Jacob's Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Jacob's Room.

Such is the manner of our seeing.  Such the conditions of our love.

("I’m twenty-two.  It’s nearly the end of October.  Life is thoroughly pleasant, although unfortunately there are a great number of fools about.  One must apply oneself to something or other—­God knows what.  Everything is really very jolly—­except getting up in the morning and wearing a tail coat.”)

“I say, Bonamy, what about Beethoven?”

("Bonamy is an amazing fellow.  He knows practically everything—­not more about English literature than I do—­but then he’s read all those Frenchmen.”)

“I rather suspect you’re talking rot, Bonamy.  In spite of what you say, poor old Tennyson. ...”

("The truth is one ought to have been taught French.  Now, I suppose, old Barfoot is talking to my mother.  That’s an odd affair to be sure.  But I can’t see Bonamy down there.  Damn London!”) for the market carts were lumbering down the street.

“What about a walk on Saturday?”

("What’s happening on Saturday?”)

Then, taking out his pocket-book, he assured himself that the night of the Durrants’ party came next week.

But though all this may very well be true—­so Jacob thought and spoke—­ so he crossed his legs—­filled his pipe—­sipped his whisky, and once looked at his pocket-book, rumpling his hair as he did so, there remains over something which can never be conveyed to a second person save by Jacob himself.  Moreover, part of this is not Jacob but Richard Bonamy—­ the room; the market carts; the hour; the very moment of history.  Then consider the effect of sex—­how between man and woman it hangs wavy, tremulous, so that here’s a valley, there’s a peak, when in truth, perhaps, all’s as flat as my hand.  Even the exact words get the wrong accent on them.  But something is always impelling one to hum vibrating, like the hawk moth, at the mouth of the cavern of mystery, endowing Jacob Flanders with all sorts of qualities he had not at all—­for though, certainly, he sat talking to Bonamy, half of what he said was too dull to repeat; much unintelligible (about unknown people and Parliament); what remains is mostly a matter of guess work.  Yet over him we hang vibrating.

“Yes,” said Captain Barfoot, knocking out his pipe on Betty Flanders’s hob, and buttoning his coat.  “It doubles the work, but I don’t mind that.”

He was now town councillor.  They looked at the night, which was the same as the London night, only a good deal more transparent.  Church bells down in the town were striking eleven o’clock.  The wind was off the sea.  And all the bedroom windows were dark—­the Pages were asleep; the Garfits were asleep; the Cranches were asleep—­whereas in London at this hour they were burning Guy Fawkes on Parliament Hill.

CHAPTER SIX

The flames had fairly caught.

“There’s St. Paul’s!” some one cried.

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Project Gutenberg
Jacob's Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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