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COMPANIONSHIP

When Miss Grammont was keenly interested in a conversation, then Belinda had learnt from experience that it was wiser to go off with her devil out of the range of any temptation to interrupt.

“You really think,” said Miss Grammont, “that it would be possible to take this confused old world and reshape it, set it marching towards that new world of yours—of two hundred and fifty million fully developed, beautiful and happy people?”

“Why not? Nobody is doing anything with the world except muddle about. Why not give it a direction?”

“You’d take it in your hands like clay?”

“Obdurate clay with a sort of recalcitrant, unintelligent life of its own.”

Her imagination glowed in her eyes and warmed her voice. “I believe what you say is possible. If people dare.”

“I am tired of following little motives that are like flames that go out when you get to them. I am tired of seeing all the world doing the same. I am tired of a world in which there is nothing great but great disasters. Here is something mankind can attempt, that we can attempt.”

“And will?”

“I believe that as Mankind grows up this is the business Man has to settle down to and will settle down to.”

She considered that.

“I’ve been getting to believe something like