Vol. 9 No. 6 1942 - page 469

he ceased to write anything at all. Instead, he had begun to develop
a hair-raising professional exhibitionism. A brilliant and resource–
ful musician with a special gift for dramatizing effects, he had
gradually come to abandon the playing of new or native music,
which, partly at the instance of Ellen, he had originally attempted
to encourage, and to go in for great quantities of Chaikovsky and
Strauss, Sibelius, Beethoven and Wagner, overcoloring and over–
acting, and posing to a public who adored him while the serious
magicians gave him up.
It was a long time, however, since Ellen and he had seemed
to be living together-though I did still run into him sometimes
the country. He had always had his rehearsals in town and
Ellen did not like the city; and he had had during the last two or
three years a whole series of lpve affairs which everybody knew
about and which Ellen appeared to accept. He had even adopted
the practice of bringing out his protegee of the moment-serious–
minded little Russian dancer or black-eyed Hungarian violinist–
to spend the day with Ellen; but this, though she took it coolly, I
am sure Ellen did not like. The truth was, I always thought, that
they were still much involved with one another, and that Sigismund
did such things in a kind of defiance of Ellen for making him
feel second-rate.
But he now, she told me, wanted a divorce: he wanted to get
married again. And I could see that Ellen was profoundly upset–
though she ascribed her reluctance to the fear that he was making
a fool of himself. The woman that he proposed to marry was a
much and long publicized actress, and Ellen was inclined to believe
that Sigismund's interest in her was merely a part of his own self–
publicizing. Frances Fielding was one of those figures who took
the place, during the twenties and thirties, of the old-fashioned
male matinee idol. She was adored by a following mainly femi–
nine, and she was supposed not to care much about men. But in
her pictures and plays she was invariably subdued, at the end of
much high-spirited rebellion, by a stubborn and combative lover;
and it was obvious that there would be for the public a wonderful
double story about Frances' at last meeting her fate at the same
time that Sigismund Soblianski had found a creature as dashing
as himself.
was particularly disturbing to Ellen, who had tole–
rated the little p:J;"otegees, because she herself was the type of the
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