Siegmund's violin, desired of Helena, lay in its case beside Siegmund's lean portmanteau inthe white dust of the lumber-room in Highgate. It was worth twenty pounds, but Beatricehad not yet roused herself to sell it; she kept the black case out of sight.Siegmund's violin lay in the dark, folded up, as he had placed it for the last time, with hasty,familiar hands, in its red silk shroud. After two dead months the first string had snapped,sharply striking the sensitive body of the instrument. The second string had broken nearChristmas, but no one had heard the faint moan of its going. The violin lay mute in the dark,a faint odour of must creeping over the smooth, soft wood. Its twisted, withered strings laycrisped from the anguish of breaking, smothered under the silk folds. The fragrance ofSiegmund himself, with which the violin was steeped, slowly changed into an odour ofmust.Siegmund died out even from his violin. He had infused it with his life, till its fibres hadbeen as the tissue of his own flesh. Grasping his violin, he seemed to have his fingers on thestrings of his heart and of the heart of Helena. It was his little beloved that drank his beingand turned it into music. And now Siegmund was dead; only an odour of must remained ofhim in his violin.It lay folded in silk in the dark, waiting. Six months before it had longed for rest; during thelast nights of the season, when Siegmund's fingers had pressed too hard, when Siegmund'spassion, and joy, and fear had hurt, too, the soft body of his little beloved, the violin hadsickened for rest. On that last night of opera, without pity Siegmund had struck the closingphrases from the fiddle, harsh in his impatience, wild in anticipation.The curtain came down, the great singers bowed, and Siegmund felt the spattering roar ofapplause quicken his pulse. It was hoarse, and savage, and startling on his inflamed soul,making him shiver with anticipation, as if something had brushed his hot nakedness.Quickly, with hands of habitual tenderness, he put his violin away.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.38(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:September 11, 1885
Date of Death:March 2, 1930
Place of Birth:Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England
Place of Death:Vence, France
Education:Nottingham University College, teacher training certificate, 1908