Scene: Nevis, B.W.I. 1842 - a certain man has been steadily drinking himself to death. A certain woman loves him well enough to run the risk of marrying him on the chance of bringing about a reformation. They are married; he keeps his word and his health is re-established. But it happens that this man is a poet, who is able to give the world immortal verse provided he continues the use of alcohol. The choice lies between a long life of stagnation and a few brief years of meteoric glory. Has the woman the right to rob the world of great literature for the sake of one man's physical welfare?
"Let us be permitted to forget the court of that iniquitous man"--Anne could see a large-veined hand wave in the direction of a long portrait of George IV.--"since we are mercifully and at last permitted so to do. Besides," changing the subject hastily, "I believe in predestination. You forget that although married these thousand years to an Englishman I am a Scot by birth----"
But Anne heard no more, although her ears were thirsty. Mrs. Nunn brought her amiable nothings to a close, and a moment later they were ascending the great staircase, where the pretty little Queen and her stately husband smiled alike on the just and the unjust.
Mrs. Nunn entered Anne's room before passing on to her own. As hostess to her young relative whose income would not have permitted her to visit this most fashionable of winter cities uninvited, it behooved her to see that the guest lacked no comfort. She was a selfish old woman, but she rarely forgot her manners.
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