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“THERE MUST BE Some ONE ELSE' .
A COAT AND ITS WEARER
Let any Cause-and-Effect Philosopher explain, not why I wear such and such a Garment, obey such and such a Law; but even why I am here, to wear and obey anything !-Sartor Resartus.
"Why, Betty! my dear Betty!'
Now it is no good your trying to hush me, Kate, for I mean to have my say '- here there was an indignant thrill in the clear young voice. 'Talk of Christians; we are just civilised heathen. We don't bow down to stocks and stones, but we worship rank and money and fine clothes and all sorts of detestable fetishes. I think we are all as mean and cowardly as possible to take no notice of those two poor thingsstrangers, too—just because the gentleman's coat-as Mr. Fraser has so wittily remarked—has evidently seen the seamy side of life. Aren't you ashamed to make fun of honest poverty ?' and Betty turned her glowing face to the embarrassed young man.
Oh, I say, Miss Woodford, you need not be quite so crushing. If Mrs. Colville chooses to neglect her guests, it is not our business, don't you know, to remind her of her duties. I was always a modest, retiring sort of fellow-as the mater will tell you.'
Betty regarded him scornfully ; she was evidently very much in earnest.
'I daresay the Levite in the parable was a retiring, nervous sort of person and probably he was young too-picking up wounded travellers wasn't his line at all. Oh, you may laugh, Kate, it is a fine joke to you and Mr. Fraser ; but, all the same, I mean to speak to that poor lady. There, he has left her'; and Betty started up so impulsively, that her foot caught in her companion's lace flounce, and she would have fallen but for Mr. Fraser's timely help. “Dear me, how awkward I am ; but there is no damage done, Kate'; and Betty blew her a kiss as she sped on her kindly errand.
The large drawing-room at the Grange was crowded with guests—and the music-room beyond was still more thronged; the hubbub of voices was almost deafening until the tuning of violin and violoncello compelled them to reluctant silence. Mrs. Colville was giving one of her grandest musicales that night, and one or two famous artistes whom she numbered amongst her friends had volunteered their services; so no wonder the élite of Cottingdean, including the bishop, the dean, and the Luxmores from the Castle, had willingly accepted Mrs. Colville's invitation.
Perhaps it was rather an 'omnium-gatherum,' as one of the canons remarked, after taking an exhaustive survey of the reception-rooms. 'All Cottingdean and the adjacent villages seem represented,' he continued in a confidential aside to the wife of the leading solicitor in the town. “Now who can those people be ?' fixing his glass more firmly in his eye as he spoke. "The man's face seems familiar to me, and yet where can I have seen him? And, good heavens,' sotto voce, 'what a coat! It must have come out of the ark !'