An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

By Oscar Wilde

At the floor, Sir Robert Chiltern is a perfect husband—he has a powerful function as a member of the home of Commons and is often decent in public and in deepest. His spouse, girl Chiltern, is happy with their privileged lifestyles.

What she doesn't recognize is that Sir Robert’s preliminary upward thrust to strength was once based in a bit shady situations, and over the process twenty-four hours, those prior indiscretions threaten to come back to mild, and the destiny of the Chiltern’s marriage is quickly at stake.

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Several days later the captain secretly allowed the mate to escape, leading the crew nearly to a state of mutiny. The anguished captain subsequently committed suicide, by drowning himself, and the mate was eventually caught and convicted of man-slaughter. In Conrad舗s version of the story, which is set in the Gulf of Siam and elides the race issue, it is without the complicity of his captain that the mate (here named Leggatt) escapes imprisonment on his ship. He swims to a nearby vessel, where he is taken in by the narrator, and much of the story is occupied with detailing the uncomfortable, and often comic, circumstances surrounding the latter舗s efforts to keep the presence of his stowaway secret.

Unlike Maupassant舗s compact, elliptical stories, however舒and despite his own assertion that 舠[i]t takes a small-scale narrative (short story) to show the master舗s hand舡 (Collected Letters, vol. 1, p. 124)舒Conrad舗s stories tend to be long and richly detailed, and, as his creative imagination was constantly at work reshaping and augmenting his material, they invariably threatened to evolve into novellas and even full-scale novels. In fact, nearly all of his novels were initially envisioned as short stories.

His budding career, however, was temporarily brought to a halt when, in December 1877, he was informed that, as a Russian subject, he could no longer serve on French vessels. Without a livelihood, he remained in Marseilles, where he lived beyond his means and then tried to recoup his losses by gambling. The ensuing financial crisis led him to attempt suicide. (Conrad himself always insisted that the scar on his left breast was from a gunshot wound received in a duel, a claim perpetuated in his pseudo-autobiographical novel The Arrow of Gold [1919], which consists of heavily embellished memories of his Marseilles period, including romantic stories of gun running for the Spanish Carlist cause and a torrid love affair.

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