Anon the gentleman would offer some polite attention to his companion, but without the exchange of a syllable; and, indeed, words could hardly have been heard at the rate they were driving through the dark, on account of the loud noise of the wheels and horses' feet among the stones and uneven soil of the rising ground.
While these things were going on in the open air, an elderly gentleman of scientific attainments was seated in his library, two or three houses off, writing a philosophical treatise, and ever and anon moistening his clay and his labours with a glass of claret from a venerable-looking bottle which stood by his side.
Knipp, I was not heartily merry, though a glasse of wine did a little cheer me. After dinner to the office. Anon comes to me thither my Lord Bruncker, Mrs. Williams, and Knipp.
We pass through a passage into a back room, and are received with a roar of welcome from a crowd of men, almost invisible in the smoke. "We spake anon of thy misfortune, gentle youth! and that thy warriors of Assaye have charged the Academy in vain. Mayhap thou frightenedst the courtly school with barbarous visages of grisly war. Pendennis, thou dost wear a thirsty look!
Their road from the village of the chicken-batching ovens lay up along the left bank of the Nile, through an immense grove of lofty palm- trees, looking out from among which our visitors could ever and anon see the heads of the two great Pyramids; that is, such of them could see it as felt any solicitude in the matter.
"Then all the birdies sang with such a shout, That I anon awoke where that I lay, And with a start I turned me about To see this court: but all were went away: Then up I leaned, half yet in fear, And thus I wrote, as ye have heard to forrow,* Of lusty May upon the nineth morrow." *Before = already. Thus did Dunbar sing of the wedding of the Thistle and the Rose.
But the thing was out of the realm of science and its logic. Sometimes he grew fierce, and determined to face every possible agony, endure all, and dominate his misery; but ever and anon it returned with its own disabling sickness, bringing the sense of the unendurable. Of his own motion he saw nobody except in his practice.
It would have been amusing to note in the rigid face of the hardened and habitual man of peace and parchments a certain enthusiasm which ever and anon crossed his cheek, as the verses of the ballad rested on some allusion to the knightly House of Brandon and its old renown.
Thus he pursued his way down the Hasli Thal into the Bernese Oberland, restless, impatient, he knew not why, stopping seldom, and never long, and then rushing forward again, like the rushing river whose steps he followed, and in whose ice-cold waters ever and anon he bathed his wrists, to cool the fever in his blood; for the noonday sun was hot.
The tide that youth sails out on is a restless one, it has its passionate tides, lit by glowing sunshine, and anon by the glare of the tempest. It flows ever and anon smooth, and then agin rough rocks of disappointment checks its swift glad flow, and what it calls despair, but which dwindles down into nothin' more than regret time and agin.