When William Came eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 193 pages of information about When William Came.

“Matter?” said Cornelian, opening wide a pair of eyes in which unhealthy intelligence seemed to struggle in undetermined battle with utter vacuity; “why should you suppose that anything is the matter?”

“When you wear a look of idiotic complacency in a Turkish bath,” said the other, “it is the more noticeable from the fact that you are wearing nothing else.”

“Were you at the Shalem House dance last night?” asked Cornelian, by way of explaining his air of complacent retrospection.

“No,” said the other, “but I feel as if I had been; I’ve been reading columns about it in the Dawn.”

“The last event of the season,” said Cornelian, “and quite one of the most amusing and lively functions that there have been.”

“So the Dawn said; but then, as Shalem practically owns and controls that paper, its favourable opinion might be taken for granted.”

“The whole idea of the Revel was quite original,” said Cornelian, who was not going to have his personal narrative of the event forestalled by anything that a newspaper reporter might have given to the public; “a certain number of guests went as famous personages in the world’s history, and each one was accompanied by another guest typifying the prevailing characteristic of that personage.  One man went as Julius Caesar, for instance, and had a girl typifying ambition as his shadow, another went as Louis the Eleventh, and his companion personified superstition.  Your shadow had to be someone of the opposite sex, you see, and every alternate dance throughout the evening you danced with your shadow-partner.  Quite a clever idea; young Graf von Schnatelstein is supposed to have invented it.”

“New York will be deeply beholden to him,” said the other; “shadow-dances, with all manner of eccentric variations, will be the rage there for the next eighteen months.”

“Some of the costumes were really sumptuous,” continued Cornelian; “the Duchess of Dreyshire was magnificent as Aholibah, you never saw so many jewels on one person, only of course she didn’t look dark enough for the character; she had Billy Carnset for her shadow, representing Unspeakable Depravity.”

“How on earth did he manage that?”

“Oh, a blend of Beardsley and Bakst as far as get-up and costume, and of course his own personality counted for a good deal.  Quite one of the successes of the evening was Leutnant von Gabelroth, as George Washington, with Joan Mardle as his shadow, typifying Inconvenient Candour.  He put her down officially as Truthfulness, but every one had heard the other version.”

“Good for the Gabelroth, though he does belong to the invading Horde; it’s not often that any one scores off Joan.”

“Another blaze of magnificence was the loud-voiced Bessimer woman, as the Goddess Juno, with peacock tails and opals all over her; she had Ronnie Storre to represent Green-eyed Jealousy.  Talking of Ronnie Storre and of jealousy, you will naturally wonder whom Mrs. Yeovil went with.  I forget what her costume was, but she’d got that dark-headed youth with her that she’s been trotting round everywhere the last few days.”

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When William Came from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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