To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Volokh Conspiracy has a feature called Saturdays with Stendhal.

I've not read any Stendhal.

But I thought I might take a leaf from their book, and have Wednesdays with Wharton.

Here's a bit from The Custom of the Country.

Mrs. Spragg, once reconciled--or at least resigned--to the mysterious necessity of having to "entertain" a friend of Undine's, had yielded to the first touch on the weak springs of her garrulity. She had not seen Mrs. Heeny for two days, and this friendly young man with the gentle manner was almost as easy to talk to as the masseuse. And then she could tell him things that Mrs. Heeny already knew, and Mrs. Spragg liked to repeat her stories. To do so gave her almost her sole sense of permanence among the shifting scenes of life. So that, after she had lengthily deplored the untoward accident of Undine's absence, and her visitor, with a smile, and echoes of divers et ondoyant in his brain, had repeated her daughter's name after her, saying: "It's a wonderful find--how could you tell it would be such a fit?"--it came to her quite easily to answer: "Why, we called her after a hair-waver father put on the market the week she was born--" and then to explain, as he remained struck and silent: "It's from undoolay, you know, the French for crimping; father always thought the name made it take...."

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