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Lawrence Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Twilight in Italy Author: D.H. Lawrence Release Date: December, 2005 [EBook #9497] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on October 6, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TWILIGHT IN ITALY ***
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TWILIGHT IN ITALY By D. H. Lawrence 1916
CONTENTS THE CRUCIFIX ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS ON THE LAGO DI GARDA 1 _The Spinner and the Monks_ 2 _The Lemon Gardens_ 3 _The Theatre_ 4 _San Gaudenzio_ 5 _The Dance_ 6 _Il Duro_ 7 _John_ ITALIANS IN EXILE THE RETURN JOURNEY
_The Crucifix Across the Mountains_ The imperial road to Italy goes from Munich across the Tyrol, through Innsbruck and Bozen to Verona, over the mountains. Here the great processions passed as the emperors went South, or came home again from rosy Italy to their own Germany. And how much has that old imperial vanity clung to the German soul? Did not the German kings inherit the empire of bygone Rome? It was not a very real empire, perhaps, but the sound was high and splendid. Maybe a certain Gr�ssenwahn is inherent in the German nature. If only nations would realize that they have certain natural characteristics, if only they could understand and agree to each other's particular nature, how much simpler it would all be. The imperial procession no longer crosses the mountains, going South. That is almost forgotten, the road has almost passed out of mind. But still it is there, and its signs are standing. The crucifixes are there, not mere attributes of the road, yet still having something to do with it. The imperial processions, blessed by the Pope and accompanied by the great bishops, must have planted the holy idol like a new plant among the mountains, there where it multiplied and grew according to the soil, and the race that received it. As one goes among the Bavarian uplands and foothills, soon one realizes here is another land, a strange religion. It is a strange country, remote, out of contact. Perhaps it belongs to the forgotten, imperial processions. Coming along the clear, open roads that lead to the mountains, one scarcely notices the crucifixes and the shrines. Perhaps one's interest is dead. The crucifix itself is nothing, a factory-made piece of sentimentalism. The soul ignores it.
But gradually, one after another looming shadowily under their hoods, the crucifixes seem to create a new atmosphere over the whole of the countryside, a darkness, a weight in the air that is so unnaturally bright and rare with the reflection from the snows above, a darkness hovering just over the earth. So rare and unearthly the light is, from the mountains, full of strange radiance. Then every now and again recurs the crucifix, at the turning of an open, grassy road, holding a shadow and a mystery under its pointed hood. I was startled into consciousness one evening, going alone over a marshy place at the foot of the mountains, when the sky was pale and unearthly, invisible, and the hills were nearly black. At a meeting of the tracks was a crucifix, and between the feet of the Christ a handful of withered poppies. It was the poppies I saw, then the Christ. It was an old shrine, the wood-sculpture of a Bavarian peasant. The Christ was a peasant of the foot of the Alps. He had broad cheekbones and sturdy limbs. His plain, rudimentary face stared fixedly at the hills, his neck was stiffened, as if in resistance to the fact of the nails and the cross, which he could not escape. It was a man nailed down in spirit, but set stubbornly against the bondage and the disgrace. He was a man of middle age, plain, crude, with some of the meanness of the peasant, but also with a kind of dogged nobility that does not yield its soul to the circumstance. Plain, almost blank in his soul, the middle-aged peasant of the crucifix resisted unmoving the misery of his position. He did not yield. His soul was set, his will was fixed. He was himself, let his circumstances be what they would, his life fixed down. Across the marsh was a tiny square of orange-coloured light, from the farm-house with the low, spreading roof. I remembered how the man and his wife and the children worked on till dark, silent and intent, carrying the hay in their arms out of the streaming thunder-rain into the shed, working silent in the soaking rain. The body bent forward towards the earth, closing round on itself; the arms clasped full of hay, clasped round the hay that presses soft and close to the breast and the body, that pricks heat into the arms and the skin of the breast, and fills the lungs with the sleepy scent of dried herbs: the rain that falls heavily and wets the shoulders, so that the shirt clings to the hot, firm skin and the rain comes with heavy, pleasant coldness on the active flesh, running in a trickle down towards the loins, secretly; this is the peasant, this hot welter of physical sensation. And it is all intoxicating. It is intoxicating almost like a soporific, like a sensuous drug, to gather the burden to one's body in the rain, to stumble across the living grass to the shed, to relieve one's arms of the weight, to throw down the hay on to the heap, to feel light and free in the dry shed, then to return again into the chill, hard rain, to stoop again under the rain, and rise to return again with the burden. It is this, this endless heat and rousedness of physical sensation which keeps the body full and potent, and flushes the mind with a blood heat, a blood sleep. And this sleep, this heat of physical experience, becomes at length a bondage, at last a crucifixion. It is the life and the fulfilment of the peasant, this flow of sensuous experience. But at last it drives him almost mad, because he cannot escape.
And the ice and the upper radiance of snow are brilliant with timeless immunity from the flux and the warmth of life. the pupil small. as if they were perfectly chiselled out of the stuff of life. tightened. Every gesture is a gesture from the blood. there is the eternal. The fate gleams transcendent above him. their processions and religious festivals are profoundly impressive. Hence the beauty and completeness. cut off. there is always the faint tang of ice on the air. negative radiance of the snows. this strange. the brightness of eternal. the radiant cold which waits to receive back again all that which has passed for the moment into being. his face. The issue is too much revealed. for thought there is myth and drama and dancing and singing. There is a strange. unthinkable not-being. Where they are everything is set back. Whether it is singing or dancing or play-acting or physical transport of love. with blue eyes very keen. And this our life. separate. they love make-belief and mummery. Summer and the prolific blue-and-white flowering of the earth goes by. moist fire of the blood. Still they act the mystery plays with instinctive fullness of interpretation. They are large and clear and handsome in form. it is kept submerged. Overhead they transcend all life. At the same time. disappears. it is not separated. about both men and women. of the senses. This is the eternal issue. they sing strangely in the mountain fields. static. Their beauty is almost this. like sharp light shining on blue ice. the finality of the highland peasant. His figure. solemn. or vengeance or cruelty. So that a man must needs live under the radiance of his own negation. the hot jet of the blood playing elaborately. overhead. Everything is of the blood. they are almost the only race with the souls of artists. all the time it is steaming up to the changeless brilliance above. there is the mystery of the icy river rushing through its pink shoals into the darkness of the pine-woods. this admixture of labour and of warm experience in the flesh. full-moulded limbs and erect bodies are distinct. clean-cut isolation. all the soft. and is gone into brilliance that hovers overhead. and the rush of hoarse-sounding water. the issue is always the same at last. There is no mind. Their large. The mind is a suffusion of physical heat. clear beauty of form about the men of the Bavarian highlands. as in a clear frosty air. it is . the iris keen. his limbs. his motion. or whether it is work or sorrow or religion. the light of the everlasting snows. into the radiant negation of eternity. with the labour and the ecstasy of man. and rapt. And life passes away into this changeless radiance. It is a race that moves on the poles of mystic sensual delight. always. It leaves the peasant no choice. as if each one of them would isolate himself still further and for ever from the rest of his fellows.For overhead there is always the strange radiance of the mountains. For learning there is sensuous experience. Yet they are convivial. Beneath is life. But above is the radiance of changeless not-being. every expression is a symbolic utterance.
finally. wearing his little golden crown of thorns. doggedly. It is plain in the crucifixes. sure of the absolute reality of the sensuous experience. blank-faced Christ in the cloak of red flannel. His sensuous experience is supreme. half-wearily. It does not . The issue is eternal. All being and all passing away is part of the issue. he is mindless and bound within the absoluteness of the issue. no possible movement. and his little cloak of red flannel that some peasant woman has stitched for him. and he meditates.all formed in beauty. There is also an underlying meanness. between the pinkish shoals. Though he is nailed down upon an irrevocable fate. It is the same at all times. or cutting the young birch-trees for the feast of Frohenleichnam. but motionless as pure form. within that fate he has the power and the delight of all sensuous experience. or whether it is kneeling in spellbound subjection in the incense-filled church. subject-procession to bless the fields. The face is blank and stiff. The road went beside the river. whether it is moving with the scythe on the hill-slopes. Hence the strange beauty and finality and isolation of the Bavarian peasant. as if he knew that the whole of things was too much for him. dark. travelling up the Isar. a consummation of life and death at once. or walking in the strange. So he accepts the fate and the mystic delight of the senses with one will. It is one with the nails. powerful mystic. yet curiously beautiful in proportion. the dark. complete. The body also of the Christus is stiff and conventionalized. whether it is drinking in the Gasthaus. yet. or steering the raft down the river which is all effervescent with ice. knowing its own undeniable being. who seemed the very soul of the place. No doubt he still sits there. he sits and dreams and broods. the full glamour of the northern hills. Everything is. and is supreme. Therefore there is no becoming and no passing away. under the rocks and the high. almost expressionless. either. cruel. The being is fixed. and in the static tension which makes it unified into one clear thing. Detached. the pure. handsome. wolf-like pine-trees. The air was cold and hard and high. Up there I saw another little Christ. dreaming. he is complete and final. And in a little glass case beside the road sat a small. or playing some mummer's part. There is no flux nor hope nor becoming. a sense of ominousness. the elbow resting on the knee. which is eternal and changeless. secretive. the small. till the stream becomes smaller and whiter and the air is colder. enduring. Here is the essence rendered in sculpture of wood. the eyebrows lifted in strange abstraction. the unchangeability of the great icy not-being which holds good for ever. and it is all completed. or making love. once and for all. It is stubborn. There is no movement. There is a wistfulness about him. brooding. It is all part of the beauty. in death. Passing further away. plastic beauty. or hating steadily and cruelly. There was no solution. hewn Christ. One realizes with a start how unchanging and conventionalized is the face of the living man and woman of these parts. beautiful. the head resting on the hand. persisting. Death did not give the answer to the soul's anxiety. which are so marvellously luminous and gleaming with flowers. Not that it is languishing or dead. all is. sensuous experience is the whole of him. wanes and gives way to a darkness. The whole body is locked in one knowledge. it is always the same. is. timeless. that was seething with snowy ice-bubbles. towards Austria. and changeless. That which is. everything was cold and separate. now and for ever. or hewing the timber.
infolded villages. heavy body drops forward. conveying a dogma. He is an artist. they are painted white. Death cannot create nor destroy. He is consciously trying to convey a _feeling_. He is no longer a peasant working out an idea. drawing near to the large. behind Innsbruck. is it eternal not-being? If not. small like the kernel of the truth. set like a seal over the whole body and being. Death is the complete disillusionment. but is it not a question for death to answer. then. he is no longer striving awkwardly to render a truth. a religious fact. and the weight of the full-grown. pale Christ. Bavaria is remote in spirit. over the suffering and weariness and the bodily passion. The driver of the pack-horses. Often one can distinguish the work of a particular artist here and there in a district. In the Zemm valley. half-way up the one side of the pass.cease to be when it is cut. To persist or not to persist. that is not the question. He hurries by in the gloom. The face is barren with a dead expression of weariness. making an endless loud noise. and brutalized with pain and bitterness. What is he brooding. The rock face opposite rises high overhead. The little brooding Christ knows this. the snowy not-being. as if it would tear away and fall under its own weight. trained and conscious. with the sky far up. They are the expressions of a later. So the dead. It is a question of being--to be or not to be. where the pack-horses go climbing to the remote. then. The issue. there are five or six crucifixes by one sculptor. newer phase. in the dank gorge where it is always half-night. What. is being? For overhead the eternal radiance of the snow gleams unfailing. The chief of his crucifixes stands deep in the Klamm. Its crucifixes are old and grey and abstract. more obtrusive. an underworld. probably working in Vienna.' this may be the question. What is. The road runs under the rock and the trees. as he comes up the narrow path in the side of the gorge. The rather ugly. What is it that he secretly yearns for. So that one is walking in a half-night. it receives the efflorescence of all life and is unchanged. sags. then? His static patience and endurance is wistful. as yet unattached. they are larger. more introspective and self-conscious. Below. He has fallen forward. what. amid all the placidity of fate? 'To be. It is the end. and he takes his hat off as he passes. the influence of the educated world is felt once more. neither is it to endure or not to endure. or not to be. though he does not look up. and the large white . just dead. pale Christ. embroiled among great stones. passionate mouth is set for ever in the disillusionment of death. The pass is gloomy and damp. Further into Austria they become new. He is larger than life-size. towards the culmination and the southern slope. is. but keeps his face averted from the crucifix. in the cold gloom of the pass hangs the large. till it is almost like a constant pain. mature body hangs on the nails of the hands. And just below the path. the stream rushes ceaselessly. the issue is bright and immortal. the water roars unceasingly. climbing the steep path after his horses. It is not a question of living or not-living. cringes his sturdy cheerfulness as if to obliterate himself. But still they are genuine expressions of the people's soul. in the heart of the Tyrol. is being? As one draws nearer to the turning-point of the Alps.
and is fascinated by it all the while. And so these monuments to physical death are found everywhere in the valleys. the worship of death and the approaches to death. It is quite in the Viennese spirit. another little crude picture fastened to a rock: a tree. By the same hand that carved the big Christ. it is at the same time admirable. negative death. the water roars in the gloom below. was another crucifix. elegant form. combed and brushed and foppish on his cross. His soul is not sturdy. almost like depravity. complete. smashes it like a stalk. and in its culmination. at the end of a bridge. a form of reverting. accident. death. There is something crude and sinister about it. The pride and satisfaction in the clean. the exquisite bearing. This is the worship. and pain. is death. drowning in full stream. Again. One might almost imagine the young man had taken up this striking and original position to create a delightful sensation among the ladies. Beyond this he knows nothing. Turning the ridge on the great road to the south. The mountain peasant seems grounded upon fear. falling on a man's leg. One Christus is very elegant. This Christ had a fair beard. there is nailed up a little memorial of the event. a decisive change takes place. are more important than the fact of death or pain. Wherever a misfortune has befallen a man. of physical death. The Christs have been taking on various different characters. whereas the other Christ was large and dark and handsome. . healthy robustness. and was thin. The mountains are dark overhead. turning back along the course of blood by which we have come. And the driver of the pack-horses acknowledges this deathly Christ as supreme Lord. all of them more or less realistically conveyed. A man is standing up to his waist in water. his arms in the air. There is something brave and keen in it. It is blenched and whitened with fear. the imperial road to Rome. and his body was hanging almost lightly. But in this. Christ is the Deathly One. His supreme sensation is in physical pain. was the same neutral triumph of death. then. so complete as to be abstract. as well as in the other. The driver of the pack-horses is afraid. Everywhere is the same obsession with the fact of physical pain. and sudden death. and his approach to fulfilment is through physical pain. His heart is ground between the mill-stones of dread.Christ hangs extended above. This may be foolish. Always there is the strange ejaculation of anguish and fear. The individual pride of body triumphs over every difficulty in the situation. He is Death incarnate. his consummation. in spite of his sturdy. the perfectly trimmed hair. as Gabriele D'Annunzio's son posing as a martyred saint. The fear is always there in him. physical violence. the spot is sacred to the accident. perpetuated in the little paintings nailed up in the place of the disaster. a little further on. Therefore he worships it. a small one. bows down before it. It is his fulfilment. The martyrdom of this Christ is according to the most polite convention. The little painting in its wooden frame is nailed to the tree. while the blood flies up. The elegance is very important. the fear of death. beyond cynicism in its completeness of leaving off. When he passes the extended body of the dead Christ he takes off his hat to the Lord of Death. and very Austrian. too. in propitiation of the God of hurt and death. His great climax.
which are not very significant. They are as null as the Christs we see represented in England. among the mountains. and the signs on the rocks are sensational. '_Couvre-toi de gloire. It is a chapel built in the baroque manner. He is a big. florid pink and cream outside. in the approved Guido Reni fashion. sitting by the grave. as the case may be. the iris is purpled. real. But it is the face which is so terrifying. factory-made Christs. I remember the little brooding Christ of the Isar. in self-commiseration. are terrible. perhaps after the resurrection. how poignant. bloody eyes with their stained pupils. just vulgar nothingness. like that of an unrelenting . as it nears the ridge to the south. But these figures have gashes of red. How lovely is death. are of just the same colour as the red upon the crucifixes. in his little cloak of red flannel and his crown of gilded thorns. just over the ridge. These red. hulked. looking as if to see through the blood of the late brutal death. a red paint of blood. male body droops forward on the cross. It is dead Hyacinth lifted and extended to view. to look. Others again are beautiful as elegies. naked. a long way from the railway. with opulent small arches. a blue and white ring for the road to Ginzling. so that the red upon the crucifixes is paint. till the crucified body has become a ghastly striped thing of red and white. or the red smear. and the scarlet flows out and trickles down. that sits rather hulked. is to become weak and sentimental._' Why should it please me so that his cloak is of red flannel? In a valley near St Jakob. powerful man. And inside is the most startling sensational Christus I have ever seen. a weight of shame. they seem to see only their own blood. of which the body has been killed. They paint the rocks at the corners of the tracks. whose expression is sinister and gruesome. in all his beautiful. Tartarin--couvre-toi de flanelle. glancing awfully at all who enter the shrine. yet have no seeing in them. dead youth. Then there are the ordinary. There are great gashes on the breast and the knees of the Christ-figure. And the look of this face. It is slightly turned over the hulked. among all this violence of representation. I have only seen vulgar or sensational crucifixes.But the tendency of the crucifix. And the red on the rocks. The young. There is some blood on his powerful. or the three stripes of blue and white. He sits sideways. They are overdoing the pathetic turn. like blood. important shrine by the roadside. defeated body. And what remains of life is in the face. just a sickly thing of striped red. They are looking to heaven and thinking about themselves. So one follows the blue and white ring. finished. It looks as if its only true nature were to be dead. crucified shoulder. only the result of the experience remaining. as if the extremity were over. and he remains real and dear to me. a red smear for the way to St Jakob. The carved Christs turn up their faces and roll back their eyes very piteously. The eyes look at one. finished. The naked. the dabs of red paint. which is sensational. and sits in utter dejection. there is a very big. like a dead flower. Beyond the Brenner. is beyond all expectation horrible. the agitation done with. seated after the crucifixion. strong body has known death. For they are bloodshot till the whites are scarlet. satisfying! It is the true elegiac spirit.
on the top. violated face and in the bloodshot eyes is almost impossible. the desire to convey a religious truth. The guides tramp slowly. His is a professional importance now. of a sort of almost obscene worship. On a small mountain track on the Jaufen. beaten. as ex-voto limbs hang in the shrines. All round is the solid whiteness of snow. 'Spring in the Austrian Tyrol' is to our minds a vision of pristine loveliness.criminal violated by torture. not far from Meran. It was one of the old uncouth Christs hewn out of bare wood. every mountain peasant lifted his hat. Further down. The shrine was well kept and evidently much used. the strong. having the long. with a thicket of lichen. It leaned on the cold. is there left any of the old beauty and religion. exposed Christ. armless. But the guide tramps by without concern. small and tufted with snow. heavily past. was a fallen Christus. who had tumbled down and lay in an unnatural posture. living rock. The snow blows under the tiny shed. baroque. wedge-shaped limbs and thin flat legs that are significant of the true spirit. not a sensational experience. And here stands the last crucifix. broken. the barb of the arrow. the monument becomes smaller and smaller. It contains also this Christ of the heavy body defiled by torture and death. . unchanging snow-peaks all round. They seemed like blades immortal in the sky. extreme ridge of the pass. Higher and higher. his body is a mass of torture. Only high up. The crucifix itself is a small thing under the pointed hood. It was hung with ex-voto limbs and with many gifts. Afterwards the black pine-trees and the river of that valley seemed unclean. making no salute. stony hillside surrounded by the white peaks in the upper air. and they hung on their nails. integral with utter hatred. It was a centre of worship. The criminal look of misery and hatred on the fixed. or a thick arrow stuck barb upwards. all the crucifixes were more or less tainted and vulgar. where the crucifix becomes smaller and smaller. The very flowers seemed unnatural. till in the snows it stands out like a post. where the path crosses the high. The arms of the fallen Christ had broken off at the shoulders. cynical horror. the awful curves and concaves of pure whiteness of the mountain top. and the white gleam on the mountain-tops was a glisten of supreme. and covered. and I was looking up at the gleaming. pink-washed shrine in one of those Alpine valleys which to our thinking are all flowers and romance. half buried. The wooden hood was silver-grey with age. the muscles. not observing the presence of the symbol. Yet his will remains obstinate and ugly. After this. the hollow whiteness between the peaks. the eyes still looking back bloodshot in consummate hate and misery. I was hurrying downhill to escape from an icy wind which almost took away my consciousness. But on the rock at the foot of the post was the fallen Christ. in the populous valleys. like the picture in the Tate Gallery. But these arms dangled from the palms. the naked. He is conquered. ancient wooden sculpture of the body on the naked. So I almost ran into a very old Martertafel. an unthinkable shame. upon the little. as if an unclean spirit lived there. one at each end of the cross. which stuck up in hoary tufts. It is a great shock to find this figure sitting in a handsome. virile life overcome by physical violence.
and yet for a long time it never occurred to me that it actually existed. And there are. submerged street. windowless. the Churches of the Dove and the Churches of the Eagle. the Churches which do not belong to the Holy Spirit at all. looking all wrong. moreover. They are the Churches of the Spirit of David. and their bells sound in the mellowness of Sunday. Its pink walls were blind. cobbled street. imperiously. Yet it was the chief church of the village. The Church of San Francesco was a Church of the Dove. sterile place of rock and cold. unless one caught sight of the tan curtain hanging in the door. but which are built to pure fancy and logic. that lay on its back in so grotesque a posture at the foot of the post. and the slit of darkness beneath. or an Eagle. In the Old Testament it was an Eagle. against a glamour of foliaged hillside. as if they challenged the world below. I was submerged in the village. Yet I dared not touch the fallen body of the Christ. it gave no sign. such as the Wren Churches in London. . with their heads to the skies. they are as if invisible. between old high walls and cavernous shops and the houses with flights of steps. Coming down the cobbled. and their bells ring passionately. falling on the subservient world below. so that one passes them by without observing them. I saw it often. standing over the Christian world. and for what purpose. beyond was a vision of dark foliage. It was there standing away upon the house-tops. Its thin grey neck was held up stiffly. The Churches of the Dove are shy and hidden: they nestle among trees. or they are gathered into a silence of their own in the very midst of the town. unnoticeable.carved sparely in the old wood. on the uneven. many a time I looked up between the houses and saw the thin old church standing above in the light. in the New Testament it is a Dove. as if it perched on the house-roofs. But the Churches of the Eagle stand high. without knowing it was a church. And the icy wind blew them backwards and forwards. upside down. and the high hillside. silent little square. It was like a vision. so that they gave a painful impression. _On the Lago di Garda_ _1_ THE SPINNER AND THE MONKS The Holy Spirit is a Dove. I passed it several times in the dark. I wondered who would come and take the broken thing away. there in the stark. offering no resistance to the storming of the traffic. But the Church of San Tommaso perched over the village. There are. a thing one does not expect to come close to.
I was in the skies now. clean on the platform of my San Tommaso. to be hidden in lairs and caves of darkness. the world of fierce abstraction. they must be able to hide. I went up unwillingly. and they were dark. It was very near. Going through these tiny chaotic backways of the village was like venturing through the labyrinth made by furtive creatures. grey and pale in the sun. whilst the earth on the near side gave off a green-silver smoke of olive trees. into the narrow gully of the back street. in the tremendous sunshine. because the Italians used this old staircase as a privy. half-crouching under the dark shadow of the walls. like the shadow. to stare. where weeds grew in the gaps the steps had made in falling. But I ran up the broken stairway. and opposite. There was a blood-red sail like a butterfly breathing down on the blue water. broad wall. and beyond them the pale blue water. Round the terrace ran a low. . It was as if the strange creatures of the under-shadow were looking at me. though really much above. I went out of the back door of the house. Yet I could not find it. I found a broken staircase. And the village itself had only a few hundreds of inhabitants. And I was pale. I found myself again on the piazza. overwhelming sunshine. It was all clear. coming up and around the earth-coloured roofs. like the light. I hurried towards the broken end of a street. by the imperious clangour of midday and evening bells striking down upon the houses and the edge of the lake. who watched from out of another element. opposite my face and breast. So I set out to find it. And there above me I saw the thin. It was another world. level with me apparently. however. and close. I wanted to go to it. stiff neck of old San Tommaso. that was worn like the threshold of the ancient church. and constant. down below. The church must be within a stone's throw. So I was quite baffled by the tortuous. I was of another element. tiny. The church became a living connexion with me. Till at last my everyday trance was broken in upon. I could not find my way. tiled roofs of the village. and clear. and evanescent. and I knew the ringing of the Church of San Tommaso. Just below were the confused. as by a miracle. deep passages of the village. I could see it from the piazza by the lake. Yet it did not occur to me to ask where these bells rang. a platform hung in the light. The Italian people are called 'Children of the Sun'. luminous snow of the mountain across the lake. and maidenhair hung on the darker side of the wall. and came out suddenly. Women glanced down at me from the top of the flights of steps. Another day. the world of the eagle. Their souls are dark and nocturnal. old men stood. where the sunshine and the olive trees looked like a mirage before me. If they are to be easy. Yet I could not get up to the church.For a long time I knew how the day went. half-turning. as they will any deep side-passage. They might better be called 'Children of the Shadow'. the coping of the upper heaven where I had climbed. the clear. looking down from my square terrace of cobbled pavement.
was her shuttle. bluey. belonging to the sky. an outsider. browny. like a grasp of brown fingers full of a fluff of blackish. blackish worsted she was making. who was hesitating looking down at the earth beneath. spontaneously. to the olive smoke and the water of the level earth. the physical contact with the darkness and the heavy. cleaving mountain from mountain with the triumph of the sky. the lower half dark and grim. looking down. I went into the church. the land rises in a high sweep. blue-checked cloth was spread on the parapet before me. And she was spinning. I wondered so much. like a little wind. just a straight stick with a clutch at the end. But she stood back against the solid wall. held up near her shoulder. like dirty snow. I went out again. and her kerchief. as if it expected some contact. spinning round upon a black thread. of Jacob's ladder. sun-bleached. In my black coat. and does not touch the earth. like the lowest step of heaven. And hanging near her feet. She was spinning. Across. But my soul shrank. and her apron. the upper half brilliantly white. over the parapet of heaven. like a blade of the sky cleaving the earth asunder. I was wandering by the parapet of heaven. So. as if it were aware of the contiguity of the physical world. through a rush of russet and crimson. went the pale-blue lake. fierce darkness of the senses. rusty fleece. She stood back under the sun-bleached solid wall. unobserved and unobserving. then. But the terrace of San Tommaso is let down from heaven. From behind me. suggestive substance of the enclosure. . greyey. Then I noticed that a big.It always remains to me that San Tommaso and its terrace hang suspended above the village. She was grey. spinning busily. she made me feel as if I were not in existence. her bobbin wound fat with the coarse. stood a little grey woman whose fingers were busy. under the caper-bush. Behind. Turning round. some embrace. on the other side of the terrace. and her dress. It was a thick. And her fingers were plucking spontaneously at the strands of wool drawn down from it. under a caper-bush that hung like a blood-stain from the grey wall above her. It affected me like the lair of some enormous creature. I wondered why it hung there. that I could not cross towards her. like stones and half-coloured leaves. sunny in their colourlessness. spiced darkness. but pieces of hair. Her head was tied in a dark-red kerchief. like a stone rolled down and stayed in a crevice. they sprang awake in the hot. Under her arm she held a distaff of dark. And between. My senses were roused. she was a living stone of the terrace. She took no notice of me. Like the grey church. The pavemented threshold was clear as a jewel. pale-grey. and her hands and her face were all sun-bleached and sun-stained. quite short. My skin was expectant. It was very dark. the headland swept down out of a great. She was like a fragment of earth. and impregnated with centuries of incense. on the left. arid height. that is where heaven and earth are divided. the marvellous clarity of sunshine that becomes blue in the height seemed to distil me into itself. false. like a thing in a gay wind. the heavy mountain crouched along the side of the lake. ripe wood. stuck out over her ears. I felt myself wrong.
When I come home at night. without consciousness of self. as if to say the words so that they should be natural to her. That I had a world of my own. and she gave a twist to the thread that issued. but they had no looking in them. when I begin to think of the cosmos. When I cease to exist as the microcosm. other than her own. To her I was a piece of the environment. unchanging eyes.' she said. was not conceived by her. a faint gleam of rapt light in her eyes. 'That is an old way of spinning. her fingers teased out the fleece. She stood short and sturdy. looking for the most part straight in front. a man. but glancing from time to time. the heavy bobbin spun more briskly. Her eyes were clear as the sky. She remained as she was. of the thread that hung in front of her apron. In her universe I was a stranger. 'That is an old way of spinning. a foreign _signore_. 'You are spinning. We are told that they are other worlds.All the time. 'Yes--an old way. blue. She saw merely a man's figure. part of the surroundings. a stranger standing near.' I repeated. natural fingers that worked as in a sleep. unthinking. But she was slightly roused. there are the stars. But the stars are the clustered and single gleaming lights in the night-sky of our world. downward rub. at the thread. unconscious attention. So we conceive the stars. empyrean. Still her fingers went along the strand of fleece near her breast. And I became to her merely a transient circumstance. between thumb and forefinger. like motion without thought. making no effort of attention. old. negligible. then the stars are other worlds. We divided the gift of speech. Her face was like a sun-worn stone. or like two flowers that are open in pure clear unconsciousness. 'What?' She looked up at me with eyes clear and transcendent as the heavens. Her eyes glanced over me. unseeing. She was slightly more animated than the sunshine and the stone and the motionless caper-bush above her. But the .' she repeated. I was a bit of the outside. and she felt again at the fleece as she drew it down. She glanced at me again. Her world was clear and absolute. 'Yes. She was not self-conscious. That was all. She did not care. transcendent. drawing it down to a fairly uniform thickness: brown. It was my unaccustomed Italian. with a little. that were like the visible heavens. They were dear. with her wonderful.' I said to her. because she was not aware that there was anything in the universe except _her_ universe. clear and sustained like an old stone upon the hillside. Then the macrocosm absorbs me. and the bobbin spun swiftly. that was all. and from moment to moment there was a quick.' I said. the thumb having a long grey nail. There was the slight motion of the eagle in her turning to look at me.
' I do not 'inhabited'. Only a sharp will in them now and then seemed to gleam at me. He was the mobile. but he was none the less herself because he was sometimes severed from her. She _was_ the substance of the knowledge. If I say 'The planet Mars is inhabited. It was this which gave the wonderful clear unconsciousness to her eyes. whether she had the knowledge in her mind or not. the first morning. was part of herself. which is just the same in the half-apple as in the whole. I am finite. yet spontaneous as butterflies leaping here and there. The lands she had not seen were corporate parts of her own living body. and spun no more.macrocosm is not me. ultimately. She chattered rapidly on in her Italian that I could not understand. But how the ewe came to die I could not make out. The old woman on the terrace in the sun did not know this. the sun. The ewes had lived under the house. with reference to the planet Mars. Yet not a feature moved. the old spinning-woman. unchangeable. in mind or spirit. so ageless. and the single firmament. The reality is the apple. Seeing what I was doing. There was nothing which was not herself. If every apple in the world were cut in two. like the beginning of the world. whole even in her partiality. the apple would not be changed. . I can only know there me. She seemed like the Creation. How could she be conscious of herself when all was herself? She was talking to me of a sheep that had died. she merely withdrew a few inches from the plant. separate part. I that world is not my world. And she talked on. but the macrocosm is that know what I mean by can only mean that is that which is not also which I am not. There is that which is not me. as if to dominate me. and my understanding has limits. looking meanwhile into my face. stupid. because the story roused her somewhat. looking at me wonderfully. It is something which I. Her eyes remained candid and open and unconscious as the skies. half-fretful movement. She knew that I was an inhabitant of lands which she had never seen. The universe is bigger than I shall ever see. but I could not understand because of her dialect. and a part was divided off for the he-goat. the knowledge she had not attained was only the hidden knowledge of her own self. Even the man. I am the microcosm. But what of that! There were parts of her own body which she had never seen. She did not notice. She was herself the core and centre to the world. Her fingers worked away all the time in a little. Her eyes were like the first morning of the world. the male. And she. So that there is something which is unknown to me and which nevertheless exists. which physiologically she could never see. There was a glint of blue on them yet. because the other people brought their she-goats to be covered by the he-goat. am not. was the apple. She went on with her tale. Her bobbin hung free. eternal. Her shuttle had caught in a dead chicory plant. It never occurred to her that I could not understand. They were none the less her own because she had never seen them. She only thought me different. the microcosm. I stooped and broke off the twigs.
Looking up. but mechanically picked up the shuttle. set the bobbin spinning again. like a piece of night and moonshine.' 'But you do it quickly. A day or two. whilst I at her elbow. rocky bank went down steep from my feet. old and yet like the morning. In a moment I was between the walls. as if she were talking to her own world in me. in the coldest corners. complete. The grassy. in the cold shadow. sun-discoloured. the brown shuttle twisting gaily. connected the ends from her wool strand.' She looked at me. but went on with her spinning. Which she did. Here I stood to look for my snowdrops. in her half-intimate. and tongues of fern hanging out. There were pale flecks in the dimness. out of the heavy shadow that lay in the cleft. sun-coloured. I went looking for snowdrops. She meant Christmas roses all the while. 'This much? I don't know. I did not dare to say. when one forgot the shining rocks far above. but still. So she stood in the sunshine on the little platform. it was a complete. erect and solitary. However. So I came to skirt the brink of a steep little gorge. hidden. in spite of my black clothes. I could see. I knew. right in the sky. So I scrambled down. were primroses. I heard water tittle-tattling away in deep shadow below. glanced at her bobbin. There had been such crowded sumptuous tufts of Christmas roses everywhere in the . She had stopped talking. 'Are they so far up?' I thought. Primroses were everywhere in nests of pale bloom upon the dark. obliterated. waiting at her side. taking no more notice of me than of the dark-stained caper-bush which hung from the wall above her head. The walls broke down suddenly. and went on talking. wound up a length of worsted. and here and there under the rods and twigs of bushes were tufts of wrecked Christmas roses. 'How long has it taken you to do that much?' I asked. climbing upwards. and I was out in a grassy olive orchard. belonging to the sunshine and the weather. stood smiling into her eyes. So I turned and ran away. she started forward and went across the terrace to the great blue-and-white checked cloth that was drying on the wall. She seemed to take no notice. whilst I. If she had not asserted such confident knowledge I should have doubted her translation of _perce-neige_. nearly over. steep face of the cleft. She waited a minute. at the bottom of which a stream was rushing down its steep slant to the lake. afraid lest she should deny me existence. grey rocks shining transcendent in the pure empyrean. half-unconscious fashion. The schoolmistress had told me I should find snowdrops behind San Tommaso. 'Am I so far down?' But I was uneasy.Her thread broke. So she stood. Then. overshone. taking the steps two at a time. the lovely buds like handfuls of snow. shadowless world of shadow. quite suddenly. did not look at me any more. following a track beside pieces of fallen overgrown masonry. to get away from her. but these. was like the moon in the daytime sky. She had cut off her consciousness from me. as if suspiciously and derisively. I hesitated. Nevertheless it was a lovely place.
when a strange suspension comes over the world. that these few remaining flowers were hardly noticeable. Up above I saw the olive trees in the sunny golden grass. and the mills were going night and day. quickly out of the deep watercourse. But there were not any. in the strong evening sunshine. There was no shadow. clear-grey rocks partaking of the sky. military high-road. . It was the upper world of glowing light. All was perfectly still. The mountain opposite was so still. It sat in the warm stillness of the transcendent afternoon. lay fused in dim gold. new. lilac-coloured flowers with dark veins. that the day of sunshine would be over. which winds with beautiful curves up the mountain-side. I saw a bullock wagon moving like a vision.stream-gullies. fragile. and sunlit grey rocks immensely high up. winding beautifully and gracefully forward to the Austrian frontier. I gathered a handful of primroses. anxious to get back to the sunshine before the evening fell. Soon I was up in the sunshine again. reassured. There were no snowdrops. the Verona side. by the lake. A cricket hopped near me. beyond the Island. Then I remembered that it was Saturday afternoon. Far away. their heads bare to the sunshine. Everything was clear and sun-coloured up there. on the turf under the olive trees. a bullock wagon moving slowly in the high sunlight. A mule driver 'Hued!' to his mules on the Strada Vecchia. that smelled of earth and of the weather. acrid scent of olive oil in preparation. High up. pale. sometimes a glint of light as their feet strode from under their skirts. pure substance. I saw two monks walking in their garden between the naked. And I wanted very much to find the snowdrops hanging in the gloom. crossing the same stream several times in clear-leaping bridges. The little stream rattled down. where it ends: high up on the lovely swinging road. and I was safe again. their brown cassocks passing between the brown vine-stocks. walking in their wintry garden of bony vines and olive trees. I had found the day before a bank of crocuses. creeping under the cliffs. the beautiful. only clear sun-substance built up to the sky. travelling cut out of sheer slope high above the lake. and then the mist of grey-green olives fuming down to the lake-side. on the Strada Nuova. under the olive trees. tawny grass and scrub. I gathered instead the primroses. just below me. though the clanking of the wagon and the crack of the bullock whip responded close in my ears. along the uppermost terrace of the military road. then I climbed suddenly. during the shadow of winter. The little steamer on the floor of the world below. They too were pure sun-substance travelling on the surface of the sun-made world. the mules down the road cast no shadow. The four o'clock steamer was creeping down the lake from the Austrian end. I was afraid lest the evening would fall whilst I was groping about like an otter in the damp and the darkness. All the olives were gathered. And then. pricking up keenly like myriad little lilac-coloured flames among the grass. bony vines. that my heart seemed to fade in its beating as if it too would be still. making a great. browny-green spires of cypresses.
They never looked up. with a strange. All the time I sat still in silence. sliding under the bony vines and beside the cabbages. And a bell sounded. they went backwards and forwards in their wintry garden. But the dazzle of snow began to glow as they walked. It was dawning in exquisite. backwards and forwards. faint. ethereal flush of the long range of snow in the heavens. I went with the long stride of their skirted feet. the under earth. in the neutral. that I felt them talking. I was one with them. And I noticed that up above the snow. But in the monks it was not ecstasy. Almost like shadow-creatures ventured out of their cold. thinking nobody could see them. Across. in them it was neutrality. furtive stride and the heads leaning together. their heads always together in hidden converse. at evening. nor gesticulate as they walked. twilit earth was the rosy snow of ecstasy. and back again. It was as if I were attending with my dark soul to their inaudible undertone. the snow grew rosy-incandescent. in the first undershadow. the cold. rare night. talking. the rim of pallor between night and day. their skirts swaying slowly. Here they paced. Already the olive wood where I sat was extinguished. that slid springless and noiseless from end to end of the garden. because of the mountains in the west. only the law. neutral regularity. rousing dazzle of snow. above them. Another world was coming to pass. of ecstasy. Their hands were kept down at their sides. on the length of mountain-ridge. like a thin. a frail moon had put forth. their heads together. Meanwhile. both the same in the origin and in the issue. eternal not-being and eternal being are the same. the wonderful. two brown monks with hidden hands. everything so perfectly suspended. light and dark are one. This was the world of the monks. There was no motion save the long. In the rosy snow that shone in heaven over a darkened earth was the ecstasy of consummation. backwards and forwards. The infinite is positive and negative. But spreading far over us. the abstraction of the average. Yet there was an eagerness in their conversation. and the skirts of their robes. shadowless light of shadow. Neither the flare of day nor the completeness of night reached them. treading in the neutrality of the law. was the . But the average is only neutral. light fused in darkness and darkness fused in light. though I could hear no sound of their voices. And still the monks were pacing backwards and forwards. After all. The monks walked backwards and forwards. backwards and forwards. Transcendent. was the faint. like heaven breaking into blossom. The shadows were coming across everything. scalloped film of ice floated out on the slow current of the coming night. as in the rosy snow above the twilight. Night and day are one. obscure element. And the monks trod backward and forward down the line of neutrality. icy rose upon the long mountain-summit opposite. frail in the bluish sky. began to kindle. down below. They did not touch each other. they paced the narrow path of the twilight. a long. both the same in the moment. They marched with the peculiar march of monks.It was so still. loping stride. Neither the blood nor the spirit spoke in them. a partaker. above the shadowed. hidden in the long sleeves.
looking down on all the world at once. It is all so strange and varied: the dark-skinned Italians ecstatic in the night and the moon. was in the sky. so that it lay all subsidiary to herself. like a woman glorying in her own loveliness as she loiters superbly to the gaze of all the world. herself the wakeful consciousness hovering over the world like a hawk. through the senses. who are supposed to unite both. all day-sunshine. day hovering in the embrace of the coming night like two angels embracing in the heavens. the spirit neutralizing the flesh. reminding me of the eyes of the old woman. the monks in the garden below. of the monks. she became gradually herself. the rest was a sleep. that were very blue. Between the roots of the olive tree was a rosy-tipped daisy just going to sleep. a cessation. partial and alone for ever. Only the moon. And the daisies at once go to sleep. away from the snowy. Where. or Persephone embraced by Pluto? Where is the supreme ecstasy in mankind. He takes his way. like a sleep of wakefulness. quivering body. My little old woman was gone. moony little bunch of primroses. is the meeting-point: where in mankind is the ecstasy of light and dark together. passing only in the neutrality of the average. which happens under a superb moon. which makes day a delight and night a delight. like Eurydice in the arms of Orpheus. And. the law of the average asserted. The all-glorious sun knows none of these yieldings up. then. but that the two in consummation are perfect. wholly naked in the water of the lake. spirit and senses? Why do we not know that the two in consummation are one. Always she must live like a bird. She. because the steamer going down the lake to Desenzano had . day and night. fading ridge. The flesh neutralizing the spirit. beyond the range of loneliness or solitude? _2_ THE LEMON GARDENS The padrone came just as we were drinking coffee after dinner. the blue-eyed old woman ecstatic in the busy sunshine. would have none of the moon. she went to sleep as the shadows came. the supreme transcendence of the afterglow. uniting sun and darkness. so that its sleep should warm the rest. I gathered it and put it among the frail. the twilight was gone. like a bird. looking sometimes through the fringe of dark olive leaves. this was the monks as they paced backward and forward. The moon climbed higher. white and shining. and single abandon of the single body and soul also an ecstasy under the moon? Where is the transcendent knowledge in our hearts.neutrality of the twilight. sometimes looking at her own superb. And the soul of the old spinning-woman also closed up at sunset. It was two o'clock. and the snow was invisible as I came down to the side of the lake. She did not know the yielding up of the senses and the possession of the unknown. that each is only part. purpose an ecstasy and a concourse in ecstasy. Also I put in some little periwinkles. The day was gone.
He loves to speak French to me.' It is laconic and American. He cannot believe me. Never unwind. in broken French. Wind it up. 'Allow me. that remind me of a monkey's. It must say something else as well. he is not much better than a well-to-do peasant. The hall is cold. the picture of an American patent door-spring. or of onyx. with close-cropped grey hair on his skull. and a protruding jaw. aristocratic monkey. ancient passion to be grand. with directions: 'Fasten the spring either end up. and pouf!--she flies open.bustled through the sunshine. '_Voyez. He holds his chin and waits. But his pride is all on edge: we must continue in French. against disturbing me. He has not done anything contrary to these directions. monsieur--je crains que--que--que je vous d�range--'_ He spreads wide his hands and bows. She flies _open_. He is afraid he ought to understand my English. He loves to speak French. so ageless in his wrinkled. He has a queer. cap in one hand. He is only an anxious villager. This is not a courtesy visit. holding his chin. The brown. waiting. The signore is a gentleman. I feel the responsibility devolve upon me. always makes me think of an ancient. monsieur--cet--cet--qu'est-ce que--qu'est-ce que veut dire cet--cela?_' He shows me the paper. I found him bowing in the hall. But the old spirit is eager and pathetic in him. _'Mais--mais. The door. I make it clear what the paper says. As the remains of an impoverished family. looking up at me with implicit brown eyes. and the rocking of the water still made lights that danced up and down upon the wall among the shadows by the piano. and the last. ageless eyes. because then he feels grand. ending in Italian.' . a little rush. na�ve. He is not here in his quality of gentleman. He is a little. a slip of paper in the other. is his avarice. I stutter off into French. I am anxious. monsieur. The signore watches me anxiously. He is most distressed. yet he will not come into the large room. The signore was very apologetic. Then it stammers forth. like onyx. la porte--la porte--elle ferme_ pas--_elle s'ouvre_--' He skipped to the door and showed me the whole tragic mystery. 'to come and look at the door. shrivelled man. it is shut--_ecco_! He releases the catch. '_Mais.' I said. His only outstanding quality. shrivelled representative of his race. according to the villagers. expressionless. confounded by the laconic phrases of the directions. It is quite final. It is an old scrap of print. with his gesticulations. Nevertheless. wait for me. monkey's face. protesting eagerly. in his anxiety for the phrase to come. which.
and grass grows on the bay of cobbled pavement in front. Christ did not exist. The padrone protests--_non. When at night the moon shines full on this pale fa�ade. the grey rocks build the sun-substance in heaven.I feel uncomfortably like Sherlock Holmes. cold furniture stands in its tomb. Again I had to think of the Italian soul. the air has been darkened and starved to death. with the Father. The red-tiled. This is half-way between the outer world and the interior world. out of a strong. then he was free. The floor is of soft red tiles. the Author of all flesh. In the Middle Ages Christian Europe seems to have been striving. towards the elimination of the flesh. after the Renaissance. The two halves were joined by the effort towards the one as yet unrealized. he does not want to disturb me. When man became as the Word. it partakes of both. cleaving to the eternal night. The flesh was supreme and god-like. The Word was absolute. The other rooms are dark and ugly. They are like furnished vaults. it is perished. Outside. that is the . a pure law. back to the flesh. There is no mistake about their being interior. non. polished floor in the drawing-room seems cold and clammy. Already Botticelli painted Aphrodite. the ceiling is painted with pink roses and birds. Queen of Heaven. at the Renaissance. towards the self-abnegation and the abstraction of Christ. throwing off a painted loggia at either extreme of the fa�ade. To Michelangelo there was no salvation in the spirit. the movement broke. But inside here is the immemorial shadow. how it is dark. the theatre is far outdone in staginess. we are one with God. the sunshine runs like birds singing. primitive. Michelangelo swung right back to the old Mosaic position. There was God the Father. cela vous d�range_--that he only wanted me to translate the words. we go. the carved. in the oneness of our physical being. Nevertheless. It is large. the Begetter. Man wanted more and more to become purely free and abstract. oiled and polished like glass. pink and cream. monsieur. God the Father created man in the flesh. But the movement all the time was in one direction. rising up to a square tower in the centre. The Casa di Paoli is quite a splendid place. in His own image. through which shine the courtyards where bamboos fray the sunlight and geraniums glare red. It seems to have become so. It stands a little way back from the road. But when this conclusion was reached. Pure freedom was in pure abstraction. And Michelangelo suddenly turned back on the whole Christian movement. This has been the Italian position ever since. just above the lake. queen of the senses. The mind. I feel I have the honour of mechanical England in my hands. There was a triumphant joy in the Whole. Up above. And there was the inexorable law of the flesh. the fall of the immortal flesh into Hell. This brought about by itself a great sense of completeness. supreme along with Mary. San Tommaso guards the terrace. in the oneness of the flesh. the walls are washed grey-white. animal nature. with great glass doors at either end. the Last Judgement. The hall is spacious and beautiful.
. But the fire is cold. they are the Darkness. destructive enjoyment. a white ecstasy. It does indeed burn within the darkness. because it has seemed to him a form of nothingness. cold fire consumes and does not create. In the sunshine he basks asleep. overcome. There is the I. The mind. of the tiger is cold and white. which has consumed the southern nation. and is administered unto me. So that all is me. In the ecstacy I am Infinite. the senses. But also there is the Aphrodite-worship. all the time. it is a green fire. So the Italian. the Originator. I drink all blood. I am a flame of the One White Flame which is the Infinite. The rest. They seek the reduction of the flesh. white-cold ecstasy of darkness and moonlight. the Mosaic position. But the _essential_ fate. as in the eyes of a cat. to a crisis. cat-like. It is seen in the white eyes of the blazing cat. and becomes transfigured into a magnificent brindled flame. always consuming and reducing to the ecstasy of sensation. subserves the senses. And all that is can only come to me through my senses. and the absoluteness of its laws. the Creator. Aphrodite. This is the soul of the Italian since the Renaissance. of the divinity of the flesh. the flesh reacting upon itself. she is goddess of destruction. a burning bush indeed. born of the sea-foam. an ecstasy. which devours all. electric. The senses are the absolute. They know their aim. the senses. This is the supremacy of the flesh. are now self-conscious. which is the end in itself. there is subtlety and beauty and the dignity of the darkness. since the Renaissance. tiger burning bright. I devour all flesh. This is one way of transfiguration into the eternal flame. has avoided our Northern purposive industry. a phosphorescent transfiguration in ecstasy. In the forests of the night of Blake. the senses conscious and crying out in their consciousness in the pangs of the enjoyment. back to the original position. gathering up a vintage into his veins which in the night-time he will distil into ecstatic sensual delight. Like the feline fire. that is not me. This is the Tiger. is nothing. They seek the maximum of sensation. the queen of the senses. until this fuel blazes up in me to the consummate fire of the Infinite. The tiger is the supreme manifestation of the senses made absolute. At its maximum it is the white ecstasy of phosphorescence. These are me. her white. Like the tiger in the night. It is fluid. I become again the great Whole. it is something which is nothing. But the senses are superbly arrogant. it is destructive. And the mind is submerged. the transfiguration through ecstasy in the flesh. she is the gleaming darkness. It is the spirit of the tiger. perhaps all the Latin races.Light. as under the black fur of a cat. the intense. the senses become a conscious aim unto themselves. always amid the darkness. the god-like. the phosphorescence of the sea. It is a lapse back. she. As in a cat. The flesh. the raucous. she is the luminous night. my senses absolutely me. the Eternal. is the luminousness of the gleaming senses. Their aim is in supreme sensation. through centuries. always the I. in the darkness. For I can never have another man's senses.
The will of the soldier is the will of the great cats. the Infinite. he has been consummated in the Infinite. by the light of its own desire. His head is flattened as if there were some great weight on the hard skull. And what is the rest. the one superb tiger who has devoured all living flesh. submerged. the Flame of the Infinite. glaring with blind. eternal flame. . his mind subjugated. when he reaches a state of infinity. consummate in the Infinite. In the supreme ecstasy of the flesh. 'We are one in Christ: we will go on. pressing it down under the blood. The something which I know I am is hollow space to its vision. pressing the mind into a stone. it is the senses satisfying themselves with a self-created object. a voluptuous solid. upon that which does not exist. It is self-projection into the self. there is the living will. This is the spirit of the soldier.' The Northern races said. But how does it come to pass in Christ? It is not the mystic ecstasy. I am infinite. It is the subjugate instrument of the blood. having drunk all blood and devoured all flesh. he reaches this state. a scent. as it were at the base of the spinal column. so the soldier. there in the slender loins. It can only see of me that which it knows I am. a delicious pang of live flesh in the mouth. cold light is so fierce that the other warm light of day is outshone. 'We are one in the Father: we will go back. a resistance. absorbed eyes at that which is nothingness to it. This is the way of the tiger. fierce. till the ecstasy burst into the white. the will to ecstasy in destruction. that which the tiger is-not? What is this? What is that which parted ways with the terrific eagle-like angel of the senses at the Renaissance? The Italians said. Its own white. Blessed are the poor in spirit. to serve the blood. the living mind of the tiger. offers no resistance to the tiger's looking. This is the acme of the flesh. the tiger is supreme. it does not exist. The will lies above the loins. except with the light from within itself. In the sensual ecstasy. this is the immortal climax of the senses. The eyes of the tiger cannot see. there in the spinal cord. that which is-not the tiger. pressing. the sensuous self satisfied in a projected self. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. a struggling warm violence that it holds overcome. This it sees. in absorbing life into his own life. pressing. Then he is satisfied. too. I am become again the eternal Fire.the Everlasting God. it is not. That is the node. always his own life supreme. a running of hot blood between its Jaws. Hence its terrifying sightlessness. The rest is not. to himself.' What _is_ the consummation in Christ? Man knows satisfaction when he surpasses all conditions and becomes. walks with his consciousness concentrated at the base of the spine. He. This is the true soldier. The mystic ecstasy is a special sensual ecstasy. and now paces backwards and forwards in the cage of its own infinite. the Dionysic ecstasy. So the Italian. So the white eyes of the tiger gleam to a point of concentrated vision.
turn to him the other also. But Christ said: God is in the others. In my non-resistance the tiger is infinitely destroyed. greater than the God which is Me. then.Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake. the prey. and this is the great God. to be infinite and eternal. what am I? Am I greater than he. if a man come to me with a sword. the deer which the tiger devours. Love your enemies. the dove taken by the hawk. this subject ecstasy of consummation.' Wherein am I perfect in this submission? Is there an affirmation.' God is that which is Not-Me. But is there nothing else? The Word of the tiger is: my senses are supremely Me. and I do not resist him. Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek. God is that which is Not-Me. I become infinite. do good to them that hate you. But I. Christ is the lamb which the eagle swoops down upon. There is no consummation merely for the butcher. but suffer his sword and the death from his sword. My neighbour is all that is not me. is not my consummation . the superb and terrible God? I have this also. I can rob the tiger of his ecstasy. In turning the other cheek I submit to God who is greater than I am. and love our enemies. What then. the Great Moloch. nor for a hyena. other than the tiger's affirmation of his own glorious infinity? What is the Oneness to which I subscribe. what am I? 'Be ye therefore perfect. To be perfect. To achieve this consummation I love my neighbour as myself. And if I love all this. of becoming thus part of the Lord. And this is the Christian truth. and persecute you. I. to kill me. bless them that curse you. his consummation. Be ye therefore perfect. other than I am. am I stronger than he? Do I know a consummation in the Infinite. if we are poor in spirit or persecuted for righteousness' sake. who is in that which is not me. his very __my non-resistance. This is the supreme consummation. The kingdom of heaven is this Infinite into which we may be consummated. to be one with God. behind my negation. even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I who offer no resistance in the flesh? Have I only the negative ecstasy of being devoured. and pray for them which despitefully use you. what shall we do? We must turn the other cheek. In realizing the Not-Me I am consummated. For a tiger knows no consummation unless he kill a violated and struggling prey. a truth complementary to the pagan affirmation: 'God is that which is Me. and my senses are God in me. who are not-me. have I not become one with the Whole. beyond the tiger who devours me? By my non-resistance I have robbed him of his consummation. In all the multitude of the others is God.
the Me of the flesh.' he was stating the proposition: A man is right.complete. It was this religious belief which expressed itself in science. am I not one with God. symbolically. of the senses. and life will be blessed. your Father which is in heaven is perfect. me the king. Whereas the Stuart proposition was: 'A man is consummated in expressing his own Self. Yet he is capable of apprehending that which is not himself. which is the destruction. me who am divine because I am the body of God. This is the way even as Paul's. The proper study of mankind is Man. in knowing that other. After the Puritans. when he is seeking to know Man. the worship of mechanized force. And in every man's consciousness. I know no limitation. he is consummated. When I am all that is not-me. consummated in the Infinite. The great inspiration of the new religion was the inspiration of freedom. When they beheaded Charles the First. the perfectibility of man. the Lord. Man is great and illimitable. to fulfil his desires. but then shall I know even as I am known. and the method of knowledge is by the analysis. whilst the individual is small and fragmentary. . then I am perfect. a man is the epitome of the universe. when I am like the skylark dissolved in the sky yet filling heaven and earth with song. Science was the analysis of the outer self. the aristocrat. Only I must eliminate the Self. then he will be perfect. Now the change has come to pass. the tiger burning bright. And the machine is the great reconstructed selfless power. Hence the active worship to which we were given at the end of the last century. When Pope said 'Know then thyself. the elementary substance of the self. presume not God to scan. the supremacy of the Me who am the image of God.' This is Saint 'Now I know in part. we have been gathering data for the God who is not-me. 'The proper study of mankind is Man. to satisfy his supreme senses. Therefore the individual must sink himself in the great whole of Mankind. Hence he is justified in his hope of infinite freedom and blessedness. they destroyed. then I have perfect liberty. have I not achieved the Infinite? After the Renaissance the Northern races continued forward to put into practice this religious belief in the God which is Not-Me.' The new spirit developed into the empirical and ideal systems of philosophy. 'Be ye therefore perfect. He has only to express himself. The individual man is a limited being. a man is consummated in his knowledge of that which is not himself. He is capable of knowing everything and understanding everything. The proposition up to that time was. the king by Divine Right.' This is another way of saying. of the Self. is consciousness. Me. the abstract Man. When I have submerged or distilled away my concrete body and my limited desires. Everything that is. finite in himself. for ever. This is in which we fulfil the commandment. Even the idea of the saving of the soul was really negative: it was a question of escaping damnation. the spirituality of Shelley.' Which means. The Puritans made the last great attack on the God who is Me. the great abstract. Therefore the consummation lies in seeking that other. the outer world. 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' When a man knows everything and understands everything.
There the Signora's dark eyes glared with surprise and agitation. the Selfless world. The padrone took me into a small room almost contained in the thickness of the wall. lip-servers. liars. an unthinkable hell. This selfless God is He who works for all alike. ancient. seeing me intrude. This question of a door-spring that made the door fly open when it should make it close roused a vivid spark in her soul. Having arrived at the one extreme of mechanical selflessness. or the other tigers. imperial. It was she who was wrestling with the angel of mechanism. We do not cease to be the one before we become the other. It was quite true. For it works for all humanity alike.' Which is nil.Still we continue to worship that which is not-me. forced to express the tiger. the supreme. and our blazing tiger wrath is emitted through a machine. a chaos beyond chaos. alas. and. We are shouting the Shakespearean advice to warriors: 'Then simulate the action of the tiger. we cower before it. At the same time our ideal is the selfless world of equity. a mere village tradesman's daughter. It is horrible. She was about forty years old. and flame-like and fierily sad. that which is Not-Me. warlike Self. We continue to give service to the Selfless God. It is a horrible thing to see machines hauled about by tigers. we are unforgivably wrong. out of love for other people. the machine is not wrong. It does not devour because its unselfish conscience bids it do so. oneness in service of the great humanity.' We are trying to become again the tiger. the door stood open. I will even become a tiger. She supported him with her flame. We say: 'I will be a tiger because I love mankind. A tiger devours because it is consummated in devouring. we want to be warlike tigers. supported his static. We try to say. we worship the great selfless oneness in the spirit. Her eyes were a flame of excitement. we run to serve it. at the mercy of tigers. I think she did not know she was sad. nought. childless.' Which is absurd. We want to be the tiger and the deer both in one. But her heart was eaten by some impotence in her life. We do not even play the roles in turn. She is younger than the Signore. for the sake of the other deer and doves. And His image is the machine which dominates and cows us. The tiger is not wrong. though we would fain bring in the Self to help us. but we. He was strange and static. without consideration. like a monkey. Which is just ghastly nothingness. 'The tiger is the lamb and the lamb is the tiger. kept it . nihil. ageless. Madame put down the screw-driver and drew herself erect. we immediately embrace the other extreme of the transcendent Self. We warlike tigers fit ourselves out with machinery. That is the horror: the confusing of the two ends. At the same time. duplicate fools. scarcely human. it achieves its absolute self in devouring. beautiful form. But we try to be both at once. She subdued her flame of life to the little padrone. out of selfless service to that which is not me. It is a still more horrible thing to see tigers caught up and entangled and torn in machinery.
and stretched it slightly in fastening it to the door-jamb. It was a fair. almost warlike woman's voice: '_Ecco!_' Her eyes were aflame as they looked at the door. with a gracious. intact force in his breeding. She caught him swiftly into the shadow. highly-bred little gentleman. whilst his wife stood behind him. stolid and handsome. and there in the corner. The Signora was concentrated upon the child as he sat. Then the Signor di Paoli turned to me. We soon made it right. into the domestic courtyard. she was kissing his neck. her voice quivering like bronze. We all exclaimed with joy. His wife disappeared as if dismissed. her hands half-raised to catch him if he should fall. Then the padrone broke into cordial motion. eagerly. and stood holding his chin. in his little white cap. the Signora Gemma held her husband together whilst he undid the screw that fixed the spring. perched on a bench picking at the pink geraniums. and the door flew open. He would show me the estate. If they had been alone. who roused in me an electric kind of melancholy. They had merely adjusted the strong spring to the shut door. We went out by the glass doors on the left. Then I heard a noise. the Signora Gemma sat laughing with a baby. It was an affair of gentlemen. a grey. But since I was there. his strange horse-mouth grinning almost pompously at me. I opened the door.intact. She ran forward to try it herself. We must drink. and the sunshine came through the trellised arches on to the flagstones. shaky. in her vibrating. standing on a chair with a long screw-driver. But she did not believe in him. She laughed. There were one or two orange-tubs in the light. pretending to be under his direction. I had already seen the house. and they were obscured. It was lower than the gardens round it. bonny thing of eighteen months. where the grass grew fine and green in the cracks. clasped her hands together in ecstasy as the door swiftly shut itself. under the creeper leaves. so that it drew together the moment the latch was released. Pouf!--it shut with a bang. The child took no notice of her. '_Ecco!_' she cried. The pink geraniums still frilled joyously in . He turned his back slightly on the woman. making mother-noises. her dark head was against the baby's wool jacket. I must try also. formal grin. Pouf! It shut with a bang. with a strange. avidly. '_Ecco!_' she cried. overwrought but triumphant. bent forward her dark face out of the shadow. They were delighted. the screw was fixed. Yet he was strangely absolute. bland. And the door swung to. Now. laughing again excitedly. The Signora Gemma. she would have done it. he did it himself. and all was deserted and spacious and still. There was a moment of anxiety. among all the pink geraniums and the sunshine. swift into a glitter of sunshine near the sunny baby. She opened the door expectantly.
laughing. He seemed to force himself forward. 'The Signora's nephew. her eyes flaring up. The woman had seen us watching. And we obtain it in the subjection. 'It is the man. fretful. The woman also was uncomfortable. Suddenly I turned to him inquiringly. a shadow that vanishes into nothing. And he had no children. The Signor Pietro. The Signora caught it away. supple. I had forgotten the padrone. He was nothing. as if he were a child and we adult. It was her brother's boy. dancing back a few yards from her old husband. unimportant. It was as if his _raison d'�tre_ had been to have a son. so she came across the sunshine with the child. 'I am a stranger. with the child in her arms. except formally. To the Italian the phallus is the symbol of individual creative immortality. Therefore he had no _raison d'�tre_. we feel pale and insignificant beside him. He was nullified. Wherein are we superior? Only because we went beyond the phallus in the search of the Godhead. This. We have exalted Man far above the man who is in each one of us. gloomy. and beautiful. Her husband stood as if overcast. The child twisted its face to cry. forced laugh of the old man. laughing and roused. We envy him. or too deeply chagrined. The child is but the evidence of the Godhead. I could see she wanted to go away with the child.' She advanced again.' she cried back. He held his chin. the creative origin. I was startled. queer old horse. He was annulled. in a small voice. And the old padrone was as if nullified by her ecstasy over the baby. . pained enjoyment. is the secret of Italy's attraction for us. obliterated. briefly.' I said to her across the distance. not coming out of her own world to us. to enjoy him alone. So on we go. in the sunshine. analysis. He was bitter. And this is why the Italian is attractive.' 'No. Our aim is a perfect humanity. not acknowledging us. and destruction of the Self. He always cries at the men. struggling as if to assert his own existence. curtly. a perfect and equable human consciousness. 'He is afraid of a stranger. no. It was as though his reality were not attested till he had a child. reduction. with palpitating.the sunshine. consumed by his own nothingness. Then I heard the neighing. selfless. He would not be left out.' he explained. then. And we found the physical forces and the secrets of science. rancorous envy. Yet at the same time we feel superior to him. talking to the baby. because he worships the Godhead in the flesh. She and I and the baby. this phallic worship. And he was ashamed. I was startled when I realized it. It was as if he were ashamed. laughed a moment. with strange. active in science and mechanics. to each man his own Godhead. acrid with chagrin and obliteration. began to laugh and neigh at the child.
twofold approach to God. The two Infinites. The children are not the future. Whatever we do. But it is no good. because we do not believe in it: no Northern race does. This will dominates us as a whole. And it is this. or else we turn perverse and destructive. To neutralize the one with the other is unthinkable. the Senses and the Mind. we are but attributes of the great mechanized society we have created on our way to perfection. Confusion is horror and nothingness. it is within the greater will towards self-reduction and a perfect society. The Infinite is twofold. By projection forth from myself. It works on mechanically and destroys us. prevents our being quite like the Italian. but there exists a relation between them. the Father and the Son. and we are now impotent to use them. This is the Holy Ghost of the Christian Trinity. is pitiless. our very constitution. the sensual ecstasy. and mechanical construction on the other. And man must know both. They are two Infinites. being selfless. They are eternally separate. like the Italian.' We have said: 'Let us go back from this adventuring. and from what we have been doing for hundreds of years. the lamb eternally shall be devoured. the will must persist. So we have said: 'What good are these treasures. The lion shall never lie down with the lamb. the Self. give ourselves joy in the destruction of the flesh. The living truth is the future. it is our master and our God.and social reform. Fifty million children growing up purposeless. in the Self and in Selflessness. they are only a disintegration of the past. Also the spiritual ecstasy of unanimity. So that now. The phallus will never serve us as a Godhead. Man knows the great consummation in the flesh. negative and positive. By great retrogression back to the source of darkness in me. they are vulgar nothings. by the elimination of my absolute sensual self. The future is in living. growing truth. an abomination. Oneness in the Spirit. deep in the senses. the self and the not-self. We have found great treasures. the Dark and the Light. let us enjoy our own flesh. but they are never identical. to cease entirely from what we are doing. It is past the time to cease seeking one Infinite. But he must never confuse them. I arrive at the Ultimate Infinite. either we set ourselves to serve our children. in advancing fulfilment. striving to eliminate the other. But the two are separate and never to be confused. that is eternal. the Soul and the Spirit. ignoring.' But our habit of life. calling them 'the future'. I arrive at the Original. The consummation of man is twofold. these are not the future. Creative Infinite. continuing in the old. The lion eternally shall devour the lamb. Therefore. Time and people do not make the future. But we have exhausted ourselves in the process. they are always related. with no purpose save the attainment of their own individual desires. the Tiger and the Lamb. and that is eternal. They are always opposite. It is past the time to leave off. and until the whole breaks down. we have become inhuman and unable to help ourselves. splendid will for a perfect selfless humanity. analysis on the one hand. the relation which is established between the two . Retrogression is not the future. the Eagle and the Dove. And this great mechanized society.
by the intervention of the Third. He admitted that today. Within the walls we are remote. the Two Infinites. But excluding One. heavy light. I said how I liked the big vine-garden. But that which I may never deny. and we could see the little villages on the opposite side of the lake. But that which relates them. parallel with us. and that it seemed to me _very_ large indeed. I exclude the Whole. Opposite us. the two natures of God. under the bony avenue of vines. sinned against. he was so much roused in self-defence and self-assertion. which relates and keeps distinct the dual natures of God. this makes the Ultimate Whole. ecco!_' He alighted on the word _beau_ hurriedly. the Absolute. But--he shrugged his Italian shoulders--it was nothing. And in the Holy Spirit I know the Two Ways. and teaches me the names of vegetables. because the walls are open halfway up. and the Son is the Son. They were all his. showing the darkness inside and the corner pillar very white and square and distinct in front of it. The terraces of the garden are held up to the sun. for open-air storage. The land is rich and black. The pride of the padrone came back with a click. just a little garden. We came to a great stone building that I had thought was a storehouse. into a Oneness. like the base of the triangle. There are two opposite ways to consummation. the sun falls full upon them. and could see the water rippling. I may know the Son and deny the Father. And knowing the Two. . and which I have denied. they are like a vessel slanted up. And confusing the two. starting from his scene of ignominy. To say that the two are one. it was beautiful. We climbed one flight of steps. '_Perch�--parce que--il fait un tempo--cos�--tr�s bell'--tr�s beau.' said the Signore. We walked under the pergola of bony vine-stocks. looking down on our security. moving in heavy spring sunshine. secure in the sunshine within the walls. The padrone makes little exclamatory noises that mean nothing. perfect. I make nullity nihil. or know the Father and deny the Son. I admit the Whole. '_mais--voulez-vous vous promener dans mes petites terres?_' It came out fluently. only the long mountain. this is the constant. perhaps. there is not only One. The two are related. where his wife played with another man's child. is the Holy Ghost which relates the dual Infinites into One Whole. arched mountain of snow. like a bird coming to ground with a little bounce. forgotten. The Father is the Father. which we have transgressed. We climbed again. '_Mais_. the Two Consummations. I asked when it ended. I protested it was beautiful. There are two ways. to catch the superb. is the long. to the great shut lemon-houses above.Infinites. that I loved it. _vous savez. He pointed me to the terrace. looking in. this is the inadmissible lie. monsieur_.
but finally to act as scaffolding of the great wooden houses that stand blind and ugly. At any rate. grey rows of pillars rising out of a broken wall. and came. and stood at the foot of the lemon-house. what a wonderful bath it would make. But the mountain-side. in the winter. In the morning I often lie in bed and watch the sunrise. ringing from the mountain-side over the blue lake. In November. for at my feet was a great floor of water. old and brown. At a certain place on the mountain ridge the light burns gold. as if they remained from some great race that had once worshipped here. some are seen. otherwise. projected from the mountain-side. upon the mountain slopes steep by the lake. with a raw smell. and the pillars are to support the heavy branches of the trees. rising in two or three receding tiers. and we heard the two men talking and singing as they walked across perilously. a faint. tier above tier. ruddy brown. seeming to give off a little red heat. I started. as they gave off the lovely perfume of the hills. though they had twenty or thirty feet to fall if they slipped. to the men on the boats far out. We passed through. sordid-looking places. so that the sense of elevation must have been taken away. The Signore laughed at my surprise. covering the lemon trees in the winter. Then. All summer long. So that now these enormous. The old Signore gave his little neighing laugh at the idea. from out of the storehouses the men were carrying timber. blind building rose high in the sunshine before us. a floor when seen from above. saw the men sitting easily on this flimsy hanging platform. a reservoir in the gloom. forsaken. a hanging roof when seen from below. When the roofs were on they put in the fronts. And here and there. And we. long. till of a sudden it . The big. while over them the sky gushes and glistens with light. square pillars of masonry. we saw below. quick concussion. and above their heads the rocks glowed high into the sky. seemed near. And all day long the sound of hammering echoed among the rocks and olive woods. blind. Then we climbed into a great loft of leaves. pane overlapping pane in the long strip of narrow window. on the top of the lemon gardens. as we walked along the military road on the mountain-side. clear and green in its obscurity. till a platform of timber. he said. slightly. They are the lemon plantations. In their clumsy zoccoli they strode easily across. stored in a great bank under the roof. at irregular intervals. thin poles laid from pillar to pillar. I said. placing the poles. stands the rows of naked pillars rising out of the green foliage like ruins of temples: white. naked to the sky. dark. in roughly made panels.Entering carelessly into the dimness. they went easily from pillar-summit to pillar-summit. unsightly buildings bulge out on the mountain-sides. on the road above. And still. rising up the mountain-sides here and there. blocked in between the white pillars withhold. dark wood. Then again was the rattle and clang of planks being laid in order. hammering the planks. It was for irrigating the land. It stank. seems to fuse a little groove on the hill's rim. It fuses and fuses at this point. with a great cave of space below. and we heard the clang of falling planks. standing away in lonely places where the sun streams full. was a panel of glass. The lake lies dim and milky. when cold winds came down and snow had fallen on the mountains. rising steeply. the mountains are dark blue at the back. standing forlorn in their colonnades and squares. going down between the walls.
Tall lemon trees. a great unbearable sun-track flashing across the milky lake. where the poor threes seem to mope in the darkness. The mountains melt suddenly. And the maestra--she is the schoolmistress. It is true. heavy with half-visible fruit. there are long strips of window and slots of space. 'now. were little orange trees. It is almost like being under the sea. shut in in this enormous box.comes. a spangle. the light steps down. When I warm my hands at them the Signore breaks me off one twig after another. Then. the many ruddy-clustered oranges beside the path remind me of the lights of a village along the lake at night. But at night--I _think_--' I almost wished it were night to try. and as if in life. They look like ghosts in the darkness of the underworld. a long panel here and there. beside the path. living light. At the corners of the path were round little patches of ash and stumps of charred wood. the intense. but only grand shadows of themselves. fell prey to disease. The plants raised from seed.' I said. crowd together. who wears black gloves while she teaches us Italian--says that the lemon was brought by St Francis of Assisi. '_Voulez-vous_'--the Signore bows me in with outstretched hand--'_voulez-vous entrer. It is an immense. stately. and dozens of oranges hanging like hot coals in the twilight. after climbing for an hour. where fires had been kindled inside the house on cold nights. But he. lemon and sweet orange. looking aside. and its cloisters have some beautiful and original carvings of leaves and . while the pale lemons above are the stars. dark. and here and there a fat citron.' replied the Signore. there is a glitter. Between the lemon trees. so the cultivators found it safe only to raise the native bitter orange. Then I notice a citron. a long slot of darkness at irregular intervals between the brown wood and the glass stripes. The padrone says that all lemons and sweet oranges are grafted on a bitter-orange stock. They seemed now in the underworld. 'But it is much colder in here than outside. pillars. I wanted to imagine the trees cosy. For during the second and third weeks in January the snow came down so low on the mountains that. cold place. and an occasional beam of light fingers the leaves of an enclosed tree and the sickly round lemons. that he seems a dark green enormity. a swarm of ruddy oranges by the paths. But it is nevertheless very gloomy. too. exquisite scent of lemon flowers. I see one of the pillars. And lurking here and there. a heavy bouquet. I hear the little slotting noise which tells me they are opening the lemon gardens. 'Yes. monsieur?_' I went into the lemon-house. There is a great host of lemons overhead. and rise in the gloom. Certainly the church of San Francesco is very old and dilapidated. the sad black paths. and the light falls on my face. a clutch of spangles. half-visible. so that the front is striped. Here we are trees. who came to the Garda here and founded a church and a monastery. and saw olive orchards on lawns of snow. and then graft upon it. men. molten. seems a shadow. the dark earth. He hangs heavy and bloated upon so small a tree. There is a subtle. not one of the dazzling white fellows I knew. Looking down the Hades of the lemon-house. till I have a bunch of burning oranges among dark leaves. I found myself in a snow lane.
than in England. but then the demand is necessarily small. all the year. dilapidated as the lemon-houses themselves. Once there were twice as many lemons as now. cut off to make a pergola for the vine. small ones. There had been a wind. but. static. A film of pure blue was on the hills to the right and the left. almost a grin. very deep.' It is true these lemons have an exquisite fragrance and perfume. monsieur_--the lemon. The water breathed an iridescent dust on the far shore. One citron fetches sometimes a shilling or more. ageless look of misery. 'There was once a lemon garden also there--you see the short pillars. The citrons are sold also by weight in Sal� for the making of that liqueur known as 'Cedro'. The gardens are already many of them in ruins. A woman went down-hill quickly. But the vine--one crop--?' He lifts his shoulders and spreads his hands with that gesture of finality and fatality. while his face takes the blank. From that piece of land I had two hundred lire a year.' says the maestra. They are leaving him in the lurch. poco--peu_. with distant. '_Voyez_. 'that is because your lemons are outdoor fruit from Sicily. I think he hates them.' 'But wine is a valuable crop. an orange-sailed boat leaned slim to the dark-blue water. with two goats and a sheep. the Signore sighed. It was the real Italian melancholy. shaky little figure on his roof in the sky. I imagine him wandering here with a lemon in his pocket. or dearer. There is the present.' Suddenly his face broke into a smile of profound melancholy. and still more 'Da Vendere'. The padrone stood behind me. but whether their force as lemons is double that of an ordinary fruit is a question. the Lago di Garda cannot afford to grow its lemons much longer. 'But that is as dear. 'Ah--_cos�-cos�_! For a man who grows much.' I said. Oranges are sold at fourpence halfpenny the kilo--it comes about five for twopence. but it was still now. where the villages were groups of specks. which had flecks of foam.' I say. From the vine I have only eighty.' said the padrone. perfect melancholy. But Bacchus had been before him in the drink trade. like a monkey's. 'Ah. from these figures. a shabby. When we came to the brink of the roof I sat down. on the lake. '_Vous voyez. We were always level with the mountain-snow opposite. _Per�_--one of our lemons is as good as _two_ from elsewhere. Now we must have vine instead. in lemons. Looking at his lemons. a little figure of dilapidation. Perhaps he made lemonade in the hot summer. it is all the year. On the low level of the world. There is no hope. For me--_poco. They are sold retail at a halfpenny each all the year round.fruit upon the pillars. Either . Among the olives a man was whistling. So that it is evident. which seem to connect San Francesco with the lemon. We went out of the shadow of the lemon-house on to the roof of the section below us. like a gargoyle.
where there is peace and beauty and no more dissonance. 'In England--' 'Ah. too. She was conquering the whole world. He did not know these mechanisms. at all the peace of the ancient world still covered in sunshine. bound it up with railways. this old. fuming. 'But it is very beautiful. It was beautiful as paradise. The machines were more to his soul than the sun. this last reduction. in histrionic triumph. enclosed lemon-houses seemed ramshackle. and he wanted to know them. human-contrived. the machines. He wanted to know the joy of man who has got the earth in his grip. satisfied with the destruction of the Self. and human power. He wanted this last triumph of the ego.' exclaimed the padrone. . It remains for the young Italian to embrace his mistress. that is common property. And yet. 'in England you have the wealth--_les richesses_--you have the mineral coal and the machines. machine production. the same ageless.' I protested. inhuman power. I sat and looked at the lake. beyond. I thought of England. monkey-like grin of fatality. backwards. She had conquered the natural life to the end: she was replete with the conquest of the outer world. to create the great unliving creators. to the wonderful source of that blue day. I sat on the roof of the lemon-house. as the first creation. it was intolerable. and looked at the ruins on the old. with the lake below and the snowy mountain opposite. They seemed to be lingering in bygone centuries. laborious Midlands and north-country. tempered by cunning. Here we have the sun--' He lifted his withered hand to the sky. was she not herself finished in this work? She had had enough. And England was conquering the world with her machines and her horrible destruction of natural life. He wanted machines. burrowed it with iron fingers. with her soul worn down. and he smiled. money. into the great inhuman Not Self. And the Garda was so lovely under the sky of sunshine. the great mass of London. On the shores were the ruined lemon-pillars standing out in melancholy. But he is too old. And yet. But his triumph was only histrionic. the clumsy. beyond the Self. The villages. out of the active forces of nature that existed before flesh. It seemed horrible. bulging among vine stocks and olive trees. the machine. For away. it was better than the padrone. He wanted to go where the English have gone. It is better to go forward into error than to stay fixed inextricably in the past. clustered upon their churches. horrible. and the past seemed to me so lovely that one must look towards it. black and foul and dry. and the black. was this England. in the end destructive. _vous savez_. with the iridescence of eternal ice above them. olive-fuming shores. only backwards. their great.that is enough. seemed to belong to the past. or there is nothing. Yet what should become of the world? There was London and the industrial counties spreading like a blackness over all the world. almost worn away. beyond all the snowy Alps. monkey-like cunning of fatality. and no man is distinguished by it. in England. the present. As for the sun. subdued it. coming on his face.
very cold salutation to the stout village magistrate with the long brown beard. On Christmas Day the padrone came in with the key of his box. how-do-you-do to the padrona of the hotel. There are two tiers of little boxes in the theatre. looking down on the world. and speed. on the upper tier. the chemist. so simply and pleasantly. If she still lived. Luigi. and nothing done with it. you understand. while a grouping of faces look out . only teeming swarms of disintegrated human beings seething and perishing rapidly away amongst it. and who sits. as of flying atoms. who is our good friend. With this he handed me the key. who leans forward in the box facing the stage. the people disappeared. a few boxes off. _3_ THE THEATRE During carnival a company is playing in the theatre. It was necessary to make bows all round: ah. The theatre is an old church. a mere nothing. and the slightly ecclesiastical seats below. I made suitable acknowledgements. There it lay. And the padrone's is one of the best. Now everything is theatrical. and we were shut in our little cabin. and the Signor Di Paoli spread his hands and put his head on one side. in fact. Then I found the barber. and would we care to see the drama? The theatre was small. swallowed up in the last efforts towards a perfect. I opened the door of Number 8. it seemed to me a very graceful event. I realized how cleverly it had been constructed for the dramatic presentation of religious ceremonies. the walls are windowless. has come to give us the nervous excitement of speed--grimace agitation. The key had a chain and a little shield of bronze. and scored by strange devices of industry. selfless society. sound is well distributed.She would cease. parrot-wise. This cast-off church made a good theatre. bowing profusely in a box opposite. crude melodrama. To be handed the key of a box at the theatre. and lined with dark red paper. and was really impressed. We paid our threepence entrance fee in the stone hall and went upstairs. till it seems as if a world will be left covered with huge ruins. and quite dead. a mere affair of peasants. wearing a little beaver shoulder-cape. vast masses of rough-hewn knowledge. expecting some good. The east end is round. on which was beaten out a large figure 8. except the stone floor and two pillars at the back of the auditorium. chaos--many an old church in Italy has taken a new lease of life. Since that triumph of the deaf and dumb. quite like real boxes in a real theatre. or else expire. near the barber. in the large sitting-room looking over the grey lake of Christmas Day. vast masses of ideas and methods. It just holds three people. she would turn round. vast masses of machines and appliances. So the next day we went to see _I Spettri_. with fringe and red velvet. the cinematograph. some forty in all. she would begin to build her knowledge into a great structure of truth. but we might find a little diversion--_un peu de divertiment_.
or they watch with wistful absorption the play that is going on. vindictive unity. It is as if their vulnerable being was exposed and they have not the wit to cover it. the indomitable necessity. a warm smile to the family of the Signora Gemma. The men are clean. and black furs. and as if revealed. I cannot tell why I hate the village magistrate. under constraint. in grey uniforms and slanting cock's-feather hats. he himself weighing down the front of the picture with his portliness and his long brown beard. unconscious and vulnerable. and an odd couple or so of brazen girls taking their places on the men's side. that are knotted perhaps with a scarlet rag. They submit as under compulsion. whilst the faces of his family are arranged in two groups for the background. the hardness. or against the two pillars. There is no comradeship between men and women. fishermen. unconscious of the patches on their clothes or of their bare throats. excited. all together on the left. their clothes are all clean washed. on the public highway in the afternoon.from behind him. with perhaps an odd man at the end of a row. There is a pathos of physical sensibility and mental inadequacy. and our Sunday clothes. Downstairs the villagers are crowding. lounging against the pillars or standing very dark and sombre. But they have dark. Their mind is not sufficiently alert to run with their quick. . beside his wife. in a hard. At the back. There is no real courting. unwilling youth walks for an hour with his sweetheart. The men keep together. with the aid of a large black velvet hat. drifting like a heavy current. they lounge and talk. they stand very dark and isolated in their moments of stillness. But it is Sunday tomorrow. but rather a condition of battle. Their black felt hats are pulled down. It is as if the power. they lounge with wonderful ease against the wall at the back. the triumph. They come together mostly in anger and in violence of destructive passion. heedless motion upon their clattering zoccoli. only the roused excitement which is based on a fundamental hostility. They are strangely isolated in their own atmosphere. I think he is angry at our intrusion. strong herd. reserve. is like a bondage upon the people. But we eclipse him easily. none whatsoever. are several groups of bersaglieri. On the right. soft eyes. then peasants. warm senses. This is a concession to the necessity for marriage. sprawling in the benches. That which drives men and women together. Then we are settled. their cloaks are thrown over their mouths. no happiness of being together. are the more reckless spirits of the village. He is very republican and self-important. He looks like a family portrait by a Flemish artist. by church instinct. So that they have a week's black growth on their chins. Loose and abandoned. as if to support each other. even in this Italian village. the women also are together. were with the women in their relentless. and they are shaved only on a Sunday. they shout and wave to each other when anything occurs. hostility. The rags of the poorest porter are always well washed. They move and balance with loose. The women are seated. across next to the stage. at a little distance from her. On Sundays the uncomfortable.
like a sex duel. even the rows of ungovernable children. The male spirit. They seem held in reserve. and the reverence for fatherhood or motherhood. But there is no synthetic love between men and women. prolific maternity. drunk but sinister. on his great day of liberation. Some strange will holds the women taut. They are just as tense and stiff as the men are slack and abandoned. sat absorbed in watching as the Norwegian drama unfolded itself. husband and wife wage the subtle. at the best a full. and what there is is of the subtle. On the whole. during the sex-passion. The pathetic ignominy of the village male is complete on Sunday afternoon. afraid of the strange. There is nothing charming nor winning about them. is something trivial in comparison. the oneness. the terrible subjugation to sex. which would subdue the immediate flesh to some conscious or social purpose. Sometimes she is beaten when she gets home. The curtain rose. almost shun each other. is divine. in work. It is part of the process. On Sunday afternoons the uncomfortable youth walks by the side of his maiden for an hour in the public highway. as workers. at the worst a yellow poisonous bitterness of the flesh that is like a narcotic. is overthrown. Here the union. liberated husband. the men and women avoid each other. na�ve attention which children give. The company of actors in the little theatre was from a small town away on the plain. The child. It is the profound desire to rehabilitate themselves. The woman in her maternity is the law-giver. Then he escapes. And this is why the men must go away to America. everybody was still. their backs very straight. a profound intimacy. dangerous. It is a profound desire to get away from women altogether. It is not the money. the phallic worship. the act of love is a fight. Though spirit strove with spirit. satisfying war of sex upon each other. which they both worship. beyond Brescia. with that profound. The authority of the man. their perfectly dressed hair gleaming. as from a bondage he goes back to his men companions. not only from the flesh. all unanimity in action. by the erect. On Sunday afternoons and evenings the married woman. is manifest. But in each of them there is only the great reverence for the infant. as creators from the spirit. in mortal conflict. They are not very noticeable. in public affairs. But it destroys all joy. The peasants and fishermen of the Garda. as the case may be. And after a few minutes I realized that _I Spettri_ was Ibsen's _Ghosts_. The phallus is still divine. this has become nothing. yet the flesh united with flesh in oneness. slightly cowed woman. accompanied by a friend or by a child--she dare not go alone. Husband and wife are brought together in a child. the outcome. there is no spiritual love. . It gives a profound satisfaction. terrible sex-war between her and the drunken man--is seen leading home the wine-drunken. They seem like weapons. as producers. to recover some dignity as men. there is only passion. So the women triumph. cruel kind. and passion is fundamental hatred. His drunken terrorizing is only pitiable. But they are too strong for the men. the mind of man. she is so obviously the more constant power. unswerving. They sit down below in the theatre.There is very little flirting. the supreme authority. when he is accompanied home. In marriage. But the spirit. their heads carried tensely.
It was such a change from the hard. but is unsettled. The Signer Pietro di Paoli shrugs his shoulders and apologizes for their vulgar accent. which is the spirit that fulfils in the world the new germ of an idea. In his soul he was dependent. playing the plays he chose himself. this was denied and obscured in him. it was rather a kind of debility in the soul. But it was no taint in the blood. in his soul he did not want it. the hectic. It could only revert to the senses. broad and thick-set. The mother was a pleasant. ruddy man. ethical. perfectly produced and detestable. almost in his prime. there was yet a secret sickness which oppressed him. forlorn. his real self. no. I am trying to get myself to rights with the play. that which he would have he did not vitally want. He is qualified as a chemist. unused. A robust. And then the son. which was as perfect an interpretation as I can imagine. he was not going to be dictated to in the least by any one. Dark. flaunting and florid as a rather successful Italian can be. His flashy Italian passion for his half-sister was real enough to make one uncomfortable: something he wanted and would have in spite of his own soul. much too flagrant. Even . His true being. prefers play-acting. was impotent. forward hussy. He had his own way. The pastor was a ginger-haired caricature imitated from the northern stage. that I had to wait to adjust myself. And it was this spirit which cried out helplessly in him through the insistent. coming to our village with his little company. it was only a sort of inflamed obstinacy that made him so insistent. He was not going to be governed by women. The servant was just a slim. And yet he must act from his physical desires. the play was his. she did not quite know what. evidently of peasant origin. Such a child crying in the night! And for what? For he was hot-blooded. The other male divinity. That which he wanted and would have. in the masculine way. comfortable woman harassed by something. and powerful. healthy. but with some education now. the soul that goes forth and builds up a new world out of the void. It is all the same to me.The actors are peasants. The peasants never laughed. ruddy. northern issue of a diseased father. they watched solemnly and absorbedly like children. His divinity was the phallic divinity. And yet. he could not be the blighted son of 'Ghosts'. And he was strangely disturbing. He was childish and dependent on the mother. The leader is the son of a peasant proprietor. not at all. mamma!_' would have tormented the mother-soul in any woman living. vagrant. his physical will. His real man's soul. to the rather pathetic notion of the Italian peasants. To hear him say. unsound. He governed his circumstances pretty much. and free as a man can be in his circumstances. It was this contradiction within the man that made the play so interesting. he admitted no thwarting. vigorous man of thirty-eight. pert. '_Grazia. the sensual excitement. which I have just lately seen in Munich. quite a lay figure. inflammable flesh. was ineffectual. And this because he was beaten by his own flesh. slightly mechanized characters in the German play. something which fundamentally he did not want. the actor-manager: he was a dark. he was the important figure.
But the villagers do not really care for Ibsen. a real crying in the night. Ibsen is exciting. held in thrall by the sound of emotion.this play-acting was a form of physical gratification for him. nervously sensational. There are several murders and a good deal of artificial horror. They seem to be fingering with the mind the secret places and sources of the blood. So the audience loved it. as a special treat. On the feast of Epiphany. . it had in it neither real mind nor spirit. had settled on him. bellissimo. absorbed eyes at the mystery. Partly it is the true phallic worship. may once more liberate the spirit of outgoing. but it is the source of uncleanliness and corruption and death. But it is all a very nice and romantic piece of make-believe. but now the worship is mental and perverted: the phallus is the real fetish. and so much more moving. The phallus is a symbol of creative divinity. how one hates the Norwegian and Swedish nations! They are detestable. bellissimo_!' he said. impertinent. After the performance of _Ghosts_ I saw the barber. But also it is a desire to expose themselves to death. in the outer world. The peasants below sat and listened intently. It was so different from Ibsen. irreverent. and wanted to help it with all one's soul. They do not fidget or lose interest. The sterile cold inertia. The children themselves sit spellbound on the benches till the play is over. for the phallic principle is to absorb and dominate all life. of uniting. as if he were cold. But this was really moving. when he saw me. to know death. '_Ah. worshipped in obscenity. like a charade. But after the D'Annunzio play he was like a man who has drunk sweet wine and is warm. dead. for he has to destroy his symbol in himself. yet who are spellbound. and he went obliterating himself in the street. that death may destroy in them this too strong dominion of the blood. which the so-called passionate nations know so well. It is a foolish romantic play of no real significance. nasty. They watch with wide. set them free to know and serve a greater idea. Which is now his misery. It is with them a sort of phallic worship also. But when one sees the perfect Ibsen. and he had the curious grey clayey look of an Italian who is cold and depressed. of making order out of chaos. unashamed. it is the Moloch. The Italian has made it represent the whole. But it represents only part of creative divinity. like children who hear and do not understand. One loved the Italian nation. was given a poetic drama by D'Annunzio. They let it go. Which is unbearable. as the flesh makes a new order from chaos in begetting a new life. _La Fiaccola sotto il Moggio_--_The Light under the Bushel_. There is a certain intolerable nastiness about the real Ibsen: the same thing is in Strindberg and in most of the Norwegian and Swedish writings. in tones of intoxicated reverence. Which is why the Italian men have the enthusiasm for war.
dear Dame aux Cam�lias. bella_!' that follows the sobs: it is due recognition of their hard wrongs: 'the woman pays. The play was _The Wife of the Doctor_. Nevertheless. she is irreproachable. 'famous all over the world. no doubt.' 'But you know--D'Annunzio is a poet--oh. how we love you. the prima. unfortunate soul. It was the Italian passion for rhetoric. sufficiently uninteresting. Minnehaha. His mind is scarcely engaged at all. The other. blonde. He half-raised his hands. They sit stiffly and dangerously as ever. But. ill-used thing.' 'That was Ibsen--a great Norwegian. is the real heroine of the theatre.. fulfilled.'Better than _I Spettri_?' I said. Adelaida was the person to see. at any rate to the masculine soul. with her hair down her back.' Nevertheless. She is very good at sobbing. hearing and feeling without understanding. she is the lily of the stage. the bearer of many wrongs. yes. He can control the current of the blood with his words. Dear Adelaida. soft Adelaida. she is dear.' I said. pale. The first. 'Ah. She must be ill-used and unfortunate. she is the mother of the young pert person of _Ghosts_. yet his hearer is satisfied. 'it was D'Annunzio. Elizabeth. and the only one for which prices were raised--to a fourpence entrance fee instead of threepence--was for the leading lady. It is the movement. Carnival ends on the 5th of February. they despise in their souls the plump. though she is no longer young. but--' he said. She is very popular. beautiful. pathetic. Ph�dre. Which is why D'Annunzio is a god in Italy. Dear Gretchen. tear-blenched. I could call her by a hundred names. Juliet. He is like a child. Melisande.. as if to imply the fatuity of the question. a modern piece. the farce that followed made me laugh. with its faint . for the speech which appeals to the senses and makes no demand on the mind. in all ages and lands. I could write a sonnet-sequence to her. It was the language which did it. It is the sensuous gratification he asks for. white-robed. tear-stained woman. But an Italian only cares about the emotion. dear Desdemona. '_bella. Since it was her Evening of Honour. Each new time I hear her voice. When an Englishman listens to a speech he wants at least to imagine that he understands thoroughly and impersonally what is meant. beautiful!' There was no going beyond this '_bello--bellissimo_'. In fact. in every clime. etc. dear Mary Magdalene. bella_!' The women say nothing. dear Lucy of Lammermoor. Therefore they take unto themselves the homage of the men's '_bella. I have broken my heart over her several times. In the theatre she blossoms forth. the fair.. tear-stained thing. dear Iphigenia. and although much of what he says is bosh. In every age. out of their strong emotion. Adelaida. and afterwards the men exclaim involuntarily. Young and inexperienced as I am. in a hundred languages. they quite agree this is the true picture of ill-used. stout and blonde and soft and pathetic. so each Thursday there is a Serata d' Onore of one of the actors. dear. the physical effect of the language upon the blood which gives him supreme satisfaction. this soft. Butterfly.
tears shaken from the depths of her soft. There I sit in the padrone's little red box and stifle my emotion. her voice a chalky squeak in it. I was ready to walk on the stage. in two minutes it has worked its way with me. The last time I saw her was here. saying. Margu�rite. I am the positive half of the universe. just as positive as the other half. She weeps real tears. you know. plangent strength which gives one a real voluptuous thrill. it is black voile and a handkerchief. then the other. and to offer her myself. 'There's the hanky!' Nevertheless. if it comes to that. I say. and my bones melt. with a blonde pigtail and a flower. Electra. on yonder lea.' So I cover her protectively in my arms. her tears foster my own strength and grandeur. There is a sob. Why are the women so bad at playing this part in real life. at Sal�. My heart begins to swell like a bud under the plangent rain. child. _I'll_ see you're all right. It is a pleasant and exciting role for me to play.' had my to all Of course I know the secret of the Gretchen magic. kissing her soft.clang of tears. Realistically. or man. Mr Hercules!' phrase. and soon I shall be kissing her. and her voice has just that moist. and you shall have it: _I_ will give it to you. one is filled with strength and pride. There. my heart was overripe in breast. Her shyness. for comfort. but what is age in such circumstances? 'Your poor little hanky. her trustfulness. Robert Burns did the part to perfection: O wert thou in the cauld blast On yonder lea. And still I cannot resist it. How many times does one recite that to all the Ophelias and Gretchens in the world: Thy bield should be my bosom. a cry. But so I am. She was the chalked. I cannot stand it. plump hand as the tears begin to rise. victimized female self. don't cry. in the heat and prowess of my compassion. She squeezes it in her poor. Sieglinde. 'I can see it is real _love_ you want. bringing my comfort nearer and nearer. to wipe out the odious. Isolde. my heart grows big and hot. How one admires one's bosom in that capacity! Looking down at one's shirt-front. but it is no good. vulnerable. miscreant lover. I detested her. by the end. This is her modern uniform. then. this Ophelia-Gretchen role? Why are they so unwilling to go mad and die for . Her antique garment is of trailing white. She wears a dress of black voile. I detest her. whilst I repeat in my heart: 'What a shame. _All_ men are not beasts. plump cheek and neck closely. it's sopping. It'll be all right. so cruel. it is all in the 'Save me. Adelaida is plump. The moment she comes on the stage and looks round--a bit scared--she is _she_. her timidity. she presses the fist and the hanky to her eyes. one eye. thin-armed daughter of Rigoletto. ready to burst with loving affection. And yet. what a shame!' She is twice my age. on the Garda. like the lady who weeps at the trial in the police-court. Fate. Adelaida always has a handkerchief. is inexorable.
our sakes? They do it regularly on the stage. But perhaps, after all, we write the plays. What a villain I am, what a black-browed, passionate, ruthless, masculine villain I am to the leading lady on the stage; and, on the other hand, dear heart, what a hero, what a fount of chivalrous generosity and faith! I am _anything_ but a dull and law-abiding citizen. I am a Galahad, full of purity and spirituality, I am the Lancelot of valour and lust; I fold my hands, or I cock my hat in one side, as the case may be: I am _myself_. Only, I am not a respectable citizen, not that, in this hour of my glory and my escape. Dear Heaven, how Adelaida wept, her voice plashing like violin music, at my ruthless, masculine cruelty. Dear heart, how she sighed to rest on my sheltering bosom! And how I enjoyed my dual nature! How I admired myself! Adelaida chose _La Moglie del Dottore_ for her Evening of Honour. During the following week came a little storm of coloured bills: 'Great Evening of Honour of Enrico Persevalli.' This is the leader, the actor-manager. What should he choose for his great occasion, this broad, thick-set, ruddy descendant of the peasant proprietors of the plain? No one knew. The title of the play was not revealed. So we were staying at home, it was cold and wet. But the maestra came inflammably on that Thursday evening, and were we not going to the theatre, to see _Amleto_? Poor maestra, she is yellow and bitter-skinned, near fifty, but her dark eyes are still corrosively inflammable. She was engaged to a lieutenant in the cavalry, who got drowned when she was twenty-one. Since then she has hung on the tree unripe, growing yellow and bitter-skinned, never developing. '_Amleto!_' I say. '_Non lo conosco._' A certain fear comes into her eyes. She is schoolmistress, and has a mortal dread of being wrong. '_Si_,' she cries, wavering, appealing, '_una dramma inglese_.' 'English!' I repeated. 'Yes, an English drama.' 'How do you write it?' Anxiously, she gets a pencil from her reticule, and, with black-gloved scrupulousness, writes _Amleto_. '_Hamlet_!' I exclaim wonderingly. '_Ecco, Amleto!_' cries the maestra, her eyes aflame with thankful justification. Then I knew that Signore Enrico Persevalli was looking to me for an
audience. His Evening of Honour would be a bitter occasion to him if the English were not there to see his performance. I hurried to get ready, I ran through the rain. I knew he would take it badly that it rained on his Evening of Honour. He counted himself a man who had fate against him. '_Sono un disgraziato, io._' I was late. The First Act was nearly over. The play was not yet alive, neither in the bosoms of the actors nor in the audience. I closed the door of the box softly, and came forward. The rolling Italian eyes of Hamlet glanced up at me. There came a new impulse over the Court of Denmark. Enrico looked a sad fool in his melancholy black. The doublet sat close, making him stout and vulgar, the knee-breeches seemed to exaggerate the commonness of his thick, rather short, strutting legs. And he carried a long black rag, as a cloak, for histrionic purposes. And he had on his face a portentous grimace of melancholy and philosophic importance. His was the caricature of Hamlet's melancholy self-absorption. I stooped to arrange my footstool and compose my countenance. I was trying not to grin. For the first time, attired in philosophic melancholy of black silk, Enrico looked a boor and a fool. His close-cropped, rather animal head was common above the effeminate doublet, his sturdy, ordinary figure looked absurd in a melancholic droop. All the actors alike were out of their element. Their Majesties of Denmark were touching. The Queen, burly little peasant woman, was ill at ease in her pink satin. Enrico had had no mercy. He knew she loved to be the scolding servant or housekeeper, with her head tied up in a handkerchief, shrill and vulgar. Yet here she was pranked out in an expanse of satin, la Regina. Regina, indeed! She obediently did her best to be important. Indeed, she rather fancied herself; she looked sideways at the audience, self-consciously, quite ready to be accepted as an imposing and noble person, if they would esteem her such. Her voice sounded hoarse and common, but whether it was the pink satin in contrast, or a cold, I do not know. She was almost childishly afraid to move. Before she began a speech she looked down and kicked her skirt viciously, so that she was sure it was under control. Then she let go. She was a burly, downright little body of sixty, one rather expected her to box Hamlet on the ears. Only she liked being a queen when she sat on the throne. There she perched with great satisfaction, her train splendidly displayed down the steps. She was as proud as a child, and she looked like Queen Victoria of the Jubilee period. The King, her noble consort, also had new honours thrust upon him, as well as new garments. His body was real enough but it had nothing at all to do with his clothes. They established a separate identity by themselves. But wherever he went, they went with him, to the confusion of everybody. He was a thin, rather frail-looking peasant, pathetic, and very gentle.
There was something pure and fine about him, he was so exceedingly gentle and by natural breeding courteous. But he did not feel kingly, he acted the part with beautiful, simple resignation. Enrico Persevalli had overshot himself in every direction, but worst of all in his own. He had become a hulking fellow, crawling about with his head ducked between his shoulders, pecking and poking, creeping about after other people, sniffing at them, setting traps for them, absorbed by his own self-important self-consciousness. His legs, in their black knee-breeches, had a crawling, slinking look; he always carried the black rag of a cloak, something for him to twist about as he twisted in his own soul, overwhelmed by a sort of inverted perversity. I had always felt an aversion from Hamlet: a creeping, unclean thing he seems, on the stage, whether he is Forbes Robertson or anybody else. His nasty poking and sniffing at his mother, his setting traps for the King, his conceited perversion with Ophelia make him always intolerable. The character is repulsive in its conception, based on self-dislike and a spirit of disintegration. There is, I think, this strain of cold dislike, or self-dislike, through much of the Renaissance art, and through all the later Shakespeare. In Shakespeare it is a kind of corruption in the flesh and a conscious revolt from this. A sense of corruption in the flesh makes Hamlet frenzied, for he will never admit that it is his own flesh. Leonardo da Vinci is the same, but Leonardo loves the corruption maliciously. Michelangelo rejects any feeling of corruption, he stands by the flesh, the flesh only. It is the corresponding reaction, but in the opposite direction. But that is all four hundred years ago. Enrico Persevalli has just reached the position. He _is_ Hamlet, and evidently he has great satisfaction in the part. He is the modern Italian, suspicious, isolated, self-nauseated, labouring in a sense of physical corruption. But he will not admit it is in himself. He creeps about in self-conceit, transforming his own self-loathing. With what satisfaction did he reveal corruption--corruption in his neighbours he gloated in--letting his mother know he had discovered her incest, her uncleanness, gloated in torturing the incestuous King. Of all the unclean ones, Hamlet was the uncleanest. But he accused only the others. Except in the 'great' speeches, and there Enrico was betrayed, Hamlet suffered the extremity of physical self-loathing, loathing of his own flesh. The play is the statement of the most significant philosophic position of the Renaissance. Hamlet is far more even than Orestes, his prototype, a mental creature, anti-physical, anti-sensual. The whole drama is the tragedy of the convulsed reaction of the mind from the flesh, of the spirit from the self, the reaction from the great aristocratic to the great democratic principle. An ordinary instinctive man, in Hamlet's position, would either have set about murdering his uncle, by reflex action, or else would have gone right away. There would have been no need for Hamlet to murder his mother. It would have been sufficient blood-vengeance if he had killed his uncle. But that is the statement according to the aristocratic principle. Orestes was in the same position, but the same position two thousand years earlier, with two thousand years of experience wanting. So that the question was not so intricate in him as in Hamlet, he was not nearly
and slaying. the infallible King. had brought him there. King and Lord. or infinite. war. like Agamemnon. not to be. Yet the women-murderers only represent some ultimate judgement in his own soul. this infinity. it was not faithful to the highest idea of the self. is. The great religious. He is the beginning of non-aristocratic Christianity. The supreme representative. he would be the same whatever mother he had. was not infallible. Father and King. a warrior-king. But for all that. It is a suicidal decision for his involuntary soul to have arrived at. this eternal being. King and Father. But it means that. a steady progression. must die. in the Self supreme? And the decision is. The whole Greek life was based on the idea of the supremacy of the self. the infallible male Self. man establishes the whole order of life. He had sacrificed Iphigenia for the sake of glory in war. consummated. The third play of the trilogy is almost foolish. to be or not to be. And this impulse is satisfied in fulfilment of an idea. because of the justice that they represented. the King and Father. He was fallible. is the potential murderer of her husband. is murdered by the Wife and the Daughters. What is the reason? Hamlet goes mad in a revulsion of rage and nausea. he is blameless with regard to Gertrude. Orestes is left at peace. does not mean. Nevertheless he was in the end exculpated. the King. Yet Gertrude. It lusted after meaner pursuits than glory. killed by the furies of Clytemnestra. Orestes was right and Clytemnestra entirely wrong. with every step nearer which he takes. which Hamlet puts himself. but on the other hand he had made cruel dissension for the sake of the concubines captured in war. the ideal Self. the soil in which the paternal seed was planted. The deepest impulse in man.so conscious. the religious impulse. To be or not to be King. It is the inevitable philosophic conclusion of all the Renaissance. King and Father. This is the tragic position Shakespeare must dwell upon. then I shall proceed in the . The woman rejects. The women murder the supreme male. to the Greek. as Agamemnon was. If my fulfilment is the fulfilment and establishment of the unknown divine Self which I am. Orestes was driven mad by the furies of his mother. for the fulfilment of the superb idea of self. When Clytemnestra murdered Agamemnon. according to the Greek conviction. and the self was always male. but he will never be an unquestioned lord. Orestes was his father's child. is dead in Orestes. like Clytemnestra. Yet it is inevitable. But. he seems to have reached his goal. as Lady Macbeth is murderess. The question. it was as if a common individual murdered God. In this progression man is satisfied. Hamlet's father. which has been swelling all through the Middle Ages. unlike Agamemnon. And so. ungodlike. neutralized. He gains his peace of mind after the revulsion from his own physical fallibility. philosophic tide. repudiates the ideal Self which the male represents to her. At the bottom of his own soul Hamlet has decided that the Self in its supremacy. Father. But Agamemnon. The paternal flesh was fallible. to live or not to live. according to his idea of fulfilment. is the desire to be immortal. as the daughters of Lear. it is the supreme I. with its prating gods. The mother was but the vehicle. It is not the simple human being who puts himself the question. this immortality.
the Eternal. original transport. this consummation was not consummated. reached through renunciation and dissolving into the Others. false. is. a tyrant. Henry VIII simply said: 'There is no Church. The old transport. The King. diffused into the great Not-Self. this was not immortality. The finite Me is no more. aristocratic. At the Renaissance this great half-truth overcame the other great half-truth. this gradually became unsatisfactory. Charles I took up the old position of kingship by divine right. so that the spirit should rise again immortal. he must be cut down. This was eternal death. struggling within this pagan. my order of life will be kingly. an emperor. And there was Jesus crucified. With Savonarola and Martin Luther the living Church actually transformed itself. invested with divine power and might. a process of being absorbed. the world now cried. Godlike. it is the way to total damnation. Hence his horror. And according to this new Infinite. Amid the pomp of kings and popes was the Child Jesus and the Madonna. corrupt. the self. the King. his self-loathing. The body politic also will culminate in this divinity of the flesh. It was finally enacted in Cromwell. for the Roman Church was still pagan. the old tree is dead at the root. he must perish and pass away. But Shakespeare was also the thing itself. all this was fallible. there is the great Christian Infinite of renunciation and consummation in the not-self. the symbol of the consummate being. The monk rose up with his opposite ecstasy. But as representative of the old form of life. there is only the State. that old pride. infinite. Like Hamlet's father. glorious. mighty. the assuming of all power and glory unto the self. man must build up his actual form of life. The King. Infinite.realizing of the greatest idea of the self. this body imbued with glory. supplanted the old pagan Infinite. a small contrary desire. Jesus the King gradually dwindled down. reached by a process of abnegation. the Father. the becoming infinite through the absorption of all into the Ego. at the mercy of all the world. was a small dissatisfaction. This was not the infinite. imperial. this was damnation. dissolved. the representative of the Consummate Self. which mankind now hated with frenzy. helpless. There was a death to die: the flesh. It was a . the Davidian ecstasy. There is only one Infinite. the transport of the Ego.' But with Shakespeare the transformation had reached the State also. became the Whole. the highest conception of the I. removed. the becoming Supreme. The other. This is inevitable! But during the Middle Ages. There was Jesus the Child. So said Shakespeare. eternal. only the Infinite. his frenzy. I am dead unto myself. the Neighbour. the old order of life is over. he was blameless otherwise. This Infinite was not infinite. in whom I see myself consummated and fulfilled. wherein the self like a root threw out branches and radicles which embraced the whole universe. In the body politic also I shall desire a king. It must go. It was rotten. Whereas the pagans based their life on pride. the maximum of all life. must die. The Christian Infinite. The sin of sins is Pride. the old fulfilment of the Ego. but I live in the Infinite. the Emperor is killed in the soul of man. the Christian ecstasy. the Emperor. is damnation.
my world. 'There is no Infinite. But we never believe it.' But we may say this. beyond the great movement of Shelley and Godwin. to return back to the old pagan Infinite. to say that is supreme. in both of these we are consummated. There should be no king. as much as is necessary. that is. the Christian Infinite is infinite: these are our two Consummations. the Infinite reached through the omission of Self.symbolic act. And from this belief the world began gradually to form a new State. even act on it. But that which relates them alone is absolute. pagan and Christian. Before Cromwell the idea was 'For the King'. because every man saw himself consummated in the King. my enemy. There should be no Self. by which we have more or less lived. God is all that which is Not-Me. It is no longer our question. a new idea. had now really turned. which they go between. Whilst in private life there is a swing back to paltry selfishness as a creed. is reduced and diffused into all that which is Not-Me: my neighbour. The only Absolute is expediency. o non essere_'. like the English and the Pragmatist. no lords. the pagan Infinite is infinite. Then I am perfect. The governing factor in the State was the idea of the good of others. the only reality is sensation and momentariness. If we now wish to make a living State. That which was supreme was that which was Not-Me. on which one can stand and know the whole world. a new body politic. And in the war there is the position of neutralization and nothingness. swung round to a new goal. Now we say that the Christian Infinite is not infinite. the great Otherness. Enrico Persevalli was detestable with his '_Essere. Now this has failed. � qui il punto. This Absolute of the Holy Ghost we may call Truth or Justice or Right. we have achieved it as much as ever we want to. indefinite and unsatisfactory unless there be kept the knowledge of the two Infinites. we must build it up to the idea of the Holy Spirit. the resistant solid. We must say. at least. no aristocrats. the Holy Ghost that relates both natures of God. '_Essere. they are like a superb bridge. or 'For the good of the whole'. our world of Europe. The world. He . And as for not-being in our public life. beyond the French Revolution. This has been our ruling idea. the Common Good. or 'For the good of the people'. the other. What is really Absolute is the mystic Reason which connects both Infinites._' To be or not to be was the question for Hamlet to settle. the two halves of the universe. I am consummate when my Self. o non essere. Or we are inclined. there is no Absolute. After Cromwell the idea was 'For the good of my neighbour'. And the _vital_ governing idea in the State has been this idea since Cromwell. We are tempted. The world continued in its religious belief. and how _not to be_. for we must fulfil both. like Nietzsche. _� la Sanine_. to say. It is a question of knowing how _to be_. the supreme Relationship. These are partial names. not in the same sense. in which the Self should be removed. the fashionable young suicide declares that his self-destruction is the final proof of his own incontrovertible being. When both are there. When it is a question of death.
and speaks with his eyes blinded. From the knees downward he was Laertes. The ghost of this Hamlet was very simple. But it is mere habit. But he looked a fool. in one direction. and as sincere as the Holy Spirit itself in their essence.whispered it in a hoarse whisper as if it were some melodramatic murder he was about to commit. and all he wants is to be a maudlin compromise? He is neither one nor the other. he would not willingly touch it.' Then came a voice from the dark. mouthing Hamlet's sincere words. was a great success. For the soliloquies of Hamlet are as deep as the soul of man can go. It is a strange thing. 'Amblet. He has neither being nor riot-being. Till he has gone through the Christian negation of himself. The peasants loved her. sham. after Hamlet's 'O. he is a mere amorphous heap. that this too. she was pathetic. he knows quite well. his transport of the flesh and the supremacy of the male in fatherhood. before he can _be_. It was unclean. All his life he has really cringed before the northern Infinite of the Not-Self. because he had on Laertes' white trousers and patent leather slippers. He has still to let go. But the na�ve blind helplessness and verity of his voice was strangely convincing. but I could not bear Hamlet. As a matter of fact. '_Questo cranio. took the skull in a corner of his black cloak. Yet he was strangely real. How can he know anything about being and not-being when he is only a maudlin compromise between them. it is unspiritual and vulgar. And it was spoilt for me from was a child I went to the twopenny travelling theatre The Ghost had on a helmet and a breastplate. how significant and poignant he becomes. pale transport. He was as self-important as D'Annunzio. to know what not-being is. if a man covers his face. is all unsatisfactory. so trivial and the first. There was a hoarse roar. like a cynical knife to my fond soul: 'Why tha arena. that his pagan Infinite. And the grave-digger in Italian was a mere buffoon. As an Italian. hulking himself in his lugubriousness. the bog into which Hamlet struggled is almost surpassed. I _am_ thy father's ghost. demented.' The peasants loved Ophelia: she was in white with her hair down her back. a voice out of the dark. silent audience. and has known the Christian consummation. at the end of her scene. too. and has known all his life. Signore_--'And Enrico. The graveyard scene. He was wrapped down to the knees in a great white cloth. half of roused passion. He was detestable. But thank heaven. half of indignation. although he has continued in the Italian habit of Self. dainty fellow. The whole scene was farcical to me because of the Italian. too solid flesh would melt!' What then of her young breasts and her womb? Hamlet with her was a very disagreeable sight. and over his face was an open-work woollen shawl. I sat in ''Amblet. I can tell thy voice. He seemed the most real thing in the play. And no wonder. When I to see _Hamlet_. . The Ghost is really one of the play's failures. Poor thing. He is as equivocal as the monks.
like a hawk arching its wings. with the blood of the mountaineer in him. and thick shoulders. who were so absorbed. always very close. They keep close together. so that there is a strange. half-wild oxen. such strong. He has a fierce. and he was of the same race as my old woman at San Tommaso. This is the real Joseph. When an act is over they pick up their cherished hats and fling on their cloaks and go into the hall. with a dark. smack down three steps of the throne platform. finer atmosphere. thin. keen as steel. dark. It is curious how. high and arid under the gleaming sky. Just one man was with his wife and child. But I loved the theatre. and Signer Amleto bounced quite high again. The peasants had applauded the whole graveyard scene wildly. I loved to look down on the peasants. and some pay twenty or thirty francs for the bunch. with his wife and child. and clear. There is a curious inter-absorption among themselves. He is like my old spinning woman. father of the child. and thick brown hands on each other's shoulders. solid like a wall. the Bersaglieri. whilst he bends over. hypnotic unanimity among them as they put on their plumed hats and go out together. He goes out and buys a tiny bottle of lemonade for a penny. excited movement. And the women stirred in their seats. They are rather rich.The close fell flat. as if their bodies must touch. There is a strange. His feathers slip into a cascade. They are in love with one another. of the mountains. dark-blooded. abstract look. Then they feel safe and content in this heavy. abstract. but like a hawk at its own nest. from all who are not Bersaglieri of their barracks. unblemished will. and I was glad. The Bersaglieri buy their own black cock's-plumes. like the air of the mountains. sturdy. heavy stream from his black oil-cloth hat. and to guard them in it. as if to hurry away: this in spite of Enrico's final feat: he fell backwards. The poor . fierce with love. He is fair. he makes a little separate world down there in the theatre. his feather tossing and falling richly. so the maestra said. It was the end of _Amleto_. and rubbed their hair across their brows with a pleased. a sort of physical trance that holds them all. And they are quite womanless. He was fair. It is the fierce spirit of the Ego come out of the primal infinite. His cock-feathers slither in a profuse. dark lads. One man is a sort of leader. He is very straight and solid. from the outsiders. like young male caryatides. wild and untamed as a hawk. They shrink from the world beyond. but detached. Then he goes out to the hall. on to the stage. He must be well off. slightly bestial heads. They are like young. and the mother and child sip it in tiny sips. as if there were some physical instinct connecting them. and puts their minds to sleep. At the end of the scenes the men pushed back their black hats. He seemed to have gathered his wife and child together into another. But planks and braced muscle will bounce. They have close-cropped. almost to his shoulder. corporal connexion between them. thickly built and with strange hard heads. an aristocrat. But at the end of all they got up and crowded to the doors. physical trance. isolated. He is not an Italian. the young men love the young men. like a hawk's nest. He swings round. The Bersaglieri sit close together in groups.
These women are a definite set. among men and women. so obliterated. And beyond all these there are the Franciscan friars in their brown robes. He is twenty-four years old. The young anti-clericals are the young bloods of the place. all men. with a veneer of sneering irony on an original good nature. _gamin_ evil in his face. Then he seats himself on the women's side of the theatre. The clerical people are dark and pious and cold. yet he behaves as if he were not. The padrona of the hotel hates him--'_ein frecher Kerl_. scraggy plumes. They know what they are. and gives dances to which only the looser women go. as if there were another centre of physical consciousness from which they lived. the wife of the citron-coloured barber. there is the anti-clerical party. a sprinkling of loose women. so silent. In the village there is the clerical party. shut off as by a wall from the clerical people. These young men are all free-thinkers. the men who gather every night in the more expensive and less-respectable cafe. He is well-to-do. well detested. stretching his slender. The clerical peasants are priest-ridden and good. banal. asleep. physical host of men. who has lived in Vienna. They are not prostitutes. vigorous. behind a young person from Bogliaco. a living. men. with the Syndaco at the head. and a certain repulsive. which is the majority. He starts up from sleep like a wild-cat as somebody claps him on the shoulder. Separate from them all is Pietro. Their leader is the young shopkeeper. stunned. Pietro is already married. There is something very primitive about these men. These young men are disliked. ponderous darkness over them. and they have the life of the village in their hands. cat-like. Will he ever find himself in prison? He is the _gamin_ of the village. as if they were men caryatides. and there are the ne'er-do-wells. Her eyes hate to see him. the Siciliano.ones have only poor. there is a curious stone-cold. lastly. players of the guitar. singers. great dancers. They all look is if their real brain were stunned. thin.' she says with contempt. but just loose women. handsome. He leans forward. dark. He has been carrying on with a loose woman. They keep to their own clique. is bourgeois and respectable as far as the middle-aged people are concerned. and she looks away. respectable. There is. because they are poor and afraid and superstitious. His week's beard shows very black in his slightly hollow cheeks. he is almost ragged. they pretend nothing else. never wanting to compromise anybody else. He also gets up parties of pleasure. who also has no reputation. with a cat-like lightness and grace. They remind me really of Agamemnon's soldiers clustered oil the seashore. they are well-to-do. and is chiefly responsible for the coming of the players to the theatre this carnival. so shy. one who keeps the inn where the soldiers drink. and makes her talk to him. resting his arms on the seat before him. But there is a pressure on these Italian soldiers. but they belong to the important class. He hates the man who has waked him by clapping him on the shoulder. the young man who lounges on the wharf to carry things from the steamer. They are immoral and slightly cynical. who is a bit of a bounder. Then the anti-clerical party. as they stand back in the . It is the start of a man who has many enemies. with a great weight on their heads. with these reckless young men. He is almost an outlaw. making their brain hard. Where everybody is so clean and tidy. flexible loins. moral and gloomy.
Il Brillante. They answer neutral and humble. The second grocer and the baker visit each other. meanwhile. the quality has paid its visits and shaken hands: the Syndaco and the well-to-do half-Austrian owners of the woodyard. . We realize our mistake. and Adelaida pay twenty-four francs for every performance. waiting to buy the bread for the monastery. The barber looks in on the carpenter. because it is already past half past ten. because he is a very clever man: but that the 'Comic'. below all.shop. his two peasants standing down below. the Bertolini. The company is completely satisfied with its reception on the Lago di Garda. The chemist and the grocer and the schoolmistress pay calls. Yet the little baker. has no cloak. standing in the bay at the back. The manager. or every evening on which a performance is given. has visited his relatives the Graziani in the box next the stage and has spent two intervals with us in our box. the Di Paoli. a distant bow. who is a Bavarian. like worn stones. then drops downstairs among the crowd. The Bersaglieri go running all the way home. pathetic. fat little body of a queen is Adelaida's mother: that they all like Enrico Persevalli. like a blind fledgeling. as rent for the theatre. though distinctly. for Maria Samuelli. old-looking king in _Hamlet_ is the husband of Adelaida. Only Pietro. they themselves far away below. So it is all over. vigorous. and he is cold. but he takes no notice. including light. the Signer Pietro Di Paoli. At the theatre. sharp. As we pass with the padrona of the hotel. official. He says that Enrico Persevalli has for his mistress Carina. the peasants in their black hats and cloaks crowd the hall. The night is very dark. thin contadini of the old school. His clothes are thin and loose on his thin. gentle. like framed photographs of themselves. The barber--not the Siciliano. Not that they spend much. the company took two hundred and sixty-five francs. have looked up at us as if we are the angels in heaven. Agostino. waiting obscure and neutral. A tumbler of wine or a glass of vermouth costs a penny. Francesco. his shoulders slightly raised. They have all sat self-consciously posed in the front of their boxes. In the little theatre bar the well-to-do young atheists are having another drink. putting the wine to its lips. and a bit of a cap on the side of his head instead of a black felt hat. the wharf-lounger. but flashy little Luigi with the big tie-ring and the curls--knows all about the theatre. And the baby drinks. Enrico Persevalli. Class distinctions are cut very fine. cat-like body. His hands are always in his pockets. is unsatisfied. They have a warm handshake and effusive polite conversation for us. till no one shall be in the shop wanting to be served. now the play is over. our padrone. About four miles up the lake the searchlights of the Austrian border are swinging. The few women slip away home. which was phenomenal. In three performances in Epiphany week. devotional eye. sits on a bench with his pale baby on his knee. have ostentatiously shown their mutual friendship. slightly contemptuous voice. and Carina is their daughter: that the old. we stop to speak to our own padroni. with a reverential. the servant in _Ghosts_: that the thin. Upstairs. The village women speak to them in a curious neutral. And the wine is horrible new stuff.
The heavens are strange and proud all the winter. After the cyclamens the Christmas roses are in bud. pure buds. intact humbleness near the ground. . but so bright that it is almost frightening. the lake is a moonstone in the dark hills. Already the primroses are coming out.looking for smugglers. It gleams like a rapturous chorus. paradisal fruit. as if it were the presence of a host of angels in rapture. these first large. through the brief silence of winter. they thaw. Meanwhile. It is at this season that the cacchi are ripe on the trees in the garden. they are heaps of confident. and then at evening the afterglow. that should have been blown out at the end of the summer. It is almost uncanny to see them. For as we have candles to light the darkness of night. to the Bacchae. orange. They are very lovely. and scatter and vanish away. But the vines are bare and the lemon-houses shut. when the sunshine is so still and pure. They seem to be blossoming in the landscape of Phaedra and Helen. and their scent seems to belong to Greece. white and wonderful beyond belief. They bend down. whole naked trees full of lustrous. They are real flowers of the past. It is so still and transcendent. and water sounds hoarse in the ravines. the lowest buds of the Christmas roses appear under the hedges and rocks and by the streams. On the mountains the fierce snow gleams apricot gold as evening approaches. What can be so fiercely gleaming when all is shadowy? It is something inhuman and unmitigated between heaven and earth. mysterious whiteness in the shadow of a rocky stream. they throw up their crystal. a huge incandescence of rose. like iced wine. they brood like little chill fires. lit up with the light from the snow. apricot. their progress goes on without reference to the dim earth. orange-yellow. _4_ SAN GAUDENZIO In the autumn the little rosy cyclamens blossom in the shade of this west side of the lake. There is the exquisite silent passage of the day. flashing track over the whiteness. then passes away. golden. so the cypresses are candles to keep the darkness aflame in the full sunshine. like magnolias. The monthly roses still blossom frail and pink. and the almond is in bud. the cypress trees poise like flames of forgotten darkness. They rise from their budded. there are still crimson and yellow roses. the Christmas roses become many. they rise up. like violets. The dawns come white and translucent. They are the flowers of darkness. cold. The days go by. hanging above and gleaming. and the stars appear. Otherwise the darkness is complete. large and flashing. The winter is passing away. They are little living myths that I cannot understand. mid-winter. then across the lake there stretches a vein of fire. gleaming against the wintry blue sky. and the dead leaves gleam brown. And then. break. they become handsome. but cold. They are very cold and fragrant. Then their radiance becomes soiled and brown. then a whole.
and their three children. up the winding mule-track that climbed higher and higher along the lake. their light is growing stronger. inside the high wall. Thus we came to the tall barred gate of San Gaudenzio. curving into the hollow where the landslip had tumbled the rocks in chaos. among the grey smoke of olive leaves. pink puffs of smoke are rising up. about fifty years old. on which was the usual little fire-insurance tablet. is the little Garden of Eden. We could not bear the indoors. overturned flowers of crimson and gold. On the banks by the lake the orchids are out. the primroses are dawning on the ground. and around the olive roots. when above us the mountains shone in clear air. Soon the primroses are strong on the ground. grave violets. It is a solid. Maria and Paolo. The few birds are piping thinly and shyly. down to the brink of the cliff. And looking down the bill. The days seem to be darker and richer. or does it only lose its pristine quality? It deepens and intensifies. and ripe. the path wound on the steep. There is a bank of small. The high wall girds it on the land side. Through the gate. . Here we came to live for a time with the Fiori. The pink farm-house stands almost in the centre of the little territory. On the lake-side it is bounded by the sudden drops of the land. Verona'. like experience. 'Birra. It is the almond and the apricot trees. It was time to go up. having been rebuilt by Paolo's uncle. full first rapture. sensual fragrance of noon. with the heavy. to climb with the sun. it is the Spring. there is a strange flowering shrub full of incense. Leaving the last house of the village. and full of milk. We could not bear to live down in the village any more. a morning of primroses underfoot. among the olive trees. six-roomed place. and makes it perfectly secluded. And in the hollows are the grape hyacinths. It was three miles away. frail crocuses shooting the lavender into this spring. Between the olive roots the violets are out. and less serious blue ones. and sun-darkened. now that the days opened large and spacious and the evenings drew out in sunshine. really like pieces of blue sky showing through a clarity of primrose. white. They are many-breasted. So after Easter we went to San Gaudenzio. then out again on to the bluff of a headland that hung over the lake. many pale bee-orchids standing clear from the short grass over the lake. many. overgrown with ilex and with laurel bushes. like many-breasted Diana. there is full morning everywhere on the banks and roadsides and stream-sides. spreading over the banks and under the bushes. and then the lovely blue clusters of hepatica. And then the tussocks and tussocks of primroses are fully out. so that the thicket of the first declivities seems to safeguard the property. with an invisible threading of many violets. cliff-like side of the lake. it is full Spring. purple as noon. day is leaping all clear and coloured from the earth. Between the olive roots new grass is coming. a property of three or four acres fairly level upon a headland over the lake. the streams sing again.Meanwhile. and then the advertisements for beer. which is becoming a more and more popular drink. like Bohemian glass. in sharp banks and terraces. large. there is a sense of power in the strong air. Does it pass away.
She had been a housekeeper. which had been in his family for generations. clear. Yet they lived together now without friction. as it were. San Gaudenzio. His face was old. There was also something concluded and unalterable about him. a servant. but at the same time robust. But in continual striking together they only destroyed each other. She was still heavy and full of desire. the same aristocratic. But she was weighted down by her heavy animal blood. Maria Fiori was different. They were both by nature passionate. she knew the other people engaged in the work. His temples had that fine. vehement. She was the flint and he the steel. They shared the physical relationship of marriage as if it were something beyond them. now he was almost white. belonging to neither of them. in Venice and Verona. was strangely like the pictures of peasants in the northern Italian pictures. before her marriage. dark-skinned. a third thing. like the oxen of the plain. With regard to Maria. spent. with the same curious nobility. She still . His head was hard and fine. like Enrico Persevalli and the Bersaglier from the Venetian district. Hers was the primitive. venti giorni. Paolo omitted himself. with an almost classic simplicity and gentleness. invulnerable passion of the bones. They had suffered very much in the earlier stages of their connexion. crude.Giovanni and Marco and Felicina. an eternal kind of sureness. emotional and undiscriminating. she knew her work. She had got the hang of this world of commerce and activity. and silent.' she cried vehemently.' I said. she wanted to master it. something statuesque. '_Il Paolo e me. finely tempered and unchangeable. but wanting to mix and mingle. His was the hard. beautiful. with full strong limbs and a powerful chest. The fire was a third thing. Paolo and she were the opposite sides of the universe. Their souls were silent and detached. broad-boned and massive in physique. but his body was solid and powerful. very grey and wrinkled and worn-looking. His eyes were blue like upper ice. hard clarity which is seen in Mantegna. violent flux of the blood. 'Six weeks. completely apart. something inaccessible. Her intelligence was attentive and purposive. We all loved Paolo. She was much younger than he. Now the storm had gone by. he was so finished in his being. detached. 'How long did you know your Signora before you were married?' she asked me. leaving them. eternal look of motionlessness. He had been a fair-haired man. an almost jewel-like quality. Maria omitted herself with regard to Paolo. She was from the plain. the bone finely constructed. But. quite silent. detached. each subordinated in their common relationship. though the skin of his face was loose and furrowed with work. He was a peasant of fifty-three. She reminded me again of oxen. But the lines of their passion were opposite. or partly inherited. Three weeks they had known each other when they married. tre settimane_. He. Paolo had inherited. slow in her soul. the light and the dark.
with soft brown hair and grey eyes. What did they want when they came together. strangely and rather terribly past. a delicate appreciation of the other person. Paolo was so clear and translucent. the eldest child. but also she was more human. which landed him always into trouble. he had no identity. with crude potentiality. All day long his mother shouted and shrilled and scolded at him. But Marco was his mother's son. and a clarity of brow. Yet also he could look at one and touch one with his look. but always aimless. bovine figure. ready to flush like a girl with anger or confusion. Their meetings must have been splendid. slack and uncontrolled. gentle. Only he always forgot what he was going to do. which he had from his mother. he was a perfect spark from the flint and steel. a heaviness of blood. grounded on pain. but he was also finished and brittle. But it was past. more fertile. He had the same broad. He was not unified. abstract. as though his wits scarcely controlled him. clear and blue and belonging to the mountains. But there was some discrepancy in him. and the same calm simplicity of bearing which made Paolo so complete. Maria Fiori was much sharper and more adaptable to the ways of the world. was thirteen years old. Giovanni loved his father best. although they are unwilling. and coarse black hair. There were the few olive trees. In Giovanni the fusion of the parents was perfect. Paolo's blue eyes were like the eyes of the old spinning-woman.triumphed in the fact. They came together at once. So did Paolo. and brown eyes like pebble. with the same brown-gold and red complexion. She loved him with a fierce protective love. Paolo and she? He was a man over thirty. he could not grasp a new order. or hit him angrily. and seemed to look into the far distance with his clear grey eyes. their vision seemed to end in space. hers too loose and overwhelming. his sensitiveness only made him more aimless and awkward. he could meet one. and no way out. like an animal's eyes. fine and clear and perfectly tempered. He did not mind. His passion was too fixed in its motion. nothing to . more vulgar. They reminded me of the eyes of the eagle. but warm. he came up like a cork. He was his mother's favourite. But the mind was unintelligent. Maria was much coarser. It was when Marco was a baby that Paolo had gone to America. like agate. Giovanni. a tiresome clown. Marco. There was in Paolo a subtle intelligence in feeling. like a pomegranate. and which teaches its young to do the same. He stood straight and tall. warm and roguish and curiously appealing. which looks into the sun. the grapes. But these scarcely made a living. generous. was a tall lad of sixteen. He was strong and full of animal life. polenta at midday and vegetable soup in the evening. but the son had at the same time a certain brownness of skin. a contrariety in his soul. undistinguishing love. There was such a split. But Giovanni was beautiful. there was the one cow. like two wrestlers almost matched in strength. like Maria. more shy and reluctant. witless. one part reacting against the other. the second son. she was a woman of twenty-three. He was much more sensitive than Maria. though he was only a boy. Neither was Maria content with the real peasants' lot any more. and courtly like Paolo. and the fruit. They were poor on San Gaudenzio. They were both violent in desire and of strong will. Paolo had an almost glass-like quality. But he loved his mother with a fundamental. But his shyness.
She wanted her sons to be freer. into the gold mines. Paolo and Giovanni worked twelve and fourteen hours a day at heavy laborious work that would have broken an Englishman. She wanted them to be in the great flux of life in the midst of all possibilities. he will eat it. Yet she was not mean in her soul. to achieve a new plane of living. Yet her mind had wakened to the value of money. her supreme aspiration for her children was that in the end they might be masters and not servants. having oil and wine and sausage in the house. she covered the wall of her parlour with picture postcards. If he ate meagrely. In her soul she was in a state of anger because of her own closeness. She had departed from the old static conception. So he had the old fatalistic attitude to his circumstances. She had been in service. It isn't too dry for him. no future. it was the skies that ruled these things. She knew what one might be. So she ruled her life according to money. She was in opposition to this order. And Maria Fiori hated it. He reckoned in land and olive trees.' White bread was a treat for them even now. Maria wanted the future. If he ate in plenty. fixed and static as posts driven in the earth. when everybody eats bread. He took his fate as it fell from the skies. It was the mother who wanted things different. If we came in for supper whilst the family was still at table he would have the children at once . The fixture was the thing she militated against. She would charge us all she could for what we had and for what was done for us. with anger and shame and resentment in her voice: 'Give it to Marco. by virtue of money. even to his food. She did not want her sons to be peasants. This was the truth to him. and plenty of maize-meal. to bring the outer world of cities and industries into her house. Maria was exorbitant about money. Yet Paolo was even happy so. the endless possibility of life on earth. She knew she could alter her position. also the leanness thereof. Paolo could only do his part and leave the rest. It was she who railed and railed against the miserable life of the peasants. when it was the meanest food of all the rest of the world. only this eternal present. the position of her children. Paolo was untouched by all this. When we were going to throw to the fowls a dry broken penny roll of white bread. he was glad with the Lord. He had not yet even grasped the fact of money. railing against the poverty and the drudgery. and known the flux and variable chance of life. It was a violation to her strong animal nature. The peasant's life was a slave's life. The earth was the Lord's and the fulness thereof. given a certain chance.look forward to. Meanwhile. of poor polenta. that bread should be a treat to her children. and had eaten bread and drunk coffee. Paolo was entirely remote from Maria's world. And this was all the difference she would acknowledge. For him there was some divinity about a master which even America had not destroyed. And there was nothing at the end of it. to California. not thoroughly. She knew it was only money that made the difference between master and servant. and no man ruled the skies. So she at length sent Paolo to America to the gold-mines. Her supreme passion was to be mistress rather than servant. And it was quite true. she said. So Paolo went to America. Maria said. that was fate.
take their plates to the wall. even _Porca-Maria_. it was like laying it on an altar. Yet it was she who. trusting implicitly that I would fulfil my own nature as Signore. But we were possessed of more money than she. his own self. The money alone made the real distinction. near to God. It was pure bliss to him to bring us the first-fruit of the garden. a higher understanding. His life was a ritual. he himself was extended towards the whole. a real falsity. the life made the common level. Maria was nearer to the actual truth when she said that money was the only distinction. no one was more elect than herself. He would have given me anything. She made a loud . But it was really because of their subscribing to another superhuman order. it was the dignity of a religious conception. We were all human beings like herself. naked. Paolo. A woman was always a woman. And this was part of his religious service. And his fulfilment was in a fine. purer vision than himself. It was very beautiful. And his initial assumption was that every signore. Only Paolo misapplied this eternal truth. he was really godlike. nearer the light of perfection than himself. that no one had a further vision. subtle. That was false. and sex was a low level whereon he did not esteem himself. that we are all one flesh and blood and being. but subtle interappreciation. For him the world was established and divine in its establishment. conservative as he was. Paolo was mistaken in actual life. took in a greater circle. though their own meal were never finished. the purity of his spirit was so sacred and the actual facts seemed such a sacrilege to it. in her soul. those who are elect. but it made me unhappy. Maria knew it and hated it. Thus he was fulfilled. exquisite relationship. But Maria's assumption. so he loved men best of all. Paolo was a Conservative. But a man. the instrument of God. And she had to steer her course between these two conceptions. He should not have given Giovanni the inferior status and a fat. there was no distinction between us. not of manners. mean Italian tradesman the superior. the separation. no higher nor lower. but Maria was ultimately mistaken. A finer nature. comprehended the whole. every gentleman. a peasant. was a man of further. Fortunately he could leave all business transactions on our account to Maria. Maria was always offended. This assumption was false. was even more false. and went to the other extreme. one of those more godlike. And this was not servility. And he used the religious oaths that Maria hated. His vision grasped a small circle. Paolo had the curious peasant's avarice also. believing that a priest must be a priest of God. He worshipped a finer understanding and a subtler tact. because of their profanity. she said. a doer. She jeered at the clerical people. It was a sort of religious conservation of his own power. But Paolo had hold of an eternal truth. they fulfilled his soul. without religious abstractions. He always used oaths. either Bacchus or God or Mary or the Sacrament. But Paolo could not distinguish between the accident of riches and the aristocracy of the spirit. jeered at the Church and at religion. Paolo regarded us as belonging to the Signoria. he would have Maria at once set the table for us. So Paolo's oaths enraged her. but it was not meanness. So that when Paolo was in relation to a man of further vision. She wanted the human society as the absolute. so that his relation with us was purely ritualistic. So Maria rejected him altogether. the being. yet very rarely went to church. where hers was temporal. A further fineness and dignity and freedom in bearing was to him an approach towards the divine.
but stayed apart.clamour of derision when the parish priest of the village above went down to the big village on the lake. And he did not pay the penny. He wanted another glass of wine. There was something of the cruelty of a falling mass of snow. then to California. there was a silence. his eyes fixed in the ageless stare which is so characteristic. unmoved and detached. very strange. His face was wet with sweat. and his mouth opened with a curious drawn blindness of the old Furies. when a storm had blown down an olive tree in front of the house. He stayed five years in the gold-mines. stood by the tree with unchanging. in a wild valley. supported on thin shanks. They must have begotten Marco in hatred. to Havre. One day. a red handkerchief round his neck. and thin throat growing dull purple in the red-knotted kerchief. He was an iron-grey. very grave and unmoved. with two pigs in a sack on his shoulder. Marco was stifling his hysterical amusement in his mother's apron. and across the piazza. who shrugged her shoulders to imply that he was a contemptible figure. He seemed like an old ne'er-do-well in priests' black. very talkative and loud and queer. It was a white heavy rage. even a mountebank figure. Then the avalanche was finished. thin. He was like a caricature. and prancing with glee. whilst she winked at me. At once _he_ must show the Fiori how to cut up the tree. disreputable-looking priest. and he talked loudly. but entirely local. and then Maria. heavy. this same priest of Mugiano came to San Gaudenzio. almost to himself. and. and Paolo and Giovanni were beginning to cut it up. She brought it out to him with a sort of insolent deference. But sometimes Paolo went into a rage. insolent contempt of the man and traditional deference to the cloth. Only Paolo. he proceeded to give great extravagant blows at the tree. like blind beasts. when his blue eyes shone unearthly. Then he stripped off his cassock and put away his hat. after the child of their opposition was born. an appurtenance of the district. Meanwhile the priest swung drunken blows at the tree. inscrutable. and thence to New York. He took no notice of us. the quay. leaving his San Gaudenzio. He was strangely a local. was afraid. horrible. Maria drew away. In the doorway Maria was encouraging him rather jeeringly. his thin buttocks bending in the green-black broadcloth. . terrible disintegrated opposition and otherness. as of one who hears and does not hear. The priest drained the tumblerful of wine at one drink. everybody. as drunken people do. is not really concerned. It was she who was violent and brutal in her ways. He shouted to Maria for a glass of wine. He never opposed or contradicted her. a ludicrous figure in ill-fitting black knee-breeches and a not very clean shirt. Paolo sat with the abstract look on his face. that Paolo went away to California. with a flush mounting on his face and a grimace distorting its youngness. Then the youth came away to the doorway. Nevertheless he was doing the job. he must have the axe from Paolo. travelling with several companions. abstract face. And it was after this. It was Maria who jeeringly told us the story of the priest. his thin throat with its Adam's apple working. abstract. This was a real picture of the sacred minister to her. They must have had some cruel fights before they learned to withdraw from each other so completely. Paolo and Giovanni stood by the fallen tree.
He left his own reality there in the soil above the lake of Garda. She was an unprepossessing little girl. 'Used you to think of it. Her soul was sullen and heavy. Her blood was heavy. anarchic. And he told me about the gold-mines. He wanted her to be safe with the children. to miss her. or not to take her. and for the sake of his own earth. I could never believe Felicina was Paolo's child. the huts in the valley. His world remained unaltered. His sex was functional. But Maria suffered more bitterly. a kind of sleep-walking. the Monte Baldo. She took a wine licence for San Gaudenzio. It had been very wretched on the ship going from Havre to New York. the galleries. Yet Maria suffered. violent. selfish. outwardly. and she sold wine. And this must have been the reason that she was so self-conscious and foolish and affected. But the gate at home was his gate all the time. Her soul's satisfaction became a bodily unsatisfaction. To take a woman. for all her quick activity. He could live alone eternally. the rooted centre of the world. foolish. they had made each other more terribly distinct and separate. In real truth he was at San Gaudenzio all the time. were warm and natural towards the child in her. he said--but uncertainly. That his body was in California. the laurel trees down the slope?' He tried to see what I wanted to know. small child that she was. Between the clerical party and the radicals and the socialists. these wild villages had always been ungoverned. It was his condition. the lake. But they did not love her in their very souls. The iron had gone deep into her soul. His going away was an excursion from reality. He would pay off the mortgage. according to her conviction belonged to Paolo. insisting on the equality of the blood in all. Even she. with real Italian greatness. she was the fruit of ash to them. And fairly often on Sunday Paolo got drunk. what did it matter? It was merely for a time. Instead of having united with each other. And she felt betrayed. In his flesh perhaps he missed the woman. She sat sullen and heavy. that was all. . He sent her home the money. As for Maria. like eating and drinking. Maria and Paolo. But his spirit was even more completely isolated since marriage. Yes. But he had never really fretted for San Gaudenzio whilst he was in California. a prostitute at the camp. There were many scandals about her.living with a gang of Italians in a town of corrugated iron. Somehow it did not matter very much. passionate woman. and she was unsatisfied body and soul. There was something cruel and implacable in life. Paolo had deserted her. and therefore on her own absolute right to satisfaction. the valley. he had felt his duty towards her. his hand was on the latch. what canons were left that were absolute? Besides. The authorities were too divided among themselves to enforce public opinion. I could see that he had never been really homesick. That he told me about. All the while he had never really left San Gaudenzio. She was part of his little territory. affected. his land. She was a young. I asked him. his fate was riveted there. cold. powerful. betrayed and deserted. she had been betrayed to other men for five years. was no more vitally important than to get drunk or not to get drunk of a Sunday. in his soul. But it did not occur to him.
was passing away from the beautiful little territory. The household no longer receives its food. that seemed to sound out of the past. But he carried the paper about with him. The landowner. too. The earth is annulled. the order of Paolo and of Pietro di Paoli. He was like a ghost in the house. which supersedes the order of the Signoria. She. The world was not San Gaudenzio to Giovanni. descending in their openness full to the south. Below the house. He sat at evening in the chimney-seat. and 'day'. But the very quick of him was killed. 'boss'. his open. the workman is taking his place. God the Father. like hot tears. would come into his eyes when he had again forgotten the phrase. But she remained unbroken. The grape hyacinths flower in the cracks. and his musical. though he was so gentle and vigorous in body. A confused light. Giovanni was patiently labouring to learn a little English. Maria insisted. There is now the order of the rich. But his eyebrows and eyelids were lifted in a kind of vacancy. the chief of which were 'a'right'. He would come back. from out of the earth in the motion of fate. went about as if there were a weight on her. The husband and wife lived together in a relationship of complete negation. lemon trees all dead. seem more terrible than Pompeii in their silence and utter seclusion. In his soul he was sad for her. 'bread'. Paolo knew only four or five words. and in her soul she felt annulled. always pleasant and cheerful. His dream was to be gone. The peasant is passing away. there are the deserted lemon gardens of the little territory. a few vines in their place. with his loose throat and powerful limbs. And the new order means sorrow for the Italian more even than it has meant for us. Not for anything would he stay in San Gaudenzio. And Maria. It had all taken place in his subconsciousness. the Lord. It is passing away from Italy as it has passed from England. sheer down into them. and her voice was high and strident. blue extinct eyes. and he made steady progress. where the land drops in sharp slips to the sheer cliff's edge. but a dead emptiness prevailing. like Abraham. The youth had these by heart. But the deserted terrace. oil and wine and maize. not for a moment thinking he was unhappy. and money takes its place. stout and strong and handsome like a peasant woman. over which it is Maria's constant fear that Felicina will tumble. slightly husky voice. shut between great walls. her will was like a hammer that destroys the old form. who is the lieutenant of God and of Fate. too. was finished in her life. The stability is gone. the aristocratic order of the supreme God. The old order.Paolo had come back from America a year before she was born--a year before she was born. He was very graceful and lovable. but he found it difficult to learn. to the lake and the mountain opposite. he. He would go to America. They are invisible till one descends by tiny paths. Maria is the living body. It is only twenty years since the lemon trees finally perished of a disease and were not renewed. . his blue eyes were round and somehow finished. snug down below. But he will have the new order. San Gaudenzio is already becoming a thing of the past. And there they stand. Paolo is a ghost. is annulled. gone. smoking. the pillars and walls erect. and was studying a little more. he also.
forgotten for ever. very shy. 'Ah--a--a--ah--Mari--a. unless he has come back to the War. _5_ THE DANCE Maria had no real licence for San Gaudenzio. and sat in a corner playing their rapid tunes. a wood-cutter. high up. all playing. the old disused implements of lemon culture made shadows in the deserted place. yet the peasants always called for wine. It was usually a man. he says. between that and the ruined church. Then we played games or cards. There was a loud shout. another wild. where the olive and laurel wood burned in the open fireplace. His eyes were bright and clear and lit up with courage. or a charcoal-burner. It was always soup in the evening.' We ate in the kitchen. and he talked in a few wild phrases. far. under the wall. The wild old road that skirts the lake-side. with the accordion. three men came with mandolines and guitars. But it is all passing away. But the road went just as much between the vines and past the house as outside. The penny is paid another time. Giovanni is in America. the open front giving across the lake and the mountain snow opposite. And Giovanni kissed me with a kind of supplication when I went on to the steamer. Then there would come the call from the back. and unintelligible in his dialect. his glass of wine in his hand between his knees. its erect pillars utterly meaningless. while all danced on the dusty brick floor of the little parlour. sometimes a peasant from Mugiano. I used to sit and write in the great loft of the lemon-house. far from the ground. He came in and sat in the house-place. . high up. as if he were beseeching for a soul. Then. climbing and winding to the villages perched high up. In my loft by the lemon-houses now I should hear the guns. for the wine to drink. if they do not kill him in this War. like a hawk indoors. flush with twilight. venga mangiare_. and one of the Fiori appeared in the doorway to hail the newcomer. and men or women and mules come into the property to call at the door of the homestead. sometimes a peasant from the wilds of the mountain. The old matting and boards. He and Marco will not spend their lives wringing a little oil and wine out of the rocky soil. passes under the high boundary-wall of San Gaudenzio.the lizards run. Sometimes we had a dance. even if they are not killed in the fighting which is going on at the end of the lake. away above: '_Venga. inarticulate cry from within. or on the floor between his feet. He will make a good fight for the new soul he wants--that is. scrambling always higher as the precipice becomes steeper. or there was singing. this strange place hangs suspended and forgotten. for the high gates were always open. and sometimes a rough mountain peasant with a guitar. He will not want to live in San Gaudenzio when he is a man. It is easy to arrange in Italy. O--O--Oh Pa'o!' from outside.
the wild men from above. So the male dancers are quiet. in their black hats and their cloaks. isn't it? I'm getting into the dance. passionate. And it is strange to see the Englishwomen. They see the women dilate and flash.' 'But it's fine. a trailing kind of polka-waltz. the music came to an almost intolerable climax. yet never hurried. They love even better to dance with men. 'Isn't it fine?' 'Fine! Their arms are like iron. as the Italians love to do. the guitars give their strange. sat obscurely in the corner. exquisite delight in every interrelated movement. oh. 'It's better like this. never violent in its passion. taking perfect. always becoming more intense. the women drifting and palpitating as if their souls shook and resounded to a breeze that was subtly rushing upon them. The wood-cutters and peasants take off their coats. the guitars and mandolines twanging rapidly. more subtle. lilting polka-waltz round and round the small room. trailing. intimate. with a dear blood-friend. they are certain. their bodies wild and confident. carrying you round. the three musicians. It is a strange dance. but quiet. but even grandiloquent. Their feet in thick boots are curiously swift and significant.' 'Yes! Yes! And the muscles on their shoulders! I never knew there were such muscles! I'm almost frightened. particularly if they have for partner an English Signora. their thighs swifter. . slower again. through them. two men?' Giovanni says to me. more subtly interwoven. their feet nimble. They dance with strange intentness. making a dance that grew swifter and more intense. the young bloods from the big village on the lake. making hazy the shadowy dancers. and then the next phase of the dance had begun. But it had always a kind of leisurely dignity.' 'Yes--yes--you've only to let them take you. and the dance begins again. almost painful summons.No strange women were invited. only men. than with women. the men worked their feet. The women's faces changed to a kind of transported wonder. a subtle approaching and drawing nearer to a climax. They are at a loss when the two English Signoras move together and laugh excitedly at the end of the dance. leapt with them for a second. They danced the slow. vibrant. nearer. making a music that came quicker and quicker. they were in the very rhythm of delight. they think they have found a footing. the men caught up the women and swung them from the earth. his face curiously tender.' Then the glasses are put down. From the soft bricks of the floor the red ochre rose in a thin cloud of dust. strange and lilting. and changing as the music changed. there was a moment when the dance passed into a possession. as they dance with the peasants transfigured with a kind of brilliant surprise. All the while the peasants are very courteous. There were only the two English women: so men danced with men. his blue eyes hot. the men seeming to fly and to implicate other strange inter-rhythmic dance into the women. a rhythm within a rhythm. more vividly. the dust rising from the soft bricks. their throats are bare.
He seems now to have come into his own. half-lit by the lamp on the wall. on a little tin tray. And the women waited as if in transport for the climax. The peasants have chosen their women. flashing question.till. consummate. For the dark. with a little catch in it. There was the smell of water among the glowing. which brings almost a . and the dancers stood stranded. the violent way he works one shoulder. borne away. for the '_bella bionda_'. There was a subtle smile on the face of the men. The light was still on their faces. one direct. on the red floor. the wood-cutter. glad to have speech again. Maria Fiori was splashing water. Nevertheless. Yet he dances well. with eyes that are black like the very flaming thrust of night. perfect. He has a wooden leg. there was the surpassing lift and swing of the women. The woman begins to wilt a little in his possession. and hard as a hatchet. thin. nearer movement of the dance began. bewildered. The men were bringing wine. And the dancers sat round the wall. a reeling. crowding in the little room. and his dancing is almost perfect. and hard with energy as a thunderbolt. He is like some violent natural phenomenon rather than a person. The wood-cutter from the mountain is of medium height. knowing. vivid loins. always nearer. lifted like a boat on a supreme wave. when they would be flung into a movement surpassing all movement. They were flung. who looks like a slightly malignant Madonna. leaning with their proud. he is dominant. There is something strange about his dancing. when the woman's body seemed like a boat lifted over the powerful. He is inconceivably vigorous in body. their faces flickering with the same subtle smile. the players in the corner were putting down their instruments to take up their glasses. subtle. they are confident. '_Si--molto bello_. They cannot understand the middle-class diffidence of the young men who wear collars and ties and finger-rings. always to a more perfect climax. He is quite a savage. so finely sensual that the conscious eyes could scarcely look at it. The eyes of the wood-cutter flash like actual possession. for a moment. round the walls. And the women were dazed. Meanwhile. faint with the transport of repeated ecstasy. handsome Englishwoman. oh. and then once more the slow. But the peasants have always to take their turn after the young well-to-do men from the village below. intense. The air was full of red dust. nearer. exquisite wave of the man's body. into the zenith and nave of the heavens. like a blindness. He is fierce as a bird. But he never speaks. With all his senses. Then suddenly the dance crashed to an end. from the knee-joint. lost. owing to his lameness. on a strange shore. sure.' cries the woman. much water. dark. like a transfiguration. and is inordinately proud. comes Il Duro. He will dance with the blonde signora. like creatures dazzled by too much light. transfigured men and women who sat gleaming in another world. '_� bello--il ballo?_' he asked at length.
' he says. wine. He looks at her with a confidence. incalculable enjoyment. as if his influence with her she will take no notice of him. Paolo also sits quiet. But he is not a human being. For some time But he waits. while she is in the power of the educated Ettore. talon-like eyes watching so fiercely and so confidently in the doorway. Then there is singing. The peasants may not come in. She has another being. absurd. most intimate and compelling. Every muscle in his body is supple as steel. to him. she will fall back on herself. The words are in dialect. astounding. too perfect. There is eating and drinking in the little house. it is almost unbearable. 'What?' she replies. in the doorway. in the hard. great hunks of bread. Then it rushes forth. the woman swoons over in the dance. and a little coffee. enjoyment. and watches. and which she will fall back upon. established. who knows how much he can get out of this Northern woman. The Signoria does not understand in the least. He is like a god. prospering now. fixed. which he has not touched. in possession. and yet so quick. with the invisible smile on his face. poised on the edge of the darkness. sure. the ecstasy. But only the quality come to eat. and only how much. liquid. The boy capers in the doorway like a faun. infinite. There is something stupid. And all the while she is aware of the insistent hawk-like poising of the face of the wood-cutter. And she is angry. proud. The woman. wonderful. somewhere shocked in her independent soul. perfect. Then the men lift up their heads and send out the high.' Only Maria. he seems to lie in wait. inhuman was already accomplished. It is perfect. there is a sense of a great strength crouching ready. The elder brother sits straight and flushed. supple. perfect. ready to order a shrill silence in the same way as she orders . the men sing all the verses of their song. the strange bestial singing of these hills. his straight black hair falling over his forehead. keeps collected. He is fixed upon her. and passes shaken and dilated and brilliant. Then she comes near take hold of her. Their throats move. a perfect and calculated voluptuary. but usually not. unrelinquishing. among those who are safe. They argue among themselves for a moment: will the Signoria understand? They sing. large and active.pure intoxication. as strong as thunder. unmitigated. passes away among the others. so delicately swift. in the open doorway. the climax. their faces have a slight mocking smile. Has the creature no sense? The woman reacts from him. sliced sausage that Maria has made. During the next dance. the wood-cutter stands on the edge of the darkness. transcendent. It is eleven o'clock. jerking his head strangely to the darkness. and his will seems to strange. slightly malignant triumph. a strange natural phenomenon. So with a strange. '_Venga--venga un po'_. begins to fall away from him. sitting round the walls of the little parlour. consciously ignoring him. with glee. the guitars are silent. There is food in the kitchen. but even his eyes glitter with a kind of yellow light of laughter. half-howling music. Sometimes the guitars can play an accompaniment. and it goes on. The dance is over. As he draws near to the swing.
the mountain opposite and the mountains behind us faintly outlined themselves on the sky. The women. Below. listening hard. complaining that he was too wild. what they are singing?' 'No. overriding voice: '_Basta--basta. lying on the floor in the sitting-room. But the vague Northern reserve has come over the Englishwomen. and a talking. But the wood-cutter. There was a little more coffee. Then a story of a donkey who had kicked a youth in the chest and killed him. We all went out to look at the night. But they cannot catch the words. they can feel the malicious.' I say. whose name and whose nickname I could never hear. offering movement._ But the next verses are so improper that I pretend not to understand. A little wind blew cold from the Adige. The smile becomes more dangerous on the faces of the men. The men pass off in pairs. the well-to-do youths from below. The song comes loud and vibrating and maliciously from their reedy throats. But the women were tired. In the morning the visitors had gone. suggestive mockery. still hovered on the edge of the darkness. and had lain unfound for eighteen hours. The stars were very bright overhead. the lake was a black gulf. The boy comes to me and says: 'Do you know. The men with the watchful eyes. and only the 'quality' remained. straighten their bodies with a curious. Signore. violently. And the men sitting round the wall sing more plainly. Then Maria sent him also away. a story of a man who had fallen over a declivity in a lonely part going home drunk in the evening. but without the fusion in the dance. Then they had gone to sleep. in her loud. Still the two young men would not go away. sit round the wall and sing more distinctly: _Si verr� la primavera Fiorann' le mandoline. they rise and go into the night. all roused. Then Maria Fiori sees that I have understood. they would go to bed.the peasants. _proprio selvatico_. a long way off. dilated faces. They dance again._ The men get up. So he capers with furious glee. Vienn' di basso le Trentine Coi 'taliani far' l'amor. it penetrates everybody. coming nearer to the correct Italian. and she cries. The guitars and mandolines strike the vibrating strings. as if listening to something magical. to keep their places. The musicians are thanked. They have had enough. The foreign women can understand the sound. are listening. with wakened. They had eaten eight eggs each and much bread at one o'clock in the morning. . They had insisted on staying the night. their two faces beautiful in their attention.
There was something blowsy and uncertain and hesitating about the women in particular. and perfectly turned face. It should have been pretty. They sat just in front of the house. beautiful rather. we must do so too. they seemed slightly uneasy and angry at our presence. and their friends. . The men I scarcely noticed at first. shrill. Yet he was very beautiful.In the early sunshine they had drunk coffee and gone down to the village on the lake. had a sinister light in them. coming up purely for pleasure. They were a queer party. and. in the morning. very much like a god's pale-gleaming eyes. under the olive tree. calm above his grey eyes. But somehow it was not: it was hard and slightly ugly. _6_ IL DURO The first time I saw Il Duro was on a sunny day when there came up a party of pleasure-makers to San Gaudenzio. She would have made a good deal of money. coarse voices. except that two were young and one elderly. with the same vivid pallor. and slightly uncertain. We were at once envious. His hair was jet black and fine and smooth. So that vaguely I gathered that they were not quite 'respectable'. advancing between the vines. slightly bitter. the women in their cotton frocks. But the expression was strange. the other two rather insignificant. that had long dark lashes. dark. and then. with a clear golden skin. a pale. which made one at once notice them. signore. She lifted her shoulders. however. even on a feast day. slightly derogatory voice. rather protectively of me. They greeted Maria and Paolo in loud. Then a picnic was arranged for them out of doors. You don't know them. The strange party did not speak to us. said they were people from down below. slightly repelling gleam. strange. The women were in cotton frocks. They were three women and three men. something godlike. sitting with wine and food in the spring sunshine. Her cupidity seemed like her very blossom. she added: 'They are not people for you. florid woman in pink. his brows were beautifully drawn. glossy as a bird's wing. He was very handsome. Maria was very pleased. But since they were picnicking out of doors. a man of thirty-two or-three. one a large. But Maria was a little unwilling.' She spoke slightly angrily and contemptuously of them. The young men were rich. And all his face had the slightly malignant. beyond the well. in her rather strident. on the grass. suffering look of a satyr. and then she set a table for us. Only one man came into the house. I asked Maria who they were. after a second's cold pause. His eyes.
But he was always inscrutable. but everybody in the village has a nickname.He walked quickly and surely. slightly flushed. which consists in shouting in rapid succession your guesses at the number of fingers rapidly spread out and shut into the hands again upon the table. Then in the evening Il Duro came in. uninhabited for the most part. It was queer to look at the hands spread on the table: the Englishwomen. He felt he could come near to the strange signori. the large fresh hands of the elder boy. which is almost invariably used. I do not know if they went to one of the inns of the stony village. remained like a translucent smile. and the big. a pale. shapely hands of Faustino. Then Paolo sent Giovanni to see the drunken one safely past the landslip. it moved on in a ragged group up to the village beyond. Maria was angry with him. She railed loudly and violently. and the light on his face. Jenkins'. as if the transit were in a strange world. as if none of what he was doing were worth the while. having rings on their soft fingers. His name is Faustino. no matter where it is. animal. The party remained until about two o'clock. He had been in America first for two years years--seven years altogether--but he only He was always with Italians. dark brown. who had gone on in front. came later in the afternoon inquiring for the party. who had lived in Vienna. after the two women. except that exciting one of theirs. And towards sunset I saw the elderly man of the group stumbling home very drunk down the path. like an animal that remains quite single. Yet he did it for his own pleasure. And that was because he had been in America. So he ate a little food alone at the table. the brown paws of the younger. That was the one game we played with the peasants. But he was separate. the Bertolotti. or to the large strange house which belonged to the rich young grocer of the village below. We had all eaten. Il Duro joined in the game. They drank a good deal out there in the sunshine. chiefly in a flag factory. strange gleam through his clear skin. yet curiously indifferent. He went out with the wine to the party on the grass. and now was rich. passing from his desire to his object. Maria regarded them all with some hostility. The women and the older man talked floridly. upon which he seemed to crouch forward. very much like any other such party in any other country. Altogether it was an unsatisfactory business. unchanging as time. Only the young well-to-do grocer. Then. Il Duro crouched at the feast in his curious fashion--he had strangely flexible loins. a trolley with flags from the . Afterwards we played 'Up. a house kept only for feasts and riots. He had served and had had very little to do save to push and then for five spoke a very little English. Maria would tell me nothing about them. he came and fetched wine at his will. Paolo's distorted great hard hands of a peasant. with his head rather down. which was dangerous. He was unchanged. whilst we sat round the fire. He seemed familiar with the household. He came in and asked for supper. absorbed.
with the long. i baffi neri--ah-h!_' Then a long-drawn exclamation of voluptuous appreciation. half getting at him. deliberate. and his mouth was shut almost uglily. half-diabolic. '_Vuol' dire che hai l'aria dolorosa_. He was afraid. half-teasing. His moustache was brown. lived in his little house. I could not understand. he had taken his uncle's garden. 'But why. He was curiously attractive and curiously beautiful. Maria said. something stone-like. steady. peasant-wise. something very strange. And he did not smile or change. per bellezza. He was rich. And he only looked at me. also in English. half-tortured pale gleam. Then he had come home from America with a fair amount of money. shouting in her strident voice. His cheeks seemed to harden like marble and to become pale at the thought. like marble with fear. He did. '_Triste!_' he repeated. I can only repeat. He at once disclaimed it._' . grew vegetables all the year round.' cried Maria. 'don't you marry? Man doesn't live alone. his teeth strong and spaced. 'why do you live alone? You are sad--_� triste_. cold fashion. had inherited his uncle's little house.' He looked at me with his queer. I felt a great static misery in him. only his face seemed to become more stone-like. And even when he had been ill he was alone. He was mean. his cheeks stern. But before the signori he was glad also to appear rich. Maria cried. and he lived quite alone. After the boys had gone to bed he sat and talked to me. 'You live quite alone?' I said to him. 'Sad. that was more. were distinct and fine as a work of art. 'because I've seen too much. But always his eyes had this strange. His temples. like a goat's.' 'I don't marry. The women said it was a pity his moustache was brown. pale eyes.dyeing-room to the drying-room I believe it was this. 'Sad I' he repeated.' he said to me. He had been ill two years before. _Ho visto troppo. '_Peccato!--sa. inscrutable look of a goat.' I said. like a chorus interpreting.' I said. 'Why. in his emphatic. hostile. with the black hair. And there was always a sort of loud ring of challenge somewhere in her voice. pale. but somehow like stone in his clear colouring and his clear-cut face. into my eyes.' I said in English. stiffening up. and in spring made good money as a vine-grafter: he was an expert vine-grafter. He attended to his garden.
in the chimney opening.' 'Do you dislike women?' I said.' I said. or for me to understand him. 'You can find a woman--there are plenty of women. Yet I could feel that Paolo. like a strange creature looking at me. '_Ho visto troppo_.' I said. to graft the vines. 'I've seen too much... 'I have known too many.' 'Then why can't you marry? Why must you live alone?' 'Why live with a woman?' he said to me. too final. But a week after he came again. 'Not for me. a faun.' 'But you can marry. 'however much you have seen. like a monolith also. no vague merging off into mistiness. I don't think ill of them.' he said. That night he slept on the floor of the sitting-room. about the pallid otherworld he inhabited. sitting silent. He himself was not sad. All the morning and the afternoon he was among the vines. And I could see it was impossible for us to understand each other. There was a completeness about him. final fashion. 'Which woman is it to be?' 'You can find her. crouching . 'No--quite otherwise. 'What woman?' he said to me. I could not understand the strange white gleam of his eyes. 'There are many women. I've known too much.. and the words seemed engraved on stone.' I said. which again was strange and puzzling.' Again he shook his head in the stony. Also I knew he liked me very much.' 'But does that prevent you from marrying?' He looked at me steadily. finally. I have known too much. I can marry nobody.' I said. It was too complete. Il Duro looked again steadily into my eyes. he understood: Maria also understood. It was as if he were a fairy. too defined. He seemed like a crystal that has achieved its final shape and has nothing more to achieve.' He watched me steadily. as a substance in moonlight. if you have seen all the world. 'Not for me.'I don't understand. which excluded sadness. and he looked mockingly. There was no yearning.' he repeated. a sadness that gleamed like phosphorescence. where it came from. In the morning he was gone. and had no soul. almost loved me. He was clear and fine as semi-transparent rock. But he gave me a feeling of vivid sadness.
It is in the spirit that marriage takes place. Pan and the ministers of Pan do not marry. but physical sensation. And Faustino had none of this spirit. having quarrelled once more with the Maria about money. cut. He quarrelled violently. fast. without thought. All the while his beauty. a gleaming piece of earth himself. it was not for him. which he had picked out of a handful which lay beside him on the ground. It was like God grafting the life of man upon the body of the earth. before the young vines. intimately conjuring with his own flesh. he went finely to the quick of the plant. he prepared the new shoot. In him sensation itself was absolute--not spiritual consummation. talking to me. He was not a worker. with the gleaming black of the fine hair on the brow and temples. Quickly. like a god. his haunches doubled together in a complete animal unconsciousness. bestial. fascinated me. doubled on his haunches. to the absolute of the senses. knowing as if by relation between that soft matter and the matter of himself. which is neither me nor her. But in the spirit my conjunction with her creates a third thing. and the lime and the cow-dung he handled. like some strange animal god. All the while Paolo stood by. as if he understood that too. amazingly swift and sure. I somehow understood his isolation. whilst they fascinated. They are single and isolated in their being. cutting them back with his sharp. Watching him. which fell unheeded on to the earth. inserted the graft. It was his senses that were absorbed in the sensible life of the plant. bright knife. as if his mind were disengaged. cut at the young budding shoots. his face seeming in its strange golden pallor and its hardness of line. Again he stayed through the evening. There was . why he did not marry. In the flesh there is connexion. and swiftly. to prepare the lime. vividly. He was a creature in intimate communion with the sensible world. yet coldly. like something reflective. a Word. then bound it up. Then again he strode with his curious half-goatlike movement across the garden. to Faustino. He mixed the messy stuff. somehow excluded from the mystery. In the body I am conjoined with the woman. but which is absolute. but only in the spirit is there a new thing created out of two different antithetic things. so perfect and so defined. the sylvan gods. watching his absorbed. So he could not marry. carefully with his hands. And Il Duro answered easily. cut. unchanging pallor. cow-dung and lime and water and earth.before them. also repelled. It was like darkness revealed in its steady. a strange static perfection about him. Then again he strode over the earth. hard. knowing purely by touch the limey mess he mixed amongst. It filled me with a sort of panic to see him crouched flexibly. like the reflecting surface of a stone that gleams out of the depths of night. and yet godlike crouching before the plant. an absolute. nor of me nor of her. But his movements. He belonged to the god Pan. I can always see him crouched before the vines on his haunches. as if he were the god of lower life. moving to the young vines. with a few clean cuts of the knife.
Yet he liked. The fire of olive sticks was burning in the open chimney. He was quite helpless in the relation. cattle-like men who are sitting with their wine round the . _7_ JOHN Besides Il Duro. we came on a village. We went into the inn to drink something hot. all trace of interest or feeling vanished from him. above all things. put in fresh coffee among the old bottoms. and those who sit in the chimney-seats are raised above the audience in the room. getting higher and higher. In the chimney-seats sat a young mule-driver. on the shoulder of a bluff far up. filled it with water. The chimneys are like the wide. something like two gods flanking the fire. Another woman was seen in the house-place beyond. but the hearth is raised about a foot and a half or two feet from the floor. They got down and offered us the seats of honour. lower world of the room. Only by mechanical attraction he gravitated into line with us. then pushed it more into the fire. to be near the English signori. The landlord turned to us with the usual na�ve. It was something of the purely physical world. and opposite him an elderly stout man. as a magnetized needle swings towards soft iron.' Then there is a new note of cordiality--or so I always imagine--and the rather rough. But there was nothing between us except our complete difference. We asked for coffee with milk and rum. this time quite well. Then quite suddenly. and the usual question: 'You are Germans?' 'English. The comely young woman with the baby took the tin coffee-pot that stood among the grey ashes. They seemed to exercise a sort of magnetic attraction over him. curious deference. so that the fire is almost level with the hands. It was like night and day flowing together. we found another Italian who could speak English. looking out of the cave of ruddy darkness into the open. who had left his two mules at the door of the inn. a young woman with a baby stood by the fire watching something boil in a large pot. one or two men were talking at a table.something terrifying in it. and as if forgotten. The stout landlord took a seat near us below. open chimney-places of old English cottages. which we accepted with due courtesy. And as soon as the matter of dispute was settled. icy cold.' 'Ah--_Inglesi_. We had walked about four or five miles up the lake.
The old landlord looked at her with pride. 'I have a son who speaks English. Giovanni. where is the Giovann'?' The comely young woman with the baby came in.' 'And where is he now?' 'He is at home. There was a moment of suspension. forgotten villagers stood round in the cold upper air. A crowd of desolate. and it broke upon the Italian child-reverence. 'Oh!' 'He has been in America. among the ashes. colonel who had come home wounded from was wildly proud about the colonel and of which was execrable. At last the coffee in the tin coffee-pot was boiling and frothing out of spout and lid. courteous.' came the ringing note of pride. 'He is with the band. 'And the baby?' we asked. of the Falstaff sort. in the strong. his son. It seemed altogether that the place was forgotten by God and man. And the mother talked to the baby in dialect. the music We just looked into the street.' he says: he is a handsome. penetrating voice of these women.' cried the young woman. 'What is he called?' 'Oscare. felt themselves glorified by the presence of the child. Only the landlord is always affable. newish house. '_Mio figlio_.table look up more amicably. Then the Signora began to talk. burly. She smiled readily to the Signora. They do not like being intruded upon.' he said. courtly old man. It was a bonny baby: the whole company was united in adoration and service of the bambino. There was a in front of the house of a Tripoli. when religious submission seemed to come over the inn-room. But the landlord. The milk in the little copper pan was also hot. handsome. Everybody in the village about the brass band. The landlord was anxious for us to see village band performing up the street. All.' she said. And she came forward to show the child to the Signora. The band of uncouth fellows was playing the same tune over and over again before a desolate. O--Nicoletta. 'This is my daughter-in-law. pointed out with a . So we had our drink at last. men and women alike.
the home country was a lover who would heal all her sons' wounds with love. producing staccato strains on his cornet. sar� italiana. He looked entirely like a ne'er-do-well who plays a violin in the street. who was evidently a figure of repute. with challenge that almost frightened me: '_Un brav' uomo_. standing in the band playing a cornet. Meanwhile. caro colonello_--' and when it was finished. when he lay uncovered on the sands of Tripoli. But Giovanni was the strangest! He was tall and thin and somewhat German-looking._ The colonel had appeared on the balcony. When the Arabs came rushing like things gone mad. this figure of repute blew himself red in the face. Then we.' I said. Then there was a sudden rugged '_Evviva. unless it be violent. he turned to me and said. somehow. abstractedly: '_Caro--caro--Ettore. like Falstaff. humiliated legs was gone in. There was something hot and marshy and sick about him. The death of man or . degenerate American respectability. They all seemed so sordidly. rather like beggars in the street. week after week. how. less than human. a pure gentleman. hopelessly shabby. 'That is he--you see. It was all. and the little colonel with shabby. very yellow in the face. There is something repulsive to me in the thought of his lying dead: such a humiliating. and he had received his wound. The colonel. somehow degraded corpse. somebody valiantly broke into a line of the song: _Tripoli. Love would heal the wounds. a smallish man. upon the iron rail of the balcony. upper afternoon.flourish the Giovanni. dressed in the most down-at-heel. rending 'Bravos!'--the people were in tears--the landlord at my side was repeating softly. The daughter-in-law also peered out to look at Il Giovann'. leaning forward.' '_Bravissimo_. among his own dear ones. there was recovery. hot and feverish and yellow. unendurable.' The father spoke with love and pride. Sar� italiana al rombo del cannon'. The band itself consisted only of five men. wearing shabby American clothes and a very high double collar and a small American crush hat. and the father was a gentleman. he had known they were watching him from the Alpine height of the village. Signore--the young one under the balcony. Evviva_!' from the people. poor devil--we knew him afterwards--is now dead. went indoors. He suddenly began to speak. he had known that in his own village. sordid respectability. Death has no beauty in Italy. with grizzled black hair and very shabby legs. he could feel that where he was they were all looking. And the crowd stood desolate and forsaken in the cold. Among the grey desolate crowd were sharp. too. He told his fellow-villagers how he loved them. in his sordid. grey and hopeless and acrid. It is strange that he is dead. slightly repulsive. the band stopped playing.
It is two years that I have not spoke. these people.' 'No. His fair hair was long and uneven. his American crimson tie was ugly. very coiled upon himself with sensitiveness. "Where is John. over two years now. and we were left with the shy.' And he laughed again. smooth. 'I could speak English very well. When we went away. so we asked him please to come with us picnicking. But it is two years that I don't speak it now. He laughed in his sensitive. He was an ingenuous youth.' 'If I hear it--when I go to America--then I shall--I shall--' 'You will soon pick it up. where is John?" Yes. now went away. again. It will quickly come back. so overjoyed he was to have his Giovanni speaking English with the Signoria.' he said. very shy. 'The women in America. rather knuckly hands. and frowsily-dressed Giovanni. He had managed a store in America. warm blue eyes. gentle. his clothes looked as if they had been kicking about on the floor for a year. we asked 'John' to come down to our villa to see us. 'Oh.' 'But you speak it very well. you haven't. you see. sordidly shabby and dirty. who had been watching with pride. and took his cornet upstairs. Then he came to see us. they said. Yet one morning he appeared. when they came into the store.' 'Yes--I shall pick it up. Yet his blue eyes were warm and his manner and speech very gentle. they are so limited to life. I have--' 'You have forgotten it? No. It was sunny and warm and beautiful. dirty. and thin wrists in the frayed cuff. in a smallish town.woman through sickness is an occasion of horror. They belong entirely to life. I glanced at his reddish. so I don't speak it. just as we were finishing breakfast. glancing with vague. Soon the Giovanni came home. smiling and shaking his head. at about half past nine. quick fashion. repulsive. They were real shopman's hands.' The landlord.' I said. The wife also went away. He was a queer shoot. The landlord brought some special feast-day cake. in his unkempt longish hair and slovenly . not a word--so. they liked me. 'You will speak English with us. We scarcely expected him to turn up. his very high starched collar made one aware that his neck and his ears were not clean.
to the village beyond the lake. a hanger-on. He had taken some money. he had come more into contact with his new surroundings. His mother died. wretched fashion. and he talked continuously. He did not quite understand. So he had stayed a while with his father. he loved his father--it was 'my father. it was the world that had flowed unstable by. just as aimlessly. and had been taught English like a child. and there had taken his examinations to become a civil engineer. had wanted him at home. In the first place. so he took his place bravely and simply. the distant island. Either one stayed in the village. in a dry goods store. 'My father wanted me to come back. then he had found a place somewhere in Pennsylvania. a sort of very vulgar down-at-heel American in appearance. he was not disappointed or chagrined. He had loved the American free school. He was clever. but following the suggestion and scope of his limited English. So John had had some education. had drifted about. not saying the things he would have said in Italian. Then 'John' began to talk. disconsolate. and his father. desolate village of the mountain-side. His father had a little shop as well as the inn in the village above. 'But didn't you mind giving up all your work?' I said. up to a smooth little lawn under the olive trees. living in the most comfortless. like a lodged stone. But John was more sensitive. He had been sent to Brescia and then to Verona to school. and sitting there we had the world below us--the lake. His father. at least consciously. And he was transported with shyness. . the work. Their souls were static. with a party of men who were emigrating to America. But he never finished his course. when he was sixteen or seventeen. It was all aimless and purposeless. Then he had gone back. They had passed through the foreign world and been quite untouched. He had never conceived of a coherent purposive life. to be with his father and to look after the shop. wishing to make a gentleman of him. We climbed up the water-course in the mountain-side.' he said. Yet ours was the world he had chosen as his own. Yet not so self-complete as that of Il Duro or Paolo. across the world. It was evident that Giovanni had had no definite conception of what he was doing or what he wanted to do. and he returned half-baked to the remote. He had attended night classes almost every evening. like a foreigner. or one made random excursions into the world. By accident he had been moved on into the engineering course. where daisies were flowering and gladioli were in bud. It was a tiny little lawn of grass in a level crevice. the teachers. had sent him to school in Verona. His nature was simple and self-complete. and could pass his examinations.clothes. This was when he was seventeen or eighteen years old. then he had gone. the far-off low Verona shore. my father' always. When it all fizzled to an end. All this seemed to have happened to him without his being very much affected.
above the perfect lake: English obscenities and abuse so coarse and startling that we bit our lips. I am so mad. With his curious. I forget everything except I will kill him--' 'But you didn't?' 'No--I don't know--' and he laughed his queer. I get mad. or else: 'Let John come. Oh. and I would kill them. for all his long hair and dirty appearance. he is older than I am. John'. you damn Dago.' This pleased him very much. not all the while I was there. calling after him. sensitive nature. Though they hit me and kick me all over.' he said. When they come one day. they throw stones and hit me on the face. and spat into them. he earned a hundred dollars a month. repeated to us these things which may never be repeated in decent company. He looked beside himself. he came to me and we went away. dirty dog. He lived with . I am mad. I was completely mad. 'You damn Dago. 'Oh. So that at last he had gone mad. lambent excitement of the youth. I throw the biggest to the floor. shouting. He wore white clothes there. They were youths and men who always tortured him. shocked almost into laughter.' He was trembling slightly. I feel nothing. we wished him to forget. and he had kept his place. I would kill them. he said. By his slight." and will take my hat again. and his eyes were dilated with a strange greyish-blue fire that was very painful and elemental. over-sensitive. I almost kill him. I run to them. there on the little lawn under the olive trees. 'at last. using bad language which startled us very much as he repeated it. and I hit him so hard I would kill him. the biggest. We were shaken by the vivid. he can find it'. crinkled laugh we could see how much he had suffered. and 'You look very nice in the white coat.But he had suffered very much in America. and throw one to the floor. oh. I would have killed them.' They had stopped him and his friend in the street and taken away their hats. I hit the man on the floor. and some Germans. 'The other man that was with me. It was the best came. I was mad. and many English ladies liked the English ladies very much: they the store. 'They never came after me no more. shaken laugh. a man. I get mad. But I don't feel it--I don't know nothing. too. he told us how the boys had followed him and jeered at him. simple and natural. In the end. He always wanted him to be in they would say: foreman in the store--at first he was only store in the town. He had gone out and faced the world. We were shocked. stranger and Dago though he was. and I tread on him while I go upon another. When the others see it they are afraid. in our souls to see the pure elemental flame shaken out of his gentle. and somehow. But he was by no means mad. flower-like in soul. whilst John. my friend.' Then he said he became the assistant. "You damn Dago. wincing laugh. or else they said: 'John speaks like a born American.
' 'But is it not just the same as managing the shop at home?' 'No--no--it is quite different. when he was in a hurry.' he said. but then he had had his debauches of shows and wine and carousals. He had no more to do. 'why? You are not poor. John went chiefly to the schools. as out of the past. But the future was all beyond her. There was a strange. never even knowing that he suffered. raw America. His knowledge of his own language was remarkable and most unusual! 'But what. So I came. the same. a fragment inconclusive. from the past. He was going away again. He could not say himself. you can manage the shop in your village. Faustino had lived in a state of miserliness almost in America. almost frightening destiny upon him. then he would come home again to see his father--and his wife and child. At home he had married. Out of her he begot his child. that he must suffer disintegration from . He would stay four or five years. I shall never see him.' Then he told us how he bought goods in Brescia and in Said for the shop at home. to within a mile of the village. I must stay till I am forty. 'But why. Perhaps in another month he would be gone. You see. 'But I will go to America. It was a great puzzle to me why he would go. This also pleased him. He was very fond of his wife. apart from her. Now he was leaving his wife and child and his father to go to America. in one of which he was even asked to teach Italian. now.' I said. He was very proud of this. always away from home. to which he was wedded.the extraordinary frugality of the Italians. if I did not come to have my military service. But he was going to Brescia this day to see about going again to America. into the new chaos. His wife was like the past. to America. which seemed to take him away. So I think perhaps my father will be dead. an overhead wire by which you could haul the goods up the face of the cliffs right high up. how he had rigged up a funicular with the assistance of the village.' I asked. more like a creature under the influence of fate which was disintegrating the old life and precipitating him. 'brought you back?' 'It was my father. And sometimes he himself went down the funicular to the water's edge. He had been some nine months at home after his military service was over.' He had come home when he was twenty to fulfil his military duties.' 'Yes. Perhaps I shall go into the store again. to that great. but he had no conception of love in the old sense. He seemed scarcely like a person with individual choice. He was not like Il Duro. and had quite a lot of money. He submitted to it all with a perfect unquestioning simplicity. to the boat.
He was moved entirely from within. as if he were a Niebelung. waving us good-bye. Then his white . his wife and child the foreshore of the past. the Germany of fairy tales and minstrels and craftsmen. and the sun. The poignancy of the past was almost unbearable. or like a soul in trajectory. Then we passed out of sight between wooded banks and under bridges where quaint villages of old romance piled their red and coloured pointed roofs beside the water. so that it seemed like the beginning of the world. That was beautiful. over the wide shallows of the river. the village remained remote in the romantic past of High Germany. One man with a round. saluting with bright arm lifted from the water. very still. 'But I say I will go. and the customs officials came to look. it was no pleasure to travel on the big flat desolate lake. the fight going on like some strange symbol in the sky. whose white shadowy bodies trembled near the side of the steamer under water. open. When I went from Constance. the crow flickering above the attacking hawk. belonging in his final desire to our world. What were wife and child to him?--they were the last steps of the past. or two rooks. _Italians in Exile_ When I was in Constance the weather was misty and enervating and depressing. the fair moustache hanging over his mouth. He would return at evening. We went by some swimmers. unquestioning face. but he called it America. Nothing was more painful than to see him standing there in his degraded.' And at that it was finished. remote. sordid American clothes. his face laughing. neither he nor anybody knew. And in a month's time he would be standing on the same lake steamer going to America. fair head lifted his face and one arm from the water and shouted a greeting to us. the Germans on deck watching with pleasure. made lovely yellow lights beneath the bluish haze.the old life. going down the lake. the mist hung over the waters. And there was a hawk in the upper air fighting with two crows. Still. he seemed like a prisoner being conveyed from one form of life to another. Ever they rose higher and higher. "Don't go--don't go"--' he shook his head. coming through the morning. and be pulled up in his funicular basket. Even when the boat put in to shore. It could not be that they were real. the world of consciousness and deliberate action. His father was the continent behind him. but his face was set outwards. With his candid. lost in the vagueness of the past. 'They say to me. that has not yet found a resting-place. he never questioned his inevitable impulse. on the deck of the steamer. So we saw him off at the little quay. away from it all--whither. it was on a small steamer down the Rhine to Schaffhausen. floating there in colour upon the haze of the river.
They sat at the long table. lying fatly on their sides. and drank beer. with their factory in the midst and their hotel at the bottom. fat. save for the rushing of water.body swirled in the water. quaint houses flickering its lights on to the deep-flowing river. where a few tables were laid for supper. very red and purple. with big stretches of heavy land. across Switzerland. They looked at me as I went by down the long. and I asked for food. and he was gone. half modern. and sat by the window looking at the darkness of the river below. subdued. Only one or two village men came in. rather gloomy fields of this part of Baden. then some mushrooms. disreputable. then through a large stone-clean kitchen. I passed through unchallenged. romantic banks. I went to the middle and looked through the opening at the dark water below. A few people were eating. and as if ravenously. with dreary. alone and exposed and out of the world. looking round and grinning sometimes. with bright pans. eight or nine tramps and beggars and wanderers out of work and they ate with a sort of cheerful callousness and brutality for the most part. the tall village-front towering remote and silent above the river. the landlady gave them all thick soup with dumplings and bread and meat. they are ugly. wonderful world that belonged to the date of isolated village communities and wandering minstrels. that is not very real. down here was a small. and flanked by great fields where groups of men and women were working. suddenly. and was very sleepy. very dark. Till sunset came. some impudent--another came in late. I remember I found some apples under a tree in a field near a railway embankment. She led me through a room where were enormous barrels. I asked for Abendessen. Then I ate a very large quantity of knoedel soup and bread. There was a fine covered bridge. with breweries and industries. desolate high-road. climbing some steps. swimming with the side stroke. which were high as hills. mysterious. I remember nobody came at the border village to examine my pack. and suddenly. and the general cinematograph effect. serving them in a sort of brief disapprobation. Schaffhausen the town. There was the river rushing along between its high. like . the dark hill opposite. crested with its few lights. Schaffhausen Falls. and. at the fa�ade of square lights. ancient as the Meistersinger. then up some steps and into the long guest-room. So I went back to the inn of The Golden Stag. ten feet in diameter. I made a loud noise. and these soon went again. ragged. I remember the big. withered trees on either side. And there was the village of tall. Only at a long table on the opposite side of the room were seated seven or eight men. cowed. and covered with vine. and quite silent. forgotten. the covered bridge. half old and bygone. It was afternoon when I set out to walk from the Falls to Italy. from the heavy spacious open land I dropped sharply into the Rhine valley again. long road. All was quiet and lifeless and hopeless. A woman came. as if into another glamorous world. The hill rose on either side the flood. the place was dead still. damp and unliving. and I ate both. Then I came on to a long.
Frau_.' I said. 'Nothing. Frau Seidl_. The landlady called to the young serving-woman. Then she told me that they were going out of the country: this was almost the last village of the border: that the relieving officer in each village was empowered to give to every vagrant a ticket entitling the holder to an evening meal. or indicating by the faintest movement that she was addressing the men who were filing raggedly to the doorway. staid and severe. save for the landlady and her sewing.' she said. She became rather stiff and curt.' at random. '_Bettler. for each of these wanderers. and are going back to their own parish. und Taugenichtse!_' I said cheerfully. to me. she sewed steadily. Wirtin--'te Nacht. some called impudently. the staid. 'But why do they come here.prisoners.' to the landlady. and the young serving-woman who was clearing away the plates and basins of the tramps and beggars. So she came to my table. 'They are the men looking for work. It pleased me to take upon myself a sort of romantic. she said my German was '_sch�n_'. a little goes a long way. Lumpen. As the beggars and wanderers went slinking out of the room. at a certain inn.' to all of which the hostess answered a stereotyped '_Gute Nacht_. Then I asked the landlady for a cigarette. wandering character. They tramped off in threes and twos. and in a classic German severity of disapprobation they were led up the stone stairs to their room. So I looked at the newspaper. '_Gute Nacht. Frau Wirtin--G'Nacht. bed.' she replied. '_Gute Nacht_. and bread in the morning. It was not yet eight o'clock. making a bad. with her work on the table. whilst. as if the subject were disagreeable.' . So the room was empty. not knowing how else to begin. elderly villager to whom she was talking in the unbeautiful dialect. cheerfully: '_Nacht. humiliated exit. Only her respect for me made her answer. So I asked her who were the men who had sat at the long table. mean. The landlady sat talking to one bearded man. She did not like the subject at all.' never turning her head from her sewing. and yet impudent. Then the villager also went. and we talked. 'Little enough. so many?' I asked. This was the inn for the vagrants coming to this village. The landlady received fourpence per head. I believe it was. At the end one shouted to know where he was to sleep. 'And men who are out of work.
forgotten place. I debated whether they would steal my boots if I put them out. who came wearing a leathern apron. it was morning on the hill opposite. and they dismounted at the entrance to the village. But I risked it. forgotten. The Italians are dead and torpid first thing. There was a fresh morning-cheerful newness everywhere. the Germans are energetic and cheerful._' '_Gute Nacht. The door-latch made a loud noise on the deserted landing. At last. mein Herr. The Swiss do not look very military. opposite. There was no way of securing the door. at the far lights on the hill above. eating and drinking like business men. men in blue uniforms. old deserted house. They came thundering romantically through the dark cavern of the roofed-in bridge. though the river deep below ran in shadow. full of the German morning energy and brightness.she said stiffly. listening to the running and whispering of the medieval Rhine. I went out to watch them. it would not be by tramps and beggars. neither in accoutrement nor bearing. Villagers came to greet their friends: one soldier kissed his father. So I blew out the candle and lay under the big feather bed. I. and I too went to bed. Everywhere was very clean. The school bell . Then down the curving road of the facing hill the Swiss cavalry came riding. which is so different from the Latin morning. lofty. everywhere felt abandoned. attended by the young woman. in the welcome of the villagers. at the covered bridge. there was a sense of ease and peacefulness. I had my bedroom. I wondered where the eight tramps and beggars were asleep. They were very republican and very free. and the landlady. It was a great. But somehow I felt that. This little squad of cavalry seemed more like a party of common men riding out in some business of their own than like an army. looking down on the swift river. So I had the inn to myself. '_Gute Nacht. and the serving-woman. slightly sullen manoeuvring of the Germans. the bank and the hill opposite. It was cheerful in the sunny morning. The cavalry were all dismounted by the bridge-head. Strange to be here in this lost. I looked down at the river far below. if I were destined to be robbed or murdered. Frau Wirtin. picturesque bridge. bearing between them a great basket of fresh bread. in the distant topmost floor. And when I waked up again it was sunny. with two beds and bare floor and scant furniture. the covered. his authority was by consent. in the arrival of the troops. sleeping under the roof with tramps and beggars. The tramps and beggars were all gone: they must be cleared out by seven o'clock in the morning. It was all very pleasant and genuine. So we talked a little. The village baker and his assistant came hot and floury from the bakehouse._' So I went up more and more stone stairs. quite different from the mechanical. with many drab doors. The officer who commanded them was one of themselves.
except high up: this feeling of average. gravely. something utterly without flower or soul or transcendence. There is something very dead about this country.tang-tang-tanged from above. it was just the same in the town. and descended into the deep gloom. All was the utmost level of ordinariness and well-being. . there was mile after mile of dead. and up the hill opposite. and some were very sweet. I thought I would rather be in fiery Hell than in this dead level of average life. So I shouldered my own pack and set off. One might as well sleep. so neutral and ordinary that it was almost destructive. That is how I always feel in Switzerland: the only possible living sensation is the sensation of relief in going away. The uniforms were almost ludicrous. looked down the darkness of the valley. the young lieutenant. Mile after mile. very haphazard and slack in uniform. through the bridge over the Rhine. chewed their bread in large mouthfuls. about three-quarters of the way down the lake. It was Saturday afternoon. came to the crest. always going away. All the picturesqueness of the town is nothing. and who was trembling on the edge of delirium tremens. grim. average. and tried to digest the utter cold materialism of Switzerland. It was almost dark. I found the Gasthaus zur Post. It was just the same in the tram-car going into Zurich. eating in a restaurant. wandering by the quay and through the market. having only one common room. it was just the same. the horrible vigorous ordinariness. The horrible average ordinariness of it all. and a landlord whose hair stood up on end. very unglamorous. I remember I picked apples from the grass by the roadside. it is like a most ordinary. and a short. rather surly landlady. and sitting on a seat by the lake. So I went on a steamer down the long lake. I climbed a long hill from the lake. who seemed to be an officer only by consent of the men. One gets this feeling always in Switzerland. in the restaurant. So after two hours' rest. A thin rain came on. something intolerable. and I had had enough. But it was eight o'clock. They could only give me boiled ham: so I ate boiled ham and drank beer. Yet I must walk away. but so ordinary that it was like a blight. stood apart by the bridge-head. It was like a business excursion on horseback. The river ran swiftly. The place was soul-killing. I landed somewhere on the right bank. with bare tables. down into a soulless village. harmless and uninspiring. very rough inn. surrounded by low grey hills. I found a steamer that would take me away. of utter soulless ordinariness. to Zurich. real shack-bags. uninspired country--uninspired. is too much. the soldiers. stout. in the shops. usual person in an old costume. It was a small. school children merged timidly through the grouped horses. up the narrow street. But for the rest. passing unwillingly with their books. so ill-fitting and casual. They were all serious and self-contented.
Then the landlady came in. glared at them with hatred.' 'Can I go and look at them?' . fair and fat and slow. handsome. When the room door was opened I could see down the dark passage opposite another lighted door. without trouble. his hands trembled. and created another country at once within the room. his eyes glaring. young. stretched eyes. They sat at the long side-table with their beer. he collarless. His terrible appearance was a fiasco. who was quite capable of keeping him in order. His limbs were thin and feverish. The landlord. But the Swiss Saturday evening customers at the other tables smoked on and talked in their ugly dialect. The man was soft. and soon after the landlord. who was ready at any moment to foam at the mouth. The slow. with his crazed. _trapu_. From the back came loud noises of pleasure and excitement and banging about. I did not know what to do. sensuous. the skin of his face hung loose. Another Italian came. there came in one of those dark.' 'Where?' She jerked her head: 'In the room at the back. At last they finished their beer and trooped off down the passage. 'What is all the noise?' I asked the landlady at last. one from the Venetian province. and no hat. Then I heard the landlord yelling and screeching and snarling from the kitchen at the back. and at the dour landlady. 'What are they doing?' 'They are doing a play. But they fetched their beer from the bar with easy familiarity. he would get stout later. Her hair was perfectly dressed. Then he sat down to talk to a crony. staring blankly at the trembling landlord. he would have somewhat the figure of Caruso._' But the little newcomer entered into a conversation with the landlady.' she said. fair Italian came in for more beer. At last there were six Italians sitting talking loudly and warmly at the side-table. showing his loose throat. showy Italian girls with a man.As I sat with my back to the wall. with his waistcoat unbuttoned. cold German-Swiss at the other tables looked at them occasionally. 'It is the Italians. It was really Italy. nobody heeded him at all. But as yet he was soft. and accentuating his round pot-belly. The others had just said '_Bier. only the landlady was surly. then another. for all the world like a mad dog. The room was painfully empty. a little thin young man. dark. She wore a blouse and skirt. This last was the first to speak to the Germans. and sat at their table. who might have been a Swiss save for his vivid movement. Then the fat. creating a bonfire of life in the callousness of the inn.
as if I were an intruder. half-lighted room that might be used to hold meetings. with a movement of the head. looked at me in the distant twilight of the dusky room. the landlady told me. The others stood and watched. in Italian: 'You are doing a drama.' The landlord glaringly watched me go out. 'We are only learning it. And on this stage was a table and a lamp. they accepted me. I went down the stone passage and found a great. the inn-room beyond.' And I indicated. They did not quite . the little company of Italians stood above me in the light of the lamp which was on the table. the others were bending over the table with him. At one end was raised platform or stage. 'You are a German?' asked one youth. slightly at bay.' 'English? But do you live in Switzerland?' 'No--I am walking to Italy. then.' said the small youth.' I said in German. They all watched with unseeing. 'What do you say?' the small one asked in reply.' 'On foot?' They looked with wakened eyes. dark. like suspicious animals. They wanted me to go away. and the Italians grouped round the light.'I should think so. 'Yes. But I wanted to stay. 'Yes. But I said in German: 'May I look?' They were still unwilling to see or to hear me. as if I should go away when I had seen them. 'May I listen?' I said. 'But we are only reading our parts. with forms piled at the side. the little sharp youth was intently looking over some papers.' said the young intelligent man. unwilling looks: I was merely an intrusion. Their beer mugs were on the table and on the floor of the stage.' So I told them about my journey. 'If I might come and look.' The big empty room was behind me. gesticulating and laughing. 'No--English. They looked up as I entered from the distance. They were puzzled. 'I don't want to stay in there.' They had all become more friendly to me. feeling very uncomfortable.
Giuseppino had been longest in the village. They were all from the villages between Verona and Venice. They were a whole colony of Italians. except the Giuseppino. He himself. I thought of Paolo. the girl. He laboured through his part. I told them of my living there. was the leader. and the Signor Pietro. none of them could speak German. in that he had put himself under the control of the outside conception. who can only see one word at a time. Yet even he was curiously subject to a new purpose. la Maddelena. who was called Alberto. Alfredo. The other two men were in the background more or less. fair. who was like a native here. The play was an amateur melodrama. as if there were some greater new will that included him. disjointed fashion of the peasant. and has then to put the words together. He was a clever man. was in the old tradition.' And they spoke with good-humoured contempt. I think it was--in the village. sensuous. more than a few words. so he could sit by me and talk to me. 'Those peasants of the mountains. a hard. with his parents. the unmarried. printed in little penny booklets. who was roused and displaying himself before the girl. and Il Duro. the dark man. They had all come at different times. slow man. The fat. and understood nothing till it was transferred into him direct through Giuseppino. and the handsome. The others read their parts in the laborious.' they said at once. had been seven years in the valley. Rather wild folk. It was very strange being among these Italians exiled in Switzerland. and they lived in the great dwelling whose windows shone yellow by the rattling factory. Alberto. The others had all married Italian wives. 'they are people of little education. The little thin intelligent fellow. slow man was more conscientious. 'Where do you come from?' I asked them. had been here ten years. They lived entirely among themselves. and had two children. So he spoke perfect German. fair. He had come when he was eleven. and I resented these factory-hands for criticizing them. . But they were delighted with the idea of going to Lugano and Como and then to Milan. for carnival production.understand why I wanted to walk. This was only the second reading they had given it. laughed and flushed and stumbled. Giuseppino. and had attended the Swiss school. afterwards. They had seen the Garda. dark fellow. to make sense. The most confidential was the fat. He seemed to give his consent to something beyond himself. Alfredo. In this he was different from Il Duro. had been in the village about nine years--he alone of all men was not married. His part was not very important. was married. So I sat on the edge of the stage whilst they rehearsed their parts. the dark one. He said they were all workers in the factory--silk. erect piece of callousness. thirty or more families. our padrone. who was flushed with excitement of her. mindless as he was.
the little Giuseppino was always central. But they were very soft stuff. exposed to the empty darkness of the big room.It was strange to watch them on the stage. yet with a kind of pristine simplicity in all his movements. pathetic magicland far away from the barrenness of Switzerland. The other men seemed all overcast.' said the Giuseppino to me. vivid. if inflammable. inflammable. they were . falling on the breast of the Alfredo. The young woman of the inn. In the lamplight of the stage the little party read and smoked and practised. 'you would rather be alone. and sharp. always impersonal. yet with a spark of vividness and natural intensity flashing through. 'They close at eleven. replied and gesticulated. There was a look of purpose. They quarrelled. I can only see the others. handsome. like a shadow. mitigated. they pressed me to go. He let them do as they liked so long as they adhered more or less to the central purpose. more like a female. with his mouth getting wet. I can see the Alberto. All their faces are distinct in the lamplight. sensuous. Queer and isolated it seemed. But the face of the Giuseppino is like a pale luminousness. The Alberto was barman: he went out continually with the glasses. I can see--the Maddelena. slow. I can scarcely see him. and then gave himself up to his part. yet moving subject round Giuseppino.' No. soft. All the while they were drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. laughed foolishly. as he was roused. warm. I could believe in the old fairy-tales where. flushing. slow and laborious. half-cynical voice. that singled him out and made him seem the one stable. Quick. but very soft and enveloping in his heat. roused. almost of devotion on his face. with their sudden Italian rushes of hot feeling. that touched his fat commonplaceness with beauty. flushed. a sort of gleam among all the ruddy glow. all their bodies ate palpable and dramatic. The Alberto. But he seemed almost invisible. they wanted me to go with them.' 'But. The Alfredo. shy. rather coarse and hard and repellent. a magic underworld was revealed. his body is evanescent. niece of the landlady. unintelligent. the other men started into action. But we have another inn in the next parish that is open all night. who was always quiet. and he let them quarrel up to a certain point. declaiming her words in a loud. the lamplight on their faces and on their full gesticulating limbs. the Italians all lambent. The Maddelena had a small glass. in part transfigured by the will of the little leader. laboured. And his being seemed to cast its influence over all the others. his eyes moist. and the play proceeded intently for half an hour. Then there were the two other men. who was hard and resistant. who was soft and sensuous. When I think back. then he called them back. laughed and threw himself into his pose.' I said. except perhaps the woman. when the rock was opened. so long as they got on in some measure with the play. Come with us and drink some wine. always ready. the Maddelena laid her head on the bosom of Alfredo. a tiny. came down and called out across the room. 'We will go away from here now. eternal being among them.
They laughed at my pretending to cut the slabs of polenta with a string: that rejoiced them all: it took them back to the Italian mezzo-giorno. So I told the landlady. I was reminded of Enrico Persevalli and his terrifying cry at the end of _Ghosts_: '_Il sole. making faint quivering lights of reflection.' they said. The night was very dark.' said Alfredo to me. She said I must be back by twelve o'clock. They had a pained tenderness for it. Greetings were exchanged with the quick. as though they reserved themselves from the outer world. Alfredo. with the odd Neapolitan cards. It was so different inside from the German inn. il sole!_' So we talked for a while of Italy. sad. We all sat freely at a long table. about songs. whilst the red-haired girl brought a quart of red wine. . and the earth. They would have no nay. and up the steep hill down which I had come earlier in the evening. flushed. At other tables men were playing cards. profoundly moved.' But they spoke reservedly. ruddy bit of Italy within the cold darkness of Switzerland. intimate directness of Italy. about the food. _l'Italia_. Below the road the stream was rushing. protested I must drink wine. reserved. they wanted to entertain me. 'salute it from us. and salt. salute the sun. the real Italian red wine. It was a warm. 'You know in Italy there is the sun. 'Won't you go back some time?' 'Yes. It was brilliantly lighted. Alfredo was hot: he took off his coat. the eating after the heavy work on the land. tipsy. raw village. without freedom. a beautiful red-haired girl. deep beside the stream. They sent their greeting by me. So we arrived at the caf�. and Carnival.eager. the bells jangling in the campanile. 'we will go back. They too were talking Italian. We went on through the straggling. and one could see the working of machinery shadowy through the lighted windows. clean. 'When you come to Italy. new. the sun. warm. yet it was not like an Italian caf� either. wet-mouthed. We talked about Italy.' So we drank in salute of Italy.' they said to me. pressing them to tell me definitely. and his daughter. Near by was the tall tenement where the Italians lived. making a special inner community. polenta. and there were red-and-white cloths on the tables. a faint echo of reserve. But there was another note also. wet-mouthed. there was a great factory on the other side of the water. from their own village at home. 'Don't you want to go back?' I said. then over the small bridge. The host was in the room.
Their minds were not developed. Southern Europe is breaking free from Dionysus. as 'John' had suffered in fighting the street crowd. Suffer as they might. immortality through procreation. sensuous. but they would not go back. The substratum of Italy has always been pagan. practising on itself the Dionysic ecstasy. something that held even the soft. The worship of the Cross never really held good in Italy. the old affirmation of immortality through procreation. And now. Call it love of country or love of the village. the Giuseppino began to talk to me. But sensually they were men: sensually they were accomplished. na�ve. something new and clear. is crying out for the Dionysic ecstasy. when Northern Europe is turning back on its own Christianity. I could see these sons of Italy would never go back. All their blood. needed the Italian sky. quiet. denying it all. And then. and they did suffer. who had some little development of mind. But there would come a new spirit out of it. it was the dominance of the old pagan form.' said the Giuseppino to me. when he has struggled away from that past. the Italians are struggling with might and main against the sensuous spirit which still dominates them. But 'John' and these Italians in Switzerland were a generation younger. The Christianity of Northern Europe has never had any place there. campanilismo. the sensuous life. working in the factory. he was purely sensuous and mindless. a flame of the mind. besides all the others. The child is really a non-Christian symbol: it is the symbol of mans's triumph of eternal life in procreation. as these men suffered year after year cramped in their black gloomy cold Swiss valley. almost fragile children. wincing in every nerve and fibre from the cold material insentience of the northern countries and of America. when the others were all partially tipsy. as opposed to the Christian affirmation of immortality through self-death and social love. burning. or what not. still they would endure this for the sake of something else they wanted. mentally they were children. as fallow to the new spirit that would come. They loved Italy passionately. burning. Yet a new tiny flower was struggling to open in them. lovable. They would suffer a death in the flesh. sensuous Alfredo in submission. When Northern Europe. and they would not go back. from the triumphal affirmation of life over death. '_Sa signore_. the most potent symbol the sexual symbol. They could hardly live except through the senses. Even Alfredo was submitted to the new process. The dominance of the old form was too strong for them. at least not to the old Italy. almost invisible or . whether it hates Nietzsche or not. In him was a steady flame burning. though he belonged entirely by nature to the sort of Il Duro. from the conditions which made it.But they laughed with the slight pain and contempt and fondness which every man feels towards his past. But under the influence of Giuseppino he was thrown down. the speech. of the spirit. the flower of a new spirit. all their senses were Italian. Men like Paolo and Il Duro broke away only to return.
and we could make our own roads. like a spirit addressing me. looking at me. I did not believe in infinite harmony among men. loosely. no Italian Government. it makes us soldiers--and what for? What is government for?' 'Have you been a soldier?' I interrupted him. was laughing. There is no government for them. He wanted something which was beyond me. an educated man. They stirred in their seats. and then he would have a spree--such a spree. . turning aside. But I did not want him to go on: I did not want to answer. They had forfeited parents as well as homeland. and we could be our own police. He seemed to look at me. He had not. And this was his star. for corroboration. What has the Italian Government to do with us. as it seemed. something strange and pure and slightly frightening. What does a Government mean? It makes us work. And then I must go. I did not believe in the perfectibility of man. But I could not corroborate him. 'Why are these Governments always doing what we don't want them to do? We should not be fighting in the Cirenaica if we were all Italians. What is this Government? Who wants it? Only those who are unjust. but his pale clarity and beauty was something constant star-like in comparison with the flushed. it takes part of our wages away from us. The Italians gathered round them a curious darkness of reserve. tipsy. He waited patiently. He would upset all the Government with a jerk of his well-built shoulder. and want to have advantage over somebody else. Now this was out. in this village. And we live together better than in Italy. no poor laws. there are thirty families of Italians. We help each other. we have no policemen. I could feel a new spirit in him. sat round the table with the terrified gravity of children who are somehow responsible for things they do not understand. floridly. But I could not confirm him in his utterance: my soul could not respond. We are richer and freer. this explained partly their curious reservation in speaking about their beloved country. And my soul was somewhere in tears. I could not respond: I could not answer. and it makes roads. of imprisonment. But we could do without an army. crying helplessly like an infant in the night. It was nearly midnight. A Swiss came in and asked for beer. He laughed wetly to me. I knew the purity and new struggling towards birth of a true star-like spirit. '_l'uomo non ha patria_--a man has no country.inaudible. with gestures almost of pain. It is the Government that does it. none of them had: that was why they could not really go back to Italy. me. 'Why should we have a Government? Here. and there are no poor. It is an instrument of injustice and of wrong. The Giuseppino waited patiently during this tipsy confidence. They talk and talk and do things with us: but we don't want them. this belief. it has an army and police. 'What does the Government do? It takes taxes. laying his hand on mine. Only Alfredo. an Englishman. soft handsomeness of the other.' The others.
I did not want to think. And she led me upstairs. I did not want to know. at twelve o'clock the door must be shut. to the adventure. it will not be opened. with a large tin. and along the uneven cobbled street. thump. I wondered where it was. wielding a broom. rather rhetorical. na�ve. at the side I saw in the darkness two figures. to wash in. thump. stop out there. a sort of steady faith. It was in Italian. and the landlord snarled. though he continued to mutter madly.' repeated the girl. and banging. and the landlord's mad voice: 'Stop out. these Italians. as representative of some further knowledge. because my room lay beyond another large room: I had to go through a large room. The room was over the road. but rather ugly. When I came to the flight of stone steps which led up to the door of the inn. and must not be opened again. even in disappointment. He gave me a copy of a little Anarchist paper published in Geneva. I could not locate it at all. _L'Anarchista_. The girl slipped past me. which was all that mattered. But there was a fixed. I wanted to arrest my activity.' called the girl. it is the strange gentleman. If you are late you stay out--' So he went snarling. We shall have the police in the house. So they were all Anarchists. We said twelve o'clock. The landlord dropped the broom he was waving and collapsed as if by magic. Then came again the furious shouting snarls. the man disappeared. truthfully. 'It is the gentleman. in the half-lighted passage. 'You are coming to your room?' the landlady said to me coldly. the bolts were not withdrawn. They said a low good night and parted. by the foot of two beds.' 'The strange gentleman is here. the door was shut. I ran down the hill in the thick Swiss darkness to the little bridge. in the darkness of midnight. Then more movement was heard. and the door was suddenly opened. thump. calm resolve over the face of the Giuseppino. and there was a long and systematic thumping somewhere. simple. putting a sort of implicit belief in me. his voice rising higher and higher. . It was a strange sight. looking at me. Then came a shouting and an insane snarling within the passage. the girl began to knock at the door. Then he picked up the brush. It was the niece of the landlady parting from her lover. The stream rustled below. that had once contained lard or Swiss-milk. to keep it confined to the moment.They shook hands with me warmly. I believe it was called. I stared blankly in the doorway. I glanced at it. at the same time crying: 'You are late. I heard the landlord yelling. The door won't be opened again. away into the kitchen. at the top of the stone steps. and the landlord rushed out upon us. We waited outside the locked door. unintelligibly. But the bed was good enough. clean.
too far gone to be even a human being. so I could not quite tell where anything was. strong. almost untouched. prevented it from working. always talking. his ruined face leaning forward. But the moment my memory touched them. pot-bellied. I woke in the morning and washed in the tin. the wine in the pleasant caf�. I do not know why it was. And often. Even now I cannot really consider them in thought. . A couple of village youths came in. the moment I turned it towards these Italians. But the Landlord sat with his waistcoat hanging open over his shirt. fresh. Then I knew it was he who had cleaned my boots. and travels away from all men. and large. and I shrank from it. But I could never write to them. I told him in Munich. my mind stopped like clockwork if I wanted to think of them and of what their lives would be. was his first question. They set bread and butter and a piece of cheese weighing about five pounds. I rather liked him. of such soft. even friendly. for some reason or other. I ate and was thankful: the food was good. Now he was corrupted with drink. by the stream. Something had got tied up in me. and a certain fineness of nature. I could see none of the Italians. my whole soul stopped and was null. So in a few minutes I was out on the road again. I could not go on. and I often glanced over six lines of it. I could see he had had imagination once. often my mind went back to the group. thanking God for the blessing of a road that belongs to no man. sweet cakes for breakfast. It was as if some curious negative magnetism arrested my mind. I liked them so much. in their Sunday clothes. But I went to sleep whilst I was wondering. The factory stood there. And how much had they cost? I told him twenty-eight marks. I could see a few people in the street. wanting to know. and the night. beautiful leather. talking. and I could not bear to see them again. I shrink involuntarily away.to get to my door. but. in the morning. their future. It felt like Sunday in England. I could see him fingering them and wondering over them. I did not want to see the Italians. or even read the paper they gave me though it lay in my drawer for months. I do not know why this is. and the drab-coloured stone tenements were close by. he had not seen such boots for a long time. He was much impressed by them: such good boots. walking in the Sunday morning leisure. raw and large and sombre. It reminded me of the stiffness and curious self-consciousness that comes over life in England on a Sunday. He wanted to talk to me: where had I bought my boots. They had the Sunday stiffness. the play they were rehearsing. or think of them. Otherwise the village was a straggling Swiss street. The landlord was quiet and reasonable. in Italy. I hated the village.
It is as if the magnetic poles were south-west and north-east. So it has been since the Crusaders came home satiated. and I looked out again. it was so small and unreal. It reminded me of that which I knew in my boyhood. clean. null 'propriety' which used to come over us. to the blind end. I had a feeling as if it were false. And there is a certain exaltation in the thought of going west. The streets were dotted with these black-clothed men and stiff women. and the Renaissance saw the western sky as an archway into the future. And my boot was chafing two of my toes. a light seems to flash out under every footstep. like a relief-map. even to Cornwall. It was Sunday morning when I left the valley where the Italians lived. two of the elders in black. It was a figment. There was fat agricultural land and several villages. So whilst I walk through Switzerland. We must go westwards and southwards. by a stream. . And as I sat binding my toes. and tore up my handkerchief. I hated these elders in black broadcloth. I hated it. I was not yet free. I could not believe that that was the real world. I hated the feeling of these villages. So I went on. shallow valley-bed. So it is still. But it is a joyful thing to walk south to Italy. south and west. for our spirits. approached from the direction of the village. one must travel west or south. with the south-west. and which I wanted to smash. Again there were the smoky-looking hills and the lake like a piece of looking-glass. marshy. The churchgoers were all coming home: men in black broadcloth and old chimney-pot silk hats. I could not bear to look at it. on Sundays. and bound up the toes. It was Sunday morning. with their neutral faces. very still. spread there beyond with its girdle of low hills. carrying their umbrellas. with the joy of progression. though it is a valley of gloom and depression. But the hills were higher: that big one was the Rigi. It seemed to intervene between me and some reality. well-to-do. like a dull landscape painted on a wall. and proper. with umbrellas under their arms. comfortable. all reduced to a Sunday nullity. If one turns northward or eastward it is like walking down a cul-de-sac._The Return Journey_ When one walks. carrying books and umbrellas. I went quickly over the stream. women in ugly dresses. In two hours I was at the top of the hill. It is a sad and gloomy thing to travel even from Italy into France. like a sort of deliberate and self-inflicted cramp. looking out over the intervening valley at the long lake of Zurich. heading for Lucerne. with one's pack on one's back. a large relief-map that I was looking down upon. I had come down to a wide. that stiff. to hide the real landscape. So about a mile out of the village I sat down by a stone bridge. under the sunset. It was a good thing to be out of doors. over to the other side of the hill. I set off down the hill. to Ireland. going home piously to their Sunday dinners. a fabrication. It is so. climbing uphill. That always happens. as the positive pole. And church was over. But the trees were thick by the roadside.
' 'Without a handkerchief. material people. down an ugly road where trams ran. I could not bear the way they walked and talked. Some men went by. So we exchanged confidences. and no one dies. So on I went. In Switzerland every house is a villa. neutral. So we became bosom friends. being an Austrian from Graz. reedy lake. 'Because it is wet. that I felt I had. a man who used to fish all day. I wanted to be something else. I said I was from Graz. and that I was walking for my pleasure through the countries of Europe. crouching under the leaves in the copse by the road. 'and he coughs and sneezes. They did not see me. to these two old ladies. I said this because I knew a doctor from Graz who was always wandering about. and so on. like the meek. So I ate the remains of my food that I had bought in Zurich. I was just going down a short hill. that I liked. . so crambling and material and mealy-mouthed. But this villa. and it doesn't rain. with their coat-collars turned up. 'You are Austrian?' they said to me. looking at the wet leaves. walking the length of it. One could feel the gap in the house.' I said. that is not _angenehm_' I said. and because I did not want to be myself. past many inert. I was very happy there. in the wet Sunday afternoon. without place or belonging. to hurry on again. such trivialities. and the little old ladies pattered round in a great stir. 'Only in heaven it is warm. I also _was_ sorry. before they should come near me. The blight of Sunday was almost intolerable near the town. and waited for the rain. to my astonishment felt my tears slip over on to the table. about their visitors. in their queer. was kept by two old ladies and a delicate dog. always whirling like two dry leaves after the restless dog. an Englishman. every day for three weeks. that my father was a doctor in Graz. Then they told me of a third sister who had died. a third little old lady. by the side of the steamy. and the rain making still blacker their black broadcloth shoulders.They made me so furious. inherited the earth. and I would have kissed the little old ladies to comfort them. though many a day he caught nothing--nothing at all--still he fished from the boat. I was as safe and separate as a ghost. homeless. I had good jam and strange honey-cakes for tea. I went on to the little lake. 'Why must he not go out?' I said. who must not get his feet wet. I had to hasten to fasten my boot. Later. Then it did actually begin to rain. So I sat under a bush and watched the trees drip. toothless fashion. I was so glad to be there. Then suddenly I went in to a little villa by the water for tea. and I.' they answered. They told me. They cried. fish every hour of the day. old.
So we sat on a stone and became close friends. Algiers is very real. and my friend is my friend for ever. he had set off alone on this tour: he had a fortnight's holiday.' I said. with its vile hotel. Then at last we parted. and I promised faithfully to go and visit him in his barracks in Algiers: I was to sail from Naples to Algiers. red and white.Then I went away. 'Where have you come from?' Then he began. or the mountains beyond. It was as if one suddenly found oneself in the Tube. and have shaken his red ears in such painful confusion. But I had developed my Austrian character too far. He was looking at an illustrated paper. He had walked tremendously. and he was eating bread and milk. and nothing of the mountains. and who said he could not find people to speak French. whose face was red and inflamed from the sun. 'Does the steamer stop here all night?' I asked him in German. No one but an Englishman would have hidden his face in a bowl of milk. in the pitch darkness. and I must get to the bottom. Lucerne and its lake were as irritating as ever--like the wrapper round milk chocolate. He wrote me the address on his card. like a general explaining his plans. He showed me his 'circular excursion ticket'. though I have lost his card and forgotten his name. hearing the boat bustling and blowing her steam on the water outside. I thought he was a German tourist. 'So am I. He only shook his head over his bread and milk. He and I were alone in the eating-room. and was happy. though I have never seen it. making this his first foreign tour before he began his military service. I would have stayed the night at this house: I wanted to. 'Yes. for he must get to the top of the Rigi. I could not sleep even one night there: I took the steamer down the lake.' he said. down there in Algiers. and did not lift his face. on the Rigi. How much more real Algiers was than the rock on the Rigi where we sat. if I would stay a week or two. He was a Government clerk from Lyons. to tell me. 'I am. to come to Lucerne. to whom I should be introduced.' And I started almost out of my skin at the unexpected London accent. and told me he had friends in the regiment. Knowing no German. or the lake beneath. So he had come over the Rh�ne Glacier across the Furka and down . and glancing round at her lights. then?' I said. There. He had walked round over the Furka Pass. 'Are you English. There I found a good German inn. And the next day I climbed over the back of the detestable Rigi. had been on foot four or five days. to the very last station. There was a tall thin young man. I met a lost young Frenchman who could speak no German. and we could have a good time. So I went on to a detestable brutal inn in the town. He had just come in.
then said he would have another glass of hot milk. 'When is the first steamer?' he said. riding in the Tube. He had done over a hundred miles in the last four days. I was sorry for him in my soul. in London. But he turned his post card so that I should not see to whom it was addressed.and snow-burned face he was sick with fatigue. He was. and he turned out a guide-book with a time-table. so perishingly victorious. But the Englishman was slightly uncomfortable at my intervention. He hung his head forward when he had to write a post card. only I noticed his little. working in the office. and at Interlaken in the evening.and wind. The Englishman refused. not that I was interested. 'I suppose you will rest when you get to London?' I said. Yet he was sick with fatigue and over-exhaustion. He thought a moment. mechanically. He slaved for a year. to be virtually blind. then London. So I made arrangements between the landlord and the stranger. reservedly. I could feel so well the machine that had him in its grip. Under the inflamed redness of his sun. 'Why did you do so much?' I said. I wanted to do it all. sightless: he seemed to have lost the power of seeing. 'But why so early?' I said to him. On this last day he had walked about thirty mountain miles. He must be in Lucerne at a certain hour. 'What time will you be going on?' I asked. He did not like me to know what he would have for breakfast. really. Also he was poor.' He wanted to do it. So he rushed to . But God knows what he wanted to do it for. He could not eat. The landlord brought the milk and asked me. He had now one day at Lucerne. and he _had_ done it. English movement of privacy. 'Did you enjoy it?' I asked. Then for a fortnight he was let free. He looked at me quickly. cautious. as if he felt his way. when would the gentleman want to go away. 'Oh yes. he was so cruelly tired. He would leave at about seven. I was drinking beer: I asked him wouldn't he have something. one day at Interlaken and Berne. aghast. His eyes were quite dark. 'But weren't you tired?' I said. The landlord came--'And bread?' he asked.from Andermatt to the Lake. 'Why did you come on foot all down the valley when you could have taken the train? Was it worth it?' 'I think so. he had to husband his money.' he said.
In the morning it was sunny. a homely place. But he had the courage to submit. to keep his nose on the grindstone like that. on foot! His eyes were dark and deep with unfathomable courage. like one possessed. pathetic courage set forth on foot in a strange land. The landlord came to talk to me. though it were torture. Yet he wanted to go among the mountains. Yet he was going back in the morning. One could be happy there. no matter how cruel the effort were. only to walk along the ridge and to descend on the same side! My God. since it was the way allotted to him. he would not relinquish his purpose nor abate his will. He went to bed. He lived at Streatham. So he had walked on and on. he would not rest. what courage had he not needed to take this his very first trip out of England. I looked for his name in the book. He was fat and comfortable and too respectful. down again from the mountains. with no language but English at his command. Hence his cruel self-torture of fatigue. and to buy presents at Interlaken: bits of the edelweiss pottery: I could see him going home with them. The way he sank on the table in exhaustion. ever forward. like the infamous Red Indians. It all seemed to me so foolish. But then. Suddenly I hated him. He would not give in. to face strange landlords. the lake was blue. as nearly all my countrymen work. I walked by the dark lake. as I had worked. and he knew it. alone. though he died by inches. walk on. I was glad. in the . it was killing to the soul. He was going back. beginning his journey home again: steamer and train and steamer and train and Tube. By night I should be nearly at the crest of my journey. his will. though his body was broken and in anguish. My heart was wrung for my countryman. proud. his cruel exercise of courage. to cross a glacier. and his purse definitely limited. not by one jot or tittle. The Englishman had gone. So he arrived. clerkly hand. His body must pay whatever his will demanded. with a tour planned out. indeed. Why not? It was killing him. and with amazing. drinking his milk. He would go back. and talked to the girl in the inn. and with just enough money to see him through. The dogged fool. His name might have been Excelsior. She was a pleasant girl: it was a pleasant inn. It hadn't let him go. wrung till it bled. was almost too much to bear. it was like living loaded with irons. till he was back in the machine. to die that way. I was almost in tears. triumphant. so perfect and unblemished. And here he was. He who hung his head in his milk in torment when I asked him a question in German. when he reached his Furka. On his holiday he would walk. nevertheless. of being able to stand torture.Switzerland. What was all his courage but the very tip-top of cowardice? What a vile nature--almost Sadish. to fulfil his purpose. All he had courage for was to go back. I could not bear to understand my countryman. a man who worked for his living. But I had to tell him all the Englishman had done. It was written in a fair.
way of a holiday, just to shame his own fat, ponderous, inn-keeper's luxuriousness that was too gross. Then all I got out of his enormous comfortableness was: 'Yes, that's a _very_ long step to take.' So I set off myself, up the valley between the close, snow-topped mountains, whose white gleamed above me as I crawled, small as an insect, along the dark, cold valley below. There had been a cattle fair earlier in the morning, so troops of cattle were roving down the road, some with bells tang-tanging, all with soft faces and startled eyes and a sudden swerving of horns. The grass was very green by the roads and by the streams; the shadows of the mountain slopes were very dark on either hand overhead, and the sky with snowy flanks and tips was high up. Here, away from the world, the villages were quiet and obscure--left behind. They had the same fascinating atmosphere of being forgotten, left out of the world, that old English villages have. And buying apples and cheese and bread in a little shop that sold everything and smelled of everything, I felt at home again. But climbing gradually higher, mile after mile, always between the shadows of the high mountains, I was glad I did not live in the Alps. The villages on the slopes, the people there, seemed, as if they _must_ gradually, bit by bit, slide down and tumble to the water-course, and be rolled on away, away to the sea. Straggling, haphazard little villages ledged on the slope, high up, beside their wet, green, hanging meadows, with pine trees behind and the valley bottom far below, and rocks right above, on both sides, seemed like little temporary squattings of outcast people. It seemed impossible that they should persist there, with great shadows wielded over them, like a menace, and gleams of brief sunshine, like a window. There was a sense of momentariness and expectation. It seemed as though some dramatic upheaval must take place, the mountains fall down into their own shadows. The valley beds were like deep graves, the sides of the mountains like the collapsing walls of a grave. The very mountain-tops above, bright with transcendent snow, seemed like death, eternal death. There, it seemed, in the glamorous snow, was the source of death, which fell down in great waves of shadow and rock, rushing to the level earth. And all the people of the mountains, on the slopes, in the valleys, seemed to live upon this great, rushing wave of death, of breaking-down, of destruction. The very pure source of breaking-down, decomposition, the very quick of cold death, is the snowy mountain-peak above. There, eternally, goes on the white foregathering of the crystals, out of the deathly cold of the heavens; this is the static nucleus where death meets life in its elementality. And thence, from their white, radiant nucleus of death in life, flows the great flux downwards, towards life and warmth. And we below, we cannot think of the flux upwards, that flows from the needle-point of snow to the unutterable cold and death. The people under the mountains, they seem to live in the flux of death, the last, strange, overshadowed units of life. Big shadows wave over them, there is the eternal noise of water falling icily downwards from
the source of death overhead. And the people under the shadows, dwelling in the tang of snow and the noise of icy water, seem dark, almost sordid, brutal. There is no flowering or coming to flower, only this persistence, in the ice-touched air, of reproductive life. But it is difficult to get a sense of a native population. Everywhere are the hotels and the foreigners, the parasitism. Yet there is, unseen, this overshadowed, overhung, sordid mountain population, ledged on the slopes and in the crevices. In the wider valleys there is still a sense of cowering among the people. But they catch a new tone from their contact with the foreigners. And in the towns are nothing but tradespeople. So I climbed slowly up, for a whole day, first along the highroad, sometimes above and sometimes below the twisting, serpentine railway, then afterwards along a path on the side of the hill--a path that went through the crew-yards of isolated farms and even through the garden of a village priest. The priest was decorating an archway. He stood on a chair in the sunshine, reaching up with a garland, whilst the serving-woman stood below, talking loudly. The valley here seemed wider, the great flanks of the mountains gave place, the peaks above were further back. So one was happier. I was pleased as I sat by the thin track of single flat stones that dropped swiftly downhill. At the bottom was a little town with a factory or quarry, or a foundry, some place with long, smoking chimneys; which made me feel quite at home among the mountains. It is the hideous rawness of the world of men, the horrible, desolating harshness of the advance of the industrial world upon the world of nature, that is so painful. It looks as though the industrial spread of mankind were a sort of dry disintegration advancing and advancing, a process of dry disintegration. If only we could learn to take thought for the whole world instead of for merely tiny bits of it. I went through the little, hideous, crude factory-settlement in the high valley, where the eternal snows gleamed, past the enormous advertisements for chocolate and hotels, up the last steep slope of the pass to where the tunnel begins. G�schenen, the village at the mouth of the tunnel, is all railway sidings and haphazard villas for tourists, post cards, and touts and weedy carriages; disorder and sterile chaos, high up. How should any one stay there! I went on up the pass itself. There were various parties of visitors on the roads and tracks, people from towns incongruously walking and driving. It was drawing on to evening. I climbed slowly, between the great cleft in the rock where are the big iron gates, through which the road winds, winds half-way down the narrow gulley of solid, living rock, the very throat of the path, where hangs a tablet in memory of many Russians killed. Emerging through the dark rocky throat of the pass I came to the upper world, the level upper world. It was evening, livid, cold. On either side spread the sort of moorland of the wide pass-head. I drew near
along the high-road, to Andermatt. Everywhere were soldiers moving about the livid, desolate waste of this upper world. I passed the barracks and the first villas for visitors. Darkness was coming on; the straggling, inconclusive street of Andermatt looked as if it were some accident--houses, hotels, barracks, lodging-places tumbled at random as the caravan of civilization crossed this high, cold, arid bridge of the European world. I bought two post cards and wrote them out of doors in the cold, livid twilight. Then I asked a soldier where was the post-office. He directed me. It was something like sending post cards from Skegness or Bognor, there in the post-office. I was trying to make myself agree to stay in Andermatt for the night. But I could not. The whole place was so terribly raw and flat and accidental, as if great pieces of furniture had tumbled out of a pantechnicon and lay discarded by the road. I hovered in the street, in the twilight, trying to make myself stay. I looked at the announcements of lodgings and boarding for visitors. It was no good. I could not go into one of these houses. So I passed on, through the old, low, broad-eaved houses that cringe down to the very street, out into the open again. The air was fierce and savage. On one side was a moorland, level; on the other a sweep of naked hill, curved concave, and sprinkled with snow. I could see how wonderful it would all be, under five or six feet of winter snow, skiing and tobogganing at Christmas. But it needed the snow. In the summer there is to be seen nothing but the winter's broken detritus. The twilight deepened, though there was still the strange, glassy translucency of the snow-lit air. A fragment of moon was in the sky. A carriage-load of French tourists passed me. There was the loud noise of water, as ever, something eternal and maddening in its sound, like the sound of Time itself, rustling and rushing and wavering, but never for a second ceasing. The rushing of Time that continues throughout eternity, this is the sound of the icy streams of Switzerland, something that mocks and destroys our warm being. So I came, in the early darkness, to the little village with the broken castle that stands for ever frozen at the point where the track parts, one way continuing along the ridge, to the Furka Pass, the other swerving over the hill to the left, over the Gotthardt. In this village I must stay. I saw a woman looking hastily, furtively from a doorway. I knew she was looking for visitors. I went on up the hilly street. There were only a few wooden houses and a gaily lighted wooden inn, where men were laughing, and strangers, men, standing talking loudly in the doorway. It was very difficult to go to a house this night. I did not want to approach any of them. I turned back to the house of the peering woman. She had looked hen-like and anxious. She would be glad of a visitor to help her pay her rent. It was a clean, pleasant wooden house, made to keep out the cold. That seemed its one function: to defend the inmates from the cold. It was furnished like a hut, just tables and chairs and bare wooden walls. One
I could scarcely hear the ice-stream. in reflex against the silence. I was happy even: such splendid silence and coldness and clean isolation. One could almost touch the stillness as one could touch the walls. 'for the night?' '_Abendessen. It was a sort of grief that this continent all beneath was so unreal. And I wondered. yet it had no significance. alone. ice-cold air. but I said yes. in this heavy. the silence seemed frozen. 'Would you like omelette after the beef?' she asked. slightly pleading in its quickness.' I said. 'What will you drink?' She watched my face anxiously.felt very close and secure in the room. false. or the stove. 'A half of red wine. non-existent in its activity. Out of the silence one looked down on it. I asked her. and it seemed to have lost all importance. wooden. And I listened for any sound: only the faint noise of the stream. this upper world. and her voice was pathetic. France--they were all so unreal in the night. alone? Why am I here? Yet somehow I was glad. It was so big. England. the house empty. in the utter silence. After all. I would not trust the coldness of beer. Germany. It was something eternal. The woman seemed to be flitting aimlessly. The hen-like woman came. in the lamp-lit. ja!_' she replied.' I knew I should be spending too much. did not many people come in . eating bread and drinking the wine. as in a hut. so I sat down to wait. after the long walk? So she left me again. Suddenly she appeared again. 'Omelette with cognac--I can make it _very_ good. 'Will you have soup and boiled beef and vegetables?' I said I would.' I said. 'Wine or beer?' she said. close-shut room. far away below. beyond. Why am I here. I knew she was going to keep me an indefinite time. or the table with white American oil-cloth. why should I not eat. London. She appeared with the wine and bread. whilst I sat in the utter isolation and stillness. 'Can I have a bed. on this ridge of the Alps. unbroachable: I was free. shut away from the outer world. which was good. scurriedly. The kingdom of the world had no significance: what could one do but wander about? The woman came with my soup. all significance.
in the silent. I looked down the direction of the Furka. and went to sleep. there were a few meagre. and was gone again. 'Thank you. and looked at the stars. I wanted to weep over her. in that her terror of not hearing made her six times worse than she actually was. she I ate the omelette with cognac. The sky was blue and perfect. the soup and meat. and I winced also. Thank God I need not go home: never. once I was out in the air. at the scattered debris of Andermatt on the moor in the distance. But she was scared away. She put the dishes in order. and said. Standing looking round at the mountain-tops. and the shadowy upper world. she did not answer. strange accent. I had a small bedroom. I turned up the track to the left. It was perhaps her deafness which created this empty soundlessness. Being tired. the village was very still. I was tired. and looking at me. and I had not the heart to correct her. who would be on his way home. quickly. but that did not matter. which was very good. empty. She spoke with a soft. and Two village men went by. she went like a leaf in the wind. So I went to bed. I had breakfast and paid my bill: it was seven francs--more than I could afford.the summer. nervously. She was like most deaf people. the soup was good and plentiful. like a scared chicken. She shrank in such simple pain from the fact of her defect. Outside. wooden house.' and I managed to talk to her. suddenly afraid. she said: 'You must excuse me if I don't answer you--I don't hear well--I am rather deaf. then I looked in smelled of snow. the nervous. it was a ringing morning. shredded pine-trees. and thought of my tired Englishman from Streatham. It was very dark. There were two young English ladies who always came to her. People came for the winter sport. about Christmas-time. and was glad to set out. clean and wooden and very cold. so frightened by her own deafness. When she came with the omelette. with bright stars. perhaps. She spoke of them warmly. However. I covered myself with a great depth of featherbed. to go to the inn. to the Gothard. so I thought she was perhaps a foreigner. I went up the hill till I came to the signpost. or only afraid lest visitors would dislike it. the street. set me my plate. She was a long time before she came with the next course. I was jumping in my soul with delight. I did not want drifted off again. An icy mist was over the noisy stream. Then. at the village and the broken castle below me. the stream was rushing. But when I asked her she misunderstood. I said to her loudly: 'That was very good. The house was silent of her.' I looked at her. Then she put the tray on the table. timid hen. shrinking. then looking away. Should one ever go down to the lower world? . I wondered if she were bullied because of it. I can only remember she said her house was always full in the winter.' So she quivered nervously. In the morning I washed in the ice-cold water.
We were in the crest of the pass. '_H�bsch_. I laughed. all bare stones. The sky was very near. from the north into the south. the defile was full of stones. Then the defile widened out. 'We will go together. rocky bed of the defile. seventeen years old. manoeuvring up in the snow. wherein was only the sound of the stream. and small ones. and soldiers. '_Das ist sch�n_. The slopes above became lower. the very heard radiant crossing and . then the stony. pebbles. full of morning sunshine: this was all. enormous ones as big as a house. under the blue heaven. tiny puffs of smoke. to resume his circular walk at G�schenen. We firing.' So we set off. skyey air. Manfully he marched in his thick hob-nailed boots. He came my way. between the rocks. in his simple admiration. So I was glad. Through these the road wound in silence. But he.' I said. Broad snow-patched slopes came down from the pure sky. was going on. I believe. We climbed up the gradual incline for a long time. transcendent desolation. We were crossing in silence from the northern world to the southern. walking manfully. Sky and snow-patched slopes.' said my companion. something like the Englishman's. then some small black figures the snow patch. we saw on the slopes of snow. Also there were low barracks. 'Are you going over the Gothard?' I said.' And he began to tell me how hard a soldier's life was.Then I saw another figure striding along.' he replied. and waited. there was an open place before us. they began to recede. through this upper. then another rattle of rifle-fire. I. 'You don't look forward to it?' I said. Emil. a youth with knee-breeches and Alpine hat and braces over his shirt. top of the pass. He was a pale. how hard the soldier was drilled. 'Yes. over the ridge of the world. in the evening. He had a week's holiday. freckled town youth from Basel. He was a clerk in a baggage-transport firm--Gondrand Fr�res. in which time he was going to make a big circular walk. his coat slung in his rucksack behind. earnestly he scrambled up the rocks. 'Are you also?' 'Yes' I said. But he was accustomed to this mountain walking: he belonged to a Sportverein. Standing still. through the tunnel. we were walking under the sky. climbing a track up the heathy rocks. rattling dry unnatural in the upper. however. 'But that would be splendid. to be firing up there. was going to take the train back.
I could not tell what he said. listened to the unnatural dry rattle of guns. was French. 'For the exercise. We called in for a glass of hot milk. when we were safely out of danger. I want to be a soldier. hedged by the snowy slopes round the rim. I asked in German. For a year it is very good. along the level. The light was blue and clear on the reedy lakes of this upper place. 'that is true of Germans. but we managed to laugh at her. We were to come on. So we marched quickly forward. elegant and superior. It is good for every man. I want to go.' he said. So we hurried forwards. 'Yes--they all want to. 'Till one o'clock. the drilling. The soldier was yelling again. 'Two hours!' said Emil. But the maid. poverty-stricken. The Germans have three years--that is too long. towards the hotel. I do. once a monastery. Besides. Emil was very serious. a pert hussy. away from the slopes. 'No.' 'Why?'I said. This made her very angry. up there.' I said. where the soldier on guard was standing. In the smoking-room . So we marched over the level to the hotel. It abashed poor Emil. Then we were aware of somebody whistling. He was riled that we didn't run. over the bridge. 'I won't run. I want to serve my time. 'We should have had to wait two hours before we could come on. over the bridge. the life. it is only for a year. that is bad. 'Yes. One becomes strong. under the very sky.' I told him how the soldiers in Bavaria hated the military service. strangely elated. The system is different. it was a strange desolation of water and bog and rocks and road.' and he laughed with glee. 'He says if we don't run we can't come at all. that stood in the distance. and it keeps us all together. in Switzerland a man enjoys his time as a soldier.' was the reply.' I said. Ours is much better.'Oh yes. as two worthless creatures. as we came up.' 'Do all the Swiss want to serve their time in the army?' I asked. 'How long should we have had to wait if we hadn't got through now?' he asked the soldier. thanks.' said Emil. 'Do you want to be shot?' he said angrily.' So we watched the black dots of soldiers crawling over the high snow. She served us with great contempt. of soldiers yelling down the road.
But she would not come in again with the milk. only resting now and again when we came down on to another level of the high-road. the road winds down with its tail in its mouth. and there was the drop. very swiftly. Emil rolled up his sleeves and turned back his shirt from his neck and breast.' I translated for Emil. But on the slopes the sun pours in. with feathery trees and deep black shadows. along with the tumbling stream. It was wonderful on this south side. leaping. in the darkness. But I called to her. jumping. A German girl brought it.' I said. of the romantic period: _Kennst du das Land. and flounced out without a word. Emil took the narrow tracks. britching. to do the thing thoroughly. and. When we set forth again. it was midday. Only a short way from the hotel. with his bulky pack on his back. And she whisked our glasses off the table. always in endless loops returning on itself. it is one broken. Down we went. we cascaded down. it is not a stream. like the water. he suggested the camel of the French maid more than ever. she says. Emil was highly elated. and the sun was hot._' 'Some hot milk for the camels. running. We were on the downward slope. running. He waved his thin. so sunny. But it was very tiring. the rocks are craggy and stupendous. wo die Citronen bl�hen?_ So we went tumbling down into the south. He was covered with confusion and youthful anger. panting cascade far away in the gulley below. we were like two stones bouncing down. and. '_Encore du lait pour les chameaux_. his chest grew pink with the exercise. On the south. we could not help ourselves. leaping from level to level. the great cleft in the mountains running down from this shallow pot among the peaks. bare. the little river falls headlong down. The descent on the south side is much more precipitous and wonderful than the ascent from the north. Now he felt he was doing something that became a member of his Sportverein. Having begun.she raised up her voice in French: '_Du lait chaud pour les chameaux. We went at a great pace down . and she smiled primly. We laughed. It reminded me of Goethe. white arms as he leapt. tapped the table and called: '_Mademoiselle!_' She appeared flouncingly in the doorway. Besides. The mules that travel upward seem to be treading in a mill. leaping. descending headlong.
It is strange how different the sun-dried.' said Emil. He rolled down his shirt sleeves and fastened his shirt-neck. They brought me a great quantity. a real Italian shop. Trees grew in the ledges high over our heads. He was very poor. we went more gently. a dark cave. sun-dark trees. trees grew down below. The head of the valley had that half-tamed. she looked at us sharply. And one knows it all in one's blood. dies ist reizend_. and again we were in the midst of rifle-fire and manoeuvres. southern slopes of the world are. sun-dried memory. and became a foreigner in his soul. and we saw Airolo away below us. We found the streets were Italian. '_Ja. pale and strange.' said the girl. It . Poor Emil was a foreigner all at once. '_Quanto costa l'uva?_' were my first words in the south. it is pure. It is as if the god Pan really had his home among these sun-bleached stones and tough. _sotto voce_. But we were curiously happy. And his big boots had hurt his feet in the descent. so she gave a small. and waited for the train. I took another spoon and knife and fork and plates for Emil. tired now. He ordered beer and bread and sausage. more tired than I was. put on his coat and collar. So Emil and I ate the sweet black grapes as we went to the station. kindly smile in reply. We went into the third-class restaurant at the station. I smiled at her coaxingly. coming down into Airolo. When the girl--she was a woman of thirty-five--came back. and hungry. We had nothing to eat. Then we sat very still. there were laurels in the road. and the white goats feeding on the bushes belonged to a Roman camp. then opened into a wide valley-head. having come to the open valley-head. '_Sessanta al chilo_. and we had two dinners from my one. He had become rather quiet. so. So I was content. like Italy. He was very shy. the houses sunny outside and dark within. And it was as pleasant as a drink of wine. Poor Emil was tired. the Italian. I ordered soup and boiled beef and vegetables. I could only expect the Roman legions to be encamped down there. the whole valley like a cornucopia full of sunshine.the gully. ancient aspect that reminded me of the Romans. ancient. the railway emerging from its hole. exulting. between the sheer rocks. And ever we descended. whilst the girl was serving coffee-with-rum to the men at the bar. we saw again the barracks of the Swiss soldiery. on the platform. But we went evenly. But no. in that railway restaurant. Till gradually the gully opened. I saw a shop with vegetables and grapes. So. from the northern slopes.
in a kind of process of dry rot. where the land is being broken under the advance of houses. These Italian navvies work all day long. I walked on and on. down the Ticino valley. great. a quality that has entered Italian life now. the railways are built. I decided to take a franc's worth of train-journey. Then my train came. and dirty men slouched in. sitting opposite two fat priests in their feminine black. and the human element swarmed within the disintegration. The roads. swarming with a sort of verminous life. to the terror one feels on the new Italian roads. purely destructive. with the sun shining. all the world easy and warm in its activity. building roads or labouring in quarries or mines or on the railways. towards Bellinzona. if it was not there before. skilfully aiming their way. So I chose my station. It ran also by quarries and by occasional factories. the mines and quarries are excavated. really slave-work. down the Ticino valley. Why was I getting out at this wayside place. desolate places. and it ran very often beside the railway. sleepily. third class. It is as if the whole social form were breaking down. where these great blind cubes of dwellings rise stark from the destroyed earth. most terrifying to see. The old roads are wonderful. the social organism. It seems to happen when the peasant suddenly leaves his home and becomes a workman. raw high-road? I did not know. Nothing in the world is more ghastly than these Italian roads. It was broad and new. new. belonging to a machine life. mechanical. And whilst they are navvying. in England. and Emil and I parted. Here and there. One always feels it in a suburb. When I got out at my station I felt for the first time ill at ease. It was nearly tea-time. And they are the navvies of the world. their whole life is engaged in the mere brute labour. and squalid children were playing round the steps. he did so want to venture forth. I can only remember the road. So I slid for a dozen miles or more. I was sorry he had to go back. But these new great roads are desolating. also through villages. each integer doing his mere labour. he waving to me till I was out of sight. Then an entire change comes over everywhere. Everything seemed under a weight. except to have money. The valley was perhaps beautiful: I don't know. on to the great. really verminous. So . grey. more desolating than all the ruins in the world. pleasant and social to wait in the railway station. Down the road of the Ticino valley I felt again my terror of this new world which is coming into being on top of us. but the whole organism of life. purposeless. It was one franc twenty.was like Italy. But this is nothing. like maggots in cheese. Life is now a matter of selling oneself to slave-work. they are almost shockingly indifferent to their circumstances. and all for no purpose. on the edge of a town. and to get away from the old system. meaningless. And the quality of its sordidness is something that does not bear thinking of. where there were quarries or industries. is slowly crumbling and caving in. great lodging-houses stood naked by the road. merely callous to the dirt and foulness. But I set off walking.
I was no longer happy in Switzerland. and I have always felt this terror upon a new Italian high-road--more there than anywhere. his daughter attended to the inn. Italian. He went into his garden and fetched me the first grapes and apples and peaches. and was a free man. in the darkness of night. ankles shining like brass in the sun. But at last. He was Italian-Swiss. was the quick of the disintegration. again I went in terror of the new. afraid. and would consume his sons and his grandchildren. leaving Bellinzona. and the whole body of society were crumbling and rotting in between. and a world of utter chaos seething upon these fabrications: as if we had created a steel framework. in a jargon I could not understand. lying by the lake. I hastened down the high-road. He talked to me. And her voice was raucous and challenging. on the edge of a vineyard. disintegrating process was too strong in me. The remembrance of it was better when Bellinzona. He knew that the system he had escaped at last. about Italy and Switzerland and work and life. and heaping them before me. under the trees and the lamps. had bought his paternal home. he spent all his time in his garden. And it seemed here. as long as I stayed.that it seems as though we should be left at last with a great system of roads and railways and industries. suddenly fascinated by her handsome naked flesh that shone like brass. He had only achieved freedom from labour. I saw a girl with handsome bare legs. . here in this holiday-place. I remember sitting on a seat in the darkness by the lake. as In the morning. with its skirting of huge cubical houses and its seething navvy population. the Ticino valley is a sort of nightmare to me. Only the peasants driving in with fruit were consoling. Why did he talk to me as if I had any hope. raw crystals of corruption. he was free. he knew that his old order was collapsing by a slow process of disintegration. In the living. He was retired. In Lugano I stayed at a German hotel. at Locarno. as if I represented any positive truth as against this great negative truth that was advancing up the hill-side. Again I was afraid. but as he came with me on to the hillside. He himself had more or less escaped back to the old form. I can still see many of their faces: English. the grey. I went on. She was working in a field. German. It is most terrifying to realize. evil high-road. past the houses. I stopped to look at her. French. persisted. But he was only nominally free. At a little inn a man was very good to me. he had been in a bank in Bern. bringing them in amongst leaves. I got into midst of the town one felt the old organism still at its extremities that it is falling to pieces. looking down the high-road at Lugano in the distance. now he had retired. the terror of the callous. He was about fifty years old. something mocking and challenging. But I was afraid of them: the same spirit had set in in them. It is only in dry rot. watching the stream of promenaders patrolling the edge of the water. not even when I was eating great blackberries and looking down at the Lago Maggiore. Then she called out to me.
the dry-rot. half of triumph. laughing. How her soul was in her possessions! I stood and watched her. as I looked at her--'_Vous avez laiss� votre parasol_. curiously sinister. And when the bullock began to lunge again. whilst men and women hung on to it with ropes. When we came to the terminus a young miss. the whole place was covered with hot dung. In dreary little Chiasso I drank coffee. and everybody must stop. or else had been shopping in the town.' She turned. The lake is not beautiful. '_Pardon. dismounting before me. convulsed with violent. But it was not so terrifying. in this dry. In the tram were dressed-up women. But again it scattered some of them in its terrible convulsion. hung on and weighed it down. and went to the Lake of Como. youths. It was strange to see that mass of pale. the men set up a howl. When I landed and went along by a sort of railway I saw a group of men. I forgot that when it was time to dismount. I went along a very dusty road. and workmen. I went in and showed my rucksack to the Italian. men of the town. not wanting to see. I had been conscious of my dusty. and it was lunging and kicking with terrible energy. half of derision. in evening dress. and ordinary visitors. grimy appearance as I sat in the tram. She had on white kid boots. They had come by train to Chiasso. Then she went into the road and under the trees. It was curiously and painfully sinister. The hotel was on the edge of a steep declivity. Human beings scattered into the road. jeering. which was slung up to be shod. almost obscene. I wondered why the whole hills did not slide down. the feeling of horror. They were hanging on to an immense pale bullock. I went on. this road. I liked most to think of the Romans coming to it. and with a rapacious movement darted upon her parasol. but business-like. though not so intense. I sat a long time among them. men and women from the big hotels. I knew they thought me a workman on the roads. then I mounted a tram. only picturesque. a demoiselle. However. The Swiss and the Italian Customs officials had their offices within a few yards of each other. Suddenly they began to whoop and shout. It was the same here as down below. . thinking of the girl with her limbs of glowing brass. So I went to bed. in some great natural catastrophe. friable flux of people backwards and forwards on the edge of the lake. Then at last I went up to the hotel. Perhaps it was older. In the morning I walked along the side of the Lake of Lugano. So I steamed down to the lower end of the water. left behind her parasol. Mademoiselle_. and tourists. to where I could take a steamer to ferry me down to the end. and watched the come and go through the Customs. and sat in the lounge looking at the papers. She turned and withered me with a rather overdone contempt--'_bourgeoise_. soft-looking flesh working with such violent frenzy.' I said to myself. fashionable. haughty. active frenzy.' I said to the young miss.
I dared not risk walking to Milan: I took a train. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at Midnight.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER.H. I think only the sunrise is still wonderful. But always there was the same purpose stinking in it all. sometimes. brown chestnuts.txt Produced by Joshua Hutchinson and PG Distributed Proofreaders Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed editions. Thus.txt or 8twit10. a museum object. all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US unless a copyright notice is included. I thought of Como. the cathedral is like a relic. And in the market-place they were selling chestnuts wholesale.net or http://promo. And there. 8twit11. in Milan. even years after the official publication date. the mechanizing.net/pg These Web sites include award-winning information about Project Gutenberg. and slept in a vast old stone cavern of an inn. Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections. everywhere stinks of mechanical money-pleasure. Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement. on Saturday afternoon. great heaps of bright. the perfect mechanizing of human life. and centred in a multiplicity of mechanical activities that engage the human mind as well as the body. I took the steamer down to Como. of the last day of the stated month. Now it is all villas. I saw that here the life was still vivid. Most people start at our Web sites at: http://gutenberg. a remarkable place. Now it is cosmopolitan. it must have been wonderful even a hundred years ago. by D. 8twit10a. drinking Bitter Campari and watching the swarm of Italian city-men drink and talk vivaciously.zip Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER. comment and editing by those who wish to do so. The peace and the bygone beauty of the cathedral created the glow of the great past. and sacks of chestnuts.I thought of the Lake of Como what I had thought of Lugano: it must have been wonderful when the Romans came there. and peasants very eager selling and buying. We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance of the official release dates. Central Time. including how to donate. with rather nice people. Lawrence *** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TWILIGHT IN ITALY *** This file should be named 8twit10. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion. leaving time for better editing. sitting in the Cathedral Square. here the process of disintegration was vigorous. we usually do not keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition. End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Twilight in Italy. how to help produce our new . In the morning I went out.
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