Page:Germ Growers.djvu/148

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143
SIGNOR DAVELLI.

quite easy and affable. Once or twice only I observed an air of effort, and even that seemed as of an effort graciously undertaken even if painful. Once or twice also a sort of spasm crossed his face as of self-repression of some sort. And once it seemed as if he were about to spring forward but checked himself, and his face then reminded me of the faces of his men yesterday in this very square when they first recognised our presence.

He bade us be seated, and he took a seat himself and began to talk to us. Our seats faced his and there was a pathway like a garden walk between us. I remember noticing as he began to speak that the same strange flowers and shrubs which I had seen outside grew in great abundance along this pathway.

Signor Davelli led the conversation quickly, but not at all with violence, to themes of an abstract character, and he presently settled down to the discussion of no less a subject than free will.

You would not thank me if I were to give you (supposing I could do so) a full account of all that he said. I will, therefore, not make any such attempt. I will only say that his remarks were bold and interesting, although he presented no aspect of the question which was absolutely new to me, and that he spoke apparently with strong feeling and fervour, and even some-