It has thirty stories. The first story is RAIN and the last one is THE YELLOW STREAK. I cannot remember when I started reading the first story. Around midnight, about nine hours ago, I finished reading the last story of the book and found that the number of the last page was 536.

I noticed that Maugham used some expressions often that I had not been familiar with until I started reading his novels last year. For example, he often used “presently” to convey the meaning of “after a while”; “a trifle”, “a little”.

“,” → “;”
“to” → “with”

‘Presently’ used to convey “after a while” is normal, as well as “at the moment” and “for the time being”. But I can’t recall 'it used for ‘a trifle’ or ‘a little’ - got any examples?

“Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life’s ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved. ”
― W. Somerset Maugham

Ah, I thought you saw the word "presently’ used somewhere to mean ‘trifle’ or ‘a little’ - and I was asking if you had an example of that usage.

As for “a trifle dull” - yes, that means a little boring, though I don’t commonly use it in writing or speech. I’m very familiar with such phrases from a lifetime of reading, same as everyone else who grew up with British English,

Maugham is right about perfection being a trifle dull ! :slight_smile:

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Happily enough, I have read through only the first volume and am now reading the first story of the second volume. The title of the story is THE VESSEL OF WRATH.

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Seriously Yutaka, many of us I’m certain envy the level you’ve reached in a foreign language. I think I can only dream of reaching your equivalent level in my Japanese and Chinese - but I won’t give up! Of course, that’s not to say that I’m interested in dull perfection ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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