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It is good, therefore, to read the maxims of our ancestors with great allowances to times and persons; for if we look into primitive records we shall find that no revolutions have been so great or so frequent as those of human ears. In former days there was a curious invention to catch and keep them, which I think we may justly reckon among the artes perditae; and how can it be otherwise, when in these latter centuries the very species is not only diminished to a very lamentable degree, but the poor remainder is also degenerated so far as to mock our skilfullest tenure? For if only the slitting of one ear in a stag hath been found sufficient to propagate the defect through a whole forest, why should we wonder at the greatest consequences, from so many loppings and mutilations to which the ears of our fathers and our own have been of late so much exposed? It is true, indeed, that while this island of ours was under the dominion of grace, many endeavours were made to improve the growth of ears once more among us. The proportion of largeness was not only looked upon as an ornament of the outward man, but as a type of grace in the inward. Besides, it is held by naturalists that if there be a protuberancy of parts in the superior region of the body, as in the ears and nose, there must be a parity also in the inferior; and therefore in that truly pious age the males in every assembly, according as they were gifted, appeared very forward in exposing their ears to view, and the regions about them; because Hippocrates 81 tells us that when the vein behind the ear happens to be cut, a man becomes a eunuch, and the females were nothing backwarder in beholding and edifying by them; whereof those who had already used the means looked about them with great concern, in hopes of conceiving a suitable offspring by such a prospect; others, who stood candidates for benevolence, found there a plentiful choice, and were sure to fix upon such as discovered the largest ears, that the breed might not dwindle between them. Lastly, the devouter sisters, who looked upon all extraordinary dilatations of that member as protrusions of zeal, or spiritual excrescences, were sure to honour every head they sat upon as if they had been cloven tongues, but especially that of the preacher, whose ears were usually of the prime magnitude, which upon that account he was very frequent and exact in exposing with all advantages to the people in his rhetorical paroxysms, turning sometimes to hold forth the one, and sometimes to hold forth the other; from which custom the whole operation of preaching is to this very day among their professors styled by the phrase of holding forth.
“Running is your problem,” Dr. Joe Torg confirmed when I limped into his Philadelphiaexamining room a few days later. He should know; Dr. Torg had not only helped create the entirefield of sports medicine, but he also co-wrote The Running Athlete, the definitive radiographicanalysis of every conceivable running injury. He ran me through an X-ray and watched me hobblearound, then determined that I’d aggravated my cuboid, a cluster of bones parallel to the arch that Ihadn’t even known existed until it reengineered itself into an internal Taser.
This was easily done, and the boys mounted their horses and turned their faces homeward. It was now broad daylight, and Lieutenant Parker wondered how they were going to slip by the Indians unperceived. It depended upon where the Indians were. If they were Page 98 still interested in their Ghost Dance, they could cross the river without being seen by anybody; but if they were done with it and were at home, they would be discovered and stopped. He thought at first that he would see what Carl thought about it; but on looking toward him he found that he was engaged in filling up his pipe, and was going to indulge in a smoke.
She said briskly: “I hope you’ve approved of the uniforms.” He took a step back. He said, in real distress: “Oh, hush, hush, not so loud,” and in turn he blinked at her, as if, when he had taken in her words, they surprised him more. Little though she could know it, they did. He had supposed, in the night and the morning, that he had hated the Adela of the world; He had had her in his imagination as an enemy and a threat. He had overrated her. She was, in fact, nothing like what he had, and now he had met her he had hardly recognized her. There had been a girl, talking to — to — the name had again escaped him — to the other girl, whose shape had reminded him of his nightly mistress; she had turned her head, and it had been his mistress, and then again it was not. It could not be, for this one was remote and a little hostile; it was not, for this one was nothing like as delightful, as warm, as close-bewildering. She spoke, and it was strange, for he expected love; he did not want that voice except in love, and now it — at first — said strange things. With relief he realized it was not his voice — so he called it, admirably exact; this was not the voice of his mistress, and his mistress was most particularly he. This distressed him; it was loud, harsh, uncouth. It was like the rest of the tiresome world into which he had been compelled to enter — violent, smashing, bewildering by its harsh clamour, and far from the soft sweetness of his unheard melody. It was not without reason that Keats imagined the lover of unheard melody in reverie on stone images; the real Greek dancers would have pleased him less. But though Wentworth was shocked by the clumsy tread and the loud voice, they relieved him also. He had hated once; but then he had not wanted to hate-it disturbed him too much; and now he knew he did not. He need not resent the grossness of the world; enough if, by flight, he rejected it. He had his own living medicament for all trouble, and distaste and oblivion for everything else-most of all for his noisome parody of his peace.
“If you do not care to give me the serfs, why not SELL them?”
Zara gazed seriously at me, and her large eyes seemed to grow darker with the intensity of her thought.
'I like it,' she said. 'I like doing everything fully, getting the most out of everything one does. I think that's the way to live. But it sounds rather schoolgirlish when one says it,' she added apologetically.
1.The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window that the reel would never end. Now and then he turned his eyes from the girl’s face to that of her partner, which, in the exhilaration of the dance, had taken on a look of almost impudent ownership. Denis Eady was the son of Michael Eady, the ambitious Irish grocer, whose suppleness and effrontery had given Starkfield its first notion of “smart” business methods, and whose new brick store testified to the success of the attempt. His son seemed likely to follow in his steps, and was meanwhile applying the same arts to the conquest of the Starkfield maidenhood. Hitherto Ethan Frome had been content to think him a mean fellow; but now he positively invited a horse-whipping. It was strange that the girl did not seem aware of it: that she could lift her rapt face to her dancer’s, and drop her hands into his, without appearing to feel the offence of his look and touch.
The summer idyll passed smoothly on, until, in the hot days of July, there was a thunderstorm. While the Earl conversed with the Queen in her chamber, the Captain of the Guard stood outside the door on duty; and the Captain of the Guard was a gentleman with a bold face — Sir Walter Raleigh. The younger son of a West-country squire, the royal favour had raised him in a few years to wealth and power: patents and monopolies had been showered upon him; he had become the master of great estates in England and Ireland; he was warden of the stannaries, Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, a Knight, a Vice-Admiral; he was thirty-five — a dangerous and magnificent man. His splendid bearing, his enterprising spirit, which had brought him to this unexpected grandeur — whither would they lead him in the end? The Fates had woven for him a skein of mingled light and darkness; fortune and misfortune, in equal measure and in strange intensity, were to be his.
The two of them had gone up there. Stepping lightly, easy-footed, they had climbed the whitestairs, leaving her down below. She pried the wire from the top of the jar and then the lid. Under it was cloth and under that a thin cake of wax. She removed it all and coaxed the jelly onto one halfof the half a plate. She took a biscuit and pulled off its black top. Smoke curled from the soft whiteinsides. She missed her brothers. Buglar and Howard would be twenty two and twenty-three now.