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Part I Edith Wharton

Chapter VI

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Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

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All this would formerly have increased Susy's contempt; now she found herself liking the Hickses most for their failings. She was touched by their simple good faith, their isolation in the midst of all their queer apostles and parasites, their way of drifting about an alien and indifferent world in a compactly clinging group of which Eldorada Tooker, the doctor and the two secretaries formed the outer fringe, and by their view of themselves as a kind of collective re-incarnation of some past state of princely culture, symbolised for Mrs. Hicks in what she called "the court of the Renaissance." Eldorada, of course, was their chief prophetess; but even the intensely "bright" and modern young secretaries, Mr. Beck and Mr. Buttles, showed a touching tendency to share her view, and spoke of Mr. Hicks as "promoting art," in the spirit of Pandolfino celebrating the munificence of the Medicis.

"I'm getting really fond of the Hickses; I believe I should be nice to them even if they were staying at Danieli's," Susy said to Strefford.

"And even if you owned the yacht?" he answered; and for once his banter struck her as beside the point.

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The Ibis carried them, during the endless June days, far and wide along the enchanted shores; they roamed among the Euganeans, they saw Aquileia and Pomposa and Ravenna. Their hosts would gladly have taken them farther, across the Adriatic and on into the golden network of the Aegean; but Susy resisted this infraction of Nick's rules, and he himself preferred to stick to his task. Only now he wrote in the early mornings, so that on most days they could set out before noon and steam back late to the low fringe of lights on the lagoon. His work continued to progress, and as page was added to page Susy obscurely but surely perceived that each one corresponded with a hidden secretion of energy, the gradual forming within him of something that might eventually alter both their lives. In what sense she could not conjecture: she merely felt that the fact of his having chosen a job and stuck to it, if only through a few rosy summer weeks, had already given him a new way of saying "Yes" and "No."

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The Glimpses of the Moon
Edith Wharton

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