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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about Vain Fortune.

As Julia was about to make reply, the servant brought her a letter.  She opened the envelope, and took out a long, closely-written letter; she turned it over to see the signature, and then looking toward Emily, she said, with a pleasant smile—­

’Now I shall be able to answer your questions better; this letter is from Mr. Price.’

‘Oh, what does he say?  Read it.’

’Wait a moment, let me glance through it first; it is very difficult to read.’  A few moments after, Julia said, ’There’s not much that would interest you in the letter, Emily; it is all about his play.  He says he would have written before if he had not been so busy looking out for a theatre, and engaging actors and actresses.  He hopes to start rehearsing next week.

“I say I hope, because there are still some parts of the play which do not satisfy me, particularly the third act.  I intend to work steadily on the play till, next Thursday, five or six hours every day; I am in perfect health and spirits, and ought to be able to get the thing right.  Should I fail to satisfy myself, or should any further faults appear when we begin to rehearse the piece, I shall dismiss my people, pack up my traps, and return to Ashwood.  There I shall have quiet; here, people are continually knocking at my door, and I cannot deny my friends the pleasure of seeing me, if that is a pleasure.  But at Ashwood, as I say, I shall be sure of quiet, and can easily finish the play this autumn, and February is a better time than September to produce a play."’

‘Then he goes on,’ said Julia, ’to explain the alterations he contemplates making.  There’s no use reading you all that.’

‘I suppose you think I should not understand.’

‘My dear Emily, if you want to read the letter, there it is.’

‘I don’t want to see your letter.’

‘What do you mean, Emily?’

‘Nothing, only I think it rather strange that he didn’t write to me.’

Some days after, Emily took up the book that Julia had laid down.  ’"Shakespeare’s Plays.”  I suppose you are reading them so that you’ll be able to talk to him better.’

‘I never thought of such a thing, Emily.’  At the end of a long silence Emily said—­

‘Do you think clever men like clever women?’

’I don’t know.  Some say they do, some say they don’t.  I believe that really clever men, men of genius, don’t.’

‘I wonder if Hubert is a man of genius.  What do you think?’

‘I really am not capable of expressing an opinion on the matter.’

Another week passed away, and Emily began to assume an air of languor and timid yearning.  One day she said—­

’I wonder he doesn’t write.  He hasn’t answered my letter yet.  Has he answered yours?’

’He has not written to me again.  He hasn’t time for letter-writing.  He is working night and day at his play.’

’I suppose he’d never think of coming down by the morning train.  He’d be sure to come by the five o’clock.’

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