Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 4/The silver cord - Part 17
THE SILVER CORD.
BY SHIRLEY BROOKS.
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The same evening, late, there came a rather timid knock at the door of Mr. Hawkesley’s house. The author was sitting, with his wife, in the dining-room, and there had been mention made to Walter Lygon of the fact that such a thing as a bedroom candle might be had on demand—a hint which that young person, deep in Robinson Crusoe, had not been prompt to accept. In accordance with the custom of his order, he had preferred any other post for study than that suggested by such common-place articles as chairs and tables, and he had deposited himself on the rug, and was reading hard, somewhat in the attitude of the celebrated Magdalen, though by no means with the repose so exquisitely indicated by the painter. His good-natured uncle had once or twice suggested that restlessness was opposed to careful examination of history, but Walter continued to wriggle and shift over the conversion of Friday, until dismissal became imminent.
“Oh, Auntie!” exclaimed the boy, listening intently, as the servant was heard answering the person at the street door. The next minute he sprang to his feet, as the parlour door opened.
“I knew it was,” he said. “I knew the voice.”
It was Clara.
Her brother had the start, and had kissed her with a boy’s violence, and received her hearty kisses in return, before Mr. or Mrs. Hawkesley could speak; but their welcome to the child was a gladder one than even kind relations are in the habit of according.
“But are you alone, darling?” said Mrs. Hawkesley, when the first affectionate embraces were over, and Clara stood with her aunt’s arm round her.“Yes, indeed, aunt. And I thought I should never get here.”
“And where do you come from, dear?”
“From Mrs. Berry’s, aunt.”
“Who is Mrs. Berry, love?—I don’t know her, do I?”
“At Lipthwaite, aunt.”
“And you have come up from Lipthwaite?—By yourself?—Surely not?”
“Yes, I have. I could not stay any longer. I hope papa will not be angry.”
“Not he,” said Walter, promptly. “I’ll make it all right with him. I am so glad you came. It was jolly of you.”
But Clara did not look as if there were anything of jollity in her fortunes. She was pale, and indisposed to speak, and as soon as the excitement of her reception was over, she began to cry hysterically.
“Ah, that’s a case for you, Dr. Betty,” said Hawkesley. “I should prescribe a large glass of hot negus, and twelve hours in bed, before I asked another question. But I never interfere with the faculty.”
An hour later, Walter having been at length disposed of, Mrs. Hawkesley returned to the parlour to her husband.
“Asleep, I hope?” said he, laying down his book.
“She soon will be now, dear; but she would speak, and on the whole I thought it was better to let her have her way. My dear Charles, that child has the strangest story to tell.”
“Tell me this before you go into it. What about her mother?”
“She knows nothing about her mother, except that the woman with whom she has been staying has been filling her mind with the most painful hints and insinuations, telling her, in fact, that Laura is not a good woman, and that the best thing that can happen to Clara is her never seeing her mother again.”
“But who is the hag, and how did the child get to her?”
“She is Mrs. Berry, of Lipthwaite, the wife of an old gentleman down there, whose name and existence I had entirely forgotten. They live, it seems, in a pretty house out of the town, but it is a house that must have been built since I left, so far as 1 can make out from her description. I have so completely lost sight of the place and the people that I cannot identify the woman; but Mr. Berry is an old friend of Arthur’s.”
“Berry. Why, Beatrice, of course he is. I have heard Arthur speak of him as his confidential adviser, and all the rest of it. Be is an old attorney.”
“No, no, that is quite another person. That’s Mr. Allingham. Everybody knew him in my time. He lives, if he is still alive, quite in the town. He was one of our great little men there, chief clerk, or something of that sort.”
“Town clerk, perhaps? I am positive, though, that Berry is the name of Arthur’s friend. But how did Clara get there?”
“Her father took her down, the day after Laura went away, and left her in the charge of this woman.”
“While he went—where?” asked Hawkesley, eagerly.
“He did not tell the child, but the wretch with whom she was has made her think that he was gone on a very sad errand.”
“She said that,” replied Hawkesley, slowly.
“Yes, and worse; but Clara does not believe it, and I would take the child’s word rather than any one’s. She says that he went away in good spirits, and smiling, and that she was not to be deceived.”
“All this looks very bad, my dear one,” said Hawkesley, gravely, almost sadly. “Very bad, dear; and painful as it is to say so, I fear that we have something to hear which will be most bitter.”
“And are you—you who loved Laura so well—going to believe ill of her, Charles, before we know anything at all? No, I am sure that you are not.”
“I do not believe, dear Beatrice, that even your affection for her is much greater than mine; but I feel that we ought to be prepared for bad news,” said Hawkesley. “But, tell me, why has Clara left the place where her father desired her to stay?”
“Because, like any loving and high-spirited child, she could not bear to hear the things that the woman said, day by day, and night by night, about her mother. I love the dear thing from my very heart for refusing to bear it any longer. As for the wretch at Lipthwaite, she ought to be transported.”
“My dear, we had better discover her crimes coolly, and then we shall be better able to judge how to punish them. Clara is a good child, but a child’s report of people it does not like is not always to be taken literally.”
“What do you say, then, of a woman, who is not only always insinuating to a child that her mother is bad, but who actually writes out a prayer for her, and makes Clara go on her knees and ask that God will be pleased to forgive her erring mamma? Clara tore it up, and was kept on bread and water for two days for doing it, and told that very likely an evil spirit might come to her in the night and punish her for such wickedness.”
Hawkesley broke out with a word which we may forgive, as his wife forgave it.
“Yes, I knew that would be too much for you,” said Beatrice, laying her hand on his. “Think of such cruelty.”
“One would rather not think of it,” said he, “unless for a reason. Arthur, of course, could have no idea what sort of a woman he had placed his child with.”
“I hope not.”
“Nay, you are sure he had not.”
“I don’t know. Men think nothing about these things; and when a child has gone through a persecution that is enough to make it melancholy mad for the rest of its days, they think it is enough to say that the tormentor acted very injudiciously, but that many conscientious people believe with Solomon that you ought to be always beating children.”
“That is not to be said of me, I think, Beatrice.”
“Of you, dear? Not for a moment—how dare yon suppose such a thing? But Arthur, with all his kindness of nature, has some hard notions—I think his father was a Baptist, or something of that kind, and brought his children up very sternly. He dragged them to chapel three times on Sundays, and scolded them if they went to sleep, or did not remember the texts. I know they rather hated him.”
“I never saw any sternness about Arthur.”
“You have never seen him except at pleasant times. I have been much more in the house, and I have watched. I never heard him say an unkind or ungentlemanly thing, but I have seen enough to make me believe that, on provocation, he would deal hard measure.”
“Serve anybody right who gave a good man provocation.”
“Ah! Charles, dear, I don’t know that that is the rule we ought to go by. One thing I do know, that it is not yours.”
“Mine! No. I’m afraid I resemble Lord Ogleby, and like my own frailties too well to be hard upon those of other people.”
“Do not you speak as if you were ashamed of being a kind, forgiving man. If you do, I shall be ashamed of you, for the first time in all my life.”
“Beatrice, dear,” said her husband, “I do not wish to return to a subject which—well, which does not grow more pleasant as we recur to it, but we must look it in the face. Arthur Lygon puts his daughter out of the way, while he goes on an expedition which may or may not be what—what has been said, but which his friend’s wife must believe to be so. This Mrs. Berry would not dare to invent such a story, nor is it likely she would. Arthur himself may have suspicious only, but I think you must see that he has imparted his suspicions to his adviser at Lipthwaite.”
“It is not the name,” persisted Mrs. Hawkesley.
“Is it probable that he would have two confidential friends there?—besides, I am certain of the name, now. I recollect some foolish joke I made about it one evening—something on the word berry, and Arthur’s answering with an imitation of the stock speech a snob makes: ‘Put that in your next play.’ The name is Berry.”
“Then Mr. Allingham must be dead.”
“Possibly. But do not you see the force of what I say?”
“My dearest Charles, I am determined to see no force in anything until I have had Laura’s two hands in my two, and have asked her with my own lips why she went away.”
“I only hope that she may be able to place her hands in yours, my dear, for that would mean that all was right indeed.”
Beatrice looked earnestly at her husband for a moment or two, and then said, in a lower voice:—
“I fear you are all alike.”
“I do not quite understand, dear.”
“Let me alone. I won’t say what I mean—you do not deserve that I should. Yes, you do, and I will,” she added hastily, taking his hand. “I mean that you, like other men, will be ready utterly to condemn Laura, if it should prove that she has done wrong.”
“I have said no such thing.”
“Dear, you said it this moment. You said that if I could take her hand she must be innocent. That is a man’s thought.”
“And a woman’s, I trust,” said the husband.
“And suppose—we have no right to do so, and you know that I have no secrets from you, and that I have no right whatever to suppose such a thing—but if this Lipthwaite hag—”
“She deserves the word, but do not you use it.”
“Let me speak. If there should be a foundation for anything that the woman has said—if—”
“If Laura has wronged her husband—there?”
“Yes, and were kneeling before me on that rug, as she used to do in the old days when we were girls, and as the youngest she often would say her prayers so—and if she told me of her sin, and what had led her to it, and poured out her heart in shame and sorrow—my hand is yours, Charles, what should I do with it? No, do not say that you hope such an hour may never come, but answer me as frankly as I speak to you.”
“I know how one man whom you honour would reply—I mean Robert Urquhart.”
“He is a religious man, in his way, and he would quote the Bible, and tell her to go and sin no more; but he is a proud man, too, and he would never speak to her again in this world. But what would my husband say? Answer me. Would he ask me to stand up, and tell Laura that with all desire to make every allowance for her, I could find no excuse for her conduct, and though we should willingly make every effort to place her out of the way of future temptation, it would of course be impossible for us to meet her any more?”
“I think that is a speech which, if repeated in the Divorce Court, would be unanimously pronounced as quite worthy of persons of our high character, and as combining tenderness for the erring with a proper regard to what is due to ourselves and to society.”
“And you would have me say this to Laura, if she were kneeling here?”
“Wait until we hear her at the door, and then I will tell you,” said Hawkesley.
“I know you better, my own one,” said his wife, impetuously. “And though God grant the day may never come, and that there may be no reason for its coming,” she added, tearfully, “if it ever should come, I will trust your heart as 1 will trust my own, and though you do not often quote the Bible,” she said, with something of a smile through her tears, “I know that you have read about One who did not break a bruised reed.”
“I will trust, with you, that the reed has not been bruised,” said Hawkesley.
But as he looked into the pretty little room where Clara was sleeping,
“A dove, out-wearied with her flight,”
Charles Hawkesley vainly struggled to hope for the best. The sister’s affection bore her over doubts and fears, but the man of the world saw before him a child who had been placed, by an indignant father, out of the way of harm, perhaps out of the way of her own mother, while he should follow upon the traces of the woman who had deserted him. And hateful as Mrs. Berry became in his eyes, on the instant that he had heard of her cruelty to the child, it was one thing to detest an unworthy woman, and another to refuse all credence to her words. Had it chanced that Laura had just then returned, and come, not penitent as her sister had pictured her, but calmly and proudly as she left the room at Versailles, her brother-in-law might have held out no hand of greeting. Sadly enough he gazed on the sleeping child, who had innocently done so much to shake his faith in her mother. Beatrice, who had entered with him, looked at the expression in his face, and answered it by bending over Clara, and pressing her fair cheek with a kiss, which meant hope and belief, and, still more emphatically, love and protection.
“I don’t want to compliment you, Hawkesley,” said Mr. Aventayle, the manager, as after the “reading” of the author’s new play, and the distribution of the parts, they went up from the green-room to Aventayle’s room, which has been described, “but I never heard a much better piece, or one much worse read.”
“Did I read badly?” said Hawkesley.
“I hate to say a severe thing, but anybody else in the room would have read it better. Your mind seemed to be anywhere but among the dramatis personæ, my son.”
“I dare say that it was. I have had some perplexing family business to think about.”
“Ah! Don’t you hate relations? I do. It is right and proper that we should, moreover.”
“I dare say it is,” said Hawkesley, once more taking the nobleman’s chair, “but why?”
“Do you understand natural history? Of course you’ll say you do. Well, out of any stock—say horses for instance—only two or three are really noble animals. The same rule applies to a family, and we, who are of course the noble animals of our families, have a right to contemn and despise the rest, who are rubbish. Sport that doctrine next Christmas, at a family party, when you are pretending to respect your uncles, and trying not to hate your cousins.”
So spoke Aventayle, but as in the case of many other theorists, his practice was unworthy of his enlightenment, for he maintained about a dozen relatives of every degree of consanguinity, and found employment in his theatre for half a dozen more, for which two modes of treatment he was of course elaborately abused by each set; by the first for treating them as pensioners and beggars, instead of giving them work, and by the second for exacting service from them in return for his mean pay, instead of making them an allowance, as he could do in the case of other people.
“And now,” continued the manager, “how do you like the cast?”
“I suppose that you have done the best you could.”
“That’s simply a most ungrateful, disrespectful, and intolerable way of looking at it. I have cast the piece capitally.”
“Grayling did not seem very enthusiastic, and yet that is as good a part as he ever had in his life, if he knows how to bring it up.”
“My boy, if you had three eyes, you would know better. But as you have only two, and use both of them when you are reading, you cannot observe the face of the folks you are reading at. I was watching Master Grayling, and I saw that he was perfectly happy, though much too old a bird to flutter his feathers to an author.”
“Can Heygate do that footman bit?”
“He’ll be capital. You want a stolid party, a Pyramid, don’t you?”
“If he laughs at Whelker, who can’t help gagging, the scene is spoiled.”
“He will not laugh. He has stood the fire of a man who was even harder to resist than Whelker. Years ago, he had the part of a sentinel, who was to be unmoved by anything that could be said to him—it was in one of those charming little pieces which Charles Lance used to write—in exchange, as he said, for the Pulvis Olympicus—and Heygate had a long scene with Whiston. It told so well, and the house so recognised Heygate’s share in the fun, that Whiston, who had his jealousies, determined to force the sentinel into a laugh. Night after night he tried grimaces, sudden bits of nonsense, anything that could discompose Heygate, but it was of no use—he never laughed. But one day the author was at the wing as the scene ended, and Heygate came off. His face was pale through the paint, and drops stood upon his forehead as if he had been tortured. ‘You resisted Mr. Whiston’s attacks bravely, Mr. Heygate,’ said the author. ‘Yes, Mr. Lance, I thank Providence that I had the strength to resist, sir. But,’ he added, in the tone of a man who has been plundered of all his savings, or has had his wife stolen by his best friend, ‘it is very cruel of Mr. Whiston, very cruel indeed. But, Mr. Lance, I will drop down a dead man upon that stage before I laugh at Mr. Whiston.’
“I never heard that story. I am proud to have such a hero in my service. If I had known it before, he should have had another speech or two. And now, Aventayle, what do you say about Miss Tartley?”
“Ye-e-s,” said the manager, drawing out the word, as if approaching an inevitable grievance. “I thought you would come to her. Well, she is not Mrs. Curling or Mrs. Seeley. But that’s not her fault.”
“No, it isn’t. But it is her fault that she is a lump of affectation, without a single natural action or accent, and utterly unable to learn either.”
“There are a great many people who like her, and think her very pretty and clever.”
“Who tells you such nonsense?”
“People who ought to know, because they have it direct from herself.”
“It is really too bad to have to put a character into such hands.”
“You can’t say anything against her hands—they are daintiness itself—to say nothing of the rings. Be just to her.”
“I suppose we can’t help ourselves, but she will mull the wife’s temptation scene for the sake of showing those rings. By the way, make her play it without them, and then she will keep her hands out of the face of the audience.”
“I’ll try. But if she loses her self-complacency, away will go that smile which sends the half-price youths spooney to the Albion.”
“Eheu, eheu! Then, too, I’m afraid Brigling will make an awful mess of the Colonel..
“A joke there. Note it down. Colonel ought to be superior to a mess. Put it elegant. That’s a sparkler.”
“Worthy of Brigling.”
“Why do you abuse Brigling? You should see him on horseback. He rides like a trooper.”
“But the Colonel isn’t a trooper, and moreover can’t come into the room to the wedding breakfast on horseback. I can’t think what you gave him the part for. I thought we settled that Oysterley was to have it.
“L’homme propose—le Jew dispose—our friend Oysterley, between ourselves, finds it convenient to be out of town for a short time, for the benefit of his creditors.”
“You might pay them, and secure him for the piece.”
“Well, that’s true,” said the manager, gravely. “So I might. I’ll secure him for the next, if you will be so good as to get to work again.”
“I’m sorry for Oysterley, though,” said the author, “for I thought of him all through the part.”
“Humane man! But Brigling will do it very well. He has been on his mettle ever since his little bit in the Green Stocking. Nothing succeeds like success, and it does a good fellow a world of good to be patted on the back.”
“So I’m told. Nobody ever tried it with me in the days when I wanted patting. You, for instance, were most icily disagreeable when I brought you my first play.”
“No more of that, Hal, an’ thou lovest me. It was my keen perception of character that made me severe, because I knew that you were a nature that would improve by being kept down, like the palm-tree—crescit sub pondere virtus.”
“Where did you get that bit of learning?” said Hawkesley, laughing.
“Confound your impudence. Do you think nobody can read a book but an author? Charles the First had his head cut off before Whitehall.”
“Yes, I credited you with being aware of that fact,” said Hawkesley, “but do you suppose he talked Latin on the scaffold?”
“Who said he did? But there is a book called Icon Basiliké, whatever that means, and it is about the aforesaid king, and in its frontispiece is a picture of the aforesaid palm-tree, with that respectable Latin; and if you deny it, I will show you the book, which I bought at the corner of Craven Buildings for the sum of one and sixpence. Now then?”
“Well, I accept your eighteenpenny excuse for your conduct to a young author whom you ought to have taken by the hand. But it’s always the way. I dare say you have snubbed another, this very day, whom ten years hence you will be inviting to work for you.”
“By Jove, you may be nearer right than you think, for on your opinion, I have declined to produce that piece I gave you to read—Mr. Adair’s.”
“I should like to see that gentleman,” said Hawkesley.
“It may easily be managed for you, for I wrote very civilly, and told him that I should be happy to see him if he would call, and that though this drama did not suit my arrangements, another effort might be more acceptable, and all that one says to a gentleman.”
“You never said it to me, mind that. It was as much as I could do to get my first piece out of your hands.”
“Don’t keep harping on old times. I dare say I tried to hold it back out of love for your reputation, as it was so bad.”
“It ran a hundred and twelve nights at the Frippery, to your intense mortification and despair,” said Hawkesley. And though there were nine-tenths of banter in the speech, there might have been one-tenth of something else. For even a mother does not like to hear her firstborn lightly spoken of; how much less can an author bear depreciation of the child of his youth?
“Yes, I sent in people to hiss it, of course.”
“Anyhow, I was told that you did, and had not then heard that it was the custom with every manager to send in “enemies” on all first nights.”
“I believe that some people think it’s true,” said Aventayle. “By the way, I don’t suppose that there’s anything in this piece that will give offence to our friend, the Lord Chamberlain.”
“I hope that there is plenty,” said Hawkesley. “I want another stand-up fight with that amiable institution. Let us see. I dare say he’ll find offence in the title.”
“What—where?” said Aventayle, “Reckoning Without The Host.”
“Yes—what will you bet that he does not write and say that the Host may be construed by the Catholic world into a concealed sarcasm at their rites, and though he knows nothing can be further from the author’s meaning, the name had better be changed into Reckoning Without the Landlord.”
“I’ve had a much less likely message from the Censor than that,” said the manager. “I expect some day to be told that I must not allow turtle soup to be lightly spoken of, for fear of hurting the feelings of the Lord Mayor. But we’ll hope for the best. You have not put as much low life into the piece as I wanted, my son.’
“I hope I have not put any. I did not intend it.”
“When I say low life, my son, do not mistake. I do not mean vulgarity. But what I want, in a theatre like this, to which the Swells resort—”
“They resort to every theatre where there is anything worth seeing.”
“And there is always something worth seeing here,” replied the manager, with lofty dignity, especially when the plays of one Hawkesley of Maida Hill are enjoying their brief run. I was going to state, for your instruction, that years of observation lead me to say that, in an aristocratic theatre, pieces of low life, or of broad fun, should be the staple.”
“The contrary opinion hath its upholders, Aventayle the Discoverer.”
“It may be so. But the thing stands to reason. These Swells come to the theatre to be amused. They do not want to see transcripts of their own life, with inelegant representatives of themselves, doing queerly what the folks in the private boxes have been taught to do properly from their gilded youth upwards—gilded youth is a pretty phrase—jeunesse dorée, eh?”
“You are evidently engaged in pirating some French piece. But let us hear about the gilded youths—I once heard of a spangled officer in a melodrama.”
“Spangled officer—that’s a pretty idea, too. Harlequin in the Guards. Very good notion. Well, sir, touching the pieces you won’t write. The upper classes want to see something new to them, different from what is always before their eyes, and they have, I suppose, a curiosity to see the habits and customs of their inferiors. Therefore, instead of trying a weak reproduction of good society, fill your boxes with Countesses by exhibiting the home life and troubles of a costermonger. Do it well, of course; and let it be understood that the sorrows of a costermonger are, on the whole, rather grotesque—and you have got what you want, and the street is blocked with carriages.”
“But I am not acquainted with the home life of a costermonger, you see.”
“No more are your spectators, so they can’t find out your mistakes. Besides, I suppose a costermonger is a human being—if you tickle him, shall he not laugh?—if you poison him—”
“If you make hack quotations to him, shall he not yawn?”
“Then, again, my son, touching farces, which belong to another department of the drama. I should like, instead of putting up delicate little comediettas, with the idea of pleasing the Ten Thousand, to give them the broadest fun that can be got upon the boards. Their lives are delicate little comediettas, which they play with more grace and finesse than we can show them. But as for fun—”
“True. I don’t suppose that in Belgravia a footman very often drops the tray with the tea-things and falls on his knees, or sits down upon the baby of the house, and says he has squashed it.”
“There are other means of obtaining a hearty laugh than those, Mr. Scoffer, though those are to farce what the red-hot poker is to pantomime, and I shall regret to see the day when China or baby is deemed too sacred to be demolished before a British audience.”
“You have evidently thought deeply over an important subject.”
“Paley, sir, holds nothing unimportant that contributes to the harmless enjoyment of multitudes. Paley, sir.”
“I am rejoiced to see an evidence of your Christianity, my dear Aventayle, and I shall leave you in that becoming state of mind.”
“Stop a bit. I see you are out of sorts, and like any man out of sorts, you have been angular and unpleasant, but I have not done with you yet. One word, by the way. Shall I give you a cheque?”
“Thanks, no. Keep it for the present.”
“You’ve only to say the word,” said the manager, who, at other times, would merely have answered “Very well,” but whose experience taught him how many of the troubles of life connect themselves with the state of the banker’s account, and whose liking for Hawkesley was very sincere.
“I know that,” said Hawkesley, and looking straight at Aventayle, he caught the kindly intention in the manager’s pleasant face. “My dear fellow, I comprehend. But there’s nothing of that kind now. We are fundholders and all the rest of it.”
“Two gowns, and everything handsome about you,” laughed Aventayle. “You know that I could not mean to be obtrusive, but your harping upon old times, and, as I said, your general out-of-sort-ish-ness (which one notices in a cheerful man: a Mulligrubs may sulk unquestioned), made me think that some infernal relations might have been tugging too hard at the purse-strings.”
“Thanks again, my dear Aventayle. But they have not been doing that.”
“Well, you are too wise a man to let anybody tug at your heart-strings,” replied Aventayle, who had once actually interrupted the run of a prosperous drama, in which he was acting, in order to attend the death-bed of a little child.
“Some day I’ll tell you something about what has annoyed me,” said Hawkesley, “but I can’t now.”
“Make it into a play,” said the man of business. “That’s the way to utilise your troubles. And if you do nothing else, you can revenge yourself on your enemies by putting their names to all the bad characters. I knew a young author who was much persecuted to pay his just debts, and who always consoled himself for having to hand over law costs, by sticking into his next piece some character he could describe in the play-bill as “Macgriddle—a low thief—Mr. So-and-so,” the unhappy Mac being of course the plaintiff, or the attorney. It was delightful to my young friend to find every wall placarded with this pleasant little analysis of his creditor’s character.”
“I am afraid that I have no enemy at present.”
“You’ll have a good many in the morning after Reckoning Without The Host, if it is as successful as I hope it will be.”
“Aventayle, you have a bad opinion of mankind.”
“And womankind—have I not reason, beldames that they are? There is another letter from that woman I sent the private box to, and she says that she should not have intruded upon me, but for my kindness in obliging her before: and now she wants to send some of her husband’s constituents to the theatre. Also, she is good enough to add, that as the post is irregular, and she should like to know early, would I kindly send out the note to Peckham Rye by one of the many men who must be hanging idle about the theatre all day? I believe there is no created being so confident as a rich woman.”
“Nobody ought to be more confident. She has everything in the world—and irresponsibility.”
“Do you call that a moral observation, or only an observation on morals, as poor Elvaston used to say?”