Quinn, she remembered with some vividness, entered much into these discussions. His
stories were ones of unresolved conflict. He used various kinds of time in his speaking.
Speech, he held, was persuasion. He invented a time for each proposition, for every mem-
ory, for questions and objections, for conclusions. Each thing was a special case, though
equally, there was a sameness to his virtuosity. As a sovereign, of course, Elizabeth was the
mistress of time. So she imposed upon him, for awhile, her own view.
Elizabeth forgot herself as an individual entity. She saw herself as determined entirely by
her situation. Her emotional states were like foreign places. There were elaborate mecha-
nisms for any approach. Entrance was not forbidden or impossible, it was simply a point of
law. Events can be seen as not having happened, though the time of them expands beyond
their actual occurrence.
His was not a physical dominion. In this he gave himself over to his desire which made
him vulnerable and apparent. Their exchanges were a kind of felt rhetoric.
He seemed unable to know that this particular betrayal was anticipated, even expected.
The thing was to see how they would play it. The manifestations could in themselves be
read. Still, he had proceeded somewhat beyond her sense of permission. "We are all vic-
tims," he gently said, knowing this not to be true of either of them.
He claimed there was a disjunction between absolute monarchy and absolute time. But
Elizabeth ignored it. History was her apple.
From being not much present, he came increasingly, this before he disappeared altogether,
to dominate her mind. It was the last day of the old time on the old calendar. The autumn
new year of the people whose year, whose sense of time, was itself dying.
"I will be traditional to please you," she had said. And though he knew not to believe her,
he found it compelling, the fact that she had said it.

Laura Moriarty

read the author's bio and Working Notes

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