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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 965MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      Instantly he saw his mistake. He had had the opportunity to treat the subject in the same playful spirit. But he had been unable to: it was all too serious to him. The grim Puritan streak in him, which had not prevented his falling in love with Norah, made it impossible for him to jest or suffer a jest about it. He was not a flirt, and did not care to have that tawdry cloak thrown on to his shoulders. But he had made a mistake: he ought to have accepted that ridiculous decoration with a grin as ridiculous. Now he tried to recapture the belated inanity.


      I dare say not, he said, still non-committally.I dont see why. You and he are such friends. I shall write to him and suggest it, or you might; perhaps that would be best: he can but say he cannot manage it, though for my part I should be very much surprised if he did not accept.


      Yes, my dear lady, I did. Ho! Every one that thirsteth! That was the drink I had for them. Dear lads! They were too tipsy to kneel, but there were tears in the eyes of one of them, before they had been with me five minutes.

      And now in his fiftieth year he was as friendless outside his home as he was companionless there. The years during which friendships can be made, that is to say, from boyhood up till about the age of forty, had passed for him in a practically incessant effort of building up the immense business which was his own property. And even if he had not been so employed, it is doubtful whether he would ever have made friends. Partly a certain stark austerity innate in him would have kept{38} intimacy at a distance, partly he had never penetrated into circles at Bracebridge where he would have met his intellectual equals. Till now Keeling of the fish-shop had but expanded into Mr Keeling, proprietor of the Universal Stores, that reared such lofty terra-cotta cupolas in the High Street, and the men he met, those with whom he habitually came in contact, he met on purely business grounds, and they would have felt as little at ease in the secret atmosphere of his library as he would have been in entertaining them there. They looked up to him as the shrewdest as well as the richest of the prosperous tradesmen of Bracebridge, and his contributions and suggestions at the meetings of the Town Council were received with the respect that their invariable common sense merited. But there their intercourse terminated; he could not conceive what was the pleasure of hitting a golf-ball over four miles of downland, and faced with blank incomprehension the fact that those who had been exercising their brains all day in business should sit up over games of cards to find themselves richer or poorer by a couple of pounds at one oclock in the morning. He would willingly have drawn a cheque for such a sum in order to be permitted to go to bed at eleven as usual. He had no notion of sport in any form, neither had he the bonhomie, the pleasure in the company of cheerful human beings as such, which really lies at the root of the{39} pursuits which he so frankly despised, nor any zeal for the chatter of social intercourse. To him a glass of whisky and soda was no more than half a pint of effervescing fluid, which you were better without: it had to him no value or existence as a symbol of good fellowship. There was never a man less clubbable. But in spite of the bleakness of nature here indicated, and the severity of his aspect towards his fellow men, he had a very considerable fund of kindly impulses towards any who treated him with sincerity. An appeal for help, whether it implied the expenditure of time or money was certainly subjected to a strict scrutiny, but if it passed that, it was as certainly responded to. He was as reticent about such acts of kindness as he was about the pleasures of his secret garden, or the steady increase in his annual receipts from his stores. But all three gave him considerable satisfaction, and the luxury of giving was to him no whit inferior to that of getting.

      I shall have to then, if he asks me, she said. Or couldnt you manage to steal it?


      I am going to tell you what we talked about, if you will be quiet for a moment. You do not yet know that I have given them the new wing to the hospital

      I should prefer that you came and were introduced to Mrs Keeling, he said. I think that is better.

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      Another week passed, and still he waited for some word from his secretary about the book-plate. He was not going to be eager about it, for he would not confess to himself the anxiety with which he awaited an opportunity that his twenty-five shillings a week secretary had denied him. But day by day he scrutinized her face, and wondered if she was going to say that the book-plate was finished.


      alllittle