Thursday, March 30, 2006

04Dec1858, Silence Was Appalling

HAGLEY, December 4th, 1858.
—Soft and pleasant. We made much of the boys : blew soap-bubbles with them (one of mine, by the bye, floated from the perron to the witch elm, where we lost sight of it), played draughts, whist, and backgammon in the evening. I marched in solitary state at 8 to church, which Cooper and I divided between us. Uncle B. reconnoitred from behind the curtain : looked at me in the foreground, dim emptiness behind me, and retreated. After a pause of agitating suspense, Papa and Mr. Boyle came. In due time both clergy walked into the reading-desks, where they stood for full 3 minutes. The silence was appalling. It might have seemed sublime ; but somehow 'twas only ridiculous. After those ominous minutes, Rector and Curate stalked back to the vestry, and Papa and I and Cooper returned to our respective homes.

No comments: