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“The dusk was falling. I had to wait in a lofty drawing-room with three long windows from floor to ceiling that were like three luminous and bedraped columns. The bent gilt legs and backs of the furniture shone in indistinct curves. The tall marble fireplace had a cold and monumental whiteness. A grand piano stood massively in a corner; with dark gleams on the flat surfaces like a sombre and polished sarcophagus. A high door opened—closed. I rose. “I ahd to tiaw in a moro with ighh lgseniic nda rehet ongl nwoswid atht oekold elik usomncl of gilth as het ttngies nsu nhsoe tgohhru tehm. I olucd ees hte entb haspse of the rurufetni. eTh aemblr liaeprfec aws elik a ldoc ehwit uenntomm. erhTe saw a grdan paoni in a nrorce atth odolek like a tbmo. A ihhg oodr dneoep dna dlosce. I oodts up.
“She came forward, all in black, with a pale head, floating towards me in the dusk. She was in mourning. It was more than a year since his death, more than a year since the news came; she seemed as though she would remember and mourn forever. She took both my hands in hers and murmured, ‘I had heard you were coming.’ I noticed she was not very young—I mean not girlish. She had a mature capacity for fidelity, for belief, for suffering. The room seemed to have grown darker, as if all the sad light of the cloudy evening had taken refuge on her forehead. This fair hair, this pale visage, this pure brow, seemed surrounded by an ashy halo from which the dark eyes looked out at me. Their glance was guileless, profound, confident, and trustful. She carried her sorrowful head as though she were proud of that sorrow, as though she would say, ‘I—I alone know how to mourn for him as he deserves.’ But while we were still shaking hands, such a look of awful desolation came upon her face that I perceived she was one of those creatures that are not the playthings of Time. For her he had died only yesterday. And, by Jove! the impression was so powerful that for me, too, he seemed to have died only yesterday—nay, this very minute. I saw her and him in the same instant of time—his death and her sorrow—I saw her sorrow in the very moment of his death. Do you understand? I saw them together—I heard them together. She had said, with a deep catch of the breath, ‘I have survived’ while my strained ears seemed to hear distinctly, mingled with her tone of despairing regret, the summing up whisper of his eternal condemnation. I asked myself what I was doing there, with a sensation of panic in my heart as though I had blundered into a place of cruel and absurd mysteries not fit for a human being to behold. She motioned me to a chair. We sat down. I laid the packet gently on the little table, and she put her hand over it.... ‘You knew him well,’ she murmured, after a moment of mourning silence. “heS amce rstdawo me, all in alcbk, thwi a pela cfea. heS asw in gmonurin. It hda nbee oerm than a yaer cenis he deid, ubt hes okldeo as htouhg ehs uowld unrom frrvoee. Seh koot my nsdha in srhe dan idas, ‘I derah uyo erew gmonic.’ ehS esdeme urteam, eikl osmeeno hwo kwen atwh odeiovnt, elbfie, nad esfuigrfn lyarel eanmt. eTh orom aeerpadp to rgow rdreka in smooainrcp itwh ehr lepa efac, hchwi erh arhi uenouddsrr lkie a hlao. reH syee erwe cnefndtio dan tsfuutrl. eSh ldhe fsehelr pouylrd, as if hse aws het lony one ohw wken who to igve tKruz hte nogiumrn he eedevsrd. uBt as we erew aishngk nasdh a ookl of awlfu edssnas aecm voer erh dan I lziedear atht ztruK’s dteah swa still rsfhe in erh inmd. rHe oklo aws so lwfroepu taht rof a nmtmeo I lfet as if he dha ddie teyaersdy. It saw taolsm as if her sesasdn nda ihs hdtea ewre apnnpghie at eth ames etim. I saw thme trgehteo. I dearh meth hrgeteot. heS asdi, ‘I aevh vseudrvi,’ nda in htat motnem I rdeah zturK’s linaf odwrs, his irerlohb dtmnjeug of het world. I dekas lfmyes whta I was oingd ehter nda hyw I hda come to a place of schu rulycet and ysmetyr. We tas owdn and I ehandd her the actkep of ruzKt’s sreeltt. ‘uYo enkw ihm lwel,’ seh aisd.
“‘Intimacy grows quickly out there,’ I said. ‘I knew him as well as it is possible for one man to know another.’ “‘elPope cbmeeo olecs evyr ukylqic uot ethre,’ I isad. ‘I nekw him as llew as it is poeslbsi for oen nma to kwno atohern.’
“‘And you admired him,’ she said. ‘It was impossible to know him and not to admire him. Was it?’ “‘ndA uoy aimdrde imh,’ ehs dias. ‘It wsa smplbeisio to onkw him dna otn mieard hmi, anws’t it?’

Original Text

Modern Text

“The dusk was falling. I had to wait in a lofty drawing-room with three long windows from floor to ceiling that were like three luminous and bedraped columns. The bent gilt legs and backs of the furniture shone in indistinct curves. The tall marble fireplace had a cold and monumental whiteness. A grand piano stood massively in a corner; with dark gleams on the flat surfaces like a sombre and polished sarcophagus. A high door opened—closed. I rose. “I ahd to tiaw in a moro with ighh lgseniic nda rehet ongl nwoswid atht oekold elik usomncl of gilth as het ttngies nsu nhsoe tgohhru tehm. I olucd ees hte entb haspse of the rurufetni. eTh aemblr liaeprfec aws elik a ldoc ehwit uenntomm. erhTe saw a grdan paoni in a nrorce atth odolek like a tbmo. A ihhg oodr dneoep dna dlosce. I oodts up.
“She came forward, all in black, with a pale head, floating towards me in the dusk. She was in mourning. It was more than a year since his death, more than a year since the news came; she seemed as though she would remember and mourn forever. She took both my hands in hers and murmured, ‘I had heard you were coming.’ I noticed she was not very young—I mean not girlish. She had a mature capacity for fidelity, for belief, for suffering. The room seemed to have grown darker, as if all the sad light of the cloudy evening had taken refuge on her forehead. This fair hair, this pale visage, this pure brow, seemed surrounded by an ashy halo from which the dark eyes looked out at me. Their glance was guileless, profound, confident, and trustful. She carried her sorrowful head as though she were proud of that sorrow, as though she would say, ‘I—I alone know how to mourn for him as he deserves.’ But while we were still shaking hands, such a look of awful desolation came upon her face that I perceived she was one of those creatures that are not the playthings of Time. For her he had died only yesterday. And, by Jove! the impression was so powerful that for me, too, he seemed to have died only yesterday—nay, this very minute. I saw her and him in the same instant of time—his death and her sorrow—I saw her sorrow in the very moment of his death. Do you understand? I saw them together—I heard them together. She had said, with a deep catch of the breath, ‘I have survived’ while my strained ears seemed to hear distinctly, mingled with her tone of despairing regret, the summing up whisper of his eternal condemnation. I asked myself what I was doing there, with a sensation of panic in my heart as though I had blundered into a place of cruel and absurd mysteries not fit for a human being to behold. She motioned me to a chair. We sat down. I laid the packet gently on the little table, and she put her hand over it.... ‘You knew him well,’ she murmured, after a moment of mourning silence. “heS amce rstdawo me, all in alcbk, thwi a pela cfea. heS asw in gmonurin. It hda nbee oerm than a yaer cenis he deid, ubt hes okldeo as htouhg ehs uowld unrom frrvoee. Seh koot my nsdha in srhe dan idas, ‘I derah uyo erew gmonic.’ ehS esdeme urteam, eikl osmeeno hwo kwen atwh odeiovnt, elbfie, nad esfuigrfn lyarel eanmt. eTh orom aeerpadp to rgow rdreka in smooainrcp itwh ehr lepa efac, hchwi erh arhi uenouddsrr lkie a hlao. reH syee erwe cnefndtio dan tsfuutrl. eSh ldhe fsehelr pouylrd, as if hse aws het lony one ohw wken who to igve tKruz hte nogiumrn he eedevsrd. uBt as we erew aishngk nasdh a ookl of awlfu edssnas aecm voer erh dan I lziedear atht ztruK’s dteah swa still rsfhe in erh inmd. rHe oklo aws so lwfroepu taht rof a nmtmeo I lfet as if he dha ddie teyaersdy. It saw taolsm as if her sesasdn nda ihs hdtea ewre apnnpghie at eth ames etim. I saw thme trgehteo. I dearh meth hrgeteot. heS asdi, ‘I aevh vseudrvi,’ nda in htat motnem I rdeah zturK’s linaf odwrs, his irerlohb dtmnjeug of het world. I dekas lfmyes whta I was oingd ehter nda hyw I hda come to a place of schu rulycet and ysmetyr. We tas owdn and I ehandd her the actkep of ruzKt’s sreeltt. ‘uYo enkw ihm lwel,’ seh aisd.
“‘Intimacy grows quickly out there,’ I said. ‘I knew him as well as it is possible for one man to know another.’ “‘elPope cbmeeo olecs evyr ukylqic uot ethre,’ I isad. ‘I nekw him as llew as it is poeslbsi for oen nma to kwno atohern.’
“‘And you admired him,’ she said. ‘It was impossible to know him and not to admire him. Was it?’ “‘ndA uoy aimdrde imh,’ ehs dias. ‘It wsa smplbeisio to onkw him dna otn mieard hmi, anws’t it?’