'oh life, how i have dreaded you,' said rhoda, 'oh, human beings, how i have hated you! how you have nudged, how you have interrupted, how hideous you have looked in oxford street, how squalid sitting opposite each other staring in the tube! now as i climb this mountain, from the top of which i shall see africa, my mind is printed with brown-paper parcels and your faces. i have been stained by you and corrupted. you smelt so unpleasant too, lining up outside doors to buy tickets. all were dressed in indeterminate shades of grey and brown, never even a blue feather pinned to a hat. none had the courage to be one thing rather than another. what dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility! how you chained me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourself down opposite! how you snatched from me the white spaces that lie between hour and hour and rolled them into dirty pellets and tossed them into the wastepaper basket with your greasy paws. yet those were my life.
'but i yielded. sneers and yawns were covered with my hand. i did not go out into the street and break a bottle in the gutter as a sign of rage. trembling with ardour, i pretended that i was not surprised.'
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