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13. CHAPTER XIII (continued)
The Londoner seldom understands his city until it sweeps him, too, away from his moorings, and Margaret's eyes were not opened until the lease of Wickham Place expired. She had always known that it must expire, but the knowledge only became vivid about nine months before the event. Then the house was suddenly ringed with pathos. It had seen so much happiness. Why had it to be swept away? In the streets of the city she noted for the first time the architecture of hurry and heard the language of hurry on the mouths of its inhabitants--clipped words, formless sentences, potted expressions of approval or disgust. Month by month things were stepping livelier, but to what goal? The population still rose, but what was the quality of the men born? The particular millionaire who owned the freehold of Wickham Place, and desired to erect Babylonian flats upon it--what right had he to stir so large a portion of the quivering jelly? He was not a fool--she had heard him expose Socialism--but true insight began just where his intelligence ended, and one gathered that this was the case with most millionaires. What right had such men-- But Margaret checked herself. That way lies madness. Thank goodness, she, too, had some money, and could purchase a new home.
Tibby, now in his second year at Oxford, was down for the Easter vacation, and Margaret took the opportunity of having a serious talk with him. Did he at all know where he wanted to live? Tibby didn't know that he did know. Did he at all know what he wanted to do? He was equally uncertain, but when pressed remarked that he should prefer to be quite free of any profession. Margaret was not shocked, but went on sewing for a few minutes before she replied:
"I was thinking of Mr. Vyse. He never strikes me as particularly happy.
"Ye--es." said Tibby, and then held his mouth open in a curious quiver, as if he, too, had thought of Mr. Vyse, had seen round, through, over, and beyond Mr. Vyse, had weighed Mr. Vyse, grouped him, and finally dismissed him as having no possible bearing on the Subject under discussion. That bleat of Tibby's infuriated Helen. But Helen was now down in the dining room preparing a speech about political economy. At times her voice could be heard declaiming through the floor.
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