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雪域时尚——少儿时装秀在拉萨举行

类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2021-02-27 17:29:30

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She took the parlour-maid as her maid, though her husband altogether refused to pass off the boy covered with buttons as his valet, and enjoyed a moment’s supreme triumph when she was able to reply to Lady Inverbroom, who hoped, when she showed her her room that she would ask the house-maid for anything she required, that she had brought her own maid. Then Lady Inverbroom (to hide her natural confusion) had poked the fire for her and pointed out the position of the bathroom, which communicated with her bedroom. Certainly that was most convenient, and dinner would be at half-past eight.‘I felt you did: I don’t know why,’ she said.

Now there was another subject on which Keeping had made up his mind to speak to Lord Inverbroom, and this intelligence encouraged him to do so. By purchasing the freehold of the County Club, he had acquired the right of membership, but with that streak of pride which was characteristic of him, he did not want to get elected to the Club as a right. He had, since he had made the purchase, thought this over, and wished to stand for election, could he secure a proposer and seconder, like any other candidate. That being so, he did not intend to tell Lord Inverbroom that he would, ex officio, become a member of the Club at the next quarter-day, when he entered into possession of his property, but had determined{170} to ask him if he, as president, would propose him in the ordinary course. The next election, he had already ascertained, took place early in April, when his blushing honours as benefactor to the hospital and baronet would be fresh upon him. There could be no more suitable opportunity for his request than the present.For some hour and a half this dictation went on, with interruption when heads of departments brought in reports, or when Keeling had to send for information as to some point in his correspondence. He noticed that on these occasions she sat with her pencil in her hand, so as to be ready to proceed as soon as he began again. Once she{78} corrected him about a date that had occurred previously in a letter, and was right.

‘That is what I shall find out. Now it’s late already; I have been detained at the office, so let us go into dinner as we are.’

He had made an excursion into fairy land—that was how he framed the matter to himself. There had been The Cedars and work for him before, there would be work and The Cedars for him afterwards. Those who have drunk of the metheglin never perhaps afterwards are wholly free from the reminiscence of the sweet draught brewed magically from the heather and the honey, but they go back after their sojourn among the little people, and behave like ordinary mortals again, and eat the home-brewed bread, and move about their appointed ways. But the nights and days they have spent in the secret places of the earth will, till they die, be more vivid to them than all the actual experiences that they go through afterwards and went through before they penetrated the enchanted glen; the remembrance will colour their idle moments with the ensanguined hue of dream; that baseless fabric, that vision of hidden doors thrown open and the things that lurk within, is more rich, just because to them it is more real than the sober tonelessness of their profession or{328} pursuit. Therefore if they are wise, the best thing they can do is, like Prospero, to drown the magic book beneath the waters of absorbing employment. Often it will float up again to the surface, and each time it must be prodded back with averted eyes. So, for Keeling, a love that could not be realised once crowned the hill-tops of his nature; now that citadel and the very hill-tops themselves had been shaken down and strewn over the plains. He had now one paramount need—that of forgetting, and, since he could not forget, the need resolved itself into the effort to remember as little as possible, to use up in other ways the energy which was his, and the leisure that he could command if he chose.

There was not a word in reply, and after having given her good space to answer him, he spoke again.‘Don’t be such a damned fool, Emmeline,’ he said angrily, answering his own thoughts. He had divined hers quite correctly, and the justice that lay behind this rude speech struck her full. Her only course was to take refuge in her own propriety. She knew how to behave.

‘But it’s all so hopeless. There’s nothing left for me. All the things we planned together—She gave him a quick glance out of her short-sighted eyes, a glance that deprecated and yet eagerly sought for the sympathy which she knew was somewhere about. And then Lady Keeling put in more of her wrecking and shattering remarks,{284} which so unerringly spoiled all the hints and lurking colours in human intercourse.

‘I’m afraid that’s quite impossible, sir,’ she said, ‘now that you have told me that you don’t consider my work worth that. Good-morning, sir.’

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‘Thomas Keeling.’‘I quite see your point, Mr Keeling,’ he said. ‘Now you put it to me so plainly, I only wonder{75} that I did not think of it before. I am afraid we shall have a melancholy meeting.’

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