Thursday, February 4, 2016


"I see, Dr Hesselius, that you don't lose one word of my statement.  I need not ask you to listen specially to what I am now going to tell you.  They talk of optic nerves, and of spectral illusions, as if the organ of sight was the only point assailable by the influences that have fastened upon me--I know better.  For two years in my direful case that limitation prevailed.   

But as food is taken in softly at the lips, and then brought under the teeth, as the tip of the little finger caught in a mill crank will draw in the hand, and the arm, and the whole body, so the miserable mortal who has been once caught firmly by the end of the finest fibre of his nerve is drawn in and in, by the enormous machinery of hell, until he is as I am. Yes, Doctor, as I am, for while I talk to you, and implore relief, I feel that my prayer is for the impossible, and my pleading with the inexorable."

Note:  Contrary to Walter Cronkite’s irritating sign-off, I don’t think that’s the way it is, and it certainly isn't the way I (uh-huh, uh-huh) like it.  But it’s good reading.  Actually, I’m feeling moderately hopeful, imagining I can see around corners.

Text:  Sheridan Le Fanu, Green Tea, from In A Glass Darkly (1872), Ch. IX.

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