I have in a previous chapter said how I wrote Can You Forgive Her? after the plot of a play which had been rejected — which play had been called The Noble Jilt. Some year or two after the completion of The Last Chronicle, I was asked by the manager of a theatre to prepare a piece for his stage, and I did so, taking the plot of this novel. I called the comedy Did He Steal It? But my friend the manager did not approve of my attempt. My mind at this time was less attentive to such a matter than when dear old George Bartley nearly crushed me by his criticism — so that I forget the reason given. I have little doubt but that the manager was right. That he intended to express a true opinion, and would have been glad to have taken the piece had he thought it suitable, I am quite sure.
Bill, a pansified Italian, hurried towards them. 'Why, Mr Du Pont. Is a pleasure, sir. Little crowded tonight. Soon fix you up. Please this way please.' Holding a large leather-bound menu above his head the man weaved his way between the diners to the best table in the room, a corner table for six. He pulled out two chairs, snapped his ringers for the maitre d'hotel and the wine waiter, spread two menus in front of them, exchanged compliments with Mr Du Pont and left them.
Standing there, a "big girl" now, I remembered it all and recognized the sensual itch brought on by a fleeting apprehension-the shiver down the spine, the intuitive gooseflesh that come from the primitive fear-signals of animal ancestors. 1 was amused and I hugged the moment to me. Soon the thunderheads would burst and I would step back from the howl and chaos of the storm into my well-lighted comfortable cave, make myself a drink, listen to the radio, and feel safe and cosseted.
I think I gave a shrill scream, but perhaps it was only within me. The next moment something exploded against the side of my head and I felt myself crash to the floor. Then all was darkness.
Her impatient attendant scolds her, tells her I am not in mourning, bids her look again, tries to rouse her.
"Do you mind if I smoke?" The man had already got his cigarette case in his hand. It was a flat gun-metal one that would hold around twenty-five. Somehow this small sign of a shared weakness comforted Major Smythe.
There was a mumble of comment and questions which Goldfinger dealt with one by one. Oddjob got up from Bond's side and walked down to the rear. Bond followed him and, under his hard, suspicious stare, went into the little lavatory and locked the door.
???Mechanicks, grave Philosophy;
Bulwer, or Lord Lytton — but I think that he is still better known by his earlier name — was a man of very great parts. Better educated than either of those I have named before him, he was always able to use his erudition, and he thus produced novels from which very much not only may be but must be learned by his readers. He thoroughly understood the political status of his own country, a subject on which, I think, Dickens was marvellously ignorant, and which Thackeray had never studied. He had read extensively, and was always apt to give his readers the benefit of what he knew. The result has been that very much more than amusement may be obtained from Bulwer’s novels. There is also a brightness about them — the result rather of thought than of imagination, of study and of care, than of mere intellect — which has made many of them excellent in their way. It is perhaps improper to class all his novels together, as he wrote in varied manners, making in his earlier works, such as Pelham and Ernest Maltravers, pictures of a fictitious life, and afterwards pictures of life as he believed it to be, as in My Novel and The Caxtons. But from all of them there comes the same flavour of an effort to produce effect. The effects are produced, but it would have been better if the flavour had not been there.
“What can I have done, Julia?” he said, snatching the tremulous hand with which she was hastily endeavouring to open a little paling gate for the purpose of turning into another walk, evidently to avoid him. “Am I no longer that Edmund whom you have honoured with the name of brother, since—since before you could pronounce the word distinctly? Or can I be expected to forget, entirely, that you are still the same Julia, the same dearest, best beloved object of my earliest, and fondest affections!—” He stopped short suddenly, as though he had been betrayed into expressions he had not meant to use. Julia’s lip trembled, her eyes were fixed on the ground, and every feature convulsed by efforts to restrain her tears.
'No,' I replied. 'Not at all so.' 2020-07-04 14:26:58