The Way of Ambition

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: "Oh—a Te Deum!" observed Mrs. Mansfield, looking suddenly sceptical. "I know! I know!" said Max Elliot. "I didn't want to hear it till I had heard it. And then I wanted to hear nothing else. The touch of genius startles everything into life." "Another genius!" said Paul Lane. And thereupon, as if acting on a sudden impulse, he got up, said good-bye, and went away with his curiosity, if he had any, ungratified. "He's spoilt by the French blood his mother gave him," said Mrs. Mansfield as the door closed. "If he had been all French, one might have delighted in him, taken him on the intellectual side, known where one was, skipped the coldness and the irony, clung to the wit, vivacity and easy charm. But he's a modern Frenchman, boxing with an Englishman and using his feet half the time. And that's dreadful. In an English drawing-room I don't like the Savate. Now tell us, tell us! I am so thankful he is not a celebrity." "Nor ever likely to be unless he marries the wrong woman." "What do you mean by that?" asked Charmian with curiosity. "A woman who is ambitious for him and pushes him." " But if this Claude Heath has so much talent, surely it would be a fine thing to make him give it to the world." "That depends on his temperament, I daresay," said Mrs. Mansfield. "I believe there are people who ought to hide their talents in a napkin." "Oh, mother! Explain!" "Some plants can only grow in darkness." "Very nasty ones, I should think! Deadly nightshade! That sort of thing!" "Poor dear! I gave her light in a vulgar age. She can't help it," said Mrs. Mansfield to Max Elliot. "We are her refined seniors. But sheer weight of years has little influence. Never mind. Go on. You and I at least can understand." As she spoke she laid her hand, on which sh...
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