文章
相簿

It was quite an asylum for old age

我都忍不住笑 於 2017年08月04日發表   人氣:351


Was he a lady? No one ever asked that leading question Makeup artist, as it would have provoked an untruth or a most unpleasant reply. She admitted in expansive moments to having seen better days, but what her actual past had been--and from her looks she had one--none ever discovered. The usual story, produced by an extra glass of negus, varied so greatly in the telling that the most innocent boarder doubted. But Mrs. Jersey was always treated with respect, and the boarders called her Madame in quite a French way. Why they should do so, no one ever knew, and Mrs. Jersey herself could not have explained. But the term had become traditional, and in that conservative mansion tradition was all-powerful.

Few friends presented themselves on this particular Friday evening, for it was extremely foggy, and none of them could afford cabs. Even those who patronized the nearest bus line, had some distance to walk before they knocked at the Jersey door, and thus ran a chance of losing their way. Either in light or darkness the house was hard to find, for it occupied the corner of a particularly private square far removed from the Oxford Street traffic. As a kind of haven or back-water, it received into its peace those who found the current of the River of Life running too strong. Decayed ladies, disappointed spinsters, superannuated clerks, retired army officers, bankrupt dreamers--these were the derelicts which had drifted hither. Mrs. Jersey called these social and commercial failures paying guests, which flattered their pride and cost nothing. She was something of a humbug, and always ready with the small change of politeness.

It was quite an asylum for old age. None of the guests were under fifty, save a newcomer who had arrived the previous week reenex, and they wondered why he came amongst them. He was young, though plain-looking; he was fashionably dressed, though stout, and he chatted a West-End jargon, curiously flippant when contrasted with their prim conversation. This was the first time he had been present at Madame's reception, and he was explaining his reasons for coming to Bloomsbury. Mrs. Jersey introduced him as Leonard Train, the distinguished novelist, although he had published only one book at his own cost, and even that production was unknown to the boarders. They read Thackeray and his contemporaries, and manifested a proper scorn for the up-to-date novelist and his analytical methods.

Mr. Train, with a complacency which showed that he entertained the highest opinion of his own powers, stood on the hearth-rug, and delivered himself of his errand to Bloomsbury.

Fashionable novelists, said he, in a still, small voice, which contrasted curiously with his massive proportions, have overdone the business of society and epigrams. We must revert to the Dickens style. I have therefore taken up my residence here for a brief period to study Old-World types. Here he looked round with a beaming smile. I am glad to find so rich a field to glean.

This doubtful compliment provoked weak smiles. The boarders did not wish to be rude, but they felt it was impossible to approve of the young man. Not being sufficiently modern to court notoriety Wedding dress rental , one and all disliked the idea of being put in a book. Mrs. Taine, conscious of her weak grammar, looked uneasily at Miss Bull, who smiled grimly and then glared at Train. Granger drew himself up and pulled his gray mustache; he was the buck of the establishment, and Harmer nodded, saying, Well, well! his usual remark when he did not understand what was going on. Only Madame spoke. Train had taken a sitting-room as well as a bedroom, therefore he must be rich, and as he had not haggled over terms it was necessary that he should be flattered. Mrs. Jersey saw a chance of making money out of him.

 


上一篇:Benson settled down behind


我都忍不住笑

我都忍不住笑


標籤
累計瀏覽次數: 22,209
所有文章: 13
本日訪客人數: 20
累計訪客人數: 21,409