...there came up calling voices, shrill whistles, the cries of the newsboys, piercing the dull roar of the multitude, and made it possible to take a measure of its strata. At the end of a street, near Amelie's restaurant, there was a noise like that of a mill-race. The crowd was stemmed up against several ranks of police and soldiers. In front of the obstacles a serried mass was formed, howling, whistling, singing, laughing, and eddying this way and that ... The laughter of the people is the only means they have of expressing a thousand obscure and yet deep feelings which cannot find an outlet in words!

Romain Rolland, Jean-Christophe, trans. Gilbert Cannan, Holt, 1910, p. 234, vol.3.

TIME: end of 19th c.

PLACE: Paris

CIRCUMSTANCE: a parade of workers on May Day



He plunged into the forest... Darkness and silence ... He walked along over the carpet of pine-needles, tripping over the roots which stood out like swollen veins. At the foot of the trees were neither plants not moss. In the branches was never the song of a bird. The lower branches were dead. All the life of the place had fled upwards to meet the sun ... At last the meshes were rent asunder, a hole was made, and Christophe managed to make his way out of the submarine forest. He came to living woods and the silent conflict of the pines and the beeches. But everywhere was the same stillness. The silence, which had been brooding for hours, was agonizing. Christophe stopped to listen...

Romain Rolland, Jean-Christophe, trans. Gilbert Cannan, Holt, 1910, p. 333-334, vol.3.

TIME: early 20th c.

PLACE: an evergreen forest in Switzerland

CIRCUMSTANCE: before a storm