Click here to Download Roderick Hudson PDF Book by Henry James Language English having PDF Size 2.9 MB and No of Pages 206.
Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the first of September, and having in the interval a fortnight to spare, he determined to spend it with his cousin Cecilia, the widow of a nephew of his father. He was urged by the reflection that an affectionate farewell might help to him from the charge of neglect frequently preferred by this lady.
Roderick Hudson PDF Book by Henry James
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It was not that the young man disliked her; on the contrary, he regarded her with a tender admiration, and he had not forgotten how, when his cousin had brought her home on her marriage, he had seemed to feel the upward sweep of the empty bough from which the golden fruit had been plucked.
And had then and there accepted the prospect of bachelorhood. The truth was, that, as it will be part of the entertainment of this narrative to exhibit, Rowland Mallet had an uncomfortably sensitive conscience, and that, in spite of the seeming paradox, his visits to Cecilia were rare because she and her misfortunes were often uppermost in it.
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Her misfortunes were three in number: first, she had lost her husband; second, she had lost her money (or the greater part of it); and third, she lived at Northampton, Massachusetts. Mallet’s compassion was really wasted, because Cecilia was a very clever woman, and a most skillful counter-plotter to adversity.
She had made herself a charming home, her economies were not obtrusive, and there was always a cheerful flutter in the folds of her crape. It was the consciousness of all this that puzzled Mallet whenever he felt tempted to put in his oar. He had money and he had time, but he never could decide just how to place these gifts gracefully at Cecilia’s service.
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He no longer felt like marrying her: in these eight years that fancy had died a natural death. And yet her extreme cleverness seemed somehow to make charity difficult and patronage impossible. He would rather chop off his hand than offer her a check, a piece of useful furniture, or a black silk dress.
And yet there was some sadness in seeing such a bright, proud woman living in such a small, dull way. Cecilia had, moreover, a turn for sarcasm, and her smile, which was her pretty feature, was never so pretty as when her sprightly phrase had a lurking scratch in it.
Rowland remembered that, for him, she was all smiles, and suspected, awkwardly, that he ministered not a little to her sense of the irony of things. And in truth, with his means, his leisure, and his opportunities, what had he done? He had an unaffected suspicion of his uselessness. Roderick Hudson PDF Book
Cecilia, meanwhile, cut out her own dresses, and was personally giving her little girl the education of a princess. This time, however, he presented himself bravely enough; for in the way of activity it was something definite, at least, to be going to Europe and to be meaning to spend the winter in Rome.
Cecilia met him in the early dusk at the gate of her little garden, amid a studied combination of floral perfumes. A rosy widow of twenty-eight, half cousin, half hostess, doing the honors of an odorous cottage on a midsummer evening, was a phenomenon to which the young man’s imagination was able to do ample justice.
Cecilia was always gracious, but this evening she was almost joyous. She was in a happy mood, and Mallet imagined there was a private reason for it—a reason quite distinct from her pleasure in receiving her honored kinsman. The next day he flattered himself he was on the way to discover it. Roderick Hudson PDF Book
“If you ‘ll see her, it will smooth matters vastly; though to tell the truth she ‘ll need all her courage to face you, for she considers you an agent of the foul fiend. She does n’t see why you should have come here and set me by the ears: you are made to ruin ingenuous youths and desolate doting mothers.
I leave it to you, personally, to answer these charges. You see, what she can’t forgive—what she ‘ll not really ever forgive—is your taking me off to Rome. Rome is an evil word, in my mother’s vocabulary, to be said in a whisper, as you ‘d say ‘damnation.’
Northampton is in the centre of the earth and Rome far away in outlying dusk, into which it can do no Christian any good to penetrate. And there was I but yesterday a doomed habitue of that repository of every virtue, Mr. Striker’s office!” “And does Mr. Striker know of your decision?” asked Rowland. Roderick Hudson PDF Book
“To a certainty! Mr. Striker, you must know, is not simply a good-natured attorney, who lets me dog’s-ear his law-books. He’s a particular friend and general adviser. He looks after my mother’s property and kindly consents to regard me as part of it.
Our opinions have always been painfully divergent, but I freely forgive him his zealous attempts to unscrew my headpiece and set it on hind part before. He never understood me, and it was useless to try to make him. We speak a different language—we ‘re made of a different clay.
I had a fit of rage yesterday when I smashed his bust, at the thought of all the bad blood he had stirred up in me; it did me good, and it ‘s all over now. I don’t hate him any more; I ‘m rather sorry for him. See how you ‘ve improved me! I must have seemed to him wilfully, wickedly stupid. Roderick Hudson PDF Book
And I ‘m sure he only tolerated me on account of his great regard for my mother. This morning I grasped the bull by the horns. I took an armful of law-books that have been gathering the dust in my room for the last year and a half, and presented myself at the office. ‘Allow me to put these back in their places,’ I said.
‘I shall never have need for them more—never more, never more, never more!’ ‘So you ‘ve learned everything they contain?’ asked Striker, leering over his spectacles. ‘Better late than never.’ ‘I ‘ve learned nothing that you can teach me,’ I cried. ‘But I shall tax your patience no longer.
I ‘m going to be a sculptor. I ‘m going to Rome. I won’t bid you good-by just yet; I shall see you again. But I bid good-by here, with rapture, to these four detested walls—to this living tomb! I did n’t know till now how I hated it! My compliments to Mr. Spooner, and my thanks for all you have not made of me!’” Roderick Hudson PDF Book
“I ‘m glad to know you are to see Mr. Striker again,” Rowland answered, correcting a primary inclination to smile. “You certainly owe him a respectful farewell, even if he has not understood you. I confess you rather puzzle me. There is another person,” he presently added, “whose opinion as to your new career I should like to know.
What does Miss Garland think?” Hudson looked at him keenly, with a slight blush. Then, with a conscious smile, “What makes you suppose she thinks anything?” he asked. “Because, though I saw her but for a moment yesterday, she struck me as a very intelligent person, and I am sure she has opinions.”
“There ‘s no use trying to be a Greek,” said Gloriani. “If Phidias were to come back, he would recommend you to give it up. I am half Italian and half French, and, as a whole, a Yankee. What sort of a Greek should I make? I think the Judas is a capital idea for a statue. Much obliged to you, madame, for the suggestion. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Download
What an insidious little scoundrel one might make of him, sitting there nursing his money-bag and his treachery! There can be a great deal of expression in a pendulous nose, my dear sir, especially when it is cast in green bronze.” “Very likely,” said Roderick. “But it is not the sort of expression I care for.
I care only for perfect beauty. There it is, if you want to know it! That ‘s as good a profession of faith as another. In future, so far as my things are not positively beautiful, you may set them down as failures. For me, it ‘s either that or nothing. It ‘s against the taste of the day, I know; we have really lost the faculty to understand beauty in the large, ideal way.
We stand like a race with shrunken muscles, staring helplessly at the weights our forefathers easily lifted. But I don’t hesitate to proclaim it—I mean to lift them again! I mean to go in for big things; that ‘s my notion of my art. I mean to do things that will be simple and vast and infinite. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Download
You ‘ll see if they won’t be infinite! Excuse me if I brag a little; all those Italian fellows in the Renaissance used to brag. There was a sensation once common, I am sure, in the human breast—a kind of religious awe in the presence of a marble image newly created and expressing the human type in superhuman purity.
When Phidias and Praxiteles had their statues of goddesses unveiled in the temples of the AEgean, don’t you suppose there was a passionate beating of hearts, a thrill of mysterious terror? I mean to bring it back; I mean to thrill the world again! I mean to produce a Juno that will make you tremble, a Venus that will make you swoon!”
“So that when we come and see you,” said Madame Grandoni, “we must be sure and bring our smelling-bottles. And pray have a few soft sofas conveniently placed.” “Phidias and Praxiteles,” Miss Blanchard remarked, “had the advantage of believing in their goddesses. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Download
I insist on believing, for myself, that the pagan mythology is not a fiction, and that Venus and Juno and Apollo and Mercury used to come down in a cloud into this very city of Rome where we sit talking nineteenth century English.” “A strange school! But Mrs. Light told me, in Florence, that she had given her child the education of a princess.
In other words, I suppose, she speaks three or four languages, and has read several hundred French novels. Christina, I suspect, is very clever. When I saw her, I was amazed at her beauty, and, certainly, if there is any truth in faces, she ought to have the soul of an angel.
Perhaps she has. I don’t judge her; she ‘s an extraordinary young person. She has been told twenty times a day by her mother, since she was five years old, that she is a beauty of beauties, that her face is her fortune, and that, if she plays her cards, she may marry a duke. If she has not been fatally corrupted, she is a very superior girl. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Download
My own impression is that she is a mixture of good and bad, of ambition and indifference. Mrs. Light, having failed to make her own fortune in matrimony, has transferred her hopes to her daughter, and nursed them till they have become a kind of monomania. She has a hobby, which she rides in secret; but some day she will let you see it.
I ‘m sure that if you go in some evening unannounced, you will find her scanning the tea-leaves in her cup, or telling her daughter’s fortune with a greasy pack of cards, preserved for the purpose. She promises her a prince—a reigning prince. But if Mrs. Light is silly, she is shrewd, too.
And, lest considerations of state should deny her prince the luxury of a love-match, she keeps on hand a few common mortals. At the worst she would take a duke, an English lord, or even a young American with a proper number of millions. The poor woman must be rather uncomfortable. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Free
She is always building castles and knocking them down again—always casting her nets and pulling them in. If her daughter were less of a beauty, her transparent ambition would be very ridiculous; but there is something in the girl, as one looks at her.
That seems to make it very possible she is marked out for one of those wonderful romantic fortunes that history now and then relates. ‘Who, after all, was the Empress of the French?’ Mrs. Light is forever saying. ‘And beside Christina the Empress is a dowdy!’”
A few days later Rowland presented himself, as civility demanded, at Mrs. Light’s door. He found her living in one of the stately houses of the Via dell’ Angelo Custode, and, rather to his surprise, was told she was at home. He passed through half a dozen rooms and was ushered into an immense saloon. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Free
At one end of which sat the mistress of the establishment, with a piece of embroidery. She received him very graciously, and then, pointing mysteriously to a large screen which was unfolded across the embrasure of one of the deep windows, “I am keeping guard!” she said.
Rowland looked interrogative; whereupon she beckoned him forward and motioned him to look behind the screen. He obeyed, and for some moments stood gazing. Roderick, with his back turned, stood before an extemporized pedestal, ardently shaping a formless mass of clay.
Before him sat Christina Light, in a white dress, with her shoulders bare, her magnificent hair twisted into a classic coil, and her head admirably poised. Meeting Rowland’s gaze, she smiled a little, only with her deep gray eyes, without moving. She looked divinely beautiful. Roderick Hudson PDF Book Free