Charles Ryder 34

‘So you’re being divorced,’ said my father. ‘Isn’t that rather unnecessary, after you’ve been happy together all these years?’

‘We weren’t particularly happy, you know.’

‘Weren’t you? Were you not? I distinctly remember last Christmas seeing you together and thinking how happy you looked, and wondering why. You’ll find it very disturbing, you know, starting off again. How old are you – thirty-four? That’s no age for starting. You ought to be settling down. Have you made any plans?’

‘Yes, I’m marrying again as soon as the divorce is through.’

‘Well, I do call that a lot of nonsense. I can understand a man wishing he hadn’t married and trying to get out of it – though I never anything of the kind myself – but to get rid of one wife and take up with another immediately, is beyond all reason. Celia was always perfectly civil to me. I had quite a liking for her, in a way. If you couldn’t be happy with her why on earth should you expect to be happy with anyone else? Take my advice, dear boy, and give up the whole idea.’