The Beast in the Jungle

“It was really, in its effort against weakness, a generous assurance, and had the success of the impulse not, happily, been great, it would have touched him to pain more than to pleasure.  But the cold charm in her eyes had spread, as she hovered before him, to all the rest of her person, so that it was for the minute almost a recovery of youth.  He couldn’t pity her for that; he could only take her as she showed—as capable even yet of helping him.  It was as if, at the same time, her light might at any instant go out; wherefore he must make the most of it.  There passed before him with intensity the three or four things he wanted most to know; but the question that came of itself to his lips really covered the others.  “Then tell me if I shall consciously suffer.”

She promptly shook her head.  “Never!””

Shows James’s illustrious, pungently infused, realism style, while adding that little spark of fantasy or romance to his diction, as he asserted in “The Art of Fiction” contrary to Wildes, “All fantasy” moral code.

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