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In the front was a scanty group of gigantic trees, that seemed the relics of some preAdamite grove. Their grey and massive trunks, each of which must have been more than twelve yards in girth, were as if quite dead; while, about twenty feet from the ground, they divided into five or six huge limbs, each equal to a single tree, but all, as it were, lifeless amid their apparent power.
If I felt far way from you in the middle of that deplorable Atlantic, chère Madame, how do I feel now, in the heart of this extraordinary city? We’ve arrived — we’ve arrived, dear friend; but I don’t know whether to tell you that I consider that an advantage. If we had been given our choice of coming safely to land or going down to the bottom of the sea I should doubtless have chosen the former course; for I hold, with your noble husband and in opposition to the general tendency of modern thought, that our lives are not our own to dispose of, but a sacred trust from a higher power by whom we shall be held responsible. Nevertheless if I had foreseen more vividly some of the impressions that awaited me here I’m not sure that, for my daughter at least, I shouldn’t have preferred on the spot to hand in our account. Should I not have been less (rather than more) guilty in presuming to dispose of her destiny than of my own? There’s a nice point for dear M. Galopin to settle — one of those points I’ve heard him discuss in the pulpit with such elevation. We’re safe, however, as I say; by which I mean we’re physically safe. We’ve taken up the thread of our familiar pension-life, but under strikingly different conditions. We’ve found a refuge in a boarding-house which has been highly recommended to me and where the arrangements partake of the barbarous magnificence that in this country is the only alternative from primitive rudeness. The terms per week are as magnificent as all the rest. The landlady wears diamond ear-rings and the drawing-rooms are decorated with marble statues. I should indeed be sorry to let you know how I’ve allowed myself to be ran?onnée; and I should be still more sorry that it should come to the ears of any of my good friends in Geneva, who know me less well than you and might judge me more harshly. There’s no wine given for dinner, and I’ve vainly requested the person who conducts the establishment to garnish her table more liberally. She says I may have all the wine I want if I will order it at the merchant’s and settle the matter with himself. But I’ve never, as you know, consented to regard our modest allowance of eau rougie as an extra; indeed, I remember that it’s largely to your excellent advice that I’ve owed my habit of being firm on this point.
No, no, and laughter. Sniff agin shaking his head in low spirits agin the wall.详情 ➢
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