Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2) A Man Of Our Day
And with what reason should this be the Paradise of all who have lived and sighed, and warbled and pirouetted, within the charmed circle of the footlights? We will send you an SMS containing a verification code. Please double check your mobile number and click on "Send Verification Code". Enter the code below and hit Verify.
Davenport Dunn : Charles James Lever :
Free Returns Changed your mind, you can return your product and get a full refund. Cash on Delivery Pay for your order in cash at the moment the shipment is delivered to your doorstep. Don't have an account? Update your profile Let us wish you a happy birthday! Make sure to buy your groceries and daily needs Buy Now. Let us wish you a happy birthday! Everything that money could buy, and bad taste suggest, are there heaped with a profusion that is actually confounding.
Every stone stair leads to some new surprise; every table-land opens some fresh and astonishing prospect. Incongruous, inharmonious, tea-gardenish as it is, there is still a charm in the spot which no efforts of the vilest taste seem able to eradicate.
Davenport Dunn, a Man of Our Day. Volume 1
The vines will cluster in graceful groupings; the oranges will glow in gorgeous contrast to their dark mantle of leaves; water will leap with its own spontaneous gladness, and fall in diamond showers over a grassy carpet no emerald ever rivalled; and, more than all, the beautiful lake itself will reflect the picture, with such softened effects of light and shadow, that all the perversions of human ingenuity are totally lost in the transmission. The prevailing zeal of our day is to simplify everything, even to things which will not admit of simplicity.
Science has been popularised, remote geographies made familiar, complex machinery explained, mysterious inscriptions rendered intelligible.
How could it be expected that in the general enthusiasm for useful knowledge medicine should escape, or that its secrets should be exempt from a scrutiny that has spared nothing? We are not going to quarrel with any of these new religions; we forgive them much for the simple service they have done, in withdrawing their followers from the confined air, the laborious life, the dreary toil, or the drearier dissipation of cities, to the fresh and invigorating breezes, the cheerful quietude, and the simple pleasures of a country existence.
It was a good thought, too, to press the picturesque into the service of health, and show the world what benefits may flow, even to nerves and muscles, from elevated thoughts and refined pleasures. All this is, however, purely digressionary, since we are more concerned with the social than the medical aspects of Hydropathy, and so we come back at once to Como.
Every rock, and crag, and promontory are picked out with a sharp distinctness, every window is a-blaze, and streams of light shoot into many a grove and copse, as though glad to pierce their way into cool spots where the noonday sun himself can never enter. On the opposite shore, a dim and mysterious shadow wraps every object, faint outlines of tower and palace loom through the darkness, and a strange hazy depth encloses the whole scene.
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Such is the stillness, however, that the opening of a casement, or the plash of a stone in the water, is heard across the lake, and voices come from the mysterious gloom with an effect almost preternaturally striking. On a terrace high up above the lake, sheltered with leafy fig-trees and prickly pears, there walks a gentleman, sniffing the morning air, and evidently bent on inhaling health at every pore.
Nothing in his appearance indicates the invalid; every gesture, as he moves, rather displays a conscious sense of health and vigour. Somewhat above the middle size, compactly but not heavily built, it is very difficult to guess his years; for though his hair and the large whiskers which meet beneath his chin are perfectly white, his clear blue eyes and regular teeth show no signs of age. Singularly enough, it is his dress that gives the clue to this mystery. Early as was the hour, his dress was perfect in all its details, and the accurate folds of his immaculate cravat, and the spotless brilliancy of his boots, would have done credit to Bond-street in days when Bond-street cherished such glories.
Let our modern critics sneer as they will at the dandyism of that day, the gentleman of the time was a very distinctive individual, and, in the subdued colour of his habiliments, their studious simplicity, and, above all, their unvarying uniformity, utterly defied all the attempts of spurious imitators.
Our story opens only a few years back, and Lord Lackington was then one of the very few who perpetuated the traditions in costume of that celebrated period; but he did so with such unerring accuracy, that men actually wondered where those marvellously shaped hats were made, or how those creaseless coats were ever fashioned.
Even to the perfume of his handkerchief, the faintest and most evanescent of odours, all were mysteries that none could penetrate. Trickle away little fountain — the picture is the better for it. Like poverty, hydropathy makes us acquainted with strange associates.
The present establishment was too recently formed to have acquired any very distinctive celebrity, but it was sufficiently crowded. The first figure which emerged upon the plateau was that of a man swathed in great-coat, cap, and worsted wrappers, that it was difficult to guess what he could be. Spicer, have you got off that eleven pounds yet?
And the other made an attempt at a salutation, and passed on. This compliment was addressed to a little, very fat old lady, who came snorting along like a grampus.