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The White Rose

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The White Rose

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    Available in PDF Format | The White Rose.pdf | Unknown
    George John Whyte-Melville
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV. MR. VANDELEUR. I Have not the slightest doubt the chestnut horse's shoe was off when he arrived, and that his owner was perfectly aware of the loss while so politely offering Gerard Ainslie a lift back in his carriage, but Mr. Vandeleur was a gentleman untroubled by scruples either in small things or great. His principle, if he had any, was never to practise insincerity unless it was necessary, or at least extremely convenient, except where women were concerned: in such cases he considered deceit not only essential, but praiseworthy. As a young man, Vandeleur had been a profligate, when open profligacy was more the fashion than at present: while good looks, a good constitution, and a good fortune, helped him to play his part successfully enough on the stage of life, inLondon or Paris, as the pleasant, popular good-for- nothing, who in spite of his extravagance was never out-at-elbows, in spite of his excesses was never out of spirits or out of humour. With a comely exterior, a healthy digestion, and a balance at his banker's, a man requires but few sterling qualities to make his way in a society that troubles itself very little about its neighbours so long as they render themselves agreeable, in a world that while not entirely averse to being shocked, is chiefly intolerant of being bored. Some of those who ministered to his pleasures might indeed have told strange stories about Vande- leur, and one violent scene in Paris was only hushed up by the tact of an exalted foreign friend, and the complicity of a sergent de ville : but such trifling matters were below the surface, and in no way affected his popularity, particularly amongst the ladies, with whom a little mystery goes a long way, and into whose good graces the best initiative step is to awaken a cur...   show more
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