coming down here to meet the women who had dined below

time:2023-12-02 23:01:52source:Yingge Butterfly Dance Netauthor:music

Cecilia saw the back of Hilary's neck grow red. She turned her head away.

coming down here to meet the women who had dined below

"Of course, there are many very nice models indeed," said the voice of Mrs. Tallents Smallpeace. "I don't mean that they are necessarily at all--if they're girls of strong character; and especially if they don't sit for the--the altogether."

coming down here to meet the women who had dined below

Hilary's dry, staccato answer came to Cecilia's ears: "Thank you; it's very kind of you."

coming down here to meet the women who had dined below

"Oh, of course, if it's not necessary. Your wife's picture was so clever, Mr. Dallison--such an interesting type."

Without intention Cecilia found herself before that picture. It stood with its face a little turned towards the wall, as though somewhat in disgrace, portraying the full-length figure of a girl standing in deep shadow, with her arms half outstretched, as if asking for something. Her eyes were fixed on Cecilia, and through her parted lips breath almost seemed to come. The only colour in the picture was the pale blue of those eyes, the pallid red of those parted lips, the still paler brown of the hair; the rest was shadow. In the foreground light was falling as though from a street-lamp.

Cecilia thought: "That girl's eyes and mouth haunt me. Whatever made Blanca choose such a subject? It is clever, of course--for her."

The marriage of Sylvanus Stone, Professor of the Natural Sciences, to Anne, daughter of Mr. Justice Carfax, of the well-known county family--the Carfaxes of Spring Deans, Hants--was recorded in the sixties. The baptisms of Martin, Cecilia, and Bianca, son and daughters of Sylvanus and Anne Stone, were to be discovered registered in Kensington in the three consecutive years following, as though some single-minded person had been connected with their births. After this the baptisms of no more offspring were to be found anywhere, as if that single mind had encountered opposition. But in the eighties there was noted in the register of the same church the burial of "Anne, nee Carfax, wife of Sylvanus Stone." In that "nee Carfax" there was, to those who knew, something more than met the eye. It summed up the mother of Cecilia and Bianca, and, in more subtle fashion, Cecilia and Bianca, too. It summed up that fugitive, barricading look in their bright eyes, which, though spoken of in the family as "the Carfax eyes," were in reality far from coming from old Mr. Justice Carfax. They had been his wife's in turn, and had much annoyed a man of his decided character. He himself had always known his mind, and had let others know it, too; reminding his wife that she was an impracticable woman, who knew not her own mind; and devoting his lawful gains to securing the future of his progeny. It would have disturbed him if he had lived to see his grand-daughters and their times. Like so many able men of his generation, far-seeing enough in practical affairs, he had never considered the possibility that the descendants of those who, like himself, had laid up treasure for their children's children might acquire the quality of taking time, balancing pros and cons, looking ahead, and not putting one foot down before picking the other up. He had not foreseen, in deed, that to wobble might become an art, in order that, before anything was done, people might know the full necessity for doing some thing, and how impossible it would be to do indeed, foolish to attempt to do--that which would fully meet the case. He, who had been a man of action all his life, had not perceived how it would grow to be matter of common instinct that to act was to commit oneself, and that, while what one had was not precisely what one wanted, what one had not (if one had it) would be as bad. He had never been self-conscious--it was not the custom of his generation--and, having but little imagination, had never suspected that he was laying up that quality for his descendants, together with a competence which secured them a comfortable leisure.

Of all the persons in his grand-daughter's studio that afternoon, that stray sheep Mr. Purcey would have been, perhaps, the only one whose judgments he would have considered sound. No one had laid up a competence for Mr. Purcey, who had been in business from the age of twenty.

related information
recommended content