Let him alone to work out his own plot . . . we have not seen the end of it yet; but whatever it will be, England has need of him as a transition-stage between feudalism and ; for many a day to come. If he be not the ideal landlord, he is nearer it than any we are like yet to see. . . . Except one; and that, after all, is Lord Vieuxbois.

Why, when I was a boy, a good honest labouring man wanted to see nothing better than a halfpenny ballad, with a wood-cut at the top, and they worked very well then, and wanted for nothing. 'Oh, we shall give them the halfpenny ballads in time! said Vieuxbois, smiling. 'You will do a very good deed, then, said mine host.

How shocking if old Giles, the butler, should turn Papist! 'Honoria, you are very silly. Lord Vieuxbois, at least can be trusted. He has no liking for low companions. HE is above joking with grooms, and taking country walks with gamekeepers. It was lucky that it was dark, for Honoria and Argemone both blushed crimson. 'Your poor father's mind has been quite unsettled by all their ribaldry.

Now Argemone did not think the Reverend Panurgus O'Blareaway, incumbent of Lower Whitford, at all a sainted young man, but, on the contrary, a very vulgar, slippery Irishman; and she had, somehow, tired of her late favourite, Lord Vieuxbois; so she answered tossily enough, 'Really, mamma, a week of Lord Vieuxbois will be too much.

Smith, I must really denounce you as a Communist. Lord Vieuxbois, shall we join the ladies? In the drawing-room, poor Lancelot, after rejecting overtures of fraternity from several young ladies, set himself steadily again against the wall to sulk and watch Argemone. But this time she spied in a few minutes his melancholy, moonstruck face, swam up to him, and said something kind and commonplace.

Lancelot might as well have held his tongue nobody understood him but Vieuxbois, and he had been taught to scent German neology in everything, as some folks are taught to scent Jesuitry, especially when it involved an inductive law, and not a mere red-tape precedent, and, therefore, could not see that Lancelot was arguing for him.

'Well, Lord Vieuxbois, said the host, casually, 'my girls are raving about your new school. They say it is a perfect antiquarian gem. 'Yes, tolerable, I believe. But Wales has disappointed me a little. That vile modernist naturalism is creeping back even into our painted glass. I could have wished that the artist's designs for the windows had been a little more Catholic.

But between Saint Venus and Vieuxbois you may soon learn enough to make you a sadder man, if not a wiser one. 'Why not a wiser one? Sadder than now I cannot be; or less wise, God knows. The colonel looked at Lancelot with one of those kindly thoughtful smiles, which came over him whenever his better child's heart could bubble up through the thick crust of worldliness.

While a man who might be an author remains a spade-drudge, or a journeyman while he has capacities for a master; while any man able to rise in life remains by social circumstances lower than he is willing to place himself, that man has a right to complain of the State's injustice and neglect. 'Really, I do not see, said Vieuxbois, 'why people should wish to rise in life.

Lancelot, who was cross with everybody for what was nobody's fault, revenged himself all dinner-time by never speaking a word to his next neighbour, Miss Newbroom, who was longing with all her heart to talk sentiment to him about the Exhibition; and when Argemone, in the midst of a brilliant word- skirmish with Lord Vieuxbois, stole a glance at him, he chose to fancy that they were both talking of him, and looked more cross than ever.