The Unbearable Bassington eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 181 pages of information about The Unbearable Bassington.
It was as though some artificer sent by the Gods had reinforced with a substantial cord the horsehair thread that held up the sword of Damocles over her head.  Her love for her home, for her treasured household possessions, and her pleasant social life was able to expand once more in present security, and feed on future hope.  She was still young enough to count four or five years as a long time, and to-night she was optimistic enough to prophesy smooth things of the future that lay beyond that span.  Of the fourth act, with its carefully held back but obviously imminent reconciliation between the leading characters, she took in but little, except that she vaguely understood it to have a happy ending.  As the lights went up she looked round on the dispersing audience with a feeling of friendliness uppermost in her mind; even the sight of Elaine de Frey and Courtenay Youghal leaving the theatre together did not inspire her with a tenth part of the annoyance that their entrance had caused her.  Serena’s invitation to go on to the Savoy for supper fitted in exactly with her mood of exhilaration.  It would be a fit and appropriate wind-up to an auspicious evening.  The cold chicken and modest brand of Chablis waiting for her at home should give way to a banquet of more festive nature.

In the crush of the vestibule, friends and enemies, personal and political, were jostled and locked together in the general effort to rejoin temporarily estranged garments and secure the attendance of elusive vehicles.  Lady Caroline found herself at close quarters with the estimable Henry Greech, and experienced some of the joy which comes to the homeward wending sportsman when a chance shot presents itself on which he may expend his remaining cartridges.

“So the Government is going to climb down, after all,” she said, with a provocative assumption of private information on the subject.

“I assure you the Government will do nothing of the kind,” replied the Member of Parliament with befitting dignity; “the Prime Minister told me last night that under no circumstances—­”

“My dear Mr. Greech,” said Lady Caroline, “we all know that Prime Ministers are wedded to the truth, but like other wedded couples they sometimes live apart.”

For her, at any rate, the comedy had had a happy ending.

Comus made his way slowly and lingeringly from the stalls, so slowly that the lights were already being turned down and great shroud-like dust-cloths were being swaythed over the ornamental gilt-work.  The laughing, chattering, yawning throng had filtered out of the vestibule, and was melting away in final groups from the steps of the theatre.  An impatient attendant gave him his coat and locked up the cloak room.  Comus stepped out under the portico; he looked at the posters announcing the play, and in anticipation he could see other posters announcing its 200th performance.  Two hundred performances; by that time the Straw

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The Unbearable Bassington from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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