Friday 10th September 2010

I discovered today that the contact form that I’m using on http://succeed-in-english as a way for students to answer comprehension questions also has a built in autoresponder. That means there is no need to set up autoresponders on my hosting account. I can do everything within the WordPress control panel.

I posted three more lessons before being overtaken by a drowsy numbness and so relaxed and read a couple of chapters of A Room With A View. The last time I read it must have been when I was living in York at the turn of the millennium. Two thirds of the way through chapter two (In Santa Croce With No Baedekker) I had pencilled in a note:

For a young man his face was rugged, and - until the shadows fell upon it - hard. Enshadowed, it sprang into tenderness. She saw him once again at Rome, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, carrying a burden of acorns.

above the Expulsion of Adam and Eve

Earlier in the same chapter Forster’s ironic humour takes full advantage of the Machiavelli memorial inside Santa Croce and has some fun with the the word “virtue” about which Machiavelli had much to say:

She beheld the horrible fate that overtook three Papists–two he-babies and a she-baby–who began their career by sousing each other with the Holy Water, and then proceeded to the Machiavelli memorial, dripping but hallowed. Advancing towards it very slowly and from immense distances, they touched the stone with their fingers, with their handkerchiefs, with their heads, and then retreated. What could this mean? They did it again and again. Then Lucy realized that they had mistaken Machiavelli for some saint, hoping to acquire virtue.