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And I can assure you, my dears, Bealby wont think any the worse of you for turning him into a gentleman, soothed Mother.

But his intention to retire into private life cut clean through these aspirations. And yet, for the first time, Mary hesitated. The difference was, what he now proposed made a subtle appeal to her. For, to be nothing, to have neither trade nor profession, to fold ones hands and live on ones income that was the NE PLUS ULTRA of colonial society, the ideal tirelessly to be striven after. Work brought neither honour nor glory where all too many had been manual labourers, the work itself of a low or disreputable kind. And the contingency of Richard ending as the private gentleman, the leisured man of means, had never been wholly absent from Marys mind or wouldnt have been, had he not so quixotically cut his career in half.

Hes my brother. Ive a right to know whats happened.

Meanwhile, after considerable shilly-shallying, Zara had introduced Hempel afresh, in what proved an exceedingly painful visit.

Oh, well, I spose so. And as you know, love, Id ave ad a dozen if I could. It wouldnt ave been one too many to fill this ouse.

In this hugger-mugger fashion week after week, month after month ran away. Then, however, things seemed to be tailing off, and he was just congratulating himself that he had bowed the last guest out, when Tilly arrived, and back they fell into the old atmosphere of fuss and flutter. Tilly had originally stood high on Marys list. Then, for some reason which was not made clear to him, her visit had been postponed; and he had comfortably forgotten all about it.

Mean? Ruin, I suppose. In all probability I am a ruined man. And dropping heavily on a chair, Mahony buried his face in his hands.

Oh, yes, theres that about it, said Richard, a trifle morosely Mary thought.

Chapter III

Was it possible that he had ever enjoyed, or even put up with this kind of thing? Had Purdy always been a vainglorious braggart, or had the boasting habit grown on him as he went downhill? Of course he himself had not become more tolerant as the years went by; and he could afford to yield to his antipathies, now that no business reasons made civility incumbent. But there was more in it than this. In earlier days a dash of the old boyish affection had persisted, to blind him to Purdys failings; just as the memory of their boyhoods standing he the senior, Purdy the junior had caused Purdy to look up to him and defer to his opinion. Now, nothing of this remained. On either side. Long-suffering, deference, affection had alike been flung on times scrap-heap at least, during the two distasteful hours spent in Purdys company, not even the ghosts of such feelings stirred. Then what had brought him back? Mere tuft-hunting? Where, too, in the name of Christendom had Mary fished him up, who would have been so much better left in obscurity? Had she really fancied she would give him, Mahony, a pleasure thereby? POOR MARY!

What! . . . yet again? and having kissed her, Mahony laid his book face downwards and prepared to listen. Tell me all about it.

Thus weeks passed. At the end of this time Mary being still from home he emerged heavy-eyed and a trifle dazed, from sittings protracted late into the night, and paused to take his bearings. And it was now, on looking back over what he had read, that he became aware of a feeling of dissatisfaction. Chiefly with regard to the mental attitude of the writers themselves. So sound were their arguments that they might well, he thought, have refrained from the pontifical airs they saw fit to adopt; having been a shade less intolerant of views and beliefs that did not dovetail with their own. Riding on the crest of the highest wave of materialism that had ever broken over the world, they themselves were satisfied that life and its properties could be explained, to the last iota, in terms of matter; and, dogmatically pronouncing their interpretation of the universe to be the only valid one, they laid a crushing veto on any suggestion of a possible spiritual agency. Here it was, he parted company with them. For the same thing had surely happened before, in the worlds history, bodies of learned men arising at various epochs in divers lands, and claiming to have solved the great riddle once and for all? Over and above this, did Huxleys inflamed outbursts against the cosmogony of the semi-barbarous Hebrew; his sighs that the myths of Paganism, dead as Osiris or Zeus, had not been followed to their graves by the coeval imaginations current among the rude inhabitants of Palestine; his bald definition of science as trained and organised common sense DID Huxleys type of mind, or yet that of another well-known savant, who declared that one should decide beforehand what was possible and what not, incline you to trust these mens verdict on the spiritual issues of human existence? In his own case, certainly not. He believed and would continue to believe it impossible wholly to account for life and its phenomena, in terms of physiology, chemistry and physics.

A stroke of luck of the first order!

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2021-06-16 19:21:39 [汉中市网友]

The Way Home

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [铜陵市网友]

She threw a motherly glance after him, and sighed. Poor old Richard! She had been bound to tell him, of course; but by doing so she had furnished him with a worry for the whole day. It was clear he had set his heart on keeping Toplands; and now, after consulting him on and off for a couple of months, the silly people seemed to be going back to that red-nosed, ungentlemanly Mr. Robinson. She couldnt understand it. Still, in Richards place, she would have taken it calmly. Ten to one turncoats like these would soon come running to him again. Time was needed for people here to find out how clever he was.

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [巴彦淖尔市网友]

But afterwards, Mary as she took down her hair, Mahony as he went round the house locking up, each dedicated the matter a further and private refection. She said to herself, astonished: I do believe Richard is turning radical, and then went on to muse, a little wryly, that the fates to which he so jauntily referred were, after all, but another name for his own caprices. He, on the other hand, after justifying an omission to himself with: No use worrying the poor little soul about that dam fool Robinson! sent her a thought so warm that it resembled a caress. For at heart his whole sympathy was with Mary and Marys ineradicable generosity. Alone, and his irritation cooled, he ranged himself staunchly on her side, against the stiff, uncharitable little world into which they were fallen.

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2021-06-16 19:21:39 [上饶市网友]

But what next? what in all the world next? To this question he could find no answer. Nor was he helped by staring at the sea, or the golden, lemon-shaped moon that now came up on its back from behind the dark mass of the cliffs. The purchase of a third practice was beyond him: if he went from here he went empty-handed. Possibly he might get for the house what he had given for it though he had discovered that it was both damp and in need of repair but this sum would not suffice to set him up anew. No, the outlook was darker than, a moment before, the night had been; no moon rose for him. And he lay long wakeful, grappling in a cold sweat with the many small practical details of the break details which it is so easy to overlook in the taking of sweeping decisions, yet which afterwards rise up like mountains and following the square of silver that flooded in through the uncurtained window, and slowly moved across the bed on its passage from wall to wall. With the glimmer of the material dawn, however red behind those cliffs that had delivered up the moon, great Jupiter hanging like a globe of silver above them there came to him, too, the dawning of a possible solution. But at the first hint of it he flung restlessly over on his side, unable to bear its weight. A bolder hand than his was needed, to sweep away the cobwebs of prejudice and nervous aversion in which he had spun himself. It took Mary to do it; and she did; though not till she had talked herself hoarse in an attempt to make him see reason, begging him to hold the field and show fight; till her head swam with listening to his monotonous: What now? Where can I go? Then, abruptly determined, she cut the knot by facing him and answering squarely: Why, home again! words which first made Mahony wince, then snort with contempt. But he had no other suggestion to offer or none but the fatuous one Mary had already smiled at, that, he having given up practice, they should retire to some tiny cottage, do without domestic help, see no company, and live on the slender sum that came to them from Australia. I think we could be very happy and content, love, living so just you and I. If a soul can be said to laugh, then, in spite of her trouble, Marys soul rocked with laughter at this fresh sample of Richards fantasy. Oh, was there ever such an unpractical old dreamer? . . . such an inability to see things as they were. No doubt he pictured a show cottage, wreathed in roses and honeysuckle, where they would pass idyllic days. The slow death-in-life of such an existence, the reaction of his haughty pride against the social position or want of position that would be forced upon them, was hidden from him. Perhaps mercifully hidden . . . and Mary sighed.

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [莱芜市网友]

The person who did not look near was Purdy; and this was an additional source of offence. The least he could have done, said Richard, was to ride out and make up for his offensive behaviour of the night before. Didnt the fellow grasp that he, Mahony, had come to Ballarat solely with the object of doing him a good turn? Privately Mary thought it very unlikely that Purdy, or Tilly either, saw Richards presence in this light. Aloud she observed that he must know it would not be considered proper for the bridegroom to hang about the house, the day before the wedding. But Richard said: propriety be hanged!

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [南阳市网友]

Said Mary in tears: I think theyre the dearest, kindest people in all the world.

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [东莞市网友]

Mary was thunderstruck. Not a widow? Lizzie! Then

2021-06-16 19:21:39 [四平市网友]

Mary let him talk; listened to this and much more before she threw in a mild: Well take a furnished house. Thered be nothing common about that. All the same, I dont believe Simmonds, who has always been so straight, would put any one in to look after things who wasnt honest, too in spite of uncouth behaviour. And you cant refuse to deal with a person just because he has no manners . . . and doesnt know how to address you.