This was quite the opinion of two persons who on a beautiful day at the beginning of that month, four years ago, had established themselves under the great trees in a couple of iron chairs—the big ones with arms, for which, if I mistake not, you pay twopence—and sat there with the slow procession of the Drive behind them while their faces were turned to the more vivid agitation of the Row. Lost in the multitude of observers they belonged, superficially at least, to that class of persons who, wherever they may be, rank rather with the spectators than with the spectacle. They were quiet simple elderly, of aspect somewhat neutral; you would have liked them extremely but would scarcely have noticed them. It is to them, obscure in all that shining host, that we must nevertheless give our attention. On which the reader is begged to have confidence; he is not asked to make vain concessions. The reader will have guessed that they were husband and wife; and perhaps while he is about it will further have guessed that they were of that nationality for which p.
This was quite the opinion of two persons who on a beautiful day at the beginning of that month, four years ago, had established themselves under the great trees in a couple of iron chairs—the big ones with arms, for which, if I mistake not, you pay twopence—and sat there with the slow procession of the Drive behind them while their faces were turned to the more vivid agitation of the Row.
Lost in the multitude of observers they belonged, superficially at least, to that class of persons who, wherever they may be, rank rather with the spectators than with the spectacle. They were quiet simple elderly, of aspect somewhat neutral; you would have liked them extremely but would scarcely have noticed them. It is to them, obscure in all that shining host, that we must nevertheless give our attention.
On which the reader is begged to have confidence; he is not asked to make vain concessions. The reader will have guessed that they were husband and wife; and perhaps while he is about it will further have guessed that they were of that nationality for which p. They were native aliens, so to speak, and people at once so initiated and so detached could only be Americans. This reflexion indeed you would have made only after some delay; for it must be allowed that they bristled with none of those modern s that carry out the tradition of the old indigenous war-paint and feathers.
They had the American turn of mind, but that was very secret; and to your eye—if your eye had cared about it—they might have been either intimately British or more remotely foreign. It was as if they studied, for convenience, to be superficially colourless; their colour was all in their talk. They were not in the least verdant; they were grey rather, of monotonous hue.
If they were interested in the riders, the horses, the walkers, the great exhibition of English wealth and health, beauty, luxury and leisure, it was because all this referred itself to other impressions, because they had the key to almost everything that needed an answer—because, in a word, they were able to compare. They had not arrived, they had only returned; and recognition much more than surprise was expressed in their quiet eyes. Enjoyers of a fortune of which, from any standpoint, the limits were plainly visible, they were unable to treat themselves to that commonest form of ease, the ease of living at home.
They found it much more possible to economise at Dresden or Florence than at Buffalo or Minneapolis. The saving was greater and the strain was less. They p. They were eminently a social pair; their interests were mainly personal. Their curiosity was so invidiously human that they were supposed to be too addicted to gossip, and they certainly kept up their acquaintance with the affairs of other people.
They had friends in every country, in every town; and it was not their fault if people told them their secrets. Dexter Freer was a tall lean man, with an interested eye and a nose that rather drooped than aspired, yet was salient withal. He brushed his hair, which was streaked with white, forward over his ears and into those locks represented in the portraits of clean-shaven gentlemen who flourished fifty years ago and wore an old-fashioned neckcloth and gaiters.
His wife, a small plump person, rather polished than naturally fresh, with a white face and hair still evenly black, smiled perpetually, but had never laughed since the death of a son whom she had lost ten years after her marriage. Her husband, on the other hand, who was usually quite grave, indulged on great occasions in resounding mirth.
People confided in her less than in him, but that mattered little, as she confided much in herself. Her dress, which was always black or dark grey, was so harmoniously simple that you could see she was fond of it; it was never smart by accident or by fear. She was full of intentions of the most judicious sort and, though perpetually moving about the wigh, had the air of waiting for every one wifty to pass. She was celebrated for the promptitude with which she made her sitting-room at an inn, where she might be spending a night or two, appear a real temple of memory.
Llady books, flowers, photographs, draperies, rapidly p. The pair were just back from America, where they had spent three months, and isoo were able to face the world with something of the elation of people chst have been justified of a stiff conviction. They had found their native land quite ruinous. Freer, following with his eyes a young man who passed along the Row, riding slowly.
Freer asked idle questions only when she wanted time to think. At present she had simply to look and see who it was her husband meant. Freer usually spoke of the large fortunes of the day. She thinks he can do no wrong. Every one will be very nice to her.
Our friends had turned their backs, as I have said, to the solemn revolution of wheels and the densely-packed mass of spectators who had chosen that aspect of the show. These spectators were now agitated by a unanimous impulse: the pushing-back of chairs, the shuffle of feet, the rustle of garments and the deepening murmur of voices sufficiently expressed it. Royalty was approaching—royalty was passing—royalty had passed.
Freer cyat his head and his ear a little, but failed to alter his position further, and his wife took no notice of the flurry. They had seen royalty pass, all over Europe, and they knew it passed very quickly. They were veteran tourists and they knew as perfectly as regular attendants at complicated church-services when to get up and when to remain seated.
I am looking dating never married what a great day for an orgasm. dating just got a whole lot easier. you'll never run out of questions with this arsenal.
Freer went on with his proposition. They must take risks over here more and more.
Freer persisted. The best stories always turn out false. I shall be sorry in this case. They watched the procession, but no one heeded them, though every one was there so admittedly to see what was to be seen. It was all striking, all pictorial, and it made a great composition. The wide long area of the Row, its red-brown surface dotted with bounding figures, stretched away into the distance and became suffused and misty p.
The deep dark English verdure that bordered and overhung it looked rich and old, revived and refreshed though it was by the breath of June. The mild blue of the sky was spotted with great silvery clouds, and the light drizzled down in heavenly shafts over the quieter spaces of the Park, as one saw them beyond the Row. All this, however, was only a background, for the scene was before everything personal; quite iao so, and full of the gloss and lustre, the contrasted tones, of a thousand polished surfaces.
Certain things were salient, pervasive—the shining flanks of the perfect horses, the twinkle of bits and spurs, the smoothness of fine cloth adjusted to shoulders and limbs, the sheen of hats and boots, the freshness of complexions, the expression of smiling talking faces, the flash and flutter of rapid gallops. Faces were everywhere, and they were the great effect—above all the fair faces of women on iwtty horses, flushed a little under their stiff black hats, with figures stiffened, in spite of much definition of curve, by their tight-fitting habits.
Their well-secured helmets, their neat compact he, their straight necks, their firm tailor-made armour, their frequent hardy bloom, all made them look singularly like amazons about to ride a charge. The men, with their eyes before them, with hats of undulating brim, good profiles, high collars, white flowers on their chests, long legs and long feet, had an air more elaboratively decorative, as they jolted beside the ladies, always out of step. These were the younger wihty but it was not all youth, for many a saddle sustained a richer rotundity, and ruddy faces with short white whiskers or with matronly chins looked down comfortably from an equilibrium that seemed moral as well as physical.
The walkers differed from the riders only in being on foot and in looking at the riders p. ,ady women had tight little bonnets and still tighter little knots of hair; their round chins rested on a close swathing of lace or in some cases on throttling silver chains and circlets.
They had flat backs and small waists, they walked slowly, with their elbows out, carrying vast parasols and turning their he very little to the right or the left. They were amazons unmounted, quite ready to spring into the saddle. Some of the young men, as well fuh the women, had the happiest proportions and oval faces—faces in which line and colour were pure and fresh and the idea of the moment far from intense. Freer at the end of ten minutes. She sat with her wth at the level of the skirts of the ladies who passed her, and she had been following the progress of a green velvet robe enriched with ornaments of steel and much gathered up in the hands of its wearer, who, herself apparently in her teens, ladj accompanied by a young lady draped in scant pink muslin, a tissue embroidered esthetically with jackskn that simulated the iris.
Look at that big fellow on the light chestnut: what could be more perfect? Freer recognised its importance to the degree of raising her glass to look at Lord Canterville. It was very few words, but I remember him. A man near me mentioned who he was. Freer, dropping her glass. The nobleman deated had ridden slowly forward from the start, then just opposite our friends had pulled up to look back as if waiting for some one.
At the same moment a wittu in the Walk engaged his attention, so hcat he advanced to the barrier which protects the pedestrians and halted there, bending a little from his saddle and talking with his friend, who leaned against the rail. Lord Canterville was indeed perfect, as his American admirer had said.
Upwards of sixty and of great stature and great presence, he was a thoroughly splendid apparition. He was clad from head to foot in garments of a radiant grey, and his fine florid countenance was surmounted with a white hat of which the majestic curves were a triumph of good form. Over his mighty chest disposed itself a beard of the richest growth and of a colour, in spite of a few streaks vaguely grizzled, p.
It left no opportunity in his uppermost button-hole for the customary orchid; but this was of comparatively little consequence, since the vegetation of the beard itself was tropical. Astride his great steed, with his big fist, gloved in pearl-grey, on his swelling thigh, his face lighted up with good-humoured indifference and all his magnificent surface reflecting the mild sunshine, he was, strikingly, a founded and builded figure, such as could only represent to the public gaze some Institution, some Exhibition or some Industry, in a word some unquenchable Interest.
People quite lingered to look up at him as they passed. They had been detained a moment at the entrance to the Row and now advanced side by side, their groom close behind them. One was noticeably taller and older than the other, and it was plain at a glance that they were sisters. Between them, with their charming shoulders, their contracted waists and their skirts that hung without a wrinkle, like plates of zinc, they represented in a singularly complete form the pretty English girl in the position in which she is prettiest.
Probably the bigger; they said it was the eldest. Freer returned for all answer to this cluster of inductions. But granting she should, it would do her good to have to accommodate herself. The air was full of sound, was low and economised; and when, near our friends, it became articulate the words were simple and few.
They were uttered by a young man who had stopped short in the path, absorbed by the sight of his compatriots.
He was short and stout, he had a round kind face and short stiff-looking hair, which was reproduced in a small bristling beard. His hands were encased in new gloves of a dark-brown colour, and these masquerading members hung consciously, quite ruefully, at his sides. He sported neither umbrella nor stick. Uackson offered one of his stuffed gloves almost cbat eagerness to Mrs. Freer, blushing a little as he measured his precipitation.
They saw but one thing, his delightful p. They had lately made the voyage from New York in his company, and he was clearly a person who would shine at sea with an almost intolerable blandness. After he had stood in front of them a moment a chair chwt Mrs. Freer became vacant; on which he took possession of it and sat there telling her what he thought of the Park and how he liked London. As she knew every one she had known many of his people at home, and while she listened to him she remembered how large their contribution had been to withy moral worth of Cincinnati.
This family, very numerous, was interwoven into an enormous cousinship.