The Dryads come and throw the leathern ball Along the reedy shore, and circumvent Some goat-eared Pan to be their seneschal kids migraine For fear of bold Poseidon’s ravishment, And loose their girdles, with shy timorous eyes, Lest from the surf his azure arms and purple beard should rise.
On this side and on that a rocky cave, Hung with the yellow-belled laburnum, stands Smooth is the beach, save where some ebbing wave Leaves its faint outline etched upon the sands, As though it feared to be too soon forgot By the green rush, its playfellow, – and yet, it is a spot
So small, that the inconstant butterfly Could steal the hoarded money from each flower Ere it was noon, and still not satisfy Its over-greedy love, – within an hour A sailor boy, were he but rude enow To land and pluck a garland for his galley’s painted prow,
Would almost leave the little meadow bare, For it knows nothing of great pageantry, Only a few narcissi here and there Stand separate in sweet austerity, Dotting the unmown grass with silver stars, And here and there a daffodil waves tiny scimitars.
Hither the billow brought him, and was glad Of such dear servitude, and where the land Was virgin of all waters laid the lad Upon the golden margent of the strand, And like a lingering lover oft returned To kiss those pallid limbs which once with intense fire burned,
Ere the wet seas had quenched that holocaust, That self-fed flame, that passionate lustihead, Ere grisly death with chill and nipping frost Had withered up those lilies white and red Which, while the boy would through the forest range, Answered each other in a sweet antiphonal counter-change.
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However, Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling together closed on Mr. Guppy’s mother (who began to be quite abusive) and took her, very much against her will, downstairs, her voice rising a stair higher every time her figure got a stair lower, and insisting that we should immediately go and find somebody who was good enough for us, and above all things that we should get out. gucci purses and wallets
The term had commenced, and my guardian found an intimation from Mr. Kenge that the cause would come on in two days. As I had sufficient hopes of the will to be in a flutter about it, Allan and I agreed to go down to the court that morning. Richard was extremely agitated and was so weak and low, though his illness was still of the mind, that my dear girl indeed had sore occasion to be supported. But she looked forward–a very little way now–to the help that was to come to her, and never drooped.
As we were going along, planning what we should do for Richard and Ada, I heard somebody calling “Esther! My dear Esther! Esther!” And there was Caddy Jellyby, with her head out of the window of a little carriage which she hired now to go about in to her pupils (she had so many), as if she wanted to embrace me at a hundred yards’ distance. I had written her a note to tell her of all that my guardian had done, but had not had a moment to go and see her. Of course we turned back, and the affectionate girl was in that state of rapture, and was so overjoyed to talk about the night when she brought me the flowers, and was so determined to squeeze my face (bonnet and all) between her hands, and go on in a wild manner altogether, calling me all kinds of precious names, and telling Allan I had done I don’t know what for her, that I was just obliged to get into the little carriage and calm her down by letting her say and do exactly what she liked. Allan, standing at the window, was as pleased as Caddy; and I was as pleased as either of them; and I wonder that I got away as I did, rather than that I came off laughing, and red, and anything but tidy, and looking after Caddy, who looked after us out of the coach-window as long as she could see us.
This made us some quarter of an hour late, and when we came to Westminster Hall we found that the day’s business was begun. Worse than that, we found such an unusual crowd in the Court of Chancery that it was full to the door, and we could neither see nor hear what was passing within. It appeared to be something droll, for occasionally there was a laugh and a cry of “Silence!” It appeared to be something interesting, for every one was pushing and striving to get nearer. It appeared to be something that made the professional gentlemen very merry, for there were several young counsellors in wigs and whiskers on the outside of the crowd, and when one of them told the others about it, they put their hands in their pockets, and quite doubled themselves up with laughter, and went stamping about the pavement of the Hall.
Then to ensure your night’s rest, my love,” he returned gaily, “I won’t wait until to-morrow to tell you. I have very much wished to express to Woodcourt, somehow, my sense of his humanity to poor unfortunate Jo, his inestimable services to my young cousins, and his value to us all. When it was decided that he should settle here, it came into my head that I might ask his acceptance of some unpretending and suitable little place to lay his own head in. I therefore caused such a place to be looked out for, and such a place was found on very easy terms, and I have been touching it up for him and making it habitable. However, when I walked over it the day before yesterday and it was reported ready, I found that I was not housekeeper enough to know whether things were all as they ought to be. So I sent off for the best little housekeeper that could possibly be got to come and give me her advice and opinion. And here she is,” said my guardian, “laughing and crying both together! gucci purses and wallets
He was so quaintly cheerful that I could not long be otherwise, and was almost ashamed of having been otherwise at all. When I went to bed, I cried. I am bound to confess that I cried; but I hope it was with pleasure, though I am not quite sure it was with pleasure. I repeated every word of the letter twice over.
A most beautiful summer morning succeeded, and after breakfast we went out arm in arm to see the house of which I was to give my mighty housekeeping opinion. We entered a flower-garden by a gate in a side wall, of which he had the key, and the first thing I saw was that the beds and flowers were all laid out according to the manner of my beds and flowers at home.
We went on by a pretty little orchard, where the cherries were nestling among the green leaves and the shadows of the apple-trees were sporting on the grass, to the house itself–a cottage, quite a rustic cottage of doll’s rooms; but such a lovely place, so tranquil and so beautiful, with such a rich and smiling country spread around it; with water sparkling away into the distance, here all overhung with summer-growth, there turning a humming mill; at its nearest point glancing through a meadow by the cheerful town, where cricket-players were assembling in bright groups and a flag was flying from a white tent that rippled in the sweet west wind. And still, as we went through the pretty rooms, out at the little rustic verandah doors, and underneath the tiny wooden colonnades garlanded with woodbine, jasmine, and honey-suckle, I saw in the papering on the walls, in the colours of the furniture, in the arrangement of all the pretty objects, MY little tastes and fancies, MY little methods and inventions which they used to laugh at while they praised them, my odd ways everywhere.
Why, little woman,” returned my guardian, smiling, “not being an oracle, I cannot confidently say, but I think so. His reputation stands very high; there were people from that part of the country in the shipwreck; and strange to say, I believe the best man has the best chance. You must not suppose it to be a fine endowment. It is a very, very commonplace affair, my dear, an appointment to a great amount of work and a small amount of pay; but better things will gather about it, it may be fairly hoped.
We said no more about it, nor did he say a word about the future of Bleak House. But it was the first time I had taken my seat at his side in my mourning dress, and that accounted for it, I considered.
I now began to visit my dear girl every day in the dull dark corner where she lived. The morning was my usual time, but whenever I found I had an hour or so to spare, I put on my bonnet and bustled off to Chancery Lane. They were both so glad to see me at all hours, and used to brighten up so when they heard me opening the door and coming in (being quite at home, I never knocked), that I had no fear of becoming troublesome just yet.
On these occasions I frequently found Richard absent. At other times he would be writing or reading papers in the cause at that table of his, so covered with papers, which was never disturbed. Sometimes I would come upon him lingering at the door of Mr. Vholes’s office. Sometimes I would meet him in the neighbourhood lounging about and biting his nails. I often met him wandering in Lincoln’s Inn, near the place where I had first seen him, oh how different, how different!
That the money Ada brought him was melting away with the candles I used to see burning after dark in Mr. Vholes’s office I knew very well. It was not a large amount in the beginning, he had married in debt, and I could not fail to understand, by this time, what was meant by Mr. Vholes’s shoulder being at the wheel–as I still heard it was. My dear made the best of housekeepers and tried hard to save, but I knew that they were getting poorer and poorer every day.
She shone in the miserable corner like a beautiful star. She adorned and graced it so that it became another place. Paler than she had been at home, and a little quieter than I had thought natural when she was yet so cheerful and hopeful, her face was so unshadowed that I half believed she was blinded by her love for Richard to his ruinous career.
Your ladyship, you know best whether there’s anything in what I say or whether there’s nothing. Something or nothing, I have acted up to Miss Summerson’s wishes in letting things alone and in undoing what I had begun to do, as far as possible; that’s sufficient for me. In case I should be taking a liberty in putting your ladyship on your guard when there’s no necessity for it, you will endeavour, I should hope, to outlive my presumption, and I shall endeavour to outlive your disapprobation. I now take my farewell of your ladyship, and assure you that there’s no danger of your ever being waited on by me again.
So! All is broken down. Her name is in these many mouths, her husband knows his wrongs, her shame will be published–may be spreading while she thinks about it–and in addition to the thunderbolt so long foreseen by her, so unforeseen by him, she is denounced by an invisible accuser as the murderess of her enemy.
Her enemy he was, and she has often, often, often wished him dead. Her enemy he is, even in his grave. This dreadful accusation comes upon her like a new torment at his lifeless hand. And when she recalls how she was secretly at his door that night, and how she may be represented to have sent her favourite girl away so soon before merely to release herself from observation, she shudders as if the hangman’s hands were at her neck.
She has thrown herself upon the floor and lies with her hair all wildly scattered and her face buried in the cushions of a couch. She rises up, hurries to and fro, flings herself down again, and rocks and moans. The horror that is upon her is unutterable. If she really were the murderess, it could hardly be, for the moment, more intense.
Thus, a terrible impression steals upon and overshadows her that from this pursuer, living or dead–obdurate and imperturbable before her in his well-remembered shape, or not more obdurate and imperturbable in his coffin-bed–there is no escape but in death. Hunted, she flies. The complication of her shame, her dread, remorse, and misery, overwhelms her at its height; and even her strength of self-reliance is overturned and whirled away like a leaf before a mighty wind.
When we first entered on our present relations I stated to you openly–it is a principle of mine that there never can be too much openness between solicitor and client–that I was not a man of capital and that if capital was your object you had better leave your papers in Kenge’s office. No, Mr. C., you will find none of the advantages or disadvantages of capital here, sir. This,” Vholes gives the desk one hollow blow again, “is your rock; it pretends to be nothing more.”
The client, with his dejection insensibly relieved and his vague hopes rekindled, takes pen and ink and writes the draft, not without perplexed consideration and calculation of the date it may bear, implying scant effects in the agent’s hands. All the while, Vholes, buttoned up in body and mind, looks at him attentively. All the while, Vholes’s official cat watches the mouse’s hole.
Lastly, the client, shaking hands, beseeches Mr. Vholes, for heaven’s sake and earth’s sake, to do his utmost to “pull him through” the Court of Chancery. Mr. Vholes, who never gives hopes, lays his palm upon the client’s shoulder and answers with a smile, “Always here, sir. Personally, or by letter, you will always find me here, sir, with my shoulder to the wheel.” Thus they part, and Vholes, left alone, employs himself in carrying sundry little matters out of his diary into his draft bill book for the ultimate behoof of his three daughters. So might an industrious fox or bear make up his account of chickens or stray travellers with an eye to his cubs, not to disparage by that word the three raw-visaged, lank, and buttoned-up maidens who dwell with the parent Vholes in an earthy cottage situated in a damp garden at Kennington.
Richard, emerging from the heavy shade of Symond’s Inn into the sunshine of Chancery Lane–for there happens to be sunshine there to-day–walks thoughtfully on, and turns into Lincoln’s Inn, and passes under the shadow of the Lincoln’s Inn trees. On many such loungers have the speckled shadows of those trees often fallen; on the like bent head, the bitten nail, the lowering eye, the lingering step, the purposeless and dreamy air, viagra united kingdom the good consuming and consumed, the life turned sour. This lounger is not shabby yet, but that may come. Chancery, which knows no wisdom but in precedent, is very rich in such precedents; and why should one be different from ten thousand?
Through the same cold sunshine and the same sharp wind, my Lady and Sir Leicester, in their travelling chariot (my Lady’s woman and Sir Leicester’s man affectionate in the rumble), start for home. With a considerable amount of jingling and whip-cracking, and many plunging demonstrations on the part of two bare-backed horses and two centaurs with glazed hats, jack-boots, and flowing manes and tails, they rattle out of the yard of the Hotel Bristol in the Place Vendome and canter between the sun-and-shadow-chequered colonnade of the Rue de Rivoli and the garden of the ill-fated palace of a headless king and queen, off by the Place of Concord, and the Elysian Fields, and the Gate of the Star, out of Paris.
Sooth to say, they cannot go away too fast, for even here my Lady Dedlock has been bored to death. Concert, assembly, opera, theatre, drive, nothing is new to my Lady under the worn-out heavens. Only last Sunday, when poor wretches were gay–within the walls playing with children among the clipped trees and the statues in the Palace Garden; walking, a score abreast, in the Elysian Fields, made more Elysian by performing dogs and wooden horses; between whiles filtering (a few) through the gloomy Cathedral of Our Lady to say a word or two at the base of a pillar within flare of a rusty little gridiron-full of gusty little tapers; without the walls encompassing Paris with dancing, love-making, wine-drinking, tobacco-smoking, tomb-visiting, billiard card and domino playing, quack-doctoring, and much murderous refuse, animate and inanimate–only last Sunday, my Lady, in the desolation of Boredom and the clutch of Giant Despair, almost hated her own maid for being in spirits.
She cannot, therefore, go too fast from Paris. Weariness of soul lies before her, as it lies behind–her Ariel has put a girdle of it round the whole earth, and it cannot be unclasped–but the imperfect remedy is always to fly from the last place where it has been experienced. Fling Paris back into the distance, then, exchanging it for endless avenues and cross-avenues of wintry trees! And, when next beheld, let it be some leagues away, with the Gate of the Star a white speck glittering in the sun, and the city a mere mound in a plain–two dark square towers rising out of it, and light and shadow descending on it aslant, like the angels in Jacob’s dream!