Objects before perceived with difficulty, now glimmered ambiguously. Bedded in strange vapors, the great foot-light cast a dubious, half demoniac glare across the waters, like the phantasmagoric stream sent athwart a London flagging in a night-rain from an apothecary's blue and green window.
But I am also bound to say that it was not really applicable to Philip. He is not as generous as Alice, but I had no good reason to believe that kindly concession would be wasted on him. They were partly drowned by the clatter with which he dragged his big box across the floor, and filled it with properties of all kinds, from the Dragon to the foot-light reflectors.
The hand reached up unseen from below the horizon, and set the lamp down right on the rim of the horizon, as on a threshold; as much as to say, Gentlemen warriors, permit me a little to light up this rather gloomy looking subject. The lamp was the round harvest moon; the one solitary foot-light of the scene. But scarcely did the rays from the lamp pierce that languid haze.
Hope and the world are full; and he who drags into book-pages a phase or two of the great life of passion, of endurance, of love, of sorrow, is but wetting a feather in the sea that breaks ceaselessly along the great shore of the years. Every man's heart is a living drama; every death is a drop-scene; every book only a faint foot-light to throw a little flicker on the stage.
Herr Stahr, who has no little fondness for the foot-light style of phrase, says, "It may easily be imagined that he himself regarded his appointment as an insult rather than as an honor." Lessing himself merely says that it was a matter of indifference to him, which is much more in keeping with his character and with the value of the intended honor.