The Rassendylls-With a Word on the Elphbergs
I wonder when in the world youre going to do anything, Rudolf? said my brothers wife.
My dear Rose, I answered, laying down my egg-spoon, why in the world should I do anything? My position is a comfortable one. I have an income nearly sufficient for my wants (no ones income is ever quite sufficient, you know), I enjoy an enviable social position: I am brother to Lord Burlesdon, and brother- in-law to that charming lady, his countess. Behold, it is enough!
You are nine-and-twenty, she observed, and youve done nothing but
Knock about? It is true. Our family doesnt need to do things.
This remark of mine rather annoyed Rose, for everybody knows (and therefore there can be no harm in referring to the fact) that, pretty and accomplished as she herself is, her family is hardly of the same standing as the Rassendylls. Besides her attractions, she possessed a large fortune, and my brother Robert was wise enough not to mind about her ancestry. Ancestry is, in fact, a matter concerning which the next observation of Roses has some truth.
Good families are generally worse than any others, she said.
Upon this I stroked my hair: I knew quite well what she meant.
Im so glad Roberts is black! she cried.
At this moment Robert (who rises at seven and works before breakfast) came in. He glanced at his wife: her cheek was slightly flushed; he patted it caressingly.
Whats the matter, my dear? he asked.
She objects to my doing nothing and having red hair, said I, in an injured tone.
Oh! of course he cant help his hair, admitted Rose.
It generally crops out once in a generation, said my brother. So does the nose. Rudolf has got them both.
I wish they didnt crop out, said Rose, still flushed.
I rather like them myself, said I, and, rising, I bowed to the portrait of Countess Amelia.
My brothers wife uttered an exclamation of impatience.
I wish youd take that picture away, Robert, said she.
My dear! he cried.
Good heavens! I added.
Then it might be forgotten, she continued.
Hardlywith Rudolf about, said Robert, shaking his head.
Why should it be forgotten? I asked.
Rudolf! exclaimed my brothers wife, blushing very prettily.
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