Wednesday, 30 March 2011

...of movement

She took great care to make no noise at all, therefore advanced exceedingly slowly. When a twig caught the flounces of her ample skirt she loosened it softly from the muslin, so as not to crack it. Once a branch took hold of one of her long golden curls; she stood still, with her arms lifted, to free it. A little way into the grove the soil became moist; her light steps no longer made any sound upon it. With one hand she held her small handkerchief to her lips, as if to emphasise the secretness of her course. She found the spot she sought and bent down to divide the foliage and make a door to her sylvan closet. At this the hem of her dress caught her foot and she stopped to loosen it. As she rose she looked into the face of a man who was already in the shelter.

[The Ring, Dinesen, I.]

...of a marooning

"I am not," he said, "in the habit of talking to rich old people. To tell you the truth, old master, I am not just now in the habit of talking to anybody at all. I shall tell you now the whole story. A fortnight ago, when the schooner Barracuda picked me up and took me on board, I had not spoken a word for a whole year. For a year ago, by the middle of March, my own ship, the bark Amelia Scott, went down in a storm, and of all her crew I alone was cast ashore on an island. There was nobody but me there. It is not, tonight, more than three weeks since I walked there, on the beach of my island. There were many sounds on my island, but no one ever spoke. I myself sang a song there sometimes - you may sing to yourself. But I never spoke."

[The Immortal Story, Dinesen, I.]

...of distress

As he gave his orders he still felt his own figure to be expanding, but he was at the same time sensitive to her deep silence behind him, and silence was ever a difficult thing for him to bear. As if he had had a pair of keen eyes at the back of his head he saw her standing in the middle of the small room, deathly pale from long hardships, as on the evening after the shipwreck, in the boat. Within this conflict between his consciousness of power and his compassion, he for some moments wavered in spirit, and also rocked a little in his chair. Finally he spun right round, and laid his arms on the back of the chair and his chin on his arms, ready to face the sight of the whole world's distress.

[Tempests, Dinesen, I.]

...of prophesy

The thought or notion reached the house on the square. It found a foothold in the servants' hall before it rose to the first floor and was here felt to be of extreme importance. The servants' hall finished by accepting Malli; it even silently closed a ring round the house's young lady-to-be, who owned only one frock and three shifts, and who sang so sweetly.
The thought or notion came up the stairs and into the drawing room of the paintings of majestic ships, and filled it with pregnant silence. It had reached high in its course; in here it was the future itself.

[Tempests, Dinesen, I.]

...of petition

Jochum Hosewinckel and his wife were God-fearing folk; their house was the most decorous in the town and the most charitable to the poor. They had married young and had lived happily, but for a long time their marriage had been childless. In the Hosewinckel family it was a tradition that while paying one's respects to Providence in church on Sunday and in the daily and evening prayers, one did not push oneself forward with personal petitions. Only by a strict, righteous life had the couple brought themselves and their longing to the notice of the Almighty. A small, disturbing question was concealed beneath their silence: was not the Almighty in this matter standing somewhat in His own light? Eighteen years after their wedding their unexpressed prayer was heard, their son came into the world. And gratitude they felt free to show openly. At the christening of the child large endowments were made which bore Arndt Jochumsen Hosewinckel's name. From now on the house displayed a generous hospitality.

[Tempests, Dinesen, I.]

...of dinner guests

As Babette's red-haired familiar opened the door to the dining-room, and the guests slowly crossed the threshold, they let go one another's hands and became silent. But the silence was sweet, for in spirit they still held hands and were still singing.

[Babette's Feast, Dinesen, I.]

...of envy

After a while they realised that the happenings concerned themselves as well as Babette. The country of France, they felt, was slowly rising before their servant's horizon, and correspondingly their own existence was sinking beneath their feet. The ten thousand francs which made her rich - how poor did they not make the house she served! One by one old forgotten cares and worries began to peep out at them from the four corners of the kitchen. The congratulations died on their lips, and the two pious women were ashamed of their own silence.

[Babette's Feast, Dinesen, I.]

...of bearing witness

Brynhild asked for a large amount of gold to be brought and requested all who wanted to accept a gift of wealth to come forward. Then she took a sword and stabbed herself under the arm, sank back into the pillows, and said: "Let each one who wants to receive gold take it now." They were all silent. Brynhild said: "Accept the gold and use it well."

[The Saga of the Volsungs, Anon.]

...of insomnia

Sleep failed him more often now, not once or twice a week but four times, five. What did he do when this happened? He did not take long walks into the scrolling dawn. There was no friend he loved enough to harrow with a call. What was there to say? It was a matter of silences, not words.

[Cosmopolis, DeLillo, D.]

...of a rough area

The car crossed Tenth Avenue and went past the first small grocery and then the truck lot lying empty. He saw two cars parked on the sidewalk, shrouded in torn blue tarp. There was a stray dog, there's always a lean grey dog nosing into wadded pages of a newspaper. The garbage cans here were battered metal, not the gentrified rubber products on the streets to the east, and there was garbage in open boxes and a scatter of trash fanning from a supermarket cart upended in the street. He felt a silence descend, an absence unrelated to the mood of the street at this hour, and the car passed the second small grocery and he saw the ramparts above the train tracks that ran below street level and the garages and body shops sealed for the night, steel shutters marked with graffiti in Spanish and Arabic.

[Cosmopolis, DeLillo, D.]

...of superstition

He liked to track answers to hard questions. This was his method, to attain mastery over ideas and people. But there was something about the idea of asymmetry. It was intriguing in the world outside the body, a counterforce to balance and calm, the riddling little twist, subatomic, that made creation happen. There was the serpentine word itself, slightly off kilter, with the single additional letter that changes everything. But when he removed the word from its cosmological register and applied it to the body of a male mammal, his body, he began to feel pale and spooked. He felt a certain perverse reference to the word. A fear of, a distance from. When he heard the word spoken in a context of urine and semen and when he thought of the word in the shadow of pissed pants, one, and limp-dick desolation, two, he was haunted to the point of superstitious silence.

[Cosmopolis, DeLillo, D.]

...of art

He went back up to the living quarters, walking slowly now, and paused in every room, absorbing what was there, deeply seeing, retaining every fleck of energy in rays and waves.
The art that hung was mainly colour-field and geometric, large canvases that dominated rooms and placed a prayerful hush on the atrium, skylighted, with its high white paintings and trickle fountain. The atrium had the tension and suspense of a towering space that requires pious silence in order to be seen and experienced properly, the mosque of soft footfall and rock doves murmurous in the vaulting.

[Cosmopolis, DeLillo, D.]

Monday, 21 March 2011

...of pensiveness

Nancy had, in fact, been thinking ever since Leonora had made that comment over the giving of the horse to young Selmes. She had been thinking and thinking, because she had had to sit for many days silent beside her aunt's bed. (She had always thought of Leonora as her aunt.) And she had had to sit thinking during many silent meals with Edward. And then, at times, with his bloodshot eyes and creased, heavy mouth, he would smile at her. And gradually the knowledge had come to her that Edward did not love Leonora and that Leonora hated Edward. Several things contributed to form and to harden this conviction.

[The Good Soldier, Ford, F M.]

...of awareness

And Leonora said that, as she went on reading the letter, she had, without looking round her, a sense that that hotel room was cleared, that there were no papers on the table, that there were no clothes on the hooks, and that there was a strained silence - a silence, she said, as if there were something in the room that drank up such sounds as there were. She had to fight against that feeling, whilst she read the postscript of the letter.

[The Good Soldier, Ford, F M.]

...of ignominy

At any rate that was how Florence got to know her. She came round a screen at the corner of the hotel corridor and found Leonora with the gold key that hung from her wrist caught in Mrs Maidan's hair just before dinner. There was not a single word spoken. Little Mrs Maidan was very pale, with a red mark down her left cheek, and the key would not come out of her black hair. It was Florence who had to disentangle it, for Leonora was in such a state that she could not have brought herself to touch Mrs Maidan without growing sick.
And there was not a word spoken. You see, under those four eyes - her own and Mrs Maidan's - Leonora could just let herself go as far as to box Mrs Maidan's ears. But the moment a stranger came along she pulled herself wonderfully up. She was at first silent and then, the moment the key was disengaged by Florence she was in a state to say: 'So awkward of me...I was just trying to put the comb straight in Mrs Maidan's hair...'

[The Good Soldier, Ford, F M.]

...of a portent

'I see, I see' - Miles, for that matter, was grand too. He settled to his repast with the charming little 'table manner' that, from the day of his arrival, had relieved me of all grossness of admonition. Whatever he had been expelled from school for, it wasn't for ugly feeding. He was irreproachable, as always, today; but it was unmistakably more conscious. He was discernibly trying to take for granted more things than he found, without assistance, quite easy; and he dropped into peaceful silence while he felt the situation. Our meal was of the briefest - mine a vain pretence, and I had the things immediately removed. While this was done Miles stood again with his hands in his little pockets and his back to me - stood and looked out of the wide window through which, that other day, I had seen what pulled me up. We continued silent while the maid was with us - as silent, it whimsically occurred to me, as some young couple who, on their wedding-journey, at the inn, feel shy in the presence of the waiter. He turned round only when the waiter had left us. 'Well - so we're alone!'

[The Turn of the Screw, James, H.]

...of malice

Flora, a short way off, stood before us on the grass and smiled as if her performance had now become complete. The next thing she did, however, was to stoop straight down and pluck - quite as if it were all she was there for - a big ugly spray of withered fern. I at once felt sure she had just come out of the copse. She waited for us, not herself, taking a step, and I was conscious of the rare solemnity with which we presently approached her. She smiled and smiled, and we met; but it was all done in a silence by this time flagrantly ominous. Mrs Grose was the first to break the spell: she threw herself on her knees and, drawing the child to her breast, clasped in a long embrace the little tender yielding body. While this dumb convulsion lasted I could only watch it - which I did the more intently when I saw Flora's face peep at me over our companion's shoulder. It was serious now - the flicker had left it; but it strengthened the pang with which I at that moment envied Mrs Grose the simplicity of her relation. Still, all this while, nothing more passed between us save that Flora had let her foolish fern again drop to the ground. What she and I had virtually said to each other was that pretexts were useless now. When Mrs Grose finally got up she kept the child's hand, so that the two were still before me; and the singular reticence of our communion was even more marked in the frank look she addressed me. 'I'll be hanged,' it said, 'if I'll speak!'

[The Turn of the Screw, James, H.]

...of a confrontation

I had plenty of anguish after that extraordinary moment, but I had, thank God, no terror. And he knew I hadn't - I found myself at the end of an instant magnificently aware of this. I felt, in a fierce rigour of confidence, that if I stood my ground a minute I should cease - for the time at least - to have him to reckon with; and during the minute, accordingly, the thing was as human and hideous as a real interview: hideous just because it was human, as human as to have met some adventurer, some criminal. It was the dead silence of our long gaze at such close quarters that gave the whole horror, huge as it was, its only note of the unnatural. If I had met a murderer in such a place and at such an hour we still at least would have spoken. Something would have passed, in life, between us; if nothing had passed one of us would have moved. The moment was so prolonged that it would have taken but little more to make me doubt if even I were in life. I can't express what followed it save for saying that the silence itself - which was indeed in a manner an attestation of my strength - became the element into which I saw the figure disappear; in which I definitely saw it turn, as I might have seen the low wretch to which it had once belonged turn on receipt of an order, and pass, with my eyes on the villainous back that no hunch could have more disfigured, straight down the staircase and into the darkness in which the next bend was lost.

[The Turn of the Screw, James, H.]

...of admiration

'I sprang up with an ejaculation, and she, with a smile, laid her finger, ever so warningly, yet with a sort of delicate dignity, to her lips. I knew it meant silence, but the strange thing was that it seemed immediately to explain and justify her. We at any rate stood for a time that, as I've told you, I can't calculate, face to face. It was just as you and I stand now.'
'Simply staring?'
He shook an impatient head. 'Ah! we're not staring!'
'Yes, but we're talking.'
'Well, we were - after a fashion.' He lost himself in the memory of it. 'It was as friendly as this.' I had on my tongue's end to ask if that was saying much for it, but I made the point instead that what they had evidently done was to gaze in mutual admiration. Then I asked if his recognition of her had been immediate. 'Not quite,' he replied, 'for of course I didn't expect her; but it came to me long before she went who she was - who only she could be.'

[The Friends of the Friends, James, H.]

...of a ghost

She would have had to say it before another person as well, for at that moment there stepped into the room from the terrace - the window had been left open - a gentleman who had come into sight, at least into mine, only within the instant. Mrs Marden had said 'Here they come,' but he appeared to have followed her daughter at a certain distance. I recognised him at once as the personage who had sat beside us in church. This time I saw him better, saw his face and his carriage were strange. I speak of him as a personage, because one felt, indescribably, as if a reigning prince had come into the room. He held himself with something of the grand air and as if he were different from his company. Yet he looked fixedly and gravely at me, till I wondered what he expected. Did he consider that I should bend my knee or kiss his hand? He turned his eyes in the same way on Mrs Marden, but she knew what to do. After the first agitation produced by his approach she took no more notice of him whatever; it made me remember her passionate adjuration to me. I had to achieve a great effort to imitate her, for though I knew nothing about him but that he was Sir Edmund Orme his presence acted as a strong appeal, almost as an oppression. He stood there without speaking - young pale handsome clean-shaven decorous, with extraordinary light blue eyes and something old-fashioned, like a portrait of years ago, in his head and in his manner of wearing his hair. He was in complete mourning - one immediately took him for very well dressed - and he carried his hat in his hand. He looked again strangely hard at me, harder than anyone in the world had ever looked before; and I remember feeling rather cold and wishing he would say something. No silence had ever seemed to me so soundless. All this was of course an impression intensely rapid; but that it had consumed some instants was proved to me suddenly by the expression of countenance of Charlotte Marden, who stared from one of us to the other - he never looked at her, and she had no appearance of looking at him - and then broke out with: 'What on earth is the matter with you? You've such odd faces!' I felt the colour come back to mine, and when she went on in the same tone, 'One would think you had seen a ghost!' I was conscious I had turned very red. Sir Edmund Orme never blushed, and I was sure no embarrassment touched him. One had met people of that sort, but never any one with so high an indifference.

[Sir Edmund Orme, James, H.]

...of guarding a secret

I found it advisable in any case, to carefully keep the secret of my happiness to myself. I realised I would have to be on my own guard not to reveal my sensitive knowledge or break my pleasant, auspicious silence, a mistake that could only cause me trouble and deprive me of my well-being without benefitting me at all. When we realise that words can destroy something good, wonderful, and dear, and that by keeping silent we can avoid causing the least damage or harm, its easy to stay silent.

[Marie, Walser, R.]

- submitted by Pearce, M A.

...of temperament

"I've never cried," she continued, "but also I've never been especially gay. I understand nothing of these distinctions, these various things. I've always been solemn, always just as you see me now. I've never been angry or sad. I'm always the same, and so people called me indifferent and looked at me wickedly, though I've never brought anyone sorrow or harm. People never understood me, and so they became angry, spurned me, and drove me away, they want to know and understand everything at once. My silence, which I love as I do the heaven I have faith in, roused them against me. I offended them with my calmness, my silence, but it wasn't out of spite I was calm and silent. I've never wished to offend anyone with my bearing. I was born as I am, but people always think one is intentionally this way or another. This doesn't other me much, and today, when you're with me, not at all. You're good, you love me and trust me. You're calm and aren't afraid of me."

[Marie, Walser, R.]

- submitted by Pearce, M A.

...of a village

'How beautiful, how friendly it had grown in the darkening west. Good green pastures crept tenderly, gracefully, amiably beside me; all sorts of thoughts crept like fawning kittens at my heels. Many of these thoughts made me unexpectedly laugh quietly or aloud. Pleasant hopes, delightful, joyous prospects, dear, sweet little dreams accompanied me, sprang daintily after me on silent, golden feet, making me rich, light, carefree and confident. And how autumnally damp and soft the evening road was. Already a few patches of whitish fog descended in streaks and ghostly lines upon the adjacent meadows, which seemed to float, and here and there from the windows of the silent houses the lamps already shone. Dark human figures! And everything all around so deep, so primevally beautiful, so still, black, and soundless.'

[The Aunt, Walser, R.]

- submitted by Pearce, M A.

...of a storm

There was still no man at the helm. The immobility of all things was perfect. If the air had turned black, the sea, for all I knew, might have turned solid. It was no good looking in any direction, watching for any sign, speculating upon the nearness of the moment. When the time came the blackness would overwhelm silently the bit of starlight falling upon the ship, and the end of all things would come without a sigh, stir, or murmur of any kind, and all our hearts would cease to beat, like run-down clocks.

[The Shadow-Line, Conrad, J.]

...of a ship

'We have lost Koh-ring at last. For many days now I don't think I have been two hours below altogether. I remain on deck, of course, night and day, and the nights and the days wheel over us in succession, whether long or short, who can say? All sense of time is lost in the monotony of expectation, of hope, and of desire - which is only one: Get the ship to the southward! Get the ship to the southward! The effect is curiously mechanical; the sun climbs and descends, the night swings over our heads as if somebody below the horizon were turning a crank. It is the pettiest, the most aimless! ... and all through that miserable performance I go on, tramping, tramping the deck. How many miles have I walked on the poop of that ship! A stubborn pilgrimage of sheer restlessness, diversified by short excursions below to look upon Mr Burns. I don't know whether it is an illusion, but he seems to become more substantial from day to day. He doesn't say much, for, indeed, the situation doesn't lend itself to idle remarks. I notice this even with the men as I watch them moving or sitting about the decks. They don't talk to each other. It strikes me that if there exist an invisible ear catching the whispers of the earth, it will find this ship the most silent spot on it...

[The Shadow-Line, Conrad, J.]

...of reproach

I would have held them justified in tearing me limb from limb. The silence which followed upon my words was almost harder to bear than the angriest uproar. I was crushed by the infinite depths of its reproach. But, as a matter of fact, I was mistaken. In a voice which I had great difficulty in keeping firm, I went on: 'I suppose, men, you have understood what I said, and you know what it means?'

[The Shadow-Line, Conrad, J.]

...of dead calm

After sunset I came out on deck again to meet only a still void. The thin, featureless crust of the coast could not be distinguished. The darkness had risen around the ship like a mysterious emanation from the dumb and lonely waters. I leaned on the rail and turned my ear to the shadows of the night. Not a sound. My command might have been a planet flying vertiginously on its appointed path in a space of infinite silence. I clung to the rail as if my sense of balance were leaving me for good. How absurd. I hailed nervously.

[The Shadow-Line, Conrad, J.]

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

...of Morar and Salgar slain

Who lie on the heath beside me?Are they my love and my brother? Speak to me, O my friends! To Colma they give no reply. Speak to me: I am alone! My soul is tormented with fears. Ah, they are dead! Their swords are red from the fight. O my brother! my brother! why hast thou slain my Salgar! Why, O Salgar, hast thou slain my brother! Dear were ye to me! What shall I say in your praise? Thou wert fair on the hill among thousands! he was terrible in fight! Speak to me! hear my voice! hear me, sons of my love! They are silent! silent for ever! Cold, cold, are their breasts of clay! Oh, from the rock on the hill, from the top the windy steep, speak ye ghosts of the dead! Speak, I will not be afraid! Whither are ye gone to rest? In what cave of the hill shall I find the departed? No feeble voice is on the gale: no answer half drowned in the storm!

[The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe, J W v.]

...of assent

It was a mild evening, and a thaw was approaching, so Lotte and Albert returned on foot. During the walk, she looked about her at points, for all the world as if she missed Werther's company. Albert began to speak of him, and, remaining scrupulously fair, censured Werther. He touched upon his unhappy passion, and wished it were possible to be rid of him. - 'I wish it for our own sake's, too,' he said, and continued: 'and I'd ask you to see that he behaves rather differently towards you, and cuts down on these frequent visits. People are starting to notice, and I know that here and there it is talked about.' - Lotte was silent, and Albert seemed to feel her silence; at all events, from that time he no longer made any mention of Werther to her, and if she did so he either dropped the conversation or changed the subject.

[The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe, J W v.]

...of an introvert

That the life of Man is but a dream has been sensed by many a one, and I too am never free of the feeling. When I consider the restrictions that are placed on the active, inquiring energies of Man; when I see that all our efforts have no other result than to satisfy needs which in turn serve no purpose but to prolong our wretched existence, and then see that all our reassurance concerning the particular questions we probe is no more than a dreamy resignation, since all we are doing is to paint our prison walls with colourful figures and bright views - all of this, Wilhelm, leaves me silent. I withdraw into myself, and discover a world, albeit a notional world of dark desire rather than actuality and vital strength. And everything swims before my senses, and I go my way in the world wearing the smile of a dreamer.

[The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe, J W v.]

...of opposition

Baines was urging, hoping, entreating, commanding, and the girl looked at the tea and the china pots and cried. Baines passed his handkerchief across the table, but she wouldn't wipe her eyes; she screwed it in her palm and let the tears run down, wouldn't do anything, wouldn't speak, would only put up a silent despairing resistance to what she dreaded and wanted and refused to listen to at any price. The two brains battled over the tea-cups loving each other, and there came to Phillip outside, beyond the ham and wasps and dusty Pimlico pane, a confused indication of the struggle.

[The Fallen Idol, Greene, G.]

...of the Russian Zone

Deliberately he had given Kurtz no warning of his visit. Better to find him out than a reception prepared for him. He was careful to carry with him all his papers, including the laissez-passer of the Four Powers that on the face of it allowed him to pass freely through all the zones of Vienna. It was extraordinarily quiet over here on the other side of the canal, and a melodramatic journalist had painted a picture of silent terror, but the truth was simply the wider streets, the greater shell damage, the fewer people - and Sunday afternoon. There was nothing to fear, but all the same, in this huge empty street where all the time you heard your own feet moving, it was difficult not to look behind.

[The Third Man, Greene, G.]

...of a spy

He walked rapidly away. He didn't bother to see whether he was being followed, to check up on the shadow. But, passing by the end of a street, he happened to turn, and there just around the corner, pressed against a wall to escape notice, was a thick stocky figure. Martins stopped and stared. There was something familiar about that figure. Perhaps, he thought, I have grown unconsciously used to him during these last twenty-four hours; perhaps he is one of those who have so assiduously checked my movements. Martins stood there, twenty yards away, staring at the silent motionless figure in the dark street who stared back at him. A police spy, perhaps, or an agent of those other men, those men who had corrupted Harry first and then killed him - even possibly the third man?

[The Third Man, Greene, G.]

...of premonition

How quickly one becomes aware of silence even in so silent a city as Vienna with the snow steadily settling. Martins hadn't reached the second floor before he was convinced that he would not find Lime there, but the silence was deeper than just absence - it was as if he would not find Lime anywhere in Vienna, and, as he reached the third floor and saw the big black bow over the door handle, anywhere in the world at all. Of course it might have been a cook who had died, a housekeeper, anybody but Harry Lime, but he knew - he felt he had known twenty stairs down - that Lime, the Lime he had hero-worshipped now for twenty years, since the first meeting in a grim school corridor with a cracked bell ringing for prayers, was gone. Martins wasn't wrong, not entirely wrong. After he had rung the bell half a dozen times a small man with a sullen expression put his head out from another flat and told him in a tone of vexation, 'It's no use. There's nobody there. He's dead.'

[The Third Man, Greene, G.]

Friday, 4 March 2011

...of a hiding place

Suddenly they heard dogs barking. And words in a foreign language: 'Asta! Asta! Wo sind die Juden?' There was a growing rumble over their heads: the Germans had climbed out of the dormer-window onto the roof.
Then the thundering in the black tin sky died down. Through the walls they heard quiet, sly blows - someone was testing for echoes.
The hiding place became silent. It was a terrible silence, a silence of tensed shoulders and necks, of bared teeth, of eyes bulging out of their sockets.

[Life and Fate, Grossman, V.]

...of the laws of the camp

It was terrible. Dozens of people must have heard last night's murder, must even have seen the man walking up to Rubin's place. It would have been easy for one of them to jump up and raise the alarm. Together they could have dealt with the murderer in no time. They could have saved their comrade. But no one had looked up; no one had called out. A man had been slaughtered like a lamb. And everyone had just lain there, pretending to be asleep, burying their heads in their jackets, trying not to cough, trying not to hear the dying man writhing in agony.
How vile! What pathetic submissiveness!
But then he too had been awake, he too had kept silent, he too had buried his head in his jacket... Yes, there was a reason for this submissiveness - it was born of experience, of an understanding of the laws of the camp.

[Life and Fate, Grossman, V.]

...of the final judgement

Ling bowed silently, because he knew no one was allowed to speak before the priests masked for the New Year's celebration, or at the final judgement which concludes each human life. Esel was also silent, intimidated by the five shamans who would soon either grant her solemn reward or announce her final punishment. Pablo was astonished to find himself facing a tribunal, for he had never believed that punishment or reward awaited men after death.
No one spoke or moved and the silence soon became intolerable. Pablo stared at the five judges, waiting for a gesture or a word. But these five figures were totally devoid of expression, enclosed in their masks. The one in the middle was sitting on a raised platform higher than the others, perhaps he was the chief magistrate. His arm was resting on an enormous leather-bound book of parchment. His marble-like mask reminded Pablo of an ancient fountain, and for a moment he half-expected to see a jet of water gush forth from the judge's mouth. The chairs of the two figures sitting beside him were placed on a lower platform. One of them was wearing a yellow Chinese mask with a drooping black moustache, while the other wore an African mask with big lips. The masks were quite cheap looking, made of papier-mache, like children's carnival masks. The chair of the fourth was still lower. His face was hidden behind a ruddy Santa Claus mask, with puffy cheeks and a beard and moustache of cotton wool. He reminded Pablo of snow, fireplaces, Christmas trees and lighted candles. On the other side of Santa Claus sat the last judge, in a handsome scarlet mask made of some shiny, expensive material. The sunken cheeks and tightly drawn features of his mask created a most disturbing effect. Pablo felt afraid as he contemplated these five judges: their immobility, their silence, their very existence were bewildering, absurd. He was frightened, for he could not decide whether they were giant puppets which he could easily knock over with one blow, or supernatural beings of great power. Were they really here to pass sentence? Then why were they silent? Pablo could resist no longer.

[The White Book, Scanziani, P.]

- submitted by Pearce, M A.

...of Seth

Seth felt himself wrapped in a silence so dense it oppressed his chest. The little girl at his side was staring at Abel, her mouth twisted in a grimace of fear. Seth could not bear to look at him for long and sought in vain for something else to look at to break the spell. He stared at his own shadow, and then at a couple of deer grazing calmly in their pen, remote from the silence which had invaded the world. But his eyes returned all by themselves to Abel's body.

[The White Book, Scanziani, P.]

- submitted by Pearce, M A.

...of The Creator

Adam and Eve found themselves outside Eden, beyond the four rivers. God had just fallen silent. The reverberation of his voice hung in the air and the hearts of His creatures were trembling with fear. Adam and Eve listened as the echo slowly died away in the vast luminosity of the sky, muted by the endless forests which covered the earth. Their fear subsided as the echo faded. In the deep silence they could hear the sound of a river. Adam said, 'Let's go back to Eden. Now He is silent.'

[The White Book, Scanziani, P.]

- submitted by Pearce, M.A.

...of a rift

That day, a Saturday, was a horrible day. They didn't leave the house. In Kate's room, hardly speaking, they played draughts and Monopoly and Rickety Ann and Switch and Racing Demon. She hated the silence and felt subdued by it, and in the end defeated. When she tried to be cheerful she ended up flustered and red-faced, clammy all over. At lunch-time in the kitchen she tried to cover the silence up by chattering about anything that came into her head, but her chattering made the silence more obvious. Stephen didn't say a single word. Mrs Blakey became worried, and it showed.

[The Children of Dynmouth, Trevor, W.]

...of reticence

'Poor Miss Poraway,' Quentin said as they washed the tea dishes, and Lavinia - not feeling agreeably disposed towards Miss Poraway - did not say anything. She wished she could only she was sorry now, not in the middle of the night when he was asleep. It wasn't his fault; he did his best. It wasn't easy for him, all those women bickering and only a handful of people out of Dynmouth's thousands ever setting foot in his church, and Mr Peniket sighing over the decline of church life. She wished she could say she knew she was being difficult and edgy, taking it out on him because she'd been denied another child. But although she tried to speak, actually tried to form words and force them out of her mouth, no words came. They washed and dried in silence, and then the twins appeared with lemon cake all over them.

[The Children of Dynmouth, Trevor, W.]

...of a whole school

He walked with Miss Tomm back to the school, carrying his pyjamas and dressing-gown and slippers. They would be late for breakfast, he said, because the bell had stopped ringing more than a minute ago. Mr Deccles had promised it wouldn't matter, Miss Tomm said, and when they entered the dining-hall together he knew that the Craw had told the whole school what had happened. There was a silence when they entered the dining-hall, which continued while Miss Tomm went to the sideboard where the cornflakes were given out, while he himself pushed to his place.
The boys at his table looked at him, and although talk had begun again at other tables the boys at his remained silent. Quiet-Now Simpson, who was at the head of the table, didn't know what to say.

[The Children of Dynmouth, Trevor, W.]

...of ruminating

The train rushed through the dismal afternoon, the silence between them had an edge to it. Stephen was often silent, but she knew he was thinking now of their parent' marriage, and wondering about it. Two facts made it possible: the divorce of her own parents and the death of his mother. The divorce had happened before she or Stephen could remember. Now and again her father came back to Dynmouth, or to see her at St Cecilia's, but the visits made her unhappy because his presence caused her to sense the trouble, and the pain there'd been. She couldn't help not liking him, sensing as well that it was he who had been cruel, that he had deserted her mother for the wife he was now married to.

[The Children of Dynmouth, Trevor, W.]