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様子でそう応じのブログ一覧

2018年08月30日 イイね!

Even his occasional conversational faux pas



She had not come downstairs until just a half-hour before dinner, and as she had entered the library, dressed in a low-necked, short-sleeved summer gown of pale pink batiste, she had noted, without much interest, Mr. Leitzel's countenance of vivid pleasure as, from his place on the floor, unable to rise because of the children sprawling all over him, he had gazed up at her. But when, after watching him play for a half-hour with the babies, she had presently relieved him of the youngest to give it its bottle, she really began to feel, before the ardent look he fixed upon her as she sat holding the hungry, drowsy infant to her heart, a faint stirring of her blood.

"The Madonna and the Child!" he had said adoringly, and Margaret was astonished to find herself blushing; to discover that this man could bring the faintest warmth to her cheeks!

In the course of that evening, during dinner and later when the children had been taken to bed by Harriet, and Mr. Leitzel was again, as on the previous night, left on her hands, she could not be indifferent to the novel experience of finding herself the object of a fixity and intensity of admiration which, from a man so self-centred, suggested the possession on her part of an unsuspected power.

did not break the peculiar spell he cast upon her by his devotion.

"Have you read many of these books?" he asked her, glancing at the shelves near him. "Here are about twenty books all by one man—James. Astonishing! What does he find to write about to such an extent?"

"They are the works of the two Jameses, the brothers Henry and William, the novelist and the psychologist, you know; only, Uncle Osmond insisted upon cataloguing Henry, also, with the psychologists."

"The James brothers? I've heard more about Jesse than about the other two. Jesse was an outlaw, you remember. The other two, then, were respectable?"

"'Respectable?' Henry and William James? I'm sure they would hate to be considered so!"

Daniel nodded knowingly. "Bad blood all through, no doubt."

"Yes," said Margaret gravely, "of the three I prefer Jesse. He at least was not a psychologist, nor did he write in English past finding out! By the way, I remember Uncle Osmond used to say," she added, a reminiscent dreaminess in her eyes which held Daniel's breathless gaze, "that only in a very primitive or provincial society was a regard for respectability paramount, and that in an individual of an upper class it bespoke either assinine stupidity or damned hypocrisy."

Daniel started and stared until his eyes popped, to hear that soft, drawling voice say "damned," even though quoting. Why, one would think a nice girl would be embarrassed to own a relative who used profane language, instead of flaunting it!

"Wasn't your uncle a Christian?" he asked dubiously.

"Oh, no!" she laughed.

Now what was there to laugh at in so serious a question? Daniel was finding Miss Berkeley's conversation extremely upsetting.

"He died unsaved?" he asked gravely.

"I suppose a medi?val theologian would have said he did."

"I trust he didn't influence you, Miss Berkeley!"

"But of course, I got lots of ideas from him, for which I'm very thankful. If it had not been for his interesting mind, I could never have lived so long with his devilish disposition, or, as he used to call it, his 'hell of a temper.'" ("If he's going to fall in love with me," Margaret was saying to herself, as she saw his shocked countenance, "he's got to know the worst—I won't deceive him.")
Posted at 2018/08/30 11:57:51 | コメント(0) | トラックバック(0) | 日記

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何シテル?   09/05 12:02
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