By Virginia Woolf

No matter what hour you woke there has been a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting right here, commencing there, making sure—a ghostly couple. Stooping, preserving their silver lamp above us, lengthy they give the impression of being and deeply. lengthy they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops a little. Wild beams of moonlight move either flooring and wall, and, assembly, stain the faces bent; the faces brooding about; the faces that seek the sleepers and search their hidden pleasure.

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Extra resources for A Haunted House (Timeless Classics)

Sample text

Reimagining Religious Extremes While the first verse paragraph of “Satire 3” identifies religious devotion with the courage to abandon secular pursuits in order to fight traditional Christian enemies, the second paragraph identifies it with the courage to seek true Christianity in a world of warring, state-imposed sects. Those who simply accept one of the national churches provide Donne with satiric examples of how not to seek true religion. Some of the satiric portraits have Juvenalian models, but their careful arrangement recalls Horatian depictions of opposite deviations from the mean rather than Juvenal’s looser mode of progression.

He claims that the Christian’s fear of God is in fact “greatest courage” [summa . . 17). Adapting Lactantius’s point, Donne identifies the fear of damnation with “great courage” (ll. 15–16) and claims that the truly courageous, God-fearing man dares to confront the most terrifying things, the “foes” of God, the infernal triad of the devil, world, and flesh that the poet proceeds to describe (ll. 33–42). In a paradox asserting that “only Cowards dare dye,” Donne argues from the Aristotelian premise that courage is a mean between recklessness and DONNE AND THE PERSONAL MEAN 25 cowardice to a radically non-Aristotelian conclusion.

A further pun reenforces Graccus’s self-serving suppression of crucial distinctions. ” Donne’s elegy “On his Mistris” uses the pun when he begs his beloved not to follow him as a disguised page and not to “change / Thy bodies habit, nor mindes” (ll. 32 The pun on “habits” undercuts Graccus’s love of all churches: while the dressing of a church or woman may not matter, their “divers habits” in the sense of divergent dispositions define them as good 30 CHAPTER ONE or bad. The names Phrygius and Graccus clarify Donne’s attitude toward their positions.

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