I would not yield. Crushed, maddened, tortured, I would not yield. I wanted to die. I felt that death would be sweet and truly desirable. And, so thinking, I faded into a kind of coma, or rather a state which was just short of coma. I had not lost consciousness, but I was conscious of nothing but the gaze. “Good-bye, Rosa,” I whispered; “I am beaten, but my love has not been conquered.” The next thing I remember was the paleness of the dawn at the window. The apparition had vanished for the night, and I was alive. But I knew that I had touched the skirts of death. I knew that after such another night I should die.
[Footnote 2: The Ghost: a Novel (1911).]
DR DUTHOIT’S VISION
By ARTHUR MACHEN
I knew a fine specimen of an English abbe when I was at school at Hereford. This was Dr Duthoit, Prebendary of Consumpta per Sabulum in Hereford Cathedral, Rector of St Owen’s, bookworm and, chiefly, rose-grower. He was a middle-aged man when I was a little boy, but he suffered me to walk with him in his garden sloping down to the Wye, near a pleasaunce of the Vicars Choral, reciting sometimes the poems of Traherne, which he had in manuscript, but, for the most part, demonstrating his progress in the art of growing a coal-black rose. This was the true work of his life, and nearly forty years ago he could show blooms whose copper and crimson tints were very near to utter darkness. I believe that his ideal was never attained in absolute perfection; and perhaps the perfect end and attainment of desire do not prove happiness down here below.