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JOS E 路RECH EVS KY

E D I T O R I A L WORK S 路 A N D F O L K TA L E S

WR IT I NGS

I L LUS T RAT IONS


"Tutte le opere di Giovanni Boccaccio - volume iv", a cura di vittore Branca, arnoldo Mondadori editore, Milano, 1976

xxvi

I

II

Umana cosa è aver compassione degli afflitti: e come che a ciascuna persona stea bene, a coloro è massimamente richiesto li quali già hanno di conforto avuto mestiere e ha nol trovato in alcuni; fra' quali, se alcuno mai n'ebbe b sogno o gli fu caro o già ne ricevette piacere, io sono uno di quegli. Per ciò che, dalla mia prima giovinezza infino a questo tempo oltre modo essendo acceso stato d'altissimo e nobile amore, forse più assai che alla mia bassa condizione non parrebbe, narrandolo, si richiedesse, quantunque

appo coloro che discreti erano e alla cui notizia pervenne io ne fossi lodato e da molto più reputato, nondimeno mi fu egli di grandissima fatica a sofferire, certo non per crudeltàdella donna amata, ma per soverchio fuoco nella mente concetto da poco regolato appetito: il quale, per ciò che a niuno convenevole termine mi lasciava un tempo stare, più di noia che bisogno non m'era spesse volte sentir mi facea. nella qual noia tanto rifrigerio già mi porsero i piacevoli ragionamenti d'alcuno amico le sue laudevoli


hoc secundum hoc visio somniorum ante faciem hominis similitudo hominis

路Eclesiastes路


memento moris


XXVIII

Our long voyage of discovery is over and our bark has drooped her weary sails in port at last. Once more we take the road to Nemi. It is evening, and as we climb the long slope of the Appian Way up to the Alban Hills, we look back and see the sky aflame with sunset, its golden glory resting like the aureole of a dying saint over Rome 3 and touching with a crest of fire the dome of St. Peter’s. The sight once seen can never be forgotten, but we turn from it and pursue our way darkling along the mountain side, till we come to Nemi and look down on the lake in its deep hollow, now fast disappearing in the evening sh dows. The place has changed but little since Diana received the homage of her worshippers in the sacred grove. The temple of the sylvan goddess, indeed, has v nished and the King of the Wood no longer stands sentinel over the Golden Bough. 3.

To keep up our par ble, what will be the c lour of the web which the Fates are now we ving on the humming loom of time? will it be white or red? We cannot tell.


323

Rudyard Kipling faces a well-remembered bank, and where he should have sunk exhausted swung his long draperies about him, drew a deep double-lungful of the diamond air, and walked as only a hillman can. Kim, plains-bred and plains-fed, sweated and panted astonished. ‘This is my country,’ said the lama. ‘Beside Such-zen, this is flatter than a rice-field’; and with steady, driving strokes from

CHAPTER XIV

the loins he strode upwards. But it was on the steep downhill marches, three thousand feet in three hours, that he went utterly away from Kim, whose back ached with holding back, and whose big toe was nigh cut off by his grass sandal-string. Through the speckled shadow of the great deodar-forests; through oak feathered and plumed with ferns; birch, ilex, rhododendron, and pine, out on to the bare hillsides’ slippery sunburnt grass, and back into the woodlands’ coolth again, till oak gave way to Who hath desired the Sea — the immense and contemptuous surges?

bamboo and palm of the valley, the lama swung untiring.

The shudder, the stumble, the swerve ere the star-stabbing bowsprit merges — The orderly clouds of the Trades and the ridged roaring sapphire thereunder —

Glancing back in the twilight at the huge ridges behind him and the faint, thin

Unheralded cliff-lurking flaws and the head-sails’ low-volleying thunder?

line of the road whereby they had come, he would lay out, with a hillman’s

His Sea in no wonder the same — his Sea and the same in each wonder — His Sea that his being fulfils? So and no otherwise — so and no otherwise hill-men desire their hills!

The Sea and the Hills.

‘W HO

GOeS TO THe HIllS GOeS TO HIS MOTHeR .’

T

HeY HAD CROSeD

THe

S IWAlIKS

AND THe HAlf - TROPICAl

D OON , left Mus-

soorie behind them, and headed north along the narrow hill-roads. Day

after day they struck deeper into the huddled mountains, and day after day Kim watched the lama return to a man’s strength. Among the terraces of the Doon he had leaned on the boy’s shoulder, ready to profit by wayside halts. Under the great ramp to Mussoorie he drew himself together as an old hunter

324


rechevsky  

editorial work and illustration

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