IN GROSVENOR SQUARE
Too Long; Didn't ReadMarie Melmotte was hardly satisfied with the note which she received from Didon early on the Monday morning. With a volubility of French eloquence, Didon declared that she would be turned out of the house if either Monsieur or Madame were to know what she was doing. Marie told her that Madame would certainly never dismiss her. "Well, perhaps not Madame," said Didon, who knew too much about Madame to be dismissed; "but Monsieur!" Marie declared that by no possibility could Monsieur know anything about it. In that house nobody ever told anything to Monsieur. He was regarded as the general enemy, against whom the whole household was always making ambushes, always firing guns from behind rocks and trees. It is not a pleasant condition for a master of a house; but in this house the master at any rate knew how he was placed. It never occurred to him to trust any one. Of course his daughter might run away. But who would run away with her without money? And there could be no money except from him. He knew himself and his own strength. He was not the man to forgive a girl, and then bestow his wealth on the Lothario who had injured him. His daughter was valuable to him because she might make him the father-in-law of a Marquis or an Earl; but the higher that he rose without such assistance, the less need had he of his daughter's aid. Lord Alfred was certainly very useful to him. Lord Alfred had whispered into his ear that by certain conduct and by certain uses of his money, he himself might be made a baronet. "But if they should say that I'm not an Englishman?" suggested Melmotte. Lord Alfred had explained that it was not necessary that he should have been born in England, or even that he should have an English name. No questions would be asked. Let him first get into Parliament, and then spend a little money on the proper side,—by which Lord Alfred meant the Conservative side,—and be munificent in his entertainments, and the baronetcy would be almost a matter of course. Indeed, there was no knowing what honours might not be achieved in the present days by money scattered with a liberal hand. In these conversations, Melmotte would speak of his money and power of making money as though they were unlimited,—and Lord Alfred believed him.