the novel Carnival

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofCarnival,byComptonMackenzie ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:Carnival Author:ComptonMackenzie ReleaseDate:June28,2010[EBook#33012] [Lastupdated:February29,2012] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKCARNIVAL*** ProducedbyChuckGreifandtheOnlineDistributed ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net(Thisfilewas producedfromimagesavailablebyTheInternetArchive.) CARNIVAL BY COMPTONMACKENZIE AUTHOROF"THEPASSIONATEELOPEMENT" NEWYORK D APPLETONANDCOMPANY 1912 COPYRIGHT,1912,BY D APPLETONANDCOMPANY PublishedMarch,1912 PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica TO MARTINSECKER "Putoutthelight;andthen—putoutthelight." Contents CHAPTER Page I THEBIRTHOFCOLUMBINE II FAIRIESATTHECHRISTENING III DAWNSHADOWS 18 IV THEANCIENTMISCHIEF 30 V PRETTYAPPLESINEDEN 40 VI SHEPHERD'SCALENDAR 51 VII AMBITIONWAKES 61 VIII AMBITIONLOOKSINTHEGLASS 71 IX LIFE,ART,ANDLOVE 89 X DRURYLANEANDCOVENTGARDEN 108 XI THEORIENTPALACEOFVARIETIES 120 XII GROWINGOLD 131 XIII THEBALLETOFCUPID 140 XIV RAINONTHEROOF 152 XV CRASAMET 153 XVI LOVE'SHALCYON 165 XVII COLUMBINEASLEEP 175 XVIII SWEETANDTWENTY 176 XIX THEGIFTOFOPALS 186 XX FÊTEGALANTE 199 XXI EPILOGUE 216 XXII THEUNFINISHEDSTATUE 221 XXIII TWOLETTERS 234 XXIV JOURNEY'SEND 241 XXV MONOTONE 249 XXVI INSCYROS 255 XXVII QUARTETTE 271 XXVIII ST VALENTINE'SEVE 282 XXIX COLUMBINEATDAWN 288 XXX LUGETE,OVENERES 289 XXXI ADOCUMENTINMADNESS XXXII PAGEANTRYOFDEATH XXXIII LOOSEENDS XXXIV MR Z TREWHELLA XXXV MARRIAGEOFCOLUMBINE XXXVI THETRAGICLOADING XXXVII COLUMBINEINTHEDARK XXXVIII THEALIENCORN XXXIX INTERMEZZO XL HARVESTHOME XLI COLUMBINEHAPPY XLII SHADEDSUNLIGHT XLIII BOWBELLS XLIV PICKINGUPTHREADS XLV LONDONPRIDE XLVI MAYMORNING XLVII NIGHTLIGHTTIME XLVIII CARNIVALE 298 303 310 317 332 341 349 350 359 367 370 371 377 382 389 394 399 404 ChapterI:TheBirthofColumbine ALLdaylongoverthegrayIslingtonStreetOctober,castingpearlymists,had turned the sun to silver and made London a city of meditation whose tumbled roofsandparapetsandglancingspiresappearedhushedandtranslucentasina lake'stranquillity Thetraffic,mutedbythegloryofafineautumnday,marched,itseemed,more slowly and to a sound of heavier drums Like mountain echoes street cries hauntedtheburnishedair,whileamuffin-man,abroadtooearlyfortheseason, swunghisbellintermittentlywithapastoralsound Eventhemilk-cart,heardin thenextstreet,provokedtheimaginationofdistantarmor Thehousesseemedto acquire from the gray and silver web of October enchantment a mysterious immensity Therewasnofeelingofstressfulhumanityeveninthemyriadsounds that,inasheenofbeauty,floatedabouttheday Thesunwentdownbehindroofs andlefttheskyplumedwithrosyfeathers Therewasacoldgrayminutebefore dusk came stealing in, richly and profoundly blue: then night sprang upon the street,andthroughthedarknessanequinoctialwindswept,moaning Alongtheguttersthebrownleavesdanced:thetallplanetreeattheendofthe streetwouldnotbemotionlessuntilDecembershouldfreezetheblackbranches indiaperyagainstasombersky Alongthegutterstheleaveswhisperedandran andshiveredandleaped,whilethegas-jetsflappedinpalelamps TherewasnostarshineonthenightJennyRaeburnwasborn,onlyaperpetual soundofleavesdancingandthefootstepsofpeoplegoinghome Mrs Raeburnhadnotbeenveryconsciousoftheday'scalmbeauty Hertravail hadbeenlong:therewardscarcelyapprehended Alreadytwoelderchildrenhad closeduponherthegatesofyouth,andshewasinclinedtoresenttheexpenseof so much pain for an additional tie There was not much to make the great adventure of childbirth endurable The transitory amazement of a few relatives wasameagerconsolationforthedoubtsandagoniesofnineslowmonths But the muslin curtains, tied back with raffish pink bows, had really worried her most of all Something was wrong with them: their dinginess or want of symmetryannoyedher Withoneofthoserareeffortstowardsimaginativecomprehension,whichthe sightofpainarousesindullandstolidmen,herhusbandhadinquired,whenhe camebackfromwork,whethertherewasanythinghecoulddo "Thosecurtains,"shehadmurmured "Don'tyougetworryingyourselfaboutcurtains,"hehadreplied "You'vegot somethingbettertodothanaggravateyourselfwithcurtains Thecurtainsisall right." Wearilyshehadturnedherfacetothesad-coloredwallpaper Wearilyshehad transferredherdiscontenttotheabsenceofoneofthesmallbrassknobsatthe footofthebed "Andthatknob Youneverremembertogetanewone." "Now it's knobs!" he had exclaimed, wondering at the foolishness of a woman's mind in the shadows of coming events "Don't you bother your head aboutknobs,either Tryandgetabitofsleeporsomething,do." Withthisexhortation,hehadretiredfromthedarkeningroom,towanderround the house lighting various jets of gas, turning them down to the faintest blue glimmer,andhopingallthewhilethatoneofhiswife'ssisterswouldnotemerge fromthecountryattherumorofthebaby'sarrival,inordertoforceheradvice uponapowerlesshousehold EdithandAlfred,histwoelderchildren,hadbeencarriedoffbytheotheraunt to her residence in Barnsbury, whence in three weeks they would be brought back to home and twilight speculations upon the arrival of a little brother or sister Inparenthesis,hehopeditwouldnotbetwins Theywouldbesodifficult toexplain,andthechapsintheshopwouldlaugh Themidwifecamedownto boil some milk and make final arrangements The presence of this ample lady disturbedhim Thegalerattlingthewindowsofthekitchendidnotprovideany feeling of firelight snugness, but rather made his thoughts more restless, was evensoinsistentastocarrythemonitswings,weak,formlessthoughts,tothe end of Hagworth Street, where the bar of the "Masonic Arms" spread a wider and more cheerful illumination than was to be found in the harried kitchen of Number Seventeen So Charlie Raeburn went out to spend time and money in pilotingseveralfriendsacrosstheshallowsofMr Gladstone'smind Upstairs Mrs Raeburn, left alone, again contemplated the annoying curtains; though by now they were scarcely visible against the gloom outside She dragged herself off the bed and, moving across to the window, stood there, rubbingthemuslinbetweenherfingers Sheremainedforawhilethus,peering atthebacksofthehousesoppositethat,smallthoughtheyreallywere,loomed with menace in the lonely dusk Shadows of women at work, always at work, wenttoandfroupontheblinds Theyweremuffledsoundsofchildrencrying, theoccasionalsplashofemptiedpails,andagainstthelastglimmerofsunsetthe smoke of chimneys blown furiously outwards To complete the air of sadness and desolation, the faded leaf of a dried-up geranium was lisping against the window-pane Shegaveupfingeringthemuslincurtainsandcamebacktothe middleoftheroom,wonderingvaguelywhenthenextboutofpainwasdueand why the "woman" didn't come upstairs and make her comfortable There were matchesonthetoilet-table;soshelitacandle,whoselightgaveeverypieceof ugly furniture a shadow and made the room ghostly and unfamiliar Presently sheheldthelightbesideherfaceandstaredatherselfintheglass,andthought howprettyshestilllooked,and,flushedbythefever,howyoung She experienced a sensation of fading personality She seemed actually to be losingherself Eyes,brightwithexcitement,glitteredbackfromthemirror,and suddenlytherecameuponheroverwhelminglythefearofdeath And if she died, would anybody pity her, or would she lie forgotten always afterthemomentarytributeofwhitechrysanthemums?Death,death,shefound herselfsayingovertothetuneofaclocktickinginthepassage Butshehadno desiretodie Christmaswasnear,withitsshoplitexcursionsandmistletoeand merriment Whyshouldshedie?No,shewouldfighthard Agirloraboy?What diditmatter?Nothingmattered Perhapsagirlwouldbenicer,andsheshouldbe called Rose And yet, on second thoughts, when you came to think of it, Rose wasacoldsortofaname,andRosiewascommon WhynotcallherJenny?That wasbetter—with,perhaps,PearlorRubytofollow,whenitsextravagancewould pass unnoticed A girl should always have two names But Jenny was the sweeter Nevertheless,itwouldbeaswelltosupportsohomelyanamewitha reallylady-likeone—somethingoutoftheordinary WhyhadshemarriedCharlie?Allherrelativessaidshehadmarriedbeneath her Fatherhadbeenabutcher—aprosperousman—andevenhe,inthefamily tradition, had not been considered good enough for her mother, who was a chemist'sdaughter Yet,she,FlorenceUnwin,hadmarriedajoiner Whyhadshe married Charlie? Looking back over the seven years of their married life, she couldnotrememberatimewhenshehadlovedhimasshehaddreamedoflove intheairyroomoverthebusyshop,asshehaddreamedoflovestaringthrough the sunny window away beyond the Angel, beyond the great London skies Charliewassostupid,sodull;moreover,thoughnotadrunkard,hewasfondof half-pints and smelt of sawdust and furniture polish Her sisters never liked, never would like him She had smirched the great tradition of respectability What would her grandfather, the chemist, have said, that dignified old man in brownvelvetcoat,treatedalwayswithdeference,evenbyherfather,thejolly, handsomebutcher?FlorenceUnwinmarriedtoajoiner—amanunabletoafford tokeephishousefreefromtheinevitablelodgerwhoownedthebestbedroom— thebedroomthatbyrightshouldhavebeenhers Shehaddisgracedthefamily andfornohighmotiveofpassion—andonceshewasyoungandpretty Andstill young, after all, and still pretty She was only thirty-three now Why had she married at all? But then her sisters did give themselves airs, and the jolly, handsome butcher had enjoyed too well and too often those drives to Jack Straw's Castle on fine Sunday afternoons under the rolling Hampstead clouds, hadleftlittleenoughwhenhedied,andCharliecamealong,andperhapseven marriage with him had been less intolerable than existence among the frozen sitting-roomsofhertwosisters,draperswivesthoughtheybothwere Andtheaunts,thosethreeseverewomen?Shemight,perhaps,havelivedwith them when the jolly, handsome butcher died, with them in their house at Clapton, with them eternally dusting innumerable china ornaments and correctingelusivemats Theinvitationhadbeenextended,butwasforbiddingas amourning-cardorthemelancholyvisitofaninsuranceagentwithhisgossipof death Death?Wasshegoingtodie? Itdidnotmatter Thepainwasgrowingmoreacute Shedraggedherselftothe doorandcalleddowntothemidwife;calledtwoorthreetimes There was no answer except from the clock, with its whisper of Death and Death Wherewasthewoman?WherewasCharlie?Shecalledagain Thenshe remembered,throughwhatseemedyearsofgrindingagony,thatthestreetdoor wasslammedsometimeago Charliemusthavegoneout Withthewoman?Had herunawaywithher?Wasshe,thewife,foreverabandoned?Wastherenolife inalltheworldtoreachhersolitude?Thehousewasfearfully,unnaturallysilent Shereacheduptothecoldgasbracket,andthelightflaredupwithoutaddinga ray of cheerfulness to the creaking passage Higher still she turned it, until it sangtowardstheceiling,athingeyserofflame Thechequersupontheoil-cloth becameblurred,astearsofself-pitywelledupinhereyes Shewasdeserted,and inpain Hermindsailedoffalongmorbidchannelstothegrimpopulationsofhysteria Sheexperiencedthemerelynervoussensationofmanyblackbeetlesrunningat libertyaroundtheemptykitchen Itwasavisualizationoftinglingnerves,and, fosteredbytheweakeninginfluenceoflaborpains,itextendedbeyondthemere thought to the endowment of a mental picture with powerful and malign purpose,sothat,afteramomentortwo,shecametoimaginingthatbetweenher andtheworldoutsideblackbeetleswerecreatinganimpassablebarrier Could Charlie and the woman really have run away? She called again and peeredovertheflimsybalustradedowntothegroundfloor Orwasthewoman lying in the kitchen drunk? Lying there, incapable of action, among the black beetles?Shecalledagain: "Mrs Nightman!Mrs Nightman!" How dry her hands were, how parched her tongue; and her eyes, how they burned Was she actually dying? Was this engulfing silence the beginning of death? Whatwasdeath? Andwhatwasthat?Whatwerethosethreetall,blackfigures,movingalongthe narrow passage downstairs? What were they, so solemn and tall and silent, movingwithinexorablesteps,higherandhigher? "Mrs Nightman, Mrs Nightman!" she shrieked, and stumbled in agony of bodyandhorrorofmindbacktotheflickeringbedroom,backtothebed Andthentherewaslightandamurmurofvoices,saying:"Wehavecometo see how you are feeling, Florence," and sitting by her bed she recognized the threeauntsfromClapton,intheirbuglesandcameosandglitteringbonnets Therewasaman,too,whomshehadonlyjusttimetorealizewasthedoctor, nottheundertaker,beforeshewasawarethatthefinaleffortofhertorturedbody wasbeingmadewithoutassistancefromherownwillorcourage She waved away the sympathizers She was glad to see the doctor and Mrs Nightmanherdingthemfromtheroom,likegaunt,blacksheep;buttheycame back again as inquisitive animals will when, after what seemed a thousand thousandyearsofpain,shecouldhearsomethingcryingandthetrickleofwater andthesingingofakettle PerhapsitwasAuntFannywhosaid:"It'sadearlittlegirl." Thedoctornodded,andMrs Raeburnstirred,andwithwideeyesgazedather baby "It is Jenny, after all," she murmured; then wished for the warmth of a newbornchildagainstherbreast ChapterII:FairiesattheChristening AfortnightafterthebirthofJenny,herthreegreat-aunts,blackandstatelyas ever,paidasecondvisittothemother "AndhowisFlorrie?"inquiredAuntAlice "Goingonfine,"saidFlorrie "Andwhatisthebabytobecalled?"askedAuntFanny "Jenny,andperhapsPearlaswell." "Jenny?" "Pearl?" "JennyPearl?" Thethreeauntsdisapprovedthechoicewithcombinedinterrogation "Wewerethinking,"announcedAuntAlice;"yourauntswerethinking,Florrie, thatsincewehaveagooddealofroomatCarminiaHouse——" "Itwouldbeacapitalplanforthebabytolivewithus,"wentonAuntMary "Forsinceourfatherdied"(oldFrederickHorner,thechemist,hadbeenunder ... withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title: Carnival Author:ComptonMackenzie ReleaseDate:June28,2010[EBook#33012] [Lastupdated:February29,2012] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK CARNIVAL ***...TheProjectGutenbergEBookof Carnival, byComptonMackenzie ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith... ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net(Thisfilewas producedfromimagesavailablebyTheInternetArchive.) CARNIVAL BY COMPTONMACKENZIE AUTHOROF"THEPASSIONATEELOPEMENT" NEWYORK D APPLETONANDCOMPANY
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