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f, and had often ministered to its qualms in others. Itwas hardly stronger than the faint gnawing which recalls thetea-hour to one who has lunched well and is sure of dining asabundantly; but it gave a purpose to the purposeless, and helpedmany hesitating spirits over the annual difficulty of decidingbetween Deauville and St. nike air max sale Moritz, Biarritz and Capri.
Nick was not surprised to learn that it was becoming thefashion, that summer, to pop down to Venice and take a look atthe Lansings. Streffy had set the example, and Str nike air max effy’sexample was always followed. And then Susy’s marriage was stilla subject of sympathetic speculation. People knew the story ofthe wedding cheques, and were interested in seeing how long theycould be made to last. It was going to be the thing, that year,to help prolong the honey-moon by pressing houses on theadventurous couple. Before June was over a band of friends werebasking with the Lansings on the Lido.
Nick found himself unexpectedly disturbed by their arrival. Toavoid comment and banter he put his book aside and forbade Susyto speak of it, explaining to her that he needed an interval ofrest. His wife instantly and exaggeratedly adopted this view,guarding him from the temptation to work as jealously as she haddiscouraged him from idling; and he wa nike air max 95 s careful not to let herfind out that the change in his habits coincided with his havingreached a difficult point in his book. But though he was notsorry to stop writing he found himself unexpectedly oppressed bythe weight of his leisure. For the first time communal dawdlinghad lost its charm for him; not because his fellow dawdlers wereless congenial than of old, but because in the interval he hadknown something so immeasurably better. He had always felthimself to be the superior of his habitual associates, but nowthe advantage was too great: really, in a sense, it was hardlyfair to them.
He had flattered himself that Susy would share this feeling; buthe perceived with annoyance that t nike air max 90 sale he arr nike air max sale ival of their friendsheightened her animation. It was as if the inward glow whichhad given her a new beauty were now refracted upon her by thepresence of the very people they had come to Venice to avoid.
Lansing was vaguely irritated; and when he asked her how sheliked being with their old crowd again his irritation wasincreased by her answering with a laugh that she only hoped thepoor dears didn’t see too plainly how they bored her. Thepatent insincerity of the reply was a shock to Lansing. He knewthat Susy was not really bored, and he understood that she hadsimpl nike air max 90 y guessed his feelings and instinctively adopted them:
that henceforth she was always going to think as he thought. Toconfirm this fear he said carelessly: „Oh, all the same, it’srather jolly knocking about with them again for a bit;“ and sheanswered cheap nike air max at once, and with equal conviction: „Yes, isn’t it?
The old darlings–all the same!“A fear of the future again laid its cold touch on Lansing.
Susy’s independence and self-sufficiency had been among herchief attractions; if she were to turn into an echo theirdelicious duet ran the risk of becoming the dullest ofmonologues. He forgot that five minutes earlier he had resentedher being glad to see their friends, and for a moment he foundhimself leaning dizzily over that insoluble riddle of thesentimental life: that to be differed with is exasperating, andto be agreed with monotonous.
Once more he began to wonder if he were not fundamentallyunfitted for the married state; and was saved from despair onlyby remembering that Susy’s subjection to his moods was notlikely to last. But even then it never occurred to him toreflect that his apprehensions were superfluous, since their tiewa nike air max 1 s avowedly a temporary one. Of the special understanding onwhich their marriage had been based not a trace remained in histhoughts of her; the idea that he or she might ever renounceeach other for their mutual good had long since dwindled to theghost of an old joke.
It was borne in on him, after a week or two of unbrokensociability, that of all his old friends it was the MortimerHickses who bored him the least. The Hickses had left the Ibisfor an apartment in a vast dilapidated palace near theCanareggio. They had hired the apartment from a painter (one oftheir newest discoveries), and they put up philosophically wi cheap nike air max trainers ththe absence of modern conveniences in order to secure theinestimable advantage of „atmosphere.“ In this privileged airthey gathered about them their usual mixed company of quietstudious people and noisy exponents of new theories, themselvestotally unconscious of the disparity between their differentguests, and beamingly convinced that at last they were seated atthe source of wisdom.
In old days Lansing would cheap nike air max have got half an hour’s amusement,followed by a long evening of boredom, from the sight of Mrs.
Hicks, vast and jewelled, seated between a quiet-lookingprofessor of archaeology and a large-browed composer, or thehigh priest of a new dance-step, while Mr. Hicks, beaming abovehis vast white waistcoat, saw to it that the champagne flowedmore abundantly than the talk, and the bright young secretariesindustriously „kept up“ with the dizzy cross-current of prophecyand erudition. But a change had come over Lansing. Hitherto itwas in contrast to his own friends that the Hickses had seemedmost insufferable; now it was as an escape from these samefriends that they had become not only sympathetic but eveninteresting. It was something, after all, to be with people whodid not regard Venice simply as affording exceptionalopportunities cheap nike air max for bathing and adultery, but who were reverentlyif confusedly aware that they were in the presence of somethingunique and ineffable, and determined to make the utmost of theirprivilege.
„After all,“ he said to himself one evening, as his eyeswandered, with somewhat of a convalescent’s simple joy, from oneto another of their large confiding faces, „after all, they’vegot a religion ….“ The phrase struck him, in the moment ofusing it, as indicating a new element in his own state of mind,and as being, in fact, the key to his new feeling about theHickses. Their muddled ardour for great things was related tohis own new view of the universe: the people who felt, howeverdimly, the wonder and weight of life must ever after be nearerto him than those to whom it was estimated solely by one’sbalance at the bank. He supposed, on nike air max reflexion, that that waswhat he meant when he thought of the Hickses as having „areligion“ ….
A few days later, his well-being was unexpectedly disturbed bythe arrival of Fred Gillow. Lansing had always felt a tolerantliking for Gillow, a large smiling silent young man with anintense and serious desire to miss nothing attainable by one ofhis fortune and standing. What use he made of his experiences,Lansing, who had always gone into his own modest adventuresrather thoroughly, had never been able to guess; but he hadalways suspected the prodigal Fred of being no more than a well-disguised looker-on. Now for the first time he began to viewhim with another eye. The Gillows were, in fact, the one uneasypoint in Nick’s conscience. He and Susy from the first, hadtalked of them less than of any other members of their group:
nike air max classic they had tacitly avoided the name from the day on which Susy hadcome to Lansing’s lodgings to say that Ursula Gillow had askedher to renounce him, till that other day, just before theirmarriage, when she had met him with the rapturous cry: „Here’sour first wedding present! Such a thumping big cheque from Fredand Ursula!“Plenty of sympathizing people were ready, Lansing knew, to tellhim just what had happened in the interval between those twodates; but he had taken care not to ask. He had even affecte

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