Jasmine looked very pretty while she was speaking, and little Daisy admired her high-flown words, and fully believed in her genius.
“Do soar, Jasmine, darling,” she said; “I have not a notion how you are to do it, but do begin at once. It will make these rooms more than ever like a Palace Beautiful if you take to soaring in them.”
“I’ve nearly finished my novel,” said Jasmine; “and I’ve also written a poem. It is called the ‘Flight of the Beautiful,’ and is in seven parts. Each part would take up two or three pages of a magazine. To-morrow, Daisy dear, I am going to take my novel and poem into the market. I shall offer them to the highest bidders. I won’t send them by post, for I always notice in books that, when gifted authors send their contributions by post, they are declined with thanks, because they aren’t read. I am going to take my own manuscripts to the publishers, Daisy, and I shall propose to them to read aloud a few extracts.”
“You can’t be at all shy if you do that, Jasmine,” said Daisy, looking in a rather awe-struck way at her sister.
“Shy?” echoed Jasmine. “If one feels it, one has only to get over it. Is that the way to conquer difficulties, Daisy?—just to be baffled by a little nervous feeling. No, I really want to fill the purse, and I also wish to give the publishers what I am sure they must be always looking for; for I have looked in vain, month after month, in several magazines, and nowhere have I seen three or four pages of continual blank verse. I suppose they can’t get it, poor things! but they will in my ‘Flight of the Beautiful!’”
“I think blank verse a little dull,” said Daisy, softly, and half under her breath; but, when Jasmine frowned, she added hastily, “Of course you’re splendidly brave, dear Jasmine; and who’ll go with you to the publisher’s when you do go?”
“I’ve been considering that,” said Jasmine; “and I think I’ll take Poppy. Poppy is to have a whole holiday on Tuesday next, because her quarter’s wages are due, and I’ll ask her to come with me. She’d enjoy it—Poppy would—and very likely in the evening I’ll be able to tell you and Primrose that I’ve made my first success. Oh, how happy and how proud I shall be!”
A few minutes afterwards Jasmine went out, and Daisy wondered solemnly if her bent in life was to keep on friendly terms with Mr. Dove.
“I’m very glad I took the Prince’s advice,” she said to herself. “I’m much, much happier since I came to the Palace Beautiful, and I don’t think Mr. Dove minds much, for he has never answered my letter. Oh dear! perhaps I was too much afraid of Mr. Dove. I am so glad the Prince explained to me about being a selfish little girl. And, oh dear! there is the Prince!”
Arthur Noel often came to see Daisy. He came in the evenings at an hour when the elder girls were often away, and then Daisy sat on his knee, and chatted to him volubly.