“In God’s name,” I heard him say, “tell me what 佛山桑拿飞机网0757d you are. Such music as you have played upsets all my established notions, undermines my philosophy, forces me back in spite of myself to a belief in witchcraft and magic. Are you a Merlin? Have you indeed the secret of enchantment? It is hardly credible that simple human genius wove that wonderful web of melody—which has at last come to an end, thank heaven! If I had had to listen a moment longer, I should have broken down. The strain was too intense. You have taken me with you through hell and heaven.”
Still weak and nerveless, I could not command my voice.
“You are faint,” he exclaimed. “The effort has tired you out. No wonder: here—drink this.” He held a glass to my lips. I drank its contents. Presently I felt a glow of warmth radiating through my limbs. Then I was able to stir and to speak.
“Through hell and heaven,” I 佛山桑拿黄岐 repeated, echoing his words. “Yes, we have been through hell and heaven.”
“It was a frightful experience,” he added, “more than I bargained for when I asked you to play.”
“You must forgive me; I was carried away; I had no intention of harrowing you, but I had not played for so long a time that my emotions got the best of me.”
“Oh, don’t talk like that,” he protested. “It was a frightful experience, but it was one I would not have missed. I had never dreamed that music could work such an effect upon me; but now I can understand the ardor with which musicians love their art; I can understand the claims they make in its behalf. It is indeed the most powerful influence that can be brought to bear upon the feelings. For my part I never was so deeply moved before—not even by Dante. But tell me, how did you acquire your wonderful 佛山桑拿按摩多少钱 skill? What must your life have been in order that you should play like that?”
“Of ‘wonderful skill’ I have little enough. Tonight perhaps I played with a certain enthusiasm because I was excited. But you attribute too much to me. A musician would have descried a score of faults. My technique has deserted me; but even when I used to practice regularly, I occupied a very low grade in my profession.”
“I care not how you used to play, nor how you were rated, nor how faulty your technique may be. You play now with a force that is more than human. I am not given either to flattery or to exaggeration, and I am not easily stirred up. But you have stirred me up, clear down to the marrow of my bones. Perhaps these two years of abstinence have but ripened the genius that was already in you—allowed it time to ferment. Tell me, what depths 佛山桑拿论坛蒲友 of joy and sorrow have you sounded to gather the secrets you have just revealed with your violin? What has your life been?”
“My life has been a very simple one, and for the most part very prosaic.”
“You might as well call the sun cold, the sea motionless, as pretend that your life has been prosaic. Friend, the only element that gives life and magnetism to art is profound, human truth That which touches us in a picture, a poem, or a symphony, is its likeness to the truth, its nature, especially its human nature. That is what makes Wilhelm Meister a powerful book, because each page is written, so to speak, in human blood. That is what makes Titian’s Assumption a great picture, because the agony in the Madonna’s face is true human agony. And that is what gave your music of a moment since the power to pierce the very innermost of my heart-because it was true music the expression of true human passion. Tell me, what manner of life have you lived, to learn so much of the deep things of human experience?”
I looked into his clear, earnest eyes. They shone with a sympathy that fell as balm upon my wounds. An impulse that I could not battle with unsealed my lips. I told him my whole story from first to last.
Some of the time, as I was speaking, he sat motionless with his brow buried in his hands. Some of the time he paced up and down the floor. He smoked constantly. Twice or thrice he extended his palm to bid me pause, indicating by nodding his head when he wished me to go on. Not once did he verbally interrupt, nor for a long while after I had done did he speak.
By and by he grasped my hand and wrenched it hard and said, “Will—will you understand by my silence what I feel? It would be sacrilege for me to talk about this thing. I—I—oh, what a fool I am to open my mouth!”
But presently he cried, “The injustice, the humiliation, that you have been put to! It is shameful. To think that they dared to try you, as though the mere sight of your face was not sufficient to prove you incapable of the first thought of crime! But I can understand your motive for not wishing to hunt the Marshalls down. Only of this I am sure, that if there is any such thing as equity in this world, some day their guilt will be made manifest and they will receive the chastisement which they deserve. Oh, how you have suffered! I tell you, it sobers a man, it reminds him of the seriousness of things, the spectacle of such a colossal sorrow as yours has been.”
Again silence. Eventually he crossed over to the window and sent the curtains rattling across their pole. It was getting light outside. I pulled myself together. Rising, “Well,” I said, “good-by. My visit to you has been like a sojourn in another world. Now, I must return to my own dreary sphere. Forgive me if I have wearied you with all this talk about myself. I seemed to speak without meaning to—involuntarily. Once started, I could not have stopped myself, had I tried.”
“Don’t speak like that,” he rejoined hastily and with a look of reproach. “Don’t make me feel that you repent your confidence. It was only right, only natural, that you should unbosom yourself to me. It was the consecration of our friendship. Friendship is never complete until it has been tested in the fire of sorrow. Mere companionship in pleasure is not
friendship. No matter how intimately we might have seen each other, we should never have been friends until you had told me this.—Moreover, don’t get up. You must not think of going away as yet.”
“As yet? Why, I have outstaid the night itself. I must make haste or I shall be behindhand at the shop.”
“You must not think of returning to the shop to-day. You must go to bed and have some sleep. When you awake again I shall have a proposition to lay before you. For the present follow me—”
“But Mr. Merivale—”
“But I anticipate your objections. But they are worthless. But the shop may, and I devoutly hope it will, be struck by lightning. Furthermore, if you are anxious about it, I’ll send word around to the effect that you’re unwell and not able to report for duty. That’s the truth. But any how I have a particular reason for wanting to keep possession of you for a while longer. Now, be tractable—as an indulgence, do what I ask.”
There was no resisting the appeal in Merivale’s big blue eyes. I followed him as he desired. He led me into the adjoining room, where there were two narrow brass bedsteads side by side.
“You see,” he said, “I was prepared for you. Here is your couch, ready for your reception. It’s rather odd about this. I’m a great hand for presentiments: and experience has taught me to believe in their coming true. When I took these quarters I said to myself, ‘Pythias, the Damon you have been waiting for all these years will arrive while you are bivouacked here. Be therefore in a condition to welcome him properly.’ I don’t know why, but I was thoroughly persuaded, I felt in my bones, that Damon’s advent would occur during my occupancy of these rooms. So I bought two bedsteads and two dressing-stands instead of one. I have got the heroes of the old legend somewhat mixed up; can’t remember which was which: but I trust I’m not egotistic in assigning the part of Damon to you and keeping that of Pythias for myself. At any rate, it’s a mere figure of speech, and as such must be taken. Now, Damon or Pythias, whichever you may be, in begging you to make yourself comfortable here, I am simply inviting you to partake of your own.”
As he rattled on thus, he had produced sheets and blankets from a chest of drawers near at hand, and now was making the bed with the deftness of an expert.
“There,” he exclaimed, bestowing a farewell poke upon the pillow, “now go to bed with a clear conscience and a mind at peace. I shall speedily follow. In the morning—I mean in the afternoon—we will resume our session.”
He had the delicacy to leave me alone. I was too fatigued to reason about what I was doing. I undressed quickly, got into bed, and fell sound asleep.
The sunlight was streaming through the window when I awoke. Merivale was seated upon the foot of the bed.
“Ah,” he cried, as I opened my eyes, “welcome back!”
“Eh, how?” I queried, perplexed for the moment. “Oh yes; I remember. Have I been asleep long?”
“So long that I thought you were never going to wake up. It’s past four in the afternoon, and you have been sleeping steadily since six this morning. I had the utmost hardship in subduing my impatience. Ten solid hours of sleep! You must have been thoroughly exhausted.”
“You ought to have roused me. One can gorge one’s system with sleep as easily as with food. I have slept too much. But—but how shall I ever make amends at the shop?”
“Bother the shop! The shop no longer exists. I have caused its annihilation during the day.”
“Have you Aladdin’s lamp?
“I have a substitute for it, at least. The shop has been transported to Alaska.”
“That was unkind of you. Now I shall have to undergo the expense of a journey 佛山桑拿服务微信 thither. Besides, I prefer a more temperate climate.—But seriously, did you send word as you agreed to?”
“I saw Herr Schwartz personally.”
“Ah, that was very thoughtful. Did you succeed in appeasing him?”
“I told him that you wished to resign your position; and when he began to splutter, I added that in consideration of the trouble he would be put to, you were willing to forgive him whatever back pay he owed you; and when he declared that he owed you no back pay at all, I said you would be willing to forgive him any way on general principles, and think no more about it. Then I ordered beer and cigars and pronounced the magic syllable ‘selbst’ and in the end he appeared quite reconciled.”
“Nonsense. Be serious. What did you say?”
“I am serious. That is what I said precisely.”