cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

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interim peregrinatory post, with no photos

thursday clxv

there is not much in the other dialogues which can be compared with the apology. the same recollection of his master may have been present to the mind of plato when depicting the sufferings of the just in the republic. the crito may also be regarded as a sort of appendage to the apology, in which socrates, who has defied the judges, is nevertheless represented as scrupulously obedient to the laws. the idealization of the sufferer is carried still further in the gorgias, in which the thesis is maintained, that 'to suffer is better than to do evil;' and the art of rhetoric is described as only useful for the purpose of self-accusation. the parallelisms which occur in the so-called apology of xenophon are not worth noticing, because the writing in which they are contained is manifestly spurious. the statements of the memorabilia respecting the trial and death of Socrates agree generally with plato; but they have lost the flavour of socratic irony in the narrative of xenophon.

the apology or platonic defence of socrates is divided into three parts: 1st. the defence properly so called; 2nd. the shorter address in mitigation of the penalty; 3rd. the last words of prophetic rebuke and exhortation.

she walked with rapid steps and with an indolent swaying of her whole young figure above the hips; when she passed near me i felt with tenfold force the charm of the peculiar, promising sensation i had formed the habit to seek near her. i thought with sudden dismay that this was the end of it; that after one more day i would be no longer able to come into this verandah, sit on this chair, and taste perversely the flavour of contempt in her indolent poses, drink in the provocation of her scornful looks, and listen to the curt, insolent remarks uttered in that harsh and seductive voice. as if my innermost nature had been altered by the action of some moral poison, i felt an abject dread of going to sea.

i had to exercise a sudden self-control, as one puts on a brake, to prevent myself jumping up to stride about, shout, gesticulate, make her a scene. what for? what about? i had no idea. it was just the relief of violence that i wanted; and i lolled back in my chair, trying to keep my lips formed in a smile; that half- indulgent, half-mocking smile which was my shield against the shafts of her contempt and the insulting sallies flung at me by the old woman.

"now lead me to the newest of hotels,"
he said, "and let your spleen be undeceived:
this ruin is not myself, but some one else;
i haven't failed; i've merely not achieved."

whether he knew or not, he laughed and dined
with more of an immune regardlessness
of pits before him and of sands behind
than many a child at forty would confess;

and after, when the bells in ~boris~ rang
their tumult at the metropolitan,
he rocked himself, and i believe he sang.

when i had begun to speak i had kneeled upon the gravel withoutside the low window, rested my arms upon the sill, and lowered my voice to the most confidential whisper. flora herself must kneel upon the other side, and this brought our heads upon a level with only the bars between us. so placed, so separated, it seemed that our proximity, and the continuous and low sounds of my pleading voice, worked progressively and powerfully on her heart, and perhaps not less so on my own. for these spells are double-edged. the silly birds may be charmed with the pipe of the fowler, which is but a tube of reeds. not so with a bird of our own feather! as i went on, and my resolve strengthened, and my voice found new modulations, and our faces were drawn closer to the bars and to each other, not only she, but i, succumbed to the fascination, and were kindled by the charm. we make love, and thereby ourselves fall the deeper in it. it is with the heart only that one captures a heart.

'and now,' i continued, 'i will tell you what you can still do for me. i run a little risk just now, and you see for yourself how unavoidable it is for any man of honour. but if--but in case of the worst i do not choose to enrich either my enemies or the prince regent. i have here the bulk of what my uncle gave me. eight thousand odd pounds. will you take care of it for me? do not think of it merely as money; take and keep it as a relic of your friend or some precious piece of him. i may have bitter need of it ere long. do you know the old country story of the giant who gave his heart to his wife to keep for him, thinking it safer to repose on her loyalty than his own strength? flora, i am the giant--a very little one: will you be the keeper of my life? it is my heart i offer you in this symbol. in the sight of god, if you will have it, i give you my name, i endow you with my money. if the worst come, if i may never hope to call you wife, let me at least think that you will use my uncle's legacy as my widow.'

'no, not that,' she said. 'never that.'

'what then?' i said. 'what else, my angel? what are words to me? there is but one name that i care to know you by. flora, my love!'

'anne!' she said.

what sound is so full of music as one's own name uttered for the first time in the voice of her we love!

'my darling!' said i.

the jealous bars, set at the top and bottom in stone and lime, obstructed the rapture of the moment; but i took her to myself as wholly as they allowed. she did not shun my lips. my arms were wound round her body, which yielded itself generously to my embrace. as we so remained, entwined and yet severed, bruising our faces unconsciously on the cold bars, the irony of the universe--or as i prefer to say, envy of some of the gods--again stirred up the elements of that stormy night. the wind blew again in the tree-tops; a volley of cold sea-rain deluged the garden, and, as the deuce would have it, a gutter which had been hitherto choked up began suddenly to play upon my head and shoulders with the vivacity of a fountain. we parted with a shock; i sprang to my feet, and she to hers, as though we had been discovered. a moment after, but now both standing, we had again approached the window on either side.

'flora,' i said, 'this is but a poor offer i can make you.'

she took my hand in hers and clasped it to her bosom.

'rich enough for a queen!' she said, with a lift in her breathing that was more eloquent than words. 'anne, my brave anne! i would be glad to be your maidservant; i could envy that boy rowley. but, no!' she broke off, 'i envy no one--i need not--i am yours.'

'mine,' said i, 'for ever! by this and this, mine!'

'all of me,' she repeated. 'altogether and forever!'

and if the god were envious, he must have seen with mortification how little he could do to mar the happiness of mortals. i stood in a mere waterspout; she herself was wet, not from my embrace only, but from the splashing of the storm. the candles had guttered out; we were in darkness. i could scarce see anything but the shining of her eyes in the dark room. to her i must have appeared as a silhouette, haloed by rain and the spouting of the ancient gothic gutter above my head.

the first card, the significator, is placed in the center of the cross. this card represents the prime energy manifest in your life. nine of clubs (strength): expectation of difficulties and changes. anticipation. hidden enemies. deception. discipline. order. a pause in a current struggle.

the second card, placed above the significator, represents air. it describes your spirit, process of thought, and the influence of reason. strength, when reversed: weakness. pettiness. impotence. sickness. lack of faith. abuse of power. succumbing to temptation. indifference.

the third card, placed to the right of the significator, represents fire. it describes your motivations, creative energies, and the influence of passion. ace of coins: perfection. attainment. prosperity. felicity. bliss. gold. valuable coins or artifacts. treasures. the combination of material and spiritual riches.

the fourth card, placed below the significator, represents water. it describes your emotions, meditations, and the influence of love. two of coins (change), when reversed: literary ability. agility in handling matters. simulated enjoyment. enforced gaiety. letter. message.

the fifth card, placed to the left of the significator represents earth. it describes your physical presence, position in life, and the influence of the material world. seven of swords (futility): new plans. wishes. fortitude. perseverance. endeavor. hope. confidence. fantasy. partial success.

at this point the cross is complete and the triangle is formed. the sixth card, placed on the bottom left of the triangle represents one of two opposing forces. three of coins (works): great skill in trade or work. mastery. perfection. artistic ability. dignity. renown. rank. power.

the seventh card, placed on the bottom right of the triangle represents the force that opposes the bottom left card. these forces may be external, but they are frequently one's own inner archetypes in conflict. the sun: satisfaction. accomplishment. contentment. success. favorable relationships. love. joy. devotion. unselfish sentiment. engagement. a happy marriage. pleasure in daily existence. a good friend. high spirits. warmth. sincerity. pleasures derived from simple things. achievement in the arts. liberation.

the eighth card, the reconciler, is placed below the cross in the third vertex of the triangle. this is the force that will resolve the conflict between the bottom left and bottom right cards. by meditating on this force and bringing more of it into your life, you can bring the matter at hand to a swifter conclusion than would naturally occur. the high priestess: wisdom. sound judgment. common sense. serenity. objectivity. penetration. foresight. intuition. perception. self-reliance. emotionlessness. platonic relationships.

the ninth and final card, placed in the center bottom of the triangle, represents the final outcome unless you change course. two of swords (peace): balanced force. harmony. firmness. concord. offsetting factors. stalemate. affection.

"is so perfect an attachment happiness? yes, for years of
suffering would not pay for an hour of love.

"yesterday, your sadness, as i suppose, passed into my soul as
swiftly as a shadow falls. were you sad or suffering? i was
wretched. whence came my distress? write to me at once. why did i
not know it? we are not yet completely one in mind. at two
leagues' distance or at a thousand i ought to feel your pain and
sorrows. i shall not believe that i love you till my life is so
bound up with yours that our life is one, till our hearts, our
thoughts are one. i must be where you are, see what you feel, feel
what you feel, be with you in thought. did not i know, at once,
that your carriage had been overthrown and you were bruised? but
on that day i had been with you, i had never left you, i could see
you. when my uncle asked me what made me turn so pale, i answered
at once, 'mademoiselle de villenoix had has a fall.'

"why, then, yesterday, did i fail to read your soul? did you wish
to hide the cause of your grief? however, i fancied i could feel
that you were arguing in my favor, though in vain, with that
dreadful salomon, who freezes my blood. that man is not of our

"why do you insist that our happiness, which has no resemblance to
that of other people, should conform to the laws of the world? and
yet i delight too much in your bashfulness, your religion, your
superstitions, not to obey your lightest whim. what you do must be
right; nothing can be purer than your mind, as nothing is lovelier
than your face, which reflects your divine soul.

"i shall wait for a letter before going along the lanes to meet
the sweet hour you grant me. oh! if you could know how the sight
of those turrets makes my heart throb when i see them edged with
light by the moon, our only confidante."

"farewell to glory, farewell to the future, to the life i had
dreamed of! now, my well-beloved, my glory is that i am yours, and
worthy of you; my future lies entirely in the hope of seeing you;
and is not my life summed up in sitting at your feet, in lying
under your eyes, in drawing deep breaths in the heaven you have
created for me? all my powers, all my thoughts must be yours,
since you could speak those thrilling words, 'your sufferings must
be mine!' should i not be stealing some joys from love, some
moments from happiness, some experiences from your divine spirit,
if i gave my hours to study—ideas to the world and poems to the
poets? nay, nay, my very life, i will treasure everything for you;
i will bring to you every flower of my soul. is there anything
fine enough, splendid enough, in all the resources of the world,
or of intellect, to do honor to a heart so rich, so pure as yours
—the heart to which i dare now and again to unite my own? yes,
now and again, i dare believe that i can love as much as you do.

"and yet, no; you are the angel-woman; there will always be a
greater charm in the expression of your feelings, more harmony in
your voice, more grace in your smile, more purity in your looks
than in mine. let me feel that you are the creature of a higher
sphere than that i live in; it will be your pride to have
descended from it; mine, that i should have deserved you; and you
will not perhaps have fallen too far by coming down to me in my
poverty and misery. nay, if a woman's most glorious refuge is in a
heart that is wholly her own, you will always reign supreme in
mine. not a thought, not a deed, shall ever pollute this heart,
this glorious sanctuary, so long as you vouchsafe to dwell in it
—and will you not dwell in it for ever? did you not enchant me by
the words, 'now and for ever?' nunc et semper! and i have
written these words of our ritual below your portrait—words
worthy of you, as they are of god. he is nunc et semper, as my
love is.

"never, no, never, can i exhaust that which is immense, infinite,
unbounded—and such is the feeling i have for you; i have imagined
its immeasurable extent, as we measure space by the dimensions of
one of its parts. i have had ineffable joys, whole hours filled
with delicious meditation, as i have recalled a single gesture or
the tone of a word of yours. thus there will be memories of which
the magnitude will overpower me, if the reminiscence of a sweet
and friendly interview is enough to make me shed tears of joy, to
move and thrill my soul, and to be an inexhaustible wellspring of
gladness. love is the life of angels!

"i can never, i believe, exhaust my joy in seeing you. this
rapture, the least fervid of any, though it never can last long
enough, has made me apprehend the eternal contemplation in which
seraphs and spirits abide in the presence of god; nothing can be
more natural, if from his essence there emanates a light as
fruitful of new emotions as that of your eyes is, of your imposing
brow, and your beautiful countenance—the image of your soul.
then, the soul, our second self, whose pure form can never perish,
makes our love immortal. i would there were some other language
than that i use to express to you the ever-new ecstasy of my love;
but since there is one of our own creating, since our looks are
living speech, must we not meet face to face to read in each
other's eyes those questions and answers from the heart, that are
so living, so penetrating, that one evening you could say to me,
'be silent!' when i was not speaking. do you remember it, dear

"when i am away from you in the darkness of absence, am i not
reduced to use human words, too feeble to express heavenly
feelings? but words at any rate represent the marks these feelings
leave in my soul, just as the word god imperfectly sums up the
notions we form of that mysterious first cause. but, in spite of
the subtleties and infinite variety of language, i have no words
that can express to you the exquisite union by which my life is
merged into yours whenever i think of you.

"and with what word can i conclude when i cease writing to you,
and yet do not part from you? what can farewell mean, unless in
death? but is death a farewell? would not my spirit be then more
closely one with yours? ah! my first and last thought; formerly i
offered you my heart and life on my knees; now what fresh blossoms
of feelings can i discover in my soul that i have not already
given you? it would be a gift of a part of what is wholly yours.

"are you my future? how deeply i regret the past! i would i could
have back all the years that are ours no more, and give them to
you to reign over, as you do over my present life. what indeed was
that time when i knew you not? it would be a void but that i was
so wretched."

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