It had been his odd fortune to blow upon the deep waters, to make then surge and break in waves of strange eloquence. He launched himself into a passionate contradiction of his host's last declaration; tried to enumerate to him the parts of his work he loved, the splendid things he had found in it, beyond the compass of any other writer of the day. St. George listened awhile, courteously; then he said, laying his hand on Paul Overt's:
"That's all very well: and if your idea is to do nothing better there is no reason why you shouldn't have as many good things as I—as many human and material appendages, as many sons or daughters, a wife with as many gowns, a house with as many servants, a stable with as many horses, a heart with as many aches." He got up when he had spoken thus, and then stood a moment near the sofa, looking down on his agitated pupil. "Are you possessed of any money?" it occurred to him to ask.
"None to speak of."
"Oh, well, there's no reason why you shouldn't make a goodish income—if you set about it the right way. Study me for that—study me well. You may really have a carriage."
Paul Overt sat there for some moments without speaking. He looked straight before him—he turned over many things. His friend had wandered away from him, taking up a parcel of letters that were on the table where the roll of proofs had lain. "What was the book Mrs. St. George made you burn—the one she didn't like?" he abruptly inquired.
"The book she made me burn—how did you know that?" St. George looked up from his letters.
"I heard her speak of it at Summersoft."
"Ah, yes; she's proud of it. I don't know—it was rather good."