Excerpt from On Guard: A Novel
For all this violation of the usual laws of Nature's colouring, Florry Villars was a very lovely girl. The shape of her head - the yielding lines of her full rounded figure - the manner of her movements - all these were perfect. Her aquiline nose was as utterly devoid
Excerpt from On Guard: A Novel
For all this violation of the usual laws of Nature's colouring, Florry Villars was a very lovely girl. The shape of her head - the yielding lines of her full rounded figure - the manner of her movements - all these were perfect. Her aquiline nose was as utterly devoid of strong-mindedness and severity as the veriest snub could have been. Her hazel eyes were as tender as the deepest blue that ever adorned another woman's face. While as for the gentle retreat her rounded chin made, it was women and women alone who had the heart to suggest that it betrayed "weakness of character." Artists, and, indeed, men generally, held that it was all that a woman's chin should be.
She had a very sweet smile, this lovely Miss Florry Villars: a charming smile - warm and pure as a sunbeam. All that portion of the world which came in contact with her knew her smile; for it was rarely absent from the soft ruddy lips and the kind hazel eyes. But at this moment when I introduce her there was more softness on the lips, and more kindness in the eyes, and more sweetness in the smile, than any one present had ever remarked before.
"I am glad you liked the song," she murmured, glancing up towards a man who leant against the wall at the end of the piano.
"I liked it so well that I want you to sit down and sing it again, Florry."
"Oh, Claude, don't ask me! What would mamma say ?"
"I don't care what mamma would say; I want the song," he replied authoritatively. "I want to hear it again, Florry. I did not come here to listen to the squalls of that fat woman in green silk; and as for the little Grey girl, she opens her mouth square, and tacks on a 'ra' to the end of every word that she breathes upon. I came to hear you, and I want to hear you again at once."
Claude Walsingham infused a strong flavour of flattery into the words he used; so strong a flavour, in fact, that it robbed the words of all their arbitrariness and selfish unpoliteness to her ears. She moved a little nearer to him, and whispered -
"Don't make me sing again, Claude, just yet. I want to speak to you: I have great news to tell you."
The man she addressed stood erect in an instant.
"I will get Miss Grey to bewail something being 'So near and yet so far, ' as loud as she can - she will do anything I ask her - then I will hear what you have to tell me, Florry." The girl's eyes followed him as he walked away to the other side of the room, where sat Miss Grey, expectant "I hope he won't say that Stanley is foolish, or make hard-hearted speeches, and seem to look down upon the affair altogether." Then she watched him wistfully while he bent over and solicited Miss Grey for her song - watched him wistfully, to her mamma's intense chagrin.
Not that the man was a "detrimental," according to the usual acceptation of the term, or that Lady Villars was a heartless, man uvring parent; on the contrary, Claude Walsingham, major in a light cavalry regiment, and eldest son of a good old west country house, was a prize that had been deemed worth striving after, in all honour, by the many, for some three or four seasons.
Still, a mother - a widowed mother - with two fair daughters on hand, was justified in watching keenly and feeling anxious - as Lady Villars did watch and feel whenever Major Walsingham and Florry held confidential converse. For Claudo had been in severe action with the other sex before now, and had invariably come out scatheless. Lady Villars knew that when the action is severe one of the contending parties must of necessity be wounded. Therefore she now watched Florence's fixed regard of Claude's movements with an anxious eye and a perturbed spirit But for all that her mien was calm and her smile unwavering; for she was a woman of the world, with her daughter's future dependent on her in a great measure.
He was a worthy subject of the fixed regard Florence.
- الفئات: تاريخ
- غلاف الكتاب: غلاف عادي
- لغة الكتاب: الانجليزية
- الكاتب: Annie Thomas
- الناشر: Forgotten Books
- رقم ال ISBN: 9781330445518
- عدد الصفحات: 168
- لأبعاد (الارتفاع*العرض*العمق): 9 x 6 x 0.36 inches