Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Part III Edith Wharton

Chapter XXV

Page 2 of 6

Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It was not, she owned to herself, that the society of the Fulmer children had roused in her any abstract passion for the human young. She knew--had known since Nick's first kiss--how she would love any child of his and hers; and she had cherished poor little Clarissa Vanderlyn with a shrinking and wistful solicitude. But in these rough young Fulmers she took a positive delight, and for reasons that were increasingly clear to her. It was because, in the first place, they were all intelligent; and because their intelligence had been fed only on things worth caring for. However inadequate Grace Fulmer's bringing-up of her increasing tribe had been, they had heard in her company nothing trivial or dull: good music, good books and good talk had been their daily food, and if at times they stamped and roared and crashed about like children unblessed by such privileges, at others they shone with the light of poetry and spoke with the voice of wisdom.

That had been Susy's discovery: for the first time she was among awakening minds which had been wakened only to beauty. >From their cramped and uncomfortable household Grace and Nat Fulmer had managed to keep out mean envies, vulgar admirations, shabby discontents; above all the din and confusion the great images of beauty had brooded, like those ancestral figures that stood apart on their shelf in the poorest Roman households.

No, the task she had undertaken for want of a better gave Susy no sense of a missed vocation: "mothering" on a large scale would never, she perceived, be her job. Rather it gave her, in odd ways, the sense of being herself mothered, of taking her first steps in the life of immaterial values which had begun to seem so much more substantial than any she had known.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

On the day when she had gone to Grace Fulmer for counsel and comfort she had little guessed that they would come to her in this form. She had found her friend, more than ever distracted and yet buoyant, riding the large untidy waves of her life with the splashed ease of an amphibian. Grace was probably the only person among Susy's friends who could have understood why she could not make up her mind to marry Altringham; but at the moment Grace was too much absorbed in her own problems to pay much attention to her friend's, and, according to her wont, she immediately "unpacked" her difficulties.

Nat was not getting what she had hoped out of his European opportunity. Oh, she was enough of an artist herself to know that there must be fallow periods--that the impact of new impressions seldom produced immediate results. She had allowed for all that. But her past experience of Nat's moods had taught her to know just when he was assimilating, when impressions were fructifying in him. And now they were not, and he knew it as well as she did. There had been too much rushing about, too much excitement and sterile flattery ... Mrs. Melrose? Well, yes, for a while ... the trip to Spain had been a love-journey, no doubt. Grace spoke calmly, but the lines of her face sharpened: she had suffered, oh horribly, at his going to Spain without her. Yet she couldn't, for the children's sake, afford to miss the big sum that Ursula Gillow had given her for her fortnight at Ruan. And her playing had struck people, and led, on the way back, to two or three profitable engagements in private houses in London. Fashionable society had made "a little fuss" about her, and it had surprised and pleased Nat, and given her a new importance in his eyes. "He was beginning to forget that I wasn't only a nursery-maid, and it's been a good thing for him to be reminded ... but the great thing is that with what I've earned he and I can go off to southern Italy and Sicily for three months. You know I know how to manage ... and, alone with me, Nat will settle down to work: to observing, feeling, soaking things in. It's the only way. Mrs. Melrose wants to take him, to pay all the expenses again-well she shan't. I'll pay them." Her worn cheek flushed with triumph. "And you'll see what wonders will come of it .... Only there's the problem of the children. Junie quite agrees that we can't take them ...."

Page 2 of 6 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Glimpses of the Moon
Edith Wharton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004