By Edith Wharton
Thought of by way of many to be her masterpiece, Edith Wharton's moment full-length paintings is a scathing but own exam of the exploits and follies of the fashionable higher category. As she unfolds the tale of Undine Spragg, from long island to Europe, Wharton presents us a close glimpse of what could be known as the internal décor of this the United States and its nouveau riche fringes. via a heroine who's as useless, spoiled, and egocentric as she is irresistibly attention-grabbing, and during a most complicated and pleasurable plot that follows Undine's marriages and affairs, she conveys a imaginative and prescient of social habit that's either supremely proficient and supremely disappointed.
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Extra resources for The Custom of the Country
44 6. But thou, who own’st that earthy bed, Ah! what will every dirge avail? Or tears, which Love and Pity shed That mourn beneath the gliding sail! 7. 25 Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near? With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die, And Joy desert the blooming year. 8. But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide 30 No sedge-crowned Sisters now attend,   Now waft me from the green hill’s side Whose cold turf hides the buried friend! 9. And see, the fairy valleys fade,  Dun Night has veiled the solemn view!
I showed her there the songs of one  Who done to death by pride 35 Though Virtue’s friend, and Fancy’s son In love unpitied died I hoped when to that shepherd’s truth Her pity should attend She would not leave another youth 40 To meet his luckless end. 6. Now tell me you who hear me sing And prompt the tender theme How far is Lavant’s little spring From Medway’s mightier stream! 45   Confined within my native dells 64 The world I little know But in some tufted mead she dwells Where’er those waters flow.
With eyes up-raised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sat retired, And from her wild sequestered seat, 60 In notes by distance made more sweet, Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul : And dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling runnels joined the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, 65 Or o’er some haunted stream with fond delay, Round an holy calm diffusing, Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away. But O how altered was its sprightlier tone!