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human amount of warping and delay, they were pursuing these. One was
in the Indian Civil Service and one in the rapidly developing motor
business. The daughters, he had hoped, would be their mother's care.
He had no ideas about daughters. They happen to a man.
Of course a little daughter is a delightful thing enough. It runs about
gayly, it romps, it is bright and pretty, it has enormous quantities of
soft hair and more power of expressing affection than its brothers. It
is a lovely little appendage to the mother who smiles over it, and it
does things quaintly like her, gestures with her very gestures. It makes
wonderful sentences that you can repeat in the City and are good
enough for Punch. You call it a lot of nicknames--"Babs" and "Bibs" and
"Viddles" and "Vee"; you whack at it playfully, and it whacks you back.
It loves to sit on your knee. All that is jolly and as it should be.
But a little daughter is one thing and a daughter quite another. There
one comes to a relationship that Mr. Stanley had never thought out.
When he found himself thinking about it, it upset him so that he at once
resorted to distraction. The chromatic fiction with which he relieved
his mind glanced but slightly at this aspect of life, and never with any
quality of guidance. Its heroes never had daughters, they borrowed other
people's. The one fault, indeed, of this school of fiction for him was
that it had rather a light way with parental rights. His instinct was in
the direction of considering his daughters his absolute property, bound
to obey him, his to give away or his to keep to be a comfort in his
declining years just as he thought fit. About this conception of
ownership he perceived and desired a certain sentimental glamour, he
liked everything properly dressed, but it remained ownership. Ownership
seemed only a reasonable return for the cares and expenses of a
daughter's upbringing. Daughters were not like sons. He perceived,
however, that both the novels he read and the world he lived in
discountenanced these assumptions. Nothing else was put in their place,
and they remained sotto voce, as it were, in his mind. The new and
the old cancelled out; his daughters became quasi-independent
dependents--which is absurd. One married as he wished and one against
his wishes, and now here was Ann Veronica, his little Vee, discontented
with her beautiful, safe, and sheltering home, going about with hatless
friends to Socialist meetings and art-class dances, and displaying a
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