turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
like a taxi throbbing waiting,
i tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
at the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
the typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
her stove, and lays out food in tins.
out of the window perilously spread
her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,
on the divan are piled (at night her bed)
stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
i tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
perceived the scene, and foretold the rest --
i too awaited the expected guest.
he, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
"does he know the position i am in?" asked the queen, calmly.
"very nearly. he thinks you were duped after the death of the king into accepting that castle on madame diane's overthrow. the guises consider themselves released toward the queen by having satisfied the woman."
"yes," said the queen, looking at the two gondi, "i made a blunder."
"a blunder of the gods," replied charles de gondi.
"gentlemen," said catherine, "if i go over openly to the reformers i shall become the slave of a party."
"madame," said chiverni, eagerly, "i approve entirely of your meaning. you must use them, but not serve them."
"no," cried the man, with deepening dismay, "i dare not claim that. i acknowledge that i considered my own interest too much. but surely not altogether. you have said that these things were not foolishly done. they accomplished some good in the world. does not that count for something?"
"yes," answered he keeper of the gate, "it counts in the world--where you counted it. but it does not belong to you here. we have saved and used everything that you sent us. this is the mansion prepared for you."
as he spoke, his look grew deeper and more searching, like a flame of fire. john weightman could not endure it. it seemed to strip him naked
and wither him. he sank to the ground under a crushing weight of shame, covering his eyes with his hands and cowering face downward upon the stones. dimly through the trouble of his mind he felt their hardness and coldness.
"tell me, then," he cried, brokenly, "since my life has been so little worth, how came i here at all?"
"through the mercy of the king"--the answer was like the soft tolling of a bell.
"and how have i earned it?" he murmured.
"it is never earned; it is only given," came the clear, low reply.
i was alone, tortured, wicked, and i listened. toward daylight i went to sleep. i awoke. she had not returned. everything in the house went on as usual, and all looked at me in astonishment, questioningly. the children's eyes were full of reproach for me.
and always the same feeling of anxiety about her, and of hatred because of this anxiety.
"toward eleven o'clock in the morning came her sister, her ambassadress. then began the usual phrases: 'she is in a terrible state. what is the matter?' 'why, nothing has happened.'
the point is that an unspoken understanding had developed between them so that only a few months after the rest of the kingdom knew it, they realized that they would one day wed and together laugh and cry through the years until death should wake them.
but to return to the weightier problem of king cleon. upon being asked for his advice, sir philo recommended that the king choose from among the following options.
the next morning father and i breakfasted alone, and i said to him:
"in case of festivaty in the familey, such as a wedding, is my allowence to cover clothes and so on for it?"
he put down his paper and searched me with a peircing glanse. although pleasant after ten a. m. he is not realy paternal in the early morning, and when mademoiselle was still with us was quite hateful to her at times, asking her to be good enough not to jabber french at him untill evening when he felt stronger.
"whose wedding?" he said.
"well," i said. "you've got to daughters and we might as well look ahead."