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Armorel of Lyonesse By Walter Besant Characters: 31744

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

Armorel arranged for the reading of the play one evening four or five days later. It was a short notice, but she secured the people whom she wanted most, and trusted to chance for the others. She occupied herself in the interval in arranging the details and leading situations for a little comedy drama of her own-a play of some melodramatic force, in which, as in 'Hamlet,' a certain guilty person was to discover by a kind of dumb show that his guilt was known to her. It was to be a comedy which no one, except herself, was to understand. You shall see, directly, what an extremely clever little comedy it was, and how effective to the person principally concerned. She said nothing at all about this comedy even to Effie. As for words, there were none. They were left to the principal character. This is, indeed, the ancient and original drama. The situations were, at the outset, devised beforehand. The actors filled in the dialogue. This form of drama is still kept up, and with vigour. When the schoolboy sets the booby-trap, or sews up the shirt-sleeves, or greases the side-walk-if that old situation is still remembered-or practises any other kindly and mirthful sally, the victim supplies the words. The confidence trick in all its branches is another form of the primitive drama, and this evening's performance with reference to a certain person was only another example. You will hear, presently, what admirable dialogue was elicited by Armorel's situations.

By half-past eight she had completed the mounting of her piece. First, for the reading of the play she placed a table at the side of the room, with a space at the back sufficient for a chair, or for a person to sit. A reading-lamp, with one of those silver cowls that throw the whole light upon the table, stood at either end, illuminating a small space in the middle. This was for the manipulation of the dolls. For, though the people had been asked to come for a reading, Armorel had determined to try the experiment of a recitation, accompanied by the presentment of those puppets which Effie had dressed with such care, and her brother manipulated so deftly. Needless to say that more than one rehearsal had been held. In front of the table she placed a semicircle of chairs for some of her audience. At one side of the table was the piano: a music-stand, with a violin case, gave promise of an overture. Between the music-stand and the table was room for a person to stand, and on the table a water-decanter and a glass showed that this was the place for the reciter. On the other side of the table, in the corner of the room, stood an easel, and on it a picture, with curtains arranged so that they could fall over and cover it up. The picture was lighted up by two lamps. The room had no other lights in it at all, so that, if these two lamps were lowered or extinguished, the only light would be that thrown by the reading-lamps upon the table. As for the picture, it was as yet unfinished, but nearly finished. Of course it was Roland Lee's new picture. This evening, indeed, which professed to be the simple reading of a new play by a new writer, included a great deal more: it included, in fact, Roland's return to the arena he had deserted, and, as you shall see, the stepping upon the stage of both the twins, brother and sister. When one adds that Mr. Alec Feilding would be one of the company, you understand, dear reader, the nature of Armorel's comedy, and the kind of situation devised and prepared by that artful and vindictive young lady.

'How long will it take, dear?' asked Mrs. Elstree, wearily contemplating these preparations.

'I should say that the play will take an hour and a half or two hours to recite. Then there will be a little music between the acts. I dare say it will last two hours and a half.'

'Oh, that will bring us to half-past eleven at least! And then it will be too late for anything else.'

'We don't want anything else to-night.'

'No, dear. The play will be quite enough for us. I wish it was over. I am so constituted, Armorel, that I cannot see the least use in going out of my way to help anybody. If you succeed in helping people to climb up, they only trample on you as soon as they get the chance. If you fail, they are a burden upon you for life. These two Wilmot people, for instance: what are you going to do with them when you have read their play and stuff? You can't get a manager to play it any the more for having it read. The two are no further advanced.'

'Yes; I shall have made the young man known. He will be introduced. Mr. Stephenson promised to bring some critics with him, and you have asked Mr. Feilding to do the same. An introduction-perhaps the creation of some personal interest-may be to Archie of the greatest advantage.'

'Then he will rise by your help, and he will proceed to trample upon you. That is, if the brother is like the sister. If ever I saw "trampler" written plain on any woman's face, it is written on the great square block of bone that Effie Wilmot calls a forehead.'

'They may trample on me if they please,' Armorel replied, smiling.

The tramplers were naturally the first to arrive. They were both pale, and they trembled, especially the one who was not going to speak. He came in, limping on his crutches, and looked around with terror at the preparations. One does not realise before the night comes what a serious thing is a first appearance in public. Besides, the strong light on the table, the expectant chairs, the arrangement of everything, presented an aspect at once critical and threatening. The manuscript play and the box of puppets were in readiness.

'Now, Archie,' said Armorel, 'it is not yet nine o'clock. You shall have a cup of coffee to steady your nerves. So shall you, Effie. After that we will settle ourselves.' She talked about other things to distract their thoughts. 'See, Effie, that is Roland Lee's new picture. It is not yet finished. The central figure is myself. You see, it is as yet only sketched in. I am going to sit for him, but he has caught a good likeness, has he not? It will be a lovely picture when it is completed, and I am going to give him permission to flatter me as much as ever he pleases. The scene is among the outer rocks of Scilly. We will go there some day and sail about the Western Islands, and I will show you Camber Rock and the Channel, and Castle Bryher and Menovawr and Maiden Bower, and all the lovely places where I lived till I was sixteen years of age. Are you in good voice to-night, Effie?'

'I don't know. I hope so.'

'She has eaten nothing all day,' said Archie.

'You are not really frightened, are you, Effie?' The girl was white with nervousness. 'A little excited and anxious. Will you have another cup of coffee? A little jelly? Remember I shall be close beside you, with the play in my hand, to prompt. I like your dress. You look very well in white, dear.'

'Oh! Armorel, I am horribly frightened. If I should break down, Archie's chance will be ruined. And if I recite it badly I shall spoil the play.'

'You will not break down, dear; you will think of nothing but the play. You will forget the people. Besides, it will be so dark that you will hardly see them.'

'I will try my best. Perhaps when I begin-Oh! for Archie's sake, I would stand up on the stage at the theatre and speak before all the people! And yet--'

'She had no sleep last night,' said her brother. 'I think, after all, I had better read it. Only I read so badly.'

Armorel's face fell. She had thought so much of the reciting. Then Mrs. Elstree came to the rescue.

'Nonsense,' she said. 'You three people are making yourselves so nervous that you will most certainly break down. Now, Mr. Wilmot, go into your own place. Set out your dolls. Here's your cardboard back scene.' She arranged it while Archie got himself and his crutches into the chair behind, and began to take the dolls out of their box. 'So. Now don't speak to your sister. You will only make her worse. And as for you, Effie, if you break down now you will be a most disgraceful coward. With your brother's future, perhaps, dependent on your courage. For shame! Pull yourself together!' Effie, thus rudely stimulated, and by a person she disliked greatly, lost her limpness and stood upright. Her face also put on a little colour, and her lips stiffened. The tonic worked, in fact. Then Zoe went on. 'Now,' she said, 'take up your position here. How are you going to stand? Fold your hands so. That is a very good attitude to begin with. Of course, you understand nothing of gesture. Don't try it. Change your hands a little-so-front-right-left-like that. And don't-don't-don't hold your head like that, facing the crowd. Hold it up-like this. Look at the corner of that cornice-straight up. Oh! you will lower your head as you go on. But, to begin with, and at the opening of each act, look up to that corner. Remember, if you break down--' She held up a forefinger, threatening, admonitory, and left her standing in position. 'You will do now,' she said.

'Besides,' said Armorel, 'no one will look at you. They will all be looking at Archie's actors.'

The dramatist, relegated to the humble position of fantoccini-man, would be also in complete shade behind the table. He would not be seen, whatever emotion of anxiety he should feel. And for dexterity of manipulation with his puppets he could vie even with the firm of Codlin and Short.

The noise of cups and saucers in the dining-room proclaimed the arrival of guests. The first to come was Roland Lee, still a little shy, as Alexander Selkirk might have been, or Philip Quarles, or Mr. Penrose, on his return to civilised society. He looked about the room. Mrs. Elstree-looking resigned-and Armorel, standing by the fire, and the two performers. Nobody else. And, in a place of honour, his unfinished picture.

'It looks very well, doesn't it?' said Armorel. 'I wish it was a little more complete. But it will do to show.'

'Are you quite sure it is wise?'

'Quite sure. The sooner you show everybody what you can do the better.'

'I have found a new studio,' he told her in low tones. 'I have moved in to-day. It is among the old lot of men that I used to know a little. I have gone back to them just as if I had only been gone for a day. I don't find that they have got on very much. Perhaps they spend too much time smoking pipes and cigarettes and talking. They chaff me, but with respect, because, I believe, they think I have been staying in a lunatic asylum. Respect, you know, is due to madmen and to old men.'

'I hope it is the kind of studio you want.'

'It will do. I am anxious to begin your sittings. When can you come?'

'Any day you please. To-morrow. The next day. I can begin at once.'

Then came a small party of men-journalists and critics-captured by Dick Stephenson at the club, and bribed to come by the promise of an introduction to the beautiful Miss Armorel Rosevean. I do not think they expected much joy from the amateur reading of an unacted piece. It is melancholy, indeed, to consider that though the preliminary and tentative performance of the unacted play-long prayed for-has been at last established, the promised appearance of the great dramatist has not yet come off-nay, the theatrical critic weeps, swears, and growls at the mention of a matinée, and when he is requested to attend one passes it on if he can to his younger brother in the calling. And yet such great treasures were expected of the matinée! However, they agreed to come and listen on this occasion. It shall be put down to their credit as a Samaritan deed.

'Dick Stephenson,' said Armorel, with an assumption of old friendship which filled him with pride, 'I hope you are come here to-night in a really serious frame of mind-you and your friends.'

'We are always serious.'

'I mean that you are going to hear an ambitious piece of work. All I ask of you is to listen seriously, and to remember that it is really the work of a man who aims at the very highest.'

'Will he reach the very highest?'

'I do not know. But I am quite certain that there are very few artists, in any branch, who dare to aim high. Listen, and try to understand what the poet has attempted-what has been in his mind. Promise me this.'

'Certainly, I will promise you so much.'

'Thank you. It was for this that I asked you to-night. And see-here is your old friend Roland Lee.' The two young men shook hands rather sheepishly-the one because he had been an Ass-a long-eared Ass; and the other, because he was not guiltless of letting his friend slip out of his hands without a remonstrance and so away into paths unknown. 'I hear,' said Armorel, with her beautiful seriousness, 'that you two have suffered yourselves to drift apart of late. I hope that will be all over now. Oh! you must never give up the early friendships. Have you seen Roland's new picture? He has lent it to me for this evening. Come and look at it.'

'Why,' cried one of the men, 'it is an unfinished picture of Alec Feilding's!'

Roland turned hot and red.

'Not at all,' said Armorel. 'This is a sketch made in the isles of Scilly and in my presence, five years ago. As for the figure, you see it is not yet completed. I am the model. You remember Scilly, Dick Stephenson? To be sure, you were not with us when we used to go sailing about among the rocks.'

'I have reason to remember Scilly, seeing that you saved my life there, and Roland's too. But the picture is curiously in Feilding's style. Only it seems to me better than any of his. Old man'-he laid his hand on Roland's shoulder: it was the renewal of the ancient friendship-'old man, you've done the trick at last.'

Philippa came next, with her father and two or three girls. They, in their turn, called out upon the striking similarity in style. A few more people came, and it was a quarter past nine. But the man for whom Armorel had especially arranged her little comedy did not come. He was late. Perhaps he would not come at all.

'We must wait no longer,' said Armorel. 'Will everybody please to sit down?'

Philippa placed herself at the piano. Armorel took out her violin and tuned it. First, however, she made a little speech.

'I have asked you,' she said, 'to come this evening in order to hear a play read. It is a play written by a young gentleman in whom some of us take the deepest interest. I hope greatly that it will succeed. But we want your judgment and opinion as well as our own. The play belongs to all time and to no time. The scene is laid in Italy, and in the sixteenth century; but it might as well have been laid in London and in the nineteenth-only that we are more self-governed than a dramatist likes, and we conceal our emotions. It is a play of romance and of human passion. I entreat you to consider it seriously-as seriously as the author himself considers it. We have arranged for you a list of the dramatis person?, with a little scenario of each act-there are three-and we think that if, instead of hearing it read, we have it recited, while the author himself plays the piece before us by puppets on this little stage, we shall get a clearer idea of the dramatic merits of the piece.'

This speech done, everybody took up the little book of the play and began to read the scenario, while Armorel played an overture with Philippa.

She played a Hungarian piece, one of the things that are now played everywhere-a quite short piece.

When it was finished, Roland lowered the lamps beside his picture, and covered them with crimson shades. Then there was no other light in the room but that from the two reading-lamps on the table. Just before the lamps were lowered Mr. Alec Feilding arrived, with half a dozen men whom he had brought with him. She saw his startled fa

ce as he caught sight of the picture as the lights were lowered. In the twilight she could still distinguish his face among the men who stood behind the chairs. And she watched him. Then Effie, who had not seen the latest arrival, took her place, and the play began.

The effect was new and very curious. The people saw a girl standing up beside the table-only the shadow of a girl-a ghostly figure in white-the spectre of a white face-two bright eyes flashing in the dim light. And they heard her voice, a rich, low contralto, beginning to recite the play.

It is not the nervous creature who breaks down. He may generally be trusted. He lies awake for whole nights before the time arrives: he reaches the spot weak-kneed, trembling, and pale; but when the hour strikes he braces himself, stands up, and goes through with it. Effie had been partly pulled together, it is true, by the rough exhortation of Mrs. Elstree, but some credit must be given to her own resolution. She began with a little hesitation, fearing that she should forget the words. Then they came back to her: she saw them written plainly before her eyes in that friendly corner of the cornice: she hesitated no longer: in full and flowing flood she poured forth the dialogue, helped to right modulation by the strength of her own feeling and her belief in the beauty and the splendour of the drama. Armorel meantime watched her man. He had seen the picture. Now he recognised the play, and he knew the reciter. As he stood at the back, tall above the rest, she saw his face change from astonishment gradually to dismay. It was rather a wooden face, but it passed plainly and successively through the phases of doubt and certainty to that of dismay. Yes; dismay was written on that face, with discomfiture and suspicion. In a more demonstrative age he would have sat gnawing his nails: every wicked man, overtaken by the consequence of his own wickedness, used formerly to gnaw his nails. On the stage of the last century he would have turned upon his persecutors with a 'Death and confusion!' before he banged off the scene. We no longer use those fine old phrases. On the modern stage he would stand with straightened arms and bowed head, while the rest of the company pointed fingers of scorn at him, crushed but defiant. In Armorel's drawing-room he stood quiet and motionless, trying to collect himself. He saw, first of all, Roland Lee's new picture in the corner; he saw Roland Lee himself, no longer the negligent, despairing sloven, but once more a gentleman to outer view, and in his right mind. Next, he observed that Effie, his own poet, was reciting the play; and, thirdly, that the play was that for which he had himself made a bid. Thus all three-painter, poet, and dramatist-were friends of this girl Armorel; and they had all three, he knew quite well, slipped clean out of his hands for ever, and were lost to him; and all three, he suspected, had already related to each other the history of his doings and dealings with themselves. Therefore, while the play proceeded, his heart sank low-lower-lower.

There were three acts. When the first was finished Armorel stood up again and, with Philippa, played another little piece, but not long. And so between the second and the third.

Watching the people, Armorel became aware that the play had gripped them, and held them fast. No one moved. The little space upon the table between the two lamps, where the puppets stood before the painted screen of cardboard, became a scene richly mounted: it was a garden, or a dancing-hall, or an arbour, or a library, just as those little books told them, and the puppets were men and women. We want so little of mounting to fire the imagination, if only the poet has the strength to seize it and to hold it by his words. Nothing, in this case, but a modulated voice reciting a dramatic poem, and, to help it out, a dozen dressed dolls, six or seven inches high, standing stiffly on a little stage. Yet, even when passion was at its highest, in the great scene of the third act, they were not ridiculous. Nobody laughed at the dolls. That was because the showman knew their capabilities. When they stood in their place, they indicated the nature of the situation and explained the words. Had he tried to make them act, he would have spoiled the whole. They made a series of groups-tableaux vivants, poses plastiques-constantly changed by the deft hands of the showman, finding relief in this occupation for the anxiety in his soul. For he, less fortunate than Effie, who had grasped the cheering truth, could not read in the circle of still faces before him their rapt and magnetised condition.

And now the end of the third act was neared. The reciter rose to the concluding situation. Her voice, firm and clear, rang out in the dim light. The younger girls in the audience caught each other's hands. The 'lines' were good lines, strong and nervous, rapid and yet intense, equal to the strength and intensity of the situation.

At last the play was finished.

'Effie!' Armorel caught her in her arms, 'you have done splendidly!'

But the girl drew back. The honours of the evening were not for her, but for her brother: she stood aside.

Armorel took the cowls from the reading-lamps, and the room returned to light. Then the people began all to press round the dramatist and to shake hands solemnly with him, to murmur, to assure, to congratulate, and to prophesy. And the loud voice of Mr. Alec Feilding arose as he stepped forward among the first and grasped the young man's hand.

'Archie!' he said with astounding friendliness, 'this is better than I expected. Let me congratulate you! I have had the privilege,' he explained to the multitude, 'of hearing this play-at least, a part of it-already. I told you, my dear boy, that your situations were splendid, but your dialogue wanted pulling together in parts. You have attended to my advice. I am glad of it. The result promises to be a splendid success. What say you?' He turned to a very well-known dramatic critic whom he had brought with him.

'If you can get the proper man to play the leading part,' he replied more quietly, 'the play seems to me full of promise. Frankly, Mr. Wilmot, I think you have written a most poetical and most romantic piece. It is valuable, not only for itself, but for the promise it contains.'

'For its promise,' repeated Alec Feilding blandly, 'as I told you, my dear boy, for its promise-its admirable promise. I shall not rest now until this play is produced-either at the Lyceum or at the Haymarket. Once more.' Again he grasped Archie by the hand. Then another and another followed. It was not until the next day the dramatist recovered presence of mind enough to remember that Mr. Feilding had not given him any advice: that he had not said it was a work of promise: that he had offered to buy it for fifty pounds and bring it out as his own, with his own name put to it: and that no alteration of any kind had been made in it.

* * *

When Mr. Alec Feilding stepped back, he perceived that some one had turned up the lamps beside the picture. He was a man of great presence of mind and resource. He instantly stepped over to the picture and began to examine it curiously. Armorel followed him.

'This is by my old friend Mr. Roland Lee,' she said. 'Do you know him? Let me introduce him to you.' The men bowed distantly as those who, having met for the first time in a crowd, see no reason for desiring to meet each other again. That they should so meet, with such an assumption of never having met before, struck Armorel with admiration.

'The picture is a good deal in your own style, Feilding,' said one of the critics.

'Perhaps,' replied the successful painter in that style, briefly.

'It is taken from a sketch,' Armorel explained, 'made by Mr. Lee while he was staying at the same spot as myself. He made a great number at the time-which is now five years ago.'

Mr. Alec Feilding heard this statement with outward composure. Inwardly he was raging.

'It is, in fact, exactly in your style,' said the same critic. 'One would say that it was a copy of one of your pictures.'

'Perhaps,' he replied again.

'If,' said Roland, 'Mr. Feilding sends another picture in the same style for exhibition this year, I hope that the similarity of style may be tested by their hanging side by side.'

'Shall you send anything this year-in the same style?' asked Armorel.

'I hardly know. I have not decided.'

The critic looked at the picture more closely. 'Strange!' he murmured. 'One would swear ... the same style-so individual-and belonging to two different men!'

Then Roland covered his picture over with the curtain. There had been enough said.

'Now,' said Armorel, 'after our emotions and our fatigues of the play, we are exhausted. There is supper in the next room. Before we go in I want to sing you a song. I am not a singer, you know, and you must only expect simple warbling. But I want you to like the song.'

She sat down to the piano and played a few bars of introduction. Then she sang the first verse-it was Effie's latest song, that which Mr. Feilding had accepted but not yet published.

He heard and recognised. This third blow finished him. He sat down on the nearest chair, speechless. Mrs. Elstree watched him, wondering what was the matter with him. For he was in a speechless rage. Lucky for him that it was speechless, because for the moment he was beside himself, and might have said anything.

'That is the first verse,' said Armorel. 'I have set it to an old French air which I found in a book. The words seem written for the music. There are two more verses.'

She sang them through. Her voice was pleasing though not strong: she sang sweetly and with feeling, just as she had sung in the old days on the shores of Samson, to the accompaniment of the waves lapping along the white sands, and she watched the man whom she had been torturing the whole evening through. Would not even this rouse him to some word or deed which might proclaim him a pretender and an impostor discovered? She knew, you see, that the lines were actually in type ready to appear as another poem by the Editor. She finished and rose. 'Do you like the song, Philippa?' she said. 'I have even had it printed and set to music. Anybody that pleases may carry away a copy. I hope everybody will, and keep it in remembrance of this evening. For the words are written by Miss Effie Wilmot, who has recited so beautifully her brother's play. We will share the honours of the evening between them. Archie, will you give me your arm? Roland'-in her excitement she called him by his Christian name, which caused a little surprise-'will you take Effie? Do you like the words, Mr. Feilding?'

'Very much indeed. I had seen them before you, I think.'

'Yes? Then you recognised them. You have seen other poems by the same hand, I believe?'

'Good-night, Miss Rosevean. I have had a delightful evening.' He retired without any supper. On his way out, he passed Effie. 'You should have trusted me,' he whispered hoarsely. 'I expected, at least, common confidence. You will find that I have kept my promise-and you have broken yours.' He passed on, and disappeared. Then they trooped in to the dining-room, where they found spread that kind of midnight refection which is dear to the hearts of those who are yet young enough to love champagne and chicken. And after supper they went back to the drawing-room and danced. Mrs. Elstree played to them-nobody could play a waltz better. Roland danced with Armorel. 'You make me believe,' he said, at the end of the waltz, 'that I am really back again.'

'Of course you are back again.'

Then Armorel danced with the critics, and talked about the play; and they all promised to go to great actors and speak about this wonderful drama. And so all went away at last, and all to bed, well content.

'But,' said Zoe, when the last was gone, 'what was the matter with Alec? Why did he look so glum? What made him in such an awful rage? He can get into a blind rage, Armorel-blind and speechless. As for that, I would not give a button for a man who could not. But what was the matter with him?'

'Was he in a rage? Perhaps he wished that he had written the play himself. Such a clever man as that would be sorry, perhaps, that anything good was written, except by himself.'

Mr. Alec Feilding rushed down the stairs and into the street. He hailed a cab, and jumped into it.

'Fleet Street! Quick!'

His printers, he knew, had work which kept them at work on Thursday nights till long past midnight. It was not too late to make a correction. His paper would be printed in the morning, and ready for issue by five o'clock in the afternoon. In fact, Effie received a note from him on Saturday morning:-

'My dear Effie,' he wrote, 'I send you a copy of my new number. You will find, on looking into the editorial columns, that I have performed what I promised. Not only have I accepted and published your very charming verses, but I have added a brief note introducing the writer as a débutante of promise. So much I am very pleased to have been able to do for you. Now, as one writer introducing another, I leave you with your public. Give them of your best. Let your first set of published verses prove your worst. Aim at the best and highest; write in a spirit of truth; let your Art be sincere and self-respectful.

'I am sorry that this note, written on Tuesday, could not contain what I should much have wished to add, had I known it: that your verses have been adapted to an old air by Miss Armorel Rosevean. You did not, however, think fit to take me into your confidence.

'I cannot hope to give you more than an occasional appearance in my columns. I should advise you, with this introduction of mine and the credentials of being published in my paper, to send verses to the magazines. I think you will have little difficulty with the help of my name in gaining admission.

'Allow me to add my congratulations on your brother's undoubted success. His play is admirable as a chamber play. It may also succeed on the stage, but of this it is impossible to be certain. Meantime, it is very cheering to find that he listens to the advice of those who have a right to speak, and that he follows that advice. It is both cheering to his friends and promising as regards his own future. I do not regret the time that I spent in advising upon that play.

'I remain, my dear Effie, very sincerely yours,

'Alec Feilding.'

The paper which contained the verses contained also the following paragraph:-

'In place of the usual editorial verses-my editorial duties do not always give me leisure for the service of the Muse-I have great pleasure in inserting a set of verses from the pen of a young lady whose name is new to my readers. She makes her bow to my readers in this column. I venture, however, to prophesy that she will not long remain unknown. Wherever the English language is spoken, before many years the name of Effie Wilmot shall be known and loved. This is the prophecy of one who at least can recognise good work when he sees it.'

Effie read both letter and paragraph to her brother, who raged and stormed about the alleged advice and assistance. She also read them both to Armorel, who only laughed a little.

'But,' said Effie, 'he never helped Archie at all! He gave him no advice!'

'My dear, if he chooses to say that he did, what does it matter? Time goes on, and every day will make your brother rise higher and Mr. Feilding sink lower. And as to the verses, Effie, and your-your first appearance'-Effie turned away her shamefaced cheek-'why, we will take his advice and try other editors. Mr. Feilding is, indeed, the cleverest man in London!'

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