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A Whim, and Its Consequences

by G.P.R. James


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Excerpt: "A solitary room at midnight: a single wax candle lighted on the table: the stiff dull crimson silken curtains of the bed close drawn: half a dozen phials and two or three glasses. Is it the chamber of a sick man? He must sleep sound if it be, for there is no noise—not even a breath; and all without is as still as death. There is awe in the silence; the candle sheds gloom, not light, the damask hanging sucks up the rays, and gives nothing back: they sink into the dark wood furniture: one could hear a mouse creep over the thick carpet; but there is no sound! Is it the chamber of the dead? But where is the watcher?—Away! and what matters it here? No one will come to disturb the rest of that couch: no brawling voices, no creaking doors will make vibrate the dull cold ear of death. Watch ye the living! The dead need no watching: the sealed eyes and the clayed ears have sleep that cannot be broken. But is it the watcher who comes back again through that slowly opening door? No, that is a man; and we give all the more sad and solemn tasks of life to women."

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G.P.R. James (Author)

George Payne Rainsford James (9 August 1799 – 9 June 1860), was an English novelist and historical writer, the son of a physician in London. He was for many years British Consul at various places in the United States and on the Continent. He held ...

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A Whim, and Its Consequences
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