By Anthony Powell
In Agents and Patients, we go back to London with the newly filthy rich, memorably named Blore-Smith: an blameless, good sufficient chap . . . and a drip. liable to the machinations of these with much less cash and extra lust, Blore-Smith falls sufferer to 2 con artists whose ploys hold him via to the artwork galleries and whorehouses of Paris, Berlin, and beyond.
Written from a vantage aspect either excessive and inevitably slender, Powell’s early novels however deal within the common topics that will turn into a considerable a part of his oeuvre: delight, greed, and what makes humans behave as they do. choked with eccentric characters and piercing insights, Powell’s paintings is achingly hilarious, human, and true.
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Gracious Providence, to whom I owe all my powers, why didst thou not withhold some of those blessings I possess, and substitute in their place a feeling of self-confidence and contentment? But patience! net 77 friend, you were right: since I have been obliged to associate continually with other people, and observe what they do, and how they employ themselves, I have become far better satisfied with myself. For we are so constituted by nature, that we are ever prone to compare ourselves with others; and our happiness or misery depends very much on the objects and persons around us.
Why, Wilhelm, should she put this question to me, just at the moment when the fear of our cruel separation filled my heart? “And oh! do those departed ones know how we are employed here? do they know when we are well and happy? do they know when we recall their memories with the fondest love? In the silent hour of evening the shade of my mother hovers around me; when seated in the midst of my children, I see them assembled near me, as they used to assemble near her; and then I raise my anxious eyes to heaven, and wish she could look down upon us, and witness how I fulfil the promise I made to her in her last moments, to be a mother to her children.
March 15. I have just had a sad adventure, which will drive me away from here. I lose all patience! — Death! — It is not to be remedied; and you alone are to blame, for you urged and impelled me to fill a post for which I was by no means suited. I have now reason to be satisfied, and so have you! But, that you may not again attribute this fatality to my impetuous temper, I send you, my dear sir, a plain and simple narration of the affair, as a mere chronicler of facts would describe it. The Count of O— likes and distinguishes me.
Agents and patients by Anthony Powell