CHAPTER XXII

Margaret greeted her lord with peculiar tenderness on> the morrow. Mature as he was, she might yet be able to help him to the building of the rainbow bridge that should connect the prose in us with the passion. Without it we are meaningless fragments, half monks, half beasts, unconnected arches that have never joined into a man. With it love is born, and alights on the highest curve, glowing against the grey, sober against the fire. Happy the man who sees from either aspect the glory of these outspread wings. The roads of his soul lie clear, and he and his friends shall find easy going.

It was hard going in the roads of Mr. Wilcox's soul. From boyhood he had neglected them. "I am not a fellow who bothers about my own inside." Outwardly he was cheerful, reliable, and brave; but within, all had reverted to chaos, ruled, so far as it was ruled at all, by an incomplete asceticism. Whether as boy, husband, or widower, he had always the sneaking belief that bodily passion is bad, a belief that is desirable only when held passionately. Religion had confirmed him. The words that were read aloud on Sunday to him and to other respectable men were the words that had once kindled the souls of St. Catharine and St. Francis into a white-hot hatred of the carnal. He could not be as the saints and love the Infinite with a seraphic ardour, but he could be a little ashamed of loving a wife. "Amabat, amare timebat." And it was here that Margaret hoped to help him.

It did not seem so difficult. She need trouble him with no gift of her own. She would only point out the salvation that was latent in his own soul, and in the soul of every man. Only connect! That was the whole

-186-

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Howards End
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 6
  • Chapter III 13
  • Chapter IV 23
  • Chapter V 31
  • Chapter VI 45
  • Chapter VII 56
  • Chapter VIII 64
  • Chapter IX 73
  • Chapter X 79
  • Chapter XI 87
  • Chapter XII 102
  • Chapter XIII 107
  • Chapter XIV 115
  • Chapter XV 125
  • Chapter XVI 137
  • Chapter XVII 149
  • Chapter XVIII 157
  • Chapter XIX 167
  • Chapter XX 176
  • Chapter XXI 184
  • Chapter XXII 186
  • Chapter XXIII 193
  • Chapter XXIV 202
  • Chapter XXV 207
  • Chapter XXVI 217
  • Chapter XXVII 233
  • Chapter XXVIII 240
  • Chapter XXIX 244
  • Chapter XXX 250
  • Chapter XXXI 257
  • Chapter XXXII 262
  • Chapter XXXIII 266
  • Chapter XXXIV 276
  • Chapter XXXV 285
  • Chapter XXXVI 289
  • Chapter XXXVII 292
  • Chapter XXXVIII 303
  • Chapter Xxxix 309
  • Chapter XL 311
  • Chapter XLI 315
  • Chapter XLII 325
  • Chapter XLIII 329
  • Chapter XLIV 335
  • About the Author *
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