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composed upon westminster bridge essays

composed upon westminster bridge essaysComposed upon westminster bridge essays -Nothing is to be seen any more, except one wedge of road and bank which our lights repeat incessantly. We are warmly wrapped in a rug; we are protected from wind and rain. Let me see; there was a great deal of beauty brought in to-day: farmhouses; cliffs standing out to sea; marbled fields; mottled fields; red feathered skies; all that.We are both quite wrong in our judgments no doubt, but that is inevitable. No picture of any sort came to interpret it, to make it intelligible to the mind. We put out the eyes and the ears; but we pinion it there, with a bottle of medicine, a cup of tea, a dying fire, like a rook on a barn door; but a rook that still lives, even with a nail through it.O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am. What remains is what there was when William came over from France ten centuries ago: a line of cliffs running out to sea. The freckle of red villas on the coast is washed over by a thin lucid lake of brown air, in which they and their redness are drowned.As he smoked his pipe, with his foot in the garden. It was as if human nature had cried out against some iniquity, some inexpressible horror. Some lumps of clay had fallen among the tea things. The fire looked like a small spot of dusty light feebly trying to escape from the embarrassing pressure of the pouring sunshine. Grey sat on a hard chair in the corner looking—but at what? She did not change the focus of her eyes when visitors came in. She had never used her eyes on anything minute and difficult; merely upon faces, and dishes and fields. " she cried, and thrust the blue and white china bowl into our hands as if she never wanted to be reminded of her quixotic generosity.Such vigour came rolling in from the fields and the down beyond that it was difficult to keep the eyes strictly turned upon the book.What remained for him but to fly to a third corner and then to a fourth?This is, however, not true of the others, particularly of the first four essays.Knowing this, one naturally hesitates to publish them as they were left.Also there was disappearance and the death of the individual.The rooks too were keeping one of their annual festivities; soaring round the tree tops until it looked as if a vast net with thousands of black knots in it had been cast up into the air; which, after a few moments sank slowly down upon the trees until every twig seemed to have a knot at the end of it.This e Book is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.At the time of her death she was already engaged in getting together essays for a further volume, which she proposed to publish in the autumn of 1941 or the spring Of 1942.That was all he could do, in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea. Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body.The Second Picture In the middle of the night a loud cry rang through the village. Her eyes had ceased to focus themselves; it may be that they had lost the power. And now at the age of ninety-two they saw nothing but a zigzag of pain wriggling across the door, pain that twisted her legs as it wriggled; jerked her body to and fro like a marionette. In that pause she saw herself in the past at ten, at twenty, at twenty-five. So, guiltily, but suspecting nevertheless how badly we had been fleeced, we carried it back to the little hotel where, in the middle of the night, the innkeeper quarrelled so violently with his wife that we all leant out into the courtyard to look, and saw the vines laced about among the pillars and the stars white in the sky. Here vaguely one can trace symmetrical straight avenues of doors and windows; here under the lamps are floating islands of pale light through which pass quickly bright men and women, who, for all their poverty and shabbiness, wear a certain look of unreality, an air of triumph, as if they had given life the slip, so that life, deceived of her prey, blunders on without them.I have not hesitated to do this, since I always revised the mss.She left behind her a considerable number of essays, sketches, and short stories, some unpublished and some previously published in newspapers; there are, indeed, enough to fill three or four volumes. Some of them are now published for the first time; others have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman & Nation, The Yale Review, The New York Herald Tribune, The Atlantic Monthly, The Listener, The New Republic, and Lysistrata.Nevertheless after a pause of exhaustion the legs fluttered again.of her books and articles in this way before they were published. Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths; they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights and ivy-blossom which the commonest yellow-underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain never fails to rouse in us.He flew vigorously to one corner of his compartment, and, after waiting there a second, flew across to the other.Then, suddenly, the net would be thrown into the air again in a wider circle this time, with the utmost clamour and vociferation, as though to be thrown into the air and settle slowly down upon the tree tops were a tremendously exciting experience.composed upon westminster bridge essaysDe nombreux coloris de top bustiers en crochet extensible, et de tulle doux pour faire le plus beau des tutus à votre petite princesse.I found among my wife's papers the original draft of the article in her handwriting and no fewer than eight or nine complete revisions of it which she had herself typed out.It was as if someone had taken a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers, had set it dancing and zig-zagging to show us the true nature of life.As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. Yet, because he was so small, and so simple a form of the energy that was rolling in at the open window and driving its way through so many narrow and intricate corridors in my own brain and in those of other human beings, there was something marvellous as well as pathetic about him.Its remarks are often entirely disconnected with what has been happening, but must be attended to because of their very abruptness) said: "Look at that." It was a light; brilliant, freakish; inexplicable. "A star"; and for that second it held its odd flicker of unexpectedness and danced and beamed. "You, erratic and impulsive self that you are, feel that the light over the downs there emerging, dangles from the future. Now we have got to collect ourselves; we have got to be one self. Now I, who preside over the company, am going to arrange in order the trophies which we have all brought in.The plough was already scoring the field opposite the window, and where the share had been, the earth was pressed flat and gleamed with moisture.We have been over that stretch, and are already forgotten. Look at the moving light in that hill; it is the headlight of a car.All this—Italy, the windy morning, the vines laced about the pillars, the Englishman and the secrets of his soul—rise up in a cloud from the china bowl on the mantelpiece. It floats us smoothly down a stream; resting, pausing, the brain sleeps perhaps as it looks.You see me leaning against the door of the smithy with a horseshoe in my hand and you think as you go by: "How picturesque!So thinking I passed them, filling in the picture as fully, as completely as I could, noticing the colour of her dress, of his eyes, seeing the sandy cat slinking round the cottage door. The sheep grazing, the waves of the valley, the farmhouse, the puppy, the dancing butterflies were in fact like that all through. It's for young Rogers, the sailor," the woman answered, staring at me. Sheets and pyjamas crumble and dissolve in their hands, because, though they do not state this in so many words, it seems silly to take the washing round to Mrs. Like a fling of grain the birds settled on the land. I'm an ignorant old woman—I can't read or write." So when the colour went out of the doorway, she could not see the other page which is then lit up; or hear the voices that have argued, sung, talked for hundreds of years. The evening hour, too, gives us the irresponsibility which darkness and lamplight bestow. As we step out of the house on a fine evening between four and six, we shed the self our friends know us by and become part of that vast republican army of anonymous trampers, whose society is so agreeable after the solitude of one's own room.Somewhere in that region one's discontent lay; and it was allied with the idea that one's nature demands mastery over all that it receives; and mastery here meant the power to convey what one saw now over Sussex so that another person could share it.The same energy which inspired the rooks, the ploughmen, the horses, and even, it seemed, the lean bare-backed downs, sent the moth fluttering from side to side of his square of the window-pane. One was, indeed, conscious of a queer feeling of pity for him.Nevertheless the present specimen, with his narrow hay-coloured wings, fringed with a tassel of the same colour, seemed to be content with life.Grey Street Haunting: A London Adventure Jones and Wilkinson "Twelfth Night" At the Old Vic Madame de Sévigné The Humane Art Two Antiquaries: Walpole and Cole The Rev William Cole The Historian and "The Gibbon" Reflections at Sheffield Place The Man at the Gate Sara Coleridge "Not One of Us" Henry James: 1. Professions for Women Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid It is ten years since Virginia Woolf published her last volume of collected essays, The Common Reader: Second Series.Thus displayed one could not get over the strangeness of it.And further, there was another prick of the pin: one was wasting one's chance; for beauty spread at one's right hand, at one's left; at one's back too; it was escaping all the time; one could only offer a thimble to a torrent that could fill baths, lakes.The vanishing road and the window lit for a second and then dark.The possibilities of pleasure seemed that morning so enormous and so various that to have only a moth's part in life, and a day moth's at that, appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meagre opportunities to the full, pathetic.Look, I will make a little figure for your satisfaction; here he comes.And then the body who had been silent up to now began its song, almost at first as low as the rush of the wheels: "Eggs and bacon; toast and tea; fire and a bath; fire and a bath; jugged hare," it went on, "and red currant jelly; a glass of wine with coffee to follow, with coffee to follow—and then to bed and then to bed." "Off with you," I said to my assembled selves. [Written in June 1929.] The First Picture It is impossible that one should not see pictures; because if my father was a blacksmith and yours was a peer of the realm, we must needs be pictures to each other. composed upon westminster bridge essays The psychologists must explain; one looks up, one is overcome by beauty extravagantly greater than one could expect—there are now pink clouds over Battle; the fields are mottled, marbled—one's perceptions blow out rapidly like air balls expanded by some rush of air, and then, when all seems blown to its fullest and tautest, with beauty and beauty and beauty, a pin pricks; it collapses. So far as I could tell, the pin had something to do with one's own impotency.If she had lived, there is no doubt that she would have made large alterations and revisions in nearly all these essays before allowing them to appear in volume form.The author of the book subsequently wrote to the editor saying that the article was so good that he would greatly like to have the typescript of it if the editor would give it to him.There they sat as the car sped along, noticing everything: a hay stack; a rust red roof; a pond; an old man coming home with his sack on his back; there they sat, matching every colour in the sky and earth from their colour box, rigging up little models of Sussex barns and farmhouses in the red light that would serve in the January gloom.There, windows were lit by our lamps for a second; the light is out now. Then suddenly a fourth self (a self which lies in ambush, apparently dormant, and jumps upon one unawares. I feel suddenly attached not to the past but to the future. By day and by night Sussex in five centuries will be full of charming thoughts, quick, effective beams." The sun was now low beneath the horizon. None of my selves could see anything beyond the tapering light of our headlamps on the hedge. "Now," I said, "comes the season of making up our accounts.We do NOT keep any e Books in compliance with a particular paper edition. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file.I have decided to do so, first because they seem to me worth republishing, and second because at any rate those which have already appeared in journals have in fact been written and revised with immense care.But relinquish, I said (it is well known how in circumstances like these the self splits up and one self is eager and dissatisfied and the other stern and philosophical), relinquish these impossible aspirations; be content with the view in front of us, and believe me when I tell you that it is best to sit and soak; to be passive; to accept; and do not bother because nature has given you six little pocket knives with which to cut up the body of a whale.At odd moments during that day and the next the picture returned to one's mind, and one thought with envy, but with kindness, of the happy sailor and his wife; one wondered what they were doing, what they were saying now. Here at last was the village, and the churchyard through which one must pass; and the usual thought came, as one entered it, of the peacefulness of the place, with its shady yews, its rubbed tombstones, its nameless graves. As the shovels of yellow earth were thrown up, the children were sprawling about eating bread and jam and drinking milk out of large mugs. Stainless and boundless rest; space unlimited; untrodden grass; wild birds flying hills whose smooth uprise continue that wild flight. That bowl on the mantelpiece, for instance, was bought at Mantua on a windy day.They are hybrid creatures, neither gay like butterflies nor sombre like their own species.I do not think that Virginia Woolf ever contributed any article to any paper which she did not write and rewrite several times.While they are thus busied, I said to myself: Gone, gone; over, over; past and done with, past and done with. Draughts fan-blown by electric power will cleanse houses.But even as I did so, the unmistakable tokens of death showed themselves. The moth having righted himself now lay most decently and uncomplainingly composed. Leonards, their parades and their lodging houses, their bead shops and their sweet shops and their placards and their invalids and chars-á-bancs, are all obliterated.For some time the picture floated in my eyes, making most things appear much brighter, warmer, and simpler than usual; and making some things appear foolish; and some things wrong and some things right, and more full of meaning than before. And so one turned back home, with one's mind fixed on the sailor and his wife, making up picture after picture of them so that one picture after another of happiness and satisfaction might be laid over that unrest, that hideous cry, until it was crushed and silenced by their pressure out of existence. A man was digging a grave, and children were picnicking at the side of it while he worked. Peel when out there over the fields over the hills, there is no washing; no pinning of clothes to lines; mangling and ironing no work at all, but boundless rest. She was jerked again by another tweak of the tormenting hand. I can't read or write, and every morning when I crawls down stairs, I say I wish it were night; and every night, when I crawls up to bed, I say, I wish it were day. For there we sit surrounded by objects which perpetually express the oddity of our own temperaments and enforce the memories of our own experience.It might have been called "The Sailor's Homecoming" or some such title. The first had been swallowed up, and there was dead silence. The Third Picture The fine weather remained unbroken. This goodness, this safety were only on the surface. But there are circumstances in which it can become supremely desirable to possess one; moments when we are set upon having an object, an excuse for walking half across London between tea and dinner.Everything was right and good and as it should be, one felt about that picture. And then perhaps another cry, but less sexless, less wordless, comforted, appeased. There were the sheep clustered on the side of the hill; the valley broke in long tapering waves like the fall of smooth waters. One saw it all over again producing various little details—the blue colour of her dress, the shadow that fell from the yellow flowering tree—that one had not used before. The hour should be the evening and the season winter, for in winter the champagne brightness of the air and the sociability of the streets are grateful.It was a pleasant morning, mid-September, mild, benignant, yet with a keener breath than that of the summer months.The imagination supplied other pictures springing from that first one, a picture of the sailor cutting firewood, drawing water; and they talked about China; and the girl set his present on the chimney-piece where everyone who came could see it; and she sewed at her baby clothes, and all the doors and windows were open into the garden so that the birds were flittering and the bees humming, and Rogers—that was his name—could not say how much to his liking all this was after the China seas. It was a woman's voice, made by some extremity of feeling almost sexless, almost expressionless. The gravedigger's wife, a fat fair woman, had propped herself against a tombstone and spread her apron on the grass by the open grave to serve as a tea-table. Of all this however only seven foot by four could be seen from Mrs. That was the size of her front door which stood wide open, though there was a fire burning in the grate. We were leaving the shop when the sinister old woman plucked at our skirts and said she would find herself starving one of these days, but, "Take it!Shortly before her death she wrote an article reviewing a book.One is apt to forget all about life, seeing it humped and bossed and garnished and cumbered so that it has to move with the greatest circumspection and dignity. composed upon westminster bridge essays One's sympathies, of course, were all on the side of life. As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder.Again, the thought of all that life might have been had he been born in any other shape caused one to view his simple activities with a kind of pity.There was something wholesome and satisfactory in the sight of such happiness; life seemed sweeter and more enviable than before. Some light ought to appear tossing, moving agitatedly. So they had stood at the cottage door, he with his bundle on his back, she just lightly touching his sleeve with her hand. Thus gradually going over the picture in every detail, one persuaded oneself by degrees that it was far more likely that this calm and content and good will lay beneath the surface than anything treacherous, sinister. " She rushed into the road and cried out..."Here, Tommy, you're all covered with earth! There are moments even in England, now, when even the busiest, most contented suddenly let fall what they hold—it may be the week's washing. Every morning I pray God to let me pass." The morning spread seven foot by four green and sunny. We are not then taunted as in the summer by the longing for shade and solitude and sweet airs from the hayfields." I, seeing you sitting so much at your ease in the car, almost as if you were going to bow to the populace, think what a picture of old luxurious aristocratical England! Yet I don't seem able to die." So we—humanity—insist that the body shall still cling to the wire.Great sheer slabs of rock, tree tufted, surrounded him. Indeed it seemed as if the reality of things were displayed there on the rug.All that could be seen out of the window was the branch of lilac tree hanging motionless and ponderous across the road. The wire was spasmodically jerked by a cruel invisible hand. There, too, was the melancholy Englishman, who rose among the coffee cups and the little iron tables and revealed the secrets of his soul—as travellers do. The eye is not a miner, not a diver, not a seeker after buried treasure.Does this little figure advancing through beauty, through death, to the economical, powerful and efficient future when houses will be cleansed by a puff of hot wind satisfy you?I feel life left behind even as the road is left behind. Lights intense and firmly directed will go over the earth, doing the work.I cannot hold this—I cannot express this—I am overcome by it—I am mastered.But I, being somewhat different, sat aloof and melancholy.Evening is kind to Sussex, for Sussex is no longer young, and she is grateful for the veil of evening as an elderly woman is glad when a shade is drawn over a lamp, and only the outline of her face remains. It was still too early for lamps; and too early for stars.And then there was the sudden dancing light, that was hung in the future.Look at him; there on my knee." We sat and looked at the figure we had made that day.I have printed them as they stand, except that I have punctuated them and corrected obvious verbal mistakes.We cried out together: "Yes, yes," as if affirming something, in a moment of recognition. Good-night." And the rest of the journey was performed in the delicious society of my own body.She also intended to publish a new book of short stories, including in it some or all of Monday or Tuesday, which has been long out of print.Title: The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays Author: Virginia Woolf * A Project Gutenberg Australia e Book * e Book No.: 1203811Language: English Date first posted: October 2012 Date most recently updated: October 2012 Project Gutenberg Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included.While these two selves then held a colloquy about the wise course to adopt in the presence of beauty, I (a third party now declared itself) said to myself, how happy they were to enjoy so simple an occupation.We cannot possibly break out of the frame of the picture by speaking natural words.A fine young sailor carrying a bundle; a girl with her hand on his arm; neighbours gathering round; a cottage garden ablaze with flowers; as one passed one read at the bottom of that picture that the sailor was back from China, and there was a fine spread waiting for him in the parlour; and he had a present for his young wife in his bundle; and she was soon going to bear him their first child. Had it not been for that single cry in the night one would have felt that the earth had put into harbour; that life had ceased to drive before the wind; that it had reached some quiet cove and there lay anchored, hardly moving, on the quiet waters. Wherever one went, it might be for a long walk up into the hills, something seemed to turn uneasily beneath the surface, making the peace, the stability all round one seem a little unreal. And then to cheer oneself out of this apprehensive mood one turned to the picture of the sailor's homecoming. As the foxhunter hunts in order to preserve the breed of foxes, and the golfer plays in order that open spaces may be preserved from the builders, so when the desire comes upon us to go street rambling the pencil does for a pretext, and getting up we say: "Really I must buy a pencil," as if under cover of this excuse we could indulge safely in the greatest pleasure of town life in winter—rambling the streets of London. composed upon westminster bridge essays O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am. What remains is what there was when William came over from France ten centuries ago: a line of cliffs running out to sea. The freckle of red villas on the coast is washed over by a thin lucid lake of brown air, in which they and their redness are drowned. composed upon westminster bridge essays




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