A Daughter of To-Day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
sense of the responsibility it imposed upon society.  Paris and the Quartier stood out against it in his mind like something full of light and color and transient passion on the stage—­something to be remembered with recurrent thrills of keen satisfaction and to be seen again.  It had been more than this, he acknowledged, for he had brought out of it an element that lightened his life and vitalized his work, and gave an element of joyousness to his imagination—­it was certain that he would go back there.  And Miss Bell had been in it and of it—­so much in it and of it that he felt impatient with her for permitting herself to be herself in any other environment.  He asked himself why she could not see that she was crudely at variance with all color and atmosphere and law in her present one, and he speculated as to the propriety of telling her so, of advising her outright as to the expediency in her own interest, of being other than herself in London.  That was what it came to, he reflected in deciding that he could not—­if the girl’s convictions and motives and aims were real; and he was beginning to think they were real.  And although he had found himself at liberty to say to her things that were harder to hear, he felt a curious repugnance to giving her any inkling of what he thought about this.  It would be a hideous thing to do, he concluded, an unforgivable thing, and an actual hurt.  Kendal had for women the readiest consideration, and though one of the odd things he found in Elfrida was the slight degree to which she evoked it in him, he recoiled instinctively from any reasoned action which would distress her.  But his sense of her inconsistency with British institutions —­at least he fancied it was that—­led him to discourage somewhat, in the lightest way, Miss Halifax’s interested inquiries about her.  The inquiries suggested dimly that eccentricity and obscurity might be overlooked in any one whose personality really had a value for Mr. Kendal, and made an attempt, which was heroic considering the delicacy of Miss Halifax’s scruples, to measure his appreciation of Miss Bell as a writer—­to Miss Halifax the word wore a halo—­and as an individual.  If she did not succeed it was partly because he had not himself quite decided whether Elfrida, in London, was delightful or intolerable, and partly because he had no desire to be complicated in social relations which, he told himself, must be either ludicrous or insincere.  The Halifaxes were not in any sense literary; their proper pretensions to that sort of society were buried with Sir William, who had been editor of the Brown Quarterly in his day, and many other things.  They had inherited his friends as they had inherited his manuscripts; and in spite of a grievous inability to edit either of them, they held to one legacy as fast as to the other.  Kendal thought with a somewhat repelled amusement of any attempt of theirs to assimilate Elfrida.  It was different with the Cardiffs; but even under their
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A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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