In the meantime Lady Rosamond is enjoying the constant whirl and gaiety of London life. Her husband is immersed in the broil of parliamentary affairs. As a representative of his native borough, he is responsible for every grievance, real or imaginary, under which his constituents are daily groaning. The party with whom he was associated was daily becoming unpopular—a crisis was at hand—a dissolution was expected. Another appeal to the country would probably take place. Her ladyship was not a politician; she understood not the measure so proudly discussed by the wives of statesmen and representatives. Still she could not but feel a desire to share in the interests of her husband. In the bustle and turmoil of busy life she felt grateful. Excitement fed her inquietude; it bore her along upon the breast of the dizzy waves. It was well that Lady Rosamond was thus occupied. She gave grand and sumptuous dinner parties, and entertained her guests with balls on a scale of princely magnificence. Her luncheons were indeed sufficient to cheer the most despondent and misanthropic. Gaiety in its varied forms predominated over Lady Rosamond’s establishment.
Gerald Bereford was proud of the homage poured at the feet of his beautiful wife. Her praise was music in his ears. He listened to the flattering courtesies with childlike pleasure. Her happiness was his. Often when overcome with the cares and anxiety of public affairs a smile from her ladyship had a charm like magic. A quiet caress was sure to arouse him from the deepest apathy.
Lady Rosamond strove hard to repay her doting husband. Every attention was paid to his wishes. He knew not what it was to suffer the slightest neglect. Gerald Bereford was happy. His happiness was often the subject of comment of the associates of his club. His wife’s unassuming beauty, her grace and virtues, attracted many who were solicitous to cultivate her acquaintance.
“How did you manage to secure such a prize, Bereford? She is the most beautiful woman in the United Kingdom,” exclaimed a gentleman to Gerald Bereford, after being introduced to Lady Rosamond at a ball given by the French ambassador, where, without any conscious effort, she had been pronounced the most attractive amidst a bewildering array of princely rank, wealth, dignity, youth and beauty.