It's similar to, it reminds me of the time I read one of Plato's books in my early twenties, and the man seemed to be communicating directly to me so that I knew exactly what he was saying, and it was as though he knew exactly what I was thinking, and it was as though through an invisible telephone line that spanned through a long area, past time and ages, and directly linked us up together.
This story, is similar, but not the same. It feels like to me that someone is using this writers hand in which to communicate. But there is a tricky aspect to it; as though it would to try to manipulate the timespan in which I am in, presently, rather than to just communicate. I see that someone can throw
Here is the script excerpted from his book, The Angel of the West Window, when I realized what was happening:
From "The Angel of the West Window" by Gustav Meyrink:
"I am eager to read on and find out what Bloody Bishop Bonner did to his heretics and what Bartlett Greene meant when he shouted, "The panther comes!"
And yet for days I have had the feeling that in everything that concerns my cousin's legacy I am, to
Since I started on the task of reconstructing John Dee's conversation with Bartlett Greene, scarcely an hour has passed. And yet I cannot say for sure whether certain sense impressions registered real physical manifestations or whether they were hallucinations, like a shadow even passing through my semi-consciousness. Above all, I wonder at the fact that my room suddenly smelled of panther, or rather, my nostrils were filled with the stench of beasts of prey, and with my mind's eye, I saw the rows of cages behind the circus tent with the big cats pacing restlessly up and down.
How is it that I come to describe the 'entrance' of the lady in such an excessive way, even though she did give the impression of a certain imperious insouciance, of the assurance of one accustomed to giving orders. Written there on the paper the phrases sound as if they come from the pen of a romantic lady novelist, but they are a fairly accurate description of the immediate impression this unknown lady made on me. A lady of the haut monde, indubitably. Her beautiful, pale face seemed to be straining forward on her neck, searching for something. She walked - she glided rather - past me, coming to a halt by the side of my desk. Her hand, like that of a blind person who has learnt to 'see' with his fingertips, groped along the edge of the desk-top, as if looking for support. Finally, it came to a rest, and the woman's whole body seemed to relax, supporting itself on the firmly clenched fist. It was right next to the silver Tula-ware box.
Her inimitable, natural ease overcame the awkwardness, I might even say, strangeness of the situation, with a smile and a few words of excuse, in which the Slav accent was unmistakable. She chatted a while and then posed a question, which forced me to gather my confused thoughts:
"... In brief, I have come to ask a favour. Will you grant it me?"
When an exceptionally beautiful woman deigns to put her pride and grace behind such a request, there is only one possible answer for a gentleman:
" If it lies within my power, then with the greatest pleasure, madam."
I must have given some such answer, for she shot me a swift glance that was indescribably gentle and that seemed briefly to nestle up against me in passing, like a cat. And her next words vibrated with a slow, gentle, remarkably pleasant laugh:
"I thank you. Do not worry, my request is nothing out of the way. It is very simple. Its fulfilment is merely, a matter...of your.....willingness," she hesitated.
I hurried to reassure her, "in that case, if you would just tell me...." She immediately understood the meaning of my drawn-out pause and said, "But my card has been lying on your desk, for..." and again the agreeable, tripping laugh.
Puzzled, I followed the direction of her hand, a slim though not small hand, soft and yet firm, and saw that there was indeed, a card lying near the edge of my desk alongside Stroganoff's silver casket. I had no idea how it had come to be here. I picked it up. --Assja Shotokalungin-- it said, in
The severe, eastern Aryan cut of her features, which recalled both the Greek and the Persian ideal, was unmistakable.
I gave another brief bow to my visitor, who was now sitting stretched out in an armchair by my desk; from time to time, she ran her fingers idly over the Tula box. I watched them closely for I was suddenly struck by the awful thought that they might move the box out of line with the meridian. They did not.
"Your wish is my command, Princess."
Without warning she sat up straight in the chair, and again I was electrified by her bewitching, lambent eyes as she started to speak:
"I should tell you that Sergey Lipotin is an old acquaintance of mine. He catalogued my father's collections in Yekaterinodar. It was he who awoke in me the love of finely-worked old objects. I collect old, how should I put it?, old artifacts from the country of my birth: embroidery, wrought iron and...and especially, weapons; above all, a certain type of weapon, that is, I may say, very highly valued in my country. Amongst other things, I have..." her soft, rippling voice, with its alien accentuation which violated the cadences of German in a marvellously musical way, lapped over me like waves until my blood began to respond with a scarcely perceptible beat. For the moment, what she said was a matter of complete indifference to me, but I found her accent intoxicating, and that, I think, is why today it seems to me that I must have dreamed much of what was done and said - and possibly even thought - between us.
Abruptly, the Princess broke off her description of her tastes as a collector, and came to the point: "It was Lipotin who suggested I come to see you. He told me that you have in your possession a ... a very fine, a very precious, indeed, a venerable object: a spear, or rather, a very finely-worked spearhead. It is inlaid with silver and gold. I know exactly what it looks like; Lipotin gave me a complete description. Perhaps he even acted for you when you acquired it. No matter" -she waved away my astonished protestations- "no matter; I wish to procure this spearhead. Will you let me have it? That is my request."
The last words tumbled over her lips. She was sitting bent forward -"poised to spring" went through my mind. I was surprised, and permitted myself a momentary inward smile at the incomprehensible craving which makes collectors, as soon as they see, or even only scent, a desirable piece, crouch like a panther ready to pounce.
But to return to my Circassian princess: she was rocking back and forward on the edge of her chair, her beautiful features a register of shifting emotions: expectation, gratitude, concern, and overpowering flattery.
I could scarcely conceal my real sense of disappointment at the answer I was forced to give: "Dear Princess, you see an unhappy man before you. Such a trifling request! Such a unique opportunity to be of service to a lady, to an enchanting lady who has so generously put her trust in me! I can hardly bring myself to tell you, but I'm afraid I do not possess the aforesaid weapon, nor have I ever seen it."
To my surprise, the Princess gave me a radiant smile; she leant towards me with an expression of patient indulgence, like a proud mother whose darling boy has just uttered a mindless fib, and whispered: "Lipotin knows. I know. You are the fortunate owner of the spearhead, which I wish to acquire. I am sure you will ... sell it to me. I will be extremely grateful."
"I feel awful to have to tell you this, my dear Princess, but Lipotin is wrong. Lipotin has made a mistake. Somehow Lipotin seems to have confused me with
With one willowy movement, the Princess stood up. She came towards me. Her walk... yes, her walk! Suddenly it comes back to me. It was silent, with a rocking, springy gait and an incredible flowing grace....where was I?
The Princess replied: "It is possible. Of course. Lipotin must have made a mistake. He was not the one who purchased it for you. But that is irrelevant. You have promised to make a present of it to me."
I felt my scalp crawl with desperation, but pulled myself together, determined with every fibre of my body not to arouse this beautiful woman to anger. She stood there before me, her wonderful, gold-flecked eyes wide with expectation, her smile exerting a force I had never felt before; I could hardly restrain myself from taking her hand to cover it with kisses or tears of frustration, frustration that I could not grant her wish. I pulled myself clumsily up to my full height, looked her straight in the eye and gave my voice as deep an expression of honest regret as I could: "For the last time, Princess, I repeat that the spear, or rather the spearhead, that you seek, is not in my possession. It is true that, at various times in my life, my little enthusiasms have led me to collect various objects, but at no time, never, have I collected weapons, parts of weapons, or indeed, any kind of metalwork at all...." I broke off with a guilty start and could not prevent a blush from spreading across my face: this magnificent woman was standing before me with a charming smile, and not the least bit angry...and her right hand was stroking back and forth across the beautiful silver of Lipotin's Tula box, a piece of metalwork, if ever there was, and one that gave the rather obvious lie to my declaration. What explanation could I give? I hunted for words. The Princess waved away my embarrassed stammering: "My dear sir, I believe you, I believe you with all my heart; there is no need for further explanation. I have no wish to pry into the secret of your little enthusiasms. I am sure Lipotin has made a mistake. I can make a mistake. Such things happen. But, I do ask you one last time, in all humility, but in hope, perhaps a vain hope, that you will think again: the spearhead which Lipotin...."
I fell down on my knees before her. Looking back, it was somewhat over-dramatic, but at the time, it seemed to be the only way of emphasizing my fury that my fervent impatience to serve her should be thwarted. I tried to gather my thoughts. I had just about managed to concoct a convincing little speech when, with a quick, gentle and...yes, I must write it: bewitching...smile, she slipped past me to the door, turned round and said: "I see what a struggle it is. Believe me, my dear sir, I do understand; I feel for you. Think it over. You will come to the right decision! I will return another time and you shall grant me my wish. You shall give me the
And with that, the Princess disappeared.
Her presence has left the room around me filled with a subtle fragrance. It is a perfume I have not encountered before: sweet, evanescent, like exotic blooms, and yet with a trace of something stronger, something strangely exhilarating, something, I can't help it - something animal. That visit: I confess it has left me excited - confused - happy - apprehensive - chasing a will-o'-the-wisp - full of disquiet and ... fear.
I feel incapable of doing any more work today. I think I'll pop over to Werrengasse to see Lipotin.
There are two quick notes I must make of things that have just come back to me: when Princess Shotokalungin came into the room, the door was in deep shadow from the heavy curtain behind my desk that was already half drawn. Why do I now have the impression that for a second, the Princess' eyes glowed in the darkness with a phosphorescent light, like an animal's eyes? I know that it wasn't like that! And then: the Princess was wearing a dress of black silk. I felt it must have had a silver underskirt; there were matt metallic waves constantly rippling through the weave. As I picture it in my mind, my eye is suddenly drawn towards the Tula box on the desk in front of me. Black, inlaid with silver - I think that is what the dress must have been like."
Upon further reading... some surprising results are found. First, look at this:
Current Time: Jul 6, 2018 at 2:47:03 pm
Moon Phase Tonight: Waning Crescent
New Moon: Jul 12, 2018 at 10:47 pm
Third Quarter: Jul 6, 2018 at 3:50 am(Previous Phase)
"My way back home took me along the old ramparts, with their splendid view across the fields and hills, to the mountains. It was a pleasant evening, and the landscape stretched out below me was clear and distinct in the moonlight. It was so brightly lit that my eyes instinctively sought the moon, which must have been hidden behind the tops of some mighty chestnut trees. Immediately, between the tree trunks above the ramparts, the moon began to appear, almost a full moon, with a strange greenish tinge and a red halo. As I looked at the coagulating light, strange images of wounds dripping blood forced themselves into my mind and once more, I was unsure: is this real or just an ancient memory? The moon cleared the rampart wall, and at that moment the slim silhouette of a woman passed across the shining disc. It was obviously someone out for an evening stroll and she was coming along the wall in my direction, for a little later I caught a glimpse of the figure as it seemed almost to glide between the tree trunks - yes, glide, that was the right word - and I was struck with the thought that it was the Princess in her silver-black dress coming towards me from the waning moon...
Suddenly the figure disappeared and with it all my self-control. I ran back and forth along the rampart wall like a madman until I regained my senses, slapped my forehead and told myself I was behaving like a lunatic.
Feeling uneasy, I continued on my way home. As I walked, I hummed to myself, and words suggested themselves which, I don't know how or why, I tried to fit to a tangled melody in the rhythm of my footsteps:
From out of the waning moon,
From the silver black of the night,
Look down on me,
Look down on me
Lady, bless me with Thy dark light,
Come to me, Lady, o come to me soon
This meaningless doggerel pursued me all the way to my room and it was only with a great effort that I managed to clear my mind of the monotonous singsong. But now I feel it has some strange significance.
From out of the waning moon...?
The words are offering themselves to me, I can feel it, they come up and rub themselves against my skin like - like black cats.
Much of what has happened to me of late has this sense of strange significance. Or is it all in my mind? It all began, so it seems to me, with my work on the papers of my cousin, John Roger.
What on earth has the waning moon - a tremor runs through me as I realize what put those last three words into my mouth: they appear in the warning written in another hand on the fly leaf of John Dee's notebook, the little tome bound in green morocco!"
Hahahahaahaahahaha...Here's a poem from this book:
O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!
Click HERE for some really beautifully decorated old book covers.
And HERE too.