Age of innocence online book. FREE The Age of Innocence PDF Book by Edith Wharton (1920) Read Online or Free Downlaod 2022-10-28
Age of innocence online book
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The Age of Innocence
His engagement to May Welland is one in a string of accomplishments. Mingott's bedroom to picture her blameless life led in the stage-setting of adultery; but he said to himself, with considerable admiration, that if a lover had been what she wanted, the intrepid woman would have had him too. Archer, who was seldom unduly pleased with human events, had been altogether glad of her son's engagement. He knew that the Countess Olenska had brought some of her possessions with her—bits of wreckage, she called them—and these, he supposed, were represented by some small slender tables of dark wood, a delicate little Greek bronze on the chimney-piece, and a stretch of red damask nailed on the discoloured wallpaper behind a couple of Italian-looking pictures in old frames. She had behaved beautifully—and in beautiful behaviour she was unsurpassed—during the call on Mrs. Archer had made her understand this, as he was bound to do; he had also made her understand that simplehearted kindly New York, on whose larger charity she had apparently counted, was precisely the place where she could least hope for indulgence.
FREE The Age of Innocence PDF Book by Edith Wharton (1920) Read Online or Free Downlaod
Here was the truth, here was reality, here was the life that belonged to him; and he, who fancied himself so scornful of arbitrary restraints, had been afraid to break away from his desk because of what people might think of his stealing a holiday! He had come to America with letters of recommendation from old Mrs. So I thought the shortest way was to go straight to Countess Olenska and explain—by the merest hint, you know—how we feel in New York about certain things. There was no reason why the young man should not have come earlier, for he had dined at seven, alone with his mother and sister, and had lingered afterward over a cigar in the Gothic library with glazed black-walnut bookcases and finial-topped chairs which was the only room in the house where Mrs. Austrey, who sat at his hostess's right, was naturally the chief figure of the evening. Beaufort's marriage it was admitted that she had the most distinguished house in New York. But he had not meant to act on it; he was too busy, to begin with, and he did not care, as an engaged man, to play too conspicuously the part of Madame Olenska's champion. Struthers in a round rolling voice that matched her bold feathers and her brazen wig.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Another theme that is clear in the novel is love, whether it be the love between Newland Archer and May Wellend, or the undeniable love and lust between Newland Archer and Ellen Olenska. Some weeks later, Newland tells Ellen he loves her; Ellen corresponds, but is horrified that their love will hurt May, so does not want him to leave May for her. She had advanced far enough to join him in ridiculing the Idyls of the King, but not to feel the beauty of Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters. Later he comes to experience the same molding by May which was imposed upon Mr. Mingott with a glorious effrontery. She is said to be based partly on Edith Wharton's own mother, Lucretia Rhinelander.
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Newland Archer, following Lefferts's glance, saw with surprise that his exclamation had been occasioned by the entry of a new figure into old Mrs. It was certainly a strange quarter to have settled in. But they did not look like her—there was something too rich, too strong, in their fiery beauty. At first, Count Olenski is content to let Ellen go. Beaufort listened with her perfect smile, and her head at just the right angle to be seen in profile from the stalls, Madame Olenska turned and spoke in a low voice. Your friend Madame Olenska was at Mrs. It was useless to prolong the discussion: everybody knew the melancholy fate of the few gentlemen who had risked their clean linen in municipal or state politics in New York.
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
But you couldn't make a man like Winsett see that; and that was why the New York of literary clubs and exotic restaurants, though a first shake made it seem more of a kaleidoscope, turned out, in the end, to be a smaller box, with a more monotonous pattern, than the assembled atoms of Fifth Avenue. It made Archer shiver to think that it might be spreading over him too. They were the arbiters of fashion, the Court of last Appeal, and they knew it, and bowed to their fate. The tie between the Dagonets, the du Lacs of Maryland, and their aristocratic Cornish kinsfolk, the Trevennas, had always remained close and cordial. In the middle distance symmetrical mounds of woolly green moss bounded by croquet hoops formed the base of shrubs shaped like orange-trees but studded with large pink and red roses. When they are in St. Manson Mingott's English son-in-law, the banker, and had speedily made himself an important position in the world of affairs; but his habits were dissipated, his tongue was bitter, his antecedents were mysterious; and when Medora Manson announced her cousin's engagement to him it was felt to be one more act of folly in poor Medora's long record of imprudences.
The Age of Innocence
Archer and her son and daughter, like every one else in New York, knew who these privileged beings were: the Dagonets of Washington Square, who came of an old English county family allied with the Pitts and Foxes; the Lannings, who had intermarried with the descendants of Count de Grasse, and the van der Luydens, direct descendants of the first Dutch governor of Manhattan, and related by pre-revolutionary marriages to several members of the French and British aristocracy. At a stroke she had pricked the van der Luydens and they collapsed. He longed to question her, to hear more about the life of which her careless words had given him so illuminating a glimpse; but he feared to touch on distressing memories, and before he could think of anything to say she had strayed back to her original subject. Sillerton Jackson applied to the investigation of his friends' affairs the patience of a collector and the science of a naturalist; and his sister, Miss Sophy Jackson, who lived with him, and was entertained by all the people who could not secure her much-sought-after brother, brought home bits of minor gossip that filled out usefully the gaps in his picture. I have seen Lovell Mingott; and also Mr. But I was really thinking of dramatic artists, singers, actors, musicians. Archer's generation were aware that, in the eyes of the professional genealogist, only a still smaller number of families could lay claim to that eminence.
Of course no good could come of this; and when, a few years later, poor Chivers finally died in a madhouse, his widow draped in strange weeds again pulled up stakes and departed with Ellen, who had grown into a tall bony girl with conspicuous eyes. Against the uniform sheet of snow and the greyish winter sky the Italian villa loomed up rather grimly; even in summer it kept its distance, and the boldest coleus bed had never ventured nearer than thirty feet from its awful front. She leaned forward, clasping her knee in her thin hands, and looking away from him into remote dark distances. Louisa and I are very fond of our cousin—but it's hopeless to expect people who are accustomed to the European courts to trouble themselves about our little republican distinctions. Her lips trembled into a smile, but the eyes remained distant and serious, as if bent on some ineffable vision. She and her mother invite guests to dinner so they can gossip about New York society.
It pleased Archer to think that only an old New Yorker could perceive the shade of difference to New York between being merely a Duke and being the van der Luydens' Duke. I do love you, Newland, for being so artistic! You don't seem to understand how mother feels. But such things were inconceivable in New York, and unsettling to think of. But beyond that his imagination could not travel. A few days later the bolt fell. I hope there isn't a man among us who wouldn't have done the same in such a case.
In the end, though, Newland Archer finds that the only place for their love is in his memories. Manson Mingott's flesh had long since made it impossible for her to go up and down stairs, and with characteristic independence she had made her reception rooms upstairs and established herself in flagrant violation of all the New York proprieties on the ground floor of her house; so that, as you sat in her sitting-room window with her, you caught through a door that was always open, and a looped-back yellow damask portiere the unexpected vista of a bedroom with a huge low bed upholstered like a sofa, and a toilet-table with frivolous lace flounces and a gilt-framed mirror. Adeline Archer: Archer's widowed mother. Struthers to call on her. It still lacked an hour to the late Welland breakfast-time, and instead of asking him to come in she proposed that they should walk out to an old orange-garden beyond the town. In a sudden revulsion of mood, and almost without knowing what he did, he signed to the florist to lay the roses in another long box, and slipped his card into a second envelope, on which he wrote the name of the Countess Olenska; then, just as he was turning away, he drew the card out again, and left the empty envelope on the box.
The neighbourhood was thought remote, and the house was built in a ghastly greenish-yellow stone that the younger architects were beginning to employ as a protest against the brownstone of which the uniform hue coated New York like a cold chocolate sauce; but the plumbing was perfect. Beaufort, though clearly annoyed at finding him with Madame Olenska, had, as usual, carried off the situation high-handedly. I thought it so straight up and down—like Fifth Avenue. At any rate, she will be when Newland marries. Strangers don't discriminate: how should they? The one your friend Lefferts seems so smitten by. After a velvety oyster soup came shad and cucumbers, then a young broiled turkey with corn fritters, followed by a canvas-back with currant jelly and a celery mayonnaise.