Twixt doleful songs, tears, and sad elegies, Such as old grandames
, watching by the dead, Are wont to outwear the night with.
I will expound to you -- as I alone can -- the secret of the enginery that effected the Rattleborough miracle -- the one, the true, the admitted, the undisputed, the indisputable miracle, which put a definite end to infidelity among the Rattleburghers and converted to the orthodoxy of the grandames
all the carnal-minded who had ventured to be sceptical before.
We behold aged men and grandames
, a clergyman with the Puritanic stiffness still in his garb and mien, and a red-coated officer of the old French war; and there comes the shop-keeping Pyncheon of a century ago, with the ruffles turned back from his wrists; and there the periwigged and brocaded gentleman of the artist's legend, with the beautiful and pensive Alice, who brings no pride out of her virgin grave.
We are like children who repeat by rote the sentences of grandames
and tutors, and, as they grow older, of the men of talents and character they chance to see,--painfully recollecting the exact words they spoke; afterwards, when they come into the point of view which those had who uttered these sayings, they understand them and are willing to let the words go; for at any time they can use words as good when occasion comes.
And it seldom happened that they did not have one "given" them; for nearly every old Breton grandame
has, at least once in her life, seen the "korrigans" dance by moonlight on the heather.
the tales With which this day the children she beguiled She gleaned from Breton grandames
, when a child, In every hut along this sea-coast wild.
We are like children," he explains, "who repeat by rote the sentences of the grandames
and tutors, and, as they grow older, of the men of talents and character they chance to see--painfully recollecting the exact words they spoke" (1983, 270-71).