“Perhaps I can comfort you,” replied Charlotte. “There is a whole volume full of the most wonderful ape faces in the library, which you can have fetched if you like.”
Luciana shrieked for joy. The great folio was produced instantly. The sight of these hideous creatures, so like to men, and with the resemblance even more caricatured by the artist, gave Luciana the greatest delight. Her amusement with each of the animals, was to find some one of her acquaintance whom it resembled. “Is that not like my uncle?” she remorselessly exclaimed; “and here, look, here is my milliner M., and here is Parson S., and here the image of that creature—bodily! After all, these monkeys are the real incroyables, and it is inconceivable why they are not admitted into the best society.”
It was in the best society that she said this, and yet no one took it ill of her. People had become accustomed to allow her so many liberties in her prettinesses, that at last they came to allow them in what was unpretty.
During this time, Ottilie was talking to the bridegroom; she was looking anxiously for the return of the Architect, whose serious and tasteful collection was to deliver the party from the apes; and in the expectation of it, she had made it the subject of her conversation with the Baron, and directed his attention on various things which he was to see. But the Architect stayed away, and when at last he made his appearance, he lost himself in the crowd, without having brought anything with him, and without seeming as if he had been asked for anything.
For a moment Ottilie became—what shall we call it?—annoyed, put out, perplexed. She had been saying so much about him—she had promised the bridegroom an hour of enjoyment after his own heart; and with all the depth of his love for Luciana, he was evidently suffering from her present behavior.
The monkeys had to give place to a collation. Round games followed, and then more dancing; at last, a general uneasy vacancy, with fruitless attempts at resuscitating exhausted amusements, which lasted this time, as indeed they usually did, far beyond midnight. It had already become a habit with Luciana to be never able to get out of bed in the morning or into it at night.
About this time, the incidents noticed in Ottilie’s diary become more rare, while we find a larger number of maxims and sentences drawn from life and relating to life. It is not conceivable that the larger proportion of these could have arisen from her own reflection, and most likely some one had shown her varieties of them, and she had written out what took her fancy. Many, however, with an internal bearing, can be easily recognized by the red thread.
FROM OTTILIE’S DIARY
“We like to look into the future, because the undetermined in it, which may be affected this or that way, we feel as if we could guide by our silent wishes in our own favor.”