“Hardly; he has too much of the blood of Lufki-Humma in him. But I need not say that; for the Grandissime blood is just as strong. A wonderful family, those Grandissimes! They are an old, illustrious line, and the strength that was once in the intellect and will is going down into the muscles. I have an idea that their greatness began, hundreds of years ago, in ponderosity of arm,—of frame, say,—and developed from generation to generation, in a rising scale, first into fineness of sinew, then, we will say, into force of will, then into power of mind, then into subtleties of genius. Now they are going back down the incline. Look at Honore; he is high up on the scale, intellectual and sagacious. But look at him physically, too. What an exquisite mold! What compact strength! I should not wonder if he gets that from the Indian Queen. What endurance he has! He will probably go to his business by and by and not see his bed for seventeen or eighteen hours. He is the flower of the family, and possibly the last one. Now, old Agricola shows the downward grade better. Seventy-five, if he is a day, with, maybe, one-fourth the attainments he pretends to have, and still less good sense; but strong—as an orang-outang. Shall we go to bed?”
NEW LIGHT UPON DARK PLACES
When the long, wakeful night was over, and the doctor gone, Frowenfeld seated himself to record his usual observations of the weather; but his mind was elsewhere—here, there, yonder. There are understandings that expand, not imperceptibly hour by hour, but as certain flowers do, by little explosive ruptures, with periods of quiescence between. After this night of experiences it was natural that Frowenfeld should find the circumference of his perceptions consciously enlarged. The daylight shone, not into his shop alone, but into his heart as well. The face of Aurora, which had been the dawn to him before, was now a perfect sunrise, while in pleasant timeliness had come in this Apollo of a Honore Grandissime. The young immigrant was dazzled. He felt a longing to rise up and run forward in this flood of beams. He was unconscious of fatigue, or nearly so—would, have been wholly so but for the return by and by of that same dim shadow, or shadows, still rising and darting across every motion of the fancy that grouped again the actors in last night’s scenes; not such shadows as naturally go with sunlight to make it seem brighter, but a something which qualified the light’s perfection and the air’s freshness.
Wherefore, resolved: that he would compound his life, from this time forward, by a new formula: books, so much; observation, so much; social intercourse, so much; love—as to that, time enough for that in the future (if he was in love with anybody, he certainly did not know it); of love, therefore, amount not yet necessary to state, but probably (when it should be introduced), in the generous proportion