The Death of the Moth Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths; they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights and ivy-blossom which the commonest yellow-underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain never fails to rouse in us.
There was dead silence. The editor forwarded the letter to me, saying that he had not got the typescript and suggesting that if I could find it, I might send it to the author. She is never reading, or only the newspaper; her talk, when it leaves bookselling, which it does so gladly, is about hats; she likes a hat to be practical, she says, as well as pretty.
The actual persons of Malvolio, Sir Toby, Olivia and the rest expand our visionary characters out of all recognition.
She is happiest alone in the country. The famous and the brilliant also wish to have her company, for she is part of their world; and can take her share in their sophisticated conversations.
She was helped, not thwarted. It is at once revealed and obscured. People are interrupting; servants are coming for orders. They are wrapt, in this short passage from work to home, in some narcotic dream, now that they are free from the desk, and have the fresh air on their cheeks.
It is always an adventure to enter a new room for the lives and characters of its owners have distilled their atmosphere into it, and directly we enter it we breast some new wave of emotion. The longer they stood there, the calmer they grew; their heat was going down, their anger disappearing.
But this is London, we are reminded; high among the bare trees are hung oblong frames of reddish yellow light—windows; there are points of brilliance burning steadily like low stars—lamps; this empty ground, which holds the country in it and its peace, is only a London square, set about by offices and houses where at this hour fierce lights burn over maps, over documents, over desks where clerks sit turning with wetted forefinger the files of endless correspondences; or more suffusedly the firelight wavers and the lamplight falls upon the privacy of some drawing-room, its easy chairs, its papers, its china, its inlaid table, and the figure of a woman, accurately measuring out the precise number of spoons of tea which——She looks at the door as if she heard a ring downstairs and somebody asking, is she in?
Hence the comedy was out of proportion to the rest. For some time the picture floated in my eyes, making most things appear much brighter, warmer, and simpler than usual; and making some things appear foolish; and some things wrong and some things right, and more full of meaning than before.
Our Malvolio, on the other hand, was a fantastic complex creature, twitching with vanity, tortured by ambition. There is, too, close by us, a couple leaning over the balustrade with the curious lack of self-consciousness lovers have, as if the importance of the affair they are engaged on claims without question the indulgence of the human race.
There should be lights in the cottage windows. The Third Picture The fine weather remained unbroken. Now I, who preside over the company, am going to arrange in order the trophies which we have all brought in.The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph. Home Education, Volume 1 of the Charlotte Mason Series.
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