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
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
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
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
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
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
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 reputation in London, it would be easier to find
1. Though Michael told Julia a lot about his family, she wasn’t
aware that they knew about her existence. That is why she
couldn’t but be surprised to receive a letter from Michael’s
mother who invited her to Cheltenham for Holy Week. The prospect
of spending a whole week with Michael was enchanting. It took
her breath away to think of it and she look forward to the
It didn’t take her long to discover that Michael had brought
her down to Cheltenham for his parents to inspect her. The
thought flashed through her mind that there was only one possible
reason for it. When she thought of it, her heart leaped.
2. Michael was anxious for Julia to make a good impression on
his parents. Julia realized soon that she would be able to
enchant them. As a matter of fact, she was aware that she was
able to enchant anybody. It was clear that Michael’s parents were
not fond of the idea that their son was going to marry an
actress. Julia instinctively felt that she had to conceal the
actress and play the part of a modest ingenious girl.
Michael’s mother was happy to learn that Julia wasn’t made-up or
loud. No one would dream that Julia was on the stage. Besides,
she was head over ears in love with her son and it flattered
her motherly pride.
Julia gave a perfect performance of the village maiden.
3. Michael had affection and admiration for Julia, he felt at
ease with her. But he took her love for granted and it was
obvious that he wasn’t in love with her. It was no good
At first this made Julia unhappy. Now and then she lost control
of herself and made him frantic scenes.
But then she began to doubt if he was capable of loving
anybody. It didn’t seem worth while to suffer from it. Soon
Julia was content to love Michael whereas he allowed her to
4. When Julia found out that an American manager had offered
Michael a part, her heart sank. She had to exercise all her self-
control to pretend that she was as excited as he was. But
when Julia remained alone, she lost control of herself and began
to cry in earnest.
In America Michael was going to save every cent he could, so,
in two years he expected to have the best part of four thousand
5. When Julia realized that she had fallen out of love with
Michael, she fell into despair. She felt that she had lost
something that was infinitely precious to her. Her heart sank.
She was displayed. She was inclined to cry, because her fortune
had failed her.
But when she had thought it over, her grief made a way to
relief. Now she was her own mistress and not a slave of her
love. Now she looked at Michael not with the eyes of a woman
in love but with shrewd penetrating eyes. Yes, it was great to
be free and she would be able to make the most of her freedom.
1. As soon as the war ended Michael began to work as an actor
and soon gained a reputation in London.
He spared no effort to force managers to pay him the salary
he thought he was worth, but if he couldn’t get it, he was
prepared to take less.
He still thought of going into management, but though they had
saved seven thousand pounds, the sum was inadequate.
Mrs. de Vries came to their rescue. She agreed to put up money
and become their partner.
2. As time went on, Michael took to directing. He still acted
occasionally, but less frequently than earlier. When he said he
was going to direct their next play, Julia was doubtful. She
suspected that nothing good would come of it. Michael had no
fantasy and his ideas were commonplace. But he made a much
better job of it, than Julia expected. As he knew perfectly
well what Julia was capable, he was able to get more out of
her than any other director.
With the cast he was friendly, but exacting. When tempers grew
frayed, his good humour, his real kindness smoothed things over.
3. Michael’s complacency exasperated Julia. He beamed with pleasure
when he managed to beat an opponent at golf or get the better
of someone in a business deal.
Besides, he was a crashing bore. He liked to tell Julia
everything he did and every scheme that passed through his mind.
It had been charming to listen to Michael, when she was head
over ears in love with him, but after she had fallen out of
love with him, Julia had to exercise all her tact not to show
him he was bored to death.
More over, he was outrageously vain of his appearance. As a
youth, he had taken his beauty for granted, but with advancing
years, he began to pay more attention to it and spared no pains
to keep what was left of it. It became an obsession.
4. Evie was Julia’s maid and dresser. She had been in Julia’s
employment for a long time. Evie was a cockney. One could get
it at once by listening to her speech. She was thin, angular and
her red hair always looked as if it needed washing. Two of her
front teeth were missing. No matter how hard Julia tried to
provide her with new ones, all her efforts were in vain.
Michael thought that Evie’s appearance wasn’t suitable to their
position and tried to persuade Julia to have another maid. But
Julia paid no attention to his dissatisfaction. She was content
to have Evie as her maid and dresser, she only wanted Evie to
break herself of the habit of sniffing all the time. Evie was a
skilful maid, she had never let Julia down. She had the courage
to say to Julia’s face what she thought of her. It amused Julia
1. Julia had a lot of acquaintances among aristocrats. As she
was such a famous actress, they made much of her and went out
of their way to be nice to her. She could boast of the fact
that she could call some duchesses by their first names.
The papers often put pictures where Julia was photographed at
week-end parties among a number of aristocratic persons. It was
good publicity. But at the bottom of her heart, Julia had a
profound contempt for the great ladies and noble lords, because
they lived in idleness and she was an artist. When she had a
chance, she was glad to put them in their place. She laughed at
these smart women up her sleeve, because they were dazzled by her
glamour and had no idea of how unromantic the life of a
successful actress was and the hard work it entailed.
2. Charles Tamerley was Julia’s best friend. He had such
exquisite manners, that one could see at once, how well-bred he
was. He was an amateur of the arts and well-read. Before meeting
Charles, Julia had been completely ignorant. He took her to
museums, imparted information to her. Julia had a good memory and
soon she could pass for a cultured woman as she was able to
talk about literature and art. Julia couldn’t help but be
conscious of how much she owed to him. Yet, his love of art
filled her with a faint derision. After all, she was a creator
and he was only a spectator.
3. Julia took Charles fancy twenty years ago and he had been
madly in love with her ever since. When finally he plucked up
the courage to make a declaration of love, Julia got into his
head that there was nothing doing. Exercising all her tact, Julia
managed to convince Charles that they should remain friends.
Charles was her adviser, her confidant. She could count upon him
coming to her rescue in any case. He never let her down.
4. Julia realized that Tom could hardly afford to entertain her
and she was taken by his desire to please her.
He said he had forgotten to put his watch on because he had
dressed in a hurry. But one look at him was enough to realize
that he had taken a lot of trouble to look smart.
When it dawned on her that he must have pawned his watch to
take her out to supper, she was inclined to cry. She might have
offered to pay the bill, but checked herself in time. It was out
of the question. It would have hurt his pride.
1. When Julia realized that she had fallen in love with Tom, she
was shocked. She was determined to keep her head. She couldn’t
afford to open her true feelings because she knew very well that
Tom wasn’t in love with her. She had to admit that an affair
with her flattered Tom’s vanity.
Julia did her best to make it plain to him that she laid no
claims on him and he was free to do whatever he wanted. She
pretended that she was a good actress. She promised to herself
that she wouldn’t be jealous, she wouldn’t make him any scenes,
she would be tolerant and would take things as they came. She
did everything she could to bind him to her.
2. Tom had a passion for titles. He read about grand people in
newspapers and now and then saw them in a restaurant or a
theatre in the flesh. He was dazzled by grand people. Tom was a
snob. But that was to the good. Julia hoped to make the most
of Tom’s failing to bind him to her. On one excuse and another,
she invited him to grand parties she gave, persuaded Dolly and
Charles to invite him to lunch, got invitations for him to balls.
Poor lamb ! He looked forward to every opportunity of getting
acquainted with eminent people.
Luckily, Michael took a fancy to him. He even thought Tom could
have a good influence on Roger.
Tom made a great hit with Julia’s friends too. He was a good
listener and could give a piece of useful advice on finance.
3. Something was bothering Tom. He looked gloomy and nervous.
When Julia found out that he had got into debt, she immediately
offered to pay all his debts. But sometimes Tom was so out of
date. He couldn’t sponge on women. Julia blamed herself that she
had led Tom into the life that he couldn’t afford. She tried to
convince him that he shouldn’t drudge her the pleasure of coming
to his rescue, when he was at a loose end. Using all her arts
of persuasion, she was able to convince Tom to borrow money from
4. Julia and Michael were rich enough to send their son to Eton
and then to Cambridge.
Roger was seventeen years old. He didn’t look like his mother or
father. He had no inclination for the world of the theatre. He
held himself in some serious way aloof from his parents and
their friends, though he was always very polite to everybody,
Julia suspected, that he took none of them seriously. He never
bothered Julia and he seemed quite capable of amusing himself.
Though Julia loved him very much, he puzzled her. She thought him
dull and not very intelligent. When she was alone with him, time
When Roger was a child, Julia would often be photographed with
him and these photos made a great hit. She wished he could
always remain the sweet pretty little boy he used to be.
1. It was no good deceiving herself : Tom didn’t love her. He
was her lover only because it flattered his vanity and gave him
confidence in himself. Besides, he got acquainted with many
distinguished persons through her. It turned his head to realize
that he was on familiar terms with some of them. Julia tried to
do her best to bind him. She encouraged him to be extravagant
to make him realize that he couldn’t do without her. Tom was
anxious to join a good club and she was preparing the ground.
She understood perfectly that their affair couldn’t last, but she
wasn’t able to give up Tom.
2. Julia wasn’t happy at all to find out that Tom was becoming
more and more popular with her grand friends. They were glad to
make the most of his financial knowledge and in their turn they
told their friends about him. It was through Julia, that Tom used
to be asked to parties before. Then he began to receive
invitations from people, whom Julia didn’t know. It seemed that he
could do without her. He was busy nearly all the time. His
casualness hurt Julia. Now she was ready to cut any date to see
him. Julia was jealous of those distinguished ladies, whom he met
in society. She had a law opinion of their virtue and was sure
that they could do everything. Those thoughts rankled her. The
only comfort was that all of them were very greedy and without
Julia’s money Tom wouldn’t be able to lead a life, he had got
used to. Or he would have to break himself of the habit of
throwing his money about.
3. Julia was shocked to find out that people had been gossiping
about her. Her reputation had been so good for many years, that
she thought she could afford to do every thing she wanted.
It was Michael, who first noticed that. He accused Tom jokingly
of compromising Julia. At first Julia was taken aback, but at
last she could keep her presence of mind. She was sure, that
Michael wasn’t jealous of Tom. He was too self-satisfied and self-
confident for that. He thought he knew Julia inside and out, but
in fact, he knew nothing about her. He paid no attention to the
gossip and he didn’t mind Julia having some fun. But Julia
couldn’t forget his remark, it gave her no rest.
She racked her brains to understand who could have told it to
him. Then suddenly it occurred to her, that it was Dolly, no
4. Julia was furious with Dolly. She wouldn’t stand interference
with her private life. That was none of her business.
Julia was determined to have the matter out with Dolly. She rang
her up to make an appointment. Dolly’s voice sounded cold and
hostile. Julia had always been able to turn Dolly round her
finger, but now she could hardly convince Dolly to come.
When they met, they talked about indifferent things, and then Julia
got down to the point. She never took her eyes off Dolly’s
face while talking. She failed to convince Dolly that Tom wasn’t
her lover. But Dolly pretended that she believed her and said
Julia had taken a great weight off her mind.
1. Julia had already heard the name of Avice Crichton mentioned
a few times. She knew, that there was some talk that this small-
part actress would perhaps get a part in a play they were going
to put on. So, when Michael once mentioned her, Julia wasn’t
taken aback. Michael said that Tom had put in a word for Avice.
Michael thought it was worth while to go and have a look at
her, but as he was busy on Sunday, he asked Julia to go.
Yielding to curiosity, Julia agreed. Tom was to go with her. But
long before Julia had seen her, she made up her mind that Avice
would never get a part in their theatre.
2. Julia was relieved to see that Avice Crichton couldn’t act to
toffee. This fact took a great weight off her mind.
When the curtain fell, Tom said that he wished Julia go behind
and congratulate Avice. Julia was so amazed, that at first, she
didn’t know if she should burst into laughter or get angry. But
she got over her amazement. She was determined to go through
Though Avice didn’t seem to be nervous and was self-assured, Julia
wasn’t taken in by her grand manners. It even amused her. Julia
saw that Avice was anxious to get this part.
3. Tom was head over ears in love with Avice. As soon as he
could, he brought the conversation to her. It irked him to see
Julia knew that she must put an end to their affair, she must
get over it. The theatre was her only refuge. She felt relief,
when it was time to go there. Merely to be inside a theatre
rested her. In ordinary life she had to stifle her passion and
her anguish, but on the stage she let herself go.
She had never put more of herself into a part.
4. Although Michael himself might not be a good actor, but he
knew good acting from bad. So he saw at once that Julia was
acting like hell, she was exaggerating and over-acting. Her
performance was rotten.
Michael blamed only himself. Julia needed a good rest. He ought
to have insisted on her taking holiday long ago. He said they
would revive some play. He was even prepared to suffer losses.
The only thing, that mattered, was Julia’s health. Once again Julia
was struck by his magnanimity. Michael was the only man she
could rely on. He would never let her down.
5. She decided to go and stay with her mother. Madame de
Lambert, as Michael insisted on calling her, was an old lady well
over seventy. Julia had a feeling that in the course of her
brilliant career, she had a trifle neglected her mother. Now she
could make up for it.
Her mother and aunt led drab monotonous lives and it would be a
great joy for them to have her on a long visit. And for Julia
it was an opportunity to cut herself off completely for a time
from her old life and regain serenity.
Julia, to her great amazement, soon discovered that to them her
celebrity was an embarrassment rather than an asset. They didn’t
even offer to take her with them to pay calls. Julia was taken
aback, when they said that it would be better if she didn’t tell
anyone that she was an actress. But her sense of humour
prevailed and she felt inclined to laugh.
They made much fuss of her not because she was a great actress,
but because she was in poor health and needed a rest.
1. Julia often had to listen to women’s stories about how men
followed them in the street, how they tried to catch their eye,
and how it was difficult to get rid of them. It seemed very
flattering to Julia. She often wondered why she’d never been
followed. It wasn’t as if she had no sex appeal. And what if
not ? Julia decided to put the matter to the test. She had to
Julia took much pains to look neither too plain nor too
respectable. A slight smile hovered her lips. Several times Julia
caught her breath catching a man’s eye and expecting him to
start following her, but they all passed by without paying any
attention to her. It was humiliating. It flashed through her mind
that she had chosen the wrong street. But there was nothing to
2. Julia almost lost all hope of being picked up. Suddenly she
noticed a young man looking at her and never taking his eyes
off her. She slandered her pace feeling him behind. It was
beginning to look like an adventure. Julia looked forward to
getting into conversation with the young man. It was interesting
what he would offer. Julia looked at him doubtfully. Judging by
his appearance, it was quite clear that he couldn’t afford to
invite her to a restaurant. She looked him in the face
encouraging him to start speaking. But then suddenly he called
her by her name. She was so astonished, that she nearly jumped
out of her skin.
3. Julia looked forward to the beginning of the rehearsals.
Though Julia had been on the stage for many years, every time
she tried a new part she didn’t feel like a leading lady, but
as if she was a girl playing her first part. She was glad to
meet with other members of the cast. Most of them she knew very
well. Only with actors she felt at ease. She was one of them.
This atmosphere of make-believe was the only one where she could
Besides, the rehearsals distracted her mind from disturbing
thoughts. She felt that soon she would be able to get over her
sorrow. Now Tom was his own master. She didn’t care two straws
4. Julia greeted Avice. They talked about indifferent things, but
Julia watched her out of the corners of her eyes. Michael was
disappointed after the first rehearsal. It seemed she wasn’t
capable of taking directions. He was ready to dismiss her at
once. But Julia couldn’t let it happen. Tom would think that
Avice was dismissed because Julia was jealous of him. Julia had
enough influence on Michael to make him keep Avice in the cast.
She suggested that Michael should go through the part with Avice
in private. In that case she’d be able to give a good
performance. Besides, it was an iron cast part. It was impossible
to spoil it. But at the bottom of her heart Julia always
remembered that she would have to get even with Avice. She’d
never make a success. She’d fail and Julia would see to it. And
it would make up for her anguish.
1. Julia couldn’t dismiss from her mind the curious conversation
she had had with Roger. She felt uneasy because he accused her
of lacking in personality, he said that Julia didn’t exist apart
from her roles.
She had a talk with Charles about Roger. But he didn’t share
her feelings. He seemed to sympathise more with Roger than with
her. In some way he took Roger seriously. Charles told Julia
that she had nothing to worry about, things would straighten out
for Roger after a while. She should just leave him alone.
Having heard it, Julia felt ill at ease. Roger was thankful to
her, because she had always let him lead his own life. It seemed
strange that such different people thought alike.
2. The first night was special in Julia’s life. In by-gone years
she had been extremely nervous before it. Since early morning
she began to feel slightly sick and towards evening she was so
worked up, that she was about losing her presence of mind.
But now, after having passed through that ordeal so many times,
she had learnt to check her nervousness. But still, by the time
the play was to be begun, she started feeling ill at ease, grew
irritable. Those, who knew her well enough, took care to keep out
of her way. The necessity to speak to people irritated her, she
wished everyone would leave her alone.
But at the bottom of her heart, Julia had a notion that their
new play would be a hit. She looked forward to the moment she
would face the hall, packed with people and would demonstrate
again her power over the public.
3. Michael was the only one, who guessed that Julia had let
Avice down. His eyes were shining with complacency. He thought
that Julia had played such a trick because she was jealous of
Avice to him. He couldn’t but feel flattered. As Julia knew her
husband inside and out, she had a notion what he was thinking
about. She laughed up her sleeve at his mistake. One couldn’t
cure him of his complacency. It would be better to let him
think what he wanted. She really was inclined to laugh, though
she checked herself, she couldn’t conceal a slight smile.
She had settled a score with Avice. She deserved it because she
had a trial to stay in her way.
4. Now Julia was free from the bonds, which had burdened her so
much. She had got over her pain and was relishing her freedom.
She had been such a fool to take Tom and their affair
seriously. But that had been amusing, and it could come in useful
for a new part.
Roger had said that her acting was a make-believe. But that make-
believe was the only reality for her. She was an artist, who
used people’s feelings and her own as a material for the art
and beauty creation.