without sympathy of shared memory or pleasure

December 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

I dined two or three times at the Governor’s house, an officer full of kindness and good manners. He grew a few European vegetables on the hillside. After dinner, he showed me what he called his garden. A sweet and subtle scent of heliotrope was exhaled by a little patch of beans that were in flower; it was brought to us not by a breeze from our own country but by a wild Newfoundland wind, unrelated to that exiled plant, without sympathy of shared memory or pleasure. In this perfume, not breathed by beauty, not cleaned in her bosom, not scattered where she had walked, in this perfume of a changed sky and village and world there was all the diverse melancholy of regret and absence and youth.

— François de Chateaubriand, Mémoires d’outre tombe

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