THE WINDOWsea eats away the ground we stand on—that was hisfate, his gift. But having thrown away, when hedismounted, all gestures and fripperies, all trophiesof nuts and roses, and shrunk so that not only famebut even his own name was forgotten by him, hekept even in that desolation a vigilance which sparedno phantom and luxuriated in no vision, and it wasin this guise that he inspired in William Bankes (in-termittently) and in Charles Tansley (obsequi-ously) and in his wife now, when she looked up andsaw him standing at the edge of the lawn, pro-foundly, reverence, and pity, and gratitude too, as astake driven into the bed of a channel upon whichthe gulls perch and the waves beat inspires in merryboat-loads a feeling of gratitude for the duty it istaking upon itself of marking the channel out therein the floods alone.

"But the father of eight children has no choice."Muttering half aloud, so he broke off, turned, sighed,raised his eyes, sought the figure of his wife read-ing stories to his little boy, filled his pipe. He turnedfrom the sight of human ignorance and human fateand the sea eating the ground we stand on, which,had he been able to contemplate it fixedly mighthave led to something; and found consolation intrifles so slight compared with the august themejust now before him that he was disposed to slur69
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