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TONO-BUNGAY

theatres and concerts, but not often to concerts because, though Marion "liked" music, she didn't like "too much of it," to picture shows—and there was a nonsensical sort of baby-talk I picked up—I forget where now—that became a mighty peacemaker.

Her worst offence for me was an occasional excursion into the Smithie style of dressing, debased West Kensington. For she had no sense at all of her own beauty. She had no comprehension whatever of beauty of the body, and she could slash her beautiful lines to rags with hat-brims and trimmings. Thank Heaven a natural refinement, a natural timidity and her extremely slender purse kept her from the real Smithie efflorescence! Poor simple, beautiful, kindly, limited Marion! Now that I am forty-five, I can look back at her with all my old admiration and none of my old bitterness, with a new affection and not a scrap of passion, and take her part against the equally stupid, drivingly-energetic, sensuous, intellectual sprawl I used to be. I was a young beast for her to have married—a young beast. With her it was my business to understand and control—and I exacted fellowship, passion. . . .

We became engaged, as I have told; we broke it off and joined again. We went through a succession of such phases. We had no sort of idea what was wrong with us. Presently we were formally engaged. I had a wonderful interview with her father in which he was stupendously grave and h-less, wanted to know about my origins and was tolerant (exasperatingly tolerant) because my mother was a servant, and afterwards her mother took to kissing me and I bought a ring. But the speechless aunt, I gathered, didn't approve—having doubts of my religiosity. Whenever