“The Middle Years” Commonplace

“He thought of the fairy-tales of science and charmed himself into forgetting that he looked for a magic that was not of this world.”

Henry James, “The Middle Years.” Henry James: Complete Stories 1892-1898, ed. John Hollander and David Bromwich (New York: The Library of America, 1996), 348-349.

Dencombe expresses a strong desire for a cure of the illness that has affected him; for Doctor Hugh to find one with the new knowledge of the younger generation. Dencombe observes that such a cure would be a miracle. Is this him starting to come to terms with the fact that the life he has lived has been his one, and only, chance?