lesson7 The Model Millionaire
The Model Millionaire （1）
Unless one is wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow.Romance is the privilege of the rich,not the profeesion of the unemployed.The poor should be practical and ordinary.It is better to have a permanent income than to be attractive.These are the great truths of modern life which Hughie Ershine never realised.Poor Hughie！ Intellectually,we must admit,he was not of much importance.He never said a clever or even an ill-natured thing in his life.But then he was wonderfully good-looking,with his brown hair,his clear-cut face，and his grey eyes.He was as popular with men as he was with women,and he had every quality except that of making money.His father,on his death,had left him his sword and a history of a particular war in fifteen volumes.Hughie hung the first over his looking-glass,put the second on a shelf,and he lived on two hundred pounds a year that an old aunt allowed him.He had tried everything.He had gone on the Stock Exchange for six months;but what was a butterfly to do among bulls and bears“ He had been a tea merchant for a little longer,but he had soon tired of that.Then he had tried selling dry sherry.That did not answer;the sherry was a little too dry.At last he became nothing,a delightful,uselese young man with a perfect face and no profession.
2.To make matters worse,he was in love.The girl he loved was Laura Merton,the daughter of a formed army officer who had lost his temper and his health in India,and never found either of them again.Laura loved him and he was ready to kiss here shoestrings.They were the handsomest couple in London,and had not a penny between them.Her father was very found of Hughie,but would not hear of any engagement.
3.“Come to me,my boy,whne you have got ten thousand pounds of your own ，and we will see about it，” he used to say;and Hughie looked very miserable in those days,and had to go to Laura for comfort.
4.One morning,as he was on his way to Holland Park,where the Mertons lived,he dropped in to see a greatgriend of his,Alan Trevor.Trevor was a painter.Indeed,few people are not nowadays.But he was also an artist,and artists are rather rare.Personally he was a strange,rough fellow,with a freckled face and red,rough beard.However,when he took up the brush he was a real master,and his picture were eagerly sought after.He had been very much attracted by Hughie at first,it must be admitted,entierly on account of his personal charm.“The only people a painter should know，” he used to say,“are people who are beautiful,people who are an artistic pleasure to look at,and restful to talk to.Men who are well-dressed and women who are lovely rule the world——at least they should do so.” However,after he got to know Hughie better,he like him quite as much for his bright,cheerful spirits,and his generous,careless nature,and had asked him to come to his studio whenever he liked.
5.When Hughie came in he found Trevor putting the finishing touches to a wonderful life-size picture of a beggar-man.The beggar himself was standing on a raised platform in a corner of the room.He was wizened old man with a wrinkled face and a sad expression.Over his shoulder was a thrown a rough brown coat,all torn and full of holes;his thick boots were old and patched;and with one hand he learnt on a rough stick,while with the other he held out his battered hat for money.
6.“What an amazing model！”whispered Hughie,as he shook hands with his friend.
7.“An amazing model？” shouted Trevor at the top of his voice;“ I should think so！Such beggars are not met with every day.Good heavens！What a picture Rembrandt would have made of him！”
8.“Poor old fellow！”said Hughie,“How miserable he looks！But I suppose,to your painters,his face is valuable.”
9.“Certainly，”raplied Trevor，“ you don't want a beggar to look happy,do you？
10.“How much does a model get for sitting？” asked Hughie,as he found himself a comfortable seat.
11.“A shilling an hour.”
12.“And how much do you get for your picture,Alan？”
13.“Oh,for this I get two thousand.”
15.“Guineas.Painters,poets,and doctors always get guineas.”
16.“Well,I think the model should have a percentage，”cried Hughie,laughing;“they work as hard as you do.”
17.“Nonsense,nonsense！Why,look at the trouble of laying on the paint alone,and standing all day in front of the picture！It's easy,Hughie,for you to talk,but I tell you that there are moments when art almost reaches the importance of manual work.But you mustn't talk；I'm very busy.Smoke a cigarette,and keep quiet.
18.After some time the servant came in,and told Trevor that the frame-maker wanted to speak to him.
19.“ Don't run away,Hughie，” he said,as he went out,“I will be back in a moment.”
20.The old beggar-man took advantage of Trevor's absnece to rest for a moment on a wooden seat that was behind him.He looked so miserable that Hughie pitied him,and felt in his pocket to see what money he had.All he could find was a pound and some pennies.“Poor old fellow，” he thought to himself,“he wants it more than I do,but I shan't have much money myself for a week or two”;and he walked across the studio and slipped the pound into the beggar's hand.
21.The old man startled,and a faint smile passed across his lips.“ Thank you,sir，” he said,“thank you.”
22.Then Trevor arrived,and Hughie left,blushing a little at what he had done.He spent the day with Laura,was charmling blamed for give away a pound,and had to walk home.