"Young shouts of moneyed voices in Clive Kempthorpe's rooms. Palefaces: they hold their ribs with laughter, one clasping another. O, I shall expire! Break the news to her gently, Aubrey! I shall die!" (U2.165)
'Break the News to Mother Gently' in a song from the 1890s with Lyrics by Edward B. Marx and Music by Will H. Fox. The News to Mother is that her soldier son has died.