Not so much two ships passing in the night as two ships sailing together for a time but always bound for different ports.
The city which lay below was a charnel house built on multi-layered bones centuries older than those which lay beneath the cities of Hamburg or Dresden. Was this knowledge part of the mystery it held for her, a mystery felt most strongly on a bell-chimed Sunday on her solitary exploration of its hidden alleys and squares? Time had fascinated her from childhood, its apparent power to move at different speeds, the dissolution it wrought on minds and bodies, her sense that each moment, all moments past and those to come, were fused into an illusory present which with every breath became the unalterable, indestructible past. In the City of London these moments were caught and solidified in stone and brick, in churches and monuments and in bridges which spanned the grey-brown ever-flowing Thames. She would walk out in spring or summer as early as six o'clock, double-locking the front door behind her, stepping into a silence more profound and mysterious than the absence of noise. Sometimes in this solitary perambulation it seenmed that her own footsteps were muted, as if some part of her were afraid to waken the dead who had walked thse streets and had known the same silence.
What it was he had chiefly gained: a fascination with the complexity of the intellectual bastions which men could construct to withstand the tides of disbelief. His own disbelief had remained unshaken.
With the death of what Sydney Smith described as rational religon and the proponents of what remains sending out such confusing and uncertain messages, all civilised people have to be ethicists. We must work out our own salvation with diligence based on what we believe.
All Jane Austen novels have a common storyline: an attractive and virtuous young woman surmounts difficulties to achieve marriage to the man of her choice. This is the age-long convention of the romantic novel, but with Jane Austen, what we have is Mills & Boon written by a genius.
Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice though practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.