31 December 2012

On leaving some Friends at an early Hour (John Keats)

Give me a golden pen, and let me lean
On heap'd up flowers, in regions clear, and far;
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 'tis seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And let there glide by many a pearly car,
Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,
And half discovered wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears,
And as it reaches each delicious ending,
Let me write down a line of glorious tone,
And full of many wonders of the spheres:
For what a height my spirit is contending!
'Tis not content so soon to be alone.

14 November 2012

Prayer (Carol Ann Duffy)

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself.  So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now.  Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town.  Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside.  Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall.  Malin.  Dogger.  Finisterre.

04 August 2012

Beeny Cliff (Thomas Hardy)

I

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free -
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.


II

The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away
In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,
As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.


III

A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,
And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,
And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.


IV

- Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,
And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,
And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?


V

What if still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,
The woman now is - elsewhere - whom the ambling pony bore,
And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will laugh there nevermore.

Frater Ave atque Vale (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Row us out from Desenzano, to your Sirmione row!
So they row’d, and there we landed – ‘O venusta Sirmio!
There to me thro’ all the groves of olive in the summer glow,
There beneath the Roman ruin where the purple flowers grow,
Came that ‘Ave atque Vale’ of the Poet’s hopeless woe,
Tenderest of Roman poets nineteen-hundred years ago,
Frater Ave atque Vale’ – as we wander’d to and fro
Gazing at the Lydian laughter of the Garda Lake below
Sweet Catullus' all-but-island, olive-silvery Sirmio!

16 July 2012

from Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)

But I wished to say certain things about the Fifth Commandment, and why it should be thought of as belonging to the first tablet.  Briefly, the right worship of God is essential because it forms the mind to a right understanding of God.  God is set apart - He is One, He is not to be imagined as a thing among things (idolatry - this is what Feuerbach failed to grasp).  His name is set apart.  It is sacred (which I take to be a reflection of the sacredness of the Word, the creative utterance which is not of a kind with other language).  Then the Sabbath is set apart from other days, for the enjoyment of time and duration, perhaps, over and above the creatures who inhabit time.  Because 'the beginning,' which might be called the seed of time, is the condition for all the creation that follows.  Then mother and father are set apart, you see.  It seems to me almost a retelling of Creation - First there is the Lord, then the Word, then the Day, then the Man and Woman - and after that Cain and Abel - Thou shalt not kill - and all the sins recorded in those prohibitions, just as crimes are recorded in the laws against them.  So perhaps the tablets differ as addressing the eternal and the temporal.

from The Lord of the Rings, book 6, chapter 7, Homeward Bound (J.R.R. Tolkien)

'Well here we are, just the four of us that started out together,' said Merry.  We have left all the rest behind, one after another.  It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded.'

'Not to me,' said Frodo.  'To me it feels more like falling asleep again.'

11 July 2012

from Coot Club, chapter XVII, Port and Starboard Miss Their Ship (Arthur Ransome)

'A letter?' said Port, looking at the pile by her father's plate.  'But he's had lots.'

'Well, he's ta'en this yin to the telephone,' said Mrs McGinty, and then they heard their father's voice through the open door of the study.

'Never mind about keeping things hot, Mrs McGinty.  I'll have to be gone in a minute ... Hallo!  Hallo!  Hallo!  Is that Norwich Ten-sixty-six?  Norwich ... One-owe-double-six ... Hallo!  Yes.  I said so.  Engaged?  Can't be engaged.  Private exchange.  Please ring them again.  Give them another ring.  A long one.  Hallo!  Hallo!  Is that Norwich One-owe-double-six?  Oh.  Wrong number.  Ring off please ... Hallo!  Exchange?  Oh, please ring off.  Exchange? ... Hallo!  Hallo! ... Bring me a cup of coffee out here, somebody ... Hallo!  Exchange!  Gave me a wrong number.  No.  No.  Not one-double-six.  One-owe-double-six.  Thank you, Bessie.  Take care, Nell.  Don't make me take too big a mouthful.  I've got to be able to talk to these dunderheaded nincompoops.  Hallo!  Oh, is that you, Walters?  Thank goodness for that.  Nip round to the office and get me all the papers in that Bollington business.  Consultations on it this week.  Yes ... All in the folder.  And the deeds ... Yes, yes.  Bring the whole lot down to the station.  Coming in by car.  You'll get it garaged after I've gone.  I've got to catch the nine-one.  Right.  Good man.  Everything on the case ...'  He hung up the receiver, took another mouthful of buttered egg from Starboard, washed it down with a drink of coffee offered him by Port, and hurried back to the dining-room.

'What is it, A.P.?' asked Starboard.

Mr Farland looked at his watch and compared it with the clock on the mantelpiece, a clock won by the Flash at Wroxham Regatta the year before.

'Seven minutes for breakfast ... Yes, Mrs McGinty, if you will be so good.  The small suitcase.  Everything for a week ...'

'You aren't going away?' said Port.

'These things will happen,' said Mr Farland.  'I didn't expect this business to come on for another two months at least ...'

10 July 2012

from The Pickwick Papers (Charles Dickens)

There was the widow before him, bouncing bodily here and there, with unwonted vigour; and Mr. Tracy Tupman hopping about, with a face expressive of the most intense solemnity, dancing (as a good many people do) as if a quadrille were not a thing to be laughed at, but a severe trial to the feelings, which it requires inflexible resolution to encounter.

-

There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.  A vast deal of coolness, and a peculiar degree of judgment, are requisite in catching a hat.  A man must not be precipitate, or he runs over it; he must not rush into the opposite extreme, or he loses it altogether.  The best way is to keep gently up with the object of pursuit, to be wary and cautious, to watch your opportunity well, get gradually before it, then make a rapid dive, seize it by the crown, and stick it firmly on your head; smiling pleasantly all the time, as if you thought it as good a joke as anybody else.  There was a fine gentle wind, and Mr. Pickwick's hat rolled sportively before it.  The wind puffed, and Mr. Pickwick puffed, and the hat rolled over and over as merrily as a lively porpoise in a strong tide: and on it might have rolled, far beyond Mr. Pickwick's reach, had not its course been providentially stopped, just as that gentleman was on the point of resigning it to its fate.

-

Mr. Pickwick, with his hands in his pockets and his hat cocked completely over his left eye, was leaning against the dresser, shaking his head from side to side, and producing a constant succession of the blandest and most benevolent smiles without being moved thereunto by any discernible cause or pretence whatsoever; old Mr. Wardle, with a highly-inflamed countenance, was grasping the hand of a strange gentleman muttering protestations of eternal friendship; Mr. Winkle, supporting himself by the eight-day clock, was feebly invoking destruction upon the head of any member of the family who should suggest the propriety of his retiring for the night; and Mr. Snodgrass had sunk into a chair, with an expression of the most abject and hopeless misery that the human mind can imagine, portrayed in every lineament of his expressive face. 

'Is anything the matter?' inquired the three ladies.

'Nothing the matter,' replied Mr. Pickwick. 'We - we're - all right. - I say, Wardle, we're all right, ain't we?'

'I should think so,' replied the jolly host. - 'My dears, here's my friend Mr. Jingle - Mr. Pickwick's friend, Mr. Jingle, come 'pon - little visit.'

'Is anything the matter with Mr. Snodgrass, Sir?' inquired Emily, with great anxiety.

'Nothing the matter, ma'am,' replied the stranger. 'Cricket dinner - glorious party - capital songs - old port - claret - good - very good - wine, ma'am - wine.'

'It wasn't the wine,' murmured Mr. Snodgrass, in a broken voice. 'It was the salmon.' (Somehow or other, it never is the wine, in these cases.)

-

'Who is Slumkey?' whispered Mr. Tupman.

'I don't know,' replied Mr. Pickwick, in the same tone. 'Hush. Don't ask any questions. It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do.'

'But suppose there are two mobs?' suggested Mr. Snodgrass.

'Shout with the largest,' replied Mr. Pickwick.

Volumes could not have said more.

-

'Mr. Pickwick, I presume?'

'The same.'

'Allow me, Sir, the honour of grasping your hand. Permit me, Sir, to shake it,' said the grave man.

'Certainly,' said Mr. Pickwick. The stranger shook the extended hand, and then continued.

'We have heard of your fame, Sir. The noise of your antiquarian discussion has reached the ears of Mrs. Leo Hunter - my wife, Sir; I am Mr. Leo Hunter' - the stranger paused, as if he expected that Mr. Pickwick would be overcome by the disclosure; but seeing that he remained perfectly calm, proceeded.

'My wife, Sir - Mrs. Leo Hunter - is proud to number among her acquaintance all those who have rendered themselves celebrated by their works and talents. Permit me, Sir, to place in a conspicuous part of the list the name of Mr. Pickwick, and his brother-members of the club that derives its name from him.'

'I shall be extremely happy to make the acquaintance of such a lady, Sir,' replied Mr. Pickwick.

'You shall make it, Sir,' said the grave man. 'To-morrow morning, Sir, we give a public breakfast - a fête champetre - to a great number of those who have rendered themselves celebrated by their works and talents. Permit Mrs. Leo Hunter, Sir, to have the gratification of seeing you at the Den.'

'With great pleasure,' replied Mr. Pickwick.

'Mrs. Leo Hunter has many of these breakfasts, Sir,' resumed the new acquaintance - '"feasts of reason," Sir, "and flows of soul," as somebody who wrote a sonnet to Mrs. Leo Hunter on her breakfasts, feelingly and originally observed.'

'Was he celebrated for his works and talents?' inquired Mr. Pickwick.

'He was, Sir,' replied the grave man, 'all Mrs. Leo Hunter's acquaintance are; it is her ambition, Sir, to have no other acquaintance.'

'It is a very noble ambition,' said Mr. Pickwick.

'When I inform Mrs. Leo Hunter, that that remark fell from your lips, Sir, she will indeed be proud,' said the grave man. 'You have a gentleman in your train, who has produced some beautiful little poems, I think, Sir.'

'My friend Mr. Snodgrass has a great taste for poetry,' replied Mr. Pickwick.

'So has Mrs. Leo Hunter, Sir. She dotes on poetry, Sir. She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, Sir. You may have met with her "Ode to an expiring Frog," Dir.'

'I don't think I have,' said Mr. Pickwick.

'You astonish me, Sir,' said Mr. Leo Hunter. 'It created an immense sensation. It was signed with an "L" and eight stars, and appeared originally in a Lady's Magazine. It commenced



'Can I view thee panting, lying
On thy stomach, without sighing;
Can I unmoved see thee dying
On a log
Expiring frog!'


'Beautiful!' said Mr. Pickwick.

'Fine,' said Mr. Leo Hunter; 'so simple.'

'Very,' said Mr. Pickwick.

'The next verse is still more touching. Shall I repeat it?'

'If you please,' said Mr. Pickwick.

'It runs thus,' said the grave man, still more gravely.


'Say, have fiends in shape of boys,
With wild halloo, and brutal noise,
Hunted thee from marshy joys,
With a dog,
Expiring frog!'

'Finely expressed,' said Mr. Pickwick.

'All point, Sir,' said Mr. Leo Hunter; 'but you shall hear Mrs. Leo Hunter repeat it. She can do justice to it, Sir. She will repeat it, in character, Sir, to-morrow morning.'

'In character!'

'As Minerva. But I forgot - it's a fancy-dress dejeune.'

'Dear me,' said Mr. Pickwick, glancing at his own figure - 'I can't possibly' -

 -

The jovial party broke up next morning. Breakings-up are capital things in our school-days, but in after life they are painful enough. Death, self-interest, and fortune's changes, are every day breaking up many a happy group, and scattering them far and wide; and the boys and girls never come back again. We do not mean to say that it was exactly the case in this particular instance; all we wish to inform the reader is, that the different members of the party dispersed to their several homes ...

-

Now, although the warden's room was a very uncomfortable one, being, in every point of decoration and convenience, several hundred degrees inferior to the common infirmary of a county jail, it had at present the merit of being wholly deserted save by Mr. Pickwick himself. So, he sat down at the foot of his little iron bedstead, and began to wonder how much a year the warder made out of the dirty room. Having satisfied himself, by mathematical calculation, that the apartment was about equal in annual value to the freehold of a small street in the suburbs of London, he took to wondering what possible temptation could have induced a dingy-looking fly that was crawling over his pantaloons, to come into a close prison, when he had the choice of so many airy situations - a course of meditation which led him to the irresistible conclusion that the insect was insane. After settling this point, he began to be conscious that he was getting sleepy; whereupon he took his nightcap out of the pocket in which he had had the precaution to stow it in the morning, and, leisurely undressing himself, got into bed and fell asleep.

-

'I takes my determination on principle, Sir,' remarked Sam, 'and you takes yours on the same ground; wich puts me in mind o' the man as killed his-self on principle, wich o' course you've heerd on, Sir.' Mr. Weller paused when he arrived at this point, and cast a comical look at his master out of the corners of his eyes.


'There is no "of course" in the case, Sam,' said Mr. Pickwick, gradually breaking into a smile, in spite of the uneasiness which Sam's obstinacy had given him. 'The fame of the gentleman in question, never reached my ears.'


'No, Sir!' exclaimed Mr. Weller. 'You astonish me, Sir; he wos a clerk in a gov'ment office, sir.'


'Was he?' said Mr. Pickwick.


'Yes, he wos, Sir,' rejoined Mr. Weller; 'and a wery pleasant gen'l'm'n too - one o' the precise and tidy sort, as puts their feet in little India-rubber fire-buckets wen it's wet weather, and never has no other bosom friends but hare-skins; he saved up his money on principle, wore a clean shirt ev'ry day on principle; never spoke to none of his relations on principle, 'fear they shou'd want to borrow money of him; and wos altogether, in fact, an uncommon agreeable character. He had his hair cut on principle vunce a fortnight, and contracted for his clothes on the economic principle - three suits a year, and send back the old uns. Being a wery reg'lar gen'l'm'n, he din'd ev'ry day at the same place, where it was one-and-nine to cut off the joint, and a wery good one-and-nine's worth he used to cut, as the landlord often said, with the tears a-tricklin' down his face, let alone the way he used to poke the fire in the vinter time, which wos a dead loss o' four-pence ha'penny a day, to say nothin' at all o' the aggrawation o' seein' him do it. So uncommon grand with it too! "Post arter the next gen'l'm'n," he sings out ev'ry day ven he comes in. "See arter the Times, Thomas; let me look at the Mornin' Herald, when it's out o' hand; don't forget to bespeak the Chronicle; and just bring the 'Tizer, vill you:" and then he'd set vith his eyes fixed on the clock, and rush out, just a quarter of a minit 'fore the time to waylay the boy as wos a-comin' in with the evenin' paper, which he'd read with sich intense interest and persewerance as worked the other customers up to the wery confines o' desperation and insanity, 'specially one i-rascible old gen'l'm'n as the vaiter wos always obliged to keep a sharp eye on, at sich times, fear he should be tempted to commit some rash act with the carving-knife. Vell, Sir, here he'd stop, occupyin' the best place for three hours, and never takin' nothin' arter his dinner, but sleep, and then he'd go away to a coffee-house a few streets off, and have a small pot o' coffee and four crumpets, arter wich he'd walk home to Kensington and go to bed. One night he wos took very ill; sends for a doctor; doctor comes in a green fly, with a kind o' Robinson Crusoe set o' steps, as he could let down wen he got out, and pull up arter him wen he got in, to perwent the necessity o' the coachman's gettin' down, and thereby undeceivin' the public by lettin' 'em see that it wos only a livery coat as he'd got on, and not the trousers to match. "Wot's the matter?" says the doctor. "Wery ill," says the patient. "Wot have you been a-eatin' on?" says the doctor. "Roast weal," says the patient. "Wot's the last thing you dewoured?" says the doctor. "Crumpets," says the patient. "That's it!" says the doctor. "I'll send you a box of pills directly, and don't you never take no more of 'em," he says. "No more o' wot?" says the patient - "pills?" "No; crumpets," says the doctor. "Wy?" says the patient, starting up in bed; "I've eat four crumpets, ev'ry night for fifteen year, on principle." "Well, then, you'd better leave 'em off, on principle," says the doctor. "Crumpets is not wholesome, Sir," says the doctor, wery fierce. "But they're so cheap," says the patient, comin' down a little, "and so wery fillin' at the price." "They'd be dear to you, at any price; dear if you wos paid to eat 'em," says the doctor. "Four crumpets a night," he says, "vill do your business in six months!" The patient looks him full in the face, and turns it over in his mind for a long time, and at last he says, "Are you sure o' that 'ere, Sir?" "I'll stake my professional reputation on it," says the doctor. "How many crumpets, at a sittin', do you think 'ud kill me off at once?" says the patient. "I don't know," says the doctor. "Do you think half-a-crown's wurth 'ud do it?" says the patient. "I think it might," says the doctor. "Three shillins' wurth 'ud be sure to do it, I s'pose?" says the patient. "Certainly," says the doctor. "Wery good," says the patient; "good-night." Next mornin' he gets up, has a fire lit, orders in three shillins' wurth o' crumpets, toasts 'em all, eats 'em all, and blows his brains out.'


'What did he do that for?' inquired Mr. Pickwick abruptly; for he was considerably startled by this tragical termination of the narrative.


'Wot did he do it for, Sir?' reiterated Sam. 'Wy, in support of his great principle that crumpets wos wholesome, and to show that he wouldn't be put out of his way for nobody!'


-


Let us leave our old friend in one of those moments of unmixed happiness, of which, if we seek them, there are ever some, to cheer our transitory existence here. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. Some men, like bats or owls, have better eyes for the darkness than for the light. We, who have no such optical powers, are better pleased to take our last parting look at the visionary companions of many solitary hours, when the brief sunshine of the world is blazing full upon them.

28 May 2012

The Whitsun Weddings (Philip Larkin)

That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river's level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept
For miles island,
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth;
A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped
And rose: and now and then a smell of grass
Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth
Until the next town, new and nondescript,
Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

At first, I didn't notice what a noise
The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
The interest of what's happening in the shade,
And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls
I took for porters larking with the mails,
And went on reading. Once we started, though,
We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls
In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,
All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

As if out on the end of an event
Waving goodbye
To something that survived it. Struck, I leant
More promptly out next time, more curiously,
And saw it all again in different terms:
The fathers with broad belts under their suits
And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;
An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,
The nylon gloves and jewelry-substitutes,
The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochers that

Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.
Yes, from cafes
And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed
Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days
Were coming to an end. All down the line
Fresh couples climbed abroad: the rest stood round;
The last confetti and advice were thrown,
And, as we moved, each face seemed to define
Just what it saw departing: children frowned
At something dull; fathers had never known

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
Now fields were building-plots. and poplars cast
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
- An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,
And someone running up to bowl - and none
Thought of the others they would never meet
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.
I thought of London spread out in the sun,
Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

There we were aimed. And as we raced across
Bright knots of rail
Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss
Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail
Traveling coincidence; and what it held
Stood ready to be loosed with all the power
That being changed can give. We slowed again,
And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.

14 March 2012

from Sohrab and Rustum (Matthew Arnold)

As, in the country, on a morn in June,
When the dew glistens on the pearled ears,
A shiver runs through the deep corn for joy -
So, when they heard what Peran-Wisa said,
A thrill through all the Tartar squadrons ran
Of pride and hope for Sohrab, whom they loved.

But as a troop of pedlars, from Cabool,
Cross underneath the Indian Caucasus,
That vast sky-neighbouring mountain of milk snow;
Crossing so high, that, as they mount, they pass
Long flocks of travelling birds dead on the snow,
Choked by the air, and scarce can they themselves
Slake their parch'd throats with sugar'd mulberries -
In single file they move, and stop their breath,
For fear they should dislodge the o'erhanging snows -
So the pale Persians held their breath with fear.

21 January 2012

from Surprised by Joy, chapter 12, Guns and Good Company (C.S. Lewis)

My first taste of Oxford was comical enough.  I had made no arrangements about quarters and, having no more luggage than I could carry in my hand, I sallied out of the railway station on foot to find either a lodging-house or a cheap hotel; all agog for 'dreaming spires' and 'last enchantments'. My first disappointment at what I saw could be dealt with. Towns always show their worst face to the railway. But as I walked on and on I became more bewildered. Could this succession of mean shops really be Oxford? But I still went on, always expecting the next turn to reveal the beauties, and reflecting that it was a much larger town than I had been led to suppose. Only when it became obvious that there was very little town left ahead of me, that I was in fact getting to open country, did I turn round and look. There behind me, far away, never more beautiful since, was the fabled cluster of spires and towers. I had come out of the station on the wrong side and been all this time walking into what was even then the mean and sprawling suburb of Botley.  I did not see to what extent this little adventure was an allegory of my whole life.

from Daniel Deronda, chapter 17 (George Eliot)

Rowing in his dark-blue shirt and skull-cap, his curls closely clipped, his mouth beset with abundant soft waves of beard, he bore only disguised traces of the seraphic boy 'trailing clouds of glory.' Still, even one who had never seen him since his boyhood might have looked at him with slow recognition, due perhaps to the peculiarity of the gaze which Gwendolen chose to call 'dreadful,' though it had really a very mild sort of scrutiny. The voice, sometimes audible in subdued snatches of song, had turned out merely a high barytone; indeed, only to look at his lithe, powerful frame and the firm gravity of his face would have been enough for an experienced guess that he had no rare and ravishing tenor such as nature reluctantly makes at some sacrifice. Look at his hands: they are not small and dimpled, with tapering fingers that seem to have only a deprecating touch: they are long, flexible, firmly-grasping hands, such as Titian has painted in a picture where he wanted to show the combination of refinement with force. And there is something of a likeness, too, between the faces belonging to the hands - in both the uniform pale-brown skin, the perpendicular brow, the calmly penetrating eyes. Not seraphic any longer: thoroughly terrestrial and manly; but still of a kind to raise belief in a human dignity which can afford to recognize poor relations.