The Unbearable Bassington eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about The Unbearable Bassington.
have carried weight with her in judging any man; in this case its value was enormously heightened by contrast with the behaviour of her other wooer.  And Youghal had in her eyes the advantage which the glamour of combat, even the combat of words and wire-pulling, throws over the fighter.  He stood well in the forefront of a battle which however carefully stage-managed, however honeycombed with personal insincerities and overlaid with calculated mock-heroics, really meant something, really counted for good or wrong in the nation’s development and the world’s history.  Shrewd parliamentary observers might have warned her that Youghal would never stand much higher in the political world than he did at present, as a brilliant Opposition freelance, leading lively and rather meaningless forays against the dull and rather purposeless foreign policy of a Government that was scarcely either to be blamed for or congratulated on its handling of foreign affairs.  The young politician had not the strength of character or convictions that keeps a man naturally in the forefront of affairs and gives his counsels a sterling value, and on the other hand his insincerity was not deep enough to allow him to pose artificially and successfully as a leader of men and shaper of movements.  For the moment, however, his place in public life was sufficiently marked out to give him a secure footing in that world where people are counted individually and not in herds.  The woman whom he would make his wife would have the chance, too, if she had the will and the skill, to become an individual who counted.

There was balm to Elaine in this reflection, yet it did not wholly suffice to drive out the feeling of pique which Comus had called into being by his slighting view of her as a convenient cash supply in moments of emergency.  She found a certain satisfaction in scrupulously observing her promise, made earlier on that eventful day, and sent off a messenger with the stipulated loan.  Then a reaction of compunction set in, and she reminded herself that in fairness she ought to write and tell her news in as friendly a fashion as possible to her dismissed suitor before it burst upon him from some other quarter.  They had parted on more or less quarrelling terms it was true, but neither of them had foreseen the finality of the parting nor the permanence of the breach between them; Comus might even now be thinking himself half-forgiven, and the awakening would be rather cruel.  The letter, however, did not prove an easy one to write; not only did it present difficulties of its own but it suffered from the competing urgency of a desire to be doing something far pleasanter than writing explanatory and valedictory phrases.  Elaine was possessed with an unusual but quite overmastering hankering to visit her cousin Suzette Brankley.  They met but rarely at each other’s houses and very seldom anywhere else, and Elaine for her part was never conscious of feeling that their opportunities

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The Unbearable Bassington from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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