The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck.
Joe Parkinson, for instance, who had lunched at Oyster Bay only last Thursday, according to the Lichfield Courier-Herald.  And, meanwhile, the men of her husband’s generation clung to their old mansions, and were ornamental, certainly, and were, very certainly, profoundly self-satisfied; for they adhered to the customs of yesterday under the comfortable delusion that this was the only way to uphold yesterday’s ideals.  But what, in heaven’s name, had any of these men of Rudolph Musgrave’s circle ever done beyond enough perfunctory desk-work, say, to furnish him food and clothes?

“A hamlet of Hamlets,” was Patricia’s verdict as to Lichfield—­“whose actual tragedy isn’t that their fathers were badly treated, but that they themselves are constitutionally unable to do anything except talk about how badly their fathers were treated.”

No, it was not altogether that these men were indolent.  Rudolph and Rudolph’s peers had been reared in the belief that when any manual labor became inevitable, you as a matter of course entrusted its execution to a negro; and, forced themselves to labor, they not unnaturally complied with an ever-present sense of unfair treatment, and, in consequence, performed the work inefficiently.  Lichfield had no doubt preserved a comely manner of living; but it had produced in the last half-century nothing of real importance except John Charteris.

VIII

For Charteris was important.  Patricia was rereading all the books that Charteris had published, and they engrossed her with an augmenting admiration.

But it is unnecessary to dilate upon the marvelous and winning pictures of life in Lichfield before the War between the States which Charteris has painted in his novels.  “Even as the king of birds that with unwearied wing soars nearest to the sun, yet wears upon his breast the softest down,”—­as we learn from no less eminent authority than that of the Lichfield Courier-Herald—­“so Mr. Charteris is equally expert in depicting the derring-do and tenderness of those glorious days of chivalry, of fair women and brave men, of gentle breeding, of splendid culture and wholesome living.”

Patricia was not a little puzzled by these books.  The traditional Lichfield, she decided in the outcome, may very possibly have been just the trick-work of a charlatan’s cleverness; but, even in that event, here were the tales of life in Lichfield—­ardent, sumptuous and fragrant throughout with the fragrance of love and roses, of rhyme and of youth’s lovely fallacies; and for the pot-pourri, if it deserved no higher name, all who believed that living ought to be a uniformly noble transaction could not fail to be grateful eternally.

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The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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