“Dencombe had told him what he ‘tried for;’ with all his intelligence, on a first perusal, Doctor Hugh had failed to guess it. The baffled celebrity wondered then who in the world would guess it: He was amused once more at the fine, full way with which an intention could be missed.”
– Henry James, “The Middle Years“, page 349
Dencombe conteplates the death of the author phenomenon while approaching his deathbed himself. Missed intentions are found throughout the work, most notably Dencombe missing what Doctor Hughes seems to be “trying for” in regards to their relationship.