The Last Man eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 624 pages of information about The Last Man.
I had lost what most dearly recalled her to me; I enshrined her memory in Adrian’s form, and endeavoured to confound the two dear ideas.  I sound the depths of my heart, and try in vain to draw thence the expressions that can typify my love for these remnants of my race.  If regret and sorrow came athwart me, as well it might in our solitary and uncertain state, the clear tones of Adrian’s voice, and his fervent look, dissipated the gloom; or I was cheered unaware by the mild content and sweet resignation Clara’s cloudless brow and deep blue eyes expressed.  They were all to me—­the suns of my benighted soul—­repose in my weariness—­slumber in my sleepless woe.  Ill, most ill, with disjointed words, bare and weak, have I expressed the feeling with which I clung to them.  I would have wound myself like ivy inextricably round them, so that the same blow might destroy us.  I would have entered and been a part of them—­so that

  If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,

even now I had accompanied them to their new and incommunicable abode.

Never shall I see them more.  I am bereft of their dear converse—­bereft of sight of them.  I am a tree rent by lightning; never will the bark close over the bared fibres—­never will their quivering life, torn by the winds, receive the opiate of a moment’s balm.  I am alone in the world—­ but that expression as yet was less pregnant with misery, than that Adrian and Clara are dead.

The tide of thought and feeling rolls on for ever the same, though the banks and shapes around, which govern its course, and the reflection in the wave, vary.  Thus the sentiment of immediate loss in some sort decayed, while that of utter, irremediable loneliness grew on me with time.  Three days I wandered through Ravenna—­now thinking only of the beloved beings who slept in the oozy caves of ocean—­now looking forward on the dread blank before me; shuddering to make an onward step—­writhing at each change that marked the progress of the hours.

For three days I wandered to and fro in this melancholy town.  I passed whole hours in going from house to house, listening whether I could detect some lurking sign of human existence.  Sometimes I rang at a bell; it tinkled through the vaulted rooms, and silence succeeded to the sound.  I called myself hopeless, yet still I hoped; and still disappointment ushered in the hours, intruding the cold, sharp steel which first pierced me, into the aching festering wound.  I fed like a wild beast, which seizes its food only when stung by intolerable hunger.  I did not change my garb, or seek the shelter of a roof, during all those days.  Burning heats, nervous irritation, a ceaseless, but confused flow of thought, sleepless nights, and days instinct with a frenzy of agitation, possessed me during that time.

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The Last Man from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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