A Prince of Sinners eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about A Prince of Sinners.
dear young people, that to give a meal to one starving man may be to do him indeed good, but it does nothing towards preventing another starving man from taking his place to-morrow.  You stimulate the disease, you help it to spread.  Don’t you see where instead you should turn—­to the social laws, the outcome of which is that starving man?  You let them remain unharmed, untouched, while you fall over one another in frantic efforts to brush away to-day’s effect of an eternal cause.  Let your starving man die, let the bones break through his skin and carry him up—­him and his wife and their children, and their fellows—­to your House of Commons.  Tell them that there are more to-morrow, more the next day, let the millions of the lower classes look this thing in the face.  I tell you that either by a revolution, which no doubt some of us would find worse than inconvenient, or by less drastic means, the thing would right itself.  You, who work to relieve the individual, only postpone and delay the millennium.  People will keep their eyes closed as long as they can.  It is you who help them to do so.”

“Dinner is served, my lord,” the butler announced.

Lord Arranmore extended his arm to Lady Caroom.

“Come,” he said, “let us all be charitable to one another, for I too am starving.”

CHAPTER XIV

AN AWKWARD QUESTION

“You think they really liked it, then?”

“How could they help it?  It was such a delightful idea of yours, and I am sure all that you said was so simple and yet suggestive.  Good-night, Mr. Brooks.”

They stood in the doorway of the Secular Hall, where Brooks had just delivered his lecture.  It seemed to him that her farewell was a little abrupt.

“I was going to ask,” he said, “whether I might not see you home.”

She hesitated.

“Really,” she said, “I wish you would not trouble.  It is quite a long way, and I have only to get into a car.

“The further the better,” he answered, “and besides, if your uncle is at home I should like to come in and see him.”

She made no further objection, yet Brooks fancied that her acquiescence was, to some extent, involuntary.  He walked by her side in silence for a moment or two, wondering whether there was indeed any way in which he could have offended her.

“I have not seen you,” he remarked, “since the evening of your dinner-party.”

“No!”

“You were out when I called.”

“I have so many things to do—­just now.  We can get a car here.”

He looked at it.

“It is too full,” he said.  “Let us walk on for a little way.  I want to talk to you.”

The car was certainly full, so after a moment’s hesitation she acquiesced.

“You will bring your girls again, I hope?” he asked.

“They will come I have no doubt,” she answered.  “So will I if I am in Medchester.”

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A Prince of Sinners from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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