Is this right, Miss Percival?" "It seems not," I said; "but the tideless hearts, what of them?" "Oh, they are the hardest of all. Think! Imagine one of those serene, iridescent rings of land, moored close beside the cliff, at which the waves never rest from beating.
The sea lies dark and clear below, ever tideless, often still as a woodland pool; then, sometimes, it rises suddenly in deep-toned wrath, smiting the face of the cliff, booming through the low-mouthed caves, curling its great green curls and combing them out to frothing ringlets along the strips of beach, winding itself about the rock of Conca in a heavily gleaming sheet and whirling its wraith of foam to heaven, the very ghost of storm.
Now, the outer roadstead of Marseilles harbor is one of the most awkward places in the Mediterranean for a disabled vessel. Though the Gulf of Lions is almost tideless, it has strong and treacherous currents. The configuration of the rocky coast, guarded as it is by small islands and sunken reefs, does not allow much seaway until a lighthouse, some miles distant from the mainland, is passed.
And I said to myself, if "it is the pace that kills," these people are making a strong bid for immortality. I hailed the lazily moving craft, waving my hat, and the slow-going tourists called back cheerily. By and by I came to a great, wide plain that stretched away like a tideless summer sea. The wheat and lentils and pulse were planted in long strips.
How true had been the instinct which had told her that she was drawing near to a climax in her life! Had ever a woman before her been brought in a flash to such a cruel insight? It was as if a tideless sea, by some horrible miracle, retreated, leaving naked rocks which till that moment had never been seen by mortal eyes, hideous and grotesque rocks covered with slime and ooze.
So all of us, islanded on our little individual lives, lie in that great ocean of love, all the dimensions of which are immeasurable, and which stretches above, beneath, around, shoreless, tideless, bottomless, endless. But, remember, this ocean of love you can shut out of your lives.
Needless to say, I had no eyes for beauty. The wooded inlets we dived into gave a brief respite from wind and spindrift, but called into use the lead and the centre-board tackle two new and cumbrous complexities. Davies's passion for intricate navigation had to be sated even in these secure and tideless waters.
How much easier is it to stand at the window, with the police battering at the door, and, stimulated by its morbid interest, blow out our brains before the gaping crowd which will, by the way, take exactly the same morbid interest in the shooting of a horse in the street than to retire into the silence of the prison-cell or seclusion of the tideless backwater, and there work out our salvation amongst those who do not know if our name is Smith or Jones or Brown and much less care!
Hot-foot came the couriers from Charles to Andrea Doria, with orders to take Dragut dead or alive, but alive for choice; and up and down the tideless sea in the summer of 1549 did the great Genoese seaman range in search of the bold corsair. Doria was getting a very old man now, but his eye was undimmed, his strength yet tireless, his vigilance and zeal in the service of his master unabated.
Instead of a sea rover a storekeeper! Instead of romance Sargasso!" and he gestured with his pipe in his hand. "You understand, Louise? That's what I meant when I spoke of the Sargasso Sea t'other day. It was my doom to live in the tideless and almost motionless Sea of Sargasso. "But my mind didn't stay tame ashore," pursued Cap'n Abe.