was simply writing which, obviously, had no real meaning whatsoever, and obviously—well, read the thing—was not intended to have any meaning. A fine deed was fine precisely in proportion to the social position of the person who performed it. Scott’s death at the South Pole, when that was announced in 1913, was fine because he was a gentleman. The disaster of the colliers entombed in the Welsh Senghenydd mine which happened in the same year was sad. “How sad!” She read the account, on the first day, with the paper held up wide open and said “How sad!” and turned on to something for which the paper might be folded back at the place and read comfortably. Scott’s death she read with the paper folded back at the account. She liked seeing the pictures of Lady Scott and of Scott’s little boy. She read the caption under one of the pictures of the wives and families of the four hundred and twenty-nine colliers killed in the Senghenydd mine, but not under any of the others. The point she noted was that all the women “of that class” wore “those awful cloth caps",—the colliers’ women just the same as the women in the mean streets of Tidborough Old Town.
She was never particularly grateful for anything given to her or done for her; not because she was not pleased and glad but because she could invest a gift with no imagination of the feelings of the giver. The thing was a present just as a pound of bacon was a pound of bacon. You said thank you for the present just as you ate the bacon. What more was to be said?
She revelled in gossip, that is to say in discussion with her own class of the manners and doings of other people. She thought charity meant giving jelly and red flannel to the poor; she thought generosity meant giving money to some one; she thought selfishness meant not giving money to some one. She had no idea that the only real charity is charity of mind, and the only real generosity generosity of mind, and the only real selfishness selfishness of mind. And she simply would not have understood it if it had been explained to her. As people are judged, she was entirely nice, entirely worthy, entirely estimable. And with that, for it does not enter into such estimates, she had neither feelings of the mind nor of the heart but only of the senses. All that her senses set before her she either overvalued or undervalued: she was the complete and perfect snob in the most refined and purest meaning of the word.
She was much liked, and she liked many.
The Penny Green Garden House Development Scheme was begun in 1910. In 1908, the year of the measles and the separated bedrooms, no shadow of it had yet been thrown. It never occurred to any one that a railway would one day link Penny Green with Tidborough and all the rest of the surrounding world, or that a railway to Tidborough was desirable. Sabre bicycled in daily to Fortune, East and Sabre’s, and the daily ride to and fro had become a curious pleasure to him.