Page:The Yellow Book - 06.djvu/139

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A New Poster


I

IT was the first of Mrs. Angelo Milton s original dinner-parties. Mrs. Angelo Milton had the reputation of being the most original hostess, if not in London, certainly in South Kensington where she lived. Such a reputation, in such a neighbourhood, was not perhaps difficult of acquisition, and Mrs. Milton had managed to acquire it by the simple though unusual method of being mildly eccentric within the limits of conventionality. She was thus characteristic neither of Bohemia nor of South Kensington; she amused the one, puzzled the other, and received them both on the third Wednesday in the month. She was daring in her selection of guests, clever in the way she made them entertain one another, and commonplace in her own conversation. The object of her life was to be distinguished, and in a great measure she succeeded in it; the only thing that was wanting was Mrs. Angelo Milton herself. Her house, her receptions, her friends all bore the mark of distinction; as a drama, the scenic effect was superb and the company far above the average, but the principal player remained mediocre. She had none of the elements of individuality; her dress was perfect and of the fashionable type, her features were

intrinsically