Time was moving as it usually moved upon a long November evening, moving all too quickly for him. Mr Grobe began to wonder at what evening hour, had he any choice in the matter, he would prefer time to stay, so that his thoughts, that at those times were not all unhappy, might stay with him.
He wouldn't wish to choose too late an hour for the longest one. He preferred to be meditatively inclined, rather than sleepily, when time stopped. He wanted to choose the time when the tobacco tasted the sweetest, and when the deeper night hadn't put its hand upon the fire.
He wouldn't wish any thought, however long and pleasing, to remind him that bed-time was come; 'bed-time' that, in the way of symbolism, might be called 'grave-time' too.
He might even, he thought, if the time halted at the right hour, sit and brood during the long evening, and discover his lost God, and even bring Him into that very room, and sit Him upon that chair and get Him to talk about the weather out-of-doors.
Alice was in her grave, and the Almighty in His, but the lamplight always cast a timid doubt upon His burial; and if a doubt lay there, then why, even she might come to him again, if He came.
Such feelings, even if they be but poetry and a lie - and for that matter, a lie may be as immortal as a truth - occupied Mr Grobe and gave his thoughts an everlasting trend. A time of quietude that is full of the right contentment, can solace, just as the fierce agony, the vast joy of passion, can arm each participator with so holy an ecstasy that the valley of the shadow is passed in a moment, and the yellow sun is seen rising over the mountains of eternity.
But even with death defeated in one manner or another, modest death still has his set duties to perform, and immortality, viewed in passion or solitude, can only be but the patches of sunlight seen upon a dull, hot summer's day, when the thin, soft clouds are above. But these patches should at least console us a little for the loss of ourselves.
Folly Down rectory was very silent now, and even the rats, as if each had taken to its hole a Latin grammar to study stolen from the late Richard Grobe, were utterly still.
[Mr Weston's Good Wine, Powys, T. F.]