Full text: The waves

let the door open, the glass door that is for ever turning on 
its hinges. Let a woman come, let a young man in evening- 
dress with a moustache sit down: is there anything that 
they can tell me? No! I know all that, too. And if she 
suddenly gets up and goes, * My dear,’ I say, ‘ you no longer 
make me look after you” The shock of the falling wave 
which has sounded all my life, which woke me so that I 
saw the gold loop on the cupboard, no longer makes quiver 
what I hold. 
“ So now, taking upon me the mystery of things, I could 
go like a spy without leaving this place, without stirring 
from my chair. I can visit the remote verges of the desert 
lands where the savage sits by the camp-fire. Day rises; 
the girl lifts the watery fire-hearted jewels to her brow; 
the sun levels his beams straight at the sleeping house ; the 
waves deepen their bars; they fling themselves on shore; 
back blows the spray : sweeping their waters they surround 
the boat and the sea-holly. The birds sing in chorus ; deep 
tunnels run between the stalks of flowers; the house is 
whitened : the sleeper stretches; gradually all is astir. 
Light floods the room and drives shadow beyond shadow 
to where they hang in folds inscrutable. What does the 
central shadow hold? Something ? Nothing? I do not 
“ Oh, but there is your face. I catch your eye. I, who had 
been thinking myself so vast, a temple, a church, a whole 
universe, unconfined and capable of being everywhere on 
the verge of things and here too, am now nothing but what 
you see—an elderly man, rather heavy, grey above the ears, 
who (I see myself in the glass) leans one elbow on the table, 
and holds in his left hand a glass of old brandy. That is the 
blow you have dealt me. I have walked bang into the pillar- 
box. I reel from side to side. I put my hands to my head. 
My hat is off —I have dropped my stick. I have made an 
awful ass of myself and am justly laughed at by any passer-by. 
“Lord, how unutterably disgusting life is! What dirty 
tricks it plays us, one moment free ; the next, this. Here we 

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