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   Chapter 9 THE LAST DAY BUT ONE

Armorel of Lyonesse By Walter Besant Characters: 31564

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


The last day but one! It always comes at length-it is bound to come-the saddest, the most sentimental of all days. The boy who leaves school-I speak of the old-fashioned boy and the ancient school-where he has been fagged and bullied and flogged, on this last day but one looks round with a choking throat upon the dingy walls and the battered desks. Even the convict who is about to be released after years of prison feels a sentimental melancholy in gazing for the last time upon the whitewashed walls. The world, which misunderstands the power of temptation and is distrustful as to the reality of repentance, will probably prove cold to him. How much more, then, when one looks around on the last day but one of a holiday! To-morrow we part. This is the last day of companionship.

Roland's holiday was to consist of a day or two, or three at the most-yet lo! the evening and the morning were the twenty-first day. There was always something new to be seen, something more to be sketched, some fresh excuse for staying in a house where this young man lived from the first as if he had been there all his life and belonged to the family. Scilly has to be seen in cloud as well as in sunshine: in wind and rain as well as in fair weather: one island had been accidentally overlooked; another must be re-visited.

So the days went on, each one like the days before it, but with a difference. The weather was for the most part fine, so that they could at least sail about the islands of the Road. Every morning the young man got up at six and, after a bathe from Shark Point, walked all round Samson and refreshed his soul by gazing upon the Outer Islands. Breakfast over, he took a pipe in the farmyard with Justinian and Peter, who continually talked of shipwrecks and of things washed ashore. During this interval Armorel made the puddings and the cakes. When she had accomplished this delicate and responsible duty, she came out, prepared for the day. They took their dinner-basket with them, and sallied forth: in the afternoon they returned: in the evening, at seven o'clock, the table was pushed back: the old serving people came in; the fire was stirred into animation; Armorel played the old-fashioned tunes; and the ancient lady rallied, and sat up, and talked, her mind in the past. All the days alike, yet each one differing from its neighbours. There is no monotony, though place and people remain exactly the same, when there is the semblance of variety. For, besides the discovery of so many curious and interesting islands, this fortunate young man, as we have seen, discovered that his daily companion, though so young-'only a child'-was a girl of wonderful quickness and ready sympathy. A young artist wants sympathy-it is necessary for his growth: sympathy, interest, and flattery are necessary for the artistic temperament. All these Armorel offered him in large measure, running over. She kept alive in him that faith in his own star which every artist, as well as every general, must possess. Great is the encouragement of such sympathy to the young man of ambitions. This consideration is, indeed, the principal excuse for early marriages. Three weeks of talk with such a girl-no one else to consider or to interrupt-no permission to be sought-surely these things made up a holiday which quite beat the record! Three whole weeks! Such a holiday should form the foundation of a life-long friendship! Could either of them ever forget such a holiday?

Now it was all over. For very shame Roland could make no longer any excuses for staying. His sketch-book was crammed. There were materials in it for a hundred pictures-most of them might be called Studies of Armorel. She was in the boat holding the tiller, bare-headed, her hair flying in the breeze, the spray dashing into her face, and the clear blue water rushing past the boat: or she was sitting idly in the same boat lying in Grinsey Sound, with Shipman's Head behind her: or she was standing on the sea-weed at low water under the mighty rock of Castle Bryher: or she was standing upright in the low room, violin in hand, her face and figure crimsoned in the red firelight: or she was standing in the porch between the verbena-trees, the golden figure-head smiling benevolently upon her, and the old ships lanthorn swinging overhead with an innocent air, as if it had never heard of a wreck and knew not how valuable a property may be a cow, judiciously treated-with a lighted lanthorn between its horns-on a stormy night. There were other things: sketches of bays and coves, and headlands and carns, gathered from all the islands-from Porthellick and Peninnis on St. Mary's, which everybody goes to see, to St. Warna's Cove on St. Agnes, whither no traveller ever wendeth.

A very noble time. No letters, no newspapers, no trouble of any kind: yet one cannot remain for ever even in a house where such a permanent guest would be welcomed. Now and then, it is true, one hears how such a one went to a friend's house and stayed there. La Fontaine, Gay, and Coleridge are examples. But I have never heard, before this case, of a young man going to a house where a quite young girl, almost a child, was the mistress, and staying there. Now the end had come: he must go back to London, where all the men and most of the women have their own shows to run, and there is not enough sympathy to go round: back to what the young artist, he who has as yet exhibited little and sold nothing, calls his Work-putting a capital letter to it, like the young clergyman. Perhaps he did not understand that under the eyes of a girl who knew nothing about Art he had done really better and finer work, and had learned more, in those three weeks than in all the time that he had spent in a studio. Well; it was all over. The sketching was ended: there would be no more sailing over the blue waves of the rolling Atlantic outside the islands: no more quiet cruising in the Road: no more fishing: no more clambering among the granite rocks: no more sitting in sunny places looking out to sea, with this bright child at his side.

Alas! And no more talks with Armorel. From the first day the child sat at his feet and became his disciple, Helo?se herself was not an apter pupil. She ardently desired to learn: like a curious child she asked him questions all day long, and received the answers as if they were gospel: but no child that he had ever known betrayed blacker gaps of ignorance than this girl of fifteen. Consider. What could she know? Other girls learn at school: Armorel's schooling was over at fourteen, when she came home from St. Mary's to her desert island. Other girls continue their education by reading books: but Armorel never read anything except voyages of the last century, which treat but little of the modern life. Other girls also learn from hearing their elders talk: but Armorel's elders never talked. Other girls, again, learn from conversation with companions: but Armorel had no companions. And they learn from the shops in the street, the people who walk about, from the church, the theatre, the shows: but Armorel had no better street than the main street of Hugh Town. And they learn from society: but this girl had none. And they learn from newspapers, magazines, and novels: but Armorel had none of these. No voice, no sound of the outer world reached Alexandra Selkirk of Samson. Juan Fernandez itself was not more cut off from men and women. Therefore, in her seclusion and her ignorance, this young man came to her like another Apollo or a Vishnu at least-a revelation of the world of which she knew nothing, and to which she never gave a thought. He opened a door and bade her look within. All she saw was a great company painting pictures and talking Art; but that was something. As for what he said, this young man ardent, she remembered and treasured all, even the lightest things, the most trivial opinions. He did not abuse her confidence. Had he been older he might have been cynical: had he not been an artist he might have been flippant: had he been a City man and a money-grub he might have shown her the sordid side of the world. Being such as he was he showed her the best and most beautiful part-the world of Art. But as for these black gaps of ignorance, most of them remained even after Roland's visit.

'Your best friend, Armorel,' said her guest, 'would not deny that you are ignorant of many things. You have never gone to a dinner-party or sat in a drawing-room: you cannot play lawn-tennis; you know none of the arts feminine: you cannot talk the language of Society: oh! you are a very ignorant person indeed! But then there are compensations.'

'What are compensations? Things that make up? Do you mean the boat and the islands?'

'The boat is certainly something, and the islands give a flavour of their own to life on Samson, don't they? If I were talking the usual cant I should say that the chief compensation is the absence of the hollow world and its insincere society. That is cant and humbug, because society is very pleasant, only, I suppose, one must not expect too much from it. Your real compensations, Armorel, are of another kind. You can fiddle like a jolly sailor, all of the olden time. If you were to carry that fiddle of yours on to the Common Hard at Portsea not a man among them all, even the decayed veteran-if he still lives-who caught Nelson, the Dying Hero, in his arms, but would jump to his feet and shuffle-heel and toe, double-step, back-step, flourish and fling. I believe those terms are correct.'

'I am so glad you think I can fiddle.'

'You want only instruction in style to make you a very fine violinist. Besides, there is nothing more pleasing to look at, just now, than a girl playing a violin. It is partly fashion. Formerly it was thought graceful for a girl to play the guitar, then the harp; now it is the fiddle, when it is not the zither or the banjo. That is one compensation. There is another. I declare that I do not believe there is in all London a girl with such a genius as yours for puddings and pies, cakes and biscuits. I now understand that there is more wanted, in this confection, than industry and application. It is an art. Every art affords scope for genius born not made. The true-the really artistic-administration of spice and sugar, milk, eggs, butter, and flour requires real genius-such as yours, my child. And as to the still-room, there isn't such a thing left, I believe, in the whole world except on Samson, any more than there is a spinning-wheel. Who but yourself, Armorel, possesses the secret, long since supposed to be hopelessly lost, of composing Cyprus water, and the Divine Cordial? In this respect, you belong to a hundred years ago, when the modern ignorance was unknown. And where can I find-I should like to know-a London girl who understands cherry brandy, and can make her own blackberry wine?'

'You want to please me, Roland, because you are going away and I am unhappy.' She hung her head in sadness too deep for tears. 'That is why you say all these fine things. But I know that they mean very little. I am only an ignorant girl.'

'I must always, out of common gratitude, want to please you. But I am only speaking the bare truth. Then there is the delicate question of dress. An ordinary man is not supposed to know anything about dress, but an artist has always to consider it. There are certainly other girls-thousands of other girls-more expensively dressed than you, Armorel; but you have the taste for costume, which is far better than any amount of costly stuff.'

'Chessun taught me how to sew and how to cut out.' But the assurance of this excellence brought her no comfort.

'When I am gone, Armorel, you will go on with your drawing, will you not?' It will be seen that he endeavoured, as an Apostle of Art, to introduce its cult even on remote Samson. That was so, and not without success. The girl, he discovered, had been always making untaught attempts at drawing, and wanted nothing but a little instruction. This was a fresh discovery. 'That you should have the gift of the pencil is delightful to think of. The pencil, you see, is like the Jinn-I fear you have no Jinn on Samson-who could do almost anything for those who knew how to command his obedience, but only made those people ridiculous who ignorantly tried to order him around. If you go on drawing every day I am sure you will learn how to make that Jinn obedient. I will send you, when I get home, some simple books for your guidance. Promise, child, that you will not throw away this gift.'

'I will draw every day,' she replied, obediently, but with profound dejection.

'Then there is your reading. You must read something. I have looked through your shelves, and have picked out some books for you. There is a volume of Cowper and of Pope, and an old copy of the Spectator, and there is Goldsmith's "Deserted Village."'

'I will read anything you wish me to read,' she replied.

'I will send you some more books. You ought to know something about the world of to-day. Addison and Goldsmith will not teach you that. But I don't know what to send you. Novels are supposed to represent life; but then they pre-suppose a knowledge of the world, to begin with. You want an account of modern society as it is, and the thing does not exist. I will consider about it.'

'I will read whatever you send me. Roland, when I have read all the books and learned to draw, shall I have grown to my full height? Remember what you said about yourself.'

'I don't know, Armorel. It is not reading. But--' He left the sentence unfinished.

'Who is to tell me-on Samson?' she asked.

In the afternoon of this day Roland planted his easel on the plateau of the northern hill, where the barrows are, and put the last touches to the sketch, which he afterwards made into the first picture which he ever exhibited. It appeared in the Grosvenor of '85: of course everybody remembers the picture, which attracted a very respectable amount of attention. It was called the 'Daughter of Lyonesse.' It represented a maiden in the first blossom of womanhood-tall and shapely. She was dressed in a robe of white wool thrown over her left shoulder and gathered at the waist by a simple belt of brown leather: a white linen vest was seen below the wool: round her neck was a golden torque: behind her was the setting sun: she stood upon the highest of a low pile of granite boulders, round the feet of which were spread the yellow branches of the fern and the faded flowers of the heather: she shaded her eyes from the sun with her left hand, and looked out to sea. She was bare-headed: the strong breeze lifted her long black hair and blew it from her shoulders: her eyes were black and her complexion was dark. Behind her and below her was the splendour of sun and sky and sea, with the Western Islands rising black above the golden waters.

The sketch showed the figure, but the drapery was not complete: as yet it was a study of light and colour and a portrait.

'I don't quite know,' said the painter, thoughtfully, 'whether you ought not to wear a purple chiton: Ph?nician trade must have brought Ph?nician luxuries to Lyonesse. Your ancestors were tin-men-rich miners-no doubt the ladies of the family went dressed in the very, very best. I wonder whether in those days the King's daughter was barefooted. The caliga, I think-the leather sandal-would have been early introduced into the royal family on account of the spikiness of the fern in autumn and the thorns of the gorse all the year round. The slaves and common people, of course, would have to endure the thorns.'

He continued his work while he talked, Armorel making no reply, enacting the model with zeal.

'It is a strange sunset,' he went on, as if talking to himself, 'a day of clouds, but in the west a broad belt of blue low down in the horizon: in the midst of the belt the sun flaming crimson: on either hand the sky aglow, but only in the belt of clear: above is the solid cloud, grey and sulky, receiving none of the colour: below is also the solid, sulky cloud, but under the sun there spreads out a fan of light which strikes the waters and sets them aflame in a long broad road from the heavens to your feet, O child of Lyonesse. Outside this road of light the waters are dull and gloomy: in the sky the coloured belt of light fades gradually into soft yellows, clear greens, and azure blues. A strange sunset! A strange effect of light! Armorel, you see your life: it is prefigured by the light. Overhead the sky is grey and colourless: where the glow of the future does not lie on the waters they are grey and colourless. Nothing around you but the waste of grey sea: before you black rocks-life is always full of black rocks: and beyond, the splendid sun-soft, warm, and glowing. You shall interpret that in your own way.'

Armorel listened, standing motionless, her left hand shading her eyes.

'If the picture,' he went on, 'comes out as I hope it may, it will be one of those that suggest many things. Every good picture, Armorel, as well as every good poem, suggests. It is like that statue of Christ which is always taller than the tallest man. Nobody can ever get above the thought and soul of a good picture or a good poem. There is always more in it than the wisest man knows. That is the proof of genius. That is why I long all day for the mysterious power of putting into my work the soul of everyone who looks upon it-as well as my own soul. When you come to stand before a great picture, Armorel, perhaps you will understand what I mean. You will find your heart agitated with strange emotions-you will leave it with new thoughts. When you go away from your desert island, remember every day to read a piece of great verse, to look upon a great picture, and to hear a piece of great music. As for these suggested thoughts, you will not perhaps be able to put them into words. But they will be there.'

Still Armorel made no reply. It was as if he were talking to a statue.

'I have painted you,' he said, 'with the golden torque round your neck: the red gold is caught by the sunshine: as for your dress, I think it must be a white woollen robe-perhaps a border of purple-but I don't know-- There are already heaps of colour-colour of sky and of water, of the granite with the yellow lichen, and of brown and yellow fern and of heather faded-- No-you shall be all in white, Armorel. No dress so sweet for a girl as white. A vest of white linen made by yourself from your own spinning-wheel, up to the throat and covering the right shoulder. Are you tired, child?'

'No-I like to hear you talk.'

'I have nearly done-in fact,' he leaned back and contemplated his work with the enthusiasm which is to a painter what the glow of composition is to the writer, 'I have done all I can until I go home. The sun of Scilly hath a more golden glow in September than the sun of St. John's Wood. If I have caught aright-or something like it-the light that is around you and about you, Armorel-- The sun in your left hand is like the red light of the candle through the closed fingers. So-I can do no more-Armorel! you are all glorious within and without. You are indeed the King's Daughter: you are clothed with the sun as with a garment: if the sun were to disappear this moment, you would stand upon the Peak, for all the island to admire-a flaming beacon!'

His voice was jubilant-he had done well. Yet he shaded his eyes and looked at canvas and at model once more with jealousy and suspicion. If he had passed over something! It was an ambitious picture-the most ambitious thing he had yet attempted.

'Armorel!' he cried. 'If I could only paint as well as I can see! Come down, child; you are good indeed to stand so long and so patiently.'

She obeyed and jumped off her eminence, and stood beside him looking at the picture.

'Tell me what you think,' said the painter. 'You see-it is the King's Daughter. She stands on a peak in Lyonesse and looks forth upon the waters. Why? I know not. She seeks the secrets of the future, perhaps. She looks for the coming of the Perfect Knight, perhaps. She expects the Heaven that waits for every maiden-in this world as well as in the next. Everyone may interpret the picture for himself. She is young-everything is possible to the young. Tell me, Armorel, what do you think?'

She drew a long breath. 'A-h!' she murmured. 'I have never seen anything like this before. It is not me you have painted, Roland. You say it is a picture of me-just to please and flatter me. There is my face-yet not my face. All is changed. Roland, when I am grown to my full height, shall I look like this?

'If you do, when that day comes, I shall be proved to be a painter indeed,' he replied. 'If you had seen nothing but yourself-your own self-and no more, I would have burnt the thing. Now you give me hopes.

Afterwards, Armorel loved best to remember him as he stood there beside this unfinished picture, glowing with the thought that he had done what he had attempted. The soul was there.

Out of the chatter of the studio, the endless discussions of style and method, he had come down to this simple spot, to live for three weeks, cut off from the world, with a child who knew nothing of these things. He came at a time when his enthusiasm for his work was at its fiercest: that is, when the early studies are beginning to bear fruit, when the hand has acquired command of the pencil and can control the brush, and when the eye is already trained to colour. It was at a time when the young artist refuses to look at any but the greatest work, and refuses to dream of any future except that of the greatest and noblest work. It is a splendid thing to have had, even for a short time, these dreams and these enthusiasms.

'The picture is finished,' said Armorel, 'and to-morrow you will go away and leave me.' The tears welled up in her eyes. Why should not the child cry for the departure of this sweet friend?

'My dear child,' he said, 'I cannot believe that you will stay for ever on this desert island.'

'I do not want to leave the island. I want to keep you here. Why don't you stay altogether, Roland? You can paint here. Have we made you happy? Are you satisfied with our way of living? We will change it for you, if you wish.'

'No-no-it is not that. I must go home. I must go back to my work. But I cannot bear to think of you left alone with these old people, with no companions and no friends. The time will come when you will leave the place and go away somewhere-where people live and talk--'

He reflected that if she went away it might be among people ignorant of Art and void of culture. This beautiful child, who might have been a Princess-she was only a flower-farmer of the Scilly Islands. What could she hope or expect?

'I do not want to go into the world,' she went on. 'I am afraid, because I am so ignorant. People would laugh at me. I would rather stay here always, if you were with me. Then we would do nothing but sail and row and go fishing: and you could paint and sketch all the time.'

'It is impossible, Armorel. You talk like a child. In a year or two you will understand that it is impossible. Besides, we should both grow old. Think of that. Think of two old people going about sailing among the islands for ever: I, like Justinian Tryeth, bald and bowed and wrinkled: you, like Dorcas-no, no; you could never grow like Dorcas: you shall grow serenely, beautifully old.'

'What would that matter?' she replied. 'Some day, even, one of us would die. What would that matter, either, because we should only be parted by a year or two? Oh! whether we are old or young the sea never grows old, nor the hills and rocks-and the sunshine is always the same. And when we die there will be a new heaven and a new earth-you can read it in the Book of Revelation-but no more sea, no more sea. That I cannot understand. How could angels and saints be happy without the sea? If one lives among people in towns, I dare say it may be disagreeable to grow old, and perhaps to look ugly like poor Dorcas; but not, no, not when one lives in such a place as this.'

'Where did you get your wisdom, Armorel?'

'Is that wisdom?'

'When I go away my chief regret will be that I kept talking to you about myself. Men are selfish pigs. We should have talked about nothing but you. Then I should have learned a great deal. See how we miss our opportunities.'

'No, no; I had nothing to tell you. And you had such a great deal to tell me. It was you who taught me that everybody ought to try to grow to his full height.'

'Did I? It was only a passing thought. Such things occur to one sometimes.'

She sat down on a boulder and crossed her hands in her lap, looking at him seriously and gravely with her great black eyes.

'Now,' she said, 'I want to be very serious. It is my last chance. Roland, I am resolved that I will try to grow to my full height. You are going away to-morrow, and I shall have no one to advise me. Give me all the help you can before you go.'

'What help can I give you, Armorel?'

'I have been thinking. You have told me all about yourself. You are going to be a great artist: you will give up all your life to your work: when you have grown as tall as you can, everybody will congratulate you, and you will be proud and happy. But who is to tell me? How shall I know when I am grown to my full height?'

'You have got something more in your mind, Armorel.'

'Give me a model, Roland. You always paint from a model yourself-you told me so. Now, think of the very best actual girl of all the girls you know-the most perfect girl, mind: she must be a girl that I can remember and try to copy. I must have something to think of and go by, you know.'

'The very best actual girl I know?' he laughed, with a touch of the abominable modern cynicism which no longer believes in girls. 'That wouldn't help you much, I am afraid. You see, Armorel, I should not look to the actual girls I know for the best girl at all. There is, however'-he pulled his shadowy moustache, looking very wise-'a most wonderful girl-I confess that I have never met her, but I have heard of her: the poets keep talking about her-and some of the novelists are fond of drawing her; I have heard of her, read of her, and dreamed of her. Shall I tell you about her?'

'If you please-that is, if she can become my model.'

'Perhaps. She is quite a possible girl, Armorel, like yourself. That is to say, a girl who may really develop out of certain qualities. As for actual girls, there are any number whom one knows in a way-one can distinguish them-I mean by their voices, their faces, and their figures and so forth. But as for knowing anything more about them--'

'Tell me, then, about the girl whom you do know, though you have never seen her.'

'I will if I can. As for her face-now--'

'Never mind her face,' she interrupted, impatiently.

'Never mind her face, as you say. Besides, you can look in the glass if you want to know her face.'

'Yes; that will do,' said Armorel, simply. 'Now go on.'

'First of all, then, she is always well dressed-beautifully dressed-and with as much taste as the silly fashion of the day allows. A woman, you know, though she is the most beautiful creature in the whole of animated nature, can never afford to do without the adornments of dress. It does not much matter how a man goes dressed. He only dresses for warmth. In any dress and in any rags a handsome man looks well. But not a woman. Her dress either ruins her beauty or it heightens it. A woman must always, and at all ages, look as beautiful as she can. Therefore, she arranges her clothes so as to set off her beauty when she is young: to make her seem still beautiful when she is past her youth: and to hide the ravages of time when she is old. That is the first thing which I remark about this girl. Of course, she doesn't dress as if her father was a Silver King. Such a simple stuff as your grey nun's cloth, Armorel, is good enough to make the most lovely dress.'

'She is always well dressed,' his pupil repeated. 'That is the first thing.'

'She is accomplished, of course,' Roland added, airily, as if accomplishments were as easy to pick up as the blue and grey shells on Porth Bay. 'She understands music, and plays on some instrument. She knows about art of all kinds-art in painting, sculptures, decorations, poetry, literature, music. She can talk intelligently about art; and she has trained her eye so that she knows good work. She is never carried away by shams and humbug.'

'She has trained her eye, and knows good work,' Armorel repeated.

'Above all, she is sympathetic. She does not talk so as to show how clever she is, but to bring out the best points of the man she is talking with. Yet when men leave her they forget what they have said themselves, and only remember how much this girl seems to know.'

'Seems to know?' Armorel looked up.

'One woman cannot know everything. But a clever woman will know about everything that belongs to her own set. We all belong to our own set, and every set talks its own language-scientific, artistic, whatever it is. This girl does not pretend to enter into the arena; but she knows the rules of the game, and talks accordingly. She is always intelligent, gracious, and sympathetic.'

'She is intelligent, gracious, and sympathetic,' Armorel repeated. 'Is she gracious to everybody-even to people she does not like?'

'In society,' said Roland, 'we like everybody. We are all perfectly well-bred and well-behaved: we always say the kindest things about each other.'

'Now you are saying one thing and meaning another. That is like your friend Dick Stephenson. Don't, Roland.'

'Well, then, I have very little more to say. This girl, however, is always a woman's woman.'

'What is that?'

'Difficult to explain. A wise lady once advised me when I went courting, first to make quite sure that the girl was a woman's woman. I think she meant that other girls should speak and think well of her. I haven't always remembered the advice, it is true, but--' Here he stopped short and in some confusion, remembering that this was not an occasion for plenary confession.

But Armorel only nodded gravely. 'I shall remember,' she said.

'The rest you know. She loves everything that is beautiful and good. She hates everything that is coarse and ugly. That is all.'

'Thank you-I shall remember,' she repeated. 'Roland, you must have thought a good deal about girls to know so much.'

He blushed: he really did. He blushed a rich and rosy red.

'An artist, you know,' he said, 'has to draw beautiful girls. Naturally he thinks of the lovely soul behind the lovely face. These things are only commonplaces. You yourself, Armorel-you-will shame me, presently-when you have grown to that full height-for drawing a picture so insufficient of the Perfect Woman.'

He stooped slightly, as if he would have kissed her forehead. Why not? She was but a child. But he refrained.

He stooped slightly, as if he would have kissed her forehead.

'Let us go home,' he said, with a certain harshness in his voice. 'The sun is down. The clouds have covered up the belt of blue. You have seen your splendid future, Armorel, and you are back in the grey and sunless present. It grows cold. To-morrow, I think, we may have rain. Let us go home, child: let us go home.'

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