“I do hope I am a genius,” she said; “I have always longed so to be one. If I really am, it will be all right about Poppy’s money, for, of course, the public will try to buy my story. It’s really rather a striking story, Daisy. There’s a girl in it who does such wonderfully self-denying things—she never thinks of herself for a moment—she is very poor, and yet she earns money in all sorts of delightful ways, and supports her family—she has got two sisters—they are not half as clever as she is at earning money. The story begins by the sisters rather despising Juliet, but in the end they find out how much she is worth. The leading idea in the story is the inculcation of unselfishness—oh dear! oh dear! I hope I shall prove myself a genius in having developed this character. If so, I shall be able to pay Poppy back.”
“There is something so beautiful in unselfishness,” said Daisy, in a rather prim, moralizing little tone. “Do you know, Jasmine, that I was once going to be frightfully selfish?—I should have been but for the Prince, but he spoke to me; he made up a lovely little story, and he told me about the Palace Beautiful.”
“I never can make out why you call these rooms the Palace Beautiful, Daisy,” said Jasmine.
“It’s because of the way they’ve been furnished,” said Daisy. “They are full of Love, and Self-denial, and Goodness. I do so dearly like to think of it. I lie often on the sofa for hours, and make up stories about three fairies, whom I call by these names; they are quite playmates for me, and I talk to them. I often almost fancy they are real, but the strange thing is, Jasmine, they will only come to me when I have tried to be unselfish, and cheerful, and done my best to be bright and happy. Then Goodness comes, and makes the walls shine with his presence, and Self-denial makes my sofa so soft and easy, and Love gives me a nice view through the window, for I try to take an interest in all the men and women and little children who pass, and when I sit at the window and look at them through Love’s glass you cannot think how nice they all seem. I told the Prince about it one day, and he said that was making a real Palace Beautiful out of our rooms.”
“I hear Primrose’s step,” she said. “Oh, Daisy! you are a darling! how sweetly you think. I wonder if these rooms could ever come to mean a Palace Beautiful to me! I don’t think fairies could come to me here, Daisy. I don’t think I could see things through their eyes. I want my palace to be much larger and grander than this. Perhaps if I am a real genius it will come to me through my story; but, oh! I hope I did not do wrong in taking Poppy’s money.”
“No, for you are a genius,” said little Daisy, kissing her affectionately.
ENDORSING A CHEQUE.