22 January 2012

A Pavilion Among the Clouds

When Georgiana recovered consciousness she found herself breathing an atmosphere of penetrating fragrance, the gentle potency of which had recalled her from her deathlike faintness. The scene around her looked like enchantment. Aylmer had converted those smoky, dingy, sombre rooms, where he had spent his brightest years in recondite pursuits, into a series of beautiful apartments not unfit to be the secluded abode of a lovely woman.

The walls were hung with gorgeous curtains, which imparted the combination of grandeur and grace that no other species of adornment can achieve; and as they fell from the ceiling to the floor, their rich and ponderous folds, concealing all angles and straight lines, appeared to shut in the scene from infinite space. For aught Georgiana knew, it might be a pavilion among the clouds.

Nathaniel Hawthorne; "The Birthmark," Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories

Painting: William Adolphe Bouguereau Return of Spring (1886)

Recondite: adj; 1) Requiring a high degree of scholarship or specialized knowledge; 2) Difficult for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend.


  1. Thanks for telling me what recondite meant. I like Nathaniel Hawthorne, but haven't read a whole bunch. I really should read more classics.

  2. You're a regular riot, Lara. I always enjoy your humorous comments. Couldn't we all use a little extra reading time?


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