Chapter 1 The meeting In your mind's eye, make a picture of this specific event. Oh, Isola; how could you stop out so late, and on such a stormy evening? remonstrated Allegra. VI THE AGE OF THE GIANTS It's none of these things. It's Joanne, one of the tellers. 日本毛片高清免费视频 Algernon pursed up his mouth and raised his eyebrows. Bian. Oh! help! One was her Shelley鈥攈er much-read Shelley鈥攁 shabby, cloth-bound volume, bought in her girlhood at the book-seller's in the Place Duguesclin, where English books could be got by special order, and at special prices. The other was an Italian Testament, which her husband had bought her at San Remo, and in which she had read with extreme diligence and with increasing fervour as her mind became more deeply moved by Father Rodwell's sermons. It was not that she had ever been one of those advanced thinkers who will accept no creed which does not square with their own little theories and fit in to their own narrow circle of possibilities. She had never doubted the creed she had been taught in her childhood, but she had thought very[Pg 254] little about serious things, since she was a young girl, preparing for her confirmation, touched with girlish enthusiasm, and very much in earnest. In these fair spring days, and in this city of many memories, all young thoughts had reawakened in her mind. She pored over the familiar Gospel-stories, and again, as in the first freshness of her girlhood, she saw the sacred figure of the Redeemer and Teacher in all the vivid light and colour of a reality, close at hand. Faith stretched a hand across the abyss of time, and brought the old world of the Gospel-story close to her; the closer, because she was in Rome, not far from that church which enshrines the print of the Divine footstep, when He who was God and Man, appeared to His disciple, to foreshadow approaching martyrdom, to inspire the fortitude of the martyr. Yes, although the Saviour's earthly feet never entered the city, every hill and every valley within and without those crumbling walls has interwoven itself so closely with the story of His life鈥攖hrough the work of His saints and martyrs鈥攖hat it is nowise strange if the scenes and images of the sacred story seem nearer and more vivid in Rome than in any other place on earth, not excepting Jerusalem. It was from Rome, not from Jerusalem, that the Cross went out to the uttermost ends of the world. It is the earth of the Colosseum and the Borgo that is steeped in the blood of those who have died for Christ. It was Rome that ruled the world, through the long night of barbarism and feudal power, by the invincible force of His name.