Sacred and Profane Love eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 183 pages of information about Sacred and Profane Love.

That little journey from Knype to Shawport had implanted itself painfully in my memory, as though during it I had peered too close into the face of life.  And now I had undertaken another, and a longer one.  Three months had elapsed—­three months of growing misery and despair; three months of tedious familiarity with lawyers and distant relatives, and all the exasperating camp-followers of death; three months of secret and strange fear, waxing daily.  And at last, amid the expostulations and the shrugs of wisdom and age, I had decided to go to London.  I had little energy, and no interest, but I saw that I must go to London; I was driven there by my secret fear; I dared not delay.  And not a soul in the wide waste of the Five Towns comprehended me, or could have comprehended me had it been so minded.  I might have shut up the house for a time.  But no; I would not.  Always I have been sudden, violent, and arbitrary; I have never been able to tolerate half-measures, or to wait upon occasion.  I sold the house; I sold the furniture.  Yes; and I dismissed my faithful Rebecca and the clinging Lucy, and they departed, God knows where; it was as though I had sold them into slavery.  Again and again, in the final week, I cut myself to the quick, recklessly, perhaps purposely; I moved in a sort of terrible languor, deaf to every appeal, pretending to be stony, and yet tortured by my secret fear, and by a hemorrhage of the heart that no philosophy could stanch.  And I swear that nothing desolated me more than the strapping and the labelling of my trunks that morning after I had slept, dreamfully, in the bed that I should never use again—­the bed that, indeed, was even then the property of a furniture dealer.  Had I wept at all, I should have wept as I wrote out the labels for my trunks:  ‘Miss Peel, passenger to Golden Cross Hotel, London.  Euston via Rugby,’ with two thick lines drawn under the ‘Euston.’  That writing of labels was the climax.  With a desperate effort I tore myself up by the roots, and all bleeding I left the Five Towns.  I have never seen them since.  Some day, when I shall have attained serenity and peace, when the battle has been fought and lost, I will revisit my youth.  I have always loved passionately the disfigured hills and valleys of the Five Towns.  And as I think of Oldcastle Street, dropping away sleepily and respectably from the Town Hall of Bursley, with the gold angel holding a gold crown on its spire, I vibrate with an inexplicable emotion.  What is there in Oldcastle Street to disturb the dust of the soul?

I must tell you here that Diaz had gone to South America on a triumphal tour of concerts, lest I forget!  I read it in the paper.

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Sacred and Profane Love from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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