|• Main||• Contacts|
These were Ann Veronica's leading cases in the question of marriage.
They were the only real marriages she had seen clearly. For the rest,
she derived her ideas of the married state from the observed behavior of
married women, which impressed her in Morningside Park as being tied and
dull and inelastic in comparison with the life of the young, and from a
remarkably various reading among books. As a net result she had come to
think of all married people much as one thinks of insects that have
lost their wings, and of her sisters as new hatched creatures who had
scarcely for a moment had wings. She evolved a dim image of herself
cooped up in a house under the benevolent shadow of Mr. Manning.
Who knows?--on the analogy of "Squiggles" she might come to call him
"I don't think I can ever marry any one," she said, and fell suddenly
into another set of considerations that perplexed her for a time. Had
romance to be banished from life?...
It was hard to part with romance, but she had never thirsted so keenly
to go on with her University work in her life as she did that day. She
had never felt so acutely the desire for free initiative, for a life
unhampered by others. At any cost! Her brothers had it practically--at
least they had it far more than it seemed likely she would unless she
exerted herself with quite exceptional vigor. Between her and the fair,
far prospect of freedom and self-development manoeuvred Mr. Manning, her
aunt and father, neighbors, customs, traditions, forces. They seemed to
her that morning to be all armed with nets and prepared to throw them
over her directly her movements became in any manner truly free.
She had a feeling as though something had dropped from her eyes, as
though she had just discovered herself for the first time--discovered
herself as a sleep-walker might do, abruptly among dangers, hindrances,
and perplexities, on the verge of a cardinal crisis.
The life of a girl presented itself to her as something happy and
heedless and unthinking, yet really guided and controlled by others, and
going on amidst unsuspected screens and concealments.
And in its way it was very well. Then suddenly with a rush came reality,
came "growing up"; a hasty imperative appeal for seriousness, for
supreme seriousness. The Ralphs and Mannings and Fortescues came down
upon the raw inexperience, upon the blinking ignorance of the newcomer;
and before her eyes were fairly open, before she knew what had
Page 1 from 7:  2 3 4 5 6 7 Forward