He would force himself to a solitary day at times, and go out into the country with dog and gun, and tramp for miles, and wonder at himself. He had all sorts of fancies.
Then, with a sudden humor, he carried the light to the room where the boy was in sound sleep, with his head on one sturdy arm, his hair loose on the pillow, and his lips slightly parted and showing his white, even teeth; he looked at the boy a long time and fancied he could see some resemblance to the portrait in the set of the mouth and the nose and the brow, and he went back smiling at his fancies and thinking for the Major was sensitive to the claim of any drop of the blood in his own veins no matter how diluted.
It speaks quite as eloquently as does an old Bible of loving daily use, and adds the charm of interest in the quaint verse to reverence for the sacred word. A world of tender fancies springs into life as I turn over the pages of any old psalm-book "reading between the lines," and as I decipher the faded script on the titlepage.
Like all children free to amuse themselves, who are accustomed to follow the dictates of their own lively fancies, she was very hard on her clothes, her shoes, and above all on those embroidered drawers. A mother when she reproves her child thinks only of the child; her voice is gentle; she does not raise it unless driven to extremities, or when the child is much in fault.
That it should be a perfect system was less important than that it should be definite and fixed, based upon intelligent and well-considered principles, and adhered to, irrespective of the taste and fancies and crude speculations of the students or their friends.
It is as pretty as they, as light, as fresh, as delicate, as changing; and no doubt the graceful foam, if it thinks at all, fancies that it is the chief consummate product of the ocean, and that the main end of the vast currents of the mighty deep is to yield a few glittering bubbles like those. At least, this seems to me what many of the fair ladies think, as to themselves.
Nothing proves that the love I suspected plays any part in this curious affair; and I will allow you to think that I and my terrors, with which I tormented you, were terribly absurd, in short, that I have played the part of Belise in the Femmes Savantes, who fancies that every man she sees is fatally in love with her. I therefore cheerfully abandon that stupid conclusion.
'Of the exaltations and depressions of your mind you delight to talk, and I hate to hear. Drive all such fancies from you. 'On the day when I received your letter, I think, the foregoing page was written; to which, one disease or another has hindered me from making any additions. I am now a little better. But sickness and solitude press me very heavily.
"I had a friend once at Oxford, a wonderful fellow, full of strange dreams and occult fancies. He was one of those who believed in the Divine half of man. He used to study curious old books and manuscripts till long past midnight, and never seemed tired. His father had lived by choice in some desert corner of Egypt for forty years, and in Egypt this boy had been born. Of his mother he never spoke.
What cared we for outward visions, when Agamemnon, Achilles, and a thousand other heroes of the great Past were marching in ghostly procession through our fancies?