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Chapter 16

  • Newland Archer sat at the writing-table in his library in East Thirty-nint_treet.
  • He had just got back from a big official reception for the inauguration of th_ew galleries at the Metropolitan Museum, and the spectacle of those grea_paces crowded with the spoils of the ages, where the throng of fashio_irculated through a series of scientifically catalogued treasures, ha_uddenly pressed on a rusted spring of memory.
  • "Why, this used to be one of the old Cesnola rooms," he heard some one say; and instantly everything about him vanished, and he was sitting alone on _ard leather divan against a radiator, while a slight figure in a lon_ealskin cloak moved away down the meagrely- fitted vista of the old Museum.
  • The vision had roused a host of other associations, and he sat looking wit_ew eyes at the library which, for over thirty years, had been the scene o_is solitary musings and of all the family confabulations.
  • It was the room in which most of the real things of his life had happened.
  • There his wife, nearly twenty-six years ago, had broken to him, with _lushing circumlocution that would have caused the young women of the ne_eneration to smile, the news that she was to have a child; and there thei_ldest boy, Dallas, too delicate to be taken to church in midwinter, had bee_hristened by their old friend the Bishop of New York, the ample magnificen_rreplaceable Bishop, so long the pride and ornament of his diocese. Ther_allas had first staggered across the floor shouting "Dad," while May and th_urse laughed behind the door; there their second child, Mary (who was so lik_er mother), had announced her engagement to the dullest and most reliable o_eggie Chivers's many sons; and there Archer had kissed her through he_edding veil before they went down to the motor which was to carry them t_race Church—for in a world where all else had reeled on its foundations the
  • "Grace Church wedding" remained an unchanged institution.
  • It was in the library that he and May had always discussed the future of th_hildren: the studies of Dallas and his young brother Bill, Mary's incurabl_ndifference to "accomplishments," and passion for sport and philanthropy, an_he vague leanings toward "art" which had finally landed the restless an_urious Dallas in the office of a rising New York architect.
  • The young men nowadays were emancipating themselves from the law and busines_nd taking up all sorts of new things. If they were not absorbed in stat_olitics or municipal reform, the chances were that they were going in fo_entral American archaeology, for architecture or landscape-engineering; taking a keen and learned interest in the prerevolutionary buildings of thei_wn country, studying and adapting Georgian types, and protesting at th_eaningless use of the word "Colonial." Nobody nowadays had "Colonial" house_xcept the millionaire grocers of the suburbs.
  • But above all—sometimes Archer put it above all—it was in that library tha_he Governor of New York, coming down from Albany one evening to dine an_pend the night, had turned to his host, and said, banging his clenched fis_n the table and gnashing his eye-glasses: "Hang the professional politician!
  • You're the kind of man the country wants, Archer. If the stable's ever to b_leaned out, men like you have got to lend a hand in the cleaning."
  • "Men like you—" how Archer had glowed at the phrase! How eagerly he had rise_p at the call! It was an echo of Ned Winsett's old appeal to roll his sleeve_p and get down into the muck; but spoken by a man who set the example of th_esture, and whose summons to follow him was irresistible.
  • Archer, as he looked back, was not sure that men like himself WERE what hi_ountry needed, at least in the active service to which Theodore Roosevelt ha_ointed; in fact, there was reason to think it did not, for after a year i_he State Assembly he had not been re-elected, and had dropped back thankfull_nto obscure if useful municipal work, and from that again to the writing o_ccasional articles in one of the reforming weeklies that were trying to shak_he country out of its apathy. It was little enough to look back on; but whe_e remembered to what the young men of his generation and his set had looke_orward—the narrow groove of money-making, sport and society to which thei_ision had been limited—even his small contribution to the new state of thing_eemed to count, as each brick counts in a well-built wall. He had done littl_n public life; he would always be by nature a contemplative and a dilettante; but he had had high things to contemplate, great things to delight in; and on_reat man's friendship to be his strength and pride.
  • He had been, in short, what people were beginning to call "a good citizen." I_ew York, for many years past, every new movement, philanthropic, municipal o_rtistic, had taken account of his opinion and wanted his name. People said:
  • "Ask Archer" when there was a question of starting the first school fo_rippled children, reorganising the Museum of Art, founding the Grolier Club, inaugurating the new Library, or getting up a new society of chamber music.
  • His days were full, and they were filled decently. He supposed it was all _an ought to ask.
  • Something he knew he had missed: the flower of life. But he thought of it no_s a thing so unattainable and improbable that to have repined would have bee_ike despairing because one had not drawn the first prize in a lottery. Ther_ere a hundred million tickets in HIS lottery, and there was only one prize; the chances had been too decidedly against him. When he thought of Elle_lenska it was abstractly, serenely, as one might think of some imaginar_eloved in a book or a picture: she had become the composite vision of al_hat he had missed. That vision, faint and tenuous as it was, had kept hi_rom thinking of other women. He had been what was called a faithful husband; and when May had suddenly died—carried off by the infectious pneumonia throug_hich she had nursed their youngest child—he had honestly mourned her. Thei_ong years together had shown him that it did not so much matter if marriag_as a dull duty, as long as it kept the dignity of a duty: lapsing from that, it became a mere battle of ugly appetites. Looking about him, he honoured hi_wn past, and mourned for it. After all, there was good in the old ways.
  • His eyes, making the round of the room—done over by Dallas with Englis_ezzotints, Chippendale cabinets, bits of chosen blue-and-white and pleasantl_haded electric lamps—came back to the old Eastlake writing- table that he ha_ever been willing to banish, and to his first photograph of May, which stil_ept its place beside his inkstand.
  • There she was, tall, round-bosomed and willowy, in her starched muslin an_lapping Leghorn, as he had seen her under the orange-trees in the Missio_arden. And as he had seen her that day, so she had remained; never quite a_he same height, yet never far below it: generous, faithful, unwearied; but s_acking in imagination, so incapable of growth, that the world of her yout_ad fallen into pieces and rebuilt itself without her ever being conscious o_he change. This hard bright blindness had kept her immediate horizo_pparently unaltered. Her incapacity to recognise change made her childre_onceal their views from her as Archer concealed his; there had been, from th_irst, a joint pretence of sameness, a kind of innocent family hypocrisy, i_hich father and children had unconsciously collaborated. And she had die_hinking the world a good place, full of loving and harmonious households lik_er own, and resigned to leave it because she was convinced that, whateve_appened, Newland would continue to inculcate in Dallas the same principle_nd prejudices which had shaped his parents' lives, and that Dallas in turn (when Newland followed her) would transmit the sacred trust to little Bill.
  • And of Mary she was sure as of her own self. So, having snatched little Bil_rom the grave, and given her life in the effort, she went contentedly to he_lace in the Archer vault in St. Mark's, where Mrs. Archer already lay saf_rom the terrifying "trend" which her daughter-in-law had never even becom_ware of.
  • Opposite May's portrait stood one of her daughter. Mary Chivers was as tal_nd fair as her mother, but large-waisted, flat-chested and slightl_louching, as the altered fashion required. Mary Chivers's mighty feats o_thleticism could not have been performed with the twenty-inch waist that Ma_rcher's azure sash so easily spanned. And the difference seemed symbolic; th_other's life had been as closely girt as her figure. Mary, who was no les_onventional, and no more intelligent, yet led a larger life and held mor_olerant views. There was good in the new order too.
  • The telephone clicked, and Archer, turning from the photographs, unhooked th_ransmitter at his elbow. How far they were from the days when the legs of th_rass-buttoned messenger boy had been New York's only means of quic_ommunication!
  • "Chicago wants you."
  • Ah—it must be a long-distance from Dallas, who had been sent to Chicago by hi_irm to talk over the plan of the Lakeside palace they were to build for _oung millionaire with ideas. The firm always sent Dallas on such errands.
  • "Hallo, Dad—Yes: Dallas. I say—how do you feel about sailing on Wednesday?
  • Mauretania: Yes, next Wednesday as ever is. Our client wants me to look a_ome Italian gardens before we settle anything, and has asked me to nip ove_n the next boat. I've got to be back on the first of June—" the voice brok_nto a joyful conscious laugh—"so we must look alive. I say, Dad, I want you_elp: do come."
  • Dallas seemed to be speaking in the room: the voice was as near by and natura_s if he had been lounging in his favourite arm-chair by the fire. The fac_ould not ordinarily have surprised Archer, for long-distance telephoning ha_ecome as much a matter of course as electric lighting and five-day Atlanti_oyages. But the laugh did startle him; it still seemed wonderful that acros_ll those miles and miles of country—forest, river, mountain, prairie, roarin_ities and busy indifferent millions—Dallas's laugh should be able to say: "O_ourse, whatever happens, I must get back on the first, because Fanny Beaufor_nd I are to be married on the fifth."
  • The voice began again: "Think it over? No, sir: not a minute. You've got t_ay yes now. Why not, I'd like to know? If you can allege a single reason—No; I knew it. Then it's a go, eh? Because I count on you to ring up the Cunar_ffice first thing tomorrow; and you'd better book a return on a boat fro_arseilles. I say, Dad; it'll be our last time together, in this kind of way—.
  • Oh, good! I knew you would."
  • Chicago rang off, and Archer rose and began to pace up and down the room.
  • It would be their last time together in this kind of way: the boy was right.
  • They would have lots of other "times" after Dallas's marriage, his father wa_ure; for the two were born comrades, and Fanny Beaufort, whatever one migh_hink of her, did not seem likely to interfere with their intimacy. On th_ontrary, from what he had seen of her, he thought she would be naturall_ncluded in it. Still, change was change, and differences were differences, and much as he felt himself drawn toward his future daughter-in-law, it wa_empting to seize this last chance of being alone with his boy.
  • There was no reason why he should not seize it, except the profound one tha_e had lost the habit of travel. May had disliked to move except for vali_easons, such as taking the children to the sea or in the mountains: she coul_magine no other motive for leaving the house in Thirty-ninth Street or thei_omfortable quarters at the Wellands' in Newport. After Dallas had taken hi_egree she had thought it her duty to travel for six months; and the whol_amily had made the old-fashioned tour through England, Switzerland and Italy.
  • Their time being limited (no one knew why) they had omitted France. Arche_emembered Dallas's wrath at being asked to contemplate Mont Blanc instead o_heims and Chartres. But Mary and Bill wanted mountain-climbing, and ha_lready yawned their way in Dallas's wake through the English cathedrals; an_ay, always fair to her children, had insisted on holding the balance evenl_etween their athletic and artistic proclivities. She had indeed proposed tha_er husband should go to Paris for a fortnight, and join them on the Italia_akes after they had "done" Switzerland; but Archer had declined. "We'll stic_ogether," he said; and May's face had brightened at his setting such a goo_xample to Dallas.
  • Since her death, nearly two years before, there had been no reason for hi_ontinuing in the same routine. His children had urged him to travel: Mar_hivers had felt sure it would do him good to go abroad and "see th_alleries." The very mysteriousness of such a cure made her the more confiden_f its efficacy. But Archer had found himself held fast by habit, by memories, by a sudden startled shrinking from new things.
  • Now, as he reviewed his past, he saw into what a deep rut he had sunk. Th_orst of doing one's duty was that it apparently unfitted one for doin_nything else. At least that was the view that the men of his generation ha_aken. The trenchant divisions between right and wrong, honest and dishonest, respectable and the reverse, had left so little scope for the unforeseen.
  • There are moments when a man's imagination, so easily subdued to what it live_n, suddenly rises above its daily level, and surveys the long windings o_estiny. Archer hung there and wondered… .
  • What was left of the little world he had grown up in, and whose standards ha_ent and bound him? He remembered a sneering prophecy of poor Lawrenc_efferts's, uttered years ago in that very room: "If things go on at thi_ate, our children will be marrying Beaufort's bastards."
  • It was just what Archer's eldest son, the pride of his life, was doing; an_obody wondered or reproved. Even the boy's Aunt Janey, who still looked s_xactly as she used to in her elderly youth, had taken her mother's emerald_nd seed-pearls out of their pink cotton-wool, and carried them with her ow_witching hands to the future bride; and Fanny Beaufort, instead of lookin_isappointed at not receiving a "set" from a Paris jeweller, had exclaimed a_heir old-fashioned beauty, and declared that when she wore them she shoul_eel like an Isabey miniature.
  • Fanny Beaufort, who had appeared in New York at eighteen, after the death o_er parents, had won its heart much as Madame Olenska had won it thirty year_arlier; only instead of being distrustful and afraid of her, society took he_oyfully for granted. She was pretty, amusing and accomplished: what more di_ny one want? Nobody was narrow-minded enough to rake up against her the half- forgotten facts of her father's past and her own origin. Only the older peopl_emembered so obscure an incident in the business life of New York a_eaufort's failure, or the fact that after his wife's death he had bee_uietly married to the notorious Fanny Ring, and had left the country with hi_ew wife, and a little girl who inherited her beauty. He was subsequentl_eard of in Constantinople, then in Russia; and a dozen years later America_ravellers were handsomely entertained by him in Buenos Ayres, where h_epresented a large insurance agency. He and his wife died there in the odou_f prosperity; and one day their orphaned daughter had appeared in New York i_harge of May Archer's sister-in-law, Mrs. Jack Welland, whose husband ha_een appointed the girl's guardian. The fact threw her into almost cousinl_elationship with Newland Archer's children, and nobody was surprised whe_allas's engagement was announced.
  • Nothing could more dearly give the measure of the distance that the world ha_ravelled. People nowadays were too busy—busy with reforms and "movements,"
  • with fads and fetishes and frivolities—to bother much about their neighbours.
  • And of what account was anybody's past, in the huge kaleidoscope where all th_ocial atoms spun around on the same plane?
  • Newland Archer, looking out of his hotel window at the stately gaiety of th_aris streets, felt his heart beating with the confusion and eagerness o_outh.
  • It was long since it had thus plunged and reared under his widening waistcoat, leaving him, the next minute, with an empty breast and hot temples. H_ondered if it was thus that his son's conducted itself in the presence o_iss Fanny Beaufort—and decided that it was not. "It functions as actively, n_oubt, but the rhythm is different," he reflected, recalling the coo_omposure with which the young man had announced his engagement, and taken fo_ranted that his family would approve.
  • "The difference is that these young people take it for granted that they'r_oing to get whatever they want, and that we almost always took it for grante_hat we shouldn't. Only, I wonder—the thing one's so certain of in advance: can it ever make one's heart beat as wildly?"
  • It was the day after their arrival in Paris, and the spring sunshine hel_rcher in his open window, above the wide silvery prospect of the Plac_endome. One of the things he had stipulated—almost the only one— when he ha_greed to come abroad with Dallas, was that, in Paris, he shouldn't be made t_o to one of the newfangled "palaces."
  • "Oh, all right—of course," Dallas good-naturedly agreed. "I'll take you t_ome jolly old-fashioned place— the Bristol say—" leaving his fathe_peechless at hearing that the century-long home of kings and emperors was no_poken of as an old-fashioned inn, where one went for its quain_nconveniences and lingering local colour.
  • Archer had pictured often enough, in the first impatient years, the scene o_is return to Paris; then the personal vision had faded, and he had simpl_ried to see the city as the setting of Madame Olenska's life. Sitting alon_t night in his library, after the household had gone to bed, he had evoke_he radiant outbreak of spring down the avenues of horse-chestnuts, th_lowers and statues in the public gardens, the whiff of lilacs from th_lower-carts, the majestic roll of the river under the great bridges, and th_ife of art and study and pleasure that filled each mighty artery to bursting.
  • Now the spectacle was before him in its glory, and as he looked out on it h_elt shy, old-fashioned, inadequate: a mere grey speck of a man compared wit_he ruthless magnificent fellow he had dreamed of being… .
  • Dallas's hand came down cheerily on his shoulder. "Hullo, father: this i_omething like, isn't it?" They stood for a while looking out in silence, an_hen the young man continued: "By the way, I've got a message for you: th_ountess Olenska expects us both at half- past five."
  • He said it lightly, carelessly, as he might have imparted any casual item o_nformation, such as the hour at which their train was to leave for Florenc_he next evening. Archer looked at him, and thought he saw in his gay youn_yes a gleam of his great-grandmother Mingott's malice.
  • "Oh, didn't I tell you?" Dallas pursued. "Fanny made me swear to do thre_hings while I was in Paris: get her the score of the last Debussy songs, g_o the Grand-Guignol and see Madame Olenska. You know she was awfully good t_anny when Mr. Beaufort sent her over from Buenos Ayres to the Assomption.
  • Fanny hadn't any friends in Paris, and Madame Olenska used to be kind to he_nd trot her about on holidays. I believe she was a great friend of the firs_rs. Beaufort's. And she's our cousin, of course. So I rang her up thi_orning, before I went out, and told her you and I were here for two days an_anted to see her."
  • Archer continued to stare at him. "You told her I was here?"
  • "Of course—why not?" Dallas's eye brows went up whimsically. Then, getting n_nswer, he slipped his arm through his father's with a confidential pressure.
  • "I say, father: what was she like?"
  • Archer felt his colour rise under his son's unabashed gaze. "Come, own up: yo_nd she were great pals, weren't you? Wasn't she most awfully lovely?"
  • "Lovely? I don't know. She was different."
  • "Ah—there you have it! That's what it always comes to, doesn't it? When sh_omes, SHE'S DIFFERENT—and one doesn't know why. It's exactly what I fee_bout Fanny."
  • His father drew back a step, releasing his arm. "About Fanny? But, my dea_ellow—I should hope so! Only I don't see—"
  • "Dash it, Dad, don't be prehistoric! Wasn't she— once—your Fanny?"
  • Dallas belonged body and soul to the new generation. He was the first-born o_ewland and May Archer, yet it had never been possible to inculcate in hi_ven the rudiments of reserve. "What's the use of making mysteries? It onl_akes people want to nose 'em out," he always objected when enjoined t_iscretion. But Archer, meeting his eyes, saw the filial light under thei_anter.
  • "My Fanny?"
  • "Well, the woman you'd have chucked everything for: only you didn't,"
  • continued his surprising son.
  • "I didn't," echoed Archer with a kind of solemnity.
  • "No: you date, you see, dear old boy. But mother said—"
  • "Your mother?"
  • "Yes: the day before she died. It was when she sent for me alone—you remember?
  • She said she knew we were safe with you, and always would be, because once, when she asked you to, you'd given up the thing you most wanted."
  • Archer received this strange communication in silence. His eyes remaine_nseeingly fixed on the thronged sunlit square below the window. At length h_aid in a low voice: "She never asked me."
  • "No. I forgot. You never did ask each other anything, did you? And you neve_old each other anything. You just sat and watched each other, and guessed a_hat was going on underneath. A deaf-and-dumb asylum, in fact! Well, I bac_our generation for knowing more about each other's private thoughts than w_ver have time to find out about our own.—I say, Dad," Dallas broke off,
  • "you're not angry with me? If you are, let's make it up and go and lunch a_enri's. I've got to rush out to Versailles afterward."
  • Archer did not accompany his son to Versailles. He preferred to spend th_fternoon in solitary roamings through Paris. He had to deal all at once wit_he packed regrets and stifled memories of an inarticulate lifetime.
  • After a little while he did not regret Dallas's indiscretion. It seemed t_ake an iron band from his heart to know that, after all, some one had guesse_nd pitied… . And that it should have been his wife moved him indescribably.
  • Dallas, for all his affectionate insight, would not have understood that. T_he boy, no doubt, the episode was only a pathetic instance of vai_rustration, of wasted forces. But was it really no more? For a long tim_rcher sat on a bench in the Champs Elysees and wondered, while the stream o_ife rolled by… .
  • A few streets away, a few hours away, Ellen Olenska waited. She had never gon_ack to her husband, and when he had died, some years before, she had made n_hange in her way of living. There was nothing now to keep her and Arche_part—and that afternoon he was to see her.
  • He got up and walked across the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries garden_o the Louvre. She had once told him that she often went there, and he had _ancy to spend the intervening time in a place where he could think of her a_erhaps having lately been. For an hour or more he wandered from gallery t_allery through the dazzle of afternoon light, and one by one the picture_urst on him in their half-forgotten splendour, filling his soul with the lon_choes of beauty. After all, his life had been too starved… .
  • Suddenly, before an effulgent Titian, he found himself saying: "But I'm onl_ifty-seven—" and then he turned away. For such summer dreams it was too late; but surely not for a quiet harvest of friendship, of comradeship, in th_lessed hush of her nearness.
  • He went back to the hotel, where he and Dallas were to meet; and together the_alked again across the Place de la Concorde and over the bridge that leads t_he Chamber of Deputies.
  • Dallas, unconscious of what was going on in his father's mind, was talkin_xcitedly and abundantly of Versailles. He had had but one previous glimpse o_t, during a holiday trip in which he had tried to pack all the sights he ha_een deprived of when he had had to go with the family to Switzerland; an_umultuous enthusiasm and cock-sure criticism tripped each other up on hi_ips.
  • As Archer listened, his sense of inadequacy and inexpressiveness increased.
  • The boy was not insensitive, he knew; but he had the facility and self- confidence that came of looking at fate not as a master but as an equal.
  • "That's it: they feel equal to things—they know their way about," he mused, thinking of his son as the spokesman of the new generation which had swep_way all the old landmarks, and with them the sign- posts and the danger- signal.
  • Suddenly Dallas stopped short, grasping his father's arm. "Oh, by Jove," h_xclaimed.
  • They had come out into the great tree-planted space before the Invalides. Th_ome of Mansart floated ethereally above the budding trees and the long gre_ront of the building: drawing up into itself all the rays of afternoon light, it hung there like the visible symbol of the race's glory.
  • Archer knew that Madame Olenska lived in a square near one of the avenue_adiating from the Invalides; and he had pictured the quarter as quiet an_lmost obscure, forgetting the central splendour that lit it up. Now, by som_ueer process of association, that golden light became for him the pervadin_llumination in which she lived. For nearly thirty years, her life—of which h_new so strangely little—had been spent in this rich atmosphere that h_lready felt to be too dense and yet too stimulating for his lungs. He though_f the theatres she must have been to, the pictures she must have looked at, the sober and splendid old houses she must have frequented, the people sh_ust have talked with, the incessant stir of ideas, curiosities, images an_ssociations thrown out by an intensely social race in a setting of immemoria_anners; and suddenly he remembered the young Frenchman who had once said t_im: "Ah, good conversation—there is nothing like it, is there?"
  • Archer had not seen M. Riviere, or heard of him, for nearly thirty years; an_hat fact gave the measure of his ignorance of Madame Olenska's existence.
  • More than half a lifetime divided them, and she had spent the long interva_mong people he did not know, in a society he but faintly guessed at, i_onditions he would never wholly understand. During that time he had bee_iving with his youthful memory of her; but she had doubtless had other an_ore tangible companionship. Perhaps she too had kept her memory of him a_omething apart; but if she had, it must have been like a relic in a small di_hapel, where there was not time to pray every day… .
  • They had crossed the Place des Invalides, and were walking down one of th_horoughfares flanking the building. It was a quiet quarter, after all, i_pite of its splendour and its history; and the fact gave one an idea of th_iches Paris had to draw on, since such scenes as this were left to the fe_nd the indifferent.
  • The day was fading into a soft sun-shot haze, pricked here and there by _ellow electric light, and passers were rare in the little square into whic_hey had turned. Dallas stopped again, and looked up.
  • "It must be here," he said, slipping his arm through his father's with _ovement from which Archer's shyness did not shrink; and they stood togethe_ooking up at the house.
  • It was a modern building, without distinctive character, but many-windowed, and pleasantly balconied up its wide cream-coloured front. On one of the uppe_alconies, which hung well above the rounded tops of the horse-chestnuts i_he square, the awnings were still lowered, as though the sun had just lef_t.
  • "I wonder which floor—?" Dallas conjectured; and moving toward the porte- cochere he put his head into the porter's lodge, and came back to say: "Th_ifth. It must be the one with the awnings."
  • Archer remained motionless, gazing at the upper windows as if the end of thei_ilgrimage had been attained.
  • "I say, you know, it's nearly six," his son at length reminded him.
  • The father glanced away at an empty bench under the trees.
  • "I believe I'll sit there a moment," he said.
  • "Why—aren't you well?" his son exclaimed.
  • "Oh, perfectly. But I should like you, please, to go up without me."
  • Dallas paused before him, visibly bewildered. "But, I say, Dad: do you mea_ou won't come up at all?"
  • "I don't know," said Archer slowly.
  • "If you don't she won't understand."
  • "Go, my boy; perhaps I shall follow you."
  • Dallas gave him a long look through the twilight.
  • "But what on earth shall I say?"
  • "My dear fellow, don't you always know what to say?" his father rejoined wit_ smile.
  • "Very well. I shall say you're old-fashioned, and prefer walking up the fiv_lights because you don't like lifts."
  • His father smiled again. "Say I'm old-fashioned: that's enough."
  • Dallas looked at him again, and then, with an incredulous gesture, passed ou_f sight under the vaulted doorway.
  • Archer sat down on the bench and continued to gaze at the awninged balcony. H_alculated the time it would take his son to be carried up in the lift to th_ifth floor, to ring the bell, and be admitted to the hall, and then ushere_nto the drawing-room. He pictured Dallas entering that room with his quic_ssured step and his delightful smile, and wondered if the people were righ_ho said that his boy "took after him."
  • Then he tried to see the persons already in the room—for probably at tha_ociable hour there would be more than one—and among them a dark lady, pal_nd dark, who would look up quickly, half rise, and hold out a long thin han_ith three rings on it… . He thought she would be sitting in a sofa-corne_ear the fire, with azaleas banked behind her on a table.
  • "It's more real to me here than if I went up," he suddenly heard himself say; and the fear lest that last shadow of reality should lose its edge kept hi_ooted to his seat as the minutes succeeded each other.
  • He sat for a long time on the bench in the thickening dusk, his eyes neve_urning from the balcony. At length a light shone through the windows, and _oment later a man-servant came out on the balcony, drew up the awnings, an_losed the shutters.
  • At that, as if it had been the signal he waited for, Newland Archer got u_lowly and walked back alone to his hotel.