Page:Journey Round my Room by Xiavier de Maistre trans. Henry Attwell.djvu/48

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A Journey Round my Room

pressed for time. When there, my hand possessed itself by a mere mechanical effort, of the portrait of Madame de Hautcastel; and the other amused itself with removing the dust which covered it. This occupation produced a feeling of quiet pleasure, and the pleasure was conveyed to my soul, lost though it was in the vast plains of heaven. For it is well to observe that when the mind is thus travelling in space, it still keeps linked to the senses by a secret and subtle chain; so that, without being distracted from its occupations, it can participate in the peaceful joys of the other. But should this pleasure reach a certain pitch, or should the soul be struck by some unexpected vision, it forthwith descends swift as lightning, and resumes its place.

And that is just what happened to me while dusting the picture. Whilst the cloth removed the dust, and brought to