When morning broke, cold and sweet-breathed, russet clouds, dyed with the latent crimson day, thronging up from behind the hills, she tried to thrust down all the pains of the night as moody fancies. They did not go. Trifles without, too, beset her with vague fears. Ready was gone; for years he had not left the house at night.
Such things are trifles in health, but when the body is weakened by disease the habits of a lifetime cannot be so easily set aside. My house, like all bamboo structures in this country, was a leaning one, the strong westerly winds of the wet season having set all its posts out of the perpendicular to such a degree as to make me think it might someday possibly go over altogether.
"The virginally feminine mind," he pondered, "will be astounded, then I shall gain possession of her attention, and from trifles, from hocus-pocus, I shall pass on to that which will lead her to the centre of universal knowledge, where there is no superstition, no prejudices; where there is only a broad field for the testing of nature." It must be said that he was inconsistent in his lessons.
I dine with the dear fellow to- morrow and next day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but it would never do to spoil his feast-days. He always worries about me, and moddley-coddleys in the merest trifles. The news is sure to overset him. How on earth shall this be broken to Jack? 'He must be told, I suppose? said Rosa. 'My dear Rosa! who ought to be in our confidence, if not Jack?
This circumstance would seem to indicate that he considered Republican designations incompatible with the forms due to the clergy: the clergy were especially interested in the restoration of monarchy. It may, perhaps, be thought that I dwell too much on trifles; but I lived long enough in Bonaparte's confidence to know the importance he attached to trifles.
I said, these people that ought to be here have been dead, and still, and moldering to dust for ages and ages, and will never care for the trifles and follies of life any more for ever "Owing to circumstances, etc., etc., there will not be any performance to-night." Close down the curtain. Put out the lights.
Many canoes came off, with every appearance of friendly disposition; we gave them a few trifles, and they seemed to insist on making a return for every thing they received; cocoa-nuts, yams, and bananas, were held out on the point of a long spear, or pole, for they seemed afraid to touch the ship; the boat which was sounding endeavoured to make them understand that we wanted water, and showed a small keg, intimating by signs that they wanted it filled; the people in one of the canoes went to the boat, received the keg, went immediately on shore, filled it, and brought it back to the boat: the officer then gave them another small keg, which he meant as a present, but it was immediately sent on shore by another canoe: in the mean time a breeze sprung up, the boat steered along shore and the ship followed: the people who had taken the last keg, after having filled it, followed our boat with the utmost speed, came up with her and delivered it; this I thought a striking proof of the honesty of these people, and it will particularly appear so, when it is considered, that the keg was hooped with iron.
There was in the apartment that air which bespeaks the struggle for appearances, that struggle familiar to those of limited income and vain aspirings, who want the taste which smooths all inequalities and gives a smile to home; that taste which affection seems to prompt, if not to create, which shows itself in a thousand nameless, costless trifles, each a grace.
Brenton confessed to herself that Scott might easily become a little erratic now and then, might let go his hold upon the one thing needful in order to gratify his curiosity concerning the touch of less essential, more alluring trifles. He needed the steady, sturdy influence of some one outside himself to keep him always in the beaten tracks.