The memoirs of John Addington Symonds

By John Addington Symonds

Edited and brought via Phyllis Grosskurth. contains index.

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The clock struck. I took Willie's narrow hand into my very own and gazed into his huge brown eyes fringed with heavy lashes. A fairly indescribable effluence of peace and pride, blent with craving, flowed from his actual presence and inundated my entire being with a few therapeutic and clean impression. From that morning I date the delivery of my actual self. Thirty-two years have elapsed on account that then; and nonetheless i will be able to not often carry the pen while i try to write approximately it. a lot sentimental nonsense has been observed old flame. but i'm conversing the naked fact while I say my affection for this boy exhausted my instinctive college of loving. i have not felt an identical unreason and unreasoning emotion for the other individual. i couldn't marry him; smooth society supplied no bond of comradeship wherein we would were united. So my old flame flowed to waste. i used to be not able to deal justly with him; the mortification of the anomalous place he and that i have been positioned in did a lot to degrade my personality. these items, besides the fact that, weren't felt immediately. From 10 April in that yr 1858, for lots of months to return, I used both to work out Willie or wrote to him day-by-day. He again my affection with an easy unswerving love. Our intimacy, even though clandestine- although we boys, the 104 PAINFUL conditions, THE final yr AT HARROW elder by means of 3 years and the more youthful, met jointly and exchanged our hearts with out the sanction of family members or associates - used to be completely respectful and totally loose from evil. greater than a 12 months elapsed ahead of I dared to do greater than contact his hand. two times merely in my lifestyles did I kiss him at the lips. the 1st time I did so I virtually fainted from the serious rapture of the touch. We have been jointly by myself, I good bear in mind, in a clearing of Leigh Woods - the place the pink quarries holiday down from tufted yews and dwarf peaches and wych elms plumed upon the cliff to the riverside. The afternoon sun fell upon glassy ivy, bluebells and overdue flowering anemones. We have been mendacity facet through part. The plash of paddle wheels and the mantra of sailors operating a se·agoing vessel down the Avon, rose as much as us among the 2 lengthy kisses which I took. Leigh Woods was our favorite lodge. In these days there has been no suspension bridge. We crossed the ferry, and clambered up the edges of Nightingale Valley till we stumbled on a few coign virtue the place we rested. now not a soul disturbed our solitude. The wild rabbits weren't extra blameless of guile than we have been. I nonetheless own a white anemone accrued instant of that first kiss. It marks where in my Theocritus, the place this word happens: ~ ea r6r' ~aav Xgvaewt mUat avoge~, or' avrupO. :YJa' o (j}tA:YJOd~. ['Men have been of the Golden Age in the past, whilst the liked boy lower back one's love. ')S Gratitude mingled with my love for Willie. He had introduced my soul from the Egyptian apartment of Harrow bondage. He enabled me to achieve an amazing of a passionate and but natural love among pal and pal. the entire 'rich foreshadowings of the world'6 which stuffed my boyhood with the imaginative and prescient of a comrade, appeared on the time to be made real in him.

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