Dangerous Ages eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Dangerous Ages.

That Mrs. Hilary was able to reply to.

“Nan’s?  Vacant?  Oh no.  She is quite full of energy.  Too full.  Always doing a thousand things.  And she writes, you know.”

“Ah.  That should be an outlet.  A great deal of libido is used up by that.  Well, her present strong desire for this man should be sublimated into a desire for something else.  I gather that her root trouble is lawlessness.  That can be cured.  You must make her remember her first lawless action.”  (Man’s first disobedience and the fruit thereof, thought Mrs. Hilary.)

“O dear me,” she said, “I’m afraid that would be impossible.  When she was a month old she used to attempt to dash her bottle onto the floor.”

“People have even remembered their baptisms, when driven back to them by analysis.”

“Our children were not baptised.  My husband was something of a Unitarian.  He said he would not tie them up with a rite against which they might react in later life.  So they were merely registered.”

“Ah.  In a way that is a pity.  Baptism is an impressive moment in the sensitive consciousness of the infant.  It has sometimes been found to be a sort of lamp shining through the haze of the early memory.  Registration, owing to the non-participation of the infant, is useless in that way.”

“Nan might remember how she kicked me when I short-coated her,” Mrs. Hilary mused, hopefully.

Mr. Cradock flowed on.  Mrs. Hilary, listened, assented, was impressed.  It all sounded so simple, so wonderful, even so beautiful.  But she thought once or twice, “He doesn’t know Nan.”

“Thank you,” she said, rising to go when her hour was over.  “You have made me feel so much stronger, as usual.  I can’t thank you enough for all you do for me.  I could face none of my troubles and problems but for your help.”

“That merely means,” said Mr. Cradock, who always got the last word, “that your ego is at present in what is called the state of infantile dependence or tutelage.  A necessary but an impermanent stage in its struggle towards the adult level of the reality-principle.”

“I suppose so,” Mrs. Hilary said.  “Good-bye.”

“He is too clever for me,” she thought, as she went home.  “He is often above my head.”  But she was used to that in the people she met.




Mrs. Hilary hated travelling, which is indeed detestable.  The Channel was choppy and she a bad sailor; the train from Calais to Paris continued the motion, and she remained a bad sailor (bad sailors often do this).  She lay back and smelled salts, and they were of no avail.  At Paris she tried and failed to dine.  She passed a wretched night, being of those who detest nights in trains without wagons-lits, but save money by not having wagons-lits, and wonder dismally all night if it is worth it.  Modane in the chilly morning annoyed her as it annoys us all.  The customs people were rude and the other travellers in the way.  Mrs. Hilary, who was not good in crowds, pushed them, getting excited and red in the face.  Psycho-analysis had made her more patient and calm than she had been before, but even so, neither patient nor calm when it came to jostling crowds.

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Dangerous Ages from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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