Some Short Stories by Henry James Page 1 of 130
THE REAL THING: I, II, III, IV
THE STORY OF IT: I, II, III
FLICKERBRIDGE: I, II, III, IV, V, VI
MRS. MEDWIN: I, II, III, IV
We are scattered now, the friends of the late Mr. Oliver Offord; but whenever we chance to meet I think we are conscious of a certain esoteric respect for each other. "Yes, you too have been in Arcadia," we seem not too grumpily to allow. When I pass the house in Mansfield Street I remember that Arcadia was there.
I don't know who has it now, and don't want to know; it's enough to be so sure that if I should ring the bell there would be no such luck for me as that Brooksmith should open the door.
Mr. Offord, the most agreeable, the most attaching of bachelors, was a retired diplomatist, living on his pension and on something of his own over and above; a good deal confined, by his infirmities, to his fireside and delighted to be found there any afternoon in the year, from five o'clock on, by such visitors as Brooksmith allowed to come up.
Brooksmith was his butler and his most intimate friend, to whom we all stood, or I should say sat, in the same relation in which the subject of the sovereign finds himself to the prime minister. By having been for years, in foreign lands, the most delightful Englishman any one had ever known, Mr. Offord had in my opinion rendered signal service to his country.
But I suppose he had been too much liked-liked even by those who didn't like IT-so that as people of that sort never get titles or dotations for the horrid things they've NOT done, his principal reward was simply that we went to see him.