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CHAPTER THE FOURTH

marion


§1

As I look back on those days in which we built up the great Tono-Bungay property out of human hope and a credit for bottles and rent and printing, I see my life as it were arranged in two parallel columns of unequal width, a wider, more diffused, eventful and various one which continually broadens out, the business side of my life, and a narrow, darker and darkling one shot ever and again with a gleam of happiness, my home life with Marion. For of course I married Marion.

I didn't, as a matter of fact, marry her until a year after Tono-Bungay was thoroughly afloat, and then only after conflicts and discussions of a quite strenuous sort. By that time I was twenty-four. It seems the next thing to childhood now. We were both in certain directions unusually ignorant and simple; we were temperamentally antagonistic, and we hadn't—I don't think we were capable of—an idea in common. She was young and extraordinarily conventional—she seemed never to have an idea of her own but always the idea of her class—and I was young and sceptical, enterprising and passionate; the two links that held us together were the intense appeal her physical beauty

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