You are on page 1of 205

A Room

with a View
by

E. M. Forster
An Electronic Classics
Series Publication

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster is a publication of The Electronic Classics Series. This
Portable Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any person
using this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk.
Neither the Pennsylvania State University nor Jim Manis, Editor, nor anyone associated with
the Pennsylvania State University assumes any responsibility for the material contained
within the document or for the file as an electronic transmission, in any way.
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, The Electronic Classics Series, Jim Manis, Editor, PSUHazleton, Hazleton, PA 18202 is a Portable Document File produced as part of an ongoing
publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English, to free and easy access
of those wishing to make use of them.
Jim Manis is a faculty member of the English Department of The Pennsylvania State University.
This page and any preceding page(s) are restricted by copyright. The text of the following
pages is not copyrighted within the United States; however, the fonts used may be.
Cover Design: Jim Manis
Copyright © 2002 - 2013

The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.

EM Forster

A Room
with a View

at the row of white bottles of water and red bottles
of wine that ran between the English people; at the
portraits of the late Queen and the late Poet Laureate that hung behind the English people, heavily
framed; at the notice of the English church (Rev.
Cuthbert Eager, M. A. Oxon.), that was the only other
decoration of the wall. “Charlotte, don’t you feel, too,
that we might be in London? I can hardly believe
that all kinds of other things are just outside. I suppose it is one’s being so tired.”
“This meat has surely been used for soup,” said
Miss Bartlett, laying down her fork.
“I want so to see the Arno. The rooms the Signora
promised us in her letter would have looked over
the Arno. The Signora had no business to do it at all.
Oh, it is a shame!”
“Any nook does for me,” Miss Bartlett continued;
“but it does seem hard that you shouldn’t have a
view.”
Lucy felt that she had been selfish. “Charlotte, you
mustn’t spoil me: of course, you must look over the

by

E. M. Forster
Chapter I: The Bertolini
THE SIGNORA had no business to do it,” said Miss
Bartlett, “no business at all. She promised us south
rooms with a view close together, instead of which
here are north rooms, looking into a courtyard, and
a long way apart. Oh, Lucy!”
“And a Cockney, besides!” said Lucy, who had
been further saddened by the Signora’s unexpected
accent. “It might be London.” She looked at the two
rows of English people who were sitting at the table;
3

A Room with a View
Arno, too. I meant that. The first vacant room in the
front—”
”You must have it,” said Miss Bartlett, part of
whose travelling expenses were paid by Lucy’s
mother—a piece of generosity to which she made
many a tactful allusion.
“No, no. You must have it.”
“I insist on it. Your mother would never forgive
me, Lucy.”

“do” till they had gone. She knew that the intruder
was ill-bred, even before she glanced at him. He was
an old man, of heavy build, with a fair, shaven face
and large eyes. There was something childish in
those eyes, though it was not the childishness of senility. What exactly it was Miss Bartlett did not stop
to consider, for her glance passed on to his clothes.
These did not attract her. He was probably trying to
become acquainted with them before they got into

“She would never forgive me.”
The ladies’ voices grew animated, and—if the sad
truth be owned—a little peevish. They were tired,
and under the guise of unselfishness they wrangled.
Some of their neighbours interchanged glances, and
one of them—one of the ill-bred people whom one
does meet abroad—leant forward over the table and
actually intruded into their argument. He said:
“I have a view, I have a view.”
Miss Bartlett was startled. Generally at a pension
people looked them over for a day or two before
speaking, and often did not find out that they would

the swim. So she assumed a dazed expression when
he spoke to her, and then said: “A view? Oh, a view!
How delightful a view is!”
“This is my son,” said the old man; “his name’s
George. He has a view too.”
“Ah,” said Miss Bartlett, repressing Lucy, who was
about to speak.
“What I mean,” he continued, “is that you can have
our rooms, and we’ll have yours. We’ll change.”
The better class of tourist was shocked at this, and
sympathized with the new-comers. Miss Bartlett, in
reply, opened her mouth as little as possible, and
4

“George. She looked around as much as to say. Her cousin again repressed her.” “You see. To-morrow we will make a change. Now the old man attacked Miss Bartlett almost violently: Why should she not change? What possible objection had she? They would clear out in half an hour.” Hardly had she announced this fell decision when 5 .” And he thumped with his fists before. with shawls hanging over the backs of the chairs.” and she had an odd feeling that whenever these ill-bred tourists spoke the contest widened and deepened till it dealt.EM Forster said “Thank you very much indeed. “Are you all like this?” like a naughty child.” “Why?” said the old man. but she saw that they were in for what is known as “quite a scene. with something quite different. that is out of the question.” He did not look at the ladies as he spoke. though skilled in the delicacies of conversation. Lucy mumbled that those seemed very odd people opposite. “Women like looking at a view. “But why?” he persisted. but with—well. whose existence she had not realized And two little old ladies. men don’t. was perplexed.” said the son. and turned to his son. with both fists on the table. This pension is a failure. looked back. we are genteel. was powerless in the presence of brutality. we don’t like to take—” began Lucy. dear. but his voice was perplexed and sorrowful. who were sitting further up the table.” she said to Lucy. Lucy. clearly indicating “We are not. not with rooms and views. It was impossible to snub any one so gross. thank you.” “Eat your dinner. dear. persuade them!” “It’s so obvious they should have the rooms. saying. too. and began to toy again with the meat that she had once censured. “There’s nothing else to say. Her face reddened with displeasure. Miss Bartlett. “Eat your dinner. “Because it is quite out of the question.

at once rose to her feet.” “Lucy. who had the air of one on a holiday. dearest. who had not yet acquired decency. whose playing he remembered. Charlotte. But he came forward pleasantly enough and accepted the chair into which he was beckoned by Lucy. though it’s not often we get him to ch— The church is rather far off. who were at Tunbridge Wells when you helped the Vicar of St.” “I am eating it. and enjoying it.” “Oh.A Room with a View she reversed it. thank you. The curtains at the end of the room parted. however bad the rooms are.” He preferred to talk to Lucy. let Mr. who was in a state of spiritual starvation. Beebe bowed. who hurried forward to take his place at the table.” Mr. Beebe? I expect that you have forgotten us: Miss Bartlett and Miss Honeychurch. “There is mother and me generally. Mr. it’s Mr. I am lucky to be appointed to such a charming neighbourhood. Lucy. cheerfully apologizing for his lateness. and revealed a clergyman. Beebe eat his dinner. Oh!” Miss Bartlett said. too. how perfectly lovely! Oh. stout but attractive. “and she happened to tell me in the course of conversation that you have just accepted the living—” “Yes. exclaiming: “Oh. how glad I am! The name of our house is Windy Corner. and I said: ‘Mr. 6 . with more restraint: “Just fancy how small the world is. Summer Street. “I am so glad to see you. and my brother.” said the girl. filling up the gap.” The clergyman. Beebe is—’” “Quite right. I mean.” “Miss Honeychurch lives in the parish of Summer Street.” said Miss Bartlett. I heard from mother so last week. rather than to Miss Bartlett. Beebe! Oh. makes it so specially funny.” said the clergyman. Peter’s that very cold Easter. who prob- “How do you do. but I wrote back at once. oh! Why. She didn’t know that I knew you at Tunbridge Wells. did not remember the ladies quite as clearly as they remembered him. and would have been glad to see the waiter if her cousin had permitted it. we must stop now. “I move into the Rectory at Summer Street next June.

I revel in shaking off the trammels of respectability. and Victorier. It is delightful to advise a newcomer. It made a curious little scene. It gave her no extra pleasure that any one should be Beebe.” “That lady looks so clever. how much the place would grow upon them. how to stop the electric trams. that they would do. not by another bow. and he was first in the field. The first fine afternoon your ladies must go to Prato. He asked the girl whether she knew Florence well. indeed. and round by Settignano. and seemed heavy with more than cloth. above all rose the voice of the clever lady. in the midst of her success. her daughter. but by raising his eyebrows and smiling. and supported by ‘Enery.” his advice concluded. who had already disappeared through the curtains—curtains which smote one in the face. The father did not see it. how much to give for a vellum blotter. or something of that sort. “Mr. Lucy. “We are in luck. he seemed to be smiling across something. her little boy. you are wrong. a perfect torrent of information burst on them. “Don’t neglect the country round. this attempt 7 . People told them what to see. And left in the cold. The Pension Bertolini had decided. almost enthusiastically. bowing good-evening to her guests. found time to wish they did. and then returned moodily to his plate. when to see it. “The first fine afternoon drive up to Fiesole. and when she rose to go.” whispered Miss Bartlett to her cousin. she turned back and gave the two outsiders a nervous little bow. She hastened after her cousin. and was informed at some length that she had never been there before.” And. I love it. the son acknowledged it.” The young man named George glanced at the clever lady. how to get rid of the beggars.” “No!” cried a voice from the top of the table. kind ladies smiled and shouted at them. That place is too sweetly squalid for words. Beyond them stood the unreliable Signora. Whichever way they looked.EM Forster ably remembered his sermons. as you know. crying: “Prato! They must go to Prato. Obviously he and his father did not do.

by any chance. and after a few moments added: “All the same. I hope I acted for the best. Beebe.” Again he hesitated. and he thinks you would value them. “the chaperon of my young cousin. of course. as it were. Lucy. as though she were de- “I am.” He expressed his regret.” she was saying.” “Then I will say no more. and it would be a serious thing if I put her under an obligation to people of whom we know nothing. and she said more. I don’t think much harm would have come of accepting. and then said gently: “I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance.” “You acted very naturally. her long narrow head drove backwards and forwards. She was talking to Mr.” she concluded. “No harm. But we could not be under an obligation. “The first evening means so much.” said he. It is so difficult—at least.” “He is rather a peculiar man.” “Is he a friend of yours?” “We are friendly—as one is in pensions. And even more curious was the drawingroom. He has the merit—if it is one —of saying exactly what he means. which had the colour and the contours of a tomato. He seemed thoughtful. which attempted to rival the solid comfort of a Bloomsbury boarding-house. know the name of an old man who sat opposite us at dinner?” “Emerson. I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth. “Do you.” molishing some invisible obstacle. His manner was somewhat unfortunate. He no more thought of putting you under an obligation than he thought of being polite.” He pressed her very slightly. When you arrived we were in for a peculiarly mauvais quart d’heure.” 8 .A Room with a View of the Cockney to convey the grace and geniality of the South. slowly. Was this really Italy? Miss Bartlett was already seated on a tightly stuffed arm-chair. nor expect you to show gratitude. He has rooms he does not value. regularly. “We are most grateful to you. and as she spoke.

Beebe accepted the convenient word.” exclaimed Lucy. “that he is a Socialist?” Mr. as well as all dinner-time. “Just what I remember. you relieve me.EM Forster Lucy was pleased. I hoped you would have him all the evening. “Was I a bore?” said Miss Bartlett. He has no tact and no manners—I don’t brains. I expect—I may say I hope—you will differ. “And presumably he has brought up his son to be a Socialist. and it is quite possible that he. We nearly complained about him to our depressing Signora. as soon as he had disappeared. “I never suggested that.” said Miss Bartlett. at all events.” “Oh.” said Miss Bartlett. But his is a type one disagrees with rather than deplores.” “My dear Lucia—” 9 . too?” “I hardly know George. He seems to see good in every one. with some irritation. “So you think I ought to have accepted their offer? You feel I have been narrow-minded and suspicious?” “Not at all.” “Am I to conclude. When he first came here he not unnaturally put people’s backs up. for my apparent rudeness?” mean by that that he has bad manners—and he will not keep his opinions to himself.” he answered. I do hope I haven’t monopolized him. “Why didn’t you talk.” “But ought I not to apologize. He seems a nice creature. No one would take him for a clergyman. but I am glad to say we thought better of it. and so. may be a Socialist. for he hasn’t learnt to talk yet.” “He is nice. he has all his father’s mannerisms. I differ from him on almost every point of any importance. I’m sure.” “I think he is. and got up from his seat to go to the smoking-room. too. Of course. and I think he has He replied. I do so always hope that people will be nice. Lucy? He prefers young people. not without a slight twitching of the lips. nice and tiresome. and said: “I was hoping that he was nice. that it would be quite unnecessary.

She handled her subjects agreeably. now approached and asked if she might be allowed to sit where Mr. There was a haze of disapproval in the air. you know what I mean.” And the girl again thought: “I must have been selfish or unkind.” “Yet our rooms smell. Beebe had sat. where we are all hopelessly behind the times. Beebe.” Fortunately one of the little old ladies.” “I’m sure she will. when she had found in her bedroom something that is one worse than a flea. or of the narrow world at Tunbridge Wells. I must be more careful. the improvement in her sister’s health. And you know how clergymen generally laugh. Beebe. perhaps. and added “I am afraid you are finding me a very depressing companion. It was a real catastrophe. and so will Freddy.” “Funny girl! How you do remind me of your mother. I am used to Tunbridge Wells. or of the fashionable world at Windy Corner. the necessity of closing the bed-room windows at night. Beebe laughs just like an ordinary man. Signora Bertolini is so English. she could not determine. Permission granted.” said poor Lucy. I wonder if she will approve of Mr. the plunge it had been to come there. but as usual she blundered. She tried to locate it. more worthy of attention than the high discourse upon Guelfs and Ghibellines which was proceeding tempestuously at the other end of the room. and of thoroughly emptying the water-bottles in the “Yes. that evening of hers at Venice. though one better than something else. “We dread going to bed. the gratifying success of the plunge.” “I think every one at Windy Corner will approve. not a mere episode. being poor.A Room with a View “Well.” morning. and they were.” said Lucy despondently. or of Mr.” 10 . she began to chatter gently about Italy. but whether the disapproval was of herself. “But here you are as safe as in England. It is so dreadful for Charlotte. Miss Bartlett sedulously denied disapproving of any one. Mr. who for some time had been smiling very benignly. it is the fashionable world.

EM Forster “Ah. Mr. and yet at the same time—beautiful?” “Beautiful?” said Miss Bartlett. have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate. Lucy tried to look demure. and they mur- lessly.” said the other help- “Oh. when I am only here through your kindness. “Mr. and knowing what I did. I must apologize for my interference. “that I have been officious.” She sighed. are unimportant in comparison with yours. No one was careful with her at home.” cried Lucy to her cousin. or. “But things are so difficult. at all events. then you look into the court.” She proceeded no further into things. “Are not beauty and delicacy the same?” “So one would have thought.” “I think he was meaning to be kind. Emerson—I hardly know. dearest Lucy. Emerson was talking about it in the smoking-room. “I fear. “About old Mr. he is not tactful. he turned to go. No.” “Of course. puzzled at the word.” said Miss Bartlett. I was holding back on my cousin’s account.” Gravely displeased. It would be hard indeed if I stopped you doing as you liked at Florence.” said Mr. He would be so pleased. “we must have the rooms now.” Miss Bartlett was silent.” mured that one could not be too careful with a young girl. I encouraged him to make the offer again. If you wish me to turn these gentlemen 11 . I sometimes think. “If only Mr. looking extremely pleasant. “it’s all right about the rooms. for Mr.” he cried. Emerson was more tactful! We were so sorry for you at dinner. Charlotte. Beebe has just been scolding me for my suspicious nature. yet. Beebe.” said the little old lady. Not till then did Miss Bartlett reply: “My own wishes. The old man is just as nice and kind as he can be. after a pause. I’m so glad. He has let me come and ask you. Beebe reappeared. “Miss Bartlett. Of course. she had not noticed it. but could not help feeling a great fool.” “Undoubtedly he was.

” he said.” “In half an hour or so your rooms will be ready. not realizing either. bowed.” Mr. inwardly cursing the female sex. “How angry he is with his father about the rooms! It is all he can do to keep polite. “My father. “is in his bath. Emerson is engaged. Beebe and to the secret delight of Lucy. Mr. Young up his philosophic diary. so you cannot thank him personally. kindly tell Mr. Would you then. saying rather nervously: “Mr.” Miss Bartlett was unequal to the bath. he retired to his own rooms. Thus the 12 . Beebe was back.A Room with a View out of their rooms. it was heard all over the drawing-room. and departed with her message. “Poor young man!” said Miss Bartlett. “Oh. I Mr. but Miss Bartlett seemed to understand and a conversation developed. but here is his son instead. dear!” breathed the little old lady. and shuddered as if all the winds of heaven had entered the apartment. Beebe. was reduced to literature. so low were their chairs. Then looking rather thoughtfully at the two cousins. I alone am implicated in this. in order that I may thank him personally?” She raised her voice as she spoke. “Gentlemen sometimes do not realize— ” Her voice faded away. in which gentlemen who did not thoroughly realize played a principal part. at all events. and silenced the Guelfs and the Ghibellines. The clergyman. to write do not wish the acceptance to come from you. who felt seated on the floor. “Remember. But any message given by you to me will be given by me to him as soon as he comes out. Lucy. For she was determined to enjoy herself on the morrow. and then conduct him to me. Taking up Baedeker’s Handbook to Northern Italy. Emerson scored a notable triumph to the delight of Mr. Lucy. Emerson that I accept his kind offer. I will do it. as soon as he had gone.” said Mr. Grant me that.” The young man gazed down on the three ladies. All her barbed civilities came forth wrong end first. she committed to memory the most important dates of Florentine History. Beebe.

” “But I would like to help you. on this Italian tour. but I happen to know that it belongs to the young man. I am a woman of the world. It is my affair. No. And yet—there was a rebellious spirit in her which wondered whether the acceptance might not have been less delicate and more beautiful. Lucy.” Charlotte’s energy! And her unselfishness! She had Lucy was bewildered. black against the rising moon.EM Forster half-hour crept profitably away.” said Miss Bartlett. of course. in her room. and I know where things lead to. she was surpassing herself.” “Mother wouldn’t mind I’m sure.” sues. “Naturally. or strove to feel. and enveloped her in a protecting embrace as she wished her good-night. At all events.” said Lucy. “If you are to accept a favour it is more suitable you should be under an obligation to his father than to him.” said Lucy. and then made a tour 13 . dear. and the foot-hills of the Apennines. So Lucy felt. fastened the windowshutters and locked the door. do not stir. but again had the sense of larger and unsuspected is- been thus all her life. Miss Bartlett. “I want to explain. “why it is that I have taken the largest room. Beebe is a guarantee of a sort that they will not presume on this. she entered her own room without any feeling of joy. It gave Lucy the sensation of a fog. I should have given it to you. Miss Bartlett only sighed. thinking of the kind old man who had enabled her to see the lights dancing in the Arno and the cypresses of San Miniato. and at last Miss Bartlett rose with a sigh. and said: “I think one might venture now. Mr.” “How you do do everything. Naturally. I will superintend the move. How-ever. and when she reached her own room she opened the window and breathed the clean night air. and I was sure your mother would not like it.” “No. but really. in my small way. dear.

but its platforms were overflowing with Italians. 14 . also diligently employed for some mysterious end. Children tried to hang on impulse to destroy it. it gradually became menacing. Emerson. and went to bed. and close below. portentous with evil. gurgling against the embankment of the road. and whether there were any oubliettes or secret entrances. too. obnoxious. No one was inside it. to lean out into sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite. She was seized with an It was pleasant to wake up in Florence. and on the river was a boat. pinned up over the washstand. Nothing more. Meaningless at first. Over the river men were at work with spades and sieves on the sandy foreshore. An electric tram came rushing underneath the window. to open the eyes upon a bright bare room. and she examined it carefully by the light of a candle. pinching the fingers in unfamiliar fastenings. sighed heavily according to her habit. It was pleasant.A Room with a View Chapter II: In Santa Croce with No Baedeker of the apartment to see where the cupboards led. who preferred to stand. It was then that she saw. with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not. with a painted ceiling whereon pink griffins and blue amorini sport in a forest of yellow violins and bassoons. So she unpinned it carefully. to fling wide the windows. but fortunately remembered that she had no right to do so. a sheet of paper on which was scrawled an enormous note of interrogation. and put it between two pieces of blottingpaper to keep it clean for him. except one tourist. the Arno. Then she completed her inspection of the room. since it must be the property of young Mr. “What does it mean?” she thought.

and moved on painfully. Over such trivialities as these many a valuable hour may slip away. undersized men—wearing each a knapsack covered with mangy fur. Oh. Italians understand. Beside them walked officers. turning somersaults in time with the band. as it was her first day in Florence. or the best of the day would be gone. Indeed. the road might never have got clear. 15 . Miss Bartlett could not allow this. Being English. a wee bit tired. and on her leaning out of the window before she was fully dressed. Oh. and thought they had better spend the morning settling pillar in a swarm of ants. and before them went little boys. with no malice. yes! At this point the clever lady broke in. A conversation then ensued. on not unfamiliar lines. and was listening to the clever lady among the crumbs. unless Lucy would at all like to go out? Lucy would rather like to go out. or the corruption of the Papacy. but. certainly not. Miss Honeychurch will be perfectly safe. I do assure you that you can neglect the good person. So it was as well that Miss Bartlett should tap and come in. after all. if it had not been for the good advice of an old man who was selling button-hooks. and the traveller who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto. Miss Bartlett was. and having commented on in.EM Forster behind. and the conductor. One of the little boys fell down. Then soldiers appeared—good-looking. she could go alone. no! that would never do. Grundy who is troubling you. Oh. spat in their faces to make them let go. A dear friend of mine. and a greatcoat which had been cut for some larger soldier. of course. should urge her to hasten herself. The tramcar became entangled in their ranks. Of course she would accompany Lucy everywhere. “If it is Mrs. looking foolish and fierce. may return remembering nothing but the blue sky and the men and women who live under it. Lucy would stop with her cousin. By the time Lucy was ready her cousin had done her breakfast. like a cater- Lucy’s leaving the door unlocked. and some white bullocks came out of an archway.

tut! Miss Lucy! I hope we shall soon emancipate you from Baedeker. mentioned by Dante. we shall have an adventure. let me teach you. her head not being so very bad.” Miss Bartlett was unconvinced by the safety of Contessa Baroncelli’s daughters. the crucifix that kissed a murderer—Miss Honeychurch would remember the story. Miss Honeychurch.” ticularly interesting. “Tut.) Then Miss Lavish darted under the archway of the white bullocks. Italy was coming at last. so is most information.” was the 16 . San Miniato—beautiful as well as interesting. “I will take you by a dear dirty back way. and she stopped. and if you bring me luck. and Lucy hurried over her breakfast. The men on the river were fishing. you see. (Untrue. The clever lady then said that she was going to spend This sounded very interesting. especially if their hair is strained tightly behind. The Cockney Signora and her works had vanished like a bad dream. and if Lucy would come too. He does but touch the surface of things.” “Is it a very nice smell?” said Lucy. As to the true Italy—he does not even dream of it.” Lucy said that this was most kind. has its own smell. and she cried: “A smell! a true Florentine smell! Every city. The true Italy is only to be found by patient observation. Every one takes them for English. Miss Lavish—for that was the clever lady’s name— turned to the right along the sunny Lung’ Arno. She was determined to take Lucy herself. and at once opened the Baedeker. she lets them go in sailor-hats instead. “One doesn’t come to Italy for niceness. How delightfully warm! But a wind down the side streets cut like a knife. didn’t it? Ponte alle Grazie—par- a long morning in Santa Croce. but then. to see where Santa Croce was. she would be delighted. who had inherited from her mother a distaste to dirt. has two daughters. and when she cannot send a maid to school with them. and started with her new friend in high spirits.A Room with a View Contessa Baroncelli.

” “And old Mrs. I am sure he would vote Radical again now that Ireland is all right. she rents a field of us! How funny!” Miss Lavish looked at the narrow ribbon of sky. until he was so dreadful about Ireland. please—! If my father was alive. “one comes for life. and playful as a kitten. now you’re shocked. though without a kitten’s grace.” “I see. Gladstone. “Look at that adorable wine-cart! How the driver stares at us. Do you know Sir Harry Otway—a Radical if ever there was?” “Very well indeed. and some fields. That is the true democracy. It is full of the very nicest people. fearful of being thought a snob. “Buon giorno! Take the word of an old woman. fidgety. I’m not!” exclaimed Lucy. dear.” “Shameful! A manufacturing district. all downhill. only increased the sense of festivity. simple soul!” So Miss Lavish proceeded through the streets of the city of Florence.EM Forster retort. but mother says nonsense.” 17 . And as it is.” Miss Lavish seemed interested. And now you have gone over to the enemy. and slackened her ficer wears. and Freddy is sure it was the Tories. Buon giorno! Buon giorno!” bowing right and left. the glass over our front door was broken last election. There. short. I see. I suppose?” “No—in the Surrey hills. Miss Lucy: you will never repent of a little civility to your inferiors.” trot.” “Indeed. such as an Italian of- “Oh. and a blue military cloak. Butterworth the philanthropist?” “Why.” said Lucy. My father always voted for Mr. too. “What a delightful part. a tramp. About five miles from Dorking. Though I am a real Radical as well. It was a treat for the girl to be with any one so clever and so cheerful. “We are Radicals. “Only thirty acres—just the garden. I know it so well. and murmured: “Oh. you have property in Surrey?” “Hardly any. looking over the Weald. out and out.

during our political diatribes we have taken a wrong turning. in which the eastern quarter of the city abounds.A Room with a View Miss Lavish was not disgusted. And just as Miss Lavish had got the name. not to look at your Baedeker.” Lucy. this is what I call an adventure. The hour was approaching at which the continental breakfast begins. neither commodious nor picturesque.” Accordingly they drifted through a series of those grey-brown streets. We will simply drift. and the ladies bought some hot chestnut paste out of a little Certainly they had seemed a long time in reaching Santa Croce. which was odd of her. and their strong white arms extended against circlets of heaven. suggested. “Lost! lost! My dear Miss Lucy. you are not. dragged her forward.” “Oh. They tried to remember the last name of Lady Louisa some one. that they should ask the way there. but that is the word of a craven! And no. she broke off and exclaimed: “Bless us! Bless us and save us! We’ve lost the way. and became discontented herself. the tower of which had been plainly visible from the landing window. 18 . declaring that they were out of their path now by at least a mile. For one ravishing moment Italy appeared. Give it to me. not. with their shining limbs bursting from the garments of charity. who had taken a house near Summer Street the other year. as a possible solution. How those horrid Conservatives would jeer at us! What are we to do? Two lone females in an unknown town. who wanted to see Santa Croce. Italy receded. But Miss Lavish had said so much about knowing her Florence by heart. but Miss Lavish. that Lucy had followed her with no misgivings. to tell. I shan’t let you carry it. Now. and said it was just the size of her aunt’s Suffolk estate. Lucy thought she had never seen anything more beautiful. or rather ceases. Lucy soon lost interest in the discontent of Lady Louisa. with a shriek of dismay. There they stood. but she had not liked it. She stood in the Square of the Annunziata and saw in the living terra-cotta those divine babies whom no cheap reproduction can ever stale.

and cried: “There goes my local-colour box! I must have a word with him!” And in a moment she was away over the Piazza. who was really almost too original. “Stop a minute.EM Forster shop. the dust blew in her eyes. and were about to enter it when Miss Lavish stopped. too. the Britisher abroad!” “We sat opposite them at dinner last night. let those two people go on. flung up her arms. It was Santa Croce. and disappeared down a side street. but I would like to set an examination paper at Dover. large and dusty. both gesticulating largely. Oh. and she remembered that a young girl ought not to loiter in public places. as if to suggest that she. Miss Lavish spoke to it dramatically. She descended slowly into the Piazza with the intention of rejoining Miss Lavish. squeaked. But at that moment Miss Lavish and her local-colour box moved also. and turn back every tourist who couldn’t pass it. Then she began to get tired. Tears of indignation came to Lucy’s eyes partly because Miss 19 . would get full marks. on the farther side of which rose a black-and-white facade of surpassing ugliness. The adventure was over. They have given us their rooms. her military cloak flapping in the wind. at all events. The beggars worried her. I do detest conventional intercourse. “They walk through my Italy like a pair of cows. because it looked so typical. In this exalted mood they reached the steps of the great church. But it gave them strength to drift into another Piazza. They were so very kind. It tasted partly of the paper in which it was wrapped.” “Look at their figures!” laughed Miss Lavish. and nipped him playfully upon the arm. Nasty! they are going into the church. partly of hair oil. or I arm. partly of the great unknown.” “What would you ask us?” Miss Lavish laid her hand pleasantly on Lucy’s slacken speed till she caught up an old man with white whiskers. It’s very naughty of me. nor did she shall have to speak to them. Lucy waited for nearly ten minutes.

A few minutes ago she had been all high spirits. and half persuading herself that she was full of originality. Now she entered the church depressed and humiliated. partly because she had taken her Baedeker. was the one that was really beautiful. Ruskin. Punishment followed quickly. it must be a wonderful building. and then retreated. dripping but hallowed. How could she find her way home? How could she find her way about in Santa Croce? Her first morning was ruined. their noses were as red as their Baedekers. of all the sepulchral slabs that paved the nave and transepts. with their handkerchiefs. hoping to acquire virtue. She watched the tourists. in the presence of whose tactile values she was capable of feeling what was proper.A Room with a View Lavish had jilted her. Advancing towards it very slowly and from immense distances. She be- built by the Franciscans or the Dominicans. and then proceeded to the Machiavelli memorial. She puzzled out the Italian notices—the notices that forbade people to introduce dogs into the church—the notice that prayed people. held the horrible fate that overtook three Papists— two he-babies and a she-baby—who began their career by sousing each other with the Holy Water. not to spit. so cold was Santa Croce. in the interest of health and out of respect to the sacred edifice in which they found themselves. not even able to remember whether it was Then the pernicious charm of Italy worked on her. the one that had been most praised by Mr. The smallest he-baby stumbled over one of 20 . and she might never be in Florence again. she began to be happy. with their heads. Then Lucy realized that they had mistaken Machiavelli for some saint. talking as a woman of culture. But who was to tell her which they were? She walked about disdainfully. unwilling to be enthusiastic over monuments of uncertain authorship or date. There was no one even to tell her which. Of course. instead of acquiring information. it contained frescoes by Giotto. What could this mean? They did it again and again. But how like a barn! And how very cold! Of course. they touched the stone with their fingers. and.

and at these dreadful people who picked him up. There is no scheme of the universe—” ought to be. She was determined to be gracious to them.” was Mr. and returned to her prayers. Each time that old Mr. “Hard in life. hard in death. “But what are you doing here? Are 21 .” suggested Lucy. little boy. beautiful rather than delicate. which mothers alone possess. “You have done more than all the relics in the world. “Hateful bishop!” exclaimed the voice of old Mr. “Niente. Emerson to Lucy. “That woman understands everything. By some mysterious virtue.EM Forster the sepulchral slabs so much admired by Mr. if possible. to erase Miss Bartlett’s civility by some gracious reference to the pleasant rooms. He fell heavily upon the prelate’s upturned toes.” said the Italian lady. who ought to have been saying her prayers. In her chastened mood she no longer despised the Emersons. dusted him. and told him not to be superstitious. who had darted forward also. Fortunately an Italian lady. Lucy darted forward. came to He paused for a phrase. cold. “Here’s a mess: a baby hurt. and frightened! But what else can you expect from a church?” The child’s legs had become as melting wax. Emerson’s reply. “You are a clever woman. Go out into the sunshine. and. Protestant as she was. rubbed his bruises. He stood. and kiss your hand to the sun.” said Mr. Emerson. I am not of your creed. and entangled his feet in the features of a recumbent bishop. for that is where you the rescue. “Look at him!” said Mr. Emerson. She was too late. he walked away. Emerson and Lucy set it erect it collapsed with a roar. Intolerable bishop!” The child screamed frantically at these words. she stiffened the little boy’s backbone and imparted strength to his knees. Still gibbering with agitation. “I’m not sure she understands English. Ruskin. but I do believe in those who make their fellow-creatures happy.

I hope you do not suppose that I came to join on to you.” cried Lucy. “I am not touchy. I hope. I hope that you have not been put to any great inconvenience. why shouldn’t you come by yourself?” said that. Mr. or at all events be offended before him. the loss of a Baedeker.” Now. and she ought to have been furious. but you are not really. I really came to help with the child. It was at him that she gazed before replying. this was abominably impertinent. “But Miss Lavish has even taken away Baedeker.” Lucy was puzzled. Emerson was an old man. and to thank you for so kindly giving us your rooms last night. and surely a girl might humour him. Emerson.” “Why shouldn’t you?” said Mr.” “My dear. On the other hand. and just by the door —it is too bad!— she simply ran away. and she felt that a girl ought to be offended with him. but I could not think of 22 . who was to explain everything.” said the son. “I think that you are repeating what you have heard older people say.” said the old man gently. Emerson. That’s worth minding. To take you to it will be a real pleasure.” Was this where the idea would lead? She took refuge in her dignity. “I came here with Miss Lavish. “Yes. But it is sometimes as difficult to lose one’s temper as it is difficult at other times to keep it. Stop being so tiresome.A Room with a View you doing the church? Are you through with the church?” “No. and tell me instead what part of the church you want to see. addressing the young lady for the first time. I had to come in by myself. It’s worth minding. “you’d better join us. You are pretending to be touchy. She was again conscious of some new idea. It is the Giottos that I want the son. remembering her grievance. Lucy could not get cross. “Thank you very much.” “Baedeker?” said Mr. his son was a young man. and was not sure whither it would lead her. “If you’ve no Baedeker. “I’m glad it’s that you minded. and after waiting quite a time.

but they had cast a spell over her. as well it might. Observe how Giotto in these frescoes—now. They were so serious and so strange that she could not remember how to behave. before any taint of the Renaissance had appeared. “the facts about this church of Santa Croce. “Remember nothing of the sort! men. directing them how to worship Giotto. how it was built by faith in the full fervour of medievalism. we feel. if it happened at all. “Now. With a look of sombre satisfaction. There was a hint of the teacher about him. I see no truth in them. in much too loud a voice for church. The audience shifted uneasily. ruined by restoration—is untroubled by the snares of anatomy and perspective. but by the standards of the spirit. will lie at peace in the earth that bore us. the lecturer’s voice faltered. And as for the frescoes. The chapel was already filled with an earnest congregation.” The son nodded. more pathetic. “You and I. She was sure that she ought not to be with these “Remember. I would rather go up to heaven by myself than be pushed by cherubs. if you will kindly tell me which they are. true? How little. Could anything be more majestic. Emerson. did this happen.” He was referring to the fresco of the “Ascension of St.” 23 . dear boy. and our names will disappear as surely as our work survives. beautiful. She felt like a child in school who had answered a question rightly. avails knowledge and technical cleverness against a man who truly feels!” “No!” exclaimed Mr.EM Forster to see. unhappily. and so did Lucy. not by tactful valuations. and he is shooting into the sky like an air balloon. and if I got there I should like my friends to lean out of it. just as they do here.” Inside. Built by faith indeed! That simply means the workmen weren’t paid properly. John. and out of them rose the voice of a lecturer.” “You will never go up.” said his father. Look at that fat man in blue! He must weigh as much as I do. he led the way to the Peruzzi Chapel. or didn’t it? Yes or no?” George replied: “It happened like this.” he was saying.

” George went into the next chapel and returned.” “He will not come back.” “I hope we all try. aggressive voice of the old man. could hear the lec- the chapel in silence. “The chapel is somewhat small for two parties. Hadn’t I better? Then perhaps he will come back. and are offended. whoever he is. apparently absorbed in a lunette. injured replies of his opponent. I do believe that clergyman is the Brixton curate. describing the life of St. the curt. going up.” The lecturer was a clergyman. “I think that a kind action done tactfully—” 24 .” “Pardon me. smiling nervously. They filed out of “Then I had better speak to him and remind him who I am. But Mr. the anxious. “Because we think it improves our characters. Cuthbert Eager. Francis. Stop!” The procession disappeared without a word. though in her heart she sympathized. “Stop!” cried Mr.A Room with a View “Some of the people can only see the empty grave. Lucy. if it happened at all.” said she. The son. not the saint. Amongst them were the two little old ladies of the Pension Bertolini—Miss Teresa and Miss Catherine Alan.” ture again interrupted. “He will try to be kind. Emerson. It did happen like that. “There’s plenty of room for us all. Emerson. and his audience must be also his flock. Eager.” said a frigid voice.” he informed her. “George. I don’t remember. Why did he go? Did we talk too loud? How vexatious. Soon the lecturer could be heard in the next chapel. saying “Perhaps he is.” said George. or frightened. It’s that Mr. who took every little contretemps as if it were a tragedy. I shall go and say we are sorry. We will incommode you no longer. for they held prayer-books as well as guide-books in their hands. “My father has that effect on nearly every one. was listening also. contrite and unhappy. and they find him out. But he is kind to people because he loves them.” “How silly of them!” said Lucy. hurried away to apologize to the Rev.

of tragedy that might only find solution in the night.” “…full of innate sympathy…quickness to perceive good in others…vision of the brotherhood of man…” Scraps of the lecture on St. Born of silence and of unknown emotion. The feeling soon passed. he yet gave her the feeling of floating round the partition wall. Healthy and muscular. She saw him once again at Rome. “But we have spoilt the pleasure of I don’t know how many people. it sprang into tenderness. and here and there a priest modestly edging to his Mass through the groups of tourists. Enshadowed. But Mr. George. and an old lady with her dog. it was unlike her to have entertained anything so subtle. Though I like things 25 . and suggested that they should try to guess it. and she could re-enter the world of rapid talk. “Don’t let us spoil yours. He watched the lecturer. There were also beggars to avoid.” he continued to Lucy. “I saw nothing in it. which. For a young man his face was rugged. refused to move. it passed when Mr. Emerson returned.” she replied. has harvested many beautiful things inside its walls. and then he anxiously watched his son. Emerson was only half interested. which was alone familiar to her. Apparently she had given the wrong answer. Do you know which is the tombstone that is praised in Ruskin?” He did not know. rather to her relief.EM Forster “Tact!” He threw up his head in disdain. carrying a burden of acorns. though it is like greyness. “It is so wonderful what they say about his tactile values.” “I like Giotto. Francis came a barn. “Why will he look at that fresco?” he said uneasily. “Were you snubbed?” asked his son tranquilly. “Have you looked at those saints?” “Yes. and—until the shadows fell upon it—hard. She watched the singular creature pace up and down the chapel. and guides to dodge round the pillars. “They are lovely. They won’t come back. whose success he believed he had impaired. and she and the old man wandered not unpleasantly about Santa Croce.” said Lucy. on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

“He’s unhappy. not why it is.” “Oh. and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.” To this extraordinary speech Lucy found no answer.A Room with a View like the Della Robbia babies better. Suddenly he said: “Now don’t be stupid over this. and if you let yourself go I am sure you are sensible. but I do think you might try and understand him. You might help me. and who hurt himself upon the tombstone. It will be good for both of you. Eh? What did you say?” Lucy had made no suggestion. and behaves— like that. With such an education as that. A baby is worth a dozen saints. I thought he was bound to grow up happy. dear!” said Lucy.” “And what is it?” asked Lucy fearfully. but she felt that here was a very foolish old man. You stop here several weeks.” he repeated. By understanding George you may learn to understand yourself. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand. She also felt that her mother might not like her talking to that kind of person.” Lucy again felt that this did not do. I don’t require you to fall in love with my boy. and that Charlotte would object most strongly.” She was no theologian. “He comes out for his holiday to Italy. You are nearer his age. as well as a very irreligious one. “In Hell. You are inclined to get muddled. Let yourself go.” “So you ought. and you have the time. “How can he be unhappy when he is strong and alive? What more is one to give him? And think how playing. And my baby’s worth the whole of Paradise. “I only know what it is that’s wrong with him. I he has been brought up—free from all the superstition and ignorance that lead men to hate one another in the name of God. and as far as I can see he lives in Hell. “What are we to do with him?” he asked. expecting 26 . like the little child who ought to have been suppose? But let yourself go. He has known so few women. if I may judge from last night.

They don’t. or something! “‘From far. And yon twelve-winded sky. and he touched her gently with his hand. so that she scarcely realized he was quoting poetry. The stuff of life to knit me Blew hither: here am I’ “I’m very sorry.” “What things?” “The things of the universe.” she cried. “The old trouble.” Suddenly she laughed. Has he no particular hobby? Why. “Oh. I myself have worries. from eve and morning.” “Oh. Make him realize that by the side of the everlasting Why there is a Yes—a transitory Yes if you like. because life was a tangle or a wind.” 27 . but—but —” Then she became matronly. a tangle. but your son wants employment. It is quite true. A young man melancholy because the universe wouldn’t fit. she thought that her advice had impressed him and that he was thanking her for it. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another. Perhaps Italy bores him. Mr.” The old man’s face saddened. This did not alarm her. surely one ought to laugh. “Then make my boy think like us. or a Yes. “You’ll think me unfeeling. a blemish in the eternal smoothness. I don’t believe in this world sorrow. but I can generally forget them at the piano. things won’t fit. that all life is perhaps a knot. and collecting stamps did no end of good for my brother. Indeed. Emerson. you ought to try the Alps or the Lakes. and work and rejoice. he no longer George and I both know this. whatever do you mean?” In his ordinary voice. but why does it distress him? We know that we come from the winds.EM Forster some harrowing tale. he said: Miss Honeychurch assented. but a Yes. and that we shall return to them.

she regarded him as a kind thing. without trying to invent it. Thank you both so much for all your kindness. Emerson. but quite silly. suddenly col- There’s enough sorrow in the world. for it was just what she was feeling herself.” “I see. isn’t there. He said: “Miss Bartlett. Her feelings were as inflated spiritually as they had been an hour ago esthetically. He approached. good gracious me!” said Lucy. “Poor girl!” She could not let this pass. The dear George. yes! there does come my cousin. Good-bye. his face in the shadow. Those gossiping little Miss Alans must have—” She checked herself. 28 .” “Oh. seemed both pitiable and absurd. “Where? Where?” “In the nave. A delightful morning! Santa Croce is a wonderful church. I assure you.A Room with a View alarmed her at all. I’m thoroughly happy. lapsing and again seeing the whole of life in a new perspective. “Poor girl? I fail to understand the point of that remark. I think myself a very fortunate girl. now striding towards them over the tombstones. Pray don’t waste time mourning over me. before she lost Baedeker. “Poor girl!” exploded Mr. Ah. and having a splendid time.” She joined her cousin.

would he but translate his visions into human words. And she was tragical only in the sense that she was great. Victory of what and over what—that is more than the words of daily life can tell us. her runs were not at all like strings of pearls. She was then no longer either deferential or patronizing. nor of Miss Bartlett looking for Miss Lavish. for she loved to play on the side of Victory. it slipped between love and hatred and jealousy. or does so very seldom. and after lunch she opened the little draped piano. Like every true per- IT SO HAPPENED that Lucy. entered a more solid world when she opened the piano. The commonplace person begins to play. nor of Miss Lavish looking for her cigarette-case. But that some sonatas of Beethoven are written tragic no one can gainsay. and she struck no more right notes than was suitable for one of her age and situation. who found daily life rather chaotic. The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world. but finding that she made no reply. Nor was she the passionate young lady. it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected. whilst we look up. 29 . A few people lingered round and praised her playing. and Lucy had decided that they should triumph. yet they can triumph or despair as the player decides. Lucy had done so never. Perhaps he cannot. certainly he does not. and his experiences into human actions. Violets. and thinking how we could worship him and love him. and the Letter “S” who performs so tragically on a summer’s evening with the window open. no longer either a rebel or a slave. She was no dazzling executante. and shoots into the empyrean without effort.EM Forster Chapter III: Music. She took no notice of Mr. Passion was there. dispersed to their rooms to write up their diaries or to sleep. but it could not be easily labelled. A very wet afternoon at the Bertolini permitted her to do the thing she really liked. marvelling how he has escaped us. and all the furniture of the pictorial style. Emerson looking for his son.

I do not con- the ladies and gentlemen of the parish. or imitated the drawing of a champagne cork. Mr. disturbs. Beebe was wondering whether it would be Adelaida. she was intoxicated by the mere feel of the notes: they were fingers caressing her own. did she come to her desire.” and Mr. and by touch. which.A Room with a View former. and recalled the occasion at Tunbridge Wells when he had discovered it. and ald the conclusion he heard the hammer strokes of victory. Beethoven is so usually simple and direct in his appeal that it is sheer perversity to choose a thing like that. sang. He was in suspense all through the introduction. or recited. pondered this illogical element in Miss Honeychurch. It was Mr. Among the promised items was “Miss Honeychurch. Beebe. Beethoven.” “Introduce me. if anything. was only a young lady with a quantity of dark hair 30 . He was glad that she only played the first movement. it was all that one could do.” “She will be delighted. when his composure was disturbed by the opening bars of Opus III. It was at one of those entertainments where the upper classes entertain the lower.” “My sermon?” cried Mr. in the chords that her- sider her choice of a piece happy. not by sound alone. or the march of The Ruins of Athens. With the roar of the opening theme he knew that things were going extraordinarily. for Miss Honeychurch. for he could have paid no attention to the winding intricacies of the measures of nine-sixteen. She and Miss Bartlett are full of the praises of your sermon. Beebe. The audience clapped. no less respectful. for not until the pace quickens does one know what the performer intends. “Who is she?” he asked the vicar afterwards. Beebe who started the stamping. under the auspices of their vicar. sitting unnoticed in the window. “Cousin of one of my parishioners. Piano. disjoined from her music stool. “Why ever did she listen to it?” When he was introduced he understood why. The seats were filled with a respectful audience.

hungry. and she said she trusted I should never live a duet. she would refuse to stir from the drawing-room. I said that I liked my own playing better than any one’s. you know. it will be very exciting both for us and for her. “Poor Charlotte will be sopped. a pulpy Baedeker. and no 31 . I only meant—” purple. Somewhere in their folds were concealed Miss Lavish and Miss Bartlett. She thinks—I can’t make out. The whole life of the South was disorganized. On another day. I didn’t mean that I played well. undeveloped face. Of course. “Oh. the bridge was dirty grey. saying that she was an old thing.” Lucy at once re-entered daily life. The street and the river were dirty yellow. She loved going to concerts. with a ruined skirt. like wine. and a tickling cough in her throat. But she doesn’t like one to get excited over anything. “Music—” said Lucy. what a funny thing! Some one said just the same to mother. But before he left Tunbridge Wells he made a remark to the vicar. she loved stopping with her cousin. she thinks I am silly about it.” “Doesn’t Mrs.” said he. who would return cold.EM Forster and a very pretty. who had chosen this afternoon to visit the Torre del Gallo. The expedition was typical of Miss Bartlett. and the most graceful nation in Europe had turned into formless lumps of clothes. He did not doubt that she loved his sermon also. wondering why she bothered to explain. She could not complete it. Beebe. and the hills were dirty plays. Once. pale. tired. She has never got over it. and angelic. and looked out absently upon Italy in the wet.” was Lucy’s reply. when the whole world was singing and the air ran into the mouth. she loved iced coffee and meringues. as if attempting some generality. Honeychurch like music?” “She doesn’t mind it. which he now made to Lucy herself when she closed the little piano and moved dreamily towards him: “If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she “Of course. “What about music?” said Mr.

Beebe had his doubts.” murmured Lucy. Beebe was. and for other reasons. But I don’t think she ought to have run away with Baedeker that morning in Santa Croce. the supreme achievement of the Pension Bertolini in the way of definition. which he had assigned to her at Tunbridge Wells? All his life he had loved to study maiden ladies. “that Miss Lavish is writing a book?” “They do say so. Lucy. They were always in each other’s company. practically alone.” “Miss Lavish is so original. at all events. 32 . Let me refer you for an account to Miss Catharine Alan. This was a stock remark. they were his specialty. from rather profound reasons.A Room with a View fit companion for a hearty girl.” continued Lucy in awe-struck tone. and so I couldn’t help being a little annoyed with Miss Lavish. Mr.” “The two ladies. though “Is it true. Was Italy deflecting her from the path of prim chaperon. She hopes to find the true Italy in the wet I believe. said that poor Charlotte would be sopped. Miss Lavish was so original. he held his peace. “Miss Lavish has led your cousin astray. but they would have been put down to clerical narrowness. but Mr.” “I wish Miss Lavish would tell me herself.” “What is it about?” “It will be a novel. The Arno was rising in flood. Girls like Lucy were charming to look at. Beebe. and preferred to be interested rather than enthralled.” He was interested in the sudden friendship between women so apparently dissimilar as Miss Bartlett and Miss Lavish. have made it up. but Miss Bartlett might reveal unknown depths of strangeness.” replied Mr. and his profession had provided him with ample opportunities for the work. Charlotte was most annoyed at finding me not perhaps. for the third time. “dealing with modern Italy. Miss Lavish he believed he understood. We started such friends. For that. of meaning. somewhat chilly in his attitude towards the other sex. who uses words herself more admirably than any one I know. with Lucy a slighted third.

and a cold blast entered the room. sono vecchia. “Oh. who entered at the same moment by the door. “Fa niente. Mr. this is Italy? There is my sister actually nursing the hot-water can. She opened the window to inspect. you will catch a chill! And Mr. From the cabdriver down to—to Giotto. no comforts or proper provisions. “I could hear your beautiful playing. drawing a plaintive cry from Miss Catharine Alan.” She sidled towards them and sat down. The Italians are a most unpleasant people. indeed. Beebe here besides. 33 . where and I resent it. How right is Signora Bertolini. Mr. they foretell our desires. Miss Alan. Her sister was a little disappointed in Mr. dear Miss Honeychurch. HI won’t ‘ave my little Victorier taught by a hignorant Italian what can’t explain nothink!’” Miss Alan did not follow. having expected better things from a clergyman whose head was bald and who wore a pair of russet whiskers. Miss Honeychurch. Yet in their heart of hearts they are— how superficial! They have no conception of the intellectual life. who exclaimed to me the other day: ‘Ho. They pry everywhere. Who would suppose the chambermaid burst in upon him in his bath. self-conscious as she always was on entering a room which contained one man. Doors shut. they see everything.EM Forster washing away the traces of the little carts upon the foreshore. exclaiming cheerfully. Beebe. if you knew what I suffer over the children’s edjucaishion. and they know what we want before we know it ourselves. Beebe. which might mean better weather if it did not mean worse. But in the south-west there had appeared a dull haze of yellow. And one person catches it from another. No one has the least idea of privacy in this country.” He contented himself with saying: “I quite agree with you. or a man and one woman. We are at their mercy. They read our thoughts. but gathered that she was being mocked in an agreeable way.” Lucy answered suitably. most necessary. though I was in my room with the door shut. Beebe was not able to tell the ladies of his adventure at Modena. they turn us inside out.

who would have supposed that tolerance.” Miss Alan was always thus being charitable against her better judgment.” said Miss Alan. the other was historical—but that she could not start till she had an idea. she left it almost finished in the Grotto of the Calvary at the Capuccini Hotel at Amalfi while she went for a little ink. It is so sad when people who have abilities misuse them. She took to it. Mr. Beebe. and meanwhile the Grotto fell roaring on to the beach. it is not quite as dreadful as you suppose. and the saddest thing of all is that she cannot remember what she has written. Lavish. from what I can gather. though it is dreadful for her to smoke. practically in despair. please?’ But you know what Italians are. She said: ‘Can I have a little ink. From the chair beneath her she extracted a gun-metal cigarettecase.” “Oh. Surely that makes it more excusable.” “That belongs to Lavish. and so got tempted into cigarettes. and Miss Alan began as follows: “It was a novel—and I am afraid. L. divided between awe and mirth. She told Teresa and Miss Pole the other day that she had got up all the local colour—this novel is to be about modern Italy. Mr. “A and I must say they nearly always do.A Room with a View Indeed. First she tried Perugia for an inspiration. and at last the cause was disclosed. A delicate pathos perfumed her 34 . It is a great secret. “Indeed. The poor thing was very ill after it. and a sense of humour would inhabit that militant form? In the midst of her satisfaction she continued to sidle. sympathy. but I wish she’d start a pipe.” “What was that?” asked Lucy. Beebe sat back complacently. then she came here—this must on no account get round. but good fellow.” said the clergyman. And so cheerful through it all! I cannot help thinking that there is something to admire in every one. on which were powdered in turquoise the initials “E. even if you do not approve of them. I am glad to say that she is writing another novel. after her life’s work was carried away in a landslip. Anyhow. not a very nice novel.

giving them unexpected beauty. and I felt bound to speak.’ Just imagine! ‘Tut! The early Victorians. who puts things very strangely—” Her jaw dropped. But. unluckily. at least. Emerson. I will hear no breath of censure against our dear Queen.” Mr.’ My sister had gone. and apologized hurriedly for her toleration. the lady who has so much yellow hair. Mr. Miss Honeychurch. if you have noticed that Miss Pole. I reminded her how the Queen had been to Ireland when she did not want to go. Beebe smiled as Miss Alan plunged into an so sudden. Teresa was very much annoyed.’ It was horrible speaking. She was silent. went out to order some tea. rests on nothing but commerce. and I must say she was dumbfounded. it was no laughing matter. but she behaved most strangely when the Emersons arrived. As Teresa truly said.. I must say I forgot myself and laughed. takes lemonade.EM Forster disconnected remarks. he called it—and he may have meant to be kind. our great and beloved country. and she continued to Lucy in a hasty whisper: “Stomach. anecdote which he knew she would be unable to finish in the presence of a gentleman. Then Miss Lavish said: ‘Tut! The early Victorians. But the point is that Miss Lavish was positively attracted by his mentioning S. it was 35 . and meeting different grades of thought. saying as she did so: ‘There. He warned Miss Pole of her stomachacidity. “I don’t know. and left the table before the cheese. just as in the decaying autumn woods there sometimes rise odours reminiscent of spring. and said she liked plain speaking. is one who can confute you better than I. “All the same.’ and pointed to that beautiful picture of Lord Tennyson. Miss Lavish. I said: ‘Miss Lavish. Mr. Beebe. and made no reply. I am an early Victorian. That old Mr. She felt she had made almost too many allowances. she is a little too—I hardly like to say unwomanly. whose social resources were endless. She thought they were commercial travellers—’drummers’ was the word she used—and all through dinner she tried to prove that England. that is to say.

At the end of five minutes she returned unobtrusively with a green baize board. every one. “Miss Lavish tried Miss Pole. Miss Lavish will never dare to tell. except one who was in the army. having been mentioned in the first place. Miss Alan. but it is so difficult.” “Violets? Oh. who always made a point of talking to commercial travellers. After dinner Miss Lavish actually came up and said: ‘Miss Alan. poor Miss Honeychurch! It really was too bad. Beebe—old Mr. all on account of S. I refused such “No one knows. what do you an unsuitable invitation. is he nice or not nice? I do so want to know.” “Let me finish the story.” 36 .” “Mr. and she had the impertinence to tell me that it would broaden my ideas.” Mr.A Room with a View Emerson overheard this part. too. stirred her up by saying: “I consider that you are bound to class him as nice. Sometimes he is so silly. think? Is he nice?” The little old lady shook her head. Eager’s lecture at Santa Croce. Beebe. I am going into the smoking-room to talk to those two nice men. who had returned. I do not like the Emersons. They are not nice. I cannot forget how they behaved at Mr. Oh. Come. “No. No. No. myself. all University men.” “Whatever happened?” cried Lucy. and then I do not mind him. and said that she had four brothers. dear! Who told you about the violets? How do things get round? A pension is a bad place for gossips. and finally said: ‘I shall go alone. Emerson. No one will ever know.’ She went. Mr. quite so! I honour the woman for her Irish visit. Beebe. after that business of the violets. but you see what a tangle we were in by this time. and called in his deep voice: ‘Quite so.” said Mr.’ The woman! I tell things so badly. whom the conversation amused. and sighed disapprovingly. Emerson does not think it worth telling. I have quite changed.’ Needless to say. and Mr. and began playing patience. Beebe laughed and suggested that she should settle the question for herself. But that was not all. Miss Alan.

They must find their level. He wondered whether he would not plan a pleasant day for these folk before they left—some expedition. He was almost the only person who remained friendly to them. and he gathered that the two men had made a curious and possibly concerted attempt to annex her. was avowedly hostile. Miss Bartlett. account of her adventures in Santa Croce.” “Most right of her. Beebe rather felt that they had gone under.” Mr. Charlotte didn’t like it. Miss Lavish. They don’t understand our ways. and now the father was almost as silent as the son. and now the Miss Alans. and the Arno lost its muddy solidity and began to twinkle.EM Forster Mr. It was one of Mr. to interest her in their private sorrows and joys. pension sorrows. “Only once. and said something—quite politely. who represented intellect. whereas Lucy would be his parishioner. smarting under an obligation. and pension joys. Beebe smiled nonchalantly. perhaps. There were a few streaks of blu37 . with Lucy well chaperoned to be nice to them. are flimsy things. Lucy. he did not wish their cause to be championed by a young girl: he would rather it should fail. dear?” said the little lady inquisitively. and the effort had failed. with one eye upon the weather. Beebe’s chief pleasures to provide people with happy memories. “But aren’t they always waylaying you to go out with them. were following her. not that They had given up their attempt—if it was one—to conquer society. he knew nothing about them. the air became brighter. of course. This was impertinent. The case of Lucy was different. She had given him a hazy she saw anything of them now. Evening approached while they chatted. finally said that she thought the Emersons were nice. After all. Even their seats at dinner had been moved. He had made a gentle effort to introduce the Emersons into Bertolini society. the colours on the trees and hills were purified. would scarcely be civil. who stood for good breeding. to show her the world from their own strange standpoint.

Unluckily I have letters.” Her two companions looked grave. If you do want to go out alone.A Room with a View ish-green among the clouds.” said Mr. 38 . and she so far conceded to Mr. who “She oughtn’t really to go at all. “All the galleries are shut. a few patches of watery light upon the earth. “Perhaps I shall meet some one who reads me through and through!” But they still looked disapproval. Beebe. and then the dripping facade of San Miniato shone brilliantly in the declining sun.” felt responsible for her in the absence of Miss Bartlett. “I want to go round the town in the circular tram—on the platform by the driver. I put it down to too much Beethoven. and keep to the street frequented by tourists. you know. dear.” said Lucy.” “I think I shall go out. as they watched her from the window. ventured to say: “I wish we could. Mr. Beebe. “and she knows it. won’t you be better on your feet?” “Italians.” said Miss Alan.” said Miss Alan in a voice of relief. “Too late to go out. Beebe as to say that she would only go for a little walk.

It was unladylike. Poems had been written to illustrate this point. built around the central fires. she wanted something big. but still she lingers in our midst. but because they are alive. a lady could accomplish much. In her heart also there are springing up strange desires. BEEBE WAS RIGHT. But if she rushed into the fray herself she would be first censured. and green expanses of the sea. She reigned in many an early Victorian castle. not because they are masculine. She had not really appreciated the clergyman’s wit. Why? Why were most big things unladylike? Charlotte had once explained to her why. Lucy never knew her desires so clearly as after music. nor the suggestive twitterings of Miss Alan. and war—a radiant crust. She too is enamoured of heavy winds. spinning towards the receding heavens. it was that they were different. But alas! the creature grows degenerate. happy. move joyfully over the surface. declaring that she inspires them to it. The dragons have gone. Lucy does not stand for the medieval lady. There is much that is immortal in this medieval lady. This she might not attempt. sweet to pay her honour when she has cooked our dinner well. Their mission was to inspire others to achievement rather than to achieve themselves. Indirectly. She has marked the kingdom of this world. by means of tact and a spotless name.EM Forster Chapter IV: Fourth Chapter knights. Men. and finally ignored. and beauty. having the most delightful meetings with other men. who was rather an ideal to which she was bidden to lift MR. and she believed that it would have come to her on the wind-swept platform of an electric tram. Before the show breaks up she would like to drop the august title of the Eternal Woman. how full it is of wealth. It was not that ladies were inferior to men. Conversation was tedious. It is sweet to protect her in the intervals of business. and was Queen of much early Victorian song. and vast panoramas. and so have the 39 . and go there as her transitory self. then despised.

As she might not go on the electric tram.” Venus. The Loggia showed as the triple entrance of a cave. “The world. the sunshine had come too late to strike it. It was the hour of unreality—the hour. if only I could come across them.) Giorgione’s “Tempesta.” Giotto’s “Ascension of St. wherein many a deity. and touchy. unpractical. An older person at such an hour and in such a place might think that sufficient 40 . For her taste was catholic. The great square was in shadow. Honeychurch disapproved of music. and his fountain plashed dreamily to the men and satyrs who idled together on its marge. and some Guido Reni Madonnas. John.” the “Idolino. she went to Alinari’s shop. but immortal. spoilt the picture. it was new to her to be conscious of it.” some of the Sistine frescoes and the Apoxyomenos. But though she spent nearly seven lire.A Room with a View her eyes when feeling serious. half ghost. as she entered the Piazza Signoria and looked of Venus. now fairly familiar to her. She was conscious of her discontent. being a pity. half god. (A pity in art of course signified the nude. There she bought a photograph of Botticelli’s “Birth of liberty seemed still unopened.” she reflected. and Miss Bartlett had persuaded her to do without it. shadowy. and perhaps be sorry that she had done so. Neptune was already unsubstantial in the twilight. and bought Fra Angelico’s “Coronation.” It was not surprising that Mrs. Here and there a restriction annoyed her particularly. declaring that it always left her daughter peevish. Nor has she any system of revolt. She would really like to do something of which her well-wishers disapproved. “is certainly full of beautiful things. She felt a little calmer then.” some Della Robbia babies. otherwise so charming. and she extended uncritical approval to every well-known name.” she thought. when unfamiliar things are real. the gates nonchalantly at its marvels. looking forth upon the arrivals and departures of mankind. that is. This afternoon she was peculiarly restive. were added to it. and she would transgress it. “Nothing ever happens to me.

EM Forster
was happening to him, and rest content. Lucy desired more.
She fixed her eyes wistfully on the tower of the palace, which rose out of the lower darkness like a pillar of roughened gold. It seemed no longer a tower,
no longer supported by earth, but some unattainable treasure throbbing in the tranquil sky. Its brightness mesmerized her, still dancing before her eyes
when she bent them to the ground and started to-

to the fountain. Mr. George Emerson happened to
be a few paces away, looking at her across the spot
where the man had been. How very odd! Across
something. Even as she caught sight of him he grew
dim; the palace itself grew dim, swayed above her,
fell on to her softly, slowly, noiselessly, and the sky
fell with it.
She thought: “Oh, what have I done?”
“Oh, what have I done?” she murmured, and

wards home.
Then something did happen.
Two Italians by the Loggia had been bickering
about a debt. “Cinque lire,” they had cried, “cinque
lire!” They sparred at each other, and one of them
was hit lightly upon the chest. He frowned; he bent
towards Lucy with a look of interest, as if he had an
important message for her. He opened his lips to
deliver it, and a stream of red came out between them
and trickled down his unshaven chin.
That was all. A crowd rose out of the dusk. It hid
this extraordinary man from her, and bore him away

opened her eyes.
George Emerson still looked at her, but not across
anything. She had complained of dullness, and lo!
one man was stabbed, and another held her in his
arms.
They were sitting on some steps in the Uffizi Arcade. He must have carried her. He rose when she
spoke, and began to dust his knees. She repeated:
“Oh, what have I done?”
“You fainted.”
“I—I am very sorry.”
“How are you now?”
41

A Room with a View
“Perfectly well—absolutely well.” And she began
to nod and smile.
“Then let us come home. There’s no point in our
stopping.”
He held out his hand to pull her up. She pretended
not to see it. The cries from the fountain—they had
never ceased—rang emptily. The whole world
seemed pale and void of its original meaning.
“How very kind you have been! I might have hurt

“Miss Honeychurch!”
She stopped with her hand on her heart.
“You sit still; you aren’t fit to go home alone.”
“Yes, I am, thank you so very much.”
“No, you aren’t. You’d go openly if you were.”
“But I had rather—”
“Then I don’t fetch your photographs.”
“I had rather be alone.”
He said imperiously: “The man is dead—the man

myself falling. But now I am well. I can go alone,
thank you.”
His hand was still extended.
“Oh, my photographs!” she exclaimed suddenly.
“What photographs?”
“I bought some photographs at Alinari’s. I must
have dropped them out there in the square.” She
looked at him cautiously. “Would you add to your
kindness by fetching them?”
He added to his kindness. As soon as he had turned
his back, Lucy arose with the running of a maniac
and stole down the arcade towards the Arno.

is probably dead; sit down till you are rested.” She
was bewildered, and obeyed him. “And don’t move
till I come back.”
In the distance she saw creatures with black hoods,
such as appear in dreams. The palace tower had lost
the reflection of the declining day, and joined itself
to earth. How should she talk to Mr. Emerson when
he returned from the shadowy square? Again the
thought occurred to her, “Oh, what have I done?”—
the thought that she, as well as the dying man, had
crossed some spiritual boundary.
He returned, and she talked of the murder. Oddly
42

EM Forster
enough, it was an easy topic. She spoke of the Italian
character; she became almost garrulous over the incident that had made her faint five minutes before.
Being strong physically, she soon overcame the horror of blood. She rose without his assistance, and
though wings seemed to flutter inside her, she
walked firmly enough towards the Arno. There a
cabman signalled to them; they refused him.
“And the murderer tried to kiss him, you say—

“I believe it was my photographs that you threw
away.”
“I didn’t know what to do with them,” he cried.
and his voice was that of an anxious boy. Her heart
warmed towards him for the first time. “They were
covered with blood. There! I’m glad I’ve told you;
and all the time we were making conversation I was
wondering what to do with them.” He pointed downstream. “They’ve gone.” The river swirled under the

how very odd Italians are!—and gave himself up to
the police! Mr. Beebe was saying that Italians know
everything, but I think they are rather childish. When
my cousin and I were at the Pitti yesterday—What
was that?”
He had thrown something into the stream.
“What did you throw in?”
“Things I didn’t want,” he said crossly.
“Mr. Emerson!”
“Well?”
“Where are the photographs?”
He was silent.

bridge, “I did mind them so, and one is so foolish, it
seemed better that they should go out to the sea—I
don’t know; I may just mean that they frightened me.
Then the boy verged into a man. “For something tremendous has happened; I must face it without getting muddled. It isn’t exactly that a man has died.”
Something warned Lucy that she must stop him.
“It has happened,” he repeated, “and I mean to find
out what it is.”
“Mr. Emerson—”
He turned towards her frowning, as if she had disturbed him in some abstract quest.
43

A Room with a View
“I want to ask you something before we go in.”
They were close to their pension. She stopped and
leant her elbows against the parapet of the embankment. He did likewise. There is at times a magic in
identity of position; it is one of the things that have
suggested to us eternal comradeship. She moved her
elbows before saying:
“I have behaved ridiculously.”
He was following his own thoughts.

“Your behaviour? Oh, yes, all right—all right.”
“Thank you so much. And would you—”
She could not carry her request any further. The
river was rushing below them, almost black in the
advancing night. He had thrown her photographs
into it, and then he had told her the reason. It struck
her that it was hopeless to look for chivalry in such a
man. He would do her no harm by idle gossip; he
was trustworthy, intelligent, and even kind; he might

“I was never so much ashamed of myself in my
life; I cannot think what came over me.”
“I nearly fainted myself,” he said; but she felt that
her attitude repelled him.
“Well, I owe you a thousand apologies.”
“Oh, all right.”
“And—this is the real point—you know how silly
people are gossiping—ladies especially, I am
afraid—you understand what I mean?”
“I’m afraid I don’t.”
“I mean, would you not mention it to any one, my
foolish behaviour?”

even have a high opinion of her. But he lacked chivalry; his thoughts, like his behaviour, would not be
modified by awe. It was useless to say to him, “And
would you—” and hope that he would complete the
sentence for himself, averting his eyes from her nakedness like the knight in that beautiful picture. She
had been in his arms, and he remembered it, just as
he remembered the blood on the photographs that
she had bought in Alinari’s shop. It was not exactly
that a man had died; something had happened to
the living: they had come to a situation where character tells, and where childhood enters upon the
44

” But he only supposed that she “I shall want to live. 45 .EM Forster Chapter V: Possibilities of a Pleasant Outing branching paths of Youth. had again passed to himself the remark of “Too much Beethoven. Mr. They had been stopped at the Dazio coming back. She and Miss Lavish had had an adventure also.” “But why. thank you so much. later on. and paid suitable tribute to the courtesy of Mr. whose roar was suggesting some unexpected melody to her ears. Emerson? What do you mean?” IT WAS A FAMILY SAYING that “you never knew which way Charlotte Bartlett would turn. Fortunately Miss Lavish was a match for any one. and then one returns to the old life!” “I don’t. I say. who seemed impudent and desoeuvre. either in the Piazza or. by the embankment. found the abridged account of it quite adequate. For good or for evil. George Emerson.” she repeated. “How quickly these accidents do happen. His answer was puzzling: “I shall probably want to live. indeed. Mr. None of her friends had seen her.” She was perfectly pleasant and sensible over Lucy’s adventure.” Leaning her elbows on the parapet. she contemplated the River Arno.” Anxiety moved her to question him. It might have been most unpleasant. “Well. and the young officials there. had tried to search their reticules for provisions. Beebe. noticing her startled eyes at dinnertime. Lucy was left to face her problem alone.

and they started off along the Lung’ Arno. Beebe. She then made her usual remark. it was tiresome of Charlotte to have stopped exactly where she did. I had much rather. who hated shopping. “No. and colour. too!” Lucy fidgeted. At breakfast next morning she took decisive action. with real warmth. it was too dreadful not to know whether she was thinking right or wrong. not that she had encountered it. This solitude oppressed her. Beebe was walking up to the Torre del Gallo with the Emersons and some American ladies. All morning she would be really nice to her.” said Miss Bartlett. Yesterday had been a muddle—queer and odd. But she thought it an admirable idea for Lucy. and other irksome duties—all of which Miss Bartlett must accomplish this morning and could easily accomplish alone. Mr. with a faint at it. Lucy did not repent. the kind of thing one could not write down easily on paper—but she had a feeling that Charlotte and her 46 . contradicted. which was “How I do wish Freddy and your mother could see this. you are watching for the Torre del Gallo party. dear. How abominably she behaved to Charlotte.A Room with a View was ready for an adventure. flush of pleasure that called forth a deep flush of shame on the cheeks of Lucy. The river was a lion that morning in strength. she had been there in the rain the previous afternoon. but I am certainly coming with you. “It’s very kind of Mr.” “Very well. voice. at all events. she was accustomed to have her thoughts confirmed by others or. Miss Bartlett insisted on leaning over the parapet to look Would Miss Bartlett and Miss Honeychurch join the party? Charlotte declined for herself. changing money. There were two plans between which she had to choose. fetching letters. now as always! But now she should alter. I feared you would repent you of your choice. Lucia! Oh. Charlotte!” cried the girl. She slipped her arm into her cousin’s.” Serious as the choice had been. “Look.

” The elder ladies exchanged glances. with the complacency of fate.EM Forster shopping were preferable to George Emerson and the summit of the Torre del Gallo. I believe there’s no secret of the human heart into which we wouldn’t pry. The exact site of the murder was occupied. she must take care not to reenter it. it is suitable that a girl should feel deeply. stones. the scenery unfortunately remained. but of course one always had to adapt. “After your despair of yesterday! What a fortunate thing!” “It is I who am sorry. Now. For a moment she understood the nature of ghosts. and at the same time furnish an excellent plot. I think I would rather not. Charlotte. but by Miss Lavish. you are to tell me absolutely everything that you saw from the beginning. 47 . which would raise the tone of the tragedy. She could not have believed that “Aha! Miss Honeychurch.” said Miss Lavish. The two men had quarrelled over a five-franc note. But though she had avoided the chief actor. a fountain. come you here I am in luck. She could protest sincerely against Miss Bartlett’s insinuations. who had the morning newspaper in her hand. “Oh. a Loggia. Then she said that she had been in the Piazza since eight o’clock collecting material. A good deal of it was unsuitable.” Lucy poked at the ground with her parasol. and did a few calculations in realism. For the fivefranc note she should substitute a young lady. She hailed them briskly. Since she could not unravel the tangle. a palace tower. let me congratulate you!” said Miss Bartlett. “But perhaps you would rather not?” “I’m sorry—if you could manage without it.” She marched cheerfully to the fountain and back. would have such significance. not by a ghost. led her from the river to the Piazza Signoria. “literary hacks are shameless creatures. The dreadful catastrophe of the previous day had given her an idea which she thought would work up into a book. not of disapproval.

and she believed that Miss Lavish had her on trial for an ingenue. and whose lives I am going to paint so far as I can. this is the barest outline.” There was a fitting silence when Miss Lavish had concluded. “And what is the plot?” Love. For I repeat and I insist.” cried Miss Bartlett. “I do hope she’s nice. She believes in justice and truth and human interest. “She is my idea of a really clever woman. “She is emancipated. “It is so tempting to talk to really sympathetic people. Then the cousins wished success to her labours. “Leonora. you wicked woman. “None but the superficial would be shocked at her. Eager! 48 .” Miss Lavish concluded. and I have always held most strongly.” Lucy assented. We had a long talk yesterday. “I am sure you are thinking of the Emersons. murder. abduction.A Room with a View “What is the heroine’s name?” asked Miss Bartlett. but only in the very best sense of the word. revenge.” “Oh. There will be a deal of local colouring. descriptions of Florence and the neighbourhood. And let me give you all fair warning: I intend to be unmerciful to the British tourist. her own name was Eleanor. that a tragedy such as yesterday’s is not the less tragic because it happened in humble life. “That last remark struck me as so particularly true. It is the neglected Italians who attract me. It should be a most pathetic novel. Of course.” said “I hope you will excuse me for boring on like this. was the plot. She told me also that she has a high opinion of the destiny of woman—Mr.” That desideratum would not be omitted. and I shall also introduce some humorous characters. Her perceptions this morning were curiously keen. “I confess that in Italy my sympathies are not with my Miss Bartlett. and walked slowly away across the square. But it all came while the fountain plashed to the satyrs in the morning sun.” continued Miss Bartlett slowly. own countrymen. At present her great aim was not to get put into it.” Miss Lavish gave a Machiavellian smile.” said Miss Lavish.

how nice! What a pleasant surprise!” “Ah. and it was his avowed custom to select those of his migratory sheep who seemed worthy. and exchanged ideas. studied. and saw by private influence galleries which were closed to them. But if it 49 . The view thence of Florence is most beautiful—far better than the hackneyed view of Fiesole.” nished flats. they read. who had learnt to take a siesta after lunch. thus attaining to that intimate knowledge. There is a point on that road where we could get down and have an hour’s ramble on the hillside. who took drives the pension tourists had never heard of. Tea at a Renaissance villa? Nothing had been said about it yet. not for me. Were you indeed? Andate via! sono occupato!” The last remark was made to a vender of panoramic photographs who was approaching with Miss Bartlett had not heard of Alessio Baldovinetti. Living in delicate seclusion. and give them a few hours in the pastures of the permanent. of Florence which is denied to all who carry in their pockets the coupons of Cook.” “We were chatting to Miss Lavish. He knew the people who never walked about with Baedekers. Eager was no commonplace chaplain. But who looks at it to-day? Ah. Therefore an invitation from the chaplain was something to be proud of. others in Renaissance villas on Fiesole’s slope. some in fur- a courteous smile. wrote. It is the view that Alessio Baldovinetti is fond of introducing into his pictures. but she knew that Mr. Decidedly. That man had a decided feeling for landscape. Would you and Miss Honeychurch be disposed to join me in a drive some day this week—a drive in the hills? We might go up by Fiesole and back by Settignano. He was a member of the residential colony who had made Florence their home. or rather perception.” said the chaplain blandly.EM Forster Why. the world is too much for us. Between the two sections of his flock he was often the only link.” His brow contracted. “So I saw. “for I have been watching you and Miss Honeychurch for quite a little time. “I am about to venture a suggestion.

presto! Ah. Honeychurch happened to be passing through as it happened. A drive in the hills with Mr.” said Miss Bartlett. “In these days of toil and tumult one has great needs of the country and its message of purity. The fault is mine: I left her unchaperoned.” said Miss Bartlett. not 50 .” “One of our pension acquaintances kindly brought her home. Beebe was also coming did her thanks become more sincere. Miss Honeychurch?” His “So we shall be a partie carree. handsome face drooped mournfully towards her to catch her reply.” said the chaplain. Eager and Miss Bartlett— even if culminating in a residential tea-party—was no longer the greatest of them. She can hardly bear to speak of it. please. Andate via! andate presto. it is the town. His dark. I trust that neither of you was at all—that it was not in your immediate proximity?” Of the many things Lucy was noticing to-day. “Practically. “Miss voice suggested sympathetic reproof but at the same time indicated that a few harrowing details would not be unacceptable. Miss Bartlett’s recent liberalism oozed away at the question. Mr. “This very square—so I am told—witnessed yesterday the most sordid of tragedies.” “Humiliating indeed. “And how came we to have you here?” asked the chaplain paternally.” They assented. But the joys of life were grouping themselves anew.” “So you were here alone. Eager. She echoed the raptures of Charlotte somewhat faintly. “Do not blame her. To one who loves the Florence of Dante and Savonarola there is something portentous in such desecration—portentous and humiliating. the town! Beautiful as it is.” She glanced at Lucy proudly. Only when she heard that Mr.A Room with a View did come to that—how Lucy would enjoy it! A few days ago and Lucy would have felt the same. adroitly concealing the sex of the preserver. “For her also it must have been a terrible experience.

The book it seemed. he was recompensed. Eager.” Surely the vendor of photographs was in league with Lucy—in the eternal league of Italy with youth. which the maids. She tore. I believe. least of all when he has a grievance. George Emerson had kept the subject strangely pure. He had suddenly extended his book before Miss Bartlett and Mr. was more valuable than one would have supposed. more severe.EM Forster the least remarkable was this: the ghoulish fashion in which respectable people will nibble after blood. he was dissatisfied. he gibbered.” “That must have saved you much. A shrill cry rose from the vendor. seen the disgraceful illustrations which “Willingly would I purchase—” began Miss Bartlett. He waited. other little frames. “This is too much!” cried the chaplain. a family—the tax on bread. You have not. Under the chaplain’s guidance they selected many hideous presents and mementoes—florid little picture-frames that seemed fashioned in gilded pastry.” was her reply. “And you and your friend—” “Were over at the Loggia. and views. would not she intercede? He was poor—he sheltered the gutter Press— This man is a public nuisance. he did not leave them until he had swept their minds clean of all thoughts whether pleasant or unpleasant. of course. binding their hands together by a long glossy ribbon of churches. a blotting book of vellum. pictures. Eager sharply. striking petulantly at one of Fra Angelico’s angels. he knows that I am a resident perfectly well.” said Mr. “He died by the fountain. the air rang with his threats and lamentations. that stood on little easels. “Ignore him. a Dante of the same material. But an Italian can never be ignored. and they all walked rapidly away from the square. Eager became relentless. and yet he goes on worrying me to buy his vulgar views. would never tell 51 . His mysterious persecution of Mr. and were carven out of oak. He appealed to Lucy. cheap mosaic brooches. next Christmas. Shopping was the topic that now ensued.

A Room with a View from real.” Miss Lavish was a great artist. she had. Eager. and they were found wanting. both by Miss Lavish and by Mr. ceased to respect them. Let him beware that he does not get more than a snub. when he was with Miss Honeychurch. He was in my London parish long ago. She doubted that “How wonderfully people rise in these days!” sighed Miss Bartlett. dead. I snubbed him. pots. “Generally. The desire for education and for social advance—in these things there is something not wholly vile. This successful morning left no pleasant impressions on Lucy. I came across him at Brixton. she knew not why. A mechanic of some sort himself when he was young. “The son of a labourer. I wonder—yes I wonder how he has the effrontery to look me in the face.” replied Mr. She doubted that Mr. Peter to match—all of which would have cost less in London. “Is he a journalist now?” Miss Bartlett asked.” They were talking about the Emersons.” 52 . I happen to know it for a fact. Miss Bartlett. to dare to claim acquaintance with me. so he has a wife. pins. “Oh. brown artphotographs. Eager. The other day in Santa Croce. As for Charlotte—as for Charlotte she was exactly the same. Eager was as full of spirituality and culture as she had been led to suppose. They were tried by some new test. he made an advantageous marriage. St. It might be possible to be nice to her. heraldic saucers. and ended with a sigh. She had been a little frightened.” He uttered this remark with a voice full of meaning. “He is not. “one has only sympathy for their success.” “Dead. There are some working men whom one would be very willing to see out here in Florence—little as they would make of it. then he took to writing for the Socialistic Press. it was impossible to love her. Eros and Psyche in alabaster. And as they frightened her. strangely enough. fingering a model of the leaning Tower of Pisa.

” he cried angrily.” said Lucy.” was his frigid reply. “it is. and the sudden strength of her lips. That day in Santa Croce—did they say anything against me?” “Not a word. was not disposed to condemn them on a single word.” “Lucy. Eager.” said Mr.” said Miss Bartlett.” “I’m not defending them. Eager. Mr.” “Perhaps. “I should be astonished if you knew all. “You have said very little. “They’re nothing to me. dear—” said Miss Bartlett. “that he is an irreli- her life. and relapsing into the old chaotic methods. God knows what his education and his inherited qualities may have made him. if you want to know. “Exposure!” hissed Mr. “To all intents and purposes he murdered her. “That man murdered his wife!” “How?” she retorted.” For the first time Lucy’s rebellious thoughts swept out in words—for the first time in “Murder. He observed her brow.” she asked. though she wished never to see the Emersons again. He gazed indignantly at the girl. But I suppose it is only their personal charms that makes you defend them. I will say no more. Lucy. losing her courage. She turned towards him from the shop counter. “Do you mean. I thought they had been libelling me to you.” “It was my intention to say very little. her breast heaved quickly.” “To speak plainly. gious man? We know that already. “it is something that we had better not hear. Eager—not a single word. gently reproving her cousin’s penetration. but in scoring a dramatic point he had interested his audience more than he had intended.” 53 . He tried to change the subject. It was intolerable that she should disbelieve him. Miss Bartlett was full of very natural curiosity. who met him with equal indignation.” “Oh.EM Forster “What?” cried Lucy. flushing. The boy— an innocent child at the time—I will exclude.

The well-known world had broken up. and there 54 . trying to answer. “I must be going. “Bother the drive!” exclaimed the girl. We are each paying for ourselves. dear—if the drive we and Mr. The shopman was possibly listening.A Room with a View “How could you think she was defending them?” said Miss Bartlett. Eager was restored. Beebe are going with Mr. “Drive? Oh. is our drive to come off?” Lucy was recalled to her manners. Miss Bartlett thanked him for his kindness. and spoke with enthusiasm of the approaching drive. Mr.” The addition of God was striking. Beebe has asked Eleanor Lavish to come. She knows it herself. But the chaplain was really trying to qualify a rash remark.” “That will mean another carriage. “If that is so. and led the way into the street. “She will find it difficult. Why should “How?” “Because Mr.” They were now in the newspaper-room at the English bank. who had intended to lament over the Emersons. shutting his eyes and taking out his watch.” Miss Bartlett. she is too unconventional for him. much discomfited by the unpleasant scene. then I foresee a sad kettle of fish. and after a little exertion the complacency of Mr. heedless of Punch and the Graphic. Eager does not like Eleanor. but was merely awkward. “It is just the drive we had arranged with Mr. or at all events to formulate the questions rioting in her brain. as soon as he had departed. The truth must be told. Eager is really the same as the one we are going with Mr. Then Miss Bartlett hastily pur- he invite us in that absurd manner? We might as well invite him.” chased the Leaning Tower. was launched by this remark into unexpected thoughts. A silence followed which might have been impressive. too.” “Far worse. Lucy stood by the central table. For that man has murdered his wife in the sight of God. Beebe without any fuss at all.” said he. Beebe.

I am only asked for appearances. and buttoning up her dress. a magic city where people thought and did the most extraordinary things. seemed oblivious to things that did. or Mr. flushed from the struggle. nor what I want. to evoke passions. Now she was crouching in the corner trying to extract a circular note from a kind of linen nose-bag which hung in chaste concealment round her neck. who could conjecture with admirable delicacy “where things might lead to.” “Thank you. There were letters for her at the bureau—one from her brother.” said Lucy. Beebe who forgot to tell Mr. A lady clinging to one man and being rude to another—were these the daily incidents of her streets? Was there more in her frank beauty than met the eye—the power. one from her mother. “What do you think about it?” asked Miss Bartlett. Yet how difficult it is!” “It is indeed. with a gravity that sounded sympathetic.” replied the girl. delightful as only her mother’s letters could be. who. and to bring them speedily to a fulfillment? Happy Charlotte. It is you they really want. Lucy! I do hope Florence isn’t boring you. though greatly troubled or whether they have decided to leave Eleanor out altogether—which they could scarcely do—but in any case we must be prepared. As she groped she murmured: “Whether it is Mr. dear. Charlotte. “I don’t know what I think. Eager. over things that did not matter. and. and pondered over the offer. She had read in it of the crocuses which 55 . perhaps. full of athletics and biology. Speak the word. accusations of murder.” “Oh. You shall go with the two gentlemen. and I and Eleanor will follow behind. A one-horse carriage would do for us. Murder. it must only be broached within the walls of the English bank. Eager who forgot when he told us. She had been told that this was the only safe way to carry money in Italy. I would take you to the ends of the earth to-morrow.EM Forster emerged Florence.” but apparently lost sight of the goal as she approached it. as you know. good and bad.

“Mrs. who had watered the ferns with essence of lemonade. The road up through the pinewoods.” said Lucy. pleasant life of her home. what would become 56 . It has no grass. Here. the Vyses. the view over the “I die for it!” The Piazza Signoria is too stony to be brilliant. of the new parlour-maid. not that way back. the clean drawing-room. and breaking the heart of Sir Harry Otway. Her- Sussex Weald—all hung before her bright and distinct. Don’t you long to be in Rome?” cules and Thusnelda. “And the news?” asked Miss Bartlett. after much experience. She recalled the free. no flowers. not before. no frescoes. a traveller returns. they have done or suffered something.” “They’re nice people. you said you’d go to the ends of the earth! Do! Do!” Miss Bartlett. but the conscious achievements of maturity. Perseus and Judith. “Here’s an idea. you droll person! Pray. “Do you know the Vyses?” “Oh. of the semi-detached cottages which were ruining Summer Street. with equal vivacity. giving the news that interested her least. I’m sick of Florence. where she was allowed to do everything.A Room with a View had been bought for yellow and were coming up puce. nor the glorious bewilderment of youth. We can never have too much of the dear Piazza Signoria. By an odd chance—unless we believe in a presiding genius of places—the statues that relieve its severity suggest. “Charlotte!” cried the girl suddenly. What if we popped off to Rome to-morrow— straight to the Vyses’ hotel? For I do know what I want. but pathetic as the pictures in a gallery to which. and where nothing ever happened to her. Vyse and her son have gone to Rome. No. immortality has come to them after experience. or a heroine a god. replied: “Oh. no glittering walls of marble or comforting patches of ruddy brick. not only in the solitude of Nature. So clever—my idea of what’s really clever. not the innocence of childhood. and though they are immortal. might a hero meet a goddess.

tall and slender and pale. George Emerson. recklessly urging his master’s horses up the stony hill. laughing over the unpractical suggestion. and Miss Lucy Honeychurch Drive Out in Carriages to See a View. But the ladies interceded. Mr. and when it had been made 57 . Neither the Ages of Faith nor the Age of Doubt had touched him. Miss Charlotte Bartlett. of your drive in the hills?” They passed together through the gaunt beauty of the square. and still shading her eyes from the unaccustomed light. Emerson. Beebe recognized him at once. he was Phaethon in Tuscany driving a cab. IT WAS PHAETHON who drove them to Fiesole that memorable day. Italians Drive Them. a youth all irresponsibility and fire. and one must guard against imposition. To her Mr. And it was Persephone whom he asked leave to pick up on the way. the Reverend Cuthbert Eager. Mr.EM Forster Chapter VI: The Reverend Arthur Beebe. Eager objected. Mr. returning with the Spring to her mother’s cottage. saying that here was the thin edge of the wedge. saying that she was his sister—Persephone. Miss Eleanor Lavish.

thus enabling himself to drive with his arm round her waist. thanks to a heavy lunch and the drowsy atmosphere ful thing had happened: Mr. watchful of old Mr. The other two occupants of the carriage were old Mr. if he had ever meditated it.A Room with a View clear that it was a very great favour. of Spring. It was hard on the poor chaplain to have his partie carree thus transformed. She did not mind. without consulting Mr. To behave wildly at the sight of death is pardonable. She looked on the expedition as the work of Fate. but by the river. For the real event—whatever it was—had taken place. Eager. saw nothing of the indecorous proceeding. hitherto fortunately asleep. Eager. She had refused. though unreliable. who sat with his back to the horses. And though Miss Bartlett and Miss Lavish had planned all the morning how the people were to sit. not in the Loggia. attentive to Mr. Lucy. followed on behind. but because she did not know what had happened. had doubled the size of the party. Mr. Beebe. not because she disliked him. and continued his conversation with Lucy. with George Emerson and Mr. sat erect and nervous amid these explosive ingredients. the goddess was allowed to mount beside the god. and Miss Lavish got in with Lucy. Emerson and Miss Lavish. Beebe. Lucy and Miss Bartlett had a certain style about them. was now impossible. But for it she would have avoided George Emerson successfully. And this frightened her. and through silence into sympathy. Emerson. to pass from discussion into silence. Beebe. that is an 58 . repressive towards Miss Lavish. while Miss Bartlett. In an open manner he had shown that he wished to continue their intimacy. Phaethon at once slipped the left rein over her head. Tea at a Renaissance villa. and suspected that he did know. For a dread- and Mr. elegantly dressed in white. at the critical moment when the carriages came round they lost their heads. But a shoddy lady writer and a journalist who had murdered his wife in the sight of God—they should enter no villa at his introduction. was a man of parts. Eager. But to discuss it afterwards.

There was really something blameworthy (she thought) in their joint contemplation of the shadowy stream. working through her cousin and two clergymen. dear me. But each time that she avoided George it became more imperative that she should avoid him “Oh.” “Quite so. poppa. though.” said Miss Lavish. no!” “Perhaps as a student of human nature. indeed. no. “The narrowness and superficiality of the Anglo-Saxon tourist is nothing less than a menace. I am here as a tourist. not of a startled emotion. what did we see at Rome?’ And the father replies: ‘Why. living herded together in pensions or hotels. Meanwhile Mr. they mix up towns. The result is. their one anxiety to get ‘done’ or ‘through’ and go on somewhere else. their little tiff was over. And now celestial irony. This sense of wickedness had been slight at first. “So.” interposed Miss Lavish. we residents sometimes pity you poor tourists not a little—handed about like a parcel of goods from Venice to Florence.” whirl. Miss Honeychurch —and it is of considerable size. Miss Honeychurch. quite unconscious of anything that is outside Baedeker. rivers. Now. You know the American girl in Punch who says: ‘Say. from Florence to Rome. who had several times tried to interrupt his mordant wit. Eager. not all equally—a few are here 59 . no—oh. “Are you indeed? If you will not think me rude.EM Forster error. of course. palaces in one inextricable again. in the common impulse which had turned them to the house without the passing of a look or word. but of the whole fabric. guess Rome was the place where we saw the yaller dog. you are travelling? As a student of art?” “Oh.” said Mr. Eager held her in civil converse. Ha! ha! ha!” “I quite agree. “like myself?” “Oh.’ There’s travelling for you. She had nearly joined the party to the Torre del Gallo. did not suffer her to leave Florence till she had made this expedition with him through the hills. the English colony at Florence.

“Doubtless you know her monographs in the series of ‘Mediaeval Byways’? He is working at Gemistus Pletho. and I think—think—I think how little they think what lies so near them. does it not?” “It does indeed!” cried Miss Lavish. va bene. you can only see it if you stand—no. Eager and Miss Lavish began to talk against each other on the subject of Alessio Baldovinetti.” During this speech the two figures on the box were sporting with each other disgracefully. dusty. an American of the best type —so rare!—and that the Somebody Elses were farther down the hill. elegantly waving his hand over his head. Eager. Some critics believe that her garden was the scene of The Decameron. which lends it an additional inter- the new road with its loads of hot. where do they place the scene of that wonderful seventh day?” But Mr. Someone Something. and whipped his horses up again. But the greater part are students. No. Was he a cause of the Renaissance. it was pleasant for them to be able to do so. for example. Now Mr. “Piano! piano!” said Mr. Granted that they wished to misbehave. do not stand. or was he one of its manifestations? The other carriage 60 . Lucy had a spasm of envy.” crooned the driver. One might have gone back six hundred years. you will fall. signore. perfect seclusion. est. Sometimes as I take tea in their beautiful grounds I hear. Eager proceeded to tell Miss Honeychurch that on the right lived Mr. Lady Helen Laverstock is at present busy over Fra Angelico. “Tell me. va bene. The carriage swept with agonizing jolts up through the Piazza of Fiesole and into the Settignano road. I mention her name because we are passing her villa on the left. unintelligent tourists who are going to ‘do’ Fiesole in an hour in order that they may say they have been there. the electric tram squealing up They were probably the only people enjoying the expedition. over the wall. Inside. She is very proud of that thick hedge. “Va bene.A Room with a View for trade.

whom the shock of stopping had awoke. Eager. turning round on them with piteous eyes.” A little scene ensued. her ardour visibly decreasing. not at the matter of the accusation. the boy was to lose his pourboire. Phaethon. the lovers were ordered to disentangle themselves. “We must not submit. “But I dare say I shall receive scant support. which. but at its manner. though unwilling to ally him. As the pace increased to a gallop the large. and patted them on the back to signify his approval. “Piano! piano!” said he.EM Forster was left behind. And Miss Lavish. Beebe called out that after this warning the couple would be sure to behave themselves properly. At this point Mr. was most unpleasant. He is treating us as if we were a party of Cook’s tourists. of whom he stood in no awe.” said he. and sensible Mr. the girl was immediately to get down. declared that the lovers must on no account be separated. slumbering form of Mr. “I knew he was trying it on.” she cried. Emerson begged the chaplain. Emerson was thrown against the chaplain with the regularity of a machine. felt bound to support the cause of Bohemianism. Eager took the trouble to tell him that he was a liar. who for some time had been endeavouring to kiss Persephone. Phaethon hung down his head. “Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there? To be driven by lovers— A 61 . The horses were stopped. This is what I call an adventure.” said Mr. An extra lurch made him turn angrily in his seat. “Most certainly I would let them be.” Mr. had just succeeded. with a martyred look at Lucy. I have always flown in the face of the conventions all my life. “She is my sister.” “Surely no!” said Miss Lavish. as Miss Bartlett said afterwards. The other carriage had drawn up behind. Emerson. Mr. “Leave them alone.

You have parted two people who were happy. Why should he appeal to Lucy? “Signorina!” echoed Persephone in her glorious contralto. “We have tried to buy what cannot be bought with it from monotony. and more and more shrilly.A Room with a View king might envy us. It doesn’t do to injure young people. “It is defeat. Eager. he shouted for support to his son.” Here the voice of Miss Bartlett was heard saying that a crowd had begun to collect. and if we part them it’s more like sacrilege than anything I know. Why? For a moment the two girls looked at each other. “Victory at last!” said Mr. smiting his hands money. and most certainly he is justified. “It is not victory. He addressed the driver again. And if I were superstitious I’d be frightened of the girl. and quicker and quicker. She pointed at the other carriage.” Miss Lavish frowned. Eager’s mouth it resembled nothing so much as an acid whistling fountain which played ever higher and higher. Eager. Aha! he is jolting us now. was determined to make himself heard. The old man was refreshed by sleep.” “That I deny. It was as restful as sleeping. too. and took up the matter warmly. when the display had ceased.” Mr. Mr. Can you wonder? He would like to throw us out. We have no rights over his soul. who suffered from an over-fluent tongue rather than a resolute will. Emerson. and he is doing it. In Mr.” said Mr. He has bargained to drive us. Then Persephone got down from the box.” she said. Have 62 . till abruptly it was turned off with a click. Eager shut his eyes. “Signorina!” said the man to Lucy. with unexpected cataracts and boulders to preserve together as the carriages started again. Emerson. It is hard when a person you have classed as typically British speaks out of his character. but he would not speak to him. He commanded Lucy to agree with him. “He jolted us. Italian in the mouth of Italians is a deep-voiced stream. He was obliged to sit next to Mr. He was not driving us well.

“Fifty miles of Spring. Duke of Urbino. for I refer to Lorenzo the poet. he had seen that view of the Val d’Arno and distant Florence. had become 63 . Presently Mr. “Non fate guerra al Maggio. Eager could not resist the opportunity for erudition. Do you refer to Lorenzo il Magnifico. now lay between them and the heights of Fiesole. A hollow like a great amphitheatre. It was this promontory. whose nature was attracted by anything problematical. was about to sweep on to a promontory which stood out in the plain.” He pointed to the Val d’Arno. full of terraced steps and misty olives. which had caught the fancy of Alessio Baldovinetti nearly five hundred years before. “‘War not with the May’ would render a correct meaning.” he murmured. He wrote a line—so I heard yesterday—which runs like this: ‘Don’t go fighting ashamed that the same work eternally through both. Eager hoped to solve now.” No one encouraged him to talk. which he afterwards had introduced not very effectively into his work. or to Lorenzo. or to Lorenzo surnamed Lorenzino on account of his diminutive stature?” “The Lord knows. possibly with an eye to business. covered with bushes and occasional trees. possibly for the joy of ascending. through the budding trees. that diligent and rather obscure master.EM Forster you ever heard of Lorenzo de Medici?” Miss Lavish bristled. praising the one and condemning the other as improper.’” Mr. we have warred with it. And Miss Lavish. and we’ve come up to admire them. cultivated. “Most certainly I have. still following its curve. un- against the Spring. which was visible far below them.” “The point is. But where exactly had he stood? That was the question which Mr. Eager gave a signal for the carriages to stop and marshalled the party for their ramble on the hill. Standing there. and the road. Possibly he does know. He had ascended it. wet. Do you suppose there’s any difference between Spring in nature and Spring in man? But there we go. Look.

even if you have remembered to look at them before starting. The two elder ladies soon threw off the mask. you ought to be with Mr. A porter—” “Eleanor!” “I’m sure it’s all right. Eager. and they wouldn’t mind if they did. “The Emersons won’t hear. on the South-Eastern. their anxiety to keep together being only equalled by their desire to go different directions.” “I can’t find them now. who were expected to have topics in common. And the haze in the valley increased the difficulty of the quest. “He is the image of a porter—on. George Emerson what his profession was. were left to each other. but the drive. “Pouf! Wouf! You naughty girl! Go away!” “Oh. “Miss Honeychurch listening!” she said rather crossly. and he had answered “the railway.” plucking at her vivacious companion. the Emersons returned to hold laborious converse with the drivers.” “Eleanor. “I can’t stop. “Hush! They’ll hear—the Emersons—” Miss Lavish. and I don’t want to either. not Alessio Baldovinetti. Let me go my wicked way. She had no idea that it would be such a dreadful answer. “Oh. be quiet.” put in Lucy. and she hoped that the young man was not very much hurt at her asking him “The railway!” gasped Miss Lavish. Lucy clung to Miss Bartlett and Mr. In the audible whisper that was now so familiar to Lucy they began to discuss. I’m sure.” 64 . Eager will be offended.” “Mr. while the two clergymen. Lucy. Finally they split into groups.A Room with a View equally enthusiastic. It is your party. but I shall die! Of course it was the railway!” She could not control her mirth. Beebe had turned the conversation so cleverly. But it is not easy to carry the pictures of Alessio Baldovinetti in your head. or she would not have asked him. Miss Bartlett had asked Mr.” Miss Lavish did not seem pleased at this.” She was very sorry that she had asked him. The party sprang about from tuft to tuft of grass.

who were 65 . I agree. It’s nothing to do with sitting here at all.EM Forster “Please. you are to go. vanquished by the mackintosh square. “Observe my foresight. She would not enjoy anything till she was safe at Rome. It’s the tiniest cough. you are too unselfish. The ground will do for me.” said Miss Lavish. they were both annoyed at her remark and seemed determined to get rid of her.” The girl was stubborn. “How tired one gets. you don’t assert yourself enough. Miss Lucy. Eager. “Here we are. “Oh.” She cleared her throat. wished she had not called attention to herself. who was to sit on the other? “Lucy. this isn’t a cold. and such for the moment was Charlotte.” Unselfishness with Miss Bartlett had entirely usurped the functions of enthusiasm. She sat on one. We wish to converse on high topics unsuited for your ear.” “No.” She sat down heavily where the ground looked particularly moist. Lucy.” With many a smile she produced two of those all settled delightfully. the boys have got separated from the girls. being brown. Lucy did not look at the view either. I’d rather stop here with you. Imagine your mother’s feelings if I let you sit in the wet in your white linen. She mackintosh squares that protect the frame of the tourist from damp grass or cold marble steps.” said Miss Lavish. She addressed herself to the drivers. At the end of five minutes Lucy departed in search of Mr. Sit down. “It’s like a school feast. I do wish Freddy and your mother could be here. Beebe and Mr. without a moment’s doubt. dear. As her time at Florence drew to its close she was only at ease amongst those to whom she felt indifferent. Really I have not had rheumatism for years. and I have had it three days. If I do feel it coming on I shall stand.” There was only one way of treating the situation. “Then sit you down. Even if my dress is thinner it will not show so much. Such a one was Miss Lavish.” said Miss Bartlett. “Now don’t be alarmed.

His arm swept the horizon gracefully. which became thicker and thicker. He pressed his finger-tips to his forehead and then riage. The miscreant. His arm swept three-fourths of the horizon. Certainly. He only stopped once. the smaller of the two good men?” She was correct as usual. would she like to see them?” “Ma buoni uomini.A Room with a View sprawling in the carriages. perfuming the cushions with cigars. More seemed necessary. and in rather less than a quarter of a minute was ready to conduct her. “Dove?” said Lucy. implying “Has the cigar been given to you by Mr. a bony young man scorched black by the sun. He tied the horse to a tree. not as a map. She thanked him with real pleasure. What was the Italian for “clergyman”? “Dove buoni uomini?” said she at last. after much anxious thought.” was her next remark. They were nearing the edge of the promontory. violets. Of course he knew where. Not so far either. dusted the car- violets. like other things. They proceeded briskly through the undergrowth. existed in great profusion there. His face lit up. as if oozing with visible extract of knowledge.” He bowed. For the first time she felt the influence of Spring. remoulded his hat. Beebe. to pick her some great blue pushed them towards her. Good men first. arranged his hair. It would seem that the whole earth lay before them. violets afterwards. Italians are born knowing the way. rose to greet her with the courtesy of a host and the assurance of a relative. but as a chessboard. but the finding of people is a gift from God. whereon they continually behold the changing pieces as well as the squares. In the company of this common man the world was beautiful and direct. and the view was stealing round them. kicked it to make it stay quiet. “Uno—piu—piccolo. encouraged his moustache. He should just think he did know where. but the brown net66 . Good? Scarcely the adjective for those noble beings! He showed her his cigar. Any one can find places.

Light and beauty enveloped her. almost before she could feel. “What is that?” There was a voice in the wood. At the same moment the ground gave way. The voice of Mr. “Eccolo!” he exclaimed. irrigating the hillside with blue. eddying round the tree stems collecting into pools in the hollows. 67 . Eager? He shrugged his shoulders. But he was not the good man that she had expected. as one who had fallen out of heaven. and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts. She could not make him understand that perhaps they had missed the clergymen. which was covered with violets from end to end. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view. he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. “Courage and love. and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Standing at its brink. For a moment he contemplated her. Not a step. in the distance behind them. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her. this terrace was the well-head. An Italian’s ignorance is sometimes more She did not answer. the golden plain. was unimportant to her. now standing some six feet above. “Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!” The silence of life had been broken by Miss Bartlett who stood brown against the view. She was rejoicing in her escape from dullness. “Courage!” cried her companion. She had fallen on to a little open terrace. But never again were they in such profusion.” was the good man. remarkable than his knowledge. He saw radiant joy in her face. The bushes above them closed. Before she could speak. and he was alone. covering the grass with spots of azure foam.EM Forster work of the bushes shattered it into countless pieces. she could discern the river. the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth. not a twig. like a swimmer who prepares. a voice called. George had turned at the sound of her arrival. other hills. The view was forming at last. He was occupied in his cigar. and in holding back the pliant boughs.

with his collar up. Beebe. Lucy was slow to discover. Once back in the town. was bidden to collect the factions for the return home. seldom affect the lives of his employers. who wore the heated aspect of a neutral. I told him it was unwise.” He would look no one in the face. Mr. They gain knowledge slowly. while the others had used scraps of their intelligence. but infinitely the least dangerous. Pan had been amongst them—not the great god Pan. was told whereabouts to find him. Charlotte had repulsed him with much small talk. Lucy had lost Mr. Eager. “Let us go immediately. Miss Lavish had lost Miss Bartlett. “Apparently.” he told them. 68 . The thoughts of a cab-driver. and what he wished them to be. and perhaps too late. There was a general sense of groping and bewilderment. seeking his son. He was the most competent of Miss Bartlett’s opponents. Emerson had lost George. who presides over social contretemps and unsuccessful picnics.” “All the way? He will be hours. Mr. He alone had divined what things were. Not so these English. Phaethon had lost the game. Emerson. Miss Bartlett had lost a mackintosh square. He climbed on to the box shivering. Persephone. and had consumed in solitude the tea-basket which he had brought up as a pleasant surprise. “The signorino will walk.A Room with a View Chapter VII: They Return That last fact was undeniable. who has been buried these two thousand years. Mr.” said Mr. however just. Beebe. prophesying the swift approach of bad weather. Mr. perhaps defeat was particularly mortifying for him. who spends half her life in the grave—she could interpret it also. using the whole of his instinct. He alone had interpreted the message that Lucy had received five days before from the lips of a dying man. Eager had met them with a questioning eye. Mr. he and SOME COMPLICATED GAME had been playing up and down the hillside all the afternoon. He alone had played skilfully. Beebe had lost every one. What it was and exactly how the players had sided. but the little god Pan.

is simply called into existence to extinguish you or me?” “No—of course—” “Even from the scientific standpoint the chances against our being struck are enormous. Mr. Rain and darkness came on together. what have we to do with taverns? Real menace belongs to the drawing-room. “We want your assistance. there is something almost blasphemous in this horror of the elements. half into Florence. “Mr.EM Forster his insight and his knowledge would trouble English ladies no more. Eager addressed her professionally: “Courage. he was electrical display. There was a lightning flash. Lucy sat beside her. Beebe. Lucy screamed also. And. Miss Honeychurch. She renewed it when the two carriages stopped. he might make a tavern story out of it. gained more than she would have got in hours of preaching or cross examination. Of course. it was most unpleasant. Eager!” called Mr. are in the other carriage. and Miss Lavish who was nervous. The two ladies huddled together under an inadequate parasol. But after all. They spoke of Alessio Baldovinetti. Lucy felt the kindly pressure of her cousin’s hand. At the next flash. Emerson. Eager sat opposite. “Ask your driver 69 . screamed from the carriage in front. courage and faith. all this immense Under the rug. Will you interpret for us?” “George!” cried Mr. Mr. It was of drawing-room people that Miss Bartlett thought as she journeyed downwards towards the fading sun. she had seen his black head in the bushes. we are infinitely safer than if we were walking. The steel knives.” vaguely suspicious. by this timely exercise of her muscles. At times our need for a sympathetic gesture is so great that we care not what exactly it signifies or how much we may have to pay for it afterwards. Miss Bartlett. in any case. If I might say so. Courage—courage and faith. Are we seriously to suppose that all these clouds. the only articles which might attract the current. trying to catch her eye.

If they had not stopped perhaps they might have been hurt. But—” she pointed at the driver— “He knows everything. Eager. There was an explosion up the road. through miles of dark squalid road. had we better? Shall I?” She took out her purse. The older people recovered quickly. which fructify every hour of life. They descended from the carriages. he is nearly demented. they embraced each other. For a moment they realized vast possibilities of good.” said Miss Bartlett. In the very height of their emotion they knew it to be unmanly or unladylike. Miss Lavish calculated that. He saw it all.” “What does he know?” whispered Lucy as soon as they were alone.” he replied. The boy may lose his way. “Charlotte. “He may be killed!” “Typical behaviour. and one of the great supports had fallen. a mortal maid. Eager know?” “Nothing. Dearest. Mr.A Room with a View which way George went. “In the presence of reality that kind was disappointed in him. But the drivers. Beebe—. even if they had continued. they would not have been caught in the accident.” “Go. It was as joyful to be forgiven past unworthinesses as to forgive them. she said. Go and support poor Mr. Eager mumbled a temperate prayer. how much does Mr. and accepted it. and the floods of love and sincerity. “Silenzio!” and offered him a franc. As well this ending to his day as any.” said the chaplain. he knows nothing. “It is dreadful to be entangled with low-class people. The storm had struck the overhead wire of the tramline. But Lucy. dearest.” “He may be killed!” cried the old man. and Lucy poured out hers to her cousin.” Tapping Phaethon’s back with her guidebook. don’t ask our driver. 70 . our driver is no help. Mr. He may be killed. burst forth in tumult. They chose to regard it as a miraculous preservation. poured out their souls to the dryads and the saints. of person invariably breaks down. “Va bene. as he quitted the carriage.

EM Forster
“Charlotte, dear Charlotte, kiss me. Kiss me again.
Only you can understand me. You warned me to be
careful. And I—I thought I was developing.”
“Do not cry, dearest. Take your time.”
“I have been obstinate and silly—worse than you
know, far worse. Once by the river—Oh, but he isn’t
killed—he wouldn’t be killed, would he?”
The thought disturbed her repentance. As a matter
of fact, the storm was worst along the road; but she

“And then?”
“But, Charlotte, you know what happened then.”
Miss Bartlett was silent. Indeed, she had little more
to learn. With a certain amount of insight she drew
her young cousin affectionately to her. All the way
back Lucy’s body was shaken by deep sighs, which
nothing could repress.
“I want to be truthful,” she whispered. “It is so hard
to be absolutely truthful.”

had been near danger, and so she thought it must be
near to every one.
“I trust not. One would always pray against that.”
“He is really—I think he was taken by surprise,
just as I was before. But this time I’m not to blame; I
want you to believe that. I simply slipped into those
violets. No, I want to be really truthful. I am a little
to blame. I had silly thoughts. The sky, you know,
was gold, and the ground all blue, and for a moment he looked like some one in a book.”
“In a book?”
“Heroes—gods—the nonsense of schoolgirls.”

“Don’t be troubled, dearest. Wait till you are calmer.
We will talk it over before bed-time in my room.”
So they re-entered the city with hands clasped. It
was a shock to the girl to find how far emotion had
ebbed in others. The storm had ceased, and Mr.
Emerson was easier about his son. Mr. Beebe had
regained good humour, and Mr. Eager was already
snubbing Miss Lavish. Charlotte alone she was sure
of—Charlotte, whose exterior concealed so much
insight and love.
The luxury of self-exposure kept her almost happy
through the long evening. She thought not so much
71

A Room with a View
of what had happened as of how she should describe
it. All her sensations, her spasms of courage, her
moments of unreasonable joy, her mysterious discontent, should be carefully laid before her cousin.
And together in divine confidence they would disentangle and interpret them all.
“At last,” thought she, “I shall understand myself.
I shan’t again be troubled by things that come out of
nothing, and mean I don’t know what.”

good brush to your hair.”
With some solemnity the door was shut, and a cane
chair placed for the girl. Then Miss Bartlett said “So
what is to be done?”
She was unprepared for the question. It had not
occurred to her that she would have to do anything.
A detailed exhibition of her emotions was all that
she had counted upon.
“What is to be done? A point, dearest, which you

Miss Alan asked her to play. She refused vehemently. Music seemed to her the employment of a
child. She sat close to her cousin, who, with commendable patience, was listening to a long story
about lost luggage. When it was over she capped it
by a story of her own. Lucy became rather hysterical
with the delay. In vain she tried to check, or at all
events to accelerate, the tale. It was not till a late hour
that Miss Bartlett had recovered her luggage and
could say in her usual tone of gentle reproach:
“Well, dear, I at all events am ready for
Bedfordshire. Come into my room, and I will give a

alone can settle.”
The rain was streaming down the black windows,
and the great room felt damp and chilly, One candle
burnt trembling on the chest of drawers close to Miss
Bartlett’s toque, which cast monstrous and fantastic
shadows on the bolted door. A tram roared by in the
dark, and Lucy felt unaccountably sad, though she
had long since dried her eyes. She lifted them to the
ceiling, where the griffins and bassoons were
colourless and vague, the very ghosts of joy.
“It has been raining for nearly four hours,” she said
at last.
72

EM Forster
Miss Bartlett ignored the remark.
“How do you propose to silence him?”
“The driver?”
“My dear girl, no; Mr. George Emerson.”
Lucy began to pace up and down the room.
“I don’t understand,” she said at last.
She understood very well, but she no longer
wished to be absolutely truthful.
“How are you going to stop him talking about it?”

“Yes,” said Lucy, whom at the time the argument
had pleased.
“Well, I am no prude. There is no need to call him a
wicked young man, but obviously he is thoroughly
unrefined. Let us put it down to his deplorable antecedents and education, if you wish. But we are no farther
on with our question. What do you propose to do?”
An idea rushed across Lucy’s brain, which, had she
thought of it sooner and made it part of her, might

“I have a feeling that talk is a thing he will never
do.”
“I, too, intend to judge him charitably. But unfortunately I have met the type before. They seldom
keep their exploits to themselves.”
“Exploits?” cried Lucy, wincing under the horrible
plural.
“My poor dear, did you suppose that this was his
first? Come here and listen to me. I am only gathering
it from his own remarks. Do you remember that day
at lunch when he argued with Miss Alan that liking
one person is an extra reason for liking another?”

have proved victorious.
“I propose to speak to him,” said she.
Miss Bartlett uttered a cry of genuine alarm.
“You see, Charlotte, your kindness—I shall never
forget it. But—as you said—it is my affair. Mine and
his.”
“And you are going to implore him, to beg him to
keep silence?”
“Certainly not. There would be no difficulty. Whatever you ask him he answers, yes or no; then it is
over. I have been frightened of him. But now I am
not one little bit.”
73

A Room with a View
“But we fear him for you, dear. You are so young
and inexperienced, you have lived among such nice
people, that you cannot realize what men can be—
how they can take a brutal pleasure in insulting a
woman whom her sex does not protect and rally
round. This afternoon, for example, if I had not arrived, what would have happened?”
“I can’t think,” said Lucy gravely.
Something in her voice made Miss Bartlett repeat

“Come away from the window, dear,” said Miss
Bartlett. “You will be seen from the road.”
Lucy obeyed. She was in her cousin’s power. She
could not modulate out the key of self-abasement in
which she had started. Neither of them referred again
to her suggestion that she should speak to George
and settle the matter, whatever it was, with him.
Miss Bartlett became plaintive.
“Oh, for a real man! We are only two women, you

her question, intoning it more vigorously.
“What would have happened if I hadn’t arrived?”
“I can’t think,” said Lucy again.
“When he insulted you, how would you have replied?”
“I hadn’t time to think. You came.”
“Yes, but won’t you tell me now what you would
have done?”
“I should have—” She checked herself, and broke
the sentence off. She went up to the dripping window and strained her eyes into the darkness. She
could not think what she would have done.

and I. Mr. Beebe is hopeless. There is Mr. Eager, but
you do not trust him. Oh, for your brother! He is
young, but I know that his sister’s insult would rouse
in him a very lion. Thank God, chivalry is not yet
dead. There are still left some men who can reverence woman.”
As she spoke, she pulled off her rings, of which
she wore several, and ranged them upon the pin
cushion. Then she blew into her gloves and said:
“It will be a push to catch the morning train, but
we must try.”
“What train?”
74

For it was in ominous tones that she said.” After this remark she remained motionless and silent. who was practical without ability. To her tired eyes Charlotte throbbed and swelled like a ghostly figure in a dream.EM Forster “The train to Rome. if she could give and receive some human love. for there was no time to lose. but they pay extra for wine. The impulse had come before to-day. but needed her to love. and was seized with one of those emotional impulses to which she “She will make us pay for a whole week’s pension. The girl heard her as she entered the room. vainly endeavouring to pave it with books of varying thickness and size. Lucy. not liking to say that she had given notice already. “When does the train to Rome go?” “At eight. of the discomforts of packing by candlelight than of a subtler ill. she felt that she was growing old. Charlotte.” said Miss Bartlett. more conscious could never attribute a cause. began to move to and fro between the rooms. when admonished.” “I expect she will. we shall be much more comfortable at the Vyses’ hotel. the world be happier. She gave two or three sighs. and. Isn’t afternoon tea given there for nothing?” “Yes. knelt by the side of an empty trunk. if they were to catch the train to Rome.” “Signora Bertolini would be upset. However.” She looked at her gloves critically. They began to sort their clothes for packing. and she knew perfectly well that Lucy did not love her. how will you ever forgive me?” 75 . Miss Bartlett returned the embrace with tenderness and warmth. for all her diplomacy. but never so strongly. She knelt down by her cousin’s side and took her in her arms. for the stooping posture hurt her back.” “We must face that. after a long pause: “Dearest Lucy. the packing go easier. But she was not a stupid woman. The girl received the announcement as easily as it had been given. She only felt that the candle would burn better.

failed in my duty to your mother. this trouble. and it isn’t a disaster either. I am too uninteresting and old-fashioned—only fit to pack and unpack your things. that of the prematurely aged martyr. what right had I to make friends with Miss Lavish?” “Every right. She has been so generous to me. knowing by bitter experience what forgiving Miss Bartlett meant. but yes! I feel that our tour together is hardly the success I had hoped. and rightly. I shall never face her again after this disaster.” said Lucy softly. They continued to pack in silence. Fur instance. heart and soul.” “Please—” “My only consolation was that you found people more to your taste. and I have a very great deal to forgive myself. she modified her embrace a little. at all events. but I hope I did not inflict them on you more than was necessary. as she “But no—” Miss Bartlett assumed her favourite role. It is not your fault. “I have been a failure.A Room with a View Lucy was on her guard at once.” “You mustn’t say these things. and were often able to leave me struggled with the straps of Lucy’s trunk instead of strapping her own. it is a disaster.” said Miss Bartlett. too. Her emotion relaxed.” “But mother will understand. I might have known it would not do. You had your own way about these rooms. You want some one younger and stronger and more in sympathy with you. “Failed to make you happy. what do you mean? As if I have anything to forgive!” “You have a great deal.” “It is my fault. She will never forgive me. She still clung to the hope that she and Charlotte loved each other. I had my own poor ideas of what a lady ought to do. I know well how much I vex you at every turn. and she said: “Charlotte dear. Your 76 .” “When I was here for your sake? If I have vexed you it is equally true that I have neglected you.” at home. “Ah.

I am very willing not to. Such a wrong is not eas77 . could be heard sighing into a crack in the partition wall. Lucy was suffering from the most grievous wrong which this world has yet discovered: diplomatic advantage had been taken of her sincerity. from a cowardly wish to improve the situation. if we may judge from those who have used them most. At present she neither acquitted nor condemned him. “Naturally I should have told her. I promise I will not. I will never speak of it either to her or to any one. said: “Why need mother hear of it?” “But you tell her everything?” “I suppose I do generally.” “I dare not break your confidence.” Lucy. loveless world in which the young rush to destruction until they learn better—a shamefaced world of precautions and barriers which may avert evil. for a time—indeed.” The girl would not be degraded to this.” Her promise brought the long-drawn interview to a sudden close. but which do not seem to bring good. At the moment when she was about to judge him her cousin’s voice had intervened. it was Miss Bartlett who had dominated. Unless you feel that it is a thing cad throughout. wished her good-night. she did not pass judgment. ever since. for years—she had been meaningless. but at the end there was presented to the girl the complete picture of a cheerless. and sent her to her own room. even now. and. who had really been neither pliable nor humble nor inconsistent. perhaps that was the view which one would take eventually. For a moment the original trouble was in the background. Miss Bartlett. George would seem to have behaved like a worked like a great artist. of her craving for sympathy and love. when you tell her. Miss Bartlett pecked her smartly on both cheeks. There is something sacred in it. She had you could not tell her.EM Forster mother will see this as clearly as I do. But in case she should blame you in any way. Miss Bartlett who.

he. Emerson. and her voice said: “I wish one word with you in the drawing-room. Emerson. and blew out the candle. Lucy cried aloud: “It isn’t true. Before she reached them she hesitated. It can’t all be true. did not see her. and she started to the shutters. the chaperon had done her work. Whether she would have dared to do this was never proved. please.” 78 . turned. And such a wrong may react disastrously upon the soul. At the critical moment Miss Bartlett opened her own door. It struck her that she might slip into the passage and just say that she would be gone before he was up. tired breathing was the only reply.A Room with a View ily forgotten.” Miss Bartlett tapped on the wall.” In the morning they left for Rome. and that their extraordinary intercourse was over.” Soon their footsteps returned. The door-bell rang. To reach his room he had to go by hers. though he looked up. I want to grow older quickly. She was still dressed. “Go to bed at once. Mr. and Miss Bartlett said: “Good-night. I want not to be muddled. His heavy. Never again did she expose herself without due consideration and precaution against rebuff. dear. Thus it was that. Mr. You need all the rest you can get. though she saw some one standing in the wet below.

within. who was writing a letter. though visible. One—a boy of nineteen—was studying a small manual of anatomy. Honeychurch. “Time they did. and peering occasionally at a bone which lay upon the piano. and the light that filtered through them was subdued and varied. And continually did she rise from her seat and part the curtains so that a rivulet of light fell across the carpet. A poet—none was present— might have quoted.” “I am glad that Cecil is asking her this once more. for the day was 79 . “I tell you I’m getting fairly sick.EM Forster Part Two hot and the print small. From time to time he bounced in his chair and puffed and groaned.” she observed. lowered against the intolerable tides of heaven. and his mother.” “It’s his third go. was tempered to the capacities of man. “Life like a dome of many coloured glass. and make the remark that they were still there. who was Freddy. Two pleasant people sat in the room.” “For goodness’ sake go out of my drawing-room. Freddy did not move or reply. isn’t it?” “Freddy I do call the way you talk unkind.” Chapter VIII: Medieval THE DRAWING-ROOM CURTAINS at Windy Corner had been pulled to meet.” or might have compared the curtains to sluice-gates. rather wanting her son’s opinion on the situation if she could obtain it without undue supplication. did continually read out to him what she had written. Lucy’s brother. “Where aren’t they?” said the boy. Without was poured a sea of radiance. and the human frame fearfully made. “I think things are coming to a head. then?” cried Mrs. They were heavy curtains. who hoped to cure her children of slang by taking it literally. for the carpet was new and deserved protection from the August sun. reaching almost to the ground. the glory.

Then he took up his work again.” “Nor me. I said: ‘Dear Mrs. Vyse.” “I said: ‘Dear Mrs. it’s no busi- “Just listen to what I have written to Mrs. I don’t know how girls manage things. Mrs.A Room with a View “I didn’t mean to be unkind. mother. and so forth. dear? How interesting!” “I feel—never mind. “The bother is this. Vyse.” began Freddy. or she wouldn’t have to say it again now. There they still are!” “I don’t see you ought to go peeping like that. Over the whole thing—I can’t explain—I do feel so uncomfortable. When it comes to the point. But—’” She stopped reading.” “Peeping like that! Can’t I look out of my own window?” 80 . had been to the same effect. “Freddy. Vyse.” “You?” ness of mine!’” “What a helpful answer!” But her own answer.’” “Yes.” She exclaimed: “How very odd of him!” “Why so?” asked the son and heir. and I should be delighted. you must come. “I was rather amused at Cecil asking my permission at all. Honeychurch went back to the window. he can’t get on without me.” Then he added: “But I do think Lucy might have got this off her chest in Italy. if Lucy wishes it. too shy to say what the bother was.” “Do you indeed. Cecil has just asked my permission about it. and parents nowhere. you told me. but she can’t have said ‘No’ properly before. Freddy nodded. “Why shouldn’t my permission be asked?” “What do you know about Lucy or girls or anything? What ever did you say?” “I said to Cecil.” He returned to his work. He has always gone in for unconventionality. “What do you mean?” “He asked me for my permission also. though more normal in its wording. ‘Take her or leave her. A jolly good letter.

though. he’s clever. Close by.” He gave a nervous gulp. I like him. you know why he is down here. as she passed her son. but really it’s only abominable conceit.” “I answered ‘No’” said the boy. I don’t hate him. and went away. as Cecil laughed too.” “No. and turned over two leaves. beyond the curtains. he’s good. and yet you deliberately insult him. What I mind is that he’ll tell Lucy. it may be all right.” said Mrs.” “Not a bit!” he pleaded. and. “You think you’re so holy and truthful. “Not content with ‘permission’. For a brief space they were silent. I had to say no. Do you suppose that a man like Cecil quiet. How dare you say no?” “Oh. and try to turn him out of my house. not content with would take the slightest notice of anything you say? I hope he boxed your ears. do keep quiet.” He glanced at the curtains dismally. he’s well connected—Oh. I said. But I feel my foot’s in it. “Still page 322?” Freddy snorted. mother! I had to say no when I couldn’t say yes. ‘I don’t mind’—well. grinding his teeth. “There! Fly into a stew! I can’t help it—had to say it. observing.” said Mrs. with the air of one who has considered the subject. which I did give—that is to say. and let a man do some work.” “I hope you gave a careful answer. Honeychurch. do keep quiet. he wanted to know whether I wasn’t off my head with joy.” “Ridiculous child!” cried his mother. “I shall not keep that. “Well. He practically put it like this: Wasn’t it a splendid thing for Lucy and for Windy Corner generally if he married her? And he would have an answer—he said it would strengthen his hand. He ought never to have asked me. I tried to laugh as if I didn’t mean what I said. he’s rich. You know all that has passed between them in Rome. “I know his mother. Oh. dear. Honeychurch. “The bother is this: I have put my foot in it with Cecil most awfully. the gentle murmur of a long conversation had never ceased. but I don’t like him. you needn’t kick the piano! He’s well connected—I’ll say it again if you like: he’s well 81 . “I only let out I didn’t like him.EM Forster But she returned to the writing-table.

and it’s also something that Mr. and I should be delighted if Lucy wishes it. Was that it? Cecil made one talk in one’s own way. I asked him what he meant. But I can. Was that it? And Cecil was the kind of fellow who would never wear another fellow’s cap.” “You know Mr. She added: “And he has beautiful manners.’ Then I never quite know what he means. He said ‘Oh.’ I was very cute. This tired one. Vyse.” The explanation seemed plausible. and all the time a thick layer of flue under the beds. at least—I can’t explain. Freddy checked himself. She keeps that flat abominably—” “Suppose Lucy marries Cecil. would she live in a flat. and the maid’s dirty thumb-marks where you turn on the electric light. “I don’t see how Mr.” She paused.’ I said that because I didn’t want Mrs. Unaware of his own profundity. but it set me thinking. he’s like me—better detached. He must be jealous. Beebe comes in. ‘and I have told Lucy so. not knowing. Beebe said. I suppose it’s having him spoiling Lucy’s first week at home. and Freddy tried to accept it.’ I couldn’t make him say any more. “Will this do?” called his mother.” “I liked him till just now. But at the back of his brain there lurked a dim mistrust. “‘Dear Mrs. or he would not dislike a man for such foolish reasons. Cecil praised one too much put in at the top.” “Mr. when you for being athletic.A Room with a View connected. Vyse is an ideal bachelor. dear. She goes in for lectures and improving her mind. trying to conceal her interest. but her face remained dissatisfied. and in these days young people must decide for themselves. Vyse to think us oldfashioned.” “You never can. Beebe’s funny way. Since Cecil has come after Lucy he hasn’t been so pleasant. as if rehearsing her eulogy. or in the country?” 82 .—Cecil has just asked my permission about it. You are jealous of Cecil because he may stop Lucy knitting you silk ties. He said: ‘Mr. Beebe?” said his mother. But Lucy seems very uncertain.’ I must write the letter out again—’and I have told Lucy so.

and I should be delighted if Lucy wishes it. Lucy. The curtains parted. Like a Gothic statue. for Windy Corner was built on the range that overlooks the Sussex Weald. Vyse. he remained in the grip of a certain devil whom the modern world knows as self-consciousness. I’ll stop at ‘because she tells me everything. and she wrote to me from Rome when he asked her first. But Lucy seems very uncertain. Cecil’s first movement was one of irritation. There was revealed a terrace. he resembled those fastidious saints who guard the portals of a French cathedral. because she tells me everything. But I do not know—’” “Look out!” cried Freddy. wor83 . because she tells me everything.’ No. He couldn’t bear the Honeychurch habit of sitting in the dark to save the furniture. with shoulders that seemed braced square by an effort of the will. and a head that was tilted a little higher than the usual level of vision. curtains a twitch. well endowed. and two flowerbeds. and sent them swinging down their poles. and I have told Lucy so. and in these days young people must decide for themselves. with dimmer vision.— Cecil has just asked my permission about it.” said Freddy. and on it a little rustic seat. Appearing thus late in the story.EM Forster “Don’t interrupt so foolishly. who was in the little seat. Light entered. I’ll cross that last bit out—it looks patronizing. Instinctively he give the Cecil entered. and whom the medieval. Well educated.’ Or shall I cross that out. Where was I? Oh yes—’Young people must decide for themselves. seemed on the edge of a green magic carpet which hovered in the air above the tremulous world. Honeychurch left it in. Mrs. too. Cecil must be at once described. But it was transfigured by the view beyond. I know that Lucy likes your son. such as is owned by many villas with trees each side of it. He was medieval. I know that Lucy likes your son. too?” “Cross it out. Tall and refined. and not deficient physically. “Then the whole thing runs: ‘Dear Mrs.

who stood stiff in the middle of the room. for our phrases of approval and of amazement are so connected with little occasions that we fear to use them on great ones. not be Freddy. Then she saw her brother’s face. A Gothic statue implies celibacy. and look more human. Why could she “I promessi sposi. Lucy!” called Cecil. while Freddy proffered a hand that was yellow with chemicals. just as if she was going to ask them to play tennis. He said. Honeychurch. She moved across the lawn and smiled in at them. And Freddy. bombastic—all the things she hated most.” replied the young man. Honeychurch. “This is indeed a joyous day! I feel sure that you will make our dear Lucy happy. “We mothers—” simpered Mrs.A Room with a View shipped as asceticism. Lucy rose from the seat. sentimental. Cecil!” she exclaimed—”oh. “Would you take them into the garden and tell Mrs. perhaps meant the same when he failed to imagine Cecil wearing another fellow’s cap. for conversation seemed to flag. Her lips parted. do tell me!” “Welcome as one of the family!” said Mrs. and she took him in her arms. who ignored history and art. or to take refuge in Scriptural reminiscences.” “I hope so. just as a Greek statue implies fruition. Lucy kissed her also. 84 .” said he. Honeychurch left her letter on the writing table and moved towards her young acquaintance.” he said. Beebe meant. They stared at him anxiously. shifting his eyes to the ceiling. waving her hand at the furniture. Mrs. Cecil. and perhaps this was what Mr. They wished that they also knew Italian. looking very cross and almost handsome? “I say. We are obliged to become vaguely poetic. and then realized that she was affected. Honeychurch. “Steady on!” “Not a kiss for me?” asked her mother.” said Mrs. and the sound of the thing in English made him flush and smile with pleasure. “She has accepted me. “Oh. “I am so glad.

and gaunt with travel. She reminded him of a 85 . It gave her light. when she and her terrible cousin fell on him out of the blue. and descend out of sight by the steps. no woman of Leonardo’s could have anything so vulgar as a “story. until they reached the kitchen garden. But Italy worked some marvel in her. She was like a woman of Leonardo da Vinci’s. among the flower-clad Alps. “Yes. So it happened that from patronizing civility he had slowly passed if not to passion. whom we love not so much for herself as for the things that she will not tell us. crude. Already at Rome he had hinted to her that they might be suitable for each other. but only as a commonplace girl who happened to be musical. and there. and rehearsed the events that had led to such a happy conclusion. He could still remember his depression that afternoon at Rome. Peter’s. you go with Lucy. Soon he detected in her a wonderful reticence. at least to a profound uneasiness.EM Forster Honeychurch all about it?” Cecil suggested. “And I’d stop here and tell my mother.” “We go with Lucy?” said Freddy. They would descend—he knew their ways— past the shrubbery. That day she had seemed a typical tour- derfully day by day. It had touched him greatly that she had not broken away at the suggestion. on the margin of Italy. he had asked her again in bald. as if taking orders. Smiling indulgently. Three months later.” She did develop most won- dahlia-bed. traditional language. Her refusal had been clear and gentle. Cecil watched them cross the terrace. after it—as the horrid phrase went—she had been exactly the same to him as before. and demanded to be taken to St. and— which he held more precious—it gave her shadow. He had known Lucy for several years. The things are assuredly not of this life. he lit a cigarette.” They passed into the sunlight. and past the tennis-lawn and the ist—shrill. in the presence of the potatoes and the peas. the great event would be discussed.

in case any of Freddy’s chemicals had come off on it. Maple arriving at the door and depositing this chair. Shoolbred and Messrs. but simply saying that she loved him and would do her best to make him happy. and pencilled a note on his knee.” he reflected. He walked home with her unashamed. but he began to realize that Lucy was of another clay. There he saw “Dear Mrs. but the trail of Tottenham Court Road was upon it. and after a little hesitation sat down elsewhere. Honeychurch’s letter. Then he lit another cigarette. her sunburnt features were shadowed by fantastic rock. The table recalled Mrs. Vyse. she had accepted him. agreed with him. He recoiled without reading any more. that writing-table. at his words she had turned and stood between him and the light with immeasurable plains behind her. His mother. and 86 . too. feeling not at all like a rejected suitor. The things that really mattered were unshaken. those varnished book-cases. he moved to the writing table. he could almost visualize the motor-vans of Messrs. which did not seem quite as divine as the first. With that outlook it should have been a successful room. he wanted to feel that others. and considered what in that direction. It was his own fault that she was discussing him with his mother. clear and gentle as ever. Why should he want me for a brother-in-law?” The Honeychurches were a worthy family. “I represent all that he despises. and so he had asked their permission. Mrs. So now he had asked her once more. but obtuse in essentials. he had wanted her support in his third attempt to win Lucy. but he worried about it none the less. no matter who they were. she had counselled the step.A Room with a View Leonardo more than ever. Glancing at his hand. while as for Freddy—”He is only a boy. he must write her a long account. and. would be pleased. Honeychurch had been civil. He did not want to read that letter—his temptations never lay reasons for her delay. giving no coy might be done to make Windy Corner drawing-room more distinctive.” followed by many erasures.

Cecil greeted him rather critically. “I’ve come for tea. prattled forward. though he asked who Cissie and Albert might be. I can’t think why Mrs. He has bought Cissie and Albert from Mr. Beebe!” said the maid. he did not realize that. “Unpardonable question! To have stopped a week at Windy Corner and not to have met Cissie and Albert. Beebe rather a bounder. young Honeychurch has left a bone in it.EM Forster perhaps—he did not put it very definitely—he ought to introduce her into more congenial circles as soon as possible. and.” “Pfui!” “I know.” “I’m shockingly stupid over local affairs. “I’ve come for tea and for gossip. owing to Lucy’s praise of him in her letters from Florence. the semi-detached villas that have been run up opposite the church! I’ll set Mrs. Food is the thing one does get here—Don’t sit in that chair. he had at once started on friendly relations.” For Cecil considered the bone and the Maples’ furniture separately. he still thought Mr. whose news was of a very different nature.” said Cecil. I have every reason to hope that I am first in the field. “I can’t even remember the 87 . “Mr. Vyse. “I met Sir Harry Otway as I came up. taken together. Do you suppose that “News? I don’t understand you. “I know. Isn’t this news?” it likely that a clergyman and a gentleman would refer to his engagement in a manner so flippant? But his stiffness remained. Flack!” “Has he indeed?” said Cecil.” said Cecil. they kindled the room into the life that he desired. Mr. Honeychurch allows it. Beebe. “News?” Mr. trying to recover himself. and the new rector of Summer Street was shown in. Into what a grotesque mistake had he fallen! Was I shall get it?” “I should say so.” said the young man languidly. Honeychurch after you.

” said Cecil. distressed at this heavy reception of Cissie and Albert. I daren’t face the healthy person—for example.” His voice was rather parochial.” Cecil wondered at himself. praised his liberal-mindedness. or devoting myself to things I don’t care a straw about. I know I ought to be getting money out of people. but somehow. Mr. and kicks 88 . The sort who has made England what she is. Beebe’s mother. Beebe. Vyse—I forget—what is your pro- who have regular occupation must feel. My attitude quite an indefensible one—is that so long as I am no trouble to any one I have a right to do as I like. an old lady for whom he had no particular regard. Then he flattered the clergyman.” said Mr. “It is another example of my decadence. Freddy’s a good sort. He felt.” “You are very fortunate. Why. “It is a wonderful opportunity.” “Oh. on this day of all fession?” “I have no profession. I’ve not been able to begin.” “I suppose Anne never told them you were here. It is very remiss of me. Beebe. his enlightened attitude towards philosophy and science. In this house one is so coached in the servants the day one arrives.” Mr.A Room with a View difference between a Parish Council and a Local Government Board. Perhaps there is no difference. The fault of Anne is that she begs your pardon when she hears you perfectly. determined to shift the subject. or perhaps those aren’t the right names. Italy and London are the only places where I don’t feel to exist on sufferance. as all others. the possession of leisure. “I am glad that you approve. “Where are the others?” said Mr. I only go into the country to see my friends and to enjoy the scenery. isn’t he?” “Admirable. “Let me see. “I insist on extracting tea before evening service. but he did not quite see his way to answering naturally. Beebe at last. Freddy Honeychurch. was he so hopelessly contrary? He tried to get right by inquiring effusively after Mr. that others should have it also.

they are not innumerable. No one but his mother can remember the faults of Freddy. The faults of Mary—I forget the faults of Mary. she wasn’t wonderful in Florence either. She leaves the dustpans standing on the stairs.” said the young man. Oh.” “At present?” “I’m not cynical. Then we shall have her heroically good. Miss Bartlett holding the string.” Cecil found his companion interesting. and things began to go better. I forgot.” They both laughed. where she was not wonderful. Since I came to Summer Street she has been away. There was simply the sense that she had found wings. perhaps. and music and life will mingle. I’m only thinking of my pet theory about Miss Honeychurch. at Rome and in the Alps. simply will not. Does it seem reasonable that she should play so wonderfully.” “The fault of Euphemia is that she will not. and at Florence.” “In what way?” Conversation had become agreeable to them. and live so quietly? I suspect that one day she will be wonderful in both. but they are very grave. At present she has none. you knew her before. to be good or bad. and meant to use them. heroically bad— too heroic.” “She has none. and they were pacing up and down the terrace. “And at present you think her not wonderful as far as life goes?” “Well. didn’t you. with grave sincerity. I can show you a beautiful picture in my Italian diary: Miss Honeychurch as a kite.EM Forster the chair-legs with her feet. “I quite agree. Picture 89 . No. Shall we look in the garden?” “I know the faults of Mary. “Ah. of course. Try the faults of Miss Honeychurch. but I kept on expecting that she would be. The water-tight compartments in her will You saw her. “The faults of Freddy—” Cecil continued. “I could as easily tell you what tune she’ll play next. he has too many. I must say I’ve only seen her at Tunbridge Wells. chop the suet sufficiently small. break down.

when he viewed things artistically. you ought to have stopped me. Cecil. I must apologize.” “You are conscious of having said something in90 . “I am sorry.A Room with a View number two: the string breaks. but I should certainly have heard Miss Bartlett fall. I know Miss Honeychurch only a little as time goes. every thoughtful man should.” “Not that. drew down his mouth at the corners.” said Cecil stiffly.” And down the garden he saw Lucy herself. Immediately he realized that of all the conceited. But you ought to have stopped me.” “It has broken now. yes. “I am sorry I have given you a shock.” he said dryly. Mr. certainly not with you. I mightn’t have seen Miss Honeychurch rise. But he was sensitive to the successive particles of it which he encountered. “I fear that Lucy’s choice does not meet with your approval. he was disappointed. I had no idea you were intimate with her. He cursed his love of metaphor. it is almost a test of refinement. At the time he had given surreptitious tugs to the string himself. vibrating tones.” The clergyman was conscious of some bitter disappointment which he could not keep out of his voice. Perhaps I oughtn’t to have discussed her so freely with any one. ludicrous. he despised the world as a whole.” said the young man in low. Occasionally he could be quite crude. “that she is going to marry me. had he suggested that he was a star and that Lucy was soaring up to reach him? “Broken? What do you mean?” “I meant. superficial way. Was this the reception his action would get from the world? Of course.” The sketch was in his diary. contemptible ways of announcing an engagement this was the worst. “But the string never broke?” “No. but it had been made afterwards. Vyse. or I should never have talked in this flippant. who naturally preferred congratulations to apologies.

She has taken it. I have said nothing indiscreet. I foresaw at Florence that her quiet. Really. There was no more heavy beneficence. “No. who did not like parsons. Vyse had the art of placing one in the most tiresome positions. An engagement is so potent a thing that sooner or later it reduces all who speak of it to this state of cheer91 . He looked at Lucy. have you heard the news?” Freddy.” and if his voice was still clerical. I’m going to do what I am always supposed to do. Mr. it was now also sincere. some people will tell you.” “Grazie tante!” said Cecil. “Have you heard?” shouted Mrs. “Mrs. None of them dared or was able to be serious any more. that our earthly life provides. as father and mother. “Indeed I have!” he cried. Honeychurch. Honeychurch as she toiled up the sloping garden. great and small.” “You only asked for it just in time. Beebe pulled himself together. uneventful childhood must end. “She has learnt through you. He was driven to use the prerogatives of his profession. I want to in- She has learnt—you will let me talk freely. I realized dimly enough that she might take some momentous step. And now I want my tea.” the lady retorted. Youth seldom criticizes the accomplished fact.EM Forster discreet?” Mr. Mr. no more attempts to dignify the situation with poetry or the Scriptures. whistled the wedding march. Beebe. In her presence he could not act the parson any longer— at all events not without apology. as I have begun freely—she has learnt what it is to love: the greatest lesson.” It was now time for him to wave his hat at the approaching trio. but generally I’m too shy. I want them all their lives to be supremely good and supremely happy as husband and wife. He did not omit to do so. “How dare you be serious at Windy Corner?” He took his tone from her. grave and gay. voke every kind of blessing on them. “Oh. “let it be your care that her knowledge is profitable to her. and it has ended. now full of geniality.

or at the most feel sentimental. Mr. and their hypocrisy had every chance of setting and of becoming true. in the solitude of their rooms. Standing outside. Mrs. but waited. It has a strange power. in case any true believer should be present. The chief parallel to compare one great thing with another—is the power over us of a temple of some alien creed. promised well as a mother-in-law. putting down each plate as if it were a wedding present. Beebe chirruped. we become true believers. for whom the temple had been built. If they were hypocrites they did not know it. Anne. Beebe. Honeychurch. amusing and portly. re92 . stimulated them greatly. but the very heart. But in its presence and in the presence of each other they were sincerely hilarious. As for Lucy and Cecil. So it was that after the gropings and the misgivings of the afternoon they pulled themselves together and settled down to a very pleasant tea-party. Freddy was at his wittiest. Mr. though the saints ferring to Cecil as the “Fiasco”—family honoured pun on fiance. for the disclosure of some holier shrine of joy. Away from it. and gods are not ours. might again be critical. Inside. for it compels not only the lips. They could not lag behind that smile of hers which she gave them ere she kicked the drawing-room door.A Room with a View ful awe. they also joined in the merry ritual. as earnest worshippers should. we deride or oppose it. and even Freddy.

Mother. When they returned he was not as pleasant as he had been. her mother feigned nothing of the sort but dragged her indoors to have the frock treated by a sympathetic maid. the way an engagement is regarded as public property—a kind of waste place where every outsider may shoot his vulgar sentiment. and she introduced Cecil rather indiscriminately to some stuffy dowagers. fair face responding when Lucy spoke to him. “Oh. “Is it typical of country society?” “I suppose so. and though Lucy feigned indifference. but the congratulations. and Cecil was left with the dowagers. but it pleased her. portentous.EM Forster Chapter IX: Lucy As a Work of Art “Do you go to much of this sort of thing?” he asked when they were driving home. 93 .” said Mrs. disastrous. All those old women smirking!” “One has to go through it. he looked distinguished. and it was very pleasant to see his slim figure keeping step with Lucy. Seeing that her thoughts were elsewhere. Honeychurch made Lucy and her Fiasco come to a little garden-party in the neighbourhood.” A FEW DAYS AFTER the engagement was announced Mrs. who had rather enjoyed herself. a social blunder.” “Not that. Cecil bent towards Lucy and said: “To me it seemed perfectly appalling.” “I am so sorry that you were stranded. for naturally she wanted to show people that her daughter was marrying a presentable man. I suppose. now and then. Honeychurch. I believe. It is so disgusting. Honeychurch. Cecil was more than presentable. who was trying to remember the hang of one of the dresses. which is. They were gone some time. They won’t notice us so much next time. At tea a misfortune took place: a cup of coffee was upset over Lucy’s figured silk. People congratulated Mrs. would it be?” “Plenty of society.” said Lucy. and his long.

“Sometimes they are forced on us. “How?” “It makes a difference doesn’t it. “I cannot help it if they do disapprove of me. To Cecil and Lucy it promised something quite different—per- mother. “Well.” “We were speaking of motives. and I must accept them. were racially correct.” said Cecil. An engagement—horrid word in the first place—is a private matter. though. “How tiresome!” she said. Such romance as I have is that of the Inglese Italianato. The neighbourhood is deprived of the romance of me being athletic. Fences are fences. however wrong individually. suddenly alert.” Yet the smirking old women. rejoicing in the engagement of Cecil and Lucy because it promised the continuance of life on earth. had taken to affect a cosmopolitan naughtiness which he was far from possessing. and agreed that it did make a difference. But Cecil. who saw from her remark that she did not quite understand his position.” “Inglese Italianato?” “E un diavolo incarnato! You know the proverb?” She did not. The spirit of the generations had smiled through them. since his engagement. or whether we are fenced out by the barriers of others?” She thought a moment. especially when they are in the same place.” “We all have our limitations.A Room with a View “But my point is that their whole attitude is wrong. on 94 . Nor did it seem applicable to a young man who had spent a quiet winter in Rome with his Cecil. Honeychurch. There are certain irremovable barriers between myself and them.” said wise Lucy.” said sonal love. whether we fully fence ourselves in. “Difference?” cried Mrs. I suppose. not in public. “Couldn’t you have escaped to tennis?” “I don’t play tennis—at least. Hence Cecil’s irritation and Lucy’s belief that his irritation was just.” said he. and should be treated as such. “I don’t see any difference.

a clergyman that I do hate. and the most dreadful ones. unkind things.” said Lucy. Beebe?” she asked thoughtfully. Mr. “Don’t you like Mr. She missed Cecil’s epigram. The rest of the pattern is the other people. He was truly insincere—not merely the manner unfortunate. He was a snob. but the fence comes here. Eager. but grasped the feeling that prompted it. Cecil wondered why Lucy had been amused.” “No!” “Why ‘no’?” “He was such a nice old man. I did try to sift the thing. I’m sure.” said she wanting to say something sympathetic.” Cecil laughed at her feminine inconsequence. laughing.” “Perhaps he had. “My dear Cecil. I only denied—” And he swept off on the subject of fences again.” “What sort of things?” “There was an old man at the Bertolini whom he said had murdered his wife.” she said. That’s Windy Corner. Eager would never come to the point. dear—poetry. “I tell you who has no ‘fences. look here. Beebe.” “We weren’t talking of real fences. is Mr. but quick enough to detect what they meant. I see. the English chaplain at Florence. “I consider him far above the average.” “I never said so!” he cried. “a clergyman that does have fences. and was brilliant.’ as you call them. and so conceited.EM Forster whom the interruption jarred.” She spread out her knees and perched her card-case on her lap. “Now. “This is me.” Lucy was slow to follow what people said. Motives are all very well. “Well. He prefers it vague—said the old man had ‘practically’ murdered his wife— 95 . and he did say such She leant placidly back.” “A parson fenceless would mean a parson defenceless. “and that’s Mr. “Oh.

He praised the pine-woods. “But isn’t it intolerable that a person whom we’re told to imitate should go round spreading slander? It was. “When I’m in London I feel I could never live out of “Let’s hope that Mrs. “Isn’t Mr. I hate him. “I count myself a lucky person. the crimson leaves that spotted the hurt-bushes. Honeychurch absently. He longed to hint to her that not here lay her vocation. Nature—simplest of topics. Mrs. I believe. I hate him.” said Lucy glibly. It was as if one should see the Leonardo on the ceiling of the Sistine. There was indeed something rather incongruous in Lucy’s moral outburst over Mr.” “Poor old man! What was his name?” “Harris. “I don’t know. I hate him. the deep lasts of bracken.” said her mother. Nothing can hide a petty nature. and occasionally he went wrong in a question of fact. child!” said Mrs.” he concluded.” “My goodness gracious me. But possibly rant is a sign of vitality: it mars the beautiful creature. Eager a parson of the cultured type?” he asked. Harris there warn’t no sich person.” “Hush. that a woman’s power and charm reside in mystery. not in muscular rant. Honeychurch. but shows that she is alive. he thought—lay around them. Honeychurch’s mouth twitched when he spoke of the perpetual green of the larch. the serviceable beauty of the turnpike road. The outdoor world was not very familiar to him. I’ve heard him lecture on Giotto. Cecil nodded intelligently. but he certainly wasn’t that.A Room with a View had murdered her in the sight of God. He forebore to repress the sources of youth. dear!” said Mrs. People pretended he was vulgar. Eager. “You’ll blow my head off! Whatever is there to shout over? I forbid you and Cecil to hate any more clergymen. After a moment.” 96 . he contemplated her flushed face and excited gestures with a certain approval. He smiled. chiefly owing to him that the old man was dropped.

Lucy had not attended either. and determined not to say anything interesting again. The scene suggested a Swiss Alp rather than the shrine and centre of a leisured world. Cecil.EM Forster it. 97 .’” he quoted. and roused which is denied to us of the town. When I’m in the country I feel the same about the country. felt irritable. “‘Come down. Honeychurch?” Mrs. In height and in the splendour of the hills?’ Let us take Mrs. The country gentleman and the country labourer are each in their way the most depressing of companions. She had not been attending. I do believe that birds and trees and the sky are the most wonderful things in life. Mrs. of too much moral gymnastics. It’s true that in nine cases out of ten they don’t seem to notice anything. O maid. Honeychurch’s advice and hate clergymen no more. Do you feel that. The woods had opened to leave space for a sloping triangular meadow. he concluded. from yonder mountain herself. and touched her knee with his own. but they were hidden in the trees. Beebe’s house was near the church. In height it scarcely exceeded the cottages. and she still looked furiously cross—the result. who was rather crushed on the front seat of the victoria. and that the people who live amongst them must be the best. Honeychurch started and smiled. from yonder mountain height. After all. Some great mansions were at hand. What’s this place?” “Summer Street. a charming shingled spire. Mr. of course. O maid. She flushed again and said: “What height?” “‘Come down. Her brow was wrinkled. Pretty cottages lined it on two sides. What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang). and the upper and third side was occupied by a new stone church.” said Lucy. expensively simple. It was sad to see her thus blind to the beauties of an August wood. and was marred only by two ugly little villas—the villas that had competed with Cecil’s engagement. Yet they may have a tacit sympathy with the workings of Nature height.

as she did in her nephew’s time?” “But what can I do?” He lowered his voice.” “Am I not always right? She ought to have gone before the contract was signed.” “Turn her out. Honeychurch. and the apparition of red and cream brick began to rise did he take alarm. and almost bedridden. Sir Harry. “Summer Street will never be the same again. “Albert” of the other. “Here’s Sir Harry. and looked at the villas mournfully. touching the coachman with her parasol. but appeared a second time on the porches. where they followed the semicircular curve of the entrance arch in block capitals. pull those things down at once!” Sir Harry Otway—who need not be described— came to the carriage and said “Mrs. Three noticeboards. “Stop!” cried Mrs. Honeychurch. “Cissie’s” door opened. “The place is ruined!” said the ladies mechanically. lolled on her fence and announced the not surprising fact. Flack. belonging to Dorking agents. I really can’t turn out Miss Flack. and might have bought the plot before building commenced: but he was apathetic and dilatory. These titles were not only picked out in shaded Gothic on the garden gates. His little windows were chastely swathed in Nottingham lace.—a most reasonable and respectful man—who agreed 98 . I can’t.” As the carriage passed. “Cissie” was the name of one of these villas. Her paths were already weedy. I meant to. the local builder. Now old lady. He had known Summer Street for so many years that he could not imagine it being spoilt. His tortured garden was bright with geraniums and lobelias and polished we shall know. Does she still live rent free. Sir Harry sighed. “Cissie” was to let. Flack had laid the foundation stone. He had had full warning of Mr. her pocket-handkerchief of a lawn was yellow with dandelions. Not till Mrs. so very vulgar. “An shells. and a gentleman came out of her. He called on Mr. “Albert” was inhabited.” said Cecil bravely. Flack’s intentions.A Room with a View having been acquired by Sir Harry Otway the very afternoon that Lucy had been acquired by Cecil.

Cecil. And what are five miles from a station in these days of bicycles?” “Rather a strenuous clerk it would be. The latter impulse seemed the more fruitful. It will attract the wrong type of people. “The rent is absurdly low. “and perhaps I am an easy landlord. He ventured to differ. Mr. He built his villas according to his desire. He had failed in his duties to the country-side. “and all the capitals different—one with dragons in the foliage. “That is exactly what I fear. “You ought to find a tenant at once. Sir Harry hinted that a column. It is too large for the peasant class and too small for any one the least like ourselves. He had spent money. Vyse. another approaching to the Ionian style.” “Exactly!” said Sir Harry excitedly. replied that the physique of the lower middle classes was improving at a most appalling 99 . he liked to relieve the facade by a bit of decoration. and yet them. but pointed out that slates were cheaper. for his part. about the Corinthian columns which were to cling like leeches to the frames of the bow windows. But it is such an awkward size. and not until he had inserted an immovable aunt into one of them did Sir Harry buy. The train service has improved—a fatal improvement. another introducing Mrs.” said Lucy.” Cecil had been hesitating whether he should despise the villas or despise Sir Harry for despising ordered. who had his full share of mediaeval mischievousness. saying that.” For he had read his Ruskin. All he could do now was to find a desirable tenant for “Cissie”—some one really desirable. to my mind. if possible. however.” he said maliciously. adding. This futile and unprofitable transaction filled the knight with sadness as he leant on Mrs. should be structural as well as decorative. Honeychurch’s carriage. and the country-side was laughing at him as well. Flack replied that all the columns had been Summer Street was spoilt as much as ever. Flack’s initials—every one different. Mr.EM Forster that tiles would have made more artistic roof.” he told them. “It would be a perfect paradise for a bank clerk.

It’s a sad thing. the agents! The appalling people they have sent me! One woman. indeed. too. for I shall have no agents’ fees. As if women at all. She saw that he was laughing at their harmless neighbour.” “I think I follow you. They are quite the right people. but I’d far rather let to some one who is going up in the world than to some one who has come down. My dear Lucy. I know the type. How delightful it is! Extra facilities—please tell them they shall have extra facilities. “but it is.” “The Misses Alan aren’t that!” cried Lucy. replied that she would pay the rent in advance. Oh. “Yes. “I haven’t met them but I should say they were a highly unsuitable addition to the neighbourhood. you know— asking her to explain her social position to me. How would you like spinsters?” “My dear Lucy. And oh. as you say. they are. the deceit!” She nodded. I heard from them last week—Miss Teresa and Miss Catharine Alan. when I wrote—a tactful letter. a very sad thing. Mr.” said Sir Harry. “My advice. Do you know any such?” “Yes. and at the present moment home- one cares about that! And several references I took up were most unsatisfactory—people swindlers. or not respectable. “is to have nothing to do with Lucy and her decayed gentle- less. Beebe knows them. “Yes.” “Gentlewomen?” he asked tentatively. Preserve me from people who have seen better days. “Sir Harry!” she exclaimed.A Room with a View rate. May I tell them to write to you?” “Indeed you may!” he cried. “I have an idea.” said Cecil. and bring heirlooms with them that make the house smell stuffy. The deceit of the most promising people. and roused herself to stop him. I met them abroad. the deceit! I have seen a good deal of the seamy side this last week. it would be splendid.” 100 .” put in Mrs. Honeychurch. “Here we are with the difficulty solved already. I’m really not joking.

should descend from the carriage and inspect “Cissie” for herself. “what if we two walk home and leave you?” “Certainly!” was her cordial reply. “Hopeless vulgarian!” exclaimed Cecil. “I oughtn’t to come with my troubles to young people. Sir Harry—he’s tiresome. Cecil pulled Lucy back as she followed her mother. “Oh. there’s an end of them—they lie down comfortably and sleep it off. Even the exclusion of the dirty did not leave them much distinction. “Aha! young people. Domestic arrangements always attracted her. Honeychurch exclaimed: these open compliments to their sex. “Beware! They are certain to have canaries. which is quite true.” “It’s I who am tiresome. but no real help. Cecil!” “I can’t help it. if she had time. Only let to a man.” 101 .” “Really—” he murmured gallantly. He beamed at them knowingly. they somehow keep it to themselves.EM Forster “Don’t listen to him. Sir Harry likewise seemed almost too glad to get rid of them. Honeychurch.” “Then may I write to my Misses Alan?” “Please!” But his eye wavered when Mrs. Sir Harry. “Men don’t gossip over tea-cups.” he replied. He suggested that Mrs. She was delighted. Neither he nor Cecil enjoyed “Mrs. almost before they were out of earshot. If they’re vulgar. beware of canaries: they spit the seed out through the bars of the cages and then the mice come. If they get drunk. young people!” and then hastened to unlock the house. But really I am so worried.” Sir Harry blushed. Nature had intended her to be poor and to live in such a house.” he said. though he saw the wisdom of her remark. and Lady Otway will only say that I cannot be too careful. It would be wrong not to loathe that man. It doesn’t spread so. Beware of women altogether. especially when they were on a small scale. Honeychurch. said. Give me a man—of course. provided he’s clean.

A Room with a View “He isn’t clever. Nature—simplest of topics. and what prevented Cecil from saying. but he gave her anxiety enough. Summer Street lay deep in the woods. She could only assure herself that Cecil had known Freddy some time. what guarantee was there that the people who really mattered to her would escape? For instance. “Why is it. but really he is nice.” “It matters supremely. during the last few days. she thought—was around them. as we’re got up smart. Lucy.” “I’d rather go through the wood. except. In London he would keep his place. nor beautiful.” “No. nor subtle. He would belong to a brainless club. which was an accident. though she felt discouraged. and his wife would give brainless dinner parties. “It would be wrong not to loathe Freddy”? And what would she reply? Further than Freddy she did not go. and his patronage. perhaps.” “All that you say is quite true. Beebe. he stands for all that is bad in country life. “I wonder whether—whether it matters so very much. Freddy. and his sham aesthetics. Oh.” said Cecil. But down here he acts the little god with his gentility. With that subdued irritation that she had noticed in him all the afternoon. and that they had always got on pleasantly. If Cecil disliked Sir Harry Otway and Mr. “Which way shall we go?” she asked him.” This Lucy was glad enough to do. and every one—even your mother—is taken in. perhaps. “Are there two ways?” “Perhaps the road is more sensible. Lucy. Sir Harry is the essence of that garden-party. that you always say the road? Do you know that you have never once 102 . Freddy was neither clever.” said Lucy. goodness. any minute. and she had stopped where a footpath diverged from the highroad. Gentlefolks! Ugh! with his bald head and retreating chin! But let’s forget him. how cross I feel! How I do hope he’ll get some vulgar tenant in that villa—some woman so really vulgar that he’ll notice it.

“Do you know that you’re right? I do. with no view. startled at his queerness.” She said again. Cecil. She led the way into the whispering pines. pray? With no view?” “Yes. You talk as if I was a kind of poetess sort of person.EM Forster been with me in the fields or the wood since we were engaged?” “Haven’t I? The wood. and then said. and 103 . Cecil. solitary this time. “A drawing-room. she shook off the subject as too difficult for a girl.” “Oh. “that connected me with the open air. and led him further into the wood. and sure enough he did explain before they had gone a dozen yards. but pretty sure that he would explain later. Never in the real country like this. She had known the wood between Summer Street and Windy Corner ever since she could walk alone. I must be a poetess after all. laughing: mean?” As no explanation was forthcoming. pausing every now and then at some particularly beautiful or familiar combination of the trees. Why shouldn’t you connect me with a room?” She reflected a moment. hopelessly bewildered. she had played at losing Freddy in it.” said Lucy. Why not?” “I’d rather. or on a road. whatever do you “I had got an idea—I dare say wrongly—that you feel more at home with me in a room. then. in a garden. I connect you with a view—a certain type of view. How funny!” To her surprise. When I think of you it’s always as in a room. it had lost none of its charm.” he said reproachfully. and though she had been to Italy. “Oh. he seemed annoyed.” “A room?” she echoed. whatever do you mean? I have never felt anything of the sort. at the most. “Yes. it was not his habit to leave her in doubt as to his meaning. Presently they came to a little clearing among the pines—another tiny green alp. I fancy. Or. when Freddy was a purple-faced baby.” “I don’t know that you aren’t.

“I bathed here. It’s only a puddle now.” 104 . till I was found out. too.” At the serious note in his voice she stepped frankly and kindly towards him. “Who found you out?” “Charlotte. from which hitherto he had shrank. I want to ask something of you that I have never asked before. I suppose we ought to be going. “The Sacred Lake!” “Why do you call it that?” “I can’t remember why. “She was stopping with us. a good deal of water comes down after heavy rains. and she reminded him of some brilliant flower that has no leaves of its own. A certain scheme. as she phrased it. “What. She exclamed. Cecil?” “Hitherto never—not even that day on the lawn when you agreed to marry me—” He became self-conscious and kept glancing round to see if they were observed. I suppose it comes out of some book. for he had depths of prudishness within him.” At another time he might have been shocked. he was delighted at her admirable simplicity. But now? with his momentary cult of the fresh air.” she murmured. “Lucy. His courage had gone.” was her of it.A Room with a View holding in its bosom a shallow pool. He looked at her as she stood by the pool’s edge. Then there was a row. She was got up smart. but you see that stream going through it? Well. “Yes?” “Up to now I have never kissed you. “Are you fond of it?” But she answered dreamily. “Lucy!” “Yes. reply.” “Poor girl!” She smiled gravely. He is very fond but blooms abruptly out of a world of green. Charlotte—Charlotte.” “And you?” He meant. now appeared practical. and the pool becomes quite large and beautiful. Then Freddy used to bathe there. and can’t get away at once.

Her reply was inadequate. He considered. They left the pool in silence.” proached her he found time to wish that he could recoil. Cecil. Passion should believe itself irresistible. I can’t run at you. As he touched her.” At that supreme moment he was conscious of nothing but absurdities. For he believed that women revere men for their manliness. with truth. you know. Above all. and with fitting gravity.” He could not know that this was the most intimate conversation they had ever had. “No—more you have. Why could he not do as any labourer or navvy—nay.” she stammered.” “What old man?” “That old man I told you about. permitted him and revered him ever after for his manliness. not Harris. you may. that it had been a failure. It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of a refined nature.EM Forster She was as scarlet as if he had put the thing most indelicately. Lucy was standing flowerlike by the water. Such was the embrace. As he ap- took her in his arms. 105 . his gold pince-nez became dislodged and was flattened between them. as any young man behind the counter would have done? He recast the scene. “Then I ask you—may I now?” “Of course. he rushed up and “What name?” “The old man’s. it should never ask for leave where there is a right of way. He waited for her to make some remark which should show him her inmost thoughts. Eager was so unkind to. You might before. “Emerson was the name. The one Mr. At last she spoke. she rebuked him. after this one salutation. She gave such a business-like lift to her veil.

He was inclined to be frightened. so far as she troubled to conceive it. but his wife accepted the situation without either pride or humility. and Lucy realized this more vividly since her return from Italy. and northward on the chalk barrier of the downs. one thought.A Room with a View Chapter X: Cecil as a Humourist THE SOCIETY out of which Cecil proposed to rescue Lucy was perhaps no very splendid affair. falling in love with his own creation. he had the satisfaction—which few honest solicitors despise—of leaving his family rooted in the best society obtainable. just as the London fog tries to enter the pine-woods pouring through 106 . she learnt to speak with horror of Suburbia. When Mr. not from the district. they liked her. Honeychurch died. “I cannot think what people are doing. and were filled by people who came. Life. but from London. Certainly many of the immigrants were rather dull. Other houses were built on the brow of that steep southern slope and others. had built Windy Corner. and. and it did not seem to matter. their inexplosive religion. as a speculation at the time the district was opening up. orange-peel. Most of these houses were larger than Windy Corner. pleasant people. The best obtainable. was a circle of rich. Soon after his marriage the social atmosphere began to alter. her calls were returned with enthusiasm. among the pine-trees behind. had ended by living there himself. with identical interests and identical foes. their dislike of paper-bags. again. A Radical out and out.” She called everywhere. “but it is ex- tremely fortunate for the children. yet it was more splendid than her antecedents entitled her to. Her father. and by the time people found out that she was not exactly of their milieu. Hitherto she had accepted their ideals without questioning —their kindly affluence. a prosperous local solicitor. and broken bottles. and who mistook the Honeychurches for the remnants of an indigenous aristocracy. Outside it were poverty and vulgarity for ever trying to enter. In this circle.” she would say. and died. married.

He saw that the local society was narrow. and aged thirteen—an ancient and most honourable game. which consists in striking tennisballs high into the air. her heart refused to despise it entirely. But. They are coming. others are lost. Beebe at the same time. Nor did he realize a more important point—that if she was too great for this society. this conception of life vanished. and he is glad to see you. but the better illustrates Lucy’s state of mind. in Italy. but not of the kind he understood—a rebel who desired.EM Forster the gaps in the northern hills. as in the sun. but to irritation. Beebe.” said Mr. but equality beside the man she loved. but Italy had quickened Cecil. For Italy was offering her the most priceless of all possessions—her own soul. The sentence is confused. I heard from them this morning. He did not realize that Lucy had consecrated her environment by the thousand little civilities that create a tenderness in time. doubtless. She returned with new eyes. Her senses expanded. niece to the rector. not to tolerance. it has been such a nuisance—first he. for she was trying to talk to Mr. Playing bumble-puppy with Minnie Beebe. and my reply of once a month must have impressed her favourably. and had reached the stage where personal immoderately bounce. 107 . she was too great for all society. that social barriers were irremovable. not a wider dwelling-room. Honeychurch. she felt that there was no one whom she might not get to like.” “But they really are coming now. but not particularly high. A rebel she was. and every one so tiresome. “I wrote to Miss Teresa a few days ago—she was wondering how often the butcher called. and tried to substitute for it the society he called broad. then they—no one knowing what they wanted. instead of saying. and that though her eyes saw its defects. You jump over them just as you jump into a peasant’s olive-yard in the Apennines. where any one who chooses may warm himself in equality. “Oh. “Does that very much matter?” he rebelled. some hit Mrs. so that they fall over the net and So did Cecil. but. intercourse would alone satisfy her.

” cried Freddy. and in half a minute he had transformed Minnie from a well-mannered child into a howling wilderness. He was not a coward and bore necessary 108 .” Lucy fell. I told you not Saturn. go for her— get her over the shins with the racquet—get her over the shins!” Saturn was a tennis-ball whose skin was partially unsewn.” “Well. if they are coming— No. That’s right. because it made them nervous.” Mr. and all the time’s got the Beautiful White Devil in her hand.” “Saturn’s all right for bumble-puppy.” But his correction passed unheeded. Mr.” said Mrs.” “No. Minnie.A Room with a View “I shall hate those Miss Alans!” Mrs. “Well. not Saturn. Sir Harry will let them move in before the twenty-ninth.” “Saturn bounces enough. he doesn’t. Up in the house Cecil heard them.” “Hush. and said: “The name of this ball is Vittoria Corombona. When in motion his orb was encircled by a ring. “Minnie. joining them. “But look at Lucy—complaining of Saturn. don’t you listen to her. and. please.—That doesn’t count. Cecil was absent— one did not play bumble-puppy when he was there. Minnie. And poor Lucy —serve her right—worn to a shadow. “If they are coming. Freddy possessed to a high degree the power of lashing little girls to fury. he bounces better than the Beautiful White Devil. “Just because they’re old and silly one’s expected to say ‘How sweet!’ I hate their ‘if’-ing and ‘but’-ing and ‘and’-ing. though he was full of entertaining news. in case he got hurt. ready to plug it in. the Beautiful White Devil rolled from her hand. Beebe picked it up. Honeychurch. Beebe watched the shadow springing and shouting over the tennis-court. dear. and put in the fair wear and tear one. and he will cross out the clause about whitewashing the ceilings. he did not come down to impart it.” “Saturn doesn’t bounce. Honeychurch cried.

there isn’t going to be another muddle!” Mrs. But he hated the physical violence of the young. and they all fell most agreeably on to the grass. ‘ooray. “Do you notice. “I wish the Miss Alans could see this. “Wasn’t what name?” asked Lucy. The Miss Alans?” “Rather not. Emerson. Honeychurch exclaimed.” “Nonsense yourself! I’ve this minute seen him.” “What a weathercock Sir Harry is.” observed Mr. I do.” said Lucy quietly.EM Forster pain as well as any man. “Alan wasn’t the name of the people Sir Harry’s let to. Lucy.” “Oh.” Then she lay on her back and gazed at the cloudless sky. I’m always right. I’ve got it. “I wish I had never bothered over it at all. An interval elapses.” “What name?” “Emerson. Mr. I’m always right? I said don’t interfere with Cissie Villa.’ I said. whose opinion of her rose daily. old boy!’ and slapped him on the back. good gracious.” “That wasn’t the name—” “Exactly. Beebe. Honeychurch from the contemplation of 109 . How right it was! Sure enough it ended in a cry. with her brother’s head in her lap. just as Lucy. He said to me: ‘Ahem! Honeychurch.” tends have taken it instead. who was nursing the injured Minnie.’”—Freddy was an indifferent mimic—”’ahem! ahem! I have at last procured really dee-sire-rebel tenants. whispered to his niece that that was the proper way to behave if any little thing went wrong. “Who are the Miss Alans?” Freddy panted. Beebe.” “Nonsense. More like Anderson. I’ll bet you anything you like. “They have taken Cissie Villa. was in turn lifted off her feet by her brother. Freddy! You know nothing about it. Meanwhile the name of the new tenants had diverted Mrs.” “It’s only another muddle of Freddy’s.” “Yes. Freddy doesn’t even know the name of the people he pre- Here his foot slipped. I’m quite uneasy at being always right so often.

It’s a new bad habit you’re getting into. The further one descended the garden. “I was merely going to remark. and the undeniable fact that there are different kinds of Emersons annoyed him beyond measure.” said his mother placidly. don’t screech. Freddy? Do you know what Emersons they are?” “I don’t know whether they’re any Emersons. Mr. Ahem! Honeychurch. too. But there is a right sort and a wrong sort. that I trusted they were no relations of Emerson the philosopher. Like his sister and like most young people. dear. he was naturally attracted by the idea of equality. the more glorious was this lateral view. “Don’t be rude. does that satisfy you?” “Oh. Seated on a promontory herself. “Lucy. she could see the pine-clad promontories descending one beyond another into the Weald.” he repeated. Lucy”—she was sitting up again—”I see you looking down your nose and thinking your mother’s a snob.” “Cedil?” exclaimed Lucy.” retorted Freddy. “‘and so really dee-sire-rebel.’” She got up from the grass. Beebe sympathized with her very much. who was democratic. I have just telegraphed to them.” “But has Cecil—” “Friends of Cecil’s. Freddy.” Lucy remarked. While she believed that her snub about the Miss Alans came from Sir Harry Otway. so—elaborate irony—”you and the other country families will be able to call in perfect safety. a most trying man.” he grumbled.” “Emerson’s a common enough name. she had borne it like a good girl. and it’s affectation to pretend there isn’t. “I trust they are the right sort of person. She might well 110 . It was hard on Lucy. “Emerson. She was gazing sideways.A Room with a View her own abilities. Pray. yes. for they’re friends of Cecil. All right. “And you will be satisfied.

EM Forster “screech” when she heard that it came partly from her lover. knowing this. Poor could not recover herself. didn’t we?” He appealed to Lucy. Beebe saw it. and continued to divert the conversation. and people declared he had murdered his wife. Beebe would never have repeated such gossip. He diverted it as follows: “The Emersons who were at Florence. He repeated any rubbish that came into his head. if not a good young man. but he was trying to shelter Lucy in her little trouble. Vyse was a tease—something worse than a tease: he took a malicious pleasure in thwarting people. Our special joy was the father—such a sentimental darling. “But Cecil’s Emersons—they can’t possibly be the same ones—there is that—” he did not consider that the exclamation was strange. not seeing that his sister’s face was very red.’ it began. Honeychurch. It is probably a long cry from them to friends of Mr. The clergyman. They picked violets and filled all the vases in the room of these very Miss Alans who have failed to come to Cissie Villa. “These particular Emersons consisted of a father and a son—the son a goodly. It used to be one of Miss Catharine’s great stories. I don’t suppose it will prove to be them. She but saw in it an opportunity of diverting the conversation while she recovered her composure. “There was a great scene over some violets. I fancy. Oh. do you mean? No.” remarked Freddy.” In his normal state Mr. looked at Miss Honeychurch with more than his usual kindness. ‘My dear sister loves flowers. I always connect those Florentine Emersons with violets. 111 . Yes.” “Fiasco’s done you this time. Vyse’s.’ It is all very difficult. They found the whole room a mass of blue —vases and jugs—and the story ends with ‘So ungentlemanly and yet so beautiful. Mr. not a fool. little ladies! So shocked and so pleased. Mr. the oddest people! The queerest people! For our part we liked them. et cetera. but very immature—pessimism. Mrs. When she exclaimed.

Really. She hurried up the garden. George Meredith’s right—the cause of Comedy and the cause of Truth are really the same. “Cecil!” “Hullo!” he called. what was the name? She clasped her knees for the name. and leant out of the smokingroom window. friends of Cecil’s. That’s the second murderer I’ve heard of as being there. You always overdo it when you play. don’t go!” he cried. she must not tell lies. I heard you all bear-gardening. “Oh. A word from of opposition she warmed. even I. “I was hoping you’d come. “Don’t be silly.” As she left them her mother’s shout of “Harris!” Cecil would soothe her. What was the name? Oh. Whatever was Charlotte doing to stop? By-the-by. Such a senseless lie. still flushed with shame. the Pension Bertolini must have been the oddest place. we really must ask Charlotte here some time. Don’t be angry! Don’t be angry! You’ll forgive me when you hear it all. have found tenants for the distressful Cissie Villa. “I must go.” she said gravely. have won a great victory for the Comic Muse. at all events.” Mr. even I. but there’s better fun up here. with a pair of nondescript tourists. don’t desert us—go on playing bumblepuppy. she was sure. “Lucy. At the hint shivered the tranquil air. too. yet it shattered her nerves and made her connect these Emersons. She struck her matronly forehead. Honeychurch. and be—absolutely truthful? Well.” He looked very attractive when his face was bright. She saw that for the future she must be more vigilant. I. Something in Thackeray. She was perfectly sure that there had been a second tourist of whom the same story had been told. He suggested that his hostess was mistaken. The name escaped her.A Room with a View “Murdered his wife?” said Mrs. Lucy asked her brother whether Cecil was in. and I. He seemed in high spirits. Hitherto truth had come to her naturally. and reminded her that she had told a lie and had never put it right. 112 . and tried to catch her by the ankles. Beebe could recall no second murderer.

Cecil—” proceeded hilariously. and they refreshed me not—a little. I’ve probably met them before—” He bore her down. No. “But. you don’t!” Her face was inartistic—that of a peevish virago. and before long you’ll agree with me. found they weren’t actual blackguards—it was great sport—and wrote to him.” But she remained the son to run down for week-ends. Sir Harry is too disgusting with his ‘decayed gentlewomen. and I’d rather have nice friends of yours. “I have heard. There ought to be intermarriage—all sorts of things. Just think of all the trouble I took for nothing! Certainly the Miss Alans are a little tiresome. Naughty Cecil! I suppose I must forgive you. That old man will do the neighbourhood a world of good. you don’t.” “But. Lucy. Anything is fair that punishes a standing where she was. Lucy.” “Friends of mine?” he laughed.” “In the Umbrian Room. quite stupidly. “In the course of conversation they said that they wanted a country cottage—the father to live there.” she snapped. They had been to Italy. when I was up to see my mother last week. the classes ought to mix. “I don’t quite understand. 113 .” He stared at her. “You don’t know what the word means.EM Forster and he dispelled her ridiculous forebodings at once. we got talking. the whole joke is to come! Come here. They were admiring Luca Signorelli—of course. I believe in democracy—” “No.” “What an odd place to meet people!” she said nervously. and felt again that she had failed to be Leonardesque. “Do you know where I met these desirable tenants? In the National Gallery. However. ‘What a chance of scoring off Sir Harry!’ and I took their address and a London reference.” she said. making out—” “Cecil! No. “Perfectly fair. “Freddy has told us.’ I meant to read him a lesson some time. it’s not fair. snob. I thought. “No. But you oughtn’t to tease one so. Absolute strangers.

Honeychurch that Freddy must call on them as soon as they arrived. whom they held responsible for the failure. she had not minded. to droop his head. he would bring them to Windy Corner. and to die. Chapter XI: In Mrs. He would tolerate the father and draw out the son. never a very robust criminal. In the interests of the Comic Muse and of Truth. The Miss Alans were duly offended. but do you realize that it is all at my expense? I consider it most disloyal of you. who was silent. it was worse than temper—snobbishness.” She left him. met Mr.A Room with a View “It isn’t fair. No. and make me look ridiculous. Harris. Sir Harry Otway signed the agreement. and told Mrs. Lucy—to descend from bright heaven to earth. I blame you—I blame you very much indeed. and wrote a dignified letter to Lucy. Indeed. Vyse’s Well-Appointed Flat THE COMIC MUSE. “Temper!” he thought. You had no business to undo my work about the Miss Alans. and she carried through the negotiations without a hitch. Cecil. but settled 114 . did not disdain the assistance of Mr. Vyse. whereon there are shadows because there are hills— Lucy was at first plunged into despair. Beebe planned pleasant moments for the new-comers. raising his eyebrows. who was duly disillusioned. You call it scoring off Sir Harry. Emerson. He perceived that these new tenants might be of value educationally. though able to look after her own interests. so ample was the Muse’s equipment that she permitted Mr. His idea of bringing the Emersons to Windy Corner struck her as decidedly good. Mr. As long as Lucy thought that his own smart friends were supplanting the Miss Alans. to be forgotten.

I do! I don’t know what I should do without you. The coolness dated from what Charlotte would call “the flight to Rome. little thing?” he murmured. 115 . Finally nothing happened. too.” she whispered the evening she arrived.” have tried a sweeter temper than Lucy’s. Therefore Cecil was welcome to bring the Emersons into the neighbourhood. And Cecil was welcome to bring whom he would into the neighbourhood. and. Then she had a letter from Miss Bartlett. so there was no impropriety in the plan and Miss Bartlett had replied that she was quite used to being abandoned suddenly. they had doubted whether they could continue their tour. and—so illogical are girls—the event remained rather greater and rather more dreadful than it Several days passed. this took a little thinking. Cecil. and looked up to him because he was a man. Vyse now fell due.” and in Rome it had increased amazingly. as I say. She was glad that a visit to Mrs. in the Baths of Caracalla. “So you do love me. but the coolness remained. It had been forwarded from Windy Corner. A coolness had sprung up between the two cousins. was even increased when she opened the letter and read as follows. Lucy had said she would join the Vyses—Mrs. He saw that the needful fire had been kindled in Lucy. unselfish in the Forum. and crept into his arms. as a woman should. and they had not corresponded since they parted in August. For the companion who is merely uncongenial in the mediaeval world becomes exasperating in the classical. Charlotte. I do. the tenants moved into Cissie Villa while she was safe in the London flat. “Cecil—Cecil darling. the Emersons would scarcely insult her and were welcome into the neighbourhood. At last she longed for attention. Now that she was engaged.EM Forster after a little thought that it did not matter the very least. became demonstrative. and once. “Oh. But. would should have done. Vyse was an acquaintance of her mother. Cecil. for Lucy.

because you said she would blame you for not being always with me. and replied as follows: 116 . Mr. who will forbid him to enter the house. and it being mended while she sat very woebegone in that pretty churchyard. etc. September. and I advise you to make a clean breast of his past behaviour to your mother.W. “Many thanks for your warning. and I dare say you have told them already. she saw “Beauchamp Mansions. He said his father had just taken the house. I remember how I used to get on his nerves at Rome. He SAID he did not know that you lived in the neighbourhood (?). She should have tried at the Rectory. I have said both to her and Cecil that I met the Emersons at Florence. and that they are respectable people—which I do think—and the reason that he offered Miss Lavish no tea was probably that he had none himself. you made me promise not to tell mother. Emerson forgot himself on the mountain. “Believe me. I am much worried. Vyse is so sensitive. He never suggested giving Eleanor a cup of tea. That was a great misfortune. and cannot possibly tell her now. S. Freddy. a door open opposite and the younger Emerson man come out. I am very sorry about it all. Charlotte. Dear Lucy. “Your anxious and loving cousin. and Mr.A Room with a View “Tunbridge Wells. Vyse. but was not sure whether a call would be welcome. I have kept that promise.” “Dearest Lucia. When Mr. to her astonishment. unless I warned you. and should not feel easy “Dear Charlotte. “I have news of you at last! Miss Lavish has been bicycling in your parts. Puncturing her tire near Summer Street. I Lucy was much annoyed.

I like the old father. As for the son. to learn the framework of society. and look forward to seeing him again. it was only that a few weeks ago. but the talk had a witty weariness that impressed the girl. I am sorry for him when we meet. It had become a great thing now. Left to herself. Were Lucy and her cousin closeted with a great thing which would destroy Cecil’s life if 117 . for I am not at Windy Corner at all. while society itself was absent on the golf-links or the moors.EM Forster cannot begin making a fuss at this stage. rather than for myself. But her body “Miss Lavish cannot have told you much about me. they would think themselves of importance. who is very well and spoke of you the other day. Perhaps she was right. “L. but here. M. She tried to tell Cecil even now when they were laughing about some beautiful lady who had smitten his heart at school. Cecil thought. Lucy would have told her mother and her lover ingenuously. One was tired of everything. The food was poor. One “Yours affectionately. We expect to be married in January. She and her secret stayed ten days longer in the deserted Metropolis visiting the scenes they were to know so well later on. or with a little thing which he would laugh at? Miss Bartlett suggested the former. In spite of the season. not Harris”. behaved so ridiculously that she stopped. which is exactly what they are not. If the Emersons heard I had complained of them. You must see that it would be too absurd. he discovered it. “Emerson. Vyse managed to scrape together a dinner-party consisting entirely of the grandchildren of famous people. and it did her no harm. it seemed. They are known to Cecil. Mrs. No one opens my letters. The weather was cool. Honeychurch. Please do not put ‘Private’ outside your envelope again. and it would have remained a little thing.” Secrecy has this disadvantage: we lose the sense of proportion. we cannot tell whether our secret is important or not. It did her no harm.

The too vast orb of her fate had crushed her. and made the nerves of the audience throb. discussing her little party with her son. She is not always quoting servants. and pick oneself up amid sympathetic laughter. a filial crowd. Beebe had passed to himself when she returned. and behaved as if he was not one sic had died. It broke. Mrs.” she murmured. and she had seen too many seasons. and Lucy saw that her London career would estrange her a little from all that she had loved in the past. for it needs a strong head to live among many people. The grandchildren asked her to play the piano. most excellent Honeychurches. She shook her head and played Schumann again. and even with Cecil she was mechanical. When the guests were gone. In this atmosphere the Pension Bertolini and Windy Corner appeared equally crude. but should never be Art—throbbed in its disjected phrases.” “Perhaps.A Room with a View launched into enthusiasms only to collapse gracefully. had been swamped by London. too many men. when the querulous beauty of the mu- bed. for her abilities. unprofitably magical. like many another’s. “Make Lucy one of us. it was resumed broken. Vyse was a nice woman. but she is purging off the Honeychurch taint. but her personality.” “Her music always was wonderful. Not thus had she played on the little draped piano at the Bertolini. “Lucy is becoming wonderful—wonderful. The sadness of the incomplete—the sadness that is often Life.” “Yes. thinking of the museum 118 . looking round intelligently at the end of each sentence. so to speak. Vyse paced up and down the drawingroom. Mrs. and straining her lips apart until she spoke again. but you know what I mean. “Now some Beethoven” called Cecil. and Lucy had gone to son. or asking one how the pudding is made. and “Too much Schumann” was not the remark that Mr. not marching once from the cradle to the grave.” “Italy has done it. but. She played Schumann. The melody rose.” she said. too many cities.

Dream of that. Vyse—it is these dreams. mother. Schumann was the thing. Lucy could ring for the maid if she liked but Mrs. Cecil. She is one of us already.” “Bad dreams?” “Just dreams. remembering that he had had one himself.” The elder lady smiled and kissed her. not for women. snored. Schumann was right for this evening.” “But her music!” he exclaimed. whom the cry had not awoke. like an idiot. He admires you more than ever. and processed to bed. I shall have our children educated just like Lucy. Vyse thought it kind to go herself.” Lucy returned the kiss. Bring them up among honest country folks for “I am so sorry.” “Make her one of us. Vyse. send them to Italy for subtlety. Darkness enveloped the flat. still covering one cheek with her hand. “At all events. Do you know. freshness. “It is just possible. Mrs. saying very distinctly: “You should have heard us talking about you. mind you marry her next January. 119 .” repeated Mrs. Cecil. I wanted Beethoven. As she was dozing off. dear. a cry—the cry of nightmare—rang from Lucy’s room. and concluded. Mrs. and then— not till then—let them come to London. She found the girl sitting upright with her hand on her cheek. “The style of her! How she kept to Schumann when. I don’t believe in these London educations—” He broke off.EM Forster that represented Italy to her. Vyse recessed to bed.

A Room with a View Chapter XII: Twelfth Chapter IT WAS A SATURDAY AFTERNOON. Gibbon. “Hullo!” he cried. shouting in at the open door. and so on. leant over his Rectory gate. whom his fellow-creatures never amused.” “Mr. 120 . Honeychurch. Nietzsche. The Way of All Flesh. Hullo! dear George reads German. I suppose your generation knows its own business. Um—um—Schopenhauer.” said Mr. Beebe. Beebe. Mr. Beebe edged round it with difficulty. Freddy leant by him. and the spirit of youth dwelt in it.” “They might amuse you. and their stench was soon dispersed by the wind and replaced by the scent of the wet birches or of the pines. at leisure for life’s amenities. he sauntered over the triangular green to Cissie Villa. gay and brilliant after abundant rains. suggested that the new people might be feeling a bit busy. A grave voice replied. Exactly.” said Freddy in awestruck tones. Beebe. Never heard of it. smoking a pendant pipe. Never heard of it.” “M’m.” Freddy. “Suppose we go and hinder those new people opposite for a little.” “I’ll be down in a minute. “Hullo!” “I’ve brought some one to see you. which the removal men had failed to carry up the stairs. though the season was now autumn. Well. and so we go on. “Are they that sort?” “I fancy they know how to read—a rare accomplishment.” The passage was blocked by a wardrobe. through which much squalor was visible. What have they got? Byron.” Unlatching the gate. since they had only just moved in. “Are these people great readers?” Freddy whispered. All that was gracious triumphed. A Shropshire Lad. “They are worth it. The sitting-room itself was blocked with books. As the motorcars passed through Summer Street they raised only a little dust. “I suggested we should hinder them. look at that. Mr.

” George ran down-stairs and pushed them into the room without speaking. Cecil is teaching Lucy Italian. I’m certain that’s the old man’s doing.” “What on earth are those people doing upstairs? Emerson—we think we’ll come another time. At all events he greeted him with. There are all kinds of things in it that we have never noticed. the hand of an amateur had painted this inscription: “Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes. a neighbour.” “I know.” “Only medical books. or perhaps he thought that George’s face wanted washing. 121 . mother thinks. Mr. “Lucy used to be nearly as stupid as I am. “Giotto—they got that at Florence.EM Forster On the cornice of the wardrobe. but it’ll be very different now. did Miss Honeychurch enjoy London?” “She came back yesterday. Mr.” “So will you. “How d’ye do? Come and have a bathe. Beebe. I’ll be bound.” “I wish I wasn’t such a fool.” “Oh.” said Freddy. Isn’t it jolly? I like that. all right.” “How very odd of him!” “Surely you agree?” But Freddy was his mother’s son and felt that one ought not to go on spoiling the furniture.” “The same as Lucy’s got. Perhaps he was shy. taking up a book. Honeychurch. by-the-by. She will read all kinds of books.” “That’s good hearing. scrambling about the room.” Then Freddy hurled one of the thunderbolts of youth. “She and Cecil are thicker than ever. Beebe was highly entertained. very.” “Oh. Mr. “Let me introduce Mr. Cecil says—” “Pictures!” the clergyman continued. impassive.” “I suppose she had a good time?” “Yes. Not books that you can talk about afterwards.” said George. and he says her playing is wonderful. Beebe ignored the remark. perhaps he was friendly.

He met us by chance in the National Gallery.” pursued Mr. After many conquests we shall attain simplicity. Emerson. Though I hope I have not vexed Sir Harry Otway.” Mr. and arranged everything about this delightful house.” afternoon. Can you picture a lady who has been introduced to another lady by a third lady opening civilities with ‘How do you do? Come and have a bathe’? And yet you will tell me that the sexes are equal. and that you are taking George for a bathe. He has been most kind. and I was anxious to compare his attitude towards the game laws with the Conser122 .” “How do you do? Very glad to see you. I have met so few Liberal landowners. Vyse.” “We are to raise ladies to our level?” the clergyman inquired. We shall enter it when we no longer despise our bodies.” “I say. and George thinks the same. who had been slowly descending the stairs. “The Garden of Eden. “Good until we are comrades shall we enter the garden. But not “Let me introduce Mr. “which you place in the past. “That’s the best conversational opening I’ve ever heard. Marriage is a duty. But how can we return to Nature when we have never been with her? To-day. too. I believe that we must discover Nature. It is our heritage. But I’m afraid it will only act between men.” “I tell you that they shall be. We despise the body less than women do. Emerson. what about this bathe?” murmured Freddy. “I believed in a return to Nature once. Honeychurch. I am sure that she will be happy.’” he chuckled. Very glad to hear that your sister is going to marry.” said Mr. still descending. appalled at the mass of philosophy that was approaching him. for we know Mr. “In this—not in other things—we men are ahead. whose sister you will remember at Florence.A Room with a View “‘How d’ye do? how d’ye do? Come and have a bathe. is really yet to come. I tell you they shall be comrades. Mr. Beebe. Beebe disclaimed placing the Garden of Eden anywhere.

my lad? Who taught us that drawing-room twaddle? Call on your grandmother! Listen to the wind among the pines! Yours is a glorious country. Emerson. “Do you really want this bathe?” Freddy asked him. but who could not bear silence. 123 .” Mr. And what a coincidence that you should meet Mr.” George bowed his head. go and bathe.EM Forster vative attitude. I shall call. I can’t believe he’s well. my mother says. George has been working very hard at his office. It does not count that they are going to bathe this afternoon. he will call. “Mr. cakes. since the expedition looked like a failure. I trust that you have realized about the ten days’ interval. Yours is a glorious country. It does not count that I helped you with the stair-eyes yesterday. dusty and sombre. It ceased. Beebe. Emerson pursued them dispensing good wishes and philosophy. assenting or dissenting with slight but determined gestures that were as inexplicable as the motions of the tree-tops above their heads. this wind! You do well to bathe. exhal- ing the peculiar smell of one who has handled furniture. Ah. “It is only a pond. I hope. who could be silent. George attended gravely. Mr. He spoke of Florence. How glorious it was! For a little time the voice of old Mr. you or your son will return our calls before ten days have elapsed. don’t you know. Bring back some milk. and led the way out of the house and into the pinewoods. Beebe felt bound to assist his young friend.” “Yes. and they only heard the fair wind blowing the bracken and the trees. honey. I dare say you are used to something better. Why do you dawdle talking? Bring them back to tea.” “Call. and neither of his companions would utter a word. “I must—that is to say. The change will do you good. was compelled to chatter. George.” Mr. Honeychurch!” “Not a bit!” mumbled Freddy.” “Yes—I have said ‘Yes’ already. Beebe came to the rescue. I have to—have the pleasure of calling on you later on.

Wishing to round off the episode. 124 . It is Fate. ten to one. Beebe slid away from such heavy treatment of the subject. good!” exclaimed Mr. and had no desire to snub George.” “And where did you meet Mr. There you are.” rapped the clergyman. as a matter of fact. who is going to marry Miss Honeychurch?” “National Gallery. George began to talk. mopping his brow. Where did you first meet Miss Honeychurch and myself?” you can call it Italy if it makes you less unhappy. “And so for this and for other reasons my “‘History of Coincidence’ is still to write. “It is. I always meant to write a ‘History of Coincidence. Beebe. coincidences are much rarer than we suppose. But he was infinitely tolerant of the young.’ for you did it.” Silence. We are flung together by Fate. “Here we are!” called Freddy.” “It is Fate that I am here. Everything is Fate.’” No enthusiasm. drawn apart by Fate— flung together.” persisted George. This narrows the field immeasurably we meet again in it.A Room with a View Vyse! Did you realize that you would find all the Pension Bertolini down here?” “I did not. and yet you talk of coincidence and Fate.” Silence. he added. “Oh. drawn apart. Now I’ll cross-question you. “Though. Miss Lavish told me. Emerson: attribute nothing to Fate. Vyse.” “Looking at Italian art. ‘I didn’t do this. “We are all so glad that you have come. I have reflected. For example. it isn’t purely coincidentally that you are here now.” To his relief. The twelve winds blow us—we settle nothing—” “You have not reflected at all. Don’t say. “Let me give you a useful tip. and so do we and our friends. You naturally seek out things Italian. “But comes to reflect.” Mr. when one “Italy.” “When I was a young man.

reappearing 125 . “These abrupt changes of vegetation—this little spongeous tract of water plants. “Water’s wonderful!” cried Freddy. hurts. water’s simply ripping. and he fell into the pool before he had weighed the question properly. What’s the name of this aromatic plant?” No one knew. prancing in. “No apologies are necessary for the pond.” said George. apooshoo. I wish it was bigger. bracken.” went Freddy. and watched the seeds of the willow-herb dance chorically above their heads. water’s wonderful. the waters had flooded the surrounding grass. but large enough to contain the human body. “Apooshoo. Beebe thought he was not. “Hee-poof—I’ve swallowed a pollywog. On account of the rains. Very charming. Beebe. Mr. as indifferent as if he were a statue and the pond a pail of soapsuds. “Aren’t those masses of willow-herb splendid? I love willow-herb in seed. “Is it worth it?” asked the other.” murmured George. set in its little alp of green—only a pond. and then becoming involved in reeds or mud.” George sat down where the ground was dry. Mr. tempting these feet towards the central pool. Beebe. They climbed down a slippery bank of pine-needles.” “Water’s not so bad. swimming for two strokes in either direction. Mr. Michelangelesque on the flooded margin.” said Mr. or seemed to care. very charming. Beebe.EM Forster “In there’s the pond. apooshoo. pines. “Mr. There lay the pond. Beebe watched them. The bank broke away. “It’s distinctly successful. It was necessary to keep clean. Wetting his hair first—a sure sign of apathy—he followed Freddy into the divine.” he added apologetically. which showed like a beautiful emerald path. “Water’s water. and drearily unlaced his boots. aren’t you bathing?” called Freddy. as he stripped himself. as ponds go. It was necessary to use his muscles. and on either side of it all the growths are tough or brittle—heather. and pure enough to reflect the sky.

Mr. evergreens. muddied them.” “Apooshoo. kouf. He smiled. they played at being Indians in the willow-herbs and in the bracken. rising up steeply on all sides. sky. and. and drove them out of the pool. And all the time three little bundles lay discreetly on the sward. ducked them. He was quiet: they feared they had offended him. Wa- most glorious heat. looked around him. But either because the rains had given a freshness or because the sun was shedding a kicked them. flung himself at them. Beebe. They began to play. They ran to get dry. or because two of the gentlemen were young in years and the third young in spirit— for some reason or other a change came over them. after the fashion of the nymphs in Gotterdammerung.” Mr. and soon his garments made a third little pile on the sward. We are what matters. and George took a short cut and dirtied his shins. they splashed George. Then all the forces of youth burst out. Beebe and Freddy splashed each other. nor was there very much of it. The three gentlemen rotated in the pool breast high. It was ordinary water. A little deferentially. Beebe. Mr. splashed them. they bathed to get clean. “Water’s wonderful. Then Mr.A Room with a View from his plunge. as Freddy said. and had to bathe a second time. “Race you round it. they bathed to get cool. and he too asserted the wonder of the water. do. He could detect no parishioners except the pine-trees. Without us shall no enterprise begin. and who always acquiesced where possible. proclaiming: “No. To us shall all flesh turn in the end. then. and sputtering at the sun. who was hot. and surely they lie beyond the intrusion of man? “I may as well wash too”. and they raced in the sunshine.” 126 . a wind—these things not even the seasons can touch. How glorious it was! The world of motor-cars and rural Deans receded inimitably. ter. and they forgot Italy and Botany and Fate.” cried Freddy. Beebe consented to run—a memorable sight. and gesturing to each other against the blue. it reminded one of swimming in a salad.

Freddy dropped the waistcoat at their feet. Then his voice changed as if every pine-tree was a Rural Dean. though knew not whither. “That’ll do!” shouted Mr. turned and scudded away down the path to the pond. Beebe’s waistcoat—” 127 . “Oh. Beebe. and dashed into some bracken. and Lucy. Beebe’s last warning or they would have avoided Mrs. Honeychurch. Beebe. too! Whatever has happened?” “Come this way immediately. poor Mr. Beebe’s hat. I say!” But the two young men were delirious. Honeychurch. Beebe! Was that his waistcoat we left in the path? Cecil. and protect them. Beebe. that’s enough. No. Butterworth. “Gracious alive!” cried Mrs. Freddy with a clerical waistcoat under his arm. He led them now towards the bracken where Freddy sat concealed. still clad in Mr. Clothes flew in all directions.EM Forster “A try! A try!” yelled Freddy. Mr. “Hi! hi! Ladies!” Neither George nor Freddy was truly refined. “Socker rules. though he knew not against what. snatching up George’s bundle and placing it beside an imaginary goal-post. they did not hear Mr. Freddy. “Whoever were those unfortunate people? Oh.” commanded Cecil. who were walking down to call on old Mrs. and widening circles over the dappled earth. scattering Freddy’s bundle with a kick. Still. Cecil. who always felt that he must lead women. remembering that after all he was in his own parish. dears. Dress now. “Take care my hat! No. “Goal!” “Goal!” “Pass!” “Take care my watch!” cried Mr. look away! And poor Mr. George whooped in their faces.” George retorted. “Hi! Steady on! I see people coming you fellows!” Yells. Away they twinkled into the trees. George with a wide-awake hat on his dripping hair.

” They followed him up the bank attempting the tense yet nonchalant expression that is suitable for ladies on such occasions. glancing at Lucy.” said Lucy. dears. while George. dear. Mrs. and if another fellow—” “Dear. said Cecil. Beebe was just crawling out of the pond.” “I fancy Mr. “Well. can I?” “Good gracious me. who found it impossible to remain shocked. Come. better bow. and a fellow’s got to dry. Lucy. Beebe jumped back into the pond. Whoever is it? I shall bow. do come away.” said Mrs. so that again the ladies stopped. look—don’t look! Oh. Lucy. this way.” 128 . the world-weary George. All these colds come of not drying thoroughly. with hot and cold laid on?” “Look here. “And do be sure shoulders out of the fronds. who was all parasol and evidently “minded. barechested. shouted to Freddy that he had hooked a fish. no doubt you’re right as usual. Miss Honeychurch! Hullo!” “Bow. I shall die—Emerson you beast. “Oh for goodness’ sake. mother. a fellow must wash. Honeychurch. It wriggleth in my tummy. radiant and personable against the shadowy woods. you’ve got on my bags. I’ve swallowed one.” “Hush. “I’ve swallowed a pollywog.” They turned. Honeychurch. do come.” “This way. poor Mr. Barefoot. I can’t help it.” “Mother.A Room with a View No business of ours. “Oh. please.” “Hullo!” cried George. and Freddy reared a freckled face and a pair of snowy On whose surface garments of an intimate nature did float. you dry yourselves thoroughly first.” answered he of the bracken. “I can’t be trodden on. “And me.” said a voice close ahead. so it’s you! What miserable management! Why not have a comfortable bath at home. He regarded himself as dressed. he called: “Hullo. but you are in no position to argue. Beebe! How unfortunate again—” For Mr.

a face in the audience. and with certain accessories. Indoors herself. partaking of tea with old Mrs. A fault in the scenery. Chapter XIII: How Miss Bartlett’s Boiler Was So Tiresome HOW OFTEN had Lucy rehearsed this bow.EM Forster Miss Honeychurch bowed. this interview! But she had always rehearsed them indoors. which surely we have a right to assume. Butterworth. On the morrow the pool had shrunk to its old size and lost its glory. But she had never imagined one who would be happy and greet her with the shout of the morning star. That evening and all that night the water ran away. Emerson. and all our carefully planned gestures 129 . It had been a call to the blood and to the relaxed will. a passing benediction whose influence did not pass. amidst an army of coats and collars and boots that lay wounded over the sunlit earth? She had imagined a young Mr. a momentary chalice for youth. a spell. an irruption of the audience on to the stage. she reflected that it is impossible to foretell the future with any degree of accuracy. that it is impossible to rehearse life. a holiness. Who could foretell that she and George would meet in the rout of a civilization. who might be shy or morbid or indifferent or furtively impudent. She was prepared for all of these.

to the nonsense of school-girls! She had bowed across the rubbish that cumbers the world.” she had thought. Butterworth is rather tiresome.A Room with a View mean nothing. Lucy. Butterworth had wanted to see him. and surely it is wiser to discover the imperfections before wedlock. while her faculties were busy with Cecil. You were devoted to her as a little girl. if you mean that. may I?” “Surely he could answer her civilly for one halfhour?” “Cecil has a very high standard for people. O. So ran her thoughts. regarded the pins with gathering displeasure—”because otherwise I cannot account for him. It was another of those dreadful engagement calls. why they change their colour at the seaside. No—it is just the same thing everywhere. He did not want to hear about hydrangeas. When cross he was always elaborate.” “Let me just put your bonnet away. Miss Bartlett. and applied it to her lover. Cecil’s all right. indeed.” “Perhaps he’s tired. Honeychurch had behaved with charity and restraint. mother. “I will not shake hands with him. though not in word. to heroes. S. teaching as profound. No one is perfect. though she disliked the teacher. Lucy soothed him and tinkered at the conversation in a way that promised well for their married peace.” said her mother. Mrs.” fal130 . “is anything the matter with Cecil?” The question was ominous. when they got home. “No. “Lucy.” She had bowed—but to whom? To gods. That will be just the proper thing. or mean too much. up till now Mrs. He did not want to join the C.” Lucy compromised: perhaps Cecil was a little tired. “I will bow. “Because otherwise”—she pulled out her bonnet- and he did not want to be seen. and nothing will describe her goodness to you through the typhoid fever.” “Cecil has told you to think so. clever answers where “Yes” or “No” would have done. had taught the girl that this our life contains nothing satisfactory. I don’t think so. and made long.” “I do think Mrs.

No doubt I am neither artistic nor literary nor intellectual nor musical. I had a letter from Charlotte while I was away in London. the sooner he gets rid of them the better. garments of diverse cut. “It’s part of his ideals—it is really that that makes him sometimes seem—” “Oh. and the case for Cecil. will Cecil kindly remember. But he does not mean to be uncivil—he once explained—it is the things that upset him—he is easily upset by ugly things—he is not uncivil to people. and mu131 . The two civilizations had clashed—Cecil hinted that they might—and she was dazzled and bewildered. But not in that way.” faltered Lucy. it is useless to contradict me. It is the same with Cecil all over.” said Mrs. Honeychurch.” This attempt to divert the conversation was too puerile. which she had mastered so perfectly in London. seeing trouble ahead.EM Forster tered Lucy. would not come forth in an effective form. and certainly Cecil oughtn’t to. handing her the bonnet. Something had enfeebled her. your father bought it and we must put up with it.” “I—I see what you mean. Lucy. and Mrs. nothing appears to please him. mother! I’ve seen you cross with Mrs.” “Is it a thing or a person when Freddy sings?” “You can’t expect a really musical person to enjoy comic songs as we do. Honeychurch resented it. as though the radiance that lies behind all civilization had blinded her eyes. At times I could wring her neck.— I see him. No. “Since Cecil came back from London. Butterworth yourself!” “Not in that way. Good taste and bad taste were only catchwords.” “Then why didn’t he leave the room? Why sit wriggling and sneering and spoiling everyone’s pleasure?” “We mustn’t be unjust to people. rubbish! If high ideals make a young man rude.” “By-the-by—I never told you. but I cannot help the drawing-room furniture. “Now. Whenever I speak he winces.

and I’ve ordered new balls. I wouldn’t do that with all this muddle. It was all right for you but most awkward for every one else. the pine-trees hung close to her eyes. those are topping people. dear. It faced north. and every now and then she said a word. what shall I do. and he had succeeded. There was no concealing the fact. Do be more careful. Now. “Oh. but loitered disconsolately at the landing window. No definite problem menaced her. her mother was rather inquisitive. so there was little view. “Go and dress. should she do?—and then Freddy came bounding up-stairs. She must be more careful.A Room with a View sic itself dissolved to a whisper through pine-trees. She remained in much embarrassment. where the song is not distinguishable from the comic song.” “My dear baby.” “Then I want to ask the Emersons up to Sunday tennis.” 132 .” “I meant it’s better not. Oh.” She obeyed. and might have asked what it was about.” “I say. Cecil had meant to be supercilious. as in the winter. and made things no better. while Mrs.” “What’s wrong with the court? They won’t mind a bump or two. And it’s much too public. And Lucy—she knew not why—wished that the trouble she ought not to have mentioned Miss Bartlett’s letter. is anything on to-morrow week?” “Not that I know of. Go. you’ll be late. but she sighed to herself. mother—” “Don’t say ‘All right’ and stop. “I say. I wouldn’t do that. dear. and no view of the sky. and joined the ranks of the illbehaved.” “Oh. One connected the landing window with depression. dear. what shall I do?” It seemed to her that every one else was behaving very badly. how tiresome you’ve been! You have no business to take them bathing in the Sacred could have come at any other time. You forget the place is growing half suburban. Honeychurch changed her frock for dinner.” “All right. Freddy. I really mean it.

Then Freddy said: “Lucy.” said Lucy. Honeychurch might have flamed out. “You’ve a bad habit of hurrying away in the middle of one’s sentences. She did not.” And. Cecil despised their methods—perhaps rightly. Cecil glanced at them as he proceeded to his toilet and they impeded Mary with her brood of hotwater cans. Did you say you had had a letter from Charlotte?” and Freddy ran away. “I shall have enough of my own. Did Charlotte mention her boiler?” “Her what?” “Don’t you remember that her boiler was to be had out in October. though nothing is perfect. one member or other of the family poured in a drop of oil. Then Mrs. hoping that 133 . It generally did at Windy Corner. and they drew up their heavy chairs and fell to. Dinner was at half-past seven. and all kinds of terrible to-doings?” “I can’t remember all Charlotte’s worries. At the last minute.” said Lucy bitterly. Lucy felt for the moment that her mother and Windy Corner and the Weald in the declining sun were perfect. I really can’t stop. what’s Emerson like?” “I saw him in Florence. but she could have screamed with temper. they were not his own.EM Forster He seized her by the elbows and humorously danced her up and down the passage. Freddy gabbled the grace. At a11 events. now that you are not pleased with Cecil. Honeychurch opened her door and said: “Lucy. what a noise you’re making! I have something to say to you. So the grittiness went out of life. when the social machine was clogged hopelessly. She said: “Come here. She pretended not to mind. “Yes.” “How’s Charlotte?” “All right.” Mrs.” “Lucy!” The unfortunate girl returned. Nothing untoward occurred until the pudding. I must dress too. Fortunately. old lady—thank you for putting away my bonnet—kiss me. the men were hungry. and her bath cistern cleaned out.

Freddy looked at him doubtfully. Honeychurch. and she de-veloped it at great length. “Among other things. or is he a decent chap?” “Ask Cecil. never. Mr. Charlotte knew them even less than I did. that an awful friend of hers had been bicycling through Summer Street.” females. Miss Bartlett’s letter. it is Cecil who brought him here. The remark was a happy one. “How well did you know them at the Bertolini?” asked Mrs. Beebe’s memories of violets— and one or other of these was bound to haunt her before Cecil’s very eyes. “I have been thinking.” said Lucy. and the ghosts began to gather in the darkness.” “She was a novelist.” “One thing and another. now. But soon the conflagration died “Oh. let them be written by men”. “Is he the clever sort. She would abandon every topic to inveigh against those women who (instead of minding their houses and their children) seek notoriety by print. and Lucy artfully fed the flames of her mother’s wrath.” “Lucy. of that letter of Charlotte’s. Her attitude was: “If books must be written. and with appalling vividness. and mercifully didn’t. very slightly. But it had begotten a spectral family—Mr. Harris.” with his plumstones.” said Cecil. The original ghost—that touch of lips on her cheek—had surely been laid long ago.A Room with a View this would pass for a reply. “Oh. I mean. while Cecil yawned and Freddy played at “This year. Honeychurch so much as literature in the hands of down. it could be nothing to her that a man had kissed her on a mountain once. wondered if she’d come up and see us. It was Miss Bartlett who returned now. wondering whether she would get through the meal without a lie. next year. Lucy.” “He is the clever sort. like myself. How is she?” 134 . for nothing roused Mrs. I do call the way you talk unkind. There were too many ghosts about.” said Lucy craftily. that reminds me—you never told me what Charlotte said in her letter.

” “No. can’t have Charlotte on the top of the other things. and you’ve promised to take in Minnie Beebe because of the diphtheria scare. I know myself how water preys upon one’s mind.” “I won’t have her.” “Minnie can sleep with you. “Mother. “surely we could squeeze Charlotte in here next week. I don’t. you don’t like Charlotte. Freddy’s got a friend coming Tuesday. “It’s impossible.” she added rather nervously. “I don’t want to make difficulties. Floyd must share a room with Freddy.” “So would I. She gets on our nerves. no!” she pleaded.” asserted Freddy.” Cecil laid his hand over his eyes. backing his mother up—backing up the spirit of her remark rather than the substance. “And I have been thinking.” “Didn’t she say how she was? How does she sound? Cheerful?” “Oh. but it really isn’t fair on the maids to fill up the house so. You haven’t seen her lately. So 135 . And no more does Cecil.” “If Minnie sleeps in the bath. if you’re so selfish.” “Nonsense! It can. I suppose. I would rather anything else—even a misfortune with the meat.EM Forster “I tore the thing up. Miss Bartlett. and give her a nice holiday while plumbers at Tunbridge Wells finish. there’s Cecil. we’re squeezed to death as it is. And she could not protest violently after her mother’s goodness to her upstairs. depend upon it. We “Then.” “Then. it IS the boiler. and don’t realize how tiresome she can be. though so good. Mr.” Alas! “The truth is.” repeated Lucy. again laying his hand over his eyes.” moaned Cecil.” It was more than her nerves could stand. It simply can’t be done. I have not seen poor Charlotte for so long.” “Miss Bartlett. Not otherwise. dear. yes I suppose so—no—not very cheerful. “It’s impossible. Miss Bartlett.

How would she fight against ghosts? For a moment the visible world faded away. She is kind to every one. thanks to the admirable cooking.” “From your own account. One might lay up treasure in heaven by the attempt. something would even happen to Windy Corner. Honeychurch.A Room with a View please. and yet Lucy makes this difficulty when we try to give her some little return. on Sunday week. She had tried herself too often and too recently. and poor Charlotte has only the water turned off and plumbers.” “I know. they will never guess what it feels like to grow old. 136 . and fussed round no end to get an egg boiled for my tea just right. and with more feeling than she usually permitted herself. “I must say Cousin Charlotte was very kind to me that year I called on my bike.” put in Freddy. she would leave Florence so stupidly. I don’t like Charlotte. “I suppose Miss Bartlett must come. The Sacred Lake would never be the same again. they were even usurping the places she had known as a child. but one enriched neither Miss Bartlett nor any one else upon earth. mother. they filled Italy.” “Well. dear. so full of beautiful things. replied: “This isn’t very kind of you two.” “Hear. mother.” Cecil crumbled his bread.” flurried—” The ghosts were returning. don’t worry us this last summer. and however clever young people are. Mrs. and however many books they read. But Lucy hardened her heart. since she boils eggs so well. with more gravity than usual. you told her as much. It was no good being kind to Miss Bartlett.” said Cecil. but spoil us by not asking her to come. who was in rather a happier frame of mind. She was reduced to saying: “I can’t help it. and. “She thanked me for coming till I felt like such a fool. hear!” said Cecil. and memories and emotions alone seemed real. I admit it’s horrid of me. She dears. You are young. You have each other and all these woods to walk in.

How dreadful if she really wished to remain near him! Of course. She was nervous at night.” corrected Freddy. Her love to Lucy. she put them down to nerves. the 137 . When Cecil brought the Emersons to Summer Street. she only faced the situation that encompassed her. And. and this might upset her nerves. with scarcely veiled insolence. “because in point of fact she forgot to take it off. she felt sure that she would prove a nuisance.” Cecil frowned again. anything. equally of course. boilers. these Honeychurches! Eggs. hydrangeas. And. “May me and Lucy get down from our chairs?” he asked. it had upset her nerves. like most of us. equally of course. and she wished to remain near him.” Chapter XIV : How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely 0F COURSE MISS BARTLETT ACCEPTED. When she talked to George—they met again almost immediately at the Rectory—his voice moved her deeply. If at times strange images rose from the depths. maids—of such were their lives compact. and begged to be given an inferior spare room— something with no view.EM Forster “I didn’t mean the egg was well boiled. and as a matter of fact I don’t care for eggs. Lucy faced the situation bravely. She never gazed inwards. I only meant how jolly kind she seemed. Charlotte would burnish up past foolishness. “We don’t want no dessert. though. George Emerson could come to tennis on the Sunday week. Oh.

A Room with a View wish was due to nerves. who had to stop their tennis and to entertain her for a solid hour.” said Mr. “A nice fellow. Once she had suffered from “things that came out of nothing and meant she didn’t know what. and these. She arrived at the London and Brighton station.” said Miss Bartlett. “She loves young Emerson.” A reader in Lucy’s place would not find it obvious. She loved Cecil. Miss Bartlett contrived to bungle her arrival.” Now Cecil had explained psychology to her one wet afternoon. “He seems in better spirits.” “Yes. Standing between Mr. No one was at home except Freddy and his friend. It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude. Honeychurch drove to meet her. George made her nervous. Life is easy to chronicle. and all the troubles of youth in an unknown world could be dismissed. which love to play such perverse tricks upon us. shy either. will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed? But the external situation—she will face that bravely. and was glad that he did not seem physical beauty. She was anxious to show that she was not shy. “He is waking up. with little Minnie Beebe. whither Mrs. The meeting at the Rectory had passed off well enough. Beebe afterwards “He will work off his crudities in time. I rather mistrust young men who slip into life gracefully. In spite of the clearest directions.” replied the clergyman. more of her defences fell. and we welcome “nerves” or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. Beebe and Cecil.” Lucy said. Cecil and Lucy turned up at four o’clock. made a somewhat lugubrious sextette upon the upper lawn for tea. as the week wore on. “I shall never forgive myself. and she entertained an image that had but bewildering to practice. He laughs more. She was due at the South-Eastern station at Dorking. and had to hire a cab up. she had made a few temperate allusions to Italy. and George had replied. But.” That was all. 138 .

Floyd. and had to be begged by the united company to remain. Mr. felt the eternal attraction of Chance. Grant that. Give me the pound. and I gave a bob to the driver. Vyse?” “Because.” “Fifteen shillings. and we shall avoid this deplorable gambling. “I have upset everything. exclaimed in irritable tones: “Just what I’ve been trying to convince Cousin Charlotte of. Five shillings.” suggested Lucy. and even Cecil. while her brother. your mother may take quite a long drive But this did not do. made the one remark of his that need be quoted: he offered to toss Freddy for Miss Bartlett’s quid. Bursting in on young people! But I insist on paying for my cab up.” said Lucy.” said Miss Bartlett. “No.” 139 . and turned round. don’t you see.” now that she is not hampered with me. Could any one give her change? Freddy had half a quid and his friend had four half-crowns. at any rate. who had been ostentatiously drinking his tea at the view. but it would make me wretched. if you’d really rather. and looked at her frayed glove “All right. Freddy paid your cab. dear. We all have our little foibles. either. in whose memory the boiled egg had already grown unsubstantial. Mr. “How is that. Lucy.EM Forster who kept on rising from her seat.” interposed Cecil.” Here Freddy’s friend. “Please—please—I know I am a sad spoilsport.” “Our visitors never do such dreadful things.” Miss Bartlett looked in her purse.” “Freddy owes me fifteen shillings. “I do not feel myself an ordinary visitor. Only sovereigns and pennies. for the last half hour.” said Miss Bartlett dubiously. Miss Bartlett accepted their moneys and then said: “But who am I to give the sovereign to?” “Let’s leave it all till mother comes back. and mine is the prompt settling of accounts. A solution seemed in sight. “So it will work out right if you give the pound to me. I should practically be robbing the one who lost.

“Thank you. give me up that sovereign. No. A shilling was it? Can any one give me change for half a crown?” “I’ll get it. I don’t see and I never shall see why Miss What’sher-name shouldn’t pay that bob for the driver. Miss Honeychurch.” said Miss Bartlett. “Fifteen shillings and five shillings make one pound.”’ “Lucy—Lucy—what a nuisance I am!” protested Miss Bartlett. He was playing at nonsense among his peers. who was poor at figures. “But I don’t see that!” exclaimed Minnie Beebe who “I had forgotten the driver. Vyse is to have the quid. When they were out of earshot Miss Bartlett stopped her wails and said quite briskly: “Have you told him about him yet?” “No. amidst the suppressed gurgles of the other youths. you see. I’ll get Euphemia to change it. It sometimes seemed as if she planned every word she spoke or 140 .” had narrowly watched the iniquitous transaction.A Room with a View Miss Bartlett. reddening.” said the young hostess. “I don’t see why Mr. in whose face petty anxieties had marred the smiles. Floyd’s ten shillings? Ow! No. I don’t see why—Freddy.” She escaped into the kitchen. In January he would rescue his Leonardo from this stupefying twaddle. “Let me see—a sovereign’s worth of silver.” “But I don’t see—” They tried to stifle her with cake. and followed her across the lawn. rising with decision. “Cecil. give me that sovereign.” replied Lucy. became bewildered and rendered up the sovereign. and we’ll start the whole thing again from the beginning. thank you. don’t poke me. for reminding me. dear.” “Because of the fifteen shillings and the five. I haven’t. Then he glanced at Lucy. and then could have bitten her tongue for understanding so quickly what her cousin meant.” they said solemnly. simulating hilarity. I’m done. For a moment Cecil was happy. Miss Bartlett’s sudden transitions were too uncanny. your brother’s hurting me. Ow! What about Mr. “No. Lucy tripped ahead.

no. for he desired her untouched. “No. I haven’t told Cecil or any one. the driver. “You kind. Perhaps gentlemen are different to what they were when I was young. Which is it to be? Quick!” Miss Bartlett sighed “I am no match for you in conversation. if Mr. “How dreadful!” she murmured. as if all this worry about cabs and change had been a ruse to surprise the soul. Here is your money—all shillings. and what other source is there?” Miss Bartlett considered. he is certain to know. Ladies are certainly different. “I promised you I shouldn’t. gazing at the photograph of St. and then you say. What would you have me do? First you say ‘Don’t tell’.” “Now. I think I can trust Cecil to laugh at it. entering the battle.” “I don’t care if he does.” Lucy shuddered a little. “how more than dreadful. In fact. remember he had a violet between his teeth. Charlotte!” She struck at her playfully. anxious thing. when she returned. Would you count it? You can settle your debt nicely now. except two halfcrowns.” said the girl. “We shall get the silly affair on our nerves if we aren’t careful. you know best. ‘Tell’. which had been Florentine cab-driver ever get hold of Cecil?” “We must think of every possibility.” “To contradict it?” framed. to laugh at it.EM Forster caused to be spoken.” Miss Bartlett was in the drawing-room. I was grateful to you for your letter.” she remarked. dear. Vyse should come to hear of it from some other source. John ascending.” “Oh. but even if the news does get round. it’s all right.” But she knew in her heart that she could not trust him. dearest. How could a “No. I saw him looking through the bushes at you. “George Emerson is all right. I blush when I think how I inter141 .” “Oh. Emerson knows. “Very well.” “Or perhaps old Mr. “For instance. Charlotte.

to be sure of doing justice to Cecil’s profundity. You will never forgive me. Freddy rather likes him.” “What line is he taking up?” “No line. That is my poor opinion. or any of that nonsense. It was a new one from Smith’s library. It really does. Papa was to do with journalism. Have you seen the young one yet?” the conscious and the subconscious. It is really all right.” “What happened?” “We met at the Rectory. “Once a cad. and he lost his head: he doesn’t admire me. always a cad. Through the window she saw Cecil himself. always a cad. and has asked him up here on Sunday.” Lucy paused. Charlotte. He really won’t be any nuisance. “Dear. like any other person. turning over the pages of a novel. he doesn’t always look as if he’s going to burst into tears. then. and so much cleverer in all ways than I am. “What I mean by subconscious is that Emerson lost his head. to put it bluntly? I do wish I could make you see it my way. 142 . and you so well able to look after yourself.” droned Miss Bartlett.” “Once a cad. “Cecil said one day—and I thought it so profound—that there are two kinds of cads— and surprised.A Room with a View fered at Florence. I don’t think we ought to blame him very much. What advantage would he get from being a cad.” For the air rang with the shrieks of Minnie. one straw. He has improved. I have. It makes such a difference when you see a person with beautiful things behind him unexpectedly. so you can judge for yourself. it makes an enormous difference.” “Shall we go out.” She paused again. and he was silly “Yes. He talked about Italy. who was being scalped with a teaspoon. He is a clerk in the General Manager’s office at one of the big railways—not a porter! and runs down to his father for week-ends. They will smash all the china if we don’t. one moment—we may not have this chance for a chat again. Her mother must have returned from the station. I fell into all those violets.

We want you to have a nice restful visit at Windy Corner. as of females preparing for worship. for it is impossible to penetrate into the minds of elderly people. 143 . themselves unchangeable. autumn approached. with no worriting. She might have spoken further. I don’t blame them”— Minnie says. Whether Miss Bartlett detected the slip one cannot say. the images throbbing a little more vividly in her brain. no nonsense”— “Anne! Mary! Hook me behind!”— “Dearest Lucia. breaking up the green monotony of summer. There! Now for the garden. Up on the heights.” Lucy thought this rather a good speech. which lay sunning itself upon the gravel path. “The men say they won’t go”— “Well. may I trespass upon you for a pin?” For Miss Bartlett had announced that she at all events was one for church. touching the parks with the grey bloom of mist. The reader may have detected an unfortunate slip in it. The garden of Windy Corners was deserted except for a red book. but they were interrupted by the entrance of her hostess. battalions of black pines witnessed the change. like most of the days of that year. Chapter XV: The Disaster Within THE SUNDAY after Miss Bartlett’s arrival was a glorious day. and in the midst of them Lucy escaped. From the house came incoherent sounds. and in either arose the tinkle of church bells. the oak-trees with gold. Explanations took place. the beech-trees with russet.EM Forster but is rheumatic and has retired. “Suppose we don’t talk about this silly Italian business any more. Either country was spanned by a cloudless sky. need she go?”— “Tell her. In the Weald.” She took hold of her guest by the arm.

At her throat is a garnet brooch. Presently Lucy steps out of the drawing-room window. 144 . Her eyes are bent to the Weald. and Cecil had said. Mr. George moves. unswerving. She no longer read novels herself. as though acknowledging the caress. Only this morning she had confused Francesco Francia with Piero della Francesca. on her finger a ring set with rubies— an engagement ring. not by Phaethon. on Mr. on the red book mentioned previously. devoting all her spare time to solid literature in the hope of catching Cecil up. In all that expanse no human eye is looking at her. and even when she thought she knew a thing.” “But pick it up. divine. She frowns a little—not in anger. Its rays fell on the ladies whenever they advanced towards the bedroom windows. competent. and lastly. Under a Loggia. and don’t stand idling there like a flamingo. on George Emerson cleaning his father’s boots. scarcely conceivable elsewhere. but by Apollo. and above them. But this book lies motionless. The ladies move. “What! you aren’t forgetting your Italy already?” And this too had lent anxiety to her eyes when she saluted the dear view and the dear garden in the foreground. Beebe down at Summer Street as he smiled over a letter from Miss Catharine Alan. and she may listlessly. and makes her look tawdry and wan. “Lucy! Lucy! What’s that book? Who’s been taking a book out of the shelf and leaving it about to spoil?” “It’s only the library book that Cecil’s been reading. like the Italian painters. to be caressed all the morning by the sun and to raise its covers slightly. to complete the catalogue of memorable things. she found she had forgotten it. and movement may engender shadow.A Room with a View The sun rose higher on its journey. guided. Her new cerise dress has been a failure.” Lucy picked up the book and glanced at the title moves. but as a brave child frowns when he is trying not to cry. Beebe frown unrebuked and measure the spaces that yet survive between Apollo and the western hills. the dear sun. It was dreadful how little she knew.

She never brings anything but blouses. never the carriage. The necessary roar ensued. Mrs. and then they drove off. Why is she so long? She had nothing to do. As usual. she did not know it was done. how smart you Minnie!” “Oh. mocked her with ungenerous words. On the subject of “church and so on” they had had rather an unsatisfactory conversation. Honeychurch—” from the upper regions. (Gracious. 145 . who had now appeared. Lucy bit her lip. “It’s a special collection—I forget what for. when should I wear them?” said Miss Bartlett reproachfully. young men. I am very sorry. see that Minnie has a nice bright sixpence. “Good-bye! Be good!” called out Cecil. “Dear Marian. and in the midst of the confusion Miss Bartlett. easily. dressed in the very height of the fashion. Could any one give me—” “Yes. Where is the child? Minnie! That book’s all warped. Gracious me. Here comes the horse” —it was always the horse. how plain you look!) Put it under the Atlas to press. who was rapidly working herself into a Sunday fluster. no vulgar clinking in the plate with halfpennies. Honeychurch defended orthodoxy. but I have no small change—nothing but sovereigns and half crowns. don’t be late. Poor Charlotte— How I do detest blouses! Minnie!” Paganism is infectious—more infectious than diphtheria or piety —and the Rector’s niece was taken to church protesting. Jump in.” “If I did not wear my best rags and tatters now. came strolling down the stairs. Why shouldn’t she sit in the sun with the young men? The look! What a lovely frock! You put us all to shame. He had said that people ought to overhaul themselves. for the tone was sneering. Mrs. “Where’s Charlotte? Run up and hurry her.EM Forster “Lucy—have you a sixpence for Minnie and a shilling for yourself?” She hastened in to her mother. I do beg. She got into the victoria and placed herself with her back to the horse. she didn’t see why. “Minnie. and she did not want to overhaul herself.

though. “Oh. vehicle happened to be opposite Cissie Villa. Women mind such a thing.” “I believe that there was some misunderstanding.” he replied. He added: “We find. as Miss Bartlett and Minnie were lingering behind with Mr. What do you think?” He appealed to Lucy. “Introduce me. but Lucy ignored the Sacred Lake and introduced them formally. For it was on Cecil that the little episode turned.” He probably did. All that he said on this subject pained her. though he exuded tolerance from every pore. that might grow heavenward like flowers. He is disappointed. “Very much. she had never known him offended before. they walked over the green to it. “So George says. who seemed disposed to carry the matter further. To save time.” said Mrs. and that we have turned them out. He says that the Miss Alans must 146 . she turned the conversation to a less disturbing topic. though his name was never mentioned. somehow the Emersons were different. I am very much upset about it. “He thought we should be artistic. and found father and son smoking in the garden. Emerson claimed her with much warmth. “Our landlord was told that we should be a different type of person. She said yes.” said George.A Room with a View Honest orthodoxy Cecil respected. she was glad too.” said Lucy lightly. Honeychurch uneasily.” “And I wonder whether we ought to write to the Miss Alans and offer to give it up. There was a line of carriages down the road. but there was a note of offence in his voice. that the Miss Alans were coming. he could not imagine it as a natural birthright. and then. She must avoid censuring Cecil. stop now you have come. Old Mr. and the Honeychurch and asked him how he liked his new house. She saw the Emersons after church. “Unless the young man considers that he knows me already. and said how glad he was that she was going to be married.” said her mother. Beebe. but he always assumed that honesty is the result of a spiritual crisis.

” he said.” said George. distinguish between Sunday—” “Very well. just as there is a certain amount of light. never mind what you mean. he could only potter about in these days. Why all this twiddling and twaddling over two Miss Alans?” “There is a certain amount of kindness. 147 . “Yes!” exclaimed Mrs. because the shadow always follows.” “I know. Beebe and Lucy had always known to exist in him came out suddenly. No more do I. Mr.” “There is only a certain amount of kindness in the world.EM Forster go to the wall. Emerson.” “Oh. if you could come with your son we should be so pleased. and stand in it for all you are worth. I hope you didn’t go behaving like that to poor Freddy.” said George. watching the sunlight flash on the panels of the passing carriages. Choose a place where you won’t do harm— yes. It is his philosophy. He looks forward to seeing you this afternoon. and Lucy suspected that he and her mother would get on rather well. The kindness that Mr. choose a place where you won’t do very much harm.” He thanked her. George doesn’t mind tennis on Sunday. I see you’re clever!” “Eh—?” “I see you’re going to be clever. Emerson. but the walk sounded rather far. Mr. Don’t explain. “He behaved that way to me. “That’s exactly what I say. “No. and put his arm round his father’s neck.” George’s eyes laughed. facing the sunshine. and it is no good moving from place to place to save things. “We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand. That’s settled.” “What do you mean? No. Do you play tennis? Do you mind tennis on Sunday—?” “George mind tennis on Sunday! George. Honeychurch.” he continued in measured tones. after his education. Only he starts life with it. I didn’t. and I have tried the Note of Interrogation first. She turned to George: “And then he wants to give up his house to the Miss Alans. Yet it does seem so unkind.

” Then she went to the carriage and murmured. he has not 148 . and made as if he would come out of the garden to meet the lady.” cried his father. he blushed and was ashamed. yet Lucy’s spirits should not have leapt up as if she had sighted the ramparts of heaven. Emerson had not been told of the Florence escapade.A Room with a View like sunlight touching a vast landscape—a touch of the morning sun? She remembered that in all his perversities he had never spoken against affection. “The old man hasn’t been told. “George has been in such good spirits today.” “Yes. Miss even men might suffer from unexplained desires. and they drove away. who thought it a great treat for people if his son would talk to them.” said Mrs. when George threw her photographs into the River Arno. Lucy caught her cousin’s eye.” she said. but as human and as clumsy as girls. “You know our cousin. don’t go. “Yes. raising her voice. men were not gods after all. Satisfactory. George did not respond to the bow. she emitted a formal bow. All the way home the horses’ hoofs sang a tune to her: “He has not told. Perhaps anything that he did would have pleased Lucy. Honeychurch followed her. Honeychurch pleasantly. He said: “I—I’ll come up to tennis if I can manage it.” Bartlett promptly got into the victoria. I knew it was all right. the dining-table with the decanters of water and wine. “You met her with my daughter in Florence. Miss Bartlett.” and went into the house. Thus entrenched. Something in its mute appeal made her reckless. To one of her upbringing. he knew that the chaperon remembered. “George. Miss Bartlett approached. old battle of the room with the view. It was the pension Bertolini again. and of her destination. and need help. and I am sure he will end by coming up this afternoon. Like any boy.” Mrs. yet surely she greeted it with disproportionate joy. Satisfactory that Mr. indeed!” said the old man. “I do hope he will. It was the old. but his awkwardness went straight to her heart. the weakness of men was a truth unfamiliar. but she had surmised it at Florence.

” She longed to shout the words: “It is all right. Only three English people knew of it in the world. when they had knelt packing in his room. Charm. He will not tell. “He does not love me. that last dark evening at Florence. Her mother would always sit there. George Emerson has improved enormously. In January you must go to London to entertain the grandchildren of celebrated men. For the only relationship which Cecil conceived was feudal: that of protector and protected. was to be her forte. because she felt so safe. and. and had long since forgotten his resolution to bring them to Windy Corner for nearly said. It was not an exploit.” “How are my proteges?” asked Cecil. Generally Lucy was depressed at meals. How terrible if he did! But he has not told. she said: “The Emersons have been so nice. She greeted Cecil with unusual radiance. her 149 . “You shall see for yourself how your proteges are.” Her brain expanded the melody: “He has not told his father—to whom he tells all things. Thus she interpreted her joy. The secret. He did not laugh at me when I had gone. Lunch was a cheerful meal. Only don’t—” She promise secrecy. “Proteges!” she exclaimed with some warmth. as often happened.” But the bell was ringing for lunch. As he helped her out of the carriage.EM Forster told. No. He is a most interesting man to talk to. not argument. this cheerfulness. “Don’t protect him.” She raised her hand to her cheek. big or little. was guarded. Cecil will never hear. He had no glimpse of the comradeship after which the girl’s soul yearned.” She was even glad that Miss Bartlett had made her educational purposes. It’s a secret between us two for ever. Some one had to be soothed— either Cecil or Miss Bartlett or a Being not visible to the mortal eye—a Being who whispered to her soul: “It will not last. George Emerson is coming up this afternoon.” But to-day she felt she had received a guarantee. who took no real interest in them. Cecil had paid no great attention to her remarks.

Floyd’s rotten.A Room with a View brother here.” said Miss Bartlett. After luncheon they asked her to play. while Miss Bartlett. and then.” “Not for me. she turned quickly round. and anything else that he liked.” Once more she closed the unfortu- the piano. and Cecil. come along Cecil. She played a few bars of the Flower Maidens’ song very badly and then she stopped. perhaps implying.” George corrected him: “I am not bad.” She closed the instrument. without a word of greeting. getting very red. “Then certainly I won’t play. “Not very dutiful. and so I dare say’s Emerson. “Oh. sharing the discontent. and played from memory the music of the enchanted garden—the music to which Renaud approaches. “I vote you have a men’s four. but ripples for ever like the tideless seas of fairyland. The sun. beneath the light of an eternal dawn. Cecil should have the Parsifal. “I will not spoil the set. You had much 150 .” said Cecil. Mr.” He never realized that it may be an act of kindness in a bad player to make up a fourth. “Yes. Fearing that she had offended Cecil. She had seen Gluck’s Armide that year. thank you. Emerson. Vyse. disgusted at the scrappy entertainment.” One looked down one’s nose at this.” said her mother’s voice. I had no idea!” she exclaimed. and her audience began to get restive.” “All right. so do I. Lucy did not know what to do nor even what she wanted to do. called out: “Now play us the other garden—the one in Parsifal. she reopened the piano. she will play the music to Mr. “I vote tennis. though it had moved a little since the morning. I’m bad. There George was. under the impression that she was snubbing George. the music that never gains. Such music is not for “Our performer has changed her mind. never wanes.” said Cecil. He had crept in without interrupting her.” said Freddy. nate piano. “Oh. added: “I agree with you. would never be hidden behind the western hills.

EM Forster better not play.” He wanted to live now. but she was noticing more things in her England. and try to find in its innumerable folds some town or village that would do for Florence. Lucy. She kept it without hypocrisy in the morning. He had been rather a nuisance all through the tennis. really she must overhaul herself and settle everything up before she married him. she wondered whether Cecil was sneering at her. announced that she would play. as Fiesole stands above the Tuscan Plain. Much better not. There is no other way out of it. Floyd was her partner. She might be forgetting her Italy. She remembered how he had sighed among the tombs at Santa Croce because things wouldn’t fit. for the novel that he was reading was so 151 . Mr. “you must fall back on Lucy.” Minnie. and would not sympathize with exaltation. and surprised her by his anxiety to stood out above its radiance. go and change your frock. to stand for all he was worth in the sun—the sun which had begun to decline and was shining in her eyes. I tell you. but how much better tennis seemed. how beautiful the Weald looked! The hills Lucy’s Sabbath was generally of this amphibious nature.” win. rushing in where Cecil feared to tread. if one chose. He chanced to be in a lucid critical mood. Ah. and he did win. Honeychurch. How much better to run about in comfortable clothes than to sit at the piano and feel girt under the arms. to win at tennis. “Then it will have to be Lucy. George served. how beautiful the Weald looked! But now Cecil claimed her. She liked music. One could play a new game with the view. so what does it matter?” But Sunday intervened and stamped heavily upon the kindly suggestion. Ah. were the mountains of Carrara. and broke it without reluctance in the afternoon. how after the death of that obscure Italian he had leant over the parapet by the Arno and said to her: “I shall want to live. “I shall miss every ball anyway.” said Mrs. As she changed her frock. and the South Downs. Once more music appeared to her the employment of a child.

” “Dreadful!” said Lucy.” She had “forgiven” George. “‘Sunset. “‘Joseph Emery Prank’ indeed! Why it’s Miss Lavish! It’s Miss Lavish’s 152 . “No. Under Orcagna’s Loggia—the Loggia de’ Lanzi.” She added merrily. “Leonora? Is Leonora the heroine? Who’s the book by?” “Joseph Emery Prank. “Yes. Floyd were obliged to hunt for a lost ball in the laurels.” “‘The scene is laid in Florence. Come. player. but the other two acquiesced. there was some murder scene. he still went on reading. “I don’t see you’re such a splendid with an upward note. and we get very angry with people who don’t. and missed her stroke. Cecil! Read away. listen to this. sit down after all your energy. We all exaggerate. and really every one must listen to it. The light was behind you.” when it struck her that she did mind.A Room with a View bad that he was obliged to read it aloud to others. as she put it.’” repeated Cecil. ‘Sunset. as we sometimes call it now—’” Lucy burst into laughter. and she made a point of being pleasant to him. “The scene is laid in Florence. don’t go in for accuracy at this house. Pray the saints she might not arrive too late. you did!” “You didn’t attend. though.” “Why.” “I never said I was.” “You said—oh. Freddy and Mr. Lucy recollected herself. so she answered. Leonora was speeding—’” Lucy interrupted. Lucy. He would stroll round the precincts of the court and call out: “I say. Mr. Three split infinitives. He jumped over the net and sat down at her feet asking: “You—and are you tired?” “Of course I’m not!” “Do you mind being beaten?” She was going to answer. and it was in my eyes. Sunset—the sunset of Italy. Leonora speeding across the square. Emerson.” “What fun. When they had finished their set.

EM Forster
novel, and she’s publishing it under somebody else’s
name.”
“Who may Miss Lavish be?”
“Oh, a dreadful person—Mr. Emerson, you remember Miss Lavish?”
Excited by her pleasant afternoon, she clapped her
hands.
George looked up. “Of course I do. I saw her the
day I arrived at Summer Street. It was she who told

these days.”
“Oh, Cecil—!”
“It is so. I will inflict Joseph Emery Prank on you
no longer.”
Cecil, this afternoon seemed such a twittering sparrow. The ups and downs in his voice were noticeable, but they did not affect her. She had dwelt
amongst melody and movement, and her nerves refused to answer to the clang of his. Leaving him to

me that you lived here.”
“Weren’t you pleased?” She meant “to see Miss
Lavish,” but when he bent down to the grass without replying, it struck her that she could mean something else. She watched his head, which was almost
resting against her knee, and she thought that the
ears were reddening. “No wonder the novel’s bad,”
she added. “I never liked Miss Lavish. But I suppose one ought to read it as one’s met her.”
“All modern books are bad,” said Cecil, who was
annoyed at her inattention, and vented his annoyance on literature. “Every one writes for money in

be annoyed, she gazed at the black head again. She
did not want to stroke it, but she saw herself wanting to stroke it; the sensation was curious.
“How do you like this view of ours, Mr. Emerson?”
“I never notice much difference in views.”
“What do you mean?”
“Because they’re all alike. Because all that matters
in them is distance and air.”
“H’m!” said Cecil, uncertain whether the remark
was striking or not.
“My father”—he looked up at her (and he was a
little flushed)—”says that there is only one perfect
153

A Room with a View
view—the view of the sky straight over our heads,
and that all these views on earth are but bungled
copies of it.”
“I expect your father has been reading Dante,” said
Cecil, fingering the novel, which alone permitted him
to lead the conversation.
“He told us another day that views are really
crowds—crowds of trees and houses and hills—and
are bound to resemble each other, like human

“There’s an absurd account of a view in this book,”
said Cecil. “Also that men fall into two classes—those
who forget views and those who remember them,
even in small rooms.”
“Mr. Emerson, have you any brothers or sisters?”
“None. Why?”
“You spoke of ‘us.’”
“My mother, I was meaning.”
Cecil closed the novel with a bang.

crowds—and that the power they have over us is
sometimes supernatural, for the same reason.”
Lucy’s lips parted.
“For a crowd is more than the people who make it
up. Something gets added to it—no one knows
how—just as something has got added to those
hills.”
He pointed with his racquet to the South Downs.
“What a splendid idea!” she murmured. “I shall
enjoy hearing your father talk again. I’m so sorry he’s
not so well.”
“No, he isn’t well.”

“Oh, Cecil—how you made me jump!”
“I will inflict Joseph Emery Prank on you no
longer.”
“I can just remember us all three going into the
country for the day and seeing as far as Hindhead. It
is the first thing that I remember.”
Cecil got up; the man was ill-bred—he hadn’t put
on his coat after tennis—he didn’t do. He would have
strolled away if Lucy had not stopped him.
“Cecil, do read the thing about the view.”
“Not while Mr. Emerson is here to entertain us.”
“No—read away. I think nothing’s funnier than to
154

EM Forster
hear silly things read out loud. If Mr. Emerson thinks
us frivolous, he can go.”
This struck Cecil as subtle, and pleased him. It put
their visitor in the position of a prig. Somewhat mollified, he sat down again.
“Mr. Emerson, go and find tennis balls.” She
opened the book. Cecil must have his reading and
anything else that he liked. But her attention wandered to George’s mother, who—according to Mr.

bish—it oughtn’t to be allowed to be printed.”
He took the book from her.
“‘Leonora,’” he read, “‘sat pensive and alone. Before her lay the rich champaign of Tuscany, dotted
over with many a smiling village. The season was
spring.’”
Miss Lavish knew, somehow, and had printed the
past in draggled prose, for Cecil to read and for
George to hear.

Eager—had been murdered in the sight of God according to her son—had seen as far as Hindhead.
“Am I really to go?” asked George.
“No, of course not really,” she answered.
“Chapter two,” said Cecil, yawning. “Find me
chapter two, if it isn’t bothering you.”
Chapter two was found, and she glanced at its
opening sentences.
She thought she had gone mad.
“Here—hand me the book.”
She heard her voice saying: “It isn’t worth reading—it’s too silly to read—I never saw such rub-

“‘A golden haze,’” he read. He read: “‘Afar off the
towers of Florence, while the bank on which she sat
was carpeted with violets. All unobserved Antonio
stole up behind her—’”
Lest Cecil should see her face she turned to George
and saw his face.
He read: “‘There came from his lips no wordy protestation such as formal lovers use. No eloquence
was his, nor did he suffer from the lack of it. He simply enfolded her in his manly arms.’”
“This isn’t the passage I wanted,” he informed
them. “there is another much funnier, further on.”
155

A Room with a View
He turned over the leaves.
“Should we go in to tea?” said Lucy, whose voice
remained steady.
She led the way up the garden, Cecil following her,
George last. She thought a disaster was averted. But
when they entered the shrubbery it came. The book,
as if it had not worked mischief enough, had been
forgotten, and Cecil must go back for it; and George,
who loved passionately, must blunder against her
in the narrow path.
“No—” she gasped, and, for the second time, was
kissed by him.
As if no more was possible, he slipped back; Cecil
rejoined her; they reached the upper lawn alone.

Chapter XVI: Lying to George
BUT LUCY had developed since the spring. That is to
say, she was now better able to stifle the emotions of
which the conventions and the world disapprove.
Though the danger was greater, she was not shaken
by deep sobs. She said to Cecil, “I am not coming in
to tea—tell mother—I must write some letters,” and
went up to her room. Then she prepared for action.
Love felt and returned, love which our bodies exact
and our hearts have transfigured, love which is the
most real thing that we shall ever meet, reappeared
now as the world’s enemy, and she must stifle it.
She sent for Miss Bartlett.
The contest lay not between love and duty. Perhaps there never is such a contest. It lay between the
real and the pretended, and Lucy’s first aim was to
defeat herself. As her brain clouded over, as the
memory of the views grew dim and the words of the
book died away, she returned to her old shibboleth
of nerves. She “conquered her breakdown.” Tamper156

I am all at sea. In a few moments Lucy was equipped for battle. Remembering that she was engaged to Cecil. Lucy.” she began. she forgot that the truth had ever been. with growing agitation. she had never encouraged him. “They are on a hillside.” dearest girl—she hasn’t put that in her book?” Lucy nodded. “Do you know anything about Miss Lavish’s novel?” Miss Bartlett looked surprised. he had behaved abominably. Yes. it must be you. Charlotte.” “There are violets.EM Forster ing with the truth.” “Then never—never—never more shall Eleanor Lavish be a friend of mine. and Florence is in the distance. please?” she repeated. “Oh. how could you have told her? I have thought before speaking. she compelled herself to confused remembrances of George. Charlotte. She has betrayed my 157 . nor known that it was published. and hides a man not only from others.” Miss Bartlett was genuinely moved. but from his own soul. “Something too awful has happened. I cannot believe it is a coincidence. The hero and heroine make love.” “Told her what?” she asked. I know nothing about it whatever.” “So you did tell?” “I did just happen—when I had tea with her at Rome—in the course of conversation—” “But Charlotte—what about the promise you gave me when we were packing? Why did you tell Miss Lavish. he never had been anything. “There is a scene in it. “About that dreadful afternoon in February. as soon as her cousin arrived. “Not so that one could recognize it. “My good Lucia. when you wouldn’t even let me tell mother?” “I will never forgive Eleanor. he was nothing to her. and said that she had not read the book. Eleanor was a reticent woman at heart. Do you know about that?” “Dear—?” “Do you know about it. The armour of falsehood is subtly wrought out of darkness.

And who’s to give it him? I can’t tell mother now—owing to you. We women go maundering on. though? This is a most serious thing. Fancy if your prospects—” “I know. What does a girl do 158 . Nor Cecil. I am caught up every way.” “Why did you tell her. not a chaperon. “What is to be done now? Can you tell me?” “Oh.” Why does any one tell anything? The question is eternal. “Cecil happened to read out the passage aloud to me and to Mr. She stood with Lucy stamped with irritation. and that she was not reliable. Emerson.A Room with a View confidence. She had done wrong—she admitted it. “Yes—but it’s no good agreeing. What’s to be done.’ You knew that you had told Miss Lavish. Emerson and he insulted me again. It was Miss Bartlett’s turn to wince.” Miss Bartlett burst into self-accusations and regrets. I think I shall go mad. Ugh! Is it possible that men are such brutes? Behind Cecil’s back as we were walking up the garden.” Miss Bartlett agreed: one wanted a man with a whip. Lucy—I shall never forgive myself. and what you clasped hands while the girl worked herself into the necessary rage. I have no one to help me. owing to you.” said the girl. it upset Mr. wincing at the word. “What’s done’s done. What’s wanted is a man with a whip. and it was not surprising that Miss Bartlett should only sigh faintly in response. despising her cousin’s shiftiness. she had told Eleanor in the strictest confidence.” said Lucy. She was a visitor. The days of her energy were over. You have put me in a most awkward position. “He must—that man must have such a setting down that he won’t forget. “However. How am I to get out of it?” Miss Bartlett could not think. meant by ‘some other source. “I see now why you wanted me to tell Cecil. she only hoped that she had not done harm. Charlotte. That’s why I’ve sent for you. Behind Cecil’s back. never to my dying day. and a discredited visitor at that.

” George Emerson was coming up the garden with a tennis ball in his hand. From the very first moment— when he said his father was having a bath. the sloppy thoughts. “Found the lost ball? Good man! Want any tea?” And there was an irruption from the house on to the terrace. who beckoned. bother the credit and who’s been right or wrong! We’ve both made a muddle of it. She had to subdue a rush in her blood before saying: 159 . or isn’t he? I want to know. “Will you speak to him? It is the least you can do. the furtive yearnings that were beginning to cumber her soul. Charlotte was outdoing herself. she felt.” Miss Bartlett was absolutely helpless. yes or no.” said Lucy contemptuously. but that is brave of you! I admire you—” They had gathered round George.” And posure had unnerved her.” Really. “Oh.” “Oh. “Very well. “You were ready enough at the Bertolini when you rushed me off to Rome. and tried to detect the cad’s white flannels among the laurels. Give me credit for that. She moved feebly to the window.” immediately she realized that this was what her cousin had intended all along. considering it all happened because you broke your word. Ah! The Emersons were fine people in their way. and thoughts were colliding painfully in her brain. dear. “Hullo. please. George Emerson is still down the garden there.EM Forster when she comes across a cad?” “I always said he was a cad. I will speak to him myself. at all events.” “It is the kind of thing that only a gentleman can settle. Lucy. and is he to be left unpunished. Her anger faded at the sight of him. over the rubbish. with an angry gesture. Can’t you speak again to him now?” “Willingly would I move heaven and earth—” “I want something more definite. surely.” said Lucy. Her own ex- “Never again shall Eleanor Lavish be a friend of mine. Emerson!” called Freddy from below. “No one will help me. “Yes or no.

The others are going down the garden. She would not be drawn into an elaborate speech.A Room with a View “Freddy has taken him into the dining-room. As she entered he stopped. absolutely ignoring Miss Bartlett—”you don’t mean that you are going 160 . She was not to be trapped by pathos a second time.” “Lucy. “I hate a row. looking big and dishevelled. of course. “The jam’s jolly good. Miss Bartlett. the shadow of Miss Bartlett’s toque on the door. Come. I want you in the room. was pacing up and down the dining-room. “Go. took up a book and pretended to read.” “That’s all right.” he said. Let us get this over quickly.” Freddy was saying. “I seem to bring nothing but misfortune wherever I go. Eluding her cousin’s caress. and said: “No—nothing to eat. She’s in the drawing-room. Mr. “Charlotte and I will give Mr. Lucy sat down at the table. I do not want to call in Mr.” Lucy nodded. she led the way downstairs. please.” “You don’t mean. Go please. She just said: “I can’t have it. who was thoroughly frightened. and never come into it again as long as I live here—” flushing as she spoke and pointing to the door. She remembered their last evening at Flo- Where’s mother?” “She’s started on her Sunday writing. Emerson. You go away. “Try the jam. Vyse. rence—the packing.” said Lucy.” He went off singing.” “What—” “No discussion. the candle. Go out of this house. I cannot even talk to you. do you mind doing it?” “How can you ask such a ridiculous question?” “Poor Lucy—” She stretched out her hand.” “You go down to the others. Come. Emerson all he wants.” George.” “But I can’t—” She shook her head.

when I met you both again. He’s the type who’s “Have you ever talked to Vyse without feeling tired?” “I can scarcely discuss—” “No. I’m not ashamed. Or would you have told me to go. and you may not have noticed that I love you. you of all women.” she said quietly. Every moment of his life he’s forming you. and we find it is to play some silly trick on a kind neighbour. so it has been the whole of this afternoon. That’s why I’ll speak out through all this muddle even now. and 161 . That is the man all over—playing tricks on people. on the most sacred form of life that he can find. He daren’t let a woman decide. and I wish to goodness I had more self-control. as if his vulgarity wearied her. Next.” It was a new light on Cecil’s character. “You are merely ridiculous. Then he brings us here. Cecil all over again. But I saw him first in the National Gallery. pictures—but kill when they come to people. listen to his voice instead of to your own. But it has frightened you. when it was for YOU to settle whether you were shocked or no. He is for society and cultivated talk. father mispronounced the names of great painters. and find him protecting and teaching you and your mother to be shocked. It’s shocking enough to lose you in any case. telling you what a man thinks womanly. He’s only for an acquaintance. telling you what’s charming or amusing or ladylike. least of all a woman.’ because the book made me do that. I don’t apologize. He should know no one intimately. So it was at the Rectory. and you. but generally a man must deny himself joy. She shrugged her shoulders. Then his words rose gravely over hers: “You cannot live with Vyse. I would never have let myself go. I meet you together.EM Forster to marry that man?” The line was unexpected. but have you ever? He is the sort who are all right so long as they keep to things—books. and I would have held back if your Cecil had been a different person. Therefore —not ‘therefore I kissed you. when he winced because my kept Europe back for a thousand years.

Vyse?” said Lucy. Mr.” And he took the shoddy reproof and touched it into immortality. “Does he not matter? That I love Cecil and shall be his wife shortly? A detail of no importance. as though demolishing some invisible ob162 . and men and women must fight it together before they shall enter the garden. “Yes—really in a better way. and afterwards I will be gentle and explain. I called. ‘she is marrying some her. narrow head drove backwards and forwards. I want you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms.” “And Mr.” Lucy thought of a very good remark. Emerson. who kept commendably calm. who sat like some portent against the skies of the evening.” He thought. and I am going back into it. I suppose?” But he stretched his arms over the table towards “I’m the same kind of brute at bottom. I cannot live without you. “You wouldn’t stop us this second time if you understood. Pardon me for suggesting that you have caught the habit. “I have been into the dark. “You say Mr.A Room with a View dealt with a tremendous thing so lightly? But therefore—therefore I settled to fight him. He said: “Yes. “Lucy. unless you will try to understand. But I do love you surely in a better way than he does.” And as if he had done all else. “May I ask what you intend to gain by this exhibition?” He said: “It is our last chance. I have.’ I thought.” and sank down as if suddenly weary. ‘No good.” He stretched them towards her.” he said. one else’. I have cared for you since that man died. but I meet you again when all the world is glorious water and sun. I shall do all that I can. Vyse wants me to listen to him. This desire to govern a woman—it lies very deep. he turned to Miss Bartlett. I wanted to live and have my chance of joy. be quick—there’s no time for us to talk now—come to me as you came in the spring.” Her long. As you came through the wood I saw that nothing else mattered.

” In silence the two women watched him. one oughtn’t to laugh. what an awful man!” Lucy had no reaction—at least. It is that love and youth matter intellectually. really.” she said. carefully closing the front door. but was he going after it or not? Would not he. “It is being certain that Lucy cares for me really. He was appar- think. He left them. attempt a more dramatic finish? No. they knew. or else he is. Their tongues were loosed. they saw him go up the drive and begin to climb the slopes of withered fern behind the house. dearest. not yet. Lucy! There’s still light enough for another set. but the emotion was strong— seized her. danced past her. His last remark. I tion—pity. the more pathetic because they were reminiscent of spring.EM Forster stacle. Summer was ending. terror. if you two’ll hurry. Charlotte. “Either I’m mad. “It is being young. Lucia—come back here—oh. and they burst into stealthy rejoicings.” “Mr. while other leaves lay motionless.” “Let’s go down to them. But you were so sensible and brave—so unlike the girls of my day. once in the open air. violently agitated. Emerson has had to go. “Oh. “Well.” But. he amuses me.” he said quietly. That something or other mattered intellectually? A leaf.” 163 . the charlatan. too. is it? Oh. it isn’t every one who could boast such a conquest. Some emo- ently content. and the shadows of those trees over Windy Corner? “Hullo. that this is the last. My admirer will hardly trouble me again. she paused. and when they looked through the hall window. the cad. picking up his racquet from the floor and preparing to go. and I’m inclined to think it’s the latter. and she was aware of autumn. though. essayed the roguish: “Well.” And Miss Bartlett. It might have been very serious. She did not answer. love. was nonsense. That the earth was hastening to re-enter darkness. and the evening brought her odours of decay. Many thanks. One more fuss through with you.

but she was more angry than sorry. “I have carefully thought things over. just this once. sipping at his while she locked up the sideboard.A Room with a View “What a nuisance! That spoils the four. and try to forget that there ever was such a foolish girl. and the same evening she broke off her engagement. and her voice showed it. I am no athlete. He had nothing to say. and will not inflict myself on you. with a glass of whiskey between his hands.” she continued. As you well remarked this very morning. “I am very sorry about it. She had chosen the moment before bed. Freddy and Mr.” she said. How had she stood Cecil for a moment? He was absolutely intolerable. do play. Do play tennis with us. but stood. in accordance with their bourgeois habit. trying to think what had led her to such a conclusion. I must ask you to release me. when. It’s Floyd’s last day. Chapter XVII: Lying to Cecil HE WAS BEWILDERED. Floyd were sure to retire with their glasses.” Cecil’s voice came: “My dear Freddy. do. she always dispensed drinks to the men. ‘There are some chaps who are no good for anything but books’. “Different—how—how—” “I haven’t had a really good education. He was not even angry. still on her knees by the side164 . while Cecil invariably lingered. We are too different. I say.” It was a suitable speech. there’s a good chap. I plead guilty to being such a chap. Cecil. for one thing.” The scales fell from Lucy’s eyes.

” “You had that bad headache yesterday—All right”—for she had exclaimed indignantly: “I see it’s much more than headaches. and you will thank me for saying so some day. I shall never be able to talk to your friends. Of course. and this is one of them.” “I knew you wouldn’t understand. Why couldn’t you—couldn’t you have warned me if you felt anything wrong? You talked of our wedding at lunch—at least.” “What if I do? It doesn’t prevent me from realizing the truth. Lucy. she said: “There are days when one sees clearly. Part of it lives three minutes back.” “Tired!” she retorted. as if something has wor- It struck her that he was not behaving so badly. “You must excuse me if I say stupid things. and her irritation increased. when I was sure that you loved me. and I am forgetting all that I learnt there. She again desired a struggle. You aren’t like yourself. you let me talk. I thought it abominably selfish of you. and it happens to be to-day.” He closed his eyes.EM Forster board. it isn’t 165 . “I never could play. “My Italian trip came too late.” “Well. kindling at once. “I might have known there would have been these dreadful explanations. not a discussion. or behave as a wife of yours should. you sound tired. but my brain has gone to pieces. To bring on the crisis.” said Cecil.” “I don’t understand you. I don’t understand a word you say. Things must come to a breaking-point some time. I can’t marry you. quite a little thing decided me to speak to you—when you wouldn’t play tennis with Freddy.” “No. “That is exactly like you. and the other part—I find it difficult—I am likely to say the wrong thing. If you want to know. You always think women don’t mean what they say.” “You can play well enough to make up a four. never mind the tennis.” ried you. painfully bewildered.” “I never do play tennis. I can’t—well. You’re tired.” said Lucy quite crossly. But give me a moment’s time.

You don’t like Freddy. and are you fitted to be my husband? I don’t think so. thoughtful face. and it was no see a slit of darkness. As you say it is all too horrible. I feel that you are not treating me fairly. “I thought I did at first. “Don’t open the window.” 166 . I see clearly. and. too. in a burst of genuine devotion. for the first time since they were engaged. They have to-day. and. as if it would tell him that “little more. she could But to Cecil. nor my mother. “Often before I have wondered if I was fitted for your wife—for instance. jangling her keys.” He put down his glass and opened the window. but though all that you say sounds true. and ought to have refused you this last time. There was always a lot against our engagement.A Room with a View the tennis—that was only the last straw to all I have been feeling for weeks. That’s all.” “I cannot think you were right. too. He looked at her. with mysteries and forces of her own.” said Cecil gently. and you’d better draw the curtain. peering into it. From a Leonardo she had become a living woman. if you don’t mind. His brain recovered from the shock. Cecil. instead of through her. he cried: “But I love you. in London.” good mentioning it until—well. with qualities that even eluded art. but all our relations seemed pleased. I am sorry. “I cannot tell why.” his long. It’s all too horrible. From where she knelt. and it is no good talking. Surely it was better not to speak until I felt certain. and I did think you loved me!” “I did not. until all things came to a point. I shall only say things that will make me unhappy afterwards. Freddy or any one might be outside.” She developed this position.” He obeyed. and we met so often.” “What’s the good of a scene?” “No good. But surely I have a right to hear a little more.” she said. now that he was about to lose her. I must speak. she seemed each moment more desirable. “I really think we had better go to bed.

” she corrected. “I don’t mean exactly that. But it would hurt a little less if I knew why.” Her voice swelled. By a cruel irony she was drawing out all that was finest in his disposition. but. and I must say something. but now you’re always protecting me. not by the most glorious music. When we were only acquaintances. and she accepted it—”you’re the sort who can’t know any one intimately. oh goodness!”—she rose to her feet—”conventional. It is a revelation. It would have made things easier for her. To shield me is an insult. you let me be myself. and “Because”—a phrase came to her. though I beg you not to.” 167 . It is—I. “You don’t love me. Then Cecil said with great emotion: “It is true. But you will question me. those are my reasons for not being your wife. She had counted on his being petty.” through you? A woman’s place! You despise my mother—I know you do—because she’s conventional and bothers over puddings. Cecil. for people are more glorious. but when you came to people—” She stopped.EM Forster He began to walk up and down the room. more or less. evidently. It is that. “I won’t be protected. you’re that. full of some vague shame. but you don’t know how to use them.” “True on the whole. and you wrap yourself up in art and books and music.” “Anyhow.” A horrified look came into his eyes. There was a pause. I will choose for myself what is ladylike and right. for you may understand beautiful things. every word. Can’t I be trusted to face the truth but I must get it second-hand you hide them from me. That’s why I break off my engagement. I dare say you are right not to. and would try to wrap up me. You were all right as long as you kept to things. I won’t be stifled. and she grew more and more vexed at his dignified behaviour. “True.

no ‘jilting’ or any such nauseous stupidity.A Room with a View He repeated: “‘The sort that can know no one intimately. “I mean that a new person seems speaking through you. that will do. yes. I shall never say it again. It’s your old idea. If a girl breaks off her engagement. dear. Lucy.” He answered reverently: “I may have said that in the past. you do think it. You are not that kind.” She began to redden.” said he. I only blame you for this: you might have warned me in the early stages. she hopes to get some one else. I beg your pardon most humbly if my words suggested that there was. Don’t apologize to me. I have never known you till this evening. she had some one else in her mind. every one says: ‘Oh.” 168 . I have just used you as a peg for my silly notions of what a woman should be. She cried: “If you think I am in love with some one else.’ It’s disgusting. You are even greater than I thought.” She withdrew a step. I fell to pieces the very first day we were engaged. Cecil. Then she lost her balance. I shall never forget your insight.” “All right. You are far too good to me. you are very much mistaken. “Of course. It was my mistake. “I’m not going to worry you. I only meant that there was a force in you that I hadn’t known of up till now. seized with incontrollable anger.’ It is true. the idea that has kept Europe back—I mean the idea that women are always thinking of men. You have taught me better. brutal! As if a girl can’t break it off for the sake of freedom.” me a chance to improve. and so have given “Of course I don’t think that.” “Oh. and pretended to examine the windows again. I behaved like a cad to Beebe and to your brother. and. there is no question of ‘some one else’ in this. But this evening you are a different person: new thoughts— even a new voice—” “What do you mean by a new voice?” she asked. before you felt you wouldn’t marry me.

It did not do to think.” She watched him steal up-stairs. for the matter of that to feel. For all his culture. Cecil. their 169 . twisting up her other hand in the curtains. As the years pass. and nothing in his love became him like the leaving of it. Lucy!” “Good-bye. and march to their destiny by catch-words. I’m sorry about it.” His voice broke. she must forget that George loved her. “Thank you. The armies are full of pleasant and pious folk. and the vast armies of the benighted.” “Let me light your candle. She put out the lamp. that George had been thinking through her and gained her this honourable release. yours and mine— pure abstract ideals. who follow neither the heart nor the brain. They have sinned against passion and truth. “Good-night. who care for liberty and not for men. Will you shake hands?” “Of course I will. shall I?” They went into the hall. Solemnly. that stood firm. She must be one of the women whom she had praised so eloquently. “I must actually thank you for what you have done—for showing me what I really am. Their pleasantry and their piety show cracks. and all the time you were splendid and new. In the tumult of her soul. they are censured. Cecil. she must some day believe in herself.” said Lucy. at heart. and vain will be their strife after virtue. Cecil was an ascetic had gone away into—what was it?—the darkness. Cecil believed in her. God bless you. But they have yielded to the only enemy that matters—the enemy within. nor. I thank you for showing me a true woman. She could never marry. and gave her a look of memorable beauty. Good-night again. Good-bye. while the shadows from three banisters passed over her face like the beat of wings. and yours are the nobler. She gave up trying to understand herself. that George That’s all right. On the landing he paused strong in his renunciation. I was bound up in the old vicious notions.EM Forster “It is a question between ideals. Thank you very much for your gentleness.

and down the ravine on the left ran the highway into the Weald. the house so commonplace. and not by any heavenly intervention. They have sinned against Eros and against Pallas Athene. they feel and produce discomfort wherever they go. Honeychurch had affected the cube. because it gave him the most accommodation for his money. Lucy entered this army when she pretended to George that she did not love him. On either side of it was a shallow ravine. as it had received Miss Bartlett thirty years before. their unselfishness hypocrisy. Chapter XVIII: Lying to Mr. not on the summit of the ridge. poised in the middle of them.” for it was the home of people who 170 . Mrs. Honeychurch. Whenever Mr. Beebe crossed the ridge and caught sight of these noble dispositions of the earth. but by the ordinary course of nature. Freddy.A Room with a View wit becomes cynicism. and the only addition made by his widow had been a small turret.—he laughed. The situation was so glorious. those allied deities will be avenged. So impertinent—and yet the house “did. Beebe. where she could sit in wet weather and watch the carts going up and down the road. and The Servants WINDY CORNER lay. The night received her. and. at the springing of one of the great buttresses that supported the hill. but a few hundred feet down the southern slope. The late Mr. filled with ferns and pine-trees. Windy Corner. not to say impertinent. and pretended to Cecil that she loved no one. shaped like a rhinoceros’ horn.

He had heard from the Miss comfortable pension at Constantinople. we should be so grateful. or she Alans. but. Beebe greeted Windy Corner was partly for her. after all. and it is only getting first into a steamer and then into a train.” wrote Miss Catharine. But is there an English Church?” And the letter went on to say: “I do not expect we shall go any further than Athens. had possibly just been illustrated by facts. but if you knew of a really could not play the piano as she did. Athens is a plunge. Other houses in the neighborhood had been built by expensive architects. for she must see some beauty. 171 . while Windy Corner seemed as inevitable as an ugliness of Nature’s own creation. that their psychology is a modern development. and though she dressed so unevenly—oh. to see his niece. and has not yet been understood. and the doctor has ordered her special digestive bread. over others their inmates had fidgeted sedulously. He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex. yet all these suggested the accidental. that cerise frock yesterday at church!—she must see some beauty in life. This theory. “we do not see why we should not try Athens this winter. Beebe was bicycling over this Monday afternoon with a piece of gossip. we can take that with us. Though she was hopeless about pictures. that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends. and some of its beauty. and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are. Ignorant of the events of yesterday he was only riding over to get some tea. the temporary.EM Forster loved their surroundings honestly. and to observe whether Miss Honeychurch saw anything beautiful in the desire of two old ladies to visit Athens. had changed their plans. They were going to Greece instead. and the smile with which Mr. Mr. “Since Florence did my poor sister so much good. She would see the fun of it. since they could not go to Cissie Villa.” Lucy would enjoy this letter. One might laugh at the house. Of course. but one never shuddered. had he known it. These admirable ladies.

while the Miss Alans are struggling with all the weapons of propriety coachman’s legs.” said Cecil. Vyse?” 172 .” Cecil listened civilly. have you. Therefore it must be the horse. Mr. but he saw a trunk beside the certainly they will go to Constantinople. Vyse?” he asked. Mr. Mr. Cecil. and two men emerged. “So you’re off for a minute. taking the short cuts. “Yes. while Freddy (a cap)—was seeing him to the station. Cecil said. “Isn’t Romance capricious! I never notice it in you young people. and say that romance is dead. “but have you any matches?” “I have. The door opened obediently. They were an odd couple to go driving. “I was coming to show you this delightful letter from those friends of Miss Honeychurch. “Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it romance? most against the terrible thing. They walked rapidly. who wore a bowler. whom Mr. They will end by going round the world. you do nothing but play lawn tennis. “You have never met these Miss Alans. and reached the summit while the carriage was still pursuing the windings of the road. They shook hands with the clergyman.” said Freddy.” “I’m awfully sorry to interrupt. ‘A really comfortable pension at Constantinople!’ So they call it out of decency. bowled up the drive. but did not speak.A Room with a View A carriage was drawn up outside Windy Corner. They want the Pension Keats. They are taken in a snare that cannot fail. and stopped abruptly when it reached the main road. and said he was sure that Lucy would be amused and interested.” while Freddy edged away. Beebe. Beebe’s notice that he spoke to the boy more kindly. Beebe recognized as Cecil and Freddy. but in their hearts they want a pension with magic windows opening on the foam of perilous seas in fairyland forlorn! No ordinary view will content the Miss Alans. and it did not escape Mr. He quoted from it. and just as he caught sight of the house it started. must be going away. who always expected people to walk up the hill in case they tired him.

whom he trusted not to be pulling one’s leg. “I was saying. and struck the saddle of his bicycle approvingly. Beebe to himself. There the contrast is just as much as I can realize. nod- “Late last night. but Greece is godlike or devilish—I am not sure which. “Greece is not for our little lot”. light of heart. All right. he might have broken down. let it be Italian. really. if our poor little Cockney lives must have a background. Good-bye. and give me those matches when you’ve done with them. Lucy won’t marry him. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for me. In the drawing-room Lucy was tinkling at a Mozart 173 . Freddy followed. Don’t you think so? Italy is just about as much as we can manage. and in either case absolutely out of our suburban focus. But not the Parthenon. And before they had gone a dozen yards he jumped out. It is altogether too big for our little lot. and went on talking to the two young men.” “You’re quite right. which had not been returned. “It was the one foolish thing she ever did. I must go. and here comes the victoria.” said Cecil. Freddy—I am not ding to the clergyman. after a little thought.” “Thank goodness!” exclaimed Mr. The house was again as it ought to be—cut off forever from Cecil’s pretentious world. he said: “I’m so glad you only talked about books. he negotiated the slope into Windy Corner. Italy is heroic.” He lit a cigarette.” “Then you don’t see the wonder of this Greek visit. If you’d gone on about her. As he took it. what a glorious riddance!” And. and came running back for Vyse’s match-box. Big enough in all conscience. Cecil’s hard hit.” “Perhaps they won’t want me down there. and he got in. I haven’t been to Greece myself. not the frieze of Phidias at any price. upon my word I am not—I took the idea from another fellow.” “No—go on.EM Forster “Never. as you did about them. He would find Miss Minnie down in the garden.” “But when—” being clever. and don’t mean to go. and I can’t imagine any of my friends going. Oh.

He hesitated a moment.—Not the scissors. and the wind had taken and broken the dahlias. as though conveying that more than dahlias had been broken off by the autumn gales. and then the carriage having to go out.” “Oh. “Here. with a meaning glance. Mrs. Beebe? Gracious what a mess everything is! Look at my scarlet pompons. Mrs. At a little distance stood Minnie and the “garden-child. The garden-child. how do you do. stood rooted to the path with horror. I only called in aimlessly.” cried Mrs. who—give every one their due— does tie up dahlias properly. but when she had exasperated every one. while Miss Bartlett. Charlotte. “Oh. “How do you do?” said Miss Bartlett. either in the house or out of it.” Mr. thank you. invited Miss Bartlett to accompany them to this mild festivity. There he found a mournful company. Honeychurch. when both my hands are full already—I’m perfectly certain that the orange cactus will go before I can get to it. Honeychurch.A Room with a View Sonata. “You have worried them as much as they can stand. Lennie. Honeychurch was shattered.” Miss Bartlett said that her duty lay in the dahlia bed. and that it was not her fault if dahlia-strings would tear longways instead of across. but went down the garden as requested. who was an adept at relieving situations. if I may. impeded her with offers of assistance.” Evidently Mrs.” a minute importation. I shall take her up to tea at the Beehive Tavern. I don’t want you—do go. who looked cross.” he told her. “Yes. Charlotte. when I had counted on having Powell. there’s nothing to stop about for. was tying them up. and the wind blowing your skirts about. each holding either end of a long piece of bass. Honeychurch. who did not know what bass was. “Come for a walk with me. Mr. ex174 . It was a blustering day. unsuitably dressed. Minnie slipped to her uncle and whispered that every one was very disagreeable to-day. the bass. and the ground so hard that not a prop will stick in. Beebe. must you? Yes do.

Vyse has gone.” said Lucy. the orange cactus fell. he thought them silly little things. she turned round and exasperated Minnie by an acceptance.” Lucy turned to the piano and struck a few chords. Charlotte. She stopped when he entered. playing a note for each person who knew.” he remarked. “Perhaps we ought to send Miss Honeychurch down to her mother. Mr. “It is terrible. I didn’t suppose you would care to much. the house is not at all what it was yesterday.” “No. and Mr.” “I met them on the hill.” said her Uncle Arthur. thank you. In fact. his dark head buried in a wealth of blossom. and then 175 . “I needn’t say that it will go no further. Beebe.” whispered Minnie. Would you come too?” “I don’t think I will. “How do you do? Miss Bartlett and Minnie are coming with me to tea at the Beehive.” “Don’t be a prig. you. As they walked up the garden. Cecil. Lucy passed into Schumann. “Go and put on your boots. Freddy. and to her own pursuits. by a refusal. though at the bottom of his heart.” enunciated Miss Bartlett. Beebe felt hurt. “It is always terrible when the promise of months is destroyed in a moment. for he had thought that she would like him to be told. Uncle Arthur. and Mr.” He stepped into the drawing-room. Your brother told me. “How delicate those Sonatas are!” said Mr. Or will she come with us?” “I think we had better leave Lucy to herself. “Miss Honeychurch!” “Yes.” “Mother.EM Forster cept Minnie. and Freddy won’t play with me. Beebe’s last vision was of the garden-child clasping it like a lover. this havoc among the flowers. “and Floyd has gone. where Lucy was still attentively pursuing the Sonatas of Mozart.” “They’re angry with Miss Honeychurch because she was late for breakfast.” “Oh he did?” She sounded annoyed.

“If you’ll let me say so. so after a sincere expression of sympathy. at once exclaimed in a high voice.” “I am very sorry for that. For the sake of something to do.A Room with a View playing a sixth note.” “Still. Mother minds dreadfully. Freddy never hit it off with Vyse much. That was really what brought me over. “And Freddy minds. do tell me more about the Miss Alans! How perfectly splendid of them to go abroad!” 176 . But she.” “So I hoped other people would think. After a few words her eyes grew alert. I am very glad.” “I could see that Miss Bartlett thought it unwise. he began to read her the letter.” “Boys are so odd.” said Mr. Always complaisant. It was really a ruse of Lucy’s to justify her despondency—a ruse of which she was not herself conscious. Beebe with feeling. I gather. I thought it might amuse you all.” “So does mother. Beebe saw that Lucy—very properly—did not wish to discuss her action. Honeychurch. he said. Mrs. but not nearly as much as her daughter pretended. “I have had an absurd letter from Miss Alan. for she was marching in the armies of darkness. did volved a complete change of apparel.” “Because I do hope he won’t go gossiping. but they don’t seem to. “Oh. did he? I gathered that he disliked the engagement. and I am certain that you have done the right thing.” “How delightful!” said Lucy. in a dull voice. who hated all changes.” Minnie could be heard arguing with Miss Bartlett through the floor. mind.” “Did Freddy say whether he was driving straight back?” “No. and felt it might separate him from you. Mr. Tea at the Beehive apparently in- and soon she interrupted him with “Going abroad? When do they start?” “Next week. he put the letter away.” So she did want to talk about her broken engagement. he didn’t. and only for the minute.

He hinted this to her.” he said gently. “Yes.’” “Oh. if the roads are safe. Constantinople is practically Asia. I would give anything to go with them. it seemed. perhaps. to his surprise.” “She must spare me!” cried Lucy. I have always longed to go to Constantinople. and she accepted the hint eagerly.” “I am afraid it has been a bothersome business. yes. “Oh.EM Forster “I want them to start from Venice. delightful! I wish they’d take me. not Italy.” But this made no difference to her enthusiasm. 177 . Beebe did not quite understand. to go to Constantinople until they are used to the idea and everything has calmed down. Why could not Miss Honeychurch repose in the bosom of her family? Cecil had evidently taken up the dignified line.” “You mean that since you have broken off your engagement you feel—” “Yes. Beebe reminded her that Constantinople was still unlikely. in growing excitement.” Mr. He says that ‘Italy is only an euphuism for Fate.” “Would your mother spare you again so soon? You have scarcely been home three months. Then it struck him that her family itself might be annoying.” “Oh. that she was apparently serious. after Cissie Villa.” “Has Italy filled you with the fever of travel? Perhaps George Emerson is right. that’s nothing. and that the Miss Alans only aimed at Athens. “I didn’t realize that you and the Miss Alans were still such friends. and go in a cargo steamer down the Illyrian coast!” She laughed heartily. but Constantinople.” She ran her fingers hysterically through her hair. He saw. of course. “I simply must go away. “with Delphi. isn’t it?” Mr. “Don’t you see that I have to go away? I didn’t realize at the time—and of course I want to see Constantinople so particularly. I have to. I knew you’d understand. She had always longed to go to Greece even more. and was not going to annoy her. I assure you Cissie Villa’s nothing to me.

tea. the tinkling of a Mozart Sonata. and repeated: “I must! And the time I shall have with mother. Vyse. Cecil won’t let a woman decide for herself—in fact. I know all about it. and he had no hesitation in discussing Lucy with her.” “It is what I gathered from my own observation of away. “I have been worrying all the morning. and here comes the very thing.” “Come along. since you have heard a little—it was that he is so masterful. As he had put it to himself at Florence.” But she was so unsympathetic that she must be reliable. and all the money she spent on me last spring.” At this moment Miss Bartlett entered. Minnie 178 . He hustled them so quickly that he forgot his hat. tea. The marriage was so near that it must have been a hard struggle before she could wind herself up to speak. I agree so much that you must let me make one little criticism: Is it worth while rushing off to Greece?” “But I must go somewhere!” she cried. He had never fathomed Miss Bartlett. as. She is evidently much worried. and he prepared for a discussion. “Lucy can always play. Cecil was very kind indeed. of course. he daren’t. not at all. tea. only— I had better tell you the whole truth. if not of meaning. When he returned for it he heard. ever so far. to his relief and surprise.A Room with a View “No. “I must get “One is very thankful that she has such a resource. I wish you weren’t so kind. Mr. “She is playing again. it is what I gather from all that I have known of you.” he said to Miss Bartlett. “she might yet reveal depths of strangeness. What nonsense I do talk! but that is the kind of thing.” Miss Bartlett gave a kind of wriggle. Beebe. He assumed that much. she ought to be. and her nervousness increased. I do sympathize and agree most profoundly. He would improve me in places where I can’t be improved.” was the acid reply.” She struck her knees with clenched fists. and bustled his guests out of the front-door.” said Mr. I found that he wouldn’t let me go my own way. You all think much too highly of me. I must know my own mind and where I want to go.

and when she chooses.” “It is of the highest importance that there should be no gossip in Summer Street. He will change the subject. We must really give the Signora a testimonial. four.EM Forster was fortunately collecting ferns. as did Mr. It is odd how we of that pension. who seemed such a fortuitous collection. which stretched and shredded and tore slowly. and confidences and warnings. and—” “Exactly. 179 . Beebe. and the wiser he is the less he will regard them. they walked up the hill in a silence which was only broken by the rector naming some fern. There was no question of tragedy. eight. giving to the land a tragic greatness that is rare in Surrey. three. A chance word to a chattering friend. Vyse’s dismissal at the present moment. Freddy only told me because he knew she would not mind. She opened the discussion with: “We had much better let the matter drop. Grey clouds were charging across tissues of white.” He was used to these nervous old maids and to the exaggerated importance that they attach to words. saying cheerfully: “Have you heard from any Bertolini people lately? I believe you keep up with Miss Lavish.” “I do implore absolute secrecy.” “Quite so. Miss Bartlett not favouring the scheme. Two. The sky had grown wilder since he stood there last hour. I had forgotten the Emersons—have kept more or less in touch. He said: “Of course.” And. A rector lives in a web of petty secrets. Death is a strong word—surely too strong.” “I know. Miss Honeychurch will make the fact public in her own way. One cannot be too careful.” Mr.” “I wonder. six of us—no. have been working into one another’s lives. On the summit they paused. until through their final layers there gleamed a hint of the disappearing blue. “Yet Freddy ought not to have told even you.” said Miss Bartlett civilly. Beebe raised his eyebrows. It would be death to gossip about Mr.

“I don’t know whether you overheard. Beebe’s eyes rested on Windy Corner.” To his astonishment. Mr. and it is a sense of the fit rather than of the supernatural that equips such crises with the salvos of angelic artillery. “Nothing about the past. he said: “We shan’t have rain. Thus he was incidentally enabled to discuss the for- plan?” He pulled out the letter again. It’s all—I can’t explain—it’s wrong. while guests of more mature years seek a pleasant sanded room. and. broken. but she wants to join the Miss Alans in their mad career. I would like to reopen that discussion.A Room with a View Summer was retreating. changing the subject again. where Lucy sat. unless you very much object. She has acted loftily and rightly. tunes of Lucy. The weather was breaking up. and that Minnie would be dull if she sat in. “I can’t see the point of it myself. The wind roared. and have tea at a table comfortably. I know little and care less about that.” “I know—but it seems so odd. Mr. and it is like her gentle modesty to say that we think too highly of her. what do you think of this Greek but we shall have darkness. In it I spy Lucy’s salvation. laid it down.” They reached the Beehive Tavern at about five o’clock. They would hand the child her food through the window.” She bowed. Miss Bartlett. “and. seemed to hesitate. No smile came to his lips. and then read it again. in which the young and the unwise do dearly love to sit. the trees groaned.” Miss Bartlett read the letter in silence. Now. practising Mozart. so unlike her. so he proposed a division of forces. she replied: “There I cannot agree with you. so— 180 . breaking. so let us hurry on.” he said. That amiable hostelry possesses a verandah. Beebe saw that Miss Bartlett would be cold if she sat out. why?” “She wanted to leave Windy Corner. But the future. “I have been thinking.” “Really. yet the noise seemed insufficient for those vast operations in heaven. I am absolutely certain that it is to your cousin’s credit. The darkness last night was appalling. Seriously.

and she refused.” “Very well. and when we got to Rome she did not want to be in Rome. Mr. Afterwards— but I may have said too much already. Perhaps she must have a change. lowering her veil and whispering through it with a passion. Beebe considered. I wanted her to spend six months with me at Tunbridge Wells. Beebe exclaimed: “So she says herself. “She must not stop here a moment.” Mr. and had almost dropped her evasive manner. I trust that the servants know nothing. I cannot help her. and all the time I felt that I was spending her mother’s money—. Mr. “Why Greece? (What is it. Our tour was a failure. an intensity.EM Forster I was going to say—selfish. She wanted to leave Florence. though. Honeychurch alone.” replied Miss Bartlett. Perhaps I have already said too much. Will you?” Mr. I must own that I am partially convinced. I will say no more.” “It is natural. If you help we may succeed. Lucy and I are helpless against Mrs. “I know—I know. Beebe! I had a long and most unsatisfactory interview with dear Lucy this morning. who was evidently interested.” Here.” she continued. Beebe poked at a crumb with his knife. “I for one will help her to go to Greece. Minnie dear—jam?) Why not Tunbridge Wells? Oh. I know too well that I get on Lucy’s nerves.” interrupted Mr. and we must keep quiet till she goes.” said Charlotte. I am not to talk. apparently. surely—after such painful scenes— that she should desire a change. “It is absolutely necessary.” “Let us keep to the future. Otherwise—” 181 . Only. with a choky abruptness that was new to him. “I want your advice.” The darkness was coming on. and since another lady agrees with her. I have no sisters or—and I don’t understand these things. Beebe. But why need she go “But my feelings are of no importance. and he felt that this odd woman really did know. that surprised him. as far as Greece?” “You may well ask that. though familiar to Lucy. was one of those points that the male intellect misses.

and he was willing to go further—to place her out of danger until she could confirm her resolution of virginity. but they that refrain do better. novels with a purpose. novels about Italy. The feeling was very subtle and quite undogmatic. and settle the whole thing up. so carefully concealed beneath his tolerance and culture.” said the clergyman. and which might well be clothed in the fleshly form. The tavern sign—a beehive trimmed evenly with bees— creaked in the wind outside as she thanked him. and his influence on the action of others. he did not desire to understand it. now came to the surface and expanded like some delicate flower.A Room with a View “Otherwise—?” “Otherwise. “Come. Mr. I will help her. still wrestled with the lives of her flowers. setting his jaw firm. Mrs. He conversed on indifferent topics: the Emersons’ need of a housekeeper. Italian servants. was to help not only Lucy. let us go back now. and he never heard that an engagement was broken off but with a slight feeling of pleasure. “Yes. and he never imparted it to any other of the characters in this entanglement. The compact that he made with Miss Bartlett in the tavern. could literature influence life? Windy Corner glimmered.” So action subsequently. nor to jump to the conclusion of “another man” that would have attracted a grosser mind. “They that marry do well. but religion also. In the case of Lucy. so reticent. He only felt that Miss Bartlett knew of some vague influence from which the girl desired to be delivered. now helped by Freddy. Its very vagueness spurred him into knight-errantry.” Miss Bartlett burst into florid gratitude. Yet it existed. His belief in celibacy. the feeling was intensified through dislike of Cecil. 182 . servants. Honeychurch. but then.” she repeated as if the word held finality. ran his belief. They hurried home through a world of black and grey. and it alone explains his Beebe did not quite understand the situation. In the garden.

mother.EM Forster “It gets too dark. Lucy!” “She is playing the piano. He opened the door.” Rather a hard voice said: “Thank you. stopping short.” said Freddy. We might have known the weather would break up soon. Beebe. “I don’t see why Greece is necessary. It was expensive and dramatic—both qualities that her mother loathed. and heard the words of a song: “Look not thou on beauty’s charming.” “Sit thou still when kings are arming. Beebe said. and by his influence as a clergyman—for a clergyman who was not a fool influenced Mrs. mind her breaking with Vyse?” “Mr.” “I didn’t know that Miss Honeychurch sang. too. “but as you do. Honeychurch. “go to Greece she must. I suppose it is all right. By his tact and common sense. Come up to the house and let’s talk it over. “Good.” said Mrs.” she said. and now Lucy wants to go to Greece. that doesn’t matter a bit. Lucy! Let’s tell her. Honeychurch kindly. you can go if the Miss Alans will have you. Honeychurch greatly—he bent her to their purpose. How odd girls are!” “What’s that?” called Lucy. Taste not when the wine-cup glistens—” “It’s a song that Cecil gave her. Beebe heard her kiss Lucy and say: “I am sorry I was so cross about Greece. in the first place.” she said hopelesly. Lucy would never have carried the Greek scheme alone. “This comes of putting off.” “Mrs. but it came on the top of the dahlias. dear. I don’t know what the world’s coming to.” “And you are right. It must be something I can’t understand.” 183 .” Mr.” “So am I. The honours of the day rested with Mr. She went into the drawing-room. Do you. Beebe.” he said. I’m thankful—simply thankful.” They conferred in the dining-room for half an hour. too—Greece will be all right. and Mr. Nor would Charlotte have succeeded. “All right. Now come up to the house.

and with his usual felicity of phrase. the group was beautiful. and therefore ignored by the art of to-day.” “The tune’s right enough. Beebe. Why throw up the sponge?” “How stupidly you talk!” said his sister. Oddly enough.A Room with a View “Oh. Speak not when the people listens. splendid! Oh. Beebe.” “Wait a minute. After all. to whom she had been singing. “but the words are rotten. was reminded of a favourite theme.” “I suspected it was unscholarly. so he said good-bye.” “It’s a beautiful song and a wise one. It’s so beautiful. Mr. Freddy.” 184 . Why should Lucy want either to marry or to travel when she had such friends at home? Conversazione was broken up. Freddy lit his bicycle lamp for him in the porch. “Go on. she is finishing. Beebe followed. there was no reason that Lucy should talk about Greece or thank him for persuading her mother.” said Freddy.” “Taste not when the wine-cup glistens. and an unlit pipe between his lips. “I forget why—harmony or something. Beebe knows my rude ways. She was glad. reclined on the floor with his head against her. thank you!” Mr. Lucy still sat at the piano with her hands over the keys. The Santa Conversazione. Her mother bent over her.” she said listlessly.” “Stop thine ear against the singer—” she continued. “Here’s Mr. but he had expected greater gladness.” “It isn’t very good. in which people who care for one another are painted chatting together about noble things—a theme neither sensual nor sensational. who loved the art of the past. the Santa “Mr. said: “This has been a day and a half.” said he.

and was gently criticizing the words that it adorned: 185 . He half fancied that the soaring accompaniment—which he did not lose in the shout of the gale—really agreed with Freddy. The two main facts were clear. Beebe passed into it. she was choosing the better part. he must acquiesce. girl’s life. and he had helped her.” “I love weather like this. Vacant heart and hand and eye Easy live and quiet die.” said Freddy. for the fourth time Windy Corner lay poised below him—now as a beacon in the roaring tides of darkness.” However.EM Forster “From the red gold keep thy finger. She had behaved splendidly. If here and there he was dissatisfied or puzzled. Mr. He could not expect to master the details of so big a change in a “Vacant heart and hand and eye Easy live and quiet die. “Vacant heart and hand and eye—” Perhaps the song stated “the better part” rather too strongly.

they trusted. the more acute and less kindly of the two sisters. “But. “We think it so good of Mr. would take care to equip herself duly. I hate seeings-off. “She doesn’t like it. you know all about these things. of course.” Mrs. Emerson THE MISS ALANS were found in their beloved temperance hotel near Bloomsbury—a clean. and Lucy said with relief: “That’s all right. airless establishment much patronized by provincial England. “However. Honeychurch. and for a week or two would fidget gently over clothes. Miss Honeychurch. for they regarded travel as a species of warfare.A Room with a View Chapter XIX: Lying to Mr. who had come up to town with her daughter.” Miss Catharine continued. Vyse to spare you.” “No one will see Lucy off. only to be undertaken by those who have been fully armed at the Haymarket Stores. paper soap was a great help towards freshening up one’s face in the train. we shall see him when he sees you off.” 186 . I do so long to see him. digestive bread. a little depressed. Quinine could now be obtained in tabloids.” interposed Mrs.” said Lucy. They always perched there before crossing the great seas. even in Athens. That there are shops abroad. you aren’t going? It is such a pleasure to have met you!” They escaped. But perhaps he will come out and join you later on.” “Or does his work keep him in London?” said Miss Teresa. “Really? How funny! I should have thought that in this case—” “Oh. and you have Mr. A gentleman is such a stand-by. Honeychurch. began to drum nervously upon her card-case. and other Continental necessaries. Lucy promised. guide-books. “It is not every young man who would be so unselfish. never occurred to them. Vyse to help you. Mrs. Honeychurch.” “No. mackintosh squares. We just got through that time.

“But why at all?” Lucy was silent. Honeychurch refused. though I did feel angry for the minute. Beebe to get up the names of the goddesses and gods. Mrs. Beebe all tell me I’m so stupid.” Lucy had plenty to say in reply. well. and it had the incidental advantage of being true. Mrs. and if one told them. she would 187 . for she was on the tack of caring for Greek sculpture. and if he hears I’ve given up Cecil may begin again”—quite easy. It’s much pleasanter. too. “My daughter won’t answer me. so I suppose I am. Let’s go to Mudie’s. Lucy felt contemptuous. But I cannot see why you didn’t tell your friends about Cecil and be done with it. Honeychurch. “I should be told. She disliked confidences. and almost telling lies.” “You know. She was drifting away from her mother. the news would be everywhere in I’ll buy a guide-book.EM Forster But her mother was annoyed. let it be shop. “Oh. She described the Miss Alans’ character: they were such gossips.” “Here” was the British Museum. for they might lead to self-knowledge and to that king of terrors—Light. There all the time we had to sit fencing. and I’m thankful he’s gone. But why not announce it? Why this hushing up and tip-toeing?” “It’s only for a few days. If they must take shelter. She was thinking. and be seen through. but I shall never understand this hole-and-corner work. then.” no time. Lucy. You’ve got rid of Cecil—well and good. you and Charlotte and Mr. let it be in a shop. It was quite easy to say. was silent. which is most unpleasant. “Because George Emerson has been bothering me. and had already borrowed a mythical dictionary from Mr. dear. I shall tell them then. “But why shouldn’t it be everywhere in no time?” “Because I settled with Cecil not to announce it until I left England. that I am unsympathetic. But she could not say it. I dare say. Ever since that last evening at Florence she had deemed it unwise to reveal her soul. How wet it is! Let’s turn in here. too.

A Room with a View rather be with those inquisitive old maids than with Freddy and me. “I’ve seen the world so little—I felt so out of things in Italy. what rubbish you talk! Of course I’m not tired of Windy Corner. one ought to come up to London more— 188 . for the brain itself must assist in that acknowledgment. Lucy had hoped to return to Windy Corner when she escaped from Cecil. You see. but not for one who had deliberately warped the brain. and she was disordering the very instruments of life. Driven by nameless bewilderment. and then continued: “Of course I want to live at home. It might exist for Freddy. I must go to Greece because I do not love George. I broke off my engagement because I did not love George.” Lucy determined to make this point clear. for they had entered Mudie’s. “I do not love George. mother. I have seen so little of life. and anxious to do what she was not expected to do. She bought Baedeker. by what is in older people termed “eccentricity. but as we are talking about it. every one else is behaving very badly. and in this spirit “Hush. She did not acknowledge that her brain was warped.” This was perfectly true. mother! People will hear you”. She only felt.” Tears came into her mother’s eyes. I come into my money next year. who still lived and thought she proceeded with the conversation.” And as in her case thoughts never remained unspoken long. Any rag. “Half a minute would be nearer.” She only felt irritable and petulant. and bobtail apparently does if she can leave her home. she burst out with: “You’re tired of Windy Corner. it is more important that I should look up gods in the dictionary than that I should help my mother. I may as well say that I shall want to be away in the future more than I have been. but she discovered that her home existed no longer. instead of considering half an hour?” She laughed faintly.” “Perhaps you would like to stay away from your home altogether?” straight.” “Then why not say so at once. “Oh. tag.

EM Forster
not a cheap ticket like to-day, but to stop. I might
even share a flat for a little with some other girl.”
“And mess with typewriters and latch-keys,” exploded Mrs. Honeychurch. “And agitate and scream,
and be carried off kicking by the police. And call it a
Mission—when no one wants you! And call it Duty—
when it means that you can’t stand your own home!
And call it Work—when thousands of men are starving with the competition as it is! And then to pre-

house that your father built and the garden that he
planted, and our dear view—and then share a flat
with another girl.”
Lucy screwed up her mouth and said: “Perhaps I
spoke hastily.”
“Oh, goodness!” her mother flashed. “How you do
remind me of Charlotte Bartlett!”
“Charlotte!” flashed Lucy in her turn, pierced at
last by a vivid pain.

pare yourself, find two doddering old ladies, and
go abroad with them.”
“I want more independence,” said Lucy lamely;
she knew that she wanted something, and independence is a useful cry; we can always say that we have
not got it. She tried to remember her emotions in Florence: those had been sincere and passionate, and
had suggested beauty rather than short skirts and
latch-keys. But independence was certainly her cue.
“Very well. Take your independence and be gone.
Rush up and down and round the world, and come
back as thin as a lath with the bad food. Despise the

“More every moment.”
“I don’t know what you mean, mother; Charlotte
and I are not the very least alike.”
“Well, I see the likeness. The same eternal worrying, the same taking back of words. You and Charlotte trying to divide two apples among three people
last night might be sisters.”
“What rubbish! And if you dislike Charlotte so, it’s
rather a pity you asked her to stop. I warned you
about her; I begged you, implored you not to, but of
course it was not listened to.”
“There you go.”
189

A Room with a View
“I beg your pardon?”
“Charlotte again, my dear; that’s all; her very
words.”
Lucy clenched her teeth. “My point is that you
oughtn’t to have asked Charlotte to stop. I wish you
would keep to the point.” And the conversation died
off into a wrangle.
She and her mother shopped in silence, spoke little
in the train, little again in the carriage, which met
them at Dorking Station. It had poured all day and
as they ascended through the deep Surrey lanes
showers of water fell from the over-hanging beechtrees and rattled on the hood. Lucy complained that
the hood was stuffy. Leaning forward, she looked
out into the steaming dusk, and watched the carriagelamp pass like a search-light over mud and leaves,
and reveal nothing beautiful. “The crush when Charlotte gets in will be abominable,” she remarked. For
they were to pick up Miss Bartlett at Summer Street,
where she had been dropped as the carriage went
down, to pay a call on Mr. Beebe’s old mother. “We

shall have to sit three a side, because the trees drop,
and yet it isn’t raining. Oh, for a little air!” Then she
listened to the horse’s hoofs—”He has not told—he
has not told.” That melody was blurred by the soft
road. “Can’t we have the hood down?” she demanded, and her mother, with sudden tenderness,
said: “Very well, old lady, stop the horse.” And the
horse was stopped, and Lucy and Powell wrestled
with the hood, and squirted water down Mrs.
Honeychurch’s neck. But now that the hood was
down, she did see something that she would have
missed—there were no lights in the windows of
Cissie Villa, and round the garden gate she fancied
she saw a padlock.
“Is that house to let again, Powell?” she called.
“Yes, miss,” he replied.
“Have they gone?”
“It is too far out of town for the young gentleman,
and his father’s rheumatism has come on, so he can’t
stop on alone, so they are trying to let furnished,”
was the answer.
190

EM Forster
“They have gone, then?”
“Yes, miss, they have gone.”
Lucy sank back. The carriage stopped at the Rectory. She got out to call for Miss Bartlett. So the
Emersons had gone, and all this bother about Greece
had been unnecessary. Waste! That word seemed to
sum up the whole of life. Wasted plans, wasted
money, wasted love, and she had wounded her
mother. Was it possible that she had muddled things

“Lucy dearest—”
“No church for me, thank you.”
A sigh, and they departed. The church was invisible, but up in the darkness to the left there was a
hint of colour. This was a stained window, through
which some feeble light was shining, and when the
door opened Lucy heard Mr. Beebe’s voice running
through the litany to a minute congregation. Even
their church, built upon the slope of the hill so art-

away? Quite possible. Other people had. When the
maid opened the door, she was unable to speak, and
stared stupidly into the hall.
Miss Bartlett at once came forward, and after a long
preamble asked a great favour: might she go to
church? Mr. Beebe and his mother had already gone,
but she had refused to start until she obtained her
hostess’s full sanction, for it would mean keeping
the horse waiting a good ten minutes more.
“Certainly,” said the hostess wearily. “I forgot it
was Friday. Let’s all go. Powell can go round to the
stables.”

fully, with its beautiful raised transept and its spire
of silvery shingle—even their church had lost its
charm; and the thing one never talked about—religion—was fading like all the other things.
She followed the maid into the Rectory.
Would she object to sitting in Mr. Beebe’s study?
There was only that one fire.
She would not object.
Some one was there already, for Lucy heard the
words: “A lady to wait, sir.”
Old Mr. Emerson was sitting by the fire, with his
foot upon a gout-stool.
191

A Room with a View
“Oh, Miss Honeychurch, that you should come!”
he quavered; and Lucy saw an alteration in him since
last Sunday.
Not a word would come to her lips. George she
had faced, and could have faced again, but she had
forgotten how to treat his father.
“Miss Honeychurch, dear, we are so sorry! George
is so sorry! He thought he had a right to try. I cannot
blame my boy, and yet I wish he had told me first.

sult. Poor boy! He is so sorry! He said he knew it
was madness when you brought your cousin in; that
whatever you felt you did not mean. Yet”—his voice
gathered strength: he spoke out to make certain—
”Miss Honeychurch, do you remember Italy?”
Lucy selected a book—a volume of Old Testament
commentaries. Holding it up to her eyes, she said:
“I have no wish to discuss Italy or any subject connected with your son.”

He ought not to have tried. I knew nothing about it
at all.”
If only she could remember how to behave!
He held up his hand. “But you must not scold him.”
Lucy turned her back, and began to look at Mr.
Beebe’s books.
“I taught him,” he quavered, “to trust in love. I said:
‘When love comes, that is reality.’ I said: ‘Passion
does not blind. No. Passion is sanity, and the woman
you love, she is the only person you will ever really
understand.’” He sighed: “True, everlastingly true,
though my day is over, and though there is the re-

“But you do remember it?”
“He has misbehaved himself from the first.”
“I only was told that he loved you last Sunday. I
never could judge behaviour. I—I—suppose he has.”
Feeling a little steadier, she put the book back and
turned round to him. His face was drooping and
swollen, but his eyes, though they were sunken deep,
gleamed with a child’s courage.
“Why, he has behaved abominably,” she said. “I
am glad he is sorry. Do you know what he did?”
“Not ‘abominably,’” was the gentle correction. “He
only tried when he should not have tried. You have
192

ashamed at the reference to Cecil. horrible. Mr. Eager—he came when I was out. I shall not be so very late—” “Especially as he has gone under. “‘Abominable’ is much too strong. horrible—worst of all—worse than death. Miss Honeychurch: you are going to marry the man you love. and she went under thinking about it. Lucy was frightened. “Oh. “And she agreed that baptism was nothing.” said he.” gasped Lucy. “I did 193 . I think I will go to church. of course. I was not meant to understand it. “He was not baptized.” He beat his palms together in silence. “Oh. Emerson—what are you talking about?” “When I wouldn’t have George baptized.” “No.” said Lucy. Miss Honeychurch? Shall we slip back into the darkness for ever?” “I don’t know. “What was that?” “Gone under naturally. My mother and my cousin have gone. I am sorry I used it about your son. She thought it a judgment.EM Forster all you want.” “But.” “As his mother did.” He shuddered. his head fell on his chest. forgetting her own affairs at last. and acted according to his principles. “I don’t understand.” he said quietly. and then the weeds creep in again! A judgment! And our boy had typhoid because no clergyman had dropped water on him in church! Is it possible. “I don’t understand this sort of thing. Oh. when you have made a little clearing in the wilderness. Emerson—Mr. let in your sunlight. I don’t blame him or any one … but by the time George was well she was ill. He made her think about sin.” It was thus that Mr. but he caught that fever when he was twelve and she turned round. Do not go out of George’s life saying he is abominable. planted your little garden. Emerson had murdered his wife in the sight of God. how terrible!” said Lucy.” “But Mr.” said the old man. after all. when we had given up that sort of thing and broken away from her parents.

one must have failures. and takes me up to his London rooms. Don’t leave your comfortable house. “don’t leave at least.” It was the first time her voice had been kind and he smiled. Emerson. You remember that church at Florence?” Lucy did remember.” “Oh. George comes down to-morrow. and he minded telling me. Emerson was ill. but it is no good discussing this affair. and how she had suggested that George should collect postage stamps. not ill: just gone under.” She asked whether young Mr.A Room with a View hold firm. I am going to Greece. Mr. “George last Sunday—no. I am deeply sorry about it. Emerson”—she took hold of his hand— “you mustn’t. He will live.” He started into the present. but you won’t go back to London.” “Mr. he finds me too old.” cried the girl. “My boy shall go back to the earth untouched. He is never ill. He will never think anything worth while. Ah. Then we took the house here. “Oh—last Sunday. But he is his mother’s son. and became better. Beebe housing me—came over this morning and heard I was going! Here I am so comfortable with a fire. It was always touch and go. and he goes bathing with your brother. Her eyes were his. but he will not think it worth while to live. I must make him care to live. and he will not think it worth while to live. I had to hear so much. well. I didn’t follow it at all. You saw him bathing?” “I am so sorry. I’ve been bother enough to the world 194 . He says the thought of seeing you and of hearing about you—I am not justifying him: I am only saying what has happened. “How good every one is! And look at Mr.” “I must be with George. and she had that forehead that I think so “Then there came something about a novel. not on my account.” beautiful. and down here he can’t.” “Yes. He can’t bear to be about here. and I must be where he is. as if—at what cost!—he had won a victory over them.” And he looked with unwavering eyes at the rows of books. It’s absurd. “After you left Florence—horrible.

brown. it wasn’t.” “Not a bit.” said Lucy. I hope—it isn’t because George spoke that you are both going?” 195 . I can’t have you moving out of your house when you like it.” “All the way to Greece?” Her manner altered. They surrounded the visitors on every side. “No. they were piled on the tables. Vyse is very angry with George? No. Would she tell an actual lie when it came to the point? “I suppose that Mr. I thought. Beebe chiefly by his acknowledgment of pas- you. More certain than ever that she was tired. but you were to be married this year. “Greece”—and she saw that he was thinking the word over—”Greece.EM Forster by now. and that acrid theological blue. We either have you in our lives. I think I will sit in the carriage. You won’t talk about this business. I can trust you both. “To Greece?” “So you must stop. I know. I fancy that we deserve sorrow. and perhaps losing money through it—all on my account. Emerson was profoundly religious.” said Lucy. and differed from Mr.” “I shouldn’t want—” “I suppose Mr. he offered her his chair.” “Not till January. To Lucy who could not see that Mr. you do sound tired. “But you are. with trembling lips. it was wrong of George to try. or leave you to the life that you have chosen. clasping her hands. when he was unhappy. Vyse is going with you. and be dependent on the bounty of a clergyman. please sit still. and there’s a look of George about “Certainly you can. they pressed against the very ceiling.” “Miss Honeychurch. And what were you saying about going abroad?” She was silent.” She looked at the books again—black. You must stop! I am just going to Greece.” sion—it seemed dreadful that the old man should crawl into such a sanctum. We have pushed our beliefs too far.

” he said kindly. Beebe came back from church.A Room with a View “No. “I made a slip. and. How are the Miss Alans?” “Very well.” she said hoarsely.” And he hurried off to the stables. to Cecil. She made the long.” “No—of course. “That’s all right. “He is not going. Emerson. to all the old—awoke in her.” “Did you tell Mr.” “I hope that you will enjoy Greece with Mr. said: “You are leaving him? You are leaving the man you love?” “I—I had to. go back—keep warm. Miss Honeychurch. Mr. and she lied again. It’s pouring again. To George. of which he gave one account. that the true chivalry—not the worn-out chivalry of sex. Did Powell go round?” “I think so. but the true chivalry that all the young may show till the carriage fetches it. The entire congregation.” “Why. lifting his eyes.” Somehow it was impossible to cheat this old man. Miss Honeychurch. convincing speech that she had made to Mr. and intended to make to the world when she announced that her engagement was no more. Emerson about Greece?” “I—I did. so dignified in his approach to the gulf. stands waiting in the church. at whatever risk. Vyse. but he seemed so near the end of things. and the books that surrounded him another.” “Don’t you think it very plucky of her. “I counted on you two keeping each other company. I think three is such a courageous number to go travelling. I’ll see. which consists of your cousin. to undertake the two Miss Alans? Now. I’ll see. so mild to the rough paths that he had traversed. your mother. He heard her in silence. Vyse does stop behind in England. And she spoke so seriously that the risk became a certainty. Beebe.” At that moment Mr. and then said: “My dear.” “Thank you. His cassock was covered with rain. she would have lied again. I 196 . she told him that Cecil was not her companion to Greece. thank you. why?” Terror came over her. and he. Mr. and my mother.

“That’s it. as he loves you. “But you do. “Take an old man’s word. It’s the only hope at times. there’s nothing worse than a muddle in all the world. or your life will be wasted. not waiting for contradiction.EM Forster am worried about you. and the comradeship.” She summoned physical disgust. You love George!” And after his long preamble. “Oh. to suppose that a woman is always thinking about a man. “You’re shocked. It seems to me”—dreamily. with the roaring of waters in her ears. It is on my muddles that I look back with horror—on the things that I might have avoided.” “But you are. You won’t marry the other man for his sake. It is easy to face Death and Fate. but I know better now. You have gone too far to retreat. the three words burst against Lucy like waves from the open sea. ‘is a public performance on the violin.” Then he burst out excitedly. and the poetry. and no other word expresses people the whole of life. “You love the boy body and soul. “‘Life’ wrote a friend of mine. but ominous—and I am fearing that you are in one now. and the things that sound so dreadful. Man has to pick up the use of his functions as he goes along—especially the function of Love. “Don’t trust me.” he went on.” She shook her head.” She was still silent. 197 . I can reach you no other way. when you refused the room with the view? Those were muddles—little. plainly. how like a man!—I mean.’ I it. in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. she was not alarmed—”that you are in a muddle. You must marry. but I mean to shock you. it is difficult. Miss Honeychurch. Though life is very glorious. when you pretended to be annoyed with me and weren’t? Do you remember before. I used to think I could teach young think he puts it well. that’s what I mean. and all my teaching of George has come down to this: beware of muddle.” She was silent. Do you remember in that church. We can help one another but little. directly. I have no time for the tenderness.” “How dare you!” gasped Lucy.

” She could not understand him. You can transmute love. Beebe—the ticket’s bought—everything. the words were indeed remote. I cannot break the whole of life for his sake. and never see him again. too: love is of the body. or forget his very name. it is one of the moments for which the world was made.” She fell sobbing into the chair.” Then he checked himself. marry my boy. you will find them. “I only wish poets would say this. and she saw to the bottom of her soul. muddle it. with George. “Then. Yet as he spoke the darkness was with- ence that the poets are right: love is eternal.” she moaned. When I think what life is. forgive my prosiness. Ah! the misery that would be saved if we confessed that! Ah! for a little directness to liberate the soul! Your soul. and how seldom love is answered by love— Marry him. while the tears poured over her cheeks inside. I know that. Tell him ‘muddle. and that you love him.A Room with a View and the things that really matter. her tears remained. I cannot bear it. I must suffer and grow old away from him. But we have souls. “What nonsense I have talked—how abstract and remote! And I have made you cry! Dear girl. dear Lucy! I hate the word now.’” Then she arranged her veil. and I see you ruining yours. He is already part of you. I cannot say how they came nor whither they go. Lucy—” “You’ve frightened me. I know by experi- ness creeping in. but we have them. It is again the dark- drawn. Though you fly to Greece. not the body. Then be his wife. It isn’t possible to love and to part. 198 . veil after veil. and for which you marry. because of all the cant with which superstition has wrapped it round. They trusted me. George will work in your thoughts till you die. it is hell. and though her anger passed away soon. ignore it. You will wish that it was. “Give George my love—once only.” Lucy began to cry with anger. “I’m caught in the tangle. but you can never pull it out of you.” A carriage drew up at the front-door. “Cecil—Mr. but of the body.

Mr. “Lucy! Lucy!” called voices from the carriage. pleasantly. To whom do you refer? Trust whom?” “I mean she has pretended to you that she did not love George. Beebe looked at the sobbing girl.” He came in and shut the door. Miss Honeychurch!” “It is not rubbish!” said the old man hotly. except that he no longer interests me. stern voice: “I am more grieved than I can possibly express. Beebe opened the door. A long black column. Beebe sharply. “I shall never marry him. Beebe. rubbish. when you have deceived them?” Mr.” “What’s that?” said Mr. “Mr. with its ruddy whiskers. Emerson—they trust me—” “But why should they. A look of contempt came over him. “Why not?” “Mr. Mr. he stood and awaited her reply. They heard him guid199 . Mr.” “You’re not worthy of their trust.” Mr. could you help me?” He looked amazed at the request. Beebe laid his hand on the old man’s shoulder “I was saying. He will do admirably. seemed suddenly inhuman. lamentable—incredible. Miss Honeychurch. why should you trust her when she deceived you?” “One minute. mother. and he said. and his white face. saying: “Here’s my mother. It is lamentable. “Nothing.” Mr. Beebe—I have misled you—I have misled myself—” “Oh.EM Forster “Lucy—” “No—they are in the hall—oh. Marry George.” quavered Lucy. Emerson. and said in a low. They have loved one another all along. please not. “It’s the part of people that you don’t understand. “I don’t follow you. Emerson.” “What’s wrong with the boy?” fired up the other again. He was very quiet.” He walked out and left them.

“You kiss me. and your mother and all your friends will despise you. a feeling that. oh. It was as if he had made her see the whole of everything at once. Throughout the squalor of her homeward drive—she spoke at once— his salutation remained. But remember the mountains over Florence and the view. Am I justified?” Into his own eyes tears came. She “never exactly understood. Truth counts. “how he managed to strengthen her. he had shown her the holiness of direct desire. George still dark. dear. if I were George. “Now it is all dark. there is Truth. Emerson in despair. Truth does count. it would make something for the whole world. But his face revived her.A Room with a View ing his mother up-stairs. she would gain 200 .” He gave her a sense of deities reconciled. He had robbed the body of its taint. for we fight for more than Love or Pleasure. Ah. Now Beauty and Passion seem never to have existed. You have to go cold into a battle that needs warmth.” you brave.” said the girl.” “You kiss me. the world’s taunts of their sting. in gaining the man she loved. “Yes. if it is ever right to despise. out into the muddle that you have made yourself. She turned to Mr. It was the face of a saint who understood. I know. my darling.” she would say in after years. all the tussle and the misery without a word from him. and rightly. “Lucy!” the voices called. and gave you one kiss. I will try.

encircled by blue seas. anxious.” “Nonsense!” “Quite right. where the eagles build and the bronze charioteer drives undismayed towards infinity. He was a boy after all. “Oh. she into whose soul the iron had entered. pinning her with his elbows. “because it is the room I had. They alone will visit Athens and Delphi. bother Charlotte. that under Parnassus. The rest of us must be contented with a fair. It is nonsense. and either shrine of intellectual song—that upon the Acropolis. she who knew whose room 201 . it isn’t. I forget why. and you stop laughing and being so silly. they did go round the world.” He indicated the spot where a kiss would be welcome. get up. for some reason. you baby.” He knelt on the tiled floor. When it came to the point. which she was trying to mend. cumbered with much digestive bread. “What’s there to cry at? Kiss me here. Trembling. it was she who remembered the past.” “Why shouldn’t I be a baby?” murmured George.” she said thoughtfully.” said Lucy. or you’ll be starting rheumatism next. Charlotte made me. Unable to answer this question. they did proceed to Constantinople. and gazed out through the window. but a less arduous.” “Why shouldn’t I laugh?” he asked. They alone of this little company will double Malea and plough the waters of the Saronic gulf. “What can such people be made of?” “Same stuff as parsons are made of. “No. and laid his face in her lap. she put down his sock. It was evening and again the spring. Italiam petimus: we return to the Pension Bertolini.EM Forster Chapter XX: The End of the Middle Ages THE MISS ALANS did go to Greece.” “Now you get up off the cold floor. goal. “George. but they went by themselves. George said it was his old room. and I had your father’s room. and advancing his face to hers.

and now he calls it an elope202 . still shows. you come and look at the cypresses.” Then. domani faremo uno giro. there to the left the beginnings of the hills. who at once saluted him with the hiss of a serpent. They had fair warning. it is true. and he blessed the people and the things who had taken so much trouble about a young fool.” “Signorino. opened it (as the English will).” called the cabman. the Miss Bartletts! Ever prone to magnify Fate. she had alienated Windy Corner. He had helped himself. they had no money to throw away on driving. there the river. perhaps for ever.A Room with a View this had been last year. George counted up the forces that had swept him into this contentment. with engaging certainty. they were disgusted at her past hypocrisy. George told him that he was mistaken. “Just a line from Freddy. then here. A passion of gratitude—all feelings grow to passions in the South—came over the husband. There was the parapet. by his wife. but hers held bitterness: the Honeychurches had not forgiven them. and leant out. The “San Miniato. He knew we should go off in the spring—he has known it for six months—that if mother wouldn’t give her consent we should take the thing into our own hands. “Lucy. cab-driver. he strolled to the window. I’ll just finish your sock. “Any letters?” he asked. threatened again with rheumatism. might be that very Phaethon who had set this happiness in motion twelve months ago. but how stupidly! All the fighting that mattered had been done by others—by Italy. “What does he say?” “Silly boy! He thinks he’s being dignified. whatever its name is. and the church.” “Anything good in Freddy’s letter?” “Not yet. by his father. the Cecils.” His own content was absolute. And the people who had not meant to help—the Miss Lavishes.” “Now kiss me here. It endeared him to her strangely that he should be sometimes wrong.

domani faremo uno giro—” “But it will all come right in the end.” “But this room reminds me of Charlotte. she murmured: “Mr. domani faremo—” “Oh. and began to whisper one and Charlotte.” He turned back into the room. For she would have stopped me going in. dreadful frozen Charlotte. Ridiculous boy—” “Signorino. I wish that he did not influence them so much at Windy Corner. He has. saw all the view.EM Forster ment. I wish. Why will men have theories about women? I haven’t any about men. Eager “He will never forgive us—I mean.” Then he said more gently: “Well. too. “Signorino. I wish he hadn’t— But if we act the truth. don’t be rude to him. though. bother that man!” But Lucy remembered the vendor of photographs and said. invisible from the road. they hoped. You couldn’t have made me. How cruel she would be to a man like that!” “Look at the lights going over the bridge. They were silent. They sank upon their knees. quite altered. So possibly you know. the people who really love us are sure to come back to us in the long run. “Nonsense with that sock. I acted the truth—the only thing I did do—and you came back to me. “No. When I am very happy”— she kissed him—”I remember on how little it all hangs. and he was the only person alive who could have made me see sense. and countless little joys of which they had never dreamt. she would have 203 .” Then with a catching of her breath.” another’s names. Beebe—” “You may well wish that. If Charlotte had only known.” “Perhaps. He has to build us both up from the beginning again. I wish. it was the great joy that they had expected. for the second time.” He carried her to the window. How horrible to grow old in Charlotte’s way! To think that evening at the rectory that she shouldn’t have heard your father was in the house. so that she. that Mr. Ah! it was worth while. he will never be interested in us again. too. that Cecil had not turned so cynical about women.

but when they did her behaviour seemed more interesting. She was turning to go as he woke up.” “Oh. Beebe. and become different for ever. and there was Miss Bartlett. As they talked. and I prefer his word.” “Signorino.” “Scusi tanto. and yet she went to church. He was dozing by the They tried to piece the thing together.” Then they spoke of other things—the desultory talk of those who have been fighting to reach one another. Then. domani faremo uno giro—” Lucy bent forward and said with gentleness: “Lascia. an incredible solution came into Lucy’s mind. She was upstairs with old Mrs.” But something in the dying evening. 204 . “My father. He didn’t speak to her.A Room with a View stopped me going in. in the roar of the river. “Mean what. prego.” The cabman drove away singing. no. She said so. don’t you remember. in their very embrace warned them that her words fell short of life. Siamo sposati. signora.” he replied in tones as gentle and whipped up his horse. It was long ere they returned to Miss Bartlett. “Buona sera—e grazie. said: “It’s clear that she knew. A few minutes before you came in.” George was obstinate again. she didn’t see him. That your cousin has always hoped. and then went straight to the church. she hoped. “saw her.” “Niente. and whose reward is to rest quietly in each other’s arms. George.” said George. surely. who disliked any darkness. George?” He whispered: “Is it this? Is this possible? I’ll put a marvel to you. and George whispered: “Or did she mean it?” “Mean what?” study fire. She rejected it. and said: “How like Charlotte to undo her work by a feeble muddle at the last moment. and he opened his eyes. why did she risk the meeting? She knew he was there. That from the very first moment we met. lascia. “she did see my father. He said so.” said he.” “But she did know. and I should have gone to silly Greece.

how month after month she became more eccentric and unreliable. That she fought us on the surface. she is glad. We can never make friends with her or thank her.” “It is impossible.EM Forster far down in her mind. I can’t explain her any other way. that we should be like this— of course. The song died away. far below all speech and behaviour. far down in her heart.” Youth enwrapped them. But I do believe that. love attained. wards. and then. I read the book after- were conscious of a love more mysterious than this. Can you? Look how she kept me alive in you all the summer. But they 205 . she is not withered up all through. how she gave you no peace. the song of Phaethon announced passion requited. Lucy. bearing down the snows of winter into the Mediterranean. She tore us apart twice. remembering the experiences of her own heart. The sight of us haunted her—or she couldn’t have described us as she did to her friend. and yet she hoped. She is not frozen. but in the rectory that evening she was given one more chance to make us happy. she said: “No—it is just possible. very far down.” murmured Lucy. they heard the river. There are details—it burnt.