Page:Twilight.djvu/95

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87
TWILIGHT

money like water. The end of that period was a prolonged fainting fit, the first of many, the discovery I had a weak heart, that the exertion of piano-playing affected it unfavourably. I came back from Dresden at eighteen, was presented the same year, the papers said I was beautiful; father put himself out of the way to be nice to pressmen; he had acquired the habit in America whilst he was building up his fortune. That I was accounted beautiful and could play Chopin and was to have a fortune, made me appear also brilliant. My father paid for the printing of my first book. My first one-act play was performed at a West End theatre. Then I met James Capel. Mr. Justice Jeune knows the story of my married life better than any one else. I was high-spirited before it began. At the end of a year I was physically, mentally, morally a wreck. I don't know which of us hated the other more, my husband or I. Anyway, he made no objection to my returning to my father. My stepmother's suffocating kindness descended upon me again, and now I found it healing. When I was healed I wrote "The Immoralists." Then my father's pride in me revived. He and my stepmother kept open house and collected celebrities to show the dimness of their light as a background for my supposed more brilliant shining! Society was pleased to come, my father growing always richer. ... I wrote "The Farce of Fearlessness" and "Love and the Lutist" about this time, and my other play. When my husband made it imperative by his proved and public blackguardism I resorted to the law, and acting under advice, fought him in the arena he chose, and have now won my freedom, but