Mor and Nan in "Sandcastle"

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Mor

Was a housemaster of St. Brides school.
He suffered deeply from the discovery that his wife was the stronger. He was continually offended. The early years of their marriage had been happy enough. At that time he and Nan had talked nothing but themselves. When this subject failed Mor made the discovery that he was tied for life to a being who could withdraw herself from him and become independent.

“You live in a dream world. Neither of your children are clever, and you’ve already caused them enough unhappiness, but pretending that they are.”

Mor had hoped to be able to educate his wife.

It was a safe Labour seat. Mor was deeply interested in the idea (to become the local candidate)…”you haven’t the personality to be a public man.”

He enjoyed teaching, and knew that he did it well. His authority and prestige in the school stood high.

Ever since Mor had come to school, some ten years ago, he had been Demoyte’s lieutenant and right-hand man, the intermediary between the Head and the staff.

Demoyte would have liked Mor to succeed him as Head but St Bride’s was a church of England foundation, and at least a nominal faith of an Anglican variety was required by the Governors in any candidate for the Headship. This item Mor could not supply.

Mor had been brought up as a Methodist. He believed profoundly in complete truthfulness as the basis and condition of all virtue.

Mor found himself wondering whether Miss Carter remembered with any sort of interest that in the garden last night she had taken his hand in hers.

Mor disapproved of secrets.

“Freedom is not exactly what I would call a virtue. Freedom might be called a benefit of a sort of grace – though of course to seek it or to gain it might be proof of merit.”

Mor hated it when he caught himself trying to be clever. Sometimes the temptation was strong. An adult education class will often contain persons who have come merely to parade a certain view-point, and with no intention of learning anything. In response to this provocation it was tempting to produce a show, designed to impress rather than to make anything clear.

He suddenly realized that he had been perhaps for some time, in the position of the coy maiden who has made up her mind but who puts up a show of resistance merely in order to be persuaded. Mor hated vain shows.

…he felt extremely light-hearted…it was Miss Carter who had been responsible for his ability to decide.

Mor felt a sudden relief and enormous liking for Miss Carter. He was grateful to her for the simple way in which she had dealt with it.

Mor had never deceived his wife, except for very occasional social lies. These were all of them occasions which Mor never forgot. He wondered if he should tell Nan about Miss Carter’s bathing. If he was to take refuge in the truth, it had better be the whole truth.

He felt regret and distress at finding that not only had he decided to deceive Nan but had even made complicated arrangements to do so.

He realized in a moment that it was an agonizing wish to see Miss Carter again, to see her soon, to see her now. He never remembered feeling quite like this before. It was all so inexplicable.

Then from the very depths of his being the knowledge came to him, suddenly and with devastating certainty. He was in love with Miss Carter, terribly, desperately, needfully in love, with this came a violent sense of joy. I must be mad, he thought, smiling.

When he had imagined himself to be swayed by an overwhelming passion he had been a man in a dream.

Mor felt, it is a fate, it is not our will. We have both struggled against it. But it has been too strong. And with this came a great sense of vigour and power.

“I love this girl, Nan”, said Bill. He tried to look at her, but could not face her stare.

He realized with a spasm of pain, that in order to come to his beloved he would have to summon up not his good qualities but his bad ones: his anger, his hatred of...
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