Full text: The waves

authority. He lays the whirling dust clouds in my tremu- 
lous, my ignominiously agitated mind—how we danced 
round the Christmas tree and handing parcels they forgot 
me, and the fat"woman said, ¢ This little boy has no present,’ 
and gave me a shiny Union Jack from the top of the tree, 
and I cried with fury—to be remembered with pity. Now 
all is laid by his authority, his crucifix, and I feel come over 
me the sense of the earth under me, and my roots going down 
and down till they wrap themselves round some hardness at 
the centre. I recover my continuity, as he reads. I become 
a figure in the procession, a spoke in the huge wheel that 
turning, at last erects me, here and now. I have been in the 
dark ; I have been hidden ; but when: the wheel turns (as he 
reads) I rise into this dim light where I just perceive, but 
scarcely, kneeling boys, pillars and memorial brasses. There 
is no crudity here, no sudden kisses.” 
“The brute menaces my liberty,” said Neville, * when he 
prays. Unwarmed by imagination, his words fall cold on 
my head like paving-stones, while the gilt cross heaves on his 
waistcoat. ‘The words of authority are corrupted by those 
who speak them. I gibe and mock at this sad religion, at 
these tremulous, grief-stricken figures advancing, cadaverous 
and wounded, down a white road shadowed by fig trees 
where boys sprawl in the dust—naked boys ; and goatskins 
distended with wine hang at the tavern door. I was in 
Rome travelling with my father at Easter ; and the trembling 
figure of Christ's mother was borne niddle-noddling along 
the streets ; there went by also the stricken figure of Christ 
in a glass case. 
“Now I will lean sideways as if to scratch my thigh. 
So I shall see Percival. There he sits, upright among the 
smaller fry. He breathes through his straight nose rather 
heavily. His blue and oddly inexpressive eyes are fixed with 
pagan indifference upon the pillar opposite. He would 
make an admirable churchwarden. He should have a birch 
and beat little boys for misdemeanours. He is allied with 
the Latin phrases on the memorial brasses. He sees nothing ; 

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