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Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life
The first copy of this little book was, of course, to have been for Gabrielle Delzant. I am fulfilling her wish, I think, in giving it, instead, to you, who were her oldest friend; as I, alas! had time to be only her latest. She had read nearly all these essays; and, during those weeks of her illness which I spent last autumn in Gascony, she had made me rewrite several among them. She wanted to learn to read English aloud, and it amused her and delighted me that she should do so on my writings. Her French pronunciation gave an odd grace to the sentences; the little hesitation spaced and accentuated their meaning; and I liked what I had written when she read it. The afternoons at Paras which we spent together in this way! Prints of Mre Anglique and Ces Messieurs de Port Royal watching over us in her spacious bedroom, brown and yet light like the library it had become; and among those Jansenist worthies, the Turin Pallas Athena, with a sprig of green box as an offering from our friend. Yes; what I had written seemed good when read by her. And then there were the words which had to be looked out in the dictionary, bringing discussions on all manner of subjects, and wonderful romantic stories, like the "Golden Legend," about grandparents and servants and neighbours, giving me time to rearrange the cushions and to settle the fur over her feet. And the other words, hard to pronounce (she must always invert, from sheer anxiety, the English th's and s's); I had to say them first, and once more, and yet again. And we laughed, and I kissed her beloved patient face and her dear young white hair. I don't think it ever occurred to tell her my intention of putting her name on this volumeit went without saying. And besides, had not everything I could do or be of good belonged to her during the eighteen months we had been friends? ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 26800
Author: Lee, Vernon
Release Date: Oct 7, 2008
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