There was an old-fashioned garden on one side, with a running flame of hollyhocks hemming it in; the background was a dark green oak and maple grove; and in a clover meadow beyond the garden was a colony of beehives. It looked an ideal, storybook place, and I wished it might be the Valley Farm, but thought such a thing too good to be true.
Hilyard seemed to be invested, and she had sometimes wondered how Eliot was able to resist it and treat her with the same cool detachment which he accorded to other people. To her there was something magnetic in Cara's personality. Perhaps her very silence about herself, and the vague background of an unhappy marriage of which Ann was dimly aware, contributed towards it.
And here, too, against the sunlit background, radiant like an aureola, stood out the three superposed churches which at the voice of Bernadette had sprung from the rock to the glory of the Blessed Virgin.
There was a central seated figure of Buddha thirty feet high, heavily gilt and studded with turquoises and precious stones, with a canopy and background of golden lotus leaves. On either side were attendant female figures; and images of Buddhist gods, larger than life size, stood in double rows.
Shakespeare is wont to take some familiar story, to lay his scene in some place the name of which, at least, is familiar, well knowing the reserve of power that lies in the familiar as a background, when things are set in front of it under a new and unexpected light. But in the Tempest the scene is laid nowhere, or certainly in no country laid down on any map. Nowhere, then?
Our ideal then for our country, for the work and place of Home Missions in it, for ourselves as Christian patriots and believers in Home Missions, is essentially a basic source of power. Into the ideal for our country must enter the inspiring conception of the nation which will include the background of its yesterday.
Madame von Blucher, who had modestly kept somewhat in the background, turned very pale, and leaned tremblingly upon the arm of General Scharnhorst, who smiled and whispered, "Blucher is grand! He is a true fire-king among the will-o'-the- wisps!"
The general appearance of the coast from the lake was somewhat uninviting. The land appeared to be covered everywhere with the dense unbroken forest, and though there were some gently sloping hills and slight elevations, showing the margin of extensive clearings, there was a general want of a background of high hills or mountains, which imparts so much interest to the scenery of every country.
During the rest of the evening he kept much in the background in order to observe the company, and was much astonished thereby. The tone of this little society, as much removed from vulgar gossip as from affected pedantry, was truly elevated.
But this background of a great city, of an empire, is not essential to the breadth of treatment upon which we insist in fiction, to broad characterization, to the play of imagination about common things which transfigures them into the immortal beauty of artistic creations.