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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesKenelm Chillingly - Book 2 - Chapter 18
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Kenelm Chillingly - Book 2 - Chapter 18 Post by :Adam_D_Kohnke Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :3140

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Kenelm Chillingly - Book 2 - Chapter 18

BOOK II CHAPTER XVIII

IN his room, solitary and brooding, sat the defeated hero of a hundred fights. It was now twilight; but the shutters had been partially closed all day, in order to exclude the sun, which had never before been unwelcome to Tom Bowles, and they still remained so, making the twilight doubly twilight, till the harvest moon, rising early, shot its ray through the crevice, and forced a silvery track amid the shadows of the floor.

The man's head drooped on his breast; his strong hands rested listlessly on his knees: his attitude was that of utter despondency and prostration. But in the expression of his face there were the signs of some dangerous and restless thought which belied not the gloom but the stillness of the posture. His brow, which was habitually open and frank, in its defying aggressive boldness, was now contracted into deep furrows, and lowered darkly over his downcast, half-closed eyes. His lips were so tightly compressed that the face lost its roundness, and the massive bone of the jaw stood out hard and salient. Now and then, indeed, the lips opened, giving vent to a deep, impatient sigh, but they reclosed as quickly as they had parted. It was one of those crises in life which find all the elements that make up a man's former self in lawless anarchy; in which the Evil One seems to enter and direct the storm; in which a rude untutored mind, never before harbouring a thought of crime, sees the crime start up from an abyss, feels it to be an enemy, yet yields to it as a fate. So that when, at the last, some wretch, sentenced to the gibbet, shudderingly looks back to the moment "that trembled between two worlds,"--the world of the man guiltless, the world of the man guilty,--he says to the holy, highly educated, rational, passionless priest who confesses him and calls him "brother," "The devil put it into my head."

At that moment the door opened; at its threshold there stood the man's mother--whom he had never allowed to influence his conduct, though he loved her well in his rough way--and the hated fellow-man whom he longed to see dead at his feet. The door reclosed: the mother was gone, without a word, for her tears choked her; the fellow-man was alone with him. Tom Bowles looked up, recognized his visitor, cleared his brow, and rubbed his mighty hands.

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BOOK II CHAPTER XVIISAID Kenelm, at last breaking silence-- "'Rapiamus, amici, Occasionem de die, dumque virent genua, Et decet, obducta solvatur fronte senectus!'""Is not that quotation from Horace?" asked the minstrel. "Yes; and I made it insidiously, in order to see if you had not acquired what is called a classical education." "I might have received such education, if my tastes and my destinies had not withdrawn me in boyhood from studies of which I did not then comprehend the full value. But I did pick up a smattering of
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