Open main menu

Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/124

This page has been validated.

Lun. Aloft, Sir, stands the first and chiefest! That soaring minaret! That gorgeous cupola! That dreamlike effulgence of—

Ven. That wooden box?

Lun. The same. Sir! 'Tis mine!

Ven. (after a pause). Sir, it is worthy of you.

Lun. Lower now your eyes by a hairsbreadth, and straight you light upon my second deed. Oh Sir, what toil of brain, what cudgelling of forehead, what rending of locks, went to the fashioning of it!

Ven. Mean you that newly-made gap?

Lun. I do. Sir. 'Tis mine!

Ven. (after a long pause). What else, Sir? I would fain know the worst.

Lun. (wildly). It comes, it comes! My third great deed ! Lend, lend your ears—your nose—any feature you can least conveniently spare! See you those twin doorways? Tall and narrow they loom upon you—severely simple their outline—massive the masonry between—black as midnight the darkness within! Sir, of what do they mind you?

Ven. Of vaults, Sir, and of charnel-houses.