Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/127

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119
COLLABORATION

"Then, as the great American critic, Bonus may be the great American artist," I went on.

"Is that what you're supposed to give us—'American' criticism?" Vendemer asked, with dismay in his expressive, ironic face. "Take care, take care, or it will be more American than critical, and then where will you be? However," he continued, laughing and with a change of tone, "I may see the matter in too lurid a light, for I've just been favored with a judgment conceived in the purest spirit of our own national genius." He looked at me a moment and then he remarked, "That dear Madame de Brindes doesn't approve of my attitude."

"Your attitude?"

"Towards your German friend. She let me know it when I went down-stairs with her—told me I was much too cordial, that I must observe myself."

"And what did you reply to that?"

"I answered that the things he had played were extraordinarily beautiful."

"And how did she meet that?"

"By saying that he's an enemy of our country."