Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/293

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271
By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore

Lady Dol. Another engagement, Cyril?

[Lord Doldrummond enters and comes down, anxiously looking from one to the other.]

Cyril.Father, this is my friend Mandeville. We have arranged to go up to town this afternoon.

Lady Dol.[Calmly.]What time shall I send the carriage to the station for you? The last train usually arrives about——

Cyril.I shall not return to-night. I intend to stay in town. Mandeville will put me up.

Lord Dol.And where are you going?

Mandeville.He is coming to our dress rehearsal of the "Dandy and the Dancer."

Cyril.At the Parnassus.[Lord and Lady Doldrummond exchange horrified glances.]I daresay you have never heard of the place, but it amuses me to go there, and I must learn life for myself. I am two-and-twenty, and it is not extraordinary that I should wish to be my own master. I intend to have chambers of my own in town.

Lady Dol.Surely you have every liberty in this house?

Lord Dol.If you leave us, you will leave the rooms in which your mother has spent every hour of her life, since the day you were born, planning and improving. Must all her care and thought go for nothing? The silk hangings in your bedroom she worked with her own hands. There is not so much as a pen wiper in your quarter of the house which she did not choose with the idea of giving you one more token of her affection.

Cyril.I am not ungrateful, but I cannot see much of the world through my mother's embroidery. As you say, I have every comfort here. I may gorge at your expense and snore on your pillows and bully your servants, I can do everything, in fact, but

live.