CHAPTER I AMBROSE, LORD LYNBOROUGH COMMON opinion said that Lord Lynborough ought never to have had a peerage and forty thousand a year; he ought to have had a pound a week and a back bedroom in Bloomsbury. Then he would have become an eminent man; as it was, he turned out only a singularly erratic individual. So much for common opinion. Let more be heard of its dull utilitarian judgments! There are plenty of eminent men-at the moment, it is believed, less than seventy Cabinet and ex-Cabinet Ministers (or thereabouts)-to say thing of Bishops, Judges, and the British Academy-and all this in a ok of the world! (And the world too is a point!) Lynborough was something much more uncommon; it is t, however, quite easy to say what. Let the question be postponed; perhaps the story itself will answer it. He started life-or was started in it-in a series of surroundings of unimpeachable orthodoxy-Eton, Christ Church, the Grenadier Guards. He left each of these schools of mental culture and bodily discipline, t under a cloud-that metaphor would be ludicrously inept-but in an explosion. That, having been thus shot out of the first, he managed to enter the second-that, having been shot out of the second, he walked placidly into the third-that, having been shot out of the third, he suffered apparent damage from his repeated propulsions-these are matters explicable only by a secret kwledge of British institutions. His father was strong, his mother came of stock even stronger; he himself-Ambrose Caverly as he then was-was very popular, and extraordinarily handsome in his unusual outlandish style.