i'm all out of sorts. can i bum one?
the bottom card represents the critical factor that decides what will come to pass. eight of science (restriction): being limited by mental obstacles, or by logical constraints. feeling confined or blinded by the situation. a captive of your own ideas, anxieties, or dogmatic attitudes. fear of failure. repressed desires. being in denial. feeling frustrated or powerless.
the bottom card represents the critical factor that decides what will come to pass. aquarius, when reversed: an intractable and contrary eccentric, driven by destructive perversity. detachment and lack of sympathy. contempt for the emotional needs of others.
meantime john weightman sat in his carved chair in the jacobean dining-room. he felt strangely old and dull. the portraits of beautiful women by lawrence and reynolds and raeburn, which had often seemed like real company to him, looked remote and uninteresting.
he fancied something cold and almost unfriendly in their expression, as if they were staring through him or beyond him. they cared nothing for his principles, his hopes, his disappointments, his successes; they belonged to another world, in which he had no place. at this he felt a vague resentment, a sense of discomfort that he could not have defined or explained. he was used to being considered, respected, appreciated at his full value in every region, even in that of his own dreams.
presently he rang for the butler, telling him to close the house and not to sit up, and walked with lagging steps into the long library, where the shaded lamps were burning. his eye fell upon the low shelves full of costly books, but he had no desire to open them. even the carefully chosen pictures that hung above them seemed to have lost their attraction. he paused for a moment before an idyll of corot--a dance of nymphs around some forgotten altar in a vaporous glade--and looked at it curiously. there was something rapturous and serene about the picture, a breath of spring-time in the misty trees, a harmony of joy in the dancing figures, that wakened in him a feeling of half-pleasure and half-envy. it represented something that he had never known in his calculated, orderly life. he was dimly mistrustful of it.
then through a tangle of old wood-roads my guide led me safely, and we
struck one of the long ridges which slope gently from the lake to the
base of the mountain. here walking was comparatively easy, for in the
hard-wood timber there is little underbrush. the massive trunks seemed
like pillars set to uphold the level roof of green. great yellow
birches, shaggy with age, stretched their knotted arms high above us;
sugar-maples stood up straight and proud under their leafy crowns;
and smooth beeches--the most polished and parklike of all the forest
trees--offered opportunities for the carving of lovers' names in a place
where few lovers ever come.
the woods were quiet. it seemed as if all living creatures had deserted
them. indeed, if you have spent much time in our northern forests, you
must have often wondered at the sparseness of life, and felt a sense of
pity for the apparent loneliness of the squirrel that chatters at you
as you pass, or the little bird that hops noiselessly about in the
thickets. the midsummer noontide is an especially silent time. the deer
are asleep in some wild meadow. the partridge has gathered her brood for
their midday nap. the squirrels are perhaps counting over their store
of nuts in a hollow tree, and the hermit-thrush spares his voice until
evening. the woods are close--not cool and fragrant as the foolish
romances describe them--but warm and still; for the breeze which sweeps
across the hilltop and ruffles the lake does not penetrate into these
shady recesses, and therefore all the inhabitants take the noontide as
their hour of rest. only the big woodpecker--he of the scarlet head
and mighty bill--is indefatigable, and somewhere unseen is "tapping
the hollow beech-tree," while a wakeful little bird,--i guess it is
the black-throated green warbler,--prolongs his dreamy, listless