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in his sweet simple way; and he said I reminded him of some one he once knew.
Madanie de F. Who-who was that, Ethel ?
Ethel (looking up at Gerard's picture of the Countess de Florac). What odd dresses you wore in the time of the Empire, Madame de Florac! How could you ever have such high waists, and such wonderful fraises ! (MADAME DE FLORAC kisses ETHEL. Tableau.)
Enter SAINT JEAN, preceding a gentleman with a drawing-board under his arm. Saint Jean. Monsieur Claive!
[Exit SAINT JEAN. Clive. How do you do, Madame la Comtesse ? Mailemoiselle, j'ai l'honneur de vous souhaiter le bon jour.
Madame de F. Do you come from the Louvre? Have you finished that beautiful copy, mon ami?
Clive. I have brought it for you. It is not very good. There are always so many petites dernoiselles copying that Sasso Ferrato ; and they chatter about it so, and hop from one easel to another; and the young artists are always coming to give them advice--so that there is no getting a good look at the picture. But I have brought you the sketch ; and am so pleased that you asked for it.
Madame de F. (surveying the sketch.) It is charming-charming ! What shall we give to our painter for his chef-d'ouvre ?
Clive (kisses her hand). There is my pay! And you will be glad to hear that two of my portraits have been received at the Exhibition. My uncle the clergyman and Mr. Butts of the Life Guards.
Ethel. Mr. Butts-quel nom! Je ne connois aucun M. Butts !
Clive. He has a famous head to draw. They refused Crackthorpe and-and one or two other heads I sent in.
Ethel (tossing up hers). Miss Mackenzie's I suppose!
Clive. Yes, Miss Mackenzie's. It is a sweet little face; too delicate for my hand though.
Ethel. So is a wax-doll's a pretty face. Pink cheeks; china-blue eyes; and hair the colour of old Madame Hempenfeld's-not her last hair--her last but one. (She goes to a window that looks into the court.)
Clive (to the Countess). Miss Mackenzie speaks more respectfully of other people's eyes and hair. She thinks there is nobody in the world to compare to Miss Newcome,
Madame de F. (aside.) And you, mon ami ? This is the last time, entendez-vous ? You must never come here again. If M. le Comte knew it he never would pardon me. Encore! (He kisses her ladyship's hand again.)
Clive. A good action gains to be repeated. Miss Newcome, does the view of the court-yard please you? The old trees and the garden
are better. That dear old Faun without a nose! I must have an sketch of him: the creepers round the base are beautiful.
Miss N. I was looking to see if the carriage had come for me. It is time that I return home.
Clive. That is my brougham. May I carry you anywhere? I hire him by the hour: and I will carry you to the end of the world.
Miss N. Where are you going, Madame de Florac ?-to show that sketch to M. le Comte ? Dear me, I don't fancy that M. de Florac can care for such things! I am sure I have seen many as pretty on the quays for twenty-five sous. I wonder the carriage is not come for me.
Clive. You can take mine without my company, as that seems not to please you.
Miss N. Your company is sometimes very pleasant-when you please. Sometimes, as last night, for instance, you are not particularly lively.
Clive. Last night, after moving heaven and earth to get an invitation to Madame de Brie-I say, heaven and earth, that is a French phrase-I arrive there; I find Miss Newcome engaged for almost every dance, waltzing with M. de Klingenspohr, galoping with Count de Capri, galoping and waltzing with the most noble the Marquis of Farintosh. She will scarce speak to me during the evening; and when I wait till midnight, her grandmamma whisks her home, and I ain left alone for my pains. Lady Kew is in one of her high moods, and the only words she condescends to say to me are," Oh, I thought you had returned to London," with which she turns her venerable back upon me.
Miss N. A fortnight ago you said you were going to London. You said the copies you were about here would not take you another week, and that was three weeks since.
Clive. It were best I had gone.
Clive. Why do I stay and hover about you and follow you--you know I follow you? Can I live on a smile vouchsafed twice a week, and no brighter than you give to all the world? What do I get, but to hear your beauty praised, and to see you, night after night, happy and smiling and triumphant, the partner of other men? Does it add zest to your triumph, to think that I behold it? I believe you would like a crowd of us to pursue you.
Miss N. To pursue me; and if they find me alone, by chance to compliment me with such speeches as you make ? That would be pleasure indeed! Answer me here in return, Clive. Have I ever disguised from any of my friends the regard I have for you? Why should I? Have not I taken your part when you were maligned? In former days when-when Lord Kew asked me, as he had a right to do then“. I said it was as a brother I held you; and always would. If I have been wrong, it has been for two or three times in seeing you at all-or seeing you thus; in letting you speak to me as you do-injure me as you do. Do you think I have not had nard enough words said to me about you, but that you must attack me too in turn? Last night only, because you were at the ball, it was very, very wrong of me to tell you I was going there,-as we went home, Lady Kew- Go, sir. I never thought you would have seen in me this humiliation.
Clive. Is it possible that I should have made Ethel Newcome shed tears? Oh, dry them, dry them. Forgive me, Ethel, forgive me! I have no right to jealousy, or to reproach you I know that. If others admire you, surely I ought to know that they--they do but as I do: I should be proud, not angry, that they admire my Ethel-iny sister, if you can be no more.
Ethel. I will be that always, whatever harsh things you think or say of me. There, sir, I am not going to be so foolish as to cry again. Have you been studying very hard ? Are your pictures good at the Exhibition? I like you with your mustachios best, and order you not to cut them off again. The young men here wear them. I hardly knew Charles Beardmore when he arrived from Berlin the other day, like a sapper and miner. His little sisters cried out, and were quite frightened by his apparition. Why are you not in diplomacy? That day, at Brighton, when Lord Farintosh asked whether you were in the army, I thought to myself, why is he not?
Clive. A man in the army may pretend to anything, n'est-ce pas ? He wears a lovely uniform. He may be a General, a K.C.B., a Viscount, an Earl. He may be valiant in arms, and wanting a leg, like the lover in the song. It is peace time, you say? so much the worse career for a soldier. My father would not have me, he said, for ever dangling in barracks, or smoking in country billiard-rooms. I have no taste for law; and as for diplomacy, I have no relations in the Cabinet, and no uncles in the House of Peers. Could my uncle, who is in Parliament, thelp me much, do you think? or would he, if he could ?--or Barnes, his noble son and heir, after him?
Ethel (inusing). Barnes would not, perhaps, but papa might even still, and you have friends who are fond of you.
Clive. No-no one can help me; and my art, Ethel, is not only my choice and my love, but my honour too. I shall never distinguish myself in it; I may take smart likenesses, but that is all. I am not fit to grind my friend Ridley's colours for him. Nor would my father, who loves his own profession so, make a good general probably. He always says so. I thought better of myself when I began as a boy; and was a conceited youngster, expecting to carry all before me. But as I walked the Vatican, and looked at Raphael, and at the great Michael -I knew I was but a poor little creature; and in contemplating his genius, shrunk up till I felt myself as small as a man looks under the dome of St. Peter's. Why should I wish to have a great genius ?-Yes, there is one reason why I should like to have it.
Ethel. And that is?
Clive. To give it you, if it pleased you, Ethel. But I might wish for the roc's egg: there is no way of robbing the bird. I must take a humble place, and you want a brilliant one. A brilliant one! Oh, Ethel, what a standard we folks measure fame by! To have your name in the Morning Post, and to go to three balls every night. To have your dress described at the Drawing-Room; and your arrival, from a round of visits in the country, at your town-house; and the entertainment of the Marchioness of Farin
Ethel. Sir, if you please, no calling names.
Clive. I wonder at it. For you are in the world, and you love the world, whatever you may say. And I wonder that one of your strength of mind should so care for it. . I think my simple old father is much finer than all your grandees: his single-mindedness more lofty than all their bouing, and haughtiness, and scheming. What are you thinking of, as yo:1 stand in that pretty attitude-like Mnemosyne--with your finger on your chin ?
Ethel, Mnemosyne! who was she? I think I like you best when you are quiet and gentle, and not when you are flaming out and sarcastic, sir. And so you think you will never be a famous painter ? They are quite in society here. I was so pleased, because two of them dined at the Tuileries when grandmamma was there, and she mistook one, who was covered all over with crosses, for an ambassador, I believe, till the Queen called him Monsieur Delaroche. She says there is no knowing people in this country. And do you think you will never be able to paint as well as M. Delaroche ?
Clive, Novnever. That would be like leaving your friend who was pool ; or deserting your mistress because you were disappointed about he' money. They do those things in the great world, Ethel.
Ethei (with a sigh). Yes.
Clive. If it is so false, and base, and hollow, this great world--if its aims are so mean, its successes so paltry, the sacrifices it asks of you so drgrading, the pleasures it gives you so wearisome, shameful even, why does Ethel Newcome cling to it? Will you be fairer, dear, with any other name than your own ? Will you be happier, after a month, at bearing a great title, with a man whom you can't esteem, tied for ever to you, to be the father of Ethel's children, and the lord
and master of her life and actions ? The proudest woman in the world consent to bend herself to this ignominy, and own that a coronet is a bribe sufficient for her honour! What is the end of a Christian life, Ethel; a girl's pure nurture--it can't be this! Last week, as we walked in the garden here, and heard the nuns singing in their chapel, you said how hard it was that poor women should be imprisoned so, and were thankful that in England we had abolished that slavery. Then you cast your eyes to the ground, and mused as you paced the walk; and thought, I know, that perhaps their lot was better than some others.
Ethel. Yes, I did. I was thinking that almost all women are made slaves one way or other, and that these poor nuns perhaps were better off than we are.
Clive. I never will quarrel with nun or matron for following her vocation. But for our women, who are free, why should they rebel against Nature, shut their hearts up, sell their lives for rank and money, and forego the most precious right of their liberty ? Look, Ethel, dear. I love you so, that if I thought another had your heart, an honest man, a loyal gentleman, like-like him of last year even, I think I could go back with a God bless you, and take to my pictures again, and work on in my own humble way. You seem like a queen to me, somehow; and I am but a poor, humble fellow, who might be happy, I think, if you were. In those balls, where I have seen you surrounded by those brilliant young men, noble and wealthy, admirers like me, I have often thought, “How could I aspire to such a creature, and ask her to forego a palace to share the crust of a poor painter ?"
Ethel. You spoke quite scornfully of palaces just now, Clive. I won't say a word about the--the regard which you express for me. I think you have it. Indeed, I do. But it were best not said, Clive; best for.me, perhaps, not to own that I know it. In your speeches, my poor boy--and you will please not to make any more, or I never can see you or speak to you again, never--you forgot one part of a girl's duty: obedience to her parents. They would never agree to my marrying any one below any one whose union would not be advantageous in a worldly point of view. I never would give such pain to the poor father, or to the kind soul who never said a harsh word to me since I was born. My grandmamma is kind, too, in her way. I came to her of my own free will. When she said she would leave me her fortune, do you think it was for myself alone that I was glad ? My father's passion is to make an estate, and all my brothers and sisters will be but slenderly portioned. Lady Kew said she would help them if I came to her-and-it is the welfare of those little people that depends upon me, Clive. Now, do you see, brother, why you