Now, Eve had never seen nor ever heard of a single being in the room, with the exception of Mr. Dodge and her own party, before this night, although most of them had been so laboriously employed in puffing each other into celebrity, for many weary years; and, as for elaborate soirées, she thought she had never seen one half as elaborate as this of Mrs. Legend's.
"That Roman, that Judean bond United then dispart no more Pierce through the veil; the rind beyond Lies hid the legend's deeper lore. Therein the mystery lies expressed Of power transferred, yet ever one; Of Rome the Salem of the West Of Sion, built o'er Babylon." A. de Vere, Legends and Records, p. 204. Gregorovius, i. 208. Gregorovius, i. 215. Sidonius Apollinaris, Epist., i. 9.
Legend, this has been a Byronic night!" observed Pith, as he made his bow. "I shall long remember it, and I think it deserves to be commemorated in verse" Fun endeavoured to look sympathetic and sentimental, though the spirit within could scarcely refrain from grinning in Mrs. Legend's face. He stammered out a few compliments, however, and disappeared.
"It dawns in Asia, tombstones show, And Shropshire names are read; And the Nile spills his overflow Beside the Severn's dead." Or Mr. Newbolt's: "Qui procul hinc the legend's writ, The frontier grave is far away; Qui ante diem periit, Sed miles, sed fro patriâ." The reason simply was that during the month I had spent in America the air had been filled with Kipling.
The honest captain, however, did not treat the matter so lightly, for he improved the opportunity to light a fresh cigar, throwing the still smoking stump into Mrs. Legend's grate, through a lane of literati, as he afterwards boasted, as coolly as he could have thrown it overboard, under other circumstances.
The latter was the fate of most of Mrs. Legend's literary evenings, at which it was thought an illustration to understand even one foreign language.
When the door of Mrs. Legend's drawing-room opened, in the usual noiseless manner, Mademoiselle Viefville, who led the way, was startled at finding herself in the precise situation of one who is condemned to run the gauntlet. Fortunately, she caught a glimpse of Mrs. Legend, posted at the other end of the proud array, inviting her, with smiles, to approach.