June 7, 2022

There must be truth; there must be a wall

There must be truth; there must be a wall

One could not relate these tablets to any human purpose

Half an hour ago the mistress of the house, Isabella Tyson, had gone down the grass path in her thin summer dress, carrying a basket, and had vanished, sliced off by the gilt rim of the looking-glass. She had gone presumably into the lower garden to pick flowers; or as it seemed more natural to suppose, to pick something light and fantastic and leafy and trailing, travellers’ joy, or one of those elegant sprays of convolvulus that twine round ugly walls and burst here and there into white and violet blossoms. She suggested the fantastic and the tremulous convolvulus rather than the upright aster, the starched zinnia, or her own burning roses alight like lamps on the straight posts of their rose trees. The comparison showed how very little, after all these years, one knew about her; for it is impossible that any woman of flesh and blood of fifty-five or sixty should be really a wreath or a tendril. Such comparisons are worse than idle and superficial-they are cruel even, for they come like the convolvulus itself trembling between one’s eyes and the truth. Yet it was strange that after knowing her all these years one could not say what the truth about Isabella was; one still made up phrases like this about convolvulus and travellers’ joy. As for facts, it was a fact that she was a spinster; that she was rich; that she had bought this house and collected with her own hands-often in the most obscure corners of the world and at great risk from poisonous stings and Oriental diseases-the rugs, the chairs, the cabinets which now lived their nocturnal life before one’s eyes. Sometimes it seemed as if they knew more about her than we, who sat on them, wrote at them, and trod on them so care fully, were allowed to know. In each of these cabinets were many little drawers, and each almost certainly held letters, tied with bows of ribbon, sprinkled with sticks of lavender or rose leaves. For it was another fact-if facts were what one wanted-that Isabella had known many people, had had many friends; and thus if one had the audacity to open a drawer and read her letters, one would find the traces of many agitations, of appointments to meet, of upbraidings for not having met, long letters of intimacy and affection, violent letters of jealousy and reproach, terrible final words of parting-for all those interviews and assignations had led to nothing-that is, she had never https://loansolution.com/installment-loans-nv/ married, and yet, judg ing from the mask-like indifference of her face, she had gone through twenty times more of passion and exper ience than those whose loves are trumpeted forth for all the world to hear. Under the stress of thinking about Isabella, her room became more shadowy and symbolic; the corners seemed darker, the legs of chairs and tables more spindly and hieroglyphic.

One realized at last that they were merely letters

Suddenly these reflections were ended violently-and yet without a sound. A large black form loomed into the looking-glass; blotted out everything, strewed the table with a packet of marble tablets veined with pink and grey, and was gone. But the picture was entirely altered. For the moment it was unrecognizable and irrational and entirely out of focus. And then by degrees some logical process set to work on them and began ordering and arranging them and bringing them into the fold of common experience. The man had brought the post.

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