“And so,” I interpolated, “if one has to accept what you say as correct, have many composers, and composers also who are not specifically literary. And, after what you have said, I find that strange. Take the case of Richard Strauss, all of whose later symphonic poems have a programme, a literary basis. Do you, for that reason, declare that Strauss regards music from the literary man’s point of view—Strauss who, of all living musicians, is the greatest?”
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE
"Your pardon, sir," I said, "but this is Captain Creach, of the Regiment Irlandia; I have reason to know him only too well."
"Lord, yes," Arthur replied. "Speaking generally, of course, misers, for instance. Some of them seem to lose all human feeling."
Despairing of making any one hear his trumpeting announcement that he had found the child, Lad presently made up his mind as to the only course that remained. Wheeling about, head down, he faced the storm again; and set off at what speed he could compass, toward home, to lead the Master to the spot where Cyril was trapped. This seemed the only expedient left. It was what he had done, long ago, when Lady had caught her foot in a fox-trap, back in the woods.
A number of night clubs were coming into existence, to the particular delight of young Winterbaum. His boyish ambition for Joan was returning. He had seen her dance and heard her dancing praised. Vulgar people made wild vulgar guesses in his hearing at what lay behind her grave and sometimes sombre prettiness. He pretended to be very discreet about that. It became the pride of his life to appear at some crowded night club in possession of Joan; he did not know what people thought of her or of him but he hoped for the worst. He wore the most beautiful buttons on his white waistcoat and the most delicate gold chain you can imagine. In the cloakroom he left a wonderful overcoat and a wonderful cane. Sometimes he encouraged the ringlets in his hair and felt like Disraeli, and sometimes he restrained them and felt like a cold, cynical Englishman of the darker sort. He would sit swelling with pride beside Joan, and nod to painted women and heavy men; he knew no end of people. He did not care what sort of people they were so long as he knew them. It was always his ambition to be seen drinking champagne with Joan. Joan had no objection in the world, but she could not bring herself to swallow a drink that tasted, she thought, like weak vinegar mixed with a packet of pins and that went up your nose and made your brain swing slowly to and fro on its axis for the rest of the evening. So she just drank nothing at all.
Wherever Theodora moved she was accompanied by a suite, consisting of the marquis, the chaplain, the footman, and the poodle—and of these, the one most under her thumb was the once terrible Sir John Blood, whom his own mother would scarcely have recognized, so wonderfully had his American wife changed, or as Theodora expressed it, reformed him.
“But they did, though, Mother! Payson Gray’s father fought. He was so badly wounded at Chancellorsville that he’s had to walk with a stick ever since.”
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