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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about The Palace Beautiful.
from morning to night.  Primrose said they would spend a fortnight in the attics, and then the education which was by-and-by to lead to bread-winning must commence.  Never did three more ignorant girls gird themselves for the fray.  Primrose had a natural love for painting.  She had none of the knowledge, none of the grounding, which is essential for real success in all departments of art in the present day; but she had a quick and correct eye for color, and all that Miss Martineau knew she had imparted to her.  Primrose looked in at the shop windows, and saw the lovely painted china, and resolved to take lessons in this art.  After some little difficulty, and after questioning first Mrs. Dove, and finally the much-dreaded Mr. Dove, she was directed to a teacher, who promised to instruct her at the rate of three pounds three shillings for twelve lessons.  Primrose did not know whether her teacher was good or bad, or whether she was paying too much or too little—­she resolved to take the lessons and to spend some of her little capital in buying the necessary materials.

“After I’ve had my twelve lessons Mr. Jones thinks I may begin to offer some of my plates and things for sale; he says he will be very glad to put them up in his own shop window.  He thinks,” continued Primrose with her sweet, grave smile, “that I may be able to recoup myself for the expense of learning at the end of a few months.”

“And now,” said Jasmine, “what am I to do?  It’s all settled for you, Primrose—­you will be an artist—­and you shall paint a breakfast set for our nest in your odd moments, and I’ll buy it from you when my ship comes home.  Oh! and we are both going to be very successful, are we not, darling? and we won’t have any trouble at all in supporting our pet Daisy and her kitty-cat.  You know, Primrose, my gifts lie in the poetic and novelistic line.  I have really thought of a glowing plot for a story since I came to London, and Mr. Dove is to be the ruffian of the piece.  I’ll introduce Mrs. Dredge and poor Miss Slowcum too, and, of course, you’ll be the heroine, my beautiful sister.  I mean to buy some paper, and work away at my novel in the evenings next week; but as we have come up to London expressly to have our education perfected, and our gifts developed, don’t you think I ought to be having some lessons in English style?  After all, Primrose, I do not think Mrs. Flint’s way of speaking was correct.  Arthur Noel did not talk in the least like her, nor did dear Mrs. Ellsworthy; and after all, they are a real lady and gentleman.  I wonder, Primrose, who would teach me proper style.  I wish I could meet Arthur Noel again, that he might tell me!”

“Oh, Jasmine, it is dreadful of you to speak of a perfect stranger by his Christian name!  Don’t do it, dear—­I know it is not right.”

“He did not seem the least like a stranger,” said Jasmine, pushing back her curling locks.  “Well, Rose, who is to teach me style?—­you see, if I am to earn money by my pen I must be polished up.  I have got a poem now in the back of my head which would exactly suit the ——­ Review.  It’s almost exactly on the lines of one they published not long ago by Tennyson; but I’d rather not send it until I’ve had a lesson or two from some gifted person here—­who shall I go to, Primrose?”

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