“If it had no importance he scarcely knew why his actual impression of her should so seem to have so much; the answer to which, however, was that in such a life as they all appeared to be leading for the moment one could but take things as they come.”
James, Henry. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersort00jamegoog. (191).
Notes: impressions, life, taking things as they come, reality
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implication of things, to judge of whole things of the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it – this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience, and they occur in country and in town, and in the most differing stages of education. If experience consists of impressions, it may be said that impressions are experience, just as they are the very air we breathe.
Henry James, “The Art of Fiction”, in Major Stories & Essays, Library of America College Editions, p581