Tono Bungay - H. G. Wells - Страница 1 из 500


TONO-BUNGAY
by H.G Wells
BOOK THE FIRST
THE DAYS BEFORE TONO-BUNGAY WAS INVENTED
CHAPTER THE FIRST
OF BLADESOVER HOUSE, AND MY MOTHER; AND THE CONSTITUTION OF SOCIETY
I
Most people in this world seem to live "in character"; they have a
beginning, a middle and an end, and the three are congruous one with
another and true to the rules of their type. You can speak of them as
being of this sort of people or that. They are, as theatrical people
say, no more (and no less) than "character actors." They have a class,
they have a place, they know what is becoming in them and what is due to
them, and their proper size of tombstone tells at last how properly they
have played the part. But there is also another kind of life that is not
so much living as a miscellaneous tasting of life. One gets hit by some
unusual transverse force, one is jerked out of one's stratum and lives
crosswise for the rest of the time, and, as it were, in a succession
of samples. That has been my lot, and that is what has set me at last
writing something in the nature of a novel. I have got an unusual series
of impressions that I want very urgently to tell. I have seen life at
very different levels, and at all these levels I have seen it with a
sort of intimacy and in good faith. I have been a native in many social
countries. I have been the unwelcome guest of a working baker, my
cousin, who has since died in the Chatham infirmary; I have eaten
illegal snacks--the unjustifiable gifts of footmen--in pantries,
and been despised for my want of style (and subsequently married and


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