I will try to smooth the road life has you on. It’s all I can do. I can’t let you out but I will open the windows about you, dance for you, sing to you, feed you, and shed a tear for you when you’re not looking. This is all I can do. I can’t free you…and I am so sorry.
“I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy with a voice which I took to be that of a child, which complained: ‘it could not get out,’…and looking up, I saw it was a starling hung up in a little cage. I stood looking at the bird, and to every person who came through the passage, it ran fluttering towards the side which they approached it, with the same lamentation of its captivity–‘I can’t get out,’ said the starling. God help thee!–said I–but I’ll let thee out,cost what it will; so I turned the cage about to get at the door; it was twisted and double twisted so fast with wire, there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to pieces… The bird flew to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head through the trellis, pressed his breast against it…–I fear, poor creature, said I, I cannot set thee at liberty.–‘No,’ said the starling; ‘I can’t get out–I can’t get out.’ I vow I never had any affections more tenderly awaked…” (Sterne, A Sentimental Journey)