Skip to content

But Time Had Done It

It was a curious thing about Berkeley and Denys,—who were so deeply regretted by their friends in England when they emigrated, and so much beloved and admired in the Colony,—that they should be all the same, outcasts. It was not a society that had thrown them out, and not any place in the whole world either, but time had done it, they did not belong to their century. No other nation than the English could have produced them, but they were examples of atavism, and theirs was an earlier England, a world which no longer existed. In the present epoch they had no home, but had got to wander here and there, and in the course of time they also came to the farm. Of this they were not themselves aware. They had, on the contrary, a feeling of guilt towards their existence in England which they had left, as if, just because they were bored with it, they had been running away from a duty with which their friends had put up. Denys, when he came to talk of his young days,—although he was so young still,—and of his prospects, and the advice that his friends in England sent him, quoted Shakespeare’s Jaques: “If it do come to pass That any man turn ass, Leaving his wealth and ease A stubborn will to please…”

—Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.