He was no less conscious than before of what was said of Lily Bart, but he could separate the woman he knew from the vulgar estimate of her.
But it was in the quality of his admiration that she read his shrewd estimate of her case.
Only as much as she had chosen to show him, and measured by the world’s estimate, how little that was!
It certainly simplified life to view it as a perpetual adjustment, a play of party politics, in which every concession had its recognized equivalent: Lily’s tired mind was fascinated by this escape from fluctuating ethical estimates into a region of concrete weights and measures.
How any one could come to such a damned hole as the Riviera—any one with a grain of imagination—with the whole Mediterranean to choose from: but then, if one’s estimate of a place depended on the way they broiled a spring chicken!