Regretting lack of action

They looked at each other as with the feeling of an occasion missed; the present one would have been so much better if the other, in the far distance, in the foreign land, hadn’t been so stupidly meagre. There weren’t, apparently, all counted, more than a dozen little old things that had succeeded in coming to pass between them; trivialities of youth, simplicities of freshness, stupidities of ignorance, small possible germs, but too deeply buried–too deeply (didn’t it seem?) to sprout after so many years.

James, Henry. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersort00jamegoog (193)

Notes: met before, missed opportunities that he seems to regret, years have passed, observes her closely.

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