“Marcher said to himself that he ought to have rendered her some service-saved her from a capsized boat in the bay, or at least recovered her dressing-bag, filched from her cab, in the streets of Naples, by a lazzarone with a stiletto. Or it would have been nice if he could have been taken by fever, alone in his hotel, and she could have come to look after him.”
Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories & Essays(New York: Library of America, 1999).
This passage perfectly illustrates Marcher’s mind set about his life. It lacks the drama that he expected it to have.