E. M. Forster: Howards End

13. CHAPTER XIII (continued)

"I can't bother over results," said Margaret, a little sadly. "They are too difficult for me. I can only look at the men. An Empire bores me, so far, but I can appreciate the heroism that builds it up. London bores me, but what thousands of splendid people are labouring to make London--"

"What it is," he sneered.

"What it is, worse luck. I want activity without civilisation. How paradoxical! Yet I expect that is what we shall find in heaven."

"And I" said Tibby, "want civilisation without activity, which, I expect, is what we shall find in the other place."

"You needn't go as far as the other place, Tibbikins, if you want that. You can find it at Oxford."


"If I'm stupid, get me back to the house-hunting. I'll even live in Oxford if you like--North Oxford. I'll live anywhere except Bournemouth, Torquay, and Cheltenham. Oh yes, or Ilfracombe and Swanage and Tunbridge Wells and Surbiton and Bedford. There on no account."

"London, then."

"I agree, but Helen rather wants to get away from London. However, there's no reason we shouldn't have a house in the country and also a flat in town, provided we all stick together and contribute. Though of course-- Oh, how one does maunder on and tothink, to think of the people who are really poor. How do they live? Not to move about the world would kill me."

As she spoke, the door was flung open, and Helen burst in in a state of extreme excitement.

"Oh, my dears, what do you think? You'll never guess. A woman's been here asking me for her husband. Her WHAT?" (Helen was fond of supplying her own surprise.) "Yes, for her husband, and it really is so."

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