Of course Evan knew that he was managed. The memoirs of a managed man have yet to be written; but if he be sincere he will tell you that he knew it all the time. He longed for the sugar-plum; he knew it was naughty to take it: he dared not for fear of the devil, and he shut his eyes while somebody else popped it into his mouth, and assumed his responsibility. Being man-driven or chicaned, is different from being managed. Being managed implies being led the way this other person thinks you should go: altogether for your own benefit, mind: you are to see with her eyes, that you may not disappoint your own appetites: which does not hurt the flesh, certainly; but does damage the conscience; and from the moment you have once succumbed, that function ceases to perform its office of moral strainer so well.
After all, was he not happier when he wrote himself tailor, than when he declared himself gentleman?
So he now imagined, till Rose, wishing him ‘Good night’ on the balcony, and abandoning her hand with a steady sweet voice and gaze, said: ’How generous of you to forgive my friend, dear Evan!’ And the ravishing little glimpse of womanly softness in her, set his heart beating. If he thought at all, it was that he would have sacrificed body and soul for her.
SECOND DESPATCH OF THE COUNTESS
We do not advance very far in this second despatch, and it will be found chiefly serviceable for the indications it affords of our General’s skill in mining, and addiction to that branch of military science. For the moment I must beg that a little indulgence be granted to her.
’Purely business. Great haste. Something has happened. An event? I know not; but events may flow from it.
’A lady is here who has run away from the conjugal abode, and Lady Jocelyn shelters her, and is hospitable to another, who is more concerned in this lady’s sad fate than he should be. This may be morals, my dear: but please do not talk of Portugal now. A fine-ish woman with a great deal of hair worn as if her maid had given it one comb straight down and then rolled it up in a hurry round one finger. Malice would say carrots. It is called gold. Mr. Forth is in a glass house, and is wrong to cast his sneers at perfectly inoffensive people.
’Perfectly impossible we can remain at Beckley Court together—if not dangerous. Any means that Providence may designate, I would employ. It will be like exorcising a demon. Always excuseable. I only ask a little more time for stupid Evan. He might have little Bonner now. I should not object; but her family is not so good.