Captain macedoines daughter

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofCaptainMacedoine'sDaughter,byWilliamMcFee ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:CaptainMacedoine'sDaughter Author:WilliamMcFee ReleaseDate:April18,2010[EBook#32042] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKCAPTAINMACEDOINE'SDAUGHTER*** ProducedbyDAlexander,JulietSutherland,MaryMeehan andtheOnlineDistributedProofreadingTeamat http://www.pgdp.net CAPTAINMACEDOINE'S DAUGHTER ByWilliamMcFee Authorof"ALIENS","CASUALSOFTHESEA","LETTERS FROMANOCEANTRAMP,""PORTSAIDMISCELLANY" GardenCityNewYork Doubleday,Page&Company 1920 ALLRIGHTSRESERVED,INCLUDINGTHATOFTRANSLATION INTOFOREIGNLANGUAGES,INCLUDINGTHESCANDINAVIAN "It is an amiable but disastrous illusion on the part of the western nations that they have created a monopoly in freedom and truth and the right conductoflife."—Mr Spenlove TO PAULINE CONTENTS DEDICATORY CHAPTERI CHAPTERII CHAPTERIII CHAPTERIV CHAPTERV CHAPTERVI CHAPTERVII CHAPTERVIII CHAPTERIX DEDICATORY ThereisanhourorsobeforethetraincomespuffingroundthecurveoftheGulf fromCordelio,andyouaregonedownintothegardenforawhilebecausethe mosquitoes become tiresome later, and the great shadows of the cypresses are vanishingasthesunsinksbehindthepurpleislandsbeyondtheheadlands You willstaythereforawhileamongtherosesandjasmine,andthenyouwillcome inandsay:"Thereitis!"Andtogetherwewillslipandstumbleandtrotdown thesteephillsidetothelevel-crossing,andwewillrunalongtothelittlestation, solikeoursinAmerica Andwhenthetrainiscomecreakingandgroaningand squealing to a standstill, I shall climb in, while you will stand for a moment looking Youwillwaveaswestartwiththeusualprodigiousjerk,andthenyou willrunbackandclimbuptothehouseagain,bangingthebigirongatesecurely shut Alljustasbefore Butthistimethereisthisdifference,thatIamnotcomingback Iamorderedto returntoEngland,andIamtosailto-morrowmorning Now,asIhavetoldyou morethanonce,itisverydifficulttoknowjusthowanythingtakesyoubecause you have at your command an alluring immobility, a sort of sudden static receptiveness which is, to an Englishman, a Westerner that is, at once familiar andenigmatic And when onehasinformedyou,distinctlyifungrammatically, in three languages, that one is going away for good, and you assume for a moment that aforementioned immobility, and murmur "C'est la guerre," I ask you,whatisonetothink? Andperhapsyouwillrecallthatyouthenwentonbrushingyourhairprecisely asthoughIhadmadesomebanalremarkabouttheweather Adetachedobserver would say—"This woman has no heart She is too stupid to understand." However,asIamsomethingmorethanadetachedobserver,Iknowthatinspite of that gruff, laconic attitude of yours, that enigmatic immobility, you realize whatthismeanstous,tome,toyou So, while you are down in the garden, and the light is still quite good by this westernwindow,Iamwritingthisforyou AswesayoverinAmerica,"Letme tellyousomething."Ihavewrittenabook,andIamdedicatingittoyou Asyou areaware,Ihavewrittenbooksbefore WhenIexplainedthistoyouyouwere stricken with that sudden silence, that attentive seriousness, if you remember, andregardedmeforalongtimewithoutmakinganyremark Well,anotherone isdoneandIinscribeittoyou OfcourseIknowperfectlywellthatbooksare nothing to you, that you read only the perplexing and defaced human hieroglyphics around you I know that when you receive a copy of this new affair,throughtheBritishPostOfficeintheRueFranque,youwillnotreadit Youwilllayitcarefullyinadrawer,andletitgoatthat Andknowingthis,and withoutfeelingsadaboutit,either,sinceIhavenofancyforbookishwomen,I amanxiousthatyoushouldreadatleastthededication SoIamwritingithere bythewindow,hurriedly,inwordsyouwillunderstand,andIshallleaveiton thetable,andyouwillfinditlater,whenIamgone Listen Thefactis,thisdedication,likethebookwhichfollowsafterit,isnotmerelyan actofhomage ItisasymbolofemancipationfromaninfluenceunderwhichI havelivedfortwothirdsofyourlifetime ImusttellyouthatIhavealwaysbeen troubledbyvisionsofbeingswhomIcalldream-women Iwasasolitarychild Girlsweredisconcertingcreatureswhorevealedtomeonlytheunamiablesides oftheirnatures ButIdiscoveredthatIpossessedthepowerofinventingwomen who,whiletheyonlydimlyresembledtheneighbours,andacquiredafewtraits fromtheillustrationsinbooks,werenonethelessextraordinarilyreal,becoming clearly visualized, living in my thoughts, drawing sustenance from secret sources,andinspiringmewithasuspicion,neverreachingexpression,thatthey werereallyaspectsofmyself—whatIwouldhavebeenif,asIsometimesheard nearrelativesregret,Ihadbeenbornagirl Andlater,whenIwasayouth,and began to go out into the world, all those vague imaginings crystallized into a definiteconception ShewaseverythingIdisliked—atiny,slendercreaturewith pale golden hair and pathetic blue eyes, and in my dreams she was always clingingtome,whichIdetested Iregardedmyselfwithcontemptforremaining preoccupiedwithafancysoalientomytemperament Youmightsupposethat an image inspiring such antagonism would soon fade On the contrary, she assumed a larger and larger dominion over my imagination I fancied myself marriedtoher,andfordaysthespellofsuchadiredestinymademeill Itwas summertime,andIlivedontheupperfloorofmymother'shouseinanoutlying faubourgofLondon,fromthewindowsofwhichonecouldlookacrossawide woodedvalleyordownintothesecludedgardensofthesurroundingvillas And one evening I happened to look down and I saw, between the thickly clothed branches of the lime-trees, the woman of my dreams sitting in a neighbour's garden, nursing a baby, and rocking herself to and fro while she turned her childishfeaturesandpaleblueeyestowardthehousewithanexpectantsmile I sat at my window looking at this woman, some neighbour's recently married daughter no doubt, my thoughts in a flurry of fear, for she was just as I had imagined her I wonder if I can make you understand that I did not want to imagineheratall,thatIwashelplessinthegripofmyforebodings?Forinthe dreamitwasIwhowouldcomeoutofthedrawing-roomdoorontothelawn, who would advance in an alpaca coat, put on after my return from business, a gold watch-chain stretched athwart my stomach, carpet slippers on my soft, untravelledfeet,andwouldbenddowntothatclingingform AsIhavetoldyou,itwasaboutthattimethatIleftthefaubourgsandwentto live in a studio among artists Without knowing it, I took the most certain method of depriving that woman of her power Beyond the shady drives and prim gardens of the faubourg her image began to waver, and she haunted my dreamsnomore AndIwasgladofthisbecauseatthattimeIwasanapprentice toLife,andthereweresomanythingsatwhichIwantedtotrymyhandthatI had not time for what is known, rather vaguely, as love and romance and sentimentandsoforth Iresentedtheintrusionofthesesensuousphantomsupon the solitudes where I was struggling with the elementary rules of art I was consumed with an insatiable ambition to write, to read, to travel, to talk, to achieve distinction And curiously, I had an equally powerful instinct to make myself as much like other young men, in manner and dress and ideas, as possible I was ashamed of my preoccupation with these creatures of my imagination,believingthempeculiartomyself,andIhurriedfromthemasone hurriesfromshabbyrelations ButbeforeIwasawareofitIhadfallenintothe toils of another dream-woman, an experienced, rapacious, and disdainful woman Isawherinstudios,whereshetalkedwithoutnoticingmesaveoutof thecornerofhereye Isawheratpictureexhibitions,whereshestoodregarding the pictures satirically, speaking rapidly and disparagingly from between small whiteteethandholdingextravagantfursaboutherthinform Ihadanotion,too, that she was married, and I waited in a temper of mingled pride, disgust, and fortitudeforhertoappearinthebody Andthenthingsbegantohappentome with bewildering rapidity In the space of a week I fell in love, I lost my employment,andIranawaytosea Now it is of no importance to you what my employment was or how I lost it NeitherareyoudeeplyinterestedinthatseauponwhichIspendmydays,and whichistobearmeawayfromyouto-morrow Youcomeofinlandstock,and thesea-coastofBohemia,acoastoffairylightsandmagiccasements,ismorein your way But I know without asking that you will be eager to hear about the fallinginlove Indeedthisisthepointofthestory The point is that an average young Englishman, as I was then, may quite possiblyliveandprosperanddie,withoutevergettingtoknowanythingabout loveatall!Itoldyouthisonce,andyouobserved"MyGod!Impossible."And youaddedthoughtfully:"TheEnglishwomen—perhapsitistheirfault."Well,it maybetheirfault,orthefaultoftheirclimate,whichwashesthevitalityoutof one,oroftheirreligion,whichdoesnotencourageemotionaladventuretoany notable degree ThepointisthattheaverageyoungEnglishmanismoreeasily fooledaboutlovethanaboutanythingelseintheworld Heacceptsalmostany substituteofferedtohiminanattractivepackage IknowthisbecauseIwasan averageyoungEnglishmanandIwasextensivelyfooledaboutlove Thewhole socialfabricofEnglishlifeisengagedinmanufacturingspuriouscounterfeitsof the genuine article And I fell, as we say in America, for a particularly cheap imitationcalledIdealLove Nowyoumustnotimaginethat,becauseIhad,asIsay,falleninlovewithIdeal Love,Iwasthereforefreefromthedream-womanofwhomIhavespoken Not atall Shehoveredinmythoughtsandcomplicatedmyemotions ButIcanhear you saying: "Never mind the dream-woman Tell me about the real one, your ideal." Well, listen She was small, thin, and of a dusky pallor, and her sharp, clever features were occasionally irradiated with a dry, satirical smile that had the cold, gleaming concentration of the beam of a searchlight She had a large numberofaccomplishments,aphraseweEnglishuseinamostconfusingsense, sinceshehadneveraccomplishedanythingandneverwould Buttheidealpart of her lay in her magnificent conviction that she and her class were the final embodimentofdesirablewomanhood ItwasnotshewhomIloved Indeedshe wasaratherdisagreeablegirlwithamaniaforusingmen'sslangwhichshehad picked up from college-boys It was this ideal of English womanhood which deluded me, and which scared me for many years from examining her credentials Thatiswhatitamountedto ForyearsafterIhaddiscoveredthatshethoughtme beneath her because I was not a college-boy, she continued to impose her personalityuponme WheneverIimaginedforamomentthatImightlovesome otherkindofwoman,Iwouldseethatgirl'sdisparaginggrayeyesregardingme withanattentive,satiricalsmile Andthisobsessionappearedtomybefuddled mentality as a species of sacrifice I imagined that I was remaining true to my Ideal!IfyoudemandwhereIobtainedtheseideas,IcanonlyconfessthatIhad readofsuchsterileallegiancesinbooks,andIhadnotyetabandonedtheillusion that life was to be learned from literature, instead of literature from life And, moreover, although we are accustomed to assume that all young men have a naturalaptitudeforlove,Ithinkmyselfthatitisnotso;thatwehavetoacquire, by long practice and thought, the ability and the temperament to achieve anything beyond tawdry intrigues and banal courtships, spurious imitations which are exhibited and extensively advertised as the real thing And again, whileitmaybe true,asLaRochefoucaulddeclaresinhis"Maxims"—thethin book you have so often found by my chair in the garden—that a woman is in lovewithherfirstlover,andeverafterisinlovewithlove,itseemstomethat withmenthereverseistrue Wespendyearsinfallinginandoutoflovewith love Thewomanisonlyalayfigurewhomweinvestwiththevaguesplendours of our snobbish and inexperienced imagination A great passion demands as muchknowledgeandexperienceandaptitudeasagreatidea Iwouldalmostsay itrequiresasmuchtalentasaworkofart;indeed,thepassion,theidea,andthe work of art are really only three manifestations, three dimensions, of the same emotion And the simple and sufficient reason why this book should be dedicatedtoyouis,thatbutforyouitwouldnothavebeenwritten And very often, I think, women marry men simply to keep them from ever encounteringpassion Englishwomenespecially Theyareafraidofit Theythink itwicked Sotheymarryhim Thoughtheysuspectthathewillbeabletosustain it when he has gotten more experience, they know that they themselves will neverbetheobjectsof it,sotheytrick him withoneofthecleverimitationsI havementioned Everythingisdonetokeepoutthewomanwhocaninspirean authenticpassion Andtheactofdupinghimisinvariablyattributedtowhatis calledthemotheringinstinct,acravingtoprotectayoungmanfromhisnatural destiny,thegreatadventureoflife! However,afteranumberofyearsofsea-faring,duringwhichIwasobsessedby this sterile allegiance, and permitted many interesting possibilities to pass me without investigating them, I was once more in London, in late autumn I call this sort of fidelity sterile because it is static, whereas all genuine emotion is dynamic—a species of growth And I realized that beneath my conventional desiretoseeheragainlayareluctancetodiscovermyfolly Butconventionwas too strong for me, and by a fairly easy series of charitable arrangements I met her Anditwasatapicture-show Iremember ponderinguponthisaccident of
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