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of those who couldn’t “see” Alexa Glennard’s looks; and Mrs. Touchett’s claims to consideration were founded on that distribution of effects which is the wonder of those who admire a highly cultivated country. The third lady of the trio which Glennard’s fancy had put to such unflattering uses, was bound by circumstances to support the claims of the other two. This was Mrs. Dresham, the wife of the editor of the Radiator. Mrs. Dresham was a lady who had rescued herself from social obscurity by
we have never had occasion to perform; and even the most self-scrutinizing modesty credits itself negatively with a high standard of conduct. Glennard had never thought himself a hero; but he had been certain that he was incapable of baseness. We all like our wrong-doings to have a becoming cut, to be made to order, as it were; and Glennard found himself suddenly thrust into a garb of dishonor surely meant for a meaner figure. The immediate result of his first weeks of wretchedness was the
wife, without looking up, answered gravely, “I thought so too. It was for that reason I didn’t go. But you must remember that very few people feel about Mrs. Aubyn as you do—” Glennard managed to set down his cup with a steady hand, but the room swung round with him and he dropped into the nearest chair. “As I do?” he repeated. “I mean that very few people knew her when she lived in New York. To most of the women who went to the reading she was a mere name, too remote to have any personality.
a low tone. She held his gaze, but her color deepened. He noticed again, with a jealous pang, how her beauty had gained in warmth and meaning. It was as though a transparent cup had been filled with wine. He looked at her ironically. “I’ve never prevented your seeing your friends here,” he broke out. “Why do you meet Flamel in out-of-the-way places? Nothing makes a woman so cheap—” She rose abruptly and they faced each other a few feet apart. “What do you mean?” she asked. “I saw you with
“In the way I feel—or you feel about me?” She shook her head. “It’s the least part of it,” he groaned. “It’s the only part we can repair.” “Good heavens! If there were any reparation—” He rose quickly and crossed the space that divided them. “Why did you never speak?” he asked. “Haven’t you answered that yourself?” “Answered it?” “Just now—when you told me you did it for me.” She paused a moment and then went on with a deepening note—“I would have spoken if I could have helped you.” “But