At times a lava of talk came rushing out of

her, shreds of rage or reminiscence, in a jumble of

German and English; she complained that she was a prisoner

in this room, in this house, in this deprived land.

“England, this land without cultivation,” she would sob all day.

But I had begun to reassess these outcries — they seemed

more calculated than spontaneous.  They were (I supposed this long

before) feints and trials.  In reality they were the lamentations

of exile.  It was not that she missed old comforts;

she missed old dignities.  Her ideal was an aristocratic humanism.


Paraphrases from the novel Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick.