The Jervaise Comedy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 254 pages of information about The Jervaise Comedy.

(I may add that strangely enough the weak inference was correct, and the well-grounded one fallacious.  If you would interpret the riddle of human motives, put no confidence in logic.  The principles of logic are founded on the psychology of Anyone.  And Anyone is a mechanical waxwork, an intellectual abstraction, a thing without a soul or a sub-consciousness.)

Having taken the side of old Jervaise, I ought to have been comforted by this conclusion, and I tried to persuade myself that it indicated the only satisfactory termination to the brief drama of the night.  I attempted to see the affair as a slightly ridiculous episode that had occupied exactly twelve hours and ended with an inevitable bathos.  I pictured the return of a disgraced and penitent Brenda, and the temporary re-employment, as an antidote to gossip, of the defeated Banks.  They would be parted, of course.  She might be taken abroad, or to Scotland, and by the time she returned, he would have been sent back to the country from which he had been injudiciously recalled.  Finally, old Jervaise would be able to take up his life again with his old zest.  I believed that he was a man who took his pleasures with a certain gusto.  He had been quite gay at the dance before the coming of the scandal that had temporarily upset his peace of mind.

All this imaginary restitution was perfectly reasonable.  I could “see” things happening just as I had thought them.  The only trouble was that I could find no personal satisfaction in the consideration of the Jervaises’ restored happiness.  I was aware of a feeling of great disappointment for which I could not account; and although I tried to persuade myself that this feeling was due to the evaporation of the emotional interest of the moving drama that had been playing, I found that explanation insufficient.  I was conscious of a loss that intimately concerned myself, the loss of something to which I had been unconsciously looking forward.

I came out of my reverie to find that I had wandered half round the house, across the formal pleasance, and that I was now at the door leading into the kitchen garden.

I hesitated a moment with a distinct sense of wrong-doing, before I opened the door with the air of one who defies his own conscience, and passed up the avenue between the gouty espaliers—­fine old veterans they were, and as I could see, now, loaded with splendid fruit.  The iron gates that led out into the Park were locked, but a gardener—­the head gardener, I suppose—­came out of one of the greenhouses close at hand, and let me through.

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The Jervaise Comedy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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