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Glasses - Henry James

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by Henry James


Yes indeed, I say to myself, pen in hand, I can keep hold of the
thread and let it lead me back to the first impression.  The little
story is all there, I can touch it from point to point; for the
thread, as I call it, is a row of coloured beads on a string.  None
of the beads are missing--at least I think they're not:  that's
exactly what I shall amuse myself with finding out.

I had been all summer working hard in town and then had gone down
to Folkestone for a blow.  Art was long, I felt, and my holiday
short; my mother was settled at Folkestone, and I paid her a visit
when I could.  I remember how on this occasion, after weeks in my
stuffy studio with my nose on my palette, I sniffed up the clean
salt air and cooled my eyes with the purple sea.  The place was
full of lodgings, and the lodgings were at that season full of
people, people who had nothing to do but to stare at one another on
the great flat down.  There were thousands of little chairs and
almost as many little Jews; and there was music in an open rotunda,
over which the little Jews wagged their big noses.  We all strolled
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