Heaven and Charing Cross

Heaven and Charing Cross

138591384
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Описание
WHO have known them all-poor Adela, her husband, young Martin and the rest-will tell you of their lives. Here, in my spinal chair, with one supreme exception, my life is only inward. Fulfilled and filled again though it may be, I welcome all adventurers, their loves and lusts and failures and high hopes. My sympathy has grown a chamois-hunter. It scales the heights, as I once scaled that actual mountain that threw rile from it into this most subtle chair. Instead of play of muscles, I now have play of springs and cogs and sympathetic wheels. No woman but the one has ever answered to my hand and mood as does my chair. At first each movernent squeaked a Finis to all my hopes and lusts and loves. Now, hopes are all for others, lusts are put to sleep for ever. If love remains, it is because a miracle was sent but this is not my story. Knowing them all so well, hearing the story from so many sides, I could supply the very words they often used. It is all clear enough to me. The task will be to show it as it was. No one could make it quite uninteresting. I have the qualms of him who 9- 10 HEAVEN AND CHARING CROSS paints a group. Some one will dominate, disturb the balance some other will shrink back into the shadow, like a silvcr-point beside a coloured poster. I vdl try my best. Martin I hardly cnvy. Adela I pity, because I sinned for her. That is a help and not a hindrance to the painting of her. She needed love and pity more than all the rest. I am responsible for much of what sle did, and I should be a prig as well as hypocrite to paint hcr with the colours that her world would use. I loathed her husband and I tried to save her from him and to save her from myself, and then to save young Martin from her. All this saving might have cnded in disaster. The onc excuse for AdeIa is Hcnry. This, being uttered by a cousin of Lord Hcnry, was received as axiomatic and pretty often quotcd. l Henry is just an Act of God, another woman said. You cannot even blame him. You endure him. Indeed, he was in all truth bIameIess. He was a faithful hujband-notie more faithful. His feeling for a woman was conditional upon her virtue and her intellect. Let her be beautiful as Venus and convicted of flirtation or of unpaid bills, his blood ran coIdly in her prescnce, he met her softest smile with storly eyes. Let her advance one unsound argument, and there was no condoning of adorabIe folly on thc ground of sex. Guests had bccn known to find it difficult to keep back actual tears. Poor Adela would have preferred to feel a little jealousy, rather than so much vicarious compunction. Frank churlishness may be forgiven Henry was icily polite-basilisk rather than bear. Never in all their married life had Henry lost his temper, banged a door, Iet loose a norm British damn, or failed in meticulous politeness at the tabIe. Adela sometimes felt that for a man in Harris tweeds who smelt of smoke, had a tremendous laugh Henrys rare laughter was a titter, swore at a bootlace when he broke it and hugged his wife when she said some- thing sweet and silly, she could have walked barefoot through Piccadilly. Without this solace she walked nearly barefoot. The meanncss of the man was hardly crediblcin some directions. That was the worst of Hcnry. He was so seldom wrong in the worlds eyes...
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