Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview

IX
THE WELDING OF THE BOLT

POETRY, Lord Cantacute was saying at dinner, is like a wind-egg -- aberration in the producer, useless for consumption. You don't attempt to eat a windegg. It is remarkable, perhaps; but, once gaped at, you had best leave it to the parent fowl that will be glad of it. "You encourage cannibalism?" asked the Rector, with a lifting eyebrow. Really, Lord Cantacute saw nothing against it. Perhaps it was a matter of taste -- but so was poetry. And who else could thrive upon the stuff? Since all this was apropos of the absent Tristram, whose talents and fluency were admitted while their trend was deplored, Mrs. James could not fail to remember a thriving consumer of his wares. Had she not caught him administering wind-egg by spoonfuls to a hatless young lady? The excursion was closed with a flash by Miss Hertha de Speyne, who, from her golden throne, said that poetry was very well if the mortal poet did not practise what he sang. No other art, she thought, had that grain of vice in it. Now, we were not ready to practise poetry.

Mr. Germain contributed nothing to the game,

-91-

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