well,” they seem to say, “but ours is the future.”
They are right; that future is in their hands, with its coming art and statesmanship, Rome
, Louvre, and all. This they know, or it is true without their knowing it, which makes them still more resistless and insuperable than if they knew it.
There is not a trace of any spirit of unkindness about all this; they would as soon think of being unkind to the portrait of their great-grandfather.
You may even invade their haunts unmolested.
If you go with a young niece or daughter to an assembly, they receive you with grave courtesy and with a respect that penetrates to the marrow of your bones, showing how utterly you are removed from their world.
They even glance at you with a pleased interest sometimes, as if one of the Copley paintings had come down from the wall of Memorial 1all and walked and talked.
It is to them inconceivable that you should like to come there; but if you do, they really like to have you. They do not compliment you by the slightest jealousy or resentment.
They would gladly put you on a raised seat with the other chaperons, and give you, as they give them, bouquets and ice-cream
; all that is left of the intoxicating sweets of youth.
It is this careless courtesy that is the crowning banishment.
In all Tourguenief's novels there is no scene more powerful than that closing chapter of “Lisa” where the participant