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the account I tried to give you of my motives. A lot of it was terribly out of drawing.”

“Facts?” asked the doctor.

“No, the facts were all right. It was the atmosphere, the proportions.... I don’t know if I gave you the effect of something Don Juanesque?...”

“Vulgar poem,” said the doctor remarkably. “I discounted that.”


“Intolerable. Byron in sexual psychology is like a stink in a kitchen.”

Sir Richmond perceived he had struck upon the sort of thing that used to be called a pet aversion.

“I don’t want you to think that I run about after women in an habitual and systematic manner. Or that I deliberately hunt them in the interests of my work and energy. Your questions had set me theorizing about myself. And I did my best to improvise a scheme of motives yesterday. It was, I perceive, a jerry-built scheme, run up at short notice. My nocturnal reflections convinced me of that. I put reason into things that are essentially instinctive. The truth is that the wanderings of desire have no single drive. All sorts of motives come in, high and low, down to sheer vulgar imitativeness and competitiveness. What was true in it all was this, that a man with any imagination in a fatigue phase falls naturally into these complications because they are