To preserve an unbroken domesticity was essential to his peace of mind; he would not have known where his hair-brushes were, or how to provide stamps for his letters, if Mrs. Welland had not been there to tell him.
Even the fashionable quarters had the air of untidy domesticity to which no excess of heat ever degrades the European cities.
Of course such a marriage was only what Newland was entitled to; but young men are so foolish and incalculable—and some women so ensnaring and unscrupulous—that it was nothing short of a miracle to see one’s only son safe past the Siren Isle and in the haven of a blameless domesticity.
Mr. Welland’s sensitive domesticity shrank from the discomforts of the slovenly southern hotel, and at immense expense, and in face of almost insuperable difficulties, Mrs. Welland was obliged, year after year, to improvise an establishment partly made up of discontented New York servants and partly drawn from the local African supply.
Sometimes he felt as if he had found the clue to his father-in-law’s absorption in trifles; perhaps even Mr. Welland, long ago, had had escapes and visions, and had conjured up all the hosts of domesticity to defend himself against them.
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We share the domestic chores.
My great grandmother worked in London as a domestic servant.
To look at the matter in this light simplified his own case and surprisingly furbished up all the dim domestic virtues.
He had no fear of being oppressed by them, for his artistic and intellectual life would go on, as it always had, outside the domestic circle; and within it there would be nothing small and stifling—coming back to his wife would never be like entering a stuffy room after a tramp in the open.
Its glass shelves were crowded with small broken objects—hardly recognisable domestic utensils, ornaments and personal trifles—made of glass, of clay, of discoloured bronze and other time-blurred substances.
The silent organisation which held his little world together was determined to put itself on record as never for a moment having questioned the propriety of Madame Olenska’s conduct, or the completeness of Archer’s domestic felicity.
If he did, these domestic activities were privately performed, and he presented to the world the appearance of a careless and hospitable millionaire strolling into his own drawing-room with the detachment of an invited guest, and saying: "My wife’s gloxinias are a marvel, aren’t they?
If Madame Olenska’s relations understood what these things were, their opposition to her returning would no doubt be as unconditional as her own; but they seem to regard her husband’s wish to have her back as proof of an irresistible longing for domestic life."