20 February 2007

Quotable Forster

Well, it isn't exactly quotable, but I enjoyed this section from A Room With A View:
He became self-conscious and kept glancing round to see if they were observed. His courage had gone.


"Up to now I have never kissed you."

She was as scarlet as if he had put the thing most indelicately.

"No--more you have," she stammered.

"Then I ask you--may I now?"

"Of course, you may, Cecil. You might before. I can't run at you, you know."

At that supreme moment he was conscious of nothing but absurdities. Her reply was inadequate. She gave such a business-like lift to her veil. As he approached her he found time to wish that he could recoil. As he touched her, his gold pince-nez became dislodged and was flattened between them.

Such was the embrace. He considered, with truth, that it had been a failure. Passion should believe itself irresistible. It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of a refined nature. Above all, it should never ask for leave where there is a right of way. Why could he not do as any labourer or navvy--nay, as any young man behind the counter would have done? He recast the scene. Lucy was standing flowerlike by the water, he rushed up and took her in his arms; she rebuked him, permitted him and revered him ever after for his manliness. For he believed that women revere men for their manliness.

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