The Hand of Ethelberta HTML version

11. Sandbourne And Its Neighbourhood -
Some London Streets
While this was going on in town, Christopher, at his lodgings
in Sandbourne, had been thrown into rare old visions and
dreams by the appearance of Ethelberta's letter. Flattered
and encouraged to ambition as well as to love by her
inspiriting sermon, he put off now the last remnant of cynical
doubt upon the genuineness of his old mistress, and once
and for all set down as disloyal a belief he had latterly
acquired that 'Come, woo me, woo me; for I am like enough
to consent,' was all a young woman had to tell.
All the reasoning of political and social economists would not
have convinced Christopher that he had a better chance in
London than in Sandbourne of making a decent income by
reasonable and likely labour; but a belief in a far more
improbable proposition, impetuously expressed, warmed him
with the idea that he might become famous there. The
greater is frequently more readily credited than the less, and
an argument which will not convince on a matter of
halfpence appears unanswerable when applied to questions
of glory and honour.
The regulation wet towel and strong coffee of the ambitious
and intellectual student floated before him in visions; but it
was with a sense of relief that he remembered that music, in
spite of its drawbacks as a means of sustenance, was a
profession happily unencumbered with those excruciating
preliminaries to greatness.
Christopher talked about the new move to his sister, and he
was vexed that her hopefulness was not roused to quite the
pitch of his own. As with others of his sort, his too general
habit of accepting the most clouded possibility that chances
offered was only transcended by his readiness to kindle with