There was not much talk among them of philosophy so long as the footmen were floating round them like mighty tropical birds. They talked of the House of Commons instead. A new measure was to be introduced the next night: something that threatened beer and satisfied no party; not even the teetotalers--only the wives of the teetotalers. Then they had a few words regarding George Holland's article in the /Zeit Geist/. Mr. Linton seemed to some extent interested in the contentions of the rector of St. Chad's; and Herbert agreed with him when he expressed the opinion that the two greatest problems that the Church had to face were: How to get people with intelligence to go to church, and what to do with them when they were there.
In an hour they were in their box at Covent Garden listening to the sensuous music of "Carmen," and comparing the sauciness of the charming little devil who sang the habanera, with the piquancy of the last /Carmen/ but three, and with the refinement of the one who had made so great a success at Munich. They agreed that the savagery of the newest was very fascinating,--Stephen Linton called it womanly,-- but they thought they should like to hear her in the third act before pronouncing a definite opinion regarding her capacity.
Then the husband left the box to talk to some people who were seated opposite.
"You know everything?" she said.
"Everything," said Herbert. "Can you ever forgive me?"
"For running away? Oh, Bertie, you cannot have heard all."
"For forcing you to write me that letter--can you ever forgive me?"
"Oh, the letter? Oh, Bertie, we were both wrong--terribly wrong. But we were saved."