|• Main||• Contacts|
ordered mind, had to decide upon the general relations of men to women,
the objects and conditions of marriage and its bearing upon the
welfare of the race, the purpose of the race, the purpose, if any, of
"Frightful lot of things aren't settled," said Ann Veronica. In
addition, the Fadden Dance business, all out of proportion, occupied
the whole foreground of her thoughts and threw a color of rebellion
over everything. She kept thinking she was thinking about Mr. Manning's
proposal of marriage and finding she was thinking of the dance.
For a time her efforts to achieve a comprehensive concentration were
dispersed by the passage of the village street of Caddington, the
passing of a goggled car-load of motorists, and the struggles of a
stable lad mounted on one recalcitrant horse and leading another. When
she got back to her questions again in the monotonous high-road that led
up the hill, she found the image of Mr. Manning central in her mind.
He stood there, large and dark, enunciating, in his clear voice from
beneath his large mustache, clear flat sentences, deliberately kindly.
He proposed, he wanted to possess her! He loved her.
Ann Veronica felt no repulsion at the prospect. That Mr. Manning loved
her presented itself to her bloodlessly, stilled from any imaginative
quiver or thrill of passion or disgust. The relationship seemed to have
almost as much to do with blood and body as a mortgage. It was something
that would create a mutual claim, a relationship. It was in another
world from that in which men will die for a kiss, and touching hands
lights fires that burn up lives--the world of romance, the world of
passionately beautiful things.
But that other world, in spite of her resolute exclusion of it, was
always looking round corners and peeping through chinks and crannies,
and rustling and raiding into the order in which she chose to live,
shining out of pictures at her, echoing in lyrics and music; it invaded
her dreams, it wrote up broken and enigmatical sentences upon the
passage walls of her mind. She was aware of it now as if it were a
voice shouting outside a house, shouting passionate verities in a hot
sunlight, a voice that cries while people talk insincerely in a darkened
room and pretend not to hear. Its shouting now did in some occult manner
convey a protest that Mr. Manning would on no account do, though he
was tall and dark and handsome and kind, and thirty-five and adequately
Page 6 from 7: Back 1 2 3 4 5  7 Forward