List Of Contents | Contents of The Golden House, by Charles Dudley Warner
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season, not for any general purpose, not as a sightseer, but to look at
somebody's stables, or to attend a wedding, or a sale of etchings, or to
see his bootmaker, or for a little shooting in Scotland, just as one
might run down to Bar Harbor or Tuxedo.  It was only an incident in a
busy season; and one of the fruits of it appeared to be as perfect a
knowledge of the comparative merits of all the ocean racers and captains
as of the English and American stables and the trainers.  One not
informed of the progress of American life might have been surprised to
see that the fad is to be American, with a sort of patronage of things
and ways foreign, especially of things British, a large continental kind
of attitude, begotten of hearing much about Western roughing it, of
Alaska, of horse-breeding and fruit-raising on the Pacific, of the
Colorado River Canon.  As for stuffs, well yes, London.  As for style,
you can't mistake a man who is dressed in New York.

The wine was a white Riesling from California.  Docstater said his
attention had been called to it by Tom Dillingham at the Union, who had a
ranch somewhere out there.  It was declared to be sound and palatable;
you know what you are drinking.  This led to a learned discussion of the
future of American wines, and a patriotic impulse was given to the trade
by repeated orders.  It was declared that in American wines lay the
solution of the temperance question.  Bobby Simerton said that Burgundy
was good enough for him, but Russell put him down, as he saw the light
yellow through his glass, by the emphatic affirmation that plenty of
cheap American well-made wine would knock the bottom out of all the
sentimental temperance societies and shut up the saloons, dry up all
those not limited to light wines and beer.  It was agreed that the
saloons would have to go.

This satisfactory conclusion was reached before the coffee came on and
the cigarettes, and the sound quality of the Riesling was emphasized by a
pony of cognac.

It is fortunate when the youth of a country have an ideal.  No nation is
truly great without a common ideal, capable of evoking enthusiasm and
calling out its energies.  And where are we to look for this if not in
the youth, and especially in those to whom fortune and leisure give an
opportunity of leadership ?  It is they who can inspire by their example,
and by their pursuits attract others to a higher conception of the
national life.  It may take the form of patriotism, as in this country,
pride in the great republic, jealousy of its honor and credit, eagerness
for its commanding position among the nations, patriotism which will show
itself, in all the ardor of believing youth, in the administration of
law, in the purity of politics, in honest local government, and in a
noble aspiration for the glory of the country.  It may take the form of
culture, of a desire that the republic-liable, like all self-made
nations, to worship wealth-should be distinguished not so much by a
vulgar national display as by an advance in the arts, the sciences, the
education that adorns life, in the noble spirit of humanity, and in the
nobler spirit of recognition of a higher life, which will be content with
no civilization that does not tend to make the country for every citizen
a better place to live in today than it was yesterday.  Happy is the
country, happy the metropolis of that country, whose fortunate young men
have this high conception of citizenship!

What is the ideal of their country which these young men cherish?  There
was a moment--was there not for them? --in the late war for the Union,
when the republic was visible to them in its beauty, in its peril, and in
a passion of devotion they were eager--were they not?--to follow the flag
and to give their brief lives to its imperishable glory.  Nothing is
impossible to a nation with an ideal like that.  It was this flame that
ran over Europe in the struggle of France against a world in arms.  It
was this national ideal that was incarnate in Napoleon, as every great
idea that moves the world is sooner or later incarnated.  What was it
that we saw in Washington on his knees at Valley Forge, or blazing with
wrath at the cowardice on Monmouth? in Lincoln entering Richmond with
bowed head and infinite sorrow and yearning in his heart?  An embodiment
of a great national idea and destiny.

In France this ideal burns yet like a flame, and is still evoked by a
name.  It is the passion of glory, but the desire of a nation, and
Napoleon was the incarnation of passion.  They say that he is not dead as
others are dead, but that he may come again and ride at the head of his
legions, and strike down the enemies of France; that his bugle will call
the youth from every hamlet, that the roll of his drum will transform
France into a camp, and the grenadiers will live again and ride with him,
amid hurrahs, and streaming tears, and shouts of "My Emperor!  Oh, my
Emperor!"  Is it only a legend?  But the spirit is there; not a boy but
dreams of it, not a girl but knots the thought in with her holiday
tricolor.  That is to have an abiding ideal, and patiently to hold it, in
isolation, in defeat, even in an overripe civilization.

We believe--do we not?--in other triumphs than those of the drum and the
sword.  Our aspirations for the republic are for a nobler example of
human society than the world has yet seen.  Happy is the country, and the
metropolis of the country, whose youth, gilded only by their virtues,
have these aspirations).

When the party broke up, the street lamps were beginning to twinkle here
and there, and Jack discovered to his surprise that the Twiss business
would have to go over to another day.  It was such a hurrying life in New
York.  There was just time for a cup of tea at Mrs. Trafton's.  Everybody
dropped in there after five o'clock, when the duties of the day were
over, with the latest news, and to catch breath before rushing into the
program of the evening.

There were a dozen ladies in the drawing-room when Jack entered, and his
first impression was that the scream of conversation would be harder to
talk against than a Wagner opera; but he presently got his cup of tea,
and found a snug seat in the chimney-corner by Miss Tavish; indeed, they
moved to it together, and so got a little out of the babel.  Jack thought
the girl looked even prettier in her walking-dress than when he saw her
at the studio; she had style, there was no doubt about that; and then,
while there was no invitation in her manner, one felt that she was a
woman to whom one could easily say things, and who was liable at any
moment to say things interesting herself.

"Is this your first appearance since last night, Mr. Delancy?"

"Oh no; I've been racing about on errands all day.  It is very restful to
sit down by a calm person."

"Well, I never shut my eyes till nine o'clock.  I kept seeing that
Spanish woman whirl around and contort, and--do you mind my telling you?
--I couldn't just help it, I" (leaning forward to Jack) "got up and tried
it before the glass.  There!  Are you shocked?"

"Not so much shocked as excluded," Jack dared to say.  "But do you

"Yes, I know.  There isn't anything that an American girl cannot do.
I've made up my mind to try it.  You'll see."

"Will I?"

"No, you won't.  Don't flatter yourself.  Only girls.  I don't want men

"Neither do I," said Jack, honestly.

Miss Tavish laughed.  "You are too forward, Mr. Delancy.  Perhaps some
time, when we have learned, we will let in a few of you, to look in at
the door, fifty dollars a ticket, for some charity.  I don't see why
dancing isn't just as good an accomplishment as playing the harp in a
Greek dress."

"Nor do I; I'd rather see it.  Besides, you've got Scripture warrant for
dancing off the heads of people.  And then it is such a sweet way of
doing a charity.  Dancing for the East Side is the best thing I have
heard yet."

"You needn't mock.  You won't when you find out what it costs you."

"What are you two plotting?" asked Mrs. Trafton, coming across to the

"Charity," said Jack, meekly.

"Your wife was here this morning to get me to go and see some of her
friends in Hester Street."

"You went?"

"Not today.  It's awfully interesting, but I've been."

"Edith seems to be devoted to that sort of thing," remarked Miss Tavish.

"Yes," said Jack, slowly, "she's got the idea that sympathy is better
than money; she says she wants to try to understand other people's

"Goodness knows, I'd like to understand my own."

"And were you trying, Mr. Delancy, to persuade Miss Tavish into that sort
of charity?"

"Oh dear, no," said Jack; "I was trying to interest the East End in
something, for the benefit of Miss Tavish."

"You'll find that's one of the most expensive remarks you ever made,"
retorted Miss Tavish, rising to go.

"I wish Lily Tavish would marry," said Mrs. Trafton, watching the girl's
slender figure as it passed through the portiere; "she doesn't know what
to do with herself."

Jack shrugged his shoulders.  "Yes, she'd be a lovely wife for somebody;
"and then he added, as if reminiscently, "if he could afford it.  Good-

"That's just a fashion of talking.  I never knew a time when so many
people afforded to do what they wanted to do.  But you men are all alike.

When Jack reached home it was only a little after six o'clock, and as
they were not to go out to dine till eight, he had a good hour to rest
from the fatigues of the day, and run over the evening papers and dip
into the foreign periodicals to catch a topic or two for the dinner-

"Yes, sir," said the maid, " Mrs. Delancy came in an hour ago."


Edith's day had been as busy as Jack's, notwithstanding she had put aside
several things that demanded her attention.  She denied herself the
morning attendance on the Literature Class that was raking over the
eighteenth century.  This week Swift was to be arraigned.  The last time
when Edith was present it was Steele.  The judgment, on the whole, had

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