seven, alone with his mother and sister, and had lingered afterward over a cigar in the Gothic library with glazed black-walnut bookcases and finial-topped chairs which was the only room in the house where Mrs. Archer allowed smoking. But, in the first place, New York was a metropolis, and perfectly aware that in metropolises it was "not the thing" to arrive early at the opera; and what was or was not "the thing" played a part as important in Newland Archer's New York  terrors that had ruled the destinies of his forefathers thousands of years ago.
The second reason for his delay was a personal one. He had dawdled over his cigar because he was at heart a dilettante, and thinking over a pleasure to come often gave him a subtler satisfaction than its realisation. This was especially the case when the pleasure was a delicate one, as his pleasures mostly were; and on this occasion the moment he looked forward to was so rare and exquisite in quality that--well, if he had timed his arrival in accord with the prima donna's stage-manager he could not have entered the Academy at a more significant moment than just as she was singing: "He loves me--he loves me not--HE LOVES ME!--" and sprinkling the falling daisy petals with notes as clear as dew.

she silenced him by a gesture

Le 9 mars 2017, 04:56 dans Humeurs 0

Step by step, with horror-stricken eyes, Alida retreated from the man to whose protection and embrace she had flown. "Then it's true?" she said in a hoarse whisper. travel newsletter
He was speechless.
"You are willfully blind now, miss, if you don't see it's true," was the stranger's biting comment.
Paying no heed to her, Alida's eyes rested on the man whom she had believed to be her husband.  She took an irresolute step toward him. "Speak, Wilson!" she cried. "I gave you my whole faith and no one shall destroy it but yourself.  Speak, explain!  Show me that there's some horrible mistake."
"Lida," said the man, lifting his bloodless face, "if you knew all the circumstances--"
"She shall know them!" half shrieked the woman, as if at last stung to fury. "I see that you both hope to get through this affair with a little high tragedy, then escape and come together again in some other hiding place.  As for this creature, she can go where she pleases, after hearing the truth; but you, Henry Ferguson, have got to do your duty by me and your child or go to prison.  Let me tell you, miss, that this man was also married to me by a minister.  I have my certificate and can produce witnesses.  There's one little point you'll do well to consider," she continued, in bitter sarcasm, "he married me first.  I suppose you are not so young and innocent as not to know where this fact places YOU.  He courted and won me as other girls are courted and married.  He promised me all that he ever promised you.  Then, when I lost my rosy cheeks--when I became sick and feeble from child-bearing--he deserted and left me almost penniless.  You needn't think you will have to take my word for this.  I have proof enough.  And now, Henry Ferguson, I've a few words for you, and then you must take your choice.  You can't escape.  I and my brother have tracked you here.  You can't leave these rooms without going to prison.  You'd be taken at the very door.  But I give you one more chance.  If you will promise before God to do your duty by hem tagsme and your child, I'll forgive as far as a wronged woman can forgive.  Neither I nor my brother will take proceedings against you.  What this woman will do I don't know.  If she prosecutes you, and you are true to me, I'll stand by you, but I won't stand another false step or a false word from you."
Ferguson had again sunk into his chair, buried his face in his hands, and sat trembling and speechless.  Never for an instant had Alida taken her eyes from him; and now, with a long, wailing cry, she exclaimed, "Thank God, thank God!  Mother's dead."
This was now her best consolation.  She rushed into her bedchamber, and a moment later came out, wearing her hat and cloak.  Ferguson started up and was about to speak, but , and her tones were sad and stern as she said, "Mr. Ferguson, from your manner more truly than from this woman, I learn the truth.  You took advantage of my misfortunes, my sorrow and friendlessness, to deceive me.  You know how false are your wife's words about my eagerness to be deceived and married.  But you have nothing to fear from me.  I shall not prosecute you as she suggests, and I charge you before God to do your duty by your wife and child and never to speak to me again."  Turning, she hastened toward the door.
"Where are you going?" Ferguson exclaimed, seeking to intercept her.
She waved him off. "I don't know," she replied. "I've no right to be here," and she fled down the stairway and out into the darkness.
The child had not wakened.  It was well that it had not looked upon such a scene, even in utter ignorance of its meaning dermes .
Chapter 8 Holcroft's View of Matrimony

embarrassment at being caught

Le 28 février 2017, 05:11 dans Humeurs 0

The meal was gay enough ielts reading and even Gerald, presiding absently at the head of the table, managedto evoke from the back of his dim mind some of the manner of a host and an uncertain smile. Themen talked, the women smiled and flattered—but Scarlett turning suddenly to Frank Kennedy toask him news of Miss Pittypat, caught an expression on his face which made her forget what sheintended to say.
His eyes had left Suellen’s and were wandering about the room, to Gerald’s childlike puzzledeyes, to the floor, bare of rugs, to the mantelpiece denuded of its ornaments, the sagging springsand torn upholstery into which Yankee bayonets had ripped, the cracked mirror above the sideboard,the unfaded squares on the wall where pictures had hung before the looters came, the scanttable service, the decently mended but old dresses of the girls, the flour sack which had been madeinto a kilt for Wade.
Frank was remembering the Tara he had known before the war and on his face was a hurt look, alook of tired impotent anger. He loved Suellen, liked her sisters, respected Gerald and had agenuine fondness for the plantation. Since Sherman had swept through Georgia, Frank had seenmany appalling sights as he rode about the state trying to collect supplies, but nothing had gone tohis heart as Tara did now. He wanted to do something for the O’Haras, especially Suellen, andthere was nothing he could do. He was unconsciously wagging his whiskered head in pity andclicking his tongue against his teeth when Scarlett caught his eye. He saw the flame QV Baby of indignantpride in them and he dropped his gaze quickly to his plate in embarrassment.
The girls were hungry for news. There had been no mail service since Atlanta fell, now fourmonths past, and they were in complete ignorance as to where the Yankees were, how theConfederate Army was faring, what had happened to Atlanta and to old friends. Frank, whose worktook him all over the section, was as good as a newspaper, better even, for he was kin to or knewalmost everyone from Macon north to Atlanta, and he could supply bits of interesting personalgossip which the papers always omitted. To cover his by Scarlett,he plunged hastily into a recital of news. The Confederates, he told them, had retaken Atlanta afterSherman marched out, but it was a valueless prize as Sherman had burned it completely.
“But I thought Atlanta burned the night I left,” cried Scarlett, bewildered. “I thought our boysburned it!”
“Oh, no, Miss Scarlett!” cried Frank, shocked. “We’d never burn one of our own towns with ourown folks in it! What you saw burning was the warehouses and the supplies we didn’t want theYankees to capture and the foundries and the ammunition. But that was all. When Sherman tookthe town the houses and stores were standing there as pretty as you please. And he  Neo skin labquartered hismen in them.”
“But what happened to the people? Did he—did he kill them?”

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