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Chapter 21

When they returned to New York after an absence of nearly eighteen months, she was offered a large sum of money to dance for four months in the principal South American cities. Whereas she was enthusiastic about this offer, Rosing opposed the idea vehemently.

"But of course we must go. What do you mean? Can't Europe wait for another four months?"

"But, Lina, you don't understand! However important money may be, it doesn't mean everything in this world! There is such a thing as artistic appreciation, which you will find only in Europe, there is such a thing as keeping in touch with composers, choreographists, artists—with all the personnel of the ballet. Do you want to be forgotten when you return to Paris or Milan?"

She said, with complete sincerity: "They will soon remember me again. And with the money I have earned here and will earn in South America you know very well that I can dance where I please when I go home, hire theaters, engage the best dancers, the best choreographists, the best maitres de ballet."

"If you do that," he told her roughly, "you will soon be bankrupt. Sometimes, although I know that it is inexperience, you make me think that you are mad."

"Because you are accustomed to the State theaters of Russia, where matters are arranged very differently. But I want to dance for the whole world!"

"Already you've nearly achieved that." And he added, for he was annoyed by her obstinacy, "Sometimes it seems to me that you must be entirely Jewish, with no English in you at all. . . . In any case I see no thing English."