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

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dude, the obscure

"yes, poetry is something holy. poetry implies suffering. how many silent nights those verses that you admire have cost! we should bow in love and reverence before the poet; his life here is almost always a life of sorrow; but god doubtless reserves a place in heaven for him among his prophets. this young man is a poet," he added laying a hand on lucien's head; "do you not see the sign of Fate set on that high forehead of his?"

glad to be so generously championed, lucien made his acknowledgments in a grateful look, not knowing that the worthy prelate was to deal his deathblow.

mme. de bargeton's eyes traveled round the hostile circle. her glances went like arrows to the depths of her rivals' hearts, and left them twice as furious as before.

"ah, monseigneur," cried lucien, hoping to break thick heads with his golden sceptre, "but ordinary people have neither your intellect nor your charity. no one heeds our sorrows, our toil is unrecognized. the gold-digger working in the mine does not labor as we to wrest metaphors from the heart of the most ungrateful of all languages. if this is poetry—to give ideas such definite and clear expressions that all the world can see and understand—the poet must continually range through the entire scale of human intellects, so that he can satisfy the demands of all; he must conceal hard thinking and emotion, two antagonistic powers, beneath the most vivid color; he must know how to make one word cover a whole world of thought; he must give the results of whole systems of philosophy in a few picturesque lines; indeed, his songs are like seeds that must break into blossom in other hearts wherever they find the soil prepared by personal experience. how can you express unless you first have felt? and is not passion suffering? poetry is only brought forth after painful wanderings in the vast regions of thought and life. there are men and women in books, who seem more really alive to us than men and women who have lived and died—richardson's clarissa, chenier's camille, the delia of tibullus, ariosto's angelica, dante's francesca, moliere's alceste, beaumarchais' figaro, scott's rebecca the jewess, the don quixote of cervantes,—do we not owe these deathless creations to immortal throes?"

"and what are you going to create for us?" asked chatelet.

"if i were to announce such conceptions, i should give myself out for a man of genius, should i not?" answered lucien. "and besides, such sublime creations demand a long experience of the world and a study of human passion and interests which i could not possibly have made; but i have made a beginning," he added, with bitterness in his tone, as he took a vengeful glance round the circle; "the time of gestation is long——"

"then it will be a case of difficult labor," interrupted m. du hautoy.

"your excellent mother might assist you," suggested the bishop.

the epigram, innocently made by the good prelate, the long-looked-for revenge, kindled a gleam of delight in all eyes. the smile of satisfied caste that traveled from mouth to mouth was aggravated by m. de bargeton's imbecility; he burst into a laugh, as usual, some moments later.

it had brought him to knowledge, to knowledge - yes, this was the beauty of his state; which came to resemble more and more that of a man who has gone to sleep on some news of a great inheritance, and then, after dreaming it away, after profaning it with matters strange to it, has waked up again to serenity of certitude and has only to lie and watch it grow. this was the drift of his patience - that he had only to let it shine on him.

looking at his loved one as she appeared to him now, in his tender thought the sweetest and most disinterested comrade that he had ever had, living largely in vivid imaginings, so ethereal a creature that her spirit could be seen trembling through her limbs, he felt heartily ashamed of his earthliness in spending the hours he had spent in arabella's company. there was something rude and immoral in thrusting these recent facts of his life upon the mind of one who, to him, was so uncarnate as to seem at times impossible as a human wife to any average man. and yet she was phillotson's. how she had become such, how she lived as such, passed his comprehension as he regarded her to-day.

dudesday clxvi

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