except your grandmother. But if her blue spectacles comfort you,
keep her at present. Of course you wiU want somebody to be with
you a good deal: I can't be; and I suppose you'll have to stay
with me now. You may be seen here a little, and wherever I go
in autumn ; then you can come out in Paris in the winter, and be
presented next spring. I shall do it to spite your grandmother,
who has behaved disgracefully to me—disgracefully! I believe
she'd be capable of coming up to London to present you herself,
though she's never set foot there for fifteen years!"
Vere was silent.
" What do you like best ? " said her mother suddenly. Some¬
thing in the girl worried her: she could not have said what it was.
Vere lifted her great eyes dreamily.
" Greek," she answered.
" Oreek ! a horse ? a pony ? a dog ? "
" A language," said Vere,
" Of course Greek is a language; I know that," said her mother
irritably, " But of course I thought you meant something natural,
sensible; some pet of some kind. And what do you like best after
" Music—Greek is like music."
" Oh dear me! " sighed Lady Dolly.
" I can ride; I am fond of riding," added Vere; " and I can
shoot, and row, and sail, and steer a boat. The keepers taught me."
" Well, that sort of thing goes down rather, now that they walk
with the guns, though I'm quite sure men wish them anywhere all
the while," said Lady Dolly, somewhat vaguely. " Only you must
be masculine with it, and slangy, and you don't seem to me to be
that in the least. Do you know, Vere—it is a horrible thing to
say—but I am dreadfully afraid you will be just the old-fashioned,
prudish, open-air, touch-me-not Englishwoman! I am indeed.
Now you know that won't answer anywhere, nowadays."
" Answer—what ? "
" Don't take my words up like that, it is rude. I mean, you
know, that kind of style is gone out altogether, pleases nobody;
men hate it. The only women that please nowadays are Russians
and Americans. Why ? Because in their totally different ways
they neither of them care one fig what they do if only it please
them to do it. They are all chic, you know. Now you haven't a
bit of chic; you look like a creature out of Burne Jones's things,
don't you know, only more—more—religious-looking. You really
look as if you were studying your Bible every minute; it is most
" Her father would read me Keble and Kempis before she was
born," thought Lady Dolly angrily, her wrath rising against the
dead man for the psychological inconsistencies in her daughter;
a daughter she would have been a million times better without at