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The Light That Failed, Rudyard Kipling She do a Melancolia! She hasn’t the power, or the insight, or the training. Only the desire. She’s cursed with the curse of Reuben. She won’t do line-work, because it means real work; and yet she’s stronger than I am. I’ll make her understand that I can beat her on her own Melancolia. Even then she wouldn’t care. She says I can only do blood and bones. I don’t believe she has blood in her veins. All the same I love her; and I must go on loving her; and if I can humble her inordinate vanity I will. I’ll do a Melancolia that shall be something like a Melancolia--“the Melancolia that transcends all wit.” I’ll do it at once, con--bless her.’ He discovered that the notion would not come to order, and that he could not free his mind for an hour from the thought of Maisie’s departure. He took very small interest in her rough studies for the Melancolia when she showed them next week. The Sundays were racing past, and the time was at hand when all the church bells in London could not ring Maisie back to him. Once or twice he said something to Binkie about ‘hermaphroditic futilities,’ but the little dog received so many confidences both from Torpenhow and Dick that he did not trouble his tulip-ears to listen. Dick was permitted to see the girls off. They were going by the Dover night-boat; and they hoped to return in August. It was then February, and Dick felt that he was being hardly used. Maisie was so busy stripping the small house across the Park, and packing her canvases, that she had not time for thought.


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