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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/258

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247
STEWART'S NEW INTERESTS

portray strained faces and contorted muscles, and violent effort, at the blast furnaces, and in the open-hearth and rolling-mills. A series of subjects took form in his mind.

With this new enterprise to occupy him, he found it possible to spend only the mornings at his office. But there was not work enough coming in to keep him busy, and what he had was of an uninteresting character, hedged in by restrictions of the clients,—the sort of work that in Stewart's opinion could be done perfunctorily as well as in any other way. His father-in-law, Mr. Dunbar, was disposed to question the wisdom of such indifference, but Stewart naturally enough reflected that Mr. Dunbar was merely a business man, a Philistine.

"But what is there in painting, Stewart?" Mr. Dunbar asked. "It's well enough as a recreation, but you can't follow a profession for just half the time this way, or soon you'll have none to follow. You 're sacrificing it, are n't you, for a recreation? Or if you are n't, what is there in painting?"

Stewart replied that he did not look at it as altogether a recreation, but as a profession that he could pursue along with that of architecture. It was not necessarily unremunerative; painters of merit received large prices for their work. And quite apart from pecuniary considerations, he felt that this was something he must do; he had ideas to express and he should not be happy until they were expressed.

"And so far from being a drawback," Stewart concluded, "if I get a reputation as a painter, it will help me as an architect."

Mr. Dunbar bowed to the young man's superior wisdom. Art and architecture were matters of which he had little knowledge.