foolish tongue she

was no competition for the mantle of Annette. In the Burdley Park house the Folyats began to realise that they were increasingly uncomfortable. Annette’s powers of organisation had not been great, but she had acquired considerable skill in preventing the consequences of her mistakes and laches being generally felt. . . . When she left there was a sort of domestic collapse. No meals were ever punctual, nor were they tolerably cooked. Mrs. Folyat’s temper suffered, and she lashed her three remaining daughters with shrill sarcasm. neo skin lab derma21 . . .

Mary had a sudden influx of new pupils and absented herself all day long. Gertrude arranged for a round of visits, and Minna became extremely zealous in church work, while Mrs. Folyat simmered in her indignation against the world in general, Annette in particular, and especially against love, that laughing enemy of public opinion. Not Annette’s duplicity, not her secrecy, not her defiance of parental authority so rankled in her mother’s mind as the black-and-white fact before all the vulgar, prying world that Bennett’s father was not respectable. The unlucky Bennett had inserted an advertisement of the marriage—he read it many times himself: Lawrie—Folyat. On the 28th Sept., Edward Bennett, youngest son of James Lawrie, to Annette, youngest daughter of the Rev. Francis Folyat; for it was the first time he had seen words of his own in print. Lower down on the same page was a short paragraph describing his father’s appearance in the police court, where, surely, the magistrate had seldom had such [Pg 267]an entertaining quarter of an hour. Old Lawrie pursued the argument begun overnight with the policeman (Serge had the third movement of it) and closed it with variations on an idea borrowed from Ruskin, that, Society being responsible for every crime and misdemeanour committed by its individual members, lots should be cast in each case as to which citizen of a certain district should bear the brunt of it. This, he said, would at any rate promote a feeling of responsibility towards one’s neighbour, and would in time lead each man to love his neighbour as himself. When that came about there would be neither crime nor misdemeanour neo skin lab derma21 .

“Till then,” said the magistrate, “I must administer the law as it stands. I am not a philosopher, but it seems to me that the condition you aspire to does obtain. Men do love their neighbours as themselves: that is, very little.” (Laughter.)

James Lawrie, cotton-broker and journalist, was fined ten shillings and costs.

The Lawrie family read the report and pretended that they had not done so. The Folyat family read it, and Mrs. Folyat, by continually explaining it away, forced it on the attention of many people who would otherwise never have heard of it. . . . She never forgave Annette. She declared that they, as a family, were utterly disgraced, would never hold up their heads again, that no one would ever call, that there was nothing to be done except for Francis to retire and them all to go and live in some place where no one had ever heard of them before. It was a splendid opportunity for her talent for inventing evils and calling monsters from the vasty deep, and she wasted no moment of it. With her own foolish tongue she set so many scandals going that, for a time, the clerical ladies were chary of calling. The scandals reached the bishop’s palace and were inquired into. The bishop’s wife, a kindly lady, laid them by calling, and, more, by sending, as she had not done for some years, an invitation to her garden-party. This so elated Mrs. Folyat that she forgot her gloom and tears and set Mary to work on her best black silk gown neo skin lab derma21

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