Vain Fortune eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Vain Fortune.
winter re-writing The Gipsy.  If it did not come right then, he would bother no more about it.  Why should he?  There was so much else in life besides literature.  He had plenty of money, and was determined in any case to enjoy himself.  So did his thoughts run as he leaned back on the cushions of a first-class carriage, glancing casually through the evening paper.  Presently his eye was caught by a paragraph narrating an odd calamity which had overtaken a scene carpenter, an honest, respectable, sober, hard-working man, who had fulfilled all social obligations as perfectly as the most exacting could desire, until the day he had conceived the idea of a machine for the better exhibition of advertisements on the hoardings.  His system was based on the roller-towel.  The roller was moved by clockwork, and the advertisements went round like the towel.  At first he spent his spare time and his spare money upon it, but as the hobby took possession of him, he devoted all his time and all his money to it; then he pawned his clothes, and then he raised money on the furniture; the brokers came in, and finally the poor fellow was taken to a lunatic asylum, and his wife and family were thrown on the parish.  The story impressed Hubert strangely.  He saw an analogy between himself and the crazy inventor, and he asked himself if he would go on re-writing The Gipsy until he went out of his mind.  ‘Even if I do,’ he thought, ’I can hurt no one but myself.  No one else is dependent on me; my hobby can hurt no one but myself.’  These forebodings passed away, and his mind filled up with schemes of work.  He knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he looked forward to doing it.  He wanted quiet, he wanted long days alone with himself.  Such were his thoughts in the dog-cart as he drove home, and it was therefore vaguely unpleasant to him to meet the two ladies waiting for him at the lodge gate.  Their smiles of welcome irritated him; he longed for the solitude of his study, the companionship of his work; and instead he had to sit with them in the drawing-room, and tell them how he liked London, what he had done there, whom he had seen there, and why he had been unable to finish his play to his satisfaction.

In the morning Emily or Mrs. Bentley was generally about to pour out his coffee for him and keep him company.  One day Hubert noticed that it was no longer Mrs. Bentley but Emily who met him in the passage, and followed him into the dining-room.  And while he was eating she sat with her feet on the fender, talking of some girls in the neighbourhood—­their jealousies, and how Edith Eastwick could not think of anything for herself, but always copied her dresses.  Dandy drowsed at her feet, and very often she would take him to the window and make him go through all his tricks, calling on Hubert to admire him.

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Vain Fortune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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