Sunday, November 7, 2010

That Time is Past

      "Perhaps Magnus has the right idea," shouted Felix through cupped hands.
      "Get thee to a nunnery?"
     "The only thing I seem to learn from women is how little I have grown up..."
     "Let us recollect our sensations as children," intoned Ivan, climbing with difficulty to his feet. He held in his hand a soggy wad of banknotes he had extracted from his trouser pockets. 
     "I do believe, for the first time in living memory, that you are drunker than I am."
     "There will come a time when all this will become merely a dream," said Ivan, water dripping from his clothes as he staggered back to join Felix on the beach. He rooted inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a small notebook. Listen to this," he commanded. "But first of all I need light." He held the incriminating page of the newspaper over his lighter. The flames gathered around the photo of Felix and Isabella, darted over it until the image blackened and wrinkled and finally disintegrated into a crisp pyre of glittering ashes. Meanwhile Ivan read aloud from his notebook: "Do you not remember, Shelley, when first you read the third canto of Childe Harold to me? One evening after returning from Diodati. It was in our little room at Chapuis. The lake was before us and the mighty Jura. More fire," demanded Ivan as his light source was reduced to a pile of crisp smoking cinders. Felix lit another page of the newspaper and Ivan continued to read: “That time is past, and this will also pass, when I may weep to read these words, and again moralise on the flight of time. I think of our excursions on the lake. How we saw him - Byron,” he said, glancing significantly at Felix, “ - when he came down to us, or welcomed our arrival with a good-humoured smile. How vividly does each verse of his poem recall some scene of this kind to my memory! This time soon will also be a recollection. We may see him again, and again enjoy his society; but the time will also arrive when that which is now an anticipation will be only in the memory. Death will at length come and in the last moment all will be a dream.”  Ivan finished off the wine from the bottle and got to his feet. "You do know, of course, that we shall have to fight a duel." 

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