A pair of blue eyes..

An excerpt from the book A pair of blue eyes by Thomas Hardy one of the best romantic novelists of all times.

Stephen and Henry at Elfie’s grave….trying to come to terms with the death of Elfie and reflecting the role she played in their lives.

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E L F R I D E,
Wife of Spenser Hugo Luxellian,
Fifteenth Baron Luxellian:
Died February 10, 18–.

They read it, and read it, and read it again–Stephen and Knight–as if animated by one soul. Then Stephen put his hand upon Knight’s arm, and they retired from the yellow glow, further,further, till the chill darkness enclosed them round, and thequiet sky asserted its presence overhead as a dim grey sheet of blank monotony.

‘Where shall we go?’ said Stephen.

‘I don’t know.’

A long silence ensued….’Elfride married!’ said Stephen then in a thin whisper, as if he feared to let the assertion loose on theworld.

‘False,’ whispered Knight.

‘And dead. Denied us both. I hate “false”–I hate it!’

Knight made no answer.

Nothing was heard by them now save the slow measurement of time by their beating pulses, the soft touch of the dribbling rain upon their clothes, and the low purr of the blacksmith’s bellows hardby.

‘Shall we follow Elfie any further?’ Stephen said.

‘No: let us leave her alone. She is beyond our love, and let her be beyond our reproach. Since we don’t know half the reasons that made her do as she did, Stephen, how can we say, even now, that she was not pure and true in heart?’ Knight’s voice had now become mild and gentle as a child’s. He went on: ‘Can we call herambitious? No. Circumstance has, as usual, overpowered her purposes–fragile and delicate as she–liable to be overthrown in a moment by the coarse elements of accident. I know that’s it,–don’t you?’

‘It may be–it must be. Let us go on.’

Knight and Stephen had advanced to where they once stood beside Elfride on the day all three had met there, before she had herself gone down into silence like her ancestors, and shut her bright blue eyes for ever. Not until then did they see the kneeling figure in the dim light. Knight instantly recognized the mourneras Lord Luxellian, the bereaved husband of Elfride.

They felt themselves to be intruders. Knight pressed Stephenback, and they silently withdrew as they had entered.

‘Come away,’ he said, in a broken voice. ‘We have no right to bethere. Another stands before us–nearer to her than we!’

And side by side they both retraced their steps down the greystill valley to Castle Boterel.
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Casablanca…

Ilsa: Can I tell you a story, Rick?
Rick: Has it got a wild finish?
Ilsa: I don’t know the finish yet.
Rick: Well, go on. Tell it – maybe one will come to you as you go along.
Ilsa: It’s about a girl who had just come to Paris from her home in Oslo. At the house of some friends, she met a man about whom she’d heard her whole life. A very great and courageous man. He opened up for her a whole beautiful world full of knowledge and thoughts and ideals. Everything she knew or ever became was because of him. And she looked up to him and worshiped him… with a feeling she supposed was love.
Rick: [bitterly] Yes, it’s very pretty. I heard a story once – as a matter of fact, I’ve heard a lot of stories in my time. They went along with the sound of a tinny piano playing in the parlor downstairs. “Mister, I met a man once when I was a kid,” it always began.
[laughs]
Rick: Well, I guess neither one of our stories is very funny. Tell me, who was it you left me for? Was it Lazlo, or were there others in between or… aren’t you the kind that tells?
[Ilsa tearfully and silently leaves. Rick’s face falls in his hands sadly, knowing that he’s said all the wrong things]

Gone with the wind – The end

Rhett Butler: I’m leaving you, my dear. All you need now is a divorce and your dreams of Ashley can come true.
Scarlett: Oh, no! No, you’re wrong, terribly wrong! I don’t want a divorce. Oh Rhett, but I knew tonight, when I… when I knew I loved you, I ran home to tell you, oh darling, darling!
Rhett Butler: Please don’t go on with this, Leave us some dignity to remember out of our marriage. Spare us this last.
Scarlett: This last? Oh Rhett, do listen to me, I must have loved you for years, only I was such a stupid fool, I didn’t know it. Please believe me, you must care! Melly said you did.
Rhett Butler: I believe you. What about Ashley Wilkes?
Scarlett: I… I never really loved Ashley.
Rhett Butler: You certainly gave a good imitation of it, up till this morning. No Scarlett, I tried everything. If you’d only met me half way, even when I came back from London.
Scarlett: I was so glad to see you. I was, Rhett, but you were so nasty.
Rhett Butler: And then when you were sick, it was all my fault… I hoped against hope that you’d call for me, but you didn’t.
Scarlett: I wanted you. I wanted you desperately but I didn’t think you wanted me.
Rhett Butler: It seems we’ve been at cross purposes, doesn’t it? But it’s no use now. As long as there was Bonnie, there was a chance that we might be happy. I liked to think that Bonnie was you, a little girl again, before the war, and poverty had done things to you. She was so like you, and I could pet her, and spoil her, as I wanted to spoil you. But when she went, she took everything.
Scarlett: Oh, Rhett, Rhett please don’t say that. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for everything.
Rhett Butler: My darling, you’re such a child. You think that by saying, “I’m sorry,” all the past can be corrected. Here, take my handkerchief. Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.
Scarlett: Rhett! Rhett, where are you going?
Rhett Butler: I’m going back to Charleston, back where I belong.
Scarlett: Please, please take me with you!
Rhett Butler: No, I’m through with everything here. I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn’t something left in life of charm and grace. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Scarlett: No! I only know that I love you.
Rhett Butler: That’s your misfortune.

The english patient

“My darling. I’m waiting for you. How long is the day in the dark? Or a week? The fire is gone, and I’m horribly cold. I really should drag myself outside but then there’d be the sun. I’m afraid I waste the light on the paintings, not writing these words. We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we’ve entered and swum up like rivers. Fears we’ve hidden in – like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. Where the real countries are. Not boundaries drawn on mapswith the names of powerful men. I know you’ll come carry me out to the Palace of Winds. That’s what I’ve wanted to walk in such a place with you. With friends, on an earth without maps. The lamp has gone out and I’m writing in the darkness. ” – Katherine Clifton from The English Patient.

More english patient stuff

Almásy: What do you love?
Katharine Clifton: What do I love?
Almásy: Say everything.
Katharine Clifton: Water, with fish in it. Hedgehogs, I love hedgehogs. Marmite. Baths, but not with other people! Islands. I could go on all day.
Almásy: Go on all day.
Katharine Clifton: Your handwriting.
Almásy: And what else?
Katharine Clifton: A husband.
Almásy: What do you hate most?
Katharine Clifton: A lie. What do you hate most?
Almásy: Ownership. Being owned. What you leave here you should forget me.

Almásy: I just wanted you to know: I’m not missing you yet.
Katharine Clifton: You will.