Man and Wife HTML version
Geoffrey As A Public Character
TIME had advanced to after noon before the selection of Geoffrey's future wife was
accomplished, and before the instructions of Geoffrey's brother were complete enough to
justify the opening of the matrimonial negotiation at Nagle's Hotel.
"Don't leave him till you have got his promise," were Lady Holchester's last words when
her son started on his mission.
"If Geoffrey doesn't jump at what I am going to offer him," was the son's reply, "I shall
agree with my father that the case is hopeless; and I shall end, like my father, in giving
This was strong language for Julius to use. It was not easy to rouse the disciplined and
equable temperament of Lord Holchester's eldest son. No two men were ever more
thoroughly unlike each other than these two brothers. It is melancholy to acknowledge it
of the blood relation of a "stroke oar," but it must be owned, in the interests of truth, that
Julius cultivated his intelligence. This degenerate Briton could digest books--and couldn't
digest beer. Could learn languages--and couldn't learn to row. Practiced the foreign vice
of perfecting himself in the art of playing on a musical instrument and couldn't learn the
English virtue of knowing a good horse when he saw him. Got through life. (Heaven only
knows how!) without either a biceps or a betting-book. Had openly acknowledged, in
English society, that he didn't think the barking of a pack of hounds the finest music in
the world. Could go to foreign parts, and see a mountain which nobody had ever got to
the top of yet--and didn't instantly feel his honor as an Englishman involved in getting to
the top of it himself. Such people may, and do, exist among the inferior races of the
Continent. Let us thank Heaven, Sir, that England never has been, and never will be, the
right place for them!
Arrived at Nagle's Hotel, and finding nobody to inquire of in the hall, Julius applied to
the young lady who sat behind the window of "the bar." The young lady was reading
something so deeply interesting in the evening newspaper that she never even heard him.
Julius went into the coffee-room.
The waiter, in his corner, was absorbed over a second newspaper. Three gentlemen, at
three different tables, were absorbed in a third, fourth, and fifth newspaper. They all alike
went on with their reading without noticing the entrance of the stranger. Julius ventured
on disturbing the waiter by asking for Mr. Geoffrey Delamayn. At the sound of that
illustrious name the waiter looked up with a start. "Are you Mr. Delamayn's brother,
The three gentlemen at the tables looked up with a start. The light of Geoffrey's celebrity
fell, reflected, on Geoffrey's brother, and made a public character of him.
"You'll find Mr. Geoffrey, Sir," said the waiter, in a flurried, excited manner, "at the
Cock and Bottle, Putney."
"I expected to find him here. I had an appointment with him at this hotel."