Perhaps I am too tame, too domestic a magician. But how does one work up a little madness? I meet with mad people every day in the street, but I never thought before to wonder how they got mad. Perhaps I should go wandering on lonely moors and barren shores. That is always a popular place for lunatics - in novels and plays at any rate. Perhaps wild England will make me mad.
There was very little about her face and figure that was in any way remarkable, but it was the sort of face which, when animated by conversation or laughter, is completely transformed. She had a lovely disposition, a quick mind and a fondness for the comical. She was always very ready to smile and, since a smile is the most becoming ornament that any lady can wear, she had been known upon occasion to outshine women who were acknowledged beauties in three countries.
After two hours it stopped raining and in the same moment the spell broke, which Peroquet and the Admiral and Captain Jumeau knew by a curious twist of their senses, as if they had tasted a string quartet, or been, for a moment, deafened by the sight of colour blue.
When he awoke it was dawn. Or something like dawn. The light was watery, dim and incomparably sad. Vast, grey, gloomy hills rose up all around them and in between the hills there was a wide expanse of black bog. Stephen had never seen a landscape so calculated to reduce the onlooker to utter despair in an instant. "This is one of your kingdoms, I suppose, sir?" he said. "My kingdoms?" exclaimed the gentleman in surprize. "Oh, no! This is Scotland!
Such nonsense!" declared Dr Greysteel. "Whoever heard of cats doing anything useful!" "Except for staring at one in a supercilious manner," said Strange. "That has a sort of moral usefulness, I suppose, in making one feel uncomfortable and encouraging sober reflection upon one's imperfections.
I am, as far as I can tell, about a month behind Lord Byron. In every town we stop at we discover innkeepers, postillions, officials, burghers, potboys, and all kinds and sorts of ladies whose brains still seem somewhat deranged from their brief exposure to his lordship. And though my companions are careful to tell people that I am that dreadful being, an English magician, I am clearly nothing in comparison to an English poet and everywhere I go I enjoy the reputation- quite new to me, I assure you- of the quiet, good Englishman, who makes no noise and... Read more »
Houses, like people, are apt to become rather eccentric if left too much on their own; this house was the architectural equivalent of an old gentleman in a worn dressing-gown and torn slippers, who got up and went to bed at odd times of day, and who kept up a continual conversation with friends no one else could see.
Strange bent over these things, with a concentration to rival Minervois's own, questioning, criticizing and proposing. Strange and the two engravers spoke French to each other. To Strange's surprize Childermass understood perfectly and even addressed one or twoquestions to Minervois in his own language. Unfortunately, Childermass's French was so strongly accented by his native Yorkshire that Minervois did not understand and asked Strange if Childermass was Dutch.
He had once found himself in a room with Lady Bessborough's long-haired white cat. He happened to be dressed in an immaculate black coat and trousers, and was there thoroughly alarmed by the cat's stalking round and round and making motions as if it proposed to sit upon him. He waited until he believed himself to be unobserved, then he picked it up, opened a window, and tossed it out. Despite falling three storeys to the ground, the cat survived, but one of its legs was never quite right afterward and it always evinced the greatest dislike of gentlemen in... Read more »