Page:Twilight.djvu/161

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153
TWILIGHT

become passionately enamoured of the "cold white keys" and practised the piano innumerable hours in every day.

When Edgar B. remembered her existence again she had grown pale and remote, enwrapped in her gift and in her egotism, not doubting at all she would be the greatest pianist the world had ever seen, and that all those friends and acquaintances who had ignored or cold-shouldered her during the last year would wither with self-disdain at not having perceived it earlier. Not by her father's millions would she shine, but by reason of her unparalleled powers. The decision to visit Europe and settle in England, for a time was not unconnected with these visions. She insisted she required more and better lessons. Edgar B. was awed by her decision, by her playing, by her astonishingly perverse and burdened youth. He was grateful to her for not reproaching him for his failure to grapple with a new position, and contrasted her, favourably, notwithstanding an uneasy fear of disloyalty, with her mother.

"What do we want of wealth?" she asked in her young scorn. And spoke of the vulgarity of money and their scampered friends of the Four Hundred. In those early days, when she hoped to become a pianist, she had many of the faults of inferior novelists or writers. She used, for instance, other people's words instead of her own, and said she wished to "scorn delight and live laborious days."