02 October 2016

from De Amicitia, sections 87-8 (Cicero)

quin etiam si quis asperitate ea est et immanitate naturae, congressus ut hominum fugiat atque oderit, qualem fuisse Athenis Timonem nescio quem accepimus, tamen is pati non possit, ut non anquirat aliquem, apud quem evomat virus acerbitatis suae. atque hoc maxime iudicaretur, si quid tale possit contingere, ut aliquis nos deus ex hac hominum frequentia tolleret et in solitudine uspiam collocaret atque ibi suppeditans omnium rerum quas natura desiderat, abundantiam et copiam, hominis omnino aspiciendi potestatem eriperet - quis tam esset ferreus qui eam vitam ferre posset cuique non auferret fructum voluptatum omnium solitudo? verum ergo illud est, quod a Tarentino Archyta, ut opinor, dici solitum nostros senes commemorare audivi ab aliis senibus auditum: si quis in caelum ascendisset naturamque mundi et pulchritudinem siderum perspexisset, insuavem illam admirationem ei fore, quae iucundissima fuisset, si aliquem cui narraret habuisset. sic natura solitarium nihil amat semperque ad aliquod tamquam adminiculum adnititur, quod in amicissimo quoque dulcissimum est.

No, even if anyone were of a nature so harsh and monstrous as to shun and loathe human society - such, for example, as we hear that a certain Timon of Athens once was - yet even such a person could not avoid seeking out someone in whose direction he might pour out the venom of his embittered soul. And this might best be judged if something like this could happen: suppose that a god were to remove us from this human world and put us in some solitary place, and, while providing us there in abundance and plenty with all the material things our nature desires, were to take from us altogether the ability to see any other person - who would be so iron-hearted as to be able to endure that sort of a life? And who is there from whom solitude would not take away the enjoyment of every pleasure? It is certainly true, therefore, what Archytas of Tarentum (I think it was) famously said, something which I have heard repeated by our old men who in their turn heard it from their elders. I mean when he said, 'If someone were to  ascend  into heaven and gaze upon the whole workings of the universe and the beauty of the stars, the marvellous sight would give him no joy if he had to keep it to himself.  And yet, if only there had been someone to describe the spectacle to, it would have filled him with delight.'  Nature therefore, abhors solitude, and always strives for some sort of support; and the best support is a really dear friend.

06 September 2016

from High Rising (Angela Thirkell)

When the party got to Low Rising, they found George Knox at work in the garden.  George, whose dramatic sense was not one of the least factors in the success of his biographies, liked to dress his part, and at the moment was actively featuring Popular Writer Enjoys Hard Work in Garden of his Sixteenth-Century Manor House.  He had perhaps a little overdone the idea, being dressed in bright brown plus-fours, a gigantic pair of what looked like decayed football boots, a very dirty and worn high-necked sweater, and a tweed shooting coast with its buttons and pockets flapping.  Large as George Knox was at any time, this wilful collection of odd clothes made him loom incredibly.  From his seven-league boots the eye travelled upwards to the vast width of his plus-fours, to the huge girth of thick jacket over thick sweater, only to find, with a start of surprise, that his large face, with its knobbly forehead and domed and rather bald scalp, completely dwarfed the rest of him.  He had decided to devote that afternoon to heavy digging, and was excavating, unscientifically and laboriously, a piece of the kitchen garden.  The sky was coldly pink in the west where the winter sun was setting behind mists, George Knox's bare-branched trees made a delicate pattern against the sunset flush, George Knox's smoke from the chimneys of his Lovely Sixteenth-Century Manor House was going straight up into the air, a light or two shone golden in George Knox's windows, his feet were clogged with damp earth, his hands were very dirty, and a robin was watching him dig.

'It couldn't have been better arranged, George,' said Laura as she approached.  'Perfect setting for author, down to the robin.  I shall have to write a book about the lovely vendeuse who marries the strong, noble son of the soil, and use you as a model.'

On hearing this, the robin flew away.

George Knox stuck his spade into the earth, straightened up painfully, in the manner of one who has been devoted to life-long toil in the agricultural line, and mopped his brow with a large red handkerchief with white spots.

'That's the worst of the country,' he remarked.  'Lady authors coming round unasked, frightening away one's little feathered friends.  Who frightened Cock Robin?  I, said the Laura, with my feminine aura.  Laura, dear, I cannot offer you my hand as it is all earth, but you are as welcome as ever.'

'This is Mr Knox, Amy,' said Laura, exhibiting George to her friends with some pride.  'And this, George, if you will stop rubbing mould into your eyes with that preposterous handkerchief, is Mrs Birkett, whose husband keeps Dotheboys Hall and breaks Tony's spirit.'

'If I am to take your statement as one and indivisible, Laura, it is a lie, because no power on earth, nor indeed any demons under the sea, could ever dissever Tony from his profound self-satisfaction.  But if I may separate your sentence into its component parts, I am more than willing to believe that this is Mrs Birkett, whose acquaintance I am honoured and delighted to make, and who, or whom, I look forward to shaking hands with when I have cleaned up a bit.'

'I'm so glad you get mixed about that "who", George.  It is the death of me.  That, and commas, are the bane of my life.  The only way one can really express what one wants to say is by underlining every other word four times, like Queen Victoria, and that appears to be bad taste now.  What are you digging, George?'


'Yes, but I mean what?  Potatoes, or bulbs, or asparagus beds?' asked Laura, who cared little about gardening and knew less.

George Knox looked guiltily round.

'The gardener has gone over to Stoke Dry to fetch a parcel from the station, so I thought I would dig for exercise while his back was turned.  He doesn't like me in his garden when he is here.  I dug up a lot of things that smelled like onions.  Come into the house and we'll find Sibyl.'

'Probably it was onions,' said Laura, as they went into the sitting-room, 'or else leeks.  You can send me some on St David's Day, and I'll wear them in my bonnet.'

'Are you Welsh, then?' asked Amy Birkett.

'Oh, no, but its's nice to wear things on the right day.  Only the right day - yes, Tony, take Sylvia and go and find Sibyl, only keep Sylvia on the lead in case Sibyl's dogs jump at her.'

'Oh, Mother, Sibyl's dogs wouldn't jump at Sylvia.  Dogs always know a friendly dog, Mother.  They are marvellous.  It's a kind of instinct.  Mrs Birkett, did you know about instinct?  Mr Ferris told us about it in maths, one day.'

'But why in maths, Tony?  Is instinct a kind of algebra?'

'No, no, but Mr Ferris is very sensible and tells us all sorts of things in the maths period.  His father used to be a doctor in the country, and when the sheep were all buried in snow in the winter, the dogs had an instinct to find them and they leaped on their backs and licked the snow off them.'

'But where does Mr Ferris's father come in?' asked George Knox, slightly bewildered.

'He doesn't come in, sir, it was the dogs,' said Tony pityingly.  'They have a marvellous instinct -'

His mother gently pushed him and Sylvia out of the room, and returned to her seat, remarking placidly:

'As I was saying,  and I am going to say it, because it is too interesting to lose, the right day and the right flower never seem to come together.  One can't possibly expect roses to be out on St George's Day, at least not if St George's Day comes on the twenty-third of April.  Unless, of course, in Shakespeare's time April was much later on account of Old Style, or people had hothouses, which we never hear of.'

'Where does Shakespeare come in?' asked Amy, as bewildered by the introduction of the bard as George had previously been by Mr Ferris's father.

'Well, Shakespeare's birthday was St George's Day, so it all somehow goes together.  And as for St Patrick's Day, shamrock may be in season then, I don't know, not in Ulster, I suppose, but anyway in the Irish Free State, but one can't tell, because what they sell in the streets looks like compressed mustard and cress.  Luckily one doesn't have to wear thistles for St Andrew, and as for St David -'

But here George Knox, who had been simmering with a desire to talk for some time past, took the floor, drowing Laura's gentle voice entirely.

'St David, dear Mrs Birkett,' he began, 'had no nonsense about him, and knew that a leek was about all his countrymen were fit for.  I do not offend you, I trust, in saying this.  I would quarrel with no one for being Welsh, as I, thank God, am French and Irish by descent, and am far removed from petty racial feelings, but for a nation who are, or who is - damn those pronouns, Laura - time-serving, sycophantic, art nouveau, horticultural and despicable enough to try to change the leek to a daffodil, words fail me to express my contempt.  You were alluding just now to Shakespeare's birthday, my dear Laura.  What would Shakespeare have thought if Burbage had proposed to substitute a daffodil for a leek in Henry the Fifth?  Where, Mrs Birkett, would be Fluellen and Pistol?  The whole point of that scene would be lost - lost, I say,' he repeated, glaring affectionately at Sibyl who came in with Tony.  'As well might you have substituted the leek for the daffodil in the Winter's Tale.  Imagine Shakespeare writing that leeks come before the swallow comes - except, of course, when you are eating them - or take the winds of March; for though doubtless they may by the calendar, though on that point I profess no special knowledge, poetically it is impossible.  No, dear ladies, the Welsh are utterly and eternally damned for this denial, worse than whoever's it was in Dante, of their national emblem.'


Saturday morning dawned fair and bright.  The sun shone, the cuckoo bellowed from a copse hard by, other birds less easy to recognise made suitable bird noises.  In the little wood primroses grew in vulgar profusion, a drift of blue mist showed that bluebells were on the way, glades were still white with wind-flowers.  All the trees that come out early were brilliant green, while those that come out later were, not unnaturally, still brown, thus forming an agreeable contrast.  A stream bordered with kingcups made a gentle bubbling noise like sausages in a frying-pan.  Nature, in fact, was as it; and when she chooses, Nature can do it.

01 August 2016

from 'Boys' Weeklies' (George Orwell)

The working classes only enter into the Gem and Magnet as comics or semi-villains (race-course touts etc.). As for class-friction, trade unionism, strikes, slumps, unemployment, Fascism and civil war - not a mention. Somewhere or other in the thirty years' issue of the two papers you might perhaps find the word ‘Socialism’, but you would have to look a long time for it. If the Russian Revolution is anywhere referred to, it will be indirectly, in the word ‘Bolshy’ (meaning a person of violent disagreeable habits). Hitler and the Nazis are just beginning to make their appearance, in the sort of reference I quoted above. The war-crisis of September 1938 made just enough impression to produce a story in which Mr Vernon-Smith, the Bounder's millionaire father, cashed in on the general panic by buying up country houses in order to sell them to ‘crisis scuttlers’. But that is probably as near to noticing the European situation as the Gem and Magnet will come, until the war actually starts. That does not mean that these papers are unpatriotic - quite the contrary! Throughout the Great War the Gem and Magnet were perhaps the most consistently and cheerfully patriotic papers in England. Almost every week the boys caught a spy or pushed a conchy into the army, and during the rationing period ‘EAT LESS BREAD’ was printed in large type on every page. But their patriotism has nothing whatever to do with power politics or ‘ideological’ warfare. It is more akin to family loyalty, and actually it gives one a valuable clue to the attitude of ordinary people, especially the huge untouched block of the middle class and the better-off working class. These people are patriotic to the middle of their bones, but they do not feel that what happens in foreign countries is any of their business. When England is in danger they rally to its defence as a matter of course, but in between times they are not interested. After all, England is always in the right and England always wins, so why worry? It is an attitude that has been shaken during the past twenty years, but not so deeply as is sometimes supposed. Failure to understand it is one of the reasons why left-wing political parties are seldom able to produce an acceptable foreign policy.

04 July 2016

Dover Beach (Matthew Arnold)

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in. 

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. 

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

20 May 2016

The Children's Song from Puck of Pook's Hill (Rudyard Kipling)

Land of our birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven Who lovest all,
Oh, help thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth whereby the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends,
On Thee for Judge, and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak,
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
O Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart and hand through the years to be!

16 May 2016

Grace (Robert Herrick)

What God gives, and what we take,
'Tis a gift for Christ His sake:
Be the meale of Beanes and Pease,
God be thank'd for those, and these:
Have we flesh, or have we fish,
All are Fragments from His dish.
He His Church save, and the King,
And our Peace here, like a Spring,
Make it ever flourishing.

15 May 2016

O filii et filiae (Jean Tisserand et al., trans. J.M. Neale and compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern)

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

O filii et filiae,
Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae
morte surrexit hodie.


Ex mane prima Sabbati
ad ostium monumenti
accesserunt discipuli.


Et Maria Magdalene,
et Iacobi, et Salome
venerunt corpus ungere.


In albis sedens angelus
praedixit mulieribus:
In Galilaea est Dominus.


Et Ioannes apostolus
cucurrit Petro citius,
monumento venit prius.


Discipulis astantibus,
in medio stetit Christus,
dicens: Pax vobis omnibus.


Ut intellexit Didymus
quia surrexerat Iesus,
remansit fere dubius.


Vide Thoma, vide latus,
vide pedes, vide manus,
noli esse incredulus.


Quando Thomas vidit Christum,
pedes, manus, latus suum,
dixit: Tu es Deus meus.


Beati qui non viderunt
et firmiter crediderunt;
vitam aeternam habebunt.


In hoc festo sanctissimo
sit laus et iubilatio:
benedicamus Domino.


Ex quibus nos humillimas
devotas atque debitas
Deo dicamus gratias.


Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of Heaven, the glorious King,
O'er death to-day rose triumphing.

That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.

An angel clad in white they see,
Who sat, and spake unto the three,
'Your Lord doth go to Galilee.'

That night the apostles met in fear;
Amidst them came their Lord most dear,
And said, 'My peace be on all here.'

When Thomas first the tidings heard,
How they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples' word.

'My piercèd side, O Thomas, see;
My hands, my feet I show to thee;
Not faithless, but believing be.'

No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
'Thou art my Lord and God,' he cried.

How blest are they who have not seen,
And yet whose faith hath constant been!
For they eternal life shall win.

On this most holy day of days,
To God your hearts and voices raise
In laud and jubilee and praise.

11 May 2016

As the Team's Head-Brass (Edward Thomas)

As the team's head-brass flashed out on the turn
The lovers disappeared into the wood.
I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm
That strewed the angle of the fallow, and
Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square
Of charlock. Every time the horses turned
Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned
Upon the handles to say or ask a word,
About the weather, next about the war.
Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,
And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed
Once more.
                The blizzard felled the elm whose crest
I sat in, by a woodpecker's round hole,
The ploughman said. 'When will they take it away? '
'When the war's over.' So the talk began –
One minute and an interval of ten,
A minute more and the same interval.
'Have you been out? ' 'No.' 'And don't want to, perhaps? '
'If I could only come back again, I should.
I could spare an arm, I shouldn't want to lose
A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,
I should want nothing more ... Have many gone
From here? ' 'Yes.' 'Many lost? ' 'Yes, a good few.
Only two teams work on the farm this year.
One of my mates is dead. The second day
In France they killed him. It was back in March,
The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if
He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.'
'And I should not have sat here. Everything
Would have been different. For it would have been
Another world.' 'Ay, and a better, though
If we could see all all might seem good.' Then
The lovers came out of the wood again:
The horses started and for the last time
I watched the clods crumble and topple over
After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.

05 May 2016

from The Analytical Language of John Wilkins (Jorge Luis Borges)

These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies recall those which Dr Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its remote pages it is written that the animals can be divided into:

(a) belonging to the emperor,

(b) embalmed,

(c) tame,

(d) sucking pigs,

(e) sirens,

(f) fabulous,

(g) stray dogs,

(h) included in the present classification,

(i) that tremble as if they were mad,

(j) innumerable,

(k) drawn with a very fine camel hair brush,

(l) et cetera,

(m) having just broken the water pitcher,

(n) that from a long way off look like flies.

Thoughts in a Garden (Andrew Marvell)

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their incessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of Repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then

In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.

No white nor red was ever seen

So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress’ name:
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties her exceed!
Fair trees! where’er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.

When we have run our passion’s heat
Love hither makes his best retreat:
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race:
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow:
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree’s mossy root,
Casting the body’s vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy Garden-state,
While man there walk’d without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises are in one,
To live in Paradise alone.

How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, th’ industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours

Be reckon’d, but with herbs and flowers!

29 April 2016

In Memoriam A.H.H. LXXXIII (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Dip down upon the northern shore,
  O sweet new-year delaying long;
  Thou dost expectant nature wrong;
Delaying long, delay no more.

What stays thee from the clouded noons,
   Thy sweetness from its proper place?
   Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons?

Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
   The little speedwell's darling blue,
   Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.

O thou, new-year, delaying long,
   Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
   That longs to burst a frozen bud
And flood a fresher throat with song.

The Trees (Philip Larkin)

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief. 

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain. 

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

15 April 2016

Vertue (George Herbert)

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridall of the earth and skie:
The dew shall weep thy fall to night;
For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angrie and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in its grave
And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My musick shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.

Onely a sweet and vertuous soul,
Like season’d timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.

30 March 2016

from Crampton Hodnet, chapter 11, Love in the British Museum (Barbara Pym)

'What can we do?' she said, dealing rather inefficiently with the tea.  'There isn't anything we can do.'  She was feeling more normal now, although still a little dazed, as if she had just woken out of a dream.

'But ...' Francis went on stirring his tea, into which he had forgotten to put sugar.  'We love each other.  I love you and you love me too, don't you?'

'Yes,' said Barbara doubtfully.  'I do, only ...'  How could she explain to him what her love was like?  That although it was a love stronger than death, it wasn't the kind of love one did anything about?  On the contrary, doing nothing about it was one of its chief characteristics, because if one did anything it would be different - it might even disappear altogether.

'Aren't you sure then?' he asked.

'Oh, yes ...' she said uncertainly.  She dug her fork into a cake and it broke into little pieces.  She chased the hard bits unhappily round her plate.

The comming of good luck (Robert Herrick)

So Good-luck came, and on my roofe did light,
Like noyse-lesse Snow; or as the dew of night:
Not all at once, but gently, as the trees
Are, by the Sun-beams, tickel'd by degrees.

09 March 2016

Corpus Christi (Evelyn Underhill)

Come, dear Heart!
The fields are white to harvest: come and see
As in a glass the timeless mystery
Of love, whereby we feed
On God, our bread indeed.
Torn by the sickles, see him share the smart
Of travailing Creation: maimed, despised,
Yet by his lovers the more dearly prized
Because for us he lays his beauty down -
Last toll paid by Perfection for our loss!
Trace on these fields his everlasting Cross,
And o’er the stricken sheaves the Immortal Victim’s crown.

From far horizons came a Voice that said,
‘Lo! from the hand of Death take thou thy daily bread.’
Then I, awakening, saw
A splendour burning in the heart of things:
The flame of living love which lights the law
Of mystic death that works the mystic birth.
I knew the patient passion of the Earth,
Maternal, everlasting, whence there springs
The Bread of Angels and the life of man.

Now in each blade
I, blind no longer, see
The glory of God’s growth: know it to be
An earnest of the Immemorial Plan.
Yea, I have understood
How all things are one great oblation made:
He on our altars, we on the world’s rood.
Even as this corn,
We are snatched from the sod;
Reaped, ground to grist,
Crushed and tormented in the Mills of God,
And offered at Life’s hands, a living Eucharist.

from Dombey and Son, chapter XX, Mr. Dombey goes upon a Journey (Charles Dickens)

He found no pleasure or relief in the journey. Tortured by these thoughts he carried monotony with him, through the rushing landscape, and hurried headlong, not through a rich and varied country, but a wilderness of blighted plans and gnawing jealousies. The very speed at which the train was whirled along, mocked the swift course of the young life that had been borne away so steadily and so inexorably to its foredoomed end. The power that forced itself upon its iron way - its own - defiant of all paths and roads, piercing through the heart of every obstacle, and dragging living creatures of all classes, ages, and degrees behind it, was a type of the triumphant monster, Death.

Away, with a shriek, and a roar, and a rattle, from the town, burrowing among the dwellings of men and making the streets hum, flashing out into the meadows for a moment, mining in through the damp earth, booming on in darkness and heavy air, bursting out again into the sunny day so bright and wide; away, with a shriek, and a roar, and a rattle, through the fields, through the woods, through the corn, through the hay, through the chalk, through the mould, through the clay, through the rock, among objects close at hand and almost in the grasp, ever flying from the traveller, and a deceitful distance ever moving slowly within him: like as in the track of the remorseless monster, Death!

Through the hollow, on the height, by the heath, by the orchard, by the park, by the garden, over the canal, across the river, where the sheep are feeding, where the mill is going, where the barge is floating, where the dead are lying, where the factory is smoking, where the stream is running, where the village clusters, where the great cathedral rises, where the bleak moor lies, and the wild breeze smooths or ruffles it at its inconstant will; away, with a shriek, and a roar, and a rattle, and no trace to leave behind but dust and vapour: like as in the track of the remorseless monster, Death!

Breasting the wind and light, the shower and sunshine, away, and still away, it rolls and roars, fierce and rapid, smooth and certain, and great works and massive bridges crossing up above, fall like a beam of shadow an inch broad, upon the eye, and then are lost. Away, and still away, onward and onward ever: glimpses of cottage-homes, of houses, mansions, rich estates, of husbandry and handicraft, of people, of old roads and paths that look deserted, small, and insignificant as they are left behind: and so they do, and what else is there but such glimpses, in the track of the indomitable monster, Death!

Away, with a shriek, and a roar, and a rattle, plunging down into the earth again, and working on in such a storm of energy and perseverance, that amidst the darkness and whirlwind the motion seems reversed, and to tend furiously backward, until a ray of light upon the wet wall shows its surface flying past like a fierce stream. Away once more into the day, and through the day, with a shrill yell of exultation, roaring, rattling, tearing on, spurning everything with its dark breath, sometimes pausing for a minute where a crowd of faces are, that in a minute more are not; sometimes lapping water greedily, and before the spout at which it drinks has ceased to drip upon the ground, shrieking, roaring, rattling through the purple distance!

Louder and louder yet, it shrieks and cries as it comes tearing on resistless to the goal: and now its way, still like the way of Death, is strewn with ashes thickly. Everything around is blackened. There are dark pools of water, muddy lanes, and miserable habitations far below. There are jagged walls and falling houses close at hand, and through the battered roofs and broken windows, wretched rooms are seen, where want and fever hide themselves in many wretched shapes, while smoke and crowded gables, and distorted chimneys, and deformity of brick and mortar penning up deformity of mind and body, choke the murky distance. As Mr Dombey looks out of his carriage window, it is never in his thoughts that the monster who has brought him there has let the light of day in on these things: not made or caused them. It was the journey's fitting end, and might have been the end of everything; it was so ruinous and dreary.

So, pursuing the one course of thought, he had the one relentless monster still before him. All things looked black, and cold, and deadly upon him, and he on them. He found a likeness to his misfortune everywhere. There was a remorseless triumph going on about him, and it galled and stung him in his pride and jealousy, whatever form it took: though most of all when it divided with him the love and memory of his lost boy.