Crucial Instances

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Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901 - Art - 241 pages
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Page 165 - That we should grow old together. Do you think she would have wanted to be left behind?" I stood speechless, my gaze travelling from his worn grief-beaten features to the painted face above. It was not furrowed like his; but a veil of years seemed to have descended on it. The bright hair had lost its elasticity, the cheek its clearness, the brow its light — the whole woman had waned. Grancy laid his hand on my arm. "You don't like it?" he said sadly. "Like it? I — I've lost her!" I burst out....
Page 103 - ... they generally do it the other way round, beginning with the present day and working back — if there's time — to prehistoric woman. VENTNOR. But when prehistoric woman has become historic woman — ? MRS. DALE. Oh, it's the reflection of my glory that has guided you here, then ? VENTNOR. It's a spirit in my feet that has led me, at the first opportunity, to the most delightful spot I know. MRS. DALE. Oh, the first opportunity— ! VENTNOR. I might have seen you very often before ; but never...
Page 117 - ... on the fire, and he watches her in silence.) Paul, do you remember the deserted garden we sometimes used to walk in ? VENTNOR. The old garden with the high wall at the end of the village street ? The garden with the ruined box-borders and the broken-down arbor ? Why, I remember every weed in the paths and every patch of moss on the walls ! MRS. DALE. Well — I went back there the other day. The village is immensely improved. There's a new hotel with gas-fires, and a trolley in the main street;...
Page 113 - With what months and years of solitude, what indifference to flattery, what resistance to affection?— Oh, don't smile because I said affection, and not love. Affection's a warm cloak in cold weather; and I have been cold; and I shall keep on growing colder! Don't talk to me about living in the hearts of my readers! We both know what kind of a domicile that is. Why, before long I shall become a classic! Bound in sets and kept on the top bookshelf— brr, doesn't that sound freezing? I foresee the...
Page 102 - Ventnor drops his glass and advances vaguely, with a short-sighted stare.) Ventnor. Mrs. Dale ? Mrs. Dale. My dear friend ! This is kind. (She looks over her shoulder at Hilda, who vanishes through the door to the left.) The papers announced your arrival, but I hardly hoped — Ventnor (whose short-sighted stare is seen to conceal a deeper embarrassment). You hadn't forgotten me, then ? Mrs. Dale. Delicious ! Do you forget that you're public property ? Ventnor.
Page 115 - VENTNOR (starts as though to pick up the key ; then approaches and bends over her). Helen — oh, Helen ! MRS. DALE (she yields her hands to him, murmuring : ) Paul! ( Suddenly she straightens herself and draws back illuminated.) What a fool I am ! I see it all now. You want them for your memoirs ! VENTNOR (disconcerted). Helen MRS. DALE (agitated). Come, come — the rule is to unmask when the signal's given ! You want them for your memoirs.
Page 4 - by the Genoese Priest." It was a narrow-browed tace, sallow as a wax effigy, high-nosed and cautious-lidded, as though modelled by priestly hands; the lips weak and vain rather than cruel; a quibbling mouth that would have snapped at verbal errors like a lizard catching flies, but had never learned the shape of a round yes or no. One of the Duke's hands rested on the head of a dwarf, a simian creature with pearl ear-rings and fantastic dress; the other turned the pages of a folio propped on a skull....
Page 104 - Most people would be glad to part with theirs on such terms. I have followed your work with immense interest. " Immolation " is a masterpiece. I read it last summer when it first came out. MRS. DALE (with a shade less warmth). " Immolation " has been out three years. VENTNOR. Oh, by Jove — no ? Surely not — But one is so overwhelmed — one loses count. (Reproachfully.) Why have you never sent me your books ? MRS. DALE. For that very reason. VENTNOR (deprecatingly). You know I didn't mean it...
Page 118 - Helen, (he approaches and lays his hand on her letters), let's sacrifice our fortune and keep the excursionists out ! MRS. DALE (with a responsive movement). Paul, do you really mean it ? VENTNOR (gayly). Mean it? Why, I feel like a landed proprietor already ! It's more than a garden — it's a park. MRS. DALE. It's more than a park, it's a world — as long as we keep it to ourselves ! VENTNOR. Ah, yes — even the pyramids look small when one sees a Cook's tourist on top of them ! (He takes the...
Page 114 - You're a marvelous dialectician — but if we're going to settle the matter in the spirit of an arbitration treaty, why, there are accepted conventions in such cases. It's an odious way to put it, but since you won't help me, one of them is — Mrs. Dale. One of them is — ? Ventnor. That it is usual — that technically, I mean, the letter — belongs to its writer — Mrs. Dale (after a pause). Such letters as these?

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