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A Comedy of Masks

A Novel

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Author: Ernest Dowson
Co-author: Arthur Moore
Published: 1893
Language: English
Wordcount: 93,449 / 276 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 479
Added to site: 2005.09.17 11265

The story may be given very briefly. It opens in a Bohemian circle of writers' and artists, who frequent the cafis of Soho. Rainham, a middle-aged business-man, and Lightmark, a young artist, are the two chief figures of the story; the one, sober, self-repressed, high-principled; the other, irresponsible, over-confident, flighty. Rainham has long been in love with a certain Eve Sylvester, but has never spoken of his sentiment; and Lightmark,gaining sudden success by a picture whose inspiration is a gratuitous piece of plagiarism on his part, carries off the lady into matrimony. But before the story opens he has seduced a certain Kitty Crichton, who turns up with her child, and confronts the young wife with her story.

Show Excerpt

ing the artist's smoke with the same curiously obscure smile. It had the effect on Lightmark now, as Rainham's smile did on many people, however innocent it might be of satiric intention, of infusing his next remarks with the accent of apology.

"You see, Rainham, one has to think of what will help one on, as well as what one likes. There is a man I have come to know lately--a very good man too, a barrister--who is always dinning that into me. He has introduced me to some very useful people, and is always urging me not to commit myself. And Brodonowski's is rather committal, you know. However, we must dine there together again one day, soon, and then you will understand it."

"Oh, I understand it, Dick!" said Rainham. "But let me see the picture while the light lasts."

"Oh, yes!" cried Lightmark eagerly. "We must not forget the picture." He hoisted it up to a suitable light, and Rainham stood by the bow-window, from which one almost obtained the point of view which the artist had chosen, regarding it i



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