One may picture, too, the sudden shifting of the attention, the swiftly spreading coils and bellyings of that blackness advancing headlong, towering heavenward, turning the twi- light to a palpable darkness, a strange and horrible antagonist of vapour striding upon its victims, men and horses near it seen dimly, running, shrieking, falling headlong, shouts of dismay, the guns suddenly abandoned, men choking and writhing on the ground, and the swift broadening-out of the opaque
cone of smoke.
When a fire glowed, banks of smoke, blown level along the ground, would themselves become illuminated to an opaque
lustre, screening the workpeople from one another; and meaning of the "pillar of a cloud", which was a wall by day and a light by night, could be understood.
About fifteen hundred feet from the ground, it encountered an opaque
mass of cloud, and entered a dense fog, suspended at that elevation; but it did not meet with the least breath of wind.
If now we were to try to penetrate to the soul of Quasimodo through that thick, hard rind; if we could sound the depths of that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us to look with a torch behind those non-transparent organs to explore the shadowy interior of that opaque
creature, to elucidate his obscure corners, his absurd no-thoroughfares, and suddenly to cast a vivid light upon the soul enchained at the extremity of that cave, we should, no doubt, find the unhappy Psyche in some poor, cramped, and ricketty attitude, like those prisoners beneath the Leads of Venice, who grew old bent double in a stone box which was both too low and too short for them.
The echoes shrieked and barked, the hissing balls seemed actually to rarefy the air, and then opaque
smoke filled the vault.
She thought of him blazing splendidly in the night, yet so obscure that to hold his arm, as she held it, was only to touch the opaque
substance surrounding the flame that roared upwards.
She sat to-night revolving, as she was wont, the scenes of the day, her lips often curling with amusement at the oddities to which her fancy added fresh drollery: people were so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fool's caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque
while everybody else's were transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.