The reproachful voice of the singer came no more from the house, but the piano ran on into "La Vie de Boheme," and out of that into something else, I did not know what, but it seemed to be music; at least it was musical enough to bring before me some memory of the faces of pretty girls I had danced with long ago in my dancing days, so that, what with the music, and the distant sea, and the soft air, so sparklingly full of moonshine, and the little dancing memories, I was floated off into a reverie that was like a prelude for the person who broke it.
He forgot that he was himself a slave to afternoon tea. One day Miss Wilkinson gave Philip La Vie de Boheme. She had found it by accident when she was rummaging among the books in the Vicar's study. It had been bought in a lot with something Mr. Carey wanted and had remained undiscovered for ten years.
They are rich in political information, and in depicting the manners, &c. of the people he visited, especially those inhabiting the neighbourhood of the Don, &c. Relations Historiques des Voyages en Allemagne, Angleterre, Holland, Boheme, et Suisse. Par C. Patin. Lyon, 1674. 16mo.
I know it so well; everyone knows it; it's either Pagliacci or Boheme, or something. No, isn't it really? What is it? All the old Italian operas are coming in again, by the way, you know, my dear... Rigoletto, Lucia, Traviata the bel canto that sort of thing; there's nothing like it for showing off the voice. Paul La France still clings to Brahms Brahms suits his voice better than anyone else.
As human happiness goes, I am not sure that I was not then happy. Most men who go through a hard time in their youth are supported by companionship. London has no pays latin, but hungry beginners in literature have generally their suitable comrades, garreteers in the Tottenham Court Road district, or in unredeemed Chelsea; they make their little vie de Boheme, and are consciously proud of it.
Twelve weeks' rehearsals and eight nights' playing! Me for the novelties at Gimbel's, if this goes on." A phonograph in another room ground out an air from "Boheme." They mounted again. "Here's me," said Miss Capper, waving her hand to a man in a dirty dressing gown who was standing on the threshold of the front apartment, probably to achieve air.
The only occupant of Chauvin's studio was a romantic-looking man wearing a very dirty smock, a man who looked like an illustration for La Vie de Bohème, so that a stranger must have mistaken him for a celebrated artist although he actually combined the duties of a concierge with those of a charwoman. He displayed no surprise when Flamby came in, wild-haired, arrayed in Paul's Burberry.
She had been all the world to me, and, cosmopolitan adventurer that I had now become, I met a thousand bright-eyed chic and attractive women, yet I revered her memory as the one woman who was pure and perfect. I watched her disappear into the green-carpeted hotel-lounge, where an orchestra of mandolinists were playing an air from La Bohème.
In her remembrance Hilary Vane, whether he returned from a journey or not, had never been inside the house at that hour on a week-day; and, unlike the gentleman in "La Vie de Boheme," Euphrasia did not have to be reminded of the Sabbath. Perhaps Austen had returned! Or perhaps it was a burglar!
The player lost herself in a wandering medley, echoes from "Boheme" and "Pagliacci"; then drifted into improvisation and played her heart into it magnificently a heart released to happiness. The still air of the room filled with wonderful, golden sound: a song like the song of a mother flying from earth to a child in the stars, a torrential tenderness, unpent and glorying in freedom.