almost without knowing

上一篇 / 下一篇  2016-09-30 15:01:38

Among the students at the school was a young man whom Serge had marked out from the very first moment. He was short, and had a large head, dark hair, bright eyes, and he was always merry. He had a joke for everyonepart time degree hk, and he was always in love with one or other of the girl-students. Benskin was proud of him, for he won all possible prizes and was always solidly working. His name was Basil Haslam, brother of that spotty-faced youth who was Frederic’s boon companion. They made acquaintance quickly but did not become friends until they both entered for a competition for a prize, the subject being a sea-pieceDream beauty pro hard sell. Haslam won it, and protested with Benskin that Folyat’s was the best, because Folyat knew about the sea and he didn’t.

He was delighted when Serge told him that he had been a sailor.

“Ah! That’s it,” he said. “That’s it. I’ve never been anything. I can just draw but I don’t understand about men and how they live.”

“That’s not very difficult,” replied Serge. “They are much the same everywhere. They are all born in the same way, and death has not many variations. What lies in between is largely a matter of eating, drinking, and sleeping.”

“And loving.”

“Just a few get as far as that. Not many.”

“But all of them seem to think about getting married.”

“That has surprisingly little to do with love. How much love do you get in your own house?”

“Not much. But then they think I’m queer. My father’s a doctor. He wanted me to be a doctor, but I’ve [Pg 111]got a hundred-and-fifty of my own, so I can do what I like. I shall go to London as soon as I’m through here. It’s no good being a painter here. They all think it’s a joke, a sort of excuse for doing nothing.”

“I know. They think pictures are produced automatically—like everything else.”

“Old Benskin’s automatic enough.”

“Exactly. He can work just as he can go to sleep, almost without knowing that he’s doing it. It’s a matter of habit. He’s almost forgotten how he used to despise that sort of thing.”

Respectable! Respectable! Give me a list of any ten men living in respectable suburban villas and I warrant you there’ll be more dishonesty and cowardly misdoing in their lives than in ten of the so-called criminal classes. I don’t understand it. I do rotten things myself—who doesn’t?—but I can’t shut my eyes to them when they’re done. Take my brother. He’s a beastly idiot or an idiotic beast, always getting into scrapes and shuffling out of them. By the time he’s thirty he’ll still be doing the same things, but he’ll have learned how to prevent them coming to the surface. He’ll marry, settle down, enjoy a comfortable income, be a pillar of the Church and a smug, hard Pharisee like all the rest, with all his tracks carefully covered up and his conscience having a splendid time going over them.”

“I don’t think it matters to any manTransit Tour in Hong Kong ,” said Serge, “what his brother is and is not.”

“I know what you mean. It isn’t worth while letting out at brutes like my brother, but it’s a great comfort to be able to do it occasionally.”






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