WRECKED BRIG FLYING SCUD APPLYING,
PERSONALLY OR BY LETTER,
AT THE OFFICE OF JAMES PINKERTON, MONTANA BLOCK,
BEFORE NOON TO-MORROW, TUESDAY, 12TH,
WILL RECEIVE TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.
the autumn leaves were falling during the last few days which i passed in the valley, days of lowering clouds, which do sometimes obscure the heaven of touraine, so pure, so warm at that fine season.
what strange, relentless power is it that perpetually awards an angel to a madman; to a man of heart, of true poetic passion, a base woman; to the petty, grandeur; to this demented brain, a beautiful, sublime being; to juana, captain diard, whose history at bordeaux i have told you; to madame de beauseant, an ajuda; to madame d'aiglemont, her husband; to the marquis d'espard, his wife! long have i sought the meaning of this enigma. i have ransacked many mysteries, i have discovered the reason of many natural laws, the purport of some divine hieroglyphics; of the meaning of this dark secret i know nothing. i study it as i would the form of an indian weapon, the symbolic construction of which is known only to the brahmans. in this dread mystery the spirit of evil is too visibly the master; i dare not lay the blame to god. anguish irremediable, what power finds amusement in weaving you? can henriette and her mysterious philosopher be right? does their mysticism contain the explanation of humanity?
the transient hour of fashion too soon spent,
farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content!
farewell the plumèd head, the cushioned tête,
that takes the cushion from its proper seat!
that spirit—stirring drum!—card drums i mean,
spadille—odd trick—pam-basto—king and queen!
and you, ye knockers, that, with brazen throat,
the welcome visitors’ approach denote;
farewell all quality of high renown,
pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious town!
farewell! your revels i partake no more,
and lady teazle’s occupation ’s o’er!
all this i told our bard; he smiled, and said ’twas clear,
i ought to play deep tragedy next year.
then i shall build a barrier of wires around my home, and across the paths which lead to my home; a barrier light as a cobweb, more impassable than a wall of granite; a barrier my brothers will never be able to cross. for they have nothing to fight me with, save the brute force of their numbers. i have my mind.
then here, on this mountaintop, with the world below me and nothing above me but the sun, i shall live my own truth.
such want of scruple in a man who, on certain occasions, could be scrupulous enough, this oblivion of the dreadful scene, this adoption of ideas against which he had fought so violently, this confident belief in himself, petrified me. such contradictions can be explained only by the word "insanity."
lostday clxix bis