If Winter Comes eBook

Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 462 pages of information about If Winter Comes.
entities.  He had written once in a manuscript book in which he sometimes wrote things, “I like the feel of them and I know the feel of them in the same way as one likes and knows the feel of a friend’s hand.  And I can look at them and read them without opening them in the same way as, without his speaking, one looks at and can enjoy the face of a friend.  I feel towards them when I look at them in the shelves,—­well, as if they were feeling towards me just as I am feeling towards them.”  And he had added this touch, which is perhaps more illuminating.  “The other day some one had had out one of my books and returned it upside down.  I swear it was as grotesque and painful to me to see it upside down as if I had come into the room and found my brother standing on his head against the wall, fastened there.  At least I couldn’t have sprung to him to release him quicker than I did to the book to upright it.”

The first book he had ever bought “specially”—­that is to say not as one buys a bun but as one buys a dog—­was at the age of seventeen when he had bought a Byron, the Complete Works in a popular edition of very great bulk and very small print.  He bought it partly because of what he had heard during his last term at school of Don Juan, partly because he had picked up the idea that it was rather a fine thing to read poetry; and he kept it and read it in great secrecy because his mother (to whom he mentioned his intention) told him that Byron ought not to be read and that her father, in her girlhood, had picked up Byron with the tongs and burnt him in the garden.  This finally determined him to buy Byron.

He began to read it precisely as he was accustomed to read books,—­that is to say at the beginning and thence steadily onwards.  “On the Death of a Young Lady” (Admiral Parker’s daughter, explained a footnote); “To E——­“; “To D——­” and so on.  There were seven hundred and eight pages of this kind of thing and Don Juan was at the end, in the five hundreds.

When he had laboriously read thirty-six pages he decided that it was not a fine thing to read poetry, and he moved on to Don Juan, page five hundred and thirty-three.  The rhymes surprised him.  He had no idea that poetry—­poetry—­rhymed “annuities” with “true it is” and “Jew it is.”  He turned on and numbered the cantos,—­sixteen; and then the number of verses in each canto and the total,—­two thousand one hundred and eighty.... Who-o-o!... It was as endless as the seven hundred and eight pages had appeared when he had staggered as far as page thirty-six.  He began to hunt for the particular verses which had caused Don Juan to be recommended to him and presumably had caused his grandfather to carry out Byron with the tongs and burn him in the garden.  He could not find them.  He chucked the rotten thing.

But as he was putting the rotten thing away, his eye happened upon two lines that struck into him—­it was like a physical blow—­the most extraordinary sensation: 

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If Winter Comes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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