Madame Midas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 309 pages of information about Madame Midas.
to furnish one of her own, seeing she was only going to stop a year, so she saw Thinton and Tarbet, who had the letting of the place, and took it for a year.  The windows were flung open, the furniture brushed and renovated, and the solitary charwoman who had been ruler in the lonely rooms so long, was dismissed, and her place taken by a whole retinue of servants.  Madame Midas intended to live in style, so went to work over the setting up of her establishment in such an extravagant manner that Archie remonstrated.  She took his interference in a good humoured way, but still arranged things as she intended; and when her house was ready, waited for her friends to call on her, and prepared to amuse herself with the comedy of human life.  She had not long to wait, for a perfect deluge of affectionate people rolled down upon her.  Many remembered her—­oh, quite well—­when she was the beautiful Miss Curtis; and then her husband—­that dreadful Villiers—­they hoped he was dead—­squandering her fortune as he had done—­they had always been sorry for her, and now she was rich—­that lovely Pactolus—­indeed, she deserved it all--she would marry, of course—­oh, but indeed, she must.  And so the comedy went on, and all the actors flirted, and ogled, and nodded, and bowed, till Madame Midas was quite sick of the falseness and frivolity of the whole thing.  She knew these people, with their simpering and smiling, would visit her and eat her dinners and drink her wines, and then go away and abuse her thoroughly.  But then Madame Midas never expected anything else, so she received them with smiles, saw through all their little ways, and when she had amused herself sufficiently with their antics, she let them go.

Vandeloup called on Madame Midas the day after she arrived, and Mrs Villiers was delighted to see him.  Having an object in view, of course Gaston made himself as charming as possible, and assisted Madame to arrange her house, told her about the people who called on her, and made cynical remarks about them, all of which amused Madame Midas mightily.  She grew weary of the inane gabble and narrow understandings of people, and it was quite a relief for her to turn to Vandeloup, with his keen tongue and clever brains.  Gaston was not a charitable talker—­few really clever talkers are—­but he saw through everyone with the uttermost ease and summed them up in a sharp incisive way, which had at least the merit of being clever.  Madame Midas liked to hear him talk, and seeing what humbugs the people who surrounded her were, and how well she knew their motives in courting her for her wealth, it is not to be wondered at that she should have been amused at having all their little weaknesses laid bare and classified by such a master of satire as Vandeloup.  So they sat and watched the comedy and the unconscious actors playing their parts, and felt that the air was filled with heavy sensuous perfume, and the lights were garish, and that there was wanting entirely that keen cool atmosphere which Mallock calls ’the ozone of respectability’.

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Madame Midas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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