What no doubt heightened the pleasure for me was that I had been passing through a somewhat dreary period. Things had been going wrong, had tied themselves into knots. Several people whose fortunes had been bound up with my own had been acting perversely and unreasonably--at least I chose to think so. My own work had come to a standstill. I had pushed on perhaps too fast, and I had got into a bare sort of moorland tract of life, and could not discern the path in the heather. There did not seem any particular task for me to undertake; the people whom it was my business to help, if I could, seemed unaccountably and aggravatingly prosperous and independent.
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