When in an hour they crowded into a cab to go home， I strolled idly to my club. I was perhaps a little lonely， and it was with a touch of envy that I thought of the pleasant family life of which I had had a glimpse. They seemed devoted to one another. They had little private jokes of their own which， unintelligible to the outsider， amused them enormously. Perhaps Charles Strickland was dull judged by a standard that demanded above all things verbal scintillation； but his intelligence was adequate to his surroundings， and that is a passport， not only to reasonable success， but still more to happiness. Mrs. Strickland was a charming woman， and she loved him. I pictured their lives， troubled by no untoward adventure， honest， decent， and， by reason of those two upstanding， pleasant children， so obviously destined to carry on the normal traditions of their race and station， not without significance. They would grow old insensibly； they would see their son and daughter come to years of reason， marry in due course —— the one a pretty girl， future mother of healthy children； the other a handsome， manly fellow， obviously a soldier； and at last， prosperous in their dignified retirement， beloved by their descendants， after a happy， not unuseful life， in the fullness of their age they would sink into the grave.
——Excerpt from the Moon and Sixpennce by W. Somerset Maugham