The Good Soldier (Penguin Classics) by Ford Madox Ford
By Ford Madox Ford
The Dowells, a prosperous American couple, were shut pals with the Ashburnhams for years. Edward Ashburnham, a chief soldier, looks the best English gentleman, and Leonora his excellent spouse, yet underneath the outside their marriage seethes with sadness and deception. Our simply window at the unusual tangle of occasions surrounding Edward is supplied by means of John Dowell, the husband he deceives. progressively Dowell unfolds a devastating tale, during which everyone's honesty is unsure. This remarkable novel of ardour and betrayal is a masterpiece of narrative ability and emotional depth.
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Extra info for The Good Soldier (Penguin Classics)
I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.
Then I shall drop you. ‘I am one person – myself. I do not impersonate Catullus, whom I adore. I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.
But now we have regained our territory after that brief brush with the bicycles and the lime scent and the vanishing figures in the distracted street. Here we are masters of tranquillity and order; inheritors of proud tradition. The lights are beginning to make yellow slits across the square. Mists from the river are filling these ancient spaces. They cling, gently, to the hoary stone. The leaves now are thick in country lanes, sheep cough in the damp fields; but here in your room we are dry. We talk privately.