Much like with "Passage to India", this is a book to savor for the way it's written and the highly quotable dialogues. So far, in less than two chapters
“He is rather a peculiar man.” Again he hesitated, and then said gently: “I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance, nor expect you to show gratitude. He has the merit—if it is one—of saying exactly what he means. He has rooms he does not value, and he thinks you would value them. He no more thought of putting you under an obligation than he thought of being polite. It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth.”
Love how he establishes both old Emerson's and Beebe's characters through the later's judgment.
“About old Mr. Emerson—I hardly know. No, he is not tactful; yet, have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time—beautiful?”
“Beautiful?” said Miss Bartlett, puzzled at the word. “Are not beauty and delicacy the same?”
“So one would have thought,” said the other helplessly. “But things are so difficult, I sometimes think.”
“Look at him!” said Mr. Emerson to Lucy. “Here’s a mess: a baby hurt, cold, and frightened! But what else can you expect from a church?
“My dear,” said the old man gently, “I think that you are repeating what you have heard older people say. You are pretending to be touchy; but you are not really. Stop being so tiresome, and tell me instead what part of the church you want to see. To take you to it will be a real pleasure.”
Now, this was abominably impertinent, and she ought to have been furious. But it is sometimes as difficult to lose one’s temper as it is difficult at other times to keep it.
More establishing of old Emerson (I'm half in love with the old man) and some prickly observations on society too. Forster really likes to point hypocrisy, and that's part of why I've loved what I've read by him so far.