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DANGEROUS AGES

CHAPTER XVII THE KEY

Author: Rose Macaulay Total hits: 2990 User hits: 1 Date: 06-10-2014

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1

Not Grandmama's and not Neville's should be, after all, the last word, but Pamela's. Pamela, who seemed lightly, and as it were casually, to swing a key to the door against which Neville, among many others, beat; Pamela, going about her work, keen, debonair and detached, ironic, cool and quiet, responsive to life and yet a thought disdainful of it, lightly holding and easily renouncing; the world's lover, yet not its servant, her foot at times carelessly on its neck to prove her power over it—Pamela said blandly to Grandmama, when the old lady commented one day on her admirable composure, "Life's so short, you see. Can anything which lasts such a little while be worth making a fuss about?"

"Ah," said Grandmama, "that's been my philosophy for ten years ... only ten years. You've no business with it at your age, child."

"Age," returned Pamela, negligent and cool, "has extremely little to do with anything that matters. The difference between one age and another is, as a rule, enormously exaggerated. How many years we've lived on this ridiculous planet—how many more we're going to live on it—what a trifle! Age is a matter of exceedingly little importance."

"And so, you would imply, is everything else on the ridiculous planet," said Grandmama, shrewdly. Pamela smiled, neither affirming nor denying. Lightly the key seemed to swing from her open hand.

"I certainly don't see quite what all the fuss is about," said Pamela.

 
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