More Classics


Mentioning Henry James caused me to look at and take up one of the shorter stories, and, alas for you, inflict a portion of it on you as well.

from "Brooksmith"
Henry James

I put down my tea-cup for Brooksmith, lingering an instant to gather it up as if he were plucking a flower. Mrs Offord's drawing-room was indeed Brooksmith's garden, his pruned and tended human parterre and if we all flourished there and grew well in our places it was largely owing to his supervision.

One rarely thinks of James and humor in the same thought/sentence/paragraph/dissertation/universe. But as with Hawthorne, humor is there is rich supply if one only gives it a chance to come through. Perhaps not is all works, but certainly in enough that it makes reading James a delight that somehow I could not relish as I was going through my college years.

Add to that, this piquant observation from the same story,

"The dear man had indeed been capable of one of those sacrifices to which women are deemed peculiarly apt; he had recognized (under the influence, in some degree, it is true, of physical infirmity), that if you wished people to find you at home you must manage not to be out."

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 14, 2007 8:08 AM.

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