Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.

In the little matter of the title of this book, we are all Pharisees, whether of the ninety or the ten, and we certainly do live upon an Island.  John galsworthy.

January 1, 1908

PART I

THE TOWN

CHAPTER I

SOCIETY

A quiet, well-dressed man named Shelton, with a brown face and a short, fair beard, stood by the bookstall at Dover Station.  He was about to journey up to London, and had placed his bag in the corner of a third-class carriage.

After his long travel, the flat-vowelled voice of the bookstall clerk offering the latest novel sounded pleasant—­pleasant the independent answers of a bearded guard, and the stodgy farewell sayings of a man and wife.  The limber porters trundling their barrows, the greyness of the station and the good stolid humour clinging to the people, air, and voices, all brought to him the sense of home.  Meanwhile he wavered between purchasing a book called Market Hayborough, which he had read and would certainly enjoy a second time, and Carlyle’s French Revolution, which he had not read and was doubtful of enjoying; he felt that he ought to buy the latter, but he did not relish giving up the former.  While he hesitated thus, his carriage was beginning to fill up; so, quickly buying both, he took up a position from which he could defend his rights.  “Nothing,” he thought, “shows people up like travelling.”

The carriage was almost full, and, putting his bag, up in the rack, he took his seat.  At the moment of starting yet another passenger, a girl with a pale face, scrambled in.

“I was a fool to go third,” thought Shelton, taking in his neighbours from behind his journal.

They were seven.  A grizzled rustic sat in the far corner; his empty pipe, bowl downwards, jutted like a handle from his face, all bleared with the smear of nothingness that grows on those who pass their lives in the current of hard facts.  Next to him, a ruddy, heavy-shouldered man was discussing with a grey-haired, hatchet-visaged person the condition of their gardens; and Shelton watched their eyes till it occurred to him how curious a look was in them—­a watchful friendliness, an allied distrust—­and that their voices, cheerful, even jovial, seemed to be cautious all the time.  His glance strayed off, and almost rebounded from the semi-Roman, slightly cross, and wholly self-complacent face of a stout lady in a black-and-white costume, who was reading the Strand Magazine, while her other, sleek, plump hand, freed from its black glove, and ornamented with a thick watch-bracelet, rested on her lap.  A younger, bright-cheeked, and self-conscious female was sitting next her, looking at the pale girl who had just got in.

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Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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