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"In good truth," cried Minerva, "I must interfere; We'll have nought but good humour and harmony here.

Kiss, be friends, I beseech you, and try all your skill To please our great master"-"We will, so we will!" etc., etc.

Gradually as the dinner grew longer and longer, and the number of toasts increased, the singing between each of them was eliminated, and finally abolished altogether, its place being taken by the Royal Artillery Band, which plays a few bars of the National Anthem after the toast of "The King," and then discourses sweet music when the dinner is over and the guests are dispersed about the galleries looking at the pictures. For this and many other suggestions the Academy is indebted to his present Majesty, King Edward, who when Prince of Wales honored the dinner with his presence nearly every year. One muchappreciated boon conferred through his gracious initiative was that of permission to smoke as soon as the Sovereign's health had been drunk, instead of having to wait till dinner was over. Many shook their heads at the innovation, and prophesied all sorts of evil consequences, but so far nothing disastrous has happened, and the Academy has not yet succumbed to the vulgarity of the "picturesque" reporter and the flashlight photograph.

The annual dinner is paid for out of the

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funds of the Academy. But another dinner was instituted in 1770, called the Birthday Dinner," which took place on the Royal Founder's birthday, and was given by the members to the principal exhibitors, and paid for out of their own pockets. It was done away with in 1851 and the present soirée, given by the Academy, and to which all the exhibitors of the year are invited, substituted. On this occasion all the private rooms of the Academy, as well as the Exhibition Galleries, are thrown open to the guests. These private rooms include the five reception rooms of old Burlington House. They consist of the Library (formerly the ball-room Council Room, the general reception room, the Secretary's Room, and the General Assembly Room, where the forty meet. All these rooms, so far as their general appearance is concerned, are unaltered. In connection with the Council Room an interesting story may be told. At the first meeting of the Council in it, in January, 1874, the President, Sir Francis Grant, addressing the members before proceeding to business, told them that when he first decided to take up portrait painting as a profession, the first commission he received was from the Countess of Burlington, who sent for him to paint a portrait of her daughter. On arriving at Burlington House he was shown into the room where they were now sitting. "Lady Burlington and her daughter," he continued, "came in, and close to that window," pointing to it, "I painted the first portrait for which I received any money, little thinking that I should one day sit in the same room as President of the Royal Academy."

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to see that those not needed for the decoration of the house should be sent to the destiT was a great relief to Con- nations indicated by Mrs. Wilson through stance when at last she was her secretary-hospitals, friends in affliction once more self-supporting. or with birthdays, and the like. The spaHer eyes appeared to be as cious bathrooms were lined with artistic strong as ever, and she found tiles; electric lights had been adjusted in her new work congenial and the chambers so as to provide perfect faciliabsorbing. She was not merely Mrs. Wil- ties for reading in bed; once a week an son's stenographer, but her factotum, ex- attendant called to wind all the clocks in pected to exercise a general superinten- the house. Mrs. Wilson's personal appetite dence over her employer's philanthropic was not keen, yet exacting. Her breakfast and social concerns, to attend to details, was served in her own room, and, unless she and, through tactful personal interviews, had company, her other meals were apt to to act as a domestic buffer. The change be slight in substance, but were invariably from the practical severity of a law office, of a delicate, distinguished character as with its dusty shelves of volumes uni- regards appearance if not ingredients. Her formly bound in sheep, its plain furniture steward had instructions that the dinner and heterogeneous clientage, to her pre- table should be garnished with flowers sent surroundings was both stimulating and and the most luscious specimens of the startling. Stimulating because it catered fruits of the season, though she were alone. to her yearning for contact with æsthetic When she had guests these effects were influences to have the run of this superb amplified, and her mind was constantly house and to be brought into daily famil- on the alert to provide novelty for her eniar association with all sorts of lavish ex- tertainments. During the first season of penditure in aid of beautiful effects and Constance's employment, music between beneficent purposes. Startling because the the courses-a harpist, a quartette of violintrue quality of the luxury aimed at was ists, an orchestra-happened to be the faunknown to her until she became a con- vorite special feature of her dinner parties. stant eye-witness. In both Mrs. Wilson's and her brother Carleton Howard's establishments a major-domo presided over the purely domestic relations, engaging the numerous servants, and endeavoring to maintain such a competent staff below stairs as to ensure delicious, superabundant food and neat, noiseless service which should resemble as far as possible the automatic impersonality of male and female graven images. All the appointments of the house were captivating; the pantry closets bristled with beautiful cut glass and delicate, superbly decorated china; flowers in great profusion and variety were brought three times a week from Carleton Howard's private nurseries to be tastefully arranged by a maid whose special duty it was to attend to this and VOL. XXXVI.-48

That first winter Mrs. Wilson had the influenza and went to Florida for a month for recuperation, carrying her secretary with her. The journey was made in Mr. Howard's private car, and the suite which they occupied at the elaborate modern hotel where they stopped was the most select to be obtained. The spectacle at this winter resort for restless multi-millionnaires was another bewildering experience for Constance. The display of toilets and diamonds at night in the vast ornate dining-room was dazzling and almost grotesque in its competitive features. Mrs. Wilson preserved her distinction by a rich simplicity of costume. She had left her most striking gowns at home, and she let Constance perceive that her sensibilities


took umbrage at this public cockatoo emulation of wealth. She was even conspicuously simple in regard to her food, as though she wished to shun unmistakably being confounded with the conglomeration of socially aspiring patrons, whose antics jarred upon her conceptions of beauty. But Constance could not avoid the reflection that profuse, if not prodigal, expenditure was typical of her companion no less than of them, and that the distinction was simply one of taste. What impressed her was that so many people in the land had merely to sign a check to command what they desired, and that the mania for novel and special comforts, and unique or gorgeous possessions was in the air. On their way home Mrs. Wilson spent a few days in New York shopping, having directed Constance to communicate in advance with several dealers whose business it was to dispose of artistic masterpieces. She bought two pictures at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars apiece, an antique collar of pearls, and several minor treasures. At the same time she took advantage of the occasion to grant an interview to two persons, a man and a woman, who had solicited her aid in behalf of separate educational charities. To each of these enterprises, after proper consideration, she sent her subscription for five thousand dollars.

Undoubtedly the chief purpose of Mrs. Wilson's stay in New York was to see her daughter. After a three months' residence in South Dakota, Lucille had obtained a divorce on the ground of cruelty, and had promptly married her admirer, Bradbury Nicholson, son of the president of the Chemical Trust. Mrs. Wilson had declined to attend the wedding, which took place in Sioux Falls three days after the final decree had been entered a very quiet affair. Lucille had notified her mother that it was to occur, but was not surprised that she did not take the journey. She and her husband had spent four months in Europe to let people get accustomed to the idea that she was no longer Mrs. Clarence Waldo, and recently they had taken up their residence in New York. Her new husband had three millions of his own, and, as Lucille complacently expressed the situation to her mother, society had received them exactly as if nothing had happened.

"I told you how it would be, Mamma,"

she said. "Everybody understands that Clarence and I were mismated. I am radiantly happy, and, as for your granddaughter, she could not be fonder of Bradbury if he were her own father. He has bought a thousand dollar pony for her. All the Nicholson connection and my old friends have been giving us dinners, which shows that we can't be disapproved of very strongly."

Lucille certainly looked in the best spirits when she came to see her mother. She was exquisitely dressed, and her equipage, which stood at the door during her visit, was in the height of fastidious fashion. So far as externals were concerned, it was manifest that she was making good her promise to be more conservative and decorous. Mrs. Wilson saw fit to mark her abhorrence of her daughter's course by going to a hotel instead of to Lucille's large house on Fifth Avenue. She was not willing to stay under her new son-in-law's roof, but how could she avoid making his acquaintance and dining with him? A definite breach with her only child was out of the question, as she had previously realized; besides her granddaughter demanded now more than ever her oversight and affection. Consequently on the second day she dined at the new establishment, and consented later to attend a dinner party which was given in her honor, though Lucille kept that compliment from her mother's knowledge until the evening arrived. She had taken pains to secure the most socially distinguished and interesting people of her acquaintance, and the affair was alluded to in the newspapers as one of the most brilliant festivities of the winter. Aleopard cannot altogether change its spots, and Lucille's ruling passion was still horses, but she desired to show her mother that she had genuinely improved; so it happened that after the guests had returned to the drawing-room an organgrinder accompanied by a pleasing blackeyed young woman, both in fresh, picturesque Italian attire, were ushered in. They proved to be no less than two high-priced artists from the grand opera, who, after a few preliminary capers to keep up the illusion, sang thrilling duets and solos. When they had finished came an additional surprise in that the organ was shown to be partially hollow and to contain a collection of enamelled bonbonières, which were passed on trays by the servants among the delight

ed guests. After the company had gone mother and daughter had an intimate talk, in the course of which Lucille, though making no apologies, volunteered the statement that she in common with half a dozen other women of her acquaintance had decided to go into retirement in one of the church sisterhoods during the period of Lent. She explained that the sisters of her new husband, who had high church sympathies, were preparing to do the same and that the project appealed to her. Mrs. Wilson was electrified. It was on her lips to ask Lucille how she could reconcile this new departure with her hasty second marriage, but she shrank from seeming to discourage what might be an awakening of faith or even of æsthetic vitality in her daughter's heart. Still, though she rejoiced in Lucille's apparent happiness and prosperity, she felt stunned at the failure of Providence to vindicate its own just workings. Much as she desired in the abstract that her daughter should be blessed, how was it that so flagrant a violation of the eternal proprieties could result not merely in worldly advancement, but an attractive home? For there was no denying that Bradbury Nicholson was a far more engaging man than his predecessor, and that he and Lucille were at present highly sympathetic in their relations. Would the harmony last? It ought not to, according to spiritual reasoning. And yet on the surface the dire experiment had proved a success, and there were indications that permanent domestic joys and stability were likely to be the outcome of what she considered disgrace.

Mrs. Wilson did not condescend to refer to her daughter's immediate past, but when she found that Lucille was brimming over with fresh tidings concerning the other offenders, Clarence Waldo and Paul's wife, she suffered her to unbosom herself. This news was consoling to her from the standpoint of ethical justice. As she already was aware, Mrs. Paul Howard, obdurate in her impatience of delay, had obtained a divorce on the ground of cruelty in Nebraska after six months, the statutory period necessary to acquire residence, and had then married Clarence Waldo. Now rumor reported that the newly wedded couple, who had been spending the present winter in Southern California for the benefit of the second Mrs. Waldo's bronchial tubes, had

not hit it off well together, to quote Lucille, and were likely to try again. For according to the stories of people just from Los Angeles, she was permitting a congressman from California, the owner of large silver mines, to dance constant attendance on her, and her husband, quite out of conceit of her to all appearances, was solacing himself with a pretty widow from Connecticut.

"Of course," added Lucille, contemplatively, "if they really intend to obtain a divorce in order to marry again, it will be convenient for them that they happen to be in California, as that is another of the States where one can acquire a legal residence in six months."

Mrs. Wilson's disgust was tempered by a fierce sense of triumph. She was glad to know the facts, but she did not wish to talk about them, especially as she was far from clear in her mind that there was any logical distinction to be drawn between the conduct of these voluptuaries and that of her own child. She tossed her head as much as to say that she desired to drop the unsavory topic. But Lucille was so far blind to any similarity between the cases, or else so far content with the contrast in results between the two remarriages, that she continued in the same vein, which was pensive rather than critical.

"I'm thankful that Paul insisted on keeping Helen as a condition of not opposing his wife's Nebraska libel, for it would have been rather trying for the poor child to get used to three fathers in less than three years."

Mrs. Wilson felt like choking. The unpleasant picture intensified her repulsion; yet she knew that speech would be no relief for she would not find Lucille properly sympathetic. Just at that moment her granddaughter came prancing into the room, and ran to her. Mrs. Wilson clasped her to her breast as a mute outlet for her emotions, for she could not help remembering that this child also had two fathers, and what was the difference but one of degree? Yet here was its mother smiling in her face, seemingly without qualms and perfectly happy. How was this peace of mind to be reconciled with the eternal fitness of things?

Meanwhile Lucille was saying, "Tell me about Paul, Mamma. How does he take it? What is he doing?"

Mrs. Wilson sighed. "He was terribly cut up, of course," she answered, gravely.

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