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.
whose star had caught in the hair of Sylvia, now lying there asleep.  A so-called love—­that half-glamorous, yet sordid little meal of pleasure, which youth, however sensitive, must eat, it seems, some time or other with some young light of love—­a glimpse of life that beforehand had seemed much and had meant little, save to leave him disillusioned with himself and sorry for his partner.  And then the love that he could not, even after twenty years, bear to remember; that all-devouring summer passion, which in one night had gained all and lost all terribly, leaving on his soul a scar that could never be quite healed, leaving his spirit always a little lonely, haunted by the sense of what might have been.  Of his share in that night of tragedy—­that ’terrible accident on the river’—­no one had ever dreamed.  And then the long despair which had seemed the last death of love had slowly passed, and yet another love had been born—­or rather born again, pale, sober, but quite real; the fresh springing-up of a feeling long forgotten, of that protective devotion of his boyhood.  He still remembered the expression on Sylvia’s face when he passed her by chance in Oxford Street, soon after he came back from his four years of exile in the East and Rome—­that look, eager, yet reproachful, then stoically ironic, as if saying:  ’Oh, no! after forgetting me four years and more—­you can’t remember me now!’ And when he spoke, the still more touching pleasure in her face.  Then uncertain months, with a feeling of what the end would be; and then their marriage.  Happy enough—­gentle, not very vivid, nor spiritually very intimate—­his work always secretly as remote from her as when she had thought to please him by putting jessamine stars on the heads of his beasts.  A quiet successful union, not meaning, he had thought, so very much to him nor so very much to her—­until forty-eight hours ago he told her; and she had shrunk, and wilted, and gone all to pieces.  And what was it he had told her?

A long story—­that!

Sitting there by the fire, with nothing yet decided, he could see it all from the start, with its devilish, delicate intricacy, its subtle slow enchantment spinning itself out of him, out of his own state of mind and body, rather than out of the spell cast over him, as though a sort of fatal force, long dormant, were working up again to burst into dark flower. . . .

II

Yes, it had begun within him over a year ago, with a queer unhappy restlessness, a feeling that life was slipping, ebbing away within reach of him, and his arms never stretched out to arrest it.  It had begun with a sort of long craving, stilled only when he was working hard—­a craving for he knew not what, an ache which was worst whenever the wind was soft.

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