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Portion I. 1. Michael Gosselyn’s office was furnished in good taste. Everyone who came there realized at once that it was an office of the manager of a first class theatre. The walls had been panelled and on them hung engravings of theatrical pictures by Zoffany and de Wilde. The carved furniture was solid. Only a specialist could guess that it was not the real Chippendale. Everybody knew that Michael was very thrifty and ran the theatre on business-like lines. The decorator had to accept the client’s terms and made the most of what he had. The room was designed to make an impression of prosperity at the least possible expense. Michael was extremely proud of his office and Julia, who saw through him, couldn’t help smiling at the complacency on his face. 2. Julia

realized what a treat it would be for a young accountant to have breakfast at her place, she was just not sure if it would be proper to invite him. Julia gave him a doubtful look. His confusion was so touching, he blushed scarlet. It was clear that the sight of the famous actress took his breath away. He admired her so frankly that Julia couldn’t but feel flattered. His attitude made her feel larger than life-size, made her the greatest actress. And a great actress must be generous. It’s generosity that distinguishes a great actress. Julia thought that she could make an exception for him. The young man was invited. 3. Jimmie Langton was running a repertory theatre at Middlepool. He was a talented director. At first sight it seemed strange that actors agreed to work in his

theatre. He worked his cast hard. He screamed at them, he bullied them, he underpaid them, he mocked them and drove them like slaves. He had such a passion for the theatre, that the actors felt that they couldn’t afford to let him down. It gave them a sort of satisfaction to comply with his outrageous demands to please him. Jimmie had wanted to be an actor himself, but his physique practically prevented him from going on the stage. He was fat, bald-headed and looked like one of Rubens’ prosperous burghers. Besides, he was a bad actor. 4. Julia was a born actress and she had no doubt that she would go on the stage. Her career was singularly lacking in hardship. Her first teacher was an old French actress, who taught her all necessary things : how to walk and how to hold

herself on the stage, how to articulate distinctly and how to use her sense of timing, which Julia had by instinct. She was quick-studied. A certain number of tricks that Julia had learned from her, later turned to be out of date and Julia had to get rid of them. She had to acquire a more conversational style to be able to act in modern plays. But she always thought of Jane Taitbout with gratitude. 5. Michael’s father was a Colonel. Neither he nor Michael’s mother approved of the idea of Michael’s going on the stage. Though they had to submit to that, they insisted that Michael should be educated like a gentleman. Old Mr. Gosselyn was a pensioner, but still, he managed to send Michael to Cambridge and dreamt that Michael would excel there. Michael was proud of his ancestry.

He wore the signet ring with the family stamp — a boar’s head — and a Latin motto : “Nemo me impune lacessit”. On the whole, he wasn’t a snob, but he was shocked to learn that Julia’s father was a vet. 6. Michael was determined to go into management and make a career. He thought that there was only one way of becoming well-off — that is to be one’s own master. They could start on the minimum of five thousand pounds. He had no idea how to raise a sum like that. He could hardly expect to borrow money as he didn’t know anyone who could lend him that sum. However, Michael hoped that an old rich lady would support him. Michael knew that one couldn’t hope to make a success in London, unless he was unknown. One had got to know the ropes. If one made a good