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An absolute stillness reigned throughout the apartment for some moments, when, supper being announced, it was agreed, almost in[140] whispers, that they should retire quietly to the eating room without disturbing Sir Archibald; leaving a servant at the drawing-room door to observe his movements.

From this neglect both in theory and in practice of the cultivation of feeling, naturally resulted, among other things, an under-valuing of poetry, and of Imagination generally, as an element of human nature. It is, or was, part of the popular notion of Benthamites, that they are enemies of poetry: this was partly true of Bentham himself; he used to say that "all poetry is misrepresentation: " but in the sense in which he said it, the same might have been said of all impressive speech; of all representation or inculcation mote oratorical in its character than a sum in arithmetic. An article of Bingham's in the first number of the Westminster Review, in which he offered as an explanation of something which he disliked in Moore, that "Mr Moore is a poet, and therefore is not a reasoner," did a good deal to attach the notion of hating poetry to the writers in the Review. But the truth was that many of us were great readers of poetry; Bingham himself had been a writer of it, while as regards me (and the same thing might be said of my father), the correct statement would be, not that I disliked poetry, but that I was theoretically indifferent to it. I disliked any sentiments in poetry which I should have disliked in prose; and that included a great deal. And I was wholly blind to its place in human culture, as a means of educating the feelings. But I was always personally very susceptible to some kinds of it. In the most sectarian period of my Benthamism, I happened to look into Pope's Essay on Man, and though every opinion in it was contrary to mine, I well remember how powerfully it acted on my imagination. Perhaps at that time poetical composition of any higher type than eloquent discussion in verse, might not have produced a similar effect on me: at all events I seldom gave it an opportunity. This, however, was a mere passive state. Long before I had enlarged in any considerable degree, the basis of my intellectual creed, I had obtained in the natural course of my mental progress, poetic culture of the most valuable kind, by means of reverential admiration for the lives and characters of heroic persons; especially the heroes of philosophy. The same inspiring effect which so many of the benefactors of mankind have left on record that they had experienced from Plutarch's Lives, was produced on me by Plato's pictures of Socrates, and by some modern biographies, above all by Condorcet's Life of Turgot; a book well calculated to rouse the best sort of enthusiasm, since it contains one of the wisest and noblest of lives, delineated by one of the wisest and noblest of men. The heroic virtue of these glorious representatives of the opinions with which I sympathized, deeply affected me, and I perpetually recurred to them as others do to a favourite poet, when needing to be carried up into the more elevated regions of feeling and thought. I may observe by the way that this book cured me of my sectarian follies. The two or three pages beginning "Il regardait toute secte comme nuisible," and explaining why Turgot always kept himself perfectly distinct from the Encyclopedists, sank deeply into my mind. I left off designating myself and others as Utilitarians, and by the pronoun "we" or any other collective designation, I ceased to affiche, sectarianism. My real inward sectarianism I did not get rid of till later, and much more gradually.

Without noticing what he was eating Bond wolfed down some food and left the restaurant at 8.45. His car was outside waiting for him and he said good-night to the driver from Headquarters and drove to St James's Street. He parked under cover of the central row of taxis outside Boodle's and settled himself behind an evening paper over which he could keep his eyes on a section of Drax's Mercedes which he was relieved to see standing in Park Street, unattended.

Our Sleep becomes more sound & sweet at Night;

M. chose not to hear a call from Basildon who was presiding over the big centre table where there were still two places vacant. Instead, he walked firmly across the room to the end one of a row of six smaller tables, waved Bond into the comfortable armed chair that faced outwards into the room, and himself took the one on Bond's left so that his back was to the company.

"All right then, King. Now listen to me. This isn't a Salvation Army fork supper. Mr. Scaramanga's friends want some action. And they want it hot. I'll be sending plenty of rum over to loosen things up. Smoke weed if you like. We're private here. No one's going to tell on you. And get that pretty girl back, but with only half the clothes on, and tell her to come up close and sing. "Belly-Lick" very clearly with the blue words. And, by the end of the show, she and the other girls have got to end up stripped. Understand? Now get cracking, or the evening'll fold and there'll be no tips at the end. Okay? Then let's go."

And now what? wondered Bond. He shrugged his shoulders to shift the pain of failure-the pain of failure that is so much greater than the pleasure of success. The exit line. He must get out of these two young lives and take his cold heart elsewhere. There must be no regrets. No false sentiment. He must play the role which she expected of him. The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette.

I got up and helped him roust the others. The night before, a friend of Caballo’s had loaded ourbags on a burro and set off for Urique, so all we had to carry was enough food and water to get usthere. Bob Francis, the old backcountry guide, had volunteered to drive Luis’s father the long wayaround the mountain in his 4×4 pickup, sparing him the hike. Everyone else turned out quickly,and by 5 a.m., we were picking our way over the boulders toward the river. The canyon moonglittered on the water and bats were still darting overhead as Caballo led us to a faint footpathskirting the water line. We fitted into single file and shuffled into an easy jog.

 

So ended the third year of Miss Tucker鈥檚 life in India. She had now thoroughly settled down to her own especial work in Batala.

'I am Fraulein Irma Bunt. Personal secretary to the Count. Good afternoon. I hope you had a happy flight.'

The Property of a Lady