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The House of Mirth
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The House of Mirth
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  • He knew that if she did not wish to be seen she would contrive to elude him; and it amused him to think of putting her skill to the test.
  • She usually contrived to avoid being at home during the season of domestic renewal.
  • It was well enough to "manage" when by so doing one could keep one’s own carriage; but when one’s best contrivance did not conceal the fact that one had to go on foot, the effort was no longer worth making.
  • Ah, lucky girls who grow up in the shelter of a mother’s love—a mother who knows how to contrive opportunities without conceding favours, how to take advantage of propinquity without allowing appetite to be dulled by habit!
  • It was true that, during the last three or four weeks, she had absented herself from Bellomont on the pretext of having other visits to pay; but she now began to feel that the reckoning she had thus contrived to evade had rolled up interest in the interval.
  • All Jack has to do to get everything he wants is to keep quiet and let that girl marry him; whereas I have to calculate and contrive, and retreat and advance, as if I were going through an intricate dance, where one misstep would throw me hopelessly out of time.
  • Lily, therefore, had not only contrived to put herself in the young man’s way, but had made the acquaintance of Mrs. Gryce, a monumental woman with the voice of a pulpit orator and a mind preoccupied with the iniquities of her servants, who came sometimes to sit with Mrs. Peniston and learn from that lady how she managed to prevent the kitchen-maid’s smuggling groceries out of the house.
  • Her assumptions and elisions, her short-cuts and long DETOURS, the skill with which she contrived to meet him at a point from which no inconvenient glimpses of the past were visible, suggested what opportunities she had had for practising such arts since their last meeting.
  • It would be difficult to follow her there, and still more difficult, should he do so, to contrive the opportunity for a private word; and he had almost decided on the unsatisfactory alternative of writing, when the ceaseless diorama of the square suddenly unrolled before him the figures of Lord Hubert and Mrs. Bry.
  • Kate Corby and two or three men dropped in to dinner, and Lily, alive to every detail of her friend’s method, saw that such opportunities as had been contrived for her were to be deferred till she had, as it were, gained courage to make effectual use of them.
  • A clever woman might know just the right moment to tear off the bandage: but Lily isn’t clever in that way, and when George does open his eyes she’ll probably contrive not to be in his line of vision."
  • Selden hesitated a moment; then he rejoined in a quieter tone: "But with your income and Gerty’s—since you allow me to go so far into the details of the situation—you and she could surely contrive a life together which would put you beyond the need of having to support yourself.

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  • The novel has a contrived ending.
  • contrived coyness

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