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The Far Horizon   By: (1852-1931)

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E text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Danny Wool, Lorna Hanrahan, Mary Musser, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

THE FAR HORIZON

BY

LUCAS MALET

(MRS. MARY ST. LEGER HARRISON)

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

The Wages of Sin

A Counsel of Perfection

Colonel Enderby's Wife

Little Peter

The Carissima

The Gateless Barrier

The History of Sir Richard Calmady

"Ask for the Old Paths, where is the Good Way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest." JEREMIAS.

"The good man is the bad man's teacher; the bad man is the material upon which the good man works. If the one does not value his teacher, if the other does not love his material, then despite their sagacity they must go far astray. This is a mystery of great import." FROM THE SAYINGS OF LAO TZU.

..."Cherchons à voir les choses comme elles sont, et ne voulons pas avoir plus d'esprit que le bon Dieu! Autrefois on croyait que la canne à sucre seule donnait le sucre, on en tire à peu près de tout maintenant. Il est de même de la poésie. Extrayons la de n'importe quoi, car elle git en tout et partout. Pas un atome de matière qui ne contienne pas la poésie. Et habituons nous à considerer le monde comme un oeuvre d'art, dont il faut reproduire les procédées dans nos oeuvres." GUSTAVE FLAUBERT.

CHAPTER I

Dominic Iglesias stood watching while the lingering June twilight darkened into night. He was tired in body, but his mind was eminently, consciously awake, to the point of restlessness, and this was unusual with him. He had raised the lower sash of each of the three tall, narrow windows to its extreme height, since the first floor sitting room, though of fair proportions, appeared close. His thought refused the limits of it, and ranged outward over the expanse of Trimmer's Green, the roadway and houses bordering it, to the far northwest, that region of hurried storm, of fierce, equinoctial passion and conflict, now paved with plaques of flat, dingy, violet cloud opening on smoky rose red wastes of London sunset. All day thunder had threatened, but had not broken. And, even yet, the face of heaven seemed less peaceful than remonstrant, a sullenness holding it as of troops in retreat denied satisfaction of imminent battle.

Otherwise the outlook was wholly pacific, one of middle class suburban security. The Green aforesaid is bottle shaped, the neck of it debouching into a crowded westward wending thoroughfare; while Cedar Lodge, from the first floor windows of which Mr. Iglesias contemplated the oncoming of night, being situate in the left shoulder, so to speak, of the bottle, commanded, diagonally, an uninterrupted view of the whole extent of it. Who Trimmer was, how he came by a Green, and why, or what he trimmed on it, it is idle at this time of day to attempt to determine. Whether, animated by a desire for the public welfare, he bequeathed it in high charitable sort; or whether, fame taking a less enviable turn with him, he just simply was hanged there, has afforded matter of heated controversy to the curious in questions of suburban nomenclature and topography. But in this case, as in so many other and more august ones, the origins defy discovery. Suffice it, therefore, that the name remains, as does the open space the latter forming one of those minor "lungs of London" which offer such amiable oases in the great city's less aristocratic residential districts. Formerly the Green boasted a row of fine elms, and was looked on by discreetly handsome eighteenth century mansions and villas, set in spacious gardens. But of these, the great majority Cedar Lodge being a happy exception has vanished under the hand of the early Victorian speculative builder; who, in their stead, has erected full complement of the architectural platitudes common to his age and taste. Dignity has very sensibly given place to gentility. Nevertheless the timid red, or sickly yellow grey, brick of the existing houses is pleasingly veiled by ivy and Virginia creeper, while no shop front obtrudes derogatory suggestion of retail trade... Continue reading book >>




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