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Sketches in Lavender, Blue and Green   By: (1859-1927)

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First Page:

GREEN

Transcribed from the 1920 J. W. Arrowsmith edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

Sketches in Lavender Blue and Green

BY JEROME K. JEROME AUTHOR OF "THREE MEN IN A BOAT" "THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL," "NOVEL NOTES" "THE IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW," ETC.

BRISTOL J. W. ARROWSMITH LTD., QUAY STREET LONDON SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & CO. LIMITED 1920

Contents:

Reginald Blake, Financier and Cad An item of Fashionable Intelligence Blase Billy The Choice of Cyril Harjohn The Materialisation of Charles and Mivanway Portrait of a Lady The Man Who Would Manage The Man Who Lived For Others A Man of Habit The Absent minded Man A Charming Woman Whibley's Spirit The Man Who Went Wrong The Hobby Rider The Man Who Did Not Believe In Luck Dick Dunkerman's Cat The Minor Poet's Story The Degeneration of Thomas Henry The City of The Sea Driftwood

La ven der's blue, did dle, did dle! La ven der's green; When I am king, did dle, did dle! You shall be queen.

Call up your men, did dle, did dle! Set them to work; Some to the plough, did dle, did dle! Some to the cart.

Some to make hay, did dle, did dle! Some to cut corn; While you and I, did dle, did dle! Keep ourselves warm.

REGINALD BLAKE, FINANCIER AND CAD

The advantage of literature over life is that its characters are clearly defined, and act consistently. Nature, always inartistic, takes pleasure in creating the impossible. Reginald Blake was as typical a specimen of the well bred cad as one could hope to find between Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park Corner. Vicious without passion, and possessing brain without mind, existence presented to him no difficulties, while his pleasures brought him no pains. His morality was bounded by the doctor on the one side, and the magistrate on the other. Careful never to outrage the decrees of either, he was at forty five still healthy, though stout; and had achieved the not too easy task of amassing a fortune while avoiding all risk of Holloway. He and his wife, Edith ( nee Eppington), were as ill matched a couple as could be conceived by any dramatist seeking material for a problem play. As they stood before the altar on their wedding morn, they might have been taken as symbolising satyr and saint. More than twenty years his junior, beautiful with the beauty of a Raphael's Madonna, his every touch of her seemed a sacrilege. Yet once in his life Mr. Blake played the part of a great gentleman; Mrs. Blake, on the same occasion, contenting herself with a singularly mean role mean even for a woman in love.

The affair, of course, had been a marriage of convenience. Blake, to do him justice, had made no pretence to anything beyond admiration and regard. Few things grow monotonous sooner than irregularity. He would tickle his jaded palate with respectability, and try for a change the companionship of a good woman. The girl's face drew him, as the moonlight holds a man who, bored by the noise, turns from a heated room to press his forehead to the window pane. Accustomed to bid for what he wanted, he offered his price. The Eppington family was poor and numerous. The girl, bred up to the false notions of duty inculcated by a narrow conventionality, and, feminine like, half in love with martyrdom for its own sake, let her father bargain for a higher price, and then sold herself.

To a drama of this description, a lover is necessary, if the complications are to be of interest to the outside world. Harry Sennett, a pleasant looking enough young fellow, in spite of his receding chin, was possessed, perhaps, of more good intention than sense. Under the influence of Edith's stronger character he was soon persuaded to acquiesce meekly in the proposed arrangement. Both succeeded in convincing themselves that they were acting nobly. The tone of the farewell interview, arranged for the eve of the wedding, would have been fit and proper to the occasion had Edith been a modern Joan of Arc about to sacrifice her own happiness on the altar of a great cause; as the girl was merely selling herself into ease and luxury, for no higher motive than the desire to enable a certain number of more or less worthy relatives to continue living beyond their legitimate means, the sentiment was perhaps exaggerated... Continue reading book >>




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