Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham - Страница 1 из 936


OF HUMAN BONDAGE
BY
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
I
The day broke gray and dull. The clouds hung heavily, and there was a
rawness in the air that suggested snow. A woman servant came into a room
in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced
mechanically at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and
went to the child's bed.
"Wake up, Philip," she said.
She pulled down the bed-clothes, took him in her arms, and carried him
downstairs. He was only half awake.
"Your mother wants you," she said.
She opened the door of a room on the floor below and took the child over
to a bed in which a woman was lying. It was his mother. She stretched out
her arms, and the child nestled by her side. He did not ask why he had
been awakened. The woman kissed his eyes, and with thin, small hands felt
the warm body through his white flannel nightgown. She pressed him closer
to herself.
"Are you sleepy, darling?" she said.
Her voice was so weak that it seemed to come already from a great
distance. The child did not answer, but smiled comfortably. He was very
happy in the large, warm bed, with those soft arms about him. He tried to
make himself smaller still as he cuddled up against his mother, and he
kissed her sleepily. In a moment he closed his eyes and was fast asleep.
The doctor came forwards and stood by the bed-side.
"Oh, don't take him away yet," she moaned.
The doctor, without answering, looked at her gravely. Knowing she would
not be allowed to keep the child much longer, the woman kissed him again;


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