She turned with severity upon Nancy. Hehad not chased them, she said. He had beenasked.

They must find a way out of it all. Theremight be some simpler way, some less laboriousway, she sighed. When she looked in the glassand saw her hair grey, her cheek sunk, at fifty,she thought, possibly she might have managedthings better—her husband; money; his books.But for her own part she would never for a singlesecond regret her decision, evade difficulties, orslur over duties. She was now formidable tobehold, and it was only in silence, looking upfrom their plates, after she had spoken so severelyabout Charles Tansley, that her daughters—Prue, Nancy, Rose—could sport with infidel ideaswhich they had brewed for themselves of a lifedifferent from hers; in Paris, perhaps; a wilderlife; not always taking care of some man or other;for there was in all their minds a mute questioningof deference and chivalry, of the Bank of Englandand the Indian Empire, of ringed fingers and lace,though to them all there was something in thisof the essence of beauty, which called out themanliness in their girlish hearts, and made them,as they sat at table beneath their mother’s eyes,honour her strange severity, her extreme courtesy,like a Queen’s raising from the mud a beggar’s16

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