made plainer by the sidelight of these confidences. What came out

in it most was the small fine passion of his pride. He had plenty

of that, Pemberton felt - so much that one might perhaps wisely

wish for it some early bruises. He would have liked his people to

have a spirit and had waked up to the sense of their perpetually

eating humble-pie. His mother would consume any amount, and his

father would consume even more than his mother. He had a theory

that Ulick had wriggled out of an "affair" at Nice: there had once

been a flurry at home, a regular panic, after which they all went

to bed and took medicine, not to be accounted for on any other

supposition. Morgan had a romantic imagination, led by poetry and

history, and he would have liked those who "bore his name" - as he

used to say to Pemberton with the humour that made his queer

delicacies manly - to carry themselves with an air. But their one

idea was to get in with people who didn't want them and to take

snubs as it they were honourable scars. Why people didn't want

them more he didn't know - that was people's own affair; after all

they weren't superficially repulsive, they were a hundred times

cleverer than most of the dreary grandees, the "poor swells" they

rushed about Europe to catch up with. "After all they ARE amusing

- they are!" he used to pronounce with the wisdom of the ages. To

which Pemberton always replied: "Amusing - the great Moreen

troupe? Why they're altogether delightful; and if it weren't for

the hitch that you and I (feeble performers!) make in the ensemble

they'd carry everything before them."

What the boy couldn't get over was the fact that this particular

blight seemed, in a tradition of self-respect, so undeserved and so

arbitrary. No doubt people had a right to take the line they

liked; but why should his people have liked the line of pushing and

toadying and lying and cheating? What had their forefathers - all

decent folk, so far as he knew - done to them, or what had he done

to them? Who had poisoned their blood with the fifth-rate social

ideal, the fixed idea of making smart acquaintances and getting

into the monde chic, especially when it was foredoomed to failure

and exposure? They showed so what they were after; that was what

made the people they wanted not want THEM. And never a wince for

dignity, never a throb of shame at looking each other in the face,

never any independence or resentment or disgust. If his father or

his brother would only knock some one down once or twice a year!

Clever as they were they never guessed the impression they made.

They were good-natured, yes - as good-natured as Jews at the doors

of clothing-shops! But was that the model one wanted one's family

to follow? Morgan had dim memories of an old grandfather, the

maternal, in New York, whom he had been taken across the ocean at

the age of five to see: a gentleman with a high neck-cloth and a

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