Mr. Britling Sees It Through eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 523 pages of information about Mr. Britling Sees It Through.

“As we do here.  It’s in your blood and our blood.  It’s the instinct of the English and the Irish anyhow to suspect government and take the risks of the chancy way....  And manifestly the Russians, if you read their novelists, have the same twist in them....  When we get this young Prussian here, he’s a marvel to us.  He really believes in Law.  He likes to obey.  That seems a sort of joke to us.  It’s curious how foreign these Germans are—­to all the rest of the world.  Because of their docility.  Scratch the Russian and you get the Tartar.  Educate the Russian or the American or the Englishman or the Irishman or Frenchman or any real northern European except the German, and you get the Anarchist, that is to say the man who dreams of order without organisation—­of something beyond organisation....

“It’s one o’clock,” said Mr. Britling abruptly, perceiving a shade of fatigue upon the face of his hearer and realising that his thoughts had taken him too far, “and Sunday.  Let’s go to bed.”

Section 11

For a time Mr. Direck could not sleep.  His mind had been too excited by this incessant day with all its novelties and all its provocations to comparison.  The whole complicated spectacle grouped itself, with a naturalness and a complete want of logic that all who have been young will understand, about Cecily Corner.

She had to be in the picture, and so she came in as though she were the central figure, as though she were the quintessential England.  There she was, the type, the blood, the likeness, of no end of Massachusetts families, the very same stuff indeed, and yet she was different....

For a time his thoughts hovered ineffectively about certain details of her ear and cheek, and one may doubt if his interest in these things was entirely international....

Then he found himself under way with an exposition of certain points to Mr. Britling.  In the security of his bed he could imagine that he was talking very slowly and carefully while Mr. Britling listened; already he was more than half way to dreamland or he could not have supposed anything so incredible.

“There’s a curious sort of difference,” he was saying.  “It is difficult to define, but on the whole I might express it by saying that such a gathering as this if it was in America would be drawn with harder lines, would show its bones more and have everything more emphatic.  And just to take one illustrative point:  in America in such a gathering as this there would be bound to be several jokes going on as it were, running jokes and running criticisms, from day to day and from week to week....  There would be jokes about your writing and your influence and jokes about Miss Corner’s advanced reading....  You see, in America we pay much more attention to personal character.  Here people, I notice, are not talked to about their personal characters at all, and many of them do not seem to be aware and do not seem to mind what personal characters they have....

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Mr. Britling Sees It Through from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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