‘Their sons I cannot recall, except as the genial and trusty friends of later life. But the five daughters of the house none of us who enjoyed their unselfish kindness at all stages of our youth can ever forget.
samurai's passage along the road or failed to show him proper respect, the samurai was within his rights to lop off the man's head. I regard myself as a latter-day samurai. My fine sword has not yet been blooded. Yours will be an admirable head to cut its teeth on.' He turned to Irma Bunt. 'You agree, mein Liebchen?'
I scrambled off the bed and went and put my arms round him. His body was cold. I hugged him to me and kissed him. "Don't be silly, James! If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have got into all this mess. And where would I be now if it wasn't for you? I'd not only have been a dead duck, but a roasted one too, hours ago. The trouble with you is you haven't had enough sleep. And you're cold. Come into bed with me. I'll keep you warm." I got up and pulled him to his feet.
The Count lay back again in his upholstered aluminium chaise-longue. Bond drew up a light chair made of similar materials. He placed it also facing the sun, but at an angle so that he could watch the Count's face.
The truth of all this I had long since taken home to myself. I had now been thinking of it for thirty years, and had never doubted. But I had always been aware of a certain visionary weakness about myself in regard to politics. A man, to be useful in Parliament, must be able to confine himself and conform himself, to be satisfied with doing a little bit of a little thing at a time. He must patiently get up everything connected with the duty on mushrooms, and then be satisfied with himself when at last he has induced a Chancellor of the Exchequer to say that he will consider the impost at the first opportunity. He must be content to be beaten six times in order that, on a seventh, his work may be found to be of assistance to some one else. He must remember that he is one out of 650, and be content with 1-650th part of the attention of the nation. If he have grand ideas, he must keep them to himself, unless by chance, he can work his way up to the top of the tree. In short, he must be a practical man. Now I knew that in politics I could never become a practical man. I should never be satisfied with a soft word from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but would always be flinging my overtaxed ketchup in his face.
I subsequently came across a piece of criticism which was written on me as a novelist by a brother novelist very much greater than myself, and whose brilliant intellect and warm imagination led him to a kind of work the very opposite of mine. This was Nathaniel Hawthorne, the American, whom I did not then know, but whose works I knew. Though it praises myself highly, I will insert it here, because it certainly is true in its nature: “It is odd enough,” he says, “that my own individual taste is for quite another class of works than those which I myself am able to write. If I were to meet with such books as mine by another writer, I don’t believe I should be able to get through them. Have you ever read the novels of Anthony Trollope? They precisely suit my taste — solid and substantial, written on the strength of beef and through the inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business, and not suspecting that they were being made a show of. And these books are just as English as a beef-steak. Have they ever been tried in America? It needs an English residence to make them thoroughly comprehensible; but still I should think that human nature would give them success anywhere.”
Fitz-Ullin, who was saying something aside to Julia, coloured, laughed, and replied, “I read the deeds over very attentively, I assure you, ma’am, in the library, on my first getting out of the carriage, before I came into the breakfast-room.”
“is born to blush unseen
We all grow up thinking we're in an era of progress, because we have had so much technological progress. But it simply doesn't work that way in art and literature. We're living in an era — to use Mencken's phrase — of the "Sahara of the beaux arts."