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Synopsis

It was towards the end of a crowded reception in the musician's studio. Most of the people who had come from a sense of social obligation, and they were chiefly the mothers of his fashionable pupils, had left when the musician began to play his own compositions; and those who remained behind, and occupied the position of the Greek chorus with regard to his remarks, were his own chosen disciples, who were of course privileged to stay much longer than ordinary acquaintances. The musician, perhaps, had no effectual means of suggesting their departure; but neither was their homage, being very womanly and obvious, unpleasing to him; and when the well-dressed Philistines had driven away in their carriages, he abandoned the attitude of the debonair host and took up that of the prophet instead, which at once gave a serious turn to the conversation. He then propounded his own theories, or somebody else's, at great length, and the chorus assented with a gentle murmur of approbation whenever there was a pause. Occasionally one of the elect would ask for some music, and the musician would single out a pupil whom he considered qualified to interpret what he had composed; and in the applause which invariably followed, the performer would be entirely eclipsed by the greater importance of what she had performed.

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