There in that mausoleum I decided that I must never see Diaz again. He was fast in my heart, a flashing, glorious treasure, but I must never see him again. I must devote myself to memory.
On the dressing-table lay a brown-paper parcel which seemed out of place there. I opened it, and it contained a magnificently-bound copy of The Imitation of Christ. Upon the flyleaf was written: ’To dearest Carlotta on attaining her majority. With fondest love. C.P.’
It was too much; it was overwhelming. I wept again. Soul so kind and pure! The sense of my loss, the sense of the simple, proud rectitude of her life, laid me low.
Train journeys have too often been sorrowful for me, so much so that the conception itself of a train, crawling over the country like a snake, or flying across it like a winged monster, fills me with melancholy. Trains loaded with human parcels of sadness and illusion and brief joy, wandering about, crossing, and occasionally colliding in the murk of existence; trains warmed and lighted in winter; trains open to catch the air of your own passage in summer; night-trains that pierce the night with your yellow, glaring eyes, and waken mysterious villages, and leave the night behind and run into the dawn as into a station; trains that carry bread and meats for the human parcels, and pillows and fountains of fresh water; trains that sweep haughtily and wearily indifferent through the landscapes and the towns, sufficient unto yourselves, hasty, panting, formidable, and yet mournful entities: I have understood you in your arrogance and your pathos.