2021-04-17 12:41:13

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ENGLISH My dear girl, he said, how good and industrious you are.It would have been easy, so the simple and obviously-minded person would think, for her to have turned on the electric light, and have saved her eyes. But there were subtler and more compelling reasons which stood in the way of doing that. The first was that the light would almost certainly awaken her mother, who, by beginning to talk again, as she always did when a nap had refreshed her, would put an end to Alices private reflections which flourished best in dusk and in silence. A second reason was that it was more than likely that Mr Silverdale would presently drop in for tea, and it was decidedly more interesting to be found sitting at work, with her profile outlined against the smouldering glow of sunset, than to be sitting under the less becoming glare of{99} an electric lamp. For the same reason she did not put on the spectacles which she would otherwise have worn.

He showed her the way to the drawing-room, where his wife and Alice were standing by the fire.Mrs Keeling had much enjoyed the sense of added pomp and dignity which her husbands mayoralty gave her. She liked seeing placards in the streets that a concert in aid of some charity was given under the patronage of the Lady Mayoress, and would rustle into the arm-chair reserved for her in the middle of the front-row with the feeling that she had got this concert up, and was responsible not only for the assistance it gave to the charity in question, but for the excellence of the performance. She assumed a grander and more condescending air at her parties, and distinctly began to unbend to the inhabitants of Alfred Road instead of associating with them as equals. She knew her position as Lady Mayoress; it almost seemed to her that it was she who had raised her husband to the civic dignity, and when one morning she found among her letters an invitation from Lady Inverbroom for herself and him to dine and sleep one day early in December, at their place a few miles outside Bracebridge, she was easily able to see through the insincerity of Lady Inverbrooms adding that it would give her husband such pleasure to show Mr Keeling his library. It was an amiable insincerity, but{164} Emmeline was secretly sure that the Lady Mayoress was the desired guest. She tried without success to control the trembling of her voice when she telephoned to Keelingwho had just left for the Stores (those vulgar stores)the gratifying request. He was quite pleased to accept it, but she could detect no trembling in his voice. But men controlled their feelings better than women....Stupid? I am always stupid, he said. I{206} want to do something for everybody committed to my charge. I want to give myself to the drunkards and the drabs and the unbelievers. But I am like a foolish cook: I do not know how to serve myself up so as to become palatable.

How pleased the herald angels will be! he answered.

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Watteau? asked Keeling.Well settle it like that then, she said. But I am so sorry. I liked those evenings.

I do not know whether you wish to talk to me about your mother, your rheumatism, your teapot, or your housekeeping, he remarked. I will talk about any you please, but one at a time.

Quite an excellent heart, she said. Julia has always been my friend, except just lately. And now it is all right again. Dont you think that quarrels sometimes lead to even warmer attachments, Mamma?

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Clerical work, including shorthand and typewriting.Yes, its just a matter of business, isnt it? he said.{188}

It was easy to see out of the depths of futilities that Mrs Keeling was pleased, and her husband retired to his dressing-room and shut the door on her raptures.

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Apr-17 12:41:13