Mrs. Peniston, however, did not suffer from her niece’s adaptability.
Lily had abundant energy of her own, but it was restricted by the necessity of adapting herself to her aunt’s habits.
Lily had no mind for the vagabond life of the poor relation, and to adapt herself to Mrs. Peniston she had, to some degree, to assume that lady’s passive attitude.
Her faculty for adapting herself, for entering into other people’s feelings, if it served her now and then in small contingencies, hampered her in the decisive moments of life.
If such a warning had ever been needful, the years had taught her a salutary lesson, and she flattered herself that she now knew how to adapt her pace to the object of pursuit.
Meanwhile she could honestly be proud of the skill with which she had adapted herself to somewhat delicate conditions.
Dorset was as difficult to amuse as a savage; but even his self-engrossment was not proof against Lily’s arts, or rather these were especially adapted to soothe an uneasy egoism.
He came late, at the confidential hour when the tea-table still lingers by the fire in friendly expectancy; and his manner showed a readiness to adapt itself to the intimacy of the occasion.
Grace Stepney was an obscure cousin, of adaptable manners and vicarious interests, who "ran in" to sit with Mrs. Peniston when Lily dined out too continuously; who played bezique, picked up dropped stitches, read out the deaths from the Times, and sincerely admired the purple satin drawing-room curtains, the Dying Gladiator in the window, and the seven-by-five painting of Niagara which represented the one artistic excess of Mr. Peniston’s temperate career.
Little as she was in the key of their MILIEU, her immense social facility, her long habit of adapting herself to others without suffering her own outline to be blurred, the skilled manipulation of all the polished implements of her craft, had won for her an important place in the Gormer group.
—I can’t eat a mouthful of this stuff, you know," he added suddenly, pushing back his plate with a clouded countenance; and Lily, unfailingly adaptable, accorded her radiant attention to his prolonged denunciation of other people’s cooks, with a supplementary tirade on the toxic qualities of melted butter.
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