At all events, I am not disappointed; and more may yet be procured. There remains much of interest, in the way of minutiae, which I expect to learn to-morrow. I know now what made that antarctic region more than tropical, and what the white curtain was and is. I know how the hieroglyphics came in the caverns of black marl.
There were a few mothers whose actions I had the patience to watch, despite the wearisome minutiae of the rearing and the slowness of the result. These abandoned their dwellings after the departure of their young; and each went to weave a new one for herself on the wire net-work of the cage. They were rough-and-ready summaries, the work of a night.
How his search for ultimate principles involved a mastery of the minutiae of the Venetian school I could only guess. But one could imagine the process. Seeking to ground his personal preferences in a general esthetic, he would have found his data absolutely untrustworthy. How could he presume to interpret a Giorgione or a Titian when what they painted was undetermined?
They were well-cut eyes, moreover, of a yellowish-brown color, and I used to remark as a little child for children observe the minutiae of personal peculiarities much more closely than their elders that the iris of both orbs was speckled with green and golden spots, which seemed to mix and dilate occasionally, and gave them a decidedly kaleidoscopic effect.
For, though it might be gratifying to a mere interest of curiosity, yet I believe that we should both be grieved if anything were to unsettle in our feelings the mysterious sanctities of Jerusalem, or to disturb that awful twilight which will for ever brood over Judea by letting in upon it the 'common light of day; and this effect would infallibly take place, if any one department of daily life, as it existed in Judea, were brought with all the degrading minutiae of its details within the petty finishing of a domestic portrait.
The sunken cheeks and pinched nose told little of the quality of the life that flickered behind those clear blue eyes of hers. Despite the minutiae of wrinkle-work that somehow failed to weazen them, her eyes were clear as a girl's clear, out-looking, and far- seeing, and with an open and unblinking steadfastness of gaze that was disconcerting. The remarkable thing was the distance between them.
But Colonel Talbot was in every point the English soldier. His whole soul was devoted to the service of his king and country, without feeling any pride in knowing the theory of his art with the Baron, or its practical minutiae with the Major, or in applying his science to his own particular plans of ambition, like the Chieftain of Glennaquoich.
Who knows if it is not owing to a less frequent intercourse with this sublime spirit that we must partially attribute the narrowness of mind so common to the dwellers in towns, always bent under the minutiae which dwarf and wither their soul, whilst the soul of the nomad remains open and free as the firmament beneath which he pitches his tent?
He therefore naturally wished to make the most scrupulous and detailed observation of the environment. Thus is explained the immense labor in preparation which his stories cost him the story of "Madame Bovary," of "The Sentimental Education," and "Bouvard and Pecuchet," documents containing as much minutiae as his historical stories.
"Of the late Henrik Ericksen, as you say." He said no more for a moment and sat smoking and looking from face to face. Then: "That is the subject of my note, gentlemen," he added. "The other minutiae are of no immediate importance." "Non d'un p'tit bonhomme!" whispered Gaston Max. "I see!