Predný obal
YouHui Culture Publishing Company, 1977 - 134 strán (strany)



IT was Lady Windermere's last reception before Easter, and Bentinck

House was even more crowded than usual. Six Cabinet Ministers had

come on from the Speaker's Levee in their stars and ribands, all

the pretty women wore their smartest dresses, and at the end of the

picture-gallery stood the Princess Sophia of Carlsruhe, a heavy

Tartar-looking lady, with tiny black eyes and wonderful emeralds,

talking bad French at the top of her voice, and laughing

immoderately at everything that was said to her. It was certainly

a wonderful medley of people. Gorgeous peeresses chatted affably

to violent Radicals, popular preachers brushed coat-tails with

eminent sceptics, a perfect bevy of bishops kept following a stout

prima-donna from room to room, on the staircase stood several Royal

Academicians, disguised as artists, and it was said that at one

time the supper-room was absolutely crammed with geniuses. In

fact, it was one of Lady Windermere's best nights, and the Princess

stayed till nearly half-past eleven.

As soon as she had gone, Lady Windermere returned to the picturegallery,

where a celebrated political economist was solemnly

explaining the scientific theory of music to an indignant virtuoso

from Hungary, and began to talk to the Duchess of Paisley. She

looked wonderfully beautiful with her grand ivory throat, her large

blue forget-me-not eyes, and her heavy coils of golden hair. OR

PUR they were - not that pale straw colour that nowadays usurps the

gracious name of gold, but such gold as is woven into sunbeams or

hidden in strange amber; and they gave to her face something of the

frame of a saint, with not a little of the fascination of a sinner.

She was a curious psychological study. Early in life she had

discovered the important truth that nothing looks so like innocence

as an indiscretion; and by a series of reckless escapades, half of

them quite harmless, she had acquired all the privileges of a

personality. She had more than once changed her husband; indeed,

Debrett credits her with three marriages; but as she had never

changed her lover, the world had long ago ceased to talk scandal

about her. She was now forty years of age, childless, and with

that inordinate passion for pleasure which is the secret of

remaining young.

Suddenly she looked eagerly round the room, and said, in her clear

contralto voice, 'Where is my cheiromantist?'

'Your what, Gladys?' exclaimed the Duchess, giving an involuntary


'My cheiromantist, Duchess; I can't live without him at present.'

'Dear Gladys! you are always so original,' murmured the Duchess,

trying to remember what a cheiromantist really was, and hoping it

was not the same as a cheiropodist.

'He comes to see my hand twice a week regularly,' continued Lady

Windermere, 'and is most interesting about it.'

'Good heavens!' said the Duchess to herself, 'he is a sort of

cheiropodist after all. How very dreadful. I hope he is a

foreigner at any rate. It wouldn't be quite so bad then.'

'I must certainly introduce him to you.'

Vyhľadávanie v obsahu knihy

Zvolené strany

Iné vydania - Zobraziť všetky

Časté výrazy a frázy

Bibliografické informácie