The Book I've Just Read
William Somerset Maugham's short stories are most fascinating. Not long ago I read one of his short stories, it is the story about a man who is very rich, very powerful, very intelligent, very successful in his career and yet he is most unhappy. His name is Lord Mountdrago (the story says: he was an able and distinguished man who was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs when he was still under forty. He was considered the ablest politician in the Conservative Party and for a long time directed the foreign policy of his country). One day he comes to Dr. Audlin who is a psychotherapist and whose reputation as a psychotherapist is very good. Dr. Audlin seems to be able to help almost everybody (the story says: he could relief certain pains by the touch of his cool, soft hands and by talking to his patients often induce sleep in those who were suffering from sleeplessness. He spoke slowly. His voice had no particular color, but it was musical, soft and lulling. Dr. Audlin found that by speaking to people in that low monotonous voice of his, by looking at them with his pale, quiet eyes, by stroking their foreheads with his long firm hands he could sometimes do things that seemed miraculous). Lord Mountdrago has a strange dreams. They get on his nerves. And he is afraid that he will go mad or commit suicide if it goes on like that every night. He says that his decision can affect the welfare of the country. When Dr. Audlin asks to describe one of his dreams, he begins: "the first I had was about a month ago. I dreamt that I was at a party at Connemara House. It was an official party. The King and the Queen were to be there and many prominent people too. Suddenly I saw a little man there called Owen Griffiths, who is a member of parliament from the Labour Party and to tell you the truth, I was surprised to see him there. The Connemaras were at the top of a marble staircase receiving their gusets... Suddenly I noticed that the King and the Queen had come, turned my back on the Connemaras I understood that I had got my trousers on. You can't understand what I felt at that moment, an agony of shame. I awoke in a cold sweat and understood what it was only a dream".
Dr. Audlin can't diagnose the case and soon he learns that Lord Mountrago has ruined his opponent in the House of Commons. Whose name is Owen Griffiths. He did cruelly and mercilessly. His conscience has protested that injury he caused to Griffiths. The story has a tragic end. Lord Mountdrago is unable to get rid of his terrible dreams. He commits suicide. His antagonist suddenly dies too. The newspaper wrote that his death was supposed to be due to natural reason but we know that his death was supernaturally conditioned by Lord Mountdrago's tragic end. In conclusion we come to after having read that supernatural forces effect our lives. No matter how sensitive or insensitive we might be to them. Thus the moral of the story is that doing good is the only certainly happy action of a man's life.
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