Newland Archer observes his new wife:
"It was wonderful that–as he had learned in the Mission garden in St. Augustine–such depths of feeling could coexist with such absence of imagination. But he remembered how, even then, she had surprised him by dropping back into inexpressive girlishness as soon as her conscience had been eased of its burden; and he saw that she would probably go through life dealing to the best of her ability with each experience as it came, but never anticipating by so much as a stolen glance.
Perhaps that faculty of unawareness was what gave her eyes their transparency, and her face the look of representing a type rather than a person; as if she might have been chosen to pose for a Civic Virtue or a Greek goddess. The blood that ran so close to her fair skin might have been a preserving fluid rather than a ravaging element; yet her look of indestructible youthfulness made her seem neither hard nor dull , but only primitive and pure."
-The Age of Innocence
oh Edith. Is there anyone on earth who ever wrote like a tender laser? I have sometimes, when reading your words, the distinct image of you dressed in a blindingly white, carefully tucked lab coat and spectacles in that big house in New York state, leaning over a dead bluebird on a chipped china tea plate with a shining scapel in your be-ringed hands.