The Gay Lord Quex eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Gay Lord Quex.

DUCHESS.

I was too vexed at the moment. [With downcast eyes.] He professed to discover that a number of men are in love with me.

MRS. EDEN.

Yes, but what made you angry?

DUCHESS.

Why, that.

MRS. EDEN.

That!

DUCHESS.

They were shocking words to listen to, even when spoken by a mere fortune-teller.  And you—­why did you not confide to us the result of Mr. Valma’s reading of your palm?

[SOPHY comes from the bedroom carrying a jewel-case, which she deposits upon the dressing-table.

MRS. EDEN.

I was in a rage too.  Ha! there’s only one man in love with me, it appears.

DUCHESS.

[With a shudder.] One is sufficiently dreadful.

MRS. EDEN.

Horrid! [Making a moue.] It’s Jack—­my husband!

DUCHESS.

[Reprovingly.] Hush, dear Mrs. Eden!  Sophy—­[SOPHY comes to the DUCHESS. Languidly.] I shall read for half-an-hour before attempting to sleep.  Put me into something loose.

SOPHY.

Yes, your Grace.

[SOPHY again retires to the bedroom.

MRS. EDEN.

[Rising.] May I look at your literature?

[MRS. EDEN goes to the writing-table and turns over the books she finds there.  The DUCHESS glances at the clock, and eyes MRS. EDEN with impatience.

MRS. EDEN.

Le Calvaire d’une vierge.” “Lune de Miel.” “Les Aventures de Madame Plon.”  Oh, I’ve heard of this! this is a little—­h’m!—­isn’t it?

DUCHESS.

I read those things for the sake of their exquisitely polished style; the subjects escape me.

MRS. EDEN.

[Seating herself by the writing-table and dipping intoMadame Plon.”] Ah yes, the style—­the style. [Absorbed.] We haven’t much real literary style in England, have we?

[SOPHY returns, carrying a pink tea-gown trimmed with green ribbons, and a richly embroidered Mandarin’s robe.

SOPHY.

Will your Grace put on one of these? [With a curl of the lip.] They’re both very becoming, I should think.

DUCHESS.

[Smiling sadly.] Becoming! as if that mattered, child!

SOPHY.

Which will your Grace—?

DUCHESS.

[To herself, closing her eyes.] Couleur de rose—­[to SOPHY] er—­that pink rag.  Take off my collarette.

[SOPHY lays the tea-gown and the robe over the back of the settee and proceeds to unfasten the DUCHESS’S pearl collarette.

MRS. EDEN.

[Startled, by some passage in the book she is reading.] Oh, I say!

DUCHESS.

What, dear Mrs. Eden?

MRS. EDEN.

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The Gay Lord Quex from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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