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for a few moments in silence.) Ah! by Jove, Gervaise ! some one sent you down the wrong turn: you ought to have been a painter. What a sky! And what a sea! Those blues and greens--rich as a peacock's feather-eyes ! Superb! A tropical night! The dolphin at its last gasp in the west, and all above, an abyss of blue, at the bottom of which the stars lie like gems in the mineshaft of the darkness !
Ger. You seem to have taken the wrong turn, Warren ! You ought to have been a poet.
War. Such a thing as that puts the slang out of a fellow's head.
Ger. I'm glad you like it. I do myself, though it falls short of my intent sadly enough.
War. But I don't for the life of me see what this has to do with that. You said something about a mould.
Ger. I will tell you what I meant. Every individual aspect of nature looks to me as if about to give birth to a human form, embodying that of which itself only dreams. In this way landscape-painting is, in my eyes, the mother of sculpture. That Apollo is of the summer dawn; that Aphrodite of the moonlit sea; this picture represents the mother of my Psyche.
War. Under the sheet there?
Ger. Yes. You shall see her some day; but to show your work too soon, is to uncork your champagne before dinner.
War. Well, you've spoiled my picture. I shall
go home and scrape my canvas to the bone.
Ger. On second thoughts, I will show you my Psyche. (Uncovers the clay. War. stands in admiration. Enter WATERFIELD by same door.)
Wat. Ah, Warren! here you are before me! Mr. Gervaise, I hope I see you well.
War. Mr. Waterfield-an old friend of yours, Gervaise, I believe.
Ger. I cannot appropriate the honour.
Wat. I was twice in your studio at Rome, but it's six months ago, Mr. Gervaise. Ha ! (using his eye-glass) What a charming figure! A Psyche! Wings suggested by- Very skilful! Contour lovely! Altogether antique in pose and expression !- Is she a commission ?
Ger. Excuse me; I never work on commission—at least never in this kind. A bust or two I have done.
Wat. By Jove !—I should like to see your model !—This is perfect. Are you going to carve her?
Wat. Well, I can't call it running any risk. What lines !-You will let me drop in some day when you've got your model here?
Wat. No model ? Ha! ha!-You must excuse me! (GER. takes up the wet sheet.) I understand. Reasons. A little mystery enhances-eh?-is convenient too-balks intrusion—throws the drapery over the mignonette. I understand. (GER. covers the clay.) Oh! pray don't
carry out my figure. That is a damper now!
Ger. I am not fond of acting the showman. You must excuse me: I am busy.
Wat. Ah well!—some other time-when you've got on with her a bit. Good morning. Ta, ta, Warren. Ger. Good morning. This way,
you please. (Shows him out by the door to the street.) How did the fellow find his way here?
War. I am the culprit, I'm sorry to say. He asked me for your address, and I gave it him.
Ger. How long have you known him?
I brought him. I didn't do that. But I'm afraid you've not seen the last of him.
Ger. Oh yes, I have! Old Martha would let in anybody, but I've got a man now.-William !
Enter COL. GERVAISE dressed as a servant.
You didn't see the gentleman just gone, I'm afraid, William ?
Col. G. No, sir.
Ger. Don't let in any one calling himself Waterfield.
Col. G. No, sir.
Ger. I'm going out with Mr. Warren. I shall be back shortly.