The Last Chronicle of Barset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,014 pages of information about The Last Chronicle of Barset.

’That’s a horse of another colour altogether.  A pretty woman with such a fine figure as hers has got a right to be anything she pleases.  I see you are a great favourite.’

’No, I’m not;—­not especially.  I do like her.  She wants to make up a match between me and that Miss Van Siever.  Miss Van is to have gold by the ingot, and jewels by the bushel, and a hatful of back shares, and a whole mine in Cornwall, for her fortune.’

‘And is very handsome into the bargain.’

‘Yes; she’s handsome.’

‘So is her mother,’ said Johnny.  ’If you take the daughter, I’ll take the mother, and see if I can’t do you out of a mine or two.  Good-night, old fellow.  I’m only joking about old Dobbs.  I’ll go and dine there again tomorrow, if you like it.’

CHAPTER XXV

MISS MADELINE DEMOLINES

‘I don’t think you care two straws about her,’ Conway Dalrymple said to his friend John Eames, two days after the dinner-party at Mrs Dobbs Broughton’s.  The painter was at work in his studio, and the private secretary from the Income-Tax Office, who was no doubt engaged on some special mission to the West End on the part of Sir Raffle Buffle, was sitting in a lounging-chair and smoking a cigar.

’Because I don’t go about with my stockings cross-gartered, and do that kind of business?’

‘Well, yes; because you don’t do that kind of business, more or less.’

’It isn’t in my line, my dear fellow.  I know what you mean, very well.  I daresay, artistically speaking—­’

‘Don’t be an ass, Johnny.’

’Well then, poetically, or romantically, if you like that better—­I daresay that poetically or romantically I am deficient.  I eat my dinner very well, and I don’t suppose I ought to do that; and, if you’ll believe me, I find myself laughing sometimes.’

‘I never knew a man who laughed so much.  You’re always laughing.’

‘And that, you think, is a bad sign?’

’I don’t believe you really care about her.  I think you are aware that you have got a love-affair on hand, and that you hang on to it rather persistently, having in some way come to a resolution that you would be persistent.  But there isn’t much heart in it.  I daresay there was once.’

‘And that is your opinion?’

’You are just like some of those men who for years past have been going to write a book on some new subject.  The intention has been sincere at first, and it never altogether dies away.  But the would-be author, though he still talks of his work, knows that it will never be executed, and is very patient under his disappointment.  All enthusiasm about the thing is gone, but he is still known as the man who is going to do it some day.  You are the man who means to marry Miss Dale in five, ten, or twenty years’ time.’

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The Last Chronicle of Barset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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