There was a grand piano, too, and Charles was playing, a glass of whiskey on the seat beside him. He was a little drunk; the Chopin was slurred and fluid, the notes melting sleepily into one another. A breeze stirred the heavy, moth-eaten velvet curtains, ruffling his hair.
Startled, I turned to see Henry sitting at the other end of the
porch. He was without a jacket but otherwise immaculate for such
an ungodly hour: trousers knife-pressed, his white shirt crisp with
starch. On the table in front of him were books and papers, a
steaming espresso pot and a tiny cup, and — I was surprised to see —
an unfiltered cigarette burning in an ashtray.
He was a being formed in the “very poetry of nature.” His wild and enthusiastic imagination was chastened but the sensibility of his heart. His soul overflowed with ardent affections, and his friendship was of that devoted and wondrous nature that the worldly-minded teach us to look for only in the imagination. But even human sympathies were not sufficient to satisfy his eager mind.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, the original 1818 text (ed. D.L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf).